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Dragon's Egg - Act IV

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    (( I don't know where you'd get this notion Mauve is waiting with the children, so another reminder: Mauve is not with the children. That's what Baldhart said, and despite what she said Mauve did not volunteer to stay put and guard them. :) ))


    Quietly and keeping my torso low I climb the pile of rocks, unwilling to be seen by both friends and enemies.

    [​IMG]
    ((Dammit, wasting good rolls!))

    If there were any enemies. I watch the company discuss with contempt and turn my head to the way we came, attempting to see the children from here.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Mauve, from her vantage point, sees Nissa head into the opening in the mountain, and also see Baldhart creep up to the opening to watch what is going on with Nissa. Mauve remains unseen.

    Nissa flies down far enough to be able to see into the room beyond the stairs, and notes that there is some light source from within the depths, though it is dim. She sees a large room, rectangular in shape - or at least what she can see of it. It is a good one-hundred feet from side to side, with smaller corridors heading off to the left and right. Nissa can't see the far end of the room. The stone of the walls are carved, and Nissa has seen enough to recognize dwarf work when she sees it.

    Dead center, ahead of Nissa, are the remains of a statute stretching more than halfway up the ceiling, which looks to be just a bit under twenty feet high. All that remains of the statute is one stout leg and a thick arm raising a hammer. It isn't hard to see that this is also dwarf work.

    Scurry around the base of the statute are eight lizard-like creatures, each falling somewhere between three and four feet in height. Half of them are hacking away at the statute with small picks just the right size for their diminutive bodies. The other half are grabbing bits of stone as the statue is hacked apart and carrying them away down the corridor to the right. After a moment, the stone-carrying creature (or one looking just like it) re-emerges from the right to grab another stone.

    The creatures are not speaking to one another. It is too dark to make out any coloration, though their scales look dark. Piled along the wall on the left side of the room Nissa sees dirt, rock, and other debris, including ice, which hasn't melted because the room is quite cold.
     
  3. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((Did I miss something? What's the stone-carrying creature like?

    EDIT- Or is it that four lizards are the stone-carrying creatures? Edited to reflect that it's just lizards. The singular form of "creature" threw me off, and my post probably confused everyone else, except for those who knew I was confused.))




    Nissa


    I resist the temptation to bomb the lizards… I fly out.

    "Okay, so… the good news is that big people can stand up after you squeeze in the entryway. The lizards are bigger than me, but not bigger than you.

    "There's four of them hacking away at a statue—stonework of the dwarves, you might have guessed—and another four taking the stones away. And maybe a dozen or so in all… I only saw eight at a time. None of the creatures seemed to care that I was there. Maybe they didn't look my way or they were too focused on the job.

    "It smells of death. Decay. I don't know if we're too late to rescue the people, but I'm pretty sure we don't want to ignore the demolition down there. The statue's down to its last leg. I don't know what's the significance of destroying it. They're looking for something under the statue? Its rune magic dies and the Taint spreads? Or maybe the stone the statue is made of is what they need, and when they have it all, the creatures move on and kill again."

    I look around at who is here. Enough for the wimpy lizards, but they likely follow orders…

    "Unless anyone thinks otherwise, I suggest I fly to get the others. As Alin said: the quiet move first. I think Alin and I can coordinate the first strike. His arrow can fly into the heart of a lizard as a group approaches to collect rocks. The shot can be made from afar, timed as I drop oil and fire on all of them, or as many as I can.

    "After that, we can make all the noise we want and move our group into position."

    I put my oil bottle in my bag for now, but leave the bag here so I can fly faster.

    As I lift from the ground, I clarify, "That's my suggestion anyway. Discuss alternatives while I get the others." I fly to Bressel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    ((@Legendary - to clarify: the creatures are all the same. Half of them are hacking at the statue, half of them hauling stone away. When I referred to "the stone carrying creature" I was referring to any of them, just to give an idea of the pattern they make in carrying stones away and then coming back for more. Sorry for being vague!)).
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((I just figured that out and edited! Thanks for clarifying!))
     
  6. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    When Nissa flies out of earshot, I turn to Alin. "Let's go. We can soften them up. When the charge the two of us, our boulder in a dress should have squeezed through the tunnel and draw their attention. If what Nissa says is true, I think they're performing a ritual." I catch myself and frown. Too many words, each carrying away a moment in time, a turning point.

    I duck into the tunnel and run my fingers along the walls. Nissa spoke of a light once we reach the cavern. No need to give away our position.
     
  7. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron moves up and slips into the entry, a quick motion so as not to be silhouetted (if possible will move to the side opposite of ankari, so we have one bow on each side of the entrance. If the door is against a wall, we will just space ourselves out.) Following Ankari waiting 3-5 seconds after he enters, so if anyone sees him, they won't be ready for him. (also if there is a trap, it won't get both of us.)
    (I think light wise, if we allow our eyes to adjust there should be enough to see using Elf vision. With the light from the door and the light from the cavern ahead.) We don't need to rush, so I will take time to let my eyes adjust then check for traps.
    If humans might have problems, I will place a glow rock in the middle of the room and retrieve it later. Just let me know if Aliron thinks its needed.
    Aliron checks for traps around the inside of the entrance:
    ability check (int and Dex prime) [1d20] = 7 (+3 dex-1chr) Check traps is Int based so prime, but unless it is a very simple trap, I failed with an 11 (+1 for int and +3 level?)

    [[I think Nissa was suggesting using the heartbow power, I try to keep that the ace in the hole, for when my ace is on the line or a leader needs taken out. A simple lizard would seem to be a waste. The chances are good I will hit what I can see, the heartbow can hit what I can't.]]

    {{My plan is to check the path straight towards the stairs. The most common place for a trap and the fastest way for our armored to get to the fight.
    How many checks for traps will it take to check all the path to the stairs inlcuding the tops of the stairs.
    The most common spot would be the entrance and the top and bottom of the stairs.}}

    Bressel
    "Be ready, Nissa approaches. I think they are moving into a cavern or tunnel. Aliron just went inside." Bressel tells the group in the tree line.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    ((Oh… bad edit. Heartseeker was implied, but at that time I was thinking there was a huge creature carrying several rocks. No, I wouldn't suggest the one-a-day magic arrow for normal lizards.

    Also, Nissa didn't speak of a light.))




    Baldhart

    "Boulder in a dress? Well, okay, I kinda like that but…" Ankari and Alin enter the hole. "Wha—Wait a sec—Hey! Why not wait for the others? You talk about following the blind, and now you're fumbling in the dark in an icy cave not knowing whether the path goes up or down or straight down!"

    I remove a glow-rock from my purse and show it to Masama. "If this thing still works, we can keep them safe. Or ourselves, if elves can see in the dark." I hand one to Masama and keep another for myself. I guess Nissa has the other.

    I go in, only following the elves if I can see where I'm going. If the glow-rock lights the path, I whisper, "C'mon, Batos. We maintain silence inside."

    ((@SP, let me know if the glow-rock doesn't work.))




    Nissa

    I hear Baldy talking too much and turn to look. Oh. Lovely. Do they start without me for a reason other than lack of patience?

    I fly high, waving my torch, watching to see if Bressel sees my signal.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Mauve perches, hidden, in her spot in the rock pile. From there she has a good view of what is going on near the opening into the hillside. She sees Nissa emerge, then fly over to talk to the rest of the group. Nissa puts her oil away and flies in the direction of Bressel, Roderick, and the children, who wait beyond the farm and around a distant hillside.

    When Nissa flies up into the air to signal the others, it quickly becomes clear that there is no way she will be able to do so from here. The burned out farm lays perhaps a quarter of a mile way, down the hillside she currently hovers over and in a small valley between that hill and the one beyond. The group waits on the other side of the next hillside, and to signal them Nissa will have to fly high enough to clear the crest of the second hill (from the perspective of Bressel et al.) in order to be seen. It will probably be quicker to ascend and fly in an arc around the farm, bringing her into view around the side of the hill from Bressel's perspective. That won't take nearly as long to accomplish as flying all the way back. Nissa must now decide whether to pursue that course or to return to the cave opening, where her comrades are already starting to poke around.

    Aliron's trap checking reveals nothing, and he is able to breath easily when he and Ankari enter the opening and find that he's right - there are no traps. ((I rolled a couple of extra checks for Aliron for the sake of speed; he checked the path, the area around the steps, and the top of the steps themselves)).

    Descending the wide stairway, Ankari sees what was described to Nissa, above. The small lizard creatures are some distance from the stairs, toiling in their work on the statute, and between their occupation and the low light in the room, they don't notice the party members, who have been careful not to make noise. Aliron is able to move along beside Ankari and observe as well.

    Masama takes the glow rock from Baldhart and looks at it. It is still glowing, though it seems to be glowing less than when Baldhart first found it. Or maybe that's because they are still outside. Masama falls in behind Baldhart as she descends into the gloom. He keeps the glow rock partially covered, trying to direct the light toward the ground. "We should be careful. If these creatures have sensitive vision, a light source that is dim to us may be as a torch to them."

    Batos lopes silently alongside Baldhart ((I'm assuming this is OK with Keitsumah; if not, feel free to correct it)). Keitsumah, Liadan, and Cadell remain in position outside the circle of stone debris that contains the opening. There is nothing much moving outside, beyond Nissa who hovers in the air in contemplation and the slow crawl of smoke rising from the distant farmstead.
     
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Aliron whispers to Ankari;
    "The group is spread to far to start a fight now. We watch and listen, maybe we can hear the survivors. There is no urgent need to rush to battle, now. Let get everyone out of the cold, then we can start exterminating the lizard infestation."

    [If Ankari pushes on, Aliron will stay at the top of the stairs, he will have to start the fight alone, and then Aliron will come to aid, but he is against the fight at this time.]
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    I knew Alin wouldn't be as reckless. Heeding Masama's words, I tuck away the rock.

    I whisper to Ankari, "Alin is right. Think of Dalla, your trainee. No good comes from alerting the enemy with her and half our people minutes behind. I trust you'll listen in darkness and not get yourselves killed."

    I signal to Masama to fall back, and I work my way out, trusting that Alin won't let Ankari die a stupid death.
     
  12. Keitsumah

    Keitsumah Inkling

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    (Yep, that's fine)

    Batos pads quietly alongside Baldhart, keeping one side pressed close to her leg in case their vision should prove limited, and to make sure she knows where he is. I watch them disappear into the shadows with a knot in my stomach, but i grit my teeth and tell myself we will be all right. Batos and Baldhart are among the best fighters in our group, so they should be okay.

    I hope.
     
  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Nissa

    I dive downward, risking that the cold air will extinguish my torch, angling toward the farmhouse, then leveling my flight to take me full speed to where Bressel and the girls are. When I see Bressel, I'll call to him.
     
  14. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    (( I'll take the liberty of considering Baldhart and co emerged from the tunnel ))

    There has been quite some activity down there. That they would jump inside without a second thought to satiate their thirst for blood was expected, but not a hasty return. Is that indecision? At that rate I'll spend the whole day here. At last the desire to not waste the most of the day wins over the desire to remain outside their dumb plans. I straighten myself, allowing one leg to hang in the air while I use my other knee as support for my elbow, and stare at the people who just emerged from the tunnel.

    If they still don't notice me I finally ask, "Had enough fun?"
     
  15. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    "Not really," I tell Mauve. "But I trust Alin has enough sense that he can afford to lend some of it to Ankari. Who has none." I look at the little hole. "Next time an enemy lair has a tiny entrance, I'm going to block it with my body so when Nissa says 'I'll get the others' no one charges in."

    Maybe without the glowy rock, he can't see so he won't go far.

    "Boulder in a dress, indeed. Think quick, Mauve. What's a good name for a guy who rushes into a dark, icy cave without a light source? 'Cause that's what he is."
     
  16. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    I cross my arms and make no effort to hide my smug face. "Well, I won't say I warned to wait and move in unity when you decided to rushed there. Oh."
     
  17. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    "Tell that to Ankari if he stays still long enough that you can tell him anything. But Alin's with him, so I guess they're just listening and getting into positions to shoot and all that.

    "Nissa scouted. She saw eight lizards—little wimpy ones—but there might be more. They're breaking a statue and carrying rocks all over the place. No wonder Darin was so pissed at these things. They've got a thing for breaking dwarf stuff."

    I take off my ring and stand barefoot on ice.
    [​IMG]
    I was trained to handle such temperatures, but… even my people have limits. I better put the ring back on before I get frostbite and can't kick anyone. I wore my kicking dress for a reason. Outfit rotation. But still, it's a good dress to wear while kicking enemies.

    As I put the ring back on, I tell Mauve, "I doubt the innocents survived. So why bring 'em in there?"
     
  18. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    It's hard to not scowl when faced with a question I have no answer for. I don't like to not know things.

    "Auslag want followers. Living ones, I would risk to say. What were the words...? 'All will swear fealty to her, or she will grind their bones beneath the boots of her minions!' Aye, it was something along these lines. She convinced herself this is what is necessary to protect the North. I reckon she did not really need to grind anyone's bones to do so." I shrug. "But I do not think these people were taken under these orders, to serve her forcefully or because they sweared an oath. I have no answer for your question."
     
  19. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Baldhart

    "Grinding bones? With a boot?" I cross my arms. "Dad and Uncle are right. Kingdoms are stupid. What's the point of following anyone who makes threats? This is the kind of leader just asking to be stabbed in the back, which Ghendra would've plotted if he was such a great… aw, skip it." Bringing up the gnolls again is stupid, too. "Protect the north, my ass. More like a protection racket, where your town might 'accidentally' be razed by a horde of monsters."

    I uncross my arms to make quoty fingers when I say 'accidentally.'

    "Ankari thinks the monsters in there are performing a ritual. Is there a ritual that involves breaking things? Is a breaking-things ritual inherently evil? I actually like breaking things, but not something beautiful like a work of art carved by a dwarf thousands of years ago."
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    As the party waits for word from within the opening and discusses strategies, there is a snap, as of a breaking, icy twig, in the trees and brush surrounding the crown of the hill. The sound comes from slightly down hill, and away from the direction of the farm. Those inside the circle of stone and debris hear the snap, though they cannot see the source of it. Cadell and Liadan, being outside the circle, not only hear the snap more loudly, but also hear a faint, fluid sound of hissing whispers, as though a pair of snakes were having a gossip session. Their sharp elf eyes spy two small shapes quickly dropping into crouches, laying on their stomachs, stretched out beneath low hanging tree limbs. The creatures appear to be observing the two elves.

    By this time, Nissa has swooped past the farm house and is just about to clear the next hill to be within visual range of where Bressel, Roderick, and others are waiting. She can't yet see the spot, but even before seeing them she hears a loud bellow. The words, if there are any, are unintelligible at this distance, but the voice sounds distinctively Bressel-like, and not at all pleased.
     
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