Blood of the Throne part 5

Nitram didn’t even pause to ask himself why he did that. He just took a couple more steps towards the swirling smoke, thinking of little else than finding ogres. He paused halfway there, shook his head slightly, and seemed to pull himself together. He looked back at the group, “Well, I guess we can at least find out where it goes. I understand your reservations. I’ll take Serre through and try to figure out where it leads.. I assume there’s a similar stake on the other side. If there’s trouble we can’t handle quickly, I’ll take to the air and find someplace safe.” The ranger unslung his shield and drew Kinslayer.Holding the blade, he called for Serre and followed the tracks towards the portal, pausing for everyone’s reactions before stepping through.

AFCop AFCop October 04, 2014
“I would caution against that action my friend. Too many unknowns and variables that I won’t bother listing now. The ogres came here for a reason and set up this device. Nothing here on this field of geysers has given us any inkling of why. The only other option I can see lies up there,” Blend pointed up to the plateau. “Perhaps the portal leads up there and that is where our answers lie. I suggest we prepare for a climb.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 04, 2014
The frustration on the ranger’s face was quite evident. “Make up your bloody mind already.” “Fine.” Nitram wrapped a quick bandage around his hand before climbing into Serre’s saddle. “I’ll fly up and anchor a line or two to aid in the ascent. Someone should probably keep an eye on the portal in case anything comes through before it closes. Or t see if it does close.” A slight smirk spread across his face. Looking up at the soot and ash above him, Nitram wrapped a cloth around his mouth and nose and ensured his goggles were tight against his face. Looking back at the group he querried, “Any other suggestions before I take off?”

the_app the_app October 04, 2014
Rumil nodded his agreement with Vallus’ statement. (Bringing this back to IC from OOC forum) It seemed odd that these two would simply step forward and touch such a dark item, almost as if they were possessed. He ran through his mind if he had ever heard of dark forces pulling on a person like this – making them take actions that would normally seem out of character. He also attempted to recall if either had been acting strange prior to getting here – odd quirks, speaking to themselves, etc. He wasn’t sure what it was – but it seemed that both of these two were acting odd. He wasn’t quite ready to voice his suspicions about to the group – just in case it was affecting others – but he would keep a close eye on this situation. He would hate to lose his newly found companions – but his mission was clear and it certainly didn’t involve following anyone to their death.

As Nitram and Blend spoke about alternatives – Rumil studied the area that Nitram described as a gate – if any fluctuations were spotted, he would attempt to close it with the aid of the other magic users before anything came through. He read old, old stories of traveling great distances in an instant, but he had also heard that it left its mark on those that did. There is a reason such magic was lost to this world – and the fact that it appears to have returned – that was cause for concern.

AFCop AFCop October 04, 2014
Blend ignored the ranger’s obvious body language. Nitram, he felt, was allowing his emotions rule him in this matter. His deep hatred of the ogre race clearly clouding his judgement and good sense. The bard had clearly lost his mind, but it wasn’t Blend’s place to stop the “scholar”, and he used the term loosely, from learning a valuable life lesson. Basically, if you stick you hand into fire, you are going to get burned…and less likely to do it again, provided you still had the hand. Rumil, on the other hand, clearly had a stick shoved deep up his own ass and had an annoying penchant for melodrama, even if his advice was ground more solidly than anyone else in the party, save for Blend’s own.

SkidAce SkidAce October 04, 2014
It appeared to Rumil that the red and gray auras that he had detected were fading slightly, as if the duration of a spell had run, or was close to running, its course. Based on the amount of lowered intensity, he determined that there was still enough time for all of them to “test” the portal should they choose to do so. Fortunately (from Rumil’s viewpoint) that opportunity was fading fast.

Shylent strolled quickly over to Rumil and Vallus, proclaiming bluntly, “Too little talk, too much talk, never just right” waving her hand impatiently at the remainder of the group.

Serre was crouched, prepared to leap into the sky at Nitram’s command.

the_app the_app October 04, 2014
Rumil allowed his sight to return to normal and turned to look at Shylent. “For one of so few words, the ones you do choose to speak seem to hold great truth.” With that he stood his ground, a safe distance from the disappating aura, and awaited the groups direction. He took the time to reflect and pray for Corellon’s guidance.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 04, 2014
Nitram smiled, unseen by those on the ground, as he braced himself before commanding the griffon to the air. Sensing his rider tense, Serre knew that meant it was time to go. Simultaneously with the ranger’s words, the unusually large-for-his-age griffon leapt into the air with a loud hiss. Nitram urged the magical beast to the top of the plateau, hoping they’d be able to see in the clouds, at least a little.
“Maybe we’ll be able to feel the heat at the top of the plateau,” he thought to himself.

SkidAce SkidAce October 05, 2014
The griffon and its rider flew up into the air towards the edge of the plateau. Serre strained to accomplish the nearly vertical climb, powerful wings thrusting the air and mist down onto the group they left behind. Barely cresting the edge, the duo vanished into the mists above the plateau.

xLucix xLucix October 05, 2014
Frederick looked through the Book, seeing if there was anything that might come in handy for whatever they might have to contend with

SkidAce SkidAce October 06, 2014
There was a swirling in the air near the top of the cleft, as the streams of mist and soots were disturbed by the passage of a large creature. A few moments later, a rope came hurtling down through the air, providing the remainder of the group an opportunity to climb 200 feet up the side of the plateau.

Climb DC 15, – 5 for rope = DC 10. Advance your speed per check / X checks required)

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill October 07, 2014
Aeron saw Rumil examining the other magic users as they tried to activate the portal. Aeron felt weaker than he had in decades…ever since they had left the prince’s manor Aeron could feel his arcane ability draining away. As his companions attempted to unlock the secret of the ogre portal, Aeron’s left hand rose unconsciously to clutch the blue swirling medallion around his neck. A few days ago, this type of teleportation ritual would have been child’s play to him. He would have boldly led the party through the portal to challenge the ogre army. But that day had passed. Aeron’s right hand gripped so tightly around the fire staff Merchant Blend had liberated from the reptilian carnifax that his knuckles turned white. He was fully aware that the spells he could master just a few days ago where now beyond his abilities and he was almost entirely reliant on parlor tricks and arcane nick nacks to conceal his weakness.

SkidAce SkidAce October 07, 2014
Blend appeared to have a gift for climbing, an aspect that surprised no one except perhaps Old Gnarley and Vallus. Following Blend’s guidance, each member took their time, and made sure they were in no hurry, pausing often and looking for the nooks, crannies, and small handholds that the merchant had assured them would be there if they just looked.

As the first of the group worked their way up the cleft wall, Old Gnarly hobbled all the horses together and gave them some feed from his pack.

Eventually all of the group made there way up to the top of the cleft safely, where Nitram and Serre were awaiting them. (Take 10 = Auto Success)

The view from the edge back the way they came was magnificent, when the steam and soot flowing from behind them didn’t block their view. Facing inward towards the center of the plateau, the low hanging mist and sooty smoke drifted in large swathes across a alternately dry and wet rocky terrain. There was waist high brush in both the dry and wet areas, and the land was certainly anything but flat. Rarely, the mists parted enough to see the peaks of small mountains nearer towards the center, but seconds later they were gone again.

23 March (Spring) 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
1 pm, Fireday

rocky_steam.jpg

AFCop AFCop October 07, 2014
Blend looked for Nitram so they could plan their next move.

SkidAce SkidAce October 07, 2014
As Rumil pulled himself over the edge of the cleft wall, he saw a figure dressed in ghostly chain mail staring at him from the left. The figure swiftly pulled a short sword and began chopping at Rumil as if desperate. Coldness spread across Rumil’s body and he slumped to the ground.

Shylent let lose a battle cry of alarm and rushed to Rumil’s aid, cleaving the ghostly figure in half, at which point it faded away into nothingness…

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 07, 2014
Nitram stepped forward as the group cleared the edge of the cleft to discuss the next step of their fairly spontaneous plan when he saw Rumil fall to the ground and Shylent attack another ghostly figure before it disappeared. He rushed to provide any aid he could to the elf, asking the cleric if he could do anything? “We should probably try to move quickly through this area. If it was the site of a large battle, there’s no telling how many of these ghosts are here and able to touch us. I, for one, would like to make it off this rock of my own accord.” Giving way to Vallus, Nitram addressed the rest of the group, “There are signs – old signs – that others have climbed the cleft approximately where you did. However, I have not found any recent tracks up here…just the soot and rocks. We can move farther into the plateau, maybe there’s something more to see? But, I think we should spend as little time up here as possible, unless Vallus has the ability to protect us from these spirits?”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 07, 2014
It seemed that Aeron was taking a little longer to compose himself, as if something was ailing him, but he gave no outward sign and by Rillifane’s blade, he surely didn’t say anything. “Too proud probably. I hope he’s okay.” Nitram pointed out the stone signpost to the elven mage – and everyone else who might have not noticed it, “There’s a stone signpost or marker over there. Not sure what is says, though. You might want to take a look. Maybe the bard knows something about it.” “Doubtful,” he thought, “it doesn’t really resemble a shark. But, who knows what’s stuck in that human’s mind.”

SkidAce SkidAce October 07, 2014
Vallus answered Nitram’s question in a serious and detailed manner. “Yes, I could cast a protection spell on one of us and maintain it for up to 10 minutes. It would likely prevent any “possession” type affects, such as you initially and now apparently Rumil have encountered. However, other than the fainting, you did not seem to suffer any other ill conditions."

Vallus thought for a moment and moved towards Rumil to check on channeler’s condition. “If he is no worse than you were, which we have yet to see, I would recommend not using any of our resources at this time, not knowing what lies ahead.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 07, 2014
“Hopefully, the visions are as bad as it gets….” Nitram muttered somewhat quietly.

SkidAce SkidAce October 07, 2014
Rumil’s eyes seemed to flutter for a moment, and then with a look of determination he sat up and looked around.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 08, 2014
Nitram gave him a moment to adjust to reality before asking, “What did you see?”

xLucix xLucix October 08, 2014
Frederick nodded to Aeron. “I would be more than happy to take a look at the symbol. I do enjoy proving my worth outside of telling a good shark tale.”

Though, as he examined the marker, he thought aloud, “With this trip having progressed the way it had, the marker probably means that black magic took place here, the only people who haven’t done anything stupid yet will fall under its sway and there’s probably a dragon to boot.” He shrugged, adding, “Or it’s the equivalent of a tourist trap’s markings. One of the two.” Knowledge History, which is a 8, Bardic Knowledge (2), Lore Master (+10).

SkidAce SkidAce October 08, 2014
Frederick didn’t need much effort or time to decipher the stone “signpost”. All the markings had faded into obscurity, but the trail that started just past it, made of flattened paving stones, kind of gave it away.

the_app the_app October 08, 2014
Rumil, frustrated that such a thing could befall him, penetrating his defenses and “assuming” his body, looked up at Nitram and relayed the facts, as he remembered them. He added what little details he could ascertain from the vision, hoping someone else in the party saw something that he may have overlooked.

As he regained his composure, he clutched his sword, saying a quick prayer to Corellon for guidance. Was this a test of his faith or was there simply so much destruction here, that the spirits lingered for eternity? Either way, he made a mental note to inform some of the clergy he had met during his travels – with the hope that they could find a way sanctify this land, freeing these restless spirits.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 October 08, 2014
Nitram looked around the area for any sign of this mine. “Are you sure what you saw was up here and not down below?” The ranger began moving in the direction of the signpost and paved path, confident that it might lead to the mine.

SkidAce SkidAce October 08, 2014
Vallus bent down and offered Rumil his hand, saying “Stand beside us swordbrother, are you well?”

A geyser many feet past the signpost spouted up into the air with a resounding “whoosh”. Light droplets of water, cooled by the contact with the air, dropped down like mist. The geyser only reached thirty feet into the air, and the droplets of water combined with the sun to create a rainbow effect over the party. As quickly as it appeared, the geyser subsided, becoming a calm pool of water with cloudy steam rising from its surface.

SkidAce SkidAce October 08, 2014
Once Nitram reached the signpost and the beginning of the paved trail, he could on occasion see where the paved path meandered. When the drifting mists didn’t obscure his vision, it moved in a mostly NE direction, traveling in the crease between two slight rises on either side. Due to the dips and the rocks, there were one or two places he could not see path. After about 100 feet the trail passed the geyser that had just spouted, and disappeared to the left (west) behind a hill.

the_app the_app October 08, 2014
“I’m afraid I do not know where I was – as I only saw hills in the distance and did not notice being up or down – nor any land features that appeared as they do now.” With that he nooded his thanks to Vallus and rejoined the group.

AFCop AFCop October 09, 2014
“This area was flat many years ago. Powerful magics during the war the ghosts are showing you caused a great upheaval and raised the plateau we are standing on today,” Blend quietly mentioned as he moved forward to take point.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill October 10, 2014
After the long climb assisted by Lord Nitrams rope, Aeron stood on the top of the plateau and observed the periodic explosions of geysers in their midst. Not wanting to draw any more attacks from the ghostly apparitions, Aeron hastened to the trail with their skald, Rumil. I wonder if the same magic user disease that has afflicted me has affected Rumil. “Rumil, have you been feeling I’ll recently? Perhaps, since we left the princes residence?” Aeron hefted the carnifax staff. He hadnt weilded a staff since his youth in the Aelvinwode forest. The memories of old Silver Arm instructing the elven youth in the use of the lowliest of weapons brought an ironic grin to his lips. It was humbling to have fallen so far from the pinnacle of his power. He would most assuredly lose his position in Rashemons and Belcadiz towers. That assumed he and the companions survived the ogre army hunt. Turning his mind from his loss he surveyed what he had. The elven Oathbow, the Quiver of Neverending Arrows, Hood of Falcons Aim, Belt of Incredible Dexterity, Robe of the Hedge Wizard, Headband of Vast Intellect…and the Carnifax Staff. The staff felt solid and reassuring and warm in his hands. It was the false sense of assurance much as a baby is soothed by a scrap of blanket.

the_app the_app October 10, 2014
“Outside of the recent invasion of my person by a spirit, I’ve been feeling well. Are you feeling alright? You look more concerned than one would imagine about my health. Is there something vexing you? Did something occur at the Prince’s residence which should concern me? I did not sense he had anything against elves.” Rumil stared at his racial brother, wondering what would prompt such a question. While having a spirit vision was certainly unsettling, it should not have prompted his questions about health. He did, after all, not show the same level of concern for Nitram after his encounter with the mad spirit. He awaited an answer to his questions, but continued collecting his own bearings – as now that it was brought up, he did feel a bit odd…like he needed a bath.

SkidAce SkidAce October 13, 2014
Shylent took a position near Aeron as Blend moved forward onto point. She moved casually, but almost seemed concerned about the elven wizard. Aeron was unable to tell (Sense Motive 8) whether it was concern for his well being, or perhaps a desire to be near in case he needed to be put down. Either way, she glared at him dubiously and kept quiet, neither of which was unusual for her.

As the group moved forward onto the semi-paved trail, wafts of steam and heat from the nearby geyser occasionally drifted across their path, nothing discomforting at this point, but it did cause several of the group to realize the potential for danger if such a geyser was closer, or erupted upon them.

Once Blend was able to scout around the hill and past the geyser, the trail continued to be clear and unremarkable, well as unremarkable as could be said for the local area. There was no sign of ghosts, ogres, tracks, or other items of interest, other than rock piles, stunted trees, and flowing mists and heat. As the rest of the group moved around the hill, they could all see that the trail continued in a meandering fashion in and around several small hills, open to their view in some spots, and concealed by rocks in others. Continuing on their way, Blend spotted a sort of clearing in the rocks up ahead, with what potentially could be another of those stakes pounded into the ground. It as hard to tell with the mists, as they had gotten warmer and thicker, but there did not appear to be any creatures near the potential clearing area.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 7 days ago
Nitram continued to look around for ogre tracks. If that’s one of those teleportation stakes, it may be the other side of the one below. Which means the ogres and goblins came up here.

AFCop AFCop 7 days ago
Blend scanned the area, looking for signs of goblin and ogre alike. He motioned for the party to keep silent and remain in place as he went up ahead using the rocks for cover to make sure they weren’t heading into an ambush.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 7 days ago
Aeron held the Carnifax staff. Drawing his hands together the staff disappeared into nothingness and was replaced by his ornately carved longbow.

Aeron knocked a broadhead arrow from his finally tooled leather quiver and stepped to the left of the path crouching down behind a clump of rocks as he looked for signs of the ogres ahead.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
The ranger slowly drew two arrows from his quiver and brought them up to his bow, readying himself.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
23 March (Spring) 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
130 pm, Fireday

Nitram did not see any ogre or goblin tracks along the rocky path that they were traveling, indicating that if Blend had found another stake/portal area, the ogres had not traveled in this direction.

As Blend moved forward, he became partially obscured from the view of the others by the mists and steam. Blend got to the edge of the rocky clearing (SSE edge), and could see multiple sets of tracks originating in and around the stake that was now clearly visible. There were no signs of actual ogres or goblins however. On the far side of the clearing (N edge) there was a stack of crates and sacks. Blend also noticed various mining implements scattered around the crates.

There was a small cave opening in the eastern edge of the clearing, that looked like it had once been large, but fallen rocks had partially obscured the opening. Some of the vague tracks that Blend could see came and went from that area.

Nitram and Aeron found sufficient rock piles and debris to provide shelter from the clearing and still provide cover for Blend’s movement forward, as he went to the edge of the clearing about 60 feet away. (far side of clearing is 140 feet away)

Cragthor moved slowly and cautiously along the path behind Blend, staying back far enough to no ruin the potential for scouting. It seemed to the others that Cragthor had been getting better at sneaking since his association with Blend.

Shylent and Old Gnarly watched the path to the rear of the party’s advance.

Once Rumil moved slightly forward enough to remain with the group and see the actions of Aeron and Nitram, he had an overwhelming sense of deja vu from the area of the clearing.

Portal_Stake_Area.png

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
Once Blend made it to the stake and didn’t seem to be engaged in combat, Nitram began moving toward the area, gesturing for the others to follow.

the_app the_app 6 days ago
Rumil was not sure why his ears twitched, but he knew it was a sign that bad things lay ahead. He knew that his party’s endeavor would rid this world of a great evil – but were they prepared? Was this how “adventurers” conducted business outside of elven cities? Did his fellow Defenders experience the same? It seemed heroic and foolish at the same time to advance with such a small party on such a formidable foe. Yet, time and again, they have proven their worth. Whether through spell, arrow, sword, break, or words – they have overcome each obstacle put before them. When they were at their best – nothing seemed impossible…the only concern Rumil had…were they at their best?

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
Oh, yee of little faith. Cut your hand, touch the stake…go on, you know you want to.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
A small bag, like a leather pouch, came flying out of the cave and landed in the clearing, about five feet from the partially collapsed opening.

the_app the_app 6 days ago
Rumil stopped dead in his tracks. “I do not know if I dream or if I am here, but I know this area – despite having never been here. The pouch – well, that is new – but the area feels familiar. What this means, I do not know – but I confess, we need to be cautious going forward. Death lingers here and his appetite is never truly satisfied.” With that Rumil called upon his inner light, surrounding himself in a layer of energy, knowing that something was amiss. (cast Mage Armor, 5hrs, +4AC) He also willed his ring to provide an inpenetrable field of force. These spirits may be able to appear from anywhere, but they would not find it so easy to overcome him again.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
I guess Rumil moved up closer to Blend’s position?

Watching Nitram depart their position and gesture for the others to follow, Shylent was a little confused at the lack of movement by the rest of the party. With an audible “Hrrmft,” she shook her head in disdain and followed the ranger.

As Nitram moved closer to Blend’s position, he began to see signs of tracks not belonging to the merchant. Stowing his bow, he drew Kinslayer and paused long enough to determine their origin, direction of movement, and numbers. survival check Once he was able to see the cave entrance and Blend, the ranger found some cover so he could communicate with their point-man on a way forward. Not knowing what was in the bag, he whispered, “Hopefully, the bag just contains whatever they’re mining in there. Like the others.” He pointed to the crates and sacks on the north side of the clearing. “How would you like to proceed?”

the_app the_app 6 days ago
Negative, not closer. Just going off inputs from a voice in my head (GM, not whisper…which btw, did Leggs even cast that on us with is still unknown spell impotance?) stating entrance looked familiar, so I ssume from our angle/vantage we can see entrance, even if farther back.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
You can see enough to trigger the deja vu.

AFCop AFCop 6 days ago
“First, I’ll take a closer look. Then I assume we go in and hasten the goblin- and ogre-kind on their journey to the afterlife.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
Nitram grinned, “I like it when you make assumptions like that.” He looked back at the group as Shylent joined him and shrugged in response to his questioning look. He made a more blatant gesture for the rest of the group to move up.

xLucix xLucix 5 days ago
Frederick moved up with the rest of the group, keeping any protection spells that he could think of on the tip of his tongue. This made him a rather silent companion, possibly to the delight of the others

SkidAce SkidAce 5 days ago
Old Gnarly stayed back with Rumil and Vallus.

Shylent, Cragthor, and Frederick had already moved forward, and it appeared that Aeron was going to maintain his position of overwatch. From the edge of the clearing, Nitram and the others watched as Blend made his way forward. His uncannily silent movement was extra bizarre as he danced through the slight mists in the area.

Blend was able to make it within 10 feet of the entrance to the “mine” and was very confident that he had been undetected. Blend saw another pouch come flying out of the cave mouth, landing between Blend and the opening. From the sound of its landing, Blend could give some credance to Nitram’s surmise that it contained ore, or the results of mining “something”. Faint voices echoed inside the cavern entrance, as if a couple of goblins were talking to each other. The voices were also fading, as if the goblins were moving away from the entrance.

Blend noted that it would be difficult for some folks to work their way into the opening as it was only three feet wide, and there was lots of loose rubble around it. (difficult terrain, 1/2 move)

SkidAce SkidAce 5 days ago
Nitram’s assessment of the tracks provided some knowledge. There were at least three ogres moving around the area, and potentially a dozen or so goblins. Some of the movement was in and around the mining supplies (and the cave) with most of that being goblins. The ogre tracks continued along the semi paved path in a generally northerly direction.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 5 days ago
Nitram whispered his findings to the rest of the group, “At least three ogres, moving north on the path. Mostly goblin around the cave – about a dozen of them. Not sure if they’re all in the cave or not. I suggest we get in there and take care of the goblins before the ogres come back.” Nitram gazed off in the direction of the ogres, “A few goblins…I’m sure Blend can handle that by himself. Maybe I should go check on the ogres.” The ranger glanced at Blend and the cave entrance.

not too difficult for a fireball though, right?

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 5 days ago
OOC Aeron no longer has the message spell.*

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 5 days ago
Aeron the Gray moved quietly and carefully up to the group with a knocked arrow covering the cave entrance. Once settled next to Lord Nitram he whispered, {color:green} So is it into the cave? or are we to set an ambush out here?"

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 4 days ago
Nitram looked at the elf. “He seems different. I wonder if something is wrong. he thought before replying, “Into the cave. A few goblins in there – a dozen at most. The ogres went north.”

Once Blend enters the cave, Nitram will follow, quietly

the_app the_app 4 days ago
Rumil, now no longer the newest member of the group, was still baffled by the change in tactics by his kinsman. This elf mage had tossed around spells like fighters swung swords or bards wove tales. And yet, now not even his simplest of magic was being utilized. Did no one else see it? Was this not an uncommon occurrence? Perhaps the elf had cycles of not calling spells. Perhaps Rumil was overthinking things. Was now the time to ask, before the party entered a potential fight or would they do just fine with or without the magic?

AFCop AFCop 4 days ago
Blend drew Incarnhate and moved forward through cover and shadow.

SkidAce SkidAce 4 days ago
The group watched with great anticipation as first Blend, then Nitram crouched and wiggled their way into the hole. (reminder, difficult terrain)

Blend moved in carefully (Stealth 28), and managed to get all the way through the opening and into the slightly larger cavern area 10 feet inside. As Blend’s eyes adjusted, he could see about 30 feet down the cavern shaft, what appeared to be difficult terrain, with a slight incline that that curved and disappeared to the left. There were no goblins in sight, but he could hear them faintly, moving away into the distance. (Per 25)

“So Gorb” one voice whined, “do you think this mine is done, I’m tired”

A gruffer and deeper goblin voice answered “Yeah Splark, using the fifth version of that mixture should allow us to mine the rest of the magic metal, done today me thinks”

The rest of the conversation was too faint to be heard, although Blend did hear what he thought was the sound of a lowering ladder.

At that point Nitram entered the cavern entrance, having to crouch lower and move slower than Blend, but almost as quietly. (Stealth 21)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 3 days ago
Nitram managed to make it through the gap without disturbing too much loose gravel, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he was thankful for his goggles. Gripping Kinslayer, he tried to confirm that there were only a few goblins in the tunnel. Remaining alert, he tried to anticipate how long it took the goblins to bring up each bag by estimating the time between the two sacks sitting outside. He whispered to Blend, “Do you want to go after them or let them come to us with their hands full of one of those sacks?” He let Blend continue to lead, allowing him to move forward about 20’ before following.

SkidAce SkidAce 3 days ago
Nitram’s assessment of the goblin sack tossing was that it was more likely that each goblin had brought up a pouch worth of material. Each had then thrown their pouch out onto the ground outside the mine. Unfortunately, this meant that Nitram had no idea of how long it had taken the goblins to “come back up” from wherever they were mining.

There were old tracks of goblins, but there were only two sets of fresh tracks.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 3 days ago
Nitram whispered to Blend, “Only two fresh sets of goblin tracks. The rest must have gone north with the ogres. Let’s make this quick. I’ll let the others know to keep a watch north.” Nitram turned back to the opening and, without going back out, signaled to the others that there were only two goblins. He also pointed at the group, then at his eyes, and then to the north with the hope that they understood to watch to the north. if anyone’s close enough to hear him whisper, he’ll verbalize as well.
“I don’t know why Aeron didn’t cast the whisper spell on us, but we should probably develop some standardized hand signals,” he thought as he turned back to follow Blend down the passage.

AFCop AFCop 2 days ago
Blend agreed with the ranger’s assessment and proceeded down the tunnel.

SkidAce SkidAce 2 days ago
Outside the mine, the rest of the group continued their overwatch. Occasional wisps of steam and soot drifted in from the northern side of the clearing. Rumil continued to have the ongoing sense of deja vu. It was becoming apparent to him that this area was very similar to the area seen in his vision. Hopefully, ogres with blood drop tattoos were to large to fit into the collapsed mine entrance.

Frederick and Aeron readily observed Nitram’s “signals” and attempted to make sense of them. (rp up to you) Shyent saw Nitram’s motions and immediately moved several feet to a rocky outcropping where she could observe the northern approaches.

Cragthor could be seen pondering for a moment, after which he cautiously poked one of the pouches with a stick. after nothing happened, he picked one up and brought to Aeron and Rumil, dropping it at their feet before moving back beside the cave entrance.

Gnarley and Vallus were all eyes and ears, in addition, Vallus brought a shiny metallic glove out of his pack and placed it upon his weapon hand.

SkidAce SkidAce 2 days ago
Inside the mine, Blend moved forward, with Nitram cautiously trailing behind him at some distance. Blend made it to the curved portion of the passage, still moving somewhat slowly due to the terrain. Peering around the corner, Blend could tell that the passed dipped down at an increased incline, almost a climb if coming back from the other way. At the distance of forty feet, the passage stopped and there was a small circular room about twenty feet across. In the center was a six foot wide hole, with a small wooden ladder sticking out of it. A steady flow of steam was rising from the hole, and there was the smell of rotten eggs.

There was no sound or sign of the two goblins that Blend had heard previously.

Upon grazing one of the walls, Nitram noticed that the rock was warm to the touch, instead of cool like all other caves he had encountered.

the_app the_app 2 days ago
While dropping an unidentified bag of goblin making at the wizard’s and channeler’s feet seemed a bit odd, Rumil did not fault Cragthor. He, afterall, probably figured if anyone could figure out what was in the bags, it would be the two elves. Of course, Rumil had heard stories of traps coming in small packages.

He bent down to inspect the bag, and once it was determined that there was no visible or immediate threat, he inspected the contents. He did attempt to shield his companions from the sight, just in case the bag let off an unintended surprise.

What was it that these goblins were after – what brought them to this location and kept them working? Who or what controlled their actions? Goblins, while industrious, were certainly not known for their scheming and craftiness.

SkidAce SkidAce a day ago
Rumil’s inspection of the bag’s contents turned out uneventful, although very interesting. The entire pouch sized bag seemed filled with rocky clumps of silver. However, the majority of the clumps had an odd bronze/gold metallic ore mixed stuck on them. From Rumil’s conversation with Vidalia, and the perusal of the book she had annotated, the dark golden metal appeared to be orichalcium. It appeared that the goblins were extracting the rare metal and attempting to leave the silver behind!

Recalling the use of orichalcium in the creation of magical items, and its proximity to other magical metals, this development left Rumil concerned about the ogre/goblins motives.

the_app the_app 20 hours ago
Rumil was glad to see it was only mining, but shocked that they were after such a metal. If memory served Rumil, there were other metals to be had in such deposits, which could be what these retched creatures were after. He did not have time to look at his book at this moment, but he knew this was not just a mining encampment. He turned to the remaining party members on the surface and expressed his concerns. “I am afraid our two friends may be in for more trouble than they know. While I am sure they can handle themselves with a few goblins, this metal here and any likely other metals found in this cave are likely being harvested for a reason. It is my firm belief that we need to eradicate this small group – and in the process interrogate them for information that may lead to us to their leaders or the act darkness that is behind this. It is doubtful that these simple, stupid creatures would be going after this themselves.”

Rumil asked one of the more stout members to haul the metal bags, indicating that it may come in useful later.

“What I wouldn’t do for a dimensional door to storage that only I could access. Ha, that is about as likely to happen as sharks attacking someone on land.” When Rumil regained his composure, after his own internal joke, he peered into the hole, hoping to still see the other two before they descended too far.

SkidAce SkidAce 5 hours ago
Rumil’s look into the hole, after his eyes adjusted, revealed an open area, with difficult terrain, with a slight incline that that curved and disappeared to the left. No sign of Blend or Nitram.

SkidAce SkidAce 5 hours ago
As Nitram was pondering the strange warmth of the rock wall, and Blend was inspecting the hole and ladder area, faint goblin voices began to be heard, approaching slowly from down in the hole.

“Well Splark, since we are out of fuse string, we will have to call it a day.” said the deeper and gruffer goblin voice.

The whiny voice replied “Huh, we got plenty left Gorb…”

Gorb replied “No, since this is the last and deepest vent, you needed to use nearly all of it for us to get out safely, how much did you use?”

There was a pause and the whiny voice of Splark replied “A third of it?” Another pause and the voice of Gorb could be heard yelling “You gnoll head….RUN!”

The ladder began to shake and rattle, as presumably the two goblins hastily made their way up it in a panic.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 4 hours ago
As the explosive situation quickly dawned on Nitram, he ran forward, whispering “Get ready, Blend. We need to do this quickly before the mine blows up.” The ranger grabbed the end of the ladder and, setting his feet, began pulling the ladder up with the goblins. He tilted the ladder to the floor in order to provide a little more support to the creatures and facilitate getting the ladder out of the hole easier. As he pulled, he walked backwards, dragging the ladder and the hopefully surprised goblins out of the hole.

SkidAce SkidAce 23 minutes ago
Blend turned to Nitram with a mildly surprised look on his face. With an urgent whisper Blend frantically motioned the ranger to get out, “we’ve got to run!”

Nitram however, had already committed his strength to wrestling the ladder and the goblins out of the hole. (DC 15) Once the ladder was hurled out of the hole, the totally surprised goblins fell to the floor of the cavern in shock. (STR 17)

A large WHOMP sounded from below and the entire cavern began to shake. A sound like the hissing of the largest snake ever began to fill the mine shaft.

SkidAce SkidAce 17 minutes ago
Outside the mine, everyone noticed a large subdued booming sound, and the ground below their feet began to shake. Several cracks appeared in the ground and steam began to stream out of them.

It occurred to Rumil that an explosion in a mine containing the rare metal orichalcium, could not, in any way, shape, or form, be a good thing. The rocks around the entrance shifted slightly, and gravel fell across the opening and Rumil’s shoulders.

Aeron felt his aim thrown off by the shudder and shifting of the ground, while Cragthor was thrown completely on his back. Everyone else managed to hold themselves upright.

Nitram was hoping they had more time. “Get up or I’m leaving you in here!” he yelled at the two creatures while he tried to grab one in each hand and “help” them to the exit. Goblins are so stupid he thought, activating his boots to give him and his new friends a little more speed to get up the sloped floor and out of the tunnel. He’s trying to at least get them on their feet and moving out of the tunnel. I don’t think he’ll be able to completely carry them while climbing the slope and getting out in time. He is not willing to die trying to get them out. If they are able to walk/run, he’ll try to keep a hand on them to “encourage” them to move faster and retain some control.

SkidAce SkidAce October 20, 2014
via text

Blend could only shake his head incredulously at the impulsive ranger’s actions and thought to himself, surely he isn’t trying to kill us on purpose? He did his best to shove the goblins as Nitram dragged them. There was no way he was going to let those things behind him on purpose. They would stab him in the back in spite even though it would surely mean their own demise, he thought as he recalled the classic Xan Yai parable of the scorpion and the turtle, as recited during his training by his mentor Whiskyjack.

In the parable, a scorpion asked a turtle to help him cross a river. The turtle, wary of the deadly scorpion reluctantly agreed for surely the scorpion would not sting him, lest they both drown. However, halfway across the river, the scorpion did indeed sting the turtle. The turtle, dying from the poison, asked the scorpion, “why have you done such a thing for now you have killed us both?” The scorpion replied simply, “because. It is in my nature.”

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill October 21, 2014
On the surface, Aeron felt the ground heave beneath him. He backed away from the cave until he was clear of the cracks that radiated from the source of the blast…always keeping an arrow trained on the cave entrance.

xLucix xLucix October 21, 2014
Frederick did not know the source of the explosion, but an explosion in a mine filled with a rare magical ore bode not at all well

SkidAce SkidAce October 21, 2014
Nitram easily snagged a goblin with each hand and propelled them to their feet. Utilizing the magical power of his boots, he dragged them along behind him as he ascended up the slope towards the cave entrance. Blend pushed and prodded either of the goblins that looked like it would fall behind.

In short order they reached the cave mouth, pushing past a surprised Rumil. Everyone had just made it out of the mine entrance when there was a shudder to the ground, and the cracks that had opened up in the area widened slightly, and a silvery steam began to blast in sheets out of the crevices.

The hissing snake sound followed the group out of the mine and to the entrance. The hissing turned out to be a massive cloud of silvery steam that jetted out of the mine entrance and over the groups heads.

Everyone in the area felt a tingling sensation and the steam began to turn silvery rainbow colors, as it continued to rapidly flood the area and settle onto the ground.

The tingling sensation felt like the a magical wave of energy to the arcane casters of the group, and soon flooded their senses with fire and pain. Quickly followed by a choking sensation and a buzzing in the head, like holding your breath to long. Soon the other members of the group felt the same sensation, and in short order the entire party faded into unconsciousness.

SkidAce SkidAce October 22, 2014
Nitram felt his chest tighten as the silvery cloud enveloped him. He dropped the goblins and a hand shot up to hold his chest. Falling to a knee, he began to see spots of light. “This isn’t good," he thought as he struggled back to his feet, holding his breath and trying to move out of the cloud. “Come on boots!” he urged his legs to move as the darkness began to creep from his periphery.He managed to take a couple steps, but they were unnaturally heavy. He fell to knees, uncertain if he would be able to rise again. As the darkness consumed him, he was confident that he saw a flickering green light. Then, darkness. He could hold his breath no longer. As he exhaled and inhaled the silvery smoke, he noticed a faint pine smell that began to bring back a familiar memory, but was interrupted by his face hitting the ground. “Mom? Dad? Anyone?”

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill October 22, 2014
Aeron saw the silver billowing vapor roll over his companions obscuring them in a fog like haze. A breath later the cloud rolled over Aeron and the unfamiliar sensation of sleep claimed him.

AFCop AFCop October 22, 2014
Blend tried to remain upright, standing, but it was just too hard. He tried to regain his focus, tried reaching inside of himself to gather his ki, but it was fuzzy somehow, intangible and he was unable to grasp it. Whatever was wrong, he assumed the treacherous goblins were somehow responsible. With the last of his consciousness rapidly fading away, he looked for some cover, some shadow to collapse into, hoping that it would hide his prone body in his vulnerable state if he ever did wake up.

the_app the_app October 26, 2014
Rumil hoped his companions would escape the tunnel, but it seemed that was not going to be the case – as this vapor was not overwhelming. He pulled his head out of the hole, hoping that the topside group could save those in the hole after things settled.

Blood of the Throne part 5

Unconquered Kingdoms SkidAce