The Age of Worms Chapter 1: The Whispering Cairn (Game Thread, Closed, Started)

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0


It's just another night in Diamond Lake. Outside you can hear the sound of St. Cuthbert's faithful, honoring their god with obedient self-flagellation to keep themselves pure; their cries reaching their crescendos every few minutes as a new faithful drops to the ground in exhaustion. Buried in the sound are the muffled grunts and groans as a local hobbit is mercilessly beaten by the bandit-turned-sheriff - Sheriff Cubbin - and his half dozen deputies per the new punishment for "theft".

However, you all find yourselves inside. Inside a tavern called "The Diamond in the Rough". "The Diamond" is packed - as per usual - with nearly a hundred patrons from all of the various mines, mostly because it's the only option. "The Emporium" is much nicer, but they only let the wealthy mine owners and operators in while "The Feral Dog" is much MUCH less so.

Fortunately, the ale is cheap - if watery - and the fire is warm. Several of the miner's have taken to playing a crude game of darts using some of the kitchenware and an old barrel. Others sit around the fire talking about one of their three favorite topics - what they did to deserve this hell, what they're going to do when they leave, and how much of a hellhole Diamond Lake is. Most lay at their tables in a drunken stupor, trying to dull the pain. Little more can be expected or asked of in Diamond Lake.

And then the door opened and the usual night became anything but.

The first to enter was a tall man. Tall, blonde, and apparently made of muscle. He was too clean to be a miner and too well armed and armored to be a guard. Around his waist was a gaudy belt that could only have come from Barovia. Immediately behind him a man of more reasonable size and stature entered. His long flowing robe and cloak marked him as either a mage of some sort or someone who wanted to look like one. Even his hair - facial and otherwise - made him look like one of those "dark wizards" of the legends. Almost unnoticed, the third of them entered, slipping over to the bar and the game of "darts" with nary a thought. The bow and quiver on her back and the sword at her belt marked her as not someone to be trifled with nearly as much as her obvious elven ears.



The crowd in the tavern quickly descended into whispers. It was obvious enough from their dress that they were adventurers or mercenaries of some sort, but the question as to why they were here alluded them. A few of the more fearful in the crowd began to whisper of "bandits killing them all". These rumors would likely have spread quickly were it not for the muscled adventurer dropping a large bag of gold on the table and shouting "I'll pay for a night of drinks to anyone who can tell me of the Stirgenest Cairn!"; drawing more than a dozen miners over immediately.

Not to be outdone, the "mage" began speaking quietly to those by the fire, asking for specific details about local cairns and promising coins rather than drinks. The elf meanwhile had begun chatting to the people playing the game of kitchenware-darts about a number of topics that all eventually lead to the topic of "Cairns"

Anyone who has spent at least a collective month of their life in Diamond Lake knows that the Stirgenest Cairn is one of the largest tombs in the wilds outside of town. Popular opinion is that it - like all the tombs - had been cleared out centuries ago by graverobbers.

Anyone with a Wisdom of at least 13 or a working knowledge of the "adventuring lifestyle" knows that - while the Stirgenest Cairn was indeed cleared out long ago, there's no way a trio of adventurers would trek all the way out here if there wasn't at least a chance of something good to find in one of the tombs

Anyone with an Intelligence of at least 13 or has lived in the town for at least 2 years knows that the Stirgenest Cairn is the most famous of the local cairns, but therefore the most explored. By extension, the most likely untouched Cairn is the Whispering Cairn as it's something of a "local secret".

Anyone with a Charisma of at least 13 or a power/trait related to reading people can clearly see that - based on their dress and mannerisms - these "adventurers" are definitely more interested in making a tidy profit from the explorations they have in mind than making friends.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
It was night-time. For many, that meant settling down and going to sleep, perhaps drink their misery away for a couple of hours before that. For James, however, it was the start of a new day. He had spent most of the day sleeping, shutting whatever curtains he could and ignoring the sounds outside, just like any other day. The day-light hurt his eyes, and he preferred to spend his time outside in the quiet of night either way.

Of course, that was when he didn't need to eat, like now. Given that this was the only time he could get a warm meal, he had to braze himself and enter the damned tavern with all the damned miners who didn't know how to keep the noise down. At least, he used to reassure himself, they would only be there for a couple more hours. Eventually, they had to leave, get back to bed so that they would survive another day in the mines.

And that was when James got the streets to himself, and his whims, though he found himself wanting less and less to do with anyone, be it for fun, curiosity or simply out of anger. This place was getting to him, everyone was feeling sorry for themselves and no one knew how to get away. Well, they all had their plans. It was pathetic, really, a waste of breath, James was very aware of that, for the moment, he was stuck. And of course he loathed it, just as much as it loathed him. However, he wouldn't waste his time worrying about it yet, a chance would come up when it came up.

Sitting turned away from the fire, as close to the wall as he could, he was eating his breakfast/dinner, and looking around for nothing in particular. Sometimes, a piece of information that he could use turned up, but most of the time, he was just wasting time, making sure no one got close enough to touch him. It was during that, some people walked in. Some sort of gaudy warrior, a sly-looking mage, and an elven archer -weren't they all?- and peace and quiet came, loud voices reduces to whispers. For once, James was happy to see some new people.

Of course, who are they?

Not from around, that was for sure. Too refreshed and clean looking, not the kind you'd find in a tavern like this.

Either they're here to get cheap ale, or there's something more to this.

"I'll pay for a night of drinks to anyone who can tell me of the Stirgenest Cairn!"

Stirgenest Cairn?

James sat up a bit more, he certainly didn't feel like having some stranger pay for any drink of his, nor was he going to stand in line behind a bunch of drunk miners for what was likely to turn out to be simple change, but it piqued his curiosity.

Adventurers, then. If they're willing to spend money, they have something to get out of this. So, exactly what do they want to know, that they feel drunks and miners would know best of all? Surely they must have heard something good about the Stirgenest Cairn.

He had heard that the Cairn had been cleared long ago, but he had also heard that there was places that most didn't know about.

Whispering Cairn would be the most likely... Oh, but they probably don't know that, do they? They need to know where it is, so they're asking locals.

He sat further up, his eyes wandering between the three strangers. If they were here asking questions about a treasure, then he could learn something very interesting indeed. Perhaps they were here not because they thought the miners would know best, but because they would be too stupid and drunk to realize that there was something more beyond this.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Andria would rather have been in one of the better establishments, but there she?d more likely be recognised and the smaller crowds where harder to hide in. Her eyes had been on the strangers since they entered; clearly well-equipped making their intentions obvious, not the friendliest but she could admire the efficiency. And if they were paying anywhere near as well as they did for the get up they could be valuable how long had it even been since she made money.
So now the question was how to impress them.

She weaved her way over to the impromptu game of darts, since it had caught the interest of the one with the bow. It should be too hard to beat a bunch of drunks using cutlery that was more rust than metal. ?Mind if I have a go?? She spoke as naively and softly as she could, when she was as ignored as she?d expected she?d be Andria quickly drew and fluidly threw one of her blades at the barrel. Dead on, and deep into the wood, she sauntered over and withdrew her blade again, with a final flourish it was gone again, though where would remain a mystery, a girl needs her secrets.

?You know, were I looking to find a lost tomb, I?d rather avoid the inebriated itinerates who probably couldn't draw or describe you a map any better than they can throw. A local on the other hand they'd know, trouble is they'd also know this beer isn't much of a trade.?
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Thalith had had a long day, starting with punching someone who had tried to take his breakfast and ending with running out of the mine tunnel just before a boulder had fallen on him. After coming into this tavern and getting a large stein of watered down beer he had walked heavily over to the wall next to the fire and slide down it scratching the wall in a few more places to join the dozens already there showing this is where he sits most nights. Sighing to himself at the lack of chairs in the place that could hold his body without breaking in under 5 minutes.

Leaning his arm against his bent knee Thalith lifts his drink and pours half of it down his throat, small streams of beer falling down the edges of his mouth before lowering it after finishing half the stein. Blinking to himself as he sees three new people walking into the tavern. They looked to clean and well dressed to have been in this town for long but they couldn't be mine owners or something like that because they walked into this place rather than the owner centered one down the street.

Narrowing his eyes and leaning his head back as he watches the people in the tavern Thalith stiffens as the fighter type calls out to the room.

"I'll pay for a night of drinks to anyone who can tell me of the Stirgenest Cairn!"

Whistling softly to himself Thalith scratches his jawline making a sound of rocks rubbing together as he thinks about it. He had met plenty of adventurers in him time searching for his fathers killer, he had seen a party do something similar to this before. Meaning that this Stirgenest Cairn had something inside it valuable enough that paying so many here was cheap enough that no matter what they gave away here it would be compensated by whatever they found.

Eying the mage type person as he sits almost in the middle of the group at the fireplace Thalith lifts his cup to finish off the beer inside as he listens to the questions being asked. Sighing into his cup as nothing the mage was asking made no sense to him, though one of the things he was asking almost connected for him.

Lowering his cup and setting it on the closest table Thalith leans against his knee as he looks at the mage.
"Seems your a bit light on muscle, i need money and you need more than fancy pants over there waving his gold around."
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
"You know, were I looking to find a lost tomb, I'd rather avoid the inebriated itinerates who probably couldn't draw or describe you a map any better than they can throw. A local on the other hand they'd know, trouble is they'd also know this beer isn't much of a trade."

"Hey!" A high-pitched voice piped up from somewhere in the gaggle of drunken knife-throwers. Or rather, somewhere below the knife-throwers. A few seconds later, a young hobbit had squeezed her way out of the crowd, and pointed a rusty fork in an unconvincingly threatening manner at the tall speaker. "I'll have you know, some of the inebriated init...iter...chaps here can throw just fine!" To demonstrate, the girl hurled the fork over her shoulder at the barrel. It missed completely.

Millie Marshgrove was something of a regular at "the Diamond". Not for the beer, which would have made her mother die of shame (again), but due to the abundance of disgruntled patrons who were generally too busy drowning their sorrows to notice that they were a few coins short. She hadn't had much luck tonight; the miners didn't have much money on them this time of the year. That was probably why the three 'adventurers' were drawing so much attention.

Jumping up to sit on a nearby table, Millie addressed the elf with the bow. "I suppose I might know something about the local cairns. Very sensitive information, though. Not sure I can give it away for free..." She shot the elf a cheery grin.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"I'll pay for a night of drinks to anyone who can tell me of the Stirgenest Cairn!"

Was the cry that snapped Godric away from losing a staring contest with the last dregs of ale at the bottom of his mug. Standing in the tavern, and looking as out of place as an Orc in a nursery, were three gaudily dressed strangers. Godric's eyes were immediately drawn to the man who had gained the attention of the entire room with a single cry, more specifically to the magnificent belt he wore.

Something about that belt, something I remember...

Simply by their appearance and actions, Godric knew right away that they were looking for a big score rather than a tavern full of friends. Offering to buy a round of drinks would make you the most popular man in town for a few seconds, but it was clear these people had no interest in the people of the tavern, save for their ability to point them in the right direction.

This lot came a long way, they must have word of a good haul of treasure in that Cairn. Having only lived in Diamond Lake for six months, Godric knew little about the surrounding area. He'd had few days where he wasn't guarding the mine, and had no reason to wander away from the town. But this trio of treasure hunters could be his ticket out of this godforsaken town. If Godric could be part of the expedition and get himself a share of the profits that might pay his way back to civilisation. First things first, he'd need a way in with the group.

Draining his mug and approaching the muscle bound man surrounded by miners all trying to win themselves a round of drinks, Godric racked his brains for a conversation starter. Something about the belt kept flashing up in his memory. Just as he was pushing his way through the crowd of miners he realised what it was.

"What's a mighty victor of The Champion's Belt doing all the way out here? You're the first winner of the Free City Games I've seen in this place."

Godric knew he'd seen the belt before. Barely a couple of months before he'd taken the job at Diamond Lake, Godric had been watching a Barovian gladiator tournament celebrating their defeat of Strahd. The muscle bound man and his wizard companion had won the prize, though Godric was sure their Elf friend hadn't been part of the group at that time.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Donning a brown hooded cloak, Clodagh Dubusal heard a familiar voice.
"Where do you think you're going?" called Arin from his seat by a small fire. He was scrubbing his white skin and black hair clear of grime and dust. An agonizing day down the mines somehow and yet he still has the energy to nag her. "It's dark outside, and I don't want you late for work tomorrow."
Clodagh gritted her teeth at that, a small spark flashing near her ear as well. "No, you're the one that has work tomorrow." What could the mines even want with a girl barely more than 15? Clodagh had been stuck in this town for half a year due to his weakness, and she'd sooner marry some dumb local her age just to spite him.

So, scoffing, Clodagh left through the cottage's only door and was met by the cold night. She began her journey towards the nearest tavern; "The Diamond in the Rough". Succinctly summarized Clodagh's situation in her opinion. Educated, pretty, smart. These were all words Clodagh was told she would be. Her family was once relevant, but not anymore. Her fool brother made certain that, and
is taciturn enough that he can't even tell Clodagh what to do, a sister nearly half his age. Taking solace in that fact, Clodagh tried to hum over the wailing (some voluntary, others not) and toyed with curly black hair that ran down to her shoulders. She's been largely successful in maintaining an innocent and gullible facade to the others in the village. The entire concept of drinking one's problems away fills her with contempt, but she needs to spend her money on something, and avoiding her brother is less of a headache than bickering around him.

After a short walk, she arrived at the Diamond, and was greeted by booming noises coming from a suspiciously well dressed band of adventurers. The lovely fabrics they wore made her dress-turned tunic look like rags. They were rags, but the unique blue colour, and bands of brown leather around the knees and elbows has certainly added to its longevity. Nonetheless, these adventurers probably wouldn't pay any attention to her, and their freedom will only make Clodagh jealous.
So, eyeing a seat, she saw a spot near a young blond haired man in the corner. He was a relatively recent addition to the town, and Clodagh wanted to assess if he was going to be any fun.
She took a seat next to him, and stated, "What do you think of this Stirgenest Cairn?" she asked, knowing full well that the ruin had long since been excavated of anything of value.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James took mental note of everything he heard, from the masked woman trying to boast not being drunk and therefore a better guide -which was a good point, but the adventurers would probably not care- to the knight who looked like he had been dragged through the dirt a little too many times for his armour to remain shiny.

Free City Games Championship?...

Had he heard that before? It sounded familiar, but he wasn't sure if it was his memories, or the left-overs he had received from Jonathan.

Regardless, it matters little.

If it was information he could use, surely listening would be better than trying to remember something he wouldn't. It wasn't unusual for small pieces of information to seem familiar, back in Barovia, the big city, tingly feelings of that he knew something or someone, yet had no recollection who they were, was even more usual. James had soon learned that it was useless to try to remember those kinds of things. Besides, with 3 months of his own memories, he didn't do much remembering, simply knowing.

From the corner of his eyes, he noticed someone. A girl, or perhaps a young woman, he was bad at telling the difference when it came to very young adults and children, they all had the same traits to him. A drew a sharp breath of air as she sat down close to James, but unfortunately, he couldn't get further away from her. Well, unless he melded with the wall, but that seemed a bit of an overreaction, and, even more so, impossible.


Instead, he settled for looking at her for a brief moment, with ice-blue eyes that wanted her gone. Pale skin, black hair and blue eyes, appealing features, though James cared little for that. Instead, he looked at the way she looked at him, and the question asked.

"What do you think of this Stirgenest Cairn?"

He sighed, and looked back at the group of adventurers. Apparently she thought him stupid, or perhaps she was stupid herself, he wasn't entirely sure. At least she wasn't rushing to the adventurers, but perhaps that was a lack of knowledge from her side.

"I'm not going to give you information that you can give to the trio over there," he started, voice kept low and voice sounding unfriendly, even a bit hostile.

"However, I can tell you something that they already know. They're not from around, but if they have looked into the area, they'd know that the Stirgenest Cairn is empty. That means one out of two things; either they're really stupid, for they could have asked better people with less alcohol running through their bodies, and have wasted a trip, or someone has let them know that there's more treasure there. If they are as smart as that, they would surely not come to Diamond Lake on a hunch, and risked staying here. So, either we'll keep seeing them until they give up their silly plans, or they know that there's more than one Cairn."

His eyes went back at the stranger, and he sighed.

Bit too close for my liking.

He pushed her chair slightly more away from him, and continued. "Regardless, I wouldn't be one to guide them, especially not alone. Either it'll be a wasted trip, or they'll push you off a cliff when they've gotten theirs. People can't be trusted, ever."

He looked at those who had the information to give. "Which is a shame, from the looks of it, the people who are offering their information could as well go alone and seek treasure on their own. That's the issue with this place, no ambition or drive, only sad saps spending time being sad about their situations, with no thought of actually doing something clever to get away. If they could get some more people, then they could do just that. Get away."

With that he went back to finishing his meal and watching the strangers. He figured he had said enough to keep the girl from asking any more questions. James hadn't really put much thought into what he said, he supposed it still made sense, but it was most of all to keep her from bothering him, and perhaps give her something to think about.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh smiled faintly and made sure to look inquisitive, but then, the man started talking. She jumped a little bit, but maintained her composure.

"I'm not going to give you information that you can give to the trio over there, however, I can tell you something that they already know. They're not from around, but if they have looked into the area, they'd know that the Stirgenest Cairn is empty. That means one out of two things; either they're really stupid, for they could have asked better people with less alcohol running through their bodies, and have wasted a trip, or someone has let them know that there's more treasure there. If they are as smart as that, they would surely not come to Diamond Lake on a hunch, and risked staying here. So, either we'll keep seeing them until they give up their silly plans, or they know that there's more than one Cairn."

Then, she felt her stool move out from under her. Perhaps she was sitting too close to him, or maybe he knows more than he lets on.

"Regardless, I wouldn't be one to guide them, especially not alone. Either it'll be a wasted trip, or they'll push you off a cliff when they've gotten theirs. People can't be trusted, ever. Which is a shame, from the looks of it, the people who are offering their information could as well go alone and seek treasure on their own. That's the issue with this place, no ambition or drive, only sad saps spending time being sad about their situations, with no thought of actually doing something clever to get away. If they could get some more people, then they could do just that. Get away"

Clodagh had been preparing her words carefully for a moment, until he said "Get away." It surprised her, as he had just spent a minute or so speaking to her, only to demand she leave. She pressed on, hoping for a bit more information. "What's your name?" she asked abruptly, positioning her stool now to be directly opposite the man. "I'm Clodagh. Seems to me these adventurers know more than they're letting on. Is there a chance Stirgenest Cairn has some unexplored secret tunnel?"
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet was sitting atop a high stool near the fire (as he found one quickly grew tired of the smell of miner's boots) wasting away time when the trio of adventurers entered. Turning away from his cup he examined them, making a few observations before they had even begun speaking. Certainly they were adventurers, any moron could surmise as much, and there was no way a trio of adventurers would trek out to a dull backwater like Diamond Lake without any promise of gold or glory to draw them. Once they began to speak it became much more clear what they were seeking, to hear most tell of it the cairns were emptied out long ago and nothing really went around refilling robbed graves did it?

Of course Wilmet made a point of knowing more than most, and while the adventurers were asking about the most famous cairn he knew another, the whispering cairn, was far more likely to hold untouched secrets. Secrets of the Aaqa, the ancient and by now all but forgotten empire whose dead were buried there. But then he saw little reason to share such with the adventurers, he had already had his fill of drinks for the night and the coin, while tempting, would only fill his pockets not satisfy his curiosity.

Smiling knowingly he waved over the wizard looking fellow, "might be I know more than most," he said "but before I share I'd like to know why you're so interested in that hole in the ground."

If there was promise enough in the most used up of the cairns to draw adventurers out here then perhaps it might be worth looking into on his own. Certainly he was past bored with the duty he'd been called out to fulfill.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles sat silently at a table as he drank, waiting for his night to end. The movement and the noise around him were welcome distractions as he tried to avoid the thoughts in his head. As he drank, he noticed things became quiet, and he started to pay attention again. Three people, clearly new to the town and bearing coin, had walked in.

Some began to whisper of bandits coming to murder them all, but that ended quickly as the musclebound one shouted "I'll pay for a night of drinks to anyone who can tell me of the Stirgenest Cairn!" and dropped a bag of gold on a table. Charles wasn't sure why but this reminded him of something, as if he had seen this happen before. He probably had, they weren't the first to come to pick what was left of the Cairns clean. This felt different though for some reason.

The nagging feeling in the back of his head came and went as he watched them, he was curious now. Stirgenest had been picked clean. Either they were tricked, idiots, or knew something. Charles finished his drink and focused on the three of them, they were already surrounded by people who were willing to tell them whatever they wanted to hear, he could just listen in as he could. If they were up to something, it would be better to know than find the town infested or burning or in deeper poverty than it already is a month from now.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
For a moment, James' idea seemed to have worked, and the questions stopped, allowing him to try to focus on what was going on with the strangers. More people were approaching the group of adventurers, one of which seemed to be a mage of some sort.

But why would a---

"What's your name?"

---a mage talk to those guys...

Trying to ignore her, it proved impossible as she chose to position herself in front of him.

"I'm Clodagh. Seems to me these adventurers know more than they're letting on. Is there a chance Stirgenest Cairn has some unexplored secret tunnel?"

"Are you really that stupid? Yes, obviously there's a chance, there's always a chance. Now, move!" he hissed, attempting to startle her. "Because you're making me angry." When she didn't get up immediately, he just continued, muttering to himself in an annoyed tone.

"Here I am, just enjoying my breakfast, and some stupid girl decides to sit in front of me and ruin my view of the only promising thing that has happened like, ever, like a moron, and then she asks me for my name..." He sent her another frustrated look.

"It's James. James Holt, not that it'll even matter, but there you are. Now, you've got five seconds to get out of my way, or I'll kick you."

He probably wasn't actually going to kick her, but she certainly deserved it. Too bad it'd probably just make her ask more questions, though.

And now I missed half the action.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh waited for his responses patiently, but he turned increasingly hostile.
"Are you really that stupid? Yes, obviously there's a chance, there's always a chance. Now, move! Because you're making me angry."

It's James. James Holt, not that it'll even matter, but there you are. Now, you've got five seconds to get out of my way, or I'll kick you."


And at that, Clodagh prepared to leave. At least the angry introvert named James believed her to be stupid. On the other hand, nothing of value was gained, and Clodagh was just threatened in a crammed public space. So she decided to do something she had been aching to do for a while: Be offended.
"Suit yourself" she said, hastily grabbing her stool to move someplace else. "I'll happily avoid someone that would attack a girl." She made sure to enunciate that last part before hurrying past a group of drinkers and plopping her seat down near the tavern doorway.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
"You know, were I looking to find a lost tomb, I'd rather avoid the inebriated itinerates who probably couldn't draw or describe you a map any better than they can throw. A local on the other hand they'd know, trouble is they'd also know this beer isn't much of a trade." Andria said after an exceptional dagger toss.

No sooner had she finished than Millie added her 2 copper. "I'll have you know, some of the inebriated init...iter...chaps here can throw just fine!" she said, followed by a rather pathetic imitation of Andria's toss. A few others tried as well - some matching Andria's feat even - though the number could be counted on one hand. "I suppose I might know something about the local cairns. Very sensitive information, though. Not sure I can give it away for free..." Millie finished up, drawing the elf's attention.

However, first she addressed Andria with a small smile. "You make an interesting point. How about this; we play a little game of dagger-toss. You win, I'll personally see to it you get a share of the find. I win, you tell me what you know of the Cairn, free of charge. Deal?" From there, she opened up the offer to a number of the locals who had show some skill at the game and offered knowledge.

While that was under discussion, she turned her attention to Millie. "Then I suggest talking to Auric" she said, indicating the muscular member of the trio who was now very nearly the center of all attention. "He's the one with the bag of gold.".

Meanwhile, at the fire, the wizard-type seemed annoyed more than anything. "Seems your a bit light on muscle, i need money and you need more than fancy pants over there waving his gold around." Thalith said, earning a long drawn-out sigh." She took a look at the stone man however before speaking. "I leave the mindless discussions of "muscle" to Auric. However, I doubt we'll need your... help"

His grumpy mood changed however as Wilmet began to speak. "might be I know more than most, but before I share I'd like to know why you're so interested in that hole in the ground." The fact Wilmet looked the part of a more mystically inclined individual didn't hurt. "At last, someone with a mind. It's a long story, but suffice to say a group of my colleagues found a hidden chamber there a few weeks ago. As usual, they looted the chamber bare of every gold flake, but there were several carvings of some intrigue they weren't able to identify. Hence, me. Auric and Tirra merely owe me a few favors."

Back in the center of the room, Sir Godric finally made it through the crowd to speak with Auric. "What's a mighty victor of The Champion's Belt doing all the way out here? You're the first winner of the Free City Games I've seen in this place." At the words, Auric brightened up and turned to the knight. "I see you recognize me then! Yes, I won the most recent Free City Games along with Khellek over there." he said, pointing at the mage. Almost at once, Khellek grunted and waved the man off muttering to himself about "Muscle-bound idiots"

For his part, Auric either didn't notice or didn't care.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
?Throwing a dagger is easy enough it?s all about when and how you let go. Keeping the dagger is the hard part when people don?t want you to have it.? It was then Andria balanced her blade on the tip of her a finger, somehow not drawing any blood. ?You need balance and poise, you need to know the blade like it?s part of yourself. You can borrow one of my own if you want to make things fair.?
Of course telekinesis was also extremely handy but a magician never revealed how tricks were done.
"I didn't catch your name by the way." Andria held out her other hand apparently completely ignoring how she was balancing the dagger in the other but still it stayed up. She occasionally let it wobbled for show.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Thalith stares at the mage as his attention turned away from him to someone else talking to him. Looking back and forth between them Thalith pushes himself to his feet and grabs his stein.

"At last, someone with a mind. It's a long story, but suffice to say a group of my colleagues found a hidden chamber there a few weeks ago. As usual, they looted the chamber bare of every gold flake, but there were several carvings of some intrigue they weren't able to identify. Hence, me. Auric and Tirra merely owe me a few favors."

Walking away and dropping the stein on the bar Thalith pushes it across the wood and sets a small coin next to it. Turning to watch as a crowd of half drunk and fall down drunk miners crowd around the fighter that had walked in with the mage. Turning back to face the bar and pulling the full stein back to himself he raises it to take a drink from it.

Turning around and looking at the mage as he leans lightly against the bar Thalith stares at the mage for a few seconds before slowly sliding his eyes over to the knife throwing woman who seemed to be interested with a halfling and some other woman who was balancing a knife. Turning and looking at fighter Thalith narrows his eyes and lifts the stein to down half of it before setting the stein down on the bar and watching the fighter. He had every reason to go ask him if he could join them one way or another but the mage had already said they weren't looking for gold or anything valuable just something curious.

Thalith could see several small groups of people who lived here talking together and moving and things happening. Scratching his chin and then scratching a force scar on his neck he turns slightly and lifts the stein again to take a drink, something seemed to be going on and he was unsure what it was. But if something was going to happen someone would come find him, he was the the strongest in the town and had a background, so he would wait.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Having got Auric's attention, Godric now had a way in with the group. Possibly.

If there's any sort of adventure to the cairns, I want to be a part of it. I've got to get out of this place.

Godric leant back slightly and was getting ready to break away from conversation. Having made himself known to the muscle bound man, it was important not to bother him too much. Hang around too much like the gadfly and he'd be swatted away as an annoyance. He'd just make one last comment and see how things played out.

"You want to go for the Stirgenest Cairn? Looks like your friends have got the right kind of people telling them the right sort of thing." Godric said, resting back on the bar and indicating the colourful characters who were busy talking to Auric's companions. It was likely that they knew more about the area than he did.

Perhaps we could mount our own expedition, if there's treasure to be uncovered there must surely be enough people willing to search for it.

Mulling over the idea for a moment, Godric began to consider other plans. Whether he tried to join Auric or get enough people together to try it himself, Godric was going to get out of this town or die trying. He wasn't sure which one he'd prefer.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Suit yourself. I'll happily avoid someone that would attack a girl."

"And I'll happily avoid someone who thinks I care," James replied, and sat back up. Once, two months ago, he might have been willing to let it get to him, to really get to him. However, he had a feeling the other patrons of the bar would take unkindly to him actually attacking a girl, and he no longer had a safe place to go hide in. He could no longer simply lock the door and spend the remaining hours in a large room filled with books. So, instead he just bit his teeth together, and went back to keep an eye. He had missed several of the exchanges, but now that his "new friend" had moved, his attention was fully on the adventurers.

Well, almost, he had to glance over at this Clodagh every now and then to make sure she didn't go get some bigger guys to take care of him for being rude to a whiny little girl.

It's not my fault. She could have left when I first told her to.

He crossed his arms, and looked over at the little gnome mage that approached the bigger, fancier mage.

"At last, someone with a mind. It's a long story, but suffice to say a group of my colleagues found a hidden chamber there a few weeks ago. As usual, they looted the chamber bare of every gold flake, but there were several carvings of some intrigue they weren't able to identify. Hence, me. Auric and Tirra merely owe me a few favors."

Carvings? They're not here for gold?

He sort of doubted it, but if it was true, then he wanted to know what those carvings were.

That guy better ask.

James glared at the gnome, almost as if to will him to ask about the carvings. It was a mystery, after all, one that shouldn't be ignored.

Come on, now. Ask about the carvings,

He thought, impatiently, no concern given over the fact that he wasn't even hiding that he was looking at them by now. The empty bowl was sitting in his lap.
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
"Then I suggest talking to Auric. He's the one with the bag of gold.".

The indignity! Millie wasn't sure that she appreciated being brushed off, particularly if there was betting going on. Still, it was a nicer dismissal than the type she was used to, so she was happy to leave the two elf women to bond over their throwing-knives. Plus, they looked too smart to rob. There was probably an easier mark somewhere else.

Millie slipped down from the table (with a bit of a melodramatic sigh, for emphasis) and wandered around the tavern for a bit, keeping a vague check on the familiar and not-so-familiar patrons. She ended up at a table near the doorway, one seat occupied by a pretty human girl with curly black hair. Bit of an odd sight, for someone like that to be alone. After a quick once-over for obvious wealth (old clothes, no jewellery aside from a small necklace, prospects poor) Millie pulled up a chair.

Pointing at the elf woman's game, she addressed the girl in a conspiratorial manner. "See her? Another one of these outsiders who wants to go exploring. Dunno why everyone's so interested in empty cairns all of a sudden."
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Still leaning against the counter drinking his watery beer Thalith kept his eyes on the mage as he spoke almost conspiratorially to those around the fire. Because he was watching so closely he could see someone else also watching the mage and those he was talking to from much closer at a table. Drinking the rest of the beer and reaching back to drop it on the counter he watches the young man also watching the mage. Not long ago a girl had left in a huff and she had joined those at the fire.

Scratching his neck and sliding his eyes back and forth between the three adventurers and the man who was watching the mage along with him Thalith pushes off the bar and walks towards the the blond man. As he walks it shakes the floor making drunks hide under tables worried about earthquakes or drink more assuming it is a drunken fantasy. Stepping up to him Thalith slides down the wall resting one of his arms against his knee as he looks over at the young man. Flicking his fingers at the mage also catching the elf behind him Thalith rumbles softly at the young man.
"What do you think of our visitors?"
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
At last, someone with a mind. It's a long story, but suffice to say a group of my colleagues found a hidden chamber there a few weeks ago. As usual, they looted the chamber bare of every gold flake, but there were several carvings of some intrigue they weren't able to identify. Hence, me. Auric and Tirra merely owe me a few favors."

"Really?" Wilmet said, becoming slightly intrigued by this news "Carvings? Of what sort?"

He was reasonably sure he knew what sort of carvings they might be, arcane knowledge no doubt the empire that was responsible for the cairns had advanced magic in its day and left all manner of artifacts behind. Such things could be quite dangerous of course, but knowledge and power was never truly without risk. No knowledge worth possessing was at least.

He also made note of some of the others who expressed interest, if things came down to it he might need to throw together his own expedition, and such curious fellows would likely be ready and willing to pitch in.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Really? Carvings? Of what sort?"

Finally someone who knows what is interesting.

He would have kept an eye on the conversation, but James felt the floor shake as a Goliath approached, sitting down next to him and asking him the same question as the girl had.

"What do you think of our visitors?"

James raised an eyebrow, examining the Goliath.

First a girl, now a pile of rocks. Why does everyone suddenly have an interest in me?

He frowned. "I think they know something we don't, which is why I'm listening to them. Or, trying to, I keep getting interrupted." James made an effort to sound less hostile than he had towards Clodagh, if most of all because this guy was a lot scarier than her.

"Honestly though, I'd just go alone. Actually..." he took a breath. What was the use of all of this? It was just going to keep going like this, right? Surprisingly, he stood up. While he was interested in the carvings, this was becoming a little too much for him. Everyone asking him, nothing was happening, and while he wasn't desperate, he was really curious now, and none of the questions were asked quickly enough. And, he was angry, of course he was. Who wouldn't be, with everyone going to bother him?

Screw this. If everyone's going to ask about my opinion, I might as well give them it!

He stood up on his chair, in order to make sure everyone saw him.

"This is taking so bloody long, so here's the deal! I'm going to go to the Cairn. The exact one you people are thinking off, the one with all the secret treasure! I know which one it is, and I can see better in the dark than any of you people. You can come with me, or you can go with the suspicious strangers! Or, we could all go together, I don't care, this is just getting dull!" He pointed to the mage.

"I'll take you there, as soon as you want it, no more games played or anything, no more stupid questions, as long as you tell me about those carvings of yours. Now, you might wonder; Why should I do it? Because I don't deal with shady "what-ifs" I don't care about some deal, as long as you don't push me down from a cliff, I'll refrain from poisoning you lot! Besides, I'm not a desperate fool like so many other people here, I'm not drunk, and I'm intelligent, which makes me about five times as dependable as most of the people here!" With that, he sat down, shaking from anger. Then, the anger became fear as he realized what he had just said, being terrified of what he had just done.

Oh god, they'll kill me.

Shaky hands, he looked through his pocket and picked out a small green potion, it would help him get out of there, if he needed to. Downing it, he glanced at the Goliath, as he grabbed one of his daggers -but kept his hand in the pocket so that no one could see it-, expecting a fight. "T-that's what I think of our visitors."
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh slouched a little bit on her chair and stared around aimlessly for a bit before hearing a voice.

"See her? Another one of these outsiders who wants to go exploring. Dunno why everyone's so interested in empty cairns all of a sudden."

She perked up for a moment and found a small hobbit girl sitting beside (and below) her. Clodagh hadn't seen very many hobbits, but from her youth remembered a couple in the city that all had wealthy jobs and treated her well. With this little hunch she decided to entertain this one.
"Oh, me neither. But these travellers look pretty rich. I think they know something about the crypts that we don't."

Then, out of nowhere, James stood up on a chair and started half-ranting half-shouting at the adventurers. Clodagh wondered from his tone if they had done something before to personally earn his disdain, but perhaps he was just like that around people. At least she had vacated from that end of the room when she did, as it appeared someone else (or better, something else) had set James off this time.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Carvings in a hidden chamber? That could be bad. Or entirely benign. Charles thought about it as he listened to what he could hear around the room. He was curious and the nagging feeling in his head made him sure. He'd involve himself in this one way or another. There were many reasons to justify involving himself in their business but which one...

As he sat and thought and listened he saw one of the people stand on their chairs and begin to shout. As he listened he noted a few of the things he said. He felt as if he had seen the guy occasionally in town, and watching him now he seemed twitchy, impatient. Charles slowly and carefully moved his hand to a blade. It looked like there was something wrong with the guy and if he lost it in here, he'd need putting down fast.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
"You want to go for the Stirgenest Cairn? Looks like your friends have got the right kind of people telling them the right sort of thing."

Auric looked around at those Godric gestured toward before nodding. "Yes. Soon we'll know all we need to know." As he said this, Auric looked over at Khellek and Tirra trying to get a read on what they were learning. "I think." he finally added, accepting the fact he had no idea how he others were doing. To be frank, that wasn't exactly his forte.

Meanwhile, across the room, Tirra was setting up the game and Khellek was speaking with a gnome. "Carvings? Of what sort?". Khellek shrugged and answered. "They appear to relate back to the battle that took place here centuries ago between Aaqa and the "Forces of Chaos". I'll need to see them to know more."

That is, until James jumped up on a chair and began to shout. "This is taking so bloody long, so here's the deal! I'm going to go to the Cairn. The exact one you people are thinking off, the one with all the secret treasure! I know which one it is, and I can see better in the dark than any of you people. You can come with me, or you can go with the suspicious strangers! Or, we could all go together, I don't care, this is just getting dull! I'll take you there, as soon as you want it, no more games played or anything, no more stupid questions, as long as you tell me about those carvings of yours. Now, you might wonder; Why should I do it? Because I don't deal with shady "what-ifs" I don't care about some deal, as long as you don't push me down from a cliff, I'll refrain from poisoning you lot! Besides, I'm not a desperate fool like so many other people here, I'm not drunk, and I'm intelligent, which makes me about five times as dependable as most of the people here!"

Most of the tavern goers were too drunk to really care or remember what he said, though James did immediately receive dozens of dirty looks from many of the patrons. For their part, the trio of adventurers looked over at him with eyes wide. After a few glances back and forth between the three, Khellek finally answered. "Show us the way to this "secret treasure" and I'll answer whatever questions you'd like."
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Looking at the man who had stood and made the grand statement Thalith pushes himself up and looks around the room at the grumbling drunks before looking at the man again and narrowing his eyes. Turning and walking towards the door he rumbles back at the man in a slightly deeper voice.
"Don't leave without me."

Stepping out of the door into the night Thalith rolls his shoulders causing popping and crackling like rocks being broke as he walks through the night and to the barrack's like building he steps in and ignores those sleeping as he jerks the chest that had been pushed under his extra large cot. Opening it and pulling out his armor he gives it a once over before lifting and sliding it on. Grabbing the leather skirt and Jerking it down he settles it firmly over his body and slams his closed fist against it once making a loud crashing sound.

Reaching back into the chest and grabbing onto the haft of his GreateAxe Thalith pulls the leather covers off the blades and spins the hilt in his Axe he makes sure there is no scratches more than there were. Sliding a finger over the edges of the axe and smiling he pulls his holder from the chest and slides the axe into it and spins his body left and right making sure it is all settled before turning and kicking the chest back under his cot. Looking at the place he had been living for a while he smiles slowly to himself and turns to walk back out the door.

Walking down the street Thalith looks up at the night sky and narrows his eye again as he looks for any trace of the sun coming, knowing it is not but still looking. Mumbling to himself.
"All to the Horns."

Lowering his eyes Thalith heads towards the tavern with new purpose, a hard smile on his lips.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Show us the way to this "secret treasure" and I'll answer whatever questions you'd like."

James felt a little less terrified as he realized that he wasn't going to get attacked. Well, not by that lot, anyhow, some of the drunks were sending him nasty looks because of what he had said. Of course, none of them would cared if the shoe hadn't fit, so he just shrugged in reply. He gave himself a moment to stop shaking, and to become a little more confident, though it wasn't before the Goliath he actually got a reason to do so.

"Don't leave without me."

"Fine," James replied. On one hand, he wasn't sure about any of this, it had been a sudden thing. However, he also was relieved the Goliath hadn't gotten insulted, and having that thing to back him up would definitely make things a bit safer. More secure.

Unless he turns on me, but I am no threat to him, and we're both stuck here for different reasons, so it shouldn't be an issue talking to him. Probably.

Breathing easier, he finally looked at the adventurers, trying to think of what to say. He had habit of rubbing people the wrong way when he spoke, so laying out the terms and information as briefly as he could was the best way he could try to talk some reason into them.

"One; I'll show you the way to the cairn after you give me the information about the carvings, call it a result of my damned curiosity. And some sort of confirmation of that you won't just fuck me over, if not a percentage of the share then just enough to get out of here. Well, me and that guy," he motioned after where the Goliath had gone. "And whoever wants to come. Two; I can't guarantee there's a treasure, but I can guarantee that it's a better bet than where you were headed, a much better bet, and I'm very sure of that the four of us wouldn't be enough to get there safely."

A lie, he didn't know that much of the place, but if it meant that James could bring more people as insurance, why not? Perhaps the little girl wanted to go too, and perhaps James could use that as an opportunity to apologize.

Hah. As if.

"Three; if you're not interested, then so be it. But you're not going to get a better offer than one that relies on what you could find, rather than paying out front and ending up with nothing. A wasted trip is better than a wasted trip with no money, just as paying a little bit of the treasure you find is better than going into an area you know nothing about, with no one following. I'm sure the carvings are interesting, but I'm not risking my life for them, and I doubt you guys would like to do so either."

He crossed his arms, and sat back down. "That's it, plain and simple. Take it or leave it. Just know that you won't find someone as uninterested in fooling you than I am, I have every intention of following through what I've told you, so saying no means you risk having to deal with more lies and empty promises."
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
Millie shook her head sadly as Mr "I'm not drunk, I'm intelligent" started ranting about cairns and carvings. There were a lot of crazy people in this town. Hell, being stuck in the place was starting to drive her mad, too. The human girl was watching the angry guy too. She didn't seem too impressed.

Wait, did somebody just say "secret treasure"? I could really do with some secret treasure right about now.

"Two; I can't guarantee there's a treasure..."

Typical. You can't get reliable madmen these days.

"...but I can guarantee that it's a better bet than where you were headed, a much better bet, and I'm very sure that the four of us wouldn't be enough to get there safely."

This sounded like nonsense to Millie. What was he expecting? That is, aside from being mugged by the various thugs and drunkards he had kindly just informed about his plans the minute he got back into town laden with loot...or hypothetical loot, at any rate. Well, whatever he'd expected, it sounded like an opening. And if this man guarded his speech so poorly, perhaps he'd be equally careless about his treasure. She might have to be more careful with the rock monster, though.

Leaning over the table, Millie muttered to the girl - "Well, that one's a few cards short of a deck. Still, money is money, right?" Then, she stood on her chair and waved enthusiastically across the room at James. "Hey, I'll come! Better than staying in this place..."
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Hey, I'll come! Better than staying in this place..."

Anything's better than staying in this place. Thought Godric, quietly impressed by the kid who had stood up and addressed the Tavern. Doesn't matter who I travel with, just so long as I get a chance to make it out of here.

Godric stepped away from the bar, "I'll come with you." He patted the pommel of his sword, "You're going to need all the help you can get." He wasn't sure if that was actually true, but it gave him a reason to join in.

Anything to get out of this dump, doesn't matter if it's by going six feet under or spending my portion of the treasure on a ride out of here. Though with the amount that could go on this trip, how small are the shares going to be?
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Upstaging Andria didn?t usually work out well; robbing her of a potentially lucrative opportunity was even less safe. She regretted the waste of her focus, though she was already imaging how to get the best use out of her blades.

She stood up; the game of knives was apparently going nowhere so she returned hers to her hiding places. She though she saw some holes in how James spoke, she couldn?t quite put her finger on why but she doubted he knew as much as he was trying to let on, consider her intrigued. Who knows maybe this was going to be hilarious, certainly she?d not had any other plans for the evening and this was shaping up to be quite the show. So she wandered up to him and asked with her soft sing song voice.

?Would you mind if I joined you? I know the area fairly well and there?s ways around here that are far quicker than obvious. I should warn you though to expect snakes, a girl I knew got bit bad and anti-venom isn?t the easiest to find out there.?
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Walking back into the tavern and looking around at those who had either gotten deeper in their cups or stepped forward Thalith smiles to himself as he rolls his shoulders and helps settle his axe. Stepping deeper into the crowded drinking area he steps up to the young man who had yelled the challenge to the visitors. Clapping his hand on his shoulder from behind making the boy stagger Thalith says loudly.
"Well it seems you got some more to come with you, maybe enough that any Eldridge horrors we might find will be killed before we are."

Laughing at his own joke and letting the first person to have spoken up Thalith gets another stein of beer, standing just to the side waiting for the rest as he drinks it.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Hey, I'll come! Better than staying in this place..."

"I'll come with you. You're going to need all the help you can get."

"Would you mind if I joined you? I know the area fairly well and there's ways around here that are far quicker than obvious. I should warn you though to expect snakes, a girl I knew got bit bad and anti-venom isn't the easiest to find out there."

Then there was eight.

If this kept up, James figured he might just have arranged it himself, the adventurers be damned. He still could, though they might take offense to that, and that could get dangerous.

James sat back. "I am aware of that there's snakes," he said, remembering the time he had arrived in Diamond Lake. He had been forced to walk through some snakepits. "Luckily, I happen to be an alchemist, so I reckon I already have some suitable anti-venom, should it happen. Regardless, I wouldn't mind anyone joining as long as they're able enough to defend themselves."

"Well it seems you got some more to come with you, maybe enough that any Eldridge horrors we might find will be killed before we are."

James had barely evaded the goliath's clap, and eyed the other with narrowed eyes. He hadn't been startled, but it had made him more aware of his surroundings. With all the people around them, that wasn't really much of a surprise.

"Yes, if we get any others we could just go alone, should those guys decide we're not worth it. But, and I say this as fact, not as an insult; don't even try to touch me again, I abhor physical contact," he said in a matter of factly manner, and crossed his arms in a defensive manner.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
"Well, that one's a few cards short of a deck. Still, money is money, right?"

Clodagh smiled at that, and yawned for a moment, then her little companion sprung up and towards James,

"Hey, I'll come! Better than staying in this place..."

The little hobbit then seemed to gesture for Clodagh to follow her, but Clodagh was apprehensive. She was feeling quite tired, and to be honest didn't really know how far away this cairn would be. Granted, she hadn't really done anything physically exertive in the past few days, but she knew an excursion like this would be tiring.
There was also the problem of Clodagh not knowing any of these people. She could stick with the friendly hobbit, but even then...

Clodagh then sighed and got up, taking a few steps out the tavern door and leaning against the cold moist wall of the building, continuing to think over what to do.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles sat silently and listened as those around the bar continued to speak. With the way the people crowding them were speaking it seemed as if they thought they would be leaving tonight. They wouldn't be leaving tonight would they? No. That wouldn't make sense. It's night. Most things a sane person would worry about walk at night.

Probably couldn't hurt to ask though. He looked between the three and decided he would ask when they were done discussing with the man that drew their full attention.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet's conversation with the mage was interrupted by one of the patrons of the bar, who began shouting about a better lead and so on. Seems I'm not the only one who knows where to start, shame he's being so loud about it but I might as well pitch in and tag along. I'd wager that at this point I already know as much if not more about these carvings than anyone else here.

"You'll have to excuse me," he said to the mage as he got out of his seat "I'm rather curious about where this fellow is heading."

Shoving his way up towards James, he tipped his rather large hat to the man "I've got a bit of knowledge about what we're looking for," he said "so I think I'll join you, you'll want me there with you."
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Auric's band of adventurers - so called because Khellek called the shots - listened closely to what James had to say. For his part, Khellek seemed to have few issues with the agreement. Sure sharing information wasn't his way, but what would a miner gain from it? Auric and Tirra seemed less interested however. They could care less about the carvings, but sharing the treasure...

After a short discussion, Khellek walked over to James and began to speak. "Agreed. The carvings are from the ancient Aaqa people. All the cairns in this area are tombs of individuals who fell in battle against "The forces of chaos". Details on this unknown force are scarce, but it's known there was a Darklord called "The Queen of Chaos" under whom they fought. Her actual name has been forgotten by history as the victorious Aaqa spent much of their time erasing her existence from the world. Regardless, she and her most powerful minions were finally defeated on the "volcanic plane of Pesh"; here." he said, pointing at the ground.

"According to the culture of Aaqa, fallen warriors were always to be buried where they died because their souls were supposedly bound to that location. In most cases, this meant simple graves for the dead. However, a large number of the nobility - including several princes, major military leaders, and at least one "Wind Duke" - their most powerful of mages - died here. As such, grand tombs were commissioned; the Cairns."

Khellek took a breath and continued. "The carvings in each tomb depict the lives and heroic deeds of these powerful individuals. The Stirgenest Cairn was dedicated to a powerful prince of the empire. The carvings in the tomb have largely been documented or lost, but have lead to most of our understanding of the empire since the heart of the Aaqa empire was consumed by the mists after the death of their own darklord. The new carvings are of a battle against some great monstrous spider. They are of particular interest because it's believed that such a creature was responsible for the death of the aforementioned "Wind Duke" and the shattering of a powerful magical artifact known as the "Rod of Law". Said artifact's remains are of understandable mystical and historic significance. Hence, us."

With that, Khellek was finished. Tirra however felt the need to add something. "The secret treasure vault however is of more material significance so if you'd be so kind as to start walking..." she said, letting the point stand.

Once this was all over and Charles asked his question, Auric saw to the answer. "Of course we're going now? Would you not be forced back into the mine if we left during the day? Besides, there's adventure afoot; how could we remain here?".

[hr]

As the large group made there way out of town and toward the "Whispering Carin" Khellek began probing all those who were familiar with it for more information on who was buried there and why they expected treasure. Auric spent the trip speaking with Godric and Thalith and any other "physical" type regarding their accomplishments - if any. Tirra largely remained to herself in the back, keeping an eye on everyone.

After approximately half an hour of uneventful walking, the group arrived at the entrance to the cairn. To Charles, this was particularly surprising as he felt no signs of Ezra's disapproval. The entry way to the tomb was constructed of large stone slabs in the side of a hill and extended deep underneath the hill.

Natural light dimly illuminates a long hallway extending north into darkness. A faint breeze brings with it sibilant whispers that sound almost like sighing breath. It must be a trick of the wind, but the effect is almost lifelike.

The walls of the tunnel bear horizontal bands of deceptively simple geometric patterns at waist level. In places the bands reveal startling detail, but in others the walls look as though they have been hacked apart with weapons or eroded by the rigors of time. Flakes of ancient paint, brilliant purple and a dull mustard hue, still cling to the walls in places, hinting at what must once have been a riot of color. A thin coat of dust coats the floor.

Just inside the darkened tomb, the hallway branches into shallow alcoves to the east and west. Here the walls bear the most significant damage. Dozens of clumsy etchings mar the beautiful ancient masonry like graffiti on a city wall.

Outside, the wind picks up, and a chorus of almost human sounds rises from the darkened hall.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Agreed. The carvings are from the ancient Aaqa people. All the cairns in this area are tombs of individuals who fell in battle against "The forces of chaos". Details on this unknown force are scarce, but it's known there was a Darklord called "The Queen of Chaos" under whom they fought. Her actual name has been forgotten by history as the victorious Aaqa spent much of their time erasing her existence from the world. Regardless, she and her most powerful minions were finally defeated on the "volcanic plane of Pesh"; here.

According to the culture of Aaqa, fallen warriors were always to be buried where they died because their souls were supposedly bound to that location. In most cases, this meant simple graves for the dead. However, a large number of the nobility - including several princes, major military leaders, and at least one "Wind Duke" - their most powerful of mages - died here. As such, grand tombs were commissioned; the Cairns.

The carvings in each tomb depict the lives and heroic deeds of these powerful individuals. The Stirgenest Cairn was dedicated to a powerful prince of the empire. The carvings in the tomb have largely been documented or lost, but have lead to most of our understanding of the empire since the heart of the Aaqa empire was consumed by the mists after the death of their own darklord. The new carvings are of a battle against some great monstrous spider. They are of particular interest because it's believed that such a creature was responsible for the death of the aforementioned "Wind Duke" and the shattering of a powerful magical artifact known as the "Rod of Law". Said artifact's remains are of understandable mystical and historic significance. Hence, us."


James took in every piece of information with an uncharacteristic glee. While he didn't show it, James enjoyed learning. Especially because he could remember back when he knew nothing at all, when words were something he knew, but didn't really understand the origin of, and when everything was new. He didn't know too much about what the mage was talking about, but it was simple to understand, and he started putting it together with information he had gotten before.

I wonder what the "Rod of Law" did.

Could the remains be used for alchemy? Before he got the time to ask, the elven woman spoke up, greedily bringing the topic back to what James had said in order to get their interest. The treasure.

"The secret treasure vault however is of more material significance so if you'd be so kind as to start walking..."

Oh, of course. Let's talk about the money.

"Fair enough, there is only so much night to go on," he muttered as a reply, and started walking, though he stopped, slightly. "Actually, you lot should get yourself prepared for this, I have something to pick up. I'll be back before you know it." With that, he went to get his tools. While James doubted he would need all of it, he had a secret hope of being able to make it out of this place and never return, ever again. Besides, the larger coat had many pockets, and his tools didn't take up that much space, not when he took them apart and split them across his pockets.

When he was prepared to leave, rather briefly afterwards, he went to the group again, and started leading the way, though he was careful to let the woman that had mentioned being a local, influence where they went. Of course, he didn't let her lead entirely, what good was his eyes if not for finding the safest route in the increasing darkness?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

James had kept his silence during the walk. Questions had been asked about where they were going, but some of the others had boasted the same knowledge as him, so he left it up to them to answer. Besides, he wasn't exactly in the mood to talk, the group had increased yet again, and it had dawned upon him just how many people there were, many of whom could best him in combat.

It should be safe... I share a common goal with most of them. It would not benefit them to get rid of me.

Of course, ensuring that he didn't give them a reason to do so by speaking, was something he considered a task. James didn't know why, but people never really had much of a fondness for him, even without him trying to be rude or antagonizing. Obviously, that made him realize one thing; there was no reason to try to make them like him, simply to ensure they didn't see him as a liability. While he didn't exactly enjoy not being liked, it was better to keep people away than to risk their anger.

Or so he reasoned, anyhow. After not too long, they got to the Cairn. The tomb was beautiful once, but now it was faded. Eery too, with voices and whispers filling it. Likely the wind, but James took care to keep an eye on the dimly lit halls. Unsure of what to expect, he waits for the others to act, not out of cation, but out of curiosity. Do they find it threatening, or do they simply not worry?
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh looked around and felt a shiver run down her spine. There was still wailing in the distance from the zealots, and Clodagh decided she would just wait for them to be done before heading back to her home to avoid their shrill voices hurting her ears.

So, she sighed. Did she really want to pass on a quick excursion just because of her body clock? While pondering this, she heard a faint mention of the "Queen of Chaos". Clodagh perked up at that and tilted her head back towards the door to hear more. Clodagh had read about stories like that as a small child. She wasn't supposed to because they were on her older sister's shelf, but that didn't stop her from trying. She smiled and continued to indulge in a bit of nostalgia as the group left the tavern. Clodagh spotted James near the front and squinted her eyes. But she also saw the hobbit. So Clodagh resolved to just avoid James altogether and stick with the little one.

Clodagh then waited for a little bit, then tailed behind the group by a few dozen paces.

The journey was very long, and very boring. Judging from Clodagh's tired knees she knew she had been walking for a long time. And the sky was overcast, so she couldn't even just look at stars. Arriving at the cairn itself was also pretty underwhelming. Clodagh was expecting something more grand, but then heard the weird noises coming from the tombs.

Typical.

"So," she said, standing behind the hobbit, "have St. Cuthbert's faithful found a new temple?"
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
It was smaller and less obviously haunted than Andria remembered. The most prominent entrance was still overbearing though, there was discussion of feats of strength and skill Andria knew too well the value of subtlety to boast more than she had already in the bar. Now she had a few ideas, of course there were probably traps, traps were these sort of places equivalent of Horsderves laid out to impress unwanted guests. The nearby woods were fairly full of things, Andria took her moment away from anyone else to search for something small and skittery, a squirrel would do. The creature looked at her curiously, something it couldn?t figure out, and then Andria took off her mask.
The creature couldn?t look away or even move as Andria gently picked it up and pocketed it before putting her mask back on.
She then walked back over the looming gloom of the threshold and set the squirrel down, was still a little dazed but she pointed it inside and when it tried to flee anyway else she gave it a quick look to make it scamper away from her, somehow she convinced it the Cairn would be safer.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Thalith walked with the boastful Auric and traded boasts of strength and skill with him, laughing and frowning at the other man as he boasts more and grander. In the middle of telling a story about how he had found and split a giant in two from crown to heel he was stopped as most of the group stopped just outside the entrance of one of the cairns. Looking at the entrance and just inside where the paintings and scrapings were done Thalith frowns and after glancing at Auric he steps forward to set a hand on the stone wall of the entrance.

Rubbing his hand on the stone and mumbling to himself Thalith shakes his head as he looks farther down the tunnel. He had heard something about chaos and wind dukes and who knows what else. Glancing over and watching one of the others send a squirrel down the tunnel he turns towards the greater part of the group and blinks slowly.
"Are we going to move into there? Do we have the torches?"
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Are we going to move into there? Do we have the torches?"

"Our eyes will get used to the darkness, though if anyone has a torch or lantern with them it'd be very useful." Said Godric to Thalith, who had just been regaling Auric and he with a tale of hewing a giant in twain.

Their sizeable group had possibly overlooked one of the smaller details associated with dungeon delving, as not all species had low-light vision. Godric certainly didn't have any source of light with him, nor had he thought to acquire one before setting off. Such had been his enthusiasm to set off it had completely slipped his mind.

"But we can still see a little way into this place," Godric said as he drew his sword and walked up to the entrance to the Cairn, "Are we to turn back now when something like this beckons us in? I think not."
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
"So, have St. Cuthbert's faithful found a new temple?"

Millie sniggered, and replied "Oh, it's probably just the tortured souls of the dead preparing to devour all who dare defile the thrice-cursed tomb of the Wind Duke..."

She was momentarily distracted as the woman in the mask released a small, furry animal into the Cairn. She called out in an overdramatic tone - "The Queen of Chaos accepts your sacrifice!"

Some of the big, bad 'n' bloodthirsty types were discussing the practicalities of exploring the crypt, which was a fair point. Millie dug around in her pockets hoping for loose matches. She'd burgled- er, visited places in the dark before, of course, but there was a difference between a dingy basement and an underground dungeon.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles shook his head at their reason for entering the cairns now. Regardless, if they were wandering in it was better to know. He walked back to the church, informed one of the others within of the adventurers that had wandered in, put on his armour not expecting to actually need it, grabbed his shield and his pack, and wandered back to the group as it walked and to the whispering cairns.

He listened to them talk amongst themselves as they moved, saying little if asked anything and warning about past infestations of the cairns. He would have preferred they weren't opened at all, or if they were it was done by locals. The whole point of leaving them unknown to travelers was so that someone could use them to escape their debts.

When Charles arrived at the Cairns, the sense of unease that usually came from being outside of the town, the feeling that came with the nightmares wasn't there. The lack of the normal unease made him uneasy about the cairn. The "whispering" coming from it didn't help and neither did the words of the young... the child and the halfling.

As the subject turned to torches, he pulled two from his pack, looked at the group and said "if you have a free hand you can have one."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James rolled his eyes as someone whined about it being too dark. Surely, even without eyes like his, they could see vague outlines. The woman with a mask had sent a squirrel in, probably to see if it triggered any traps, but that was ridiculous, eventually the squirrel would follow its instincts and turn back, or even just go hide. It was night-time, and squirrels weren't fond of the dark. At least, they shouldn't be, they didn't have the eyes to navigate it. James had read that in a book in Jonathan's large library.

Couldn't she at least have gone with something useful? Like... I don't know, a nocturnal critter?

Of course, the others chose to stand around still.

"For the love of--- can't we just get a move on?" he muttered quietly under his breath, as he looked for the path of the squirrel. While he didn't think it would be particularly useful, tracking where it went could still have some merit.

"if you have a free hand you can have one."

James turned around and gave the armoured man a look that said he certainly would not need the torch -despite his free hands- and looked back at the Cairn. As he did, he folded his arms.

"Keep the torches away from me, it makes it harder for me to see," he told the others. He would go on ahead once the squirrel had made it through, or, alternately, once it had gone to hide or gotten itself killed in some manner. Of course, if any of the others would get a move on, that too would be a good way to check for traps.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet had to admit he was surprised with the traction James got, even drawing the adventuring party to his side. Well now the finds will get split more ways, unfortunate, but then perhaps we'll need the manpower? He was not surprised when Khellek revealed what they knew about the caverns, it matched up with what he knew after all though the 'rod of law' was quite intriguing. I believe that is a powerful artifact of some sort, I wonder if I will be able to tap into it, if we can find it at all that is. The cairns have been here for some time.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arriving at the cairns and entering them they were greeted by a faint whispering noise, and by rather unfortunately vandalized carvings. My, once we might have been able to learn something from these, a pity. Others in the group made light of the whispering sounds, just as well considering it was quite likely just the wind.

"The Queen of Chaos accepts your sacrifice!"

Wilmet laughed aloud at this "Why I had no idea I was traveling with such esteemed company," he said, grinning broadly. Perhaps these people would make good company after all.

Noting the others working to produce fire and torches he rolled his eyes. Child's play. A brief moment of concentration, a muttered incantation, and a small deft motion of the hands and an orb of light sprang into existence, resting on the tip of his walking stick. Making light was one of the first arcane spells he had learned.

"That should help," he said, somewhat smugly as the others were still distributing torches.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As the small squirrel skittered into the cairn in horror, the trio looked on in varying states confusion and amusement; mostly Auric and Tirra respectively. As the squirrel disappeared into the darkness, the Trio began their entry. Khellek followed Wilmet's example by creating a number of dim, free-floating magical lights that floated wistfully around him; each little more than a candle. From there, he directed Auric and Tirra forward into the long hallways of the cairn.

50ft inside, they came to the first cross path. Fifteen feet down the passage to the right, a huge pile of collapsed rubble blocks the alcove from top to bottom. It looks like it would take weeks to tunnel through the densely packed debris. While this wasn't very interesting at all, the opposite alcove held a slightly more interesting find. The left hall extended perhaps forty feet, ending at a small marble platform raised about six inches off the floor. A strange, shattered arcane apparatus rested upon the platform, its curved ovular frame giving the appearance of a noble's dressing mirror. Only a third of the frame was still intact however. An unusual arcane glyph about the size of a man?s head had been delicately carved into the baseplate of the support platform.


Now, further in and with sufficient light, a staircase could be seen at the end of the hallway (past another cross way) leading down and into the depths of the hill.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
As the squirrel got lost in darkness -hiding, obviously- James sighed. Of course it wouldn't work out. At least there hadn't been any traps, at least in its path. With hesitant steps, he started walking, though he was quickly overtaken by the trio. Not that he minded that, walking behind them meant they were the ones exposing their backs to him.

"That should help,"

The tiny mage said, and created a light at the end of his walking stick. James narrowed his eyes, torches and lights were apparently plentiful. Putting his hands in some of his many pockets, he walked closer to the gnome, making sure to stand on the side opposite of the light.

"Can't you magic your eyes better instead?" he asked, annoyed. "First the torches, now the magic lights... could just as well have been the bloody day." However, for some reason, he didn't just step away. "... you can't make it day, right? It wouldn't matter inside this place, but..."

James found it aggravating to admit, but he was curious about the magic. He had never really spoken to a mage, and this one seemed intelligent enough to have a conversation. Well, he didn't doubt the wizard with the adventurers couldn't also ask questions, but the trio was currently going ahead, and James trusted them the least.

Though, I am not entirely sure it is possible to have less than none at all trust in someone.

Would that qualify as anti-trust? Did he anti-trust the newcomers? Because distrust meant having a lack of trust, and it was probably worse than that. Not only did he distrust them, but did he feel the very opposite of trust, even more distrustful than distrust?

...What?

As he walked, he looked around, picking up details few if any of the others would. He stopped to examine the mirror frame, or rather, what remained of it. There was some glyph, magic probably, and he raised an eyebrow.

I wonder what it means.

"Say... mage. What would that glyph mean? No, actually..." he trailed off a brief moment, then looked back at Wilmet, shielding his eyes a bit that they didn't hurt. "Define magic, will you? What makes up the very foundation, how it built up... then I can find out what it does myself."
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Narrowing his eyes to get used to the light from the torches and balls of light Thalith follows the group as they walk in. When they get to the crossway Thalith looks at those around him before walking over to the cave in and stamps his foot against it. Digging his fingers into the rubble and pulling out a handful of gravel and small rocks he starts shaking his head as he lets it pour from his hand. Throwing the rest back onto the pile the rock man turns to walk back to the rest of the group already knowing it would take months of work to mine through that and even then it would take more people than they had to do it well.

Getting back to where the path split Thalith looks down the other way and sees the arcane apparatus after everyone else had. Glaring at it he flicks his eyes at the wizard and mages in the group Thalith stomps towards the thing and stops about 10 feet away as he crosses his arms. He knew nothing about magic and didn't want to know anything, his place was swinging his axe and making sure those who knew what to do with magic could do what they needed to to keep the group alive.

Looking back as he hears something Thalith snorts softly.
"Say... mage. What would that glyph mean? No, actually...Define magic, will you? What makes up the very foundation, how it built up... then I can find out what it does myself."

"You want to learn how to do magic? Your probably to old for that now.."

Looking back at the group that hadn't moved or was just starting to Thalith scratches at one of the crack like scars on his skin.
"Are we stopping here to look at this thing or going down those stairs?"
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Are we stopping here to look at this thing or going down those stairs?" Said the rocky Thalith.

"I don't know. This is interesting, but if we don't know what it is and can't decipher that marking on the base we're just wasting time. The blonde kid is working on it." Said Godric, taking a step back from the group that were inspecting the apparatus. He knew little about magic and wouldn't have a chance in hell of deciphering the glyph.

"Give them a bit of time to work it out, this place isn't going anywhere." He continued, hopeful the apparatus would give them a lead to other potential treasures. If they could rebuild it and get it out of the cairn it could be worth a fortune. If it was a trap or magical ward device it made sense to know what sort of danger it might put them in.

Places like this were often filled with the skeletons of treasure hunters who rushed in too fast. Godric didn't want to become the next skeleton near the entrance to be picked over by the next group that entered.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles shrugged as the others began walking into the Cairn. One hand on his hilt, ready to draw and to force prepared magics into his blade and the other still holding the torches, waiting to see if another desired them or he required them he followed the others into the tombs.

As Charles walked and the others began to talk again he watched his surroundings, what little there was to look at. When they arrived at the first crossroads it was learned by them that one was blocked, another led to a... he needed a better look at that, and the path forward into darkness.

As the others wondered what it might be, he walked a bit towards it, enough to see around the goliath and looked at the glyph upon it. It looked akin to the runes for travel, transportation, perhaps teleportation? The shape... two more of those and it would be perhaps a portal or gate of some variety.

After a few moments he said "I think that it's the remains of a portal, I'd advise leaving it alone."
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet chuckled to himself at James' barrage of questions, the lad was certainly inquisitive. No doubt he had the right mindset for working magic, though aptitude and mindset were of course very different matters. Still before he could begin to address the questions the Thalith spoke up.

"You want to learn how to do magic? Your probably to old for that now.."

"Depends on how quick a study he is," Wilmet said "Other factors contribute as well of course, not everyone has the aptitude for it, and certainly starting from a young age helps but is hardly necessary."

With that addressed he turned back to James, thinking for a few moments about how to answer the various questions the man had asked. The last in particular would be difficult to address, such a simple question, yet even the greatest archmages might struggle to define magic perfectly, though of course there were a number of simpler explanations he could resort to.

"Let's see, where to start..." he said, taking a deep breath, he would need to speak quickly "firstly yes I could improve my ability to see in the dark but that hardly helps the rest of you see, changing the time of day is a considerably more difficult thing and well outside my current abilities, though conjuring daylight itself is fully possible, a glyph is a mark or rune with a specific meaning or purpose, and as for what is magic well that is an entire conversation in and of itself. Suffice to say it is power, the sort which underlies all of reality."

With that addressed he turned his attention to the matter of the strange arcane apparatus in the center of the room. Certainly he would like to examine it before they moved on.

"I think that it's the remains of a portal, I'd advise leaving it alone."

"An interesting theory," he said, stepping closer to get a better look "if so a portal to where? Is it an entrance or an exit? If say, it is a portal from which demons were called, then it would behoove us to examine it. It looks well and truly broken anyways, I doubt it poses any significant danger."

Stepping closer he reached out and ran his fingers over the glyphs, brow furrowing in thought as his mind turned over what he knew about the place. The writing was utterly unfamiliar to him, some old dialect that was quite likely dead and forgotten. It did seem broken beyond repair, it would likely be easier to build a new one rather than repair what was left, assuming he acquired the knowledge to do either.

"I'd wager it connects to another cairn," he said "more than that I cannot say, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the dialect of these symbols."

He stepped back from the device, a shame it was inoperable but little else could be expected after so long.

"I don't think I can glean anything more from it, we may as well move on," he said.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"You want to learn how to do magic? Your probably to old for that now.."

"Depends on how quick a study he is. Other factors contribute as well of course, not everyone has the aptitude for it, and certainly starting from a young age helps but is hardly necessary."

"Looks can deceive," James responded dryly, his tone mostly intended for the stone guy. "I don't know how old you think I am, but you're wrong. I'm... I think it's gotten to three months now. If that's too old, do tell me how you teach an infant magic tricks. Not to mention, I can understand anything, surely I would be able to learn magic too," he said as if it was the most sincere thing he had said yet. To him, there wasn't a thing he could not figure out. Well, apart from people.

He sighed, picking a small vial in his pocket -hand still in the pocket- and rolling the vial between his fingers.

"Regardless, it wasn't a question based on me wanting to learn magic, but rather understanding it. I care more for alchemy than magic tricks either way."

"Let's see, where to start... firstly yes I could improve my ability to see in the dark but that hardly helps the rest of you see, changing the time of day is a considerably more difficult thing and well outside my current abilities, though conjuring daylight itself is fully possible, a glyph is a mark or rune with a specific meaning or purpose, and as for what is magic well that is an entire conversation in and of itself. Suffice to say it is power, the sort which underlies all of reality."

"If it is a conversation in itself, then what better time is it to talk of it now?" No reply, instead people started talking about the glyph again.

"I don't know. This is interesting, but if we don't know what it is and can't decipher that marking on the base we're just wasting time. The blonde kid is working on it."

"Holt. My name is James Holt," James corrected. Hopefully everyone had heard it, so that he didn't need to repeat it ever again to these people. He could have let it go, being called a blonde kid was among the more neutral things he had been called, but he wasn't really a kid... or anything, really, simply James. Himself.

If I'm just not Jonathan, of course.

"And I'm just curious. I don't think it'll do much to help us, being broken and all, but..." He looked towards the people who had started talking about their theories, the gnome's being a bit more founded in knowledge than the other's. But then again, that was just an assumption, perhaps a silly one, given that being unaware of someone -anyone's- magic abilities could be dangerous. Scary, frightening.

He listened in silence as they did speak, not wanting to interrupt. It was intriguing, and he wondered what the purpose of connecting one cairn to another had been, though if they didn't know what cairn it was, or how it worked, then they could work out possible reasons and still have gotten nowhere.

"I don't think I can glean anything more from it, we may as well move on,"

the small mage said, and James tilted his head. "Yeah, I suppose so. Perhaps I'll figure out what it means one day, as long as I remember what it looks like. Besides... I'm more curious about what magic consists of." He looked at the smaller man expecting a reply. It was clear to him that the other could provide some information he could use to understand how everything worked, just a little better.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
The talk of magic was as expected a mix of tedious and over her head so Andria instead kept to the back and began inspecting the various people who were gathered in the cain. They were a mixed bunch and their attention was largely focused around what they were saying was a fragment of a former portal, all she could make of what she saw was a probably value and an exciting one at that.

She managed to resist touching the piece of whatever it was, considered using her powers to pick it up with her blades but that could be saved for later. There were torches being handed around one of which Andria procured for herself. Approaching the stairs she tried looking down but her eyes weren?t strong enough to see much. So she stabbed one of her knives through the handle of her torch so she could keep it floating with her mind and send it on ahead. Looking back to the others seeing if they were going to follow her she paused for a little while before she was ready to venture forth. Keeping the light as far ahead of her as she could she made sure to keep her eyes peeled as she descended.

She had to wonder where the squirrel had gotten to, she probably owed it some huts or something.
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
The arcane apparatus held Millie's attention for about a minute, but she moved aside once Crazy James came over to scowl at the thing up close. The gnome in the robe seemed interested in the relic as well. Millie was a little wary of the religious symbol he was wearing, but he seemed friendly enough. Besides, she liked gnomes. They made her feel tall.

Stepping around the large, muscular types, Millie moved over to the staircase, where the tall, strangely-dressed squirrel woman was doing something clever with a torch. Even with the light she couldn't see more than a few steps ahead. She considered throwing a rock down the stairs to see how far down they went, but thought better of it. If there was a vengeful undead bloodthirsty Queen of Chaos somewhere down there, best to catch her by surprise.

Instead, she said "Looks ominous. I hope there are traps!" and followed Andria down the stairs.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Andria and Millie made there way down the long corridor, the quickly outpaced the rest of the group. The trio of adventures had paused at the second cross path before walking into the left annex. Just inside there was a wide dais spanning the back half of the wing, calling attention to a faded fresco upon the south, west, and north walls. From a vantage point at the center of the dais, the wall painting made it look like you stood within a massive room with seven short hallways radiating outward from a central point. Paintings of chains dangling from the ceiling at the end of each hallway; each with a gleaming colored lantern hanging from the chain; each a different color of the rainbow.

As the rest of the party began to catch up, it was first Charles, then James and Clodagh a second behind, who noticed the faint gleam of indigo light down the right passage. The dim light was obscured by ruined stonework, a ratty old pack, and the bones of the pack's former owner who had fallen victim to some unknown, horrendous fate.

Andria and Millie reached the bottom of the stairs relatively quickly.

The wide stairway descended into an immense domed chamber. Seven short tunnels branched from the room in all directions, extending some thirty feet before ending in rounded walls. At the terminus of each passage, a thick chain could be seen dangling from an unseen high ceiling. Five of the chains had differently colorful lanterns at there ends, but two held nothing at all. Each lantern cast a weird, murky light about the room. Countless chips of glass and shiny metal inset into the chamber?s domed ceiling reflected this light, giving the impression of starlight and falling snow. The dome itself started about ten feet off the ground and reached an apex about thirty feet over the center of the room.

Below the dome?s peak, a long dais held what appeared to be a marble sarcophagus. A milky white bas-relief figure rested passively upon the sarcophagus lid. Unlike the rest of the tomb, the room was completely silent.

 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh trailed past the others for her own safety, but also to take in the atmosphere. She had never been in a real physical crypt before, so this was the start of something exciting for her.

She overheard a few people talking about the crypt gliphs,
"I think that it's the remains of a portal, I'd advise leaving it alone."
Clodagh was going to say something, but then Wilmet interjected and started going on about transportation.
Cloagh had only read glyphs before, but the symbol looked as though to read the word "Nexus". She would have said something, but they sounded somewhat educated on the topic, and besides, she didn't even know if the glyphs in her old library were even in the same library.

Then she looked around to see where Millie had went off to, and trailed after her. Down the steps they went, and she emerged into some strange room with light everywhere. She wanted ask who had been lighting this place all these years, who the people were that would invest this much time into an underground tomb, but what she went with was the stone sarcophagus.

"This sculpture's finger is missing." She stated. The thumb bent to and clung to the marble palm, but the actual finger had been knocked off. The question was where. "Can anyone see it?" She asked, checking around her own feet.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Watching the two people walk down the stairs Thalith follows them. Thudding on the last step and looking around he grunts softly as he takes in the lights. The topic he had left was something about what they had found but most of it was magic in origin and he was not interested. This on the other hand was something he was familiar with and after pausing at the bottom of the stairs and a cursory look at the lighting for this place he walks over to the statue like thing and leans over to take a closer look at the craftsmanship of the statue. Looking down and looking at the finger missing from it he can hear one of the people behind him commenting on it and its absence. Looking closer at the statue he grunts softly and straightens, looking the room over again before saying back at the woman who had asked about the finger.

"This statue was made by magic, or some way of shaping stone i have never seen or heard of."

Glancing down at the finger and running a finger over the rough edge he frowns at the mark to this unnatural but beautiful workmanship. Turning around and looking at the floor close by he stops on one of the lamps. Rubbing his hands together and cracking his knuckles Thalith ignores the rock on rock sound it causes as he steps away from the statue and crosses his arms.
"More magic, though the craftsmanship is incredible."
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
James provided an... interesting response of his own to Thaltih's comment about his age. Why would he claim such a thing though? It is clearly not the case, a compulsive liar perhaps? Bah, it makes no difference we have more important things to concern ourselves with. Still the man introduced himself so Wilmet felt it was only polite to do the same.

"Well met James," he said "I am Wilmet Ningle, though you may call me Wilmet."

The man's interest in magic was hardly uncommon, though his insistence that he would be able to grasp it so easily amused Wilmet. He could recall a time when he was similar, convinced that the secrets of the universe would simply reveal themselves to him.

"Yeah, I suppose so. Perhaps I'll figure out what it means one day, as long as I remember what it looks like. Besides... I'm more curious about what magic consists of."

"That could prove quite a lengthy explanation," Wilmet said "perhaps one best saved for another time, for now the dungeon awaits."

"Looks ominous. I hope there are traps!"

Delightful. Wilmet thought as he followed the girls down the stairs. No doubt the halfling considered herself a deft hand with traps, otherwise why wish for them, but he personally would be quite happy to never see one. The room they entered did not seem to have much in the way of them though, at least not at first glance. A sarcophagus with a depiction that was missing a finger and posed in a curious manner, and a number of colorful lanterns. Clodaugh began looking for the missing finger while the Thalith admired the craftsmanship. Wilmet meanwhile cast his gaze about looking for the missing finger as well as trying to glean the significance of the lanterns.

"Why are there only five lanterns but seven chains," he said, "a chain for each tunnel, I wonder if that is significant."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Well met James. I am Wilmet Ningle, though you may call me Wilmet."

"Well met, Wilmet," James replied, smirking at the way it sounded out loud.

Welmet-Wilmet, wonder if he considered that.

James had to admit it rolled off the tongue easily, though he was not the type to enjoy play on words... that much.

"That could prove quite a lengthy explanation, perhaps one best saved for another time, for now the dungeon awaits."

"Perhaps never then, for if this goes well, I'm leaving. I have nothing but the cost of travel and protection stopping me from leaving Diamond Lake," he replied, and then decided to start walking a bit quicker. However, he trailed off for a bit, as he saw the light of a lamp in a side passage, the owner seemingly caught in some kind of trap or accident.

That's... unfortunate? I suppose.

That meant there had been other people there, other people who had been hurt.

I don't know if I find the idea of traps being more comforting, or the chance of this place falling apart. One of those are designed to kill us, the other means whatever us doing well could be foiled at any time...

It made him a little scared, and he didn't want to think about it. Instead of going closer to the body, he continued ahead, meeting the others in a dome-shaped room. It had lanterns in almost every colour, and the ceiling was shimmering like the star sky.

"Why are there only five lanterns but seven chains. A chain for each tunnel, I wonder if that is significant."

"We already know where the indigo one is," James said, thinking back at the path with the indigo light. "At least, there was a light down another passage, close to a body, and it seems to match one of colours that would be missing." He looked in towards the passages with missing lamps. "The indigo lamp was taken by someone whose path ended in a trap. My question is; the remaining colour, the one we haven't found yet... Red, I think. Did that too lead to a trap? Or did someone pass unharmed? Should we not think of that, rather than think about a missing finger?"

He crossed his arms, unless the statue was rigged in some manner, it had little meaning to him. However, he did -as a rare and never to be repeated again courtesy- look around for the finger, perhaps his eyes would catch something the others' wouldn't. However, as he looked around the sarcophagus, he noticed something particular.

"Say... doesn't that look like an arrow?" James asked and looked towards where it led. The orange lantern, though his walk over there was for nothing, the only thing at the end of the path was an orange lantern. "... Okay, I'll give you that the finger could prove useful, but I still think we should consider the lanterns. Why is the red gone? should we attempt to return them to their places? And what is the importance of the arrow..."

He crossed his arms, frustrated. Of course he couldn't figure out the puzzle if not all of the pieces were there... the one with the red lantern hadn't taken the solution and hidden it, right?
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Another room, another puzzling situation. Some of Godric's travelling companions had already started to work it out. There appeared to be a lantern upon all but two chains for each tunnel and each had a different colour of the rainbow. The blonde kid, James, was suggesting the missing lanterns could have been taken to lure them, or someone, into a trap. He was probably right, and it worried Godric that something in the Cairn was alive and had malicious intentions for their group.

The puzzle of the lanterns was a little too complicated for Godric, there wasn't much chance he'd be able to figure it out that the cleverer members of the group couldn't. Instead he directed his attention towards something potentially simpler.

Godric strode over to the sarcophagus and looked at the figure carved on the lid, "Why is one hand open and one clenched into a fist? You'd think they'd carve them both the same." Something about it troubled him, but more than that he didn't like the deathly silence of this room. It was less of a quiet place and more somewhere with an absence of sound. Godric was sure it had something to do with the nature of the room, he didn't like burial places, there was no place that more illustrated the difference between death and the very absence of life. It was the latter that really got to Godric.

"Is the key to unlocking the secrets this room hides held here somewhere, or will we have to do more exploring?" Godric already knew they'd be looking further into the Cairn, but secret doors and hidden passages could be around.
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
"This sculpture's finger is missing. Can anyone see it?"

"No fingers over here," Millie called back. There wasn't much of anything, aside from dust, but it was pretty dark even with the torches and lanterns. The lanterns, incidentally, had apparently caught James and Wilmet's attention, and they were trying to work out if the coloured lights meant anything. Millie herself couldn't think of an explanation...maybe it was something to do with magic. Or perhaps stained glass had been in fashion when the crypt was built.

"Why is one hand open and one clenched into a fist?"

The big armoured chap had a point. A fist seemed out of place with the whole dearly departed, rest-in-peace thing. Millie went over to have a better look at the sarcophagus. Normally she rather liked puzzles, but then again, there was usually money involved.

Turning to the knight Millie raised her hand, with three fingers up - copying the carved hand with the missing finger. "Maybe the dead chap got his finger bitten off. Happened to somebody I knew back home in Lesser Burkington. That, or we have to find three of something."
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
As the others moved through the hallways Charles looked down the left, looking at the fresco, thinking it could have some importance he tried to memorize the details of it before continued. To the right he noticed something else, he decided was of greater importance. Bones, a pack, and an indigo light.

After a few seconds of wondering whether or not it was a trap he tried to signal anyone who had yet to pass the cross and went to investigate. He crouched down next to the bones and the pack and lit the torch in his hand. He decided the other light was untrustworthy as he started to investigate the passageway. As the fire in his hand started to burn he began to search the bones and the pack on the ground.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Charles crouched in the dim light and searched the ancient body, he was quick to note the body's many injuries. He couldn't be certain how long the body had been there for it had been picked clean by scavengers. Teeth and claw marks from some local wildlife - likely wolves - covered the bone though, based on the condition of the body they seemed unlikely to be the cause of death. Rather, severe cracks and breaks from some large concussive force seemed to be the true source of the man's death.

Turning his attention to the indigo light, the source was immediately apparent - the rotten backpack. Large tears in the sack revealed the glowing magical lantern within before Charles could even open the pack. This however was but one item within the pack. Beneath the lantern were two other items; a simple copper necklace and a stone finger.

The stone finger was clearly broken off some greater piece but was exquisitely carved into a rather odd angle for a finger. The necklace was marked on two sides. On the front was a symbol Charles was unfamiliar with, while on the back a name and number were carved in the common, modern Barovian tongue; "Ulavant, #4"


Inside the sarcophagus chamber however, it was Millie and Godric to make the next discovery. While inspecting the stonework at the base of the sarcophagus, they found a seam that circled the entire base of the stonework. Though it, they could make out a complex mechanism beneath the base that would allow the base - and by extension the sarcophagus - to rotate clockwise.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
It was a very small seam, but annoyingly noticeable now they'd actually seen it. Godric cursed himself for not realising it was there sooner. Perhaps this was the key to unlocking the secrets of this room, who knew if they'd already missed other hidden secrets?

"It rotates! There could be something under here, or this might be a lever of sorts." Godric said, placing his hands onto the sarcophagus at one end and motioning for Millie to do the same at the other end.

"Perhaps if we push it round it will open something." he said, tensing up his arms as he prepared to apply pressure and push the sarcophagus round before he stopped, "Or perhaps it triggers some sort of trap, and we're just about to kill ourselves horribly." Giving a smile as the words left his mouth. It wasn't a particularly amusing prospect, but Godric was trying to be optimistic here.

"What do you think?" He asked Millie.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Looking down at one of the others looking at the statue cry out about a seam and the statue maybe rotating Thalith Blinks in surprise and squats to get a better look at the so called seam as the two who had found the seam get ready to start moving it before stopping.
"Perhaps if we push it round it will open something. Or perhaps it triggers some sort of trap, and we're just about to kill ourselves horribly."

Looking at the one who had spoken Thalith grunts softly and slides a finger along the seam as he looks at the statue. Rumbling to himself but still heard to those in the room.
"Where is the finger... it looks like someone tried to move it and broke the finger while they were."

Looking around and seeing someone down a passage without a lantern he can see him kneeling next to a backpack and shakes his head as he goes back to the statue. Running his hand over the base and feeling the stone.
"Why have a trap so hard to find?"
 

suspicious guard

New member
Nov 20, 2014
34
0
0
"Perhaps if we push it round it will open something. Or perhaps it triggers some sort of trap, and we're just about to kill ourselves horribly."

"Worth a shot!" Millie replied, bracing herself against the corner of the sarcophagus. The corridors all appeared to be dead ends (literally, in the case of the skeleton), and nobody seemed to have any better ideas for making progress.

The big guy was inspecting the mechanism. "Why have a trap so hard to find?"

Millie laughed nervously. "Right! Of course it's not a trap. Doesn't make sense. No traps here." There'd better not be any traps now, she thought to herself. Mum would be so disappointed if she died ironically.
She beckoned to Thalith. "Can you give me a hand here? I'm not exactly made of muscle."
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles looked over what he found, briefly wondering about why the man was carrying what he was carrying when he died, before placing the finger and the necklace in a pouch on his belt and picking up the lantern with his right hand. He stood back up and walked back down the hallway before joining the others in the chamber.

Charles looked at the room. Seven tunnels, coloured lanterns. It looked like the fresco. This was oddly convenient. After a few moments of wondering and looking at what the others were doing he walked over to the tunnel the indigo lantern should match up to. He walked in and attached the lantern to the chain before quickly backing out of the tunnel, wary of the possibility of the room being trapped.

Not seeing much happen he walked over to the sarcophagus to see what a few of the others were looking at and apparently trying to move. Missing a finger, convenient again. With it being in the pack it was either part of whatever mechanism was in this room or nothing. Probably nothing, could be something. He placed the finger where it looked it was supposed to be and took a step back again.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Looking at the man who had put the finger back from wherever he had found it Thalith looks at it and over towards roughly where the finger was now pointing. Looking from the finger to the blue lantern he shakes his head and bends his legs and jams his fingers under the edge of the coffin. Looking over at the girl who had asked him to help he grunts low and lifts the lid. Looking down at the crack where he was lifting Thalith is half squinting when something flies out of the darkness and slams him in the face. Roaring and staggering back he slaps his hands over his face as it burns and the upper half of his body as well.

Thankfully he was not wearing much and as he staggers back he slaps at the fire burning at the leather harness for his axe Thalith shakes his head and rubs at it as he blinks and tries to get the spots and ash form his eyes. Breathing hard and glaring at the coffin that he had been lifting.
"WHO THE HELL PUTS A TRAP IN A COFFIN!!!"
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"WHO THE HELL PUTS A TRAP IN A COFFIN!!!"

"Probably the same kind of people who makes this entire place into a puzzle," James replied in a sarcastic tone. "Now, given that we know that the entire place is a death trap, perhaps giving things a bit of a thought next time you decide to try to push something open by force. I don't really care what happens to whoever triggers it, that's their own fault, but I'd rather not be caught up in it."

Honestly though, James didn't really want anyone to get done in by a trap, but that didn't matter, saying it aloud would only make him seem like a fool, after all. It didn't seem like anyone but the Goliath had been hurt by the fire-trap, though.

It wasn't exactly the brightest idea out there.

He had stepped away bit as the Goliath and the shorter of the women had decided to lift the lid of the sarcophagus. While he obviously hadn't seen it coming, James suspected pretty much everything that could be interacted with in the Cairn, especially after having seen what happened to the stranger with the indigo lantern. He looked at the now placed finger, and then at Charles. "So it points towards the blue lantern... Where exactly did you find it? By the dead guy?" he asked, he knew that he wasn't the only one who had seen the body.

"Any clues to how that guy went?" he continued. The finger didn't seem to have changed much, if anything there. No sounds of mechanisms getting triggered, and no sudden solution. "Anyways, you," he pointed at the knight guy who looked like he had been in a few battles too much. "It turns, right? I don't think we'll find much without turning it, and though I am hesitant to do so, it looks like it is part of the intended use, unlike the action of opening it. Everything so far suggests that as long as we act within the intended actions of this puzzle, following the pieces laid out for us, and choosing the right solutions, we'll be fine. So..." he sighed, and went towards the sarcophagus.

It'll be fine.

He couldn't help but feel his heart beating, though. For a moment, he surveyed the area.

Where to try first? Or rather, what direction?

If the stranger had an intention behind removing the indigo lamp and the finger, perhaps that was a clue. Given the location of the lanterns, and the way the finger and the arrow interacted, it would be easy to check. Because, if it really was tied together with the finger, it would only take a slight push to move it there, pointing the arrow at the yellow would be enough. To anyone else, it just looked like he was taking a very brief moment to consider it, and, to be honest, all the thinking was just a way to keep himself calm.

It's fine. It's part of the puzzle... I hope.

He started pushing it upwards, towards the yellow. Hands shaking, feeling a bit short out of breath and eyes almost closed from fear, he prepared himself mentally for what could happen, triggering a trap, or even just a sound would probably get him startled and running.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"WHO THE HELL PUTS A TRAP IN A COFFIN!!!"

"Looks like you got your wish," Wilmet said to Millie, checking his hair to be sure it hadn't been singed, then turned to Thalith "probably people who didn't much care for their dead being stolen from."

Of course that was what they were here to do, so no doubt there would be more traps such as these. He glanced back at the halfling, hopefully in the future she would be able to disarm such diabolical devices before the exploded, crushed, maimed, or otherwise negatively impacted party morale. Unfortunately this one had certainly done that last thing, James began rambling about how they should proceed but it was clear from how the boy was shaking that the trap had rattled him. Doesn't like not knowing things, hidden traps would be rather unnerving for the lad. Nevertheless the boy began pushing the sarcophagus in a particular direction, perhaps he had already unraveled the puzzle.

Wilmet took a glance at the missing (now found) finger and the colored lanterns, before it settled on him. Of course, the colors, they proceed in the particular order with indigo and red missing. He had to admit he was impressed by James having puzzled it out, though of course time would tell if the hypothesis was the correct one. Then again if I was tall enough to be able to tell that the thing was shaped like an arrow I probably would have solved this ages ago.

He cleared his throat "boy if you're worried about traps then our intrepid Queen of Chaos could try inspecting the mechanism for such devices before we begin pushing it about," he said, then turned to Thalith "Ah and before I get caught up in the thrill of discovery, are you injured? You seemed to take the brunt of that trap, if you're hurt I might be of some use."

Healing was of course not his specialty but every aspiring cleric had some practice with it and he was no different.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As James and Millie pushed the sarcophagus. Due to either the extreme age of the mechanism or the weight of the sarcophagus, the sarcophagus proved difficult to turn. However, little by little the pair made progress until finally it pointed in the direction of the yellow lantern as soon as the mechanism clicked into place, a pillar of rotating winds appeared around the lantern abut 10ft in diameter and centered around the lantern and the chain it hung from. Below this, a circular stone in the floor began to lower into the earth and down a shaft it previously concealed.

Looking down into the shaft revealed only darkness.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles showed little reaction to the trap going off and the goliath yelling in response. It didn't shock him that there was a trap and the goliath didn't look too hurt by the fire. He thought to check on the creature but the gnome, Wilmet attended to him, so it seemed that he wouldn't need to burn any of his powers this early into the expedition either way.

"So it points towards the blue lantern... Where exactly did you find it? By the dead guy? Any clues to how that guy went?"

"They were with what remained of him," Charles responded after a moment. "I think he was probably crushed and dragged off by animals."

Then the turning started and a passageway opened. Charles went alert and walked down the passageway to look down, trying to get ahead of anyone else incase it needed to be sealed. Darkness. Probably unnatural. Probably a trap. He suspected that the only one with any relative safety was the indigo path but he couldn't be sure.

He stated "There's no light down there." Before hesitantly adding "Yellow is a sickness colour, I think we should try another first."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James grinned, he had managed to figure out something, something amazing like this, a passage-way had revealed itself at the yellow lamp. It had yielded results, just as he had figured it would.

It has to be down there, right?

"There's no light down there. Yellow is a sickness colour, I think we should try another first."

"But it makes sense, it's the only colour that makes sense!" James said, eagerly. "Why would that man remove the indigo lamp and the finger, had they not been tied together? They were obviously clues, and though it is dark, I am certain that this too is part of the puzzle. Well..." he trailed off, a bit of his courage disappearing. "Well, it could also be a trap. However, for what purpose would a man like that remove those items? Surely he, even in death, would not benefit from our destruction?" James asked. People were odd to him, but he couldn't see the logic behind setting them up for failure.

Of course, there are those who take more enjoyment in knowing people will suffer.

He sometimes had that, but, to be fair, it was mostly when he was in a very bad mood. And surely he couldn't be blamed for his moods.

Still, better check it, to be sure.

"I mean, we could check it for a trap, and it would be the best idea. However, if we're going to try every colour, most of which I am certain will wield either no result at all, or be just as risky as this one, I say we check our possibilities with this one. There are no clues that I have seen that would lead to any of the other colours, after all, and it was by careful deduction I selected the yellow one. For, why would there both be an arrow, and a finger pointing, if they weren't supposed to interact? Of course they were, this is a puzzle, in a cairn, to make unnecessary additions would be more work than it's worth."

Now, how to really get the point across? Rid ourselves of the superstition with the colour? Oh, I know.

He chuckled, slightly, it was an amusing thought.

"Besides, yellow is not a colour of sickness, but one of the sun, and of gold. Let's follow the grandness of the sun!" he said, spitefully, then added; "I am, obviously, being sarcastic. Yellow is whatever you want it to be, right now, it could be an opportunity. There's people who can create a magic light to light up the darkness, and we have someone adept at finding traps, wouldn't it be better to see if I'm correct before complicating this further?"
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Follow the grandness of the sun? It works for me." Said Godric, drawing his sword and advancing towards the shaft that had just opened. He hadn't really considered the yellow lantern meaning sickness, but he knew they'd find a bad reason in every colour if they really tried. "Otherwise, we'll all rot into skeletons before we pick a path to explore, and that time we spend debating could be spend exploring. This path may be dark, but we carry light with us."

Lighting a torch, Godric stepped into the tunnel, tapping the ground with his sword as he did so. There could be traps down there, but that just meant disarming something and they'd probably have to do plenty of that down here. That little trick with the fire and the sarcophagus was surely just the tip of the iceberg.

Godric's torch didn't appear to be cutting through the darkness, "Come on, someone magical get in here and conjure up some light. It's not like you've got anywhere better to be right now is it?" He said with a smile. Chances were they'd have to try several paths that led nowhere, it would take some methodical work.

"Come on! There's secrets to be found, and we won't do anything just standing around talking about colours!" Godric really hoped somebody was going to go in after him, preferably a mage capable of casting light.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Looking at the pit that showed up Thalith narrows his eyes and pulls his axe from his back. following the other fighter person as he moves forward he agrees in his mind with exploring rather than talking, his own words a deep rumble.
"Lets go, waiting here will make us the same as the one who tried the tunnel over there."

Stomping into the stairs making the stone quake under his massive weight Thalith changes his grip on his Greataxe and looks at the carvings on the wings before looking into the darkness that the torch didn't seem to eat away at.
"Come on, someone magical get in here and conjure up some light. It's not like you've got anywhere better to be right now is it?"

Turning his head and calling up into the top of the stairs Thaliths voice roars up into the open air.
"Someone who can get rid of darkness better than a torch get your ass down here and show us what we are doing down here!"
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"I am, obviously, being sarcastic. Yellow is whatever you want it to be, right now, it could be an opportunity. There's people who can create a magic light to light up the darkness, and we have someone adept at finding traps, wouldn't it be better to see if I'm correct before complicating this further?"

"Someone who can get rid of darkness better than a torch get your ass down here and show us what we are doing down here!"


"Darkness this darkness that," Wilmet said "I am more than a magical lantern you know."

Still he flicked his hands and conjured up an orb of light, casting it into the darkness illuminating the passage and laying bare what the darkness had concealed. While he did certainly enjoy applying his magical talent and being of use he hoped that a more interesting test of his abilities would present itself.

"There we go, it should float ahead of us and keep the passage lit," he said.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As the light descended down the shaft, it quickly became clear that it dug deep into the undermountain. Were one to fall down the hole, without magic they would almost certainly die. Fortunately, the wind held steady and was clearly designed to provide a safe way to descend into the depths.

After a significant distance (nearly 100 meters by Wilmet's best guess), the light stopped moving; revealing a roughly 6 meter on a side room offset from the shaft at the bottom. While the edges of the far side of the room were hidden by the sharp angle and length of the shaft, there was clearly the beginnings of a staircase at the edge of the vision afforded by the light. The walls were clearly carved and decorated, though the specifics were impossible to tell from the top of the shaft. The stone circle that had lowered down the shaft earlier now appeared to be a part of the floor below the shaft. Aside from the potential fall to it, the chamber below appeared safe in all respects.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Darkness this darkness that, I am more than a magical lantern you know."

Are you? I couldn't tell," James said, and covered most of his eyes when the bright light appeared. "Perhaps it would have been more clear if you had helped me with the puzzle, and not let a mere toddler do all the thinking for you," he continued, intending to jest but not entirely sure it sounded like that. It mostly sounded like an annoyed snark, actually. James couldn't help it. He hadn't exactly intended for the other to light the whole thing up, and though he was impressed and curious about it, he was also pretty annoyed over the amount of light, because that meant his vision was limited. Then again, James supposed it was better than no light, even he couldn't see in a pitch black room.

At least it looks like I was correct.

That gave him a tingly feeling of happiness and satisfaction. James liked solving puzzles and figuring things out, and he certainly didn't mind being correct. He walked next to the tiny wizard, trying figure out how the other had cast the spell, and if it needed to have magic applied to it continually in order to function, or if it simply had an effect that wore off on its own. Besides, that meant James didn't have to go first, going first could be very scary, and he felt the worry fill him. They were pretty high up, after all.

I don't want to fall.

He put the largest of his coat tighter around himself, it always made him feel a little safer, before he continued after the others.

"Is someone checking for traps?" he asked, suddenly. He wasn't sure why he did, he was sure the others had thought of it themselves. Still. Better make sure. "Just for safety's sake, of course."
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Everyone was moving around her, and the conversation had moved past whatever information she had gathered, so Clodagh found a passably smooth rock and sat on it. She slouched a little bit and adjusted her posture by resting an elbow on her leg, and used it to rest her face from the cheek. Clodagh then shivered a little.

In truth, practical puzzles weren't much to her taste, and Clodagh wasn't about to start exhibiting her powers to illuminate the nearby chasm on the risk that one of those in the party was some sort of sociopath. No, no keeping any exceptional attention being drawn to her is best.
Clodagh looked around and spotted someone that wasn't frantically searching the area. Andria. "um, hi?" Maybe she would be friendly. At the moment there was a Millie-James spectrum of cordiality, and finding where Andria lay would probably be useful.
But Andria just kept looking onward, the 15 year old's question not even eliciting a nod or glance. She just stood there, motionless. This annoyed Clodagh. "Why are you just standing there?"
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Looking into the illuminated shaft Godric could see the entrance to a room about 100 metres down from where they were looking. His stomach shivered slightly at the prospect of falling such a difference, but his curiosity won that particular battle.

"So this magic current will carry us safely down there? I think I saw a circus performance like this once, done with painted ropes to hide the trick. Unfortunately they were on after the knife throwing act, and one of the ropes was damaged, it didn't end well." Godric realised this wasn't quite the best thing to bring up, his stomach shivered once again, and his knees shook slightly. He didn't like heights.

"Well, somebody has to be the first down there..." He said, winking at the rest of the group and stepping into the embrace of the magical current, trusting it to carry him gently downwards.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Room Above​

"Why are you just standing there?". Andria just glanced up at Clodagh, her eyes full of disdain, before making her way to the shaft and jumping down into the darkness.

Room Below​

In retrospect, Godric wouldn't call the trip down "gentle". The wind had safely delivered him to the bottom of the shaft, but whether by a quark of the design or the age of the enchantment, he still hit the ground with enough force to send a bolt of pain up his legs. After a quick once over, Godric was certain he'd suffered no lasting harm beyond the memory of the landing.

With his safety confirmed, Godric was free to look around the room. The walls in the room were covered in bas-relief images similar to the slender figure upon the sarcophagus lid in the chamber above. Nearly a dozen androgynous, hairless humanoids stood in poses of deference, almost as if they were paying homage to the viewer. Many had their hands extended in adoration, their faces awash in adulation. Several of the statues lacked hands, arms, heads, or anything else easily hacked off; no doubt the desecration of long gone tomb robbers. About fifteen feet to the south, a dark passage extended from an elaborately carved arch up a small flight of stairs. Only a little of this hallway was visible, however, as a large stone block obscured most of the passage. Ancient words were carved into the area above the arch.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Ouch. Godric had been expecting a somewhat gentler landing and wished he'd bent his knees to absorb the impact of landing, but he was down safely. The room he now saw had almost a dozen figures that looked similar to the one on the sarcophagus they had found before. This looked like some form of chapel or burial place. A passage extended away on the other side of the room.

"It's safe to come down!" Godric shouted up at the group, "Just bend your knees when you land!" If they didn't hear him up there they'd find out themselves. "Because this place is beyond my understanding..." Godric muttered to himself.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"Just bend your knees when you land!"

Perhaps the drop would be safe enough for the larger members of the group, but scale was everything and to Wilmet it looked like a much longer drop than it might to the others. Fortunately he had a spell for that. Is there nothing magic can't solve? It was even a very simple spell, one of the first any mage learned (particularly if their master had the fondness for towers many wizardly sorts held).

"Feather fall," he muttered, waving his hands over the group "enjoy a comfortable drop."

With that he hopped off the ledge and began drifting downwards at a slow rate. Certainly climbing back up would be somewhat more tiresome, but he doubted it would prove much of a challenge for their group. Particularly not when it contained a Goliath. He could probably just throw me back up top.

Landing smoothly at the bottom he brushed dust off his robes and began looking around.

"Well what do we have here?"
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"It's safe to come down! Just bend your knees when you land!"

James stared wide-eyed at the place they were supposed to go down. He absolutely did not want to go down there. Wasn't there some sort of clue somewhere? Some way of knowing that this really was where they were supposed to go?

But that guy already went down... and he replied. It should be safe.

Should be. But what if only one person was supposed to fall down? What had happened to the woman who had jumped down afterwards? She hadn't spoken at all.

Come on, James, it's not that...

He felt both angry with himself and worried about being right. They hadn't heard the other woman fall to her death, but he couldn't shake the fear. James didn't like a lot of things, heights included, and he had gotten just about enough of risks and chances with no obvious gain. Besides, if the landing was really that tough, would anything in his pockets spill? Wasn't he making up excuses by now, though?

Am I really this cowardly?

Before he got the chance to answer, the small mage spoke, cast a spell even, before going down.

"Feather fall, enjoy a comfortable drop."

"Don't even---" he snarled under his breath, mostly to himself, though part of him felt a huge relief about having something to support him. That said, he still wasn't entirely sure about this.

Only when he had waited for a while, and not heard the sound of broken bones, did James step forward. Making sure to go down the same place where the mage had gone, he took a shaking breath, and stepped outside. For a brief moment, he considered closing his eyes as he did, but he decided that the thought of not seeing what happened was more frightening than the fall.

It was odd just sort of falling down. Floating downwards in the darkness, and landing safely, the only sound heard as he did a soft jingle from the different bottles in his pockets, all safe and in one piece.

"Well what do we have here?"

"Someone should go check the passage out," James replied, as he looked over the statues around them. He stepped a little away from the sources of light, hoping to spot something that could help them. "Someone not me, that is. I don't like it."
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Turning and watching one of those still up top fall down in a slower fashion than the others Thalith walks over and pulls him from the middle of the still swirling air and grabs him as he brushes off his robe. Dragging him forward, his hand taking up most of the mans upper arm, the Goliath holds him at the edge of the meager light down there and points deeper into the darkness.
"Make it so i can see where im going. Some kind of magic or hold a torch for me. Can you make magic for that?"

Looking down at the much smaller man Thalith finally lets go of his arm after seeing he is half picking him up. Thinking to himself.
"Light thing, could sling him past the ceiling if i wasn't careful.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles shook his head slightly at the discussions and after watching the others drop into the hole and down the wind passage he followed them with a little thought. As his feet touched something solid he saw it was getting kind of dark again. He looked at the others and stood in silence briefly before muttering a prayer, drawing his sword and tapping it against his left arm.

After a few seconds his blade developed a dull white glow to it that while illuminating, it illuminated what was around him more than it sprayed light. That's when he noticed the goliath handling the gnome and blurted "What are you doing?" as he walked towards them.

As he got a better look of his surroundings as he walked towards them he noticed that they were looking at a passageway, and he noticed words above... he felt like he knew them... his mind was wandering, he looked back at the Goliath.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Oh, so your sword glows in the dark does it?" Said Godric, unsure whether he was unsettled or impressed at Charles' glowing sword, "That's actually very useful." He continued as he peered at the words above the arch. He wasn't able to read them himself but they were likely very important. Someone had taken the time to carve them into stone and it would be reckless to ignore a potential warning.

"Can anyone read this? I don't want us to walk straight into a bottomless pit just because we couldn't read the sign we all walked past." He half-joked, knowing they were essentially trespassing in a long forgotten place. Somebody had likely ransacked this place long before them judging by the state of the statues around them, if they'd made it any further than this room there was no sign.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Room Below​

Looking around the room revealed little more than had already been seen. The area was certainly well carved and detailed, though each of the statues seemed "flawed" in some intangible way. Fortunately, where the architecture failed to provide any further details, the writing did.

The carving above the passage seemed to be some kind of religious passage that Charles, James, and Wilmet could understand. Roughly translated, it read "Let those who would pass, show humility before Zosiel". In particular, Charles recognized the form of the phrase as similar to that of a classic prayer to Ezra. It's use here was sacrilegious at best.

Beyond the arch stood the stone blocking the passage. It looked easy enough to move with the proper application of force for it was circular in shape and appeared to be easy to roll aside because of it.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Can anyone read this? I don't want us to walk straight into a bottomless pit just because we couldn't read the sign we all walked past."

James rolled his eyes, before looking up at the sign. He wasn't exactly eager to walk closer to the passage, but with the others waving around glowing swords and demanding spells, he thought a death trap might actually be preferable.

"It's... Let those who would pass, show humility before Zosiel... whoever that is. Sounds like some sort of religious crap," he muttered -the last part rather quickly- arms crossed. James didn't exactly feel like letting the statement hang in the air so that someone could get insulted, and continued quickly; "So, I assume we're supposed to do something related to the statues. Show humility... bow, or something."

Because of course all we are supposed to do is kneel and show respect.

The gods weren't amongst the things James had a keen interest in, so he knew very little about them or the societies around them. Heck, he didn't even know for sure if it was a religious statement, but with the humility, and "Zosiel", it was his best bet. He started walking back and forth, impatient for someone to act.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
"Can anyone read this? I don't want us to walk straight into a bottomless pit just because we couldn't read the sign we all walked past."

"It's... Let those who would pass, show humility before Zosiel... whoever that is. Sounds like some sort of religious crap, So, I assume we're supposed to do something related to the statues. Show humility... bow, or something."


Looking up at the words above his head Thalith takes only a second to look at them before going back to the statues standing around. Walking over towards the closest one he runs a finger over the angle trying to find out what had gone wrong. Whatever was in the words were none of his business, whoever this god was he was no match for his own. Moving to the next statue he does the same he had for the first.

Running a finger over the weird angles on the thing Thalith shakes his head and regrets the looks to these amazing statues. Looking back at those who had gotten down into this new area he suddenly narrows his eyes as something came to him. Turning around again he doesn't let his eyes focus on the statues as he looks for treasure or somewhere it may be hidden. Muttering to himself, fairly sure it was to quiet for those behind him to hear.

"We had to find that way down and i took a fire ball to the face. Whatever broke these statues, it wasn't treasure hunters."
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"Make it so i can see where im going. Some kind of magic or hold a torch for me. Can you make magic for that?"

"Release me you insufferable cretin, you titanic dullard!" Wilmet said, not at all pleased with having been manhandled. Fortunately he was quickly released, though he suspected that it had nothing to with his protests.

"Do that again and I'll make your brains, or whatever composes your minuscule nervous system, leak from your ears," he snapped, rubbing his wrist where he'd been grabbed and walking away into the dark, his magic light brightening to illuminate his surroundings.

Fortunately the room contained much to distract him from his fuming, various religious carvings which he doubted many in the group could read. A prayer to Ezra, misplaced in this environment, and something about showing humility to Zosiel. Zosiel... does that sound familiar? Perhaps I should consult my notes.

"So, I assume we're supposed to do something related to the statues. Show humility... bow, or something."

"You are quite learned for an infant," Wilmet commented "it could refer to a specific rite, sign, or ritual to show deference. I wil consult my notes to see if I have anything contained there about such. In the meantime I suppose the rest of you could try to shift that rock, doubtless we will want to see what is behind it."

"Ah yes," he said, finding a small footnote in his historical notes "seems the fellow was a minor prince or cultural equivalent thereof, this would likely be his tomb then. If that is the case I doubt anything more deferential than a bow would be required, if that."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"We had to find that way down and i took a fire ball to the face. Whatever broke these statues, it wasn't treasure hunters."

"Actually, you took a fireball to the face because you tried to force the lid open, so it is very possible that someone else has been here before us. Could just have been less stupid. However, I don't agree that these statues are only broken -though they certainly are that as well- they appear... wrong. There's something off with them, I can see it in the details, but I'm not an artist, so I'm not sure what it is. Odd that there should be such flaws in the craftsmanship, as whoever made them seems to have known what they were doing."

Suspicious, even.

Crossing his arms, he looked towards the statues again. He wondered if any of them were more significant than the others, if there was something to signify whoever they were going to "pay respect" to.

"You are quite learned for an infant, it could refer to a specific rite, sign, or ritual to show deference. I wil consult my notes to see if I have anything contained there about such. In the meantime I suppose the rest of you could try to shift that rock, doubtless we will want to see what is behind it."

"If you are to move aside the rock, do it quickly. We're already wasting time," he huffed. He really didn't trust that damned rock, but even if he had, he doubted he had the strength to move it on his own. "Or do you expect me to do everything around here?"

"Ah yes, seems the fellow was a minor prince or cultural equivalent thereof, this would likely be his tomb then. If that is the case I doubt anything more deferential than a bow would be required, if that."

James raised an eyebrow, partly curious, partly annoyed. Sure, it would have been interesting to know more about those customs, but right now, all he cared about was getting out of there.

"Do you have any further description? Any sort of way to find out if any of these statues are special? Or are we stuck waiting for that rock to be moved? That stupid..." he bit his lip, eyebrows lowered into a scowl.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles looked at the statues, the stone blocking the way forward, the others, and the phrase for a few moments before speaking up "I don't like to indulge things in tombs but there could be magic here. If you're not going to push you should be bowing."

Charles then walked over to the stone and looked for something on it to pull or push, hoping atleast one of the others would help move it if bowing didn't do it.

The statues, the writing, the feeling he had, all of this tomb was off. The odd almost deformed feeling statues, the warped prayer, everything else he had come across in this place was normal for these lands. But the way they were adding together made him anxious about the whole thing.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Charles searched the block, he found no handles but did find the stone remarkably easy to move. Despite its large size, it required relarively little strength due to an incline within the rut it rested in. It still would take a bit of strength to get it started - likely beyond what the less physically inclined could achieve by themselves - but nothing they could not handle. Interestingly, it seemed that the great stone block was designed to be rolled into a slot in a wall that was currently hidden from view by the block itself. Besides that, he could hear the sound of "whispering" the cairn had made above from behind the stone, suggesting there were more of the vents on the other side, though it sounded somewhat "out of tune"; even accounting for the stone block.

Meanwhile, as Thalith looked more closely at the statues, he was finally able to see why they looked so wrong. When the stone had been carved, the natural faults and impurities in the stone happened to align with the carving in such a way that light reflected differently that it should, making odd shadows. In Thalith's expert opinion, these statues were flawed by a quark of nature more than any design intention. More likely, the area was little more than a storage room for statues unworthy of the tomb proper. What that meant about the writing, the door, and what was beyond it however was well and truly beyond him however.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Thalith spends a few more minutes looking at one of the statues, running his fingers over the natural fissure they had used in the work and smiling to himself at the craftsmanship. Turning away and frowning to himself as he hears someone talking.

"You are quite learned for an infant, it could refer to a specific rite, sign, or ritual to show deference. I wil consult my notes to see if I have anything contained there about such. In the meantime I suppose the rest of you could try to shift that rock, doubtless we will want to see what is behind it."

"If you are to move aside the rock, do it quickly. We're already wasting time,"


Eying the rock they are talking about Thalith flexes his arms and locks them together against his chest and themselves, working them to get ready as he walks towards it. Saying as he does to the on who had been talking about the statues and not being sure what was wrong with them.
"Nothing wrong with the statues little person, they used the flaws in the carvings. It is master worthy, but not good enough for above."

Stepping up next to the one who was fiddling with the large stone Thalith sets a hand on it and after giving it a bit of a push grunts in surprise at how easy it moved. Setting both hands on the stone and giving it a shove Thalith has to catch his step when it moves into the wall into a place set up for it. The initial strength needed using a little strength after that it was almost to easy. Looking down at the person who had been studying it he says down at him.
"Want it here?"
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Thalith pushed the stone slab into the wall, the sound from the other side became loud enough to hear even to those not near the slab. The whispering became a rapid hissing noise as vents previously blocked by the stone slab were opened. Immediately, these vents spewed forth a torrent of sickly green gas.

Beyond the rock was a 15 meter passage with a fork in the path at the end

@Everyone: please post your immediate response to this development
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"Oh wonderful," Wilmet said as the presumably toxic vapor started hissing in, he thought better of wasting his potential final breaths on idle chatter however, instead opting to take a deep breath of the stale but presumably safe air before it was made poison. In an effort to be extra safe he pulled a piece of cloth over his nose and mouth, if he did become desperate for air then hopefully it would filter out some of the poison.

Unless they could manage to move the stone back and block off the vent they would have to figure out how to survive the vapor. Is it rising or falling? If it is falling then we could try to climb out... ah of course it is rising otherwise it would be at our feet and not filling the air around us. Well that made things easy then.

Wilmet dropped to the ground, lying flat on it. With luck the poison would only displace the air above him and eventually filter out, becoming harmless as it dispersed into the air above. If his assumption was correct then the greatest danger he was now in was someone stepping on him. Too bad he had no way of communicating this to the others without possibly endangering himself, even if his assumption was correct he had no wish to risk exposure by taking a breath or using his voice and even his magic would require some vocalization.

Still he had to make some effort, so he limply waved his staff, still lit with magic light, up and down so as to draw attention to himself, pointing downwards with his other hand and patting the ground. If they have an ounce of intelligence they'll catch on, otherwise they might think I am having a seizure.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Nothing wrong with the statues little person, they used the flaws in the carvings. It is master worthy, but not good enough for above."

Is that aimed at me or the actual small person?

He could have asked, but it mattered little. "Fair enough. How dull," he replied instead, with a sour expression. "What a purposeless group of statues. I---"

Suddenly he heard the vents, and saw the gas. The rock had been removed, and, unsurprisingly, a trap lay behind.


"Oh wonderful,"


I knew that damned rock would do something.

However, the only path had to be through there, if the statues really were just another distraction. Of course, there were other, more imminent distractions. The gas. Green and sickly, and with a familiar smell. He stepped closer, just to make sure, and it became easier to see the path out. "If I'm correct, and I often am, this one'll suffocate you lot. Me... I'm not so sure, but I'd rather not take the risk." He looked at the small wizard, the way he reacted to the gas, and nodded.

At least the mage's not stupid.

"Do as Wilmet, cover your mouths with some kind of cloth and get to ground, but don't crawl, just bend down. Go past the rock and keep moving as far as you can. If someone knows some kind of wind-spell, they could keep it at bay for a little while, but moving is the best thing to do-- cough."

James felt his throat hurt, and stopped talking, closing his mouth and taking a breath of clean air at the lower parts of the room. He found an empty vial in his pocket and took a sample of the gas before following his own advice, and running past the trap and as far as he could get. He stopped at the fork, hesitating.

I just want to go somewhere with fresh air.

If he had a torch, he could see where exactly they were headed. He opted to stand aside and wait for the result of one of those with a light, who had surely managed to move past him during the time he had spent taking a sample.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Jerking back and coughing Thalith waves his hands in front of his face and roars out as he gets a face full of whatever this is. Waving his hands in front of his face more and moving away from it he looks into the area they had just opened and lurches into it. Someone was talking behind him but after getting a face full of a trap AGAIN he was not in the mood for listening as he stamps forward making the ground shake under his forward movement.

Glaring at the stone he had just moves Thalith pulls his fist back and slams it into the center of it, wanting to roar his anger but keeping his mouth closed and holding his breath as best he can. Rushing past the stone into the hall it had shown and looks at the littler person he had talked at a bit ago about the statues. Looking back the goliath shakes his head and waves his hand in front of his face again, more angry now than he had been with the fireball in his face.

Stopping close to the little person who had gone down this hall first Thalith makes fists with both his hands unconsciously, feeling the edges of his control which was never that great at this, getting thinner as the always bubbling rage inside him comes closer to the surface.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
As things unfolded Charles looked at the vents and the gas spewing from them, held his breath, and walked into the now open passage as the Goliath was doing something. Thinking carefully he remembered the writings and noticed the gas was rising. Clever. He bowed down as the goliath approached and motioned with one of his hands for the goliath to do the same.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Poison gas! Slightly cliche but Godric knew how effective it was. Even the mightiest warrior or most mystical sorceror had to breathe. The others were covering their faces and dropping low to the ground, Godric did the same, bringing part of his travelling cloak to cover his mouth and nose.

Wilmet was motioning with his staff for all of them to drop to the ground, it seemed like a good idea. Heading out of the room as everyone else was doing also seemed like a good idea. Godric thought he heard the small one, James, try and speak to the others, but Godric was too busy shuffling past the trap to really hear him over the commotion and coughing. He caught up to the others at the fork in the tunnel where it was clear the mighty Goliath was struggling to keep a handle on his rage. It was understandable, all that strength wouldn't help in a situation like this.

"Let's not hang about here," He said, moving through the group and heading towards the right hand passage at the fork, "We shall survive what this place throws at us, but for now we must press on. Doubtless there will be more traps to discover and evade." Waving the group to follow after him.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh noticed everyone jumping down the chasm. Andria wasn't moving, so to her it was best to stay with the rest of the group than gather dust next to the flesh totem.

So she instinctively jumped, which was actually a terrible idea. See that only made the falling distance larger, and even though her speed had been artificially slowed, it only made her panic midway down that the extra foot or two would result in shattered kneecaps.
In the end that didn't happen, instead she bent her legs a bit too far, and by the time she was busy tripping over herself the group had found themselves somewhere new.

Clodagh had looked up and Charles was waving a glowing sword around. It helped illuminate the area while people took turns deciphering a language completely alien to her. More people started talking about the discovery, and Thalith was ruminating while pushing blocks around. Clodagh was just about ready to find a seat and do some rumination of her own, over how she's realistically going to explain disappearing for the night to her brother.

Then, out of nowhere a hissing noise kicked Clodagh back into the situation. An annoying hissing to be precise. The type that you hear and its so sudden it makes you feel your brain between your ears. There were vents next to the slab Thalith had moved, and some sort of gas was coming out of it. It looked putrid, and the others did not like the look of it. One of them bandaged cloth over his mouth and started to move, but then he dropped to the floor.

"Ah, shit" Clodagh said very audibly. She looked around and jogged back to the hole they had dropped out of. Maybe there was a way back up, or something. She reached up into the air and nothing happened. "Oh shit I'm gonna die" she realized in a blunt, monotone fashion.
Then she heard James speak.
"Do as Wilmet, cover your mouths with some kind of cloth and get to ground, but don't crawl, just bend down. Go past the rock and keep moving as far as you can. If someone knows some kind of wind-spell, they could keep it at bay for a little while, but moving is the best thing to do-- cough."
James begins to splutter, and Clodagh, well, she didn't want anyone to die, but if he's the casualty of the operation she can't say she'll mourn him. So running out of options and probably brain cells, Clodagh does as he says and pulls out a handkerchief. But then realizes it probably wouldn't cover both her mouth and nose, so she started feeling up around herself for some loose clothing to rip off. She was wearing nothing but patches and sewn clothes, which was great, except after months of wear and tear this particular garment has had every spare end wrapped up and bound in leather straps to stop exactly what she was trying to do from happening. Not even Clodagh's hood would wrap around far enough to cover her face.

She looked up and the gas was practically on her. She dropped to her knees and took a big gulp of air.
"socks"She said, exasperated. Clodagh practically ripped off her boots and slid the horrible pair of cloth off. She then put her boots back on, hunkered down, and started dragging herself forward with one hand that was glued to her face, scrunching the socks and handkerchief.

"Let's not hang about here, we shall survive what this place throws at us, but for now we must press on. Doubtless there will be more traps to discover and evade."
She heard being called from a distance, and by the time the gas had hit her she just had to keep moving in the direction of the voice. Honestly if the gas got her on account of the cloth filter not working, at least Clodagh's nose would appreciate an end to the hell it was being subjected to...
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
James was the first down the tunnel and should have been the first to see what lay beyond. Unfortunately, before James could take stock of his position, his vision went black. A moment later, he felt three sensations; a sharp pain around the crown of his head, a burning sensation on his head, and something wrap around his throat and squeeze. Needless to say, this was decidedly unpleasant.

Thalith - the second down the tunnel - got a much better view. The right and left forks were largely identical and seemed to bend around and probably meet at the other side. Two large doorways were 90 degrees up the two forks. The only obvious difference between the two passageways was that the right passage was covered in a thick brown fungus. Of course, more pressing was the large, black, squid-like thing that had dropped on top of James from the shadows in the ceiling.


Back at the lobby, the green gas was still flowing into the area, but because of the entryway in the ceiling it was flowing out as fast as it was flowing in. While the cloth didn't seem to help much, by staying ducking down a bit, the effects of the gas trap could be avoided entirely. Wilmet was effectively immune to the trap as the gas never dropped low enough to threaten him unless he jumped into it.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James couldn't believe what was taking the others so long.

How did I...

His vision went dark, and he felt pain in the entirety of his head. His crown stung, a burning sensation covered the rest of his head, and something trying to strangle him. He would have screamed, had this something not also covered his eyes.

What is this thing?!

It had to be some sort of creature, with the way it moved. A creature on top of his head, trying to strangle him.

Accursed creature! No no, wait, I have to be... have to be calm. Calm. James, calm.

Yet he couldn't quite feel calm. He knew that if he didn't act quickly, it really would choke him. He brought his hand up, trying to push it away. The others would probably leave him, he'd be all on his own. Or they would watch as he died, though, if they did, he hoped they choked on the poison-gas.

What happened next only took about a second. Cursing in his mind, growling to himself -it was the only thing he could do with his mouth closed- James drove his head into the wall, backwards so that the creature would feel it, though attempting to do it carefully not to hurt himself. It was a sudden movement of instinct, though it didn't make the pain go away. However, it allowed him to calm down a little, think. The hold around his neck kept him mostly panicked though. If what he felt around his crown was teeth, the things around his throat would be limbs.

Which means its brains will be right over my own head. Probably.

At least the burning sensation made it possible to pick out where it came from. He grabbed one of his daggers -not like he would forget them in his belt, even if he was blinded at the moment- and tried to stab the creature.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Still holding onto his anger just barely Thalith starts to pull it more under control when he sees the person who had gone ahead of him being attacked by something dark. It was grabbing onto his neck and wrapped around his head. Staring at it for one long second Thalith jumps forward roaring out a battle cry and lets himself fall into rage. His already amazing strength got a huge boost as he sees whoever it was being attacked slam themselve into the wall and try to stab whatever it is. Grabbing onto to the thing and crushing it in his hand the stone Goliath grabs the man it is on a bit lighter and pulls on the thing hard.

Inside Thalith a battle for control rages, the rage he is in wanting to kill not only the thing attacking his party member but also the member himself, wanting to split him and all the rest who have come into this hall with him with his axe. But on the other side he knows killing team mates is one of the worst things to do. So as the fight inside and out rages on Thalith rips on the dark thing hard and slams it down, using his fists to pound that spot of flooring over and over, each punch sending vibrations through the floor.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Of course things got worse, as they so often tended to do, and a black squid-like creature dropped from the ceiling onto James' head. Wilmet racked his brains for a second before placing a name to the thing. Darkmantle. A worry that more could be lurking in the dark above glanced through his mind before swiftly being replaced by the fear that the now rampaging Thalith might step on him.

Fortunately the Thalith seemed in control of itself enough to focus its aggression on the creature and not on James himself, brutally stomping it into paste. Still with that threat removed if he didn't manage to control himself then the party would be faced with a much larger threat.

Carefully Wilmet prepared a sleep spell, difficult though it was while lying on the cold ground, ready to loose it if the Thalith wasn't able to reign himself in.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
James bashed his head - and by extension the monster - into a wall to limited effect. The rubbery nature of the monster des tributes the blow effectively, rendering it meaningless. This rubbery nature however didn't protect it from the following stab wound. The creature had little defense from the daggers blade save the awkward angle of the attack. Still, the blade cut deep into one of its free tentacles. A spirt of jet-black ichor shot from the wound as did a screech did from its mouth around James's head. While the screech hurt his ears, it did offer an opportunity as the beast's hold on him loosened.

While James couldn't take advantage of this, he was not alone. Thalith - his rage finally bubbling over - ripped the creature from his ally's head, leaving James covered in digestive juices but free. Thalith squeezed down on the creature but found it slick and hard to get a grip on. Further, the creature was hardly without options for escape. With a screech, an unnatural darkness settled over the area, blinding all but those adept at seeing in the dark. James - being both present and capable of such feats - saw the creature slip from Thalith's hands and skitter off down the right passage.

Before the darkness settled however, Wilmet spotted something of note about the creature; it had a symbol burned into its side. It had been branded by some unknown being or beings. The symbol was a triangle divided into three equal parts, each part featuring an eye on a hand, a scythe crossed with a dagger, and a sword over a circle.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"What the hell was that thing?!" Exclaimed Godric, approaching the group and gripping his sword tightly with both hands and holding it out in front of him in an attempt to ward off further attack from the dark creature. It had fled before Thalith could turn it into mashed chunks, but was surely hiding before securing another opportunity to ambush the group. "Where are you?" He cried out to the group as the creature let out a screech and darkness fell over the area, blocking his vision.

Godric held his sword closer to himself, without being able to see it was irresponsible to be waving it around, but the creature may attack again and was sure to lurk nearby. "Everybody draw weapons!" He barked, "This foul creature will no doubt attempt to strike again, and cannot be far away!"

He hoped the others still moving clear of the gas chamber had caught up to them, or managed to get to safety without being caught in this foul distraction. Straining to hear for the slightest movement from the creature, Godric held himself completely still.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James rubbed his neck, breathing heavily and eyes wide as he stepped away from the giant and tried to gather himself. He looked at the creature that had tried to , it felt familiar to him, probably because Jonathan would have known what it was. Some sort of... creature. However, it was not that which scared him the most now. It had stressed him, he had felt panic grasp as his senses. However, it wasn't until now that he felt like curling up.

He was terrified of the goliath. And he couldn't seem to push that fear away. Even as he saw the darkness fall, and his instincts told him to attack the small, slippery creature, not let it get away, he hesitated. The knives he threw, 2 small -but extremely sharp- throwing knives, were aimed perfectly, and he was lucky not to have his hands shake, were more of an afterthought. A way for him to feel like he wasn't as pathetic and cowardly as he felt. It was an empty reassurance.

"Everybody draw weapons! This foul creature will no doubt attempt to strike again, and cannot be far away!"

One of the armoured guys said. If he had gotten a name, he couldn't conjure it up, though that could just be the fear. God, that goliath thing wasn't going to come closer, right? It'd just, kinda, stay angry over in its own corner, right?

"I-it went to the right," he said. "I threw some knives, but it's quick, so I don't... I don't know if they hit." He closed the larger of the coats tighter around himself, feeling some sort of safety from it. Safety from the big guy, and his anger. While he wasn't curled up, his body language was closed and his heart was beating.

"I'll... keep an eye on it, since I can see it. We should just move, the gas is... p-probably still a threat." He hated that he couldn't force the frightened stutter away. Not sufficiently enough to not seem fine, at least. However, he did as he said he would, keeping an eye out for whether his knives had hit, and, if not, the creature would try to attack them again.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet caught only a brief glance of a strange mark on the creature before it vanished into a cloud of magical darkness. The mark itself was not one he recognized, though it seemed made up of the holy symbols of various deities, Vecna, Erlin, and Sarameous to be specific. All gods or goddesses tied to death in some way, though Vecna's portfolio was secrets the god was a lich, Erlin was specifically the god of death and undeath, and Sarameous was a goddess of war and violence, as well as rule by strength. Not the most pleasant trio all things considered. Odd that such a creature would bear that kind of a mark, something to think about.

Careful not to raise his head to far Wilmet crawled out of the gas room, before standing to join the others. He was lower to the ground than them and they were so far unaffected by the toxins out here so it seemed safe enough for now.

"Did we lose anyone?" he asked "we should proceed carefully, I have a suspicion something is going on here, that creature was marked with religious symbols and nothing too pleasant. It is hardly intelligent enough to threaten us much though, and if it comes back we will be ready for it, so I see no need to go rushing after it. That said James is right, we should make some effort to distance ourselves from the gas."
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Raising his hands above his head and bringing them down on the ground in a double fisted slam Thalith roars his rage to the ceiling after the creature had gotten away. His rage growing inside him because of the escape the Goliath can feel himself wanting to cut his way through his enemy's with a desire that would make everyone around him an enemy. Tightening his fists he ignores the people coming out of the gas and glares at where the earth was cracked in his punching.

"I-it went to the right, I threw some knives, but it's quick, so I don't... I don't know if they hit."

Spinning around and glaring down at the small person who had been originally attacked by it Thalith can feel an insane smile stretching his face and he starts to laugh loudly, it echoing out of his chest. Pulling his Greataxe off his back he takes a step towards the little person who had backed away from him, looking past him into the hallway and starts walking with his axe ready. Moving towards the way his Enemy had gone mostly ignoring the people behind him now as his every sense stretches out searching for the escaped thing.

Making his way down the hallway Thalith can feel an oppressive cold making it hard to move, his breath fogging out white in front of him as he narrows his eyes, feeling it sapping his strength. A dozen feet down the hall he glares at the doorway ahead and shakes his head hard, turning back and stomping back towards the group more angry than before but his rage leaving him making him tired.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh kept moving along, breathing through her mouth as the gas began to dissipate. She heard yelling, and stabbing noises. James was yelling, and she closed her eyes and just kept edging along, keeping to the wall so as to not get the attention of whatever monster the others had to deal with.

Before she knew it the gas was all but gone, and she was able to stand up properly again, dust herself off, and put her socks back in their rightful place (making a mental note to unceremoniously burn them later). As Clodagh looked around, she squinted in the dark, and heard a jaunty sort of voice,
"Did we lose anyone?"
"Everybody draw weapons! This foul creature will no doubt attempt to strike again, and cannot be far away!"
Clodagh's ears glossed past the first question, almost subconsciously, but heard that second statement and dutifully obeyed, wondering what could possibly be their enemy. James looked awfully flustered, meanwhile the others were being highly vigilant. If it was something big the group would have seen it by now, but small?

"Oh...fuck." Clodagh double checked and found it wasn't there. She could have sworn she had brought a knife, but it either had been dropped earlier or she was misremembering, it was impressive though that while none of her clothes would rip away earlier, the single item that could have torn them away easily was now missing. "Sorry. I-I don't have a weapon." She said meekly.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"we should proceed carefully, I have a suspicion something is going on here, that creature was marked with religious symbols and nothing too pleasant. It is hardly intelligent enough to threaten us much though, and if it comes back we will be ready for it, so I see no need to go rushing after it. That said James is right, we should make some effort to distance ourselves from the gas."

James nodded, he thought what he had said made sense as well. He was about to move towards the other door, when he suddenly was rushed by the Goliath from behind, getting pushed into the wall as he barely stepped out of the way. Rather than yelling at the creature, being angry and cursing, the fear from before overtook him, and he found himself headed the other direction, shaking violently. He wanted away, he hoped the Goliath was walking right into another trap and got himself murdered, anything to keep it away from him.

"Sorry. I-I don't have a weapon."

That doesn't bloody matter now, does it?!

He thought in his mind. Sure, the girl was probably thinking about the common good, but either the big guy was going to crush the thing completely, or he would get its attention, neither was a reason to interfere. Still shaking, arms put around himself as he struggled to breathe completely, James simply opted to lead the way into the other doorway. With a quiet voice, he only said one word.

"Here." Then he walked quickly, almost ran, trying to keep an eye and ear out for any traps -especially now that his senses felt heightened from the fear- wanting nothing more than to curl up and be alone, or even better, be safe. He wished Jonathan was there, that the other could just take over his body and mind and control it, handle it for him like he had done with so many of his problems. However, he was all alone, left to fend for himself. And it terrified him.

I have to get that... that monster, out of the group.

Else he would be done for it, he was sure of it. In his mind, there was only three ways to do that; persuade the others of that the Goliath was crazy and couldn't be trusted -he had, after all, triggered every single trap so far-, force the Goliath to leave out of choice, or murdering the damn thing. Well, or wait for this to be over. Feeling his shoulder ache, James knew for sure that he didn't want the other to make it away unharmed, though a confrontation wasn't something he could even consider right now, as he kept heading into safety.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
After he saw everyone pass Charles closed the passage to stop the gas flow and caught up with the others. He arrived in time to see something happening, the others talking, and then darkness infront of him.

He simply asked "What happened?" as he walked into the darkness and listened, moving towards the voice that said "Here."
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
James carefully made his way left and away from the oppressive darkness. As he - and those who followed him - made there way down the passage, the passage turned to the right; it's path clearly continuing around and eventually connecting back to the right passage. A door marked the meeting point of the formerly left and right passages.

Upon reaching the doorway, two things became immediately apparent. First, the room in question had been some kind of workshop. The rooms was littered with the remains of half-complete sculptures and ancient tools of the trade (now turned to rot). Second, they were clearly not the first to breach the chamber, for a dead body in relatively modern, bright-red armor lay on the floor, still clutching his or her rusting longsword.

To his back was a now ruined, simple fountain.

Since this can be somewhat difficult to visualize, I've made a rough map of the scene.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
The anger inside him still roiling around at not being able to kill the enemy Thalith puts his great axe away on his back as he forces himself to calm down. The murderous rage that had stole over him was enough that he had wanted to kill everyone around not just those that threaten him and those with him. Looking around just after getting back to where the rest of the group had stopped just beyond the poison gas the large goliath turns and watches the one who ahd been being attacked walk down the opposite way from where the darkwhatever it had been had gone.

Turning and walking towards the small person Thalith takes a second to close his eyes, the anger inside him making it harder but he reaches out trying to see if anything out there was moving and making itself feel like a threat. Stepping up behind the small man the Goliath leans his head down and makes a noise of surprise when he sees that the small room ahead was a workshop. Walking past the man and into the room he looks around at the broken statues and rotting and rusty tools. Scratching his chin as he looks around. Saying low but it still easily reaching the doorway.

"I wonder what kind of people could create such amazing statues."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
He got a brief while to calm down, and it helped his mind. Of course, it still wasn't enough to make him feel well.

"I wonder what kind of people could create such amazing statues."

Fuck off you destructive maniac.

James simply continued ahead towards the door in the far end of the corridor. ignoring the body and the room altogether, where the Goliath stood. He had no interest in dwelling, as far as he knew, the poison gas was still coming. Walking forwards didn't mean they were safe either, they just had to get out of there. completely. Besides, he would rather have the creature from before bite his head again than rely on the moron. With a sour expression, he hoped the others would follow him and not the giant, they were better off without the creature either way.

"Are you lot coming?!" he yelled out, as he kept walking, keeping an eye out for his surroundings. "I mean, if you truly want to die to poison, then be my guest, but I at least intend to get out of here." When he got to the door, he carefully examined it, if it felt safe, he would try pushing it open.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"I wonder what kind of people could create such amazing statues."

"I'm rather less concerned with the statuary and more with the corpse," Wilmet said, "or rather what killed it."

He moved closer to the body trying to see if the body had any wounds, it was of course possible that they had succumbed to poison whoever they were but assuming that wasn't the case then learning what had befallen them could help the party avoid the same fate. We know there are monsters in here, and something has reset the traps since this poor fool came here. That speaks to intelligence, or perhaps the traps magically reset...

In the meantime James was busy examining the door, clearly eager to press forwards, or perhaps eager was the wrong word. From how he was yelling Wilmet could only assume the lad was frightened, an understandable reaction given their circumstances.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Godric moved over to where Wilmet was examining the dead body.

"I'm rather less concerned with the statuary and more with the corpse, or rather what killed it."

"Red armour, at least this poor soul's enemies couldn't see them bleed. Any dents or piercings in that?" He enquired, wondering just how the poor adventurer had met an end. It might tell them about the nature of a trap in this room, or the strength of a wandering monster. Seeing Wilmet was already checking for such damage he decided not to interfere too much.

Further along the corridor Godric found James about to open the door they had found, speaking in a low voice so the others couldn't hear he tried to offer some advice, "Listen, you've got to slow things down here. I know you're eager to press on, and perhaps eager to be away from some of us, but you already rushed into one dangerous situation and you might end up rushing into another." Hoping some of this was getting through he tried to continue, "There's nothing wrong with taking it slow in a place like this, rushing ahead will get you in danger, rushing ahead without the group will get you killed."

Godric couldn't tell if James was scared or frustrated by recent events, or perhaps it was a little of both. But his attempts to push further into the Cairn while the group stopped to investigate the rooms were only going to lead him into trouble.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Listen, you've got to slow things down here. I know you're eager to press on, and perhaps eager to be away from some of us, but you already rushed into one dangerous situation and you might end up rushing into another. There's nothing wrong with taking it slow in a place like this, rushing ahead will get you in danger, rushing ahead without the group will get you killed."

"That's bollocks an--" he hissed at the other, but then he stopped himself. As difficult and annoying and different as it was, he knew that his best bet in this was staying with the rest of the group. And, since the Goliath had made itself his enemy now, it meant that he had to ensure that he got along with the others. Even people who claimed outrageous things, like him rushing ahead, or putting himself in danger, as if he wasn't already the most careful person there.

James, just bloody do this and then you might get to see the Goliath thrown off a cliff or something. Worst case scenario, you'll still be on good terms with the others, or at least okay ones. Even if you don't get any money or anything like that, it could aid you back at the lake.

But oh, how he loathed the thought of it. How he loathed the thought of forcing himself to get along with simpletons and arrogant jerks. He bit down a little, and looked at the other. It was clear he couldn't lie either, as much as he wanted to just smile and get it over with so that he could back to avoiding people, he simply didn't know how to. So he was forced to rely on one of his feelings, try to appeal in a different manner. Which was better? Being aggressive, or being a coward?

Being honest, I suppose. Ugh. I wish I could just leave. But at least... he doesn't seem to want to hurt me.

That was worth something. It meant he could show a weaker side without being attacked. Hopefully even make some sort of appeal. He could get as worked up as he could, but the fear still sat in him. Fear of the traps, of the Goliath, of never being able to go home. Of being all alone in the world. And he channelled that fear, let it show, looking into the eyes of the knight.

"I know. I know, I shouldn't, I'm just... it's so scary, I can't help it. It's so scary and I try not to stop moving and there's still poison gas, and the Goliath and I'm so so so so scared. And I hate this, I just wanted to get home. Not to the stupid lake, my actual home, and..." he whispered towards the end, though the knight could still hear it, if he was still standing there.

"I don't want to be here, Mr. Knight, I don't bloody want to spend a second more than I have. I thought it'd be fine, I really did, but I had not... I had not thought it was as possible to be as simple-minded as the Goliath, and I honestly think its going to murder me, either by intent or mistake. Please, just help me calm down." His eyes were fixed at the other, almost eerily so, because he didn't know if he should look away or not. Finally, he looked at his feet, starting to realize what he had just admitted to.

Oh god. That was bloody horrible.

So much for trying to seem like a reasonable person.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Wilmet looked over the body, the cause of death quickly became clear. The death was a result of some kind of creature; evident by the four long gashes and one short gash on the front of the armor. The body further showed signs of being picked clean of all "meat". Among these signs was that the skull of the creature had been torn from the body and cracked open on a nearby rock. Despite all of this, the armor was in repetitively good condition; the gashes not withstanding. All of the other equipment was beyond use or repair.

At the door, James could make out no signs of trapping though there were the sounds of movement beyond it. Specifically, it sounded like small waves breaking on a shore. Seemingly safe enough, the door was pushed open to reveal a strange but no unexpected sight. A short staircase descended down from the door to an intersection. While the left and right passages were hidden from view, the area beyond was unmistakable.

The area beyond the intersection consisted of a staircase leading into a large chamber carved out of the stone. The exact size of the chamber and the length of the stairs was indeterminate for the chamber was flooded up to the intersection with what appeared to be water. The water was unquiet and apparently stocked with fish.

In the center of the intersection was a well. It was perhaps two feet in diameter. The rotten remains of a bucket sat next to it. The only other noticeable feature of the area was that it smelled of rot, mold, and a strange, faint acrid sort of smell James could identify as an acidic compound.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"I don't want to be here, Mr. Knight, I don't bloody want to spend a second more than I have. I thought it'd be fine, I really did, but I had not... I had not thought it was as possible to be as simple-minded as the Goliath, and I honestly think its going to murder me, either by intent or mistake. Please, just help me calm down."

"The name's Godric, and you're doing better at this than you think." Said Godric (obviously) as James opened the door. The kid wasn't so bad, he just seemed unused to working with so large a group. Turning his head to look through the now open doorway Godric was surprised at what he heard, "Is that running water?"

Looking down the staircases he could see the well and flooded passageway, "Have we found the source of the lake here?" He asked because of the presence of the well, a flooded chamber in a place like this could mean any number of things, particularly since it seemed to have been inhabited by some civilisation long ago. It was always possible that their means of water storage and distribution had been damaged and flooded certain parts of the Cairn, but the well suggested there had been access to a naturally replenishing supply in this area.

With an odd smell hitting his nostrils, Godric gave the air a couple of sniffs. "I really hope that's not a gelatinous cube I can smell, if they even smell of anything..." Looking back at the rest of the group still examining the body he said, "Finish up there, let's delve further into this place."
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"The name's Godric, and you're doing better at this than you think."

"No I'm not, it's scary how stupid---" he trailed off as the door seemed to open without no hesitation, no trap triggered or key required. Inside was a sight he hadn't expected, water, a well, a rotten smell filling the air. That, and some sort of acidic compound. And fish. And the water seemed far too... alive for somewhere like this. Just processing it made his head hurt, but that may very well be because of the thing that had almost eaten the top of his head.

"Is that running water?"

"It's dangerous," he muttered to himself. "If we're not careful, it'll kill us." It wasn't the acidic smell, or the rotten smell, but the water, and the fish. He didn't like water, he had little experience with it before coming to Diamond Lake, and even then he had avoided it for most of the time. James thought he could swim, from Jonathan's skills passed down to him, but he had never tried. Water was dangerous and unpredictable, it housed things one couldn't possibly deal with without the benefit of being on land.

"I really hope that's not a gelatinous cube I can smell, if they even smell of anything... Finish up there, let's delve further into this place."

"Don't. The water smells acidic, I don't trust those fish and I'm not entering the water without it being tested thoroughly," he stated, crossing his arms. "To test it, perhaps Wilmet can cast some electric spell on it. If it is strong enough, it should be able to sufficiently electrify anything in the relevant area, but if not--" He looked at the water again. Part of him wanted to throw something in it, break off a piece from one of the statues or something and just see if anything large and powerful grabbed it. Another part wanted to curl up and wait for someone else to test the water, out of harm's way. He looked at the knight. The knight, Godric was being useful, not that good at reassuring, but this person seemed calm and charitable.

If I want to get rid of the Goliath, I need useful people around. For as long as it takes.

Besides, he'd never been treated as nicely as this before, and though he'd never admit it to anyone, ever, and even though he didn't need anyone, that did count for something.

So far, I know I need to keep Wilmet around as well.

In a matter-of-factly tone laced with caution and fear, he continued;

"Don't go in it, Godric. Something will try to drown you, I'm sure of it."
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"Don't go in it, Godric. Something will try to drown you, I'm sure of it."

"Don't worry, I wasn't intending to take a swim in that stuff." Godric gently tapped his chainmail, just enough to make a sound, "Besides, I'd probably sink like a stone." Giving a slight chuckle at the unfunny prospect of sinking to the depths of some godforsaken pond, Godric's hand went to the hilt of his sword. Knowing it was there gave him no small measure of comfort.

"When I said delve I didn't necessarily mean we'd dive to new depths through some unknown body of water. Only that we'll explore further into this place." The thought of something in the water made him shudder slightly. Adept as he was at combat, any underwater encounter would have him at a disadvantage against a foe that would surely have no worries about drowning. Even the mightiest warrior needed to breathe.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Thalith was done looking at the statues, their amazing details and their flaws both, were captivating but he knew he had to move on. He could feel a few of the other people he had come with ahead, next to what almost felt like a door when they had opened it. Barely glancing at the dead body and its armor as well as its rusty useless other items. Two people were close to it talking to each other about it but he ignored it, it was useless to him in everything.

Walking out of the door that had lead into where the statues and body was he looked over and saw one of the heavily armored people talking to the little person who had been attacked earlier, and he thought he had also saw something else but he didnt know. These short small people were so hard to read, their bodys and faces small and hard to understand as well as being so weak in body. Walking over towards them he gets close just in time to hear the smaller one say to the armored one something about not going into the water, how it would drown him.

Looking past them Thalith grunts from behind the smaller of the two and he points over them both out into the next room and rumbles.
"Smells like acid. In the well? or a trap? How do we test?"

Thalith frowns as he talks, feeling out with his other sense. Trying to figure out what he is feeling.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles followed as the others moved and still unsure what he had missed carried on, and looked at the body the gnome was examining. When he saw the skull he had a creeping suspicion about the Cairn, and why the man he had found earlier had moved the lantern as he had. If the body had flesh he could check for the pattern it left, even in rot, but without it all he had was a suspicion. The yellow... It was better to check them than risk being torn limb from limb.

He walked to the group around the water and started talking to them, wondering about the smell as he approached. "All of you have weapons? Something you can start a fire with? Have any of you fought the dead before?"
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Killed by a monster and picked clean, an unsurprising death considering the location and one that didn't offer them any particular warnings. Ah well it was to be expected after so long he supposed, at least the man hadn't died to some cleverly concealed trap that they would need to search for. That of course left the groups attention focused on other matters, James seemed most concerned with the water which he claimed was acidic, and the fish which he seemed worried might devour them or some such. Thalith was predictably interested in the statues, which Wilmet had to admit were impressive examples of their culture.

"Don't go in it, Godric. Something will try to drown you, I'm sure of it."

"I might know a spell or two that could electrify the water, might do something about whatever's in it," Wilmet said "it would require me to touch it however, and if it is acidic as you say that could be rather unwise. So long as we don't go wading through it anything in there will have to crawl out to cause us trouble."

"All of you have weapons? Something you can start a fire with? Have any of you fought the dead before?"

Wilmet frowned at this, the undead could be expected in such a place though they took so many forms of such varying strength it was difficult to say they could be prepared to face them. Still he had trained in a temple and come to this place to assist the faithful, it was in many ways his duty to face such a threat should it arise.

"I can conjure flame if required," he said, withholding that he would be better able to conjure the illusion of flame than the real thing "why? Do you sense the undead lurking about?"
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Don't worry, I wasn't intending to take a swim in that stuff. Besides, I'd probably sink like a stone. When I said delve I didn't necessarily mean we'd dive to new depths through some unknown body of water. Only that we'll explore further into this place."

Then what do we do? Where are we supposed to go?

James tilted his head, unsure of how to reply. He didn't know where else they could go, unless there was a path behind the fungi from earlier. However, so far the crypt had been rather symmetrical in his opinion, and if that was the case, the next room would be empty at best. Then again, it could be a trick. Before he replied, the Goliath appeared again, and James very obviously stepped away from the thing -out of its path as well- scowling at the thing's back. He had no reason to talk to him. Besides, he felt a bit of relief as he noticed more people approached, he had gotten out of the way before being forced into a crowd, and that was always good, people being close made him both uncomfortable and very annoyed.

Even if being close to someone as calm as Godric had made him calm down considerable.

"I might know a spell or two that could electrify the water, might do something about whatever's in it. It would require me to touch it however, and if it is acidic as you say that could be rather unwise. So long as we don't go wading through it anything in there will have to crawl out to cause us trouble."

Hesitating with his reply, James muttered at first.

"That's the way we need to go, though. I mean, where else? Unless we're going to fly." He looked at the mage, then at the water, but before he could reply for real, Wilmet was already addressing someone else.

"I can conjure flame if required, why? Do you sense the undead lurking about?"

James looked at the one Wilmet had addressed, the middle-aged man whose name he currently did not know. Could he sense the undead?

It is possible... that's peculiar, though, for someone like that to join a quest for money. It's some sort of magic, religious, I think. Light.

"Can you sense the undead?" Even with Jonathan's knowledge, there was still so much he didn't know beyond a feeling in the back of his mind. "It's strange. How can you sense the presence the undead without seeing, hearing or smelling them? There's taste and touch too, but those don't apply here. Nevertheless, how?" James asked, the pale blue rings around his abnormally large pupils appearing somewhat unsettling in the dim light, especially as they fixed upon the man. "How does that work?" He gave the man a brief moment to reply, before looking back at Wilmet, regardless of if he got a reply or not.

"And Wilmet, I don't think that's the issue," he started, continuing their conversation from earlier as if there had been nothing between now and then, simply because he hadn't thought of the possibility for confusion. He wasn't confused, and that was the most important thing.

"It would take a lot of an acid for it to harm you by just touching it, and the smell isn't that strong. And there's fish there, had it been truly that dangerous, I can't see what kind of fish would live there. Unless they adjusted to it, or have some magical attributes, but even then I can't see it harming you. Although..." He fished out an empty vial from his pocket.

"I don't want to go close to the water, I'm worried something might grab me. But if you want to, you can use this," he fished an empty vial out of his pocket. "--To gather a sample, and I'll check it myself. It won't take long, and you won't have to touch the water, but it's not my fault if it goes the wrong way."
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
"I can conjure flame if required," he said, withholding that he would be better able to conjure the illusion of flame than the real thing "why? Do you sense the undead lurking about?"

"Can you sense the undead? It's strange. How can you sense the presence the undead without seeing, hearing or smelling them? There's taste and touch too, but those don't apply here. Nevertheless, how? How does that work?"

"It's not like that," Charles replied. "I was a hunter some years ago. I've seen signs in the Cairne, not many but enough to suspect their taint." He pointed his blade toward the nearby skeleton, "With the body and the yellow I thought it worth checking if you could fight before going deeper."

Charles sniffed and looked at the water, "I wouldn't trust anything living down here for as long as it's been but I have a faster way." He walked over to the skeleton and looking through it's things he picked up a strip of rotted leather before returning and presenting it to the others. "I'd rather not remove my gauntlets down here, so if one of you could smear some of your blood on this I'll drop it in and we'll know how."
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
"I'd rather not remove my gauntlets down here, so if one of you could smear some of your blood on this I'll drop it in and we'll know how."

Removing one of his gloves, Godric made a small cut to his left little finger, allowing a few droplets of blood to fall onto the rotting leather. "I hope this isn't going to summon something with a taste for my blood." He said in a voice tinged with discomfort. Small as it was the cut would bother him for a little while yet, though he took some satisfaction from knowing none of the other would have to shed blood just yet.

"Conduct your experiment, I'm eager to see the results." Said Godric, motioning Charles to place now bloodstained leather into the water.

OOC: Just moving to a new place so I won't have Internet for about a week or two. Post again as soon as I can.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
"Conduct your experiment, I'm eager to see the results."

Charles nodded and slowly lowered his arm towards the pool before dropping the bloodied leather into the water and retracting his arm. He thought it close enough that anything within the pool that would react to him would react to it acid, fish, or otherwise. The slight smell of blood if he was right would also draw anything present out that was close enough.

He noticed a slight discomfort in the man, if there was no reaction to the leather it would be a simple matter to seal something so slight when he knew it was 'safe.'
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Charles and Godric approached the water, the acrid smell grew until it was nearly overwhelming. That is until they passed the well in the center of the room. After the well, the smell began to decrease ever so slightly. Once they reached the center of the new chamber (near the well), they could see the two chambers off to the left and right.

The left chamber seemed mostly untouched. It consisted of a dozen stone blocks that would have once hosted mattresses. The entire room was overlooked by a single large statue similar in appearance to the man on the sarcophagus above. The right chamber had clearly seen better days however as the whole room appeared to be covered in a sticky yellow substance. Several mounds in the room bore humanoid suggestions. Other, smaller mounds looked to be the remains of fish.

As Godric bloodied the piece of leather and Charles was about to toss the leather into the water, all could hear a new sound; a "clicking" sound. This was shortly followed by a skittering sound. Turning toward the well - for that was where the sounds emanated from - Charles and Godric were faced with what could only be described as a "geyser of beetles".

A geyser of glowing, yellow beetles. A geyser of glowing, yellow beetles who seemed very very hungry.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"It's not like that, I was a hunter some years ago. I've seen signs in the Cairne, not many but enough to suspect their taint. With the body and the yellow I thought it worth checking if you could fight before going deeper."

"Oh. Dull. Though at least it makes sense." He didn't ask about it further, instead resigned to watch as this one decided to do something about the issue at hand. With a glove and the request for some blood, the man conducted some sort of experiment, making the glove a bait for whatever out there that would be interested in attacking.

It should be sufficient.

Though he wasn't going to be the first one to follow the two into the water.

"Conduct your experiment, I'm eager to see the results."

James wasn't sure where he wanted to stand when they did it. On one hand, seeing the result of the experiment would be useful, on the other hand, he still felt like something was off. Very off.

They've gone into the water, and nothing has...

James cringed as he heard the clicking sound, it sounded like something bad, and immediately afterwards a lot of beetles started crawling up the well. Glowing yellow beetles, aggressive, from the looks of it.

There was a corpse... was that them?

He felt the urge to step back and run, but Godric was there, and he was useful. The other man too seemed like it would be a waste if he died.

I don't want to step closer. What would be good... fire, fire should work. I have that bottle of Alchemist's fire somewhere...

"Get out of the way!" he said, forcing himself past the others, though stepped clear of the water. He only needed to get close enough to throw the bottle. Feeling at the bottles in his pocket, he picked out the one who felt like it might be it, and checked the bottle against someone's torch to ensure the colour was correct. Then, he said; "I'm throwing it now, don't get close to the well!" With that, he threw it, aiming for the beetles, figuring that shattering it on the well would be sufficient to at least hit a portion of the beetles.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"I was a hunter some years ago. I've seen signs in the Cairne, not many but enough to suspect their taint."

Wilmet nodded in understanding, not magic simply perception. Good perception he'd grant, followed up with a good idea for testing the water. A glove was volunteered and the water was approached when, quite shockingly, voracious beetles erupted from the well, the smell of acid intensifying as they arrived.

Wilmet took an involuntary step backwards as the beetles arrived, startled by their sudden appearance and somewhat disturbed by the clicking noises. A voracious swarm like this could tear a man to shreds in minutes, and he was much smaller than a man. Still he steeled himself, mind pouring over his prepared spell searching for his memorized collection of arcana for just the signs, words, and energies he might need to face this foe.

"I'm throwing it now, don't get close to the well!"

Or throw a bottle of goop at it, that works too. Still he could appreciate the quick thinking and preparedness on James' part. Sad that it lacked the flash of real magic though.

Burning hands, if they aren't immune to the alchemist's fire it should work on them nicely. He spread his hands before him, the tips of his thumbs touching. The spell covered a small cone with flames, but was short enough (and his allies far enough away) that he had no risk of hitting them. Hopefully this finishes them, I don't much like the thought of being eaten.

Still there was nothing he could do about the range limits, he bit the inside of his lip for a moment then moved forward, just into the edge of range for the swarm and cast his spell. Incantation flowed from his lips and fire sprayed forth from the tips of his fingers at the swarm, adding to the fire already created by James' flask.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Scarabs? Charles eyes went wide as he realized what had happened down here and what he had just drawn out. He tossed the leather towards the chamber with the remains in it and quietly said "move" to himself more than anyone else. Fire in one hand and the other once again drawing his blade he began moving towards the room with the stone blocks. Instinctively he began muttering scripture and prayers to Ezra, asking for her protection and the strength to strike down his enemies as he tried to think of a way to fight the swarm.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
Between James and Wilmet, a torrent of flame washed out over the insectoid mass. The fire proved effective against the beetles, but like a bucket of water against a raging fire there was simply not enough fire to hold back the entirety of the swarm. Still, the fear of fire is an instinctive one and the beetles were little but a mass of instinct. Recognizing the danger of those with fire, the swarm sought out easier prey. Charles' flaming hand kept he and Godric protected and Wilmet and James kept most of the others, but Andria was too far out front. She tried to move back behind Wilmet, but the beetles overtook her. With all the thousands of beetles focused on a single individual, it was barely a second before Andria's movement ceased.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Godric cursed under his breath. His sword would be of little use against the scarabs, and even his armour would only hold off the swarm for a few seconds before that mass of teeth tore him to shreds, just as the poor girl Andria had been. He felt bad for thinking this, but Godric had completely forgotten she was there.

"How long can you keep that up?" He asked Charles, whose use of fire was keeping the swarm well away from them both. It wouldn't matter too much, unless they could incinerate the entire swarm they would eventually be overrun. Godric stepped back with Charles, moving towards the room with the stone blocks, partially to get away from the swarm and partially to keep close to Charles. If they got separated it wouldn't be long before he was a pile of bones on the floor.

"This room we're backing into is safe, yes?"
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Stepping up into the doorway Thalith kept to himself as people talked about the water and undead. So many things had been going on quickly but most of it was uninteresting to him so he ignored them. turning away from the doorway to look back where they had come from Thalith jumped a little and spun around as something made its way up the well, something weird.

As the beetles made their way up and out of the well, then took down one of their party and killed as well as ate her, Thalith could feel his rage bubbling up in his body. Starting to reach back for his axe and stopping because it would be no use he made fists and they cracked like breaking stones as he stepped forward, ignoring those ahead and around as they threw fire and got ready to run and fight.

Roaring out right behind the people who had been standing ahead of him Thalith threw himself forward and jumped, bringing his hands down in a double overhead slam onto the floor. the slam as well as the jumping landing made the ground shake as he slammed himself into where the beetles are.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James cringed as he watched the beetles eat a person, -though luckily not one of the ones he considered useful- only biting his tongue so that he was sure he would not say anything to make the creatures take note of him. Or scream. One or the other. A little tingling in the back of his mind told him that this was perfectly natural, that this was how these beetles acted. However that didn't stop him from shaking, wondering if he should take out his second alchemist's fire or depend on those capable of creating fire from magic.

It's too late for me to throw it now that they've spread this far, isn't it? The floor is filled with water.

He stepped a little closer to Wilmet, who seemed to be the safest person to be around right now. Carefully tugging at the short mage's hat, he spoke. "Uhm, don't stop, even if it kills you. They've... the water would make my fire go out, so I can't help, but they won't come for us if there's fire." He got slightly startled by that "guy"'s roar and indistinctly stepped aside as the Goliath leaped past him, though he was not very surprised to see the Goliath run head-first into danger. Again.

I suppose he would be safer... but they're acid beetles, right? They must have... well, acid. I suppose this is working out well, then. Perhaps they have abilities that will erode him. Perhaps they will kill each other. That would be perfect.

Then all the danger would go away. For now, at least.

"The Goliath won't get eaten, so just focus on the beetles that are away from him, he'll act as bait. Besides, we need to protect Godric and that other man, they're useful," James told the mage, it was true so technically no one could accuse him of trying to get his "team-mate" killed. Of course, the frightened yet triumphant smirk on his face might give away his true intentions.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
"The Goliath won't get eaten, so just focus on the beetles that are away from him, he'll act as bait. Besides, we need to protect Godric and that other man, they're useful,"

Wilmet found James' enthusiasm about putting a party member in danger somewhat disturbing, but now was not the time to comment on it. Particularly not when he needed to keep his mind and words focused on the incantations and manipulations of arcana that sustained his magic. In truth he could only keep the spell going for a matter of seconds longer but there was no break in his incantation for him to relate such. Besides the Goliath was capable of great surges of movement and he did not wish to risk his flames falling on an ally.

Instead he nodded sharply to James' suggestion, and then jerked his head back as if to indicate they should keep moving away. His fires were certainly more intense than those of a torch but they would not last nearly as long without catching some other fuel alight. Perhaps an illusion... but I could only make an image of fire, not the heat so it might not fool the beetles.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles not focusing upon anything other than his movements and the beetles missed the unfortunate event of the girl get consumed by them or perhaps he ignored it for the time being. It wasn't as if he could do anything about it. So many beetles. He heard the other man speak and broke his quiet chanting to respond with a "For as long as they can't tell the difference between it and theirs." And to the second question he stated quickly "Safer than here," unsure as to how safe it would be if not for the beetles moving upon them.

Charles without thought returned to his praying as he saw the Goliath moving towards the beetles. Still trying to wave off the beetles with his torch Charles continued to move into the room with the stone blocks.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
The beetle swarm continued its assault, now fully focused on the giant stone monster in their midst. It only took them a few seconds to realize the stone man didn't really qualify as food. In fact, after a few attacks the swarm seemed to avoid him whenever possible as though the swarms instinctual intellect told them to be wary of the stone foe. Unfortunately, while Thalith was all but immune to the beetles (save the occasional acid blast), his attacks were also little more than inconvenience to the swarm. Sure his attacks could kill a few, but he could hardly stem the tide of beetles.

Due to Wilmet's flames, the beetle swarm continued to avoid those at the top of the stairs. However, Godric and Charles soon found their defense was shrinking. The beetles were less afraid of the limited torch light protecting two juicy meals. A few of the beetles managed to bite the pair before they were pressed back into the chamber. They were only a pace inside before the swarm backed off; skittering almost angrily at the doorway. For whatever reason, the swarm left them alone.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Though bitten a couple of times by the scarabs, Godric and Charles had managed to avoid being eaten alive. For unknown reasons they did not pursue them through the doorway, and although he was pleased not to have met a grisly fate Godric could not relax just yet. The swarm kept away yet maintained a presence like a chained guard dog snapping at a nearby intruder.

"Although I'm glad not to have been devoured by those awful things, I'm worried what in here would keep those things from passing through the doorway." He said, partially to Charles and partially to himself. Studying the doorway for warding sigils, he hoped that was the reason for keeping the scarabs at bay. The alternative could be much more dangerous.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh grunted and pinched herself in order to stay awake. It wasn't that exploring the tombs were boring or anything, far from it. It's just... well who knows how long the party had been in this tomb? She was probably waking up after a crap night's sleep this time yesterday. The whole miasma event wasn't appreciated, nor was Rigid As A Plank Andria, but she pressed on, beleaguered.

She was also fully intending to help with that well situation. She felt a spark going up her back at the thought of zapping whatever was down there... but it sounded like work, and Clodagh wasn't going to just reveal her powers--"under no circumstances" she heard her brother's voice exclaim-- especially when more capable people were leading the party (and also getting into danger doing so).

In retrospect Clodagh probably should have been more assertive. She didn't really know Andria, but not even looking, just being in the vicinity of her death made this whole experience feel very very real all of a sudden, moreso now than ever. She ran for the nearest wall, splashing herself with the film of water underfoot, and clambered onto a column about half the height of her and looked around. A fire shot up and the swarm scattered. Clodagh realised that in order to stay alive she should stick to Charles, and that's exactly what she was attempting.


From the crumbled pillar she had perched herself on the rest of the group was out of sight, but she could see that swarm wasn't paying her any mind. It was busy attacking Charles and Godric, but as the two of them entered some sort of nearby passage it stopped and the swarm dissipated and went their separate ways. She was going to make a noise to get Charles' attention, but figured the glowing swarm would notice. It was frustrating. There she was. If they popped their head out of the doorway and looked straight to their right she'd be right there, but they won't, and Clodagh couldn't blame them. Who knows where the others are, but the bugs were nowhere near Clodagh anymore, so that was good.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles quietly began examining the chamber he was in, noticing that the scarabs weren't following. So they were either trained or there was an enchantment. Or there was something else in here. That needed to be his second concern. He looked down at himself and noticed the beetles had tried to get him, had gotten him a bit. He felt fine though, he had been in worse, he'd be fine. Second concern. He looked at Godric and asked "Did they get you? Any burning?" Second concern. He saw the fire and the Goliath from the doorway, what about everyone else?

Anything within the chamber would already know they were there with the fighting and if they were all that was left there wasn't much of a way back towards the entrance. He spoke over the noise of everything out towards the beetles and everyone else "Is everyone still alive?" Second concern.

Not waiting for a response, "Watch the door." Charles started walking further into the chamber, watching for anything even resembling an abnormality. Watching the floors and the stones and the statue, and when there wasn't anything else the ceiling. One would be surprised how many things you could find on a ceiling in a tomb.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Raising his hands above his head again and bringing them down on the annoying things making him itch Thalith roared his anger and displeasure as he smashes another half dozen. Jumping up and landing right in front of the doorway he backhands the small group that had started piling up in front of it. Turning back into the room and bringing both hands down cracking the floor the large goliath can feel the rage draining away. Straightening and shaking his hands free of the goop and bug pieces now covering them he starts to leave towards the rest of the group that had retreated when he sees that someone had not gotten into the next room. Looking around and frowning the large rockman walks over towards one of the stubby broken pillars and looks at the girl sitting on it almost head height with him.

"Want some help?"
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
"Want some help?"
Clodagh spun around and saw the large Golem looking right at her.
"U-um yes. Thank you." she mumbled, clambering down and fast pacing it towards the nearby doorway. Inside she saw Godric and Charles doing whatever they were doing, and she saw a stunning lack of bugs, which was great.

She turned around and wanted to asks the rock-person a lot of things. Like what his name was, what he ate... what he did with the waste-- but that could all wait. She just cleared her throat and asked "Where are the others?"
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
All things said and done, the battle was going poorly for the beetles. The only food that wasn't dangerous or out of their reach was apparently as appetizing as the the stone they skittered around on. Seeing this as no easy meal, the swarm began to disperse into the room opposite where Charles and company had entered or back into the well until the more tasty morsels returned.

Meanwhile, Godric searched the doorway for signs of magic but his search was in vain. If there was some magic keeping them back, it wasn't around the doorway. For Charles' part, the room seemed to be exactly as he saw it. There were a number of stone blocks - each at knee height and a little over 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. The room was dominated by the vaguely inhuman statue at the far end; it's stern gaze apparently looking out over the entire room. A small alter sat before it suggesting it had religious significance, but no other details seemed obvious.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Wilmet wiped the sweat from his brow as the swarm dispersed, by his reckoning there might still be enough beetles to prove a threat later but for now they'd been driven off. Good thing too as his preparations of burning hands were exhausted for the time being.

"Is everyone alright?" he asked, glancing down at the fallen he added "Everyone still standing that is."

It was a shame to lose companions like this, and he commended their souls for their bravery, but they had little time to dwell on such things at present. Adventuring was a dangerous business after all, there would be time enough for mourning once they had made their way out of the dungeon.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
"Is everyone alright? Everyone still standing that is."

James looked at the other, then at the beetles, and then motioned towards the room that seemed to repel them. "No use mourning over the foolish. Get going already, they're just waiting for us to be an easier target." Doing his best to make sure Wilmet went along, he ran over to the safe place. James then looked at the others in the room, groaning over the fact that the Goliath was just taking... so much room. He scowled.

Why couldn't it just have died already?

And now that the thing had saved the remaining girl, it seemed it might have won her favour, which could mean making the other realize how dangerous and stupid the thing was would prove difficult. He looked at Godric, making sure the knight was okay -he also looked at the man whose name he didn't know yet, he too could be useful and should be protected- and folded his arms.

"Anyhow, is there a way out of here?" He glanced before him, where he saw a quite large statue, an inhuman one with a threatening gaze. There was an altar in front of it, and it reminded him of something he had read before. He muttered it under his breath.

"Let those who would pass, show humility before Zosiel."

Did we ever do anything with that text? Is it even significant?

It could be worth a shot. "So, is this related to the other statues? Is this Zosiel? Or is it just a statue with some sort of switch on it?" He kept muttering to himself, making his way towards it to examine it further, being careful not to trigger anything, speaking so quietly it probably sounded like gibberish to anyone else. However, he needed to say it aloud, if only to himself. He needed to hear his own voice, and make sure he was okay.

"Does it have any writing on it? Is it the thing keeping the beetles from entering? Why? Is it a trap? Is it safety? Does it have any significance, or have we wandered into the wrong room? Is that my fault? If we've walked the wrong place, and she died, did I murder her? Does that matter? She was a weak-link, unable to act, she shouldn't have come if she was this unprepared... and I didn't kill her. I warned them, I said there was something bad here. I thought it was in the water, but at least I tried... No, no, this isn't helping, I don't care about someone like that. I need to look for bad stuff, because I don't think the others are capable of doing it."
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As James began to search the statue, the fatigue he felt from the expedition suddenly dawned on him. And why wouldn't he feel tired. It HAD been one deadly challenge after another; something people were not built for. More and more, those stone blocks seemed almost inviting to his increasingly tired mind. For a moment, he even thought the statue had glowed and turned it's head to look at him in his delirium. Glancing back at the rest of the group, some of them seemed to have a similar mindset. Godric and Clodagh were similarly glancing at the stone tables as if judging the amount of comfort they offered.

The rest of the group were clearly not working as hard as the three of them since they looked ready for another battle. Heck, some of them were even drawing weapons and spells like there was some kind of threat. Sure the statue was now in the middle of the room, hoisting a glaive high above it's head, but that was just the sleep deprivation playing tricks on the mind. Really, sleep was just the best option.

What's not to get. James didn't properly show respect to the statue and so the statue is quite angry. Some of you - James, Godric, and Clodagh - may have fallen victim to a particularly mean-spirited ability it has to make people exhausted. Needless to say, the statue moved into the middle of the room and is trying to cut you apart with a vicious looking glaive.
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Turning to look through the doorway after the girl he had asked a question of Thalith blinks as a stone statue starts to move. Blinking several more times as he takes in the fact a STATUE was moving he suddenly realizes that its holding a glaive and seems to know how to use it. Jerking forward towards the man who had been feeling off to him this whole time like he hates him or some such nonsense he grabs the back of his shirt and tosses him backwards into the wall there as he pulls his greataxe out. Roaring at the statue and bringing the axe overhead Thalith lets himself drop into the rage inside his heart for the second time and brings his axe down towards the statue in front of him using his entire might.
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Sleep, sleep is what I need. Thought Godric, feeling his eyelids start to droop. His armour felt heavy, his legs tired. He pretended to inspect a stone table just so he could check how comfortable it might be to sleep on. Such was his tiredness that his head was starting to drop too. In his weary stupor Godric could almost swear a statue had moved into the centre of the room and adopted an aggressive stance.

No, this is... wrong. That statue was different, dangerous. Every fibre of his being wanted to sleep, to slow down and rest. Yet a quiet voice at the back of Godric's mind was shouting at him to resist, to draw his sword and defend himself. Something here wants me to sleep, to make me vulnerable. I cannot sleep.

Drawing his sword and attempting to stand up, Godric found his reactions to be lethargic. He would struggle to defend himself if he couldn't make himself more alert. Pounding his chest with a fist and crying, "COME ON!" Godric was able to rouse himself somewhat, it still wasn't enough to make him as alert as he should be. Raising his sword for battle, he was Thalith strike the statue.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Still muttering scripture, Charles eyes went wide as he saw the statue begin to move. This is what the beetles were avoiding. Mildly fascinated he watched as it drew a weapon and old trained reflexes began to kick in as the thing, whatever it was approached the others. He took a step back away from it, dropped his torch, and readied his shield.

Something looked like it was wrong with the others. The goliath was moving though and Godric was shouting.

Charles charged at the creature as cautiously as one could while charging. As he moved his blade developed little white flames, and when he reached the creature he brought it down on the thing as hard as he could. It would be Ezra's enemy. He knew little of it but he was sure of that. He didn't know what it was but she would protect him from it.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James felt himself grow sleepy, and though there was an inkling of something in the back of his mind, something he was supposed to do, it didn't really stop him from yawning. He saw the statue, but he felt indifferent to what it was doing, only a mild curiosity stayed as sleepiness covered him like a blanket and made his shoulders feel heavy and warm. With a yawn, he started walking away, hoping to find a nice corner to curl up in and go to sleep, somewhere he'd not get hurt.

I wonder why the others aren't sleeping...and what's with the statue?

Regardless, he felt that it did not concern him. Suddenly, something dragged James by his outer coat and tossed him into the wall, his head and shoulders and everything hurting. There was a sound of glass breaking, and though he was unsure of which of the containers it was, it would appear that whatever it was wasn't fluid. Drowsily going through his pockets, he found the small, thin vial that had been filled with a herb needed for a strengthening potion was broken, and he sighed, the herb didn't react well with air, it had a habit of quickly decomposing. Opening another vial, one with a liquid made for the same purpose, he put the herbs into it and shook it.

How long was it? A couple of minutes, right?

There was probably a better time for it, but James felt sleepy. He'd put this together, drink it, and hope it was enough to keep him awake long enough to find whoever -he had a suspicion of who it was- and smack the back of his head. He still had a bit of an issue trying to find out exactly why the statue had seemed off... still affected enough by the affliction inflicted upon him to not put the moving statue with a weapon, and the yelling of the others, together.
 

IFS

New member
Mar 5, 2012
1,776
0
0
Oh dear, this wasn't good. The statue appeared to have a curse or magical trap of some sort on it, as evidenced by the sudden exhaustion that seemed to have fallen over a few of the group. It also bore a far more obvious enchantment causing it to become animate and hostile. Its a good thing we brought an angry rock of our own, he thought as Thalith charged the thing.

His arcane combat magics were largely exhausted, but then he doubted the magical fire he could conjure would be too damaging to this anyways. Far better to call on the divine, and lift my companions beleaguered spirits. He wrapped one hand around his holy symbol and raised it over his head, uttering prayers aloud. He felt the familiar divine energy flow forth towards his allies.

Hopefully this will break the spell that has fallen over them, I'd rather not lose any more of our number.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Thalith began to beat away at the statue, it quickly became clear to all but the sleepy and Thalith that the statue had the power and durability advantage over the stone barbarian. Thalith was no slouch, but he was still a living creature; he knew fatigue and pain where the statue could continue until it's body was worn away. In his rage, Thalith managed to avoid the worst of what the statue could bring to bare, but he still took a nasty blow to his side that managed to crack his stone skin. In return for the blow, he only managed to make minor wounds to the statue.

Fortunately, the endurance of Thalith was not the only advantage of the group. Though Charles did not have the physical power to strike the statue in the same way Thalith could, his magic made the difference. As the divine power crashed into the statue, the statue slowed briefly, the animating energies apparently disrupted by the power of Ezra.

As for Wilmet, his magic spread out over the group, reinvigorating them. While James, Godric, and Clodagh still felt the physical effects of the magically-induced fatigue, their minds were cleared. Freed from the mental restraints, Godric found himself able to continue.

James of course found himself in mild pain from his haphazard toss, but at least his mind was clear. As the alchemical mixture began to take effect, James found his muscles growing tense; almost to the point of pain. By the time his mind cleared, the mixture was nearly at full effect. As it was, he could throw one heck of a punch.

As for which of the two giant stone men duking it out in the center of the room he felt the most angry at...
 

booksv2

New member
Aug 17, 2012
632
0
0
Jumping back and holding his side for a second Thalith roars out and takes his axe in both hands, his eyes filled with rage and even though his side must hurt he ignores it and jumps forward using his impressive muscles. Bringing his axe around in as sharp and small circle as he can he slams it into whatever this things arm, his body tired and hurt but not feeling a bit because of the rage gripping him. The pause that happens giving him enough of an opening to bring his axe down on its arm again and feel the stone cracking under it, some tiny part of himself hoping that it had broken as he slams his body into it trying to force it back as another roar comes from his chest, reverberating through the air and making anyone close want to step back because of the sheer fury of the sound.
 

Josh123914

They'll fix it by "Monday"
Nov 17, 2009
2,048
0
0
Clodagh felt sluggish physically, but for the first time on this entire adventure didn't feel tired mentally. It felt great not feeling that constant pounding sensation on her forehead-- which is to say she was happy not feeling anything. She couldn't enjoy this for long though, as Thalith and the enemy obelisk decided to do battle, Clodagh decided to duck for cover.

Not like electricity would be effective on a pile of rocks anyway.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Ezra judged it. It was to die. Charles back stepped away as the Goliath raged at the statue, trying to avoid being hit by the axe and the Goliath itself. Looking at it, he raised his shield and readied himself to strike again. His chanting became louder as he focused on the statue. It would die.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James never sipped on a potion. He didn't carefully taste it to see if he could feel some of its effects, or see if something was amiss. He downed the thing, because, honestly, if he started thinking more about it, touching it would become far more difficult. He didn't exactly want to think about the risks. However, he was an excellent alchemist, and this potion, like most others, was perfect. Even so, he felt strength running through his body, but his mind was not any clearer than it had been a little while ago.

Too bad it wasn't the "clear my mind" ingredients that got smashed towards the wall.

Not that those existed, James didn't really know how to make a potion like that but still. It wasn't until the wizard did something, muttering prayers, that James' head cleared up. And fuck if he got a shock when it did, getting startled by the fucking stone statue in the middle of the room, fighting the others.

"Oh damn. Fuck!" He felt a jolt run through his body as he realised that he hadn't just been sleepy. "What the bloody hell happened?!" he asked himself, rubbing his temple. It still hurt, but whatever anger he'd held towards the Goliath had been replaced by the feeling of both being a complete moron and the strength still running through his body. "Right, didn't show it respect, right?" He bit his lip. That wasn't his fault, he didn't know how to show respect.

Well, what now?

Clearly, you couldn't just hit a statue anywhere. It probably didn't care if he somehow got the head off or something either, would just keep on moving. And, he wouldn't admit it, but he owed the others the help, most of all the goddamn Goliath, which had either taken the chance to hit him for its own satisfactions, or... it had saved his life.

That's a predicament to be sure. I might owe him an apology. Ugh, what a drag.

James had his pride, though, he wasn't going to just apologise out of nowhere. Besides, whether it was the potion or the headache, he still was pretty pissed at being thrown towards the wall.

So, if the Goliath saved me... the statue. The fucking "Hey please show respect because I'm such a bloody important" statue.

He readied his daggers and ran ahead, hitting not at its neck or back, but attempting to run the blades into the arm wielding the weapon, hoping to break it off by jamming it into the weakest point of the arm. It did, however, require him to run in front of him, taking a bit of refuge underneath those very arms, hoping he'd be quick enough to dodge if it ever brought its weapon down.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
As Thalith struck the statue once more, with James striking the weakened arm, their victory seemed assured. In a desperate attempt to maintain its control, the statue used the last of the strength in its nearly broken arm to parry one of Thalith's heavy blows. Between James' enhanced blow to the statues inner elbow and the massive leverage of Thalith's own blow, the arm crumbled away. The blow was stopped, but the arm was gone.

However, the statue was nothing if not persistent. Even as its primary weapon clattered to the ground, he swung his remaining arm up and into Thalith's face with all the strength the statue could bare. Thalith could hear the sound of stone shattering as the statue's fist connected, though whether it was the sound of the statue's hand breaking, his own face, or both he did not know; for Thalith hit the ground with a second massive crack - this time the floor.

Barely standing, the statue pivoted to James intent on ending the much-more-fragile man then and there. It might have succeeded had it not been for Charles. With the full power of Ezra called to his aid, the priest let free a blast of divine power. And with that, whatever force animated the statue was broken. Held together with little more than its magic at this point, the statue crumbled further until little more than an accidental bust remained.
 

DarkRawen

Awe-Inspiringly Awesome
Apr 20, 2010
1,816
0
0
James shuddered as he thought of what could have happened, even if he was angry about it. Part of him wanted to curl up and cry. However, he pushed himself out of it, and tried to focus on the slightly less pathetic feeling. That changed things up. He only got a few seconds of calm before his mouth went before his mind. He pointed at the Goliath. "Okay, I'm pissed about the fact that you decided that throwing me into the wall was the best way to protect me, but I'm even more angry about the fact that I apparently owe you now. Or actually, forget that, because I'm fairly sure I helped you out a great deal by offing that thing's arm. So we're bloody even, or whatever. You-" he pointed his finger at Charles.

"I owe you too, but I'm not good at saying thank you, so just assume I've already done it. I mean, I've acknowledged it out loud, so what more could you possibly want?" He huffed, and then he hissed a bit. "What I'm the most angry about, however, is that I didn't show the statue respect." He rubbed the back of his head, it still hurt a lot. "I'm so bloody stupid, I knew this was what it was referring to, a statue in the middle of nowhere where the murder-flies didn't want to enter, I knew it was this statue. I mean, the room before was filled with statues, and the words, and the setting, and the..." he trailed off, there was too many things he felt had given it away.

It was my fault.

"Anyhow, the point is, I messed up, badly. I'm not going to apologise, I'm no good with that either, but just so that you people know, I totally did a bad thing. I've been annoyed over block-head just triggering every single trap, but this time it was me. Even if I knew what needed to be done! I just wanted to take a closer look at it, and I thought I could show it respect, but I just didn't know how quickly it would react and I didn't know how to show respect I mean, what do you do, bow? Tell it its hair look pretty? Did it even have hair? I don't bloody fucking know, I don't know how to show respect to actual people!" He crossed his arms, frustrated, stressed, angry with himself, most of all. A bit scared from earlier, heart certainly hadn't calmed down, nor had head.

"And now I'm stressed, and I'm ranting, and... I'm saying everything aloud. Dammit! I just... need a moment to calm down. You guys figure out what to do, because I'm sure as hell not." He withdrew from the group a little, hiding himself somewhat in the large blue coat with all the pockets.
 

Anti-American Eagle

HAPPENING IMMINENT
Legacy
Apr 11, 2020
3,772
8
13
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Charles sighed as the battle ended. As James started talking, Charles picked up his torch again and approached the rubble and stuck his hand into it, starting to search it for anything interesting. Even if all he found was rubble he intended to take a chunk of it with him. Some part of his mind was telling him that part of the cairn's guardian on him could be useful down here.

Noticing James shrink away from the group, he assumed to be alone after his outburst, Charles asked simply to the group "Is anyone hurt?" Which was followed shortly by in an attempt to take charge, "We need someone watching the door, someone searching the walls, and another searching the slabs. If the beetles spill in or we don't find an exit we'll have bigger problems than the statue on our hands."