Josh's DnD: Ep02

Apr 20th, 2016
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  1. Pinko: Beans, after being reassured her mule was safe and sound and investigating the body of the commander that led the small expedition, was ready to head to the town center to explain the grave situation to the population.
  2. Yayifications: Alja, looking grumpy and exhausted about this whole thing, is right behind the gnome, looking ever vigilant for signs of another attack.
  3. Pinko: Of course, once everyone was inside, Beans made sure that the gates to the village would be barred.
  4. Josh: Behind the two, the girl who had arrived with a belated warning decided to follow them to the town square. She'd report to whoever they reported to.
  5. Pinko: While on their way to the square, she presents the situation as she understands it. "Apparently, they were ordered to raze this town and slaughter all non-humans, for some reason. I guess we had the correct reaction, if that was really the case."
  6. Yayifications: "They have a camp not far outside of town, secluded from obvious view by the woods. By my estimate, the force they spared for this attack was about a fourth their number. They sent assassins for your guard posts in an attempt to go undiscovered."
  7. Josh: "It was good then that your group was here to stop the attack when it came. I would have shown up far too late to be of any help. They would have killed the residents of this village and moved on before anyone knew what was going on. But your numbers are off." She turns to the dwarf. "Maybe this was a fourth of the nearest camp, but there are two others within two day's ride. We think they're attacking all the western villages and declaring war on the elves."
  8. URZOGA listens quietly from nearby, arms folded over her chest as she watched the barred gate for signs of activity.
  9. Pinko: "Group? Hardly, I came in with Urz over there, and I guess Alja is with us, as for the others, well... I guess now is a good time as any other for introductions. Name's Haryuko, but call me Beans." She nods to the other strangers that assisted them. "I happen to be a humble servant of the God of the Roads."
  10. The_Reaper: "I am Reaper, a servant of the raven queen" nodding his head to Beans.
  11. Rylian: "I am Rylain Armstrong, the member of the current generation of a long family of knights and crusaders that have existed since time memorial!"
  12. Pinko: "...I'm going to keep nicknaming you Weirdo, then..." She half-mutters to herself as she gives the scythe-wielder a side-glance. "Nice to meet you, Rylain. I'd say your family would be proud of what you did today."
  13. Josh: The cloaked woman nods her head and introduces herself as Ileleste.
  14. Yayifications: "Alja Firehorn, blacksmith. Or at least I keep -tryin'- t'be," the dwarf introduces herself to those who may not know her.
  15. Pinko: "Ileleste? What a coincidence, I happened to be searching you." Once they arrive at the town square, Beans scans the room for the most obvious authority figure that might be present.
  16. The_Reaper: "Rylain what deity do you pay your respects to?" Reaper asks inquisitively.
  17. Rylian: " I pay respects to the Lord of the stars above our heads, and the travelers that walk beneath them: Celestian"
  18. Pinko: At the Town hall, where the villagers are taking refuge, Beans clears her throat as she speaks up. She's not one for public speeches much, usually. "Hello? We are looking for Lady Eletreia, Mayor of Silverhome. We need to speak of the situation to her. In any case, I think we staved off the immediate danger."
  19. Josh: An elf steps forward from a group of questioning civilians. If it weren't for the grey color of her hair, she'd look like she was just as old as any of you. "Yes?"
  20. Pinko: She hands her the scroll she found on the body of the Commander, without adding another word just yet.
  21. Josh: The woman reads the scroll while the crowd slips into uncomfortable silence. She looks over the scroll at you. "Where....Where did you find this?"
  22. Pinko: "Erm, the body of the Commander of the small platoon of soldiers that were about to invade. Fharlaghn guided my bolt today." Assuming the shirts they collected are part of a uniform, she would also produce one to solidify her claim.
  23. Josh: She appears more confused than anything. She waves over her shoulder. "Derrik, grab some of them men and deal with the-" she looks at the children gathered around. "The problem outside." She looks at the gnome. "Where is it worst?"
  24. Pinko: "Well, the guard towers, probably. We barred the gates for now, otherwise." Beans shifts on her feet, not really wanting to be the representative of this.
  25. Josh: She nods and waves the men by. "Go then." She turns to the rest of the people. "You are free to return to your homes for now, but be prepared in case of another attack." As the crowd starts filing out, she beckons to you. "Those of you who were involved I'd like if you came with me."
  26. Pinko: Beans glances at her new comrades, giving them an apologetic look. She seems to dislike being in this situation at all to begin with, and tries to gauge the reaction of the others like Urz, Alja, and Rylain of the weirdo. "Well, of course."
  27. Urzoga: Urz looks worried about something but doesn't look like she's about to run away.
  28. Rylian: "But of course," Rylain says resolutely. “I would like nothing more than to assist in getting to the bottom of this."
  29. Yayifications: Alja sighs, ready to follow along, "Never over is it?"
  30. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs "whatever"
  31. Josh: She takes you to her office where she gets the whole story from all of you. She seems to keep her composure well, despite the news of the war on the elven homeland and more imminent attacks. In the end, she takes the other girl aside and speaks to her alone for some time. When they return, Eletreia introduces the girl to you. "This is Verralidaine Serrasri. She thinks your information would be invaluable to this conflict. We could use it in order to gain allies against Malchizidek if his troops are really behind this. Especially if we can determine what this shaft is or if red dragon is a platoon or something even worse. I fear that I may already know what the shaft may be however..."
  32. Pinko: "M'not a warrior or a messenger..." She half-mutters once more, pouting a bit, tiny legs dangling from the chair she's sitting on. "I'd be glad to help, sure, but I came here first because I needed help myself...!" Distress catches up to her, now that the adrenaline rush is over entirely.
  33. Josh: "Well, I do believe all of you deserve a reward for helping to save this village from those soldiers. How can I help you?"
  34. Pinko: "Well, I came here searching for Ileleste, since a good fay friend of mine has been sick recently... I figured a druid would know more how to help with my trouble, but now I don't know what the others want." She gives a cryptic glance at her comrades, Urz in particular.
  35. Pinko: Daine
  36. Josh: The girl seems somewhat shocked. "Oh you were looking for me? For help with Fey sickness?" She seems troubled by that thought.
  37. Josh: The elven mayor nods. "You two should go talk then. The rest of you, do you have anything that you are in need of?"
  38. Urzoga: "I could use a new shirt," is all the half-orc says in a rough but sheepish voice.
  39. Rylian: "There is no need for a reward, since I am only doing right by the oath I had sworn to help those in need."
  40. Josh: "A shirt?" She starts to smile but stops herself. "We can of course provide you with any provisions you may need. Within reason of course." She nods towards the knight. "Your honor and valor are respectable sir."
  41. Yayifications: "Coin works well enough for me," Alja answers plainly, "But honestly yer priority should be that camp right outside the town."
  42. Urzoga: "Might be time to evacuate."
  43. The_Reaper: "Rewards can come after we are done with protecting this place." Reaper says mostly to himself.
  44. Pinko: Beans returns from her private interview with the Druidess after a few moments. "Did I miss something?" She plops down onto a seat after climbing onto it. Everything here seems to be done with medium sized creatures in mind, it seems.
  45. Josh: "You're right, and that was what I was going to get into next. We need to evacuate this town and retreat to a safe haven and check on the other villages nearby." Daine returns after Beans. "We should also examine the nearby passage to the Underdark. See if the Dwarves are being targeted as well." The Mayor nods. "We could use help with any of those tasks. You've proven yourselves to be allies in this struggle so far. We would be grateful for any further assistance."
  46. Rylian: "Absolutely. What everyone did today would mean nothing if we didn't ensure the villagers' safeties," Rylain replied
  47. The_Reaper: "That's fine, I'm willing to help out." Reaper quietly says.
  48. Yayifications: "Aye, this seems like big trouble. I can help."
  49. Pinko: Beans seems a bit overwhelmed by the logistics any of these plans might involve. "Uh, well, we can try our best, right?"
  50. Rylian: "Fret not, small one, as long as we all help out and do our best, there'll be nothing too big for us to handle."
  51. Pinko: "N-Name's Beans, or Haryuko, or Hary, or whatever doofus." She seems to mind and to be flustered about being nicknamed 'small one'.
  52. Rylian: "Haha, my apologies. I'm not especially good with names, but I'll try my best."
  53. The_Reaper: "Doofus?" Reaper asks.
  54. Rylian: “I think it means friend in Gnomish."
  55. Haryuko: "Uh, yeah, sure!"
  56. Rylian: "Well I hope we can be very good doofuses!"
  57. The_Reaper: "No thank you" Reaper shakes his head.
  58. Haryuko: "You're off to a good start, Rylain." Beans snickers under her breath, then kind of glares at the weirdo. "You don't have to stick with this if we're annoying you."
  59. The_Reaper: "Just tired is all"
  60. Urzoga shifts her weight from one leg to another. "If we're helping, what's the plan?"
  61. Josh: The other two women look on amused but the elf perks up when Urzoga speaks. "Well, this town will be evacuated regardless. Daine has agreed to help warn the other towns and evacuate them to Yggdrasil. You can come with us, travel to the other towns, or investigate the Red Dragon and their attack on the shaft."
  62. Haryuko: "I'm most curious about what this Red Dragon could be. Seems like if we go investigate that, we might even make a suitable distraction away from other villages if that Red Dragon is so important to them." Beans suggests on a whim.
  63. Urzoga: "Shaft? Into the Underdark?"
  64. Josh: "That's what I fear yes. Dwarven traders come from a shaft nearby. They must have a city around there."
  65. Urzoga grunts. "Sealing them in prevents powerful help."
  66. Haryuko: "It's true, they were on a mission to close the shaft, so we might as well make sure that doesn't happen, somehow."
  67. Ileleste pipes up from the back. "How far away is this shaft?"
  68. Haryuko: "A few days' ride, I'd say. We'd better gear up for one, then. I will do the proper blessings before we leave, hopefully the roads will be safe." Beans seems a bit concerned. "Alja and I figured that Kin Kuldor would most likely be their target. We can probably figure a plan from here on."
  69. Ileleste seems a little nervous about all this but doesn't voice anything else she is thinking.
  70. Josh: The mayor nods. "Then you should go to the shaft. Whatever you find, either bring news of it to us in Yggdrasil or news of our need to the dwarves there. Daine and I will worry about the evacuations."
  71. Haryuko: "Sounds like a plan to us, then. We should probably try and trade what we got from the soldiers for supplies and gold for whatever inconveniences we'll find on the way. Also, you might want to take a look at what I found on the commander, maybe someone could make use of his sword or mail." Beans recites as a generic plan for now.
  72. Josh: "We will let you get to it then."
  73. Ileleste: "Right, well... uhm... supplies?" She doesn't really look like she knows what to do and is looking to the others for help.
  74. Haryuko: "Y'know, food, a tent, a horse, feed for the horse, something to make a fire..." She starts listing off a bunch of useful things, as if this was second nature to her.
  75. Rylian: "A horse would fare splendidly."
  76. Urzoga: "Won't much like caves."
  77. Haryuko: "No, they won't, but they'll take us there faster. Mina's a mule, mules aren't scared of caves. Usually." Beans muse over this.
  78. The_Reaper: "Could use some torches and the like for the caves" Reaper chimes in.
  79. Haryuko: "Well, you, as a human, probably. Personally, it messes with my darkvision, but they have their uses indeed. I guess we're a group now, though." Beans nods sagely to herself.
  80. Rylian: "Sirrah, my new doofuses!"
  81. Ileleste: "Well, I don't really get out much, some maybe someone can help me."
  82. Haryuko: "Ah, I would love to, actually. The roads are my thing, y'see." Beans props herself up from her seat. "Ileleste, right?"
  83. Ileleste: "Yes, and you were, Beans?"
  84. Haryuko: "Indeed!" She giggles a bit as she bows. "A humble servant of Fharlaghn, the god of travelers and the roads. First journey?" She guides her out of the room and heads for the market to equip her as best as she can.
  85. Ileleste follows smiling. "Yes, this is my first time even out from home, if you can believe that."
  86. Haryuko: "Oh and, perhaps one request from you, Lady Eleitra, before we leave. Considering the urgency of the matter, could we perhaps be granted a few horses from your stables?"
  87. Josh: "Of course."
  88. Ileleste follows Beans off to purchase almost anything she recommends.
  89. Urzoga heads out to buy up a few supplies as well.
  90. The_Reaper Reaper heads off to get some supplies
  91. Josh: The group spends the rest of the night gathering supplies, resting, and preparing for the trip ahead. Once the sun rises they gather at the Tree where Daine has their horses saddled and ready for them.
  92. Pinko: Beans is enjoying a warm brew of coffee as she approaches Daine, the usually restless gnome feeling refreshed after the adrenaline rush of the previous night. That's not to say she doesn't look sleepy, though.
  93. Josh: The druidess seems preoccupied, talking to the horses and patting them down. If you didn't know better, you'd say she looks like she's having a conversation.
  94. Pinko: She probably knows better, considering most gnomes have the ability to speak with small animals, Whisper gnomes being a rare exception. A druidess is probably able to do the same on a much larger scale. Rather than interrupting the druidess, she will wait for her newfound friends and doofus to regroup.
  95. The_Reaper: Reaper walks over to the tree looking slightly dejected and says hello to beans and The Druidess.
  96. Rylian: Rylain slipped on his armor before going to meet his companions. As he walked to them, he bellowed, "good morrow, everyone! I trust you all rested well, eh?"
  97. Pinko: "Surprisingly so." She just about finishes her mug when Rylain comes by, petting her mule and giving her some feed. "Ever slept on the road, Rylain? It's a different experience entirely."
  98. The_Reaper: "Yes for the most part, and you are as cheerful as ever eh?" Reaper says to Rylain.
  99. Pinko: "Ah, don't listen to the weirdo. Oh, which reminds me, do you want me to give you a proper blessing of Fharlanghn before we're off on the roads? Maybe he'll watch over us for our safety." She gives a cheeky giggle as she throws a glance at the hooded scythe wielder.
  100. Rylian: "But of course! A blessing of safe travel never hurts, so go ahead my friend!"
  101. Yayifications: Alja makes her way out, nodding to Beans, "Could use all the help we could get, to be honest. Not that I'm expecting too much trouble from those caverns..."
  102. Pinko: So she begins, reciting prayers in gnomish, asking for her God and his aspects to watch over them, Haryuko pressing her hand to the stomach of her comrades, transferring into them the littlest amount of divine energy that could be felt. It most likely was a placebo, really. She even does the service to Reaper.
  103. The_Reaper: "My thanks."
  104. Josh: When Daine finishes speaking to the horses, she walks over looking happy. "Well, they've promised to be on their best behavior. And you should all feel free to get acquainted. They're shy but they won't bite." She hands you all some apples. "To introduce yourselves, just blow in their nose. It will let them get used to your scent."
  105. Pinko: Beans takes one of the apples and follows the instructions. "Sorry for the coffee scent." She says in Sylvan before lightly blowing into the nose of the pony, then presents the apple.
  106. Yayifications: Alja tilts her head, finding the gesture odd. She mutters something about weird druid things before doing as instructed, then presenting the apple.
  107. The_Reaper: Reaper grabs an apple while shaking his, pulls back his hood and goes to do as instructed.
  108. Rylian: "Alright then." Rylain approaches one and attempts to do so. "What's this one's name?"
  109. Urzoga gives a grunt and a nod.
  110. Josh: The horses all took pleased bites of apples, some returning the hot breath of air into their new owners' faces while some still remained a little skittish. Daine patted the large red by Rylain. "He prefers Longstrider." She stroked the skittish mottled one by Urzoga. "Don't worry." You can't tell if she means you or the horse. "I'm sure you'll do your best to make each other's trip more comfortable."
  111. Pinko: Beans then carefully straps the reins of Mina to the pony she was given, and climbs onto the pony's back. "Well, it's been a while since I've been horseback, I have to say."
  112. Rylian: Rylain pats his horse's head gently. "Longstrider...may you live well to your namesake!"
  113. Pinko: "Well then, are we ready to leave? Everyone's packed?"
  114. The_Reaper: "I'm ready." Reaper calls out while getting up on the horse.
  115. Urzoga: "Packed. Ready."
  116. Yayifications: "Ready when y'are."
  117. Rylian: "Indeed I am."
  118. Josh: And so you set off, heading to the northeast towards the Shaft to the Underdark. The first day of travel is mostly uneventful though you all feel a bit nervous as the road passes by the dense forest where the enemy troops have camped. You keep your eyes peeled for danger but nothing comes of it. By the end of the day, those of you not very used to riding can feel the sores and bruises from the road. You'd never think letting an animal carry you around all day could be so tiring.
  119. Pinko: Beans will help with setting up a camp as best as she can for the night to rest, then. What are the features of our current spot?
  120. Josh: You are starting to get out of the denser part of the forest. There's a clearing with the shrine of your god near a crossroad. Your trail continues northward but Fharlagn's shrines, though sparse, are often good places to camp. This one has a fire pit and stone benches to sit around as well as a bust of Fharlagn and a bowl for offerings.
  121. Pinko: She will leave a few gold pieces as tribute to her God as well as one of her old pair of shoes. She then prepares a fire in the pit to keep warm at night.
  122. The_Reaper: "do we want to set up a watch?" Reaper asks out loud while setting up his tent.
  123. Pinko: "Oh, sure, but I think we should be relatively safe by this shrine. Who knows though?" She eats the last of her rations for the day, preparing a set of chess for herself.
  124. Yayifications: "I'll take first watch, then."
  125. The_Reaper: "I'll take the second one" Reaper says as he go into his tent to rest for a bit.
  126. Urzoga: Urzoga goes about setting up a hammock for herself in relative silence.
  127. Pinko: Beans approaches Urzoga and smiles meekly as she shows her the chess board. "Up for a round before sleep, maybe?"
  128. Yayifications: Alja readies herself to take the watch, finding the solitude somewhat relaxing.
  129. Urzoga: The half-orc shrugs, "I don't mind."
  130. Pinko: Beans plays a round of chess against Urz before going to sleep, then.
  131. Pinko: Urzoga and Beans play well, but Beans always seems to have the distinct advantage over her friend. "Checkmate. You've improved a lot since our first game together, that was pretty fun!" She's not boasting or anything, just awkward with her praises.
  132. Josh: Sleep comes swiftly for those who can sleep easily. Shifts change throughout the night but there's nothing that draws much attention from anyone. It looks like Beans was right. Travelers of all kinds know that Farlagn's shrines are some of the safest places on the roads for good reason. When the morning comes, you saddle your horses and prepare to move on.
  133. Pinko: Beans' sleep was indeed restless that night. She drinks some coffee to help stave off the fatigue, but otherwise seems a bit more slow than usual.
  134. Urzoga has her things all packs up and as she waits for the others is attempting to bond with her horse.
  135. Yayifications is packed up and ready to go, not particularly concerned with attachment to her horse.
  136. Pinko: "I know where the shrines are for the next few days. If we time our travels right, we might be just as safe every night." Beans mentions as she nibbles on breakfast.
  137. The_Reaper packs up his things and stands by his horse patting it, while he eats the rest of his breakfast
  138. Josh: Once you finish breakfast you get back on the road, following the same routine over the next two days. You only rarely see travelers far away but they never pass you. It's not surprising, the villages on this side of the country are sparse and small with only the rare caravan to establish any trade or news between them. Beans is right about the shrines and those taking shifts only hear the scurrying of animals at night and never see or hear much that is dangerous. As the days pass the scenery changes. There are far fewer trees and many more sprawling hills on the countryside. By the fourth day you lose sight of the last of the trees of the forest. Your destination is not too far ahead by now.
  139. Pinko: Despite looking terrible exhausted the day before, Beans seems to have slept well that night and recovered well. "I think we're almost there now. We'll have to secure our horses before entering, most likely, though. As for Mina, I know mules aren't afraid of the dark or of many things, but we may have to leave her behind for a while. Mind carrying a bit of extra weight? You're all pretty strong looking." If anyone ever bothered looking into whatever wares were carried by the mule Beans travels with, they'd have found oddities from chalk to weapons and fishing rods, varieties of all kinds really.
  140. Urzoga: The half-orc shrugs indifferently. "Can carry what's needed."
  141. Yayifications: "I got plenty o' room, too."
  142. Pinko: "Enjoying the roads, Ileleste? Personally, I'm glad we've not met anything dangerous yet."
  143. Ileleste: "It's, pretty, in a way. I'll be quite happy if we don't run into anything more than the birds in the trees."
  144. Josh: As you ride and chat you hear something off in the distance. It's a noise the likes of which many of you have never heard before. The ground itself shakes slightly after you hear it and the horses show the whites of their eyes, their ears held back. It sounds like it came from your destination.
  145. Ileleste starts. "What... what was that?!"
  146. Urzoga: "Nothing good..."
  147. Yayifications: "The war with the drow...it is beneath us," Alja says bitterly
  148. Pinko: "Well, sitting around won't do us any good now, right? Giddy up!"
  149. Yayifications: "Hm, wait, no..."
  150. The_Reaper: "Should we be charging directly towards that?"
  151. Yayifications: "This is not the drow...this is something...larger." Alja looks concerned, spurring her horse onwards.
  152. Pinko: Beans pulls on the reins of her horse, heading towards the shaft still, as well as the source of the noise.
  153. Yayifications: "I fear we may be too late."
  154. The_Reaper: "The question is how late"
  155. Urzoga: "So...what’s a Drow?"
  156. Yayifications: "Like an elf, but with skin as black as their monstrous hearts."
  157. Urzoga: "Oh."
  158. Yayifications: "We've been at war with them for several decades now." She says flatly, seeming to grow a bit cold and distant
  159. Pinko: "They're inherently magical and love to use poison too. I'm glad I haven't met one yet." Beans shudder at the thought.
  160. Ileleste: "Sound absolutely lovely."
  161. Yayifications: "Aye, y'are," she nods to the gnome.
  162. The_Reaper: "Don't jinx us just yet"
  163. Josh: As you get closer you hear human sounding screams of pain. You see smoke rising behind a hill.
  164. Pinko: How far away from the smoke are we?
  165. Josh: Couple minute's ride.
  166. Pinko: As they approach, Beans tries to spot a good place to leave the horses.
  167. Pinko: "Mnnh. Nowhere good to hitch the horses. Might have to improvise. Besides, we might have to run away in a hurry if we're clearly outmatched."
  168. Josh: As you ride into view you see several dead people lying by a burning campground. Among them are some hairy canid-like humanoids wearing dried skins and wielding crude weapons. Some look wounded but mostly they look angry. One of them growls something to the others and they turn to glare at you.
  169. Ileleste: "Well, this can't be good."
  170. Urzoga: "Bad feeling."
  171. Pinko: "Those teeth, the furs, the postures, the weapons... Those are gnolls. Gnolls aren't friendly, usually. Then again, they just slaughtered soldiers that assaulted us. Maybe they can help? Can anyone speak Gnollish...?" Nervous, Beans starts calling out greetings in multiple languages.
  172. Ileleste: "I've never even seen one before." She moves to make sure she is behind the more imposing people in their group.
  173. Josh: They mostly begin to regroup as the one who is obviously a leader of some sort growls again. Judging by their raised weapons, they don't seem to be happy with your arrival. The leader growls to you in Orc.
  174. Urzoga: "Fought one once."
  175. Pinko: "They're asking humans to leave, but I'm going to assume they're talking to -us-." Beans then replies in Orcish to the leader.
  176. Yayifications: "Well, honestly I don't feel like backing down on account of gnolls," Alja glances over with some irritation.
  177. Pinko: "Well, they see us as a threat anyway." She raises her crossbow, a bit nervous.
  178. Josh: The leader growls more before roaring something at you.
  179. Urzoga: The half-orc couldn't help but sigh. She could feel it inside of her uncoiling. The Monster sensed the danger and was looking for a way out. It was all she could do to help, right?
  180. The Monster let out a blood-thirsty cry as it took control of Urzoga's body, muscles hard and ready. It propelled itself forward into a charge, using a knee to collide with the nearest Gnoll hostile.
  181. Josh: The gnoll yelps in pain but the others growl in unison. Monster or no, they will fight.
  182. Ileleste follows it up by throwing a bolt of force through the air to impact with the same gnoll, dropping it to the ground for good.
  183. Yayifications: Alja marches up, hefting a javelin in hand and tossing it a particularly inattentive gnoll, scoring a hit but not quite taking it down.
  184. Josh: The gnolls circle the two who charged, yipping and growling as they dance into attack positions and then lunge in with their weapons. They score hits on Reaper but Urzoga remains unharmed.
  185. Pinko: She closes her eyes and mutters a group of prayers as she moves closer. She seems to be more decisive, and a holy wave washes over her allies, making them feel more confident to hit their targets with ranged weapons, as if her deity was guiding their aim.
  186. The Monster grabs for the dead Gnoll at its feet, taking a blow from one of the nearby enemies like a champ and ignoring a second. Weapon in hand it turned its attention on the biggest, baddest Gnoll in sight and swung!
  187. Josh: The gnolls yelp in fright as their leader is smashed beyond recognition.
  188. Ileleste: "I can do this, I can do this." She whispers the encouragement to herself before flinging another spell across the battlefield to drop another gnoll.
  189. The_Reaper: Reaper swings at one of the gnolls while bleeding profusely from several wounds "I’m not dead just yet you bastard."
  190. Yayifications pulls her axe, rushing in to charge one of the gnolls, chopping it down in one vicious cleave.
  191. Josh: The last gnoll runs over a small hill, dropping to all fours and leaving its weapon behind. It seems that it can move faster with all its legs hitting the ground.
  192. Pinko: Beans is incredibly fast, though. Moving 80 feet in the blink of an eye, she raises her crossbow and takes aim as she comments. "Gnolls are terrible monsters."
  193. Pinko: Though it seems she's not used to her own speed, as her shot goes wide.
  194. Ileleste: The gnoll is well out of her sight, so she stands back relaxing a bit as she lets the others chase after it.
  195. The Monster: That seems to include The Monster, rushing after the fleeing prey with no regard for being subtle. There's the sound of an impact at it misses the Gnoll and takes out a tree instead.
  196. The_Reaper: Reaper charges after the fleeing gnoll and cleaves him in 2, Laughing "Don’t run when you start a fight damnit, makes it hard to get revenge for those you killed." Reaper then sits down trying to wrap his wounds
  197. The_Reaper: "Anyone have bandages?"
  198. Pinko: "Mmh." Apparently reluctant, she does produces some bandages, but also sets her hand on his chest, letting positive energy flow into him.
  199. The Monster: After having tackled a defenseless tree Urzoga sits up, hurt and a little confused.
  200. The_Reaper: "Thank you"
  201. Pinko: "...You did well, Urz." She cheers the confused orc as she bandages up the weirdo. "I'll do you next."
  202. Ileleste makes her way through the corpses of the soldiers and gnolls.
  203. Pinko: After bandaging the two for show, she gives Urz an awkward hug, despite the Reaper having taken a worst beating, then skips back to the bodies before the apparently blazing fire degenerates even more - looking for the bodies trying to find a similar order as last time, or anything useful.
  204. Ileleste: She moves a few weapons off the bodies into a pile, and looks up at Beans as she approaches. "Everyone alright?"
  205. Pinko: "Uh, yeah, as good as we can be, I think we got lucky." She quickly shuffles through the bodies, upset by the nearby fire.
  206. Rylian: "Well, that was quite an ordeal," Rylain said scanning the area
  207. Pinko: How bad is the fire?
  208. Ileleste: "Good. I'm sorry if I wasn't much help." She's trying her best to avoid looking at the bodies any more than she has to.
  209. The Monster emerges from the woods, peering around at the damage done.
  210. Josh: The fire is mostly restrained to the human soldier's camp. The green grass won't catch enough to spread.
  211. Pinko: "Ah, no, you did what you had to do, and you were doing great, too." She gives her a pat on the back. "I don't enjoy it much, but I guess we expected it.
  212. Pinko: The shaft entrance is close, right?
  213. Josh: Directly north and partially covered by rubble.
  214. Pinko: How long until the fire dies down? How late is it?
  215. Josh: Coming on evening, sun will set in an hour or two. Judging by the way it's burning, the fire would be out by itself in the morning.
  216. Pinko: "Mmh." Beans seems thoughtful as she watches the camp burn. Can she try to figure out how the fire started?
  217. Josh: You're guessing the gnolls set it aflame. There's remains of torches near the tents.
  218. Pinko: Yeah, but that doesn't explain the cave-in and the boom we heard. Gunpowder?
  219. Josh: it definitely does not.
  220. Josh: No such thing exists to your knowledge
  221. Pinko: She's going to instead investigate the rubbles.
  222. Pinko: "Mmmh. This was the work of magic. I'm guessing the gnolls lived in those caves." She traces a finger along a few blast lines. "I don't know the specific magic, probably evocation, but it collapsed the cave and expulsed out most of the air out of the tunnels."
  223. Yayifications: "Likely these soldiers' doing," she gestures to the bodies.
  224. Pinko: "Well, none of the bodies we've found. Must've taken a relatively powerful arcanist." She comments with a frown on her face. "I think it wouldn't be the safest to investigate right now."
  225. Yayifications: She stops, pausing at a dwarven symbol she points out, "Ah, this was a trade route...Disturbing. These are usually kept pretty safe."
  226. Yayifications: "Gnolls and Malchizidek's men here doesn't bode well..."
  227. Pinko: "No, that's true, I don't think the dwarves would've just let Gnolls colonize the place." She scrunches her nose and seems a bit lost in her thoughts.
  228. Urzoga: As the Gnome and the Dwarf talk Urz wanders over to watch, standing near Ileleste.
  229. Yayifications: "We should hurry on then. I think my people may be in trouble."
  230. Ileleste looks up at Urzoga.
  231. Rylian: "Let's us make haste, then!"
  232. The_Reaper: "first find a place for the horses"
  233. Pinko: "Mmh. I don't know how much air these caverns have. Let's try not to light torches to not waste what little may be left. I think the horses should be fine where we left them, they can graze around freely while we're gone."
  234. Josh: The stronger members of your group pry some of the rubble away to make your descent easier while the rest of you prepare for your expedition. The slope into the trail is steep and the travel is rough going as you try to avoid slipping on the many rocks and caved in walls. As you get down further, the area starts to open up. You feel somewhat lightheaded but not impaired.
  235. Pinko: "Mmh. I've read about the shafts, but I can't say I'd be a proper guide in them."
  236. Yayifications: "I suppose I'll take point then. Don't stray too far, Aye?" Alja readies her axe and shield, leading the way.
  237. Rylian: "I'll bring up the end, then"
  238. The_Reaper: "Well it could be worse.
  239. Ileleste finds her way to the middle of all the bodies, happy to be protected.
  240. Pinko: Beans sticks close to Ileleste, crossbow in hand. "Well, this is different from your home, isn't it?"
  241. Ileleste: "Yeeaaah." Her amber eyes flicker back and forth in the cave looking all around. "Though, it smells the same."
  242. Josh: You see three paths ahead of you, Alja knows that the route towards the dwarven city is Northern and that they typically trapped other routes to keep outsiders and underdark monsters from being able to attack their routes. How many of those are still around and what might have moved in has surely changed though.
  243. Josh: The cavern that you just entered is littered with bodies, some burnt others seem unscratched. All of them are gnoll. This must have been where they made their home. They seem to have gathered most of their belongings in this room and you can somewhat see into the other rooms nearby.
  244. Yayifications: "The way to the city should be directly north. The other paths are trapped," Alja explains as she steps forward, keeping an eye out for signs of anything particularly unusual.
  245. Pinko: "I can scout ahead if you want. I can be pretty sneaky." Beans taps her feet and gives Alja a nod.
  246. Yayifications: "Alright, go on ahead."
  247. Yayifications: "Be careful though. No telling what's up there now."
  248. Urzoga: "Careful."
  249. Pinko: "You've got it."
  250. Pinko: Beans then heads ahead after using some of her inherited magic. For a moment, not a single party member can produce a sound, until she slips away from them.
  251. Pinko: A bright light flashes for a moment from further up the cave, and rattled bones can probably be heard fleeing the scene in the distance.
  252. Pinko: Bean returns after around a minute, the weary silence around her dissipating. "I've found some skeletons over there. I made them run away with a simple turning. I also heard some fighting, but I came back before I could figure out what was going on."
  253. Urzoga: "Trouble for us."
  254. Yayifications: "Bad news, aye."
  255. Pinko: "I've got a relatively safe path into the cavern at least, though."
  256. Rylian: "Wait, there's undead down here? Why's that?"
  257. The_Reaper: "undead? Well now we can’t have that." Reaper says matter of fact.
  258. Pinko: "I don't know why there are undead, but it is upsetting." She seems a bit nervous now, shifting on her feet.
  259. Josh: You move forward through the path that Beans has set out for you, past numerous gnoll bodies and a small stream, near a wall with chicken scratch graffiti. You stop when you get to the large cavern before you (5) this one has a domed ceiling and a smooth floor and it is clear to those of you with stone sense that this is dwarven craft, albeit not anything as grand as the cities.
  260. Urzoga: "Hrn."
  261. Pinko: "H-hey, did anyone see that? The weird runes?" Beans whispers in a bit of a confused daze. "I think the lack of oxygen might be getting to me."
  262. Ileleste: "Hm? Uhm, no?" Ileleste looks down at her.
  263. The_Reaper: "Might want to hurry up then and talk less." Reaper says quietly.
  264. Urzoga: "Didn't see anything. Feeling okay?"
  265. Yayifications: "Saw nothing here>"
  266. Pinko: "Mnnh, I think I saw something to the right, like... glitter?" Beans waves her crossbow at the generic direction.
  267. Yayifications: "Aye, I saw it too."
  268. Josh has renamed this conversation to "Dark Caves & Dead Gnolls"
  269. Pinko: After collecting the various gems, Beans seems to have a satisfied look on her face, all while throwing a glance at the corpse on the bed. "Well, I don't think this guy here will miss these too much."
  270. Josh: Judging by outfit alone, you'd bet it was a female. Too far decayed to be sure of much else.
  271. Ileleste watches the gems with a gleam in her eye. "Shame... really."
  272. URZOGA: Urzoga grunts, looking this way and that.
  273. Yayifications: Alja seems focused on what's ahead of her.
  274. The_Reaper: "Sounds like there is something to the left." reaper says to the party.
  275. Pinko: "Something like what?" Beans stares to her left, a bit confused. "On the wall?"
  276. The_Reaper: "left corridor"
  277. Rylian: "Then let us move instead of pontificating." Rylain whispers loudly.
  278. Ileleste: "Well, I don't really want to run around a corner into something nasty." She says. "Maybe we can scout a bit?" A small viper crawls out of her sleeve and curls around her fingers.
  279. Yayifications: "I see a dwarven lookin' figure up ahead. No idea if they're livin'...or unlivin'...or otherwise, though."
  280. Pinko: "Well, I've not seen anything friendly yet, I'm not gonna start assuming." Beans starts shuffling away, crossbow in hand.
  281. Ileleste makes to move behind the much larger Urz, the viper disappearing back into her clothes.
  282. URZOGA: The half-orc looks over her shoulder at the smaller sorceress.
  283. Josh: You see a few stumbling figures. Druegar by the looks of them. They're staring ahead, drooling and shuffling their feet. When one of them catches sight of Alja he visibly panics, shouting nonsense.
  284. Rylian: "What in the great names above are those?"
  285. Haryuko: Since Alja probably knows and Rylain exclaims himself first, Beans uses her Message to warn him first. "Deep Dwarves, not unlike Drows. They're just about as mean."
  286. Ileleste: "They look quite unkind. I bet none of them own a mirror."
  287. Josh: When they start moving closer into view you see a couple of them are wounded slightly but they all look sick, pockmarked and plagued by boils. None of them seem to be too cognizant of their surroundings.
  288. The_Reaper: "did the skeletons get killed by them?" Reaper asks quietly
  289. Josh: They carry weapons and they all get excited when they see Alja, raising their weapons and shouting wildly.
  290. Yayifications: "Duergar, aye, I know all too well," she says to Beans bitterly, "Let's try to get the jump on 'em aye?"
  291. The_Reaper: "I think it’s a little late for that" reaper says looking at em.
  292. Ileleste touches the hulking half-orc. "A little bit of protection for you."
  293. URZOGA: "T-thanks."
  294. The_Reaper: Reaper charges over, spins his scythe cleaving a druegar in half.
  295. Rylian: "To arms, my friends! We must push onwards!"
  296. Haryuko: In her haste to fire at the Duergars, her shot goes wide. She yelps something in gnomish, blowing her cover. She's obviously displeased.
  297. Ileleste starts a bit at Beans as she makes cover beside the cave wall.
  298. Urzoga: Urzoga takes the first few steps of a building charge, her conscious mind slipping away to make room for The Monster.
  299. The Monster finishes the charge, swinging a fist too high and missing its target.
  300. Josh: The Duegars fight with shields at the ready, only one of the attacks by our heroes manages to get past their armor.
  301. Yayifications: Alja rushes towards the deep dwarfs, bringing her axe recklessly towards one. Perhaps a bit too recklessly, as her axe goes wild.
  302. Josh: The Duegars surge forward trying to get to Alja, one of them makes the mistake of trying to push past Urzoga and pays for it when Reaper retaliates.
  303. The_Reaper: Reaper bisects one of the druegars rushing forward.
  304. Josh: Two shots bounce off of armor and buckler but one lucky strike of the war hammer catches Alja.
  305. Haryuko: "Ileleste, don't wander too far away, we're not sure about try-” She winces and gasps and she watches Alja fall down unconscious, skull cracked. "Alja!"
  306. Haryuko: "Rylain, go cover her or something! Duergars are sworn enemies of the dwarves, they'll kill her!"
  307. Ileleste tosses a bolt of magic into one of the dark dwarfs’ faces, to little effect, in hopes of distracting them from Alja.
  308. Haryuko: She takes another potshot at one in the back ranks, still swearing in gnomish. "Ack, I don't think I'm doing much!"
  309. Ileleste: "You and me both." Ileleste laments.
  310. The Monster: Looks like the Duergars have irritated The Monster. With a mighty swing it strikes one of the dark dwarves, putting it down.
  311. Josh: The Druegars near Rylain drops their hammers and shields and bend over, reaching for Alja
  312. URZOGA: Looks like The Monster isn't having any of that. A broken neck easily dissuades the Druegar.
  313. Josh: The knight swings his blade at the other, scoring a hit that staggers the crazed thing back.
  314. Josh: The druegar attack the men standing around them, one landing a blow on reaper
  315. URZOGA: The Monster moves onto fresh prey, a single punch putting another of the insane druegar down.
  316. Pinko: Beans shoots down the unarmed Duergar, then lets out a surprised gasp before collapsing down.
  317. Ileleste: "Is... is that all of them?" Ileleste asks from her hiding spot.
  318. URZOGA: Judging by the look on The Monster's face it was hoping for more.
  319. URZOGA: With no new prey in sight The Monster turns and stalks back the way the group came.
  320. The_Reaper: "I hope so" Reaper calls out as he goes to sit down against the nearest wall.
  321. Pinko: Beans is still face planted face first into the dirt, despite not being a direct casualty.
  322. Ileleste creeps up behind Beans and kneels down by her. "Are you alright?"
  323. Pinko: Beans seem to come back to her sense after a short moment, giving Ileleste the thumbs. She's swearing in abyssal as she spits some dirt out of her mouth. It doesn't sound nice at all, considering it's the language of demons.
  324. Ileleste tilts her head at the cuss, but doesn't reply in kind. "Do you need a hand getting up?" She looks to the others in hopes one of them is tending to Alja.
  325. Pinko: "I'll be fine, go check if Alja's good." Beans seats down and seems to be recollecting her thoughts. "Don't go to the right for now."
  326. Josh: Rylain has knelt down by Alja and is bandaging her wounds as well as he is able.
  327. URZOGA: Looks like The Monster is still on the move.
  328. Pinko: "We need to find somewhere safe to rest. Is Alja alive? ...Where's Urzoga?" She's still holding her head, feeling like she just got a fever nightmare.
  329. Josh: "She is alive and awake. Her head was bashed hard but I think she will live." He points down the hall after Urzoga, "She passed you a moment ago."
  330. Ileleste gets up and follows after Urzoga.
  331. Pinko: "I think we should try and find a safe place to rest. Maybe head out of the cavern for now."
  332. Ileleste: "Uh, Urzoga?" Ileleste comes up behind the half-orc. "Are you alright? You wandered off...”
  333. URZOGA: The Monster, whatever it had been doing, stops and stands up straight.
  334. URZOGA: Its body turns slightly, looking over a shoulder at Ileleste.
  336. Ileleste starts taking a step back.
  337. URZOGA: "SHE IS WEAK! PUNY! I AM STRONG!" The Monster turns to face Ileleste fully.
  338. Ileleste: And another step holding up her hands.
  340. Josh: The other two turn to watch, eyes wide.
  341. The_Reaper: "don’t need to shout we can all hear you just fine" reaper calls out while coughing out some blood.
  342. Pinko: Beans notices the situation and swiftly scuttles back to Ileleste's side, frowning and storming to the monster. "Maybe, but she is my friend. Your job here is done, whoever you are." Beans once had to deal with this before. It's as if Urz' frenzy was another person entirely.
  343. Ileleste promptly moves behind Beans.
  344. URZOGA: The Monster leers down at Beans, a rumble in its chest.
  345. Josh: Rylain stands up and makes to draw his weapon, stepping towards them somewhat.
  346. Pinko: "What's your name, anyway? If we're going to work together, we need something to call you."
  347. Pinko: Beans leers back at the monster having taken over her friend.
  349. URZOGA: The Monster offers a toothy grin. "YOU'RE LUCKY."
  350. URZOGA: As if snapping to her senses the Half-Orc changes in small ways. Her stance is more relaxed now, her skin no longer pulled tight over bulging muscles and that look of pure rage no longer lingers in her eyes.
  351. Ileleste looks around, trying to determine what the half-orc was doing before she interrupted it.
  352. Josh: Rylain sees the tension begin to lighten and lets his sword click back into his sheath, returning to Alja's wounds and then making his way to Reaper.
  353. Pinko: "...Urzoga, I really appreciate what you do, but... that Monster in you is dangerous." Beans lowers her crossbow away from her own friend.
  354. Ileleste whispers something to Beans.
  355. URZOGA: "Did...did it hurt someone?" She's busy shaking off the daze she was in after the rage.
  356. Ileleste perks up suddenly, looking in thought.
  357. Pinko: "No, it's fine." She gives her a warm smile. "Let's just get out of this place for tonight and rest."
  358. Pinko: Beans winks up to Ileleste.
  359. Ileleste: She smiles back down at Beans then heads back into the other room looking around again.
  360. URZOGA: "Urg, right, what about back near the entrance?"
  361. Josh: Rylain tightens a wraparound Reaper's bruised ribs. "You need to stop flinging yourself into the arms of the enemy. Are you seeking your own death?"
  362. The_Reaper: "I don't seek my own death, I just want revenge against something that’s no longer there."
  363. Pinko: "Sounds like a plan." Beans then drags Urzoga and Ileleste to the others. "This is enough for tonight. Let's get out and continue tomorrow."
  364. Josh: "Good, these two are too wounded for my meager skills to be of any use and these disease ridden bodies are making me uncomfortable. I could swear I saw something rising off of them."
  365. The_Reaper: "Well let’s get going then"
  366. Ileleste helps with what she can helping the wounded.
  367. Josh: You all head back to the entrance of the dungeon, passing the bodies of the gnolls along the way. Outside the fire has died down, hot embers all that's left of the Malchizidekian camp. The pile of bodies the only reminder that there was a battle here.
  368. Pinko: "Let's set camp, but be careful. I'll go check out that camp, maybe there's still something useful there. Come with me Ileleste, I doubt you're much help tending to a fire anyway." Her tone is a bit teasing and playful, she doesn't mean anything by it.
  369. Ileleste follows along, happy to be away from Urz.
  370. Pinko: "Mmh. These oils are not good news. I guess they'd want to erase traces of their presence, or orders sent to them." Beans muses.
  371. Pinko: "...Bet the fire did most of that for them, though."
  372. Josh: Rylain busies himself setting up camp and starting a fire, letting the two most wounded get their rest.
  373. Ileleste wraps her cloak around herself tight as she helps to set up the camp as well, trying to be as useful as she can.
  374. URZOGA: Urzoga spends a while back inside the cave before emerging with an iron chest she presents to Beans. "Found this."
  375. Pinko: Beans opens the chest, pleased with its content. "Great! I'm sure we can make use of this." She lets the gold fall through her fingertips for a few moments. "I'll go check by the horses before we go to sleep."
  376. Ileleste peeks up at the chest, then goes back to what she was doing.
  377. URZOGA: Urzoga goes about setting up her gear for a night outside, from pitching her tent to unrolling her bedroll and munching on some rations.
  378. Josh: Another night, another bit of rest before the adventurers delve further into the underdark on their way to meet with the Dwarves.
  379. Josh: Once the sun rises you all feel more refreshed than you did last night.
  380. Rylian: "Well my friends, it is time for our continued ventures into the world below!" Rylain bellows, full of gusto.
  381. Ileleste crawls out of her tent managing to look radiant even after sleeping in the wild.
  382. Pinko: Beans looks fine this morning, not too exhausted, sipping her coffee in peace.
  383. Pinko: After her coffee, she then approaches the still injured Alja, and places her hand on her chest. Chanting and holding onto her symbol, she releases holy energy which gradually heals the dwarf over the next minute.
  384. Yayifications: Alja awakens seeming relatively well, wound considering. She smiles to Beans, "Thank ya' lass."
  385. The_Reaper: Reaper downs a bitter potion off in the corner
  386. Pinko: "Most welcome, lady Alja. We're lucky to still have you among us." Beans then politely bows and step back. "...Do make sure to keep an eye on Urzoga whenever we fight." An odd warning before packing up her tent.
  387. Ileleste: After stretching and watching the others curiously, she packs up her meagre belongings and finds a spot to munch on some rations.
  388. Rylian: Rylain observes the spectacle taking place, with a good degree of awe. "Will they be alright, my fair doofus?"
  389. Pinko: "...They'll be just fine." Beans holds back a bitter grin as she seems to be searching for something in her backpack, tearing apart a leather strap.
  390. Pinko: She then collects a bunch of rocks and returns to Ileleste. "Here, have this, just in case. It'll keep you at a distance if you run out of spells. I don't have bullets at hand, but rocks should do fine for now. Next time we're in a town, we'll get you a crossbow or something, alright?"
  391. Ileleste: "Oh... Oh thank you. This will be handy." She takes the sling and rocks from Beans smiling.
  392. Pinko: "Unless someone has something else to do, I think we're good to go for now." Beans smiles meekly at the group.
  393. Rylian: "Verily, although we must double our pace to make there in good time."
  394. Yayifications: Alja comes out, equipped to go, "Right then, let's get going', aye?"
  395. Josh: Once you've all gathered your gear and prepared, you travel back into the dungeon.
  396. Pinko: "Right, I'm pretty sure that path to our right is a trap, and that we should follow the left one. After all, the Duergars came from it." To see if something happens, Beans grabs her 11 foot pole and starts curiously poking at the right tunnel.
  397. Urzoga: "Why are the bodies smoking?"
  398. Rylian: “It feels as if something else has been here."
  399. Ileleste: Ileleste moves towards the bodies and tries to see if she can detect anything magical about them and their weird vapors.
  400. Josh: Nothing happens as Beans pokes around in the tunnel other than a faint echoing of her pole hitting the rock walls.
  401. Pinko: She instead starts poking at the duergar bodies with said stick.
  402. Ileleste: "Well, that smoke stuff is magic, but I don't know what kind."
  403. Pinko: "Do you mind?" Beans herself casts detect magic, then will try to identify whatever kind of magic this aura is.
  404. Ileleste is happy to step aside.
  405. Pinko: "...I don't know if it's contagious, but this feels like necromantic shadowstuff. The sooner we get to the bottom of this, the better for everyone."
  406. Ileleste takes a step back at that.
  407. Rylian: "Hmmm, then I believe that our enemy here somehow utilized dark magics, or we might be up against something worse."
  408. Pinko: Beans does a double take as she examines the group. "U-uh, must be my imagination. I think there's something to the left..."
  409. Pinko: She focusses her attention over there for a moment.
  410. Ileleste: "Do you see something?"
  411. Pinko: "Under those rubbles..." She shifts over and starts searching through them.
  412. Ileleste watches intently.
  413. Urzoga looks around.
  414. Pinko: "Well, poor fellow won't need these anymore." She kicks the masterwork heavy wooden shield back, sliding it towards the knight Rylain. "Try this on, should be good for you." She also collects a vial and some more gold pieces.
  415. Pinko: "Can't quite figure what this is, but I'm quite certain this is healing magic."
  416. Rylian: "I will do so, with great pleasure!" Rylain grips the shield in his off hand
  417. Pinko: "Alright then, shall we carry on further to the left?" Beans points the direction.
  418. Pinko: "It's safer to follow the tracks those inside followed."
  419. Ileleste nods her agreement.
  420. Urzoga: "I'll go in front."
  421. Rylian: "I'll watch the wounded ones in back"
  422. The_Reaper: "I will go up front as well"
  423. Ileleste is more than happy to be in the middle and less of a target.
  424. Ileleste: As they move along she pulls the hood of her cloak up to cover her horns.
  425. Pinko: Beans stands in the back as well, closing the march.
  426. Josh: The next room you enter shows signs of fighting and many deader Druegar, it appears the few you fought were survivors from this scuffle. There are a few Drow bodies as well and a trail of blood and slime leads southwards.
  427. Ileleste covers her mouth and nose at the scene.
  428. Urzoga: Urz grunts, gaze slowly looking southwards. "Not sure we want to go that way."
  429. Pinko: "It's either that or the creepy runes that knocked me out and sent me to another era yesterday." Beans shuffles awkwardly on the spot.
  430. Urzoga: "What?"
  431. Josh: There is a path leading north as well.
  432. Pinko: "N-Nothing. Alja, do you know what path to take from here?"
  433. Pinko: Beans tries to figure if there's any interesting loot.
  434. Pinko: "Maybe one of them have a map or something..."
  435. Yayifications: "Well, the dwarven city's still north. Not sure why so many drow and duergar are here though...an' more worried about whatever may have killed 'em."
  436. Pinko: "D-does anyone speak undercommon? I know a lot of dialects, but this isn't one of them... I mean, Alja, you've dealt with Drows before, right?" She seems a bit hopeful, also having collected a bunch of scrolls.
  437. Rylian: "The only word I know that's not Common is 'doofus', so not much"
  438. Pinko: "Worst case scenario, I can prepare a spell tomorrow to read this." Beans gives a bit of a sigh.
  439. Yayifications: "Aye, I do know a bit, but..." She tries to look the scrolls over.
  440. Ileleste: Since it seems relatively safe, Ileleste moves out where Beans and Alja are.
  441. Yayifications: "What?!" Alja reads the note in disbelief.
  442. Yayifications: "The drow have agreed to free us," she repeats.
  443. Urzoga: "Free what?"
  444. Rylian: "Are there races ruled over by drow?"
  445. The_Reaper: "Should we just go north?"
  446. Yayifications: "The drow do, aye, but the Duergar were...Hm. This is bad. But aye, I suppose we should head north."
  447. Yayifications: "Just...expect trouble."
  448. Pinko: Beans nods and hums slightly in thoughts, getting back in formation. "Well, what are we waiting for?"
  449. Ileleste follows suit, keeping close to the others as they head north.
  450. Josh: As you head through the narrow passage to the north you come across a room that appears to be a cross roads with a black tiled floor.
  451. Urzoga: "Might be trouble."
  452. Josh: The tiles seem to be marked with runes, mostly numbers in Dwarven. They're too dark and obscure to make out, even with dark vision.
  453. Josh: A mural of legendary monsters covers the ceiling.
  454. Pinko: Beans is going to throw some flour down at the tiles to try to make out if they have a relief she can make out.
  455. Pinko: If the numbers are carved into them or something.
  456. The_Reaper: "So those must be what I’m after....." Reaper says quietly
  457. Pinko: "This symbol means zero, and this one means one. I wonder what they stand for." Beans tries to poke the one with one written on it.
  458. Pinko: With her pole, of course.
  459. Josh: It glows when pressure is placed on it, showing the rune even through the flour. When the pressure is released it stops glowing.
  460. Pinko: She tries the one that says zero now.
  461. Ileleste watches from a safe distance. "That doesn't look good."
  462. Josh: Arrows fly wildly from the ceiling, several embedding themselves into the wood of the pole. You hear an audible click from above.
  463. Ileleste: "See." She tries not to sound like that startled her.
  464. Pinko: "Oh." She tries to salvage the people, then hands whoever is closest her spear. "Here, I'll press this one that says one, and then I've done so, press the tip of the spear down onto it as well. Maybe the numbers mean maximum number people these tiles will support."
  465. Urzoga: "Any idea what this all is, Alja?"
  466. Pinko: "Mmmh." Beans gives Urzoga a glance before throwing her the spear. "Poke this with me." Then she sets down her pole.
  467. Josh: The rune glows again as pressure is placed on it. It continues glowing with the spear but nothing else happens
  468. Ileleste: "So... we follow those?"
  469. Pinko: "Well, I'm going to assume it's safe to set two feet on there." Beans hops onto the rune.
  470. Josh: Glowing, nothing else.
  471. Pinko: She pokes the next one with a one on it.
  472. The_Reaper: "Such a strange mural."
  473. Josh: The one glows as well.
  474. Pinko: Beans then turns her attention to the mural for a moment.
  475. Pinko: "Maybe it'll give us clues."
  476. Pinko: She hops one the next rune as she says so.
  477. Josh: The mural is filled with evil looking creatures. Individually you see a giant shadow worm, a demon looking monster, a humanoid armored person on a flaming horse and behind them all a faceless mask with dark ink-like spots over it. The mural itself seems like it would have more. Like it is unfinished, growing.
  478. Ileleste takes look up at the mural, then heads over to the tiles tensely watching Beans.
  479. Ileleste: "Don't you make yourself into a pincushion."
  480. Pinko: "I've got this." Beans pulls out another flour bag and throws it in front of her, marking the tiles.
  481. Pinko: "I think the ones with 1 written on them are safe."
  482. Pinko: Beans then steps back, and jumps over the last set of tiles after a running start.
  483. Pinko: "Okay, so, if I understand, this crossroad splits in two, with how the trap is set up. I guess we'll follow this path."
  484. Urzoga: Urz looks down at the tiles, spear now resting against her shoulder, and follows the path Beans took over the tiles.
  485. Pinko: "Y'know, they called me crazy for bringing flour on me. That'll show them!"
  486. Ileleste follows cautiously after Urzoga.
  487. Urzoga: Urz hands Beans her spear back.
  488. Pinko: "Thank you very much, dear." She straps the spear back to her back.
  489. Josh: The rest of the group follows suit, avoiding the last bit of tiles with well-timed jumps.
  490. Ileleste: "Which way now?"
  491. Pinko: "To the right, we can slip past."
  492. Ileleste looks around at the new chamber they just entered as she follows behind Urzoga.
  493. Urzoga: "Which way now? North still?"
  494. Yayifications: "Aye, the dwarven city hasn't moved."
  495. Josh: As you move farther into the giant room you see two spectral shapes floating around. Once they catch a glimpse of you they scream bloody murder.
  496. Pinko: "Ah, ghosts, be wary of their touches!" Beans freezes on the spot. "I'm not even sure we can harm them, we don't have magical weapons at hand! I'll try... something!"
  497. Pinko: "And be careful about meeting their gaze...!"
  498. Pinko: "....Uh, Weirdo? Did you do something? They're afraid of -you-." Beans is addressing the scythe wielder.
  499. Josh: They also have not moved from their spots, neither to aggress you nor to flee.
  500. The_Reaper: "I haven't done anything."
  501. Pinko: "I mean, I know it sounds crazy, but take a few steps closer. If they try anything, I'll try to turn them."
  502. Josh: As he approaches they retreat, hissing.
  503. Pinko: "...Well, stick close to the weirdo. Looks like he's got this under control." Beans seems... mystified by this.
  504. Pinko: "It's all for the better, anyway. I don't think we have much that can harm them."
  505. Ileleste: "Sounds like a plan to me."
  506. Josh: The room to the front is engraved with strange symbols it splits in three places. On the north wall there are a couple stacks of wooden crates.
  507. Pinko: "I, uh, I get a feeling we should just get a move on. Wasting more time is dangerous with what's crawling around, and there might be people that need our help."
  508. Urzoga: "Which way, then?"
  509. Pinko: "I, uh, still north I guess?" Bean seems confused now, drawing a blank.
  510. Urzoga: Urz scratches her head, looking left and right.
  511. Ileleste: "Treasure?" Ileleste blurts out loud.
  512. Ileleste: A hand covers her mouth after.
  513. Pinko: "Eeeeh?" She blinks with a confused look.
  514. Ileleste: She points to the crates. "Something in there."
  515. Ileleste: She heads forward towards them to get a better look.
  516. Pinko: Beans follows Ileleste closely, a bit short for the stacked boxes.
  517. Ileleste: She starts to rummage through rocks and uncovers an iron chest.
  518. Ileleste: "Seems locked."
  519. Pinko: "Maybe we can break it?" Bean tilts her head and considers the option. "Is whatever's in there fragile, you think?"
  520. Ileleste: She gives it a bit of a shake listening to the contents.
  521. Ileleste: "I would say there's something fragile in it. Glass?"
  522. Pinko: "None of you are handy with a lock pick, are they?" Beans hmms thoughtfully.
  523. The_Reaper: "Nope"
  524. Ileleste shakes her head and pulls the chest out setting it on the cave floor gently.
  525. Pinko: "I mean, I guess we can lug it around, I mean we're going through a lot for this, right? Might as well get compensated for it." She nods as if it were the most natural thing.
  526. Ileleste smiles, happy with herself.
  527. Pinko: "We might make an adventurer out of you yet, Ileleste." Beans then points towards the tunnel that gives her blurs. "I think we should hurry up."
  528. Yayifications: "Wait a second...These gates aren't normally open. Somethin' is -very wrong-. As if drow and Duergar weren't sign enough o' that."
  529. Pinko: Beans looks for clues of recent passage through here before urging others to move on. "I wonder when the last time someone stood guard here was... Obviously, whoever opened through didn't care about riches." She points at the iron chest.
  530. Ileleste: "I feel that we're too late for whatever happened. Should we hurry up a bit?"
  531. Josh: You hear voices down the corridor to the left, sounds like they've heard you as well. You move through the open gateway heading towards the voices, as you near you see a group of Dwarves waiting by another set of gates.
  532. Josh: The one in the lead speaks up. His beard and hair has been shaved, he's covered in tattoos and though he speaks with authority you can see wildness in his eyes. "Oy, be ye friend or foe?"
  533. Urzoga: Urz stops and looks up, weight shifting to one leg. She's carrying the heavy iron chest on a shoulder by one handle.
  534. Pinko: Beans answers 'friendly' in dwarven, raising her hands up. "We came here from Silverhome after an Empire attack on the small settlement. We wanted to see how you were doing, since they noted they'd attack this place, but it seems you've got bigger problems in general."
  535. Josh: "Aye?" He seems to barely register your words instead looking at Alja. "Name and clan?"
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