Branding's Age of Worms, the 4th Generation - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Chapter Three, Page 6

    Majakilar steps into the open cylinder and descends safely, as well, despite the loud grinding of stone against stone. When the elevator rises a second time, Azten notices that the noise never lessened. Hesistantly, he steps into the cylinder to follow the two miners to the chamber below.

    The metal doors slide shut and the cylinder begins to lower.

    After a scant few seconds of rumbling, the roar of stone rises and the dwarf feels the floor give way beneath his feet. His heart leaps into his throat as his body is suddenly suspended in freefall as the entire elevator apparatus clatters to the ground below. Azten crumples to the floor of the cylinder as it lodges at an angle in the alcove of the chamber.

    OOC -Reflex save +9 against DC 12 to avoid lethal damage: rolled 7, failure. Received 4 damage.

    Gregor and Majakilar jump back when the rumbling grew louder and they heard the cylinder give way. With a loud crash, the cylinder comes to rest in the alcove, releasing a cloud of choking dust and scattering clattering pebbles into the chamber. The metal doors are scrapped and dented, but remain closed.

    Alexi, Owen, and Kenneth watch the stone plug sink into the floor behind Azten, and moments later the three see the floor around the five foot circle begin to crack and crumble. The stone gives way and Owen leaps backward to avoid the sudden sinkhole that appears where Azten had entered the elevator only seconds before.

    "After you m'lady," Owen mutters.

    From within the dark hole, the remaining party hear the skittering of thousands of insects, growing louder with every passing second, making their way up the collapsed shaft.

    OOC - *Ahem* Shoulda listened to Azten, I'm afraid. Poor guy. Why did he have to be person three to use the elevator?

    Azten, Gregor, and Majakilar are in the lower chamber with Azten currently still sealed in the elevator. Kenneth, Owen, and Alexi are in the sarcophagus chamber with a swarm of insects approaching. Roll initiative and state your actions!

    Mista Collins

    Stepping away from the hole, Owen glances towards Alexi and Kenneth with a look of suprise. "This can't be good." Drawing his rapier and dagger he prepares for whatever might come out of the hole.

    OOC - Rolled initiative of 10 ( MA - Move back 20', SA - Draw weapons.


    Deeply shaken by the collapse of the elevator, it takes Azten a few moment to collect his thoughts and realize what has happened.
    Trying to sound defiant and angry, yet mostly achieving dwarven petulance, he raises his fist in the air, shakes it, and yells back up to the remainder of the party: Oh, Sure! We should take GREEN shaft!!
    Then, muttering more softly to himself:
    no one listens to the voice of experience... "Yeah the dwarf does not want to go that way, So that way we will go..." <grumble grumble>

    When the last echoes of his outburst fade from hearing he realizes just how he sounded, and to his credit, is a little ashamed. He takes a moment to assess himself for injury, and finding nothing major, give thanks to Moradin for his health.

    With his wounds treated, he turns his attention to the environment, looking for the doors, and listening for any activity around him.

    I am here!



    Gregor? ... Majakilar? ... Anyone?

    OOC: "Bueller?" ... "Bueller?" ( "Anyone?"
    Down to 6 HP - will save his last couple of cure orisons for later.


    "Cave in!" yells Majakilar, jumping back with Gregor. He had a feeling that is what the rumbling could have meant, like he had witnessed in the mines before. As the dust settles, and Majakilar realizes Azten is inside the collapsed elevator, he yells "Hold on Azten, we're going to get you out!"

    ooc: Majakilar (and Gregor?) will try forcing the door, or chopping it with their weapons, or perhaps figuring out some sort of lever mechanism to open it.


    Once the crash is over Gregor jumps to action dropping his mace as he runs to the trapped dwarf's aid "Give me a hand with this Majak!" as he rushes over to the sealed cylinder and grips the edges of the door with his massive hands and strains to force them open by brute strength.

    ooc Gregor has +1 on init, and str 20 (+5) to force open the door, with Majakalar aiding other that would go up to +7 I believe.


    “I totally agree, that doesn't sound good. I hope you guys are ok, down there!” Alexi ends shouting and immediately retreats away from the shaft.

    “Come, we do not want to have any more of those stones crumble and fall down on their heads or something like that. Or be close to whatever comes up the shaft.”

    "Wait!" calls Kenneth as the noise of skittering insects slowly grows. As the three retreat from the gaping hole in the stone floor, Kenneth begins to fumble in his pockets.

    "Owen! Weapons won't do any damage against a hoard of insects! We need fire!" He turns to Alexi as he retrieves a small flask from his vest. "You still have that thick blanket, don't you?"

    OOC - Bardic knowledge check +4: rolled 12, success.

    * * *

    As the dust clears, Gregor sees the cylinder lodged at the bottom of the shaft, debris surrounding it like a pillow, and the faraway, indistinguishable voice of the dwarf within. Forcing his fingers into the crack between the two doors, Gregor pulls them apart as his giant-like muscles bulge beneath his skin. The metal doors separate, revealing Azten standing inside, injured but alive.

    OOC - Instead of taking 20, I had Gregro do an unaided strength check before Majakilar reached him. DC 20 to open doors: rolled 25, a natural 20. Congratulations!

    Azten gives a quick glance over the fallen elevator and the stonework surrounding the shaft and surmises that the danger had passed. Eyeing the sixty foot tunnel to the chamber above, he wonders how he could have even survived the fall.

    The three hear Alexi's voice, far above through the shaft, shouting, "I hope you guys are ok, down there," quickly followed by a distant buzzing, as if a beehive had been knocked out of a tree.


    “Not on me, Gregor has that right now.”


    Thank you Gregor. Are you and Majakilar ok?
    Surveying the damage, Azten realizes just how blessed he is to have survived and again gives thanks to Moradin for his safety.

    Hearing Alexi call down, he answers her question - Aye, we survived - and then notices the escalating buzzing sound.

    What now?

    Kenneth's face crumbles at Alexi's response just as he unstoppers the cork on the small vial. He glances at the vial, then to the collapsed shaft, then back to the vial again, as the incessant skittering and buzzing grows louder. His vial of hair oil was supposed to last him several months, but it was flammable and they needed something to fend off the hoard of insects approaching.

    "I guess we'll have to make the best of it." He shrugs and approaches the hole, upending his vial of oil at its edge and quickly backing up.

    "Owen," he says, "I hope you didn't give Gregor your flint and steel, because that is the only way that we can light it.

    "Wait until the bugs come through the hole, then set it on fire. If we're lucky, the bugs will get caught in it, too."


    "We're fine Atzen, although it will be a climb to get back up. We're much deeper than I thought we would be." Now that Atzen is free Gregor goes and picks up his dropped things. "What is that buzzing sound?"


    Majakilar shakes his head in astonishment at Gregor's feat of strength. He's seen it many times before, in the mines, when Gregor would almost routinely demonstrate the strength of two men. But nonetheless he was always impressed by it.

    "Buzzing sound? I thought that was just my ears ringing from the cave-in!" Majakilar shakes his head uncertainly. Picking up his weapon, he looks around the chamber, exploring

    Azten, Majakilar, and Gregor explore the remains of the elevator shaft, looking up at the pinpoint of green light in the distance in the chamber above. Gregor holds aloft his torch, and in the light of the flickering flames and the vaguest greenish glow, the three at the bottom of the shaft can barely make out an undulating blanket of beetles, the source of the buzzing, along the inner wall of the shaft, racing for the surface.

    From a dark outcropping within the tunnel emerges a skittering, horrible aberration with six sharp legs sprouting from a central body that is little more than a disgusting eye. The creature's single eye swivels in their direction, fixing them in its gaze, then quickly descends to meet them with a maddening clicking sound of its legs racing across the pitted and scarred shaft.

    OOC -
    Round 1
    21 - Azten
    19 - Gregor
    15 - Mad slasher
    7 - Majakilar


    "Get back Atzen! Let me and Majak take care of it!" Gregor sets himself and braces for the impact of the onrushing creature, big metal flange drawn back and ready to smash once the creature is within reach.

    ooc ready action to strike the eye bug with my makeshift mace. +5 to hit d8+5 damage.


    By the time Gregor has finished speaking, Azten is already moving carefully backward, with no desire to confront the aberration while the better fighters are stuck behind him.

    What is this - a collection of eyeball creatures!?!

    OOC: withdraw to behind Majakilar and Gregor, ready to defend himself or use a cure minor orison if needed (cures 1 hp damage)

    OOC - Since Majakilar has a lower initiative, I will go ahead and post the actions of Azten, Gregor, and the mad slasher first. When you post, silentspace, go ahead and assume these actions have already taken place in the round, and it's your initiative.
    Stepping quickly over the piles of rubble, Azten positions himself behind the two giant miners as the aberration skitters down the side of the shaft. Gregor raises his mace moments before the creature plows into him, a whirlwind of slashing claws and piercing legs. His weapon glances off one of its legs as it jabs another into his shoulder.

    OOC -
    Gregor attacks mad slasher with readied action, +5: rolled 12, miss.
    Mad slasher charged Gregor: hit, 4 damage.
    Majakilar's turn.

    Mista Collins

    Taking his backpack off of his shoulders, he puts it on the ground and quickly pulls out his flint and steel. "Now if you wouldn't spend all your money and time on your fancy clothes and stupid beauty products, you might find that having a few practical things for exploring a dungeon will be more practical," Owen says in Kenneth's native tongue as he tosses the flint and steel to Kenneth.

    Digging a little further into his backpack, Owen pulls out his own flask of oil. This time he continues in Common. "I wish I would have bought those stupid torches I was eyeing instead of this lantern! But I might be able to add to the fire."


    "Hang in there Gregor, let's flank him!" Majakilar steps around, swinging his guisearme at the latest aberration.

    ooc: Majakilar's got combat reflexes, so he would've gotten a hit in the first round if the creature passed through one of his threatened spaces. If he can circle around to flank without taking an AoO he'll do it. Otherwise he'll take a 5' step towards eventually flanking. He's also dodging against it.

    OOC - Well, silentspace, Majakilar was technically flat-footed, which means, even with Combat Reflexes, he cannot take any attacks of opportunity. I'm also assuming that Gregor and Majakilar started out essentially side-by-side in the corridor next to the collapsed elevator. Due to the confines, Majakilar will not be able to gain a flanking position; the mad slasher is, in essence, backed up against the elevator. A five-foot-step by Majakilar now will enable him to wield his reach weapon.

    I'll apply that dodge bonus for you.

    Majakilar steps back as he brings his guisearme to bear, hooking into the strange beast. He jerks the weapon and manages to twist one of the thing's legs and an unearthly squeal emanates from within its fleshy mass.

    OOC -
    Majakilar attacks mad slasher, +2: rolled 18, hit, 8 damage.

    * * *

    Kenneth snatches the flint and steel from the air, mouth agape but not at a loss for words.

    "We were just supposed to explore," he says emphatically, kneeling next to the puddle of oil and readying himself to send the sparks into the oil. "Like Horgar of Slethikan, who went cave-delving for five days and returned with heaps of gold and gems, without encountering a single creature."

    As Kenneth speaks, a living geyser of beetles bursts from the shaft, an expanding carpet of glittering carapaces that trail a thin coat of bright yellow substance in its wake. As one, the beetles focus their efforts and arrow for Kenneth, still kneeling on the opposite of the oil.

    Frantically, he strikes the flint against the steel, sending a miniature cascade of sparks into the oil. Just as the swarm of beetles skitter through the oil, it erupts into flames, setting the insects alight. Sizzling and popping, the swarm scatters as the smell of something burnt permeates the air. A moment later it seems to recover, though smaller and less dense, and forms into a cohesive, flaming whole.

    Kenneth turns and runs down the corridor toward Owen and Alexi to escape the onrushing swarm of insects. "Now's your chance, Owen!" he yells over the crackling of the burning insects. "Add to the fire!"

    OOC -
    Round 1
    20 - Kenneth
    10 - Owen
    5 - Alexi
    Round 2
    11 - Kenneth
    11 - Beetle swarm
    10 - Owen
    5 - Alexi
    Kenneth delayed action until beetle swarm arrived in oil, move action to set on fire, move action to run 20 ft. away.
    Beetles caught fire, 4 damage. Reflex save against DC 15: failure (will take fire damage the following round on its turn). Moves 20 ft. toward Kenneth, Owen, and Alexi.
    Owen's and Alexi's turn.
    I'm assuming that when everyone moved back, that it was about 20 ft. At this point on Owen's turn the beetle swarm is right in front of both Owen and Alexi.


    Not knowing what to do against the swarm, Alexi backs off further.

    “Sorry, I don't think I have anything to add to the fire. Do you think they will follow us? We could just head out and lose them, then come back.”


    ooc: regarding combat reflexes and attacks while flat-footed, click (


    As Majakilar hooks into the slasher, Azten slips an involuntary Yeah! while continuing to defend or heal as needed.


    "Ahhh!" Gregor howls as the beast claws into him tearing his flesh. The giant youth smashes his metal club again into the thing, trying to smash it into pulp.

    Mista Collins

    Tossing his flask of oil onto the blazing beetles, Owen backs up along side of Alexi. "If that doesn't do the trick, I recommend running!"

    Majakilar wrenches his guisarme again and the creature's legs become entangled in the head of the weapon. The central, bulbous eye widens and the creature collapses in a mass of thrashing, spindly legs, tearing long gashes into Gregor as it falls amongst the rubble.

    The giant raises his mace in anger with a howl and brings it down upon the defenseless aberration, but at the critical moment his foot slips on a loose stone, throwing him off-balance, and his weapon crashes into a rock inches from the creature's central body. It skitters backward and rears up in front of the open doors of the destroyed elevator and plunges a foreleg toward Gregor's chest.

    The legs find only air as Gregor yanks his mace from the rubble and dodges out of the way of Majakilar's thrust of the polearm. The creature lowers its body to the ground like a spider, avoiding the guisarme that twists overhead, as well as the wide arc of Gregor's mace.

    A sharp leg strikes for an opening as Gregor tries to recover from his missed swing. He gasps suddenly as it pierces deep into his side, but just as quickly the leg slides out from his wound. Gregor turns to see Majakilar's guisarme penetrating the body of the skittering aberration with offal oozing from it. It wrenches itself free, its single eye darting frantically, and flexes its six legs as if to sprint.

    OOC -
    Round 1
    7 - Majakilar: Free successful trip: mad slasher knocked prone.

    Round 2
    21 - Azten: Full defense.
    15 - Gregor: Attacks mad slasher, +5: rolled natural 1, miss.
    15 - Mad slasher: Move action to stand up. Attacks Gregor: miss.
    7 - Majakilar: Attacks mad slasher, +2: rolled 7, miss.

    I was hoping having the mad slasher prone would have helped out Gregor's attack. Of all times, why did I have to roll a natural 1 for him?! Sorry 'bout that, guys.

    Round 3
    21 - Azten: Full defense.
    15 - Gregor: Attacks mad slasher, +5: rolled 11, miss.
    15 - Mad slasher: Attacks Gregor: miss. Attacks Gregor again: hit, 8 damage. Gregor at 0 hp, disabled.
    7 - Majakilar: Attacks mad slasher, +2: rolled 16, hit, 11 damage. Mad slasher at hp-19.

    The mad slasher is backed up against, but not inside, the collapsed shaft. Gregor is standing toe-to-toe with it, facing the collapsed shaft. Majakilar is near the corner of the room next to one of the statues to give himself 10 ft. reach. The mad slasher cannot be flanked (since it's essentially within the alcove). Azten is further away from the shaft, behind both Majakilar and Gregor in a "V" formation.


    "You no-good, filthy sack of... eye! Go ahead, try to run! I'm going to slice you in half you... eye!"

    Majakilar continues his attack. He hopes the creature flees through his threatened area, allowing him time to slash his guisearme at it again.

    Owen throws his flask of oil into the flaming carpet of beetles which explodes in their midst, sending flaming insects into the air like a miniature fireworks display. As Owen, Alexi, and Kenneth retreat, the swarm of squealing, chittering beetles pursues them down the hall and into the large sarcophagus chamber.

    They manage to outpace the swarm as it leaves behind a trail of burnt cinders and black residue. As they reach the central sarcophagus, the blanket of beetles shudders and dissipitates. Flaming insects scatter across the floor, either finding cracks or dying with a final popping release of acrid smoke. A few moments longer and nothing remains except the charred trail of ooze and the pungent smell of burnt insects.

    From deep within the shaft at the end of the hall, each can barely make out the yells of their companions below.

    OOC -
    Round 2
    10 - Owen: Threw flask of oil at swarm, 2 damage. Swarm at hp-6. Retreated down tunnel.
    5 - Alexi: Retreated down tunnel.

    Round 3
    11 - Kenneth: Retreated down tunnel.
    11 - Beetle swarm: Reflex save DC 15: rolled 6, failure, 6 damage. Swarm killed.


    “Phew! Good work, guys! Now let's see what's up with the rest.”

    Alexi heads back to the elevator, carefully stepping along the side of the oozy trail.


    Azten continues to defend, ready to heal Gregor and Majakilar if needed.

    Mista Collins

    "It worked! I thought we were gonna be running for awhile!" Following behind Alexi, Owen follows but makes it a point to walk wide of the charred trail of ooze. "I hope they are alright!"

    As the aberration balances itself on the loose rubble, Azten reaches out from behind Gregor and lays a hand upon his back while whispering a prayer to his patron. Gregor still feels the pain of his wounds, but the prayer reinvigorates him, granting him the energy to wield his mace once again.

    With a yell he brings the mace over his head as the creature focuses on dodging Majakilar's thrusts, and brings it down in a powerful, crushing arc. The mace crushes the fleshy body, spattering strangely colored fluids in all directions, and its legs crumple beneath it.

    OOC -
    Round 4
    21 - Azten: Full defense. Cast cure minor wounds on Gregor, healing 1 damage. Gregor at 1 hp.
    15 - Gregor: Attacked mad slasher, +5: rolled 24, hit, 9 damage. Mad slasher defeated.
    Okay, that's over. I haven't played with reach weapons very often, and although I remember its properties when it comes to your melee attacks, I seem to unfortunately forget when it comes to the attack of opportunities. Many, many apologies, and I will try to be more aware of it in the future.

  2. #12
    Chapter Three, Page 7

    Crushing dead, smoldering beetles beneath their feet, Alexi, Owen, and Kenneth avoid the trail of blackened ooze and return to the collapsed shaft.

    Kenneth holds a handkerchief to his face to ward off the stench, hopping from one patch free of the trail to another. "At least I have my shoes back..." he grumbles.

    They reach the shaft and peer the sixty feet down to the chamber below. Numerous small cracks and handholds can be seen in the pitted and scarred walls of the shaft, and at the edge of the lantern's green light they see Gregor's torch waving about; any threat they encountered seems to have been defeated.


    Gregor collapses onto his knees, holding his bleeding wounds and breathing deeply. "I'm ready to call it a day."


    Alexi carefully leans over and peers down into the darkness. She smiles as she sees the waving torch.

    “Everything alright down there!? We are fine! Should we climb down to you?”

    Mista Collins

    "Good to see you guys still alive!" Looking down the deep hole, Owen's face goes a little pale. "That is much deeper than I would have thought."


    Looking briefly at Gregor and Majakilar, Azten responds - Yes, we seem to be ok, but very deserving of a rest.

    Are you folks all ok? What was that noise?

    Then, while waiting for answers, Azten looks around the room to assess it's value as a place to rest and regain spells.

    OOC: If no one else is seriously injured, then Azten uses his last two cure minor on Gregor, and liberally applies healing skills all around (where needed) before resting.
    Heal +9

    Mista Collins

    "We are alright. Alexi, Kenneth and I fended off a swarm of insects. My feet hurt a little bit, so a little rest wouldn't be a bad idea. If it isn't safe down there, I suggest we rest up here."


    Majakilar looks at Gregor's wounds. Looking up at the massive warrior, he says "Hey little guy, I'm really glad you're alright. But with your wounds maybe we should look to get back up to the others. Some bed rest would probably do us good, and Azten could probably heal us up a bit better. What do you say Azten?" Majakilar examines the shaft, trying to gauge how difficult and dangerous the climb would be.


    OOC: I was kinda waiting for a description of the room, then I remembered that spoilered note to Gregor when he first went down the elevator... sure enough a description.Looking around at the passage, Azten decides that it would not make a very defensible place to stay for meaningful rest, and answers Majakilar.

    As much as I hate the thought of going up and down that cursed shaft again, there are better places to rest up there than where we are now. And I need quiet time to pray to Moradin and reflect on all his wonders I have seen today.


    “Has anyone seen a rope around here? That would be helpful, if they want to come back up to us.”

    Mista Collins

    "Rope?! I knew I forgot something!" Owen says with feelings of anger at himself for not coming prepared. He then turns to Kenneth. "Let me guess, you don't have any either?"

    Walking over to the hole, Owen looks down and shouts. "Any chances of you guys having some rope?"


    "I've got a coil in my backpack. I hope 50 feet is enough. Do you have any up there you can lower down for us to climb up or should I try throwing mine up to you?"

    If needed Gregor will hurl the rope up for them to secure and lower down then he will carry people as needed as he climbs up the rope.


    Remembering the 50' of hemp rope he has on his pack Azten responds:
    We can add mine to yours and should have more than enough to reach.
    I would offer to take the end up but I have little skill at climbing.


    “Unfortunately we do not have any rope up here, but if needed we can search around for something, an old curtain or whatever, which we could lower down to drag your rope up.”

    OOC - Azten uses two cure minor wounds on Gregor. Gregor at 3 hp.

    There is also no way that the rope can be tossed up the 60 ft. shaft. Someone will have to climb. Gregor and Owen have the best Climb modifiers at +5.

    Azten glances around the passage in an effort to determine how defensible it may be, in the case of any more aberrations with an eye fetish decide to attack.

    Dozens of bas-relief figures similar to the one on the sarcophagus lid in the room above stare disapprovingly from the walls here in stark contrast to the reverential and blissful statues of the first underground chamber. Many sport crossed arms and stern expressions. A few of the statues' heads are missing, and some have huge chunks torn out of them. Others have a weird melted appearance, as if they'd been sprayed by something terrible. A large glyph of a stylized arrow, identical to the glyph seen on the amulet above the strange bed of stone and wind points down a short corridor that leads to a four-way intersection. Azten does not want to remain to find out what else may have caused stone itself to melt away like candlewax.

    "As much as I hate the thought of going up and down that cursed shaft again," Azten says, "there are better places to rest up there than where we are now. And I need quiet time to pray to Moradin and reflect on all his wonders I have seen today."

    At the shaft's edge, Owen examines the scarred and pitted walls. It looks to be pure rock with plenty of small ledges and handholds, easily climbable, and despite the collapse of the elevator, relatively stable.

    OOC - Although the decision seems to be for everyone to reunite above, I'm not sure how everyone would like to do this. At this point, we have a few options. 1) Gregor climbs up with a rope, and Majakilar and Azten then follow on the rope. 2) Owen climbs down, gets the rope, and brings it back up and attaches it. The three then climb up. Or, 3) Everyone climbs up without worrying about the rope. Don't worry about discussing it with the group: just go ahead and post your actions for what you will do, and I will make the checks for it.

    After the party gets back together and decides on a resting place, I will apply Azten's Heal check.


    "Great Atzen, together that should do it. I'll lower the rope when I get to the top and we can haul both of you up safely. Wish me luck." Gregor stows Atzen's rope in his backpack and a steadying breath, then begins the ascent.


    Just be careful not to fall on me, big man! Azten says as he steps away from the shaft and the broken elevator, but continues to watch Gregor with some concern.

    Then, so softly not even Majakilar can hear him from a few feet away, he adds I'm too tired to use magic to heal anyone right now.

    Mista Collins

    Seeing Gregor make the acent Owen leans down to give him some words of encouragement. "You can do it big guy! This is nothing!"

    After a few words of encouragement, Owen leans over to Alexi and Kenneth.

    Alexi & Kenneth:
    "I hope the big guy makes it. It looks like he is wincing from a little pain and he doesn't look to be his best. I should have gone down and gotten the rope instead."

    Gregor ascends the shaft easily, grasping large handholds of stone that have melted into large knobs and lodging his feet into deep pits. He circles the walls of the shaft, resting every few moments on ledges large enough to support his weight, and reaches the top in only a few minutes where Owen, Alexi, and Kenneth await. He breathes heavily due to the exertion aggravating his wounds, but is prepared to haul up his friends from below.

    Kenneth stares open-mouthed as Gregor hauls himself over the shaft edge. "By the gods, Gregor, what happened to you? You look terrble."

    As Alexi takes the rope from Gregor's hands and ties the two lengths into one, Kenneth circles Gregor with hands outstretched, muttering beneath his breath. The blood stains, aberration offal, dirt and grit flake off and disappear leaving his clothing and armor looking shiny and brand new.

    Kenneth nods with satisfaction. "That's better," he says.

    Gregor tosses the rope over the side of the shaft and it tumbles down against the rubble of the ruined elevator at Majakilar's and Azten's feet. Straining and with muscles bulging, Gregor slowly lifts them up the shaft one at a time and onto the solid ground of the alcove while Kenneth cheers him on.

    OOC - Gregor's carrying capacity for a heavy load is 400 lbs. Gregor can lift double this amount: 800 lbs., therefore lifting Azten and Majakilar up the shaft is not a problem.

    Kenneth pulls out a worn notebook and small pencil with bit marks along its length and jots down some notes. "The giant who lifted his friends to safety," he mutters beneath his breath. "Fantastic."

  3. #13
    Chapter Three, Page 8

    The group finds it hard to believe, as they leave the dark confines of the cairn, that it is the late afternoon of the same day. Exhausted, the company trudges back to the abandoned mining office to rest and recuperate. Azten takes out some clean bandages to apply to Gregor's wounds and lays him down upon a worn cot.

    OOC - Azten's Heal check for long-term care, +7 against DC 15: taking 10, 17, success. Gregor healed 2 hp overnight, at 5 hp the following day. I did not have Azten use his healer's kit, since it was not necessary to succeed at the DC.

    Gregor's wounds would be difficult to explain if the party decides to return home. The taskmasters at the mines do not approve of their employees becoming damaged goods, and Gregor would most likely be dismissed if anyone discovered his condition. Likewise, Majakilar and Azten would dismissed as well for allowing it to occur. Alexi and Owen have no particular home to return to anyway, and Kenneth is eager to spend the night in the so-called "unexplored wilderness fraught with danger and excitement." The group elect to stay at the abandoned office and resume their exploration of the whispering cairn the following morning.

    After straightening up portions of the small office, they discover that the building itself is in overall good shape, despite the moldy and splintering furnishings. Kenneth creates a small area of comfort in one corner of the room in record time and promptly leaves to explore the surroundings, warning the others that he had cast upon his belongings "potent, dangerous spells the likes of which have not been seen since the great archmage Manziborian from the land of Gieltan visited the Emporium."

    That evening, each unfurls blankets and bedrolls and settles down for a restful sleep. Kenneth is the first to fall asleep and his resounding snores reverberate against the walls, snorts and exhalations seemingly far too loud to come from the tiny gnome's body. Despite the noise, everyone awakes the following morning refreshed and prepared for the coming day.

    OOC - Feel free to expand on any actions you would like to take during the evening. By my calculations, everyone's spells are recharged and everyone is at full hit points, except for Gregor who is now at 5 hp. Other than that, it's up to everyone where you would like to go next!


    “Great, I knew you would make it!” Alexi had shouted enthusiastically, as Gregor came out of the elevator shaft.

    When the group then left the cairn for a well-deserved rest, she said: “We've been in there quite some time, but exploring the whole place will take days. And we really need the rest now, especially Gregor who has been through quite a bit today. Brave Gregor!”

    “Where should we start tomorrow? Go back down that broken shaft? Is there anything down there? Or rather try one of the others... the next one?”


    Azten makes his preferences known as he makes the rounds tending to everyone's wounds - Today has been a real 'eye-opening' experience for me. I will meditate further on it to be sure it is Moradin's will, but I believe I am meant to continue exploring, even if it means neglecting my duties at the mines.
    He proceeds to describe the dour, disapproving statues in the area, and suggests that the group continue to focus their efforts there.

    Azten also requests to see the statuettes and other trinkets the party has found to see if they hold any clues about the architects and builders of the tomb complex.

    Later that night while he's sound asleep on the floor ("No, really - I prefer to sleep on the floor") he is granted something of a vision - himself with the group, exploring the tomb, while a sensation of warm approval and protection fills him as the scene fades.

    Then, a strong feeling, rather than a vision. He feels that it might be important for him to learn more about the architects, and to that end Moradin has granted him a limited prayer to comprehend any writings they should come across, as well as a few things that may help him or his companions.

    Lastly, Azten receives a gentle admonition that he can always petition Moradin to grant healing in exchange for one of the other prayers bestowed for that day.

    When the morning arrives, the other party members find Azten sitting meditatively in the corner. Rousing him, he is refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day.

    OOC: Prayers granted: Magic Stone, Magic Weapon, Comprehend languages, Detect Magic, Guidance, Resistance.
    And what of the various things the party has found? Wasn't someone else going to check them for magic or something? edit: See OOC thread


    "Well Gregor, I figure the taskmasters won't let us back in the mines again, but maybe we'll find enough treasure we can retire forever, eh?"

    "Yes, let's keep going. But until Gregor's all rested up, I'm taking point, ok? Azten could stand behind me... Maybe we can get Gregor some javelins to throw from a distance, what do you say Gregor? I've got a few javelins..."

    "Anyway let's get prepared some more. Maybe we can get some knotted rope and drive some pitons in the ground to get up and down the crashed elevator shaft. Sounds like we could do with some more oil too, that was pretty useful!"

    It's clear Majakilar can barely contain his excitement at the prospect of more exploration!

    "Say, is there a way past that mold down the first elevator?"

    Mista Collins

    "Good job, big man!" Owen says as he slaps Gregor on the back. Noticing the wince, Owen apologies. "Sorry 'bout that."

    Once back at the abandoned office, Owen calculates what they will need for tomorrow. "I think we could use some of the following items. We could use some knotted rope, or knot what we have here, but we might need more length as those.... elevator shafts?..... are deeper than I expected and I don’t want to risk anyone falling or having to climb again. We could use a few torches also, as they would have been useful against those beetles. Speaking of the beetles, I could use some more oil because I don't have anymore. Well, I have what is left in my lantern, which isn’t much. Some sort of salves or liquids that would help with our fatigue and wounds would be a nice addition to the wonderful skills of Azten." Just as he appears to have his list finished, Owen is reminded of the mold. "YES!! We need something cold." He looks to Kenneth with a questioning eyes. "You said cold things will get rid of the mold, correct? Yes?! Then something cold it is!" He can't stop smiling and appears extremely excited on exploring more of what the experienced today.

    ..........."any suggestions on something cold?"

    Gregor finds it difficult to stay still at Azten's urgings. The giant feels the need for movement, to swing a pick or walk around the cramped quarters of the abandoned office, but Azten refuses to allow him to indulge in such nonsense and it's not the first time Azten is forced to do so. Despite being half Gregor's size, Gregor finds himself pushed back into the cot at the barest touch of Azten's hand.

    "You've always known what's been best," he reluctantly grumbles, though with a thankful smile.

    When Kenneth returns from his foray into the surrounding woods, Owen questions him about the mold and how they might be able to bypass it. Kenneth just smiles knowingly.

    "There's nothing we can do about it tomorrow," he says. "But after taking a look around I made a quick trip into town to visit Allustan. We're good friends, been so for years. He'll have a spell ready for us tomorrow night!"

    He unslings his pack and opens it for Owen to see. "And to show you just how much I am usually prepared, I brought you some torches, another length of rope, and a couple flasks of lamp oil."

    He also pulls out two thick blankets. "I brought these, too, for the cold night. Don't want anyone getting frostbite. Not like Thragar the orc of Kresh who thought he could sleep through a snowstorm by hiding in a cave...."

    * * *

    The following morning the group finds themselves standing on the edge of the collapsed shaft, staring down to the chamber below illuminated by the green lantern. Gregor tosses the end of the tied rope over the edge, gripping it in both hands and steadying his feet against a small, uplift crack in the stone floor. There is nothing to tie the rope to, so the giant man has offered to be the anchor as the others climb down.

    Kenneth, excited to explore below, jumps forward. "Anything else we should prepare for?" he asks.

    OOC- The consensus seemed to be to either explore the mold encrusted hall or the collapsed shaft. Since the mold cannot be bypassed, yet, I went ahead and placed everyone at the shaft. If anyone would rather start somewhere else, or do anything else in preparation, feel free to let me know!


    "I'll hold the rope till everyone is down. The climb is not too bad for me so Ill go down last." Gregor braces himself and offers an encouraging smile.

    Mista Collins

    Grabbing a hold of the rope for support, Owen looks at Gregor. "You are a good man, Gregor."

    Owen slowly descends to the bottom of the shaft. Once his feet are firmly planted on solid ground he takes his lantern out and lights it to illuminate the area.


    Azten pauses for a second at the top of the rope and gives Gregor a questioning look.

    When he sees Gregor nod slightly with a half grin, Azten gives the briefest of nods in return, mutters a prayer to Moradin to watch over fools, and descends the rope into the deep shaft - hopefully with less painful results this time.


    Solidly braced, Gregor easily holds the line steady as the others descend. "We got the eye spider so it should be fine down there now."


    Majakilar will insist to go down the rope first. He'll tie it around himself and go down holding his weapon ready (or as ready as he can be, dangling in the air like that).


    “We got the eye spider? What is the eye spider and how does it protect us when climbing down?” Alexi asks Gregor curiously.

  4. #14
    Chapter Three, Page 9

    OOC - "We got the eye spider." "How will it protect us?"

    "Who's on first?" "Yes."

    Majakilar lands in the rubble at the bottom of the shaft, torch raised to illuminate the damaged surroundings. As the others climb down the shaft, steadied by the rope, the chamber remains quiet and no hidden surprises attack from the shadows. Gregor climbs down last, easily finding the acid-burned handholds in the rock.

    The four-way intersection at the edge of their light beckons the group forward. Cautiously, everyone walks forward and gradually become aware of a soft buzzing sound. When they reach the intersection, everyon glances down the branching hallways to the chambers beyond.

    To their right, the see the walls of the chamber taper in somewhat, and in the nook of the far wall rests a wide stone basin backed by a five foot tall shelf. A hardened orange paste spills out over the two foot basin lip and covers much of the shelf. Thousands of tiny beetles with bright blue carapaces skitter and tunnel through the chalky substance. A keening insect chorus fills the room. Recognizing the insects from the swarm he, Owen, and Alexi defeated above, Kenneth takes small steps back and looks into the other chamber.

    Eight man-sized stone slabls, about four feet off the ground, are arranged in two rows in this large room. A long-dead corpse, possibly human, lays sprawled out upon one of these slabs, his red leather armor the only hint of color in the otherwise drab room. Like the other chamber, the walls taper in somewhat, and the short far wall abuts a small stage. The red clay statue of a powerfully built warrior wielding a cylinder-headed greatclub stands tall upon the stage, its eyes surveying the room.

    Stumbling about between the sleeping slabs is a giant beetle, its iridescent blue carapace reflecting the light of their torch and lamp.

    Further down the hall a flight of stairs descends into a large chamber at the limit of their light sources.


    OOC: Gregor meant we killed (got) the eye spider

    "Curses! Everyone back behind the intersection, behind me. Let them come to us," Majakilar says, readying an attack against the first creature that comes within range. "You guys said the oil worked pretty well on the last swarm, huh? Might be a good time to use some now!"

    Mista Collins

    "Beat them back with your torch if possible! Or hand it to me!" Stepping right behind Majakilar, Owen waits for them to approach, just as he was told.


    Since the others appear to have the beetle swarm well watched, Azten is more concerned about the single large beetle and the ?dead? guy on the slab. Unless the group really seems to be needing him, he keeps an eye out for an attack coming from the room to the left.


    Previously to Alexi . . . "It was another eye thing with a bunch of legs including some big slicing ones. While the bugs went up it came down and attacked Majak, Atzen, and me. We got it so it won't be coming after us again. You should be able to see it's body in the rubble at the bottom of the shaft. I don't know if the bald people in the statues have anything to do with these eye things but that is the second one we've seen in here." . . .

    Upon hearing what the others see in the chambers Gregor readies his metal club and tabletop shield in case the big beetle comes out looking for people to eat. "Are either of them coming after us?"


    “Ohh... we got the eye spider. Now I got it... wait, what's that sound!? Oh, no, not those again... anyone got some oil handy? Oil! Quick!”

    The adventurers retreat several feet back from the intersection with weapons readied, prepared for an onslaught of beetles from either of the two rooms. As they breathe heavily and their eyes dart around the hall, the keening of insects does not grow and nothing attacks. Kenneth loosens his grip on the flask of oil in his hand and cautiously peers around Gregor's massive legs. The intersection remains empty.

    "Well," he says, "It looks like they didn't notice us. Anyone want to take a look in either of the rooms? Or should we keep going?"


    "I think if the bugs don't bother us we should not bother them."


    “Now that's something I can agree with. But just in case we should have a plan on how to deal with them...”

    Mista Collins

    "How to deal with them? Oil and fire sounds good to me!" Owen looks down each corridor. "I'd like to know what is in each room, but I'm not sure if I want to deal with them. But I don't want to leave potential danger behind us."


    I must say I too am reluctant to leave danger unfettered behind us. Ahh, if only I had my mother's talent for stone shaping, I would just seal them in their respective chambers.

    Perhaps if anyone has a bell and some string we could rig up a simple alarm to let us know if the big beetle comes out of the room. But then again, that would not work for the swarm.



    Gregor looks over at his friends concern and hefts his mace. "I'll go past them, if neither reacts I think we can safely ignore them, a predator the size of the beetle probably would come after me if it were hungry, so if it ignores me I think we can all get by." Gregor then moves down the corridor, ready with his mace if the big bug comes after him.


    Azten readies his hammer and shield so that if any of the beetles decide to risk it's life by attacking Gregor or another of the party, he can do his part to make that life as short as possible.


    "Eh, I hate bugs!" Majakilar shivers. "Hold up Gregor, let me go first. Maybe I'll get a shot in if it approaches," Majakilar says as he moves forward past the intersection.

    The party cautiously steps through the wide intersection with weapons and flasks of oil at the ready. Light from Owen's lamp and the torch dance across both neighboring cambers, causing the swarms of beetles in the one to surge back and forth and completely ignored by the single large beetle in the other. None approach their light sources as they pass and within a few moments the threat has been left behind.

    Kenneth takes one last peek before the rest continue down the hall.

    "Why, they're bombardier beetles," he says with sudden realization, hurrying to catch up with the rest. "The little ones and the big one, they're poisonous. When attacked, the giant beetles release an acidic vapor."

    He turns to Alexi and Owen. "And remember that sludge from the swarm? That was acid, too, that the vermin release from their underbelly. We were lucky not to get overrun by them, yesterday."

    OOC - Kenneth's bardic knowledge check, +4: rolled 22, success.
    They passed two alcoves on either side of the hall on their way to the stairs that descend into a much larger chamber. numerous pegs extended from the walls of the alcoves, all empty.

    At the top of the stairs, Owen's lamp reflects from the surface of a dark pool, completely submerging the lower chambers in water and lapping gently at the stairs five feet down. Rising from the waters are four pillars and a central structure that reach to the ceiling, composed of tan stone and containing a series of strange fixtures about eight feet off the ground.

    Kenneth wraps his arms around himself, as if to keep from getting wet. "I'm not taking my shoes off this time," he says emphatically.


    "That's interesting," Majakilar says. "They're not attacking, as if they are set there to guard something. Can vermin be trained like that? Like guard dogs?"

    "Wow Kenneth, you really know a lot!"

    Majakilar begins poking around in the water with his guisearme.


    Acid? Ugh.

    Azten grimaces and absently wipes at his armor as though removing the corrosive fluid.

    I have never heard of anyone training them like dogs, but all the same, something is keeping their interest in the room.

    I wonder what they eat? He pauses for a moment, then with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, offers: Humans?

    Later, with the rest of the party at the stairs - Majakilar, how deep is the water? Because I would rather not swim either.

    OOC: So, If the water is five feet down from the steps, and the fixtures/structure are eight feet off the floor, how far out of the water is the structure? Or, conversely, how deep is the water?
    Or am I totally misreading the description...


    Gregor looks at the water dubiously. "I guess I could carry you across one by one so only I get wet. How cold is it Majak?."


    Heh. The cold or wet does not bother me so much as the having to breathe water. I never have gotten the hang of that, and since I swim like a rock...

    Mista Collins

    Owen starts laughing at Azten's comment. "You don't breathe water, silly! You hold your breath in the water. That might be why you have never gotten the hang of it."


    "Can you verify how deep it is by poking with your polearm and make sure nothing is waiting to bite me while I carry everybody else?"


    “Yesterday the bugs appeared to have quite an appetite for us at least. I hope they stay where they are.”

    Alexi looks around for a few pieces of rock or anything similar to throw into the room and into the water, to see if something gets stirred up maybe.

    Holding his guisarme near the head, Majakilar kneels at the water's edge and lowers it into the murky and cold water. The tip prods the next few stairs and the torch he holds allows him to estimate the depth of the pool. The stairs continue down to meet with the floor about five feet below the surface. A short wall rises slightly above the water a few feet in front of the stairs.

    The water, although dirty, is clear enough to see to the bottom and does not seem dangerous. Gentle ripples emanate from the submerged guisarme, but Majakilar sees no aberrations swimming or rising to meet them.

    OOC - Okay, I will assume in my next post that Gregor will carry over the rest of the party one at a time. Just two questions: who wants to go first, and in which direction will you go?


    I will stay back here at the top of the stairs to watch for the beetles. Since I have better vision in the dark, and all.


    Gregor strips off his gear and almost all of his clothes, (blushing a little when he looks up at Alexi) and then picks up Majak. "I think that center structure looks like a good first destination to check out." With that he starts descending to the water. With a deep breath to prepare himself for a shock in case the water is cold, he then steps down one step at a time.


    "Wait a minute Gregor, you think a little water's gonna deter me? I'll walk too. I'll probably be able to use my guisearme better that way. We'll both get wet. It still beats the mines any day!"

    Assuming Gregor picks up someone else, Majakilar will wade in the water ahead of them.


    "All right then, next. Ready Alexi." Gregor scoops her up and is careful to keep her out of the water as he enters it himself.

  5. #15
    Chapter Three, Page 10

    Azten stands guard at the top of the stairs, his eyes scanning the hall for any intrusion by the bombardier beetles. Gregor offers to hoist Majakilar onto his shoulders, but Majakilar declines, instead taking the torch and prepares to enter the water first. Gregor lifts Alexi onto his shoulders and the two miners enter the dark water.

    The water is cold and dirty from the uncountable number of years that it has remained stagnant. Kennth and Owen wait on the stairs at the water's edge as they watch Majakilar's torch waver and the flicker of its reflection off the water's surface. The large chamber is eerily silent except for the sound of lapping waves from Gregor and Majakilar's movement, their small splashes echoing and magnified.

    They wade around the sort barrier and pass one of the pillars. Glancing at the fixtures attached to the pillar a few feet above the surface, Majakilar notices that they resemble nozzles protruding from the stone. His feet drag through a thick sludge and although he cannot see through the murky water, Majakilar feels a grill beneath his feet, a clogged drain.

    The water begins to swirl around them, like a large undersea creature was swimming in circles around the two.

    Majakilar raises his torch above the water, searching its depths as the current pushes him back and forth, threatening his balance. He catches a glimpse of two dark patches in the murk, coelesced from the debris, in the shape of two narrowed eyes a moment before the water wells up in front of him. A wave of dirty water crashes into Majakilar, dousing the torch with a loud hiss and plunging him, Gregor, and Alexi into darknesss.

    The currents begin to grow stronger, spinning around them in a tightening vortex.

    OOC -
    Surprise Round
    Water elemental's initiative, +1: rolled 17.

    17 - Water elemental: Douses torch.

    Round 1
    Azten's initiative +1: rolled 2 (runoff with Gregor: rolled 9).
    Alexi's initiative +2: rolled 18.
    Owen's initiative +3: rolled 6.
    Kenneth's initiative +2: rolled 6.
    Majakilar's initiative +2: rolled 22.
    Gregor's initiative +1: rolled 2 (runoff with Azten: rolled 10).
    Order of Initiative:

    22 - Majakilar
    18 - Alexi
    17 - Water elemental
    6 - Owen
    6 - Kenneth
    2 - Gregor
    2 - Azten


    “Great, just great. Does anyone have any light?”

    Alexi jumps down into the water to free up Gregor's arms, and to get away from the spinning water, which likely won't do them any good.


    "What the heck was that?" Majakilar yells, backpedalling and trying to get back out of the water.


    "Back! Back! There is something in the water here! Majak and Alexi, back up the stairs! This way Majak." Gregor will try and bring the others back, his low light vision should be enough to see from the light of the party still on dry land.


    Alerted by the yells of his compatriots, Azten pulls his warhammer out and turns towards the water to see if he can see what is causing the commotion.

    OOC: Darkvision 60', Spot +3, Search +2


    "You know Kenneth, if we get out of here alive, you're going to have to make some songs about this stuff! I've only heard songs about bandits and orcs and goblins. Eye creatures and eyes floating in the water? Not so much!" Majakilar yells out as bumps into Gregor behind him and feels his friend grab him by the collar and start dragging him back.

    Mista Collins

    Hearing the yells of the group Owen grows concerned. "What is going on over there?! You guys alright?!"

    As the torch is extinguished, the waters erupt into frothy chaos, illuminated only by Owen's lamp at the staircase. Waves begin to race back and forth within the chamber, splashing against the low wall and pillars surrounding them on all sides. In the dim light, reflected like a million twinking stars in the crests of the water's surface, Alexi and Majakilar wade through the water in a vain attempt to escape the creature of swirling water. Something beneath the surface pummels Gregor for a moment before a small amount of it seems to coalesce into a dark, missile-like shape and darts at full speed at the retreating adventurers.

    Owen fumbles with the lamp, holding it high with a shaking hand to help the others see their way back. Kenneth pulls his crossbow from the belt at his side.

    "Do not fear!" Kenneth says in a loud, strong, voice. "The great hero Bronin once battled the elements themselves and succeeded! We can do the same!"

    OOC -
    Round 1

    22 - Majakilar: Withdrew back toward stairs.
    18 - Alexi: Jumped into water. Withdrew toward stairs.
    17 - Water elemental: Attacked Gregor, against AC 10 (flat-footed, no armor): miss. Followed Alexi.
    6 - Owen: Shined light.
    6 - Kenneth: Drew crossbow. Started inspire courage (+1 on attack and damage).
    2 - Gregor: Moved toward stairs, grabbing Majakilar and Alexi, provoked an attack of opportunity from water elemental. Water elemental attacked, against AC 11: miss.
    2 - Azten: Looked.


    “But first let us get out of the water. Whatever this is, hopefully it won't follow us on land.”


    "Aye, let's get out of the water! Keep singing Kenneth, maybe we can learn something from this Bronin!"


    I know these things can be defeated in combat, but maybe there is another way. Has anyone seen any sort of valve mechanism? Perhaps this pool can be drained, elemental and all.

    Alexi glances over her shoulder as she slogs through the dirty water in Majakilar's wake. In that brief glance, she can see a dark shape rapidly approaching, a bullet just beneath the surface with two dark eyes. She turns the corner around the submerged wall as Majakilar lifts himself from the water and Alexi focuses all of her strength into getting to the stairs. She pulls herself from the water just as the water splashes across the steps, the elemental thrashing at its missed opportunity.

    Beyond the wall, Gregor is still trying to move his bulk through the water. The elemental pauses for a moment at the bottom of the stairs and darts off again in a straight shot toward the large miner. As the rest of the company watches from the stairs, the water elemental leaps over the top of the mostly submerged half-wall, its liquid body clear and translucent in the lamplight, and slams directly into Gregor.

    He stumbles but remains on his feet, as the elemental seems to disintegrate against him on impact. Gregor takes another slow step through the water.

    Owen, yelling encouragement to Gregor, notices Kenneth remove a crossbow bolt from his pocket and begin loading his weapon. Owen raises an eyebrow. "What are you going to do? Shoot the water? What good is that?"

    Kenneth shrugs as he pulls back the crank and the bolt lodges in place. "Brolin fought the elemental of water at the Lake of Crystal Dreams without the help of magic. He used his bare hands and wrestled it to the ground." Kenneth aims his crossbow at the patch of water quickly assembling behind Gregor. "A crossbow bolt should work."

    Kenneth pulls the trigger. A froth of water suddenly erupts from the surface as the bolt penetrates the elemental. Kenneth turns to Owen with a surprised look and a lopsided grin. "Wow. It did work, he says.

    Owen stares at Kenneth, mouth agape.

    Gregor turns to see the elemental wounded by Kenneth's bolt, and he eyes the mace at his side. The water elemental quickly recovers. Gregor lifts his mace high and slams it against the water's surface just as the elemental comes within range. His arms jar with the impact, but the elemental dodged his blow, diving deeper under the surface. Caught off guard, Gregor feels the elemental slam into his backside with the force of a solid club. The elemental splits, flowing past him on both sides, and as he watches in the dim light it once again reassembles. Gregor turns back and hurries past the submerged wall to the safety of solid rock. He manages to reach the stairs, leaving the pursuing elemental behind, swirling in a tight vortex at the foor of the stairs.

    As Alexi, Majakilar, and Gregor try to catch their breath, the water behind them begins to rise a few feet above the surface, forming a roughly humanoid shape of pure water separate from the murk. Two dark blue, angular eyes narrow in the are that must be the creature's head.

    "Of course, Bronin didn't defeat the water elemental in the water," Kenneth says, rapidly reloading his crossbow, "He tried to escape, at first, leaving the lake behind. The water elemental followed."

    The water elemental surged forward, up the stairs, onto the solid rock, and amidst the adventurers in a cyclone of froth and mist.

    OOC -
    Round 2

    22 - Majakilar: Moved up stairs, left water.
    18 - Alexi: Withdrew to stairs, left water.
    17 - Water elemental: Moved back to Gregor. Attacked Gregor: miss.
    6 - Owen: Shined light.
    6 - Kenneth: Loaded crossbow. Continued inspire courage (+1 on attack and damage). Attacked water elemental, +4: rolled 20, hit, 7 damage. Water elemental at hp-7.
    2 - Gregor: Attacked water elemental, +6: rolled 15, miss. Moved to stairs, provoking an attack of opportunity from water elemental. Water elemental attacked: hit, 3 damage. Gregor at 9 hp. Left water.
    2 - Azten: Offered advice.


    If Azten finds himself in position to make an attack when the elemental surges up the stairs, he'll do so. Otherwise he will heal if needed.

    OOC: Attack with warhammer: 1D8/ X3, or Cure Light as needed.


    "Smart fellow, that Bronin! Get out of the water first! Got it," Majakilar says, grinning.

    Drawing a javelin, he throws it into the water, aiming for the eyes

    ooc: +2 javelin (1d6+2)

    Mista Collins

    "Well if your bolt worked, then my daggers might also!" Owen says as he holds his lantern in his left hand, drawing his dagger with his right and throwing it at the elemental.


    Left with no other choice, Alexi pulls out her crossbow and loads it with a bolt.

    “So this is some sort of freakish creature made out of water!?”


    Gregor smashes the water thing again, bringing his mace down sharply as the creature comes up the stairs after him.

    OOC - This was silly of me. I haven't had the chance to really sit down and roll up the attacks and such for the rest of the encounter, so I've delayed until today. Turns out I didn't need that much time after all...
    Majakilar turns on the slick stairs, struggling to keep his balance, and draws one of his javelins. The water elemental flows up the stairs, two dark eyes focusing on Owen immediately and the lantern he is carrying. The swirling spray soaking everyone on the stairs condenses for a moment around the humanoid figure of the elemental. One of its arms thickens and prepares to barrel into Owen like a battering ram.

    Majakilar launches his javelin, aiming straight for the creature's eyes. The javelin hits its mark, slowing as it penetrates through the water elemental to land in the dark water in the chamber beyond with a small splash. A loose hole remains between the eyes of the water elemental for a brief moment, which quickly fade as the figure collapses as an inanimate pool of water to cascade down the stairs and back into the murky water.

    Kenneth lowers his crossbow. "Not quite how Bronin did it, but it seems to have worked just as well."

    OOC -
    Round 3

    22 - Majakilar: Readied action to attack water elemental.
    18 - Alexi: Readied action to attack water elemental.
    17 - Water elemental: Moved onto stairs, triggered readied actions. Majakilar attacked water elemental, +3 (+2, +1 inspire courage): rolled 18, hit, 6 damage. Water elemental at hp-13, dying. Water elemental defeated.

    The others lower the weapons as well when no other creature's, of pulsating eyes or of pure water, appear. Azten takes one last glance down the hall to see that the beetles in the previous chambers seem to not been disturbed and examines Gregor's rapidly blossoming bruise on his back. Gregor waves him away.

    "So," Kenneth speaks up, "Who wants to go down this time?"

    OOC - If anyone would like to continue to explore the flooded chamber, go ahead and post your character entering the chamber and what part they might want to take a look at. If you'd rather not, post where you character would like to go next, instead.


    Well. Hmm.
    Even accounting for Majakilar's excellent aim, that was easier than I expected.

    too easy...

    In further discussion, Azten would prefer to stay on the dry steps and guard against a beetle incursion and also make sure the only known exit from the room stays open.


    Majakilar breathes a sigh of relief when the javelin stops the water creature, apparently for good.

    "Aye Azten, the last blow always seems like the easy one! Anyway, seeing as I'm already wet, I'll go in again. Anyone want to hold a torch for me? What do you say Gregor?"


    Gregor nods and rubs his thigh where the water smashed into him like a hammer "Hopefully it was just one of them in there. As you say, we are already wet so lets make sure it is clear then I'll start ferrying everybody." And so Gregor once again enters the water, mace at the ready this time.


    “Well, there's still a lot of water left, so let's just hope it remains calm this time,” says Alexi, then she follows Gregor's advice and steps back into the water, to wade over to the other side, her crossbow held ready, just in case. “There seems to be a lot of weird things down here, I wonder what else we will see...”


    As the party splits itself in half again to wade through the water, Azten re-thinks his decision to stay at the door. What am I worried about? The beetles have been quite docile so far. So long as there is not a sliding door to seal this room off if the water starts to rise, it should be safe to leave and help explore the area.

    Besides, I do not want to miss any new wonders...

    OOC: Search door / top of the stairs area for any mechanism that might seal this room off. Search +2, additional +2 if it involves stonework.
    If nothing is found, then join the rest of the party investigating the platform, assuming someone will offer to transport him.

    Mista Collins

    "I have no objections to getting wet. Heck, we are underground and are adventurers!" with a smile to Kenneth Owen continues. "And I'm sure all the heroes you mention have had to get wet or dirty many times."

    And with that Owen steps into the water and starts wading along with the rest of the group with his lantern in one hand and his dagger in the other. "I'll take care of the light source for now"

  6. #16
    Chapter Three, Part 11

    Azten runs his fingers along the wet walls and finds no stone doors that might crash down, no hidden weapons that might be sprung. The faded sound of chittering beetes at the intersection further down the hall remains unnerving, but has also not increased. The hall seems safe.

    Gregor heaves Azten on his shoulders with his giant arms, and Majakilar does the same with Kenneth. The two miners enter the water first, the surface reaching their upper chests, and Alexi and Owen then follow, the water up to their necks. Owen holds his lantern high above his head and above the surface, its dancing light reflecting off the dull tan walls of the chamber.

    They wade around the walls and the central pillar, stumbling here and there over clogged drains beneath their feet. Two smaller rooms extend on either side of the chamber, and a narrow, sodden wooden door is recessed in the opposite wall. The explorers enter one of the rooms through an archway to find it containing four long, submerged benches and several niches along the walls.

    Floating upon the surface is a bloated human body wearing red masterwork leather armor with an unrecognizable insignia over the left breast. A short sword hangs in a molding scabbard on its belt, pointing downward and scrapping against the stone benches.

    Gregor and Majakilar approach cautiously with Azten and Kenneth. The armor has been torn apart and ruined as if by sharp claws, revealing skin that has been stripped away. The corpse's bones are visible underneath, and have tiny gauges, as if very badly gnawed.

    Azten points to the insignia upon the armor. "Do you recognize that, Kenneth?"

    Kenneth shakes his head. "I don't. Could be anything from a mercenary group to an underground cult."

    Ploughing through the water back into the chamber, Gregor approaches the sodden door. Grasping the knob, he forces the door open. It deteriates at the sudden movement, and fragments of decaying wood float to the surface.

    Beyond is the recognizable stone seat with a hole in its center.

    OOC - And that should bring us up to date! Where would everyone like to go from here?
    Last edited by hbarsquared; Tuesday, 23rd May, 2006 at 08:53 PM.

  7. #17
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    Seeing nothing of real interest in here Gregor maneuvers over to the last unexplored room, Atzen riding on his shoulders.
    Last edited by Voadam; Wednesday, 24th May, 2006 at 03:32 PM. Reason: shoulders not back

  8. #18
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    Interested in the body, Owen pulls the short sword from the scabbard and checks the quality of the blade. "I don't think he will be needing this any longer, seems like it didn't help him to begin with."

  9. #19
    Owen examines the make of the sword in the firelight from his lamp before handing it over to Majakilar. Alexi has followed Azten and Gregor into the main chamber, and after taking one last glance around the flooded sideroom, Majakilar, Kenneth and Owen follow.

    Owen's lamp and Gregor's torch light the final, small room on the opposite side of the chamber, the adventurers dismissing the second lavatory they have seen in as many days. The room looks much the same, with submerged stone benches and several niches lining the walls.

    But in one corner, they can see a distrubance in the water, a humanoid form beneath the surface that has noticed their approach and is now moving toward Gregor and Azten.

  10. #20
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    Alexi points towards the disturbance. “Have you seen that? There is something... someone... in the water!”

    Then she raises her crossbow and loads it with a new bolt.

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