General D&D Topics* Steel Dragon's "Tales of Orea" - Page 11





  1. #101
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    Roused from their collective shock at the explosion. The companions lept into action.

    Alaria nodded a thanks to Kordun as she regained her footing and again grasped the orb in her pouch, pulled it forth and began to concentrate on the levitation power. The crystal immediately sparked to life, blue and white light swirling within it. The levitation glyph appeared a moment later and two moments later Alaria was floating slowly up toward the rooftop.

    The winds swirling around her whipped her robes and hair, Borsem and the dwarf Deepshaft brothers simultaneously, but silently, understood why this beautiful sorceress was called “the Stormrider.”

    Erevan had shouldered his bow in preference for his slender elf-made long sword as the two remaining ghouls had closed. Eaiser for casting as well, a free hand, was the elf’s secondary thought.

    He winced as an elongated clawed hand raked through the black shirt and into his upper arm. The preternatural cold sank into his veins. The elf was acutely aware of the stiffening of his blood and muscles and joints, even before the pain. Thankfully, his elvin immunity to the ghoulish paralysis asserted itself and he dodged to avoid an impossibly large mouth of pointed fangs.

    The second creature was holding back…it bobbed up and down on its haunches as if looking and waiting for a moment to eagerly pounce. The ghoul jumped as a small dart clattered on the slate tiles near him. Unfortunately, he did not realize a second full length arrow was also winging its way and struck deeply into his shoulder. The creature shrieked.

    Duor and Festus quickly reloaded their hand crossbow and short bow, respectively, and took aim again at the creature on the slanted roof.

    Erevan’s long sword skated along the greasy grey flesh and the elf cursed to himself that the daelvar’s blessing had long since faded.

    Alaria then rose into view, being sure to keep herself a good fifteen feet from the rooftop. The creatures had shone their capacity for long leaps and strides.

    “Erevan, back off!” the mages said loudly.

    “Back off?” the elf questioned. He was in his last five feet of rooftop before the end of the line of buildings. Besides, he knew, if he moved back, the ghoul would push forward.

    “Do it!” Fen’s voice came from somewhere behind him.

    Then the curious sound of the half-elf’s secret language assailed the elf’s sensitive ears and weird energy wrapped itself around the elf. A burst of light popped into view on the attacking ghoul’s face. The light was gone in an instant, but the undead creature was obviously dazed. <druid ‘cantrip’: “Flare”>

    Erevan turned to see the druid, standing upon a sturdy branch on a tall tree not five feet from the edge of the building.

    Alaria began to evoke.

    Erevan made a running dive for the tree branch where the druid stood. The carrot-topped half-elf caught the elf by the arms and pulled him up to the branch beside him.

    “Imagine meeting you here?” the druid smiled at the elf.

    For the second time that night, Alaria spoke the words of burning power. A part of her mind was again congratulating herself on her wisdom and capability.

    Violet-blue flames fanned out before her, catching both of the ghouls on the roof. The slate tiles insured she’d not inadvertently set the building ablaze.

    The ghoul who had been engaging the elf near the edge flailed and rolled and fell to the street below. The other creature was severely scorched and shrieked again as another arrow struck it at the same moment as the flames. It hopped back several times and tumbled over the peak of the roof to fall, presumably, to the other side of the building.

    Immediately, the dwarf Kordun, Festus and Borsem raced to get to the back of the building.

    Erevan looked deeply into the half-elf’s green eyes and quietly said, “Thank you, kiili.” <translated from elvin: a term of endearment roughly translated as “dear one” or somtimes “beloved.” Much more emotion relayed than the fairly common and familiar term “kiiri”which loosely means “cousin.”>

    “Thank you all.” The elf called more loudly to the other companions.

    Borsem and Kordun dragged the scorched body of the ghoul from the other side of the building back around to the road. Festus skipped triumphantly behind as they dragged the ghoul to the remaining flames of the firestone explosion and tossed it on. Coerraine and Duor did the same with the unconscious creature who had fallen to the street and all of the companions watched, exhausted, as the last of the creatures fed the fire.

    Now, friend Festus, there will be songs of the ‘Heroes of Shafton’. Let us return to share the good news.” Borsem said with a smile at the satyr.
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  • #102
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    The companions returned the Silver Platter. Their arrival was met with skepticism which quickly turned to elation as Festus enthusiastically relayed the events of the night. The satyr’s own efforts were not at all diminished in the telling, neither were Duor’s nor the Shafton dwarves.

    Yet, even still, somehow Alaria and Haelan were toted as the grand heroes of the night. Haelan’s “turning” was particularly detailed and sounded much more amazing than any “wind-riding” the wizard had done.

    Alaria enjoyed the complimentary mug of elfvine (while everyone else was given copious amounts of the Platter’s house ale). But she shortly excused herself from the festivities, she wanted to get as much sleep as possible.

    “Tomorrow, we assail the mines themselves. By sundown tomorrow, Shafton will be free!” Festus concluded to rousing applause and cheers from the locals in their renewed hope.

    “Not before noon.” Amended Alaria with a raised eyebrow.

    Duor leaned over to the satyr when the mage had ascended. “Still thinks she’s the boss.” the dwarf said with intended acid.

    “Well, it’s my experience that mages do enjoy their rest.” The satyr retorted before taking a long swig of his mug.

    Duor noticed the elf, daelvar and paladin’s disapproving glares, before quickly amending, “What?! It was dwarven ingenuity which won the night and freed Shafton from its unholy yoke.”

    None disagreed to the wonderful outcome of the dwarves’ plan. Secveral rounds were drunk to the fallen man, Ferdrik, and many more to “the Stormriders!”

    Erevan left the room of rising celebration for his own rest.

    Fen was soon to follow. None but the Redstar Knight saw the druid’s attempt at an unnoticed exit.

    Haelan, Festus, Duor and Coerraine (against his own wishes but unable to retire while Duor remained), Borsem and the Deepshaft brothers stayed up through the rest of the night to celebrate the elimination of the undead menace. All were sure the kobolds’ hold on the mine would end the following day and Shafton could get back to its normal rountine and business.

    Alaria was surprised to find the common room of the Silver Platter all but empty in the mid-morning. Two townsfolk and the one remaining Bridgetower guardsman, other than Borsem, slept loudly at one of the corner tables.

    The innkeeper, Rulphus, came over to the R’Hathi magess’ table. His bloodshot eyes told her of a night much later than she, herself, enjoyed.

    Alaria pulled out a few silver coins to pay for the modest breakfast of tea and eggs, which included a slab of bacon she had not ordered. Rulphus steadfastly refused to take her money. She thanked the old man and returned the coins to her purse and poured herself another cup of tea.

    Erevan and Fen descended together. The tone of Fen’s face was significantly lighter than it had been the previous days.

    The magus found it curious the druid would have stayed the night in the inn when he hardly ever agreed to sleep indoors during their stint at Bridgetower. Better safe than sorrow, she supposed.

    “Where’sh th’damned maid?” slurred Duor as he descended the stairs. “Ale! Mor’ale for the heroesh uh Shashtum!” the dwarf said more than little loudly.

    Coerraine followed the dwarf. He looked fit for death.

    The druid reached out to tap the head of the still-drunken dwarf as an unheard word passed his lips.

    “Huh?! Wuh?!” snapped Duor. “Ahhhh, that’s much better. Now where’s the damned maid?”

    “Uh…friend druid…” the paladin was loath to ask for help from the heathen. Thankfully, the Redstar didn’t have to.

    Fen grinned broadly and stroked the handsome blond’s face again mouthing some word Alaria could not discern. Immediately the paladin felt better, more himself. The cloud lifted from his mind and the aches eased out of his body.

    “Ehem. Thank you.” Coerraine said in his usual seriousness to the druid.

    Fen simply nodded, still holding a devious smile.

    The magess took immediate note of the pleasure the half-elf took in making the paladin uncomfortable.

    Haelan bounded down the steps from his room. He hailed all in the room with a “Faerantha’s blessing on you!” The daelvar eagerly ordered a hearty breakfast, twice the size of Alaria’s own. He ate hungrily, making casual conversation between large mouthfuls of eggs and bacon.

    “How’s the weather? We’re going to kick kobold arse today! How’re you feeling this glorious morn, Duor? Coerraine, I trust your god will shine gloriously today.” were just a few of the pleasantries that escaped the daelvar’s hungry mouth.

    Festus came clip-clopping in from the street. Apparently, the drunken night had had no effect on the satyr’s constitution. Something, Duor silently remarked to himself, was imminently admirable about the ranger.

    The satyr, more than any other present, engaged the halfling in idle banter about their expected escapades.

    Yes, it could be said, the companions were eager to continue their liberation of Shafton.

    Borsem finally roused, looking the worse for ware, as Coerraine had originally, and informed the companions he would not accompany them. He and “Guardsman Kurtus” (the nearly unconscious guard from the aforementioned table) would be alerting the rest of the town to their safety and then, following a service for the fallen Ferdrik, returning to Bridgetower with all speed to report to the Captain. He had complete and utter confidence in the company to be able to “sweep up the loose twigs of the kobold incursion” on their own.

    Guardsman Kurtus simply moaned at the proposed plan.

    Kordun and Kurn, however, were eager to accompany the party and reclaim their ancestral mines. None of the “Stormriders” voiced opposition to this idea. Duor, in particular, was eager for their company. He eagerly entered into dwarven conversation as to more “dwarven ingenuity” which could be applied to the situation. Festus listened intently but had no idea what they were talking about.

    Rested and sated, flush with spells, confidence, shining armor and weapons, the party left the Silver Platter and strode along the long sloping and switchback road up to the entrance of the lower mine.

    They were led by the dwarves Kordun and Kurn. Duor and Festus followed. Coerraine followed Duor closely. Alaria, slowing her ascent to let Haelan keep up, came next. Erevan and Fen brought up the rear.

    The group paused for a moment at the site of their previous night’s battle. The odor of the ghouls hung over the area like a burning puss.

    Alaria withdrew the Ihs Repahl and in a breath sent a breeze up the road to remove the utterly disgusting scent.

    The dwarven brothers nodded approvingly. “She is indeed the mistress of the storm.” Said Kurn to Duor.

    Duor gave the silversmith a nodding agreement. “Yeah. She’s pretty special.” Duor smiled. “And especially pretty.” He winked at his distant kin.

    <author/dm note: It is a part of the dwarven culture that all dwarves everywhere are assumed to be related through the ages somehow. This is in deference to the cultural belief that all dwarves are descended from the original “Rocks of Oor”, the dwarves first created in the dawning of the world by the now-lost elder god Oor…It is not far from the truth.>

    Alaria thought it humorous how, it seemed, all dwarves muttered under their beards to each other.

    The troupe continued up the switchback road and finally came to the shrine of Dunric. The low stone structure was within view of the entrance the the lower mine.

    “I think we’d best clean this place of evil influence.” Proffered Haelan. “Those poor clerics were slaughtered here and, no doubt, consumed by those unholy horrors from last night. We should put their spirits to rest.” The daelvar’s sincerity was difficult to argue with.

    Alaria refrained from mentioning the ghoul priests she’d noticed among the throng from last night.

    Coerraine and Haelan entered the “shrine.” The interior looked more like a workshop, though the tables and tools, other than the stone altar itself, had been utterly trashed. A large hammer and chisel were carved into the stone wall behind the altar.

    “That’s the symbol of the stone god?” Haelan asked sincerely to the paladin.

    “It is indeed, friend Hilltender. He is a humble god of humble folk. Miners, craftsmen, masons and carpenters call him Lord. Dunric is well-honored in my homeland.” Coerraine replied.

    The Mostralian Redstar and the Hilltender said their respective prayers for the lost holy men. The rank of the ghouls was heavy, still, in the modest workshop/chapel. Haelan laid a blessing upon the space. The foul undead odor was replaced by the scent of pine trees.

    “The Shafton folk can re-annoint the space when they are ready.” Haelan said with uncharacteristic solemnity. “Let us finish this task.” He said cheerily. “I have a hankering for the Wyvern’s Wing’s mutton pasty.”

    The Redstar Knight clapped the Hilltender on the shoulder. He smiled in spite of himself at the daelvar’s simple innocent desires and silently wished he might share them. “Yes, let us go, friend Haelan.”

    The dwarves were already lighting torches at the mouth of the lower mine. With them, the spellcasters had no need to expend valuable energy to magically light the way. Among themselves, the dwarves and satyr chuckled at the “poor humans’ lack of useful sight.”

    Haelan, understanding the exchange, thought badly of the dwarves and satyr. After all, it wasn’t their fault they were born human.

    Kurn hugged the right wall of the impressively built mineshaft. “Now,” he instructed, “the kobolds are known to inhabit the second and third levels of the mine, but there may be other dangers. And with two weeks, there’s no telling what they’ve had time to doooooooooo…..” his voice trailed off as the russet-bearded dwarf with the first torch fell into a pit, ten foot long and as wide as the corridor.

    “KURN!” Kordun burst and raced forward, pushing passed the satyr and outlander dwarf. He had taken the middling position, against his better judgement, to light the way for the human’s in the middle of the marching order.

    The light of Kurn’s torch was seen as a flickering glow, easily fifty feet below. Kordun’s impassioned calls received no response.

    “He’s either dead or unconscious.” Duor said quietly to Festus. “Me coins is on the former.” There was no mirth in his statement.

    Alaria, wordlessly, stepped forward. She held the crystal orb in her hand. Wind immediately whipped up around her and she stepped off the edge o the pit trap.

    She returned a few moments later, the body of the russet bearded dwarf floated before her, carried on a whirlwind of his own. She had the winds all but “throw” the unconscious dwarf at his brother’s feet.

    “Thank Manat your brother is not prone to heavy armor as you are, Kordun. Else I’d have not been able to bring him back to you.” The wizard said plainly.

    Her mind raced. They were barely thirty feet into the mine and already one of their number might be dead. She was not beyond her capacity to utilize the Ihs Repahl, by a long shot, but she did not want to make this kind of retrieval a habit. Alaria was determined to never enter the ‘spell sleep’ again.

    Haelan raced to the unconscious dwarf even as Kordun began wailing the loss of his brother.

    “Still yourself, Kordun. He’s not dead!” said the daelvar with more than little irritation. The Hilltender’s companions were shocked to hear such a tone come from the ever-cheery halfling.

    “Beatius Faerantha, beneficia spiritum con u guda riviatus.” <cleric spell: Cure Light Wounds, “Beautiful Faerantha bless your loyal follower with Your power to heal.”>
    Honey-colored light surrounded the daelvar’s hands that were placed upon the dwarf’s chest. The odor of pine trees filled the air around him.

    Kurn coughed and sputtered. He inhaled deeply and looked up in amazement at his borther and the halfling priest.


    The “wee” of an arrow whizzed past them and 'thunked' in the mostly dirt path on the other side of the pit. A rope dangled from the end of the shaft. Festus gave it a few good tugs. The arrow did not dislodge from the ground.


    “Any chance, Stormrider, you could float us all across?” the satyr said smirking.


    “You test my patience and test my prowess, Ranger Hornshod?” Alaria said plainly, with no hunour evident.

    “C’mon. Peace, Magess.” The satyr retorted with all amenity. “If we all crawl the rope across, while the good Redstar secures the rope at this end, can you magic him across?”

    Alaria burned at the presumption of the satyr. She immediately raised a wind through the entrance of the mine and in an instant all of the party, the smaller ones lifted off their feet, Fen and Coerraine and Erevan dragged towards the mouth of the pit before being lifted and deposited safely on the other side.

    Alaria, herself, floated over to the other side of the pit and set herself down lightly. The winds dispersed quickly. The blue and white light swirling within the orb faded as she returned the orb to its pouch.

    “I suggest, friend ranger, that you and our dwarven companions be more careful in the immediate future.” Alaria said bitingly, directly toward Festus.

    Festus and Duor took her meaning and assumed the lead positions.

    As the company again fell into line, this time Kordun in the front but behind the dwarf and satyr, knowing they would not require the light. The slightly rejuvenated Kurn toward the middle, walked with Haelan and Coerraine.

    Alaria took a moment to breathe and lean against the mine wall.

    Erevan looked at her, concerned.

    “I can’t do that again.” Alaria admitted quietly. “Not today.”

    Erevan nodded, in serious understanding. He and Fen waited with the magess before she righted herself and the three followed the flickering balls of flame deeper into the mine.
    Last edited by steeldragons; Wednesday, 2nd November, 2011 at 09:39 PM.
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    Now that was an epic battle. Awesome.
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  • #104
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    With painfully slow care the party continued into the Shafton mine which, the revived Kurn explained was, “the lower mine.”

    Between Duor, Festus and Kurn’s brother Kordun, three more traps were discovered before they even arrived at the first cross-chamber. One, a series of simple bent branches with rows of sharpened stone tips haphazardly tied to it, which snapped down from one of the walls to the floor startled the entire party. Duor assured he had done so on purpose and no one was injured.

    "Primitive. But effective." Kurn said, almost as if in approval.

    The party cautiously stepped/through over the six branches firmly attached to the floor.

    At the first cross chamber, Kordun deemed it safe enough to light one of the lanterns that hung on a hook. There was an overturned table. The maps and sheets of engineering computations and diagrams were strewn throughout the wide circular area. Three other passages led off from the chamber in four cardinal directions. They had entered through the passage to the west.

    An odor they were all too familiar with lingered in the chamber, though was significantly weak to not attack the senses, simply unpleasant.

    With careful inspection, Erevan and Fen concurred the “ghoul-stank”, as Duor had deemed it, was stronger in the passage to the south. Kordun explained the initial kobold incursion had, initially, come from the south but in the lower levels of the mine. There was a shaft with a lift, however, down that passage that took one directly to the third level.

    The passage to the north, according to Kordun led up and wrapped to the east, eventually connecting with “the upper mine” which was accessible from outside the mountain on the north face. It also had passages that sunk deeper into the mountain, but several of them were long closed-off either because their ores had been spent or the tunnels had become unstable. “The right one, though, would take us down…if we were careful. Might be a good ‘back door’ way down.” The dwarf miner offered.

    The passage directly across from the one they had entered would lead them straight down to the second level, “…insofar as any mine passage is ‘straight’,” Kordun chuckled. On the second level, he added, there would be the lift to take them either down to the third level, or up into the upper mines.

    As the party debated their direction to descend, a rustling or scurrying noise came toward them from the eastern passage.

    Alaria, Duor and the wounded Kurn backed away from the opening.

    Erevan and Festus nocked their bows and took positions to either side of the passage.

    Coerraine and Kordun immediately leveled weapons and moved to stand before everyone. To their collective surprise, Haelan took a forward position between the warriors, prepared to call upon his Hill Goddess again to ‘turn’ any undead the instant he saw them.

    Unfortunately, what came into view was no ghoul…nor any kobold, but a multi-legged creature, oddly insectoid. Two huge multi-facetted eyes perched atop a rounded ‘head’ which sported a series of writhing tenatcles around a circular maw. The slimy green and pukish purple segmented body moved with alarming speed as it came into the chamber, attracted by the light.

    Also unfortunate, and disconcerting to many of the party, the creature was not on the ground, but skittering along the ceiling of the passage. A portion of its body scurried out of the passageway and, with a cursory ‘look’ around the room, began to climb up onto the naturally arching wall/ceiling of the chamber.

    “AH! That’s not a ghoul!” cried the Hilltender as he all but fell backward over his own blond-topped feet, leaving Coerraine and Kordun in the front.

    “Orcass! A bloody Crawler.” Kordun burst. “Kill it, quickly. Don’t let the feelers touch you!”

    The creature let out an inhuman sound as arrows sunk into it from Erevan and Festus. Kurn’s crossbow bolt clanked harmlessly against the stone beside it.

    “Looks like a bug. Big…BIG bug! Can you talk to bugs, Fen?!” Haelan asked, half-inquiry half-plead.

    Releasing the front half of its body from the wall, the crawler twisted and swiped down at the possible meals before it. Erevan thanked his elvin “grace” to avoid two of the ‘feelers.’

    Kordun, in his attempt to get near enough for his broadsword to aid the cause, received an unexpected swipe across his exposed face by one of the twitching and wriggling tentacles. The dwarf fought the paralytic enzymes that sunk into his skin with almost immediate reaction. He was able to muster a groan of defiance before succumbing to the creature’s potent natural poison.

    He stood immobile, within easy grabbing reach of the crawler’s several front legs. All he could do is watch as three of the creature’s suckered feet attached themselves to him and pushed the dwarf over into the mouth of the passageway.

    The crawler maintained its advantageous position on the ceiling, however, expecting to be able to glean some more of the juicy treats it had found…or at least scare them off of its already captured meal.

    Coerraine now moved in, jabbing from a distance with his spear and landing a good strike on it. A thick green fluid began to ooze from the wound.

    This distracted the creature enough for Festus to move forward and begin to attempt to drag the incredibly heavy, plate-clad, dwarf away from the passage. The satyr strained with all of his might but was hardly able to budge the dwarf.

    Another crossbow bolt from Kurn did manage to sink into the creature’s apparently very soft under-flesh. It wheeled about on the ceiling once again, it’s paralytic feelers stretching out for anything they might encounter.

    Erevan, daringly, ducked beneath the swinging creature and grabbed another of Kordun’s legs. Between the elf and satyr, they were able to drag the immobilized dwarf back into the chamber a bit.

    Coerraine attempted to stay between them and the crawler. His spear swipe clattered off of the creature's shell-like carapice that armored its back and sides.

    Fen had moved forward now and took jabs at the creature, intending to be more distracting than damaging.

    Duor remained near the magess, feeling things looked well in hand.

    Noticing its meal being dragged back into the chamber, the creature now scurried its whole length out on the wall of the chamber and came to the ground. It charged toward the creatures attempting to take its honestly won prey.

    Alaria’s eyes widened to see the thing was easily eight feet long. Why had they left the damned ferret back in the Silver Platter stables? This thing would be right up its ally, the wizardess supposed.

    Fen was smacked with one of the tentacles and did, himself, haltingly become paralyzed.

    Coerraine blocked the flaring appendages with his shield.

    Unexpectedly, the creature used the shield to climb up and push off of the paladin. Its sheer bulk forced the startled Redstar back a few steps.

    Haelan made a swing with his mace, but his reach fell just short of the writhing body that flashed before him.

    “Look wohwahhh!” Festus managed to get out as he unceremoniously dropped Kordun’s leg and drew a short curved sword in a flash, just in time to sever one of the wriggling feelers from the crawler’s face. A greenish goop spurted out onto his breastplate. He was disgusted, but not paralyzed.

    Erevan similarly dropped the leg he had been dragging and leapt back, avoiding the creature again. In a single motion, his bow was off his back, drawn and released before the elf’s feet again hit the ground. The arrow sunk painfully into the back of the creature’s second segment.

    It shrieked a small sound again and decided the small morsel was not worth the pain. It sped its way in a serpentine motion through the remainder of the chamber, up on the southern wall and disappeared into the south passage.

    Everyone stood ready for a moment before a cough broke the tense silence.

    Kordun coughed another couple of times, slowly regaining the use of his limbs. The embarrassed dwarf gave a gruff thanks to the “point-ear” and “goat-man” and cursed his own foolishness at being incapacitated by such a disgusting lowly creature.

    “Musta been some kinda demon crawler or something to break through my dwarven constitution.” The blond bearded dwarf supposed in his own defense.

    “Musta been.” Duor nodded in all serious agreement.

    Fen was also soon to recover. He stretched and worked his shoulder joints as the last of the toxin was diluted in his system.

    “That was unpleasant.” He smiled at the companions, his gaze lingered on Erevan as he reassured everyone, “I am fine.”

    With a‘wicked’ looking grin and sparkle in his bright green eyes Alaria had not seen in a while, the druid made a flourishing bow toward the eastern passage. “Shall we?”

    “Well, between ghoul-stank and a slimey squid-faced centipede-thing, we’re not going south.” Haelan said in all seriousness.

    “It was a Carrion Crawler.” Kurn amended.

    “Well, we’re not ‘carrion’!” the halfling relied with indignation.

    “I believe, friend Hilltender,” Kurn explained, “They are so called for creating carrion, not consuming it.”

    Haelan thought on this for a moment before understanding dawned. “Oooohhhh…Ewww.” The halfling cleric shuddered a bit.

    “Whatever the reason, let us hope our efforts against the thing have not alerted any other denizens of this place to our presence.” Alaria said seriously.

    The rest nodded their agreement. Everyone took up their marching positions and the companions ventured into the eastern passage.
    Last edited by steeldragons; Saturday, 5th November, 2011 at 06:33 PM.
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  • #105
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    Duor and Kordun pressed glove and gauntletted fingers to their moustache-covered lips as they neared the “lift-room” Kordun had told them was around the bend. A passage continued out of the circular area, smaller than the last chamber where they’d fought the carrion crawler, with another two passages leaving it and the shaft with the lift. The platform of the lift was not currently on this ‘floor.’

    Near the shaft, two kobolds sat, lazily, near the lift controls. Both had short spears resting casually on the floor. They spoke with each other in their tongue between yawns (it was, after all, only mid-morning outside the mountain, nearly the “middle of the night” for the nocturnal kobolds.)

    The sentries, according to Duor, were playing some obscure game with cards and thrown bones.

    The language was a series of ‘yips’ and ‘yaps’ intermingled with the occasional ‘bark’ and ‘hiss’.

    A curious tongue to be sure, Alaria thought, as the group listened. She understood, now, why Duor (and presumably all dwarves) referred to the kobolds as “yappers.”

    Deciding there was “no real threat”, the party charged into the chamber, completely surprising the sentries.

    Coerraine and Kordun, with some help from Festus’ short bow, easily laid the creature low before they could even get their weapons.

    “Was that really, necessary?” Fen asked.

    The party all looked at the druid with surprise.

    “These aren’t undead, Fen.” Alaria said.

    “No. They are not. They were a simple sentry guard from whom we probably could have gleaned a good bit of information as to the rest of their guard posts. Their numbers? Their traps? Any other creatures we might expect to find.” The druid responded impassively.

    Alaria felt thoroughly “scolded”, though that certainly was not the tone directed at her. “Fen is correct.” The R’Hathi admitted.

    The dwarves disagreed, but everyone else agreed the next sentries they found would be “subdued” or “captured” under the auspices of collecting any relevant information.

    Coerraine thought for a moment and added, “We are protecting the mines and livelihood of the people of Shafton. We are not butchers.” The last sentence was directed most pointedly at Duor.

    “Aw, c’mon, Goldilocks. Yeh not goin’ soft on me are yeh?” the dwarf protested.

    “There is a distinct difference, my lord Charge, between ‘defense’ and murder.” The Redstar said solemnly. “My oath and duty is to your well-being. Not whole-hearted slaughter.”

    “Well then, you’ll leave the slaughter to us then? Way to keep yer shiny golden gauntlets clean.” Duor retorted with obvious disdain.

    Haelan began praying rites for the kobolds before being rudely interrupted by Duor, the other dwarves similarly looked at the Hilltender in disapproval.

    “Aw c’mon! Not you too?” Duor burst. “Need I remind you all that this is our mission! The yappers are the invaders here. This mine is not theirs! There’s not tellin’ what evil they’ll bring to the countryside if they’re allowed to stay!”

    Alaria found herself conflicted. Duor was, of course, correct…but so was Coerraine. They were not here to slaughter…simply to re-take the mine. Make it safe for the common people of Shafton to again get the mine working…to aid in the defense of Daenfrii, with what limited time they had before winter set in.

    “Duor is correct.” Alarai said quietly.

    “But, boss lady, I…wait…What?” the dwarf said somewhat surprised.

    “Complete your rite, Haelan.” Alaria said first. Before Duor could object, she continued, “We are here to free the mine. We are here to remove the kobolds…”

    Duor crossed his arms across his chest and looked at the paladin and cleric smugly.

    “But we are not murderers.” Alaria concluded. “Perhaps there is a way to get the kobolds to leave without having to kill them.” She offered.

    Erevan’s eyebrow raised slightly. “What would you suggest, Magess?” the elf said.

    “We will not kill needlessly. But we will take prisoners.” Alaria suggested. “We will learn what we can, as Fen suggested, of the creatures’ entrenchment…and see if there is some way we can end this without unnecessary bloodshed.”

    “Pah!” Duor spat. Kordun and Kurn similarly spat their disapproval.

    “Need I remind you, good dwarves,” Alaria said directly at Kordun and Kurn, “that your presence here is by our assent.

    "That your very life, Kurn, the life of your brother, Kordun, indeed the lives of all of Shafton has been released from the curse of the ghouls because we have deemed it so to aid you. If you disagree with our methods, you are welcome to return to the village.” Alaria concluded before switching the hand which held her staff and moving toward the passage toward the south that led, quite sharply, south and down.

    The two Deepshaft brothers were adequately chastised. Dwarven honor was not something either took lightly. They each sincerely apologized to Alaria and the others and made vows, appreciatively, to aid the companions in any way they could...however the party felt best. They were at their command.

    Quietly, the party again fell into their allotted positions and began down the southern passage.

    Duor lingered, a scowl upon his face.

    As Festus passed his friend, he said quietly to the cowed dwarf, “Say what ye like of compulsion or payment, friend Duor, but she is, most definitely, the boss lady.”

    “Yeah, that she is.” Admitted the dwarf.
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    The second level proved more difficult to assail than the first. Several rooms containing several kobold guards, each, were over come. Alaria had had to expend a few minor spells. Haelan had to use up another cure spell to reinvigorate a particularly lucky strike upon Kordun. All were shocked when Coerraine was able to heal himself,. after a particularly nasty battle in the third chamber they’d encountered. It was an added/new gift from the Golden Defender, the Restar Knight explained. The chamber was “new construction, and definitely not dwarven made” according to Kordun.

    By the time they came to the passage that led down to the third level, news of the interlopers had definitely made its way, by routed defenders, to the heart of the kobold force.

    The party had four captives thoroughly bond and followed by Duor and Kurn, who nudged them along in ront of the party with crossbows to their backs.

    With Kordun, Kurn and Duor translating, they had learned that there were easily fifty of the creatures…some quick math led Duor to amend there were only forty now living. Their “chief” had recently moved in to the third level…and they were in the process of bringing the tribe’s treasure also. Only then would the females and younglings be brought to the tribe’s new warren. Their shaman was back at their old lair with the non-combatants.

    But yooooou’ll be sorrrryyyyyy when the shaman comes to our new warren.” <translated from Kobold> One of the captives had attempted to intimidate his captors.

    “Ain’t yer warren, yapper. It’s OUR mine!” Duor growled.

    “Only thirty-six, if yeh don’t count this lot, left in the fightin’ force.” He grinned evilly at the captive kobolds.

    The rusty red and orange scaled creatures, no taller than Haelan, with reddish-brown patches of fur on their shoulders, forearms and shins, bore teeth from their dog-like snouts at the bullying dwarf. Their slender tapering tails twitched back and forth in aggrevation most of the time. But any threatening motion or word by the dwarves led them to whine (not unlike puppies, Alaria thought to herself) and the tails curled, noticeably, between their legs.

    After a couple of feeble attempts to lead the party into trapped areas, which were thwarted by the dwarves time and again insisting the kobolds enter the passage or room first, the little scaley-dog-like creatures defeatedly brought the party to the main guard chamber To “Talk to Cap’n. Him help us, not you.”<translated from Kobold>

    If it weren’t for the fact they were evil invading goblinoid creatures, Alaria admitted to herself, they’d be kind of cute.

    The “Cap’n” was a particularly red kobold, slightly larger of build than the others. He wore one of the human Bridgetower soldier’s helmets. Since the canine snout did not all for the noseguard of the helm, Cap’n Yarp wore it backwards, reasoning (quite well, for a kobold) that the noseguard would provide a nice security for the back of his neck…though the whole of the metal hat had to constantly be nudged up, as it continuously fell into his eyes.

    Yarp strode, most defiantly, between his troops (two rows of five kobold soldiers each) to stand before the party when they entered the chamber. He wore a simple armor of leather and mismatched metal plates, most over sized for his frame. A none-too-impressive short sword hung at his side. The whole of his retinue held spears pointed at the party.

    Slowly, he raised a four-fingered slender hand tipped in small claws…in a show he understood to be a symbol for “halt for talk” to the big folk.

    Clearing his throat, he entered into negotiations with, what he believed to be his fluent “Common” tongue.

    “Yous bringing us back.” Yarp began. “We like. Now yous leave us. No more’s bloody-hurt.We lets yous go.” He shifted the helmet back up onto his shallow brow. It had fallen to cover one of his eyes during his illustrious address.

    The company, who had all spread out into the chamber weapons at the ready, turned to look at Alaria. Kurn stood by her as her self-appointed translator.

    “No, captian. No more ‘bloody-hurt.’ But you are not welcome here and can not stay. We would discuss…um…’terms’…for your tribe’s removal from these mines with your chief.” Alaria said boldly from behind Coerraine and Kordun. Kurn translated.

    “YIPyapyapyap.” The captain retorted. Many of his soldiers took up the “yip-yapping” sound.

    “He’s laughing at us…or, well, at you.” Kurn translated.

    “You no’s talk umterms with chief. Him no’s talk yous. Him CHIEF! Yous no chief!” Captain Yarp replied. “Gives us us. Gets out. Go’s ‘way! No wants more bloody-hurt.”

    Hmmm, thought Alaria. She noticed Kurn’s finger stroking the trigger of his crossbow. A concerned glance to Duor proved her suspicion, the thief was similarly reading his own hand-version to strike.

    “Kurn, they have a shaman? Are kobolds a superstitious lot?” Alaria asked the dwarf.

    The russet-bearded dwarf looked at her and nodded, though he did not understand why the human wizard cared.

    Alaria had an idea. She reached into her pouch to grip the Ihs Repahl to effect the air around her and called to mind the simplest cantrips to alter the light and sound of the space, much as she had with the were-rats back in Welford.

    To the alarm of several of the companions, Alaria strode in front of the paladin’s and dwarf warrior’s weapons. As she did so, the air swirled about her, raised dust and dirt from the chamber’s natural floor. A rumble of thunder rolled through the chamber and the air about her seemed to flare spark with violet and blue flames.

    “You WILL take me to see the chief. I am chief! I will not talk terms with the likes of you. Else, we will EAT you all!” Alarias voice roared through the chamber with increasing furosity. On the last syllable, the magess’ eyes flared with violet fire. For good effect on her threat, she had some flames lick forth from her open mouth as well.

    Kurn, in full appreciation of the ruse, translated with affected fear.

    The whole of the kobold forcec shrank back before the wizard. Several of the back row went running in disorganized chaos out the passage at the back of the chamber, throwing spears and shields in all directions and bumping into each other as they went.

    Cap’n Yarp’s amber eyes widened in complete horror. He all but fell back into the front row of his own troops.

    “Yesses! YESSES!” he yapped and howled like a wounded dog. “Chief will talk to you right now! I go gets him for yous.”

    “No, you will take us to him. Then you get back your men. Take us to him, NOW!” Alaria amended with a dramatic flare to the purple fire bursting from her eyes. Kurn, still feigning fear, translated into kobold.

    “Yesses! Yesses, take yous him now!” He turned and shirked his way through the shaking soldiers, waving and barking them out of his way with all urgency. “Take yous now. This ways, this ways.”

    “Woulda rather we killed them all.” Duor said under his breath to Festus. “Nice job though.” He said lightly to Kurn, who winked his thanks.

    Alaria let the Redstar, dwarf warrior and satyr ranger precede her…wouldn’t a chief do that? She figured. The elf and druid followed her, then the captives with Duor and Kurn and Haelan bringing up the rear.

    They were led with much haste and dismissing barking orders from Yarp leading their way through a series of passages. Some, Kordun knew or recognized, others were obviously newly made by the kobolds. The dwarf warrior relayed his concerns that the foolish creatures had made certain areas of the mine unstable to Coerraine, beside him. The Redstar with surprising ability, quietly relayed this information to their “chief”, Alaria.

    Finally, Yarp brought the group into a fairly large chamber. Half of it, it seemed had previously existed, the other side was noticeably less refined in make. A simple slab of stone lay on the floor as a makeshift dais, upon which was a small crude stone throne. A more brown than orange kobold sat upon it. He had a long scar that extended from beneath his large silver crown, also lacking in elegance, over his right eye and across his lengthy snout. He also wore a rusty metal breastplate, the most impressive armor the group had seen since entering the mine, and a cloak of familiar blue cloth…one of the Bridgetower guard’s tabards, no doubt.

    The chief and his attendant guards began barking fervently as Yarp entered with the interlopers.

    “Yarp, you incompetent hatchling! What are you doing!? Guards! Guards? Protect your chief!!!”
    shrieked the chief in utter panic, the sound of which seemed simply another series of barks and yaps to the companions. The chief leapt up onto his haunches on the throne. He was completely prepared to bolt if battle began.

    Yarp dissuaded the guards and motioned for the party to stay where they were. He half-slunk half-skittered on his bare clawed scaley feet to cower before the throne. He yipped and yapped with the chief, explaining what had just happened and that the interlopers wished to speak with him.

    Kurn could only make out part of the quiet exchange…”Give us back….Magics?!...surface chief…I has no magics!!!...How many?!” He relayed all of what he could hear to the magess.

    The chief yipped and yapped back in mumbled tones. Kurn could not hear what was said.

    Finally, Yarp turned to the party and again cleared his throat.

    “Most esteemdeeded chief of the surface folks. I gives yous the bestest of the chiefs Barper, King of Kobolds of This-here-rocks. My chieffiest chief, this is the bestest chiefs of surface folk…”the captain turned toward the party and looked at Alaria with raised scaley brow.

    Alaria did not immediately reply but raised an eyebrow.

    Yarp twitched his brow up and down.

    Kurn stepped up and whispered that he was waiting for a name.

    “Oh!” started the wizard. “Alaria, my good chief Barper.” She attempted to recover smoothly.

    Chief Barper snapped his clawed fingers repeatedly and waved one of the other kolbolds up to the dais. He shooed Yarp away with his other hand. The chief had yet to sit back down, but maintained his pouncing position to flee to the secret door behind his throne.

    The kobold he’d waved up to the dais wore a simple fabric cowl of plain brown and held a “staff” that would have been no more than a walking stick for any elf or human. It was wrapped in thongs of leather and bore bright colored feathers and small bones in the strapps that dangled from it.

    “I’s is next-shaman, Kiff. I talks fors Chief Barper.” Said the nervously shaking deep red kobold intoned across the wide chamber.

    The chief leaned close to his “next-shaman” and whispered into the creature’s pointed ear.

    “Chief Barper is welcome to the surface chief, Laaaahl-Allll-larrrr-reea.” Kiff said, fairly sure he’d gotten the translation and pronounciation correct.

    A lengthy and tiresome negotiation took place. Alaria had Kurn translate for her, as it seemed appropriate both “chiefs” should have intermediaries.

    The release of the kobold guards was fairly easy to accomplish as a show of “good will” from Alaria.

    It was learned that the kobolds had only come into the mine because something called the “Hargak” had taken over the subeterranean cavern which held a lake where the kobolds had gathered their water.

    At this, Kordun tried to get Alaria’s attention surreptitiously. He was unsuccessful. Chief Barper took this at an insult and much time was spent regaining the chief’s cooperation. But the news Alaria found most useful. It seemed the miners had broken through to a very large underground cavern, which held a lake a couple of months ago. They had boarded it up after noticing the kobolds coming and going and the unfortunate death of a few miners from “insecure stalagtites.”

    Alaria, again, formulated a plan and requested a recess to the negotiations to discuss things with her companions.

    The chief granted the break and directed the party to a small alcove at the side of the chamber.

    Alaria preposed to her fellows that they undertake the elimination of this “Hargak” which could then mean the kobolds could return to their home. Everyone gets what they want. No one else has to be hurt.

    “’Cept us, of course.” Duor noted.

    The others agreed and Alaria made her proposal to Chief Barper. The chief seemed to consider it carefully…for all of two seconds….and agreed. If they could rid the cavern of the Hargak, they would return to their former lair. “Was nicer than this dump, anywhos.” Translated sub-shaman Kiff. The sub-shaman was thoroughly impressed with himself at knowing the phrase “dump.”

    So, it was settled. The kobold cap’n would lead the party to the cavern, against Korbun’s protests since he knew where the passage which had been boarded up was.

    As they made their way deeper in the mine Kurn and Duor were ever watchful at their back to make sure it wasn’t some kobold trick. Kordun found a moment to tell Alaria, “You understand ‘har-gak’ in kobold is ‘death-rock’ or, more accurately, ‘rock of death’?”

    Alaria looked at the dwarf warrior, careful not to betray any surprise, “Really, Kordun? You don’t say.” Bollux! Alaria mentally chided.
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  • #107
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    They made their way down through a passage from the “throne room”, led by Capn’ Yarp.

    Despite her protests, Kurn, Duor, Festus and even Erevan kept their various bows nocked and ready.

    “Kobolds are a cowardly lot, to be true.” Kurn offered. “But they can never be trusted.”

    The R’Hathi wizard conferred quietly with Fen and Erevan and Haelan as to their allotment of spells remaining for the day. Erevan, Alaria knew, had not cast anything so far that day, nor had Fen. Haelan had only strength to “call for Faernatha’s Grace a couple more times.” Alaria herself did a mental inventory. She had both of her more powerful spells and one of her first ‘tier.’ She had expended her cantrips with the ruse in front of the kobold captain. The orb, she supposed, she could use for minor effect.

    <author/DM’s note: magic-users in my game get additional spells to their daily allotment depending on their Intelligence score, like clerics and druids get for ‘above average’ Wisdom. As such, Alaria, even though only 3rd level, can cast 2 2nd level spells per day. She’s one smart cookie .
    >

    They marched for what seemed an eternity. Several passages broke off from the main one as they descended. Some were boarded up with painted warnings about “unstable” in Common and Dwarven.

    Finally, just after another shaft branching off, they came to a large opening. Planks of wood had obviously been placed there, and removed harshly.

    The party walked out into the large cavern. A lake shone with a dull blue-green glow from underwater fungi, according to the dwarves. Small clutches of glowing green and blue and purple moss (or fungus) were scattered around the impossibly large carven. Stalagtites and stalagmites reached down from the ceiling and shot up from the floor, respectively. Several rock formations met at precariously narrow joinings. They formed three, no, four columns throught the area.

    Alaria had never seen the like. Such a site had never even entered her imaginings. For a moment, with the unearthly light reflecting against moist stone and the occasion batch of crystals around the huge cavern, Alaria understood the dwarf love of the underground.

    “Hargak, there.” Yarp said and pointed out into the cavern to a particularly large stalagmite halfway across the cavern.

    The party wandered, awe-struck into the cavern before Kurn shouted a warning.

    The kobold captain had retreated into the passage, passed where the side-passage had been dug and “smiled” at them, if a scaley canine snout could be said to have a smile, as he touched a particular place on the wall.

    “Buh-byessss. Thank yous.” The kobold waved his small four-fingered hand at them as stones rained down almost entirely blocking the passage through which they had just passed.

    “You no-good yapper!” called Kordun. He raced toward the kobold, his broadsword, even in the eerie glow of the cavern glowed with an unnatural white light. He was stopped by the cascade of falling stones. Unharmed but thoroughly annoyed he stood, staring at the pile of rock before turning to glare at Alaria.

    “Let us…go kill a Hargak, friend Kordun.” Fen said, at ease, seeking to break the tension. He flashed a grin at Alaria before strutting nonchalantly further into the cavern. His druid’s cloak gripped onto the natural surroundings as he passed by glowing fungi and cones of rock. One moment, he was swathed in grey, then green, then brown, then grey again.

    Haelan said a silent prayer to his goddess. They weren’t really in a “hill” per se. But what could it hurt, he figured.

    “So…what is a Hargak, anyway?” the Halfling asked casually, also to get the fuming dwarf warrior to relax.

    That’s when the ‘sky’ came down in the shape of sharp pointed stalagtites.
    Last edited by steeldragons; Sunday, 6th November, 2011 at 12:34 PM.
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  • #108
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    It's Raining Rocks! Halleluia!

    “Yeh cain’t be serious?!?” burst Duor from the mouth of the passage, beside Kordun. “They lied to us! They tricked and trapped us in this underground tomb! You think there’s actually a Hargak here?!” Duor raved. The rest of the companions had begun to follow Fen into the chamber ignoring Duor’s rantings.

    Then it was…quite literally, raining rocks.

    The first stalactite slammed down to the ground. It skated across Fen’s grey-green cloak but failed to actually hit the half-elf. Only the camouflaging enchantment of his order’s sacred vestment had kept the druid from being thoroughly skewered.

    Another fell close enough to Alaria to shake the wizardess from her feet. She laid, in shock, staring at the stone spike that lay on its side near her feet. Why had it not broken apart where it landed?

    Alaria’s shock was doubled to see the rock…bend?!...and right itself upon a series of scrambling legs that shot forth from its “base.” It righted itself and began to make for the nearest pillar of stone.

    “Walking stones?” Alaria wondered.

    “Orcass! Piercers! Take cover!” Duor called as he dodged another of the falling stone-like spikes with a flying tumble to easily regain his footing next to Coerraine.

    The Redstar had raised his shield over him and Duor tucked in close beneath it, hoping the metal umbrella would be enough to block to the rock creatures.

    Fen had slammed his body up against one of the nearest stalagmites. His cloak quickly wrapped around him and he faded from view, appearing to be nothing more than an almost six foot tall extension of the stone. Unfortunately, the piercers did not need to “see” simply sense his body heat. The druid was quickly thrown from his hiding place by another of the stone-like creatures slamming down upon the actual rock formation.

    Another of the creatures fell near Haelan, the brunt of its fall offset by the cleric’s magical shield as he dashed back to the overhanging lip of the passage from which they’d entered.

    A burst of panicked shouts spouted from all of the companions as everyone moved with all speed back for the stone overhang.

    “What are they?!”

    “Where are they?!”

    “How many are there?!”

    “I can’t see!”

    “Get over here, pally!”

    “What can we do against stone ceilings?!” the daelvar shouted as he scurried to a position near the druid.

    “They are not stone, Haelan. They are alive.” Alaria said in obvious frustration at their current predicament.

    The creatures that had fallen all immediately tried to scurry themselves to the nearest vertical rock and climb up a few feet before bending themselves to reveal serrated circular maws in the center of the “bases”, in the middle of their eight or ten small spider-like “legs.”

    Alaria paused a moment too long and a bit too close, in her observations, and one of the piercers launched itself, mouth and legs first at the wizard.

    She made a reflexive swing with her staff which had the good fortune of connecting with the creature. It was too heavy to totally bat away, but she altered its flung approach enough to receive only a glancing scrape from the thing.

    Fen, the furthest from the passage entrance, ran looking up and jabbed straight up to catch another of the falling creatures. The preternatural green glow of his leaf-shaped spear tip sunk into the stone-looking flesh. It was significantly more supple than the druid had been supposing. Still, the telling blow faltered the druid as he was forced to shove the piercer off his spear with his boot.

    Erevan fired twice in hopes of slaying the creature near Alaria. One bolt hit the creature and stuck, the other bounced off the curious hide. But his purpose had been attained and the creature skittered only a moment more before falling to its side, inert.

    Kordun at kept his place inside the security of the passage’s lip. Kurn stood next to him, torch in one hand, crossbow in another. He fired at another of the creatures who was attempting to climb up one of the floor-bound spikes of stone. The bolt sunk deep into the creature and it shuddered a bit before falling off of the stalagmite and did not get up.

    Festus sent an arrow up into the mass of stone-looking spikes as he backed toward the passage lip.

    The arrow actually stuck into one of the “stones” that let out a piercing high-pitched sound and dropped to the cavern floor, harmlessly. The creature attempted to right itself as Erevan sent two more arrows firmly into the thing before it faltered and lay still on the cavern floor.

    The satyr had not noticed, as he backed away that another of the creatures who had first falled had gained enough height to fling itself at him from behind. It landed squarely on the goat-man’s shoulder and Festus howled in pain as the sharp “teeth” of the thing sank into his muscles. The weight of the creature pushed the ranger down onto his stomach. His bow skittered across the stone ground, out of his reach.

    The insectoid legs clutched onto its prey strongly as it continued to munch on the ranger.

    Fen stabbed into the creature on Festus’ back, both killing it and shoving it off. He helped the wounded satyr to his feet and the two, the only party members still out “in the open” raced for the relative security of the passage entrance.

    “Fraggin’ murderous yappers.” Growled Duor. “I told yeh we should’ve just killed them all! What are we supposed to do against a killer ceiling?! We can’t even get into the damned chamber and who knows how many of the things are up there? I can’t see them. They just look like other stones.”

    Erevan reluctantly had to agree with the dwarf. They had to be able to see the creatures and even his elvin vision could not tell a heat difference among the creatures.

    “Liet!”
    cried the elf and threw his burst of magical energy at the ceiling.

    A puffball of yellow-white light appear on the ceiling.

    Only two more piercers were above them. They skittered about the ceiling, confused and startled by the sudden illumination.

    Of the ones that had already fallen, only two remained alive. These creatures opted to leave the battle, this prey was too strong and had already killed half of their…”clutch.”

    Erevan and Festus, Kurn and Duor peppered the creatures with arrows and bolts. The creatures let loose their high-pitched sound and flopped over inert and dropped from the cavern roof.

    Fen murmured a phrase in the druidic tongue and touched the heavily wounded ranger. Tendrils of soft green light seemed to flow and wrap around satyr’s wound like vines of ivy. The bleeding stopped and the wound closed significantly. Fen helped the satyr bandage the still damaged shoulder.

    Haelan did the same to the scrape on Alaria's arm. The magess refused the Hilltender's offer of magical healing, suspecting they might need it in the near future.

    The clustered heroes beneath the lip of the entrance passage warily peeked out from under their stone sanctuary.

    “Are they gone?” Haelan whispered, as if fearing the piercers might hear him.

    The dwarves and elf scanned the ceiling as far as their vision could within the radius of Erevan’s puffball of light. Nothing moved as far as they could tell.
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  • #109
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    This whole section with the kobolds reminds me of the old 3.5 module... Sunless Citadel? I think that's what it was called.

    I loved that module.

    Anyway, really enjoying the story and wanted to chime in with my appreciation for the description of the fight with the "Piercers".
    "On a long enough time line, everyone eventually rolls a 1."
    -- Merkuri

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolff96 View Post
    This whole section with the kobolds reminds me of the old 3.5 module... Sunless Citadel? I think that's what it was called.

    I loved that module.

    Anyway, really enjoying the story and wanted to chime in with my appreciation for the description of the fight with the "Piercers".
    Well thank ye, as always, Wolff.

    I am not familiar with any 3.5 modules! lol. But I have seen several threads that mention this "Sunless Citadel"...if I'm emulating a "classic" then I can't be doing toooo much wrong. hahaha. I assure you, all of the "Tales of Orea" are completely original/off the top of my head. I don't use pre-made modules for anything but inspiration anymore....though the thought to run "the Stormriders" through the "Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" had crossed my mind for the future.

    What did you appreciate about the fight with the piercers? Not sure I understand that. But glad you liked it.

    Just wait til they get to the Hargak (coming soon)...hope you like that as much. lol.
    --SD
    Steel Dragons' "All Things Orea" Blog right here on EN world!
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    Steel Dragons' "All Things Orea" Blog right here on EN world!

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