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5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Four


First Post
Jeovanna- Four sides

Jeovanna put out one fist quite abruptly, which if nothing else, would force Annit to stop before going any further! It was a fairly typical silent motion among both guards and gnolls- well, any kind of military organization probably- but probably less so among thieves.

A sharp nod. They would move back. It had seen them... but would it chase them?

If it did, best to have the pack at their back! Jeovanna did not much like it... but they would retreat, for now. Make certain to bring the dwarf with them.

"The bird woke something up in the western tunnel," Jeovanna said quickly as they came upon the others. Otiroth looked a bit steadier on his feet. A bit. "We may only have a little time."

She would, though, pick up the imp by the tail, with two fingers, like it was particularly disgusting. It certainly was quite battered by eldritch magic.

Good hide left on it, though.

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Carthum One-Tusk: Four sides

Carthum nodded to Dain. Jeovanna and Annit had returned- the sleeping dwarf seeming in one piece- and brought news that they had feared, but no doubt also expected.

"Were you able to see what it was?" He asked, but if they had, surely they would've been more specific. Darkness was not a friend to human's eyes!

It was uncertainty either way.

"Watch the rear path," he murmured. They would check the eastward path. The last thing they wanted was to be caught in a pincer movement.


First Post
Dain - Four Sides

Dain listened to Annit and Jeovanna's assessment. "More spiders." He grumbled. Then he glanced over at the one he had slain. "Perhaps they'll eat this one and we can slide by." Seeing Metea holding the dead imp, he nodded. "They would eat his corpse as well, as foul as it no doubt tastes."

It was a plan. Dain knew that spiders liked to eat, and took their time doing it. They could use that time to move past them instead of fighting them.

"I'll check down the east passage." He adjusted his sword in his hand and twisted his torch several times to get the flame to grow.

I hear your voice, and it drives me mad...

He moved off towards the east pass, along with whoever else wanted to join him.

<Stealth check = 6>


First Post
"Yes, uh... good idea," Otiroth agreed. "Whew," and he'd wipe a bit of sweat from his brow.

He was, though, stubbornly remaining upright. He actually began to try and move after Dain, but... Metea's tail was kind of in the way...

...not that he... minded at all.

The sorcerer coughed. And again- a bit of fire actually appeared at the corner of his mouth for a moment, as if he were about to outright belch flame like a dragon. But... he got it under control!

<Otiroth has expended 2 sorcery points to regain a 1st level spell slot, bringing his current first-level spells available to 2>


First Post
Metea watched Jeovanna manhandle the imp carcass, and actually licked her lips.

It seemed a shame to have to wonder, and to let the spider get all the good treats.



Where had that come from?

Carthum One-Tusk: Four sides

Carthum nodded to Dain. He would watch the ranger' back.

The half-orc's aid is perhaps good in other situations, but not at sneaking. One might have been forgiven for thinking he'd not gotten the news that they were to hide at all.

But then, their crew had just battled loudly and ferociously not even thirty feet away. Everything knew they were there!

<Stealth w/ disadvantage for armor=2>


First Post
Jeovanna nodded. A decent plan, were the creatures in the cavern truly animals. What beast did not like easy prey?

Aside from humanoids, that was.

The barbarian flipped her skinning knife from hand to hand, clearly contemplating something...


Four Sides

While Dain and Carthum head off to investigate their alternative way out to the east, Annit keeps watch in the south east corner. Bow ready she anxiously waits, torch burning on the dark stone at her feet.

To the rogue's right, Otiroth and Metea appeared to be dealing with the recent events, and even further afield the barbarian was in a good position for defense too. Ah, was she searching the Imp's body? This was interesting...

The little fiend had been wearing a belt, probably to attach his leashes to when walking the pets. At his back, hanging from it is a leather pouch, and it looks like something is coiled up inside?

For the sorcerer and warlock there are no hidden treasures on the great spider's carcass. But the beast itself was surely corrupted by magic. The anatomy speaks of pure spiderness, though likely it was trained or abused into a fiend's company? Ah, perhaps it had been enchanted!

Scouting ahead while all this happens, Carthum and Dain inch through the darkness, though with little grace. Armor clangs against tight walls. Discarded lumps of coal crunch underfoot. Every breath seems amplified by the reverberation of tunnel walls.

Then the area opens up a little, and three ways ahead present themselves like some poorly forged trident, or twisted three-fingered hand. There are a few minutes left of the priest's magic detection gift, and from the middle path he catches a whisp of faint, distant, abjuration?



First Post
Dain - Four Sides

After a little ways down the eastern path, both of them making as much noise as was possible, Dain stopped briefly and turned to Carthum. "Well at least they will hear us coming, eh?"

Coming to the triple-fork, Dain nodded at Carthum's sensing of some arcana down the middle way and crouched down on one knee. He sniffed the air, then spit onto the ground, rubbing his boot into it to mix it with the grit.

"This is a better direction than through the spider lair." He kept his voice low. "If we were more...and better armored...maybe it would be different. But stealth and quickness are our best attributes right now, however bad we may be at both." A ghostly image of a long, winding column of soldiers, their armor glinting in the sun and their banners blowing in the wind, passed through his mind. But it was gone in an instant.

"I will stay here, and listen to what the wind carries through these tunnels. Maybe you can return and get the others. Have them leave the carcasses, just in case the spiders decide to venture out. It will buy us time, if nothing else."

His mind wandered.

Essithea. When were you new to me? Or was I born into this world with your image in my eyes? These caverns are winding and long...winding and long...and dangerous. And yet...every step, every foe, seems to bring me closer to something that I seek.

<Perception check = 6>


First Post
Otiroth: Four sides

The sorcerer takes a moment- a rare opportunity- to rest, breathe, and think.

He feels more under control. The shock of the pain has faded, dealt with by Carthum's magical healing. Now, only a feeling of emptiness remains. He twitches his fingers a bit, testing the bitten arm. They still move... his spellcasting should not be particularly impeded. And, down here, that was all that mattered.

A moment of silence is enough for him to focus, and try to listen for what he might have otherwise missed.

<Perception check=17>


First Post
Otiroth seems back on his feet. Metea releases her tail-hold on the sorcerer, though feathers might've brushed a behind once more, before looking between the two.

The barbarian looked... busy. So she'd head over to join Annit, peering down into the darkness. Joined her in listening. Metea didn't really bring a weapon to bear- she hadn't even drawn her dagger once, she was pretty sure- but she was confident in her eldritch magic.

Perhaps both with and without reason. She wondered if the fight could've been avoided, had she not decided to experiment with the rune.

But master, if I didn't- how would I know?

She too would listen... for all the good it did!


First Post
Investigation had shown the hide to hardly be in a proper state for salvaging. Disappointing. Jeovanna would score the flesh with her dagger, to leave a juicier meal for anything that might come along afterwards.

The pack is of interest, though. She'd toss the limp imp body down the hall a bit, closer towards the glyph that had ensnared their warlock, before investigating the bag.


Still had her knife out. A quick flick of the blade, and she'd move to slice open the side of the pack, to empty the contents into a pile on the ground.

Do not stick your fingers in an demon's bag seemed an adage for the ages.

Carthum One-Tusk: Four sides

Carthum smiled, though a bit ruefully, and patted the ranger solidly on the back. "Perhaps they will mistake our clatter for a gaggle of kitchen wenches, and leave us be."

Purely tusk in cheek, obviously.

He'd return down the hall, as swiftly and gracelessly as he'd come, to inform the others. The path seemed clearer. Whether it was or not... they would soon find out, but with the power of their party united.

Some spider-bits would be tossed down the opposite hall... but he'd leave a leg or two near the path they were heading down- a final snack? Something for the spiderlings, should there be any that might be deprived a feast?


Four Sides

The rogue felt a sense of reassurance in Metea’s arrival by her side. Those hands of hers and the dazzling destruction they could cause, well it made Annit’s rudimentary bow and arrows somewhat pale in comparison.

Something was stirring at the opposite end of the passageway, far out of Annit’s torch range. Metea would see it though, a hairy leg or two poking out from the corner.

“What is it?” Annit asked, having just heard what sounded like movement ahead.

In Otiroth’s peaceful post-recovery, he might hear it too, or at worst see a change on Annit and Metea’s faces. He’d at least had some moments to ponder and reflect first. Specifically upon any knowledge of lower-planar fiends documented at the Burning Rose. The details and testimonies were scarce. Most of the authors rumored to be simply mad or dreamers of fiction. The sorcerer had seen such beasts with his own eyes now though. They had got here somehow. Hell, Metea’s very existence proved that. But how? Was there something about these inner openings of Kalair’s solid ground that might explain some of this?

Jeovanna’s sous-chef work goes well, and the creation of pre-prepared meals is as wise a task as it is gruesome. A good thing the barbarian used to liaise with predators, a lifestyle with Gnolls tends to remove any fear at the sight of dead meat, or blood. Being desensitized has it's advantages at times... though a good brew generally helps.

The Imp’s pouch falls open at the slash of her knife. A thin but lengthy tendril of black leather tumbles to the ground, and at its extremities sections seem to sparkle in the dim light. Tiny blades, sewn into three strands, all connected to a whip-like grip.

<Version of Blade Whip. 2D4 Slashing Damage. Finesse Weapon. Reach 15ft.>

A shuffle from behind a way. A clang of armor. Ah ha! Carthum pokes his head out of the eastern crevice. It looked like time to go!

As Dain waits for his stealth-buddy to return, a light puff of heated air moves past his cheeks. A smell of soot follows. Then he hears something, a sound diffused by dark walls and chaotic turns.



Then the quiet returns, though he will probably hear Carthum coming back soon enough.

<If the team is exiting stage right, just need to know the order and who is on dwarf-sherpa duties. Two characters side by side is possible in the tunnels where Dain currently waits.>


First Post
Dain - Triple Fork

Dain sniffed at the air, still crouched down, waiting in the darkness. When he heard the strange sound, his head turned so that his ear faced that direction.

What new danger awaits us? This is a den of death if there ever was one. I'll need a new jerkin, if for nothing else than to bury me in it. Will you accept me into your arms, Essithea? Worm's meat. Or will I walk with you in gloomy groves forever...

He stood up, senses keen towards the path ahead. The rest of the group was coming.

Mind the now, Darkspring. Mind the now...

When Annit came forward to join him in the point position, he gave her a slight smile in the flickering light. He shook his head slightly, adjusting his mane so that a few stray strands came away from his face. Then his eyes went to his sword, and the design on the blade...before returning to Annit. His expression said it all: he looked forward to the day they visited her old family shrine. But did she? Or did she fear it? Either way, her features were so delicate...

<Insight roll = 6>

Once they were all in position, Dain would move the party forward, letting them know that he had smelled soot and heard shufflings in the darkness. Beware.

<Perception roll = 11>
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First Post
Otiroth followed along with the others- he'd sniff the air as well.

The scent of mysterious alchemical substances had often drifted past Otiroth's nose in the past. Most of the truly interesting scents had been hidden beneath the smell of perfumes... drifting up from the depths beneath the perfume shop, wafted on the air of secret spells cast by his master.

Perhaps he might recognize the smell, but... it was faint on the air already.

<Arcana check=9>


First Post
Metea: Triple Fork

As they walked, Metea waved one hand and summoned forth another deceptive illusion.

This one was a bit simpler- an image of a faint glow around herself and Otiroth. "Resilient sphere!" It was a spell well above their power, but she would do her best to replicate what she imagined the spell would look like. It was all based on the caster in the end, wasn't it?

Well, she would do what she could.

<Invocation: Misty Visions. Deception check-21>

"Don't worry," she winked back at her brother, "I have enchanted it so you and the dwarf can pass through, Carthum!"

She sniffed at the sooty smell too, though without much interest. Unless it smelled liker her on a bad day (hey, she had rough days too!) she wasn't sure what she could glean from it. She was content to follow Dain's direction on what path to take next.


First Post
Jeovanna: Triple Fork

Metea's illusion was very good. At least, that would be Jeovanna's excuse for completely falling for it. "Me as well?" She'd ask.

She'd not seen that spell before. Didn't quite click between the darkness illusion and this one.

The majority of the barbarian's attention was on the pathway behind them. Listening for the sound of the spider. Listening for the sound of it feasting... or following.

<Perception check=18>

Carthum One-Tusk: Triple Fork

Despite the danger of the path forward, Carthum had a crooked smile for Metea and the barbarian woman. "I'm sure you as well, if needed," he replied. "Well done, sister."

They would not have too long to linger to make their decision. His spell had worn off, and abjuration magic was... capable of many things. He peered ahead, as best he could through his fellows, before lifting a stray stone and casting Light upon it. He passed this up to Dain and Annit.

"Cast our path," the abjured tunnel seemed the best solution. While it was not certain, perhaps a rock could disrupt some spell or trap waiting?

<Spellcasting: Cantrip. Light>


Triple Fork

Annit has a brave face on, and a very convincing one as she moves to the front. What to worry about? She is among the youthful and talented! Some skilled in magic that grows stronger with each step forwards, and others who have proven excellent at dissecting foes with simple edged steel.

A few rats, spiders and bats, the remote possibility of illegal miners or bandits. That’s what she’d expected. Instead they’d witnessed undead, fey, demons and constructs. So in truth, beneath the pretty and calm exterior, Annit was extremely concerned. She had come to both like and respect her colleagues. If long-lasting harm should come to any of them, such guilt would be unthinkable. Otiroth’s recent close call, that had been a real eye opener. Nothing down here was to be taken for granted, or approached with overconfidence.

Dain by her side, and smiling to him, they moved forwards with Carthum's light-imbibed stone.

Heat and the bitter smell of burning coals gains intensity with each step, and that is all they appear to be to Otiroth’s well-tuned nose. In the last working moments of Carthum’s magical detection, the priest notes a strong presence of magic somewhere near… abjuration, but also something unaligned to particular school, yet so far, out of sight.

Zig-zags like the great incisors of some mammoth black stone beast are trod, until dim light greets the party at a nearing bend. To the left, a ten foot wide hole in the wall comes into view. Ahead, the light reflects off something not-quite-shiny, not-quite-solid. A gelatinous form lies on their path some twenty feet off, like the tail of some great black pre-skinned eel.

“Look,” Annit whispers to Dain, pointing to it. Immediately she wraps a hand around the lightstone, letting only a tiny beam show through between her fingers. Just enough to dimly reveal the surrounds.

“Let me check the left,” she then nervously whispers, poking her head into the sidewall hole.

A moment later she reports back, keeping her voice low. “Another crevice, looks to run parallel with this one, and there are deep lines cut into the floor, like a cartwheel’s tracks.”

The rogue tenses at the sounds of a voice then. Somewhere ahead. Elderly and crackling, dry and ominous…

“Ah ah, so long so long, what, what, what?”

Then the jelly-tail moves, a swish from side to side.

At the group’s rear, Jeovanna and the spell-casters have heard no evidence of an upcoming rear assault. The spider(s), it is likely they are busy... for now.

<Annit deception (to hide fear) = 19. Annit perception (to see / notice stuff) = 19 too.
Metea, Carthum, Otiroth: May make an Arcana/Religion check. I’ll use the best roll of the three for the results.
What would everyone like to do?>

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