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5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Three

97mg

Villager


The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Three


With bold steps down the wider of the passageways, our explorers continue to wind and turn through the claustrophobic darkness. Perhaps they begin to pity the ancient folk who once worked here, smashing away to create tunnels, carting off rocky waste to an unknown dumping ground, chipping at walls in the hope of a random life-changing discovery.

The evidence of sampling continues as you move on, small areas in the walls where black basalt has been levered or chiseled at. You pass another small passageway then, to your right, and finally another as you are stopped in your tracks.

The walls begin to part ahead of you as the tunnel expands in width and height. Finally, a little extra personal space perhaps? Your light sources and viewing angle leave sections of the upcoming area concealed from the eye, until you proceed further. Certainly, the path opens into the beginnings of a cavern some thirty feet wide and equally high. And it ends there. Directly ahead a great pile of rock blocks the way ahead. It is a random mess of broken stone, fragments and grit. Looking upwards, one might even suspect that it was born of a rockfall of some kind.

"The base rock isn't meant to do that," Annit whispers pointing to the top of the distant obstacle. "That is why we haven't seen any bracing or supporting timber for a while. I... don't like it."

Then Dain sees something else alarming. The slightest movement of a shadow in the dim light, cast upon the stoney blockage ahead. A mischievous flicker of the torch? Surely the dark is getting to you. Or something else?



 
Dain - Into the Shadows

As they moved along, the shuffling of their feet and the sound of their breathing seemed to grow louder to Dain's ears. Perhaps it was the fact that they were getting deeper and deeper, further and further, into the mine and sound was echoing. The mystical lights, brought forth by the mages among them, gave everything an eerie glow. He looked at his torch more than once, glad for its simple light, and he thought of open campfires beneath the stars. It relaxed him...though only for a moment.

Essithea. The young queen. My memory flickers like my torch, though so little is illuminated! I dream of my goddess as I would of a lover...am I a maddened heretic or am I blessed?!

Moving into the larger cavern, they no doubt naturally began to spread out. He followed Annit's finger as she pointed to the mass of rock before them, and he mulled her whispered words carefully. His eyes widened quickly when he saw the movement amid the stones. Had they not come face to face with armor that moved on its own? With bones animated by some vile magic? He was not in a mood to let even the smallest hint of danger go unheeded!

His sword dropped into a defensive guard and he raised his torch upwards, at the same time bursting forward with sure steps towards what he had seen. "Jeovanna! Stand ready! Carthum! Raise your shield before the others!"

Dain was certainly taking no chances. Better he sound like a fool than end up dead.
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna: Into the Shadows

Perhaps in another place, at another time, the caverns might have been beautiful. But the quiet horror at work here, it was stifling. She pitied the workers and the undead, for having to live down here in the dark.

As Dain moved forward, Jeovanna would as well. Her greatsword gleamed with the light reflected from Otiroth's spell.

All thoughts of a peaceful solution to this were long gone; what had seemed to make so much sense in the sunlight was meaningless vanity down here.
 

Metea

Villager
Metea- Into the Shadows

Metea's mind was spinning. She'd take in what she could, and while she could see better than her human companions, the mine itself was still eerily absent of anything but despair.

"Does a necromancer need to stay close? Or can it raise the dead and wander off?" Metea asked. In theory, she was probably talking to Otiroth, but it seemed she was also just thinking aloud, no doubt voicing concerns others had. "Does it even need to be a necromancer? If these miners stood their ground when mining gems was outlawed... if their dedication to their craft drew them to remain behind..."

Otiroth was no doubt right. The forbidden Forbidden Magic. That meant that there wasn't much to be learned about it- not where they could get to it.

That didn't mean that there was nothing out there. Hidden away.

In the dark.

She'd wrap her tail around herself as the others reacted to something out in the dark. Metea was fully ready to blast anything that wasn't one of her friends that moved. But they were unlikely to be accosted by a prankster scoundrel down here. Just more skeletons.
 
Carthum seemed tense. Well, they all seemed tense. It was quite different from before, even after the armor; Otiroth had impressed into them the dangers of the undead, no doubt. Carthum felt Suru's light within him, desiring to be unleashed... yet Carthum's own flesh seemed somehow in the way.

There was truth here; waiting. Brimming.

He'd raise his shield, banging his mace against it. "I stand at your back!" He'd say. The front of his shield glimmers with light as he did, pointed towards where Dain leapt, for Suru always lit the way!

<Spellcasting, cantrip. Light.>
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: Into the shadows

Otiroth did not answer Metea's musings. Perhaps he was musing himself, perhaps he had no answers, perhaps there was no time for answers. It probably did not matter; they were deep in the mines now, they would find their answers soon enough.

The dragon-blooded grimaced as Dain jumped ahead once more, and would wave one hand, summoning up a few floating orbs and sending them pursuing the ranger. They could not nip at his heels, but they could light them!

Otiroth's gaze, though, would not follow his dancing lights, but instead turn back over his shoulder. They had left far too many unexplored caves behind them for his liking...

<Spellcasting: dancing lights>
 

97mg

Villager
Into the Shadows

There is more movement as Dain and Jeovanna bravely force forwards into the cavernous space. Well illuminated now, thanks to a vast array of lighting methods, the features around you also take on greater detail.

Within the walls near the rockfall, you finally witness a change in the lifeless stone that surrounds you. The tiniest vein of white. Not gem-grade material by any means, but a sign that other minerals have grown within the basalt at these greater depths.

Of more immediate interest, to the left of your entrance point is a dark and foot-wide narrow crack within the walls. Possibly an imperfection in nature’s formations, where immense heat and gas has caused separation in the old stone’s birth. Near the entrance to the small fissure lies a collection of litter. A few old bones. Clumps of dislodged rock. A rat’s skull. Something purple and shriveled, a lifeless piece of dried flesh? A cold shiver runs down your spines. Wrongness. Something is off, and it's not just the meat.

Alarm bells ring in your heads as the sound of crackling energy emanates from the hole.

Then all is silent for a moment. Until Otiroth turns to check their rear, hearing another crackle… as a small beast comes into view behind both he and Carthum.

It is small. Only a few feet high in fact, but that does not diminish it's ugliness. Disproportionate arms hang low, knuckles touching the ground like a shrunken ape. The body is a mass of hair and spines, and oh it's face. Huge yellow eyes, no doubt an adaptation to dark places. A heavily tusked jaw and pincers on each grotesque hand only add to the horror. It stares at the priest and sorcerer with immense hatred, and a strange kind of longing.

Without further ado, it crouches as though preparing to leap into an attack!

<Otiroth: Wisdom saving throw required immediately (d20+Wis modifier).
Metea: Feel free to make a Wisdom check (d20+Wis modifier), the higher the result the more you might know about this tiny fiend.
All: Roll Initiative (d20+Dex modifier), then we will start round 1. You are welcome to speak to each other as free actions in your next posts before round 1 kicks off.
In its current position, 2 characters can enter melee at a time.>


 

97mg

Villager
Metea: Into the Shadows

Metea: You can perhaps catch a glance of the little creature, as the crackling sounds accompany its arrival behind your fine colleagues. Well well, maybe some of that alone-time and private reading was actually useful, more than just fantasy and the writings of the deranged. The appearance of the being and the manner that it seems to be able to "pop" around, tickle your thoughts. Some creatures it is said, can move via thought alone. Teleportation! Is this some kind of hybrid being? A weaving of the Fey and Fiend-touched planes? Corruption. Torture. Yes, those words you remember well. Also something about fear being a means to an end... corrupting souls is its way of gaining ranks! What was it called... argh, you can't quite remember right now.

Given the size of it, and the fact that so far it seems to be alone, you estimate a good likelihood of your team being able to overpower it. That said, the unwise should probably stay well away...

<Anyone within 10ft needs to make a DC 11 Wisdom save each round, or suffer in awe of the monster's powerful ability to breed fear.

PS: Its AC is 15.>
 
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Metea

Villager
Metea: into the shadows

Metea sees the creature, and despite being in the middle of her team's ranks, a relatively excellent place to be protected, she is gripped by fear. It is not only that it is some kind of diabolic creature, not only an overwhelmed soul tired and nervous after their long journey, but a sudden lingering terror of judgement.

"It can teleport!" Metea blurted out, because that was what she knew the others would most need to know. And perhaps they would think she had simply noticed that, that she had never read about these demonic creatures in a pique of curiosity or spite. "It's a fiend, it... they're..." Ugh, she should have either read more or less!

She wasn't a demon!
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna: Into the Shadows

"A den," Jeovanna noted. She didn't recognize the piece of meat, but that was probably inevitable with how rotten it looked. Was there something to hunt down here, or had the creature that lived inside that hovel found a way to the surface?

Were there more?

There was a crackling then, and Metea was shouting, and while Jeovanna could see the creature, it didn't look like any beast she had seen. "Tele-what? Is it the necromancer?" She was trying to put it all together, as if there was anything logical about an underground fortress full of twisted magic- how'd it even gotten over there?

This seemed like important information, so she wasn't going to just pretend she got what the tiefling was saying!

Well, regardless, they didn't like it, so the point of her sword was now pointing in the yellow-eyed creature's direction- it seemed ready to attack.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: Into the shadows

Otiroth grimaced, his expression one of a man who felt on some level that he had survived something not through wisdom or skill, but through chance.

It was not a pleasant feeling, though he could not elucidate what it had been.

"It is a spell," he'd clarify to Jeovanna- which was the only reason he knew the word Metea had used, for their study into magic overlapped by design, "it can go wherever it wishes, when it wishes."

A fiend. If it anything was to be behind such unnatural magic... it seemed a good candidate! But it could also be merely a pawn as well... either way, his pride demanded that they slay it.
 
Carthum: Into the shadows

Carthum turned Suru's light, gleaming from his shield, onto the demon behind them.

"If it can go anywhere it wishes, then go back to your den, fiend! We have slain worse than you this day," Carthum growled.
 
Dain - Into the Shadows

Dain's blood was up as he rushed forward, but he skidded to a stop when the action seemed to suddenly be...behind them?!

Spinning around, still holding his torch aloft, he tried to make out with certainty what the others were seeing. Teleporting? It was a vaguely familiar word...but seemed out of place in the dark hole they were currently in.

"Words won't kill it! Strike at it with something besides your tongues!" Dain was rushing forward, but the others were in front of him and he was somewhat reluctant to leave their rear unguarded. His head kept swinging back over his shoulder...
 

97mg

Villager
Into the Shadows

Round 1
Initiative:
Jeovanna: 22
Dain: 18
Metea: 16
Annit: 13
Critter: 10
Otiroth: 9
Carthum: 5

The small beast snaps it's claws threateningly, as though hurling insults at you with their rude and nasty clicking. It blinks those bulbous eyes too, a response to the glow of Carthum’s shield, as though somehow the light offers up a distraction.

In the few moments it takes for the beast to recover from it's teleportation, a few of you at least have an opportunity to strike… if you dare. The beast most surely, isn’t stupid, having positioned itself where only two foes can face off at a time.

<Two characters may enter close range melee at a time, at disadvantage to attack rolls if moving between friends to get into range. Casting of spells or firing range weapons into the melee is also at a disadvantage.

Anyone entering melee must make a DC11 Wisdom Save (d20+Wis Modifier) at the start of their round. On a fail, a sensation of deep terror overcomes you and you are not able to step close enough to strike, and also suffer disadvantage to all attack rolls and checks until next round. Trust me, this thing is hideous!>
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna & Dain - Into the Shadows

Jeovanna charged at the creature, shouldering aside her squishier comrades as she did. It was perhaps not a reaction entirely borne of wisdom... but the creature's 'trickiness' irritated her.

As she closed in, she'd feel a wave of nausea, even fear- that just made her angrier, honestly. A sharp, almost manic laugh burst from her lips, and she'd swing her greatsword solidly at the horrible little imp's hideous body.

More laughter. Keep it under control. Keep it together. It would be okay.

<15 to hit, 7 damage. Wisdom save=12>

***************

Dain's sidestepped two of his companions in his hurry to reach the foe that threatened them. It was chaotic, but then again, they were not a tight-knit unit with a knack for teamwork. Not yet!

When the light of his fire added to the mystical light already illuminating the monstrosity the result was truly horrifying. A compulsion to retch nearly overtook Dain then, but he gripped his blade tightly and grunted in angry determination. "Back to whatever pit you crawled out of, demonspawn!"

He was close enough to get a swing in, even if his positioning was awkward!

<Saving throw = 21>
<To strike = 7>


(Posting for Dain as requested)
 

Metea

Villager
Metea: into the shadows

Jeovanna shouldering her aside and then laughing... laughing! It would throw off Metea's aim. Or so she would claim, for her attempt to eldritch blast did not even leave her fingertips before fizzling out. She'd claim later not to have been afraid.

At the moment, she felt an almost panic as she looked around, trying to gauge where the others were- she had liked having the hulking barbarian woman on one side of her, Carthum on the other. Now, she was somewhat exposed... well...

Maybe she had kind of positioned Annit between herself and the empty room with all of her stumbling.

Though Metea did not realize it, her eyes glowed with the same yellow light as the demon-fey's... though she was, hopefully, less hideous to her comrades!

<Spellcasting: innate, thaumaturgy. Maybe breaking action economy, let me know if it's a problem!>
 

97mg

Villager
Annit & Critter: Into the Shadows

Next to Metea, Annit cringed at the sight of their new enemy. She had no issues with letting the barbarian woman and mystery man barge through. Let them at it! With gritted teeth she scanned the group’s side. The fight seemed chaotic, so best try and stand strong and ready. A dagger flashed into her hand. The Tiefling’s insight into the foe’s ability to pop around was almost as disconcerting as the heavy weight of fear, thick in the air.

A horrid squeal erupted from the creature’s mandible as Jeovanna’s greatsword slashed into its hairy chest. That had to hurt, but it wasn’t enough. Then the yellow eyes peered at Dain, and the mandible almost smiled at the ranger’s missed stab. It moved to snatch Dain’s forearm in a claw but luckily, wasn’t fast enough to secure his delicious fresh meat.

Then it made the crackling sound again, and disappeared from sight in the blink of an evil yellow eye.

“We need a circle!” Annit called out. “Back to back!”

Yes, it was unlikely to have left them in peace. It was only a matter of time...
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: Into the shadows

"Get ahold of yourself, woman!" Otiroth snapped at Jeovanna.

The idea of running held little merit- the creature could zap in and out as it pleased, it could torment them if it wished and chase them as well. A circle held more merit- and the rock wall was close enough that they could arrange themselves with blades outwards if they were quick enough to manage it. The craggy fallen rocks might even allow Metea and Annit to be able to shoot over the others' heads, if they were sure-footed enough.

Of course, how well they executed this tactical arrangement, having only worked together briefly, and having an even more brief time to prepare it, was the real question.

"Filth," Otiroth snapped, a final moment of defiance as they closed ranks to be to shoot a firebolt into the demon's den- it'd clean it up, if nothing else.
 
Carthum- into the shadows

Running was not a fantastic option, but staying put had its own flaws- couldn't the demon just choose to avoid them until they dropped their guard, and attack again? How did they intend to draw it out?

Well, it seemed Otiroth had a plan to, if nothing else, irritate it further.

The priest was at his best when standing guard over the others, and there was indeed something quite empowering about standing shoulder to shoulder with Jeovanna and Dain, their more fragile fellows safely behind them. Well, how safe that was depended quite a bit on how precise the demon's teleportation was...

But it had seemed to pause after its teleportation before! If they had but a moment to strike...
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna: Into the Shadows

"Come back! Coward!" Jeovanna snarled.

They'd try to rearrange themselves, but any kind of formation they might've put together in a few seconds was loose at best. Which may have been for the best-if the creature could zap itself about, who knew what else it could do?

Jeovanna's frustration was mounting, and being cajoled about it wasn't helping. "Shut up. Shut up!" She snapped at Otiroth. Couldn't he keep it to himself? He had no idea how difficult this was!

The barbarian was clearly too agitated to make any good use of the trap on her pack. The demon might be too smart to fall for that, anyway. Though she'd not object to another taking it. Basic squad formation, though, was grilled into a prospective guard from day one. She could mostly manage that.
 
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