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5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Three

Jeovanna

First Post
Jeovanna: Hunting

Jeovanna could see the light of Dain's torch ahead, and was close enough now to see his shadow as well.

He seemed to have found the creature! The smell of blood was possibly new, or possibly her nostrils were still soaked with the scent of demon blood from before.

It was a bit of an awkward shot, especially for someone more used to shooting deer and foxes, but it was at least less awkward than trying to swing her great sword. Jeovanna's shortbow, its motley-fletched arrows, would find a mark today!

She felt like telling Dain she had told him not to run ahead, but then, it obviously fell on deaf ears! No matter! They'd kill this wretched thing together.

<To hit- 24. 7 Damage>
 

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Otiroth

First Post
Otiroth: Hunting and Gathering

Otiroth paced for a moment, feeling quite useless while Jeovanna and Dain dashed down the tunnel after the creature. While he would've preferred they all stuck together, he had no hold over the actions of the others, and they would do as they would. He hesitated to follow them, though, and instead simply prepared some mystical energy should another demon poke its ugly snout through the crack.

He had a few spells yet... and his instinct told him his last firebolt had hit.

For a moment, Otiroth watched Carthum's ministrations- then he would send out another round of dancing lights, hoping to illuminate the few cracks and crevices not caught by torch light and Carthum's glowing shield.

<Spellcasting: Cantrip. Dancing lights>
 

97mg

Explorer
Hunting (Dain & Jeovanna)

Hunting Round 2
Jeovanna 19
Critter 17 (-17hp)
Dain 16 (-17hp)

Twisting tunnels and narrow spaces are not easy work for a hunter’s bow. It is a risky shot, but thankfully a well aimed one that swishes past Dain at almost point blank range. It embeds deeply into the little wretch, who of course squeals! Now it is angry. Very angry.

Seeing Dain succumb to its secret weapon, paralysis, the critter lashes out at him again. A pincer darts near his abdomen and snaps shut on one of his love handles. A great red tear is left on the ranger. That has to hurt!

<Sorry Dain, another DC11 Con save vs paralysis required. Happens each time on a successful hit. Attack Dain = 18 (disadvantaged). Damage = 9hp. I think you are at 6 of 23 hp now, eek!

I’ll post back for the rest of the team (Gathering) shortly!>
 

daindarkspring

First Post
Dain - The Hunt

An arrow whizzed by Dain in the darkness, and he jerked backwards, wincing at the pain in his knee. His torch bumped against the wall, sending a shower of sparks falling to his feet like glowing rain. He heard the creature whine in pain.

Then the creature struck again, tearing through his jerkin with its fetid claws. Again a wave of stiffness came over him, but this time he shook it off with a grunt that sent more bloody spittle flying from his mouth.

Gyaaahh! Damn the darkness! Damn whatever led me here! At least whatever father sired me, whatever mother bore me, need not see this! But SHE sees! Is it a test, or is it a judgement?!

He pushed himself off the wall, swinging his blade at the creature despite the pain in his leg and gut.

I saw a deer once...running for its life despite its entrails trailing behind it...I pitied it then, I wonder if it would pity me now? Does SHE pity me? I pray she does not!

<Save vs paralysis=20 SUCCESS>
<11 to hit= MISS>
 

Jeovanna

First Post
Jeovanna: Hunting

"Damn it, Dain! Get behind me!" Jeovanna bellowed.

She'd loose another shaft, this one once more whizzing past Dain as he slumped against the wall.

Then, in frustration, she'd drop her bow to one side and pull out her greatsword. "GET BEHIND ME!"

DIE

No!

<22 to hit, 6 damage>
 

Otiroth

First Post
Otiroth: Hunting and Gathering

Otiroth might have lingered for awhile, but the shouting echoed down the cavern, and it did not sound especially good...

"I'm heading in after them," Otiroth said, with considerably more bravado than he felt.

Then again- the spell he had cast before- it had looped up and over his comrades' heads with no trouble! That would work, even in this tight space...

<Otiroth is heading down the crevice- Initiative 8>
 

97mg

Explorer
Gathering (Metea, Carthum, Otiroth, Annit)

Metea's quick inspection of the two dwarves isn't particularly enlightening, and maybe she just loses interest quickly. In its current state, even the one that still appears to cling to some last vestige of life, won't be able to impart any useful information any time soon. Fixing this probably seems more like Carthum's realm.

Over by the crevice though, that is where the action is! Ah, the sounds of a scuffle, the squeal of the hunted! Whatever is going on down there definitely sounds intense.

More light bleeds into the relative safety of the lair behind the warlock. Otiroth's dancing lights are actually most helpful, showing the rest of the space for what it actually is. It seems that no further secrets have been lurking in the dark confines, but extra illumination is certainly good for the soul and morale.

Speaking of souls, it would appear to Carthum that the paralyzed dwarf still has one. A tiny fragment, a tatter of something within that struggles to grip at life. Stuck between two worlds, perhaps a little sacred guidance will make a difference. For a moment the little man trembles beneath the priest’s touch. Any response comes as good news, that maybe, just maybe it has some remote chance of making it back.

The dwarven lips part then, as in common he whispers, “Wood against skin, don't let go, don't… brother… no… the sea…”

Then the poor little fellow goes quiet again.
 

Metea

First Post
Metea: Gathering

Metea stepped to one side as Otiroth headed past, down into the crevice. She wanted to tell him to stop- after all, Jeovanna and Dain had darted after the creature of their own volition. It was their hides if they got in over the head- but she didn't say anything. Let him go.

She considered following, but... no, she had to keep an eye on this lot. Carthum was distracted with his ward, and Annit was already injured.

"Wood?" Metea asked finally, with a little curl of her lip. "What kind of dwarf works with wood?"

She thought they were all 'stone hills' this and 'iron delves' that. In fact, hadn't she copied books over about dwarves, if only awhile back?

Thinking back to lost lore, well, Metea is much better at that!

<Perhaps a history check to see if Metea remembers anything juicy about local dwarves? Check of 20>
 

Carthum One-Tusk: Gathering

Carthum leaned in closer to listen to the dwarf as it spoke.

Perhaps another might have heard mad mumbling, but for Carthum, it seemed more hopeful than not. A delusion perhaps, and one that spoke only of sorrow, as Carthum doubted this dwarf's brother yet lived.

"We are far from water, now," Carthum said. He looked upwards. "And far from the woods. Rest. Your soul is strong, but it must rest."

He would then perk up as he heard the shouting echoing down from the cavern. Jeovanna's contralto was unmistakable. They had run into trouble...
 

97mg

Explorer
Hunting (Dain, Jeovanna, Otiroth)

Hunting Round 3
Jeovanna 19
Critter 17 (-23hp)
Dain 16 (-17hp)
Otiroth 8

Jeovanna’s greatsword works wonders yet again! The blade catches the little horror across the chest, tearing an ugly laceration into hair-topped skin and flesh. It lets out an ear-pummeling squeal of course, and looks to the ranger and barbarian… making a choice.

The ranger! He is weak and ripe for a dying breath! A pincer darts in to make contact, but misses wildly. It's not easy fighting in such tight places, when you are wincing in pain.

As Otiroth rounds the bend it is obvious that Dain isn’t well, a lot of blood has been spilt in the last few moments, but Jeovanna is standing tall and mighty! Here and there the sorcerer might catch a glance of the knee-high creep between the other’s legs. No space for melee weapons here, but maybe you can get lucky some other way? Perhaps Dain will step back and let you through?

<Dain selected at random for attack, disadvantaged roll = 8 Miss. Otiroth is disadvantaged if using to hit rolls at the moment.>
 

97mg

Explorer
Gathering (Metea, Carthum, Annit)

Annit gripped her wound tighter, walking to stand behind her remaining companions, keeping an eye out while Carthum and Metea tried to make sense of the dwarven finds. The rogue hadn’t forgotten of course, that there were more shiny things in here somewhere. It just felt too soon… to loot… when lives were on the line. So Otiroth had dashed down the crevice as well. Probably best not to follow, yet. If it all went quiet, that was when she’d really start to worry.

Taking a little time to think, it probably isn’t so strange to find dwarves here. Metea might recall that yes, most of them prefer mountain dwellings far to the north. The odd unsubstantiated rumor also exists that areas near their home might once have been mined. Ores and gems of course. Had they dared continue this during the days of Dolstian Law? A large majority had not… but there was at least one written account of a demi-human being hung for possession of earth’s magical corruption, right? Was it five years back? His own mountain bred kin had dobbed him in, and it created a great rift in their society for the short years that followed. Were the lawmakers hoping to weaken their kind? Was it jealousy that restricted them from picking such low hanging fruit… or something else? Had someone known in advance that a greater threat would soon be on it's way? There was tension in those hills, undoubtedly.

Where there are mines, there are small people. In order to teach Suru’s patience and deep respect for life, part of Metea’s education would have been about acceptance and the dangers of false judgement. Many dwarves still live in Kalair and its surrounds, the distant relations of miners who had been attracted to Kalair’s cliffs before laws and council’s wills had come down hard upon violators. Back then it was a free for all. Stake your claim, dig, fight, claim your power or sell it on…

So what might bring back a dwarf’s spirit and desire for life? Are the generalizations true, that they are innately attracted to booze, treasures, the safety of solid walls, and good drinking songs before a quick dirty flirt?
 

Metea

First Post
Metea: Gathering

Hmm, so the miners had met a bad end, perhaps? The dwarf must've been down here quite awhile to waste away like that, but not THAT long. Even a dwarf couldn't live forever on belly-fat.

Hey, she had learned how not to judge people of other races, but it rang kind of hollow sometimes when it seemed nobody had learned the same lesson towards tieflings!

She'd crouch down by the dwarf, and somehow, somehow, resist the urge to poke it with her tail again. "Hey, maybe he needs a safety bauble?" Metea hesitated a bit, a great deal actually- not at Carthum seeing this, but at the idea of giving one of a good set away- and would slip one of the moonstone she had picked up into the dwarf's hand. "See? Just like old times, right?"

She'd think a moment. Scratch her horns. She had seen Otiroth do a lot of mysterious little spells, and he had claimed once that her always smelling fresh porridge from the mess hall when she was working on something onerous to be magic. Nostalgia, maybe?

Well... with was worth a shot... Metea would focus really, really hard.

<Spellcasting: thaumaturgy. Metea is going to try and create the smell of fresh hops.>
 

Carthum One-Tusk: Gathering

It is Carthum's turn to stand idly by as he watches Metea try and help.

Her thoughts are a bit mysterious to him, but then, he is pretty used to that most days. Instead, he is silently pleased- no, delighted- that she would be wiling to give a gemstone away, rather than irritated that she had kept it in the first place.

She would normally not have let another 'borrow' a precious thing if she was even the slightest bit afraid she might not get it back!
 

97mg

Explorer
Gathering (Metea, Carthum, Annit)

You are my minor wonder, so tell me friend, what minor wonder does my minor wonder seek, to bring back this man of minor dimensions?

The words form in Metea’s mind as she concentrates for a moment, remembering the scent of wonderful brewing components. Is the fact she recalls such an aroma a confession of sorts? The effect doesn’t materialize, but maybe her secret patron offers something else?

Annit speaks from a short distance away. “So that’s where they went. Ah, we will have to trade tricks in the subtle use of stealthy hands, you and I.” Metea seems to be somewhere else right now, but the Tiefling probably heard.

Stepping forwards carefully, the rogue wonders if the warlock is onto something. Not many other options available right now. From a pocket she extracts the chipped glass disc and the small uncut hexagonal gem, still stuck to some matrix like a toy soldier on a tiny hilltop.

“Try these perhaps, they may be of far more use to you than they are to me.”

The gem is handed to Carthum if he wishes, and the disc placed gently onto Metea’s hand.
 

daindarkspring

First Post
Dain- The Hunt

Dain sidestepped slightly as the greatsword swept by him, and he smiled a grim and bloody smile as it found its mark.

"You...strike well." He said, doing a fair job of concealing his pain. "Let me try to match you!"

Images of green meadows that rippled with wind passed through his mind as his sword sang through the air.

<22 to hit, 11 dam>
 

97mg

Explorer
Hunting (Dain, Jeovanna, Otiroth)

Butchery! Where once one tiny horror stood, now there are two… separate pieces. Dain’s final angry swing has torn it clean in two. The meat quivers one last time, and is then still. The battle done, a quiet claustrophobia returns to those within the crevice’s tight embrace. Was the beast always evil and seeking to destroy beauty in the world? Or was it once a mere mortal mine explorer, like Dain, who had come uncomfortably close to an early demise. There will be lasting scars from this.

You sense no more crackling or sounds of footsteps for now, nor screams of ambush from your colleagues behind, in the lair. Maybe for just a few moments everyone is safe.
 
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Otiroth

First Post
Otiroth: The Hunt

Otiroth has arrived a moment too late to help in the battle; but then, the quivering chunks of flesh still bear some scorch marks.

He grimaces at the sight, though more at Dain's injuries than anything. Even if the mound had shed some uncomfortable light on what might have happened here, the fiends were no more the dwarves that had been than the skeleton had been. It was better to put them out of their misery.

"Can you walk? Carthum has been sussing the secrets of these creatures, but he said he has some healing left," Otiroth asked Dain. The man looked savaged! Otiroth could help him back, if he'd like...
 

Jeovanna

First Post
Jeovanna: The Hunt

Silence falls, until Otiroth speaks.

"It is good you were the one to kill it," Jeovanna said finally, looking at Dain intently. She'd pause for a moment to retrieve her bow, then peers closely at Dain once more. "We are a pack. We fight as a pack."

Solidarity, or admonishment? The pack was stronger when none stood alone.

Jeovanna would not cheapen Dain's victory by offering to help him back to the others. And the ranger had cleaved her arrows as well as the creature; her quiver is not especially large, so she will miss them, but they are easy enough to make.

Well... easy enough to make when there are birds to hunt and tree branches to hone.

Yes... time to get back to the others.
 

Metea

First Post
Metea: Gathering

Metea accepted the cracked disc, and gave it a curious once-over up close, too. It was damaged, clearly- unless that crack was meant to be part of the item's 'charm', so maybe that was part of what threw off her first look at it.

She'd much prefer a few hours in Suru's library to investigate this item and see what it could really do, but that wasn't what mattered at the moment- just jogging the dwarf's memory, maybe. She was about to look at the dwarf through it, like the moonstone, but paused.

"Are... we sure we want to wake him up?" Metea asked finally. "...down here?" Next to the other dead dwarf? "Maybe it's best if we let him rest until we're above ground."

She would pat the dwarf on the head, though. There, there.

A minor boon for this minor miner, perhaps...

The sweetest of voices...
 
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Carthum One-Tusk: Gathering

"I think it will be some time before he truly awakens, Metea," Carthum replied. "But there is danger in moving him in his current state."

The sunlight and fresh air itself might be a shock to the system too great to handle, as it was. They did not know the true depth of depravity of whatever had been inflicted on these dwarves down here. Or... perhaps they did, and had recently dispatched the remnants.

Carthum had received much tutoring on the meaning and the importance of souls. In his youthful courses, he had been taught that nothing, not even greater gods, could destroy a soul. When he had begun studying the ways of a cleric, he had learned that that might not be... quite true. There were things that could destroy or alter a soul... at least as far as their mortal minds could comprehend the matter.

But the half-orc still held that beyond mortal comprehension did not necessarily hold the finality that his tutors believed... he felt it in his heart.

He'd press the stone into the dwarf's other hand.

The priest was, however, quite prepared to heal Dain when the trio returned from their demon-slaying adventure. It would not be enough to heal all of his injuries, though.

Carthum would suggest that, before they moved on, they needed to make camp for the 'night'.


<Arcana check= 11>
<Healing check= 8 hp for when Dain returns>
 

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