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D&D 5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Three


First Post
Dain - The Hunt

You saw. I know you did.

Dain stood still for a moment, watching as the creature fell apart, his face a mask of pain. He understood what might have happened. Its fate could have been theirs. Only fortune, skill, and perhaps the aid of an immortal might nudge a soul one way or another. Enough to change their path? That was hard to say.

He sheathed his sword slowly, grunting with pain. There would be time to clean it later, and to study the markings upon it. With a nod to Jeovanna's words, he did a cursory inspection of his wounds, his fingers lifting torn armor and fabric away to expose the damage. <Medicine skill check=18> He would live, of that he was fairly certain. But it had been a close thing, this skirmish.

Good that I finished it?

"It is better that you and Otiroth brought it to death's gate. I simply pushed it through." Whatever zeal had been in his voice during battle was gone. He was quiet now, partly most likely from pain but also from something else. "May whatever spirit guided that soul into this world guide it to a better place than this dark hole."

With some difficulty, he retrieved two of his own hunting arrows and handed them to Jeovanna. He could tell she had lamented the loss of her own. And to one who relied on hunting to survive, arrows could be the difference between going hungry and not.

Otiroth received a nod from Dain as well. In thanks, certainly, but also recognition. "I'll bloody well walk out of *here*." The mystic had supported them even when the situation became dangerous. This was good to know.

Dain did not accept any aid to walk, though he was limping noticeably and moving rather slow. He understood that he had made a choice to chase after the creature, and that if aid had not come, he most likely would have perished. But a young man with no past has much to prove, to himself if to no one else.

Upon returning, he rejected Carthum's mystical healing as kindly as he could manage in such a situation. "If you do not mind my bravado, brother, I would ask that you not. Suru should not know me as such a repeat offender so early in our relationship. Now...I need a bit of a rest." This last part was addressed to everyone.

With that, he lowered himself down near a wall to dress his wounds and then to rest.
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Dreams of a Long Slumber

Darkness has stolen from you all sense of passing time, ever since your first anxious steps into the old mines. Weariness is clutching onto you, a result of both physical exertion and keeping those sharp minds honed. This is no place to proceed in a wounded slumberous state or without adequate concentration, the precursor to the use of your gifts, now substantially weakened.

With two narrow entry points, a soft floor, and enough space for all to acquire some personal space, perhaps the lair is to become your own… if only for one night within a cave’s constant shadow.

With a special stone in each hand, the dwarf sucks in a long and wheezy breath. There is the merest hint of a sparkle in his eyes, if only for a moment, before his mind retreats back into unknown empty spaces. He is stable at least, and Carthum is wise to assume the little soul needs rest, and perhaps a good deal of divine intervention.

Metea’s internal musings go quiet for a while as her patron contemplates, though eventually speaking again. A minor boon is in your reach, and should you touch upon it there is something you may bring to me… later.

Annit smiles, reassured as the group reunites and settles to rest. She kneels next to Dain a moment, worried about his grim injuries yet also relieved to see great spirit and strength still within him.

“I am sorry my friend, that a land’s needs has brought suffering so. Rest, I will take watch.” She reaches for his hand and gives it a light squeeze. “We do not bleed in vain.”

With Carthum on dwarf-care duty for now, the young rogue begins to look around the mossy space. A simple interior of sorts, but the contents of the mound are most interesting. Her able colleagues are welcome to assist, as she begins to poke through the critter’s collectables.

Moss, gravel, bones of course, as they have seen already. Within a mass previously dislodged by Dain however, are several items of note.

Another gem. A tiny red cube barely larger than a fingernail. Two ceramic vials, both with rough decorative carvings upon them and simple timber stoppers. A quick shake, and it becomes clear that they both contain liquid.

All three, the gifted in the party will sense, are magical in some way.

<Resting: 8 hours required for a long rest, with a max of 1 hour of strenuous activity allowed before making it void. At the end of it all hit points and 1 hit dice are restored. This can be done once every 24 hours. 2 hours of being on watch are allowed also. Metea need only take a short rest to regain Warlock spell slots.

Please advise who is taking watch during which hours. You may or may not be interrupted.

If someone wants to make a Survival (Wis) check for the group, this will influence the probability of your camp being disrupted or your choice of camp site having "complications".

Items: Each magic user can cuddle up to an unidentified magic item as they rest, and ponder on it. At the end of the rest I’ll ask for an Arcane / Religion check. You will know what it does on any result other than a roll of 1. The quality of your knowledge will be influenced by the roll. The other option is pure experimentation, which requires role play but will be faster IC than 8 hours... usually.

Feel free to roleplay out the first section of setting up camp and beginning to rest, then once everyone is happy, I’ll fast forward you to the next notable event.

Everyone can have 300 XP at this point for cleansing the lair!>


First Post
Metea: Dreams of a Long Slumber

Ah. Mingling blood. Now there is a sign of affection! Mm, and in certain circles- pacts! Metea licks her lips for a moment. And others had looked askance at her and Otiroth playing about... so foolish!

Metea investigated the finds, picking up the red stone carefully and showing it to Otiroth. "Look, sorcerer. It's in your color." She herself would continue to check out the broken lens. It has tickled her fancy, for now. Perhaps they can look at the others later.

"I'll admit, I feel fresh enough to keep watch. On at least one of the tunnels," Metea offered. She'd sidle over by Otiroth. "Perhaps we can investigate these two together, while the others keep watch? I'm sure it'll not take up... all of our attention to investigate some trinkets."

Oh, but she is curious! One hand flicked out, sharp little nails prodding at the back of his neck. "Is the dungeon air not agreeing with you?"

But her fingers haven't touched on some rash- it is far too red for that!

Carthum One-Tusk: Dreams of a Long Slumber

Carthum smiles for a moment down at the dwarf, and stands at last to take in their motley group. Some look more rattled than others.

The priest takes a moment to investigate the lair, and peer some length down the crevices both ways as well. He seems plenty of bloody foot prints, but any hope of an easy way to bar up one entrance is gone. The miners did not have much in the way of equipment down this far. At least, if they had, the demons had cleared it out long ago.

His shield would flicker out soon, and so he would pick up a decent-sized rock and set it in the middle of the room- cast Light on that so that the glow would cover as much of the area as it could. It would only last an hour, but he imagined he'd sleep rather fitfully. Better that they had to toss a corner of a blanket over their eyes than that they went without light, down here.

<Spellcasting: Light, cantrip>
<Survival check: 20>


First Post
Jeovanna: Dreams of a Long Slumber

"If you want to keep watch," Jeovanna said with some amusement, "you must actually be watching."

Dain and Annit needed rest the most , as they were still injured. And as for her; Jeovanna felt fresh enough, and did not imagine her dreams would hold much more than nightmares. It didn't matter.

"Normally I would not care- if we were out on the road, or by a fire, one or none would be enough to keep watch. But down here- perhaps two should be awake to keep watch at any one time," their pack was big enough, strong enough, that that seemed feasible.

The barbarian did not have any fancy tricks like Carthum, but she could set her trap in the mouth of the crevice leading further downwards, taking a moment to cover it in some discarded left-overs. She was not subtle- she imagined the others saw her do it.

Perhaps that'd catch a stray foot, if something tried to sneak up on them.


First Post
Otiroth: Dreams of a Long Slumber

Otiroth took the offered gemstone, investigating it for a moment. Just a cursory glance would show the odd, mysterious beauty of these stones they looked to find... but more than that? It would take some study.

They did not necessarily have the luxury of doing indepth study down here, but though Otiroth had never kept watch before in such a tense situation, he did not imagine simply staring off into the darkness was what it meant. Doing that would invite every shadow to be a threat.

His blood had cooled, though not as much as it might have without Metea's constant flirtations. He felt tapped, but not entirely. "We can keep first watch," he'd agree, then pause and reach back, at first to catch Metea's hand, but then his finger brushed what she had been prodding at.

"Prestidigitation!" And a small mirror appeared in one hand. It was awkward, but he'd manage to catch (aside from Metea's eerie gold eyes leering over his shoulder) a flash of red.


Otiroth's grin was quite draconic.

He'd clear his throat, the mirror disappeared. "I could create a fire in this other cavern entrance? Since we're not worried about something seeing the light, persae. But the smell of smoke might travel more than mystical light would." He would leave this decision to those that slept under the stars instead of a decent roof at night.

<Spellcasting: Prestidigitation to create a hand-held trinket>


First Post
Dain - Dreams of a Long Slumber

Dain hears the voices of the others, echoing against stone. He closes his eyes for a brief moment and is immediately met with an image of Essithea, her back to him, wading into a dark pool of water. Her alabaster skin is in stark contrast to her raven hair, as she descends downwards...

The pool takes on a red color, at first a light shade like a sunset but then darkening quickly. It becomes blood.

His eyes flash open, and for a brief moment he struggles to remember where he is. But it all comes back in an instant, especially the pain, and he relaxes back.

Then Annit is there beside him, her eyes filled with concern. She is pretty, her face outlined by the dim light of dying torches and mystical illumination. She reminds him of a fragile mountain wildflower, the kind he knows well but sees rarely.

Her words strike true. Suffering. Was there some otherworldly altar where their suffering, offered up, might alleviate the suffering of others?

"You chose this company well." He talks quietly. Tiredness is dragging him down, promising dark dreams. "I think this land...it is in good hands." The warmth of her hand squeezing his is hauntingly familiar. To what, he cannot say, but it grips his heart like a vice. It is too much to think about, in his condition. He wants only sleep, dreamless sleep, though he knows that it will not come.

"We will tell tales of this..." His eyes are shutting, his voice fading. "...under the sun. Warm and comforting..."

He is asleep, though his hand clenches hers firmly as some dream immediately overcomes him. Then it relaxes, resolving itself to the inevitable.
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Hour One

The first hour of this quiet time passes peacefully for those on watch duty. Otiroth and Metea hopefully keeping an eye upon the area’s potential entry points. Thinking upon the red stone and the glass disc. Listening out for the sounds of oncoming threat. A bit of attention paid to each other too?

On occasion, the dwarf sucks in deep breaths from the cavernous air. At least once he begins to quietly mumble too, the words nonsensical, as some strange dream flows through the depths of his mind.

When change of shift comes, Annit and Carthum are next to assume responsibility for the guarding of this less than ideal temporary home.

“It is some kind of miracle that the small man still breathes even,” Annit mentions, sleepily sitting upon her tattered bedroll. “This mine is supposed to have been sealed for a long time, much longer than a dwarf might live… under normal circumstances.” The implications seem to worry her, but there is little that can be immediately done.

“I’ll set up next to where we came in, I guess. Are you alright to watch the other side Carthum?”

If there is anything they need ask of the rogue, perhaps now is the time, before she settles to tend to her wounds and stay alert for the hour to come.


First Post
Metea: Hour One

Mines were scary places, weren't they? Metea imagined that, even when it had been full of nothing but miners, the place would be spooky.

Her darkvision saw through most of the shadows and fright that might have lingered in her over-active imagination. She and Otiroth would get very little teasing done, sadly.

When her shift ended, Metea would find a nice little corner to set out her bedroll. She'd curl up, draping her feathery tail over herself, and would seem to quickly fall asleep.

I have not forgotten! I will find it for you!

Carthum One-Tusk: Hour One

Carthum had been in meditation. Or perhaps asleep? It was extremely difficult to tell, for the half-orc sat there with crossed legs and head bowed- a very odd position for such a hulking young man- and his breathing had been strangely steady.

When he opened his eyes, he could still see a light brighter than his spell- it'd flicker out just as he thought about it, and the priest would rise to light up the cavern once more. Something he would do again at the end of his shift. He stood there for a moment, as if basking in Suru's light... but really, he was just shaking himself back awake.

"Well. As ready as I'll ever be," Carthum smiled back at Annit; his tone was playful, not reluctant.

He'd stand during his guard, like the guards he saw at the temple. Once, he had thought such guard must be tiring. But no! It was an honor. They trusted one another.

That meant a lot.


First Post
Otiroth: Hour One

Otiroth and Metea sat shoulder-to-shoulder for much of their watch. It was certainly not possible to simply fall asleep in such company.

Though really, Otiroth wondered if he would be able to sleep at all. He was exhausted, yes, but that was the least of their worries.

As the others stirred, and the next leg of their watch came up, Otiroth would kiss Metea's hand- and then head off to his own bedroll. It was neither the time nor the place. Plus, Carthum was definitely watching.

Otiroth would clean off the ground beneath his bedroll, of course, and lay down. Ugh. The rocks were miserable. It was a shame 'summon goose down mattress' was not a spell he knew.

A moment of thought, and he'd slip the red gemstone underneath his bedroll. The sharp jab of the gemstone wasn't uncomfortable... at all!

A proper hoard! He'd sleep well some day.


First Post
Jeovanna- Hour One (and two?)

The deep dark brought dark dreams. Strange dreams, of dancing figures and screaming, bleeding foes.

Jeovanna slept slumped against the wall; she certainly seemed to have had no trouble falling asleep. The catnap was an integral skill of any woodsman, guard or apothecary, and she was near enough to two of the three.

Suru's light actually made sleeping easier, not harder... and it would be helpful when it was her turn to stand guard- though a spare torch would also help...


First Post
Dain - Hours One through Six

Dain slept, seemingly heedless of anything that happened in the waking world. He dreamed. Of Essithea. As temptress, benefactor, and confidant. And of a Queen whose face he could never clearly see, of toppled thrones and raging fires, of fields of grass and impenetrable woods.

The image carved upon his sword also appeared in his dreams, swirling around him like fire, ever closer and ever hotter. He relived pulling the sword from the earth outside the mine, over and over. Each time it grew harder and harder...until finally he could not pull it free at all.

There were other dreams, of people and places, but they ebbed and flowed beyond the reaches of memory, like shades in the underworld.


Hour Three

Guard duty schedule:
1 - Otiroth & Metea
2 - Annit & Carthum
3 - Jeovanna
4 - Otiroth
5 - Annit & Carthum
6 - Jeovanna
7 - Metea
8 - Dain

The priest and rogue's shift goes quietly while their companions do their best to snooze, study or simply rest their weary bodies. Not an easy task given the circumstances, but the downtime will see wounds tended and minds refocused, if they are lucky.

Half way through the barbarian’s solo shift, a subtle clicking sound drifts in from the crevice still stained with Dain's blood. It increases in amplitude and then fades, before growing in volume again. Crickets? Clickity-clickity-click. A squeak here and there. Easily audible now!

<Only Jeovanna is aware of this phenomenon at the moment as she is intentionally alert. What would the brave barbarian like to do? Feel free to make a Nature check to identify a possible cause if you like.>


First Post
Jeovanna: Hour Three

Watch, for the barbarian, was a strange affair indeed. She was used to sleeping alone on the road. Not so much with others to guard over. They made a lot of noise, but more pressing were the sounds of the mine; noisy even in the absence of workers, she imagined. The voice of the earth was not silent.

Then the scratching and sniffling.

One hand briefly went to her sword, but she'd pause at actually drawing it. Her trap had not been sprung, yet.

They should have had Otiroth clean up the blood. Human or demon, it'd attract predators. Or scavengers.

Rats? Or something nastier?

The barbarian growled. For the moment, she'd not raise the alarm. Just listen.

<Nature check= 17>


Hour Three

A lady of the wilderness, Jeovanna has heard familiar sounds before. Up in trees nestled against rivers. Dark shapes soaring in lonely skies. Some, even couldn't resist the alure of orchard farmer's easily nibbled fruit.

The humble bat.

But this sounded like way more than one. So much clicking and squeaking back there somewhere. Maybe this was just roosting time, a chance to share a day of dark stories whilst hanging from a cavern's cavities. Or maybe...

Hell. So many of them to make such a distant cacaphony!

As the sounds intensify, a tiny winged black shape flys through the dark gap, flapping about in the lair, pinging at the walls in search of something...

<Jeovanna has a round to react to this situation. Annit & Dain, being injured and resting more deeply will only awaken if subject to louder noises or physically interfered with. Everyone else will have the option to make a perception check next round to be stirred, depending on Jeo's actions. A hearty shout would probably get them up if needed.>


First Post
Jeovanna: Hour Three

"Ha, get! Shoo!"

It was worse than rats. Bats! Mice with wings! Jeovanna would swing her sword at the thing, but more in an attempt to drive it off than to actually hit it.

"Mage! Get up! We need flames!" She'd kick the side of Otiroth's foot through his bedroll. He was up next for guard duty, anyway, so not too much sleep would be lost.

Something had disturbed them, no doubt. A change in the time of night, or something upsetting deeper in the bowels of the mines. Didn't matter. She hated bats!


A Hatred of Bats

The awful clicking and screeching intensifies! Seconds later a large mass of fluttering cave-dwellers begins to spew from the crevice's raggard jaw, slowed only by the narrowness of the shaft. The swarm is chaos. You, it seems, are not welcome here.

<Jeovanna and Otiroth roll initiative please. Jeovanna can have advantage on the roll>

Round 1
Jeovanna: 22
Otiroth: 18
Bat swarm: 13

Clicking sounds bounce off the walls as the bats begin navigating their way into the lair en-force. They spiral in the air, brush dangerously close to your faces, and just keep coming!

<When round 2 starts other characters can join the initiative. Dain and Annit only on a DC 12 perception check. If attacking the swarm the AC is 12, the more HP damage done, the more you kill.>
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First Post
Jeovanna: A Hatred of Bats

Honestly, she hated them!

Jeovanna's sword was... well... not made for such acts of pure dexterity. She could carve a demon, but not so much swipe an apple off of said demon's head. Not with a massive sword. And perhaps her wild swing did not help- the idea that, were she fast and erratic enough, she might be able to catch at least one of the little demons with her blade.

It was not a good moment for the barbarian.

<22 initiative>
<10 to hit, 6 damage>


First Post
Otiroth: A hatred of bats

It was a rude awakening, and he'd just gotten to sleep, too...

Otiroth would sit bolt upright with a "hrn? Mom?" But the situation presented itself immediately afterwards. Perhaps a bit too late to save his dignity, though. If Jeovanna was listening, which she pretty clearly was not.

A saner mind might've hesitated, but Otiroth was not sane. He was in fact half asleep. Raising both hands to his mouth, he would speak a short incantation- and then blast a mouthful of flames at the bat swarm- as much as he could manage away from his comrades, and towards that crevice full of bats.

<Initiative: 18>
<Spellcasting: Burning hands. Each creature within a 15 foot cone must make a Dex saving through or take 3d6 damage. Half damage on a successful roll>
<8 damage>

This is bat country!