5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Two

Dain - Descending down

The blade shimmered with a new aura of grace and power. He barely suppressed a grin as he held it aloft for a brief moment. Then he watched as the entryway to the bowels of the earth was opened, and a familiar scent wafted out. It reminded him of his dreams. Of his visions.

The earth is her domain. Why should I fear her embrace?

Pulling a small lamp from his backpack, Dain set about lighting it with practiced skill. "We will need some bit of light, I would think." Holding it up, he gripped his sword in his other hand and motioned with his head to the descending stairs. "And blades to meet what might seek to stop our exploration." He looked at Annit. "And this time I will not be chasing you, but yet again aiding you, perhaps?"

Shaking some stray hairs from his face, he made to accompany Jeovanna and Annit downwards. No doubt the others would be close behind.

<If one of the spellcasters has a light spell of some kind, Dain will extinguish his lamp.>
<Rolled 6 for initiative, in necessary. 10+5=15 for Perception check once inside?>
 

Metea

Villager
Metea- descending down

A torch? How quaint! Of course... humans couldn't see in the dark, could they? It seemed so natural that Metea often didn't think of it.

She'd follow the others down, somewhat instinctively staying near the center of the pack. Her patron had granted her a new addition to their pact; she could feel it, and was eager to test it. Yet she knew better than to rush ahead, for while that might give her an opportunity to discover the secret of this skill, it could also get her bitten to death by rats.

"The dungeon is still intact... so might be any old defenses a greedy miner left behind," Metea noted as she came up alongside Annit in the tunnels. They were not that close... back in the olden days, miners it seemed were quite skilled. Not that Metea had ever been down an iron mine...

She'd scan the darkness ahead, beyond the comfort of the torchlight.

<Perception check- 13>
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: Descending down

Otiroth's mind was awhirl with possibilities. His studies had shown him spells and magic that required the consumption of gems to work. Crushed rubies, blazing sapphires, even diamonds! So the potential here was truly amazing.

But he was no exciteable boy. He would be the last into the mines.

Otiroth did have a spell that created light, but it acted briefly. As much as he enjoyed the freedom to cast his spells, the torch was simply the better option.
 
Carthum One-Tusk: Descending down... down... down

"Metea... are you sure you're up to this?" Carthum asked. His sister was... fragile. Otiroth looked as such as well, but he had his illegal magic to fall upon. Good for them, in this case.

Perhaps it did not matter. Better she was down here with him, than up on the surface, facing the sands and whatever else looked to invade while they were gone. Carthum gave Gerralos a nod. "May Suru shield you. We will protect your daughter," he said.

And then, he would join the others heading down, moving his shield from his back to his arm. He would protect the rear of the group for now.

"Suru's will guides us," Carthum said, and should the torch go out... he believed Suru would give them light in turn. But Suru also provided healing to the injured, and those were the spells that Carthum knew he must lift his prayers for; he had a healer's kit, of course, but he feared there were things down here that would not be that patient.

Suru would see them through, and the deeper they went, the brighter the torchlight seemed! From the back, and with his darkvision, he had a decent view of the tunnels ahead.

<Perception check: 17+4 = 21>
 

97mg

Villager
All: Descending down... down... down

Your first brave steps into darkness are accompanied by a steep fall... in temperature. Cool and almost refreshing at first, an appreciated break from the sweltering and oft tiresome heat of recent days.

At the back of the group, protecting the rear as is the time honored role of many great priests before him, Carthum takes a final look at the light reaching in from the open trapdoor. A familiar face comes into view the old man bids you a safe journey. He sees that all is well, smiles, winks at the priest, and then with a groan, drops the door shut.

On the base of the old metal flap is an iron rod, which can slide a good distance into a sleeved hole in the sidewall. Effectively locking the door from the inside, should the half-orc wish.

Somewhere in the center of the descending procession, Annit smiles at Dain’s remark. “Is it something you do regularly? Chasing women? I never thanked you truly, and your friends, for getting that guard off my back.”

She looks to Metea then, her shoulder-buddy on these narrow steps. “No doubt. Miners are cunning, and these ones may have been extra protective. You can see far better than I down here right? If anything looks odd please do say, I might be able to disarm some of whatever surprises linger here.”

For several minutes nothing really changes as you make your ways down. Earthen walls. Earthen ceiling chocked up with hardwood bracing. Step after step a sense of claustrophobia creeps in. Then finally, the ranger and barbarian leading the group arrive at a small landing. A flat expanse some several yards across. Ahead, the steps continue to work their way downwards. To the left an old wooden door sags a little on its hinges. And in the floor to your right, a two foot wide hole gapes like a hungry mouth. A rusty eyehook protrudes from the ceiling above it, and a frayed rope dangles down into its throat.
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- The first expanse

A moment to take in the room. Silence, for now- they had seen little more than spiders and pill bugs so far.

This room held plenty of opportunity, though, a veritable swarm of options. Jeovanna's eyes were drawn first to that pit. "Someone hung bait there, I think," she'd offer, for what better way to lure in wolves than to set a bit of jerky dangling over the trap? "Avoid it, I'd say."

Jeovanna thought the others too glib, but then, she would no doubt always think that.
 
Dain - The First Expanse

Was it blood for blood, then? Or will I yet see some boon?

Dain was very engrossed in making his way forward steadily and yet with great caution. His sword was down in a defensive position. Still, Annit's comments did not go unheard. "I chase only one woman, if you can call her that, in dreams and visions, in dark places that I rarely remember upon waking." He smirked, in the torchlit shadows. "You were an exception. And this quest is all the thanks I could have wished for."

Coming to the first landing, Dain waved the light in an arc, taking everything in. Especially the hole. "I'm with Jeovanna. Even if that rope wasn't near to snapping, it would take a dire threat to make me descend down it. No room to swing a blade...or draw a bow." His own pack, quite full, had a quiver with several arrows and a plain-looking hunting bow.

He motioned to the sagging door. "But this? I say we leave no riddles in our wake, no doors that may be opened behind our backs..." And for some reason the decaying door, hiding some dark room beyond, reminded him of his own obscured past. Breaking it open would feel good.
 

Metea

Villager
Metea: The first expanse

"Do not worry," Metea said with a little wink to Annit, "should I see any spinning blades or cloakers, I'll not keep it tp myself!"

They could spread out a little more when they reached the first landing, and Metea made a face at the hole into darkness. Were they feeding something there, or was it simply a well whose bucket had rotted off from age?

Well, they were deep into a mine that would see them all hanged for exploring it. Paranoia was probably sensible.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: the first expanse

Otiroth joined the others on the first landing. There was a bit more room to walk around here, and Otiroth would agree with Dain; the door was practically begging to be investigated. It was hanging off of its hinges at this point, and might even serve a double purpose.

"Might be worth it to see if we can take it off its hinges. I'd feel better with that hole covered," Otiroth said. That was, of course, if there were no boards or other mining equipment they could use to cover the hole normally.

Otiroth was interested in avoiding both a death by hanging and a death by rats.
 
Carthum One-Tusk: the first expanse

The door looked fragile. They could likely kick it in. Carthum would head over, since no one else was, to take a look.

If the door was not locked, he'd shoulder it open slightly, enough at least to look through the crack. But it seemed fragile enough that he figured a good push might take it off its hinges entirely, and the door was already weak; if it was trapped, perhaps the trap went the way of the hinges.

If it was locked, well, Annit had said she could disarm traps, and maybe open locks. Might as well let her have a crack at it.
 

97mg

Villager
All: The first expanse

Rusty hinges creak as Carthum nudges the door with a shoulder, opening easily under the half-orc's weight. With eyes tuned for darkness and shadows the priest ascertains much about the room and its contents.

The floor is compacted and worn raw earth, and above not far from the priest's own head height, the ceiling is a layer of tired timber slats, one of which has fallen onto center of the ground. All four walls are lined with a mixture of hardwood and aged iron shelves, upon them a few small items which look to have sat undisturbed for many many years. A few tired looking metal spikes and hammers of the mining variety. Several small buckets with tatty leather straps nailed in, probably to assist in carrying efforts. A ceramic pot with a small tap at its base, and a sword... common and rather chipped along its edges, leans silently against a shelf, its pommel resting upon the earth.

Comforted that nothing has leapt out of the room to confront them, Annit moves at first to the hole with Metea, wondering if the barbarian's theory of a trap could be true. Otiroth's idea of covering it sounds unusual... but perhaps sensible also. She will let them decide.

She moves to stand at the top of the next row of steps then, peering down into the darkness and keeping watch.
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- the first expanse

Jeovanna nods in approval at Carthum's act. The orc is brave, and perhaps cautious, too. But being too bold was dangerous.

Boldness came in many forms down here. The red-haired sorcerer's suggestion of blocking up the hole is one she isn't sure she necessarily understands- what could come up through that tunnel that they could not easily kill? Nothing had disturbed that hole in ages- but the man seems much smarter than her, so she's sure he has a good reason. She can go along with it, and joins Carthum in surveying the room for equipment that can do as much.

"Just a storage locker," Jeovanna grunts. All that fuss over nothing, but then, she had to admit she had kind of been hoping to see a gem or two...
 
Dain - The First Expanse

Dain's heart was thumping in his chest. From nervousness, of both the good and bad variety.

A storage room? It made sense enough. They were still relatively close to the surface, after all. What did they expect to find so soon? He does walk over to the cleric, slipping by him enough to let the light of his lantern fill the room, if only for a brief moment.

"I don't know whether to be assured or disappointed." Dain mumbled quietly. "Part of me would just as soon we see the worst of what this place will offer sooner than later." He gripped his sword firmly, recalling the symbol that had blazed upon its blade when he had pulled it from the earth.

Then he made his way over to Annit and joined her vigil. As for the hole and the decaying rope? He seemed to think well enough to leave it alone.
 

Metea

Villager
Metea: The first expanse

"Ah, but unless this disappointment extends all the way from top to bottom, we should be fine," Metea replied. "Though perhaps we'll disappoint more than ourselves."

They claimed that there was something to save Kalair at the bottom of this mine? What if there wasn't... just rats and mining equipment?

Metea wasn't stupid enough to kick something down the hole, though there were a few potato bugs near the hole's entrance that were begging for a flying lesson. Instead, after a moment's contemplation, she asked, "what if this hole supplies air to the rest of the mines? They were sooty affairs, weren't they?"

As funny as an mine empty of both gems and hope would be suffocating in there would be significantly... unfunny.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: The First Expanse

A rusty sword and some mining equipment? Well, at least the sword wasn't broken asunder, clutched by the bony hands of its last wielder... though it did seem to have gotten some good use. "So there were creatures down here when the mine was young, I reckon," the sorcerer said finally. "Something that would need a guard or two."

He'd concede the point to Metea- perhaps completely boarding over the hole was a poor idea, but they could at least take some of the boards and 'interrupt' the hole, so it wasn't completely open.

Otiroth joined Annit at the doorway down. Their light already filtered a ways, but he would send a few sparkling orbs to cast light as far as they would travel, to illuminate what laid beyond for their human eyes. The spell was brief, but sparkling- the lights were mostly unformed, but a vague shape could be seen within them, struggling against Otiroth's inexperience. And Otiroth had to admit; being able to cast spells freely was...

...it was like he was a new man, really.

<Spell casting: dancing lights>
 
Carthum One-Tusk: The First Expanse

Eh. Otiroth came up with the plan, but naturally did not stick around for the physical labor side of things. Typical. He could not imagine what Metea saw in him.

Carthum would let the others pick over the equipment in the storage room if they so desired- he had never been too good with swords. He'd stick with his mace. The half-orc dragged some boards out from the room and would arrange them in an 'X' pattern across the top of the hole. It blocked the entrance a bit, but air- and bugs- could still get through without trouble.

After that, he'd join the others. They should maintain their marching order, he felt.
 

97mg

Villager
All: Further down

Otiroth's evocation has provided something of a preview, for those without the luxury of darkvision. Annit stares ahead curiously, watching lights bob and dance their way deeper downwards. She is uncertain what to make of the display really, choosing to stay quiet for now.

A few steps down from the landing, the newly illuminated surroundings appear to change, harden and darken. Raw earth fades into hard black stone, its impact on the miner's progress evident. The shaft loses some of it's neatness, rough walls clearly showing the labor of chisels and whatever other means were used to penetrate deeper.

Seven stairs down, a square yard of rusty metal sheet seems to have been mounted into the ceiling. A little over 100 feet ahead the stairs appear to come to an abrupt halt as they are met with a wall. To each side lie doors of some kind, blocking the entrance of Oritoth’s dancing light.

When all are ready, the hole partly blocked, the small room explored, it is time to move on. As you near the metal section of the ceiling, Annit speaks to the ranger and barbarian at her front.

“Stop.”

She points up.

“Unusual?”

It does seem an odd fixture. Worthy of investigation? She’d let the taller people decide. With a small jump it could probably be touchable by hand.
 
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Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- Further Down

Annit was at least on their side, and Jeovanna knew the girl about as well as she did the half-orc, tiefling, and the fop. So when Annit said stop- she stopped, turning slightly back towards the little woman before taking in where she was pointing.

"Hm," Jeovanna murmured.

Her eyes scanned the area around them, as if seeking for signs of an obvious pressure plate or trip wire, before her eyes settled on Annit again. "I could boost you up there to take a look," she suggested. Jeovanna didn't particularly like jumping and grabbing at things.

She could also probably boost up Dain, to be frank, though not as easily. Jeovanna was easy either way. Both of them had muddy boots.
 

97mg

Villager
Annit: Further Down

"It's worth a look I guess," Annit said to Jeovanna. If anyone could hoist her small frame up there, it was this tall, muscular and formidable woman!

With an easy boost up, the rogue ran her eyes around the edges of the overhead plate before poking around it lightly with a finger.

“This is definitely a trap of some form if I’ve ever seen one. The edge nearest us has a well disguised hinge. We do something wrong, probably a trigger around somewhere on the steps, something comes out. Probably nasty. Can I come down now please?”

Yes, she didn’t want to stand directly under it anymore, thanks.

Looking around her companions she wondered if anyone had any ideas, other than being on alert if they were going to descend further.

“I’ve got tools to try and disarm it, but the results...”

Tap...

Tap...


Dain would be first to sense movement, somewhere near the bottom of the stairs. The sound of creaking metal and a few slow steps upon stone.

<Annit Investigation roll for the metal plate was a 21! The base of the stairs (100ft) is out of darkvision range (60ft) and torch range (40ft), so whatever is making the sound is currently obscured by darkness. Please declare your actions for the next round :)>
 
Dain - Further Down

The dancing lights were impressive. So surreal and strange. They reminded him of Essithea's eyes, glittering in the darkness. Sorcery!

Dain stood aside, holding up the torch, as Annit was lofted up by Jeovanna. Not a terrible view of things, all told. But he tried not to stare regardless.

"A trap? Well found, Annit." Dain gave her a nod of approval as she went to work. He listened to the tapping trying to follow her actions, but as soon as he sensed movement in the darkness out of the corner of his eye he tensed up and looked sharply down into the darkness. The sound of creaking metal, and of slow movement, made his heart race with apprehension. A beast? A demon?

Without much thought on the matter, Dain waved his torch once to get the group's attention before throwing it down the stairs with as much force as he could muster. "Prepare yourselves!" His sword was already in his hand and he began to take several steps down the the stairs as the torch shed forth its light far below...

<3 for initiative roll, 11 for anything else!>
 
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