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5E The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Two

Carthum One-Tusk: Second Landing

Carthum's nose wrinkled at the acrid smoke- or maybe at Metea trying to butter him up. Well, as a half-orc, he had quite a keen nose... and as Metea's brother, he was putty in her hands whenever she started playing nice. He would still keep an eye on Otiroth, though. The sorcerer protested too much.

Upon arriving at the landing, they had what seemed a safe place to set up a brief camp and calm themselves. The mine, the darkness... it seemed timeless. He was not sure how long they had actually been traveling downwards. Carthum felt a slight emptiness within himself.

Hunger?

No, something else.

They would all kind of quietly agree to take camp on the landing, for a short rest. They'd all take turn keeping watch, but at that exact moment, Carthum seemed content to settle down near what must have been a brazier or a fire pit some time back, but is now cold and still.

The half-orc scans the ceiling, then, as if expecting to see a small hole.
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna: the second landing

Jeovanna was not sure she could relax... though that had little to do with the dungeon itself.

Still, she'd manage what she hoped was a friendly smile to the others, though she was afraid it came off as more of a grimace. Perhaps Dolstian law should have been more concerned about constructs than people like Otiroth throwing flames.

"We should take advantage of this quiet while we can," Jeovanna murmured. "And maybe, we can take this time to figure out what we're really looking for?"

Perhaps they would know it when they saw it, but Jeovanna had truthfully never seen a proper gemstone herself. How could they tell which ones were valuable or what their 'employers' were looking for? Did Annit know?
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: The Second Landing

Otiroth had a bit of perfumed cloth to cover his mouth and nose, keep out the acrid smoke, because the alternative was just unacceptable. Magic fire burned clean. This was just uncivilized.

Once they'd gotten past that gauntlet, they'd find a relatively safe place to hunker down for a bit. He imagined anything more than a brief rest was dangerous, even if the way behind them was clear. There were too many variables here. Still, a rest would do them all well.

The sorcerer would show the lot of them one more trick he had up his sleeves- his spell could also warm and flavor even the stiffest of underground rations (which all probably smelled a little smoky otherwise) and so they could enjoy, if nothing else, the illusion of some fresh hillfolk bread- the most notoriously crunchy of breads- instead of tasteless rations. If the others didn't like the flavor! They seemed a hardened lot, so maybe that was their style of supper. Well, some of them.

"Well, my friends, I suppose now we stand on the brink of seeing if this mine was locked up with these magical trinkets within them, or if some were built after it was sealed. I've read stories of impressive magical spells, ones that put that construct to shame. If they are anywhere, they would be here. And to think- so close to Kalair!" A forbidden society had access to forbidden books, but most of the best tomes and scrolls were lost forever... or buried places like this.
 
Dain - The Second Landing

Dain would not have minded pushing on, but he had to admit that a small rest after their encounter could be beneficial. The truth was, their battle with the phantom warrior was probably still sinking in.

He put the torch in the old brazier, to provide some semblance of central lighting. Otiroth's trick to improve their rations was a strange one, but Dain found himself not minding it as much as he might have thought. He did, however, have plenty of goat jerky that was in no need of extra flavor!

Annit seemed to want to take the first watch, so Dain sat amid the old cushions along the far wall, his legs stretched out as he ate sparingly. Mostly, he was watching the others. The torchlight reached him in flickers and waves, casting strange shadows over his face.

"I wonder how many in Kalair know of this place and its secrets? You are all natives of his land, I assume. Have you ever heard tales?" This was his addition to the conversation, and he seemed content to listen to anything that followed.
 

Metea

Villager
Metea: The second landing

With a defeated sigh, Metea dropped down to a sitting position across from the others, watching the strange lights that the flickering torch created.

"So serious, Carthum. Didn't you see my magic? Aren't you the least bit curious?" It drove her crazy that he would not bite!

Dain's inquiry did bring her back a bit, though. "There's a lot of hidden places, all over the city. I'm not surprised there's even more just a day's walk away from it," Metea absentmindedly pulled a small talisman from her pocket. It was an old, worn thing that looked like it must have spent many years, if not centuries, hidden away. Made of petrified wood, but wood from the deep places, she liked to imagine. She didn't know for sure.

"There are old books, in the temple of Suru's library, that make mention of great delvings and the riches obtained... but the monk that assigns us books to transcribe, he never lets anyone touch that one. Not to read it, and certainly not to copy it."

Of course, how she happened to know about that despite it being 'forbidden' was probably pretty obvious...
 
Carthum One-Tusk: the second landing

Carthum bowed his head for a moment, saying a prayer of gratitude to Suru, for surely he was instrumental in their victory.

He glanced up as Metea went on. "I noticed," he replied. "You did well. Did you learn that from Otiroth? I had wondered where you were always sneaking off to," he said, with a hard grimace at the sorcerer.

At Metea's mention of the books, well, he did not seem upset, really. Suru's words found their way to those that needed them, even if the reason and purpose was not immediately clear.

"Would I have listened better in sermons," the half-orc said, "I may more to offer."
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- the second landing

A nod to Annit. If she'd take first, Jeovanna would take second. She still felt fresh- after all, it had not been her who had gotten a pounding.

She joined the others, leaning against the rough hewn wall, arms crossed. "You work at the temple?" She'd ask Metea... well, she'd blurt it out, mostly, but hopefully it was not too crass. More than appearances and all, but Metea had been dealt a rough hand in regards to that. Had a quick tongue, though.

A permanent grimace had now returned.

"Hm. They could be all over. Wouldn't be any use in outlawing people from keeping stuff from mines and using magic if it weren't all over the place, hidden away," she murmured. Of course, all she had really ever heard were rumors from folks with mead-filled bellies and empty heads. But it made sense. No use making a law about something that didn't exist.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: The Second Landing

Perhaps Otiroth read a bit too much into Carthum's comment, but framed as it was by earlier accusations, it was kind of hard to just let go.

He held up both hands. "I'll stop you there, priest. For my honor! I do not 'sneak', and certainly not with a lady. My Order may be a secretive one, but you do me a disservice."

A frown, then, as he contemplated the others' mention of secret places... and secret mining. "Magic and the product of mining is linked in a way, I think! Incantations scrubbed from history, only a scrap of them left behind... though if we were to find an opal, I might like to try-" he cut off, and laughed. How would he even know what an opal looked like?
 
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Dain - The Second Landing

Dain listened to the others as they talked back and forth. There was familiarity between them, something that though they may have taken it for granted, Dain most certainly did not. Had some proud beauty batted eyes at him like Metea batted hers at Otiroth, back in whatever land he had once lived? Metea was a Tiefling, and a rare one at that, but her expression was no different than a human's when it came to attraction.

They were an odd company! A vagabond guard, large in both size and melancholy. It would be telling to see how she coped without the soothing caress of tankards of ale. A Tiefling with secrets she barely cared to hide, as if she tempted the others with them. A sorcerer with eyes of fire, and a wit to match. There was more to that one. A cleric, with the form of a mighty brute but the heart of a saint. He was close to the Tiefling, but she seemed to delight in annoying him. And then there was the thief. Sprightly...and vain? Dain was of a mind that she knew far more than what she was telling them.

If I die in this tomb of a mine, who will tell my tale? Are there any yet living who remember me? In some far off land? Or are they are like I am, cast to the wind...pages torn from a tome and left to scatter like dry leaves.

Otiroth's words make Dain smile slightly. "When we find what we have come for, much may yet be known."
 
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Metea

Villager
Metea- the second landing

Metea smiled back at Jeovanna. "I grew up at Suru's temple! My brother and I," she nodded to Carthum. "It is good work, if a bit dull."

How could she be offended? They had fought together, that had to mean something, she figured.

As for what they were looking for, well... she was sure once they had the Meaning of this Mine before them, Annit could point out what was actually worthwhile. Metea knew her patron must want her to find something in here, or at least learn something. Perhaps the mysteries of her companions were the secrets she seeked.

If so, well... they were all rather tight-lipped about it!
 
Carthum One-Tusk: the second landing

Carthum nodded at Dain's words. "Much will be revealed... but this shall only be the beginning."

An omen? A prediction of where the letters they signed would take them? Or just a random guess from a fledgling cleric? Perhaps it did not matter, for the troubles of Kalair went far beyond what a few gemstones could fix, no matter what kind of spells a sorcerer might cast from them.

Carthum could not pretend he wasn't worried, and that the battle hadn't gotten to him. But their respite, his prayers to Suru, had filled that empty hole in his chest, and despite all of his misgivings, his faith remained strong. Suru wished him- all of them- to be there. That was enough.

Now, if only Metea would behave...
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- the second landing

"You two are siblings?" Jeovanna asked. Looked between the two. "That is good."

No wonder they seemed so... attached?

Well, Jeovanna took some time to chew through matters, but she could get to the other side of it eventually. "To beginnings, then," she'd tilt her rations to the others as if it were a mug- by the hairy gods, she could use a drink- and settled back. "If this isn't an end, first."

It was touch and go, day in and day out. But they would be fine, she was sure.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: The Second Landing

"To beginnings," Otiroth agreed, voice firm. They had too much to do to die here.

Besides, he knew of some farmers that might need some help. Hard to say if the oils to drive off normal pests would work on what they had experienced.

No doubt, they were all getting ready to move on, but they could linger there if only a little while longer. Fate would not wait forever.

Alath... he still needed to find out about Alath.
 
Dain - The Second Landing

"Beginnings. And to our ending being far off, a distant point on a winding road littered with honor and happiness." Dain nodded, taking a swig from a leather waterskin.

Siblings? Now it made more sense, though obviously their kinship was of the sacred kind rather than the familial kind.

He sat up, pulling his sword free of its scabbard once again to study the dark blade in the torchlight. In his imagination, images of Essithea glittered on its surface.
 

97mg

Villager
Annit: Second Landing

Annit loitered in the half-dark at the opposing door for a while, pressing an ear against it, detecting nothing save for a light draft through it's gap against the floor. There were no sounds of clanging metal or nashing teeth. All she heard was her colleagues in conversation, back in the opposite room.

Slowly she stepped back to the place of rest, leaned in against the door-frame and nervously smiled at everyone.

It was a positive sensation, seeing everyone taking a moment to gather themselves and become vaguely familiar. So many strangers, yet one way or another they would be making their way down as a team. A group of oddities chosen by powers even more peculiar.

“I can’t hear anything at the other door, and it is safely latched it seems. When we are ready, I might be able to umm, pry the lock open, if we are lucky,” spoken almost as though a confession by the young woman.

“I can only hope, and have faith that very few know of this place,” she said to nobody in particular. “My family has been entrusted with protecting this site for a very long time. I dare say, right now, Father is backfilling and covering the trapdoor. You need not worry about the possibility of being spotted on the field either, precautions were taken, we were promised.”

“Well, I think we’ve done well so far, but it is a little disconcerting to meet with traps and old inhabitants so soon.” She turned to face the opposite door again, continuing to speak. “It is a good sign I guess, that their might be things here worthy of such jealous protection. I wish I could tell you exactly what we seek, but I only know that perhaps there are of course… raw gems, possibly imbibed with magic, and also answers, that we unearth together.”

The young Rogue looked to Otiroth, Metea, and Carthum then.

“It is said that the gifted can sense them, and if it is true you should say if you feel any kind of… connection… as we move down.”

An almost knowing look was shot to Dain then, as he inspected the opal hues upon the sword.

"I've seen such colors before..."

She was quiet then.

Perhaps they might have questions or more preparation to do? Better to enjoy some peace whilst it was available, she thought.
 

Metea

Villager
Metea: The second landing

They had fallen to silence, but Annit's arrival broke that, if only slightly. Metea squeezed her talisman once more- and then slipped it back into her pocket.

She'd smile at Annit. "Precautions? Did those involve magic?" She'd ask, with a sort of curious excitement. "If there are other mages active, why, we might not be in as bad as shape as we thought. Or was it more mundane protection?" She'd frown a bit at the potential disappointment of a simple solution.

The tiefling hopped up, and would begin poking about the room, as if she could find something interesting right then and there. Maybe a miner had stolen away some gemstones and hidden them? There must have been a thriving black market back then!

Her investigation would end at the door Annit had been prodding at, and she'd put one ear to it, too. Just to take a listen.


<Would it be correct to roll investigation? 10 + 6 for investigation, +4 intelligence= 20>
 
Carthum One-Tusk: the second landing

The thief- no, Annit- returned, and that seemed to be the cue for Metea to poke around as well. He hoped she had the sense to be cautious.

"Here," he'd toss Annit some of the flavored-up rations they had brought along. After facing down death together, well, perhaps she was not so bad. And they really did need to work together down here.

"Your family has acted as caretakers of this place? Have you ever explored it before?" Carthum asked. He would think not, but... Annit seemed to imply that things moving around was a bit unnatural.a
 

Jeovanna

Villager
Jeovanna- the second landing

Jeovanna moved to take her turn on watch as Annit joined the others. Nothing more needed to be said, really. They did what they must.

She'd keep one hand on her sword. And one eye on the tiefling, whom she felt had a bit of a lack of common sense. Smart enough to spot a trap, perhaps, but too curious not to stick her hand into it to see what happened, she figured.
 

Otiroth

Villager
Otiroth: The Second Landing

Otiroth watched Metea pick around the room, too. In silence.

He'd finally turn back towards Annit, though. "An interesting theory," he agreed. "I have never had the opportunity to see if something in my blood reacts to the magic of Marixian gems. From the old stories, you would think all of them were sparkling pockets of vile magic and temptation, but it makes me wonder if perhaps a few bad apples spoiled the bunch, so to speak."

"Magic can be written into anything- even gems. Or so I have heard."

It was certainly written into his blood, if not for one reason, than another.
 
Dain - The Second Landing

Dain looked up from his blade when Annit started talking. He was no sorcerer, though he felt close enough to Essithea at times that he wondered if she would not aid him if he requested it.

Mystical trackers? Interesting. It seems we are all here for a reason.

He went on listening as the others talked, but when Annit mentioned the hue of his blade, his attention went directly to her. Standing up, he sheathed the sword. Who had enchanted his weapon? Was it Essithea, or one of Annit's mysterious benefactors? Should he be concerned?

Well either way, he had signed the agreement. A man with no past putting his trust into shadows and words. But it had felt right, and for him, that had been enough. Trust.

"Well these enchanted gems won't go out of their way to find us, I am guessing. And if we have a way of tracking them, then as a tracker, I suggest we use it. The more time we spend searching, the more time adversaries have to confront us. Although I still do not like leaving unopened doors in our wake, it might be that speed benefits us more than thoroughness."
 

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