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DM Sinvel's Tales of the Night Watchmen

Game Master Sinvel Menter

Follows the journey of four new members of the Night Watchmen in the Great City of Azir.

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Garret leads the way down the shaft. He holds on to a ladder which has been secured against the wall and descends close to thirty feet before he lands on area that has one wall opening into a tunnel. Peering down the tunnel, it leads off into the darkness well beyond Garret's source of light.

It is completely dark down here so let me know what is going on with a light source.

Malchius comes down third. He has no means of creating light, magical or otherwise. If he sees a lamp or lantern up in the shop, he grabs it before heading down.

"So much for being sneaky." Garret thinks as he mutters the words that bring several floating lights into existence. Dancing Lights. Still hoping the light won't be noticed, Garret lets them trail behind as he moves on carefully.

To speed things up a bit I'm going to roll some perception checks for Garret.

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

The Watchmen continue down the tunnel for approximately 150'-200' along where the tunnel then splits in two directions, one veering to the left and the other to the right. Both directions seem eerily quiet.

Xarina whispers "Which way?"

How far does each tunnel go? Or is it out of my sight range?

Xarina wrote:
How far does each tunnel go? Or is it out of my sight range?

Each tunnel goes on past the light and dark vision limits.

Nathaniel listens intenly in the darkness.

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13

Hearing nothing (presumably), Nathaniel motions for Garrett, the quietest of the team, to proceed quietly down the tunnel to the left, with Nathaniel following 15' behind.

Take 10 on Move Silently = 14

The idea is to stay back so that Garrett's stealth controls whether we are detected. In meta-gaming mechanics terms, I'm assuming every 5' of distance imposes a -1 on Perception checks. If the hallways echo, I will let Garrett get 20' ahead of me.

Nathaniel motions to proceed down the left tunnel.

Garret, your choice. Nathaniel thinks left if good. When you proceed, give me 4 Stealth checks with 4 Perception checks.

Malchius grabs Garrett's shoulder before he goes either way. Leaning down right next to his ear, he asks, "The lights already give us away, do they not? They're going to see you long before we see them? Let's give them something else to shoot at besides you then."

Was Malchius able to grab a lantern from the store above (or does anybody else have one)?

"I can keep the lights up to twenty feet behind me." Garret replies. "If things get bad I'll be running back."

The Checks(going left):

Stealth:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Stealth:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Stealth:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Stealth:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15

"I will stay in the rear since I don't need any light." Xarina says as she moves to the back.

Garret and his crew make their way down further into the tunnel network. The tunnels don't vary much in appearance, the height always ranging around 7'-10' high and the width about 9'-12' wide.

Suddenly a low rumble rises from the tunnel. The earth shakes violently and loose dust and pebbles fall from the ceiling filling the passage with choking dust.

Everyone must make a successful DC 18 Reflex save or fall prone. Dust fills the tunnel, causing a –2 penalty to Perception checks.

Perception checks also please!

Reflex save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Reflex 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Nathaniel hits the ground hard, muttering through clenched teeth as the wind is knocked out of him, "Should have gone right. ..."

Reflex:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Perception:1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 6 - 2 = 7

At the first shake Garret pressed himself up against the wall and managed to stay standing.

"What was that?" He coughs through the dust.

Reflex: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (18) - 2 = 16

Malchius lands hard atop Nathaniel. "Or just taken the day off," he mutters as he pushes himself up (off Nathaniel).

So does Malchius have a lantern or not?

Nathaniel looks up at Malchius with a sympathetic grimace as he slowly stands up, still a bit winded. "You said it, 'brother.' Out of habit, Nathaniel's hand drifts to where his flask should be ... but isn't. "This really is going to be one of those days."

As Xarina manages to stay standing she exclaims "What caused that?"

"Hope it doesn't make getting out of here harder." she grumbles.

None of you have ever felt anything like this before. The closes approximation would be a slight earthquake, but this is only going off of what you've heard others describe it as. It only lasted a few seconds though and seems to have subsided now.

Malchius, you can have a lantern if you'd like. I was just going off of Garret's dancing lights for now, which he has behind him and closer to the rest of the group.

Some of the group (those that got a Perception of 14 or better) can hear dogs barking up ahead of you and what sounds like rushing water, although it doesn't sound as if it is getting closer.

Also, since we're not that far into this campaign yet I thought I'd give everyone the option of using the Advanced Race Guide to build your characters. As long as your character doesn't alter his back story or substantially change the theme, I'd be cool with anyone using it.

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"I don't know, Garrett, but it was serious. Those dogs and rushing water could mean some sort of mining, or a number of other things, but whatever's going on I think it's time to get ready for fight." With that, Nathaniel quietly unfastens his battle axe.

"On the plus side, the dogs and water also mean we should be harder to hear as we get closer. Do you want to stay on point or have Xarina and I take up the forward position?"

Garret shakes his head.

"I'll keep point. If things go bad I got a trick that might work to keep me safe." With a hard look in his eyes, Garret moves down the tunnel again.

Stealth:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Perception:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15

Nathaniel falls in line 15' behind Garret, just ahead of Garrett's floating lights, hands on his axe.

Stealth 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

About 60' ahead the path separates into two directions once again. One bearing to the left and one slightly to the right.

"So which way now? If we keep going left we could end up literally going in circles."

Just to clear up, both intersections the group has encountered have been more like splits in the path like a wishbone instead of a ending in a straight left and right direction.

Nathaniel walks 10' down the left corridor (with Garret, if he's willing) and listens for the water and the dogs (and anything else).

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Nathaniel then doubles back to the fork and walks 10' down the right corridor (again with Garrett, if he's willing) and listens for the water and the dogs (and anything else).

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11

When Nathanial moves to right corridor Xarina will move to the left for 40' and listen for anything.

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

It seems to Nathaniel and then Xarina that the barking and yipping are louder in the left passage.

Nathaniel nods to Xarina and then motions to Garrett. "The dogs are to the left."

"If they are guarding something, that would be the place to go. If the people we're looking for are down there, they already know we're coming. Should we get back-up?"

"Want me to do it? I don't need any light to find my way out. Although we might find out how many of them there are before we determine whether we need help or not."

Malchius takes a grim account of the spells at his disposal. "If it comes to a pitched battle down here, my magic is less than optimal, though I do have a spell prepared that can potentially knock several people unconscious."

Just let me know what plan of action the group decides to take.

Nathaniel begins to study the ground intently for any sign of passage or movement that might give him any sense of how many creatures of what kind have passed through this area.

Take 20 on Survival to Track = 28 (30 if there are human tracks)

"We've been relatively quiet. Whatever that quake was, I don't think we caused it. And if we did, Nathaniel mutters, they're fools to face us. Plus, if they know we're here, they're not likely to stick around to wait for us to get back-up, and we don't how many ways there are out of here."

Nathaniel peers into the darkness ahead with frustration.

"I'd like to know more about what we are facing before asking for back-up, that will take who gods knows ... " Nathaniel pauses at his use of a phrase no longer favored in Azir, "... who knows how long to get here. Given the barking dogs and rushing water, I think we let Xarina take point and keep the lanterns 40' behind her. The rest of us can stay 15' behind her and at least have the shadows to work with and not be totally blind."


If we think we did cause the quake given the way it happened, I may have a different opinion!

"Sounds reasonable." Garret says as he rearranges the lights.

"It could be that there just happened to be a tremor down here, coincidentally, and the rushing water and barking dogs are the sounds of smugglers in trouble. Perhaps they accidentally tunneled into one of the city's cisterns, or an underground stream."

"Alternatively, whoever is down here may be the cause of the quake. Something to consider." Xarina says as she sheathes her scimitar and draw her great axe.

"Alright then. Are we ready?"

Nathaniel grips his great axe. "Ready."

If the tunnel is 5' wide, I suggest Xarina, me, Malchius, Garrett, with the thinking being Garrett is better able to defend the rear in the event of melee. If you'd rather I take rear guard or have a different order in mind, I'm up for whatever.

Either way, if it's 10' wide, I suggest Xarina followed by Malchius and I side-by-side, with Garrett behind us. Again, if anyone has a different order in mind, I'm up for it.

The path of the tunnel ranges in width from 9'-12', so I'll go with the Xarina at point then two-wide approach Nathaniel described. Nathaniel looks at the tracks on the ground and finds that there are both human and dog tracks from multiple trips back and forth. The freshest being those of 3-6 humans.

The group wanders further along the path. Occasionally the sound of yipping and a bark can be heard but the splashing of water pouring out from someplace seems to fade. I was incorrect above, the water was heard down the right tunnel and the barking was heard down the left.

After some time walking (Perhaps 200') another tremor begins. This time, it builds stronger and more violent the longer it lasts until it seems so intense that thoughts of the world imploding into itself do not seem so unbelievable. It loosens a hail of loose scree and rock onto those in the tunnel making it nearly impossible to remain standing.

Acobatics DC 30 to remain standing. Everyone takes 2d4 ⇒ (3, 2) = 5 points of damage from the falling rocks pouring down from the ceiling (Reflex DC 20 for half damage).

As the group lay on the ground covered in debris, the shaking begins to subside, but far, far off in the distance a low banging can be heard until it too seems to trail off into the distance.

Some look around through the haze of dust in the air surveying the damage and then another minor tremble starts but quickly subsides. As the air begins to clear a bit, large piles of rocks cover the floor. Parts of the ceiling appear to have been split along the path of the tunnel. Further down the tunnel, just at the extent of the dancing lights, the path seems to be blocked completely. Upon further examination, there appears to be a small (2') opening on the top allowing passage.

Reflex save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12

Picking himself up, and wiping the blood from his face, Malchius looks in rough shape 2/7 hp. Worriedly, he says, "Smugglers or not, we need to press on faster, or we'll die down here from a cave-in."

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11

Reflex: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Nathaniel picks himself up, a bit worse for wear but ok. Looking at a bloodied version of himself in Malchius, he resigns himself to the more conservative course of action.

"I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't think we can continue. That could have killed us. As much as I hate to do it, I think we have to double back."

"That's a good idea! We can use your head to clear away the giant pile of solid rocks behind us!"

I may have misunderstood! Are the rocks in front of us or behind us?

Acrobatics:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Reflex"1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

"No call for that, Malchius." Garret mutters as he stands up. "Just not used to have the rocks outside yer head knocking around."

Looking at the beaten Nathaniel look-alike, Garret hums a few lines and places a hand on Malchius' arm, letting the magic do it's work.

Cure Light Wounds:1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

Feeling a bit cheerier for Garrett's song, Nathaniel genuinely smiles, "So what's the call? Press ahead (through the small opening ahead of us, if I'm reading the description correctly and the rubble is in front of us) or double back?"

Yes, the rubble is ahead of you, but it is not impassible.

Acrobatics 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

Reflex save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16

Xarina shakes her head as she gets up. "Ugh, what is causing these quakes? If someone is making these happen there will be hell to pay."

She doesn't look too beaten up. Just a couple scrapes and bruises.

"I can press on. Not badly hurt here."

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