"These thassilonians were not good people. I wonder how much of this is a perspective of everyday life in the ancient empire, and how much of it is merely some aberrant person's behavior. I wonder if this was a hidden feature even in this area's heyday."
E shrugs, wondering what kind of person would use these implements.
Seraka shrugs at E's pondering. She lifts up her eyepatch and absent-mindedly scratches at the edges of her eye socket.
"No idea about this Thassilonian history stuff. Heh, I probably ain't even the person you ask about what's normal nowadays."
She holds up the eyeball on her necklace to her eye socket. She chuckles to herself.
Lay On Hands: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Sonya massages some of the bruises into nonexistence with a slight glow as they disappear.
She watches Seraka's macabre display, "Usually when I hear people have lost an eye, they usually have... you know, lost the eye."
She tucks the necklace back into her clothes and flips down her eyepatch.
”Most people probably don’t cut out their own eye, either.”
She leans her bardiche against wall and folds her arms behind her head. She closes her eye.
”Ready whenever you are to head in that next door, bud.”
"Really? What.." E stops himself. "That sounds like quite a tale."
E shifts his gear back into comfortable position and resumes gripping his mug. "Ready!"
He defers to the more combat hardy to enter first, however.
Don't know if you caught that E healed Sonya for 9 earlier.
Rokan pauses in trying to listen through the door to scowl at Seraka's pendant-eye. "That's yours?" he whispers incredulously, then shakes his head, trying to get one last listen before they proceed.
Just bumping things along. If Rokan doesn't hear anything through either door, he'll open it for Seraka and Sonya, so they can proceed through quickly and effortlessly.
Okay, ugh, sorry about that. Why is motivation so hard.
The crumbling remnants of several chairs and a long table clutter the floor of this room. The walls are covered with what you take at first to be numerous cracks in old plaster, but after a second or two you realize it is faded script in a strange, spiky hand, so worn by time as to be illegible now.
To the south stand three stone doors, each bearing a strange symbol that resembles a seven-pointed star. Each of them is occupied by a skeleton, but these skeletons do not rise. Closer inspection reveals the bodies are covered with layers of dust, and are badly misshappen-- one has the bones for an entire third arm, another has a skull grotesquely outsized for the rest of its body, and the third has a elongated ribcage and attenuated legs.
With little else to be found in this chamber, you open the next door and find a narrow flight of stairs leading upwards. As you cautiously move forward, you hear a low, faint groaning up from ahead, and a voice hissing something in answer.
At the moment, you're just shy of being able to see into the room, but another step up the stairs will do it...
Baddies: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Initiative E: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Rokan: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Seraka: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Sonya: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Perception on the skelly room
Perception DC 20: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31
Looking at the strange skeletal remains, Rokan steps forward, scowling down at a scrap of paper wedged in a crack in the table. He stoops lower, whispering words of power to bring any magics on the paper to life.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
IN THE NEXT ROOM…
Not understanding the language, Rokan nocks an arrow, nodding for one of his teammates to take point as he covers their backs.
Can Rokan get approximate numbers and/or position with a high enough Perception roll?
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (14) + 14 = 28
Rokan is able to tell that the scrap of parchment contains the incantation for a flaming sphere, a reasonably powerful one. (Scroll of flaming sphere, CL 5)
Listening up the stairs, Rokan frowns. His ears are keen, but there seem to be a number of things making the groaning sounds, and the noise of them seems to echo in ways he can't entirely piece together.
You can tell there's multiple things groaning; beyond that, not a whole lot despite your very keen ears.
Sure, E will take it.
E examines the room's skeletons and symbols, "Fascinating. What caused these deformities... or are they something different?"
"Goblins. And it sounds like their mistress," E raises his fingers in air quotes, "is doing something requiring concentration... or resting."
He looks to Seraka as she enters, nods, and falls in behind the party while drawing his rapier.
Seraka strides forward into the chamber, taking in the room's architecture-- a high vaulted ceiling, and the floor dotted with what look the lids of large shipping crates? Vague thumps and moans come from beneath the wooden slats. But Seraka's attention is much more likely to be on the... ...goblin? in the room with her.
It's really big for a goblin. The outsized head and spindly, wiry limbs look even more disturbing on something that stands as tall as a full-grown man, and is deformed even by goblinoid standards: a massive hunchback, a third arm sprouting from above another, and copiously flowing drool from the mouthful of goblin-sharp teeth. Red eyes bulge at the sight of Seraka, and the goblin-- if that's what it really is-- hisses!
Round 1- go!
Sonya (-4 hp)
Rokan (-3 hp)
Party's up, but if you move into the room, show me via arrows where you go!
"You know the drill, Gorum."
Seraka calls down her God's favor and steps cautiously to the north.
She's staggered this round because of her curse, so just a five-foot-step and a spell
E lets the warrior types enter the room ahead of him. His head bobs up and down, and to the side trying to get a glimpse of the foe through Seraka and the objects in the room.
Can we move on top of the crate things?
Rokan follows the two warriors into the room, but peels off to his right once inside. His nocked arrow crackles with energy as he lines it up, then it rumbles through the air at the ridiculously-large goblin-thing.
Move into the room (map updated; he didn't step on any of the crate thingies)
Then Storm Burst him (including Point Blank Shot).
ranged touch attack: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 3 + 1 = 11
nonlethal damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2; in addition, the target is buffeted by winds and rain, causing it to take a –2 penalty on attack rolls for 1 round.
E scrambles into the room, trying to gain a vantage point and not block the others pathways. He sprawls across a crate, and then picks himself up to stand on top of it.
"Well, you're something interesting, aren't you?!" he shouts as he gets a line of vision on the giant deformed goblinoid.
Sadly, a double move (with some climbing) is all.
?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
As E moves over the 'crate' he realizes it's more accurately a lid. It shifts beneath him, and only the blue-skinned man's quick reflexes let him leap to the side as the wood falls sideways, then rains down into what turns out to be a pit. The planks strike something down below which moans.
E, Sonya, and Seraka can all see a rotted form staring up from twenty feet below with arms outstretched up towards you...
The goblin-thing reacts at long last. "Intru- intruders!" it spits in broken Common, drool hanging thickly from its oversized mouth. "Koruvus... will kill... you! For Mistress!"
The creature throws itself into a headlong charge at Sonya, its longsword gleaming in the air.
Chaaarge: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 4 + 2 = 21 sonya, my dice just hate you
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
The blow lands despite Sonya's defensive pose, and hacks some flesh from her.
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26 Oh hey, E might finally know something... :)
"Uh. Don't fall down these holes. Zombies below." E shares with the party as he moves off the lid.
He carefully picks his away across the room, careful to avoid the lids, but position himself to help the fight soon.
Double move to move around diagonals without provoking.
Rokan gives the field of crate-covered zombies an idle glance as he continues around the edge of teh room. HIs attention, however, remains on the strange goblin, and he sends another arrow at one of its plate-sized eyes.
”Korvus, huh?” he mutters as he looses the arrow, ”Your mistress does not happen to be a half-angel, does it?”
Move (map updated, again, no crate squares crossed). Then fire a regular arrow at it.
longbow, PBS: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 5 + 1 = 26 <— CRIT?
damage: 1d8 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 1 = 5
— confirm: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 1 = 22
— add’l damage: 2d8 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (4, 8) + 4 + 2 = 18
Seraka treads carefully around the pit, moving into a better position to strike from reach.
Attack with Cold Iron Bardiche (power attack, df+ff, cover): 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 - 4 ⇒ (11) + 5 + 2 - 1 - 4 = 13
Damage (2hpa, df+ff): 1d10 + 4 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 3 + 2 = 12
The goblin-creature stares blankly at Rokan's words. "What?" it sputters thickly-- before the arrow hits and buries deep in its skull. It's not enough to drop the hideous creature, but it certainly causes it to squeal in pain.
Seraka's bardiche strike misses as she works to keep her balance on the treacherous flooring.
Sonya is at the ready! Can she finish off this foul thing?
Sonya, you're up! I know you have the deadline to worry about; if you don't get a chance to post later today I'll bot you.
Sorry sorry! Another case of me writing up a post, getting distracted and then thinking I posted it because it was 90% done (and having to start over!)
Saved by the Rokan
Greataxe Power Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 Swoosh!
Sonya swings her axe at the... 'goblin', shifting to the side to distract it from E's movements. It clangs against the creature's weapons. 5' towards the wall
AC back to normal as well
I think Sonya is going to become more and more superstitious that she should have a shield - at least then she won't get punched as much while she misses her swings!
Sonya whiffs, and the slavering goblin-thing steps back, hissing at E's attempts to surround it... and the archer that has so hurt it.
"Die!" the goblin spits, and promptly-- retches a gout of foul-smelling blood? from its innards with tremendous force, the spray hitting E directly and catching Rokan as well even on the other side of the room. Both heroes quickly discover the blood burns.
Rokan and E, Reflex save!
Reflex DC 13: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19; half damage & no nausea!
Rokan twists to take the burning vomit on his side, hissing at the sensation. ”E! Can you get clear?” he shouts, holding another pair of arrows ready to be loosed.
Delay until E is out of the way, then 5’ step into a clear firing lane (if necessary) and flurry (mods: PBS)
damage: 1d8 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 1 = 8
flurry 2: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 4 + 1 = 21
damage: 1d8 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 1 = 9
At Rokan's command, E's inertial changes. He backpedals, avoiding stepping on any more crates, finding a safe lane against the wall.
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
E dances out of the way of most of the spewing. "A diet by which to die. Gross!"
Seraka carefully treads around the traps (her path is marked on the map). She swings wide and low along her right side, her backswing almost reaching back to Rokan.
Attack with Cold Iron Bardiche (df+ff, power attack): 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 2 - 1 = 22
Damage (df+ff, 2hpa): 1d10 + 4 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 2 + 3 = 17
Given E's and Seraka's movements, I went ahead and moved Rokan on the map the 5' step to give him a clear firing lane.
(Here's to hoping there's not some terrible fire-breathgn demon waiting in that southern hallway.)
Between Seraka's powerful strike and Rokan's arrow, the hideous deformed goblin doesn't stand a chance. With a gurgling shriek the creature falls.
End combat! I'm net-less at home right now but I'll try and get us to the next room some time tomorrow at a Starbucks or something
E watches as the creature folds from the efforts of his companions.
Sheathing his rapier, he stoops to investigate the oversized goblinoid for clues.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
"Koruvus. Three arms? On a goblin? I wonder how many experiments that took...
Rokan nocks another arrow as he spins to aim down the southern hallway, eyes darting in search of any new threats as he takes a few steps backwards.
Assuming nothing attacks, the hunter lets his senses explore this strange room, hoping to locate any other threats or oddities that the team can use.
”Who would know?” he mutters in response to E, ”but I continue to seriously not like this place.”
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (14) + 14 = 28
Rokan pauses, looking between the three-armed goblin and the door through which they'd come ... back to the other skeletons that were similarly modified. "How old is this goblin, though?" He pauses, then shrugs, "Those other bodies looked much older than I would think a goblin could live."
Clues are in short supply on the goblinoid, but weapons, there are in plenty. The longsword he was wielding looks to be of excellent make and it's glowing faintly. There was also a well made handaxe and a silver dagger, all big enough for a human to use without problems. Beyond this, and filthy scraps of clothing, the goblin had nothing else on his person.
The moaning has built in pitch, eerily coming from beneath your feet and echoing around the room. It's possible all those 'lids' have a zombie beneath.
It's true that the deformed skeletons you saw in the prior room seemed to be aeons old, bone so brittle a light touch made it crumble. As for the age of the goblin... well, he looks like a goblin. Maybe you should ask a goblin biology expert.
Rokan caught a brief glimpse to the south of the tunnel behind him; exploring it, you find two passagesways leading off. One leads to a rubble-choked stairwell, impassable both up and down unless one wanted to spend dozens and dozens of hours shifting rocks and debris. But it does at least indicate there might be more chambers below...
As for the other passage: a shut and iron-bound door blocks your way. E checks it, finds it safe, and the heroes open it to see a curious sight:
This strange room is a fifteen-foot-diameter sphere. Several objects float in the room, spinning lazily in space-a ragged book, a scroll, a bottle of wine, a dead raven surrounded by a halo of floating and writhing maggots, and a twisted iron wand with a forked tip. Yet perhaps the most unnerving aspect of the room is the walls, for they are plated
in sheets of strange red metal that ripple every once in a while with silent black electricity that seems to coalesce into strange runes or even words far too often for the effect to be mere chance...
Back in the “whack-a-zombie” room
Rokan pauses, looking at all the boxes of undead. ”I cannot think it is wise to leave these things alive … or … still moving down here.” He looks at Seraka’s polearm, ”I would think you could destroy them without too much trouble, stuck as they are in holes.”
might be good to clear those zombie things out if we can (without taking damage or anything). Also, where is everyone on HP. I’m 5 down, but if everyone else is alright, I can possibly just tough it out for the time being.
in the new room
The hunters’ face scrunches up in a frown, ”Um. What?” He looks askance at E, shrugs, and promptly calls on the spirits for insight as his eyes search the strange room.
Cast Detect Magic, then Perception the room.
Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 27
"I wonder how long these undead have been here. Do you think that maybe some of them are townsfolk taken during the raid? Or perhaps... older?"
E is fine, and can spare a spell, I think. Dropping Faerie Fire for CLW.
E says some words and taps a glowing mug against the back of Rokan's head.
CLW on Rokan: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Also in the new room
E's eyes dart around the room in awe. "Such an obvious display of power!"
His eyes lock onto the shifting wall, curiosity filling him. "I wonder what it's trying to say..."
He follows the hunter's lead and casts's Detect Magic.
"They deserve a proper burial, whoever they were - but until then, you're right." Sonya will help however she can with destroying the trapped undead.
"Is it a summoning... circle? Is this how that quasit learned to create whatever those monsters were?"
She puts a hand on E's shoulder, and says "Try not to stare too hard, we don't know what it does yet."
Detect Evil on floaty room, and also that wand
With Rokan's arrows and Seraka's glaive, it's possible to safely destroy the undead in their pits. All told, eleven zombies fall before your careful, methodical eradication. If nothing else, you're reduced the threat to any poor soul who might accidentally wander down into these tunnels.
As for the room with the strange floating objects... welp, there's definitely magic in there, no doubt about it. Several items hovering in the air also detect as magical-- the scroll and the wand.
Besides this effect, there appears to be other magic at play in the words that appear scrawled in jagged script on the walls only to vanish again in split seconds. E can tell the writing is Thassilonian, and it all appears to be in the same 'hand,' but the words change, appear, and reappear with such speed it's difficult to get much of a sense of what they might say or mean. After a few minutes, E's caught a random word or three-- wrath, vengeance, hate... but nothing resembling a coherent thought.
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
"Everything here is levitating. Intriguing!" the samsaran exclaims. "Don't know what this alternating graffiti means though, it just seems to be a list of negative emotions or such."
He moves over to see if the scroll or wand can reveal their secrets. He carefully attempts to retract the scroll from it's levitating status, and barring nothing negative occurring, reads its contents. Then he attempts the same with the wand.
Spellcraft on wand: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Good news! My internet is back. Very happy. Hopefully posts will be more regular now. Thanks as always for your patience, guys/gals.
E moves into the room... and promptly begins levitating! Though initially a bit alarming, it seems harmless, and he's able to push himself along the chamber's walls enough to grab the scroll and the wand. E can deduce that the scroll is a scroll of burning hands (CL 3), but the wand is a mystery to him for now.
Grabbing any of the other floating objects, E?
E smiles as he begins to understand the workings of the room. Cheers emanate from him as he begins to glide around the room.
He pauses to investigate the scroll and the wand, then moves to grab the other floating objects and bring them to the party. He avoids the raven though... for now.
"Wonder what this book might say!"
E finds the room delightful-- it's not quite real flight, but it's thrillingly close.
For some reason, he neglects to grab the literally-crawling-with-maggots raven (can't think why), but he does snag the other things. The book is old and heavy, and it's a very good question-- what does the book say...? Depends. Can any of you read the cramped and snarled-looking script that painstakingly fills the inner pages? (Abyssal)
Occasionally the text is broken up by woodcut illustrations that are, to say the least, rather horrific. They feature numerous depictions of monsters, each more hideous than the last-- abominations with multiple limbs, fanged maws, tumescent growths and glowing eyes, most engaged in the acts of devouring presumed innocents.
The jackal-headed symbol of Lamashtu is featured predominantly in the frontispiece of the book.
And with that recovery, you realize you've... explored as much of this complex as you can, barring many man-hours of labor to clear those choked stairs. All hints indicate that it does date back to the actual Thassilonians-- Brodert Quink will no doubt be beside himself.
The original smuggler's tunnel still continued on past these strange and unsettling catacombs; are you going to try finishing exploring that, or return to town to share what you've found so far? Or a third option as it occurs to you?
Rokan looks at the book over E’s shoulder, the short Shoanti obviously not understanding the language found therein. ”This book is disturbing. Much like this whole place. Maybe the town’s elder and Master Quink will know what to make of what we’ve found.”
He gives a look around that seems to encompass the entire area they’ve explored. ”I think we should go find out where the smugglers’ tunnel goes, then report back. Unless we’ve missed something, I don’t think any immediate threats are going to wander out of here and up into town just yet. Once we get back, we can have a permanent watcher set on these tunnels.”