"Yes, let's drink to victory!" Pork yelled, raising his flagon high before gulping down his drink. He continued eating until he was full and then leaned back into his chair, his flagon resting on his belly. A loud burp led into another song, but this one noticeably quieter as he was tired from the journey:
"Gather around the fire
and sing one last song with me.
Rest well so you don't tire,
Tomorrow we grant no mercy.
May your dreams be full treasures
Most shiny and rare.
And may you enjoy the pleasure
of another's despair.
So let your sword arm retire
We friends are never lonely
Gather around the fire
and sing one last song with me."
He repeated the song over and over, quieter and slower every time until his head flopped onto his shoulder and the singing stopped.
Argor stares blankly at Pork during his first round of the song, blinks, and turns to the rest of the group, and begins to say something. When Pork begins singing again, Argor stops, stands, and makes a silent gesture towards himself and what he assumes to be the stairs to the rooms, and departs the table, the echoes of Pork's singing tormenting him as he retires to prepare for the following day.
Prepared spells updated, Argor will be in his room the remainder of the evening unless someone would like a private word with him.
"If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I'd like to enjoy what could be the last bath I'll have the pleasure of taking in a long time. I shall rise with the dawn tomorrow, and we will see what troubles this mine. Good night." Kynrael rises from the table and heads for his room, fingers already seeking to undo buckles and straps of his half plate armor.
|DM Lil B|
As Argor, and Kynrael dismiss themselves and head up to their rooms, the innkeeper, nudges Pork to wake him, and sends him up. "I will get this place cleaned up, and meet you down here in the morning."
The night was uneventful, you all rise after a good night's sleep. This inn has better accomodations then one would expect for a small town. The innkeeper greets you and serves breakfast. Afterwards, he gives you each three days of trail rations and takes you to the trail to the mine. "This trail heads due south. It is about a half mile to the mining site. Everyone disappeared somewhere along that trail, except maybe the wizard, he could have gone anywhere."
"Hospitality has been lovely, Mayor. A last question, though." Rois looks south and raises a hand to shield his eyes from the morning sun. "Our plans figure on having a supply cart that can be pushed or pulled. Is there such a thing we could make use of?" Even ask he asks, Rois continues to survey the trail before them, hoping to catch some early clue.
Perception - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
|DM Lil B|
"Oh yes, he goes to a small building on the left. This is where we keep our supplies for the mine. You'll find a cart here as well as some picks and other various tools, and a few overcoats that we use to keep our regular clothes from getting torn up in the caves."
The mayor pnders for a moment. "I believe the gentlemen said his name Iraksed, or something like that."
Pork enters the building and and begins loading a paltry collection of tools into the cart, making sure they stick up high out of the cart. He tosses any old linens or rags he can find into the cart as well. After some difficulty he hitches a horse to the cart and steers it to the road leading out of town. He then buries himself underneath the linen with longbow in hand. In moments of complete silence, a barely audible giggling can be heard coming from the pile of rags.
Argor covers himself in one of the overcoats, and takes a seat on the passenger side of the cart once it is out of the building. He then turns to the group and says, "Gentlemen, let us be off and find these villagers and the missing Mage."
Rois carefully slides his swords into his backpack, taking care not to scratch scabbard or hilt. With some reluctance, he places the entire pack beside the hiding goblin. Be checking those pockets after we get where we're going...wherever that is.
He slides an overcoat on over his leather, grumbling as it catches on one of the metal studs. He walks beside the cart, leaning upon his quarterstaff. Feeble old man I might be, but not so much as I look.
|DM Lil B|
|DM Lil B|
As you head down the road towards the mountains, the terrain begins to get more and more rocky, until you enter a canyon like area. The vegetation here consists mainly of thick bushes growing up against the rocky outcroppings.
Rois and Kynrael notice a bush on the left that looks much more disturbed than the others, and see that the space behind it is clear. As you push the bush aside, you see a path heading towards the mountain. The path looks fairly unused, but there are small tracks, that you are unable to place, as well as what appears to be drag marks, and signs of a struggle, though they look a few days old.
The path is too rocky for the cart to travel down, but you should be able to navigate it simply walking in a single file line.
Argor obviously does not appear pleased with the current development. After looking over the situation, he states, "Gentlemen, I no longer believe disguise is in order. No miner is going to side track INTO the possible ambush site. Might as well gear up with what you need."
Argor then removes his "disguise" and scans the area as the others prepare.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
The cart suddenly stopped, and Pork braced against the floor, ready to jump out at the first sound of alarm. But none came, only some muffled talking. Popping his head out from underneath the pile of rags he sees the rest of the party looking at tracks leading away from the road. Pork jumps off the cart catches up to them. "Right." he says while adjusting his helmet, "we should walk in formation, I can cover the rear."
Kynrael, seeming a bit more severe than usual, walks up alongside Rois. "Seeing as how you're the scout, I'll trust to your advice. That, and I'm more than a little curious about what got dragged off," Kynrael says, pointing his hammer at the aforementioned drag marks. "Iomedae willing, they're still alive." Kynrael smiles very slightly, his grip tightening on his warhammer... Gorum willing, I'll find something worthy of smashing with Alexander.
Hearing Pork speak behind him, Kynrael nods. "He is right. The way ahead looks narrow, and we should be ready for the worst. I'll take the lead, if there are no objections. I'd like to keep Rois near the front if possible as well, so we don't lose the trail." He heads back towards the cart now, and begins searching for somewhere inconspicuous to stow the cart.
Joining the Perception check party! -
Perception Check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Argor raises an eyebrow at Kynrael's explanation of positioning.
"Not to contradict your battle plan, Kynrael, but I believe the 'scout' would do his job better if the track wasn't being obstructed and marred by someone walking all over it in front of him. And he might be able to go on ahead and learn something prior to our presence being detected, as it surely will when you approach, with all that metal clanging together."
|DM Lil B|
There are no sounds that are out of the ordinary, maybe some small animals scurrying by, or a bird chirping in the distance. However, everyone but Pork notices some runes are carved into various rocks, but have become severely faded with time. One large rock overlooking the area appears to have at one time been the statue of a king or something, but time has eroded the features away, and without looking intently, you would never have noticed.
Also, there seems to be a slight smell of rot or decay coming from the direction of the path.
You mentioned that we are in a canyon-like area, is the path we are following going up one of the sides of the canyon or is it going down the middle (or somewhere in between)
Goblins are known to enter dangerous locations more through foolishness than curiosity, and even Pork was feeling a little foolish. These signs of old almost never harbor anything good according to the old goblin stories. Tightening the grip on his bow, he frequently checked behind himself to see if anything was following them.
|DM Lil B|
"He's right, Kynrael." Rois pulls his swords from his pack and secures their scabbards to the straps on his armor. "Brave to volunteer to take the front, but if I'm to be our eyes and ears, I'll need to take that place of honor."
He points to the corroded statue. "And indeed, if the lot of you want to learn what you can of whoever that was, I'll step ahead and get a peek at what lies beyond us. Ten minutes pass and I've not returned...well, let's leave that choice to you." If Marshall Vikaela meant to name me as command, she would have. Not that I would have accepted...
With that, Rois makes his way ahead, stepping gingerly over loose rocks, and keeping his staff in hand to steady his balance. His ever-watchful eyes dart back and forth, eager to catch some telling sign of danger.
Stealth - 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Perception - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19, with an additional +1 to spot traps.
Oh boy, rolled a 1 on Stealth...
Argor examines the runes carefully as they proceed. Well, at least we are more than likely on the wizard's trail.
"Kynrael. This appears to be the entrance to the Dwarven ruins that Iraksed was searching for. These are ancient Dwarven runes, I'm sure of it."
|DM Lil B|
Rois moves quietly down the path, managing to rustle every branch and skid on every loose piece of gravel. The path goes about 75' and then opens into what could only be a called a courtyard. At the center is a stone structure which may been a a fountain or possibly a statue at some point. At the opposite end of the courtyard is an grand doorway open to the air. The tracks lead into the doorway, and the foul air seem to be eminating from there as well.
Other than the structure in the center, various old rocks which may have served as benches, and a various shrubs and weeds, the courtyard appears to be empty.
Argor winces as Rois clambers down the path, as he makes a turn and leaves sight, Argor turns to Kynrael, "My apologies, Sir Dawnmantle. I was not aware the Marshall had sent us an Ogre as a scout." Argor then gestures for Kynrael to lead on, and falls in behind the warrior.
Rois surveys the courtyard once more before moving up beside the doorway. He does not enter, but instead listens for any sound that might issue from within, all the while holding a hand over his mouth to shield himself from the stench of rot.
Stealth - 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Perception - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16, with an additional +1 to spot traps.
Kynrael, attempting to save face on Rois' behalf, says, "It's likely his expertise lies within Cettigne and the surrounding river lands. Perhaps he is not as accustomed to the rocky paths we now find ourselves on. I have not heard anything from the direction he went, fortunately." Other than the excessive noise he, himself is making. He turns his head slightly and calls back over his shoulder, "Or unfortunately, I suppose. Let's hope for the former."
Kynrael continues to follow the path cautiously, though seems to care little for the runes and weathered structures the others are pointing out.
|DM Lil B|
Kynrael, Argor and Pork enter the courtyard, and see Rois crouched down next to the doorway listening intently.
Rois holds up a hand, as if to halt his companions, and then moves in their direction.
Stealth - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
When he comes upon the others, he speaks in a hushed tone. "Stairs through that way, not a light to be seen. Heard voices that don't sound human. Don't recognize the language neither. Best we prepare for a fight, I say."
After hearing that the voices weren't human, Pork believes the situation is much more serious than they had hoped. He whispers, "I can take a look inside, I know you humans don't see well in the dark... not sure about you," pointing at Kynrael. "Or maybe we can lure whatever is in there out in the open."
And what assurance do we have that you'll not go over to them, goblin, and tell them all you know of us? Rois tries to remember the sounds of the words he heard from the dark. Was their speech like the gibbering of the goblin songs? Who could say with such strange noises?
"Too risky." he answers, his voice barely breaking above a whisper. "Not a one of us knows what spells or traps lie within that place. We go in, we do so as one."
Rois pauses for a moment, looking back towards the doorway. "I'd as soon meet them here, where we can count upon daylight, and maybe hide some of our number. The question though remains...if we summon them up, do we try to treat with them?"
Argor looks at the doorway, trying to determine how much of a bottleneck it could be. "If a fight is to be had, I'd prefer it be on our terms. However, the darkness is not a factor."
Argor pats his spellbook reassuringly.
"I can see fine in the dark. I think fighting them here at the doorway would afford us the upper hand, however. If we would prefer to take the fight to them, however, I am willing and able." Kynrael punctuates the statement by strapping his thick shield to his left forearm.
"Then by all means, Sir Dawnmantle, why don't you begin the introductions." Argor gestures his arm towards the door, and then takes a position off to one side of the door, using a statue or outcropping as cover if available. He carefully places one hand in his spell component pouch, making sure everything is in order.
Rois nods, and leaning his staff against one of the worn benches, he slides his short swords from their scabbards. Kynrael may be in command some day soon. Men will take heart in the silver of his eye, and will trust in his leadership. I'll follow him on this, and we'll see what comes of it.
Rois will stand right against the outer wall, five feet from the door, so as to be close on hand, but not adjacent to any who emerge. Both short swords are drawn, and his quarterstaff is no longer on his person.
Kynrael steps up to the doorway and gives his shield three solid whacks with his warhammer. Above his head, a translucent, silver halo appears, shaped vaguely like a king's crown.
"Whoever you are below, stand forward and declare yourselves," Kynrael begins. The halo takes full shape, the radiance of its silver trailing wisps of energy. He continues calling down the stairs, though the words begin twisting into a strange language: "Declare yourselves before the Free Militia, or memthes aleph pedalethiod sameth'nun vauhedaleth!"
For those who speak the language...
Kynrael is taking a Total Defense action until otherwise stated
|DM Lil B|
I posted yesterday, but apparently it didn't stick.
You are somewhat surprised by the creatures that exit the doorway, as they are most definitely not what you heard speaking. A red and blue scorpion, and two beetles, each the size of a man come out into the courtyard chittering. The beetles glow with an inner light.
You will get to act in a surprise round as they were unable to see you as they entered the courtyard, and you were all readied for this.
Beetles 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Scorpions1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Pork 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Rois 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Argor 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Kynrael 1d20 ⇒ 7
Rois Moch's eyes widen at the sight of the giant vermin. The size of them...
His grip tightens on the hilt of his swords, and he steps forward to strike.
I would like to make an attack as a standard action during the surprise round, but I'm intending to take a 5-Foot Step as a part of it. I'm not seeing the beetles or scorpions on the map. What squares do they occupy?
Seeing the enormous creatures scuttle into the courtyard only seems to embolden Kynrael. He raises shield before their advance, trusting in both armor and divine favor to see him through the worst of it.
Kynrael is basically going to remain in Total Defense until the rest of the group starts throwing down. He's trying to weather the brunt of the initial wave of attacks before he starts retaliating.
Rois uses a 5-Foot Step to get to I2, then makes an attack with his short sword as a standard action. I believe the enemies are flat-footed, so his sneak attack should apply if he should hit.
Short Sword (vs. Flat-Footed AC) - 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
If it hits, the attack deals 1d6 + 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + (4) + 3 = 9 points of damage.
He's going to make a full attack action when his turn comes up, but I'll wait until the beetles have acted.
Seeing Rois struggle to make contact with the creatures, Argor removes some colored sand from his pouch and mutters some incantations. Pehaps if these creatures weren't moving, they would be easier targets...
A surge of multicolored energy waves out over the beasts.
Move to F3 and cast Color Spray over the creatures in the doorway. Will save DC 16 to resist