Cerin puts his shoulder to the door and heaves, but it does not budge. He moves aside to allow the big man to have a try.
Str: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
"No, I think we'll save that for when we're sure Nualia's behind the door. Gimme a boost. I can pick the locks," Gwyn says after making sure that Fluff knows to look out after Helena.
Rolls for getting down without hurting herself and picking the locks, oh and doing this quietly after making sure an ambush isn't waiting for her.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
Disable Device: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Gwyn: The door is at ground level. You don't need a boost to reach it or to jump down afterward.
The door isn't so much locked as barred from the inside. Pressing her ear to the door, she does not discern any sounds coming from the other side. Gwyn produces a thin hacksaw from her lockpicks and begins sawing at it through the crack in the doors. It takes about two minutes of sawing, and you hear the sound of wooden panks thud on the stone floor. Testing the doors, they should open easily now.
What do you do?
Ah, sorry, I was picturing big gates with a hefty chain and locks that would have required her to jump the wall and pick the locks from the inside.
Slowly, Gwyn opens the door and slinks inside. Her eyes ever watchful for an ambush.
Perception(Baddies): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Damage: 4d4 + 4 ⇒ (1, 1, 4, 2) + 4 = 12
Gwyn opens the doors to Thistletop... and hears a loud *CLUNK*. What appears to be a door has been rigged on a hinge to the to the ceiling, and several dogslicers have been affixed to it, blades pointing out. It swings downward at Gwyn!
Gwyn: Please make a DC 15 Reflex save or take 12 hp slashing damage. Success means you dodged the blades.
reflex: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Gwyn dives under the blades and rolls to her knees as she turns to see if the others are alright.
Too close! That was too close!
The elf waits a moment for her heart to lessen its pace before beginning a methodical sweep through the rooms of the goblin fortress.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Gwyn's going until she runs into someone or finds something interesting. Just let me know how many rolls you need to sweep the fort.
|Helena the Pale|
Helena lets out a small shriek followed by a stifled gasp as Gwyn is nearly decapitated by the blades. Pressing her hands to her mouth in an attempt to silence herself, she slowly allows her breathing to steady as the group makes its way quietly through the fortress.
"She's okay, Helena! She's okay," Fluff trills softly at the oracle's cry.
"That was close! Good reflexes!" Cerin compliments as he ducks slightly and walks under the makeshift trap. "We had best be wary, don't get too far ahead!" he calls out to Gwyn as he hurries after her.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
After her close call, Gwyn recomposes herself, then takes her leave to scout ahead.
To speed things up, I'm going to make a bunch of Gwyn's Perception and Disable Device rolls, all out in the open...
First heading west to the courtyard, Gwyn doesn't see or hear any indication that Thistletop is still inhabited... until she gets to the door that leads into the courtyard itself.
Perception (find traps): 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 12 + 1 = 18
Not noticing anything suspicious, she opens the door, and is surprised to see a weighted battleaxe swinging at her!
Trap attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 ...she dodges, but it still grazes her left shoulder for 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 damage. Fluff flutters safely out of its way entirely.
"Gwyn, I think you might need glasses," quips the thrush.
Grimacing at the pain, she crosses the courtyard and re-enters the fortress, opening each door and looking into the room after first listening at it.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18
All of the rooms she checks appear to be empty.
Finding her way to the back stairs, she checks that door for traps.
Find traps: 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 12 + 1 = 14
Not finding any there, either, she opens that door to peek down the stairs... and knocks over a metal helm that clangs loudly at it crashes to the landing below.
Fluff looks at Gwyn and says, "Well, so much for the element of surprise!"
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
Gwyn sweeps back through the courtyard to the front entrance and checks in with the rest of the party. Fluff flutters over to Helena and says, "Gwyn's been finding all the traps by springing them. Don't worry—We're fine!" Fluff then flies back to Gwyn's shoulder.
Gwyn continues her sweep through the eastern half of the complex.
Perception (find traps): 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 12 + 1 = 29
As she examines the door to the front staircase to the dungeons, she notices a thin wire attached to the base of the door.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 10 + 1 = 22
She disconnects the wire and warily opens the door, finding three loaded crossbows pointed at the door, the now-slack wire attached to all of their triggers. She easlily unloads and removes the crossbows.
She then makes her way toward Ripnugget's throne room.
Perception (find traps): 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 12 + 1 = 26
Looking under the door, she sees the shadow of a post right behind the door. She guesses that it's holding up something heavy.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 12 + 1 = 28
Lying on her stomach, she uses the point of a dagger to poke at the post from the safety of the other side of the door. The post slides, and she hears the crash of a bunch of heavy rocks impact the foor beyond. She then opens the doors, and sees that the other door to the throne room is likewise trapped, and she easily disables that one too.
Yet, there is no sign of the person who may have laid them.
She then peeks into Ripnugget's chambers.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
From here, she notices a panel on the western wall that doesn't quite match the rest. Pushing it, she finds a concealed door that leads to the short hallway before the back stairs.
Finding nothing else, she returns to her friends.
The ground floor of Thistletop is now secure. What do you do?
Is it bad that I think you do a better job of playing Fluff than I do? That's exactly what she'd say.
Gwyn's shaking her head at Fluff as they head back to the others.
"No, I told you, that was the only way to keep that one from hurting us," the elf says with a note of exasperation.
"No, no. I believe ya. I definitely don't think you messed up and set the trap off by accident," the thrush replies with chirpy sarcasm.
Cerin meets Gwyn halfway, having started running after he heard the loud clanging. "Are you all right?" he asks, looking at the spot of blood on her shoulder. After she assures him it's not serious, he steps quickly towards the stairs. "We had better hurry, they are surely getting ready for us!"
|Helena the Pale|
Having fretted over Fluff's news, Helena is visibly relieved when the elf appears in her sight once more. "You're right, Cerin," she agrees, following the gnome. "Quickly!"
Sorry for the short one. Bad internet, post eaten three times...
"Cerin, mind waiting a moment," Gwyn says as she hurries to catch up. Once even with the gnome, she begins moving as quietly as she can while her eyes and ears search and listen for anything that can alert them to a potential threat.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Allow me to take a little bit of liberty to keep the game moving...
Monster Stealth: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (5) + 15 = 20
Gwyn moves silently down the stairs and into the dark chamber below. The room is completely dark and silent. She casts a spell summoning some glowing orbs, and sees the room to be empty. She motions for her friends to follow her.
In this chamber are six doors: one to the north, one each east and west, and three to the south. You have been past three of them before: the door north opens to the hall that leads to the temple of Lamashtu; the door west leads to the prison, and the middle door to the south leads to the bedchambers of Nualia's party.
Gwyn presses her ear to all six doors, but does not hear anything behind any of them.
What do you do?
|Helena the Pale|
"I think we should either return to the 'Temple' or find Nualia's quarters." Cerin states in a low voice as he looks between the north and south doors.
"Lemme check the chambers first. After that, we'll check the temple," Gwyn whispers to the others before heading down the hall to check the sleeping quarters at the end of it, starting with the first ones she approaches.
Fluff, meanwhile, keeps Helena company, the chatty bird looking about nervously as she waits for Gwyn to return.
"I don't like being underground. Too much rock above my head," the little bird mutters in Helena's ear.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Perception 1st room to the south: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Perception 1st room to the north: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Perception 2nd room to the south: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Perception 2nd room to the north: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Perception room at the end of the hall: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
"I dunno, I like Helena's idea. I mean, Nualia knows we're coming for her, and she knows I know where she's holed up, so maybe she hides Bruthazmus or Tsuto or one of her f**king demon dogs up top to box us in. Let's make sure we have an avenue of escape open."
"Well, that's a relief," Orik says, though the death grip he has on the hilt of his sword belies how calm he actually feels. "They're all waiting for us down there. Let's f**king end this."
True to her word, Gwyn comes back and circles through the temple through the prison where the young woman had been held. The elven mage barely suppresses a shudder as she passes by the cells before turning north and checking the temple proper. then the hall leading back to the chamber the others waited in.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Perception Prison: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Perception Temple: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
"Lemme check these doors. I don't want to leave enemies behind us," she whispers to the others before moving to each in turn and then whatever's beyond before moving to the next.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Perception Red Door: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Perception Green Door: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Perception Blue Door: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
I marked gwyn's path on the map for the prisoner and temple. I've also added tokens to make which door is which. I'll remove them once they are not needed.
It appears that the boards are much more stable today...
Stealth (1): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Stealth (2): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Gwyn: Doors aren't that well-marked on the map I'm using, and there's one you missed: There's another door to the north in the goblin prison. I've added a few traditional white box door markers to the map to make them more clear.
Gwyn's perception (door in the prison): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Creeping through the parts of the dungeon that you've explored already, Gwyn does not coming across any apparent dangers or enemies. She presses her ear at the various doors she passes. There's only one door that gives her pause: The door in the south wall to the east The one marked green. She's pretty sure she hears something moving in there... and possibly something that hissed!
Gwen carefully pulls out her sword and looks to the others.
"Something hissed behind this door," she whispers as quietly as she can before moving onto the next one. After she's certain that the other doors are clear, she takes up a guard position next to the door and readies to open it as soon as it as soon as the others were set.
With a nod, Gwyn opens the door.
Beyond is an unlit square room, about 20 feet on a side. About a dozen crudely-built wooden cages are scattered around the room, many stacked on one another. The cages are filled with dirty straw, and the floor is likewise strewn with the stuff. Most of the cages are open. A few dead rats seem to be among the litter on the floor. The room smells of decay and fecal matter.
What do you do?
Cerin steps forward and peers into the deepest shadows. "Careful, there are creatures hiding behind the cages! Everyone step back."
He moves back away from the door and starts speaking in a calm, soothing tone.
"It's all right, we are not here to harm you. You are free to go, back into the wild." He focuses on keeping it docile, the rhythmic lull of his words serving to allay its fears more than his words.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Wild Empathy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17 if they are animals. -4 if they are magical beasts with Int 1-2.
If they are anything else, he still has his sword ready...
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
"Uh, Cerin, wouldn't it be better if you had a light," Gwyn asks as he steps into the room.
You mean like the +1 flaming scimitar he's wielding? ;)
"I'll take your word on that," Orik says, trying to squint into the gloom to see whatever Cerin is referring to without success. "Great, the darkness wants to eat us now. I knew coming back here was a mistake."
I was talking about a Dancing lights spell, but that works too. :P
"I could always set it on fire if that would make you feel better," Gwyn whispers to Orik.
Fluff makes it a point to put someone between her and Gwyn.
"I knew that wand was going to be trouble, with a capital F-I-R-E!"
Cerin enters the darkened room, cautiously making gestures he knows that animals find soothing.
However, it's not animals hiding among the cages.
Hissing and babbling unintelligibly, at least half a dozen tiny goblins erupt from the shadows and swarm at Cerin! They are clothed in little more than rags, and their huge oblong heads seem even more out-of-proportion than usual... heads with overly-large mouths that are filled with pointed teeth! They leap from the shadows, all lunging for Cerin!
No surprise round, as you knew something was in here...
Gwyn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Helena: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Orik: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Shalelu: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Goblin pups: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Initiative order: Gwyn, monsters, Cerin, Orik, Shalelu, Helena
Map updated. Gwyn may act!
Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
"Well, this explains a lot," Gwyn says numbly as she grabs Cerin and pulls him out of the room and tries to shut the door before any of the little monsters can get out.
Ah, in that case, Gwyn slams the door shut.
Oh, okay. I assumed Cerin had stepped into the room to investigate... the goblin pups would have kept hiding until someone entered the room. Let's say this...
Standing in the threshhold of the doorway as the goblin pups lunge, Gwyn drags Crein out of the way and slams the door.
You hear the sounds of thumping and scratching on the door, along with guttural grunts and incoherent babbling from within.
|Helena the Pale|
Helena jumps back with a yelp, clutching her spear closely. "What were those?!" she exclaims, "And what will we do with them?!"
Cerin shakes his head ruefully. "Baby goblins! They are like feral animals when they are young, even worse than adults. I should have known. I thought with all those cages it might have been for the goblins food supply. That was the goblins version of a nursery..."
He gets a troubled look. "Despite how vicious they are, it just wouldn't be right to leave them there to starve to death." He thinks for a few moments, then looks up with a gleam in his eye. "I wonder if Tup would be willing to take care of them? A good influence... Well, better than the usual goblin, at least... might allow at least a few of them to grow up not quite so bad as the rest. Why don't we throw in some food to hold them over and see if we can catch up with him once we have taken care of things here?" He looks around to gauge what the rest of the group thinks.
"To be blunt, they won't all starve to death," Orik says. "Just the last one." He looks around at the horrified glances. "What? Ain't my fault for stating a fact. Those worthless snots would eat each other from head to toe given half a chance. Best to just put a sword in them now and spare the Lost Coast from having to deal with them in a few years."
"Th-th-this," Gwyn stutters through an adrenaline fueled shiver, "explains a lot."
After a moment, the elf seems to calm down and slides down the door to the floor as she covers her eyes with her hands.
"I agree with Orik, that even with Tup," she begins, trying very hard to not let her only previous experience with the goblin to prejudice her against the idea, "they're more than likely going to be a headache for someone in a few years, but... but..." Gwyn's voice trails off as she curls tight into a ball, burying her face into her knees.
"I can't do it!" she cries, her voice muffled, but still clear enough.
Cerin pats Gwyn lightly on the shoulder. "That's because you are a good person." he states kindly.
He fixes Orik with a hard stare. "Orik, I can see your point, and you might be right. Almost all goblins I have met have been horrible monsters that should be wiped from the face of Golarion. However, can you say with one-hundred-percent certaintly that, given the right upbringing, some of them, even one of them might not turn out to be a half-decent person?"
"Gods-damned bleeding hearts," Orik says, pinching the bridge of his nose. "OK, no, I can't guarantee that one of them won't be the first goblin paladin to grace Golarion. But if you ask me to bet money against it? Sure, I'd take that action any day of the week for any amount you care to wager. There are no sure things in life, but that'd be as close as you get. And what about the ones that don't grow up to be model citizens? What about the ones we gave a chance to choose a different path, and then join the Birdcrunchers and burn down a family's farmstead? Aren't you responsible for that? You had a chance to stop it, right here, right now, and you didn't take it."
"Whatever, do what you will," he says, holding up his hands. "I've said my piece."
After a long moment, Gwyn looks up and at Shalelu.
"You know the area better than we do," she says, "do you think there's any hope that they'll be anything but little monsters?"
Shalelu regards Gwyn with an inscrutable yet firm expression. She then sighs. "As much as I hate to say it, I'm with Orik on this. They may be young, but those pups are already just as cruel and vicious as grown goblins. Goblins deliberately throw their young in cages like that as soon as they're weaned. The goblins call it 'school.' That's where they learn to fight and steal... and often to kill. The goblins think this 'school' toughens them up, making them into better goblins. It's where they learn to prey on the weak: they just let their young weed themselves out. I think typical goblin childhood goes a long way to explain why they're all cruel and crazy."
She pauses, her look stern. "I think this lot has already learned their goblin lessons, and I really don't think they're redeemable any more. Maybe if they were newborns, but not at this point. I'm not proud of saying this, but I think we should put them down. Barring that, I guess we could just open the door when we leave this place, and let them fend for themselves. I'm sure that at least a few of them would be able to survive on their own."
|Helena the Pale|
Helena crouches next to Gwyn, placing a warm, thin hand on her friend's shoulder. "Life is precious," she says softly. "And nature is cruel. Shalelu and Orik are right. If these goblin pups have already learned the wicked ways of their elders, there is little we can do but hope that they will grow to be better. It isn't a risk we can afford." She pulls the elf into a hug, holding her close. "There are people relying on us for their safety. We have to do this," she whispers.
Cerin sighs heavily. "I was hoping it might be otherwise, but I guess you are right. We should do this quickly and with as little danger to us as possible. Maybe we can set up a table as a barricade when we open the door?" Now the decision has been made, he is all business. He starts looking through the nearby rooms for anything that would serve to keep the goblins contained.