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Hunger in the Darkness - Expedition to the Mines of Zolurket (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

A desperate attempt to reclaim the ancestral Dwarvish mine of Tar-Urkatha from the darkness that has engulfed it....


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Primordial Ooze

The dwarf grunts as Cynara removes the bolt, and answers "Just a bit numb is all" Examining the missile, Cynara can see that it was daubed with poison before it flew.

Cynara:
The poison is akin to drow poison, but not of that origin. It works by paralyzing the victim...

Khepri:
Your sight does not detect the active taint of evil within your frame of vision.


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

Cynara visibly relaxes as she examines the bolt. "It's poisoned...not strong enough to paralyze a dwarf unless it hit a major blood vessel. I have to be more careful, though." The elf smiles, then freezes and looks over where Gaelthrin indicated. "That's probably what happened to Resdern. Best we get over there and find that one. You--" She addresses the wounded dwarf. "--keep holding the bandage against the puncture. I'll heal you when I'm sure I'm not sealing any poison inside of you."


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

"Attacks against two lookouts...is someone going to attempt to take back the campsite tonight? If so, we all need to stay up tonight, nd we can sleep tomorrow day if necessary"


Male Human Paladin /4 ]Hps 36/36 AC 23 FF 21 T 11 CMD 18 Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8 Init +1 Per +0

"We also need to be wary they don't try and draw our attention to this side while attacking another"


|| AC 20/T12/FF18 | HP 45/45 | F +6 R +4 W +8 | Init +5 | Perception +12 | Sense Motive +6 | Darkvision 90' || Dwarf (Deep Delver) Inquisitor 6

"I'll stay here while some others check out the other side, but we must assume this is a diversion."


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

"Up and armored. Might as well help check the other side." You see a ghostly shroud surrounding Feigr.


Primordial Ooze

Moving over to where Resdern stood watch, you are met with a sad sight. The dwarf is slumped in a sitting position against a stone at his back, but his chest is covered with blood. A hand-crossbow bolt is lodged in his shoulder, but the kill blow came from a short-sword being rammed upwards into his skull through his neck under his chin. Eyes still open though slowly clouding over and mouth agape he stares towards the mine with unblinking gaze.


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue
DM - Voice of the Voiceless wrote:

The rest of the camp stirs to awakening at Padrym's yells, dwarves beginning to stand up some in armor and others in their smalls... but all bearing arms.

Everyone can act now.

I hit the 34 on a 20 but only if it is a stone trap. Just give me time....:7)

"Trying to blind us, good tactic." Love starts for the tower. Sparky, you with me?"

Take post on the tower. Keep scanning approaches. Tough to use stealth against darkvision. Perception if needed 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20 add 2 for stone and 1 for a trap if it matters.


Primordial Ooze

Heh - not a stone trap this time... next time maybe.

Love wasn't on watch when the 'attack' happened as it was in the middle of the midnight watch (which is Padrym + Dolgrym based on the order originally set up) - so Love would have been asleep wherever he decided to sleep.

If you were in the tower - you see no disturbance noticeable outward or inwards.


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue
DM - Voice of the Voiceless wrote:

Heh - not a stone trap this time... next time maybe.

Love wasn't on watch when the 'attack' happened as it was in the middle of the midnight watch (which is Padrym + Dolgrym based on the order originally set up) - so Love would have been asleep wherever he decided to sleep.

If you were in the tower - you see no disturbance noticeable outward or inwards.

Love would have slept in the common area. Lots of bodies about means a wide target selection for an attacker and less chance to hit him. Once the alarm is given Love grabs armor and gear and heads for the tower. More useful and safer up top.

Once on the tower Love pulls up the rope before climbing into his armor stopping at random times to glance down on the camp below.


Primordial Ooze

Just to make it obvious - the current piece of information you have to react to is the fact that Resdern has been brutally murdered...

Gaelthrin walks to the open eyed corpse slowly before kneeling reverentially beside it. She reaches out to close his unseeing eyes and rests a hand on his forehead for a few moments.


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

Cynara says nothing, standing back from Resdern's corpse. The last thing they need is to have an elf poking at their dead companion. Instead, she concentrates on listening for anything out of the ordinary around her.

Perception check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9

Too much background noise...that must be it.


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

When Feigr hears the commotion near the mine, he stops and turns back. "I still think we ought to check the other side, but it sounds like I may be needed by the mine. Khepri, do you want to grab someone and take a pass around the perimeter?" Feigr returns to the mine entrance where Gaelthrin is closing Resdern's eyes. "Gods, was it something from the mine?" Before going to see the body, Feigr looks at the ground between the corpse and the mine, taking care not to walk over the tracks.
Survival (Untrained) 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
"I think someone with a little more skill than me ought to see if something left tracks." Not quite ready to broadcast my particular talents to the entire camp here. Best to use mundane methods of investigation first.


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

"I still don't have my spells yet, but we can't just sit here and get picked off one by one."


Primordial Ooze

Looking over the ground near to where Resdern fell, you find a set of tracks from a set of quilted boots from a humanoid that you are fairly sure is not a gnoll. They approach Resdern's corpse before leading back towards the mine mouth.

Sense Motive DC20:
The ease at which you found the tracks compared to the skill at which the ambush and murder was carried out... it weighs uneasily upon you.


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

Sense Motive check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Feh.

"None of us are presently being attacked, though--it was only the sentries. Shall we retreat to the fort and barricade ourselves in until the morning?"


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
"Strange, they don't look like a gnoll, but do come from the mine. Does anyone remember seeing other humans or similar creatures while we watched this camp?" The giant said something about humans. "We could set a double-guard. I think I should find a place in the fort to pray over our lost companion until we can see him to Magrim's forge in the morning."


Male Human Paladin /4 ]Hps 36/36 AC 23 FF 21 T 11 CMD 18 Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8 Init +1 Per +0

Khepri will take a patrol around the perimeter. "Maybe we can double the guard, and I will join them for a bit as well. Come morning we may need to take the fight to them"


Primordial Ooze

There are some mutterings among the dwarves of seeking vengeance immediately, though Gaelthrin calms them. When Khepri's search of the perimeter shows no other tracks that share the same character - the decision is made to fall back into the fort where it is more defensible despite the smell. The rest of the night passes fitfully, but peacefully - and morning rises cold and crisp in the mountains.

See the OOC for announcement - has been a wee while coming.


Male Human Paladin /4 ]Hps 36/36 AC 23 FF 21 T 11 CMD 18 Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8 Init +1 Per +0

Khepri is up early in the morning as usual, waiting for the sign to rise as he prayers to Saranrae. As the morning sun hits him, its light seems to infuse him and almost seems to stay locked in his skin. The look on Khepri's face is one of wonderment as he realizes the blessing he just received.

My first warrior of the holy light ability.

Spoiler:
She can spend a use of her lay on hands ability to call upon the power of her faith as a standard action. This causes a nimbus of light to emanate from the warrior of the holy light in a 30-foot radius. All allies in this area (including the warrior of the holy light) receive a +1 morale bonus to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear as long as they remain in the area of light. This power lasts for 1 minute.


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

Cynara's morning meditations take a little longer than usual. She joins the group for breakfast and doesn't say much, but the expression on her face is one of serenity.


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

Dolgrym arises the next morning, and suddenly the thoughts about protection from energy types and changing fire into other forms seemed much clearer. He would have discussed it with the others, but due to the somber events of the previous night, he kept his discoveries under wraps for the time being.

Added Resist Energy and Pyrotechnics to spells known.


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

Can Feigr get some alone time with what's left of Resdern? Planning to use Voice of the Grave to speak with him, but Feigr's being a little paranoid right now and would prefer to do it in private if possible.


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

DM, since we leveled, could Dolgrym spellcraft that sweet magical hammer again? If so...

Spellcraft 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19


Primordial Ooze

Aye Feigr - you can get him away from the others for a while. For timing, I'd make it during the night - for evident reasons below.

Dolgrym re-inspects the hammer and while he cannot pin down exactly what the additional enchantment is - he learns that it is triggered when a mighty blow is struck.
+1 warhammer with a crit triggered extra feature.

Gaelthrin and the other dwarves wake sombrely and there is some talk of how Resdern is to be laid to rest. It seems that sentiment is reasonably evenly split between a burial where he fell, while others are strident that he should be allowed to enter the mines - even in death - after coming so close.


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

Resdern:

"Resdern, I need to call you back one last time before releasing you to Magrim's Forge. I need to know about your death. Can you tell me if you saw or heard your attacker?"


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

"If it will help, Dolgrym, I can assist you."

Spellcraft check to Aid Another, incl. +2 racial bonus to identify items: Automatic success (+9).

DMV, what is the writing on the hammer?


Primordial Ooze

Feigr:
The essence of Resdern takes some time to return, seemingly flowing in from the direction of Tar-Urkatha itself "I did not see it take the shot, Soul Guide, but saw it as my life was taken from me..."

Cynara's assistance does not give any further insight to the weapon's properties, but with some elbow grease the inscription "Кицк на Јотнар" and runic symbols for strength and a ram.

Dwarven:
"Kick of the Jotnar"
Jotnar - giants


Primordial Ooze

What's the immediate plan? - sending for Stonebrow? - or going within?
Secondly, any input on burial for Resdern?
Thirdly, need Feigr's last questions


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

Resdern:

"Resdern, this is very important, what manner of creature slew you?"

Feigr enters the debate over where Resdern should be laid to rest. "While I watched over our man during the night, I felt the pull of his soul attempting to reach the mines before sending him on to Magrim's forge. I believe we should lay him to rest within the mine, but we will need to find the right place and bless his body before we do so."

When he gets the chance, he also adds, "I believe we should bring Stonebrow to help hold our gains here before we move on into the mine."


Primordial Ooze

Feigr:
"I know not Soul Guide... it came to me swathed in black and had cloth across it's face. It stands tall as a man, but is more than that... it's skin was pale and eyes black as death."

Knowledge Dungeoneering is the applicable skill


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

"I agree with Feigr on this one. We can find a spot in the mines for Resdern. If I fell today, I'd want the same."


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

Resdern:

Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
"And did you see if it returned to the mine or went elsewhere after taking your life?"


Primordial Ooze

Feigr:
The spirit sighs as it releases from Resdern's body "I am sorry but I did not see Soul Guide, the blade robbed by breath and my sight fled before it moved away"

Feigr racks his brain and though recalls there are many races below the earth that are pale - he cannot identify the species. Perhaps the others would be able to assist?

For clarity before I do a update - people are looking to put Resdern to rest in the mines, and are in favor of holing up for the day to retrieve Stonebrow and the others?
Any actions towards the mine entrance today? - either recon, or fortification?


|| AC 20/T12/FF18 | HP 45/45 | F +6 R +4 W +8 | Init +5 | Perception +12 | Sense Motive +6 | Darkvision 90' || Dwarf (Deep Delver) Inquisitor 6

Padrym spends the day fortifying the defenses in the direction of the mine.

"Love I assume you have some ideas for traps to catch whatever killed poor Resdern?"

Plan looks good to me.


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

I agree with the plan and with fortifying the entrance against attacks from the mine. I'd rather wait to enter until we have a full camp to protect our backs.

When Feigr can get the others aside, he relays the information he gained from speaking with Resdern, "Resdern got a look at his killer, but wasn't certain that it came from the mine. That seems most likely, but whatever it was could have been trying to misdirect us. The creature was tall as a man, but not a man. It was dressed in black and had a cloth covering its face. The skin was pale and the eyes were black as death. Does that sound like anything any of you have heard of before? I think I should report this to Gaelthrin too, but I worry about spooking our other companions."


|| AC 20/T12/FF18 | HP 45/45 | F +6 R +4 W +8 | Init +5 | Perception +12 | Sense Motive +6 | Darkvision 90' || Dwarf (Deep Delver) Inquisitor 6

Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Knowledge (Dungeoneering): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

Ive got a ton of Knowledges. Let me know what is needed for the man in black and I'll try as well.


Primordial Ooze

Dungeoneering is the goto here... though Padrym's got it covered.

Padrym remembers a tale that was told by veterans in the Ninth of man-things that dressed in black and seemed to melt into the blackness at will... as though they could banish the very light from the caves. A cunning foe, who preferred to goad their prey into rash action and fight on terms that favor it. Skilled in the use of poison and if killed their bodies erupted with a burst of energy that stripped the flesh, but left the cloth intact.

They are known as дарксталкер, or Dark Stalkers...


Female Elf ***INACTIVE*** Oracle (Life)/4 HP 28/28 AC 17/T 12/FF 14 Init +2 Perc +7 Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +5/+7 vs. ench. effects

Cynara listens to Padrym's description with evident interest. "That would seem to be what the gnoll chief was calling to as he fled. Perhaps these were the things that drove out the cave giant as well?"


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

"That sounds like a good bet Cynara. It would match what the giant had to say and explain why we haven't run into them outside yet."


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue
Padrym Steelribs wrote:

Padrym spends the day fortifying the defenses in the direction of the mine.

"Love I assume you have some ideas for traps to catch whatever killed poor Resdern?"

Plan looks good to me.

"A thousand and one but we have neither the time nor the resources to build anything worthwhile."Pathfinder's craft system makes even a simple pit trap foolishly expensive and time consuming, a couple of grand and several weeks of work. Not a viable option.

Love looks about the makeshift camp. "We are too exposed here. We need to cut off lines of approach. I recommend we move back to the giants cave. Once there we fortify it and start building a small village. In a generation or four we might have the numbers to press into the mine. But I doubt anyone but Bright Eyes here can afford the time to take that sensible view. In the absence of sense therefore Our best plan would be to assault the mine entrance in force and try to make our way to the upper galleries. We will fail but so long as one of us survives the next hotheaded group of fools will have a slightly better chance."


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

"Love, it is too bad you were not my companion in Solku. They would have thought me to be the optimist. The gods call us to free the souls of our ancestors. Gnolls. дарксталкер. Dead. There is no need to be reckless, but they will not stop us."


Primordial Ooze

Trappage can be done reasonably without massive expense. As long as you can adequately describe intent and it's physically achievable.

Gaelthrin sends a contingent of five dwarves to Stonebrow's camp - with a request for the dwarf himself to join you upon the threshold of the mines. The day passes peacefully enough, and evening comes with the return of the five dwarves without Stonebrow, but with the jackalwere Nabo - who seems quite happy to see you.

They explain that Stonebrow will come on the morrow - needing additional time to re-hitch the wagons. He had not expected the mouth of the cave to be so easily won - so was unprepared for the swiftness of approach needed. But he shall come with the other dwarves on the morrow.

The afternoon grows long in the tooth... and night is to descend once more.

Some information on how you set the sentry line against the mouth of the mine would be useful. The main tunnel entrance is roughly 50ft wide by 30ft tall. The barricade is sunk further into the mine than the entrance and the gnoll camp is some distance before it.
The picket line is essentially standing in open ground.
How would you propose the entrance is fortified and does the party watch outward, inward or split duty this night to come?


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

How easy is the ground to dig into?


Male Human Paladin /4 ]Hps 36/36 AC 23 FF 21 T 11 CMD 18 Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8 Init +1 Per +0

We should make sure we have as much light as possible. They might be able to put it out, but that is at least a warning


Stats:
AC 20/10/20, HP 35/35, F+3 R+1 W+3, Init +0, Per -1

That's good. I'm thinking some caltrops (if we have any) or sharpened tent stakes driven into the ground might cut down on the total area to guard.


Primordial Ooze

The ground of the mine tunnel itself is worked stone, but immediately outside it is packed earth that you could overturn.


Male Dwarf Transmuter 4

Knowledge Engineering 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 to see if Dolgrym can come up with any ideas to help with fortifications.


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue
DM - Voice of the Voiceless wrote:

Trappage can be done reasonably without massive expense. As long as you can adequately describe intent and it's physically achievable.

Well in that case...

"Hmmm suprised they are giving us this time to work. Best make them regret it. The first step would be to dismantle the existing barricade. Whoever built it where someone could simply climb the walls to get around it...... Love shakes his head at this fool of a designer. [b]"We can use the bits to build a better wall just outside the entrance. Seal the place if we can but at least narrow the available path. Kepri is right about light. I think watch fires every thirty feet round the parimeter would be best. We will also want to clear the ground inside the parimeter and scater the debris between the fires. That and keeping a constant watch from the tower are the best ideas I have at the moment

Lacking a map of the entrance there is only so much we can do. But we can dismantle the existing barricade and use it to seal the entrance or at least force any attacker to approach on the ground. Pity we can't just collapse the gate and let the bastards starve but I suspect the stonework is too strong.
If we can I want the barricade in two parts each extending from a wall and overlapping for ten or twenty feet in the middle. The overlap would have a narrow s shaped corridor passing through it. We could get through to the mine but any attacker would have to squeeze through slowly while being attacked.
Also if we have the time littering the ground in frot of the barricade with loose stones will limit their ability to either approach silently or to charge, same as the junk between the watchfires. We are aiming to create difficult ground without providing any cover.
Well that's what I can think of right away.

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