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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....


2,101 to 2,150 of 2,477 << first < prev | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | next > last >>

Primordial Ooze

The entrance to the mine having grown quiet for a time as the companions talk, the tranquility is interrupted by a cry from one of the dwarves manning the shield-wall "Bugger me... that's a queer looking rat."

Looking to where he points you find that a mangy rat with diseased and flaked fur is padding very very slowly and very deliberately down the middle of the passage. It stops every ten feet or so, rears up on it's back haunches for a few seconds before resuming it's ponderous procession. Squinting, you also notice it has a scrap of parchment rolled and tied to it's neck.


|| 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

"Well Cynara it seems your request for Parlay has been answered. Khepri if you want to see what the parchment is about I'll back you up. The rest of you be ready with ranged support."


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

With her head pointed in something like the direction of the entrance, the oracle quirks another smile. "I'll take your word for it."


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue

"Speak of the devil."

Love makes no move to retrieve the message.


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 approach the rat cautiously, more wary of something hidden in the darkness than danger from the rat itself as Sarenrae's fire will burn away any threat of disease. As he gets close he'll reach for the note in one hand while having his scimitar in the other.


Primordial Ooze

The rat pauses in place once it notices Khepri approaching past the dwarven shield wall. It lies flat to the ground and motionless, allowing the paladin to take the note from it.

The note is written in crude common, scratched in charcoal Fur-speak come talk, you no kill. Yes-no?


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 relate what the note says and tells the others his vote is "yes" to talk with them


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

"I agree. We should talk."


|| 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

"Stranger and stranger, but let us hear what they have to say at least."


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

"Talking is fine to start with. We're not committing to anything more. We just have to watch what we say around them; just because they don't speak Common well doesn't make them stupid."


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue

Love transfers his silver dagger from his boot to his wrist sheath.

"I am all for talking. It is usually the less expensive option."


Dwarf Transmuter 4 | AC 12 (14 w/MageArmor)/10/12 | HP 33/33 | F+4,R+2,W+5 | Init.+0 | Percept.+0 | SenseMotive +0

"We'd be happy to talk to your superior."


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

"I think one of us needs to write 'Yes' on the parchment and send it back with the messenger. Khepri? If you wouldn't mind?"


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 do so and re-attach it


Primordial Ooze

The rat waits until the parchment is placed back upon it's collar before taking it's leave at speed back within the mine. Sangvit accepts the reasoning with some reticence, but at any rate the action is done.

The night falls and a steady watch is kept upon the mine... but there is no sign of any unwanted guests emerging to trouble you. The air is eerily quiet, and when morning comes it brings another day of overcast skies and a cardboard like meal of dwarven rations.

Plans for the day?


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

"No sign of the wererats yet, but I'm reluctant to stay out here all day and let the gnolls and stalkers prepare. What do you all think of pressing toward their ambush point and seeing what we see there and in the surrounding area?"


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

"I suggest scouting the area just inside the entrance, with an eye towards establishing a strong point there."


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

"Do we have the numbers to hold territory both outside and inside the mines? I think we need to continue gathering intelligence and taking the fight to to gnolls and stalkers. If you don't want to press as deep as the ambush point, let's at least try to determine where they might have any points of strength here near the entrance."


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

"You may or may not have the numbers today--that's for Sangvit and Gaelthrin to decide--but you'll have the numbers at some point, and when that day comes you'll want to know where to put them." If they don't get enough even to do that, retaking Tar-Urkatha won't be possible. It would be impolitic for me to say so out loud, though.

The oracle pauses, struck by a thought. "Now, we did stir up rather a nest of hornets in there, and letting things settle down for a little while might be wise. Why don't we wait for the day to see if the wererat diplomat comes out to visit? Besides, I don't like the smell of that bite, Feigr. May I take a closer look at it?"


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

Feigr shrugs off Cynara, "Bah, I'm fine. Just a little stiff. Of course we'll have the numbers eventually, but if we wait around for it to happen on its own, even you'll die of old age. I was reluctant to get in there too, but we were sent to get things started and create some momentum. And, there are a great number of souls in there to send back to Magrim. The rats will come when they're ready. I think we should forge ahead before the gnolls and stalkers get too much time to reinforce. The quicker we can drop their numbers, the sooner we can deal with the other problems down there."

Rolls:

Suppose I should go ahead and make the rolls unless you want to or already have VoV
Con 1d3 ⇒ 3 Reduces Con to 11
Dex 1d3 ⇒ 3 Reduced Dex to 7
Fort 1d20 ⇒ 18 success!


|| 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 grips Magatha tightly, listening to the debate.

"If the rats will listen lets kill the gnolls and stalkers first, but I think the stalkers are our best bet. If we weaken them enough the gnolls may finish the job, depleting themselves as they do."


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 looks like she's trying very hard not to roll her eyes at Feigr. "Just remember I've got magic to fix that, if you need it."

In the silence that follows Padrym's words, the elf seems to be mulling something over. "That gives me an idea...perhaps not a terribly honorable one, but an idea nonetheless. We are agreed that there is no possibility of peace with the gnolls, correct? We've driven them from the entrance and slain a couple of their priestesses. They have us surrounded, in essence, being both outside and inside the mine. However, I believe the stalkers come from deeper in the earth; they might be appeased with gifts and safe passage back to where they came from. If we temporarily ally with the stalkers and wererats against the gnolls, we may be able to defeat the gnolls in detail. Once the gnolls are dealt with, then we move on to the others.

"It is also worth keeping in mind that there are rumored to be worse things in the deep places than dark stalkers; there may be other factions in the mine."


Primordial Ooze

Gaelthrin adds "We're a means away from being able to expand from here into the mines... best we could do is relocate to a defensible bolthole within - but that would leave us cut off and vulnerable." chancing a glance over to your beardless leader who is taking the time to carefully shave his chin "We're unlikely to get much aid afore we at least have something of merit to report back to Highhelm... enough to change the minds they made when they rejected Sangvit."

At Cynara's forboding portent she nods grimly "Aye... something fouler forced the dwarves from this place... deep within the dark."

Feigr:
Feigr still feels an ill sense from the wound, but his dwarven fortitude is as of yet preventing it taking hold within his body.
That's a successful save for the Disease, so no mechanical effect today... I'll need another Fort save tomorrow.


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

"Perhaps I should have asked this question earlier, Gaelthrin...what sorts of things might impress the naysayers? Mysterious and legendary hammers, lost since the mine fell? A rubbing taken from a gladdringgar deep in the mine? The secret of the darkness that took this place from your forebears?

"I don't mean to sound flippant; it's only that I know our tactical goals (survive and explore) and your strategic goal (retake the mine). There is a small disconnect there, and it would be helpful to know something of how we might hasten the connection. As it were."


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue

Love finishes sharpening his daggers.
"Good question Bright Eyes. As it is we can make raids on the transept, maybe even clear the stalkers out of the stockade for a time, but we cannot hold territory. To do that we need more resources and more beards. If there is something in the main hall or nearby that would convince the boys back home then we should focus on that. Otherwise we should focus on at least finding something worth selling in this ruin."

Speaking of resources any chance of replacing the smokestick and Universal Solvent? It strikes me that we basically have a small settlement here. I wonder what it's stats are?


Primordial Ooze

Smokestick - yes, universal solvent - no.
And yes - it is essentially a small settlement. The original intent was to morph the Serpent Skull expedition rules to apply to Stonebrow's camp. Is that still something people want to apply?

Gaelthrin shrugs and sighs "Any of those might be worthy of some interest... but the upper halls have been picked over so often by bandits and treasure hunters I'm not sure what might remain. I'll check with Sangvit... see if he could name anything of import that may have survived."


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

I'm still good with using the SS rules, even though we haven't done much with setting priorities for the camp.

"Well, success may breed success, even if Highhelm doesn't give an official answer. We're here and still alive, a success. Sangvit has set his rune in the entrance, another success. Let word get back to Solku and there might be a few other dwarves willing to take the chance."

The tall elf paces back and forth. "In the short term I'm still concerned about the gnolls outside, though. This place will likely have to turn more than a few sieges before the day is won."


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

Here's an even bigger longshot than universal solvent...elixir of darksight? I do still like the idea of morphing the Serpent Skull rules.

Feigr shakes out his arms and legs, "Magic to fix what? See. I'm limbering up already. Must have just been some aftereffects from that paralysis I suffered yesterday."

As the conversation with Gaelthrin winds down, he adds "I'm all for seeing what Sangvit has to say and for learning as much as we can about the mine. We'd be fools otherwise. But, at the end of the day, its going to come down to us to get in there. Clear what we can. Free the restless souls. And find something to excite Highhelm or even the small dwarven community in Solku."

Feigr pauses to take a drink of whiskey, "Look, the rats will find us when they're ready. Right now we know the stalkers have a hold on the stockade and they also have a spy point in that building on the way out which suggests they might have some other territory around there. We still need to figure out where the gnolls are. Do we want to start with that today?"


|| 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 squints at Love's nickname for Cynara.

If I remember he said such names were meant to demoralize the enemy and he's given us each one. I wonder if he's not really a dwarf?


Primordial Ooze

That would be a no on the elixir of darksight.


Dwarf Transmuter 4 | AC 12 (14 w/MageArmor)/10/12 | HP 33/33 | F+4,R+2,W+5 | Init.+0 | Percept.+0 | SenseMotive +0

"I think we should talk to Sangvit before speaking with the wererat. We do need more bodies. I don't want to have to take off running every time we have to exit the mine. Runnings not my strong suit, you know. Looking for the gnolls might be worthwhile after we talk to Sangvit."


Primordial Ooze

I know it's a bit of a crossroads as far as options going forward, and talking it through is good... I just need to know:
Are you going back below during the day today? - or staying outside for now?


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue

I think folks need to rest and restore spells. So it looks like a 15 min adventuring day.


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

It's the next day already, so we have our spells and such back. Let's go back in.


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

I agree. Back in. I'm itching to keep exploring. I do think we're all in agreement about a quick convo with Stonebrow about any ideas on what would inspire Solku or Highhelm or our factions to send more forces, but as a player I expect it's up to us to get in there and figure it out.


Primordial Ooze

As the group readies itself to move back within the mines, Sangvit strides over to you "Gaelthrin told me of your question about what might move Highhelm to send aid... and truthfully I know not. However I will check what books of lore I have and see if answer cannot be found." pausing a moment as another thought crosses over him "There are still those of the council that lost kinsmen in the mine... it is unlikley, but if you were able to find any sign or record of those kin it would hardly hurt our standing."

He then claps each of you on the shoulder as you move away "Strength... and return to us walking"

The group then sets off down the entrance tunnel with some trepidation...

If Love can give me an initial post of how he leads you forward? - remember that the houserule on group stealth is now in effect, so I only need a Stealth from Love if he chooses to go in with soft feet.


Dwarf Transmuter 4 | AC 12 (14 w/MageArmor)/10/12 | HP 33/33 | F+4,R+2,W+5 | Init.+0 | Percept.+0 | SenseMotive +0

As we move in, DM, I'll burn off another Mage Armor wand charge and knock it off ,y sheet. For an hour my AC is 14.


|| 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 nods at Sangvit and gives him a strong clasp of the hand.

"We shall all of us return. We have started to become a team, and these creatures will soon learn to regret that."


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 snorts, but her slight smile removes any hint of disrespect. "You're not rid of me that easily."


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 smiles, "Hopefully this time we'll bloody them a little more"


Male Dwarf Trapsmith Rogue

Stealth is the default, current binus is +10. Could I get a run down on what we know about the transept? I know there is a stockade and at least one 2 story building near the entrance but I do not have a feel for the place. Was it set up in districts? Stockade, caravanserai, administration etc.... I know current use will be unrelated to this but it will give landmarks. Looking for anything other than "go in turn left and hope".

Sangvit wrote:
"There are still those of the council that lost kinsmen in the mine... it is unlikley, but if you were able to find any sign or record of those kin it would hardly hurt our standing."

"Damn. We should have pulled some of those Dwarf-ghoul bodies out with us. They might have been someones great uncle. Teach me to leave anything behind."

To the group. "So, where to? I disliked the parting gift last time. Maybe if we took over the building the snipers were using we could make the coming and going a bit safer."

My vote is the two story building but the bodies in the stockade might still be there. Thoughts?"


Dwarf Transmuter 4 | AC 12 (14 w/MageArmor)/10/12 | HP 33/33 | F+4,R+2,W+5 | Init.+0 | Percept.+0 | SenseMotive +0

I say we check the two story building and try to fortify it a bit. We could then try to collect the dwarf undead bodies to bring back out.


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

Feigr snorts, "Hmmph. About time you came around to my way of thinking. We might also find out some more clues about the stalkers. We're definitely going back for those bodies too. The only reason I didn't insist on it the first time was the way we had to leave. Those souls need to be sent back to Magrim, but I can see how it would be a great honor to learn their names show we can show proper respect to their memories."


Primordial Ooze

Fickle Hand of Fate:
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15

Love leads the group back into the entrance tunnel to the Grand Transept and brings you to where the tunnel enters into the larger cavern. Sangvit's gladdringar glows with a muted light blue ambiance ahead on the ground, and the chasm behind it seems strangely quiet and muted.

As Love tastes the air, he almost deems it safe to continue... before catching sign of a thin tripwire just inside the tunnel. Tracing the line he finds it connected to a simple looking device that he guesses is a noisemaker of some kind... but he'd need to disarm the trap to get a good look. Alternatively, now that he knows the trap is there - he could guide the group o'er top it and leave the tripwire intact.

The ruined buildings immediately adjacent the entrance appear to be empty... but your eyes can only see so far within...

Need confirmation on how Khepri is lit up (or if he's being guided for now).

Ok - lay of the land:
Entrance: tunnel opens into a four way intersection. Left and right trace the outside of the transept - and are lined by ruined buildings. Straight ahead is the main boulevard / thoroughfare for the settlement.
Left Road: leads to the Stockade, and along the way is the house with the cellar that you went into; and also the two story house where you were ambushed. Total length between the entrance and the stockade is a few hundred feet - neither of the two buildings you went into is within sight of the entrance.
Right Road: has not been travelled.
Straight ahead: has not been travelled.

The settlement was set out into districts - and near to the entrance are the artisinal and trading districts, while residential and administrative is deeper within the transept.

Further reference


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

Feigr watches as Love signals a halt and bends to look at something on the ground. Knowing by now to remain silent until Love is ready to talk he holds his tongue and waits to see how Love suggests handling the situation.


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

I think guided for now. If something starts I will kick in my aura.


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 could lead Khepri...there's a proverb about that, I recall.

"Do you remember where the ambush building is well enough to go up the main boulevard and come at it from the other side?"


Primordial Ooze

Just confirming that you could come upon the ambush building from the backside if you wished - you'd need to move up the boulevard and then cross through some rubbled buildings to do so.


|| 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 mentally checks his memorized spells before gently closing his spellbook and securing the clasp. Picking up Magatha he goes over her flawless edge, preparing for the battle he is sure will occur.

"Let us come at it from the back, they may be expecting us but they may not be there at all."


Dwarf Transmuter 4 | AC 12 (14 w/MageArmor)/10/12 | HP 33/33 | F+4,R+2,W+5 | Init.+0 | Percept.+0 | SenseMotive +0

"I agree, Padrym. Any unexpected plans from us can only increase our chance of success. No doubt they are waiting for us."

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