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Steel Wolves - A Mercenary Campaign (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

The Steel Wolves are a squad of the mercenary company the Blood Hawks. Currently stationed in Kalabuto, though the jungle calls....

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M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Darkvision for Grusk and Dark at least, then light......

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Voice, are we entering the ziggurat as that was the plan. Hard to tell from your post.

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

As usual, Doc pulls up the rear of the group, trying his best to minimize his thumping and clinking, but not really having much luck.

"Damn echos." he grumbles.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Sentis followed along behind the two half orcs with Baran at his side.

Stealth - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

Perception - 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19

Male Wolf

The young wolf felt out of place in the crafted tunnels. They were similar but still nothing like the caves he's grown up sleeping in. But he was with his pack and that made everything ok. He picked up on Sentis trying to stay quiet so he did the same.

Stealth - 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15

Perception - 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Dark will take up one of the the lead position, preferring to stay in front of the light so it doesn't disturb his darkvision.

Stealth 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14

Minor Crab-beast
Memluk "Blaze" Seljuk wrote:
Voice, are we entering the ziggurat as that was the plan. Hard to tell from your post.

Yep - was just re-clarifying who was on point for the entry and what light was in use

Darkbiter and Grusk ease their way into the ziggurat's entryway keeping a bit ahead of the rest of the squad so they can make full advantage of their darkvision. Eyes peeled for traps or other presences you ease steadily forward.

The corridor spirals downwards in a wide arc and steady decline and you wager you've descended vertically at least 30 or 40 feet before it finally levels out and takes a square angle turn to the left. Stalking to the turn you note that the passage goes for about 10ft before it widens out into a long hallway about 20ft wide. You cannot spy the back end of the chamber as it is outside of your field of darkvision, but the entrance has troubling signs.

Although the corridor had not yet shown signs of being disturbed except by your feet... there are long gouges and scratches where the hallway narrows into the corridor. Looking them over you'd wager that something was trying to get out... and could not force passage.

Knowledge Nature DC15:
The cuts seem too precise to have been made by a natural predator...

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

"Appears we might have some company down here. Eyes and blades sharp Wolves. Be ready for anything."

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Knowledge (nature) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Stealth 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24

"Ain't natural, that much is clear. Too regular and precise." Darkbiter will move along the wall carefully, looking out for more signs of what may have made the gouges, his sword drawn.

Is the hallway finished stone, and what if so, what condition is it in, and are there any markings/sconces/notable features about it, the floor, or the ceiling?

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"Something alive would ave tah has someting tah eat, an if nothin gets in err out, it might not be alive."

"Sentis be sure them wit tha light get a look at these."

In the cramped area has his greatxe ready!

Falls in behind Dark.

Minor Crab-beast

The hallway you walked through was finished stone and showed no signs of any passage apart from your own. It and the large hallway are clear of iconography or markings.

Moving into the hallway proper you note that it is about 100ft long and there is a open archway about 10ft square at it's end. There are also smaller antechambers spinning off the side of the hallway on each side near to the end. As of yet you see nothing else within, though there are some markings upon the floor to suggest the passage of something. However you cannot age the markings, so you do not know if they are days or years old.

For clarity, you enter at one end - the big door is at the other far end.
The side doors are near to the big door on the opposite end of where you came in.
Do you go through the big arch? or one of the little side-arches?

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Dark will go up to the edge of the side arch on the side he is on (we'll say left side), and look in cautiously around the corner.

Stealth 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14

Minor Crab-beast

Peering into the ante-chamber Darkbiter finds that it is roughly 15ft in width and seems to extend back for at least 60ft. Lining the outside wall is a series of corpses in a state of advanced decay. The dryish air and lack of predators has made them become somewhat mummified. They are secured to the wall by shackles around their necks... and the fact that their hands have been nailed to the stone behind them. All are men, and they are spaced about 10ft apart. They are naked... and it appears that they have been castrated and their eyes taken.

Dark stains adorn the floor below each of the suspended bodies.

Heal DC12:
Based on the blood below and on the mummified skin you'd say the poor souls were alive when they had their manhood and eyes taken and were nailed to the wall.

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Heal 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16

Dark shivers a bit as he takes in the gruesome sight down the hall. Before quickly confirming that the other side hall is the same or not, he will report back to describe the gruesome scene.

Minor Crab-beast

The right ante-chamber is almost identical, except the mummified corpses interred are female. They have had their bellies slit open, causing their innards to collapse and hang low across their legs and in some cases coil upon the floor.

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Knowledge/Nature - 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Heal - 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23

Sentis confirms Darkbiter's theory on the gouges and can go into detail on the very gruesome murders of the poor people chained to the wall. HisLight spell illuminates the graphic scene almost too much. The idea that someone could do that to another living soul was completely foreign to the naive druid and some of that innocence was lost forever at the sight.

What are we dealing with? This was a truly horrible thing to do.

He shakes his head in disgust and pets Baran's head reassuringly.

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Blaze shudders at the sight. He had seen some pretty awful things before, but never this graphic and blatant. "I'm leaning towards undead of some sort. I've heard stories about some of the horrific things they can do. I would hope nothing even sort of humanlike did this"

He mutters a prayer to Sarenrae, asking for strength and courage to vanquish whatever may have committed such sick and twisted murders.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"Can't say this makes much f~%&in sense, seems someone is fond o tha darkness within."

Minor Crab-beast

There is still the big ominous doorway at the end of the hall to travel through....

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Nudges dark towards the door, and follows behind him.

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Not receiving any orders to the contrary, Dark keeps his groan to himself as he eases his way forward to the main opening, not at all eager to see what mayhem the residents found to be worthy of that space.

Stealth 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

"Oh look, a big, ominous door behind which potentially lies our doom. Ok Grusk, you're our bait, go and knock on the door."

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

heal: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

Doc turns up his lip at the sight before them, his usual gallows humor escaping him when he realized the extent of their fate.

"Oh tha' jus' ain't right."

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

Anger shows on Kaavel face as he looks at the bodies and nods after hearing Doc speak.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

1d20 + 14 ⇒ (8) + 14 = 22

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Minor Crab-beast

The greater part of the end chamber is hidden by a stone screen ten feet back from the archway that grants passage to it. Making your way carefully within you cast your eyes past it. The entrance dips as it widens, opening to a rectangular area roughly fifty feet by sixty feet. Again the walls are devoid of iconography, but there are three figures that draw your attention to them.

In the centre of the chamber against the wall is a throne that has the corpse of a cyclops upon it. The figure has it's arms chained down, and it's legs are also secured by similar bindings. It is wearing a simple robe of white that seems to have survived the years quite well.

In the two far corners of the room are twin statues that are armored like an infernal knight upon some monstrous steed. Bearing six heavy, bladed, beetle-like legs and the body seems to be nothing more than plates upon hulking plates of dark metal. In one clawed gauntlet sits a long, twisted trident, while in the other there is a thick net woven with fiendish barbs. The statues are facing inwards towards the throne.

It is difficult to see any finer details unless you approach closer. At present you are near the entrance, and the three figures are about 80ft away

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Grusk thinks of the gouges in the walls and if those match the weapons of the statues.......

knowledge dungeoneering
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Sentis was becoming quite familiar with being awed and that unsettled him some. The two armored beings he ignored mostly even though he worried that they would have to battle them. It was the figure on the throne that captured his interest.

I suppose that is the upstart...

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

"Yep. Tha's def'nitely a trap."

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

As ever, Sentis couldnt refute Doc's logic.

I wouldnt want to face one of those things let alone two.

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Dark takes in the scene with a bit of concern on his face. "What's the plan, bossman?"

Minor Crab-beast

Grusk doesn't think that the tridents would match the marks... but the gauntlets and legs might be a closer fit.

At present I don't have anyone advancing closer... there will be some more action when someone does ;)

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

Blaze tunes his senses to mystical energies and steps into the room, walking a good few paces and looks around Casting Detect Magic and moving 15ft into the room 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20 Perception

"Right now, surveillance. Not sure after that"

Minor Crab-beast

As Blaze steps forward into the room, the head of the cyclops corpse rises also. It scans the room with a jerking almost mechanical movement before settling upon the Keleshite. You can see that the eye was taken forcibly from this creature too. It speaks in a dusty sounding grating voice - that sounds much like the language that Holmburg spoke "Ki moun ki te vini? Ou maltrete m 'koulye a? Konbyen ane yo te pase..."

Comprehend Languages has worn off by this time - but you can try to find a common language.

Detect Magic:
There is a strong signal coming from the throne that the cyclops is seated upon, and also from the statues.
Need Spellcraft checks for detailed info

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Spellcraft - 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Sentis recognized Sunny's spell and the prudence of it. So he wasted no time also casting it and scanning the room.

Spellcraft - 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"Give tha counter-sign."

Grusk looks over the walls searching quickly for a way up or some type of footing/handholds.....

Male Keleshite Magus(Kensai Archetype)/5

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 Spellcraft

"There's definitely strong magicks coming from them, but I am not sure what kind exactly."

He tries to speak the cyclops in the three languages he knows, starting with a simple greeting.

Minor Crab-beast

Neither Taldan, Vudrani, Kelish or Ignan rouse the understanding of the cyclops. The empty hole where it's eye should be narrows as it is seemingly trying to understand what is spoken.

Blaze can discern no details beyond the presence, though Sentis gets a solid sense of Abjuration magic from the throne - some sort of preservation spell. The other traces are masked by the strength of it. The presence on the statues appears focused around the tridents that they wield.

Grusk can't see any real handholds or ledges in the wall to use as a base for climbing. DC 20 as a base

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

Grusk tries orcish
"The slaves have returned."

Male Half-Elf Martial Artist /4

Kaavel hearing the others trying different languages says greetings in elvish.

male Half orc Shapeshifter Skirmisher 5

Darkbiter will move up by Blaze, and speaks in polyglot, "Who are you?"

Minor Crab-beast

Elvish provokes a response from the withered figure and it responds in an archaic dialect that Kaavel initially struggles with, but can understand "One of the undying comes... but why? I have languished many years without hope of visitors... How many years... Tell me undying one, does Ghol-Hudra still stand in judgement?"

I've not spoilered it as I'm assuming you're doing the relay translation at this point - feel free to directly query and I'll provide responses.
If anything occurs that changes that - I'll interject the flow.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"Yall want tah tell him tha whole race is gone?"

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

I think we should Grusk. Wouldnt you want to know?

Sentis was shocked and elated when the cyclops replied in his mother's tongue. Sensing confusion amongst some of the others he quickly tranlsated both sides of the conversation.

I sure wish we'd had the chance to speak to Holmburg before we came down here.

In Elven - Thronebound, sadly; nothing remains of the Ghol-Gan but trap laden temples, decaying books and the fleeting memories of sages that are long past their prime. That is, except for you Thronebound.

Minor Crab-beast

Sorry guys - computer ate my response last night... here it is again.

A dry rasping sound that makes the cyclop's chest shudder sounds out... a chuckle perhaps "Then time has managed what I could not. Perhaps even before your birth Undying I rose beneath the god-king's feet and attempted to overturn their tyranny... my reward was interment here... with my followers." as you get an inkling of just who might be manacled in the antechambers... "The Ghol-Gan are not kind to those that seek to challenge them... but my question is unanswered. Why are you here Undying?"

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

In Elven - Then you are the Upstart the carvings mention...we are here purely out of curiosity Thronebound. We tracked a group of burrowing beasts that had killed friends of ours and found this place by accident. Although the structures of the Ghol-Gan are familiar to us as we also found one deep in the jungles of Sargava. Im sure you can understand how we couldnt resist exploring another.

M half-orc Rogue 4 (acrobat) / Ranger 1 (falconer)

"This might o been a tower when he was put in here, but now hes under tha ground 40 50 feet, maybe more, ask Doc. An in tunnels eaten by big bugs."

"Is thar anyting he needs err desires an anting he ken offer. We could arrange endless sages and company fer him."

Minor Crab-beast

Responding to Sentis, the cyclops rattles the shackles on his arms "Then I pay homage to chance... a chance that might free me from my prison. They made this throne for me to mock that which I fought to destroy... it sustains me in this mockery of life. Break my chains... so I might die and know peace."

HP 31/31, Acid Resist 5, Fast Heal 10/10, AC 18, CMD 13, Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +0, Bombs 8/8, Init +2

"Ah bet gold t' Grusk's shorts tha' if'n we do tha', those big spiky things 're gonna try t' stop us."

Male Half Elf Wolf Shaman 5

Id bet gold that Grusk doesnt wear shorts!

Sentis was starting to get the hang of this 'smack talking' that the Wolves often did although he was still unsure of himself. Still, Doc raised a vaid question.

In elven - How is such a thing done Thronebound? Will these two impressive guardians attack at the first sign of us trying to free you? If so, do they have any weaknesses that we can exploit?

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