|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Sir Justahl is torn. Some of his companions are going off to fight against something he can't see, while his duty lay with protecting Cassandra.
He takes a reluctant step towards the castle.
Surely she'll be safe with a dragon... He thinks as he stops and turns back to follow Jorzan.
But the Goddess was very clear about accompaning Cassandra... He stops and turns back towards the castle...
The energy hitting the soul tower is completely different from the lines and traceries you saw back in Pechora. BUT! You do see more of those weird lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they seem to come down to earth in the same area the medallion is dragging you towards...
@Belsarious and @Gray: The older man, who certainly looks the part of a sleepy, cranky academic, peers at you both. "Well, you certainly look like the kinds of ruffians she'd send out this way. Come in for a second, if you want, I need to get my shoes and oiled cloak." He steps aside and motions for you to enter.
Did we get to bring along a representative from Pechora? If so, Kelne will be letting Justahl organise them, since he's sticking around.
Giving Justahl a nod, Kelne fell in with Jorzan. No sense leaving him to go off and face the mysterious tower on his own. Hopefully, the prisoners had been gotten out of their gems before the tapestries vanished. He'd have to check once the opportunity arose. Teleporting back to retrieve Ormir's treasure could wait for now.
@Gray: Looking around, you can see that this archivist is also obviously a mage of some sort, which really doesn't surprise you much. His room is dark and feels bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside. A couple guttering candelabra offer meager illumination. A rumpled bed sits in the corner, looking like the victim of a mugging, and a giant desk overflowing with scrolls and books and charms and maps and all manner of thing looms in the corner like a horrid magistrate. Most of the candles are there, leading you to believe the man was working, or just taking a short nap, not really sleeping. Book shelves line the walls, in fact it appears the walls are bookshelves.
"You like that?" says the old man, obviously noticing your curiosity, "Standard feature of staff housing. Very convenient. Now, where did I put that..." He totters off towards the bed, clearly looking for something.
Jorzan nods in thanks to Kelne as the warrior begins jogging alongside him. As they continue to move towards the tower though, a strange thing happens. Without his seeming to be aware of it at first, Jorzan begins noticeably veering off towards the right of the tower, sort of in the direction of the big fire at the docks earlier.
When he finally does notice, the Shadowdancer stops abruptly and says aloud "What the hell?" looking somewhat perplexed for a moment, his hand again goes to his pocket as he explains to Kelne "This medallion, the one Ormir had been wearing, seems to very much want to go towards the docks..." and, as he looks in that direction, for a moment he seems to consider going that way. But then he looks back at the tower and his features darken and harden in determination as he states flatly "But there is where I am going. The medallion will just have to wait."
And, putting action to words, he begins heading towards the tower again, jogging even faster now.
Approximately how long until they reach it?
@Jorzan, @Kelne, and @Justahl: It doesn't take very long to reach the area where the base of the tower is centered; maybe 20 minutes at most. The entire time, though, the tower is growing and shifting and twisting. A large group of souls and shadows are now breaking away and swirling around, they look lost. A strange rumbling sound has picked up from...somewhere. It's hard to tell where, exactly, but the ground is vibrating lightly.
You come to the end of a street and Jorzan peers around the corner, wrapped in shadow so as to avoid detection. He reports that there are men and other creatures...some gnolls and half-orcs, walking around in a sort of patrol, and they seem centered on an empty storefront, inside of which is some kind of purple glow.
There are three guards at the door; all big half-orcs with some sort of horrid four-legged dog-things as companions, and there are three more guards at various places up the block. All are wearing big, heavy cloaks; the kind you use to cover up the fact that you're heavily armed.
The storefront is currently 60 feet straight in front of you. The other guards are all about twice that distance away.
@Gray and @Belsarious: The old man continues to ramble on, talking about familiars, and demonstrating some of the interesting commands he had once taught his old familiar to recognize and act on.
Ok, no worries. Can Jorzan tell whereabouts now the medallion would take him if he followed it's direction?
Would that be a Knowledge(local)?: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (3) + 14 = 17
Sorry, but I'm not completely understanding the set-up. Are we at a cross, or T junction? Or what? If we were facing North, where would the Door be and where would the guards be? And are there guards between us and the door?
As they reach the tower, before he looks around the corner, Jorzan stares up for a little while at the sight with a horrid fascination, He describes to his companions what he sees before saying quietly "Maybe it's better you can't see this....but surely you can feel the ground vibrating? Can't say for sure that it's connected to the 'tower', but I can hardly see how it couldn't be. One second."
Then, wrapping in shadows and stepping around the corner, he comes back a few moments later and gives his report, ending with. "I, we, have to get in that room. I'm thinking perhaps Kelne and I sneak up there, then, after giving us a few seconds leeway, Justhal comes up boldly, distracting the guards long enough for us to get in some sneaky flank attacks." then, grinning darkly he says "Unless you'd rather go talk first?"
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Gray waits silently, as he watches the old man, weapon still in hand just lowered.
i f@%+ing hate this dice roller. don't remember the last time i rolled higher then a 10.
|Min Bein'Meleth Rámalóce|
@Gray: DRA told us a long time ago we could roll our own dice and post the results. I don't know if the offer is still available but its something you could talk to him about. ^^;;; Just thought I would toss that out there~
@Jorzan, @Justahl, @Kelne: If you go to the map link below, you would be at the intersection of Inverness and Gloucester Crescent, facing SW. The ring of houses would be businesses, and the shadow-tower (which I hasten to emphasize is not a real structure, but an ethereal thing overlaid on top of the actual real buildings) would be rising up above said ring of businesses. Guards are right across Gloucester Crescent from you, and up that same street off to your left and right.
Still waiting for a response from the others while he watches the guards the Shadowdancer adds "As I think on, maybe the frontal approach would be the best. Just walk up to them and see what they have to say, after all, we don't know that they're bad guys."
As he says this though, Jorzan's expression makes it clear that he does not for a second believe them to be anything other than enemies
PS thanks for the map! Helped a Lot!
"Oh, I think we know they're bad guys," Kelne pointed out, "I wouldn't advise talking. That gives them a chance to converge on us. If we can, I'd like to get in without being noticed. Fighting the guards on the entrance just stirs up the hornets. Let's take a couple of minutes to scout, see if we can spot any other ways in. I'd be very interested to know where that amulet's tugging towards, but splitting up to investigate isn't on the cards."
Jorzan glances at Kelne and nods once "Sounds good to me. Justahl, no offence my friend, but do you mind waiting? Or perhaps the two of you should wait while Zan and I scout, we do have the most likelihood of doing so unseen"
@Gray and @Belsarious: The old archivist looks over from the corner and says "Darkness? You want to know about the darkness? I'll show you darkness!" He spits out a last arcane word and you both realize too late he's casting a spell! A 10x10 pit opens up under your very feet, at least 40' deep.
Gray: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Belsarious: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
The old archivist's deception is for naught, however, as you are both able to leap to safety at the last second. The three of you are now in opposit corners of the room; Gray is standing on the bed in one corner, Belsarious is wedged up against the bookshelf in a second corner, and over by the door, just 5' away from it, is the old man. The pit is right in the center of the floor.
Old Man: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Gray: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Belsarious: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
"How did you...! Bah! It doesn't matter! I should have left ages ago, you won't drag me before that overgrown lizard! The time of His Glory is upon us! I must partake!" The old man yells at you both and looks ready to make for the door. Gray is the first one back to his senses, though, and has the drop on everyone.
Round 1, Gray is up! You can go around the pit; it's 30' of movement for you to get to the door, 35' to get to the old man.
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Sir Justahl, about to just walk up to the guards and accost them, stops at Jorzan's words.
"But you..." Then he reluctanly nods.
"I suppose that would be wise. I am not very... stealthy."
The pit opens covering the room, yet a thought activates the feather-fall component of the flight hex, then the flight itself takes effect with Belsarious drawing forth....his Elven Curve Blade!
"The worst possible trick an likely your last!"
Elven Curve Blade (+2) adamantine
Attack 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Damage 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Leaving the big Northman to decide for himself if he is coming along or not, Jorzan wraps the shadows around himself and moves forward towards the house with the purple door to determine if there are any orther ways inside.
Stealth: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (6) + 20 = 26
Zan he commands to stay behind, thus providing a link between himself and those not scouting.
Gray Jumps back from the pit opening. Looking down to the hole his eyes widen. A look of relief comes across his face aa he avoids falling down there.
Looking to archivist he grits his teeth as he runs around the corners of the room afraid the old man may make a break for it out the door.
Surprising himself with his speed. he stops in front of the doorway. Currently one foot in the door one foot out. His morning star in his left hand and his shield in right. Making himself looking wide he tries to make it the idea of exiting his room a bad one.
"There's no need to fight us old man. We just wish to speak to you. This is your final warning."
@Tanel and @Justahl: giving Agon a chance to convalesce here, he got struck down by a stomach bug of some sort, IRL. :-(
As the two of you are standing in the street, you are startled when a door suddenly opens. It is the coffeeshop up at the end of the alley, the one Agon and Tanel originally sought to enter. The same barista from before steps out and...
...when he sees the tipped over handcart and gnoll carcasses. He quickly runs back into his shop. Another back door opens just 20 feet away, the smell revealing it to be a butcher shop, and out comes a very old gnoll, her muzzle gone all gray and her steps tender. She looks around, and her eyes get wide when she sees the two of you and your prisoners. She gets very agitated then, and begins walking over, pointing in your direction and yelling.
"You lot aren't welcome here! What are YOU doing in this alley! You'll ruin everything, you fools, with your warmongering and slaving. Don't you THINK of bringing any of that to my city!" After a couple seconds of this, you realize she isn't talking to you. She's talking to your prisoners. She's wearing a small, square hat, perched ridiculously on her flat head, and a blood-spattered apron. Your prisoners look at each other in utter confusion, then resume their terrified whining as this new interloper stands over them shaking her head. "I finally find someplace peaceful, where I can get a little respect, and now THIS." After a moment, she finally seems to actually see the two of you. "You two! You're not gendarmes." She looks more closely at Justahl, sniffs deeply. "But you're gorgeous! Grrrr." She turns away from contemplating Justahl's
charms and looks back at the prisoners. "Anyway, if you're not gendarmes, we need to call them. These are Black Dragon soldiers and they shouldn't be in this city. They'll ruin everything we gnolls have built here." She looks at you again, and this time she eyes the bundle in Justahl's hands...
I am a couple hundred posts in so far and loving it, but man the picture of the elderly gnoll woman you paint here sure hit a funny bone and is super original and unexpected!
"We'll have to fix that at some point," Kelne remarked to Justahl, "Later though." With that, he slipped quietly off to the right, intending to make a brief search for other entrances to the building which apparently overlapped Jorzan's mysterious tower.
Stealth: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (10) + 17 = 27
@Gray and @Belsarious: As the archivist recoils back from Gray, he weaves his hands through a magical pattern in the air. "No! I won't go with you!" He hisses defiantly. Then he finishes his spell and his voice takes a kinder turn.
Gray DC17 Will: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
"I'm just an old man! Look, why don't you stand aside and guard the door -- you can keep a solid eye on me the whole time! -- and I'll just meet you downstairs, okay?" Gray thinks for a moment, and the Suggestion seems perfectly reasonable to him. He steps aside, making way for the old man to walk out the door.
Unfortunately for him, though, Belsarious then comes sailing across the pit and slashes him with his elven curve blade. The Archivist yells in pain as the magicked blade of the wood elf draws blood. With Gray standing still off to the side, under the effects of the Archivist's spell, the old man Withdraws out the door and starts running down the hall towards the stairs.
Gray, the old man cast Suggestion on you, and you are stuck there for an hour. Belsarious, you are up; the Archivist is 50' away down the hall. You slashed him pretty badly, but he's spry and is moving at a nice clip.
Gray looks at the melee around him and smiles as he thinks he got a new easy job of just guarding the room. Something much more suited for him then fighting.
"I'll be here.....watching this door for now. I catch up with you guys later, I guess."
@Kelne and @Jorzan: Guard Dogs' Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
You are both easily able to slip past the guards, occupied as they are with controlling their watchdogs. The dogs sniff at the wet, heavy air but don't seem to pick up your scent. Their whining is worrisome at first, but quickly fades into the background.
As you move around the building you find it has an entrance on each side; the front door is a double door, and is the main entrance. The other three doors are all just normal, wooden access doors. There are guards at the front door, as you noticed when you were across the street, but there are no guards -- or at least no outside guards at any of the other doors.
All the windows are boarded over or covered with paper, so you are unable to tell what the light source is.
The ground shakes again, as if from a massive hammer blow, or an earthquake, or the steps of a gigantic beast, yet you see nothing.
@Justahl: The others depart, leaving you standing next to the spectral and, frankly, rather hideous Zan, who floats by you and is sort-of not-quite visible to the naked eye. You feel the deep, powerful tremors from somewhere down in the earth, and way back behind you, a few blocks away, you hear familiar sing-song-y voices, girlish voices, giggling and squealing and very very drunk. It's quite possibly the same co-eds from up in the quad earlier tonight. They're definitely headed this way.
Zan's head twists around 180 degrees to look back towards the sound, and you notice a couple of the guards glance over their shoulders in that direction, though none make any sort of move to go that way.
The ground shakes again, then subsides.
@Lin and @Tora'an: The scroll from Dantoor actually contains a small metal artifact. It has arcane characters in it that center around divinatory magic, and gives off a very weak aura of the same kind of magical energy, as well. In his note, Dantoor writes; Lin, Tora'an, I got this charm from an old Gnoll who came here from the south, from the Bay of Katapesh. He lives above the bar called "Charna" and claims it will lead you directly to one of the "Items" you seek. He warns you, though, that it is protected by one of the Three Great Red Dragons; Felltouch. Good Luck, and I look forward to our next meeting. -- Dantoor
I had forgotten we had moved back to the legacy thread. Would it be easier for us to go back to that or is it fine for us to be here bossman? :)
Lin rolls up the scroll again, making sure to cover up the artifact once more as delicately as she could. Looking to Tora'an she rumbled quietly. "The others need to see this, we'll have to hunt them down when we ge to the surface but... I still cannot feel where Min is. Its strange..."
|Sir Justahl of NeoWald|
Sir Justahl stands tensely nearby Zan, trying to resist the impulse to smite the unnatural thing. His eyes start to slide to look at him, then snap back to attention. Then he heard the girls voices.
Momentarily more paniced by the coeds than the undead, Sir Justahl suddenly remembers the Inheritor gave a boon to him for just such an occasion.
Concentrating for a moment, he draws upon the Mark of the Inheritor to subtly disguise his features; to that of an unremarkable man-at-arms.
Iomedae has blessed you with the "Mark of the Inheritor."
Once a day, as a Spell-like ability, as a swift action that does not cause an attack of opportunity, you can invoke this disguise spell; it changes your hair and eye color to black, shortens your hair, and gives you a magnificent scar on your right cheek.
Sense motive or perception checks can be made to discern who you really are, but at a dc of 20+your current level [DC28].
@Justahl: Your transformation has no real effect on Zan, but when you spin around at the sound of footsteps, you are face-to-face with one of the patrolling guards. How the hell did he get so close without you hearing.
"Hello, there, citizen. You shouldn't be around here. There's some kind of evil magic afoot and we're trying to keep people away so they don't get hurt." He looks you over. "If you're looking for work, come back in the morning. We could definitely use more swords."
The ground shakes again, but the guard ignores it. His dog growls a little but not at you. Suddenly, from back where the co-eds were, you hear a loud crashing noise and the sound of screams, followed quickly by pleas for help.
"What th-!" exclaims the guard.
@Belsarious: You go flying down the stairs (literally) and out the door, but the old man is nowhere to be seen. The late night is beginning to give way to the early morning, and as such some late returners and early risers are out in the quad; a pair of monks are meditating under some conifers as a short distance away a group of very drunk students stumble towards their dorm. A group of young magi are doing pushups in the mud, barking out spell component words as they do so, training their minds and bodies as hard as possible, preparing for life in the wild. On the steps of the student housing building off to the left, a young druid of Gozreh is meditating on the rain and wind and bounty of the twin god/dess of sea and sky. She is joined by a druid of Erastil, also meditating on the bounty offered by the gods.
But there is no sign of the Archivist.
@Everybody: There is a massive, sustained *BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!* that reverberates across the entire city, followed immediately by a horrid crunching and crumbling noise, as if a piece of the very Land itself were being rent asunder and cast into the ocean. This is followed by the sound of a man screaming in either pain or ecstasy; it is difficult to tell which.
Regardless, it is a sound you will never forget.
@Jorzan, @Kelne: The explosion and crunching noise is all just a short distance from you, in towards the center of the circle of buildings. You are just getting your bearings about the situation here when the ground falls away underneath your very feet!
DC17 Reflex saves to avoid falling:
Jorzan: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32
Kelne: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Luckily you are both able to get clear at the last second, throwing yourselves onto solid ground as a massive circular pit opens up all around you. In the end, you are both stranded on "islands" of ground, surrounded by open space on all sides. You watch in horror as all the buildings and houses and businesses for approximately 300 feet around you are utterly swallowed up by the ground. The guards and their dogs scream in terror as they plummet down into the deep, along with this building and whatever secrets it held. The hole goes halfway across the street, where Justahl was (but now there are two men you don't recognize), and then, blessedly, stops.
Sinkhole looks like this, except 300 feet in diameter. You are each standing on giant columns of rock that are 10 feet wide, and go down an utterly impossible distance. You are 30 feet from the nearest edge and 20 feet from each other.
Looking down, you are surprised to see light from a variety of sources; guttering torches and some kind of magical light orbs illuminate what appears to be some kind of enormous underground chamber. Where you are standing -- at "street level" -- is at least 200' above where the chamber's ceiling must be, and the floor of the chamber is another 100' below that. The smell of brimstone and blood floats up to your nostrils. There are voices down there, but they are very faint.
DC30 Acrobatics to jump back to safe ground, or a DC20 Climb check to climb down.
@Justahl: You watch in horror as the sinkhole opens, then relief as it stops spreading well before it gets to you. The guard next to you yells out "No!" and runs to the edge. He either doesn't see or is ignoring Kelne and Jorzan, stranded in the open as they are. You then hear more calls for help from back over your shoulder -- young voices again -- followed by lunatic barking noises and a scream of pain. All around you is the tearing sound of other holes opening up.