Isaac frowned a bit at the way this conversation was going, also wondering why they haven't fallen victim to the poison in the air, then he noticed the necklace with his mask, tapping Alis lightly on the shoulder, he causally tapped his neck where the necklace would fall on him and then looked away around, feeling as if they should be moving on and getting rid of this mist before their air ran out.
Amhranai knelt next to the footprints trying to ascertain how long ago they were made. Although she was no ranger, she had seen enough spilt blood in her day to know that the tracks had been made about 1 to 2 hours ago.
Following not far behind, Darvesch also assayed the evidence. Judging by the size and spacing of the footprints, one set belonged to a man of about 6-ft tall wearing boots. The other set to woman a bit shorter than Sasha wearing sandals. Yet what the dwarf did not see were the footprints of any of the adolescents who had been kidnapped from the academy.
Even as the two looked on, the sound of Lureene's angry voice could be heard echoing down the hall thru the open doors. At least it just seemed to be a shouting match with a scullery maid for the time being.
Finding no traps, Amhranai pulled the door open revealing the chamber that housed the massive winch for the portcullis. Lying atop the row of murderholes running down the center of the room towards the arrowslit in the east wall was the upper body of a half-elven guardswoman — he hips and legs fallen near the north wall. Yet what was most interesting to the elven woman was that standing at the center of the bloody swath were not the booted footprints of what she presumed was O'beilumanji — instead it was the sandalled footprints of the woman. The man had entered after the guard was already cut down and he went straight for the winch's release mechanism.
D 1d20 + 13 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 13 + 3 = 27 track
K: Arcana DC 19
I 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
At Isaac's gesture, Alis nods and whispers asks, "Mariezza, what can you tell us about that necklace you are wearing? It appears to bear a rather powerful enchantment."
S Intimdate 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
A Diplomacy 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (5) + 18 = 23
|No One of Consequence|
Lureene slowly walks over to Mariezza, her hands open to show she is not a threat. "Mariezza, I would like to examine the magical properties of your necklace, if I may. You do not seem to be affected by the mists which have affected everyone else in the Citadel, and I need to know why that is the case." She gives them a reassuring smile, "You don't need to take it off, I just need to touch it for a moment."
Spellcraft to ID magic item 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
Amhranai nodded in agreement with the dwarf. "Unless the captives are capable of defending themselves, I'm of the mind that getting rid of the captors first would be much easier. Fewer things to worry about."
The elf studied the garishly decorated chamber, noting the footprints. "I don't think the one wearing boots is the gods-cursed killer in either of these rooms. Seems more likely the one wearing sandals is, meaning it's the witch. If she's smart, she's probably left some surprises for us, more than just the poisoned air. Let's see what we can see through the murder holes, but don't touch that winch just yet."
Suiting actions to words, Amhranai picks her way through the gore adorning the murder holes, gazing through each before turning her attention to the winch, whispering, "Let's see what you're hiding. Iscandu, grant your servant sight that I might see"
Amhranai casts Detect Magic.
Amhranai carefully opened the hatch atop one of the murder holes and gazed down into the magically illuminated entryway below. There, seeking desperately to stand and lift the portcullis was the citadel's great stone golem, one of its legs hewn off at the knee!
Looking around, Darvesch could see that the footprints continued west thru another door just to the south of the one thru which he and the elf had entered.
|No One of Consequence|
"Not that I suppose I have much of a choice but.." Mariezza climbed out from under the covers and sat on the edge of the bed. She looked entirely unsettled by the strange woman standing well within her personal space, hands so close to her throat.
Holding onto her sister's hand for comfort, Bernadette asked hesitantly, "Sooo, what's this mist of yours do anyway? It hasn't killed everybody, has it? I don't see a thing..."
|No One of Consequence|
As Lureene continued to examine her necklace, Mariezza turned to her sister, a concerned look on her face, "Bernie, you were moaning something weird about being too sleepy to cook and too hungry to sleep a minute ago. You didn't even seem to recognize me until I gave you a good hug. Miss, um..." She moved her head to the side, trying to see around Lureene's wings toward the swashbuckler.
|No One of Consequence|
"Miss Alis, could that have been the poison doing that to her? And you think the necklace the Commodore gave me stopped it somehow?"
Even as Mariezza asked her question, Lureene finished identifying the necklace's properties.
The only thing you can imagine is that if this mist isn't an internal defense, then some other warding spells must have been subverted to allow the mist to interact with its defensive wards in some sort of synergy.
K: Arcana DC
L 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
L 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
|No One of Consequence|
"My necklace does that?" Mariezza blinked in surprise as she ran her fingers along the length of the gold necklace. "Well the only thing I can imagine is–"
"RIEZZY!" Bernadette interjected, grasping her by the shoulder. In a low tone, she hissed "We don't even know who these people ARE! They just busted in here, pointing bows at us, and that one with the wings started threatening us. In our own home! Who knows what they want...""
Although it eluded Lureene, the others realized that it wasn't merely spiteful pride that elicited Bernadette's caution, but duty.
A 1d20 + 15 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 15 + 3 = 20 alertness, +1 trapfinding
I 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
L 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
S 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27 +2 human
Sense Motive Checks:
A 1d20 + 23 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 23 + 3 = 27 alertness
I 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
L 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
S 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 + 2 = 20 human
"LOOK," Sasha's voice was a growl, "we've been busting ass for a month trying to get here because Lissi has to start a new job as Governor. She's a real princess you know. And Ellie? She isn't just some girl with wings, she's my girl AND she's a noble lady! We're trying to save the damn city from O-be-my-o-gee, OK!"
When the two girls looked at each other in consternation, she thrust her bow in Isaac's direction. "Well you tell 'em Ize... you're the Captain of the Guard after all, right?"
B 1d20 ⇒ 15
M 1d20 ⇒ 15
Lureene nods in confirmation even as her heart swells with love for her companion. Once Sasha finishes her explanation of who Alis actually is, she adds "Sasha is right. This is the new Governor of Dafar. We are trying to stop O'beilumanji who has captured the Citadel and taken hostages. He has threatened to kill another hostage unless all of the elves are turned over to his tender mercies."
She stares at Mariezza where the necklace gleams for a moment then adds softly, "I know that necklace would aid us in reaching the parapet where we think that madman is lurking, but to expect you to sacrifice yourselves for us is...wrong. If you would both accompany us, then we can all benefit from its properties." She pauses, realizing what she is asking them to do here. "I cannot force you to come with us and I do understand if you refuse to do so, but consider this: We may fail to stop O'beilumanji without your help. We are running out of time so I need an answer now."
When Isaac looked to Alis, she didn't seem entirely happy that Sasha had revealed her identity, but if it would make a difference...
"What Sasha said is true." He lowered his bow, and hiked up the sleeve on of his tunic to reveal a seven-pointed gold star above the wreath-encircled, winged sword of Ilmarond. "We are, as they said, here to set the wrong things right."
|No One of Consequence|
"Th– the Governor AND the Marshal?!" Bernadette stammered. Her face, already pale at Lureene's suggestion, was positively ashen when she saw Isaac's ranks and insignia and knew that he must be telling the truth. "Begging your pardon, your highness... sir... I know it's not my place but... but why didn't you just come out and say so?"
|No One of Consequence|
Mariezza put a hand to her forehead, unable to look at anyone else. "Lady Lureene, if we go with you, would you still be able to fight as hard as you need to without worrying about us?"
She shook her head, unclasping her necklace as she did so. "If the worst that will happen if you win is some cabin fever for a few minutes, then it can only be worse if you lose. Here, just... just take it. If your highness is an honorable princess then I suppose I'll see it again. If not, then won't doesn't matter anyway."
Sighing deeply as she handed over the bauble, Mariezza said, "The Commodore, my father, only allowed me to tend to the housekeeping on the uppermost floors. His quarters are on the eighth floor, but I think the seventh is where you'll find what you're looking for. That's where the mages' lab is. Good luck..."
Amhranai nods at the dwarf after studying the winch for a few moments. Satisfied there were no enchantments placed upon it, the slight elf moved to the crank, grasping it firmly with both hands.
"Should we follow further or re-group with the others first? And, before any of that, let's finish what was our original purpose here. Care to give me a hand with this thing?" Amhranai inclined her head at the crank, taking one last look at a murder hole before throwing her weight into moving the crank.
Working as a team, one on each side of the winch, Darvesch and Amhranai slowly began to raise the heavy gate, a system of hidden counterweights now aiding them where it had moments ago thwarted the golem's efforts. After the first few turns, the sturdy iron ratchet that had been released by the murderous intruders engaged preventing it from crashing back down.
When at last the iron-shod grate has been raised, further booming from below prompted Amhranai to take another peek at what the golem was doing. As she watched, the 20-foot tall automaton hobbled its way to the heavy, outer doors, and began tugging at the iron rings set into the back, seeking to heave them open.
Nearby, the elf and the dwarf could hear the rattle of some sort of release mechanism holding them fast — a large lever set into the floor in the corner near the arrow loop.
Alis nodded in gratitude to Mariezza as Lureene helped her clasp the protective necklace about her neck. "With a bit of luck, this will give us the advantage we need to retake the island. Mariezza, Bernadette, you both have my thanks. Fortune willing, you'll have this clasped about your neck again within the hour."
"Now then," she looked to the others, "shall we brave the kitchen?"
|No One of Consequence|
"It's just thru that door, your Highness," Bernadette pointed towards the corner of the room. "The stairs you want are in the south wall and you can take them all the way up to the sixth–"
"Actually," Mariezza interrupted, "if you go up just to the great hall, there's a secret stairwell behind the Commodore's table on the east wall. Just look behind the center tapestry and you'll find it. That stair will lead you all the way up to the lab."
At her sister's revelation, Bernadette just blinked in surprise. "How come you never told me about that?"
Mariezza just shrugged looking a bit chagrined. "Didn't ever come up in conversation?"
Disregard last post. Replace with this one. Sorry.
"Though it might be a good idea to regroup, I fear for the lives of those who are held captive. I'd like to continue further." He tells Amhranai, as he heads to follow the bloody trail.
K:Engineering1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11 What's going on with the rattling sound?
You'd better be worth it, you overgrown boulder! An exasperated sigh blew black hair out of Amhranai's face, eyes narrowed on the lever. Hearing the note of concern in his voice, she looked over at Darvesch, smiling. "Scared of things that go 'bump' in the night? It's just one last hurdle to get this guy rolling. Might need your help with this one too." She crossed to the lever before continuing, "I don't disagree that we need to rescue the captives but judging by the present left for us in these rooms, I don't think we're capable of taking care of whatever tore through here ourselves. I know I'm not, but if you've got something up your sleeve, I'm all ears."
Pulling the lever 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
"Scared? Me? No.. Just worried for the captives sake, is all." He sighs, setting aside his pride for the moment. "You're right. We should get the others. If you wouldn't mind, I'll go next door to get them." Darvesch leaves the blood soaked room, and walks to the room Alis and the others are. He quickly pokes his head in, spots Alis with the occupants, and decides his native tongue would be best,
With a great deal of exuberance, Amhranai put words into action, straining with all her might against the sturdy lever. For his part, Darvesch approached and clamped his armored fist over the clutch at the top of the shaft.
Instantly, the lever flew back, Amhranai's effort sending her flying. Yet where the dwarf might have rightly expected the plucky woman to wipe out on the floor, she instead did a handspring and landed back on her feet behind him.
Before he can show any surprise however, a deafening din resounds throughout the area as hidden cams and rods retract, and the blood-curdling grate of metal on stone fills the air. Amidst it all, a powerful blow shakes the floor sending Darvesch tumbling into the wall from the force of it!
Quickly peering thru one of the murderholes, Amhranai finds that the outer doors are now wide open and the golem is lying on its back directly beneath her. Evidently 1-legged golems lack the gracefulness of elves...
M 1d20 + 13 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 13 + 5 = 35 competence
Reflex DC 10
A 1d20 + 10 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 10 + 3 = 25 resistance, evasion
M 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22 +2 trap, evasion
D 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 = 10 resistance, +2 spell/SLA
I 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27 evasion
L 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
S 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
"Gods in Heaven!" Alis swore softly.
A moment later, a gruff dwarven voice startled her and she wheeled to find Darvesch standing there, blood on his armor. Pointing to what appeared to be some innards dangling from his elbow, she asked, "Frændi... what did you just kill? It felt like the tower was going to fall!"
"Of all the worthless pebbles on all the beaches the world over! Betrayer curse you, golem!" Amhranai fished a rock out of her pocket and threw it down the murder hole at the prone golem. "See if this helps you at all!"
They'll know we're here now. With a shudder, the incensed elf backed away from the hole, shoulders hunching as she tried to make herself small. She continued her backwards trek, eyes darting from the open door Darvesch had just passed through back to the closed door before which rested a pair of scarlet footprints. At the last second, she stepped over the hips and legs that had come to rest against the wall and crouched beside them, waiting for the others, grey eyes boring holes into the closed door.
Lureene nearly jumped out of her wings when she heard the crash made by the golem. She looks to Darvesch with a questioning look on her face, "I am curious to know, Darv, how alerting the rest of the Citadel's occupants helps us here." She shakes her head, trying to hide the look of disgust on her face.
"Anyway we need to get out of here before the noises are investiga--...where is Amhranai?" Lureene asks.
"A wall? No.. Not a wall.." Darvesch chuckles. "I'd rather not say anything more about the obstacle until you have seen it for yourselves. I'd rather not bother these lovely ladies with the boring details." Darvesch tries to subtly convey his unwillingness to divulge the entirety of the bloody mess next door. "We should move quickly."
Bluff 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6
Why does he look like he's seen a ghost? Do I even want to know?
"Can it wait?" Alis asked hopefully.
"These ladies," she gestured to the two blondes huddled atop a nearby bunk, "were gracious enough to loan us a talisman to ward against Arrowhead's defenses. The way up is just thru the door over there. Unless it's vital, I really think we need to hustle before that racket draws unwanted attention."
A 1d20 + 23 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 23 + 3 = 28 alertness
I 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
L 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
S 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
"The golem got the door open, then he fell. However, the issue is a rampaging murderer that seems to have killed everything in the next room. I'll continue ahead with Amhranai alone, if you trust we can handle it by ourselves."
Darvesch takes a moment to breathe, and quickly ducks out and rushes back to Amhranai. "I'll go on ahead. If you want to wait for the others, I'll understand." With that, he opens the door following the bloody trail, waiting a moment to see what awaits him on the other side of the door.
No wonder Uncle Morgaard's hair went grey.
Alis rubbed her temples as Darvesch darted back out of sight. "Alright everyone, follow that dwarf, but don't roam too far from me — we don't know the range this ward yet."
Turning once more to the two sisters, she said quickly, "Ladies, thank you again, your Governor will not forget your aid. Lady Luck watch over you."
With that, the Princess ran after the others even as the magical mists put Bernadette and Mariezza into a stupor.
Lovely what do we have–
The color drained from Alis' face when she stepped into view of the slaughter before her. When Darvesch had said murderer, she had imagined the clean work of an assassin. This... this was the work of a butcher! Her gloved hand instantly flew to her mouth to muffle the sound of her distress, the other pulling her hat off in a sign of deference for those who had been slain and mutilated.
Even as his Frænka and the others were reeling from the sight of the massacre, Darvesch knew that the tattooed elf at least was already in position to cover him. Shield up, and axe at the ready, he pushed open the door and just stood there gazing into the kitchen.
Yet even as he looked around, taking in crates, barrels, and prep tables, there was one overriding thought in his mind as he lowered his shield, shoulders slumping.
With a heavy sigh, the dwarf walked into the darkness beyond and out of Amhranai's line of sight.
With a heavy sigh, you walk inside, set your axe and shield atop a crate and sit down on a sturdy-looking barrel to wait for someone to start breakfast.
D 1d20 + 9 + 1 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 9 + 1 + 1 + 2 = 15 SLA
- A hp: 41 = 41/41
(mage armor 0et, shield other 3md, resist fire 20 4db, see invisibility 4db)
- k: 20 = 20/20
- M hp: 62 = 62/62
(air bubble r 254)
- D hp: 85 = 85/95 (85)
(resist fire 20 4db)
- I hp: 66 = 66/66
- L hp: 55 = 55/55
(mage armor 4md)
- S hp: 62 = 62/62