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Chaos Beast

DM Bigrin's page

3,790 posts. Alias of bigrin42.


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Gm screen:

r: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

ray: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

10d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 1, 4, 1, 1, 2, 5, 1, 2) = 27

Two of the images around the wizard disappeared as Calla's arrows sailed through them. The others writhed for a moment in agony as as spray of shooting stars peppers the area containing the wizard.

On the ground, one of the mages died to Bruendor's blade, after first being stuck to the floor by spider webbing, and then pinions by the dwarf's enchanted rapier. On the other side of the room, Lefrik's foe scrambled away from the flashing axe, stumbling backwards in a desperate race to avoid the blade.

The scrambling wizard pointed a finger at Lefrik and chanted quickly. A beam of dark energy flashed out, spanning the distance between the finger and Lefrik's chest. The barbarian felt his strength being stolen from the spell and fought against it in his rage.

Above, the dark elf wizard spat a curse, which he then weaved into a spell. A fireball blossomed in the room, brighter and hotter than any of you had ever seen before. It rushed across the floor with near-unavoidable speed.

Round 2:

Lefrik takes 5 Strength damage, Fort DC15 for half.

Everyone takes 27 fire damage (wow, low rolls), Ref DC18 for half.


Nolveniss 18 (6 targets)
drow 17

calla 16
anklebiter 15
bruendor 11
kelendra 10
lefrik 3

everyone is up!

Here's the map

Shabbezz knows that troglodytes speak a rudimentary form of draconic. Likely they don't understand a word that Angelica was shouting at them.

The night passed - surprisingly - uneventfully, and most of you spent the time divided between getting to know your new travelling companion and getting some much needed rest. The morning dawned early, a heavy fog covering the river and the lands around it with a cloud so dense that it was impossible to see the stern of the boat from the forward watch tower.

One good bit of news was that Captain Bloodtusk, after both magical ministrations and fourteen solid hours of rest, was up and about this morning, though moving a little slowly. Orcs were hardy creatures, and though he looked a little pale, the captain seemed to be shaking the effects of the poison. He sought you out specifically to thank you for all the effort you put into subduing the saboteur, rescuing Sharg, and saving him from the poison's effects. He even welcomed Mawj to the boat, though he still seemed a bit confused as to why the orc was travelling with you.

"Again, my thanks to all of you. Some might blame your presence for the ills that have befallen us on this trip, and to some extent they may be right, but you had no part in Sharg's mishap, and less responsibility to recover her. That you did speaks highly of your character. I, for one, am glad you are here. Of course, this has all slowed our progress greatly, and the damn fog's no help. We can push on this morning, but it will be slow going, and I need at least two sets of sharp eyes in the watchtower searching the water ahead for dangers to the boat."

Halrex nodded and spoke, "Quill, you've done good in the watchtower so far. Why don't you take your place there again this morning? And Sander, you as well. The rest of you please take your normal duties, and be wary. Fog like this could let all manner of beasts in closer to the boat than I'd like."

There was no reply to Angelica's call. Well, no verbal one at any rate. A javelin soared out of the darkness to land in the dirt a few paces from the burglar.

Caught up in her own musings, Mariana didn't take the time to investigate the magic items until they returned to the boat. There, she took the lone unidentified potion from Molly and stared at it, smelled it, and tasted it, finally deciding it was a potion of resist energy (electricity).

Sleeping poorly affects just about everything you do. Get yourself to a sleep study pronto, if you think you are having sleeping issues. one of my employees went from being marginal to a very good worker once he got his CPAP and a decent sleep schedule dialed in.

GM screen:

1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Bruendor and Lefrik invisibly crept into the room, positioning themselves next to the drow arcanists in preparation for the rest of the group appearing at the head of the stairwell. Calla was the first to pop up, tightening her fury on the floating wizard, even as he called out his megalomaniacal nonsense.

Nonsense or not, he was quick with the spells, immediately casting one that sent seven new copies of himself writhing through the air. The original mage was obscured, though all eight copies had that same sneer.

The other two mages started to chant, which was the cue for Bruendor and Lefrik. Both fighters popped into view, hacking their way into the unprepared bodies of the drow. Both casters remained upright, but both lost the spells they were chanting.

Bruendor - didn't matter this time because they were flatfooted, but yeah.

Lefrik - only one swing during surprise round.

Round 1:

Nolveniss has mirror image up. Is you attack him directly (spell or weapon) roll a dN (I have the total # of targets by his name in initiative list). You hit him on a 1, an image on anything else.


Nolveniss 18 (8 targets)
drow 17

calla 16
anklebiter 15
bruendor 11
kelendra 10
lefrik 3

everyone is up!

Here's the map


  • +1 buckler
  • elixir of swimming
  • potion
  • oil of flame arrow
  • scroll of spear of purity
  • 364 gp in mixed coins
  • 4 gems worth about 200g total

    Loot list updated

  • Getting back to the boat wasn't too big of a trek, even with the wounded. Mawj was introduced to the crew and the keelboat moved back to the center of the river. Despite the death of the drakes in the cave, no one could truly tell how many of the creatures made that cave their home, and Halrex wanted to be far down the river before any remaining drakes returned.

    Because of the combats, and problems with the captain being poisoned, Halrex decided to stop early today, and make camp. She tended the captain herself, only relying on the magical healing of Molly and the others grudgingly. She was still suspicious of any newcomers, and wouldn't even let Mawj meet the captain. It was a tense evening as you settled in for dinner and your assigned watches.

    Which is to say, it was so far in the past that it currently barely registers :p

    Actually, let me be clear. I NEED to know if Bruendor or Lefrik are going to act in the surprise round before anyone else posts, please.

    I don't believe that there is a consensus for mobile or static, so I will rule in favor of storytelling. Have fun with your halo o' goodness!

    One little known fact about stone staircases is that the slightest sound echoes off the walls and propagates far further than you would normally expect. Thus it was that Lefrik's first brush up against the wall sent a scraping sound echoing upwards.

    As Lefrik and Bruendor burst invisibly onto the open-air rooftop, they spotted a pair of drow in robes staring into the stairwells. Another floated high above a golden orrery, fairly crackling with power. Three giant telescopes point upwards into the sky, staring straight at the large spiraling vortex in the sky overhead.

    As Kalla, Kelendra, and Anklebiter charged upwards, the floating drow shouted out, "So, you are the ones who lead those fragile, delicate elves to my city, who forced me to hide in my own creation? You think that by this you have won? How foolish the sun has made you! My mistress already has all that she needs. You will die here, by my hand, and all you hold dear shall follow soon after!"


    anklebiter 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
    kelendra 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
    bruendor 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
    calla 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
    lefrik 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
    drow 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
    nolveniss 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

    If Bruendor or Lefrik wish to attack from stealth in the surprise round, now is the time. Otherwise...

    Here is the map
    Nolveniss is floating about 30 feet above the ground.

    Okay, I am back from my trip and should be good to go with normal daily posts for a good while. Sorry for the slowdown, now hold onto your socks!

    The cave was dark, and despite the warning clink, Angelica saw no signs of life inside. As she got closer to the brambles, though, she smelled lamp oil - probably a whale or fish derived oil, judging from the smell. The bramble barricade appears to be coated with the stuff.

    I am back now, and will get back to our regularly scheduled program.

    Halrex held Sharg down while Molly straightened the woman's legs, only healing her once the breaks looked to be set at about the right angle. With a sickening grinding sound that could be heard over the injured woman's screams, the bones slid back together and fused correctly. The echoes from Sharg's screaming seemed to last longer than they should, but eventually the cave quieted back down.

    While the others were chatting with the newcomer, Quill made his way into the adjoining chamber, arrow to the string of his bow. once he saw that there were no more creatures that were about to pounce, he turned his attentions to finding any treasures that the river drakes had stored away.

    Though the lesser cousins of true dragons, drakes still felt the innate need to hoard treasures. Of course, what was worthwhile to a river drake was not necessarily of worth to a merchant. Quill found piles of shiny river oyster shells, bleached crocodile skulls, and even a small pile of shiny fishing lures. He also found a small pile of goods that had obviously been gathered from the people that the drakes had killed over the years. Much of it was worthless, but he did manage to scrounge a shield, a trio of vials, and a scroll. He also found a small pile of coins and gems.


  • magical buckler
  • potion
  • potion
  • oil
  • scroll
  • 364 gp in mixed coins
  • 4 gems worth about 200g total
  • The horse wasn't completely healed, but it at least had its entrails back inside its abdomen where they were supposed to be. A week of rest - or some dedicated healing - would likely see it back to decent condition.

    Halrex threw a rope from the drakes' nest over the horse's neck and lead it out to the keelboat once sure that Sharg was going to be okay.

    I hadn't realized you were helping someone move. I thought it was YOU who were moving.

    I am back now, and no plans for travel until June, so I should be ready for full-throttle posting for a while. Yeah!

    I am lurking about on phone and iPad. When you've got your plan in place, let me know.

    Molly, you forgot to say "There, there."

    Plan finally settled, and Harbug unsettled, you set off into the swamp, using the roughly drawn map as your guide. It took about two hours to cover the relatively short distance between Maroux's hut and the place marked as the troglodyte's cave. At least, you think it must be the troglodyte cave.

    A cluster of large rocks juts from the ground like the broken teeth of some long dead titan. Between the largest of the stones, a cave sits, its mouth blocked over by a waist-high wall of brambles. From a distance, you can't see any movement within the cave, but as you approach, a foul reek assaults your nostrils.

    Just responding to Calla while you guys come up with your plan.

    Calla held out the packs to Shalelu, who picked through them before finding a pair of vials. They contained a light green substance, and she quickly downed one, then poured the other into Kaerishiel's mouth.

    "Thank you. If you'll leave our things here, I'll get back into my armor and see about covering your rear. Make sure no more drow sneak up on you from below. I can still barely stand without falling over, but I feel much better than I did ten minutes ago. Good luck!"

    lesser restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 4
    lesser restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 2

    FYI - I will be travelling tomorrow through Thursday. I may be able to post, but I may not. Please keep the game going, and I will try and bump things along when I can.

    FYI - I will be travelling tomorrow through Thursday. I may be able to post, but I may not. Please keep the game going, and I will try and bump things along when I can.

    FYI - I will be travelling tomorrow through Thursday. I may be able to post, but I may not. Please keep the game going, and I will try and bump things along when I can.

    Ignoring the newcomer, Quill moved to Sharg's side. He didn't even need to look closely at the horse to see that it was near death. The intestines spilled on the floor and the eyes rolled up in their sockets were enough to show that. Sharg, on the other hand, was stable, though her broken legs were splayed out and she moaned with pain at every twitch.

    "Mmm...I love pork! shouted Storn as he continued to slam his hammer into the larger of the remaining river drakes. The smaller drake was already reeling and looking ready to take flight when Sander's bomb sailed into it. The explosion tore the beast apart, and it crashed to the ground. The orc-pig spun, turning its massive claws and tusks onto the final drake. In a sort of frenzy, it tore the larger drake apart, sending scales and gobbets of flesh splashing all over the cave.

    Congratulations on the win!

    Shalelu moved carefully over to Kaerishiel, wincing as some of her wounds reopened. "We will wait for you to return. I will try and get this irascible man to wake up. Did you find out things? There may be something in one of our packs that might help. As for the wizard, I know nothing about him other than I have told you."


    The remaining door to the southwest opened onto an empty tower chamber, this one decorated in scenes of winter. There was nothing there of interest, but at least you knew that you weren't leaving a known source of danger to your backs.

    The final door at the top of the risers was made from a silvery metal. The depictions of stars and planets upon it fit this building's theme of observatory. There was no lock on it that Bruendor could see, and no traps, either.

    Opening the doors carefully, you can see that two staircases wind up the interior walls of the observatory tower. Between them is an immense black field, suspended in the air, containing hundred of glowing motes. It took a minute, but given the nature of this place, you surmise that these are stars.

    The stairs wind upwards, leading to a landing, and then upwards again to another. This third level has a small balcony overlooking the haunted city of shadow Celwynvian, and the vague impression of the shadow forest beyond. You pause here for a break, as the steps were just tall enough to be a difficult climb for everyone, and rather more than difficult for the much smaller Anklebiter. From here, you can hear chanting from the stairs winding upwards.

    The half-orc witch looked Harbug up and down, then smiled. "Tell you what, handsome. You come back to me when your work with the Lady is done, and our familiars won't be the only ones sharing something, yeah?"

    The results of Kelendra's spell were obvious from the moment of casting, as both Shalelu and the unconscious Kaerishiel seemed to grow stronger and more like themselves. Still, though, Kaerishiel did not wake. Shalelu gasped as the spell took effect.

    "Thank you, my friends. I feel better, though not nearly enough to continue at this moment. The wizard Nolveniss is likely upstairs. That is where he tortured us. He may not be there, though. I cannot say how long we have been in this cell. Nolveniss used drugs and both physical and mental tortures to gain what he could from us. Know this, though. The wizard carries on his person the keys to both the portal from this place, and the one in the academy that is attuned to a drow city in the Darklands. There will be no leaving this place without the portal key."

    @Mawj - As cool as that intro sounds, there are WAY too many obstacles for you to charge. How about a double move instead?

    GM Screen:

    r: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

    aoo: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
    2d6 + 7 ⇒ (2, 4) + 7 = 13

    bite: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
    2d6 + 7 ⇒ (6, 4) + 7 = 17
    grab: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (18) + 18 = 36
    tail: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
    1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

    1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
    1d6 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

    1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

    Quill's arrows downed the wounded drake, giving Storn a chance to smash the big one with his hammer. The blow landed, and a few sea-green scales hit the floor, along with a fang. The drake reared and smashed at Storn with tooth and tail, but the big man's armor held. Sander's bomb drifted in, scorching the river drake and sending a splash of fire onto the third. Mariana moved up and healed Halrex with her wand, hoping that the coxswain would be able to help with the last two drakes. Suddenly, a charging form leaped into the cave running. What at first appeared to be an orc turned into an uglier half orc, half pig thing. The newcomer ran right past a startled Molly - ruining her shot - and the others, right up to the drake, where he(?) tried to gore it with his tusks.

    The third drake, bellowing in pain and frustration at not being able to get at its foes directly, took to the air. There was hardly enough room for it to get past the larger drake and the ceiling, but it managed, landing heavily on one wounded foot in the outer chamber.

    Round 3:

    One down!

    3rd drake provoked AoOs from Storn, Halrex, Mawj. Get him!


    Here's the map

    Current hit point status:
    Mariana -0
    Mawj -0
    Molly -0
    Quill -0
    Sander -0
    Storn -17
    Halrex -2

    The night passed uneventfully, though the city folk among you are continually startled by the night sounds of the swamp. That and Maroux's snoring. The sleeping witch sounded like a pair of dragons roaring at each other over a thunderstorm.

    The next morning, groggy and feeling unrested, you speak with the with regarding the options you had discussed. She handed you a hand drawn map with a few locations marked on it, showing the locations of the three caves that she knows of that might get you under the Lady's Light.

    "I ain't gonna tell you how to do your jobs, so I'll just give you this. There's three caves, here where the trogs live, here just outside the boggard village, and here. Don't know what's in the third one, but it's big and nasty. Talked to enough locals to gather that much, and not too interested in poking my nose in there. Still, thought it's be good to put on the map."

    Here's Maroux's Map

    Again, no. There was only an hour or so between that encounter and this one. Being as it was in the middle of the day, there has been no chance to recover any hp or magic.

    Shalelu's eyes focused a bit more and she gasped. "You. You are alive. No, you must be more illusions. Nolveniss said all the others involved in the raid on the Academy were killed. Should have known the dark bastard was lying. But what if he wasn't? What if you're real and I'm the illusion?" She buried her face in her hands and wept. It crushed your hearts to see the vibrant scout and ranger reduced to this pathetic state.

    Coming in close, Kelendra could tell that Shalelu was barely alive. Her body seemed to weak even to hold itself upright, and she looked emaciated. Far too much for the relatively short time she had been in this place. There were signs of physical toture, and drugs of course. From what the elf said, there were likely mental abuses as well. Quickly she moved Bruendor aside and examined Kaerishiel, finding the ranger in much the same condition as Shalelu, though still unconscious.

    In game terms they are at Str 3, Con 3. Regular healing will get them back to normal hit points, but until the Str/Con damage is restored, they aren't going to be very effective.

    So, I take it you want to go to the boggard village first, then? I will move on that this afternoon

    @Storn - yeah, the attack was a 30, still you. but thanks for updating your stats.

    Sander wrote:

    "Storn!" Quill yells, as he fires an arrow toward the more green one (I think; looks gold to me on the map) while rushing forward.

    I'm colorblind. i'm just guessing at the colors of the icons here :)


    r: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13

    bite: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
    2d6 + 7 ⇒ (6, 4) + 7 = 17
    grab: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (5) + 18 = 23
    tail: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
    1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

    bite: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
    2d4 + 3 ⇒ (1, 2) + 3 = 6
    tail: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
    1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

    ha: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 1 = 13
    1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

    A hail of missile fire enveloped the smaller river drake, tearing large patches of scales from the creature. Sander watches the effects, trying to determine any information about the creatures that could help. he remembers that river drakes spit acid, and are highly resistant to the same.

    As Sander is ruminating, Mariana ran forward and used one of her wands to good effect, casting bless on the entire party.

    The drakes fought back, the wounded one gouging Halrex badly as the coxswain stabbed ineffectually at it. The larger one snapped at Storn, but the big man blocked the attack, then dodged the tail slap that followed. Taunting the drake, the big man continued to stand strong, even though he could see another one coming.

    Round 2:


    Here's the map

    Current hit point status:
    Mariana -0
    Molly -0
    Quill -0
    Sander -0
    Storn -17
    Halrex -9

    The troglodyte's stench made it difficult to find out what interesting gewgaws he might have on him. The club, of course, was magical, as was a pair of potions in its pouch. The teeth and beads in a belt pouch weren't worth anything, but the gems mixed in with them might be valuable.


  • +1 heavy mace
  • 2 potions
  • 12 gems

    The prisoners were obviously drugged, eyes dilated wide and staring. They weren't responsive initially. After a few minutes Shalelu managed to focus. A grimace wracked her face as she peered up at Anklebiter.


    The effort of speaking seemed to be too much for her addled mind at the moment.

  • The troglodyte champion might be more than sufficient to guard bound prisoners kept near unconsciousness with drugs and torture, but it proved little challenge for the combined might that just dehorned a dragon. As Bruendor ducked, magical and mundane missiles slammed into the creature. This was followed up by a pair of brutal attacks from Lefrik's axe that left the trog bleeding out on the floor.

    well that was easy:


    Mariana 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
    Molly 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
    Quill 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
    Sander1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
    Storn 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
    Halrex 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
    drakes 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

    st: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
    2d6 + 7 ⇒ (5, 6) + 7 = 18

    h: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
    2d4 + 3 ⇒ (3, 1) + 3 = 7

    Storn and Halrex ruched past the now-quiet horse to get to Sharn's side. The warpriest touched the crew member with the wand, healing some of her wounds, but not taking the time to straighten bones first. The woman shrieked in pain, then again at something behind Storn. As the others rushed to the mouth of the caves, a pair of forms came rushing out of the second chamber.

    Two river drakes launched themselves at Storn and Halrex. One was significantly larger than the other, a more blue than green. This one half-flew, half-ran at Storn and chomped down on the big man's shoulder. Perhaps if he had been facing the creature he could have avoided the bite, but as it was, it crunched into his armor and broke several ribs, in addition to all the soft tissue trauma. The other drake snapped at Halrex, but the coxswain managed to avoid the blow.

    Round 1:

    Storn takes 18 damage.


    Here's the map

    Current hit point status:
    Mariana -0
    Molly -0
    Quill -0
    Sander -0
    Storn -20

    gm screen:

    b: 1d20 + 14 - 3 ⇒ (8) + 14 - 3 = 19
    1d8 + 4 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 6 = 16

    anklebiter 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
    kelendra 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
    bruendor 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
    calla 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
    lefrik 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
    lizard 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1

    The door indeed opens to one of the towers, the walls and ceiling decorated as a forest scene at night, like the others, this one looking as if the trees were shedding their leaves in autumn. In the room were the ebaten and bound forms of Shalelu and Kaerishiel. But, before you could do more than recognize them, a large reptiloid leaped out and swung at Bruendor with a huge spiked club!

    The club crashed into the dwarf, sending him rocking back on his heels. The barbed spikes tore flesh and bruised muscle and bone. Bruendor saw stars for a moment.

    Round 1:

    Bruendor takes 15 damage


    Here's the map

    hit point status:
    anklebiter -0
    kelendra -0
    bruendor -15
    calla -0
    lefrik -0

    Peering around the corner, Halrex and Storn saw a large cave. The captured horse whinnied softly in one corner, its entrails spilled out around it. Nearby, Sharg was leaning up against a wall, both of her legs sitting at odd angles. From her pale face and the way she winced with every breath, it was likely that she had internal injuries as well. Whatever the case, she was in great pain. An exit at the back of the first chamber seemed to lead to another cave beyond.

    Here's the map

    I need fort saves from all those that took soup...which is everyone but Jakscar. DC12 or be sickened for 1 hour.

    Despite all of the stories about witches and their brews, all but Jakscar took the proffered soup from Maroux. Whether to be polite, or from a determined sense of self punishment, the results were the same. The soup tasted foul, thick and slimy with an aftertaste like the smell of carrion after a few days in the warm sun. Maroux slurped hers down with relish, going back for a second bowl. You felt queasy having just tasted it, and each of you would rather skin yourselves alive and jump in the sea than go back for more.

    The witch didn't seem put off by anyone not liking her cooking, pouring any uneaten portions back into the pot. Dinner talk went quickly from the food to plans for entering the Lady's Light, and plans for the night. Maroux graciously offered to let you sleep on her island, though not in her hut, as that would be improper, her not knowing you very well yet.

    Angelica ruminates on what she heard. She knows from what Maroux has said - and she was fairly confident the witch was playing it straight - that Sorshen was the Runelord of Lust, and thus it is likely that the shard you seek is here, even if this person inside isn't the Runelord herself. Beyond that...well she wasn't the scholar of this group.

    Checks? What checks? Stop burying those things like a cat in a litter box! +1 keen composite longbow (+2 str), +1 mithral shirt, gloves of dexterity +2

    @Storn - nope. this is turning into the dungeon equivalent of a running fight.

    Tanner, check your PMs for character insertion details.

    Hooray, I have internet again!

    Doors leading to the two southern towers were on either side of the balcony area. Opposite the balcony was a set of one-foot-tall risers that led to a pair of dull silvery doors, on which images of planets and stars are carved.

    Bruendor plied his keen senses and nimble fingers to each of the doors, taking care to not trip any traps that might be on them. The doors themselves did not appear to be trapped, nor were any of them locked, that he could tell. While looking at the door leading, presumably, to the southwestern tower, he thought he might have heard a sound from beyond the door, but he couldn't be certain.

    Here's the map.
    doors circled in yellow

    After somewhat of a delay, as the crew organizes and gets the keelboat to the northern bank, the companions leap from the side to the narrow strip of bank that leads to the area where the drakes had disappeared. Halrex lead the way towards the bend in the cliffside where Quill saw the drakes disappear, after first organizing the crew in potential defense of the boat and seeing that the captain was comfortably settled.

    The pungent odor of rotten fish and meat permeates the air near a cave mouth that reaches into the cliffside at the river's edge. The beach outside the cave is littered with the remains of several marine animals, including the bleached skeleton of an immense crocodile. The area is quiet and devoid of the sounds of wildlife. All that can be heard are the screams and cries of Sharg from within the cave.

    Here's the map

    The witch cackled a little - regular laughter, not the mind-affecting, hackle raising noise that witches are legendary for - at Angelica's statement. "Right to the chase, are you, lass? Bet the boys here love that. Still, I said I'd answer your questions, and answer them I will. Sit down and I'll tell you somewhat about the region, and its recent visitors. Yes, I see you are interested in that, after all. Soup'll be ready by the time I'm done, to be sure. And welcome you are to a bowl, if you have the stomach for it."

    "The xulgaths - them's what you city folk call troglodytes - and the boggards have been feuding around here for generations. Long before I got here, for sure. They're pretty evenly matched, and I've never seen one to get the upper hand on the other. For the most part, they leave me be - I've taught them that much, at least. And when they've stuck their noses into my business, well that's where I got the prime decorations on my bridge from, ain't it?"

    "But then, a few months back we had some new visitors. A troop of women knights or something, clad in plate and wearing red-plumed helms. Their leader was a woman named Oriana - pretty enough, at least until she took her helmet off and showed me the scars. She sat down to dinner with me, polite enough to eat with an old recluse, even if the food wasn't to her liking, and gave me a nice magic wand as a bribe. Knew how to treat a hermit right, she did. Didn't need to send her off to catch bumblefrogs, or gather kelpie's hair."

    "She told me that she and her sisters were from Korvosa, soldiers of the rightful queen - the one that got thrown from her high chair a few years back. They'd had to flee the city once their queen wasn't in charge any more - no use for a Queensguard when there's no queen, is there? - and they been doing mercenary work until Oriana got the idea to plunder the Lady's Light for the rumored treasure there."

    "made me chuckle a bit, since I've heard the stories too, but never heard of anyone finding any, or even an entrance into the place. I've tried, myself, for years after I first arrived in these swamps. Supposedly there's entrances in the caves beneath the statue, but those caves belong to the frogs and trogs, and I didn't get too far. Between that and the magic of the Light itself, I've steered clear for years."

    "Anyway, Oriana was intent on getting under the Lady's skirts, and she asked me about the way in. I told her about the caves, and the frogs and trogs, just like I am you, but it didn't seem to phase her. After all, she had a whole troop of metal-clothed soldiers to back her up. So off she goes, and damn me if she and her sisters didn't strike a deal with the frogs. Gave them some better weapons, some training, and helped them launch an attack against the trogs. I don't know the details, but the frog drums of celebration could be heard for a week straight. In return, I guess the frogs gave her permission to go through their tunnels."

    "But here's the kicker. Oriana found the way in, or at least that's what she says. She came by here ten days ago with a story that she'd found none other than the Runelord of Lust herself in there, and that Sorchen recruited her to help reclaim her lands and rebuild her kingdom! Oriana wanted me to join them, but I ever so politely refused and wished her well. Gods above and below, I couldn't get her out of my hut fast enough. There's no zealot like a recent convert, and her eyes were burning with it!"

    "The way I see it, there's a few possibilities. Either Oriana is lying, and I don't think that's likely, or that she's off her nut. That's more than likely the case. The third is that she ran into some nutcase pretending to be a Runelord - after that mess a few years ago, there's like to be a few out there looking for the power or affirmation that would come with the title - masquerading as the Grand Whore of Thassilon, and tricking Oriana and her entire cadre. Well, I suppose that she could have really encountered a living Sorshen in the Lady's Light, but if you buy that claptrap, I've got a bridge to the moon I'd like to sell you!"

    Maroux cackled again at this last statement and leaned over to check the soup. With a slurping noise, she sampled the brew and declared it the finest swamp stew she'd made in years.

    "Care for a bowl?"

    Life happened. Got busy and lost my interest in mapping for a while. I'll probably be picking back up soon. Thanks for the concern.

    Internet is down for 2 days. Game is on hold until I can get back up and running.

    Internet is down for 2 days. Game is on hold until I can get back up and running.

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