From your position its a 25 foot swim to the opening of the cavern and the devilfish was dead center in a room that was roughly 30 by 30. Since you all will know that it has reach its 40 feet or so to the devilfish with AoO being provoked if folks close to melee. There is still fungal/algae light. The current passage can fit two of you side by side. Those of you with swim speeds can charge. The water is at a minimum ten feet deep through out this section. Swim checks for those w/o speed and keep in mind that restricts your movement speed. What's the battle plan then as far as prep and getting up to the thing?
And chaos does assuredly ensue. Entering the cavern the reefclaw jets at the octopus with claws and spines bared and closes the gap only to be immediately gathered up by the cephalopod's various arms. The reefclaw struggles for a moment only to be brought into the great maw of the octopus and practically bit in half.
As is its method the reefclaw flails in the octopus' arms as it shudder to death and thrashes about, its cruel spines savaging the octopus' face and tentacles. The octopus throws the corpse of the reefclaw away and a low gurgling noise fills the cavern. It sounds suspiciously like TTtrreeesssssppppppaaaaasssss
Kno:Arcan or Kn:Nature DC 15:
There is a possibilty that this is not an octopus but actually a Devilfish
Since it is not moving and none of you are really in the cavern I won't call for init yet.
I have a hard time imagining Quillin summoning the majesty of Zeus (especially a Liam Nesson Zeus) but I will try :p
Quillin summons the Reefclaw which slithers in the water from places unknown. Under direction of the conjurer, the abberation heads the the chamber where the octopus awaits.
So is Mel right on this thing's "heels" or are you folks giving the reefclaw a round or two to start a fight? Help me understand your plan.
Mel Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Mel stays ahead of the group and returns with a variety of information.
Down the hall the water continues to get deeper, leaving it so that all of you must swim into the next chamber which is roughly 40 feet away. Halfway down the hall a set of hooks and barbs have been set to float amongst the seaweed but Mel figures that everyone's ability to swim will make that easy enough to get through if everyone is diligent. Swim DC 10
In the next cave a series of skulls and bones adorn the wall and within the murky pool therein, Mel has noticed what looks to be an octopus of tremendous size easily able to grab any one of you and yet another if it so cared to. It did not appear to notice Mel and there are three other exits from that chamber. Mel confirms that were you to enter the chamber all of you would be forced to swim.
I'll assume that Mel scouts the route...
Mel scouts ahead and finds that after a twisting 15 feet or so the cavern one more splits into a fork, with the left most for splitting again. It is clear that the right fork probably matches up with the tunnel off the last fork (B1).
Off the left fork path the left branches to a an alcove some 10 feet in diameter that features a strange pattern of marking on the wall. Mel notes that the 3 feet deep water covers a floor that is covered with seaweed and muck but that sports well hidden bars.
The right branch leads onward into another passage that goes into the heart of the complex.
So unless you want to double back your option are inspect the alcove or continue into the cave system.
The widish opening leads to slightly deeper water and a pair of tunnels that branch left and right. In the din glow of the algae Mel can see that the right branch splits after another ten feet. One branch would almost certainly wheel back behind the group, the other longer, narrower right branch leads further into parts unknown.
Path A, B1 or B2. B1 being the one that winds back.
Acid strikes one runner and the ruthless double assault of Fjori's cutlass and ax take the other while water and bolts fly about the room. In an almost comical juxtaposition to the flurry of chaos Bart walks into the room, stays on the floor and follows the right ridge and casually grabs the last grindy assaulting Ajani and smashes its skull in.
A sole grindy makes its way along the ridge to the floor and moves to the far exit seemingly to turn and run to a corridor beyond. Injured on the run. Fjori or Ajani could move and maintain line of sight. Mel/Quillin/Hassan are looking at partial cover for ranged attacks.
Bleh, sorry. Holiday weekend and last minute childcare. My home office is still a nightmare despite my move being almost two months done so my computer has been buried in a pile of things. Sorry for the delay/flaking out.
Quillin wades in and sprays the seaweed center of the room with a blast of light and color. The grindy's working on the harvest are deluged by lights of a million shades as they all fall unconscious from the sudden assault of magic.
Ajani steps in and moves to the right stepping on the landing a few feet away from 2 grindy's, allowing others to pass by.
Bart pauses for a moment, contemplating his actions. (Holding until I get a post)
Hassan moves in fires a bolt but misses his intended target. The light enhanced bolt skitters across the rocks and into the seaweed laden mass creating an odd glow in the center of the room that offsets the algae light in odd ways.
Mel takes a well aimed shot at the group of three on the left and a grindy gasps in pain as it drops dead from the bolt.
Fjori scrabbles up the left side and approaches the now 2 grindy's grouped there. With ax and cutlass the Nord quicly dispatches the closest grindy in a brutal spray of viscera.
1d20 ⇒ 20
1d20 ⇒ 6
1d20 ⇒ 14
1d20 ⇒ 7
the last grindy standing near Fjori turns and starts to squirm/"run" to the far exit, making it almost to the door.
On the right side near Ajani one grindy turns to do the same as his brethern across the room and runs while the closest one moves up to Ajani and attempts to attack him with a rusty trident of sorts. The barbs pass by the Vanara in a wide attach that leaves the druid unscathed.
Bart can take his held actiona at rounds end otherwise init is back up. Two dead, three on the run and three unconscious.
Mel leads the group to the fork and you see in clearer detail the complexity of the cavern. The simple fork branches once more to the right and as Mel mentioned there is a long winding cave but also, closer off of a much shorter branch, a large room that features overgrown seaweed that hangs from the walls and fills the center of the space.
It would appear at high tide the room might fill most of the way and the seaweed might be almost labyrinth like to traverse the space but for now it appears as nothing more than a slime riddled mass featured in the center. 8 grindys move about the room; some in the shallow pool, pulling and cutting at the seaweed while others will about the exterior edges of the space on ledges about 5 feet up from the center. An exit can be seen on the other side of the room.
5ft wide entry leading to a room that opens to 20x20. In a 10x10 mass in the center is thick globs of seaweed. A rise off the cave floor that lines the room is roughly 3-4 feet wide (one square for our purposes) and about 1-2 feet of the floor. This rise while stone is covered in slick luminescent algae and seaweed slime). Another doorway out mirrors the entrance. 5 (3 to the left of entrance 2 to the right) of the grindy's are lined on the rise/walkway around the room with 3 seeming to be milling about in the overflowing seaweed in the center. Its all difficult terrain. The center obviously more so. (There is water in that mass so swim speed will help.)
Current marching order:
The passages are wider (roughly ten feet) so its easy to move. The entrance to the room is the bottleneck in this case. Remember it will take a 5 foot up to get on the rise/walkway around the room but it is rough/graded enough I don't think a "climb" is necessary.
Mel proceeds to the fork, her approach haloed in a vague blue haze of light.
The right fork splits again after 5 feet. At this second fork the right most channel seems to be a narrower winding passage that goes on for a while into darkness. More immediately there is a short passage that leads to a larger room that features overgrown seaweed that hangs from the walls and fills the center of the space. The glowing algae present elsewhere is quite abusndandt here and lights the space well.
It would appear at high tide the room might fill most of the way and the seaweed might be almost labyrinth like to traverse the space but for now it appears as nothing more than a slime riddled mass featured in the center. 8 grindys move about the room; some in the shallow pool, pulling at cutting at the seaweed while others will about the exterior edges of the space on ledges about 5 feet up from the center. An exit can be seen on the other side of the room.
From the main fork Mel also catches the sounds of moving water and an occasional grindy voice but that seem farther away than the group in the room of the right fork.
So branch 1 is the left, branch/room 2 is directly off the right fork, and the long hallway is branch 3 which is more dramatically off the right branch.
The cave extends into the cliffs for another 30 feet or so taking a wide curve as it goes. The uneven nature of the cave and its depths lead to much tromping and scrabbling to adjust to the various pools and slick rock faces covered in seaweed and grime that mark to the passages's length.
As Fjori leads the group he sees a fork ahead with one passage leading right and another left. A growing sound of churning and crashing water fills the passage and Fjori can tell that the sound is coming from the left.
The occasional guttural exchange of what is surely the grindy language can be hear amongst the rushing water as well as a few barked exchanges coming from the right fork. A sort of bioluminescence begins at the fork, covering the walls and some in the water. The light is not as strong as a torch though if there was enough in the enclosed space it would light a room well enough.
Absent the overt threat everyone will be able to tak 10 on the swim checks.
Hugging the cliffs the group makes it to the narrowed face but is then forced to swim past the half floating grindys that guarded the entrance beyond.
Quillin finds little of interest save for a grime and seaweed encrusted key, all other items on these creature being of crude or poor make.
about 5 feet below the water a cave leads "in" to the island. The fast and stead churning of the coming and going water, even at low tide, makes the passage less than exciting to swim as sharp rock outcroppings and barnacled protrusions threaten to rough anyone not able to take the cave at their own pace with the in and out of the water.
Each of you holds your breath and quickly moves through roughly 100 feet p before emerging into a deep pool whose surface breaks from out of the rock and leaves you surrounded by the tall cliffs above. Shafts of light pour into the area and you can see a muddy cave entrance half filled with water beyond.
It appears from here, thanks to the low tide, you may have semi decent footing, the tallest of you wading water at knee length while Quillin slogs through almost chest high water. The pull of the cave has little affect on your movement though it is easy to imagine the cave not having a uniform height, which adds to the sense of unease.
The light from the pool does little to penetrate the mouth of the cave, the rush of water and sounds of dripping and birds doing little to make it easy to hear what might lie beyond. There is enough space in the shallows up to the cave for the group to stand but not much before being forced into the mouth of the grindy lair.
Marching order? Light? Etc?
Or PM, Sorry. Work stuff was way crazier than anticipated.
Edging along the cliff face the group gets a decent distance. It almost seems that the grindy's have spotted you but it proves too little too late as Quillin's "convocation of eagles" A great euro-metal band name if I ever heard one... swoop in. The eagles prove too much for the grindy and they quickly perish unable to stage an effective attack "out" of the water and up at the eagles as they thunder in the arvin swoops with talons and beaks. A few seconds later and the entrance to the grindy cave features four, now dead, guards.
With Mel in the lead due to her enhanced swimming abilities the group moves out into the water and approaches the narrow indention in the massive cliff face that you saw the Grindy's move to earlier. From a safe vantage point the lot of you can see that the entrance beyond, even at low tide remains, submerged in water. Despite the swirling mass of particles that seem to whip and whirl from the area, clear shafts of sunlight can be seen coming through to your, revealing that there is most likely open air beyond the hole in the cliff face.
4 grindylows are poised outside the entrance standing watch for threats.
Approx 200 ft from your spot along the cliff face to the Grindys. Another 50 to the cave itself.
I am going to hand wave the ship exploration for now until Wellard is back in play, there is enough time to basically swim out, give it a thorough once over, and swim back without getting into too much trouble. For now the pair can report Chelaxian trappings and style (and they are not welcome in this part of the world and rarely come this way) and there do appear to be some sections that are locked. No obvious cause is noticeable for it sinking though it could have landed on the hole in its hull so as not to be easily seen.
Anyone got anything else going on before making your way to Grindytown?
For the next few minutes things play out as expected; the fishers make their way up the coast and the ground group is able to follow the shore as it turns from white sand, to mixed rock and then to large boulders that lead up to a series of crag like cliffs that overlook the NE quarter of the island.
The squid creates a pursuit that leaves a window just long enough for Mel to follow in the water unobserved before coming to a a sharp cut off of shoreline where the only path to travel is a barely noticeable inlet inside the escalating cliffs. This is clearly where the Grindy nest is. A small cove/shallow provides a good spot for Mel to meet up with the group just out of sight of the main path of travel. The guard, moving from behind will pass Mel as she meets up with the group.
Off in the distance, Smudge and Mel both note that there is a sunken ship about 100 yards off the coast amongst a coral reef that meets the sea. Plain to see through the crystal waters from above and below.
Basically its a 3-5 minute swim around the cliffs into the cove where the Grindy's live. The tide/pull is relatively light so its an easy swim. Its currently high tide. More than likely a cave system it probably partially drains when the tide goes low.
Chaos erupts amongst the fishing party as the squid appears as though from nowhere. Predictably, the three fishing Grindy's pull the net with its meager bounty closed and start swimming away from the squid following the shoreline north though they seem somewhat encumbered by the net. The guard, still seemingly oblivious of the party on the shore, moves to chase the squid.
Effortlessly sticking to the sand and making your way out to deeper waters you find yourself amidst fledgling corral and sea life as the shore takes a sudden drop into deeper water. Here is where Ajani and HAssan ran into trouble earlier and the broken pieces of seabed vegetation still sits as a reminder of the conflict. Some 20 yards ahead a group of three Grindylow use nets to gather fish and other itesm from the sea. A harvesting expedition of some kind. A fourth, perfectly tinted to match the crysal waters seems to be floating just at water level above the group, its head just barely out of the water, watching the shore. If it has seen the party, it isn't moving to act. Yet.
As Mel takes to the water the rest of the group scans the horizon and surrounding area for any other items of interest. None of you see anything of particular note except for Fjori whose eyes catch on a point in the water.
Barely noticeable out to sea some 40 yards or so you catch the barest glint of light off of the wet head of a grindylow, peering out of the water. It hasn't seemed to notice the group, or if it has, it isn't moving.
You all tread to the beach where the rotting carcasses of Plugg, Scourge and others are well on their way to being claimed by various creatures of the island. In particular the gulls seem to be enjoying the variety of sea life that has decided to make the journey out to the bodies as they cook on the sound. The occasional scent is caught on the breeze off the water but for the most part the salt and surf continues to dominate your senses.
Mel makes her way to the water and places the ring on her finger. It gives a gentle squeeze which is then a much more shapr contraction in the neck as Mel feels the sensation of a quick slice echoing up each side of her throat. As quickly as the sensation comes, it goes and the only thing left is an almost sharp panic of the lungs as though air is missing. Diving into the water the sensation eases and though the sensation is "thicker", Mel breathes as she always has. The water feels thinner though in general, and Mel senses that she could move through the water with great ease simply swimming as she has her entire life.
Mel let's get a stealth and perception check. I will take perception from the rest please.
Uhmmm...my description is where? S+~~ lost a post, sorry.
Smudge takes to the skies and gazes about, wheels in the air a few times then comes back to Quillin.
Bird Recon Report for Quillin:
There are three things of interest as far as the parrot can tell.
1. Grindylows (3) near where Ajani and Hassan were before. Roughly Southwest off the beach.
2. Smudge sees a submerged ship in the crystal clear waters off the northwest edge of the island. Out maybe half a mile from the shore, caught on a reef.
3. Smudge sees a shallow off the NW edge of the island that seems to lead to a cove of sorts. Smudge sees movement there but can't be specific because its farther away.
In the sun the map is quite clear, all the places the group has previously tread detailed in exacting ink. Like before the map seems to move within a finite area around Mel with other people showing up and disappearing as the move closer and farther from the swashbuckler.
It is also clear from the map that a few other rough paths exist around the cabin you discvoered as well as other trail heads off the beach where you all confronted Plugg & company.
The black wand eludes Ajani but the one of crystal is a wand of healing. (CLW CL:4) an odd facet of the healing wand appears to be that while it has charges it has fewer but apparently can take in spells to recharge it.
(Currently 6 charges, max of 10. 1 spell goes in, one out. Any type.)
Ajani is sure there is "more" to the wand but like a mirage any further information seems beyond his grasp.
And with that, what's next. (Thnks for your patience folks)
Anyone else going to try to identify these things? I know Voodoo is in and out of contact so it may be a bit before he shares what he found but he missed the check on the wands if other folks want to try. (Which is funny as they were the easiest and he managed to make the crazy DCs on the other two.
You grasp desperately at the edges of both the wands auras to identify their properties but you simply cannot decipher their true purpose.
The ring and the book however reveal all their secrets.
The ring casts upon its user a modified version of Alter Self which grants a swim speed of 30 and gives the wearer the ability to breathe water (gills) while leaving the bearer otherwise unchanged. (No Dex or Str bonuses) The insidious part is the ring is cursed. Once worn it cannot be removed without dampening the ring's magic or a request from another person whose "Life is of the sea" (Pirates, Fisherman, Merchants Sailors of all Stripes. Someone who lives on or near a dock or works on one might trigger the magic, etc.) Additionally for ever hour that the bearer stays in a transformed state they must succeed on a DC 15 fortitude save or the transformation will become temporarily permanent for 1d4 hours at which point the ring comes off but the transformed person can only breath water.until they change back. Activation is a simply twist of the ring on the finger while some part of you is touching water. Another twist regardless of environment deactivates the effect.
The book is a spellbook and one packed with some powerful spells. The clasp is locked but much like the ring this book reveals all of its secrets. Without the key a Glyph of Warding has been inscribed in the book to release its magic. You are unable to tell which effect it has been set to but you are confident the key is the "trigger". From auras alone you can see that there are spells as powerful as level 5 present in the tome.
Fjori and Mel remove the contents of the chest and look through the contents in addition to checking the chest itself.
Fjori Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Fjori notices little save to verify that the leather pouch has platinum and gold coins while the velour one seems to be carrying a variety of gemstones including a few diamonds and emeralds of amazing clarity.
Mel on the other hand, not to be distracted, notices an irregularity in the height of the chest and the depth of the compartment. A knife point and a few seconds of probing later and Mel has lifted a false bottom from the lid.
Within is a book wrapped in oil cloth that features a black cover and a silver locking clasp, a small velour pouch with a single tarnished copper ring, and a leather case about 13 inches long that closes with a simple thong. Within the case are two wands; one an almost impossibly delicate crystal featuring a handle carved of stacked geometric shapes. The other is black wood with streaks of vibrant red and gold.
Between the three of you you think there is *something* that can be done (in the vein of Wellard's OOC notes) though another strong set of weather and even that repair won't keep you in good shape. But its better than nothing.
Rosie has taken her talents to doing the best she can on plank repairs and the hull and all in all the lot of the remaining crew should be able to drag the ship back into the shallows the next day, especially if Conchobar continues to inspire the lot of them with his bardic abilities.
Sleep comes quickly though rest is in some ways hard to find. In the morning everyone rises with the sun and the crew starts on finalizing the plans from the day before.
Rosie approaches you and hands over three flasks with a light sea green liquid in them. You ain't the only who was greasin the quartermaster for things of value. Their for water breathing. Should last about an hour a piece I was told. Figured if you were going to go diving in the drink you might not want to panic and drown.
Sorry for the delay. Turns out my family needs to move by month end which sort of disrupts my plans and is going to chew up a lot of my time in preparation. I appreciate your patience.
With Mel in the lead, studiously looking after the map, the trek to the wreck is indeed much faster than before. Thanks to the map Mel managed to avoid at least one tiger and something "else" that certainly was trying to follow you all for a while.
At the ship things have improved a fair measure. Shortstone has managed to see the ship righted for the most part and repairs have begun. The sails, as much can be gathered for mending, are also being used as cover of sorts for the camp site that the crew has established. Most folks seems alive if in poor spirits a few complaining that without their rum ration they are in a world of hurt.
Since we are in the summer months the light is late but even that is fading. As you all tend to your unconscious casters the hut continues to burn. In the tree there is occasional hiss of the creatures but the do not descend (yet) to attack. The life and sounds of the jungle entering night begin as some things quiet and other things come awake and fill the air with their cries.
Wil you stay or will you go now? Buh duh bud du duh du doo..
As the gnome fiddles with the clasp on the chest a small "crack" sound and then a hiss erupts from the chest's barely opened mouth spraying the wizard in the face. Quillin collapses to the ground and is unconscious. And will be so for 1d3 ⇒ 3 hours without magical aid
Inside the chest are a collection of journals, pouches in both leather and velvet, a silver tankard and a silver locket as well as 3 finely tailored outfits.
DC 15 Kno Nobility:
These outfits are of Chelish stylings.
Also can be seen the mechanism affixed to the lid of the chest that apparently broke a small glass vial and sprayed it contents out of the mouth of the chest.
YEah sorry I think I missed my fluff text. Ajani has enough hands/actions/seconds to see the chest and drag it out and close the door.
The flask shatters against the building and the now all too common sound of rushing flame comes to life and dances across the roof of the ramshackle hut. The creatures hiss in tandem at the sudden turn of events and both withdraw over the roof towards the tree that sits so close by, leaving everyone's line of sight.