WP grumbles for a moment and then realizes he has a tool for this. He summons his connection to the land to grant him heightened sense (keen senses: gives low light vision and +2 perception).
If the spell doesn't help he will advance 30 more feet. If that doesn't give more info, he will report back.
|Dungeon Master S|
Perception: 1d20 + 23 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 23 + 2 = 44 You see spectral forms of terrified orcs collapsing to the ground and being beaten to death by unseen assailants! The shrieks cut to your inner heart. It's utterly awful! The experience leaves the halfling exhausted. There seems to be nothing else here, and it's definitely time for a nap.
Raen emits a small, involuntary gasp of alarm as the halfling collapses. She checks him for ailments and poisons...
Heal: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
...but fails to find conclusive evidence of either. "He appears to be sleeping, but beyond that I cannot ascertain what has become of him. amilton, would Sammie acquiesce to carrying our companion? I advise we retreat away from this stench so that I may better monitor his condition."
Back towards the access to the upper levels, but stopping in the passageway. Raen will use the Iron Spike of Safe Passage to mimic a tunnel collapse, in case any giants come wandering by.
"It was awful." The halfling begins,"It was an image of two orcs, and even though orcs are evil disgusting things and I usually wouldn't think twice about what happened to anyone one of them, What I saw... was just awful. They were being beat again and again and again. Their bodies became just a mass of flesh and bone without form." WP looks at Raen,"Don't make me go back there, Master! I can't!"
WP looks at Raen,"Don't make me go back there, Master! I can't!"
Raen utters a low curse in a forgotten tongue. "He is hallucinating again. He must still be seeing things." To Whistle Pig, slightly louder and with a vigorous shake, "Whistle Pig! Your 'master' is not present. Those days are long behind you. You are not, and never will again be, subject to enslavement. Shake these visions! Your friends are here. You are safe. Trunau needs you."
Raen frowns. "I cannot shake him from his visions. Vael, perhaps this is more your style of magic than mine? Can you discern his ailment?"
Tulia flits forward, a concerned look on her face. "I think I can help. He need only listen to me."
And with that, she begins to sing. Her soprano voice seems to echo, as if a chorus of voices accompanied her. With each word, the fatigue drains from any who hear her.
Rest tired eyes a while
Sweet is thy baby's smile,
Angels are guarding
And they watch o'er thee.
Sleep, sleep, grah mo chree
Here on your mamma's knee,
Angels are guarding
And they watch o'er thee,
The birdeens sing a fluting song
They sing to thee the whole day long,
Wee fairies dance o'er hill and the dale
For very love of thee.
Using her 1/day ability to remove fatigue and exhaustion for the party
WP hear's Tulia's sweet song and is slowly roused from sleep. He stands and stretches."I had the oddest dream." He starts,"But I don't remember all of it, but I do remember I really don't want to go down that tunnel again."
He pops up and is ready to go. He follows the next tunnel and quickly scouts ahead. He's glad to have the invisibility cloak. Raen won't see the pain on his face as he moves forward.
"Fret not, little one. We hope to have the matter resolved in short order."
Friendly reminders to Matt: WP has a ring of invisibility and a cloak of etherealness (limited use for 10 min/day), and Raen has see invisibility (constant), which allows her to see him with either or both activated. :)
Raen, Vael, and Doxon head the short way down the tunnel. Raen casts her scroll of darkvision upon herself along the way. Upon entering the darkened chamber, the trio stand alert and ready.
Perception (Doxon): 1d20 + 3 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 3 + 4 = 27
Perception (Raen): 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 12 + 4 = 25
Perception (Vael): 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 7 + 4 = 29
When the haunt begins to manifest, Raen attempts to ascertain its origins -- and how to destroy it.
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (17) + 20 = 37
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (7) + 15 = 22
With Whistle Pig safely travelling with the others, Vael speaks up to Raen. "I"ve seen how our little halfling tugs at tha ring you made him. I've not taken the time to study it, but usually a ring that won't leave you bears a powerful curse. But I expect you to know that, so I must ask: what magic does that ring bear?"
Raen is quiet for several paces. The dwarf wonders whether she heard and is about to repeat his question when she finally answers. "No, not a curse. He wears two rings, in fact, one of silver and one of iron, and I gave him both. The silver grants him a glamer that hides him from sight, and he may take it off at any time he chooses. The iron..." Raen glances involuntarily at the gold ring on her own hand. "Let us just say that it permits me to come to his aid when needed. You know how he is, always wandering off to find trouble..."
Vael nods. "I can see wisdom in that. Does the ring grant you any insight into his situation? How will you know he's in trouble?"
"In rough measure, yes, so long as we remain on the same plane of existence. For example, I learned of his sudden exhaustion long before you did, but I also learned that he was returning to our position and came to no further harm, so I opted to wait for his arrival to learn more." After a moment, she adds, "I informed him as much when I gave him the ring, though he has perhaps forgotten since."
Vael wastes no time, channeling his connection with the wandering spirit of Life to emit a pulse of positive energy that washes over them.
Channel Positive Energy: 6d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 5) = 26
"Excellent work, Vael," Raen compliments. She performs a short circuit of the room.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19 What is in the room?
I suppose it makes sense they'd abandon such a chamber, with unquiet spirits within, Ushyle muses, still troubled by the words of his halfling friend.
"If we need a way out, this can be a way. But I don't know that we need to take the time to do so. Let's backtrack and keep our search going."
Backtrack and head west-southwest now
|Dungeon Master S|
The entrance to the cavern is blocked by a 4' tall fence, which seems laughable in a mountain of giants. Whistle Pig hops the fence and enters the room as stealthily as possible.
This old volcanic cavern smells like animals. Lit by braziers, the
room contains several large patches of grasslike fungi. Shaggy
mountain goats and their young graze on the fungus in groups
of twos and threes. A slight breeze comes from the direction of
the southern wall. You spot a pair of giants who are taller and thinner than the fire giants. Their skin looks like it's made of stone. They don't seem to notice you.
Scout: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (3) + 23 = 26
Stealth: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (3) + 22 = 25
4d20 ⇒ (15, 19, 6, 6) = 46
4d20 ⇒ (12, 16, 14, 6) = 48
WP tries to remember what he knows about stone skinned giants:
know local: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (6) + 18 = 24
WP returns the the group,"Goat pens and two stone skinned giants acting as herders are up ahead."
Ham takes a quiet moment to soothe Sammi. He whispers, Sometimes it feels like he takes an entire age to get back. I hate worrying about him.
Ushyle's sharp ears catch Ham's lament, and he meets the rough rider's eye with a knowing nod. Have felt that for years, my friend.
"Shall we proceed? Whistle Pig, I recommend you utilize your aviation implement. The herders may attempt to induce a stampede."
To punctuate the point, Raen rises to the ceiling. Any preparatory spells folks want to cast?
Vael opts for a simple blessing for the group, chanting and imbuing the group with his heaven-sent magic right before they enter.
Cast Bless before we start a fight
Per Slack, retcon of my previous post as we'll try a softer approach first.
"Allow me a chance to parlay," Vael suggests. He advances into to room, flying with Tulia hovering over his shoulder.
Speaking in the language of Giants, the shaman makes his presence known. "Greetings, Pillars among Men. I am Vael Oakfist, and I come in peace. I would hope to parlay with you, to learn the news, and to ask about passage beyond your lands. May I and my friends approach?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (11) + 21 = 32
|Dungeon Master S|
Two stone giants (though Vael notices a third hiding in the shadows) react. "A dwarf speaking of men? What know you of men? There's no news to be had here. By right we could kill you for trespassing."
The second chimes in, "though if you're this far into the mountain, you're clearly not to be trifled with. We have no news, but in return, we'll allow you passage through."
2d20 ⇒ (17, 13) = 30
"Talking of killing trespassers seems like a hasty judgement. But this is your home, so we'll trouble you no further." Vael waves for the group to come forward, and then makes his way through and to the northeast passage. Before he leaves, he adds, "We'll probably need to come back through however. I can conjure food for some of your animals upon our return. Consider it a form of thanks."
"Wait," Raen speaks to Vael in Celestial, choosing a language less likely to be known to the giants. She shakes her head. "I cannot consider this matter settled. These giants are not leaders of the Storm Tyrant's cause, that much is plain. Yet they do lend aid and succor. Further, these three may raise an alarm after we pass that will bring the denizens of the whole mountain down upon us. I ask that you urge them to take their flock and abandon this place."
To her latter concern, Raen gazes carefully at the giants' stony expressions. Sense Motive: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
"In fact," Raen adds, turning back to face the dwarf and locking eyes with him, "I am now certain that they will betray our presence the moment we are gone. Study their faces. They have consented to permit our passage solely because they fear to face us alone. Fear is a fickle and fleeting master."
Vael looks at Raen, then responds in Celestial. He's surprisingly adept at the language. "We do not know if they provide aid at all. It's possible they simply coexist. And we've walked into their home. Asking them to simply leave their home will not be well-received, and is hard to justify. I doubt any of us would respond well to an armed force walking into Trunau and telling us to abandon it."
He shakes his head. "As to an alarm, you're right that this is a possibility. But stone giants are not evil, even if they're not friendly. Unless you've an idea for a non-violent approach to this situation, I do not see a choice. Slaying them because it's inconvenient will not do. Though perhaps we can find a way to parlay for their silence."
"Not all stone giants are evil," Raen quickly corrects. "Urathash certainly was." A frustrated expression flashes momentarily across the Varisian's face.
"Vael, consider where we are. We stand at Ashpeak, an advanced training facility of the Storm Tyrant, who plans to deploy forces quartered here to level Trunau and every 'littlefolk' town within a thousand miles. Do you truly believe that these stone giants came to be here by accident? What drew those tens of thousands to Minderhall's Valley but the lure of the Tyrant's call? Do you doubt that that same lure drew these ones here? Such naivety does not suit you."
She pauses, then continues. Her tone is mild, even flat, though her words are not.
"If you want to understand their story, ask them to tell it. Then better judge the right course. But I cannot consent to permitting these giants to bring about the deaths of everyone in our company, and everyone we have ever known or loved on Bloodmarch Hill, and everyone who lives in a thousand villages across the Mindspin Mountains, simply because you find the truth inconvenient enough to ignore."
Most would bristle at the Varisian's tone. Vael is contemplative, and only speaks after a long pause. Never leaving the celestial tongue he says, "You have made a great many assumptions, and I understand them. We are here to end a threat, because there is a fear rooted in us. We fear losing more loved ones. But it's a dangerous thing to let what-ifs based on that fear, to have them rule us. You speak of truth, but with these giants you do not know it. You guess, but don't let your ability to come to conclusions quickly misguide you from what is just. They fear us, invaders in their home. Does that not seem familiar to you?"
He pauses again, then adds, "I do agree that we should know their story. I will be frank with them, and we will see what we can learn of the truth."
Maintaining a non-threatening posture, Vael speaks in Giantish. "You are right to believe we're not to be trifled with, it's true. I want to treat you with respect too, because I know you are no fool. We are committed to protecting our home, and respect yours. But I'm sure you know that our foe is the Storm Tyrant and his followers. Tell me, how is it that you find yourself allied with them?"