The salamander eyes the group closely as you walk near. He seems to show little sign of aggression. You can tell from his saggy eyeslits that he is more than ready for some sleep. As you near the next chamber, the sound of escaping steam can be heard. Moving on you can see steam is hissing through this next chamber, the walls broken with thick cracks radiating flickering firelight. A stone table scattered with coal, ember colored stones, and elaborate patterns drawn in ash fills an alcove to the north, while opposite that lies a pallet of cinders and dark iron shavings.
Roll20 update coming momentarily.
Pent's eye catches the demonic statue of a snake, and so points to it for the others to observe. He occasionally shoots a glance around, to make sure he's nowhere near a sleeping geckoman, but his gaze returns to the statue again and again. He wracks his brain trying to understand what kind of god these creatures could be worshipping.
Knowledge(Religion): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
He marks the statue for its worth, but decides that pilfering at this moment would be sticking one's hand into a barrel of asps.
The gnome nods at the nodding off geckoman, but doesn't speak. He keeps putting one foot in front of the other, counting the footsteps behind him, and wondering how many more are left before they lay eyes on Lesaar.
The room seems oddly empty. Beyond the sounds of the ever active lava pumping through the mountain, you hear little beyond Andgronakraks whispered muttering.
Gretiem pads into the chamber as Aldebert peers around. He moves to the far side and looks for another exit - or any sign of this leader they apparently have.
Gretiem Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Aldebert Stealth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
I'm assuming the rest of the yahoos are moving up as well. I understand Mahdi's current slow posting. But Otah? Where are ye?
Ami and Yeen pad behind Get'him and Aldebert.
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10 Stealth (Yeen)
Perception, Ignan Understood: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Pent becomes more and more worked up, as they follow the mephit, who sounds completely confident about the outcome of this soon-to-be-arranged meeting.
He counts salamanders, the sleeping, and the soon-to-be-sleeping.
"These geckomen... they're prone to fawning over Flauros. That's demon worship. They're minions to an evil entity, so they're evil by proxy. Their proximity to Kelmarane doesn't bode well either, so I'm asking if we look past these reptiles in favor of the gnolls. Those preliminary lizards weren't talkers. The sleepy lizard is atypical, is my thinking. We've got sleeping lizards that won't know what hit them. And we've got a mephit who doesn't want to die, as he's looking for Lesaar. So, what do we got? What do we not got?"
Stealth: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
The chamber seems completely unoccupied. As the group moves about quietly you can hear the Salamander in the chamber behind estimating the time until its his time to sleep. Andgronakraks is clearly panicked.
"My lord. Falling to his knees before Mahdi. He should be here. This is his chamber. I.. just give me.." There are no words, simply half sobs and pawing at the rock beneath him.
So where is this Lessar creature?
Does the tunnel end here? Ultimately we're just looking for a way through to the gnolls - or at least that's Aldebert's goal, so if their leader is hiding/sleeping somewhere can we just proceed onward and avoid him altogether?
Mahdi: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12 (normal)
Aldebert: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Pent: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13 (low-light)
Amiamble: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24 (normal)
Yeenoghu: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24 (low-light)
Otah: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11 (darkvision)
Otah walks with the party, taking the front as directed. The gnome's further utterances of dance terms seem to bounce off the dwarf as he concentrates on the path ahead.
Upon reaching the chamber, he scans the room ahead, and gives the creature Andgronakraks the symbol for hushing, a finger to his dwarven lips.
Apologies. Semester started this week. I have a lot of time between classes, so that's good, but the first couple of days has been 'what's going on?'
Also, I'm still struggling to find Otah's role in the party to contribute to the story while walking around the dungeon. That's not a judgement on anyone in particular (except possibly myself). He seems to interact mostly with Pent, but I'm not sure how to engage the halflings?
|Yeenoghu the Sunrunner|
Ami looks around, still holding Yeen in check as the cat senses *something*.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26 Perception
Ami points at a small opening.
"Brother! Look there at that opening," hisses softly, but aloud.
Indeed, Ami is a bit slow to trust. He will gladly RP with you, however trust comes slowly. I would suggest hitting up Aldebert, who is both personal and friendly. You could even ask him about Ami...it would be interesting to hear what he might say out of Ami's earshot.
Ami was slow to trust Mahdi too.
And was slow to trust Pent too. (Ami now trusts him, but thinks he's a bit weird and difficult to understand, especially for one that claims to follow
And Otah will, I'm sure, eventually have Ami's trust as well..but it will take more time and hopefully your more consistent posting schedule will help things.
Pent jumps a little when the salamander appears from out of nowhere. "Hoo! You were hiding, huh? That is a neat trick, geckoman. Great for avoiding danger. Had us a chameleon once. It blended in with its surrounds pretty well. Fell asleep on a checkerboard, and it was never the same afterwards. You must be Lesaar. We are pleased to meet you. Knockrocks has told us about you, and to respect you. So, we do, if you'd do us the kindness of talking Common. A couple of us talk Firetongue, but you're leaving out the others in the conversation, and I'm frustrated by it. No offense intended, but we're on the offense at the moment, and on the offchance you are offended, we offer our apologies not our scoff. We're hunting gnolls, not geckos."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Mahdi looks irritable at Andgronakraks's whimpers, and waves a hand for him to hush up, but before he can say more the salamander appears. Mahdi's brows arch.
(If the salamander does not agree, he'll keep using Ignan.)
"Are you, then, the illustrious Lesaar? We have no issue with your people, if such matters to you. We have entered these caverns seeking only a path to the gnoll caves that does not go right beneath their eyes. I myself have considerable respect for the fiery natures of your people. We seek permission to pass through your caves."
Attempt to Aid Diplomacy, if permitted: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
The salamander eyes Andgronakraks curiously, while nodding at Pent and Mahdi's words.
"Andgronakraks, if there is truth in what they say I am surprised you have brought them to see me.
Andgronakraks steps forward, fumbling over his words and his feet. "Aye. Yes, I mean.. Lord Lesaar. I present making a poorly timed flourish, that nearly sends the mephit tumbling to its knees. Lord Mahdi. He wield's power like you do."
A slight smile momentarily breaks the calm silliness of Lesaar's face.
"Then it is good that you have brought them. I must remind you Andgronakraks, not to address me as lord. Tharatnias will not abide anyone but himself being held in such regard. Looking toward Mahdi, with a slight nod toward Pent.
Now. It is true. There is a way to find what you seek. But tell me. Why should I help you?"
Now. It is true. There is a way to find what you seek. But tell me. Why should I help you?"
"That's a very good question, and without knowing anything about your setup here it's a hard one to answer. Let me speculate, and you can correct me."
"I suspect the gnolls may demand tribute from you, or in some way have you under their heel. We're here to rid you of that problem. It is our goal to eradicate the gnolls from this complex and we mean to do it."
"If that's true, then letting us by weakens, or perhaps eliminates, your gnoll problem."
"Of course if you're actually in an alliance things are different."
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
"In that case I'm afraid we're going to have to kill you, and your guards. Again, you could just let us through and hope for the best. We're really not that interested in killing everyone we meet. We're just not that sort."
"So I entreat you, please let us by without the need for, uh, further bloodshed and we can all live peaceably."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Ami nods along with his brothers' words. He only manages a squeak of agreement when his brother explains how happy they would be to kill the Sallies if they wanted.
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5 Diplomacy - Aid Aldebert
He pats Yeen's back and wonders if it might have been smart to protect his brother from flames as well.
A bit of a smile creeps across Lesaar's face, but this time he doesn't attempt to hide it.
"I have no love for gnolls, but it does appear as if Andgronakraks has not apprised you of the situation here. Gesturing dismissively toward the chamber where the others are sleeping. They are not my guards. They serve Tharatnias in a whisper the slovenly. Whom I have no love for. So I must say I wish no peace, at least not with him. Perhaps we could make an arrangement?"
Gesturing, Lesaar motions toward the group. Pointing then toward the sleeping chambers, he makes a hacking motion. He points again at the group, followed by motioning with his hand, pointing around the chamber and the same hacking motion. He completes his make shift sign language by holding a finger over his mouth, making a shushing sound.
"Do you understand?"
How many salamanders are behind us?
Pent listens to Aldebert talk with the salamander, talking so casually of killing and conspiracy. Pray, Sarah, what would You do here? We have one evil lizard asking us to kill other evil lizards for his evil promise of evil help that might still be useful to our good goals. This is looking pretty muddy here, Mam.
"Well, we already..." <slitting-the-throat-gesture> "...two of them that greeted us with steely points. We tried to talk sense into them before we..." <seppuku-gesture> "...drove sense into them until they were senseless." The gnome looks at his companions, before continuing.
"What do you call an arrangement?" <scales-tipping-back-and-forth-gesture>
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
"Do you understand?"
Aldebert frowns. This is getting complicated. I don't think I like this...
"I understand, but I'm not sure. How are we to know they truly serve the gnolls? I think we must question them - no slitting throats.", he says matter-of-factly.
He looks to the other party members for their views on the subject.
Ami's eyes go wide, shaking his head in alarm.
I know Pent & Mahdi speak the half-tongue, yes? Ooo-tah?
"Whoa, Tharatnias is a female geckoman? Geckwoman? Geckogirl? Geckogal? Geckolas? Sally? Well, however to addresser is fine by me, but she sounds like she dresses folks down when she finds their stance distressing." Pent hears Ami slip into the Halftongue, and has half a mind to give him a tongue-lashing for being so rude, until he hears the antignoll speak of redemption.
"And the gnolls aren't evil?! I'm atta... oh, now, no time to talk gnoll when no gnoll is found about. Let's get the lizards sorted, so we can continue here. If you wake the geckomen, will they give us enough time to talk them outta losing their lives here?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Pent looks back and forth between the Kelmarane crew, and the sorcerous salamander. "I'm inclined to say that the enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. Anyway you wanna play it. We assist you assassinate your ass of a mate, but we don't have the measure of you. You worship Flauros? You wander anywhere near the town of Kelmarane, you and yours? See, we're challenging the gnolls, because they're threatening our home town. Can't have that. You're local geckomen, so who knows what your designs are once you take control of your geckominions. And they're sleeping. Why haven't you done the deed yourself?" The gnome paces restlessly, but doesn't seem ready to end the negotiation yet.
"Good questions, all. I am but one. Even with my power I cannot do as you say on my own. Gesturing toward the other chamber. They have no interest in leaving this place. As for myself, I'd rather leave this plane altogether."
Mahdi has not deigned to learn the half-tongue.
Mahdi looks irritable at this muttering from his colleagues.
"Killing...hm, how many of them?" he echoes, brows arched. "Are there any you would wish us to leave alive? Eradication of all those guards seems high payment for mere leave to travel. And also somewhat mercenary on your part," he adds casually, because really, it matters little to him.
Mahdi continues to look irritable. It is near to being his natural state, but he's also juggling the logistics of how he helps to kill creatures that don't burn, and he is coming up short.
"Hmm... returning to the plane of fire, you mean," he says, genuinely interested by that, at least. "What is stopping you? Do you need access to a portal?"
Mahdi's thoughts flicker back to the planar cube, left hanging in the temple of Nethys. Hmmm.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Aldebert has trouble with this pact and isn't sure it's in the best interests of the region, and the burgeoning civilization. It seems to be, but he just isn't sure.
He dismounts and creeps back to the sleeping salamanders.
Stealth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
He looks upon them, from a short distance (oh 30' or so), and Detects Evil. When he returns, he does the same with Lassar.
I bet they're all evil. Then what are you going to do, huh?
Ami watches his brother, trusting him to do the right thing.
He always does the right thing.
He looks at the rest of the party, his eyes eventually resting on the quiet dwarf.
He doesn't say much.
Lessar looks amusedly at Mahdi.
"I only wish for them to sleeeeeep. Of course no killing, not of my brothers. He makes a slashing motion across his throat as he speaks. If those already sleeping could be seen by those away. To convince them. That would be enough. And if I had a portal I would not be here. If I had the power to return the same would be true."
He looks to the others as he speaks for support or dissent.
"We'll drive off the salamanders we passed - we'll strongly suggest they find another place to live. Perhaps Mahdi here can help you get home, but either way you are not to cause any trouble to the settlement."
"In exchange, you will show us the way to the gnolls that we may best them and drive them out too."
"What does everyone think of that arrangement?"
Not sure I like it, but it's the best we can do I suppose. No need to kill everything that moves in this world.
"Heh. 'Speak' with the geckogal. Because when we show our mugs, she'll set the wheel in motion that rolls either her or us over. Or both, if we end up walking away with her tail between our legs. I'd say that we have enemies among all the geckogang, but you're at least offering to forward our cause by showing us the way into the gnoll neck of the woods. I really, really like that you want to get gone. Nothing personal, but your being here is detrimental to our mental health." Pent squints at Aldebert, trying to size up the likelihood that they'll avoid bloodshed. Deciding that it's highly unlikely that the likelihood is likely to be low, the gnome continues.
"What should we expect then, if we seek to 'speak' with your Tharatnias? Who's she with? Where's she at? What's her surrounds? When's she sleep? And why should we trust you, should we get the geckogal's goat?"
I'm sort of fuzzy on exactly what the deal is here, in an OOC sense. I get that Lesaar is saying one thing and meaning another, that's not really my hang-up, I'm just confused as to exactly how many of the salamanders there are and how many Lesaar expects/hopes for us to deal with it. I'm sorry if it's been clearly stated in thread, I looked back through and if it was, I missed it. Mahdi, being a chaotic neutral, self-centered pain in the ass, has no issues killing salamanders in their sleep, but I'm certain that Aldebert (at least) would, so we'd be agreeing to, well, basically wake them up and fight them, most likely (not realistically expecting us to be able to redeem them from an OOC perspective)... and I'm trying to get a sense of how many salamanders we'd likely be taking on and whether waking a lot of them up to fight them is suicidally dumb. If we don't know ICly, that's fine. I'm just very hazy on what the actual details are here, so my slowness in posting has been kind of like 'uhhhh well what would that entail' and trying to re-read and figure it out. If it's not breaking the sense of immersion too much to have a plain statement of the sort of numbers we're talking about, it might help clarify things.
"I don't have the means here to transport you home," Mahdi says crisply. "But say we 'talk'," (he rolls his eyes), "to Tharatnias for you. What happens next? You become leader? What is your status now... in relation to hers?"
Otah watches quietly and listens as the party converses with Lessar. He waits patiently, until it looks like the conversation has reached some sort of natural point for him to interrupt.
"Forgive my simple mind, but you all dance in words and tongues unknown. Say it straight, Lessar, with your words and not your hands. You want us to kill Tharatnias and the other... " Otah's words trail as he looks at the gnome for the proper word. "gecko people, in return for your providing us guidance to the gnolls lair?"
Otah leans on his horsechopper, using it as a brace with which to lift his leg and scratch an itch on his calf. Then he turns to the party, "Are we to slaughter lizards in their sleep?"
Otah does not have half-tongue as a language. :-/
Ami looks shocked when Otah finally speaks.
He listens intently for the answer. He is sure, much like his brother, that he would never want to slay enemies in their sleep...after all, they aren't gnolls. They might deserve some mercy. These salamanders might want redemption before given the claw.
Ami waits for the answer to Otah's questions.
Lessar lets loose a sigh.
"Strong dwarf. You may have such a privilege. To speak what you will. I do not. Not here. Not now. Looking toward Mahdi. I have no wish to lead. Nor do I like living underfoot. Crushed like a bug. Shrugging with resignation. I will show you the way out. The more we talk, the more I risk."
Lessar heads back toward the chamber you all passed through.
The party has killed two Salamanders and you have passed by three (one awake, two sleeping). Though Lessar has not said as much, you get the impression that there are other salamanders, their leader at the least.
The gnome perks up, as the salamander seems to begin escorting them back outside, and away from their goal.
"Hey. We're trying to gain entrance into the House of the Beast. Are you getting rid of us? Are you forgetting our negotiations? Are you letting us have our way? Are you betting we'll still get your job done? Are you netting bigger fish using us as your minnows?"
Pent watches the halflings and the dwarf, and gets ready to follow them when they start following the salamander.
At the sound of Lessar walking toward the chamber in a huff, the Salamander on watch speaks up.
Andgronakraks holds a finger over his mouth, but Lessar ignores him while responding to Pent all the same. "You think you know. You walked right by the path you seek."
Mahdi eyes the chamber of the ceiling a moment, huffs, and digs out his spellbook and his ink pen. "Well, it's been an interesting negotiation, if we can call it that," he says loudly-- while scribbling in a back page of his book.
You cannot be overheard counseling us to violence, yes, I understand that part. But this miming is only going to lead to confusion for us all. You want Tharatnias and her guards dead because you despise having to take her orders, very well-- but if you don't wish to lead this tribe yourself, why do you not simply [i]go away from here? Are you held prisoner?[/i]
I know of a planar gate in the form of a cube-- I have sent fire elementals home by means of it.
This, he shows to Lesaar, his quill held out for the salamander, or anyone else who wishes to use it.
If Lesaar has nothing more to try and communicate to us, that's fine, no need to bother with the 'writing' shtick.
Pent watches Mahdi and Lesaar commence to scribbling. He grins comfortably as written words continue the conversation. The quiet words... so as not to wake the guards... the silent words... strengthen the bonds so when the pain comes the promises stand...
The gnome waits patiently for the quill to quiet, and the understanding dawns.
Ami looks at Aldebert as he follows along.
"Believe me, I'm enjoying the heat myself," Mahdi says, a little distracted as he tries to write, talk, and walk at the same time.
Back near, but not in, the human village- an empty temple. In the future, I could take you there.
Mahdi has idle daydreams of someday visiting the Plane of Fire himself and being greeted by an admiring chorus of all the fire-born he has successfully sent home. Gotta catch 'em all...
(Probably clear already from OOC thread, but, welp, I might be slow again. Please don't let the game hang up on me; GM me if needed. Mahdi's fine with fighting salamanders if it comes to that, he'll just pop his scroll of haste first round, and then try and
hide stay out of the way)
"Out of my reach then. Gesturing ahead the chamber where salamanders are sleeping. They are going to ask me if I'm taking you to see Thratnias." Jotting one last note before moving forward.
As Lessar begins walking forward you can hear the same salamander voice.
"Good. Quiet. Now don't disturb us if you can. Lessar replies in a whisper.
"Just escorting our guest through to meet Thratnias."
Bluff: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
The salamander nods silently and then returns to lounging about on a hot rock.
Back at area 1 on the Roll20 map.
Lessar looks on with disappointment.
"I'm sure Thratnias would have rewards for you.." He gestures off in the direction of one of the central path, which you have not taken. The one Andgronakraks said was tricky.