The Sanctuary Bar was once known as the finest place to dance, dine and drink away an evening. Catering to adventurers and richer merchants it was also a surprisingly sturdy building. Thick grey stone walls shed a a mis-aimed spell or the rain with equal efficiency. Indeed, even the most brutal of battles had never left more than a sootpatch, leading to rumours that the building was enchanted.
Maybe those rumours were true. Sanctuary still stood against the bleak weather, and against the undead that had risen. It hadn't been without cost. The now nailed shut front door was visible from the whole common area, and the blood that marred the once beautifully polished oak was equally evident.
But through strength of arms and magic the doors had held. And for now the pitiful remnants of the town that huddle within the walls are safe. Groups of survivors sit at the tables, sleep on quickly assembled pallets or blankets, or eat meagre meals that the inn has prepared.
It's the last one that is growing to be a concern. The Inn's well means it can keep thirst at bay, but it's food is growing scarcer. There are already rumours of parents giving there children there own share of the meals. You don't know if it's the truth, but the tension in the air when food is seen is enough to make you tense.
The tall man behind the bar gestures you and several others over. You saw him in action, and know the big, scarred hands of his are deadly. It only takes one Ghoul having there face shattered to convince you of this. "Well, I dinnae think it'll escape your notice that food's running low," he announced without preamble in an odd brogue. "You've all helped a bit, and I appreciate that. Hows ya fancy helping out a bit more? I gots an idea where we can find grub but I need someone to go and gets it."
At the barkeeper's gestures, a short, stocky woman rises from where she sits against the wall. Dirty red hair barely brushes her shoulders, the ends uneven, as if the cut was done with little caution and a none-too-sharp dagger. As she rises, an intricately carved bow and a quiver of arrows jostle at her back, and an array of strange wooden symbols hang from a cord around her neck. A short length of chain is coiled at her waist, with a large metal ball hanging from its end. She eyes her backpack warily, as if loath to take her eyes off of it in the crowded room, but leaves it in its place.
Stay here, pup, she mutters to the young wolf sitting on the wood floor near her. The proprietor had been none too pleased when she brought him inside, but the woman refused to leave him to the madness beyond, and he had finally relented after seeing the canine's strangely docile behavior. The wolf looks up for a moment, yips softly, and turns in several small circles, laying down on top of the bedroll spread where she sat a moment before.
She approaches the bar and listens to the man's request, then reaches back and grabs her bow, stringing it with deft hands. I've some fair skill with the hunt, if it's what yer needin'. What'd ye have in mind? I've shared out what I c'n spare already, and I keep seein' the eyes on my sack. Like they think it pulls dried boar meat straight from thin air or somethin'.
I've deleted all but a day's worth of trail rations from my sheet to share out among the residents.
The small Ratfolk standing on a bench in a corner, lifts his remaining ear at the call. He has stopped caring about hiding his wound since the last night, busy as he was hurling acid vials at the undead trying to enter. Since the morning, he has commandeered a whole table and taken out of his bag an impressive array of lab apparatus and is busy refilling vials.
"There, I'm done.", he says putting a stopper on his last vial. Jumping down the bench, he whistles to the small owl perched just above him and makes his way to the bar. "I've done what I could with what I have right here, but there won't be as much fire vials as yesterday. I'm almost out of supplies. If we can look out for that as well, I'm all for it.", he adds climbing up a stool as tall as himself. "So pray tell us. what is your plan?"
The bristling feathers of the small Tengu in the corner indicate Chloir's foul mood. She's been locked up in this motely building for entirely too long already, when she should've been on her way back to her employer's mansion. And the barkeep's mention "helping a bit" only reminds her of the first time the man had called on all the guests to pool what food they had. When so many others dutifully rushed forward, she'd deemed it unwise not to empty her backpack as well. Thank Pharasma half of the rations had been tucked into a seperate, easy to miss compartment!
But however put upon Chloir might feel, she doesn't hesitate long after hearing the barkeep's offer. She would enjoy a chance to stretch her wings again, without having to worry that the refugees would refuse to open up one of the boarded up windows long enough to get back in. Not to mention that she might have a chance to find some other things than food. A way out of this blasted town would be best of course, but she'd settle for another abandoned shop. That new backpack was a great improvement over her last one, and while she felt more at home with her blades her new bow held a certain appeal as well.
Besides, retrieving highly demanded items from underneath the noses of dangerous beings intent on killing interlopers was a specialty of hers. The only problem was that large supplies of food were heavier and bulkier than the usually requested wares. But that dwarvish lady who had jumped up immediately looked sturdy enough to help with that. And she seemed capable enough too. Chloir still hadn't figured out where she'd hidden her hold-out rations.
She stood up and walked towards the barkeeper. "Well sir, hunting is no specialty of mine, nor is emptying whole storehouses. But I would be willing to risk a foray to help find this grub of yours, and making sure we can get there and back safely."
I'll remove 4 of my 7 rations as well
The barkeep's call lifts Abelone from the morose state she had fallen into after completing her prayers and making sure that no-one in the tavern was at immediate risk of falling dead or worse. Like Rennai and Chloir, Abelone had given away most of her food to the hungry townsfolk. Not only because she wanted to help, but also because it would look rather bad if a strange dwarf and a very shady bird-person showed more charity that the town's cleric.
"Yes, more food would seem to be a priority. I'm afraid I can't outright create more food, but I do have been blessed with the ability to make it edible again if it's spoiled or rotten. But yes, I'd be happy to help. Especially since I have... such... er..."
She takes a look at the other volunteers. She doesn't have anything against ratfolk, but she can't help but feel a little unnerved around the alchemist and his numerous vials. The fact that he's missing an ear does nothing to reassure her that he's able use them without causing any accidents, and Abelone wouldn't want to lose any more body parts for unfortunate explosions. And then there's the tengu: Abelone couldn't help but have the feeling that that equipment of hers wasn't obtained by completey legitimate means. The dwarf seemed like a good enough sort, but what kind of person keeps a wolf as a pet?
"...capable-looking people going with me. I'm sure we'll all be fine."
Kovar eyes all the others standing up, but he's already aware he doesn't need food, so unfortunately he has none to spare. They look like a hardy group at least, so he should be able to muster his fear.
At the very least, the town has aided him more than he feels he can ever pay back. "Unfortunately, I don't have any rations to share, but I will gladly join these fine folk to make sure the locals are fed." Kovar smiles nervously and waves at the other adventurers.
The Barman nods at the food. "Aye, it all helps. But here's what I'm thinking. Couple of streets back there's a warehouse. Where I buy half the grub I put on my table. You get in, scrab as much of it as we can, and nick off back here. Should keep us fed a bit. Now, my thinking is that we want to head in underground. Sewers gotta connect hither and thither, right? But I betcha coppers to gold that these damned things have gotten down there too - nice and dark in daytime, and some of these things like that."
Scratching his nose, the man added, "Course, you got a better plan, or just a different plan, it's your arses what will be hanging out. Hell, I can't even make you help us, though I hope you will. Not even sure I can pay, for all golds worth right now."
Abelone thinks for a moment before speaking. "Hm. Going through the sewers would make sense, yes. Probably less monsters than over the ground, and in a smaller space they can't get all on us at once. Of course, running away would be harder too... Mister, uh, barkeeper? Is there possibly a way to enter the sewers from inside the building or do we have to go find an entrance outside?"
The tight spaces ain't so good for me bow, but I can make it work, and I like our chances better in there than on the streets. Least there's a chance the sewers ain't infested, though it ain't a great one. Rennai finishes stringing her bow and tests it, the string letting off a soft twang.
Yeah, I'll lend a hand. It's me and my pup I'm feedin' along with everyone else, after all - we're all up s+~* creek at this point. Besides, it means some of those abominations may just happen to fall on my arrows, she finishes with a grim smile.
Abraham, stood off in corner, his unnaturally bronze hair kept short and tight, gathering his remaining gear together. He had almost missed the barkeeps invite, he had been lost in thought reminiscing over his lost family. Forced he had been to abandon his hunt for them for the time being, the streets had grown too dangerous and his own food supplies had become non-existent. He hadn't given up, he wouldn't until he knew whether they were safe or... well, he wasn't giving up, not yet.
His haggard face grimaced in frustration before going blank again. Now wasn't the time.
Walking over he nods at the barkeep, before listening in on what he had to say. "I would be more than happy to help", his emerald eyes giving the barkeep a look before taking in the others who had gathered. At least they all look capable enough.
His eyes flickered on the Rat-Folk for a moment, considering his vials, then on the Wolf the Female Dwarf had been with, before settling on the Tengu. He couldn't help but puzzle over them, he felt a certain familiarity with them, whether it was his own Garuda heritage he wasn't so sure, there was sameness in the way she moved too. Just looking at her made the feather like markings, easily mistaken for tattoos, on his body tingle.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts again, Abraham listened to the conversations going on.
"I too think that perhaps the sewers might be our best bet. If there is at least a chance there are less of them then we should take it."
Chloir doesn't care for the suggestion one bit. She has no desire at all to expose her sensitive sense of smell to the putrid stench of the sewers. But since even she admits that clambering over the rooftops with a sack full of food on her own would be tricky, so she resgns herself to the other's decision. "At least our new supplies will last some time: After carrying it through the sewer, the food will smell bad enough that only the truly famished will want to eat it."
As she starts stripping her gear and emptying her pack to rid herself of needless ballast, her professional instincts kick in. A stake-out of the place was not feasible, so she'd better ask for as much information as possible now. "Do you know the route to the storehouse through the sewers, or a way for us to determine the correct route?" she asks the barkeep, while unstringing her bow and dropping her quiver. "Won't have much use for those underground."
"Will we have to trudge through the filth, or is there some walkway in the sewers? If there is, can we take a cart or wheelbarrow across it? Does the storehouse have any that we might use?" Waterskin? Leave it. Grappling rope and hook? Too heavy and probably not needed. Maybe someone else could carry it just in case. "How big is this storehouse? Do you suppose we'll need this rope to climb around in it? Did it used to have any traps or some such against thieves that might hamper us?" Chlo reaches into her pack and tried to covertly wrap it around her remaining rations before removing the lot. "Oh, and how easy would that building have been to fortify against this blight? Can we expect to meet other refugees there? If we do, they might not take kindly to us taking some of their food. Does anyone know what we might trade them in return?"
Sleight of hand, to hide the rations: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
After leaving the above equipment behind, Chloir can carry the rest, including backpack, and still have a light load, so the backpack penalties don't apply.
Kerwin rubs his hands absentmindedly as he listens to the proposition.
"This is an interesting proposition. The sewers are a good option, provided we can navigate through them without raising undue alarm. The second question is as you mentioned, can we bring back enough. And the third is can you map at least the surface route to get there. As the sewers usually follow the streets, we should manage with that."
The rubbing gets quicker as he considers his own questions.
"For the first, if I trust what I see. At least half of us, including me, do not need light. That should help us detect ambushes. For the second, I do have one or two things to help. First I have this bag that can contain around 50 pounds while weighting only 3. Then if needed, I can greatly increase my strength for about half an hour and carry more. I'm just going to have to leave most my lab here. I hope you can keep people from playing with it for their own safety.", he finishes pointing to the glass and metal workings he was using a few minutes ago.
"I do think the sewers are a good idea. And the entrance question remains."
The Barkeeper scratched the short stubble of a beard. "Well, I can get you in from the basement. We had a bit of a leak a few years ago, so I know where to knock a hole. You'll have to use your best judgement for getting into the warehouse, though. I can lend you a sledgehammer."
Glancing over at Chloir, the Barkeeper continued, "I think I saw walk ways in the sewers when they were fixing things. Maybe bring some good boots? The warehouse has wheelbarrows and such. You can get around the warehouse without ropes, but I don't know about any traps. They kinda keep those secrets, aye? Haven't been there since the whole dead rising thing happened, so I dunno if they've done anything to reinforce it. Wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't the only to have this idea."
"And yeah, I can keep the kiddies playing with the pretty glass stuff," he added to Kerwin. "I dinna want to get blown up. I need these walls too."
Abraham cracks a small but genuine smile/
"A sledgehammer it is then. I can't think of much else we might need. Do you know where exactly the sewers come out at? It would be a good thing to know in case we end up needing to make a speedy escape to have have an idea of."
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Any knowledge of the warehouse and the immediate things surrounding it.
Turning to Kerwin
"That bag of yours sounds mighty useful, I'm sure we can put it to good use.
"So, shall we go and take a look at those sewers? I don't know if there's much more we can do to prepare," Abelone says. "If it starts looking too bad, we can always backtrack and try getting to the warehouse some other way."
"I do not mind hurrying up, but perhaps those that remain here need to prepare. If any of the monsters did get into the sewers, we don't want them to get in via the passage our sledgehammer is about to make. You'd best prepare some kind of baricade before we open it up. Only pray see to it that it can be opened quickly from the inside, in case we return with a horde of the blasted things on our heels."
Chloir checks the edge of her blades (as if she hasn't spend many a boring hour in the tavern sharpening it), then adds as an afterthought. "Oh, and I believe I'll be of less use wielding a sledgehammer than guarding the one who will wield it, in case the noise attracts anything already lurking in the sewer."
Rennai goes back to her place and begins to dig through her bag, removing several items and placing them in pockets or tying them to her broad belt. After several moments, she rises and whistles to the wolf. He looks up at her, then yawns and rises, stretching languidly.
Rennai rejoins the group, the tops of several bottles visible in her pockets and a rather potent string of garlic hanging around her neck. Aye, let's go. And make sure yeh keep an eye on my bag, barkeep. Unless yeh'd rather the pup stays here ta guard it, she finishes with an impish grin. Conri, with me. The wolf sits on its haunches at her side with a loud huff.
I c'n take the hammer. Takes a lot ta slow me down. She ties a strap to the hammer's handle and hangs it over her shoulder, where it sits in parallel with her quiver.
I'll be adjusting my inventory to indicate what items Rennai's taking and leaving behind.
The Barkeeper leads you behind the bar and down a flight of stairs into the Inn's cellar. Leading you past the huge barrels of beer and racks of wine to another door, hastily piled bottles of spirits around the entrance. Hastily added wooden strats reinforce the door, making it somewhat safer. Including a heavy set of bolts.
Opening the door, the cleared out room beyond was small. "Right, as you can see I'm gonna close the door behind you. Because being eaten by monsters isn't on me to do list. Bang on the door and shout and I'll let you back in. Warehouse is South of here. Then let's get started."
Raising a heavy hammer, the Barkeeper smashed it into the wall. The mortar was newer and less well set than the older stuff, and quickly grumbled under the assault. Soon a reasonable sized hole was knocked through. The Barkeeper stood back, revealing the sewers.
Two concrete walkways flank a vile fluid flowing in the centre. It would be simple enough to hop across in either direction. The sewer openes up in the east and west, but the tunnel is utterly dark - the only light is from Sanctuary's basement.
"Pongs a bit, don't it?" The Barkeep sniffs. "If you need to come back, feels free. Me or someone else will be waiting on the other side."
Welcome to the Sewers! If you click the link you'll see the basic map we're using, which you should be able to edit (Yell at me if it doesn't work). It'll also be at the top. Simply use your characters first initial (K for Kerwik) or initials (AD for Abraham, AR for Abelone) to mark your position.
Try and keep this up to date - in an ambush situation it will matter where you're standing. You don't want to get eaten because you left your character back at the start.
Let me lead the way. The dark don't bother me none; I'll get a look around before we bring in more light. Rennai steps into the sewer through the rough hole with an arrow on her bow string, looking both ways down the sewer for any signs of movement before stepping in and hopping across the fetid water to allow others to enter.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 See anything?
This place smells ripe enough. Abraham wrinkles his nose in disgust as his steps through the destroyed wall.
Drawing out his kukri's he takes a defensive stance opposite of Rennai.
Entering the Inner Sphere Stance. +2 Dodge bonus to AC, +2 Morale Bonus to Will Saves.
Kovar follows Rennai and Abraham down the opening. "Well, let's do this. There's no sense waiting."
He focuses for a moment, while the small rocks swirl around him and his skin appears to be more stony. He then follows Rennai and tries to check for anything.
Kovar took 2 burn, which is 6 non-lethal damage to add to his DR, which is now DR 3/Adamantine. This also activates his elemental overload, which gives him +1 to atk, and +2 to damage. I've added the Burn Damage and the DR to my little info bar.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Chloir waits outside the sewer for a bit longer while she turns to Abelone. "Our comrades seem quite capable in the gloom of those tunnels. I consider myself no slouch at night, but that pitch blackness would make things hard even on me. I can't imagine it'd be easier for you. Do you have a torch of some kind?"
|Conri the Wolf|
This is Rennai's future animal companion - I realized I forgot to put him inside earlier. Oops! I'll be labeling him P for pup.
As Rennai climbs through the tiny opening, Conri scrambles through after her. While he does not have the vision Rennai has in the dark, he can see well enough in the light from the hole to make the leap across the canal and rejoin her on the far side.
"Not that I would object, but wouldn't it be better if we were to stand all on the same side of the canal?", asks Kerwin exiting the hole easily, his owl hovering just above him.
Stopping for a moment, her orient his remaining ear and peers into the darkness.
perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
"A torch? No, I'm afraid I don't have one," Abelone answers to Chloir. "But I do know a spell that can make an object glow like one. I normally cast it onto my holy symbol, but if you prefer I could do it for one of your possessions instead."
"We should stay close together but it might not be a bad idea to keep on either side, more space to maneuver." Abraham whispers before moving down the tunnel and peaking around the corner.
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Is 'down' South?
Ah don't hear anythin' close. Let's go on. Rennai shadows Abraham's movements, looking the opposite direction down the sewer pipe at the intersection, Conri close at her heels.
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
"I believe your holy symbol will do nicely." Chloir replies. " I've always found that I need a bit less light than humans to see, so it'd be better to keep the light closer to you." "And it'll be easier to hide in the shadow if someone else is holding the conspicious light source." she mentally adds. "If you would follow the others, I shall serve as rear guard."
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Stealth: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
"All right then," Abelone says and mutters a short prayer that causes the holy symbol dangling from her neck to glow faintly before moving into the sewers.
Map Updated. The purple squares are ladders going up to the streets.
To the north the tunnel makes a turn to the right after some distance. A ladder to the surface is bolted against the wall, a small stream of light coming from the surface.
To the south the tunnel extends as far as even Kovar can see. Another ladder, this one not allowing any light in, is part way down the corridor just before a junction to the west. Further along a second junction heading east can be seen.
Goes to a bend this way, and I see a ladder up to the top. Doesn't look like there's anythin' waitin' ta surprise us. Rennai tries to rack her brain for what's likely to be the fastest way to the storehouse.
Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Going to keep us moving, assume I go in the direction Rennai recommends if different.
Abraham continues moving down the sewer, he leaps across the muck to keep some space for everyone Taking 10 on Acrobatics for a 21.
His hair standing on end as he surveys the narrow sewer.
So far so good. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.
While Abraham explores further south, Chloir takes up position near the northern ladder and watches by the light comming from the street for any surprises comming in from that direction.
Keeping her ears open as well as her eyes, she focuses her body to further blend into the shadows.
Assume Body of the Night stance, +3 to stealth & attacks vs flat-footed enemies, +1d6 vs flat footed enemies
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
stealth: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (18) + 15 = 33
The tunnel continues into the darkness, with no obvious signs of danger. However, as Abelone approached the ladder to the street, she can hear screaming and fighting above them. Chloir can also hear it, but it's much quieter from her location.
Chloir moves a bit closer and strains her ears to see if she recognizes any words or perhaps what species are fighting by the sounds. She also tries to remember what was to the west of the tavern.
perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Knowledge(local) to recognize humanoids: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Knowledge(religion) to recognize undead: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Knowledge(local) to see if I know about those shops: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
To the south, Rennai mutters to Kovar before jumping across the canal straight across from her, Conri at her heels. She moves down to Chloir and Abraham, sharing her conclusion, then notices the shouts above. What's goin' on here? We know anythin'? she whispers, straining to piece together words.
Perception to listen: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
People need help. Abraham says with an odd bit of strain in his voice. Could be them, need to check to be sure.
He starts to climb up the ladder. Pausing for a moment to listen again before opening the cover.
perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
A chance to save some people from being gruesomely murdered, to get some help carrying supplies from the storehouse and to have a look around the stores for other useful supplies? Perhaps this sewer route won't be so bad after all.
Chloir draws one blade and a throwing knife and climbs up behind Anderson, taking care not to have the knifes' pommels hit the ladder, and awaits Anderson's report.
"We can't go and save every one. Come on, don't go charging up in the open like that. Now they will know where we are.", grumbles Kerwin, still crossing over to where the ladder is.
From his position, Kerwin will keep watch to the south and west. Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (3) + 14 = 17
Assuming it doesn't sound like there is anything right outside the sewer opening Abraham will open the top of the sewer and climb out, looking for the source of the screams.
The alley appears to be deserted. To the east you can see the Sanctuary Bar - it's windows boarded tight enough that even in the dawn light you can barely see glimmers of movement on the inside.
To the west, maybe 30 feet away, there is a corner. The sounds of fighting and yelling, along with what sounds like hysterical screaming, ring out through the dimly lit morning. You can also hear the snarls and groans of the undead.
Rennai proceeds to the base of the ladder, then stops for a moment and looks at Conri behind her as the others jostle up the ladder. Ah, it's gonna be a hard go, haulin' ya up an' down ladders all night, pup. She hops back across the canal and motions for Conri to follow. Ah'll be up in a bit, friends. I'm takin' the pup back.
The pair crosses back to the inn's basement, and Rennai quickly calls out to the innkeeper. Ah've changed my mind - the pup'll stay here in the basement, where he won't be no trouble. Listen fer his barkin' an' yeh'll have some warnin' if anythin's comin'. She roughly pets between the young wolf's ears. Stay here, pup. I'll be back.
I figure three rounds, one to get back to the basement, one to tell him to stay and explain to the innkeeper, one to get back, which should put me up not too long after everyone else has made their way up.
She rejoins the others at the surface, hearing the shouts and screams. Sounds like folks needin' a hand. I'm in - anyone else joinin' me?
Abelone hops over to the side of the sewer the ladder's in. "You guys go first, it might take me a while to get up," she says while eyeing the ladder nervously.
Ladders! Why does it always have to be ladders?
Once everyone else is up, she starts awkwardly making her way towards the surface, having to stop every few steps to carefully position her feet in such a manner that she can relase her grip for a moment without falling back down.