Navior's Age of Worms (Inactive)

Game Master Navior

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Venedictus wrote:

"Yes, ummm, neither am I," Venedictus says, refusing a drink.

I think a bluff check is in order for that though: 1d20+5

Smenk Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16

Smenk smirks. "That ain't what I've heard me lad, but suit yourself." He sits down in one of the chairs and takes another sip of his wine. "So, you're the one's I've been hearin' about." He looks at each of the group in turn, then takes another sip of wine.

"There's an evil at work in this town, mates. And bein' the noble heroes that ye are, I figured ye'd want to know a little about it. There's terrible things happening beneath Dourstone Mine. Now, I know what ye're thinkin'. That I'm just trying to cast aspersions against me rivals, but that ain't the case. They make aspersions against themselves without m'help. No, when I say evil, I mean evil that makes me skin crawl.

"They call themselves the Ebon Triad. A weird cult that worships Zon-Kuthon, Urgathoa, and Lamashtu as some sort of three-in-one god. They believe that those three are going to join together and become some sort of supreme overgod or some such nonsense. Now, I don't believe a word of that, but whether they're or wrong isn't the point. The cult is dangerous. They're led by a bloke named the Faceless One. They call him that because he always wears a mask to hide his face. Don't know why he does that. Don't care. He's a nasty one. Believe me, I've met him."

He pauses a moment to take another sip of wine. "Now, ye may be wonderin' how I came to meet this bastard. He's runnin' his operation from Dourstone Mine, and what was I doin' there? Well, Dourstone contacted me some time ago with some ideas to further cooperation between our businesses, ideas he said would be beneficial to us all. Well, I resisted for some time, but the other mine managers were startin' to get in on it too, so I agreed to a meeting. They brought me down into the mine where I met this Faceless One. He demanded that I start supplyin' his operation with food from up here. His cultists, many of which are not human, can't walk openly in the city, so they need a supply line. He wanted me to be that line.

"At first, I was willin' to work a deal. For the right price, I could acquire food, but as he showed me around, I started to get suspicions. Fear is a rare feelin' for me, mates, but I tell you, I started feelin' it down there. Something just ain't right about those people. So I started workin' a plan.

"They've got these strange green worms, apparently from some kind of unkillable zombie. Well, I nicked meself one, and called in an old friend of mine from Kaer Maga. He was an expert in the undead. He came down and set up in the old observatory north of town to research that worm for me. Unfortunately, they must have found out about him because he's dead now. They tried to make it look like he'd lost control of his undead minions, but they did a poor job of it.

"So I sent word to them that I was out. They would get no more food from me. Yesterday mornin', I awoke with the head of me right hand man next to me. In me bed! They had somehow snuck in in the middle of the night, got into me bedroom, left the head, and got out again without anyone the wiser. I'm telling you, I ain't never been so scared before in me life!

"Mates, somethin' has to be done about that cult, and that's where you come in. Surely, fine, upstanding heroes like yourselves won't allow something like this to go on in your fair town."

Sense Motive DC 17:
Smenk Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Smenk seems to be telling mostly the truth, but you suspect he's putting a spin on it to make himself look cleaner than he really is.

Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 17. Wow.

Bear's head c0cks to the side, running a meaty hand over his freshly-shaven scalp, "That is a good story, Smenk. But I'd bet my ass's weight in platinum that you're hands aren't as clean in this as you say they are." He shrugs, "And I gotta say, I don't really gives a rat's ass about this town of yours. If you want us to do your dirty-work, you might have to be a hellofalot more convincing than that. What exactly is it that you want us to do here, anyway?"

Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 15

"Nice story there, Smenk. Do ya got any proof that this Faceless One is actually behind this cult? And you expect me to believe green worms have anything to do with this?"

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"Dirty work?" Smenk scoffs. "I want to clean up this town. Ye may not like the place, but when that cult starts killin' everyone about, then I bet ye'll sit up and listen. But if ye're really the heroes ye claim to be, then ye'll do somethin' about it before it reaches that point. As for proof, I can only tell ye what I saw. There's some sort of pool down there. It's filled with...well, blackness. Not nothing. I mean unholy blackness. There was a ritual going on when I first went down there as they took me to their Dark Cathedral. Circles of robed figures ringed the pool, and beneath the robes I saw...appendages. Twitching tails, hints of feathers I think. Their chants echoed off the walls like a chorus of croaking frogs and screaming children. And the whole while, ol' Ragnolin Dourstone didn't seem the slightest bit disturbed."

He pauses again to sip his wine. "Ragnolin and the Faceless One both went on about somethin' they called the Age of Worms. 'All must be prepared,' they said, or words to that effect, 'for the Age of Worms is upon us.' I don't know what that means, but that's why I nicked the green worm. It seems to have something to do with their plans.

"Now, obviously you and I don't see eye to eye about a number of things. I accept that. Ye don't like me much and I suspect if I got to know ye better, I wouldn't like you much either. But we're both in this situation together. Yeah, they're likely to come after me first, which is why I'm panicking a little. I don't deny that. But then they'll be comin' after you, mates. They'll be comin' after each and every person in this town and beyond.

"Now, ye can run away, or ye can act like the heroes ye claim to be and do somethin' to put an end to this cult once and for all. I already know ye've got ideas in that direction, else fatso over there wouldn't have been seen at the mine trying to weasel a way into it for ye all. I've given ye some useful information. Use it or not. Your choice. But if ye don't, don't come whinin' to me when the situation gets beyond your control. I'll probably be dead by that point at any rate." He downs the rest of his drink in one gulp.

Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

"Unkillable zombies? This Faceless guy don't seem like the kind ta take no fer an answer. How'd ya even resist 'im ta begin with?"

Smenk smirks. "I didn't. I supplied him with the food he asked for. Tried to turn a blind eye to their activities while I waited for me mate, Filge, to complete his investigation. It was only when Filge was killed that I told them I was out. That's when they sent me right-hand man's head as a warnin' to me. As ye can see, the Faceless One certainly ain't the kind o' bloke to take no for an answer."

Fredrik hides any acknowledgement of the groups actions before he replies to Smenk. "Ok, my curiosity is piqued. I am willing to look into this for you, and I believe my companions feel the same way. That said, any additional information you can provide us, like a map of the Dourstone mines, would be greatly appreciated." he makes sure to cover his mouth to hide his smirk.

"That's more like it!" Smenk says. He gets up and pours himself another drink of wine. After taking a sip, he continues, "I don't have a map to provide ye with, but I can give you a basic idea of the layout of the place. Ye want to make for their Dark Cathedral or whatever it is they call the damned place. Ye need to enter the mine itself. There's an elevator down one of the closed shafts. The miners are told that it leads to caverns that are being explored before mining can begin in them or somethin' like that."

He sits down again and takes another sip of wine. "When ye go down the elevator, ye'll come out in that area with the pool I mentioned. From there, there are three separate entrances. Each one goes into an area dedicated to one of the three gods they worship: one for Zon-Kuthon, one for Urgathoa, and one for Lamashtu. The only one I've seen much of is the one to Zon-Kuthon. It's like a whole blasted house of horrors under the ground. Torture instruments galore, and a training area for warriors. It's got this massive huge statue and balconies along three of the walls."

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"Gaining entrance to the mining camp itself will be no problem. Once we're inside, we'll have to work a little magic to make our way into the mine proper. It would help immensely if you could provide us with some coin to bribe some guards and what not."
Diplomacy check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13

Smenk laughs. "Money? Ye want money? Ha!" He shifts position in his chair and takes another sip of wine. "Listen, mate. I'm not a poor man. That's for sure. But do ye know why I'm not poor? It's because I don't foolishly throw me money around. That's why. Dourstone's guards ain't going to be bribed without a fair bit of coin. Seeing as I have full confidence that a resourceful group such as yours can find other means into the mine, it just ain't a wise investment for me, is it?"

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"As you said yourself, sir, you are likely the first target of these cultists once they're ready to move. I'd certainly hate for their annihilation to be ... slowed because we had to waste time finding other ways to be 'resourceful'."

Smenk chuckles and drinks down the rest of his wine. "Clever argument, m'boy," he says as he stands up and places the glass down on the table. [b]"But the answer's still no. I'm not about to pay ye for doin' something you'd be doin' anyway. Indeed, I've just given ye some useful information to help ye perform that task. If anything, ye should be payin' me for me services. However, given the urgency of the task, I'm willin' to waive me usual fee."

He pats Venedictus on the arm and turns to the door chuckling. "I won't hold ye up any further. I know ye've got important business to attend to. Help yerselves to the wine on yer way out." He opens the door and heads through it, closing it again behind him. You can hear him laughing in the hall. The laughter fades into the distance.

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"Well, I for one am not feeling in any particular hurry here, although it would be unfortunate if an innocent should get in this cult's way before him. Perhaps we should just plan on wiping out this cult, and taking Smenk off to some place like Korvosa, where a trial against him might get a fair hearing."

"Or, we could just let it slip to Mr. Dourstone's ears that Smenk is looking for people to take out his little cult operation..." Venedictus swallows hard and pauses for a moment.

Venedictus picks up the wine glass that was supposed to be for himself, and almost drinks out of it."Forgive me. It's just that that man and the people like him are why there is so much ugliness in Baslwief in the first place. I always figured, at least in the beginning, that if I ever got the chance to be in the same room with one of these slimeballs, that I'd do something a lot more noble and heroic than refusing a glass of wine."

He hurls the wine glass at something ugly in the room.

Fredrik's musings are interrupted by the sound of shattering glass. He whirls around, a spell on his lips, but he only sees Venedictus with a stricken look on his face.

He walks over to the cleric, and says to him in a low voice, "Hey, don't let that guy get to you, Vene. Sure there is a lot of ugliness here, but there is also beauty too, if you know where ta look for it. Why, my uncle used ta tell me stories about some of the most beautiful creature he ever met, a golden winged angel, long blonde I kinda think he's full of crap, but still that is one thing he passed on to me, before my mother and I left....our home and came here."

Once Smenk waddles out, Bear turns to the others and casts Detect magic to make sure there isn't any magical surveillance on them, while listening for eavesdroppers.

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22.
Spellcraft / KNowledge: Arcana 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20.

If he can't detect any...

Bear turns to the group and shrugs, "i think we need to check out this cult thing; I just didn't want Smenk thinking we were working for him for free." He gives another paranoid look around, "Maybe we should do any more planning on more neutral ground?"

"Yeah, let's get outta here and wash this crap off..."

"Yeah, this place gives me the creeps..."

You leave the room to find one of the thugs waiting to lead you back out of the house. From there, you head to...the coaching inn?

Unless someone has a better plan, yes, I'd suggest we head back and have a planning session in one of our paid-for rooms.

Though, honestly, the planning session may not even be necessary. Our next obvious stop is heading into the mines. it's more just a question of when do we do it and what do we need in order to head down there? We can either roleplay or hand-wave it, i'm fine either way.

I'm fine with role-playing it out or discussing it out of character, but I will need to know what your plan is before I can move the time-frame up to when you start.

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

Once back at the inn, Venedictus has calmed himself down from his outburst, and tells the team that he has already secured entrance for the whole group into the Dourstone mining camp as pro bono entertainers and medics and emissaries of Shelyn.

Freddie smiles broadly and claps Vene on the shoulder, "Good job, my boy! Now I can work on a group performance for the miners! Who's with me?"

"I have no intention of actually performing here, guys. I'm al for using Vene's cover, but only so long as it's necessary to get in and find out what we need. With that in mind, what all equipment might we need for this little venture into a mine where we'll probably fight all kinds of freaks, undead, or worse?"

Beargle "Bear" Zstellian wrote:
"I have no intention of actually performing here, guys. I'm al for using Vene's cover, but only so long as it's necessary to get in and find out what we need. With that in mind, what all equipment might we need for this little venture into a mine where we'll probably fight all kinds of freaks, undead, or worse?"

Since there's been no answer to Bear's question, I'll assume everyone's happy with their current supplies.

You head from the Coaching Inn to Dourstone Mine. The guards recognize Venedictus, but they stop the group nonetheless to look the rest of you over. Once satisfied, one of them says, "Right, you can set up over there by the mine entrance. Sing to your hearts' content. No entering the mine itself though!"

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"Of course not. We understand. Security and all."

Bluff: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

After everyone gets setup, Dara does her best to stay out of the limelight. When they have a lull, she says to the others in hushed tones, "I was thinkin' bein' as I'm a dwarf 'n all, I might be able ta sneak in wit tha miners n' do a bit a scoutin' fer us. Whatcha think?"

Freddie looks at Dara, a bemused look in his face, "A dwarf in a mine, what will they think of next, he he. Sounds like a decent plan, except I don't know if they have any prejudices against dwarves. Still, i think its worth the risk. Be careful, Dara."

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"If it comes to it, I do have a certain way with music, not trying to brag or anything, but I'm quite certain that I would be able to distract the guards at the mine entrance so well that all of you could get inside the mine. Of course, I'd have trouble getting in myself if they're all enraptured with watching me sing."

Doh! Somehow I completely missed the last three posts. Argh! Sorry about that. Here I was waiting for you to do some planning and you're already doing some. Blah. Sorry again.

You set yourselves up by the mine entrance. When you first arrive, the day's work has already begun so most of the miners are already within. However, there are frequently some going in and out. They always look a bit surprised at first by the musical entertainment, but quickly get used to it. Sometimes they'll stop for a few moments to listen, but if they stay more than about 30 seconds or so, the guards will yell at them to get back to work.

Most of the miners are human, but you do see a few dwarves going in and out as well.

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

So does this mean that Bear is not with us at this point?

"I would suggest that we take a 'lunch' break, just here by the mine entrance," Venedictus says, "and once the guards get used to us just hanging around here [b]not performing, they might drop their guard enough to allow us to nip inside."[/b]

Much more quietly (but not quiet enough), he adds to himself"Besides, it'll be good to stop for awhile. I know that Shelyn teaches imperfect music sincerely offered is supposed to be of more worth than beautiful music from an insincere heart, but there has to be a limit."

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

Venedictus looks around the mining camp, looking for something they could do to create a diversion (preferably something that wouldn't look too suspicious - they don't want to come up from the mine after several long hard battles and have an entire contingent of mine guards waiting for them).

Anybody have any ideas? Something harmless they could set fire to would be classic, if also cliche.

I was thinking of using Ghost Sound to lure the guards away from the entrance, by casting it on a passageway out of sight. If that does not work, then either Mage Hand, or Silent Image would also work.

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"Use the ghost sound to make it sound like somebody is crying for help over behind that shed. It's pretty close to the mine, but not in it. When we come up and the guards ask us why we went into the mine when we weren't supposed to, we'll be able to say that we thought the cries for help had come from within the mine and we went to investigate them."

"Ok, I can do that. Just give the signal, and I will get this ball rolling, he he."

At Venedictus's signal, Fredrik casts the ghost sound, and suddenly the sound of someone screaming comes from the shed. Four nearby guards immediately look to the sheds.

Guard 1 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5
Guard 2 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
Guard 3 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
Guard 4 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8

They start running over there.

The remaining guards manning the palisade also look in the direction of the shed.

Guard 5 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Guard 6 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
Guard 7 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
Guard 8 Will: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11

They seem satisfied, however, that the first four are dealing with it and don't make any moves from their posts.

Hi ho, hi ho! It's off to sneak I go...

With the guards distracted, Dara hefts her 'mining equipment' and sets about sneaking far enough into the mine until she can blend in with the other miners.

Stealth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Fredrik waits for Dara to sneak off, then he moves off towards the mine entrance. When the guards notice him, he will say, "Hey, I thought I saw something from this way as well, let me go check it out!"

Bluff 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1

"Someone might need help, or healing!"
Bluff: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

Oh, yeah! Bring out the pair of Oscars for this crew!

UU rolls her eyes and looks to the guards, growling like a drill sergeant, "Oh for f@c<'s sake! Entertainers... It's like herding cats. You boys stay here and do your duty, I'LL go round up these idiots."

Intimidate 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23

Dara easily slips away while the guards are distracted. (The ones going behind the shed won't have line of sight to her, and the distance penalties for those at the palisade will make it impossible for them to beat her Stealth roll, so no need for any Perception checks.)

Dara has only barely made it in though when the rest of you hear one of the guards exclaim, "What the hell? There's nobody here!"

The guards come back round and Fredrik and Venedictus make their Bluff attempts and rush into the mine.

Guard 1 Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10
Guard 2 Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Guard 3 Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
Guard 4 Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13

"Hey! Where do you think you're going!" one calls out. They rush forward only to find Udaya staring them down. They stop in their tracks, startled, and Udaya ducks into the mine.

"Uh, y-you get them out of there quick!" one of the guards calls after her.

The four of you hurry down tunnel, past several bemused miners. In the distance, you hear, "Hey, where do you think you're going? Get back here!" and then, "You lot! After them, you idiots!"

You reach a large elevator shaft going down into the main tunnels of the mine. A group of miners are gathered, waiting while the elevator is raised from deep below. From the side, you hear a "Psst!

Looking over, Dara and Udaya see a dwarf peering from the entrance to a tunnel (it's too dark for Venedictus and Fredrik to see him). He's wearing mining gear and carrying a pick. He motions you over. "I don't know what you're up to, friends, but if you're trying to hide from the guards, that shaft is the first place they'll look. I'll show you where you can hide. A closed off tunnel down this way."

"'Precciate it, brother!" Dara says, and motions for UU to follow them.

Fredrik stumbles into the mine tunnel, trying to follow Udaya, with Vene close behind him. He curses the lack of light, but still has the presence to keep his voice down. Once again, he wished he had memorized a light spell. Only when Dara's piercing whisper echoes next to him does he realize he has arrived with the others.

The dwarf leads you down the tunnel into even greater darkness as the dim torches carried by the other miners fade into the distance. "My name's Umber," he says. "Named after the substance, not the monster, I might add. Like I said, I don't know what you lot are up to, but I've got no love for those human guards. I've spoken to some of the dwarf guards on night duty, and they say the human guards are just plain creepy, involved in some sort of cult or something. Don't know much about it, but I do know they're cruel to us miners. So I'm happy to help people trying to get away from them, whatever the reason."

Umber stops by a passage way that has a wooden blockade placed in front of the entrance. "This passage is closed up, supposedly while Mister Dourstone investigates a possible new area to mine. Strange thing is, I've seen people go down it, some of the human guards and others brought in by Mister Dourstone. However, they never start using it until evening at the earliest, so you can hide here without worry for a little while. Long enough for the guards to start searching deep in the mine. While they're doing that, you can make your escape. Well, I gotta get back to my work detail before they notice I've been gone too long. I was just supposed to be picking up some additional pickaxes."

Umber nods to you all and heads back towards the main elevator shaft.

This passage would seem to be the one that Balabar Smenk mentioned as being the secret entrance to the underground temple.

Dara and Udaya notice that the wooden blockade is situated a foot or so in front of the entrance, allowing just enough space to slip behind it and into the passage.

Male Human Cleric 1/Bard 1
Navior wrote:
Dara and Udaya notice that the wooden blockade is situated a foot or so in front of the entrance, allowing just enough space to slip behind it and into the passage.

Even for Venedictus? :)

Venedictus motions for everybody to hurriedly get inside the passageway, whispering some thanks to Umber.

He'll squeeze in last, just in case he gets stuck.

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