Slumbering Tsar: The Desolation (Inactive)

Game Master Lord Manticore

Looking for a way into Hell.


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Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Well that seems to be the overall plan, but I'm giving you guys to option to get sidetracked...happens all the time.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

"We COULD take a look down there..." - Calendir comments to the others with a grin.

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

Lead on. I would say I would follow you into the depths of Hell Calendir, but I think I already have.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

"Lets at least have a look" - Calendir scouts the upper portion of the slope that provides a path down into the rifts.

Survival: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

"Whatever you think best, Master Tracker."

Numair tags along, watching the Cal scout with obvious interest.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10
Calendir Elberen wrote:

"Lets at least have a look" - Calendir scouts the upper portion of the slope that provides a path down into the rifts.

[dice=Survival]1d20+14

Looking down at the path that you saw earlier, it does slope downward quite a bit in some areas call it 4 degrees downgrade at the worst, and the path itself is not wide enough to handle more than one on horseback at a time, but it is certainly manageable.

In game mechanics, going down the slope will require a Handle Animal [u]or[/u] Survival check, every half mile. A total of 4 checks per person to reach the bottom of the slope safely. DC for each check is 12 (because of the downgrade). Failure means you or your horse will slide 1d4x10 feet and will take 1d6 damage per 10 feet from the slide. The book wanted a check every 50 feet, but I think that it's simply so that the publishers can maintain their brag of killing off every group that plays this campaign. :P


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Hello?

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

I think LM is trying to kill us :D

Question: Calendir's Survival is +14, so does he need to roll nonetheless? :D Is there a way he can provide assistance to the others?


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Just mention that you've auto-succeed on those rolls. And yes, you can aid another.

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

I know my strengths, and weaknesses. the wizard says pragmatically. I will kill a horse trying to ride it down this path, and likely hurt myself as well. I shall not try.

If we are going this way the wizard can either ride down behind Cal or can fly down.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

I am perfectly fine with riding along with Azaraunt, or perhaps even better, dismounting and leading both his Horse and the one where Az is, down the slope.

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

With sheer charisma, Numair can guide a mount safely down if he is not distracted or rushed.

Handle Animal, Take 10: 10 + 6 = 16 If this isn't possible, or if combat seems imminent, Numair will dismount immediately.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Sheer Charisma? What are you going to do, talk the horse down? :P

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

He's easy on the eyes. The horse will be too distracted by having such an awesome rider to be bothered by the dangerous descent. It's possible the horse still thinks it's in Nerosyan, so potent is the fascination effect.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

The horse probably thinks that you're best looking apple he's ever seen. :p


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Between Numair's smile and Calendir's more practical approach, we'll just say that you've made it down to the bottom.

It's well after noon when you make it down to the bottom of the canyon. The first thing that you notice is how much colder it is down here. The second thing you notice is that, while there are some fine bits of bone and sand down here, most of what you see is plain old dirt. It's completely dried and baked from years under the wan sun, but it's dirt. By your reckoning, you came down the path across about 3 miles from start to finish, and you feel as if you've gone down about 800 feet from the top.

Slightly better map I've converted the original file to a bmp, and indicated with the yellow circle where the party is currently. However, I'm not having much luck getting the map to do anything else at the moment. I know that we've been dragging along, and I need to take the blame for this. So have a look at the map and let me know which way you guys want to go. There's a lot to explore down here.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

Who is this Michael Reagin character, and what is he doing in the Rifts?! :D


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Blink, blink??!? Good grief, you threw me off for a second. I was like, Do we know each other in real life? You had me running off a list of people I've gamed with over the years...You about gave me a heart attack. :P

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

I can read that map just fine. The yellow circle did not immediately appear to me, but as I was playing with the map it suddenly popped up.

Big place we are in. I recommend we move forward but also use arial scouting as much as possible.

I am still a little confused. Do we think the caravan is down here?

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

ROFL LM

I don't think so Azaraunt, we are simply scouting a tad off to the side, I would say.

"Before making any decisions on what to do from here, let me see if I can gather some intel around this place - the soil seems undisturbed enough down here that it may actually provide us interesting information"

Taking 20 on Survival for a grand total of 34! MUAH!

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

It may be that we are safe from the the bone storms down here. Azaraunt muses as he examines the dirt floor of the canyon.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Given how much of the map is taken up by these canyons, it is quite possible that the gargoyles took whatever possessions and survivors down here...somewhere. That's not ooc, your characters should be able to make the connections.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10
Azaraunt wrote:
It may be that we are safe from the the bone storms down here. Azaraunt muses as he examines the dirt floor of the canyon.

Yes, you should, any random encounters that roll up (most) weather-based phenomenon will be ignored and not re-rerolled. It will just be assumed that the 'encounter' is taking place up top.

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

"If the storms don't reach down here, then there will be tracks for Cal to follow. If there are any survivors, the gargoyles will have them. Remember the gemstone gargoyle - Lem? Gurg? Gorh? - I can't remember his name. Anyways. He said they ransomed some other hostages back in Gudrun. I think these might think to do the same. This is the first hopeful sign we've had."

"Az, did you ever figure out what those clock-wheels in the sky meant? And will your Haven spell still work down here without a direct dawn?"

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

I knew the clouds were not natural is all. And yes, any shadows will work. We should have better choices down here in truth. But the door may not seal and unseal at dusk and dawn as it did before. We will have to choose carefully where we place the door.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

Any results from Calendirs' tracking?


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Actually yes...

You look around, hoping fervently that the trip down here was not in vain. You're about to give up when, looking up at the sky, you see a small bit of cloth hanging off of a rock, about 20 feet up. Looking around, you can see another one about 30 yards to the east. No actual wreckage, but you figure that the caravan was heading in this direction, judging from the cloth itself I'm going to assume that you climbed up and grabbed at least one of the pieces of cloth, I'll hand-wave the Climb check.


M Imp Familiar 6 hd

Climb? Really?


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

What? You want to roll for everything?? or are you volunteering to help out Cal? :p


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

The trail of linen leads to the slight north of east...

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

So we follow the trail.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

Yep, following the trail - allowing Lagash to get any scent from the cloth.

And checking the path for any recent activity.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

The trail on the ground is pretty old, let's see a high Survival check to try to pick it up...

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

If I can take 20, I will, meaning the final result = 35

If not:

Survival: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31/32 for Tracking


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Yes, you can take 20 on this, but I'm going to rule that you took an hour to find the path...

You do in fact some signs that recent (and by recent, we're talking about almost a week ago), activity took place down here. Beyond the pieces of cloth that you find, there is the occasional footprint (humanoid) that hasn't been cleaned away yet, all of it leading off towards the east. From your gatherings, you think that some scouts were sent down here from the caravan to find a better path (or at least one that didn't deal with the scorching sun, and the oppresive cold.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

So I assume we're heading East?

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

"East it is."

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

Yep, if the tracks lead off towards the east, that is where we are heading :D


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

You follow the trail for a couple of hours, taking care to not lose the cold trail. Soon, the sun is setting behind the canyon walls, and it starts getting even colder. It's strange being in the canyon, even though the sun will be up for at least another hour up top, it already feels that it's getting dark out. You can see up ahead that there is another drop off, but even from where your at, it's at least 1000' feet away, and you're in no danger of falling off from here.

Random: 1d100 ⇒ 62 Just sand here...

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

"This place is truly deep for days to be shorter. Let's make camp and set off at first light. I'd rather not risk a fall in the dark."

***************
That evening, as the trio sits around the campfire and listens to the sound of the wind whistling through the canyons, Numair broaches a topic that has been on his mind for some time.

"Azaraunt, forgive me for being so forward, but how did you bring Imbukar here? This world, this plane, I mean. Not why, but how? I ask, because for months I have been dreaming of another world. Its not the same dream every night, but a common theme runs through them. Or rather, a common inhabitant - an exotic feline from some celestial realm."

"From the tutelage I had as a youngster, I know conjurations are possible, but are usually severely short in duration. Such conjurations are far beyond my meager arcane skills, but your talents lay quite powerfully in that direction. Do you think you might help me open a pathway from that other world to this one? I do not wish to compel its service, but I feel an unusual bond to this creature. Why else would I dream of it at every turn?"


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

If I don't hear anything within the next 2 hours, I'm just going to move the plot along.

Shadow Lodge

Male Half-Orc Ftr1/Ranger lvl7 | HP 68 | AC 22 FF 16 T17 | Saves +11/+13/+6 | Init + 7 (+9 in Favored Terrain) | Per. +12

It is just stalled because we are kind of depending on Az regarding camping :/


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

Well, has anyone heard from him lately?

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

I am right here. Did not know we were waiting on me.

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14
Numair Nejem wrote:

"This place is truly deep for days to be shorter. Let's make camp and set off at first light. I'd rather not risk a fall in the dark."

***************
That evening, as the trio sits around the campfire and listens to the sound of the wind whistling through the canyons, Numair broaches a topic that has been on his mind for some time.

"Azaraunt, forgive me for being so forward, but how did you bring Imbukar here? This world, this plane, I mean. Not why, but how? I ask, because for months I have been dreaming of another world. Its not the same dream every night, but a common theme runs through them. Or rather, a common inhabitant - an exotic feline from some celestial realm."

"From the tutelage I had as a youngster, I know conjurations are possible, but are usually severely short in duration. Such conjurations are far beyond my meager arcane skills, but your talents lay quite powerfully in that direction. Do you think you might help me open a pathway from that other world to this one? I do not wish to compel its service, but I feel an unusual bond to this creature. Why else would I dream of it at every turn?"

Sitting around the fire made me think we did not want the Shadow Haven tonight. And it will be a little tricky to predict the opening and closing of the door, but I think we have stopped early enough to manage it if we want that shelter again.

The imp was summoned to this plane through the spell Planar Ally. Azaraunt explains. He was initially bound in a circle of protection while we negotiated the terms of his service. In the end we came to an agreement that served both our purposes and I bound him to me. This is actually the first step in the path if Diabolist and must be done if you wish to truly master the art of dealing with creatures of diabolic nature.

Leaning in closer to the paladin and showing interest Azaraunt offers I could perform such a summoning for you. Once the pathway was opened I could do the calling per your instructions but you would need to perform the binding yourself. If you would like to try this I will need to research this creature to understand how to summon it here. Do you know the name of the creature you wish to bond with?

The Exchange

Human Bard 1/Paladin 4;
Status:
HP 62/62; AC 17/13/14; CMD 22; Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10; Init +3; Perc -1

I do want to rest in the Shadow Haven. I figured we'd be sitting around a campfire waiting for it to get dark enough to cast the spell, hence my post.

"That is the sort of magic I'd need, yes. And I am quite good at negotiating. However, I believe that I already have somewhat of a common ground with this creature. We hunt together in my dreams almost every night."

Numair looks pensive as he ponders the rest of the wizard's description. "His name.. I do not know it, or if he even has one. I can tell you what I know of him, perhaps that will do? He is agile, and quick. He is like the wind. His nature is not of the balmy breezes of verdant pastures, or the frozen bitter blasts of arctic ranges. He is like the desert wind: stinging and blinding in primal fury some times, bringing the fresh scent of an unseen oasis just beyond the next dune at other times. We have a word in the tongue of my people for such a wind - al-Sharav. It is a name that would fit him as well as I can imagine. We could try it and see.."

"Do you have time to research the ritual in our safehold tonight? If so, I would like to attempt it at dawn - an auspicious time for such endeavors in my faith."

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

What we are trying to do is outside the rule set, but very cool. We will need LM's ok to do it. First the spell is suppose to summon something based on the caster's deity, but Azaraunt has no deity (He does not worship Asmodius any more than any other deity and finds the idea of worship quaint. But the rules for Planar Ally allow for that but suggests the creature should be of the caster's philosophical alignment and Azaraunt is LN - maybe close enough to LG, but not sure. And maybe an animal initially could be Neutral and shift to good during the bonging with the paladin? But the lesser spell only allows me to "normally" summon a creature of 6 hit dice or less. The greater version of the spell is an 8th level spell. I would argue that Numair has provided enough detail to summon the correct creature, or at least give me a good chance to do so. There should always be dice involved. :)


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

I'll allow the spell to be cast, with a catch, or 3. Numair will need to make a Will save, the DC based on Az's spell; if he succeeds on his roll, then...something will be summoned. If he fails, you can try again another night. Assuming he succeeds, I'll need from Numair, just what it is that he is 'asking for,' i.e. panther, tiger, etc. Once I have that, I'll make a percentile check, 50/50 chance that Numair gets the animal he wants, vs. something else (above 50%=Numair's choice, below 50% will be something from the familiar's table). Regardless of what is actually summoned, Az, you will need to roll a precentile check. I'll allow the possibility that the creature will have the celestial and/or advanced templates added to it. I don't know yet what the roll needs to be for the Celestial, but it will need to be at least a 90 to also gain the advanced template. Think of it as a gift for having to deal with my much slower posting speed.


Male Drow Noble Accountant 12/Monk 10

As the sun goes down, you can see and hear the howling winds above you. Down at this depth, the wind is not so bad, but it is even more chilling, cutting in nature. The shadows are long, and there seems to be little about at the moment. I am assuming that Az will cast Shadow Haven at this point...

I know that Az will be researching the spell to get Numair a potential companion. That being said, Numair and Calendir, will you be staying up for watch tonight?

Dark Archive

M Elven Wizard 6/Diabolist 2 | HP 46/46 | AC 20/24 FF 15/22 T16 | Saves +6/+11/+7 | Init + 11 | Per. +14

After casting his Shadow Haven and getting everyone inside the wizard thinks about the task for quite a long time. He is somewhat unapproachable for a few hours as he scribbles and mutters and chants and talks to himself. He sets up his writing desk and draws multiple pentagrams and summoning circles, crossing each out before starting on the next. He sketches arcane runes and makes multiple pages of notes. He consults with Imubkar in infernal multiple times and as they confer they seem to argue back and forth, sometimes in a minor way but on one occasion the discussion becomes quite heated. In the end Imbukar sulks away leaving the wizard to add some final notes to a planar diagram alone. Finally he calls over the Paladin.

The summoning is possible Numair. Of that both Imbukar and I agree. Your description gives me some hope of being able call the cat of your dreams with your direct involvement. We shall link, you and I, and you shall assist me in the final call. But as we link your will must match the strength of my spell to allow the call to go out. And that alone will not be easy. Should we succeed we will call something, but I cannot know what. This planar call is somewhat like fishing. Your cat is out there and we will be near to it, but when we cast our net another creature may be closer yet, and so be snared. It is of little matter if we are prepared for any result and are able to contain our errors. The wizard pauses and glances at Imbukar for a moment before continuing. If we snare something, undesirable, well we shall throw it back and try again another day. Were we at the inn I might be willing to prepare multiple castings but this requires my most powerful spells and I dare not spend all my power of that level in multiple attempts while we are yet in the desolation. Oh, and there is the small matter of the material components which will cost right at 500 gold per attempt. I have what I need for a few castings but would ask that you replace what we use. If this is acceptable then I shall prepare the circle in the morning and we shall attempt the casting.

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