He looks at the glaive that the cleric is carrying. Resting a reassuring hand on his shoulder, the young mercenary looks him in the eyes.
We got this. If trouble comes our way...Keep behind me and use that weapons reach to the best of your ability. Call out the left, right, high, low with your attacks so I know how best to square my hips. Keep your head about you and we will work in tangent just fine. A little light if you can please.
Bydar nods "yes, It be most mortifying if I beheaded an ally." Attempt at levity aside, he appreciates the advice and expertise. Bydar is no warrior and he recognizes that.
Looking at the dead halfling, Brandt shakes his head. "Poor guy, to perish alone down here. No one to sing his deeds to his children." Looking further down the hallway,
"What else do we expect to find here in this labyrinth? Obviously at some point this place was full of danger. "
Heal Check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Orlog joins Bydar and tries to discern the cause of death. After his inspection is completed, he stands back up and turn to Brand and Mister Pink. "Keeping up with the scouting, or do I take point?"
|Lord Christian D'Elagante|
Christian watches as the two new companions try to figure out how the poor Halfling died.
Same formation but tighten it up. Mr. Pink should take point and scout in front the rest of follow a few paces behind him. Give him the space needed to do his thing but close enough to support if need should arise. We know something is down here...how long I am not certain. Best to be vigilant and move on.
"Agreed, Lets stick together shall we then. I'm not for finding whatever ended this poor lad by myself. There anything we can use immediately there in his pack?"
Brandt watches the two more accomplished healers examine the corpse, and shifts his attention back to the unending darkness around the group.
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
Mr. Pink nods to Brandt. He makes no effort to hide any of his findings from his companions and lays out the items for the group to see one at a time.
Small Light Crossbow
8 MWK Bolts
2 Cure Light Wounds potions (labeled)
2 Alchemist's Fire flasks
From these items, he takes the spellbook (for some light reading later), 1 Potion of Cure Light Wounds, 1 Alchemist's Fire, 1 Thunderstone and 1 Smokestick. The rest he leaves for the group to decide how to split.
Mr. Pink then nods to Christian and looks for a path to choose from.
Are we just in a tunnel here or are there new pathways/directions to choose from? If it's just a tunnel, Mr. Pink would continue on with his previously mentioned scouting method.
The smell of decay and the squirming of maggots wards off Bydar, keeping the Shelynite from getting close enough to make a useful examination. Orlog's stomach proves tougher, and he hunkers down to assess the body's condition.
This adventurer has been dead for at least a week, perhaps broaching upon two. The body bears a number of violent wounds, as though run through with a spear or perhaps even gored by a horn. Someone or something rifled incautiously through his pack but took nothing of value. The discarded cheesecloth wrappings nearby suggest that they did eat whatever food he had upon him.
Just ahead down this tunnel, is yet another intersection, with the way branching off into three curving passages.
Considering the state of the corpse, Well it appears we have some sort of security against outside intruders, since we're only a few weeks from when this happened. And whatever did this appears to be hungry for food, at least it didn't consume this poor interloper."
As the party approaches the intersection, Should we continue left again and work back across all these tunnels? I had no idea it was so vast down here."
Brandt Knowledge (Dungeoneering): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Orlog Knowledge (Engineering) w/ Stonecunning: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 5 + 2 = 17
Brandt can't quite reckon how far underground these tunnels have brought the party, nor can he estimate just how far beneath the Kamelands they extend. Remembering the second stone door, situated a quarter mile from the fort, offers a clue to the extent of at least one of these passages.
With the luxury of more time spent examining the stonework as you explore this labyrinth, Orlog reaches more detailed conclusions about its origins. The most recent work dates back about a millennia or more, coinciding with the age of the Iobarian tower around which the bandit fort was built. However, the stones and boulders that form the walls were originally hewn far, far longer ago.
Encounter: 1d10 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Your exploration presses on, slowed more by caution than the overall size of the complex. Mr. Black does not call out in alarm over signs of danger, but he soon reports back with news of a room ahead. Retracing his path down the tunnel, you find an oblong chamber.
The walls are worn, causing them to bow and take a curvature, giving an almost spherical aspect to the place. Bits of straw, tiny insects, and the odd animal bone litter the floor, but otherwise the room appears empty and uninhabited.
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
Mr. Pink takes a moment to pause and look around more closely before continuing on.
An ancient and abandoned area. Maybe yes? Maybe no?
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
With no immediate visible threat, Orlog start examining the room. "One this place is cleaned out and renovated, we will be able to use this place out for storage and other functions. Can't wait to see the rest and how far it goes."
Knowledge Engineering: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Looking around the cavernous chamber, Brandt muses, This is fantastic for emergency storage, or if we're beseiged as a place to withstand the enemy. If only we could get horses down here!
Dungeoneering: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
This is worrying because there is no sign of other detritus that previous explorers might have left behind. What's worse, your feathers prickle as though being watched, but when you turn to look at the passages branching off from here, you see only empty shadows.
You also find wisps of freshly shed fur, reddish in color. The dead halfling did not leave this behind.
It would be wise to investigate these tunnels for collapses or fissures that may need shoring up, but otherwise this labyrinth is quite sturdy. One the whole, it could serve well in a number of capacities.
Pushing some rat droppings away from the dead halfling, Brandt stands in disgust. Well, the air down here is good; so there are cracks and fissures within the structure, allowing us to breathe well enough. And the rats second that thought. But something is definitely living down here, or we would see things like slimes, or oozes down here."
In all, its not a bad spot, we could use it for storage once we're certain we're alone down here."
|Lord Christian D'Elagante|
Encounter: 1d10 ⇒ 9
??? Stealth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Bydar Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Christian Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Brandt Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Orlog Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
Mr Pink Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
The glowing steel of Bydar's glaive, following in the wake of the likewise illuminated Mr. Black, leads you down another twisting passage that snakes away from the empty chamber. The magic light dispels the shadows that cling to the arched ceiling high above you.
You pause when the tunnel splits yet again, reaching off in three different directions.
The smell of a large animal comes from the left-hand tunnel.
The smell of a large animal comes from the left-hand tunnel, and you can also pick out the sounds of breathing and shuffling muscles coming from around a bend in that passage.
Lastly, the sickly sweet smell of perfume or incense floats down from the center tunnel.
Smelling the air and checking the ground, Brandt shares his thoughts, Lads, there’s something alive on our left, and it smells of perfume or incense straight ahead. The right hand tunnel smells of wet earth. I say we continue going left to right through here, maybe Fenrir acts as a rearguard for us? His bark would let us know if we’re being followed from one of these other tunnels.
Brandt looks to each of the party grimly and tests the point of his arrow.
I think it’s about to get messy down here, let’s make sure it’s our songs which are sung after this day.
As you brave the left-hand route and clear the sharp curve in the passage, you arrive in time to see a large, furry biped retreating down the tunnel.
Shaggy red fur coats its humanoid torso, thickly muscled arms, and down its legs that end in cloven hooves. It briefly turns to look back at you, revealing a single curved horn protruding from its forehead above a singular eye. It is hard to accurately gauge its height as it flees, but compared to the scale of these ancient tunnels, you guess that the creature stands eight or nine feet tall.
"Well, something is alive down here. We could pursue it, but then again, I don't move that quickly." Orlog start moving toward the tunnel that the creature took, but then stop. "Thinking about it, the thing might be leading us to a trap."
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
Mr Pink pauses for the others to catch up. He ponders Orlog's words before responding.
What is this red-furred creature? Is it leading us to a trap? Only one way to know.
Knowledge Nature: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Wait what was that?!?
Nodding slowly with what Orlogg and Bydar have to say, Brandt agrees I thought it was the wet earth smell back there, but seeing it does confirm something is moving down here.
Knowledge Dungeoneering: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Speaking softly Brandt shares whatever he knows. We should proceed slowly, we are definitely in its home.
Turning to Fenrir, he gives a simple command in skald
Giving the guard command to Fenrir to watch the back passage and alert us if anything is trying to sneak up and then come running.
Perception Scent: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
The singular eye is, of course, distinctive of the cyclops. However, such beings typically do not possess shaggy coats of fur. This feature is more characteristic of a minotaur or yeti - but the lack of bovine features and the temperate climate discount those candidates. Its gait and hunched posture are also similar to an ogre, morlock, or buggane, but again, there is just as much difference as similarities.
The evidence you have seen throughout these tunnels suggests that this creature is not the lone specimen of its kind. What's more, despite its feral aspect, you know that such creatures often possess a predatory intelligence that can make them dangerous to underestimate.
In terms of lore, these creatures are unique to this labyrinth. Mechanically, though, they use the stats for a minotaur.
However, evidence you have seen elsewhere in these tunnels suggests that this creature is not a lone specimen.
The wolfdog obeys his master loyally, but his nose twitches at the scents wafting down from the tunnel. His ears slide back and his fur prickles before he turns his attention to watching the rear.
I do not know if we will be able to reason with that thing, but we should be careful. It is likely more beast than man. And there are more than one of them here. Mr. pink, if you are willing lead us on, I’ll stay next to Orlogg so I can use my bow.
Brandt takes up a position next to the Dwarf, ready to draw and fire as needed.
|Lord Christian D'Elagante|
Christian calms himself and prepares for battle. Silently his sword emerges from the scabbard on his back. The expertly crafted blade reflects the light faintly for a moment.
Till we get a measure of what we are dealing with, I suggested we tackle the same target first. That is until we can tell how dangerous these creatures will be.
Agreed, Christian. Let’s press onward and see what awaits us. I hope they can be reasoned with, but I am unsure of their resolve on that front. Brandt shares, indicating that they should proceed slowly after the creature.
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
"This horned harbinger has harried us for hours. Though thinking of trailing it into a trap..."
Mr. Pink puts away his shortbow and draws out his magnificent Aldori dueling sword as well as a cold-iron shortsword.
"Salvaging surprise seems strained. Following in full force fitted for a frenzy feels a forgone future."
He signals his familiar to collect a Thunderstone from him before continuing down the passage cautiously. He also suggests that the others remain close behind with weapons ready.
Will continue to move forward at half speed but instead of stealth will employ the total defense action for a +6 dodge bonus to AC in anticipation of an ambush (24 AC total). Continuing to take 10 on perception (21, 23 vs traps). Mr. Black will throw the thunderstone nearby if he sees the creature again (perception 19).
Orlog lets the Tengu take the lead, but he follows close by. His attention is distracted for just a few seconds as he admires the blade that Mister Pink just produced. "That is a good looking blade, When we have time, I wouldn't mind taking a closer look." Once said, he focus back on the task ahead and prepare himself for anything.
??? Stealth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
??? Greatclub vs Mr. Black: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
??? Fort vs Thunderstone: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Armed and alert, the party creeps down the curving tunnel in the raven familiar's wake.
Suddenly, a sharp crack like a peal of thunder reverberates along the cyclopean stone walls - followed immediately by the fainter, raspy cry of the raven in the unseen distance ahead of the party. This is then drowned out by deep, hoarse howling that echoes down the tunnel. Brandt likens it to the roar of a bear, while Bydar more compares it to a captive lion he once saw in a menagerie.
He darts to avoid a mighty swing by one of them, and he drops the thunderstone as instructed.
Hastening your step down the tunnel, all the while the sounds of grunting and the raven's cries growing louder, soon enough you find yourself entering another oblong chamber anchoring the labyrinth's twisting halls.
Inside, you find a trio of the large, shaggy brutes have leapt out from hiding to swing at Mr. Black with axes and stone clubs. Like the one you saw fleeing down the hall - evidently to lead you into this trap, sprung too soon - they possess curving horns that project from their foreheads, right above singular eyes that seem too small for their heads.
Mr. Black bobs and weaves, desperately evading the broad sweeps of their weapons.
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
Should we roll initiative? Is there a surprise round? Is there a tactical map? As much as I appreciate the imaginative narrative bits (and I do), since this is our first combat encounter, can you help us out with some mechanical details please? This is necessary for us all to determine our next actions to take. I was actually expecting it to come from your previous post... the group (Mr. Pink at least) was very much expecting this ambush. So I have to ask, can we back it up to where the thunderstone first dropped please? There would most certainly have been a retaliatory response from Mr. Pink immediately in that regard. Lastly, the group should have been no more than 30' away from Mr. Black at the start.
I will hopefully have an encounter map ready in a little bit. Thank you all for being patient.
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
I assume we can see the monsters without moving? If that’s true I’ll rapid shot. If not please adjust accordingly.
Hey! Over here, leave Mr. Black alone! Brandt calls out, quickly firing twice at the closest creature.
ranged: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
ranged: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
|Mister Haane Pinkjaw|
Initiative: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Mr. Pink squawks a shrill battle cry in his native tongue, signaling Mr. Black to regroup. Then his eyes turn white as if in some sort of trance.
Assuming there is no surprise round since both sides were expecting combat. Mr. Pink takes a full-round action to enter a Trance (crane style). Mr. Black withdraws (full-round action) and uses acrobatics to avoid any possible AoOs from Red & Orange (80' halved = 40') to fly over Red and back to Mr. Pink (I drew a black arrow on the map).
Mr. Black Acrobatics vs Red: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Mr. Black Acrobatics vs Orange: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Sidenote for Brandt: Is Fenrir participating in this encounter? Don't see him on the map.
Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Orlog concentrates for a second. All of the sudden, golden runes appear and start glowing on his armor. He then steps forward to close in on the nearest enemy. "Alright, which one of you wants to die first?"
Use blessing of protection to increase armor and save by 1.
Are the creatures of the giant subtype? If so, I get an extra +4 to AC. Got to love dwarves!!!
|Lord Christian D'Elagante|
Initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Ok folks. Time to shine.
Christian keeps his weapon flowing in front of him as he moves down the steps just out of reach of the creature.
I will draw its attention so the rest of you can get down the steps unhindered
Let us dance you and I...
He points his weapon at the creature and then turns directly into the creatures path and over the the side of the steps. Bringing his weapon down as he falls. Using the height to add to his swing in hopes of a more devastating blow.
Using power attack
Swift action to use my challenge ability on Red. +4 Damage for me and +2 Attack bonus for everyone else against RED. I will provoke an AoO if RED still has one after attack Mr.Black
Acrobatics:Avoid damage from falling the first 10 feet: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Attack w/Bless,PA: 1d20 + 5 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 5 + 1 - 2 = 23
Confirm Crit: 1d20 + 5 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 5 + 1 - 2 = 19
Damage w/Challenge, PA, Precise Strike: 1d10 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 3 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 23
Crit Damage w/ Challenge and PA: 1d10 + 3 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 3 + 4 + 4 = 15
Landing at the ground floor, Christian steadies himself and prepares for combat. He slowly looks up at the creature, still not sure if he was successful in hitting the creature or not.
Red Greatclub AoO vs Christian: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Damage: 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (3, 3) + 3 = 9
Red Greatclub vs Christian: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Damage: 2d8 + 3 ⇒ (8, 3) + 3 = 14
Red Greatclub vs Christian: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
As Orlog and Bydar offer up their prayers and call down the spells of their deities, Mr. Black flits like a dark dart through the air and evades the grasping hands of the brutish creatures to return to his master's side.
His lopsided ears still ringing from the thunderstone, the reaction time of foremost of the foes is slowed enough for Lord Christian to get the drop on him. The daring noble delivers a near fatal wound, although he receives a terrible wallop from the brute's greatclub - little more than a salvaged hunk of stone. This is followed up by another swing that lands heavily upon Lord Christian's armored frame.
The furthest back of the monsters lumbers forward in pursuit of the fleeing raven, but he pauses upon the stairs leading down from your passage in preparation of fighting larger prey - and he receives an arrow from Brandt for his aggression. The last of the trio is unable to squeeze his way between the tightly pressed shoulders of his fellows, and he can only flail his furry arms helplessly in the air.
Lord Christian takes a total of 23 damage from Red's AoO and one of his two regular attacks.
Blue takes a double move, then gets struck by Brandt's arrow. Orange can't get past his buddies.
The party may post its next actions.
Also, I've updated the encounter map with the initiative order so you know the sequence when your actions will occur.