Campaign of the Month: July 2012

Guardians of the Frontier

Day 28, 'Tailing the Beast'

Day 28, 'Tailing the Beast'

Dawn breaks and a few bells later Eggs arrives at Charcoals.
Visibly exhausted and worn, he debriefs the group and then goes on to explain the following.
Most of the fires have been put out but there are at least two that are still burning.

River tree is on now ‘lockdown’ by the watch. Martial law has been declared and curfews have been imposed. Moving about after sundown will prove very difficult.

Investigations have commenced but so far what has been determined is the fires were most likely a distraction for the hunters as well as an convenient excuse to eliminate most of the Black cloaks and the Whitesmiths.

“Belgeon Spelloyal, lord of the Whitesmiths, his elder daughter was found dead this morning in River Tree, head bashed and body broken. Also several of the bodies of the ‘mob’ members you spoke of who ambushed the boat drop were identified as half-orc hired thugs who’ve been known to do quite a bit of regular dirty work for the Ingots in the past. Seems Wally may be the prime suspect working with these hunters.”

“Strange thing is, last night, minus the dock and the tablet location, there were 13 other explosions. 4 in Black cloak territory and 2 in Whitesmith’s. The largest amount of destruction and casualties were on ‘Ingot’ turf. And from what we’ve been able to gather Wally’s lost almost ¾ of his crew. We’ve confirmed for a fact the Cloistered and the Chain are sitting this one out. So either someone on the inside is pitting crew against crew prepping to make a move, or a new player is in town looking to stake a claim.”

He takes a deep pull of his tankard.

“That being said, last night you were able to successfully ‘tag’ the hunters. Withdrawing a map of River Tree his points out two locations. 1 of the hunters has been stationary in this area where there is no structure, so they must be underground. The other hunter is here, The Duplicate blessing.”

“It’s most likely safe to assume hunter 1 underground is deciphering the tablet. What hunter 2 is doing at Wally’s Blessing is anyone’s guess.”
“We could head after hunter 1 and hopefully recover the items and tablets in one fell swoop or we could chase after hunter 2 for further intel and possible leverage against 1?”

He takes another pull of his tankard.

“What ever happens will need to happen fast. Thoughts?”

Current location of all players:
Catarina – in her room on the South East side of River Tree (Cloistered territory)
Farouk, Maltron, Wren, Francis, Alvyra, Finna, Kistol, Trist – Charcoal’s, Frontier Citadel
Max – Duplicate Blessing (River Root island)
Klembsy – Outside Frontier, northern territory, Mielikki’s Shrine

Kistol stares into space listening, but not responding, his mind racing over the recent events, but not coming up with much. He sighs, “It’s important to find out who’s behind this, but for someone to go to such lengths of destruction whether it’s a distraction or not, the prize has to be pretty big. So whatever’s going on with these tablets is more important at the moment. I think we should track hunter 1 and take care of the ‘what’. Then we can take care of the ‘who’. Does the tracking powder show us a path of where the hunters went?”

DM EDIT: Eggs replies with a sigh. “Unfortunately no. We’re only able to see their stationary positions and will only be able to continue to do so for another 24 bells. Unless, of course, they discover the nature of the dust before then and are able to dispel it.”
Francis focuses on Eggs words, ‘…his elder daughter was found dead this morning in River Tree, head bashed and body broken.’ “What a monster. To do that to a fine young lady, so delicate and supple, so wanting of a sweet caress, her sweet lips, the soft shapely curves of her body!” His fist comes down on the table. He says much to loud that he meant to, “I bet it was Trakas that Pile of Human Excrement!” and then he downs his beer, just sitting there seething an staring at the wall.

Trist upon seeing her sister wounded prays to Freya for the power to heal her sister (CLW), listening to Finna’s instructions on healing techniques wraps the bandages as directed by her sister. Trist asks, "What got ahold of you? Thankfully we have them tagged.

Trist either hides her quicklings in a dark place preferably in her room as guards. Then uses them until they disappear. just after midnight she can summon again if needed.

Trist cleans up before heading to bed that night. Hand washing herself and grabbing a small snack before retiring for the night. She says a short prayer to Freya thanking her for her blessings.

Listening to EGGs briefing Trist and says, “Finna was able to hold the other figure with her spell while the goblin/Devil dog thing was unaffected. Perhaps there was some truth to the cave groups story of a demon helping in this slaver operation. If that is the case our task will be very difficult, if we go after that demon dog. It may be more wise to get more information from the other individual. Once we know what we’re up against we can fight it better. I just don’t know how important it is to get that tablet away from that beast. Is it sooner rather than later? If it’s sooner then we have to go after it first. Looking at Finna ,with a smile, maybe Hoken might be able to tell us how best to fight such a thing”.

Trist will clean her gear and sharpen her weapons. She also purchases her a couple bow string of high quality just in case her bow string breaks during the day, time permitted.

Trist will pray for guidance from Freya and ask for help or guidance on how to fight a demon.

Trist will check out any libraries that might have information regarding how to deal with demons, if there is time to do so.

Alvyra seems unperturbed at the news of the slaughter of the members of the thieves guilds. They chose a life of brigandry and deception and have gotten what they deserve, an unmourned death in the shadows.

She declares confidently, “We should go after the hunter with the tablet. We don’t know who’s with him, so we should all go together, in force. If we take the one without the tablet, the tablet will disappear. If we take the tablet, those who seek it will come to us. He’s underground? Well, let’s review some maps of the sewers and ruins below the current city. Are there none? Well, let’s have the mages conjure up some magic and move some earth. Aren’t there spells for that sort of thing?”

Alvyra suits up in her plate mail. She’s eager for a fight, no more of this skulking around and pretending to be a coward.

Finna removes the borrowed armor but sits on the bed in the cotton under armor. Thank you Freya for watching over me and keeping me safe. I don’t know what that creature was but I’m certain I could not have beaten it without having your blessing upon myself and my weapon. Maybe we can get some answers in the morning. She reclines back and is asleep almost instantly.

This is not the way I wanted to start this morning….. Finna groans inwardly as she listens to Eggs update them on many of last night’s activities. She begins to speak after Eggs inquires for the group’s ideas and stops short as Trist begins speaking. A whistful smile crosses her lips as Trist relays some of Finna’s information. One has to love the spirit of youth. Was I ever so quick to speak? It has been a while…

Looking straight at Eggs, Finna recounts her part of the fight and describes her attacker. “I know for certain that it is not a goblin nor anything else I’ve heard of around here. I was able to cast a spell and read its thoughts before it moved out of the area. The only things that repeated over and over were these words: ’B’zas’ and ‘Barghest’. Do you know what they mean?”

Straightening up, she continues, eyes focused on Eggs for any signs of comprehension or alarm. “As for the two hunters, maybe a little more information would help. It occurs to me that Freya has blessed me with knowledge of a prayer that could be useful in this situation. If I can return to the spot where the creature and I battled, I can use this prayer to capture some of the thoughts of those creatures. Yes, this may seem impossible but since those creatures were strong and involved with some strong actions and emotions, the possibility that they were thinking of the tablet, where they were going prior to our involvement and other things during that time is great. That prayer is the best opportunity for us to gather additional information needed to make a proper decision as to who we target. I would need twenty minutes to pray and I would be ready to go.”

Unhappy about the nights events Wren goes straight to her room bidding Finna & Trist a peaceful evening. She wipes down with water from the basin and ponders the evening. Chastising herself for not following her instincts and tracking that mysterious beast, she finally falls asleep hoping that a new days dawn will bring new intel.

After hearing Eggs update and Finna & Trist(’s) insights Wren offers I agree with Finna concerning this creature, I have never seen such a creature born of nature. There indeed was some addition enchantments this beast possessed as my arrows flew true yet seemed to bounce off its hide. While Finna attempts to acquire more on their thoughts, if those who were tracking the pair by the air can show me where they lost them, I might can pick up a trail, at least for some distance the one was carrying the weight of the other and that will leave distinct impressions
Frustrated, Cat sits in her room and sulks for awhile, she hates when jobs go bad, and this one went real bad! What the hell happened? Who messed this up? And she didn’t get PAID! then she eats, lots, to calm down, then she plans——- At dawns break she will dress in her “city” clothes and head out into town, she will spend the day in Cloistered territory moving from tavern to tavern, eating, drinking and listening. Any whispered conversations she will try to remain innocuous while listening. Street word anything and waiting to hear from Jo

Farouk looks up sheepishly at Eggs, “You know this is getting a lot bigger than you let on to be. This whole town nearly went up in flames, countless dead in the streets, and even my guys here got an undeserved dusting for just… ahem… observing. Its making me look bad."

“We are halfway to where you need to be, but after last night we are gonna need some motivation to keep going. Ya promised the guardians would pay well. Right now, I think we earned a little spending money for getting you this far, know what I mean?”

“ What do you say Eggs? Think maybe you can convince the guardians to show us a little light at the end of this tunnel?”

Eggs responds to Finna. “Hmmmmm yes! An excellent idea. Go now and pray for what is needed then return quickly.”

“‘B’zas’ is not a term I am familiar with, quite possibly a command word or a name. This ‘Barghest’ worries me. In my studies of the mind flayer race, there are references of some illithids obtaining these creatures from the outer planes as pups and raising them as personal agents of ill intent. They are said to be able to change at will between the form of a beast and that of goblinoid. Also, some have been reported to possess mage-like abilities. It has even been stated they gain power by devouring their opponents. From your recount of the events it appears one of these hunters most likely is indeed a Barghest. And Wren, I believe this fiend may only be susceptible to weapons bearing magick enchantments, that is most likely why your arrows failed to stick. I will need to consult our libraries to see if I can find further details.”

Turning to Alvyra. “I can provide you with several known access points to the ancient tunnels underneath River Tree. These are tightly controlled because, unfortunately as of yet, the system itself has yet to be mapped.”

As Finna goes to pray, Eggs turns to address Farouk. “The concern for your reputation is a moot point in this matter Farouk. You’ve made your intentions quite clear as to where your motivations lie. And from what I can determine from last night’s description of events, you’ve managed to keep yourself somewhat peripheral so far. There are others who place the successful completion of this cause above coin. Other’s whose concern for Frontier and it’s people is of a higher greatness than your love of gold.”

He turns to the group.
“Compensation for the Chain’s endeavors to this point has been discussed and surely you’ve enjoyed quite a bit of hospitality within Frontier so far. The Guardian’s will take this in account as well as each individual’s level of involvement in all matters. But allow me to take this moment to reinstate that none of you have any obligation here, you can walk away at any time should you feel it necessary.”

He turns back to Farouk
“Choose your next words carefully Mage Farouk, is there something specific you’re interested in?”

Maltron back in his human form agrees that the first place investigated should be the underground hunter. Hopefully Max will be keeping an eye on what is going on there and will be able to shed some light on it at a later time.

“Let us enter an access point closest to the known location. I suggest sticking together this time. We accomplished our goals, but not so successfully as when we stick together. We can take care of everything in good time.”

Maltron regrets missing the action while perched on a well, but supposes that the well needed to be watched.

“We’ve got a score to settle with Wally. Once this tablet is recovered, he is next on my list.”

Francis speaks up, “It doesn’t matter to me who we track down first, after what we saw all over Frontier lat night, something serious is going on, whether its all connected or not isn’t for sure, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.”

When Francis has the opportunity he’ll talk to Kistol privately he says, “I found some clothing and a few wants on some blackcloaks and whitecloaks last night. I don’t think there were anything that would help gleam some purpose or intent last night, but if we can meet back up with Jo, maybe she could help, and one thing I also saw while hidden was a Dwarf who was leading the mob, it was Wally.”

Eggs, can I have a moment with you please,

Don’t get me wrong Eggs, you got a nice place here, and I can see your loyal to it. I don’t need to be a mind reader to see you’re frustrated. This town is full of great people, but last night was about as far from what we agreed on as possible.
If I remember right, the job was to observe and not be noticed, and to figure out who that treasure hunter of yours is. You even said let the hunter take the tablet. You are calling me out for being on the periphery, but I’ve done what you asked. I’ve stayed out of sight and gathered as much intel as I could. Granted there is still more but given the circumstances I think what you know now is a lot more than you did, which in my book is a step forward.

You say reputation is moot? Alvyra here almost died cause she agreed to go on a mission of observation. She would have died if she didn’t take that potion. How ‘bout’ Finna over there? She almost lost an arm. Those scars will be a reminder next I ask her to help out. You see Eggs, reputation is a measure of trust. How much trust have either of us gained after last night, and how much was lost?

I’m sure you think I’m greedy, but I didn’t ask for anything for myself then or now. Think about what your generosity has already bought you. It bought you Alvyras life, and you have 2 hunters tagged.

Here is what I would suggest, and it won’t cost you a copper. Gives these guys temporary access to the mages guild. Let them buy what goods and services they think they will need for the mission at guild prices. As your agents, it would only make sense.

And one more thing… after what all happened last night, is this still a wait and see job or did you have something else in mind,?
Trist tells Finna, "Sister I am sorry I spoke out of turn. It’s just, I don’t know, I feel like I have to get my words out right away. I don’t know why you don’t speak up quicker. You are wiser than I am. I like to speak my mind and always have. I am not the most uh best and expressing what I know in words to good. I will try and watch you and Wren annnnndddd Alvyra and see if I can learn more. I would like to follow you to learn what you are planning to do sister.Alvyra fidgets, wondering when she gets to start killing evil things. She says, “I’ll go with Finna back to the shops from last night. Probably worth taking a peak in that cellar now that the fires are out. After that, we should pick an entry point and corner that underground hunter.”Francis comforts Trist, he tells her, “its okay”, and he puts his hand on the small of her back, and lets it slip slightly. He gives her a kind smile.

Trist goes along with Francis’ advances but grows confused to his motives. She thinks to herself- does he care or is he playing games. Just as begins to slide his hand down her to the small of her back she turns to him and winks and steps away. She says, “You’re a sly one aren’t you”?

Maybe Finna or Wren can help me understand a guy like Francis?

Kistol shakes his head, “Are you sure it was Wally? That doesn’t make any sense. Why would he kill off most of his crew? Not that I’d put it past him, mind you. But that’s an awful lot of crew to replace. Let’s go after this hunter, then we’ll go to Jo once we start investigating the ‘who’ of the situation. What did you pick up anyway? Anything useful?”

Kistol agrees with Maltron’s plan to enter the closest entry point to the hunter’s location.
Francis looks at Kistol puzzled, “What do you mean kill most of his crew? He killed the Blackcloaks and White cloaks. The mobs that came after, I think are his crew and I didn’t see any of them get killed.”

“I shall return to my room now.” Finna stands up and moves towards the stairs. Hearing Farouk begin to explain his motives to Eggs, she slows then stops a few feet away from the group. She rolls her eyes upwards as he mentions the injury to her arm. She thinks to herself, Really. Are you that concerned with my well being? Besides, those scars will be gone or very faint by the next time you’ll have reason to see my arm.

Starting again, she is halted by Trist. Finna listens to her apology and gets a small knot in her stomach when realizing Trist did see the look on her face. She reaches over and gives her a quick, reasuring hug. “Nay, sister. Do not feel as if you are in the wrong. It does take some time to learn how to take a moment in weighing what one wishes to say rather than speaking unfettered. Wiser than you? count it as age and a blessing from Freya over those years, nothing that you should make you feel lesser of yourself. Truly, watching those of whom you wish to be like is the best way to learn but knowing what to watch for and what to ignore takes some time to learn as well.”

Finna turns back to Eggs, waiting for a small break in the discussion. “Eggs, upon further reflection, I shall be ready to depart within an hour. There may be more ‘thoughts’ there that are not of usefulness so I need a bit more time to prepare. It may also be necessary for me to stay in the area longer to ask generous Freya for her blessings again to gather the info we all need. Trist shall accompany me as she can learn from this undertaking, something that could enhance her abilities and usefulness with the Rangers. I shall take Alvyra and Wren as well to keep watch and seek any clues that their eyes and training may see that I cannot. Unless you have any objections, we shall see you after we perform these tasks.”

Finna looks to Alvyra and Wren. “Ladies, if we shall meet outside the front door in an hour, we can go then.” She reaches over, clasping Trist’s upper arm and begins guiding her away from the group. “Now, my young charge, you and I shall go pray to Freya for guidance and you shall learn a new blessing from our benevolent goddess. Go to your room, gather what you will take with us, then return to my room so we can begin.” She releases Trist’s arm after climbing a few steps towards the room. She will gather her armor, sword and shield (not the borrowed leather items), await Trist, then pray.

Once done, Finna will travel with her group over to the scene of the fire. There she will cast Thought Capture 4 times. First time shall be in the area that the two creatures first appeared, focusing her
mind upon the tablet then their desired location. Next area would be where the creatures passed her in the alley, focusing upon where they were travelling to. Third area would be by the doorway of the shop that exploded or as close as she can get at this time, focusing on any thoughts that were in that area related to entering the building last night. If Trist was able to learn the spell as well, she will direct her to start first at the shop doorway. If at anytime, she uses up all four spells, she will find a suitably safe locale, have Alvyra keep watch and pray for more spells.

Eggs responds to Farouk with a sigh. “Tell me what is required and I’ll see what I can do.”

Turning to the group he continues.
“After last night this is now a ‘take-out-these-assholes-as-fast-as-possible’ mission. If you want to separate into two groups, I may be able to procure a golem to aid the underground squad. Once Finna has readied herself, she, Alvyra, and I will investigate last night’s stakeout locaton. When we return, decision and action must be taken swiftly. Alvyra will lead a team at sundown to enter the tunnels. Your group should decide if you’re to send another team after the other hunter as well as Wally or accompany Alvyra. Compile a list of what is required and I will do my best to procure. Until then, make preparations and take what rest you can.”

After about a bell, Finna returns.

Eggs downs his tankard, and eyeballs each of the ladies up and down. “I can only take two of you. Wren, Trist, you both will have to meet us there.”

He stands and motions for both Alvyra and the Cleric to approach.
He places a hand on each of their shoulders and lowers his head murmuring.
In a flash of spinning light, accompanied by the sound of rushing wind mixed with singing metal, in an instant, the trio disappear.

After Eggs leaves, Farouk approaches the group, “Sorry about last night, I was under the impression it would be different. Good news is Eggs feels bad about what happend too and is feeling generous. He is gonna try to get us a golem, and if there is anything specific you think we will need for the underground gig, let me or better yet, Eggs know and he will do what he can…"

“ Francis, that fancy wand of your all charged up? Betcha Eggs could fix that for ya real cheap…
Dontcha worry, uncle Farouk will take care of ya."

Farouk smiles and orders a big breakfast fit for big adventures.

Trist hugs Finna and thanks her for her kind words. “I shall learn all that I can my sister under your wise guidance and Freya’s blessing”. Trist does as Finna ask and gets all her gear and tries to learn the prayer Finna asked her too, Freya willing as they pray together.

Once downstairs and after Eggs take the other two she says to Wren, “Let’s hurry to catch up to them”. She takes off in a hurry with Wren close by. She keeps a look out for anything out of the ordinary on the way.
Kistol responds to Francis, “Weren’t you listening? Eggs said Wally lost 3/4 of his crew in the attacks last night. He’d have to be getting a huge take to just sacrifice that much of his crew.”Francis responds, “I guess my assessment of Wally differs from most of you. I don’t think he gives a rats ass about 100% of his crew. If he can kill them all to further his ends he would. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that he really treats Max like his own son and genuinely cares for him.” Francis laughs hysterically.

Farouk scarfs down breakfast and listens to the partisan talk about Wally. Farouk doesn’t like to judge others, especially underworld others. Its just not polite, or safe, and its definitely not good for business.

One thing though that privately bothers Farouk is that everyone seems to agree that Wally is no good for Max. Although he hasn’t known Max for long, its obvious that he has a good, if overly trusting heart A heart easily taken advantage of. Farouk feels a small sense of indebtedness to the big guy, after all it was him and his that got him back to town in one piece.

Farouk thinks a bit, if Wallys a business man, there is a price, and depending on how the night goes, Farouk may just have to make an offer he can’t refuse.

“Well if you ladies need me I’ll be at the “Triple H” (Hell Hounds Hall), otherwise ill meet you later to plan our little foray"

Alvyra, Finna, and Eggs suddenly find themselves standing outside the smoking remains of the ‘Two Cart Dry Goods’ in River Tree. The activity in the area is fairly light. Most of the citizenry seem drained and exhausted. Watch patrols are visible but seem to pay the trio no mind. A dried patch of dark blood in the street acts as a grim reminder of the events of the previous evening.

The Flour mill is a crispy shell of what it once was. Waves of black scorch mar the attached buildings. The ground level and most of the 2nd story are intact but the the 3rd floor and roof are gone. Inside of the structure, smoldering remains of the wooden supports, floors, and various contents are in a large black rubble pile on the ground floor.
The ruins, unfortunately, are still too hot to dig through or clear. But there is some space in the entry where Finna can partially examine the interior without harm.

Clearing her mind, she casts Thought capture
-First in the area that the two creatures first appeared, focusing her mind upon the tablet then their desired location.

“In her mind’s eye, as if it were her own memory, Finna sees from the perspective of one of the hunters, almost as if she were behind it’s eyes in the moment. The pair are surrounded on all sides by fire. Wood squeals and cracks while flaming embers float and fall like snowflakes. Looking down she shoves the tablet into her large satchel. B’zas barks something inaudible to her over the flames. Looking up, with a wave of his hand, B’zas opens up a portal, a window, in mid-air. On the other side, through the portal, looks to be the street outside. B’zas quickly moves in and as she follows suit the vision fades…”

-Next area would be where the creatures passed her in the alley, focusing upon where they were travelling to.

“In her mind’s eye, as if it were her own memory, Finna sees from the perspective of one of the hunters, almost as if she were behind it’s eyes in the moment. She’s running full sprint. Her mind is full of rage and she’s carrying Sleegh over her shoulder but doesn’t seem particularly affected by the weight. Grumbling in goblinoid, her left eye is somewhat blurry and throbs in a dull pain. The vision fades as the hunter runs out of range.”

-Third area would be by the doorway of the shop that exploded, focusing on any thoughts that were in that area related to entering the building last night.

“In her mind’s eye, as if it were her own memory, Finna sees from the perspective of someone inside the shop, almost as if she were behind their eyes in the moment. It appears this moment is pre-explosion. Finna is groggy, she’s adjusting her lenses trying to focus in on the cloaked stranger standing in her shop. Having just been woken, she’s extremely grouchy but she knows this client is buying quite a bit of stock so it’s worth the inconvenience. She begins to inquire as to what kind of problem relating to his order would warrant a discussion at th
is hour, when her wife calls out from upstairs. Finna’s annoyed. She knows her wife knows this is important business. Finna begins to shout back up to her wife when sudden movement from the client distracts her. As if from no where, multiple urns, jars, and clay casks appear all around the client in mid-air. Hanging for just a breath, they drop. When they shatter on the ground, Finna is engulfed in the blast and roar of an explosion then instantly the vision ends.”

Finna decides to cast the 4th Thought capture inside the burnt out building.

“In her mind’s eye, as if it were her own memory, Finna sees from the perspective of one of the hunters, almost as if she were behind it’s eyes in the moment. The pair appear to be underneath the shop. A fairly large natural cave which looks to be currently in use for storage. Finna watches as B’zas places his hand on the stone wall. She watches as he murmurs something low while tracing symbols on the rock with his clawed finger. Pressing his hand once more to the wall, this time it is outlined in blue light. Ancient symbols glow on the wall and a chunk of rock folds back like melted wax, revealing a hidden crevice. B’zas reaches in and withdraws what looks to be a dagger. Stashing it in his belt, he then pulls from the hidden panel a stone tablet. With a snort of success, he hands it to Finna. Taking the tablet she briefly examines it. Roughly the size of a large book, it is covered with various markings and symbols Finna does not recognize. Looking up she sees B’zas is already moving up the stairs back up into the shop inferno. As she hustles to catch up, the vision fades….”

As the Cleric mentally returns to the present, Wren and Trist arrive.

Trist accepts Wren’s challenge with a smile and says, “Loser buys the a regular glass of elven wine, ok with you my friend”?

Trist kicks in her endurance and running training half way there.

A little winded but none the worse for it.

Trist is fidgeting but waits for guidance from Finna. Trist whispers, “Freya be with us, lend us your wisdom and strength this day”. Trist is unsure whether Freya blessed her with the spell and will have to rely on Finna’s guidance if she did. Once Finna has signaled she is done and has organized her thoughts Trist offers her a hug and tells Finna, "I do not know if I am blessed with the spell my sister.

Updated to add Wren’s challenge.
As

the last vision fades, Finna turns and begins to focus upon two approaching figures. As Wren and Trist come into view, a surge of joy goes through her. It fades away as thoughts of the two hunters run back in her mind. Stepping out of the burned out building, she motions for Eggs to join her a couple of steps away from the doorway. “I was able to retrieve four visions of thoughts and sights from last night. I think I can piece things together with the actions we saw last night.”

“We know that a person went to the door, knocking repeatedly until it was answered by the shopkeeper. The thought I captured is from the view of the shopkeeper as he answered the door. He was grouchy but knows that this client was buying a large amount of stock. He let the person in, who is wrapped up in a cloak and cannot be recognized. The shopkeeper is distracted by his wife calling him from upstairs and he starts calling back to her. He turns when the client makes a sudden motion, maybe casting a spell? Many jars, urns, clay casks appear in mid-air and fall to the floor. They shatter when they hit, explode and the vision abruptly ends.” She shudders as she remembers the sight of the explosion coming forward, a chill running across her body knowing there was no surviving that.

“After the building was on fire, two persons entered the building. This was the hunters entering the building. The next vision must be from when I cast just inside the building. I can see through one of the hunter’s eyes as they are in the cave below the store. I see the other hunter called B’zas put his hand on a stone wall, start tracing symbols on the rock with a claw and murmuring something. He presses again and some ancient symbols glow and a chunk of rock folds back to reveal a crevice. B’zas pulls out something like a dagger and puts it into his belt. Next, he pulls out a stone tablet, roughly the size of a large book with markings a symbols I’ve never seen nor recognize. The tablet is handed to the second hunter and they move back up the stairs to the blaze.”

“The next part is from when I cast the first time in the street. It is from the second hunter’s eyes as they must be at the top of the stairs, fire all around. B’zas waves his hand and something like a window appears in the air, what looks to be the street here is visible through it. They move into it and the vision stops. This has to be where they suddenly appeared in the street and we moved in to stop or slow them down.”

“The last one is after I withdrew from the fight, the odds definitely against me. It must be from B’zas’ eyes as he is running and angry from the fight and carrying the other, Sleegh seems to be the name. The weight is nothing but the left eye is blurry and in pain. The vision fades as they run away.” Finna smiles with the thought that some pain was inflicted upon the devilish creature.

“Eggs, I think something is missing from these thoughts. I can see the hunters but there is not much from the first person who caused the fire. There is a third person in this group and we need to know about him or her, I could not tell from the thoughts captured. I would like to suggest that Trist try to cast the spell at the doorsteps and also from along the route where the third person came from. If she cannot do it, I feel it would be in our b
est interest for me to pray again for half a bell and try to obtain more thoughts that hopefully benefit us. What say you?”Before leaving with Trist to meet with Finna and Eggs Wren ask I believe you are correct Eggs concerning enchanted arrows and I do have a small amount of those available that I brought with me from home. However if you could provide a couple more to add to the mix, that would ensure damage upon our next meeting with this beast. Now Maltron if you can tell me where you lost sight of them, I am confident I can pick up a ground trail to follow them once Finna and Trist have completed their work with Freya turning towards Trist after hearing what Maltron tells her Come sister, let us go and catch up to the wizard and our sister Finna then smiling a sly smile as the exit the door, Im in the mood for a race, care for the challenge? and she starts off with a small trot waiting to see if Trist is game

Alvyra is hooked on flying. It’s even better than riding, and there’s no horse sweat or horse sh*t! She volunteers, “Additional potions of flying are probably essential. If the hunter is some kind of shape-changing-goblin-demon-beast, he could be faster than us on foot. If he were to flee, we’d need some way to keep pace. I don’t think we can bring horses underground, it might get too narrow in places.”

Alvyra thinks about the thoughts Finna has uncovered. “Third person? We saw no one enter the building after it was already ablaze. The arsonist and the hunter B’zas are one and the same. B’zas entered, then he conjured up the urns to set the place ablaze, then he conjured up his ally, the tall one that Finna held. Or, the tall one was already in the cellar, perhaps keeping an eye on it until B’zas could arrive. Come, precious time passes while we speculate. These thoughts you seek will linger for some time, no? The hunter will not wait for us underground indefinitely.”

Trist checks to see if she has the ability to cast the spell Finna helped her try to acquire by praying to Freya. If not she says to the others, “Give Finna a moment to regain her spells then I think maybe we should access the lower cave and use the spells were more thoughts geared toward their route might be or their overall plan may be present. If she can cast the spell she still recommends going below to get a clearer thought. Either way we should also get the others to join us if we plan on going so we can go in force. I thought there were 3 cloaked figures. The first initial door figure that went in then two more showed up later and went in. Maybe I didn’t see it correctly”.

DM EDIT: Unfortunately Trist does not have the ability to cast the spell at this time.

Eggs leans in to Finna “You said you examined the tablet as well as watched the hunter ‘unlock’ the panel where it was kept? Do you think you could describe in detail what these symbols looked like? If so, we may be able to recreate the 2nd tablet. Using that we could locate the third and retrieve it before the hunters decipher it’s location.”

Anxiously, he continues. “We need to get to the Academy at once. The others will need to hear your descriptions while they are still fresh.”

He places a hand on the cleric’s shoulder and lowers his head murmuring.
In a flash of spinning light, accompanied by the sound of rushing wind mixed with singing metal, in an instant, the duo disappear leaving Alvyra, Trist, and Wren behind.

In a flash Finna suddenly finds herself with Eggs in a large room. Lined with bookshelves teaming with materials, in the far back of the room is what appears to be a crackling fireplace and mantle. Multiple chairs and side tables are scattered about and in the middle of the room is a large table covered with various papers, books, scrolls, small statuary, and devices. Multiple robed figures also fill the room. Clearly other mages, all appear to be immersed in study. Some sit, puffing away on pipes, others pace, mumbling low to themselves lost in thought. None appear to be surprised at the pair’s entrance. Eggs removes his hat and the appearance of the half orc ruffian flickers away to reveal that of the human Guardian Marcetheus.
“My apologies Finna but ‘Eggs’ is a necessary facade on occasion. Welcome to the Frontier Mage’s Guild and Academy.” Marcetheus then introduces himself formally.

Marcetheus gathers the other wizards in the room and debriefs them on the situation. A scribe is summoned and Finna relays the details of her ‘visions’ in as much detail as she can muster. After a few bells composite drawings of the symbols on the tablet as well as the symbols the hunter ‘sketched’ on the stone wall are completed.
As the sorcerers huddle over the parchments, grumbling, murmuring, discussing, and interpreting Marcetheus pulls Finna aside and offers her a drink.
“You’ve done well, very well indeed. With this we should be able to gain the upper hand on this ’B’zas’. Return to your compatriots and prepare for the task at hand. I will do my best to send over what requested aid I can make available to you before sunset. The Gaurdians are in your debt. God speed and good luck.”

With that Finna is escorted out of the Academy.

Ugh! No teleportation? We have to walk back?! What’s the point of being in the cavalry if you can’t ride your horse! Disappointed at not being selected for a second lift by Eggs, Alvyra makes her way back to Charcoals to regroup with the others and prepare to storm the hunter’s underground lair. “So what’s it going to be? Who’s going dungeon crawling with me, who’s wasting time at The Duplicate Blessing?”
Trist snickers at Alvyra’s having to walk. Trist says, “I will do whatever is in the best interest of the group”.

Kistol will go with the underground group. “I’d suggest some healing potions and some minor magical arrows to be spread amongst the party for use against the goblin-shapeshifting thing. What was it called again?”

As for Wally, “I agree with you Francis, it just seems . . . inconvenient logistically speaking, but if he’s working for somebody maybe they promised him a fresh crew or leadership of the whole underground of Rivertree. We gotta get Max away from him as soon as we can.”

Kisol thinks about Finna’s visions (that is if he is privy to them_), “Say, Francis, wasn’t that guy we introduced to Farouk named Sleegh? That would explain the deep pockets spells (_again, can’t remember if Kistol knows about the spells). They would have stashed the explosives in the cloaks. It would explain the explosions for the rest of the city, too. These tablets must be important.”

DM EDIT: So far only Wren, Trist, and Alvyra know about Finna’s visions. Also, Kistol doesn’t know what Farouk did for Sleegh or, for that matter, if he actually did anything at all.

Maltron unsheaths Jes the Dagger and asks her if she knows anything about B’zas or Barghest.

Otherwise, he is ready to go after the underground tablet. He feeds Dagnoe some meat and praises him for his performance during the stakeout.

DM EDIT: Unfortunately, Jes has no clue what Maltron is talking about

Trist heads back to Charcoal’s with Alvyra and Wren and hopes her sister Finna is ok. It troubles her that she disappeared again without coordinating her departure and length of time away. She definitely doesn’t like the Half-Orc Egg’s.

Once back at Charcoal’s she grabs some breakfast. Fresh milk, eggs and sausages maybe.

OOC -If only they had a charbucks here like the bigger cities. :o)

The Academy. The place where the mages waste time in dark rooms. Rather stuffy in here. Guess people appear in this room often enough that no one notices anymore. Finna looks to her host as he removes his hat. Her jaw almost drops to the floor as the image of Eggs is replaced by Marcetheus and he introduces himself formally. She recovers enough to return the greeting. "Well met, most honored sir. I am Finna Frilund, priestess of Freya. It is my honor that you personally deal with our group with these matters. It also gives insight to Hoken’s workings with “Eggs”.

She settles in and begins to speak to the other wizards in the room as they ask their questions of her experience. She focuses her mind on the details of the thoughts she was able to capture and relays then to the scribe. The appearance of a drink after several hours is a welcomed sight. As she is escorted away, she speaks to her host again. “We thank you for your generosity with the assistance you are providing. I shall return to the group and give them your direction. May Odin and Freya bless thee with knowledge.”

Blinking her eyes as she enters the noontime sun, Finna takes a moment to get her bearings. She turns to the right, sees the main walkway and walks the short distance to Charcoals. Entering, she looks to the first serving girl she encounters. “I shall need to use a more private area to speak with my group. If possible, we shall use the rooftop for conversation and a spot of lunch. Otherwise, we shall set up in a far corner. Can you do that for us? Oh, before I forget, thank you for your assistance yesterday with changing my hair. It all worked out.” Finna then walks the room, motioning for any party member there to join her in the private location.

Once everyone available is seated, Finna shares with the group the events after leaving with Eggs. She recounts the visions in the order she reported to Eggs, her trip and activities with the mages at The Academy. She will pause whenever any servers enter with food or drink. “So,” as she finishes up, “we have been directed to prepare ourselves for action this evening. Ma…Eggs said any available aid will be here prior to sunset. I suggest we take care of our preparations quickly and be ready to go, say a half bell before sunset? Also, did we ever decide who was going to do what tonight?”

As late afternoon begins to settle in over Frontier, Eggs returns to Charcoals and reconvenes with those present.
“I’ve managed to procure you these items that will assist in tonight’s expedition.”
He unceremoniously drops a large sack on the table.

“Inside you will find 4 Healing potions (2 doses each), a quiver of 20 (+1) magical arrows, a wand of direction (glows brighter when pointing towards the direction of and when in proximity to the marked targets), 3 potions of flying (2 doses each), and a scroll with 2 (4th lvl) ‘enchanted weapon’ spells. Unfortunately I was unable to requisition a golem to assist. Make your way to the Anvil & Lotus Smithy in River Tree. Once there, tell Rergel ‘Eggs’ sent you. He’ll assist in getting you underground. The rest is up to you.”

Is Everyone going after the hunter underground? Did Farouk return from the Hell hound? Any other business before heading off?

Farouk definitely heads back to charcoals as the time draws near.

Farouk looks over the goods that Eggs has generously provided “Looks good Eggs, don’t worry about the golem, this here is much and appreciated and is gonna go a long ways towards getting you those tablets.”

Farouk looks at the wand, “This glowstick here is gonna give away our position in a dark cave, anyone got something they can wrap it with?”

Farouk takes one of the “Enchanted Weapon” scrolls, and looks around, so who needs a weapon magic’d up? This here will make you right as rain once we get into the dirty."

OOC-DM how long does it take to cast from a scroll?

DM EDIT: The spell casting time is 1 turn but because it’s from a scroll, I’ll say it takes 2 rounds to read/cast the spell.
“Well then, I guess the time for action has come.” Francis says getting up from the table. He grabs 3 Healing Potions, a potion of flying, and the scroll and puts them in his sack. “My lands legs and sea legs are interested to meet my air legs.” he concludes, and then makes his exit." He thinks to himself, this Eggs guy is annoying, but he does seem to have access to a lot of toys. Now how can I take better advantage of this?

Trist say to Wren and the others, "I have healing abilities though limited I’ll leave the potions to the others. Noticing that Kistol takes a few Trist will only take 5 +1 arrows then. I will be joining the hunt Trist says but is wary of Eggs. She says to Eggs with a slight hint of venom, “Uh, Thanks for your offerings”.

She cleans up gets her gear together then prays to Freya struggling to understand why she has not be given her favor. She says, “Freya most beautiful and wise, what must I do to be worthy of your power? Show me what I must do and it shall be done”. Trist then takes her gear and meets the others.

Seeing Finna she hugs her and says, "Are you ok sister? Do you need more healing? I have prayed to Freya asking her to show me what to do to gain her full favor. I hope she gives me a sign my sister.

Updated for arrows and additional RP.
Alvyra casually scoops up one of the Potions of Flying. She really wants all of them, but thinks that’s probably one of those urges she needs to suppress in the interests of the common good and primacy of mission success. She tries not to stare at the other two potions and silently hopes nobody else picks them up. If they remain unclaimed, she’ll graciously volunteer to hold them on behalf of everyone else.

Kistol swipes 5 of the +1 arrows and a flying potion. He pushes the thoughts of his scattered guild to the back of his mind and focuses on the job at hand. He’s ready to go.

Player Edit: Kistol also grabs one of the healing potions.

After the party gathers up the specialized equipment Farouk ask Eggs, “So what did your research find out about this Barghest creature. Does it have a weakness? What sort of magic does it use? Anything additional you can share on that beast could be useful . “

DM EDIT: Eggs replies that he hasn’t been able to dig up much yet. Focus has been on recreating the tablet from Finna’s visions but a few apprentices have managed to research that Barghests are intelligent creatures who gain power by feeding on their slain enemies. They are sometimes worshiped by goblins so this hunter may have an entourage of the like. They are quick, almost invisible when motionless or in shadow, and very difficult to track. They can shape change at will between the form of a goblinoid or that of a large dog or beast, and they may have other spell-like abilities as well. They are native to the plane of Gehenna, which is a very nasty place, what they are doing here is anyone’s guess. I assume it’s to feed.

After an extended period of silence, Finna shakes her head at the group. “I guess we shall see who is going after the hunter underground closer to the time of going. I shall return after I have made my preparations.” With a curt nod, she leaves the rooftop area and returns to her room. She calls for the tub in her room to fill up and prepares for a bath. What is with those dovne geder? Freya, give them some brains for tonight!

She soaks a while, letting her frustration dissolve away and contemplating her actions. That jävel is tough, I need to make sure I can at least cut him. How…. She begins to sink lower into the tub, eyes glazing over. As her nose touches the water, she refocuses, a thought dancing behind her eyes. She submurges under the water for a few moments then resurfaces with a small gasp, a smirk curling up one side of her mouth.

Redressing after her bath, Finna begins praying for Freya’s blessings and healing [replenish all 7 spell slots plus one CLW to heal back to full]. Filled with the deity’s power, she dons her armor, grabs shield, mace, sword and backpack and heads to the main floor. She finds a table near the stairs to the roof and asks for some fruit and wine. When she sees Hoken, she will wave him to her table. “Good sir, my need to borrow your leather armor and shield has ended and it is ready to be returned to thee. It was adequate to disguise myself but almost not enough to fend off that creature. You may have heard of last night’s adventure and how close I was to being overwhelmed. I tell you this, I shall not allow that to happen tonight.”

Once she sees Eggs come in, she will get up and go to the rooftop area where the rest of the group should be. “My thanks for this assistance, the generosity shown to us is great. May Freya bless and succor thee.” She reaches over and picks up a scroll. “I take it anyone can say the spell on here?”

Wren will take the balance of the arrows if no others wish for some. “Since Frey& Freya blessed the heart of Eggs to provide these arrows my path is clear. Where ever the beast is this is where I shall be too. Since firing arrows below ground may not be possible, Frances did you say that spare short sword of yours is an enchanted weapon? If so I should like to borrow it for this journey. Hearing the note of annoyance in Finna’s voice, Wren places her hand on her shoulder and without speaking gives her the can I help look.

Trist is drawn to Wren and Finna and says, "You have come into my life for a reason sisters. Finna you have given me so much I feel I must act in kind to Wren. I have been struggling with this for some time but, I think I now know why Freya blessed me with this arrow. I give this to you Wren as a follower of Frey brother to Freya. You are a more skilled archer than I. I believe this was meant for you.

Trist hands Wren a +3 arrow of Mage slaying. Trist looks at Finna and says, “Did I do it right sister”? Hoping for approval of her act.
When the time is appropriate Francis answers Wren, “My only enchanted weapons are the flaming cutlass and whip I have. No others. I wish we had more, maybe you should be one to take a scroll to enchant your blade should we need it. I am pretty sure most if not all the others have enchanted weapons.”Maltron doesn’t take any of the magical items. He is ready to go. He missed a lot of action at the docks and is going to take out his frustration on the next villain he sees. He wished that he would have just taken out the hunter from the beginning, but now is his chance.

4 Healing potions (2 doses each), (FRANCIS, KISTOL)
a quiver of 20 (+1) magical arrows, (KISTOL 5, TRIST 5, WREN 10)
a wand of direction (glows brighter when pointing towards the direction of and when in proximity to the marked targets), (FAROUK)
3 potions of flying (2 doses each), (ALVYRA, KISTOL)
and a scroll with 2 (4th lvl) ‘enchanted weapon’ spells (???)

2 healing potions left as well as 1 flying. There was only 1 scroll available who does it go to, Finna or Farouk?
Farouk will take one healing potion and the scroll. He suggests that whomever would like a weapon enchanted to hand it over to him before we go underground. It will be easier that way instead of doing a hand off in the heat of combat.Farouk addresses the group, “So does anyone want me to hold on to a weapon to magic up? Also who needs an invisibility before we get started?”Kistol goes invisible at least to start out with.

Honored that Trist has trusted her with such a powerful arrow to her care, she hugs her newfound sisters “By*Freys &Freyas* blessing when the time comes to use arrow it will fly true and find the heart of our enemy” then addressing Farouk “If there is a spare scroll for this short sword, I would appreciate the enchantment. Thank you for the offer”

Finna looks to Farouk. “Since most anyone can use the scroll and since we may not be close together, I would prefer to take and use the scroll. That also means Wren would need to be close by me when we go into battle but that may be more manageable.” She pauses for a moment then continues. “I do not see any wisdom to casting invisibility upon anyone prior to our leaving. You are just asking for Loki to add his mischief to our endeavor by having someone bump into our invisible comrade and losing the spell. It is also a bit of a pain to hold a door open for an extended period of time to allow them to enter into some establishment and it looks rather weird as well.”

She turns to Trist, kindness in her eyes. “Yes, favored one, you did fine. Remember this: when we fight, we all need to go into the fight knowing the odds are in our favor. There is no honor to go into a fight you have no chance of winning, unless you have no alternative. Our group needs to make the odds in their favor and allowing Wren to utilize that arrow increases our odds.” She pats Wren’s hand, thankful for the support.

“I would ask that we think upon the wisdom of this course of action.” She looks around to the group, making sure she catches Maltron’s gaze. “The creatures we seek are not stupid and may have some spy or way to give themselves advanced warning if a large armed group appears. It would not be as obvious if the group goes to the Anvil in smaller numbers at different times. This should keep the chance of discovery somewhat lower and the odds in our favor, right Farouk?”
Francis will buy 3 torches, some oil, and 3 days rations.Finna buys 3 clay flasks of oil, leave the tent in her room.

Eggs drains his ale and makes to leave.
Looking to Maltron, he leans in and places his hand on the mage’s shoulder. “Should you find yourself in a corner, remember your signal.”
The half orc gives a final nod to the party and departs.

As dusk melts into evening, the group makes its way to Anvil & Lotus Smithy.
A young, dwarven woman answers the door. Looking over the party she shouts behind her in dwarven. “Waazk’ah, k’ao azha ’aha”.
The girl steps aside as a sweaty, brick-outhouse of a dwarf smithy steps forward. Not taking his eyes off the party he replies to the girl. “Kak our’h thathkah azrt haazto k’a tururh.”

He turns to the group. “I am Rergel, the Eggs said you would be by. Come.”

The gray bearded, sweaty-faced smith leads the Broken Chain through his smithy, to the back, to a staircase going down.
Opening the door at the base of the steps reveals a large rock cave. The floor is covered in sand and multiple barrels, crates, tools, and sundry are lined and stacked along the walls. Straight ahead is a large circular metal door embedded in the stone wall of the room and the female dwarf who answered the door is straining to open the large double bolt on it. With a grunt of success and a loud clank, the bolt is unlocked and she swings open the very thick door to reveal a tunnel.
She then walks to stand next to Rergel, hands him a ring of keys from her belt and he begins to speak.

“The tunnel heads down gradually 100’ for about 200 yards. It’ll open up into a large cave with a ravine. On the other side of the ravine the tunnel continues on. There should be a plank available to for your use to cross the gap. If you do not return after 3 days, I pull the plank back to my side of the ravine and you will need to find your own way to cross or another exit from the tunnels.”
He heads into the tunnel and motions for all to follow. The tunnel is lit overhead by a series of short glowsteel (metal with continual light cast on it) rods set into the ceiling every 4 feet. As Rergel leads he unlocks four iron barred gates along the way as all progress in.

“The light’ll last you about halfway down and then you’ll have to make your

own. We’re not really sure what’s beyond the ravine, there hasn’t been the time or the manpower to go exploring and not many adventurers are interested in the gig since Rentinny’s last foray in.”

Kistol asks, “What happened to Rentinny?”

The dwarf responds, “Led a group of 20 dungeoneers down for a expedition, after 2 months only Rent came back.”

Rergel unlocks the 5th and last iron gate and motions for the party to enter. As they do, he closes the gate behind them and locks it.

“When Rentinny came back he was covered in some sort of living slime. Mush and muck growing all over im’, could barely tell it was him. His mind was gone and he was snarling and clawing through the gates trying to get at us. We put him down with crossbows but he kept getting back up, finally just had to douse the poor sod with oil and light him up……”

He points to a chain set into the stone wall on the party’s side of the gate.
“Pull that when you return and a bell will ring in my shop. I’ll come down and let you back in.”

The dwarf then returns back up the tunnel to his shop, closing and locking the other four gates. On the last he looks up,“Good luck.”

With that he exits through the large round metal door, it closes and locks with a dull boom and heavy clank.

All is silent in the tunnel save for the low breathing and rustle of the party.

How high are the ceilings? How wide is the tunnel, can we fit 2×2 or single file? How far across is this ravine, thus how long is plank? How wide is the landing on the other side or does it just head into a tunnel opening? What do I smell? and ((PC question, do you use the standard rules of infravision or optional rules? It will determine how she responds to the suggestion of using torches))

DM EDIT: The tunnel is about 8’ high and 8’ wide. 2×2 works here and I’ll let the group know if it shrinks down to single file. Infravision does see heat so the characters with infra, when nearby a torch or heat source, will have vision range halved. 30’ instead of 60’. I’ll address the other questions in the next post.

Trist says, "It might be best for the elves (Wren and Kistol) to be up front if we want to use their infra-vision and ability to work better by themselves. Just remember infra-vision won’t detect some things.

I’m not thrilled to be going underground, but I’ll manage it. I can work from anywhere in the marching order. I have continual light arrows of which I can pull one out if we need it".

Trist will have a +1 MW nocked.

ooc – Maltron has a stone with continual light cast on it.

“A foul fungus death awaits those that are not cautious. I suspect a cure disease would work, but can anyone cast it?”

Maltron hopes that the passages will lead quickly to the hunter. He soothes Dagnoe telling him to keep close by until the danger is ascertained.

Proposed marching order:

Front
Wren Trist
Alvyra
Maltron Farouk
Finna
Kistol Francis

Alvyra explains, “Because of the strength of my devotion to the just and merciful Tyr, I am not only immune to disease, I can cure it in others through prayer once per week. We are just as likely to be attacked from the front as from the back, so let us proceed thusly, eyes in the front (Wren and Trist), ears in the back (Kistol), magic in the middle. I will support the van, while Francis supports the rear. When we come upon the Barghest, the mages can take care of illumination. Francis, Trist, and I all have magical swords and can engage directly while the rest of the party provides magic and missile support. If the Barghest has companions, our priority is to kill the Barghest and recover the tablet. We should be prepared to withdraw once that objective is accomplished. These tunnels sound pretty dangerous, so we should only do as much fighting as is absolutely necessary.”

Kistol agrees with Alvyra’s marching order, “Good plan, Al. So everybody be on the look out for scary death slime then, yeah? I have a continual light dagger if anybody needs it. Let’s go. Stay sharp.”

Kistol will place most of his attention on the rear, using alertness and paying particular attention to the ceiling for any dripping slime. He keeps and +1 arrow nocked.

Farouk accepts Kistols offer of the lighted dagger “Wasn’t born lucky like you my boy, thanks for the light!”

Looking into the chasm, Farouk thinks this this ride might be a little longer than expected,

If anyone feels they need an invisibility Farouk makes his final offer. “Kistol you still needin that invisibility?”

Maltron agrees to the marching order. He likes Alvyra being in front of him for a couple of reasons. He can also wield Jes to shed light if needed.

“I’m glad we are all together again. We are much stronger together than apart. Let’s go get our tablet and seek revenge on those that have burned our town.”

Kistol passes the CL Dagger to Farouk with sheath, “Might as well go invisible for now. I can always drop it, but it’ll be handy if needed when we catch up with our quarry.”Trist will proceed when the others are ready. If she’s restricted to 30’ infra vision she just nocks a continual light arrow and uses it for light. She checks for tracks and proceeds cautiously. Trist communicates in soft quiet tones to the others as she goes describing things as needed.

Finna makes sure her lantern has oil and her flint and steel are readily accessible if needed. If it looks like extra light will help the situation, she will light it.

Thinking back upon the dwarf’s words, she feels apprehensive. Something about that description seems wrong. We are dealing with creatures from an evil plane. It could be something that occurs after extended contact with them.

Farouk casts invisibility on Kistol and the party begins the trek down.
Halfway in when the glowsteels stop, the party withdraws light sources.

Trist – continual light arrow nocked.
Francis – Flaming cutlass
Alvyra – Sword
Maltron – Jes (dagger)
Farouk – Kistol’s continual light dagger

After a while, the tunnel opens up into a large chamber, at least 60’ x 60’, with a ceiling 60’ above the floor. There is a tunnel on the far side of the chamber.
Unfortunately a large ravine separates the main floor of the chamber from the tunnel. The ravine is about 25’ish across and appears bottomless, but the sound of distant water can be heard rising from the depths.
Against the back wall, on the party’s side of the ravine is 30’ metal ladder.
Laying the ladder over the ravine, the group crosses one at a time, slowly but with ease.

Continuing on into the tunnel, the party moves on for around 200’ish until opening up into a crossroads. There is some slight moisture in the air which smells earthy, something similar to moss or mold.

Farouk being familiar with both alchemy and herbalism takes a good whiff of the organic aroma. Does he recognise it as being common or exotic in nature. Or more importantly dangerous.Alvyra whispers, “Well, what does the wand say, left or right?” She breathes the air suspiciously. Dry caves are better, means there’s nothing alive. Damp caves mean something is lurking around. Hopefully it is just moss and mold like it smells. Kistol scans the ceiling for movement, this “make you crazy need to burned alive” slime thing has him a little freaked out. Farouk consults the wand…“Ohhhh magic wand which way which way!” Trist checks for tracks, quietly, that might help them decide which way might be best. She checks both ways maybe 5ft each way if needed as she may spot them right off.Wren also looks for tracks. She has a +1 arrow notched and she tries to keep away from the lights keeping them behind her as much as she can so as not to interfere her infravision any more than it has too. Listening and smelling, waiting for a decision to be made on which way.

The wand gives no indication of either tunnel, in fact it glows faintly when pointed towards the middle of the crossroads.
The air from both tunnels feels slightly humid. The NE passage does have more of a stronger ‘earthy’ smell, which Farouk believes to be definitely mold or a fungus.
Unfortunately, Wren does not find any tracks and a scan of the ceiling reveals nothing unusual.

The party scouts the SW passage which lead to two side tunnels. One has a small ravine which disappears into the dark but the sound of water can be heard. Looking up, there appears to be an 4’ wide opening in the ceiling, a shaft running up to the limit of vision and the smell of fresh air is detected.
Traversing the ravine (Kistol with an easy leap) reveals a small cave ahead which appears to be the result of a cave in on the tunnel some time ago.
Following the southern side tunnel also leads to a caved-in dead end.

Heading back the party moves around a bend where there is a steady drip, drip of water from the ceiling at this nexus of tunnels, and there are many stalactites and stalagmites on the floor and ceiling. Many of the short rock pillars appear to have been broken and removed.

Moving through and continuing on the group encounters another crossroads.
Investigating the first route leads the party to the edge of an underground pool. Observing from the tunnel (without entering the cave) a small stream trickles into the pool from the mouth of one of two other passageways leading from the room.

Scouting up ahead to the other SW passage reveals a damp chamber ahead. Slow dripping can be heard, the ‘fungus’ smell is very strong, and a dull green glow radiates from the cave about 20’ from the tunnel. Cautiously moving closer reveals a small cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. The glow appears to be coming from multiple round phosphorescent fungi in two large clusters. Each cluster is about 8’ in diameter. In the center of the glowing mushroom piles stand two larger fungi. Both are man-sized but one has four 4’ long branches.

MAP

Farouk peers into the room from a distance. Farouk tries to identify the odd fungus’s and shrooms. Some of the deadliest and most useful are found deep underground. Hopefully a bit of caution will pay off.

DM EDIT: Farouk believes if he were to take some of the phosphorescent mushrooms that they would most likely retain their glow (acting as a minor light source) for a few hours if not days.

“Alright, looks like we found something. Fungus huh, I say we torch it. Nothing good can come from this foul smelling mess. But (going off Nomara’s post) it looks like Farouk wants to temp fate and mess with it. So, just remember my position here. In regards to the ravine, I have some torches, lets light one, and throw it down the ravine and see what we can while it falls. And if we’re going to check out that pool in the cave, I can swim the best, as with most things, I’m the best man for that job as well.” Francis states as matter of factly as he can. He then makes it look like he’s stretching his arms, but really he’s posing and pointing while flexing his muscles.

DM EDIT: Dropping a lit torch into the 2nd ravine, it falls for about 5-7 seconds before snuffing out with a splash.

Kistol scans the fungus room looking for any other visible exits and adds, “Or we could just leave it alone. I’m game to check it out, though. I’m invisible and quiet. I can probably sneak in and check it out without triggering anything. I don’t see any way out from this room, though. The pool cave is probably our way through. I bet the water from the ravines flows through and feeds it. You wanna be live bait for whatever fishies are swimming in there, you be my guest, Francis.(said with a grin) Wanna tell me what I’m looking for Farouk?” If there are no other plans for the fungus room, Kistol will proceed in carefully, alert for movement and careful to avoid any slime-like drippings or pools. He’ll get a closer look at the larger fungi staying clear of the smaller ones and out of reach of the branches.

Player edit: Kistol also checks for traps as he goes.

A little annoyed Farouk looks back at Francis

I’d suggest against all that torchin, you see, burinin shrooms, especially poisonous ones can give you a nasty cough if you know what I mean. Secondly, you feel all that humidity? Those shrooms won’t burn well anyway. A lot of smoke is what your gonna get. Anyone who’s anyone and that means our hunter friend will know they got a visitor at that point. Before you get all crazy there, just gimme a sec to see if I can figure out what we are dealin with. Ill let you know when there is something you can smash, or burn or break awright?

Don’t like surprises, sometimes these things can poison you by touch alone, like poison Ivy, but alot worse, sometimes they can spew out spores that make you see things that ain’t there… Gotta be real careful round shrooms kiddo.

Alvyra snaps impatiently, “Leave it. Glow-in-the-dark mushrooms have nothing to do with our mission. We waste time here!”

Alvyra ogles Francis’ rippling muscles as he strips for his swim. She imagines tracing the firm ridges with her finger tips, her lips, her… Oh yeah, ‘shrooms, yuck! Plants should grow in the sun. Any plants that don’t are obviously evil by nature and should be avoided, especially in food.
Trist asks Maltron quietly, “Ok which way?? Mushrooms or swimming”?

Maltron remembers the eerie story of the man turned mushroom, “I say we check out the pool. Francis is an excellent swimmer and he is volunteering. Check out the streams coming into the pool. Kistol if you happen to turn into a fungus man, do I have your permission to put you to rest?”

Maltron will offer Francis his continual light stone, since his flaming cutlass might extinguish in the water.

“I’m going to avoid those fungi. I’ll go with Francis to the pool.”

He will pull out the Wand of Detect Magic and point it in both directions to sense for magic. He feels like he is probably out of range, but it won’t hurt.

“Yes, lets leave the Mushrooms, unless Kistol and Fark really think they need to get their hands on the bioluminescent fungi "

Francis gives Alvyra a playful and firm swift smack on the ass as he walks past her. And then gives her a wink as she looks at him. I’m getting the feel that this one likes it rough.

He’ll take precautions, pick up a rock and toss it in the water before he gets in, poke the water with a stick to make sure it’s water and not some gelatinous goo that will swallow or dissolve him instantly, will stand in the water at boot level a bit, then step around to see if it disturbs or brings any living creatures out, and then once he’s used all his senses of perception slowly go underwater and carefully check it out.

“How about I take one end of a rope, and if I find something tie it off, or you could pull me back if things turn bad?”

Kistol responds to Maltron, “Very funny . . . and no. I’m for leaving it alone. Al’s right. This is not on mission. We feel this is important we can come back later. Let’s go to the pool.” Kistol will help Francis with the rope, and suggest the other archers stand at the ready in case something comes out of the pool.

Alvyra growls, “Watch those hands seadog, or you’ll find yourself looking for replacements!” She flushes livid, Damn! He caught me staring!

Farouk shrugs, and does a 360 with the wand before storing it. Farouk follows the party to the the puddle.
Wren looks around as best she can without entering the room to see if she can spot anything odd that might be a hidden opening. Does the floor appear to have had any activity, does her elvan (spidey) sense tingle as she stands in this opening? What a discombobulated group she wonders as she looks round at the team, waiting for a decision to be made. Frey keep this humble band safe in this inhospitable place. May the honor of Frey &Freya prevail in battle and hold it not against us that we travel with an enemy to your people dropping her head for a second in silent prayer. While listening to the (assuming) whispered discussion amongst the team, how much amplification or reverb can she hear?

Wren cautiously explores the cave. Aside from the low sounds of the water the only other noise she can hear is an occasional splash in the pool. Moving in she spots several small white fish inhabit it.
Looking into the two side tunnels, the first appears very similar to the majority of the other tunnels the group has encountered this far.
The other, with the low small stream filtering out of it into the cave pool, seems to have two interesting aspects.
First, about 20’ in it appears to have another opening in the side wall of the tunnel, an off-shoot tunnel. And second, about 20’ past the branch off, the tunnel tapers down to about 3-4’ wide and continues on.
Sound appears to echo within the caves but does not seem to carry much distance in the tunnels.
Other than that, there is nothing else of interest.

As Francis and Kistol secure their rope lifeline (tying 2 100’ coils together, Farouk and Maltron check their wands.
Maltron detects no magic in the vicinity (beyond the party’s gear) but Farouk’s wand gives a dull glow when pointed towards the pool.

Picking up a nearby rock and plunking it into the water, nothing occurs save the scattering of the white fish. Slowly and delicately wading in, light stone in hand, Francis eventually dives under the water.
It’s very cold and very dark but with Mal’s rock, the navigator has a good 40’ visual range in the surprisingly clear freshwater.
Francis moves fast through the water. Save for a few darting white fish, nothing of interest is spotted. It seems at least 40’ deep but Francis decides it best to move forward instead of down.

About 80’ in he is able to surface in a small enclave to catch his breath. Diving back in, he goes on for another 120’ eventually opening up into a large cave, the edge of which slopes up into a large room roughly 60’ wide, 40’ish in length, and with ceilings about 15’ish high.

Undoing his rope and discreetly moving in, Francis hears nothing and sees no other light source but when he steps off the slope and up into the room, a dull low ping echoes.
Several large unrecognizable symbols (about 1’ x 1’), spaced about 5’ apart along the walls and ceiling of the room fade up, illuminating the area in blue light.
A quick scout reveals the below. To the west spillover from the cave pool falls into a large 20′ × 20′ dark pit. To the north, as Francis moves close, symbols activate and illuminate a room apparently full of decrepit rubbish. Piles of stone and material disintegrated over 1000’s of years lay undisturbed in collapse.
All rooms appear to have been masterly or magically cut from the rock and it appears that underground water had eventually worn down, broken through, and revealed this ancient site.
MAP

As the party anxiously awaits Francis’ return, the silence is broken by Kistol,
“Uh oh, the ropes just gone slack.”

As all look to the elf, Finna shouts “There!”

Turning to look, the party sees a humanoid form, burly, shaggy and with a low yelp of surprise, turn 180 and dash feet slapping on stone back into the non-stream tunnel.
MAP

Kistol hands the rope off, “I’m going after him. Alvyra, Trist, Mal, back me up?” He starts off down the tunnel (still invisible, right?) trying to catch up, get a good look and find out where the figure is headed.
Without venturing further, Francis swims back to the group to report on his findings.Hmmm room with glowy symbols you say? How close did you get to em? Sometimes glowy symbols pack a nasty surprise if you get too close.Trist bolts after the creature her sister Finna spotted unless told to stop.

Alvyra stays put, she’s not the one to go chasing, not with her plate mail on, and she doesn’t want to potentially waste a dose of her Potion of Flying on what might just be an innocent (relatively speaking) goblin variant. Besides, somebody with a sword needs to stick with the mages.

“There!” The humanoid form catches her by surprise and she calls out without thinking. The sounds of three sets of feet running lets her know that the group is splitting up again. Aye! Did we not learn enough last time we split apart? Seeing Trist running after the sound of Kistol’s voice spurs Finna to action. “Wren, keep an eye on the tunnel we just came from. If there was one thing walking around this area, there could be more.”

Finna follows after Trist to the other tunnel. As she reaches it, she calls out to her sister in normal voice. “Trist, you two just get an idea of what that was and where it is going. Do not get into any fights and get back here with a report.” Finna slows down entering the tunnel and goes in as far as the light from the room behind her allows. She quickly pulls out the lantern, lights it, and shutters it so little to no light comes out (if the lantern was not already lit earlier). She pulls her sword and listens as carefully as she can for any noise coming from in front of her.

Trist will take the time to mark her eay back with Wax, chalk, A rock, anything as she goes if necessay. Assuming Trist hears Finna she thinks ,you two? Huh oh I bet Kistols in here. Hoping he can hear her if he didn’t hear Finna. Trist says in elvish, “We just scout just a bit then head back. No heroics”.

If she didn’t hear then she tracks until she’s forced to may a decision about a turn. If she hasn’t caught the thing by then she heads back. If she spots Kistol because of seeing a splash she says,"time to go back to the others.
Never leaving a comrade to fend for himself, Maltron follows Kistol, at least he thinks he follows him, in the direction of the shaggy humanoid. “Wait,” he yells in goblin, “We have gold and cookies.” It was the best he could think of in a hurry. Who doesn’t like gold and cookies? Maybe it will slow the thing down. And maybe it speaks goblin.Kistol responds to Trist, “We’ll see. Not planning any heroics, but who knows what’ll happen, hm?” He keeps Trist and Maltron appraised of his position as long as it doesn’t endanger them regarding the humanoid.

Kistol takes off after the figure followed by Trist, then Finna, then Maltron.
Bolting down the tunnel, around a couple of twists and turns, Kistol almost overtakes the fleeing individual when it rounds a corner.
The elf in pursuit, when he takes the corner, trips over something and slams down into the stone floor, hard (stunned for 1 round).
Trist, right behind her companion, turns the corner and trips over the same barrier. Tumbling to the ground as well.

Cursing, she looks up towards the figure who appears to have halted his run and stands a few feet away, watching.
He appears to be a very thin dwarf, with very long and unkempt hair and beard.
He’s dressed in a shabby hide tunic, has a dagger tied to his waist and carries a stone club.
The two make eye contact and the dwarf smiles a sick, many-tooth gaped smile, raises his club and runs toward Trist

Assuming since Maltron is running with Finna and he has a light source, she doesn’t halt to light her lantern.

Finna and Maltron, having heard the thuds and falls of their compatriot’s falls, slow their run as they turn the corner.
Coming around the pair spot Trist on the ground ahead, most likely having tripped over what appears to be a low 1’ high pile of stones stacked across the floor just around the corner.
Standing over her is the dwarf about to brain the ranger with an overhead club.

Finna reacts quickly, leaping over the makeshift stone curb, and with two steps, boots the dwarf square in the chest knocking him back against the cave wall and sending his club clattering away into the dark.
She stands over him with her bladepoint on his neck and he freezes, eyes wide in fear and muttering inaudibly.

Taking his dagger, she makes a quick glance back to see Maltron help Trist up, the two then locate a dazed, invisible Kistol and lift him to his feet, leaning him against the wall to recover.
The four escort the raggedy dwarf back to the cave pool to rejoin the rest of the party. While tying up the prisoner, Francis emerges from the water and relays his findings to the party.

Farouk bends down and looks at the raggedy catch. “Looks like you can use a drink buddy” Farouk holding the flask helps the pitiful dwarf to a swig.

“So im thinkin you got a hell of story to tell.”

DM EDIT: The dwarf snaps his teeth at the flask like a wild dog, refusing it. He then begins to chatter and gibber in dwarven, looking off, almost as if he’s having a conversation with someone who no one else can see. His ‘conversation’ is all over the place, emotionally. At times he’s grumbling then bursts out in a laugh, then into a whining tone, jumps into full rage and yelling, back into whiny, then into giggling until eventually his tone tapers into low, inaudible muttering.

Trist says quietly, “By Freya what is this madness”? Trist moves closer to the dwarf trying to soothe him. "Easy friend. We mean you no harm. Trist lays her hands on the dwarf gently and looks into it’s eyes. Freya hear my prayer. Allow your will to be done through my hands and heal this creature.

Trist focuses hard trying to allow Freya to take over her to channel through her if it is the will of Freya to heal this creature.

DM EDIT: The dwarf starts to shake and snarl in terror as Trist moves in on him. He’s practically foaming at the mouth when she finally lays hands on him. Casting heal, he settles.
Keeping his head down for a few moments he catches his breath. Raising his head, he looks to each of the party. “th…th….thhanks…I I… I have not spoken this (common) words in many long times.” He seems much calmer but still a bit off. Occasionally he twitches, emits a short ‘bark’, or looks off to the side and mutters to an invisible friend.

“Who is you? why are you in the darkbarks? Is mopheads, did moppy mops send you? Maybebaby moptops monger malice more mushface? No, no, stink is not sink. Even pending potions and lotions and sauces and tosses of the flatty fatty tops on mops. You is noodly noodle. Where is the noodle hole? Mole hole tall legs stilty stacks with backs and metal, such metal oooooooooo HA! heehehehe. What ises?”

Alvyra gives the wretch a good eyeballing (Detect Evil Intent). If nothing comes of Trist’s intervention, Alvyra says, “Perhaps some disease has corrupted his mind. Allow me.” (Cure Disease).

DM EDIT: Alvyra can detect no evil intent
Alvyra announces impatiently, “We hunt the Barghest! Have you seen it? Stop speaking nonsense! Pull yourself together, the fate of the world hangs in the balance! This is no time for nursery rhymes!” Aside to Trist, “Maybe give him another round, it seemed to clear him up briefly.”

Farouk looks over at Francis, “Now see, that’s what’ll happen to ya if you get way too thirsty” Smiling Farouk downs another shot from his flask… “Nope, that will never happen to me!”

“You know, whatever hes blabbering about, im sure makes sense to him… Give me a quick 10, and I think I may be able to decipher all that blabbering…”

Farouk sits down and begins to memorize comprehend languages,
Kistol sits and grumbles invisibly about not seeing the trap laid by the caveman.Maltron replies to the Dwarf in Dwarvish, “Calm down friend, we are here to help. We’ve been sent down here to dispatch some very bad creatures that may be disguised as goblins or demons. They will have a stone tablet with them. If you have seen any of these foul creatures down here, please share your information with us. Either way, we will help you leave here if that is what you wish.”I don’t think you are going to get much out of him Maltron. It would seem is mind has gone feeble. I doubt he will leave these tunnels, it is up to his God to free him now. Wren looks at the dwarf with a somber stare, moving to a position where she can keep an eye on the openings leading into where they are currently gathered. Still listening for any new noises.After returning with the Dwarf, Finna watches from one side as the group tend/inquire/interrogate the poor wretch. She digs into her pack to pulls out two of her iron rations, opens one then moves closer. She positions herself in the dwarf’s field of view then speaks to him. “Hey, dwarf. Sorry to put a boot to you earlier but it was the fastest way to get your attention. Perhaps some to eat would make it up to you?” She will then hold out the food for him to take then offer up the second one if the first is consumed.

Farouk ‘dismisses’ sleep and begins to memorize comprehend languages.
Finna’s offer of the rations is viewed suspiciously by the dwarf. But when Finna takes a bite and then reoffers, the dwarf quickly snatches and devours both.

Between chomps and gulps, he responds to Alvyra. “Bark-guest? BarkBarkbarkbark. No barking down here, no dogs down here, no dog no dogs no no no hehehehehe. Only mushy mushmen. Mush, smush, flat heads and floppy mop tops. Stinking and peeking, snatches and batches. But not from mes, moppies not toppies to run, chasey maybe. BARK BARK AWOOoooooo! Only the wolf, the cave wolf. Sneaky cave peeky rock wolf, stone biter, cave hunter. AWOOOOOoooooooooo.”
His ‘howl’ reverberates eerily within the cave.

He mutters off to the side, giggles a bit, then responds to Maltron. Hearing his dwarven tongue seems to rein in his focus a bit. He goes on to explain, (in dwarven and between random gibbering and giggles), ’that there aren’t many creatures down here save for the ‘mop tops’, the ‘mush men’, and some lizards, bats, and fish. He’s spotted a few rats recently but other than that, nothing else. No goblins, no demons, and everything down here is stone but he hasn’t seen any ‘tablets’. He asks what the party ‘is’ and if they’re going to eat him?’

After successfully memorizing then casting comprehend languages, Farouk begins to speak to the dwarf. Surprisingly the mage has little difficulty understanding the ‘gibberish’ of the loopy cave dweller.

His name is Renrir but he’s having trouble remembering his surname. He’s been down in these caves for a long time now, trapped. He was originally hired as a stone cutter by someone he refers to only as ‘Fangs’. The job was creating dungeon cell. Once completed, ‘Fangs’ and someone he calls ‘Treacheries’, ambushed and locked him in the cell to rot. Days passed and Renrir was close to death when a giant badger accidentally broke through into the dungeon while tunneling. The creature was killed in the partial cave-in that followed but Renrir was saved, sort of. Surviving off of the badger carcass, he managed to dig through the cave in rubble, just enough to free himself from the dungeon only to discover he was trapped within a new one. Searching the complex, he found water, foraged what edibles he could, located a somewhat secure shelter, created some makeshift weapons, and eventually discovered the ‘mop tops’ and the ‘mush men’. Both live in separate communities within the complex. The mush men rarely ever venture out of their cavern unlike the mop tops who make multiple scavenges and forays from their lair area. Renrir hunts the mop tops whenever he catches them out but dares not head directly into their territory for fear of unknown/large numbers. He seems worried that the party doesn’t actually exist. There are quite a bit of hallucinogenic mushrooms in these caverns and Renrir partakes often.

Alvyra grumbles inwardly, Just great, a mad helpless ward that we’re going to have to take care of. Sigh, such is the burden of the just and merciful.

Aloud, “He comes with us! The poor fool has been down here so long he doesn’t know what’s real and imaginary. We can’t set him loose. He’ll never make it back to the surface without us, and there’s no telling what trouble he’ll get into. It is our solemn duty to help him.”

“Our next step is to explore the chamber Francis discovered while swimming. It’s clear, or as clear as can be, from Renrir that what we seek is not on this side of the water. I sense no guile from him, poor wretch, so if he hasn’t seen the tablet or the Barghest, then I believe they were not in the area accessible to him. That leaves the complex beyond the water. Now, how do we all get through? I am no fish.”

OOC suggestion: swimmers swim, and non-swimmers borrow Francis’s “Earring of Swimming?” This requires a bunch of back and forth the ferry the earring, but maybe that can be accomplished with the rope. Non-swimmer uses ring to get through, also tows the rope along. When the non-swimmer is through, he/she ties the earring to the rope which is pulled back by the next non-swimmer, etc. On the last trip, the rope is tied to Alvyra’s armor and then pulled through assuming the ring doesn’t enable swimming in plate mail. Other thoughts?
I can swim with Francis, if Francis can bring the dwarf then Francis can guard the dwarf while I bring the earring back. I can act as courier for the earring.Farouk goes along with the plan and in the meantime memorizes cantrip.

Kistol speaks up, “Um, hold on a minute. I feel bad for the little guy, I really do. But we can’t take him with us. He’s dead weight. He’s crazy, understandably. We’re tracking a skilled dangerous hunter and Renny here will give us away with his ramblings and random giggles. If you wanna save him let him know we can come back and bring him up the other way later. He should be fine for a little while longer. I just don’t wanna baby sit him during the mission.”

As a swimmer, whatever combo of swimming and earring works for Kistol.

Alvyra glares at what’s his name, that bland looking elf for countermanding her.

“This has nothing to do with what you think is convenient. Justice and mercy require us to look after him. But perhaps you are right that taking him presents its own risks. I am not so much concerned with our welfare…” unlike a certain self-centered selfish anonymous elf what’s his name again?, “…for we are strong and brave. Taking him with us could expose him to greater danger than leaving him here. If we were to bind and gag him to suppress his outbursts, he will be defenseless should anything unexpected happen. Still, he may know a thing or two that could be helpful.”

Alvyra asks the dwarf, loudly and slowly so he can understand better, “HAVE YOU BEEN PAST THE WATER? WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN THERE?”

Renrir shakes his head, shrugs at the paladin and with a goofy grin states. “Can’t swim.”

Francis relates to the party what he saw.

Looking at Alvyra, “We should tie this mess up and knock him out. Then pick him up on the way out. This guy is going to be a disaster.”

Alvyra smiles sweetly at Francis, “I’m afraid I can’t support that. What if some of these ‘mop tops’ should happen on him while he is bound and unconscious? No, we must either set him free or take him with us. Those are the only two options.”

“Fine, we’ll convince him that we’re just a hallucination and leave him be.”Stepping between Alvyra and the dwarf Wren looks her square in the eyes You are as arrogant as that creature you have labeled a God. He is not deaf and you will not be binding this poor fellow or doing anything else to him for that matter just to satisfy your own ego! This dwarf has adapted to the life he has been given. If we now take him from here what life is he to have above ground? It will not give him his mind back and because MANY will fear him, to take him above may shorten his life. Let us offer him a few days supply of food and allow him to be on his way. He has helped as much as he could. As for his memory we will be soon forgotten, why waste the time or the magic. Glaring a few more seconds before turning her back to the paladin and offers 2 days rations to the dwarf.

Alvyra keeps her cool and lets Wren’s tirade just roll off her. Alvyra’s used to this sort of hostile outburst from other females. It goes with the territory. Sometimes it’s hard to be gorgeous. Alvyra is able to see past all of the emotions and pettiness and grasp the essence of Wren’s message.

Speaking to the party, since Wren has turned her back, Alvyra says, “A worthy perspective with merits. I agree. Let us release the poor dwarf to this life to which he has become accustomed. The world above ground will scarce recognize him nor he it.”

Not to be outdone, Alvyra also gives the dwarf 2 days rations leaving her with just one day’s supply. She thinks, I hope we’re not down here longer than a day. That tracking magic wears off within 24 hours, so either we wrap this up in a day or we’ve lost the tablet.

So the dwarf goes free and everyone is going swimming? To save time and pick things up, how’s this: Francis leads characters who can swim first (Trist, Wren, Maltron, Kistol)
Then Francis will head back and bring the non-swimmers (Finna, Farouk, Alvyra) over one by one on his back. Any items that need to be removed/don’t want to get wet can be placed in Kistol’s bag of holding for the trip. Coolbeans?

Renrir is untied and given back his dagger as well as multiple rations. He giggles with excitement and takes off ‘howling’ into the side tunnel, disappearing into the darkness.
The party preps to go swimming and when ready Francis takes the first group over. The navigator’s back and forth continues until finally he surfaces with the final member of the group, Alyvra, on his back and the soaked group dry off/ring out what they can and prepare to explore the area.
Farouk ever the gentleman, uses his cantrip to dry the ladies and himself, before giving a “I just blocked you wink, to Francis”

As the party move up the slope, out of the water and into the room, a dull low ping echoes.
Several large unrecognizable symbols (about 1’ x 1’), spaced about 5’ apart along the walls and ceiling of the room fade up, illuminating the area in blue light.

Scouting reveals the below. To the west spillover from the cave pool falls into a large 20′ × 20′ dark pit. Moving into each room activates illumination symbols on the walls and ceiling exactly like the entry room. Most rooms appear to contain decrepit rubbish. Piles of stone and material disintegrated over 1000’s of years lay undisturbed in collapse.
All rooms appear to have been masterly or magically cut from the rock and it appears that underground water had eventually worn down, broken through, and revealed this ancient site.

1. This room appears to have once been a workshop. Stone tables, benches, and chairs are set into the walls and floor all around. Littered on and around several of the tables and benches small stone statuaries in various states (chipped, cracked, broken) are found among the debris. Most are small replicas of strange creatures. Beetles, lizards, reptiles, spiders, some with multiple heads and limbs. Some appear to be a combination of various aspects of beasts. A spider-lizard hybrid, a snake or worm with an insect face, a ‘thing’ part dragon, part scorpion, etc. Two pieces are found in excellent condition. The First is a small humanoid robed figure that appears to be a long haired elf. The other is a small bust of a very comely female elf. Using Maltron’s wand, none of the items radiate magic.

2. This room is similar to the room 1. There is no statuary to be found but on several benches and tables look to be large stones in various states of uncompleted sculpture. Some look to be partial skulls, giant mandibles, sections of large insect legs, all appear to be various constructs of various parts of various creatures, etc. Using Maltron’s wand, none of the items radiate magic.

3. This room is stacked with various sized blocks of stone, ranging from a few pounds to some the size of a man.

4. This room appears to have fallen victim to the decay of time coupled with the eroding effects of underground water. Half of the room has collapsed away into a cave pool.

5. This room appears to be a series of empty cells with metal bars and sliding metal bar door. The metal of the doors and cells appear to be cold iron. On the end of the room is a large statue, roughly about 8’ tall. Without entering the room or approaching too close, it looks to be that of an elf. An exceptionally muscular specimen, his head is shaved, eyes are closed, and he is dressed is a simple tunic but set into his chest is a large green stone sphere that emits a dull green glow.

6. This room also appears to be a series of empty cells similar to room 5.

7. This room also appears to be a series of empty cells similar to room 6 but a section has collapsed into a cave pool.
MAP

Trist prays to Freya and thanks her for everyone’s safety. She the checks for tracks that are not like there own everywhere. She confers with Wren as well if she comes along.

DM EDIT: Trist can detect no tracks

as they are in room 1, Francis examines and takes to the beautiful statue of the Elf.

“All this collapse, there has to be a intended exit and entrance to this place, or some way to get in and out of it. We should look for that.”

Francis offers to check the other water ways to see where they lead.

Seeing the statue with the green glow he looks at Maltron and Fark, “So that looks completely harmless, right” in obvious sarcasm.

Hearing Francis Trist says,“I’ll take a look around for any secret doors or other passages to rxplore. Kistol if you can hear me if you want to tag along give me a sign and as we search click occasionally so I know your still with me”.

OOC- what time do I estimate it to be?

DM EDIT: It’s been maybe 2-3 bells since the party entered the caves at sundown.

Farouk uses the tracking wand

DM EDIT: The wand is brighter in this area but noticeably ‘peaks’ when pointed down at the floor, in the middle of room 7

“So, I kinda doubt this was just an art studio. Mal, do you think these sculptures and carved animal bits could have been used to make monster constructs or something? If that’s the case I wouldn’t doubt it if that statue guards the exit.”

Kistol explores with Trist, keeping clear the the statue with the glowing chest. He starts in room 1 and checks out what looks like a natural tunnel leading north.

DM EDIT: The natural tunnel leading north continues for about 30’ before ending in what looks to be a cave-in

Alvyra gives the strange elf statue a good stare (Detect Evil). Otherwise she wanders around tapping on walls randomly with her hands and feet as she walks past. She messes with the sliding iron bars (from the outside of the cells). She hums Tyrian battle-hymns softly to herself.

DM EDIT: Alvyra detects no evil on/in the statue and can detect no secret doors.
After checking for tracks with Trist and seeing Kistol searching for things not seen. Wren will focus on looking for anything unusual such as writing on any of the statues especially the elf, steering clear of Alyvra. Wrens thoughts are in prayer Frey please show us the things we need to see and please dear Frey we would be honored if you and your sister would keep us safe from the recklessness of others As the group continues to move through the rooms, Wren keeps her eyes open for anything that seems “out of place”. She touches nothing.. yet.. since she knows that where magic is concerned touching is a common form of activation. Glancing briefly at the others in her new found “team” especially Finna & Trist, she smiles fondly. Seeing the paladin of Tyr move in the room reminds her~Frey is so amazing, he and his sister knew that I would be needed to protect these sweet humans and elvan kind from the monster in there midst. By Freys blessing I shall not fail in that task! once again collecting her thoughts back to the task at hand but never letting the paladin stray far from her line of sight……..

Maltron ponders the groups thoughts on the situation. He will first check the statue with the green glow for magic using his wand. Then, warning everyone to get ready, he will take the two small figurines and try to place the elf into the glowing green sphere.

“This could be a key to open a secret passage.”

Otherwise he considers the northern exit from room 1.
Maltron and Wren cautiously approach the statue. Maltron using his wand to detect magic, Wren looking for symbols. As the pair come within 20’ of the statue, both are suddenly overcome with heavy waves of nausea. Doubling over in gagging dry heaves, as they stumble back and away the feeling dissipates.

What is everyone’s current location?
MAP

Farouk is in room 7 with the wand, after checking that, he goes over to Maltron, but keeping his distance from the statue…

“Looks like what we want is right under us. The only obvious way down I see is that pit there…What do you say we take a trip down that hole? It may give us some access to the lower level.”

ooc – Francis’s position is wherever you’re not going to drop the big bad hurt. IDK, put me wherever you want.

“We are men of action, lies do not become us.”

Alvyra is in room 6, messing with the southwest cell (I rolled location randomly). She points out, “If the pit leads nowhere, maybe there’s a path below room 7 through the southeast pool.”

Alvyra has Red drawn and at the ready. I don’t know, just got a feeling…
Kistol is checking out the pit, opposite the water draining into it. He checks to see if it is man-made or worn by time. He peers in with infravision as far as he can then borrows a torch and drops it in or asks for someone to cast light.

Freya, please give me the strength and wisdom to deal with these two women, Finna thinks to herself. She wonders if there is some real issue between the two or if the problem is imagined. She doesn’t know much about elven females but thinks there may be some similarities between the two, just maybe not every month since they live longer and seem to age slower.

She pokes around the cells and watches as Maltron and Wren approach the large statue at the end of the room and become ill. Finna moves over to check on them both to find them okay. Hearing Farouk announce that their quarry is below them, she moves up to the cells just south of the pit. She begins to check for a place that a rope could be tied off to assist with their decent.
Maltron will be leaving the statue room and heading toward the pit or at the pit according to your timeline.

Reaching out and touching Maltrons arm before he can leave, in a soft voice Do the features of these elves look familiar to you? I don’t know what the dark elves of your lands look like so I cannot say about these statues but the other things in this room would be common items used by the Drow in our lands. It might explain the physical reaction as well. Your thoughts? then following him out of the statue room to meet up with the others as we continue this conversation.

DM EDIT: Maltron believes these elves appear somewhat different than high elves or drow. ‘They might be Grey elves or something else.’

Kistol drops a lit torch into the pit. At about 30-50ish feet down it, the light passing reveals what could be another level.
The torch continues to fall, eventually disappearing into darkness from view.

He leans back from the pit and is about to relay his findings to the group when a heavy voice echoes.

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Turning to the source (X in room 1) reveals a cloaked figure facing the party. Stoutly framed and about 5 ½’ish feet tall, the hood of the cloak covers the face of the figure and the long sleeves cover the hands. It appears to have no weapons or armor over the cloak.

“Why have you come?” Booms the strange accented voice as it stares, unmoving, down the hallway at the party.
If it can see/saw Kistol, it does not acknowledge it.

MAP

Farouk takes out the wand… does it glow when pointed in the direction of the voice?

Dm edit: the wand glows and the figure doesn’t move when the glowing wand is pointed at him.
Francis walks over to the corridor where he can see the robbed figure, and shouts from afar, “A-hoy there! Didn’t expect a man such as yourself down here, we’re a search party. Fancy a drink? What brings you here?”n High Elvan speech Are you in need of aid good sir? Wrens arrow is still notched, she makes sure she is within line of sight…….Kistol backs up and moves around through 3 and 2 then, first checking around the southeast corner of 2 moves up to the northeast corner of 2 and keep an eye on the newcomer. He’ll nock a +1 magic arrow and stay alert for hostile actions.

Farouk subtly casts Message and Targets, Trist, Wrenn, and Maltron.

Farouk Whispers.. “pssst… The wand is glowing, that’s our guy. Only you 3 can hear me and you 3 have the firepower to take him down at range. Mal, you say the word and we can hit him all at the same time, maybe even take him off guard long enough for the sluggers to get a whack in too.”

“Whatya say Mal?”

“Wrenn keep talking, stall him..”

OOC: Does the cloak look or the accent of the voice seem familiar to Finna?

By the beard of Odin, I would be in this narrow space where I cannot move freely. That opening also limits my choices of movement as well. Since that may be our target… Finna lets the thought trail off as she begins to move.

“What? Are you really there? I can’t see you very clearly. We thought we were the only ones in this area. Can you help us with our quest?” Finna moves her head back and forth, peering forward like she is having a hard time seeing the figure. As she does this, she walks forward and shades to the west, moving her shield towards the front so as to keep it from scraping the wall. As she reaches the corner, she will move slightly more west but keeping the figure in sight, continuing to keep up the peering charade.

If the figure makes a motion to cast a spell or fire off a wand, she will go west to get out of the line of sight. Moving into room 3, she will pull her sword and cast Bless upon it then cast Protection from Evil. Afterwards, she will assess the best way to move and engage the figure.

Edit: If the figure makes any motions of casting a spell, firing a wand or such, before she moves too far, Finna will try and move back to duck into cell. From there, she will cast her spells and begin moving.

DM EDIT: Neither the cloak or the accent are familiar to Finna.
Alvyra stays cool. She’s the farthest away and knows she’ll be the least able to do anything quickly, so she focuses on not alarming the figure by shouting, running, or even slipping out of view. She just stands there, observing and listening.The figure responds, still motionless, it’s voice louder and insistent.
“Leave this place! Refuse and forfeit your lives.”You repay our kind words with threats which I am sure works on many adversaries, but none here believe you have the power to dictate our fate. Wren calmly states, sounding unfazed by the hooded figures tone.

Maltron responds to the figure and slowly approaches, “Easy friend, we are just a lost group of adventurers. We heard there was a hidden stash of gold down here. Obviously we are wrong and should be moving along. Hey, you look like our old friend Enthar. Guys, it’s Enthar! Look Enthar, we are leaving, but can you tell me what that smell is down here?”

At that he casts Stinking Cloud centered next to the figure.

“Get him Chain!”

Maltron will then rush forward, given the opportunity, putting any corners between himself and the figure, trying to prevent line of sight.

The figure lowers his hood in response to Wren, revealing a bluish-skinned, goblinoid face with glowing orange eyes burning with hatred.
“So be it.” It barks.

Maltron quickly chimes in and slowly approaches, “Easy friend, we are just a lost group of adventurers. We heard there was a hidden stash of gold down here. Obviously we are wrong and should be moving along.
Maltron continues. "Hey, you look like our old friend Enthar. Guys, it’s Enthar! Look Enthar, we are leaving, but can you tell me what that smell is down here?”

A wicked grin, revealing a mouth full of sharpened teeth, breaks slowly across the goblin’s face.

At that Maltron casts Stinking Cloud centered next to the figure.

“Get him Chain!”

Grayish thin vapor instantly encompasses and ripples the atmosphere around the goblin like a cloud of heatwaves.
The creature breaks into a full charge down the hallway towards the party, seemingly unaffected by the spell.
As it nears the pit, it leaps up and in, eyes locked and full smile as it plummets down from view.
As it all starts going to hell, Alvyra charges towards the pit as well. She chugs a dose of Flying Potion and tosses the remainder to Farouk. “Get airborne uncle, need you to point the way with that wand.” She wills Red to start glowing and dives into the pit after the beast. She’s not sure exactly where to go, so she pauses to look around when she’s in the pit.

Kistol fires as soon as the gob says, “So be it” or Maltron gives the word to attack. He fires until he cannot avoid friendly fire or he runs out of magic arrows (5).

Kistol tries to get a shot off before the blue gob disappears from view, then follows Al’s lead, taking a dose of Flying potion and following suit down the hole ready to fire more arrows.

dm edit: kistol becomes visible and fires barely missing the fiend as it bolts, the arrow clattering off the stone wall on the other side of the room.

Although not particularly happy about diving into a dark pit, a deals a deal. Farouk slams down the remaining potion and follows Alvyra, wand in hand.

“If this wench gets me killed, I’m charging extra”, Farouk thinks to himself…

Trist bolts with catching Alvyra slinging her bow and stowing her arrow and says, "Mind if I tag along? Don’t worry I’m light as a feather grabbing Alvyra’s hand as they jump in. Trist moves her hand to the hilt of her sword, eyes and ears alert for movement, sounds and her nose sniffing for any scent to follow.

Alvyra has no spare hands. She’s got her shield up and katana drawn. She doesn’t offer a lift to Trist or anyone else. Her sole focus is on catching up as much as possible with the quarry. In Alvyra’s mind, she’s flying cavalry and Trist is infantry. The cavalry do not give lifts to the infantry. That defeats the purpose of both the cavalry and the infantry. The chase is on, that means the fast must pursue while the reserves muddle to catch up as best they can.

Maltron casts Feather Fall and jumps down the pit, following Alvyra.

Francis stands at the pit opening in disbelief that everyone just jumped down an unknown pit at the first sign of confrontation.

He thinks, “Too rash, too rash indeed.”

Farouk once he is down in pit relays the situation to Finna and Wrenn via the message spell he just cast…

Trist is Feather falling trying to follow the group.

She hollers back up to the others, “Tie some rope together and toss it down”.

You’d think the others would want to go in force. Freya I am here to serve.

Trist will use the side to bounce off of to ricochet to an opening or the bottom.
Annoyed as Wren realizes that she must have left the potion for flying back in town. So as back up she looks for a place to anchor rope so that she and the others can follow.

Annoyed as Wren realizes that she must have left the potion for flying back in town. So as back up she looks for a place to anchor rope so that she and the others can follow.

Alvyra chugs her potion and tosses the rest to Farouk who does the same. The paladin lifts off and flies into the tunnel followed by the mage. Kistol rushes up, downing his potion, and follows suit.
Trist shouts instructions while Maltron casts feather fall. The pair head after the others, Wizard first followed by the ranger, hopping into the pit and slowly floating down.

Francis watches the pair dive, strolls up to the pit and looking down, reflects on the situation.

Wren grumbles and begins tying off a rope to one of the nearby cell’s iron bars. Solid, it should provide adequate anchor for a descent.

The elf begins to rappel and is soon after followed by Finna.

As the cleric, heels on the edge, leaning back over the pit, preparing to descend, gives one look back to reaffirm the security of the rope. When she does a figure ‘blinks’ into view, suddenly appearing in the hallway, inbetween her and the navigator. It’s the goblinoid from before, he boots Francis full in the belly sending him reeling back. Turning, the creature locks eyes with the cleric and the sick smile from before widens again across it’s face. The Barghest slashes the rope with a clawed swipe. Finna and Wren drop clutching a slack line.
The fiend turns to face a recovering Francis flaming blade in hand. Still smiling it drops its cloak in a shrug.
Dressed in dark leathers, the Barghest appears to be armed with only a dagger at it’s side. It growls and raises it’s claws up underhand.
Snarling, it licks it’s lips before speaking. “You’re first.”

Finna and Wren plummet.
They pass a surprised Maltron but a floating Trist reacts instinctively. As the falling females flutter by the ranger catches the end of the rope.
The jerk of the snatch yanks the ranger down past the second level opening but shortly after her ring compensates.

Holding on to the rope, Trist’s fall slows to 2-3x faster than a solo descent but she’s past the point where she, Wren, or Finna can catch the ledge of the 2nd level.

Maltron makes it to the ledge of level 2 but is forced to watch his three compatriots sink into the depth and darkness of the pit

Trist ‘falls’ slowly being ‘dragged’ down by the rope Finna and Wren cling to.

recovering from the sucker punch, and while Francis rises, he laughs heartily. Taking a hard look at the beast ahead of him, a stern gaze takes hold. “I’m not surprised the fool hardy and the stupid took a plunge down the obvious trap you set, but I’m a bit taken back by the supposed intelligent ones. I like your style, we should play cards sometime.” He thinks to himself, the benefits of seeing the obvious subterfuge don’t always pay dividends, as now I am a link separated from the chain.

MAP

Doing his best Han Solo impersonation, Francis keeps it cool at first, he then looks left sees the Golem out of the corner of his eye, and makes a break for it, trying to use it as a shield, if he can get that far. While running there, he’ll get his whip out in his dominate hand and his flaming sword in his off hand. If combat ensues, he’ll try to entangle the beast with the whip, and parry with the sword at first, playing the defensive. Once he’s done running, he’ll do his best to work in a dashing look, and finish with, (I’m thinking in a Bruce Campbell tone) “Ok buddy, lets dance.”

As the navigator bolts for the statue, he pulls his whip and sword. When Francis comes within 20’ of the stone figure, he is overwhelmed by nausea. His sprint shifts into stumble as he doubles over, heaving and retching. He falls to his knees, clutching his belly in pain, head spinning in waves of vertigo. Looking back, the Barghest is standing in the middle of the room, nearby where Francis was before his run.

It’s difficult to focus through the waves of sickness but the smiling goblinod extends it’s hand toward the fallen navigator and casts Charm on him.

Suddenly Francis is confused as to why he decided to run away from his friend in the first place?



Farouk, Alvyra, Trist, Wren, and Finna emerge from the pit and settle on the ledge nearby to see the Goblinoid at the far south end of the hall. It lowers an out-stretched arm to it’s side and turns to face the party.
Cocking it’s head, it begins laughing.
MAP

Finna places her feet on the solid floor, thanking Freya for the good fortune of the mage having the right spell. The elation is fleeting as her eyes focus on the barghest. It lowers an out-stretched arm to it’s side and turns towards the group. As it cocks its head and begins laughing, she yells out. “By the name of Odin and Freya, may your body be as stone!” (Hold Person spell) Unsheathing her sword, she waits to see if the creature can move.After depositing the passengers, Alvyra spots the Barghest. With a shout, “Justice and Mercy!!” she takes back to the air and charges the fiend, katana poised for an overhand strike.

Farouk casts improved phantasmal force… Creating the illusion that his detection wand Pimp Stick is actually a Pimp Stick of magic missiles. Farouk takes cover around the corner back in the pit room and begins firing magic missiles 2x at at time at the beast. Does Farouk seek the tablet?
DM EDIT: The Barghest is dressed in dark leathers and appears to be armed only with a dagger. From this vantage point Farouk doesn’t see the tablet on it’s person.

Is it safe for the archers to fire their bows, with Alvyra charging from above (out of line of fire).
DM EDIT: There’s a chance if a shot is fumbled it may hit Alvyra.

Farouk whispers to Maltron if he can still within range. “The Barghest is here, we are engaging!”

Trist gets her bow and a +1 arrow ready and fires at the beast. She moves closer and positioning herself as needed for a clear shot. She says, “Freya be proud”.

Trist doesn’t have time to worry about Finna and Wren but is pretty sure they are safe thanks to the others help.

With no clear shot Trist decides to draw Ripper and a dagger instead of her bow and charges the barghest as well.
Francis tries to smile when seeing the Barghest, but he’s also trying to push back the feeling to vomit. “Hey friend! Help me out of this.”Loading a +1 arrow Wren trust her faith Frey let my arrows fly true this day in thine honor and fires on the Barghest. Waiting to see the damage done before firing a more specific shot with Trist arrow.

Farouk casts IPF and ‘fires’ 2 magic missiles from his ‘pimp-stick’. The bolts of light streak down the hallway, they blast into the upper chest of the Barghest.

He continues laughing seemingly unaffected.

Wren fires an arrow, it strikes the goblinoid square in the forehead, his head snaps back but the creature doesn’t move and the arrow clatters to the stone floor. There looks to be a slight mark but the fiend seems unhurt.

Head tilting back, lowering some, the glowing stare widens as the maniacal laughter increases in volume.

Alvyra flies into the room, charging weapon raised, the Barghest tracks her movement as she brings her glowing red sword down in a fatal strike.

The Barghest blinks from existence, as the paladin’s sword cuts through empty air.

Trist charges with sword and dagger drawn into the room and the booming laughter continues but from a different vantage point. Looking to the source reveals the creature, it’s raspy cackle echoing in eastside of the chamber.

Finna seeing the barghest disappear, halts her cast.

The Goblinoid stops laughing and raises it hands palm up to about mid-waist, beckoning.

Francis, still overcome with vertigo, is unable to do anything except crawl away (If he decides to).
MAP

Trist says without taking her eyes off the creature,“I don’t know about you but I don’t think this is a goblin”. Trist lowers her voice and says,“It’s playing with us. Whatever you do I’m right beside you”.

Farouk snatches up the rope that had levitate cast on it and suspends it over the pit for Maltron and Kistol should they need it.

Farouk unsure if his magics had any effect takes to he air high over he pit, and decides to fire 2 more…while carefully observing the beasts reaction… looking for a tell… Is the creature bluffing? (Gaming skill 20)

Farouk Whispers to Maltron, and relays everything that has happened so far.

So far the creature hasn’t shown the ability to fly or physically attack at range, thus moving over the pit for extra protection.

DM EDIT: Farouk currently does not have a line of sight on the creature.

Alvyra nods at Trist’s observation, but keeps her focus on the creature, She’s right, it’s playing with us…

Alvyra thinks through some options, none of them good:

Engage invisibly. Doable, but the party probably doesn’t have enough magic to score enough hits to kill. Trist has a Shadow Door Maltron has Invisibility 2x Kistol has Hide in Shadows Destroy, or make inhospitable enough of the area so the Barghest can not Blink far enough away to avoid being attacked. Alvyra’s not sure how to do this, but maybe the mages know some tricks. Francis’s Wand of Fire would help here, but it only has 5 charges. Continue to chase in the hopes the Barghest’s Blink power is finite and eventually depletes. Spread out, so no matter where the Barghest Blinks, somebody is close enough to attack.

“Trist, go see to Francis. We need him back in the fight. You should both share his Potion of Flying. We’re going to need to play the Barghest’s game for a while until something shakes loose, and that means we need speed.” With that, Alvyra departs, building up speed to charge the Barghest yet again.

Obviously, Alvyra doesn’t know Francis has been successfully Charmed.
Hearing Alvyra’s request, Trist takes off to go help Francis. 20 ft from Francis she slows down and says, “Are you ok pretty boy? We need your help. Trist sheaths her dagger and walks over to help the navigator to his feet. Talk to me man. What’s going on. We’re in some deep shit here. Can you stand up”?

Trist mentally updates those in the link if its still active.
DM EDIT: Trist can’t ‘send’, only ‘receive’.

Trist frustrated at not getting a response just says quietly, “Goofy magic crap doesn’t work any ways”.

She signal by hand motion or verbally if the opportunity comes up.

If Trist is aware she can whisper to Farouk via the spell she updates him with the current activities. If she is not aware of how to use the spell she will simply be frustrated and use manual techniques when she can.

OOC-Regardless of whether Trist knows the radius around Francis she would go in to try and get him. She isn’t sure what’s going on with him so she will be cautious to move to him, which if he’s crawling out might prevent her from going in. She also isn’t aware he is charmed, YET.

OOC-Trist should be able to respond (whisper not telepathic) to Farouk via the message spell with Farouk being used as a relay… I do believe it allows 2 way convo but only to Farouk.

DM EDIT: Correcto

Wasnt sure if you were referring to the telepathic bond from earlier or Farouks spell..

Wren whispers on the “wire” (lol) My plus enchanted arrows seem to have zero effect. I will not fire the “special” arrow till I see damage done by another weapon enchanted or otherwise. Trying armor piercing , non enchanted arrow now! as she fires one of her armor piercing arrows. Not liking to waste arrows Wren knows that on the street at their last encounter she fired regular arrows with zero effect, this time she fired +1 for zero effect. Looking to see what causes damage to this beast! Fires armor piercing arrow to gage effect and to draw attention away from the closest ally. In a calm and challenging tone It is apparent you are not even true to your kind! Only a cowardly beast would whisk itself away to avoid attack!}

As the barghest disappears from her view, Finna lets her voice trail off, her spell halted. When Alvyra and Trist turn their attention to the east, she realizes the creature somehow instantly moved. Quickly thinking, she turns to Farouk. “If they have turned to the east, the creature must be in that direction. It could come around behind us through that eastern passage if we are not careful. I’m heading that way to either stop it or slow it down from running in this direction. You should come as well, you may get a couple of shot on it.”

Finna turns back into the pit room and moves into the eastern corridor, moving through the water to step out onto the dry floor just past the jut out of the wall. Stopping, she prays in a soft voice, “Freya, I lift this prayer to thee. Grant me your power and protection from this vile creature, that it may not touch me with its profane attacks or powers.” (Protection from Evil) She then readies sword and shield, moves towards the east, staying about 5’-6’ (northward) from the corner, until she can peer down the hallway into the end of the large eastern room.

Farouk airborne follows Finna

Wren fires an armored piercing arrow at the Barghest. It thwocks into the fiend in the upper chest and again, appears to do no damage, the arrow bouncing off and clattering to the floor.

Finna and Farouk circle around, as they do so, the cleric casts protection from evil.

Alvyra charges the barghest.

Trist moves to check on Francis who is still in the throes of intense nausea (save fail), the ranger however, seems unaffected by whatever is plaguing the navigator (save successful).

As the paladin flies directly at the beast, sword raised ready to strike, the fiend does not move.
Once within 20’ of the still goblinoid, Alvyra is overwhelmed with fear. Emotion, Fear
She hesitates for a moment, but only for a moment as the fear dissipates, washing over and away as quickly as it came. (Save successful)
Locking eyes with the Barghest, she senses panic in the creature as she slashes down.
It tries to roll with the strike but the paladin’s blade cuts across its upper chest.
Leaping away to the side, it hunches over, claws raised.
Snarling, it spits out. “You bitch!” And leaps at Alvyra, fortunately it’s clawed swipe misses.

Finna peers around the corner and spots the Barghest engaged in melee with Alvyra.
She relays to Farouk nearby.
MAP

Trist gets her bow and a +1 arrow ready and fires at the beast. She moves closer and positioning herself as needed for a clear shot. She says, “Freya be proud”.

Trist doesn’t have time to worry about Finna and Wren but is pretty sure they are safe thanks to the others help.

With no clear shot Trist decides to draw Ripper and a dagger instead of her bow and charges the barghest as well.
Francis tries to smile when seeing the Barghest, but he’s also trying to push back the feeling to vomit. “Hey friend! Help me out of this.”Loading a +1 arrow Wren trust her faith Frey let my arrows fly true this day in thine honor and fires on the Barghest. Waiting to see the damage done before firing a more specific shot with Trist arrow.

Farouk casts IPF and ‘fires’ 2 magic missiles from his ‘pimp-stick’. The bolts of light streak down the hallway, they blast into the upper chest of the Barghest.

He continues laughing seemingly unaffected.

Wren fires an arrow, it strikes the goblinoid square in the forehead, his head snaps back but the creature doesn’t move and the arrow clatters to the stone floor. There looks to be a slight mark but the fiend seems unhurt.

Head tilting back, lowering some, the glowing stare widens as the maniacal laughter increases in volume.

Alvyra flies into the room, charging weapon raised, the Barghest tracks her movement as she brings her glowing red sword down in a fatal strike.

The Barghest blinks from existence, as the paladin’s sword cuts through empty air.

Trist charges with sword and dagger drawn into the room and the booming laughter continues but from a different vantage point. Looking to the source reveals the creature, it’s raspy cackle echoing in eastside of the chamber.

Finna seeing the barghest disappear, halts her cast.

The Goblinoid stops laughing and raises it hands palm up to about mid-waist, beckoning.

Francis, still overcome with vertigo, is unable to do anything except crawl away (If he decides to).
MAP

Francis is beside himself and yells, “Nooooooo!!!!!” he shakes off Trist, “Leave me alone! don’t touch me,” he can’t believe that his friend is about to be killed, he pulls out his wand and attempts to drop a wall of fire between the Barghest and the party if it is possible due to the field of battle, if not and it looks like someone is going to land a killing blow, he points the wand directly at (most likely the Paladin) to hit the offender with a Fireball, with a whisper….

As Francis raises his wand, times seems to slow.

Trist shouts and dives in, grappling the navigator.

Wren spins and calls out for Francis to stop as she breaks into a dash to put herself between the wand’s line of fire and Alvyra.

The paladin raises her blade for the deathstroke, Finna looks to Wren’s cry then moves towards the right, calling out a warning.

Trist tackles Francis knocking him to the side, as they fall the wand fires, emitting a cough of flame and a pea-sized sphere streaks forth, just missing Wren as she charges in.

Alvyra hesitates momentarily as she catches the flash out of the corner of her eye.
The sphere splashes into the Barghest’s still form and bursts in a fiery, violet-red blast.
Alvyra screams out as she is scorched and blown back. (-14 HP).

A sound like distant metal tearing accompanied by the roar of a pained animal echo through the chamber. The explosion then suddenly reverses and falls back in on itself, sucking in the flame and drawing the blast back into a flash of green light then snuffing out from existence in an audible low thump, warbling into silence.

Time returns to normal.

The light smoke clears revealing a shocked and crispy paladin as well as a circular blast mark on the floor where the Barghest was.
The creature is gone and there are no remains of any kind

Alvyra looks around, she’s not exactly sure what just happened. Ouch, that stung! Where did that fireball come from?

She prods at the circular blast mark on the floor with her katana. Hmm… very strange, some other magic must have coincided with that fireball.

Aloud, “A dead end. Any report from Maltron and uh… the Elf?” Casting a brief glance at Wren, Alvyra clarifies, “I mean the other elf.”

Alvyra also Lays on Hands on herself. (+8 HP)
Trist cries out as she tries to keep a bear hug on Francis,“Something is wrong with Francis! He’s not acting himself! Alvyra are you ok! Where the hell is the beast? We must bind Francis until he is himself again”. Thank you Freya. Finna is there anything you can do for him? We better catch up with the others, who knows where that beast went to".After seeing the barghest incinerated before her Wren ,annoyed that she had been forced to save her enemy, turns her attention to the struggling navigator. Walking over to the pair as Trist continues to restrain the man, she bends over and lifts his chin, with a swift back hand to the grill of the navigator and in a strong voice By Freys glory snap out of this sorcery!Francis struggles against the women, but not too much. The idea thought of a sexy mud wrestle enters his head for a moment as the slap from Wren strikes his grill. He rattles off questions, looking into each of their faces with a deep and empathetic confusion, “What did you do to him? Why would you do that? What is wrong with you people? What sorcery happened to you in that well? That’s what happens when you jump down a well and leave people behind. Explain yourselves.”Alvyra answers Trist, “I’m all right. Did you see where that fireball came from? Did it come from that statue? What’s gotten into Francis? Some kind of sorcery? Yeah, we’ll have to tie him up until we can sort him out. Best relieve him of his weapons too.” Alvyra pitches in with the roping up and distributes the weapons among the four present

Alvyra does not notice the boot knife w/ sheath, in Francis’s right boot.

She also pulls out Francis’s Potion of Flying and offers it to Finna and Trist. “Wren, you’re the lightest, and therefore the easiest to carry. We’re going to need to all get down a level. I assume Maltron’s on to something down there else he would have returned up here. Let’s MOVE!”

This of course assumes the four ladies are able to wrestle Francis to the ground and hog tie him successfully.
Trist waves off the flying potion and says, “Give it to Wren I can float down and hang on to Wren and fly almost as well with my ring. The pirate here tried to torch you with that Flame stick of his. I tried to get his arms wrapped up but he wriggled free. Now he’s just getting handsy with Wren and I. If you guys all carry Francis down I can float down”.Obviously Francis struggles greatly with force against any attempts to hold him down and steal the items he has, with no explanation.

Alvyra doesn’t usually explain herself. There’s no need. It’s part of being a paladin, she’s just and merciful by definition.

Alvyra concurs with Trist about the Potion of Flying, “Yes, that makes sense.”

Upon learning that Francis is responsible for her missing eyebrows and split ends, Alvyra exclaims, “Oh he did, did he!?” She aims a kick where it counts, called shot to the ’nads.
Francis knows from what he’s seen that Alvyra doesn’t explain herself, (from a player perspective I know that) but that doesn’t mean Francis will just sit there and take it, and is why he would respond with force. I guess we’re going to have to resolve a PC fight.Totally with you on Francis’s reactions. He doesn’t know he’s Charmed, so it looks to him like he’s getting mugged. I’m not sure telling him he’s Charmed would help. Isn’t part of being Charmed that you don’t realize you’ve been Charmed? I blame the DM for this mess…

OOC – I’m sending the GM an invoice for 500g, using that wand isn’t cheap. He was out of whip or melee range. I was thinking, what would Francis do if he saw Kistol, or Trist or Mal about to be beheaded, seemed like the only option. I’m not intimately familiar with Charm, if Francis is told he is charmed does that make any difference? Would be not believe it or could that snap him out of it?

Francis keeps trying to get the idea of Oil wrestling out of his head while the ladies are grabbing him.
Wren leans in on the struggling navigator and whispers in his ear (pm sent to both dm and pc. Wren attempts to block the paladins called shot. Leave his equipment be! Is this how you treat your comrades paladin? He is obviously ensorcelled and you would treat him as an enemy! His struggle seems to be ebbing, we will restrain him till this madness wears off. Go do what you feel you must human, we have this under control! Wren does not break eye contact with Alvyra even if the pirate continues to struggle……

Win or lose on the ’ nads shot, Alvyra shrugs off Wren’s hysterics. All that shouting and defensiveness! She’s obviously completely infatuated with the sailor’s good looks and feels threatened by me. Completely understandable on both counts, best leave them be.

“Under control you say? You think it will just wear off? Very well, I will head down a level. Don’t tarry, there’s naught standing between our mages and unknown fiends save that unsteady elf. I tried to steel his nerves, but there is only so much one can do with a few words of inspiration.” With that, Alvyra flies off to descend into the pit and seek out Farouk and Maltron.

Farouk makes his way back up…to Level 1 seeing the struggle….

“Whoaaa Whoaa Whoaaa ladies whats going on here!”

Finna is slow to get up. She looks over at the spot where their quarry previously laid. That was a fireball, wasn’t it? I’m not certain I’ve ever heard of one acting like that. And it came from that idiot. She stands up and pulls her sword. A stern look comes over her face as she walks over to the area where Francis is being restrained and the group argues. She smirks as Alvyra throws a small fit, knowing the paladin is more than justified to beat her assailant severely.

She moves to one side and grabs Francis on one arm. She brings the sword up towards his neck. “Stop your struggling now. I am not certain you understand the seriousness of your actions. Your proclivity in using that wand burned Alvyra and came close to me as well and I really don’t care to be roasted by anyone. We want to make sure that you are with us on this quest. Tell me now, what is the barghest to you? Help us understand your actions.”
“Explain my actions? You explain yours? What is wrong with you people?” Francis remarks back, as he was lessening his struggles with Wren, he shakes it off and resumes is forceful struggles in light to Finna’s sword and her questions, he fights off Finna’s grabbing him, “All of you have gone mad!”In a gentle voice Finna he was alone with that beast for sometime as we were falling towards our doom. Is there nothing you can do in Freyas name to determine the nature of his ensorcellment? I fear he is not of sound mind right now and we will need him to finish this mission. All things happen for a reason sister, we must try to help him get his mind back.

Trist with Wren’s help grabs some cloth and stuffs it in Francis mouth and gags him then says, “Does anyone have some rope to tie him up with? Let’s get moving so we can get down to help the others. Alvyra get down there and help the others we are right behind you. The rest of us will make sure Francis gets down ok. Here let’s just use his rope to tie him up with. If anyone has some wax I can use I’ll plug Francis’ ears so he won’t be tempted to listen to the beast if it still lives”.

Trist will take small pieces if available and use the warmth of her hands to mold them to plug his ears but still be able to be taken out.

They relieve him of his gear once subdued and bound and has his mouth covered.

Trist says, “You two girls fly and I will float and between all of us holding on to Francis we can get to the next level”.

Alyvra, Farouk, and Kistol swoop into the second level. As they do, a low audible ‘ping’ echoes and large glowing runes set about into the walls and ceilings illuminate a stone complex in bluish light in the similar manner of level one. The trio hesitant entering but ‘cruise’ in about flying in silence. Scanning the scene revels nothing peculiar when screams shatter the tension. Echoing back from the pit, it sounds like Finna and Wren.Looking back the trio sees the drained-face of Maltron who flatly states. “They fell.”

Alvyra scans the room looking for any sign of the Barghest. “Curses! Where is it!”

The coven fell? The reserves are supposed to hold up a little better than that!

She thinks quickly and makes a snap decision. It’s not great, but it will have to do.

“Farouk, I need you to come with me to go after Finna, Trist, and Wren. I can do some healing, but we’ll need some magic to bring them back up here. Give that wand to Maltron for now, we need to keep looking for that thing.”

“Maltron, find the Barghest! Do what you can, we’re counting on you!”

“Elf, stay with Maltron and guard him. We’re going to need magic to take that thing down, so it’s imperative that you be brave and stand strong and protect Maltron. Fear not! Justice and mercy are with us today.” Alvyra slams a reassuring gauntleted palm onto the skinny elf’s shoulder, looks him dead in the eyes to you know, inspire him to go against his nature and not run away.

Where is that gutless seadog? Hanging back looting broken statues no doubt!

Farouk flys towards and down into the pit…

Once in the pit Farouk casts Levitate on the rope that was cut.

“How ya doin ladies? Dontcha worry, uncle Farouk here got your back!”

Farouk instruct the ladies to hold onto/wrap the rope around themselves. Farouk then commands the rope to levitate… Athough he can only levitate 300lbs.. He assists with his flight and instructs Alvyra to do the same… between 2 flight spells and a levitate we should be able to easily move the crew."

Thank goodness it was the skinny bitches that fell in the hole ;)
Kistol rubs his shoulder, “Ow. Yeah, thanks for the pep talk, Al. Will do. Mal? Let’s take a look shall we?” Kistol walks for now to investigate the 2nd level. He pulls his Sea Dagger and takes the lead.

Finna sees their target dive into the pit. She moves to the edge and peers cautiously down. The darkness below confirms the increased risk to follow. She turns and assists Wren to secure the rope for their decent.

She watches Wren begin her decent into the pit then takes up position after a couple of moments. Grabbing the rope, she turns her back to the pit and places her heels over the edge. She leans back and pauses. Okay, there are some things best suited for the younger ones. I hope she tied this rope off tight. She looks back to reaffirm the security of the rope. A figure ‘blinks’ into view, suddenly appearing in the hallway, blocking her view of the navigator. She sees the goblinoid creature kick Francis away from the pit.

The creature turns and they lock eyes for a moment. No! Does it recognize me from before? Why is it smiling like….. and her mind freezes as she watches the creature smile then slash the rope. The ceiling begins to retreat from her view rapidly. It seems like a few moments before Finna realizes that she is hearing some screaming. I wonder who is making that noise? Wow, there’s Maltron and Trist. Do they ever look surprised to see me but… they are not the ones screaming. Wait…. I’m the one falling. That scream… THAT’S ME!!

As Trist grabs the loose end of the rope above Finna’s head and slows their decent, she stops screaming. Her spirit sinks as she watches the outline of Maltron on the ledge begin to get smaller. She looks down to see if there is another ledge she may be able to grab onto. When Farouk’s voice suddenly sounds out above her head, relief washes over her. She tries to wrap her left leg then left arm into the rope and waits for his spell to take effect. I hope he can lift us all up. I know I must weigh more than the other two and I’ve got a full pack on me right now. A scowl forms and her visage begins to harden as the fire of hate wells up in her stomach. When I see that bastard creature again, it will die, even if I have to die with it. She places her hand on the sword hilt and waits to get to the top.
Really upset now and feeling like a rookie as the rope goes slack, a silent prayer to Frey for forgiveness crosses Wrens lips as she and Finna begin to fall. Looking down and seeing how fast they are approaching Trist when Finnas scream motivates Wren to action. Pulling from the ropes length, she begins to tie the long end of the rope around one of her special arrows (arrow of seeking, stats in the complete book of elves). Seeing Trist reach for the rope Wren braces for the jolt, holding tight to the arrow. Once their descent stabilizes she finishes tying off the arrow scanning for a place to shoot it that would hold their weight. Hearing the sound of Farouks voice and feeling the rope snap as their fall is halted by the wizards spell. Shouting Frances is alone above with the beast!!! Can you get us back to the landing?

Alvyra sheathes her sword and free falls to get under Finna, she focuses the power of the Flying Potion on upward motion praying to Tyr, “By your hammer, let us get back in the fight!”

In response to Wren, “It circled back? To the landing then!”

Maltron rolls his eyes at Alvyra’s speech and then winks at Kistol. “She has no idea what we’ve already been through. I’d guess we’ve seen more action than she’s dreamed of.”

“Let’s take a look around shall we? I don’t really have a means of getting back up anyway.” He pulls out his continual light spell.

Then he pulls the dagger Jes. “Find me that tablet Jes.” Utilizes the locate object power of the dagger.

Farouk dives in to assist Trist, Wren, and Finna by casting levitate on the rope. Alvyra follows, sheathing her sword and also aiding in the lift.
The group begin to move up and back towards the 1st level.



Maltron withdraws Jes who replies to his inquiry. “Ugh, yuuuuuuuccchh. Ewewewewewewew..ewwwwwwwww…It’s in a dark,warm, greasy, slimy place. And it stinks. Positively reeks……retchhh.” She goes on to explain it’s located southwest, about 70-80’ish away… but it’s moving around a bit.
MAP

“Well Kistol, looking for some danger? You heard Jes? I say we go grab the tablet. Maybe the Barghest left it somewhere for his little show and it will be ours for the taking. We’ll have to watch out for slimes, oozes, puddings and the like. Keep your eyes on the ceiling, floor and walls.”

As long as Kistol comes along, Maltron will head south and west if a passageway permits. He’s got Jes unsheathed and casting light. He will ask Jes to notify him of any major changes in the tablet’s location.
Kistol proceeds in the suggested direction, magical arrow nocked, staying alert for everything Maltron suggested. He speaks up, “M**al, two questions. One, did Jes say the tablet was on this level? And two, and I know this sounds strange, but could the disgusting hiding place be the barghast’s stomach? I mean, it is a monster after all. Who knows what it’s anatomy is. And it’d be a pretty good hiding place. Little risk of it falling out.”

Doing a search of the level reveals the below.
MAP


Overall the level is very similar to level 1. Cells, Stone block stores, and a few work benches with nothing of real value. The only path leading southeast seems to be via a water bogged collapsed section of the complex in the east.

Maltron asks Jes to pinpoint the tablet again, noting if it is up or down. If Jes proves to be of little use, he will attempt to climb the rope up to level one. Letting Kistol in on the telepathic information he received.

If he wants, Kistol can climb the rope first as he will be able to climb it faster.

DM EDIT: Jes confirms the object is still on this level, still to the southeast. Maltron is able to determine from this that they’ll most likely have to go swimming to get to the location.
Trist grabs Francis by his left arm and picks him up or drags him along as fast as she can and says, “Get up man. Alvyra needs some backup and bad”.

ooc – would the southeast passage be a diving swim or is there breathable air above?

DM EDIT: The entrance looks to be a diving swim but after that has yet to be determined.

Maltron asks Kistol, “Want to go for a swim? Jes is saying the tablet is southeast on this level.”

If Kistol agrees, Maltron will swim southeast, looking for some dry passageway.
Maltron will go for a swim, turning back when/if he is halfway out of breath.Kistol grins and nods, “Let’s go, mate. Can’t wait to steal that thing out from under that monster.” Once they get to an area with open air overhead, Kistol will rise slowly out of the water and begin cautious flight, surveying the area, staying alert for the second member of the hunter pair. He remembers there being a second partner.

It’s a 20’short swim for the pair Maltron and Kistol who eventually surface inside a natural cavern.
Kistol silently floats from the water scanning the surroundings. When nothing is spotted, the elf whispers to Mal an ‘all clear’.
Withdrawing Jes and casting light reveals nothing of significance within the cave.
Kistol floats forward, bow ready, while Maltron follows on foot.
As the two make their way up slope towards an adjoining cave, a low grating sound, like something heavy being dragged over rock, causes them to freeze.
Looking ahead a large creature slithers into view.
A long, snake/eel like body covered with dark purplish/black glistening scales with a more or less human face is revealed. The thing is mostly coiled but a rough estimate would place it’s length from 10 to 20 feet and weight, 200 to 500 pounds. The eyes are bright and intelligent, burning with an almost hypnotic inner light.

“I neeeed your helpssss.” It hisses in cold, almost metallic voice, casting suggestion on Maltron.

Failing his save. “Help? What kind of aid does such a creature like yourself require from us.” Replies the mage cautiously.

MAP

Maltron feels an intense urge to help this nice snake creature.

Kistol casts a sidelong glance at Maltron. Hm, that’s not like Mal. He’s usually immediately suspicious of newcomers before offering anything. Something’s not right. Figuring this snake thing has done something to Maltron, Kistol fires a magic arrow at it and tries to physically shake Maltron out of his current state. “Mal! Snap out of it! It’s doing something to you!”

ooc – These are my personal observations of Maltron and I figure Kistol knows Mal well enough to tell something’s up. If Maltron’s reaction is neutral enough and DM rules Kistol can’t tell, let me know.

DM EDIT: No, Kistol’s reaction is valid. This doesn’t look like the kind of creature Mal, or anyone for that matter, would negotiate with.

As Kistol draws back his bow, the serpent speaks.
“You will help me asssss well.” casting Suggestion on Kistol.

The elf pauses, but only for a moment. Save successful.
Firing, his arrow thunks meatily in the mid coil/belly of the creature. It reels back, hissing in pain.

Kistol moves to shake his friend. “Mal! Snap out of it! It’s doing something to you!”

Suddenly the thief is struck in the hip, pain roars through his body and he bellows out, clutching at the wound. (-8 HP)
Looking up, the naga’s forked tongue hisses at Kistol through snarling teeth while it’s stinger topped tail withdraws back from the strike.

Maltron shouts, stepping between the naga and Kistol, hands up.
“Enough! No more bloodshed!”
The mage then crouches down to aid his compatriot while speaking low.
“This creature needs our help. We may be able to trade that aid for the tablets.”

Damn it, still under Scaly’s spell. The real Mal wouldn’t tagged it by now. I can’t take on that thing without Mal’s help. I wonder if he’ll try to help me instead. Kistol holds his side, winces, and tries to limp out of Scaly’s range while talking, “Ok, Mal, I’ll consider it. But, I think I might need your help more. I think that attack poisoned me. We need to get back to the others, so I don’t die here. Then we can bring them back to help the . . . snake. Hurry, though. I don’t think I have much longer.” Kistol tries to get them back in the water and to the other side as quickly as possible.

If Maltron won’t come, Kistol will reassess.

Player Addition: Kistol also takes a dose from his CLW potion as he moves.

Additional Player Addition: If Kistol feels woozy or other effects as if he is actually poisoned, he drinks his Antitoxin.

DM EDIT: After his talk and a dose of the potion, Kistol begins to feel very woozy. Luckily, his anti-toxin is at ready which, after downing, clears his head.
ooc – I’m back. But I’m charmed. Not sure how much control I have anyway.
DM EDIT: Not ‘charmed’, only under the effect of a suggestion spell. This means Mal is willing to ‘help’ the naga within reason but not over the safety of himself or his compatriots. Mal see’s it as a sort of temporary truce.Farouk, flying down the pit, lands in the room in complete darkness. Touching down, the audible low ‘ping’ is heard and multiple symbols in the walls and ceiling illuminate the area in the same fashion as the first level.
The mage finds it odd the lights were out if Kistol and Maltron were down here. ‘They must’ve left or gone beyond the complex somewhere.’

Farouk is curious but not foolish, He whispers to Maltron and hopes for a reply. If no reply is forthcoming he flys back into the pit and back up to level 1.

“Whats taking everyone so long, they should have finished off that beast and be on their way down here now!” Farouk thinks.

Maltron replies to the creature, “Yes, we can help. What do you need? Maybe you could help is find the tablet we are looking for. Just no more fighting. The elf is my good friend.”

Responding to Farouk, “There’s a nice snake man down here that needs our help. We are just a short swim from the south east corner of the 2nd floor.”
ooc – Rottenoak, just checking to see if you saw Kistol’s statement of being poisoned and request to go back to the other side to get help.

After much squabbling and regardless of Francis’ strange intrest of the many ladie’s hands on him, the scene ends with Wren defending the still armed navigator while Alvyra and Trist flush down the hole.

The sensitive elf consoles the pirate as he comes to his senses. His newfound goblin friend gone, he finds himself beset with the realization of the situation at hand and takes a moment to allow the comely elven ranger to comfort him.

Alvyra swoops in the pit, passing a bewildered Farouk, but after a bark of ‘follow me’, convinces the mage to return the the second level.

Trist bolts to the pits and dives in base jumper style, floating to the second level where she reconvenes with Al and Farouk.

Farouk brings the ladies up to speed with the ‘messaging’ with Maltron.

Maltron inquires to the snake-ling. The beast pauses for a moment, it’s head turns sideways like a dog questioning an empty dish.
It recoils with a wide mouth hiss then it’s tail lashes out.

The stinger strikes Maltron full in the gut. The mage hits his knees. (-14 HP).
It’s face lashes out, biting the mage on the collar, Maltron screams in pain and blood spurts. (-3 HP). Maltron is unconscious and has 6 rounds before he bleeds out

The snake withdraws and the mage slumps.

As Kistol screams in anger and draws back his bow in retaliation, the naga spins and disappears into the darkness behind. A splash echoes and the elf is left alone in silence.

If Trist hears Maltron she bolts in that direction almost frantically searching for the Mage. As soon as Trist sees the Mage she calls upon Freya, “Goddess please lend me your healing power”. Trist puts her hands on Maltron and cast CLW.

Trist binds Maltron’s wounds the best that she can.

Trist yells, “Finna come quickly Maltron is hurt badly”.

“Kistol are you ok? Come let me see if I can help you”, says Trist. Trist will work to remove the arrow and bind Kistol’s wounds. “If there are any healing potions anyone can lend if needed after Finna helps these two we may need them. We need to secure this level and from now on I suggest we stay together even to scout this place out. Obviously we are dealing with some powerful enemies down here”.

If it’s dark down here Trist pulls out a continual light arrow to shed some light on the situation.

A soon as the creature vanishes, Kistol stoops to Maltron frantic to make sure he’s alright, speaking with concern in his voice, “Stupid, pokking, idiot mage! I told you! Don’t you know when you’re under a gods-be-damned spell?!” Kistol gets Maltron righted and gives him a dose of healing potion.

He sighs in relief as Trist enters, “Hurry! He’s been hit bad. We came across a snake creature with a human face. It cast some kind of charm on him. Tried to get me, too. Mal tried to help it and it got him. He might be poisoned. It tagged me and I started to feel woozy. Had my antitoxin, though. It retreated to the water out there somewhere.” He waves off her help, “No, no. I’m fine, help him.”

Kistol stays alert and checks the direction Scaly went, then returns to Trist, “Keep an eye out. The tunnels might circle around. Where’s everybody else? Did you get the barghast? Jes says the tablet’s down here.” He waits for the rest to arrive.

Once it is apparent that Fances mind is clearing Wren will remove his restraints. If you are well enough, we need to go find the others on the lower level. One of us must drink the flying potion so we can rejoin the others. We dont want them to get too far ahead of us

ooc: Didnt see if Finna helped to clear Frances mind?

DM EDIT: Finna did not help clear Francis’ mind.
Alvyra grumbles inwardly, More swimming!?. She takes a moment at the shallow end to see if the Potion of Flying works underwater. If it does, she sighs in relief and “flies” to the other side. Otherwise she groans audibly and removes her armor to swim through. She keeps everything else, especially her shield and her katana of course.

As the Charm wears off and all the others who were trying to stuff cloth down his throat, and ripping items from his person leave, Francis relaxes for a moment as everything comes back into focus. He looks at Wren, kindly, with a warmth in his eyes he reserves for special moments, and glad that at least one person kept their head in the moment. As she takes off his bonds and while she’s not expecting it, Francis gently puts his hands on her cheeks and plants a soft and gentle kiss on her lips. “Thank you, you are my angel,” he says in endearing tones, “Lets make haste though, the others obviously need our help, and all these hot heads we have with us continue to jump into danger and split up. Apparently there is no teaching some the value of caution and tactics.”

Francis pulls the Flying potion from his satchel, opens it and pours it down Wren’s throat, “This will serve you better, I’ll most likely be standing to fight or swimming.” Standing up and getting himself steady he looks to Wren and takes her hand in his, “let us go my angel.”

DM EDIT: The charm hasn’t worn off but it appears the heated moment has cooled off. Francis still considers the Barghest to be his friend and may do so for awhile.

Farouk makes his way topside, instead of heading back out through the smithy’s tunnel, he flies up through the eastside ravine emerging from a decrepit overgrown well in a field south of Rivertree. He makes his way back to his residence to memorize and prep, just as his flying potion wears off. Once ready, the mage makes his way to River Bud island. Chartering a shady late night water taxi, he heads over to Hell Hounds Hall.

After concluding his business at the Hell Hound, Farouk in disguise scouts out the Duplicate Blessing. Hidden from View Farouk uses the wand to Triangulate on the Barghest assistant.

Farouk also has unseen servant and Cantrip on.

After concluding his business at the Hell Hound, Farouk leaves. Nonchalantly piecing on a simple disguise along the way, the mage makes his way to the Duplicate Blessing, arriving as a completely different person a bit after midnight.

Outside the establishment, multiple half-orcs are gathered. Openly drinking from clay and leather mugs, they appear to be acting as bouncers for the evening. Wearing studded leather and armed with broadswords, 6 in total, 4 of which have crossbows slung over their shoulders.
Farouk approaches to enter and is halted by the ‘doormen’. Fortunately with some fast talking, a few dropped names, and a successful CHR check, he is allowed to enter.
Despite the hour, the place appears to be ‘hopping’.
In the front room, most of the tables are occupied with mainly dwarves drinking, playing cards, or both. Some humans and the occasional half-elf can be spotted.
On the East side of the room, Trakas is seated in the midst of a card game.
Max is leaning against the bar, drinking and watching Wally, also in the middle of a card game, just a few feet away.
(Max has been slowly drinking and because of his tolerance he’s currently only at a -1 modifer.)
He gives Farouk a bored once over, dismissing him as a random person of no interest or danger.

In the back of the pub, real action is going down. Circling the fighter’s pit is a cheering, roaring, drunken assortment. The mob appears to consist of mostly Half-orcs, with some humans and dwarves. Bets and money are being exchanged as an impromptu ‘fight club’ is currently underway. The winner fights until they drop and then a new contender enters. From the look of the crowd, the level of blood spatter and smear, as well as spotting a few of the losers, (unconscious ones in a corner, conscious ones tending to their wounds) it appears the event has been going on for some time.

Farouk orders a drink and circulates, trying to locate the Barghest’s accomplice as discreetly as possible.
Finally after a bell he’s able to narrow it down to one of the participants of Trakas’ card game.
At the table is Trakas, 6 dwarves, and 1 human who Farouk recognizes as Steegh.
MAP

Farouk likes this place, its a shame he’s visiting under such circumstances. Remembering his earlier job, he is quite certain the mark is Steegh.

Back then there was a darkly cloaked figure in league with Steegh, Farouk is sure it was the Barghest.

Dammit! Why does it have to be a client??

Farouk is torn between his agreement with the mages guild and his loyalty to the underworld!

Farouk steps up to the plate and flashes a million gp smile :) " Names lucky Jim, How you gents doin? Couldn’t help but notice you got quite a game goin here, what it take to get in."

Farouk has always found a good way to clear his head was with a good game of cards…

If allowed to join in, Farouk keeps pace winning and losing. Mostly winning, especially when when it comes down to him and Steegh. With Trakas, Farouk and almost always loses… It is his house after all and Farouk does want to remain a polite guest.

Max eyeballs the fat newcomer. Hah! he thinks, another sucker thinks he can win at cards!

Max actually has no skill in judging card playing ability, but that doesn’t stop him from thinking he does! His department is picking out who’s gonna take it bad if they lose or get caught cheating. He’s pretty sure this newcomer will handle things gracefully, something about him just doesn’t smack of a brawler in need of an attitude adjustment.

Trakas will let him know if there’s any cheating going on that needs to be dealt with, also not Max’s department. Nobody cheats with Max, oh no. Some might say that’s because there’s just no need, but Max is sure it’s because people are afraid of him.
A brief glance up from his cards Trakas replies to Jim. “Pokk off, game’s full.”

“Nobody likes a sloppy gambler” Farouk thinks to himself…

Jim smiles and give a little bow, “Well if something opens up, would love to take a seat!”

Farouk gives it a couple few hands, casually observing from a short distance as one would do any game, but not not too hungrily, Farouk tries to ascertain how familiar these players are with one another. Are they all close, would one take offense at the other…If something awkward were to happen…

Farouks intention is to find a pair of players who may bear some animosity or grudge towards each other, maybe because of a lost hand. If Farouk finds that weak link he uses the cantrip spell to spill an ale when it is reached for… Spilling it onto the lap of a grudge holder…Causing tensions to boil over, maybe a fight…but more importantly making an opening at the table.

Worse case if no weakness is found the ale is spilled onto an active hand… ruining the cards. No one likes a sloppy gambler….

Kistol doses Maltron, healing his wound (+6 HP) but the Mage is unconscious, clearly due to some sort of poisoning.
Alvyra, testing the waters, discovers her ‘flight’ abilities do transfer through water, albeit much more slowly. (movement halved)
The others make their way to level 2 and into the side cavern.

Things are bit tense and a watchful eye is kept on Francis as well as Maltron by the group.

An exhaustive search is made of the surrounding water tunnels but there is no sign of the naga.
Most likely the serpent disappeared down one of the tunnels too small for the party to pursue.
Some remnants of what looks to be a sort of makeshift ‘nest’ are all that remain (bones, soiled rags, rubbish).

Currently, the location wand is very dim with no ‘pings’ in any direction.

After a turn Maltron eventually comes around. A bit groggy but with no other lingering effects (except pain and soreness of course).

As the list of options grows increasingly short, the party reconvenes back onto level 1 to discuss next moves.

Options
-Continue searching underground for the Barghest and Naga.
-Head back topside and go after the Barghest’s accomplice at the Duplicate Blessing.
-Head back topside and advise with Eggs (Marcetheus).
-Something else…?
Fa

rouks face darkens in a most terrible glowering way. The happy Farouk melts into something terrible something not quite right…

“I get you guys a primo job, get you outfitted with gear, magic, and intel and this is what you do with it!?”

He looks at each of the party members, and scowls when he notices the scorch marks on Alvyra. “This will not do…this simply will NOT do!”

“Someone take care of Mal. Our only lead now is topside. Did you even manage to kill the Barghest?

Don’t screw this up…I’m telling your right now… JUST DON’T!"

Farouk turns and makes his way out of the tunnels.

Farouk makes his way to the Hell Hounds Hall…and strikes up a game with Arkirr..

“Hey bub, I need a little help here…Can we go somewhere where we can talk? Your bill? Ohh don’t worry bout it this ones on me.”

Alvyra rubs her temples, need to get outta here before that potion wears off. If others want to stick around to search some more, she stays put. Otherwise, she seeks out Marcetheus to give him a report.

“We found the Barghest. Finna disabled it, and I was about to finish it off, but something interfered. I’m told it Charmed Francis who used his wand on me to prevent me from killing it, but there was something else that coincided with Francis’s Fireball. Some kind of green explosion that transported the immobilized Barghest away. Meanwhile, Maltron and Kistol tracked the tablet to a strange serpent creature with a man’s head. It poisoned both of the them, seriously injuring Maltron before slithering away. We were unable to track it farther. I’m sorry, we were close, but it got away from us. We’re checking other leads. We believe the Barghest’s accomplice is at the Duplicate Blessing. We still need to confer as a group, but that’s likely to be our next step.”
Blushing slightly at Frances kiss, then she smiles warmly I respect you navigator and you deserve to be respected in return. Taking the potion and Frances hand they meet up with the others. Finish searching, travel back to level 1 and listens to Farouks rant. Does anyone know how long we have been down here? I don’t want to miss the passage back, however I have zero interest in leaving here with less clues and no item! Are we sure we are not missing the obvious? Do think this snake creature was guarding the piece and took it away? I am not fond of time wasted. I say if we have the time left we go further to see if what more we can find.BTW Farouk takes his wand back of detection back before making his way back up.

After taking care of a few things above, including memorizing a few choice spells, Farouk takes out the wand of detection. BTW Farouk keeps the wand in a tidy wand sized box…He does not anyone to see the glow that emanates from the wand when it is in use. He then scans for the the Barghest compatriot, hoping for some signs that can possibly reconcile his failure in the tunnels below.

Farouk has donned the disguise of just your average Joe… nothing special nothing worth remembering…
Kistol raises an eyebrow at Farouk’s rant and after he leaves, says, “Does he really think he’s in charge?” Kistol thinks back to Jes’s description of the place the tablet was hidden and checks to see if the nest matches. Otherwise, they might as well go back and report. Kistol will ultimately go with Maltron’s judgement on how to proceed.

Maltron felt half drunk during Farouk’s little melt down. “Thanks for the sentiment. Hey Kistol, Farouk got us a job with the Guardians we were already working for when we found him scurrying in the woods alone, bereft of all his possessions.”

“Thanks for saving me Kistol, one moment I was ready to brawl and the next I felt like I had no control over my actions. Maybe Farouk’s mind was altered somehow too.”

Maltron will consult Jes once more regarding the location of the tablet before heading out. If it seems unobtainable, he will head out. He will take a swig of a healing potion the moment he regains his senses.

If nothing on Jes’s radar, Maltron suggests going back to Eggs, informing him of the happenings and then heading to the duplicate blessing if enough of the Chain remains willing and able.

Trist says, "It’s hard to track anything down here. If the risk of staying isn’t too high and we think we can gain something from staying let’s do so. If not, let us regroup and form a new plan. Time may be critical here since we have failed to obtain the tablet.

Trist tries to heal Maltron so she can do it once before she refreshes her clerical powers at midnight.
She prays to Freya, “Freya please guide my hands and heal my friend”. Trist lays her hands on Maltron. Cast CLW. Once she renews her powers she will see if Maltron needs further healing.

Trist tells Francis, Wren, Finna and others, "What I was doing to you was for your own protection. If you cannot hear the Barghest you cannot be swayed by it’s commands so I plugged your ears. While you still possessed the fire wand I stuffed your mouth so you could not speak it’s commands and use it against us again.

Until you are free of the charm we should protect you so you cannot be swayed by the Barghest again. I did not wish to harm you my friend only protect you and us".

“Until we are sure Francis is free of the charm we should hold onto his gear”, Trist finally says.

To the others, “Where in the nine planes of hell is Farouk going”?

Trist casts CLW on Maltron (+5 HP) before he quaffs his potion (at FULL HP).

Although the general atmosphere of the cave is damp, the ‘nest’ does not appear to match Jes’ earlier description of the tablet’s location.
When consulted again regarding the tablets, the dagger is unable to ‘get a fix’ on their location anymore. ‘Must be out of range.’

The party agree to return to the surface to reconvene with Eggs.

Making their way back through the Smithy without incident, the group (sans Farouk) head to Charcoals arriving a bit after midnight.
They are let in by one of the Barkeep’s late night attendants who informs them Hoken is not around or available to assist them in contacting Eggs.

Realizing they have no other way of contacting Eggs, (unless Mal wants to use his signal) the party will head over to the Duplicate Blessing in search of the accomplice.

Maltron will memorize Charm and Stinking Cloud before heading to the Duplicate Blessing.

He will offer to cast Invisibility on Kistol.

He will confer with the others before proceeding to the bar.

“There will likely be a large gathering there, most all will be loyal to Wally, I recommend Kistol scout the place while some of us mingle. I could go there under the guise of wanting to talk to Max to see how things are going and inquire as to whether his debt has been paid yet. I’m not sure how well a paladin will be received, or a cleric, but if you all want to come, please do. Any suggestions are welcome. Francis should be able to fit right in.”

Trist says, “I can offer my services as body guard for the evening sir mage unless you’d have another? I may need a few glasses of elven wine before we go if there are and orc types that might be there? You know, just to take the edge off. A smile crosses her lips. Or I can assist my sisters if they might have an alternative plan in mind. Grin. Wink”.

Francis will enter the Duplicate Blessing on his own, without the group. He’ll walk around the place very flamboyant and make sure to make himself known to all who are there. Making conversation, looking for a game, etc. Nothing specific, just trying to play up a general distraction-like environment so the others can do their information gathering.

Alvyra says to Maltron, “I could go in my old Road Watch studded leather. Stands out a little less. Like Francis, I could go alone. Don’t worry, I know how to handle myself in a place like that. In fact, I’m a fair hand at cards. Alternatively, I could loiter outside some distance away in my plate mail, come running if something bad goes down. I think I’m back-up on this one, so let me know where you think is best.”

Alvyra loves playing cards. She loves it, because she’s good at it, so she wins, and she likes winning. Gambling is a vice, so she’s had to stay away from it, but this would be for a good cause!
Kistol will take invisibility and enter with the group, then scout. (ooc – remind me what we’re looking for? Do we have a description of the accomplice?" If he finds something he will find Maltron or any of the others if Maltron is standing and engaged in conversation and place a copper piece on the table next to their hand as a signal he’s found something. He’ll meet them outside and tell them what he’s found.After consulting Finna & Trist to see what their plans are, if they are going or not. If the ladies have no need of her help Wren will offer to go be a distraction I am not much on cards, but I can sing. I know a few pieces in my native language. They are very melodious and thus may loosen tongues.Maltron will enter the bar and head over to Max. He will tell Max he owes him 100 gold for back pay and give it to him and then strike up conversation asking how he has been. If Max is at ease, he will quietly question him about the recent happenings around the bar and ask if he has seen any tablets or goblin types.

Jim (Farouk) hangs back at the bar, sipping his drink and watching the game for an opening. It looks to be a fairly serious game compared to some of the other raucous and loud games going on. The players all seem amicable and frank towards each other and there is not much side talk. These dwarves are here to play and not much else. After a bit, dwarf exits from one of the side doors near the front room bar and walks up to Trakas, leaning in and whispering in his ear.
“I’m out.” States Trakas as he stands and collects his money. He then motions to two nearby half orcs who follow him and his dwarven companion back into the side door.

Steegh motions to Jim. “Looks like your up, buy in’s 50 GP. This is heavy stakes.”

Farouk buys in and begins, keeping it measured and controlled, a palpable air of taking advantage of the newcomer begins to build.

Sitting next to Steegh seems to change the short man’s demeanor. He begins to appear tense and hesitant but at the same time swept up in the new found winnings and atmosphere of the game. (Farouk -35 GP)


Francis heads in followed quickly behind by an invisible Kistol. After bribing the ‘doormen’ 1 GP apiece (Francis – 6 GP), the navigator sidles into the establishment and ‘mingles’.
Francis and Kistol do not recognize Farouk.

After various jokes and jibs Maltron, Trist, Alvyra, Wren, and Finna grow weary of the drunken half orc ‘bouncers’. Alvyra acts first by dropping one with a heavy slug. Finna and Trist, pick up on the paladins intentions immediately and quickly follow suit, disabling one with a swift kick to the groin and the other a right cross. The remaining 3 half orcs relent when blades are drawn and finally allow the the party to enter.

Max is visibly buzzed, but not wasted, and as a result excited to see his compatriots. Mal delivers cash and then discusses briefly intentions with the gladiator. Finna is the only one to recognize Farouk’.

Max hasn’t seen any ‘goblin types’ but the place has been packed with all sorts lately, especially since the waterfront/explosion incidents. He’s managed to figure out Wally was somehow involved but can’t get any specifics. ‘Walls has been acting very weird lately, out of character, just loose and guarded. Can’t catch much of any sense from the little man but then again, I ain’t a dwarf. Could just be the way they roll.’


As the ladies and Mal mill, Francis and Kistol snoop, Farouk continues to push luck. The mage, working on two particular dwarves tense interaction, spots Trakas exit from the side room.
The dwarf looks lost in thought. He then scans the room..
Spotting Mal and the others, a wide grin splits his face. He turns and re-enters the side room

Minutes pass.

Suddenly a shout, a scream, cuts through the pub.
It is quickly followed by several more louder and more tormented bellows.
Everyone, even the pit fighters and crowd seem to cease and take notice. Looking to the direction of the source.

Trakas bursts out of the side door stumbling, crashing into a game table.

Some rush to his aid, most occupants back up in stupor and shock.

What seems like ages but only moments, pass.

The silence is broken when the screaming body of a half orc is flung from the side door.
It crashes into the bar, bouncing off and landing behind the counter.
The other half orc bolts from the room only to be paralyzed in mid-sprint with a large spike protruding from it’s chest.
The spike retracts and the body slumps.
With a roaring hiss, a giant snake-thing emerges from the doorway in a flash. A long, snake/eel like body covered with dark purplish/black glistening scales with a more or less human face is revealed. A rough estimate would place it’s length from 10 to 20 feet and weight, 200 to 500 pounds. The eyes are bright and intelligent, burning with an almost hypnotic inner light.

Maltron and Kistol instantly recognize the creature.

A barmaid screams in terror.
Shouts of panic, anger, surprise, and fear fill the room.
Some bolt, stumbling over each other in an attempt to flee. Others draw steel, backing away.
Most recoil in shock.

The Naga takes advantage and strikes down three nearby dwarves, two with the stinger, the third with a bite to the neck, spraying blood as the corpse falls.

MAP

In the confusion Farouk uses the sleep wand on Steegh. Assuming it works, Farouk then casts levitate on Steeghs snoring form, picks him up and hightails it out of there at full speed! DE

DM EDIT: Dropping Steegh and floating him out will cause some complications. The 6 doormen have rushed in and the commotion of the Naga has caused a collective of occupants to block Farouks exit. Unless he wants to get creative…

Player EDIT: Farouk still wants to Drop Steegh with the wand, figuring with all jostling around it would be easy enough to touch him with it. Farouk doesn’t think anyone will care or take notice to someone falling down and not getting up… Farouk would then like to followup with an invisiblity on Steegh…
__
Hopefully by this time, The flow of the patrons should be directed towards the exits and security should be in the house not blocking doorways. Thats when Farouk follows up with a levitate and pulls the floating Steegh towards the door, like a kid with a balloon above the crowds.
__
Banking on the wand working of course!

After thanking Maltron for the back wages, Max enjoys himself catching up with his old comrades. Their small talk is unfortunately interrupted…

At the sight of the Naga horror, Max starts to quake with uncertainty and trepidation. He knocks over some drinks on the bar as he fumbles for one of Wally’s “potions.” Chugging it quickly with the usual grimace, he steels his nerves and draws Giant Slayer. He advances at a determined pace, not a blind charge into the flailing stinger and gnashing fangs.

As Alvyra enters, she sees the population sorting themselves into cowards and bystanders at the sight of the Naga. Just in time! Good thing I’m here, somebody needs to lead these lugs! Alvyra doesn’t know what the Naga is or wants, but she’s pretty sure it’s evil. She can tell these things. She draws Red with a flourish and shouts, “Follow me! Our combined might will lay that thing low!” Alvyra sees a lot of steel on standby and suspects many are willing to fight, they just don’t want to be in front. That’s ok with Alvyra, not everybody has what it takes to be in front.

How high is the ceiling? Are there rafters for Kistol to climb to?

If Maltron is far enough away from the Naga, Kistol will go to him, “Quick! Ask Jes where the tablet is.”

DM EDIT: The height of the room is about 10’. The Duplicate blessing is two stories. There are a few supports Kistol could hang/swing off of but there isn’t anything he could ‘climb up into’.

Sprinting between tables and patrons, Wren jumps on the bar hoping for a clear shot over the patrons heads. +1(magical arrows) loaded, looking for opening for a stapling shot.

Main action – Trist prays to Freya grabbing her holy symbol and anything else she needs, “Freya, bless my companion Max and all around him that are friends and make him brave”. Cast Bless centered on Max She says to Max, “You should feel braver now”. She’s hoping he’ll believe he’s braver after she cast the spell on him.

AS soon as she can, she draws Ripper while guarding Maltron.

OOC – We haven’t really done any components for Trist so wasn’t sure if I just needed my holy symbol in one hand and could get Ripper in my other, instead of Holy water while guarding Maltron.

DM EDIT: you need to narrow down Trist’s actions within a combat round. Right now I"m reading, 1. Trist’s jumps the counter, pulls ripper, summons shadows. Round 2. Grabs Mal, barks at Max, cast bless. That accurate?

Player edit I will try and clarify, sorry for the confusion. Round 1. Cast bless centered on Max and guard Maltron while drawing Ripper depending on requirements of her bless spell component needs. If Ripper has to wait then that’s what happens. Guarding Maltron is more movement based by placing Trist body offset between him and the most immediate threat, but she won’t get in the way of his casting.
Who’s the unmarked “person of interest” red-dot on the right? 7 east, 3 north of Steagh?…a person of interest…the party has yet to notice.If not being dragged behind the counter by Trist, Maltron will cast Web centered on the Naga and then jump behind the counter. He is still shaking off the heebie jeebies from behind under the control of that beast.

Looks like Kistol is too far away to just dash over to Maltron.

Kistol will scan the room looking at the nearby tables for anything particularly interesting and then move to get a better look at the POI.

Alvyra charges the Naga blade raised. The serpent hisses at the oncoming paladin.
She feints, then slashes, opening a heavy swath on the underbelly of the beast. It screams in pain.
Maltron casts web. A mass of strings ‘thwipp-p-p-p’ out from his hand, expanding in a cone, ‘pasting’ the Naga to the corner.

It squeals and roars in rage as it begins to thrash and fight against the sticky strands.
The mage then, with a jump, pulls himself over the bar. As he lands in a crouch, facing 3 terrified young human barmaids also hiding behind the bar, they let loose a shriek at his arrival.

Max draws his blade and moves up to aid Alvyra in engaging the trapped fiend but holds as a voice yells out. “Assassins!”
The big man recognizes the voice as Trakas’ and turns to see him diving on Wally, tackling him to the ground.

The Mob goes wild and the room is suddenly divided. The crowd previously surrounding the fight pit rushes on the crowd in the front room.
The ½ orcs look to be organized, reacting quickly and without hesitation. Most of the humanoids that are non-1/2 orc are ambushed, blades in backs, throats slit, falling with bellies slashed open. The dwarves of the front room appear bewildered and surprised. A large majority falls in the onset but the remainder regroup, brawling the surrounding ½ orc onslaught. Blood spray, hair chunks, bone chips, and cracked teeth fill the air. Tables and chairs are shattered, smashed underfoot, overhead, and by the fallen or tossed. As the close quarter melee tears itself apart, the screams of hate, pain, steel, of the wounded and of the dying roar in a storm of nightmarish measure.

“Bitch you’re mine.”
Finna turns to face the growling voice. The 1/2 Orc doormen, blades drawn. One drops the heavy bar on the door with a clunk, locking it. The others move in.
Reacting quickly, the Cleric sticks the first full in the chest, sinking her spearhead deep. The would be attacker shrieks and falls, twisting the spear from Finna’s grasp. Raising her shield to block the next strike, she draws her blade.

Trist casts bless, centered on Max, then draws ripper leaping behind the bar and landing next to a hunched down Maltron.

Wren leaps up on the bar and fires on the Naga. Unfortunately, her arrow looks to be ineffective due to the sticky mass around the fiend.

Farouk slips out his wand of sleep and moves to discreetly ‘zap’ Steegh.
He taps the ugly man in the back.
Steegh spins, facing the mage. The pair both look down to the wand then back up, locking eyes.

Akirr’s words echo distantly in Farouk’s head. “This should work for you. One tap anywhere on the body and your friend is out cold. This here has only 1 tap charge, right now it’s empty, but seeing on how you’re a magician yourself, you shouldn’t have any issues adding more ‘taps’ into it…”
With a mental grimace, Farouk remembers. “I didn’t charge it…”

Steegh’s eyes rage yellow and he dives in with his short sword, stabbing Farouk in the belly (-5 HP).

Francis hangs back, moving away from the fray keeping his back to the bar. Looking over he spots Trakas and Wally, apparently grappling with each other on the ground.

Kistol scans the room for other suspicious figures but it’s useless in the chaos of the free-for-all.

MAP

In the confusion Farouk uses the sleep wand on Steegh. Assuming it works, Farouk then casts levitate on Steeghs snoring form, picks him up and hightails it out of there at full speed! DE

DM EDIT: Dropping Steegh and floating him out will cause some complications. The 6 doormen have rushed in and the commotion of the Naga has caused a collective of occupants to block Farouks exit. Unless he wants to get creative…

Player EDIT: Farouk still wants to Drop Steegh with the wand, figuring with all jostling around it would be easy enough to touch him with it. Farouk doesn’t think anyone will care or take notice to someone falling down and not getting up… Farouk would then like to followup with an invisiblity on Steegh…
__
Hopefully by this time, The flow of the patrons should be directed towards the exits and security should be in the house not blocking doorways. Thats when Farouk follows up with a levitate and pulls the floating Steegh towards the door, like a kid with a balloon above the crowds.
__
Banking on the wand working of course!

After thanking Maltron for the back wages, Max enjoys himself catching up with his old comrades. Their small talk is unfortunately interrupted…

At the sight of the Naga horror, Max starts to quake with uncertainty and trepidation. He knocks over some drinks on the bar as he fumbles for one of Wally’s “potions.” Chugging it quickly with the usual grimace, he steels his nerves and draws Giant Slayer. He advances at a determined pace, not a blind charge into the flailing stinger and gnashing fangs.

As Alvyra enters, she sees the population sorting themselves into cowards and bystanders at the sight of the Naga. Just in time! Good thing I’m here, somebody needs to lead these lugs! Alvyra doesn’t know what the Naga is or wants, but she’s pretty sure it’s evil. She can tell these things. She draws Red with a flourish and shouts, “Follow me! Our combined might will lay that thing low!” Alvyra sees a lot of steel on standby and suspects many are willing to fight, they just don’t want to be in front. That’s ok with Alvyra, not everybody has what it takes to be in front.

How high is the ceiling? Are there rafters for Kistol to climb to?

If Maltron is far enough away from the Naga, Kistol will go to him, “Quick! Ask Jes where the tablet is.”

DM EDIT: The height of the room is about 10’. The Duplicate blessing is two stories. There are a few supports Kistol could hang/swing off of but there isn’t anything he could ‘climb up into’.

Sprinting between tables and patrons, Wren jumps on the bar hoping for a clear shot over the patrons heads. +1(magical arrows) loaded, looking for opening for a stapling shot.

Main action – Trist prays to Freya grabbing her holy symbol and anything else she needs, “Freya, bless my companion Max and all around him that are friends and make him brave”. Cast Bless centered on Max She says to Max, “You should feel braver now”. She’s hoping he’ll believe he’s braver after she cast the spell on him.

AS soon as she can, she draws Ripper while guarding Maltron.

OOC – We haven’t really done any components for Trist so wasn’t sure if I just needed my holy symbol in one hand and could get Ripper in my other, instead of Holy water while guarding Maltron.

DM EDIT: you need to narrow down Trist’s actions within a combat round. Right now I"m reading, 1. Trist’s jumps the counter, pulls ripper, summons shadows. Round 2. Grabs Mal, barks at Max, cast bless. That accurate?

Player edit I will try and clarify, sorry for the confusion. Round 1. Cast bless centered on Max and guard Maltron while drawing Ripper depending on requirements of her bless spell component needs. If Ripper has to wait then that’s what happens. Guarding Maltron is more movement based by placing Trist body offset between him and the most immediate threat, but she won’t get in the way of his casting.
Who’s the unmarked “person of interest” red-dot on the right? 7 east, 3 north of Steagh?…a person of interest…the party has yet to notice.If not being dragged behind the counter by Trist, Maltron will cast Web centered on the Naga and then jump behind the counter. He is still shaking off the heebie jeebies from behind under the control of that beast.

Looks like Kistol is too far away to just dash over to Maltron.

Kistol will scan the room looking at the nearby tables for anything particularly interesting and then move to get a better look at the POI.

ooc – DM, how many doses of Flying potion did Kistol have? He used 1 already. Were there any more doses in the vial?

DM Edit: two doses. Also, Max, Kistol, and Francis still have actions this round.

Ooc ouch I had interpreted that as having 1 charge! Wands normally have 50 so 1 charge seemed empty. No worries need to re adjust!

DM edit: it has 1 charge capacity but when he gave it to you it was empty. Hence the ’you’re a mage so you should have any trouble ‘loading’ it’ part.

Farouk clutches his belly in pain and looks down at his coin purse! Thank the gods thats ok Farouk thinks!

Farouk sees an opening in the crowd along the wall to his left and sprints the distance (but not un-naturally fast), passing by Kistol and Francis.

Without being obvious Farouk calls out to Kistol and Francis, “Its me Farouk that’s the guy we are looking for its Steegh! Lets see if he will chase me!”

Farouk a safe distance gestures rudely at Steegh before mockingly showing his backside.

DM EDIT: Kistol’s still invisible so Farouk only spots Francis.

Player update: Looks good… Farouk runs in the direction of Francis. He will recognize Steegh.
Seeing Farouk’s predicament, Kistol waits for Farouk to pass and then lifts a large piece of detris in the way to trip Steegh, trying to preserve his invisibility. (if it works just as well or better to just trip him with a foot, he’ll do that)

Alvyra wonders What’s everybody else doing? I thought they were right behind me. She doesn’t risk losing focus on the snake. She’s pretty sure the Web, though welcome, will only be a temporary impediment. She keeps hacking at the thing.

Max’s head snaps automatically at Trakas’s warning. Seeing the 1/2 orc ambush with Trakas and Wally completely surrounded, he ignores the Naga. He runs up to the nearest table and pushes it across the room so it covers Trakas and Wally. He’ll then hop on top of it and start punching faces with Giant Slayer. He prioritizes any 1/2 orcs who try to crawl under the table or stick weapons under it to attack Wally. He will command Giant Slayer to light up to draw attention to himself.

If for whatever reason the table can’t be moved (it’s stone, or it’s bolted to the floor, or the 1/2 orcs on the other side push back), Max will hop on top of it and do a mosh pit dive along the red line to try to knock over some 1/2 orcs while he gets closer to the two dwarfs.

Table hockey

Maltron loves when two enemies are fighting each other. It reminds him of the time the orcs and goblins were fighting after the shipwreck.

“Max obviously still feels loyal to Wally, I need to fix that. No point in him dying over that damned dwarf,” he thinks.

Maltron casts Charm on Max. If successful he shouts, “Max kill the Naga, he’s trying to hurt me.”

Otherwise Maltron stays behind the counter ducking when able and peeking up from time to time.

“Let the orcs and dwarves kill each other off,” he says to his companions in hearing range.

By Freya I don’t like these 1/2 orcs. Trist says, "*Ripper* create for me two 4 HD elder brownies Quicklings who I shall name B1 and B2. B1 Kill the Naga. B2 cripple the 1/2 orcs by the door. Trist will use the bar as cover and check for any signs of danger advancing on them.

Edited to clarify Shadow types.

“Bitch you’re mine.”

Hearing the growling voice, Finna turns to face the 1/2 orc, its weapon drawn. As one of its companions bars the door, she reacts. Reacting quickly, she sticks the first full in the chest, sinking the spearhead deep. The would be attacker shrieks and falls, twisting the spear from her grasp. “Get your eyes looked at, I’m not a dog, you bastard of a pig whore.” Raising her shield to block the next strike, she draws her blade.

A quick looks shows Finna that her immediate area is clear of opponents beside or behind her. She moves forward and to her left (east) a bit to keep her sword swing free of any hindrance from the bar as she engages the hostiles before her. She will try to keep them bottled up and not allow herself to be surrounded. She will fall back if she is in danger of being surrounded.
Damnit! Wren thinks as she sees her arrows get tangled up in the webbing. Not knowing how long such a thing could last and not wanting to lose the high ground, Wren will provide cover fire to the rest of the team so that those best with edged weapons can continue to attack the creature without worrying about other hostiles.

ooc – are the two yellow dots near Francis attractive barmaids?

DM EDIT: Both are young and attractive.

Francis jumps over the bar and defends the honor of the young bar maidens. He will deflect any onslaughts from dwarf or half orc, but comfort and play the savior to the very young and very attractive ladies. As Farouk runs by, Francis winks at him, with a look of, ’I’m kinda in the middle of something right now, but when I’m done, I’ll get back to you’.

“ladies, ladies, Francis is here, worry yourself not, I will protect you. Hide your bosoms in my face and all will be fine.”

Whip and flaming sword in hand Francis presents an impressive visage for the ladies and all to see.

Finna pivots, parrying the strike with her shield and coming up, with a sickening crack of multiple ribs, slamming her blade deep into her attacker;s torso. The ½ orc stumbles with the momentum of the blow to the ground next to his fallen companion.
The cleric counters an attempted slash then recoils, recovering her defensive stance.

Farouk clutching his belly, sees an opening in the crowd along the wall to his left and sprints, heading towards Francis and calling out, “Its me Farouk that’s the guy we are looking for its Steegh! Lets see if he will chase me!”
As the mage bolts, Steegh’s shortsword lashes out, catching Farouk with a deep wound across the shoulder blade. (-3 HP) and sending him into the wall.
Farouk grimaces to recover, after a few sidesteps sliding and streaking blood along the wall, he manages to regain his sprint.

Steegh pursues but crashes over a fallen chair that mysteriously lifts up on its own and slides into his path. (Kistol)

Max’s head snaps automatically at Trakas’s warning. Seeing the 1/2 orc ambush with Trakas and Wally completely surrounded, he ignores the Naga. He runs up to the nearest table and pushes it across the room so it covers Trakas and Wally. It’s heavy but Max is buzzing with booze and action. Throwing his full weight into the table, the gladiator shoves it, plowing through the melee. Heavy wood groans and screeches over the roar of the room, until coming to a rest covering Wally and Trakas. The big man steps back and draws his blade just as a familiar voice shouts “Max kill the Naga, he’s trying to hurt me.”
Maltron has successfully charmed Max.

With a heavy upstroke, Alvyra again opens a heavy ribbon of crimson spray on the beast. The Naga, still thrashing and writhing to free itself, looses a terrible reptilian shrill.

Francis jumps over the bar and defends the honor of the young bar maidens who huddle down, clinging to each other in panic. After a few swashbuckling words of reassurance, the navigator pulls his whip and sword. Attracting the attention of a group of nearby ½ orcs, one of whom readies a handaxe to hurl but is dropped as two arrows sprout from its chest.

As Wren pulls another arrow to continue to cover Francis, she spots a group of ½ orcs have spotted her and have begun pushing their way towards her. Swapping targets, she takes down the front runner.

Trist mentally wills Ripper and what appears to be two Quicklings flashing needle-like daggers seemingly crawl out from under the bar. One, in a blur, leaps up and over the counter, landing on one of Finna’s attackers plunging it’s dagger hilt deep into its chest dropping it to the ground. The other shadow fey, dashes up onto the bar and charges toward the naga. It dives in slashing and fluttering on the creature with it’s blade.

MAP

Francis stands at the ready taking a look at the situation. He doesn’t see the need to attract any unwanted attention, (unwanted in his mind being something entirely different to others) and it appears that everyone seems to be attacking themselves just fine, and that’s the way he likes it. He thinks, hmmm the Naga must be on the side of someone, no way this brawl breaks out and a Naga shows up all in the same day and there’s no connection. (If there was some sort of notice by the GM that it was on one side or the other, I forgot or missed it).

The ladies seem to be okay for now, but Francis takes a look at Farouk and he doesn’t look so well. And letting the words sink in about Steegh, well, yea he probably should do something about that guy. There was something that rubbed him the wrong way about that guy. Speaking of rashes and general nuisances, Francis looks over to Trakas, and wonders if a few well placed arrows in his neck would go unnoticed. He wouldn’t mind that pile of garage gone.

Francis will do what he can to block any harmful attempts to wound Farouk, and also try to whip Steegh, and entangle him by leg or arm, and pull him down to the ground and keep him there. If none of that works, he’ll take some shots at the Half-Orcs close to him if the take notice of him.

While acting Francis will go on speaking such things as, “Ladies, I will make sure you get out of this alive, we should not have such beauties harmed, may your angelic beauty be my strength in this time of need.”

DM EDIT: So Francis is staying behind the bar then?

IF, no one attacks Farouk, if he can’t reach Steegh, and if no one looks to be taking notice of him and moving to attack him, then yes.

Let’s also add that Francis asks the ladies to get him a drink, and hold it up to his mouth so, he doesn’t have to drop his weapons to that.

ooc- is Trakas attacking Wally?

DM EDIT: Maltron is unable to determine from his location. They’re on the other side of the brawl and are currently underneath a large table.

Maltron has a good feeling the charm landed on Max.

He ducks behind the bar and pulls out Jes.

“Jes quickly, can you find the tablet now? The same one you found earlier. Our lives are in danger and I don’t want you ending up carried around by a half-orc.”

He yells, “Max kill that Naga, but avoid the Web!”

DM EDIT: Jes states ’she’s unable to locate the tablet she honed in on before or any other tablets for that matter.’

The cracking of ribs and seeing her foe fall to the ground causes a small grin to appear of Finna’s face. That feels good. Now, just four more to fall before my blade for the honor of Freya. As the next opponent steps up and makes a slash at her, she counters then steps back into a more defensive stance. She measures the three 1/2 orcs moving towards her, deciding which one should bleed first, the fourth one by the door looking like it is manning a post.

Finna gives a slight pause as a black shape appears on the bar then seems to instantly be upon the 1/2 orc at the end of it, riding it to the floor as the 1/2 orc dies. That takes care of one small problem, she thinks. “Thank you sister for your help. Always remember that a priestess of Freya is more than a match for six bastard upright pigs!” She keeps her shield up and in position to defend against the opponent on her left, concentrating on her right to prevent any attacks from reaching Wren.
Farouk manages a stumble moving to the opposite side of the bar. Keeping the wenches and Frances between him an steegh. Farouk then casts levitate on steegh. Hoisting him a mere one foot off the floor.

Trist jumps the counter after making sure Maltron is ok. She grabs her dagger, smiles at Finna and Wren as she prepares to do battle. Her rage growing by the seconds. She says loud and boisterous, “You scum want some death? Come on then have some by Freya’s will, you shall meet your end this morn! Stand aside and you will not be harmed unless you present a threat”!

Trist uses her sword and dagger to block any attacks and counter when openings present themselves in her opponents defenses.

Trist says over the growing roar of the crowd, “We need to clear a path to the door for those that want to get out, I think”.

Max isn’t 100% sure what to do. The Naga definitely looks like it needs to be put down, but Maltron doesn’t seem to be in imminent danger. Then again, Wally has Trakas and Max bought some time by moving the table. Maltron’s magic exerts its pull and resolves Max’s uncertainty. He leaves Wally for the moment, promising himself to come back after killing the Naga. Max brandishes Giant Slayer and joins the lone paladin.

Alvyra’s pulse quickens with battle-lust. This is what she was born for, no holds barred destruction of evil. It’s a welcome relief from all of the tension trying to keep the peace among all of the other jealous females in the party. Alvyra keeps hacking away with Red. She thinks to herself, I look so good doing this.

Looking back, it appears the pit fighters (M&N) having climbed out of the ring and picked up fallen short swords, have decided to enter the fray.
Grouping with another nearby ½ orc (O) armed with an axe, the trio move in on Francis.
The navigator twirls and cracks his flaming whip just short of the attackers, forcing them back giving him enough time to leap the bar and swing on N with his cutlass. Metal sings against metal as the blow is deflected.
O swings down with his axe missing as Francis sidesteps and pivots then bringing up his sword to parry aside M’s lunge.

B swoops in with a feint on Finna and catches the cleric in the hip (-4 HP). Spinning, she counters and the momentum of her swath eviscerates the ½ orc diagonally up through belly and across sternum. The blood spray as he falls is not enough to distract Finna as C and D rush in. D attempts a clumsy overhead blow which she easily bats away with her shield. But C takes advantage of the opening and swings a heavy strike to the torso, not piercing her armor but most likely breaking a few ribs (-5 HP).

Trist jumps the counter. Drawing her dagger she charges to engage G, H, & I.
I misses, Trist flashes and sticks the half elf in the belly with her dagger, he backs off wounded. In an arc, she spins on G, slashing across it’s forearm.
Continuing the momentum of her strike, the ranger twists Ripper and lunges forward and up, lacerating the upper chest of H.
G attempts a swing but loses his footing and topples back, falling to the ground (Fumble). H draws back then thrusts, catching the ranger across the collar. (-5 HP)

Farouk wounded and weak, casts levitate on Steegh.
Steegh, struggling to climb up and at the mage begins to float. Surprise quickly shifts to rage as the short ugly man flounders.
His roar of frustration transforms pitch into an unnatural squeal.
Farouk and Kistol watch as Steegh’s body shifts. Dark hair boils up on exposed skin, the nose and face stretch and elongate, sharp gnarled claws protrude from his fingertips, ears lower and widen, long whiskers sprout and ragged teeth swell from a face of a thing that is now clearly half man, half giant rat.
Locking his yellow eyes with Farouk and floating 1’ off the ground, the Steegh rat digs it’s claws into the wood and begins ‘climbing’ across the floor towards the wounded mage.

Wren still on the bar, drops K in the knee, sending him rolling to the ground when Trist leaps in to assist. As I, H, & G move in to attack the ranger, L, & J break for the bar.
Wren tags J in the ribs as the ½ orc is climbing over, causing him to stumble and slam down into the bar belly first. L dives over unscathed. Mace in hand, the ½ elf locks eyes with Maltron and grins.
F charging in, hurls two daggers thunking home in Wren’s thigh and waist (-6 HP).

The Webbing somewhat compromised by the flutter of the quickling’s attacks and the thrashing of the beast, snaps loose in a section freeing the upper half of the naga.
Max charges, slashing a gout of crimson along the neck of the semi freed serpent. It squeals and coils back, avoiding his follow up.
Hissing, it snaps up the quickling in mid-air shaking it like a ragdoll.
As the fey brownie’s shrieks and form fade from existence, time slows for Alvyra.
The paladin tightens her grip on her Katana. Shifting her weight forward and raising her blade, she leaps in, severing the neck of the of naga completely about a foot from the head.
Blood sprays as the body convulses and shrinks.
Reducing in form, the tail splits and arms emerge bud from the torso. The shift continues until finally settling on the decapitated form of a male dwarf.

Somewhat confused, Max and Alvyra look up from the body, to each other, then to the fray.

It looks as if the dwarves have been over-run. The last of the resistance makes a desperate attempt but half-orc mob falls upon them.

Kistol still has a free action.

MAP

Farouks eyes widen at the grotesques transformation. Seeing a clearing Farouk dashes supernaturally fast, taking full (half move 12") advantage of his boots…

Farouk passes the orcs (at a safe distance!) engaging Frances and takes to the far side of the pit before casting Sleep on the trio facing the rakish sailor.

Farouk maintains the levitation…It can’t be easy for rat beast to maintain his grip with 300lbs of negative gravity tugging on him!

“Rally around the entrance,” yells Maltron. He will back slowly towards the entrance/exit (1/2 move) and will cast Color Spray on any enemies advancing on him. He will aim the spell in a way to avoid his allies.

“The half-elves and orcs are working together! Kill them all!”

“Get out of here,” he yells at the humans cowering behind the bar.

Trist says, “B1 help defend Finna and keep trying to kill the 1/2 orcs by her”.

Trist fights defensively and attacking when opportunities present themselves. She says, "You stink of orcs the whole lot of ya. Come meet your death on my blades. Her anger growing slightly but wonders why the 1/2 elf is helping the orcs. Hearing Maltrons command she does not hold back, should the 1/2 elf attack her.

Trist tries to maneuver the fight so she can move closer to Finna and the entrance. She says, “By Freya let’s end this quickly”.
Ugg! Wren grimaces as the daggers slam into her flesh. Dropping to one knee so she looks vulerable, she places her bow hand on the bar top(effectively laying the bow down), her other hand on the hilt on her sword, head slightly down but still able to see her foe. She will wait till the charging F is within melee pulling her sword at the last moment, slicing at the charging enemy. If successful she will follow the team towards Maltron at by the door.

istol sighs, Shame to break this ‘ghosting’ (slang for invisibility?), but Rat-boy needs to be put down. He draws his bow on the rat and fires two KO flight arrows.

If he’s not being overrun by 1/2 orcs, he’ll fire on Steegh again the next round.

If he’s noticed, he’ll tumble over and reposition between the fire pit and the back bar and try to get a better look at what’s happening with Trakas and Wally.

OOC: Looks like 1/2 Orc B is still up in the drawing but in the description of the action, it read like it was out of commission. Is it still a threat at this point or not?

DM EDIT: ‘B’ is out of commission. A is engaged with the quickling.

Player edit: Finna snarls with the pain in her side. Seeing an opportunity, she will block her two attackers and finish off 1/2 orc A that is engaged with the shadowy quickling then move in between the bar and the start of the booths to prevent any attackers from compromising their exit through the door (if we ever get it unbarred). If A is dead before she attacks, she moves to the spot she has picked out and will engage 1/2 orc C.

Farouk sprints to the far side of the pit and then casts Sleep on the trio facing off against Francis.
N and O drop.
Maltron casts color spray on the charging ½ elf who tumbles down unconscious.

Wren, dropping to one knee, swaps her bow out for her blade as F charges towards her. The half orc leaps tackling the elf as she swings on him. The pair crash back over the bar landing between Maltron the huddling barmaids. Landing on her back and knocking the wind out of her, F is dead weight slumped on top of the archer, the body impaled on Wren’s sword.

Kistol sighs, he draws his bow and is about to nock an arrow when Trakas emerges from under the table, hands bloodied, and bellows “Enough!”

The room grinds to a halt.
The attackers battling the party back away.
Kistol holds, not dropping his invisibility.

Trakas continues. “It’s over, Wally is dead. I’m captain of the Ingots now, the forge is mine.”
The dwarf pulls a strip of cloth from a nearby dead body and begins to clean his hands.

“Spelloyal and the Whitesmiths are gone. Raven’s either dead or in hiding and it won’t be long before we find all of the last of the scattered cloaks. The old guard’s been wiped out. The boys all here are loyal to only me. Half of Rivertree now belongs to me and I don’t plan on stopping there. This town is mine. This game is mine.”

Finished, he tosses the bloody rag aside and coolly draws his sword.

Looking up to the party, “Now as I see it, the broken chain’s got two choices. Work for me or die…”
“Right here, right now. What’s it gonna be?”

The mob begins to bustle in anticipation. Grips tighten, breathing slows, eyes scan, stares level as tension blankets the room.

MAP

Max’s world is shattered, Wally is dead!? Trakas killed him!? His own brother!! The big man quakes with rage. He never liked Trakas, and can’t see himself working for the cruel dwarf. Giant Slayer still in hand, Max, shouts out, tears in his eyes, “For Wally!” He charges Trakas, (T, right?) ignoring the human flanking him.

Alvyra thinks for a moment. She’s not technically part of Broken Chain, but that technicality will probably be lost on the fratricidal dwarf. She sighs, definitely evil, definitely not someone I can work for. She brandishes her katana and charges after the big man. She goes after the yellow human. She’ll stick with the myrmidon and protect his flanks, she won’t go chasing targets. He backed her up, so she figures she owes him a little cover.
Francis rolls his eyes and thinks loudly in his head, “Fuck this guy!” He stealth-fully pulls out his wand and points it at the large mass of Trakas’s men and whispers, Simmons, he places a ring of fire that lands on the outer edge of the group and trapping the rest in the middle. As the wand is fired Francis looks at Trakas and says, “Well then, let me help you light the forge, so we can get to work.”Images of the recent Blackcloak slaughter flash through Kistol’s head at Trakas’ announcement. Anger fills his chest and flips and tumbles his way across the room, Steegh forgotten, and lands behind despicable excuse for a dwarf. Sea Dagger (KO) in hand, Kistol drives the blade (backstab x3) into Trakas’ back as far as he can, then flips back out of range toward the firepit. Once he hits he says, “The city’ll be yours over my pokking dead body, Trakas. And take it from a Cloak, you’ll find the Chains are a lot harder to kill than you think.”

Maltron isn’t going to work for some stinking dwarf.

He casts sleep centered on the 1/2 Orc (G)

“I can’t believe he killed Wally,” he shouts, to get Max worked up more.

Stiffing another groan of pain, Finna takes stock of her surroundings. Work for him or die? Guess he doesn’t know that our group already is under contract right now. Freya, may my actions bring you honor and glory and I pray that I join you in Sessrumnir if I fall here today. She glances below her sword arm and notices the shadowy figure beside her. “If you’re going to be here, best if you get behind anything that I have to attack,” she mumbles.

Finna will wait for her foes to attack her and move backwards until the corner of the bar is a shield width to her left.

Trist thinks wow, “This guy is more of an ego maniac than Alvyra. He’s sure full of himself. He pick the wrong fight”. A slight wicked smile comes across her face.

Trist says, "B1 help Finna as she requests.

Trist takes a threatening stance, Sword hand low and dagger up high and yells, “Surrender to the BROKEN CHAINS or die”. She stands ready for E, G, H, I, J, or K’s attack. If she hears Maltron’s spell she tries to remember it and other spells in the future, in case she hears it again in relation to what is about to happen.

Trist whispers, “Freya give us strength”.
Desperate to get air into her lungs Wren shoves the dead 1/2 orc off her feeling the sting of her wounds as she sits up. Hearing the dwarf bellow a demand for surrender or death, Really? All this struggle for power is just insane! Hah! but if he thinks I stayed in these lands to be the slave of a dwarf he is sadly mistaken! Looking at Malton to see if he has any direction on how he would like her to proceed. She figures that right now, shes an ace in the hole, no one but Maltron & the bar maids know shes alive. If no direction from Malton she will notch an arrow and wait……..

Farouk at the sight of the ring of fire is emboldened but still far from foolish takes a wait an see approach. Holding. Farouk holds and keeps an eye on Rat-Steegh as well as maintaining the unrelenting tug of the levitate spell.

DM EDIT: No concentration is necessary to keep Steegh-Rat levitating 1’ off the ground. He is however able to pull himself across the floor while he’s hovering at this height. What do you mean by ‘tug’?
*
*Player Followup : Ohh I thought he anchored himself to the floor with his claws… I want to actually pull him off the floor… if that means more than 1’ ill pull harder… Basically I want take away his mobility and turn him into a pinata.

DM Edit: Ya, He was on his belly having tripped over a chair when Farouk initially levitated him 1’ up. so from there he was able to claw his way across the floor. I don’t think Farouk has since posted intent to lift him higher than this post “Farouk then casts levitate on steegh. Hoisting him a mere one foot off the floor.” Or did I miss it? If Farouk wants to raise him up more he’ll have to focus on him. Currently he has no line of sight on the were-rat to do so.

Player: Ok, Farouk begins to move trying to get a line of sight..Peeking around to where he last left Francis, Bar Girls and Steegh-Rat. Farouk is mindful of the remaining Orc near Francis and isnt about to provoke him. Farouk also looking for an out… Backdoor? Windows?

Trist clashes on J and I, wounding both and killing K with heavy strike to the upper chest.

Kistol handsprings over the nearby table landing on his feet behind Trakas. In a flash he draws his dagger, becomes visible and sinks it deep into the back of the dwarf.
“The city’ll be yours over my pokking dead body, Trakas. And take it from a Cloak, you’ll find the Chains are a lot harder to kill than you think.”
The elf then dives and rolls away.

Max charges Trakas, the treacherous dwarf has fallen to one knee, face clenched in pain, sword still in hand.
The human nearby steps between him and the big man, gladius raised, he parries Max’s strike then pivots in, ducking down and tackling the gladiator at the waist. Using the momentum of Max’s charge, he jerks up then back, flipping him up and over. Max lands on his back on the nearby table which shatters in half.

The human spins, just barely avoiding Alvyra’s first strike and then side steps her second, her slashes audibly cleaving through the air.

J, I, attack Trist. The ranger swings away from J’s attempt but is caught in the belly by I’s swipe (-8 HP)

Trakas vanishes.

Francis drops his whip, draws his wand and ‘fires’.

A whirlwind of fire and heat explodes in the room as the ring drops on the mob.
Screams of pain and burning shriek out from under the roar of the flames.
Those few on the outside recoil burnt, blackened, singed and smoky, stumbling and retreating away from the circle.
An unlucky few batter and slap at themselves attempting to douse small fires on their person.

The Barmaids near Francis scream in terror, fleeing across the room and out the ‘open door’ where the ‘naga’ originally entered from.

Farouk checking for any nearby exits, notices none apparent in his current area. The mage moves to get line of sight on Steegh only to spot the were-rat claw it’s way across the floor to the privies door. He looks to be having a difficult time reaching the handle to enter as he is ‘locked’ hovering horizontally 1’ foot off the ground.

M slashes open Francis’ arm (-6 HP)

Maltron casts sleep centered on G. He & H, drop.

The 3 Barmaids behind the front bar panic at the sight of the fire as well. Screaming, they climb over the bar and attempt to flee out the front entrance where they fumble, struggling to open the lock.

Wren shoves off the body and reclaims her bow

Finna feints on D and brings her blade up, splitting open the half orc from armpit to sternum, it falls. E thrusts in on the cleric but Finna bears up her shield, blocking the attack.

C engages the quickling

Alvyra goes to move on the human when there’s a shout from behind. She spins and barely deflects a heavy strike from Trakas. The dwarf quickly follows up with a second slash, this time connecting just under the paladin’s ribs. (-7 HP)

Max quickly recovers and clambers to his feet. Turning to face the human, his adversary lowers the hood of his cowl revealing his face.

The gladiator flashes back to his last visit to Phlan
The third and final companion is a large bulk of a man, not unlike Max, save for being a few inches short and having a shaved head. He has several facial and neck scars but the most prominent, a large purple ribbon, curves from the top of his split lip, across his cheek, and up the side of his head. His left ear is completely missing. He wears leather armor, spiked bracers, a sword, 2 daggers, and a particularly nasty looking sickle…Ardolf turns before leaving and faces Max. Raising two fingers to his own eyes, he then points them at Max, continuing to stare as he disembarks… Ardolf, all men in the galley and at ready on the oars, shoves the boat off then leaps aboard. Standing and facing the party, he singles out Max. He points to his own forearm, covered by the sleeve of his leather armor, then points to Max…

Ardolf grins and draws his sickle as the recognition sinks in on Max. “Been a long time soldier.”

MAP

Kistol seeing Trakas reappear and the human draw his scythe, pulls his bow and fires a magical flight arrow at Trakas, then a KO flight at the Phlan enforcer facing Max. Kistol thinks to himself, Max can probably handle him on his own, but why not bend the odds to our favor, right?

Kistol will then reposition with his back against the wall just to the west so Trakas can’t teleport behind him. He scans the dwarf’s person, trying to determine the item that gives him the power. That’s a nice piece of hardware I’d like to get my hands on.

ooc Addition: Would Looting help with determing the teleport item?

dm edit: did I say scythe? I meant sickle. The human is currently dual wielding a gladius and a sickle. Kistol been invisible enough to spot that trakas didn’t teleport or blink, he turned invisible. Trakas is wearing a couple of rings.

Farouk happy see Steegh-rat immobilized does not let up on the pressure… Farouk commands his his previously cast unseen servant to move the beast man over the fire pit while levitating him a bit higher, hes not going to get a grip on anything. Farouk is mindful of his servants range and keeps nearby.

Clutching his belly and smiling Farouk points at the firepit.

“Mmmmm Roasted rat is on menu tonite!”

Alvyra presses her attack on Trakas. Sneaky little dwarf, lucky hit!

Max is taken back to his past, on that fateful field of battle when he first knew fear and his discipline broke. So I’m not the only one who survived! Strangely, Ardolf’s comments calm the myrmidon. Soldier, yes, that’s what I am, and now is the time to fight. Whatever their past, they are both soldiers, and on opposing sides at the moment. They both have a job to do, so Max gets on with it. Max utters no words, he just calmly sinks into a battle crouch and starts jabbing Giant Slayer at Ardolf.

@jayph, what is their history?

DM EDIT: Max recognizes Ardolf as a former member of his old military unit. He remembers Ardolf as being a particularly sadistic fighter prone to unnecessary cruelty as well as having an especially disturbing sense of enjoyment for bloodshed. He and Max did not get along well and butted heads/had to be pulled apart on multiple occasions. The scar and the missing ear are new. Max thought him lost along with the unit some time ago during ‘the final mission’.
Seeing Maltron start spell casting, Wren takes the que and jumps back up on the bar looking to see who needs her cover. Seeing Trist receive the blow from I Wren will fire on whichever of the two attackers she has the clearest shot on. Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to set a fire inside a building with blocked doors???she wonders. Her next shots will be to work on clearing that door

“Yes, that’s it.” Francis says under his breath. He continues thinking, "I hope this whole place burns to the ground. I don’t like these people, Wally, Trakas, all of them. This whole place can burn.

Wincing after the hit Francis turns to the Half Orc in front of him and gives the man-beast a nod followed by a shake of the head that conveys, ‘no, no, no, time to die’ for a moment before dispatching his existence. Once that is remedied, he picks up his whip, and aids Max.

Maltron notices the barmaids struggling with the locked door, so he looks around for another exit, in case this one doesn’t open. He doesn’t want to burn alive. After a quick look he ducks under the bar and makes his way quickly to the Color Sprayed 1/2 elf. He uses Jes in the most lethal way he can, he pokes her directly into the 1/2 elf’s eye.

ooc- are there any other visible exits such as a window?

DM EDIT: Maltron can see no other visible exits to the outside.

The blow to her shield is not enough to prevent Finna from seeing one of the 1/2 orcs hit Trist. A glance to the right tells her that her dark comrade has prevented a third attacker from reaching her but a few more could be coming in her direction. The heat of the flames and the cries from the barmaids quickens her pulse. Suddenly, Wren pops into her field of view. “Don’t let those bastards hurt Trist!”, she yells. “We need to make sure she is safe and those barmaids behind us get out as well. Keep us covered!”

Finna will strike down the opponent in front of her then make a hard choice. If Trist looks to be faltering with her two adversaries, she will move in to help her engage them. If she is fine, she moves to kill the one that the quickling has engaged then moves towards the door to assist the barmaids by throwing the bar off the door. If 1, 2, & 3 come her way in a threatening manner, she falls back to help defend the barmaids.
T

rist says “B1 keep helping Finna”.

Trist laughs at the two in front of her goading them on and says, “You’re as stupid as you look. Look around you. Most of your so called friends are dead. The Chain’s are going to hold the three cities together. You two ready to die”?

Trist waits for their attacks hoping she goaded them into swinging carelessly pivots drops to her knees as she spins around slicing the longsword through their thighs then coming up with the dagger to eithers chest and plunges it deep while looking them in the eye showing no pleasure just rage. Then checking to see what’s left to finish off or where to help. If the longsword finished them off, she sees if she can assist Finna.

Maltron not noticing any immediate exits in the room, makes his way quickly to the color Sprayed, unconscious 1/2 elf. Jes in hand, he drives the dagger hilt deep into the eye of the downed foe. The body twitches and shudders briefly, blood pools from the wound.

M sidesteps in, slashing across the top of Francis’ forearm. (-4 HP). Wincing, the navigator recoils and spins, burying his flaming cutlass in the ½ orc’s head.
It drops dead and Francis, boot on body’s neck, yanks free his sword before recovering his whip.

Trakas rushes in on Alvyra who deflects the wild swing. Moving back, her wound is throbbing, her vision begins to get fuzzy, and her limbs start to ache. Looking at the very subtle green tint of the dwarf’s blade, Alvyra realizes she’s been poisoned (-2 to Attack). Noticing her recognition, Trakas smiles and lunges in again. The paladin recoils, barely avoiding the thrust. Her muscles on fire, she counters and downswings on Trakas who blocks the attack, locking both swords at the hilt. Bracing against each other, Alyvra and Trakas, clenched faces and gritting teeth inches away from each other, strain to shove the other off.
Mere moments stretch into what feels like years until Trakas roars in pain as Kistol’s arrow thunks into his back.
Alyvra takes advantage of the opening, pivots and heaves the dwarf. Stumbling back, Trakas warbles but manages to maintain his footing.

Farouk raises and ‘moves’ Steegh-rat over to the fire pit. The were panics and flounders wildly in fear as it gently floats towards doom. Over the fire pit, Steegh begins to scream. His skin blisters and boils and his clothes and hair are seared away. As he is incinerated alive the room is filled with his high pitched, blood curdling screeching.

Cat scurries from under the table, turning back she grabs the edge and, launching her whole body in the action, flips it over. Heading away from the flames towards the north of the room, a ½ orc (4) spots her. It’s look of surprise shifts into wide-eyed blood lust and it charges. With a thunk it brings it’s blade down into the floor as Cat rolls aside, avoiding the blow. In a flash she spins with an upswing on her attacker catching it across the belly.

Kistol fires at Ardolf. Missing, the arrow goes wild into the flames.
As it does, the elf spots a Halfling across the room who looks to be Cat, engaged with a ½ orc.

Max and Ardolf are locked in a heavy brawl. Blades clashing and ringing in flurry of blows and strikes as the pair seem equally matched.
Max manages to catch Ardolf across the inside of his bicep, while Ardolf notches a nasty laceration over his leg just above the knee (-7 HP)

Wren jumps back up on the bar bow in hand. The ranger spots Trist down one her attackers (I) but is then wounded by the other (J) (-4 HP). The archer quickly drops the ½ orc with 2 arrows to the chest.

Finna knocks her attacker back and off balance with her shield, then opens up with a thrust. He sword slides almost hilt deep into the ½ orcs chest. Raising her foot, the cleric boots the body off her blade. Quickly assessing the scene she turns to help the barmaids with the door. Pushing through the hysterical women, she manages to lift the bar up and off. The trio push past her into the night screaming.

C falls under the flurry of the quicklings slashes only to be replaced as 1,2, & 3 move in to attack the creature.

Black smoke is beginning the fill the ceiling as the wall of fire increases. Shouts and screams of panic can also be heard from inside the ring of flame.

MAP

Farouk is pleased with his brand of payback, and commands the Unseen servant to begin looting the still smoldering body. Jewelry, weapons, anything of apparent value mystical or otherwise comes back to uncle Farouk. Farouk remembers that Steegh does pay well and is hoping he came with fat coin!

After scooping the loot, Farouk casts invisibility and moves past the privies and Kistol There is a whole unexplored area over there and maybe even a window!

Trist moves toward Trakas to flank or attack from his rear if possible or give Alvyra a rear attack. She moves a silently as she can trying not to draw attention to herself. Weapons at the ready to block any shift in Trakas. She points to Wren then to Trakas and B1’s letting her choice where she wants to shoot, as she moves toward Trakas.

Trist silently prays, “Freya please be with me now. I shall kill this stinking pig in your name”.

Kistol is surprised to see the halfling here, She didn’t come with us, so why’s she here? Hrm, oh well worry about it later. He sends a KO armor piercing arrow (+3, plus 4 against armor ) at the half orc engaged with Cat, then another magic arrow at Trakas. Fire be damned, that scum will not leave here alive!

OOC: So, X’s with green circles are sleeping Half Orcs? What are 5,6,7,8,9 & 10 doing?

P.S. Francis starts to sing in his head… Burn Baby burn, Disco inferno…

player Edit: I was asking for some clarification before finishing my actions. Francis just sat there?

DM Edit: the mini backdraft happened in-between the last round after Francis killed the half Orc and the next which actions can now be declared for.
atching Trists signal of targets (Trakas or aid for B1) Wren looks to see which of them would be most useful to remove from combat. Seeing Kistols arrow ring true in Trakas back and Trist making her way there Wren will turn her attention to covering Finna at the door and aim at 2 then 3 then 1 This smoke is not looking good, we have got to get out of this building……and soon!!

As Finna opens the door and the barmaids flee, the tavern fills with a whoosh of night air.
The fire blooms with the intake, fanning and moving quickly towards the north of the room.
The radiating heat (orange circle) forces Trakas, Alvyra, Cat, and 4 to break melee and back away from the torridity.
5-10, still recovering from the initial wall drop, move up towards the fight pit. Panic appears to be bubbling up amongst the group as they scan for exits.
Max and Ardolf however, look to be unaffected by the heat and continue to duel.

MAP

Trist still signals Wren but this time she only points to Trakas as she moves toward Finna.

Trist seeing things develop realizes someone needs to alert the town guards. Sheaths her weapons (as long as B1 is still active otherwise she does not switch to the bow) and grabs her whistle as she tells Finna, “Sister I will guard here. Alvyra and the other need more healing support than I can give. There are two sleeping 1/2 orcs near where I stood. I didn’t kill them as they will probably die in the fire”.

Trist blows the whistle three times facing out the doorway as she readies her bow she turns back to assist B1 by shooting 1 then 2 then 3 as time permits moving on from 1 to the next only after they fall if she drew her bow. If she’s has her blades it means she will be fighting which ever survived B1’s attacks before it died.

This will alert the town guard and fire brigade. If there is a whistle code to alert the town in case of fire she will blow it assuming she would be aware of it.

OOC- I hope this is ok. I figured signaling Wren takes 5 Sec. Moving to Finna while swapping weapons and communicating intent 30 sec. Blowing the whistle 5 secs getting one shot off at B1’s attackers last few seconds of the round. If you figure it differently just stop me at the point I’ve run out of time.
With Cat out of melee range of the 1/2 orc, Kistol edges up to the corner of the wall to keep Trakas in sight and, using the wall as partial cover, fires his two remaining magical arrows at Trakas.

Francis makes his way to the Privies and the along the wall toward the front door. He’ll sheath his weapons and pull out a clay pot of oil. If he can get clear of the 5-10 group, he will throw that pot in a manner to try and get as many Half-Orcs as he can hit by oil.

He thinks, “I hate these guys.”

Maltron tries to assert his control over Max, yelling, “Max, get away from that fire and work your way over here. I need you alive! Defend yourself against that earless bastard along the way though.”

Maltron then casts Magic Missiles at Trakas, seeing the dwarf getting closer to him than he is comfortable.

He also takes a quick look behind the counter of the bar to see if there is a small bank for holding the money for the night or any other valuables.

ooc- edited after reading Francis’s actions.

he rush of air passes her and the fire roars louder in Finna’s ears. She turns to see the fire grow larger. Skit! That was not expected. We best get the others out of here. Finna moves back into the room, placing herself in the middle of the choke point of the bar and booths. Seeing her dark companion surrounded by the opponents, she yells out. “Hey, you ignorant pigs! If you want to leave this building alive, throw down your weapons now and leave out the door! Otherwise, I swear by the sword of Freya, you will end up here on the floor by your kin!”

Finna will move a step forward, brandishing her sword and shield. If the three opponents do as she says, she will allow them to pass by her unharmed but will watch them until they are well out of the building. Otherwise, she will keep her position and attack as she is engaged.

Alvyra does her best to wipe her sweat soaked hair out of her face. She starts to take short breaths to avoid scorching her lungs. She spots Trakas and advances on him. She’s in no hurry. He can’t escape her with his stubby little dwarf legs. Of course he could go invisible again. Alvyra concentrates on watching him. If he vanishes again she’ll glare her eyes out looking for any sign of his passage (swirling smoke, displaced dust, a piece of furniture nudged ever so slightly, the telltale flicker of magic). I’m asking for a saving throw since Alvyra is aware Trakas has the ability to go invisible.

Max is dimly aware of his proximity to the fire, but as he feels no pain from burns, he stows the fact away to focus on his adversary. Max hears Maltron’s instructions. In response, he warily circles Ardolf clockwise. He realizes this places him closer to the fire, but that’s a risk he’ll have to take since going the other way will almost certainly mean he will be surrounded by the 1/2-orc party entertaining Francis. Max maneuvers at 1/2 speed so he can adequately attack and defend.

Maltron shouts to Max. The Mage then gestures at Trakas and light flashes from his hand bursting into the dwarves back. Trakas buffets somewhat from the blast.

Popping back down under the bar, Maltron scans the inventory spotting a large wooden lock box fixed to the floor. On top of it rests a smaller wooden box.

Despite the roaring flames, the gathering plumes of black smoke rolling across the ceiling, and the screams of the ½ orcs trapped within the ring, Max and Ardolf battle on. Max is dimly aware of his proximity to the fire, but as he feels no pain from burns, he stows the fact away to focus on his adversary. Max hears Maltron’s instructions. In response, he warily circles Ardolf clockwise. As the big man moves position, Ardolf swings his sickle in trying to carve an opening. Steel clangs as Max parries, then counter attacks, opening a large gash in Ardolf’s upper chest where shoulder meets torso. Recoiling in a shout of pain and sickle clattering to the floor, he roars in anger.

Spittle drools from clenched teeth. Ardolf bellows and bull rushes Max The gladiator’s clinch blades and metal squeals as Ardolf throws everything he has into the charge, pushing Max back. The big man manages to lock his footing but the duo are now both in the outer perimeter of the blaze. (-10 HP). Steam wafts from Ardolf’s red face and skin, evaporating in the intense heat. The flicker of the surrounding flame reflects in his hate filled demon-like eyes as the warriors brace, driving against each other.

The Quickling drops 1 of the orcs but is soon after felled by the other two, it vanishes in a black wisp.

Finna moves back into the room, placing herself in the middle of the choke point of the bar and booths, brandishing her sword and shield. Seeing her dark companion defeated by the opponents, she yells out. “Hey, you ignorant pigs! If you want to leave this building alive, throw down your weapons now and leave out the door! Otherwise, I swear by the sword of Freya, you will end up here on the floor by your kin!”

The two remaining look defeated. Panting and covered in multiple wounds, they look to the fire then to each other before dropping their weapons.
They hustle past Finna escaping out the front door.

Sheathing his weapons and withdrawing a small clay pot of oil, Francis makes his way to the Privies and the along the wall toward the front door.
The ½ orcs near the small bar appear to be confused, wounded, and scanning the room for a way out. The navigator hurls the pot.
It shatters on the frontrunner (7), full in the face, dousing him as well as two of his compatriots (6 & 10). 7 falls to his knees then slumps forward face first unconscious. 6 & 10, stand stunned only a few moments before the oil ignites. Horror and panic overwhelm as they attempt to douse the flames. 7 lay ablaze on the floor, unmoving.

Wren observing the navigator’s attack, watches as the remaining ½ orcs nearby (8,9 & 5) shudder and start to flee. She draws back rapidly and drops each as they scramble.

Trist, sheathing her weapons rushes to the Front entrance and blows her signal in alarm. Shortly after the sound of responding multiple alarm signals echo through the night. Turning back the ranger draws her bow.

Farouk commands his Unseen servant to loot the flaming, hovering corpse of the Steegh-rat. A collection of burnt, scorched, and smoky items floats back to the mage. (A heavily damaged leather sack with 4 smoke sticks, a heavily damaged leather pouch with a large black opal, a set of lock picks in a heavily damaged leather case, a heavily damaged brace of 5 throwing daggers. A shortsword with a heavily damaged sheath. A gold necklace of intertwining snakes, and a chain mail pouch very hot containing 53 GP, 39 SP, 10 PP.) Farouk stows the loots, cast invisibility on himself then moves forward towards the privies.

Kistol edges up to the corner of the wall and, using the wall as partial cover, fires his two remaining magical arrows at Trakas. Both strike the dwarf in the chest and belly. He falls to one knee, sputtering blood.

Finna and Trist both spot a small female Halfling, sword in hand, circling around the booths nearby heading towards the Front exit. She halts as they make eye contact.

Alvyra, her vision hazy and her body pulsing with ache, smiles as Trakas drops to one knee. Time slows.
Her grips tightens, her feet shift. The dwarf raises his head, blood and sweat melting from his face. They lock eyes, the paladin charges.
Her sword raised, he lifts his to defend. With a shout, Alvyra severs Trakas’ blade then following throug,h splits his skull.
Time returns.
Blood sprays as the body of the dwarf falls forward face down.

MAP

With the nasty little dwarf put down, Alvyra tries to figure out how to help Max. She’s astounded both men have thus far not succumbed to the flames. She looks around for a pole arm of any kind. If she spots one, she’ll pick it up and attack Ardolf from behind. She’ll risk some damage from proximity to the flames if that’s what it takes to get close enough. Some of my fellow paladins might frown upon attacking someone from behind, but if the wretched prefer to face the righteous head-on, then they should turn around!

If nothing suits pole-arm-wise, Alvyra will throw debris at Ardolf, chairs, crockery, gear of the fallen, trying to pester him to give Max some kind of edge.

Max grimaces in the scorching flames, pushing against Ardolf, trying not get driven even further into the flames. Suddenly, he relents. He drops Giant Slayer (presumably, this causes Ardolf to stumble forward since the pair’s blades were clinched as they pushed against each other). Max tries to take advantage of Ardolf’s forward momentum by grabbing Ardolf’s arms and rolling backwards sending Ardolf over Max and deeper into the ring.

If successful, Max will then flee the ring of fire and then drink a full Potion of CMW.

If unsuccessful, Max will still flee the ring of fire. He’ll head left, towards his allies. If he has a moment’s respite, he’ll drink a full Potion of CMW. If Ardolf is hot on his tail, Max will draw his two-handed sword and continue fighting.

Francis, confident that his work is done here, makes haste for the front door. He sheaths his weapons and helps anyone that looks to need it. Looking at Max in the flames, he isn’t worried about the big man one bit, he remembers the ring of fire protection that he got weeks earlier, Francis thinks to himself, I knew that would come in handy some day.

Once outside he assess the situation.

Grim satisfaction fills Kistol as he sees Trakas first drop to his knee, then Alvyra’s sword slice through his skull. As the paladin moves to help Max, Kistol quickly moves forward to loot the fallen dwarf, making sure to take any rings and other possible magical items, as well as any messages or other information on his person. He also tries to retrieve his magical arrows. Afterward, he takes a last look at the dwarf burning his form into memory, then makes for the back room to look for the tablet.

DM EDIT: Kistol is able to determine he will have a few rounds before the inferno overtakes the first floor. Going into the back room may trap him in the burning building.
Farouk seeing the flames grow, decides its probably best not to hang around, hightails it out the front door at rammming speed.

Looking behind him as he gets to the back door, Kistol is surprised to see the state of the flames in the room. Um, maybe now isn’t the best time to go shopping. Scanning the room and seeing everything mostly cleaned up, his eye is caught by the struggle between Max and Ardolf. He jumps on the bar and keeps firing arrows at the earless man until Ardolf goes down, flees or until Kistol is alerted they must leave.

If he sees Cat sneaking out, he’ll yell for Finna and Trist, “Trist, Finna! Stop the halfling!”

Spying Maltron behind the counter, he yells over his shoulder, “Hey, Mal! We should probably leave soon, huh? Let’s get Max and get out of here!”

DM EDIT: Kistol has opted not to loot Trakas’ body or is the above after the fact?

Player Edit: Above is after looting. Looking behind from the door is just justification for change. If that interferes with the rest of above, you can cut it. :)
After dropping the 3 1/2 orcs Wren will take a look around before heading for the door. Spotting Max still engaged if she can get a clear shot on his opponent she will take it, if not she will continue to provide cover for the others trying to aid him for as long as she can before she must head towards the door to help keep the passage from clogging with people trying to get out of the engulfed building.

Maltron sees some of his companions heading for the exit. He shouts, “Kistol, Francis, there’s a coin box behind the bar counter! Grab it on your way out.”

He then hops over the counter and positions himself out of the radius of the heat and perpendicular to Ardolf. He will launch 3 Darts +1 at the ugly creature.

ooc- Willing to take the chance of firing into melee.

Hearing Maltron mention coins, Francis dives over the bar head first to retrieve the boxes. He’ll do this in-lieu of helping people out. Then exit the burning building.

DM EDIT: The larger box is bolted to the floor. It is secured with a large lock. Also in the top of the lid is a coin slot. Sitting on top of the large box is a smaller box also secured with a lock but no coin slot. The small box can be carried away but the larger box must be forced from the floor in order to take away.

Max grimaces in the scorching flames, (-10HP) pushing against Ardolf, trying not get driven even further into the flames. Suddenly, he relents. He drops Giant Slayer.

Ardolf goes wide-eyed as he falls into Max. The gladiator grabs hold of Ardolf, using his momentum and rolling backwards, tosses him back, further into the ring of fiery inferno.

The big man then scrambles up and out of the flames. Smoky and slightly crispy, Max stumbles into the nearby wall, quickly downing a potion. (+16 HP).

Moments pass but Ardolf does not emerge from the fire.

Kistol shouts to Finna and Trist about the halfling. Trist draws aim and Finna levels her blade. The halfling sheathes her sword, raises her hands, and gives a sad frightened look squealing “I dont wanna burn up, please help me get outta here”

Trist, bow drawn, escorts the halfling out. Finna following, shouts back before exiting. “We have to get out of here now!”

Farouk, invisible exits.

Francis boots the fixed lock box a couple of times but it doesn’t budge. Slinging the small lock box under arm, he leaps the bar and exits through the front entrance.

Kistol loots Trakas’ body gathering a small amulet, pin ring, ring, key on a mithril chain, pouch with 20 gems, 2 daggers, coin purse with 6x 100 GP trade bars, 75 GP, 50 PP, 80 SP, 40 CP, wrist spring sheath with wand. Stowing the gear, the elf then quickly recovers his arrows and exits.

Maltron exits, followed by Wren and a sluggish Alyvra aided by Max.

The sound of cracking and splintering wood shatters the night as the second floor collapses in.

The party moves to a safe distance from the blaze and stops to recover.

Alarm signals sound throughout the night. Gawking civilians gather, night-watchmen arrive barking orders and quickly several bucket chains form. After 10 mins or so a flying figure arrives and begins spraying a geyser of water from what appears to be a small urn or cask, onto the inferno from above.

Some time after, an additional flying robed figure arrives, withdraws a wand, gestures and the entirety of the tavern fire is extinguished.

The flying figures depart, the bucket chains continue to douse, and more night-watch arrive. They cordon off of the area, break up the crowd and set guard to the structure.

Back at Charcoals, Hoken pours strong ales for the party as they relay recent events.

Trist will look over her friends when she sees Farouk she says, “Freya please heal my friend”. Cast CLW. If Farouk doesn’t show then she cast on Max.

DM EDIT: (+6 HP to Farouk)
Afte

r a little bit a beat up Farouk walks in..“WHISKY!”

*dm edit: love it
Kistol brings his mug over and talks to Maltron, “Mal, we need to get some information out of Cat. She’s a Blackcloak, one of mine and there’s no reason she should have been in Trakas’ bar tonight unless she’s double-crossed the Cloaks somehow. I doubt she’s a major player, but she has to know something. Can you charm her? If she’s working for someone besides Trakas, she won’t spill so easy.”

Farouk thanks Trist for the healing “Ya got quite a talent there kiddo, thanks. Guess we should put our heads together and find out whats next, I got some ideas but want to see what everyone else is thinking.”

Farouk walks up to Maltrons table and tosses the loot he picked off of Steegh-Rat on the table, “Doesn’t look like much, but who knows, My prob is we still gots no tablet.”

DM Edit: Assuming Farouk has dropped his invisibility?

Max follows Maltron around like a lost puppy. He’s completely distraught that Trakas killed Wally.

Alvyra stays with the party. When she has a moment, she says a prayer for the naga-dwarf she slew. I was sure you were evil incarnate, but now I am not so sure. I could have probed deeper before slaying you, and not relied on superficial appearances. Perhaps you were an innocent, transformed against your will, and forced to serve that wretched kinslayer of a dwarf. If so, I apologize and hope you have found peace. I will make amends. Many widows and orphans were created today, I will seek out those who care for such in the dwarven community and show them my support. Alvyra intends to tithe an additional 10% to an appropriate dwarf charity for widows and orphans.

Maltron immediately sits down to memorize his spells (4 × 1st level and 1 × 2nd level). After eating a light meal, Maltron will cast Charm Person on the Halfling and commands her to stay with the party until he returns.

Maltron consoles Max, “Max, you were a loyal guardian until the end. He was killed by a person that he told you to trust and protect. That was your last order regarding Trakkas and you followed it. There was too much commotion during the bar fight for you to stop Trakkas. You did everything right. You are part of the Chain and your purpose is with us. You are a very important part of our group. We need you.”

He then explains to the party that he wants to return to the bar briefly. “There could be magic items there that we missed that were unaffected by the fire. I’ll search the ashes with my wand of magic detection.” If the coals are still hot, he will float above them with Tenser’s floating disc and use Unseen servant to grab anything visible. Even melted gold coins from that lockbox can be sold for scrap gold if they can be recovered.

“Also Max, did Wally or Trakkas have a home in the city or did they live at the bar? I want to search those homes and any other buildings they controlled. I want to do it fast before any of their cohorts start tearing the places apart. Whoever wants to come along, speak up.”

DM EDIT: Hoken will relay to the group that the watch will be guarding the site round the clock until all survivors or bodies are found and removed. Going back tonight would be pointless, the place will be crawling with guards, and as a guardian, Hoken strongly advises against a return trip. He’ll inform Miller (Guardian and Commander of the Rivertree watch) about the location and the necessity of lock down. He’s also informed Marcetheus and the mage is dispatching guild aid to the search. “Unless you have any other leads besides the blessing, I recommend you sit tight until the remains are combed through.”
Unfortunately, if Wally or Trakas had any secondary locations, Max was not aware. The big man roomed at the Blessing and saw Wally and Trakas come and go but Max never was invited or felt the need to follow. Both had designated rooms at the pub and Wally also had an office upstairs but other than that, Max is stumped.
Kistol is ready to go with Maltron, “I can pick out what’s valuable pretty quick. I wanna see if there’s any info on this attack on the guilds, too”Francis rests from the heated ordeal, and drinks his Ales quietly, thinking about the events, and trying to put together everything that had come to pass, he considers if there was anything he missed. He listens to the others as they speak, but offers no words of his own. As Maltron speaks about heading back to the bar Francis will stand when Maltron gets up, and he will go with the mage.Max and Alvyra go back with Maltron. Max shares whatever he knows about the Samulkin brothers’ official and unofficial haunts.

Farouk seeing that the party is all interested in heading back isn’t about to be left behind, After a bit of healing and some study time, Farouk departs with the group.

Farouk takes the time to memorize his complement of spells as well as Casting unseen servant and Cantrip before departure. Farouk remembers to recharge his wand.

Scratching her hair, Finna feels the ash from the fire causing her scalp to itch. She tries to pay attention to what the group talks about and inwardly groans as the subject of going back is brought up. She begins to speak when Hoken’s words about staying put are put forth before the group. She nods in agreement. “Going back to bar is a wise thing but not at this time. Besides, since the watch will go over the ruins, they will probably find any magic items within the place, especially since that naga showed up. Never know what else there was to be had. Besides, we need some rest and treatment of wounds. I can only heal a little on one person right now, since we are in a safe area, the need to use any potions are not very necessary. So, whoever is really hurt the most, let me tend to you first. I can then pray for a while and ask Freya to allow me to heal the rest. That is, after I get a bath to get this soot off me.”

She looks to Hoken. “You should have seen that fight, they had us outnumbered fairly well. Those first six half-orcs found out that a priestess of Freya is nothing to trifle with. Once Trakas made his demand for us to join him or the rest of his half-orc crew would descend upon us, for a few moments I was thinking that I would find myself being lifted to Sessrumnir. Good thing that fire broke out so unexpectedly, catching so many of them. Trist is mastering her new weapon enough that she even sent some little shadowy creature to fight near my side. She’s becoming a greater asset to the Frontier Rangers, she is. Soon, she will take another step forward as a full priestess of Freya and become doubly dangerous to those who would do this area harm. Now, as I feel rather unclean and wish to wash up, please excuse me.”
She will heal whichever of the other party members is injured the most, tend all other wounds (Healing proficiency) then return to her room. There she will take a quick bath, tend to her own wounds then spend time in prayer to regain as many CLW spells as possible (4 at lvl 3, 5 if we start counting the increase to lvl 4). If the party members are around after her praying, she will heal as many as she can then go back and pray some more. If not, she will heal herself, pray again and catch some sleep, trying to wake up early enough to catch each party member as they come down.

As Kistol and Maltron confer, Cat leans in and props her chin on the nearby table with a look of reflection on her face. She sort of glances around at everyone.

Maltron casts charm on the Halfling.

She jumps up on the table and in a sing songy voice shouts, “Where are all the people??!! This is why I like hanging out in the guild pubs cause they are always hoppin!!!”

She begins to dance a little jig. “Today we shall Drink! Cause tomorrow we may…..Who KNOWS!! A round of draainks for everyone one!!!”
she (Cat) snags a passing waitress “ Bring me 2 dwarven ales and a round to all of what they are drinking!!” She starts making her rounds to the party members shaking their hand, patting their back and offering them an exaggeratedly happy thank you for saving her poor lil life. She will pause long enough for another loud table top toast to the crew. “To my new friends! I will never forget you!!” and she will jump down and plop on Farouks lap and she will plant a kiss on him and then immediately hop up and move on to the next person around the table. Pausing again at Frances to plant a warm one on him too. Moving towards Kistol & Malton since they seem to want to talk to her. “Why was I where? We were at the pub “The Blessing” something or other. Trakas? Wait, wait, is that the dwarf that kilt that guy and then made yall mad cause he declared the whole place his? He was rather silly I think and you showed him! But….(she looks a bit confused) I thought he was a buddy of yours? I mean our friend in the cool robes (Cat looks at Farouk) was already there when I got my first ale and they were talking together friendly like about a card game, although they didnt actually plaaaaaayyyyy together, so I thought he was working with you guys? Made me waste a perfectly good ale too I might add having to hid under that table!’ her look stern thinking of her lost ale. “Ravenscloak! Yep! Ummmm…. I heard them talking when I was helping you an Jo with (she almost whispers) you know, but they didnt ask me to look into it so I didnt, should I? I could, Im real good at that stuff and since I love you guuuyyyss sooooo much! I could do that for you at a discounted rate! she smiles so charmingly!

Farouk checks his pockets, then looks at the halflings feet… The bigger they are the more they lie.
DM EDIT: nothing is missing.
Francis reciprocates the warm kiss and holds on longer than she expected, then follows that up with a sly grin.

ooc – so confused as to whether Cat is an NPC or PC. Nice RP, though, EG!

Kistol runs an exasperated hand through his hair at Cat’s hyperactive show, and downs his full mug of ale without stopping until it’s dry. He places it lightly on the table and turns to Maltron, “Well, Mal, I think we can be fairly certain the halfling doesn’t know spit. You know, I might just need a break from all this. Something about this turf war isn’t sitting right with me.” He shakes his head, stand and puts a hand on Maltron’s shoulder, “Good work tonight, Mal.”

Kistol goes to the bar, gets a refill, then makes the rounds and congratulates the Chain on a job well done. Then sits for awhile and enjoys the night as best he can.

Wren shakes her head and chuckles at the halflings display. They are such sweet little people and very loyal,We will all benefit from that sort of loyalty with least expected she thinks. Wren excuses herself to a bath and some rest. At first light she will head out to the forest with prays to Frey for his protection. If Finna & Trist plan a temple trip she will go to and contribute to the statue for Frey
After downing 1 more ale Cat will head out the door with a wink in Frances direction.

Comments

Jayph

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