No.746978[Last 50 Posts]
Our heroes have journeyed far and faced many dangers, culminating in their daring escapade in the arid city of Galatian, where they retrieved the Heart of the Sun once and for all, crossing the agents of the sinister warlord Styr Thenn. Aided by one of his former servants, a zorse named Kothbiro, they destroyed the precious jewel, that none could claim it.
Their actions will not go without repercussions, however. They are in hostile territory, on the run from Thenn's servants. Aided by a mysterious ally known only as the Fire Witch, they travel now to the closest pocket of civilization on the borders of Thenn's territory. From there, only the stars and I know what awaits them…
Vajra gets a bit of a sensory overload as she tries to detect life. There's a lot of creatures nearby. A lot.
As she tries to recover, the rest of you notice some rustling nearby. Before you can react, however, a small, furry creature bursts out, biting Vajra's tail, then rushes back into the bushes as quickly as it appeared. You hear it let out a shrill staccato yelp, followed by an answering call of dozens of the critters all around. The bushes seem to come alive as more of them start rushing towards you from afar!>Vajra takes 2 hits
"This doesn't look good," Kothbiro mutters through gritted teeth, readying her axe. Saskia growls quietly and bristles, baring her triangular shark-like teeth.>pausing
I grip my spear in both hands. As more of the little critters dart out, I haul back and sweep it close to the ground, aiming to strike it with the shaft even if I miss with the blade.
Roll #1 7 = 7Roll #1 8 = 8
"I freaking knew it!" Kalidan exclaims, casting an accusatory eye at the group. "We avoided one ambush but blundered right into another!"
He leaps to Vajra's side, unsheathing his wicked claws and dropping low to the ground, thick black fur on high alert from his tiny mane to the tip of his quivering tail, ears swiveling around as he stands ready to protect the serpent-witch from unknown danger all around.
Noghu takes to a tree, trying to climb up to a nearby branch to get a better view of how many they're dealing with.
[1d10+1] ClimbRoll #1 5 + 1 = 6
Sunbeam catches up with the group.
"What doesn't look good Kothbiro? This all looks fine really." She says, completely unironically. "Really, this is the play of children for us."
Sunbeam tries to identify where most of the attack is coming from.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
You swing at the moving bushes. While the creatures disperse easily and take minimal damage (you only manage to kill one and wound another), the tall grass and other greenery is swept away, exposing them to further attack.>>746982
"Not the time, rug," Kothbiro snaps.>>746983
You clamber up to a solid branch a few feet above. Judging from the amount of movement all around, there must be at least 50 of them. Maybe more. They're small, but nimble and aggressive, counting more on their agility and numbers to overwhelm their targets.>>746984
They seem to be spreading out to attack you from all directions.>>746984>>746983>>746982>>746981
All of a sudden, they burst out from their cover, and the air is alive with chitters and squeals. The creatures, known as Grass Harriers, seem to be split up into four groups, each attacking multiple targets. They're coming from the front, behind, and both sides.
The first swarm of the hairy beasts rushes out to gnaw on Thungr and Sunbeam!
The second swarm targets Kothbiro and Saskia, who retaliate with swings and swipes!
The third swarm targets Kalidan and Vajra, more aggressively than the others!
The fourth swarm starts coursing up the tree to get to Noghu!Roll #1 10 + 1 = 11
/ Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #3 7, 8 = 15
/ Roll #4 2 + 2 = 4
As the beast strikes Sunbeam, she retaliates with divine fury.
Wrath at all Harriers in zone (Calm until Provoked) [1d10+2] AutocritRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
Seeing his allies get swarmed far more than her, Noghu throws a bola at the first swarm trying to use it more like a ranged weapon rather than something to disable them, seeing their viciousness being far greater than the rest.
>Bola; instant, recharge 2, weapon, ranged: Throws a bola to temporarily disable a target. Bola does no damage, but on hit interrupts the target's current action and prevents movement, requiring them to break free of the binds that turn. On crit, it also sends the target helpless without dealing a wound of damage.
[1d10+1] DC-1, Crit DC-2 (lucky dog), apparently damage dealing?
He also barks at the ones climb the tree, trying to negate their attacks due to fear should they make it up.
>Word of Power: Use a mix of authority and your own personal methods to extract information from a target that you would not normally get from basic means. In combat you can force an enemy to miss their next attack. On Crit you render the target helpless.
[1d10+1] Crit DC-2 (lucky dog)Roll #1 3 + 1 = 4
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
Hissing in anger as the diminutive creatures snap at her tail, Vajra coils into a defensive posture, scattering cobalt bandages into the soil.
"Bone from ssoil, i call to me, for soulss to take and path make free! reaper!
[1d10] raise ancient, reaper
The undead saurian coils as well, lunging forward to bury ichor-tipped fangs into the closest Harrier!
[1d10] withering biteRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
Kalidan growls and swipes at the pack of vermin attacking Vajra and himself with both claws!
Dual Wield, Cleave [2d10]Roll #1 8, 10 = 18
I grunt and wince as the little varmints tear into me. Not about to let a bunch of tiny fuzz swarms be the death of me. I grit my teeth and focus on the one attacking me and the dragon, looking for some larger cluster of them or maybe some easier way to kill the mess of em.
[1d10]Marked for DeathRoll #1 7 = 7
[1d10+3]Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
Your bola misses and falls into the bushes. The ones climbing the tree disorient and scatter like ants for a bit before recomposing their formation.>>746988
No bones answer your call this time.
The saurian lunges forward, but the devious little creatures spread out as soon as it makes a move, leaving it swinging at the ground. They just as quickly reform and take bites at the saurian's tail, fraying the ancient bones.>>746989
You slash at them in a sudden frenzy, gutting several and wounding even more. You easily thin the herd before they can get to you two.>>746990>>746991
You focus on the swarm. They seem to be using hit and run tactics, dealing burst damage before retreating. They are relying on the terrain to serve as their cover. If it were to be burned or hacked away, they would be exposed and vulnerable…>>746989>>746988>>746987>>746986>>746990
Thungr and Sunbeam get quickly overwhelmed. Dozens of tiny, sharp teeth and claws ravage you both. You are rooted in place as they swarm over you, continuing to rip and tear even after they're on the ground.>Thungr and Sunbeam take 5 hits, helpless
Kothbiro and Saskia get gnawed, but manage to shake them off with blows from the zorse's axe and repeated sundering blows from the direwolf.
At the first sign of danger, the Harriers seem to know to scatter. Swarm 2 and 3 retreat into the tall grass!
Swarm 4 surges towards Noghu, but he avoids getting attacked!
Swarm 1 continues to ravage Thungr and Sunbeam!
Kothbiro springs to action, trying to help up Sunbeam!
Saskia's hackles stand on end, and she lets out a terrifying roar-howl that seems to shake the Harriers' resolve!Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
I roar as I'm overwhelmed, taking a knee. "The damn bushes," I tell everyone. "Cut down the dern bushes so they can't hide no more!"
If it stays a problem I have another idea. Looks like rain so it shouldn't be too bad, but I don't wanna risk burnin half the forest down to kill some critters if I don't gotta. I lean my weight on my spear shaft and try to pull myself back up.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Sunbeam tries to get up, growling angrily as she does. "Insolent creatures!"
Get up [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Noghu takes a cautious swing at the creatures, trying out his new fire powers to try to scare them away.
>Restrained Strike: weapon; Stab at an enemy with an aimed strike that doesn’t leave you exposed. This attack doesn’t cause counterattack damage, but can only deal 3 hits at max.
[1d10+1] DC-1, Fire ElementalistRoll #1 10 + 1 = 11
Kalidan, eyes bright from the thrill of the hunt and fur matted with blood, turns to Vajra.
"Hurry up and do your bone magic thing, Slinky!">>746992
He bounds over to where Thungr and Sunbeam are getting ravaged by a horde of critters, roaring feline rage. A long string of spittle dangles from his open maw. >>746993
Skidding to a stop in front of the hulking minotaur, he tries to pull the giant to his hooves.
"This is no time to be laying down, ya dingus!"
Kot Halp Bool [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"Thanks. I still ain't recovered from the dern town," I remind him. "Got tored up a bit, case y'all weren't around to see that part."
The ancient saurian retreats, directed to lunge for the swarm assaulting Thungr and sunbeam, tearing at the creatures with reptilian claws!
Hissing at the comment, she digs through the soil with her magic
"Whirling ssoul from foresst called, to tear away thesse creaturess all!"
[1d10] summon esper: slamRoll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
Kalidan merely nods in response to the minotaur, already crouching in anticipation for the next wave of harriers.
Kalidan helps Thungr to his feet, throwing off several Harriers. Part of the swarm retreat into the bushes.>>746994
You are weakened by the attack, and fail to recover.>>746996
You swipe the spear, fending them off and burning a couple of the slower Harriers. They seem to quail at the sight of your flame as you invoke it.>>746999
The saurian carves through some of the Harriers. They squeal and retreat as they take damage.>>747000>>746999>>746998>>746996>>746995
Swarms 1 and 4 also retreat, joining their brethren in the bushes. All's quiet, for now. Neither of your companions let up their guard. "Those polecats are to something," Kothbiro growls. Saskia chuffs in agreement. Both of them try to help up Sunbeam while the peace lasts.
[2d10]Roll #1 8, 3 = 11
As Sunbeam stands back up, she groans in frustration. "Such weakness is unbecoming of my stature." She says. "At least that's what mother always told me. Agghh." She pouts for a moment, then calms down. "Thank you." She says, to nopony in particular.
I grunt and turn back toward where we were headed to begin with. "Let's get goin. We gotta find some place to hunker down afore the rain hits."
"'Sslinky'?" hisses Vajra, fixing you with an irritated glare.>>747001
drawing herself to her full height, Vajra tastes the air, gauging the movement of these harriers through the underbrush while following the other's lead.
[1d10] Perception, DC-2 detect lifeRoll #1 1 = 1
Noghu looks down from the tree, unscathed,>>747003
"Big solid tree good, if they stalk scent." Noghu puts in as a suggestion for a camp site.
Seeing the hordes of critters retreat, the cat sniffs and stands aright. He begins collecting Harrier bodies, gathering them into a small heap and tying them together by the tail with his rope. If anycreature gives him a look, he shrugs. "Might make good eating. Never know.">>747003
Kalidan moves to follow Thungr. "Good idea. Maybe we can find somewhere a little easier to defend, in case these little morsels aren't the only thing coming." >>747004
Smirking, the cat verbally jabs at the saurian. "What, you preferred Slithers?"
They're coming. They're ALL coming.>>747006
You find 4 Harriers in decent enough condition. Kothbiro raises an eyebrow. "Ugh. Those things are probably riddled with disease. Enjoy your Shadowpox." Saskia judges you silently for your sins.>>747003>>747002>>747004>>747005>>747006
Before Vajra can issue a warning, the bushes seem to explode as the Harriers return! Bursting out of the undergrowth spectacularly, they shriek war cries as they pounce the lot of you all at once!
[1d10+1] [1d10+1] [1d10+1] Crits on 9+, counts the higher roll
Kothbiro and Saskia spring to action! "I knew it! Don't let them get away again!" She swings her axe wildly at the swarm to try and disperse their sudden attack!
Saskia gnashes and swings her massive claws at the sudden swarm!
[1d10+3] Cleave 3Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
/ Roll #2 5 + 1 = 6
/ Roll #3 7 + 1 = 8
/ Roll #4 7 = 7
/ Roll #5 2 + 3 = 5
She hisses in anger, about to respond, before the Harriers were upon them!
The ancient saurian coils up for another strike, meeting one of the oncoming swarms with fangs bared!
[1d10] withering bite, swarm 1
Noting kothbiro's suggestion, the sorceress casts bandages deeper into the earth below them.
"Ancient boness, join thiss fight! Bar the way, halt creature'ss flight! bone cage!
[1d10] raise ancient, bone cageRoll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
Noghu cackles worriedly at the sudden onslaught towards his friend, clinging to a branch and barking at them to try and scare some of them off.
[1d10+1] Word of Power
And throws another Bola too to see if he can hit one in the head.
[1d10+1] DC-1 BolaRoll #1 1 + 1 = 2
/ Roll #2 7 + 1 = 8
Kalidan snarls at the audacity of these vermin. "Haven't you ever heard of the food chain?" He slashes out at the creatures that his every instinct tells him is prey, not predator.
Cleave (4), Dual Wield [2d10]
Roll #1 8, 9 = 17
I grit my teeth, shrug my pack off my shoulders, and pull out some of the oil I bought. Ain't dealin with this no more. Gotta get out of the storm. Uncorking it, I sling it on the ground in a wide arc in front of us, dig out my fire kit, strike a piece of char cloth, and drop it.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Everything seems to happen at once.
The Harriers throw themselves at you in a frenzy, flailing and tearing into you all.
Kalidan claws at them all, killing and maiming many of them, even throwing them about.
Saskia's jaws snap at thin air, though she catches a few and rips them to bits. Kothbiro's axe swings, cleaving the feisty beasts in twain.
Noghu helps thin the crowd by hurling his bolas, disrupting their future attacks.
Sunbeam then explodes in a brilliant light display, knocking them all way and scattering the Harriers in every direction. Many die from the shockwave, thinning their numbers significantly.
Vajra raises great bones from the earth in a spherical pattern, encasing you all within an orb of bone lattice.
Finally, as they begin to retreat again, Thungr lights his oil. The flame springs to life and begins to spread across the tall grass with terrifying speed. The remaining Harriers yelp and head for the hills as their cover is blown.
When all is said and done, all that's left is the two of you standing in a cage of bone, amidst a ring of fire and many dead rodents.>everyone takes 4 hits except Vajra who takes 3
Kothbiro breathes heavily, watching like a hawk in case they decide to come back. After several tense moments, however, it becomes clear they won't. She breathes a soft sigh of relief and holsters her axe. "That was quite something. Good work, everyone. That could've been much worse. We should-" She breaks off in a sudden coughing fit from the rising smoke. Saskia snarls and looks around. The Harriers are gone, but you're going to have to find a way out of the spreading fire. And quickly. The flames spread faster than you can think.
"A display worthy of royalty." Sunbeam says, then reconsiders: "Ack.. I should not say that. Such over confident behavior is so… unkind. Nevertheless, well done friends." Sunbeam says, unphased by the smoke.
"Oh, I forget you are not of draconic descent. Well, who is coming first?" She says, readying her wings to carry.
Noghu is incredibly surprised at the fact that the Harriers somehow climbed up the tree faster than he could react to, yelping in pain. He quickly runs away from the fire, not paying attention if the party is going the same direction.
[1d10+1] runRoll #1 7 + 1 = 8
I cringe and bury my spear head into the ground, making an attempt to drag a trench through the dirt to contain the flames before they get out of hand.
[1d10](+2 and DC4 if Survivalist applies)Roll #1 6 = 6
Lights and fire blind the sorceress as the sounds of any tiny paws scampering away mark the end of the fighting.
Opening her eyes, only to have them stung by smoke and heat from the fire, she releases the bone cage, skeletal frame crumbling to dust and linen, before turning to help Thungr displace the flames!
the ancient saurian moves quickly, sweeping it's tail to kick up dirt into the flames.
[1d10] assistRoll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
"Ack!" The cat pulls his tail back away from the encroaching flame. "Fire bad!!"
Without a thought to his companions, Kalidan hunches low to the ground on all fours and attempts to leap over the circle of burning oil.
Limber [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Why is *cough* is it always fire!…" Kothbiro can't speak much, but motions for you to give her a boost up and out; as the smallest, it makes sense. >>747015
You manage to clamber up the tree and jump to higher ground. Seems like the flames won't reach you here.>>747016>>747017
With the help of the three of you, you manage to carve a path out of the flames and back the way you came. Looks like you'll have to take the mountain path now.>>747018
You leap over the flames in a single powerful bound and climb up a nearby tree. You're safe from the fire here.>>747018>>747015
You suddenly realize you've both picked the same tree, and are sitting right next to each other.>>747014>>747015>>747016>>747017>>747018
Saskia walks straight into the wildfire, then back out. She's completely unaffected. She lowers her head to offer Vajra and her minion a ride out. Kothbiro looks over to Sunbeam, pointing out Thungr and Kalidan in the tree wordlessly, still stifled by the smoke.
I pull my pack back on, turn back the way we were headed, and silently start walking.
"We go then, friend." She says, scooping Kothbiro up and flying away from the flames.
Once she sets Kothbiro down a safe distance she heads back to get more friends.
Fly with Zeeb [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Correction: Noghu jumps down to where the fire hasn't yet spread, and towards where Thungr and Vajra are carving out a path out of harm's way. Kalidan is still in a tree.
Nodding, Vajra scrabbles aboard the fire witch's ally, her skeletal saurian eerily mirroring the motion.
Kalidan, sitting pretty up on his safety branch, stretches languorously. He whistles to catch the attention of the gang, gestures at the quickly spreading wildfire.
"Do you see how you are? This is why we can't have nice things."
He sighs, all satirical melodrama, then pulls out his flute and plays a light-hearted ditty to raise their spirits.
The Song of My People [1d10] (The catboi plays a hand-made flute, inspiring allies. While not in combat, allies within hearing range receive +1 to all rolls)Roll #1 3 = 3
The smoke billows and chokes you, preventing you from playing more than a pathetic pftweee.
Saskia gives you a withering look. "If you're *cough* done playing Nero…" Kothbiro motions for you to come down.>>747023>>747020>>747021>>747024
You all manage to retreat from the wildfire, going back more or less the way you came. You're alive and mostly unharmed, but you burned a lot of daylight. Literally. With the path you were going to take, the only option is to press on through the mountainside path.
It's getting late now, and the storm clouds are starting to get closer. Daylight is dimming. You'll have to find some form of shelter, and soon, lest you be caught out in a thunderstorm all night. The dimming light doesn't make navigating the rocky path ahead much easier either. Saskia doesn't seem to have much trouble with the dark, but Kothbiro squints to see in the sundown gloom. "Hopefully nothing jumps us in the night," she grumbles. "Let's find a cave or something, and quick. I don't like the look of those clouds." The sky above rumbles as if to acknowledge her concerns.>roll Navigation
I grunt. "Don't need a cave," I assure her. "Just a flat surface with a cliff that ain't right in the wind. Got me a giant tarp in my bag. I'll set us up a shelter and build a fire. Wait the storm out. Get some rest and take guard shifts."
[1d10]NavRoll #1 1 = 1
Sunbeam breathes out a little fire to light her and Kothbiro's way. "I usually do not stay awake this late." She chimes in as she searches.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Kalidan looks a bit crestfallen as his lungs are not up to the task. He scowls at Kothbiro, but dutifully hops down to trek after the troupe, shoulders and tail drooping to show his disappointment.
This doesn't last long, however, and before they've journeyed half a league he's piping away at his rough flute again, playing in time to the march he keeps, softly so as not to attract attention or annoy his compatriots. The tune is more solemn, nostalgic even.
Song of my People [1d10]
He stops at Koth's precaution, looks around for a likely place to hunker down.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
Brushing herself off, Vajra and her minion dismount Saskia. Slithering over the rocky terrain with serpentine grace, she follows behind their guide, mindful of the path ahead.
"The ssmell of ssmoke sstill clingss to my gauze, but it iss an adequate ssacrifice to ssee the harrierss away quickly." says the Sorceress, sticking her tongue out for emphasis.Roll #1 3 = 3
Kalidan's mournful little tune fills the party's hearts with a strange resolve. You feel a bit of angst at all that's happened, but also hopeful for what the future may bring. Though you've made powerful enemies, you are still free spirits.>+1 to everyone's next roll
As you continue through the mountains, following Thungr's lead, you start getting the feeling you're going in circles. You can't find anywhere to shelter either. You end up getting caught in the rain as you search for a place.
It's Kalidan, for once, that breaks the mold and manages to get the group out of their precarious situation. You hole up in a large, semi-hidden cave that he notices for the night. Kothbiro gets started on making a fire as quickly as she can, shivering from the cold of getting caught in the rain. "H-how far back do you think this cave goes?" she wonders out loud. Saskia politely steps away from the party, then shakes herself off vigorously. The cave gets illuminated by flashes of lightning every so often, followed by menacing yet oddly comforting rumbles of thunder. The intense patter of the rain becomes a constant, dull drone in the back of your minds.
Sunbeam assists with the fire, trying out her new draconian breath. "Not far, I would think. This area does not seem to mountainous. But what does this one know, correct?" She says, gently blowing on the fire.
Circles. I was actually goin in circles. Mind ain't what it oughta be for some reason. I pull out some of the mixed trail rations, my wool blanket, and my flask. Without saying anything, I put my blanket down, pull half of it over my shoulder, and wolf down my food. After a quick swig of my flask, I turn away from the fire and close my eyes.
As a cold-blooded saurian, Vajra takes the rain particularly poorly, looking rather drained as she snakes her way into the cave, coiling up near the sparking fire for warmth.
"We may need to take sshiftss of watch." the sorceress replies sluggishly. "The rain could make for usseful cover."
Kalidan proudly points the way, finding some kind of satisfaction from finally being of use to his new pride… er, pack. He huddles into the dry breezy cave and without shame strips his finery off, wringing it out and draping it over a rock formation to dry. He then commences grooming himself.
Looking up at Koth's query, he saunters over to the winking flame she's produced and lays near, soaking up the heat.
"Who cares? It's not like this is going to be a shortcut. Where are we going again, anyway?">>747034
Seeing Vajra's discomfort, he casually crawls near to her side, flipping her occasionally with his tail, proffering, but not overbearingly, his warmth to her.
With your newfound breath, you stoke the campfire, quickly turning Kothbiro's little sparks into a merry blaze. She smiles. "That Fire Witch's gifts are coming in handy, huh. …" She trails off, remembering the vision she was granted, clamming up all of a sudden. >>747033
You silently turn in for the evening. Kothbiro seems a little conscious of you being quieter than usual. "Something on your mind?" she asks as she rummages through her bags. She doesn't have much to offer save for some strips of meat and a slightly squashed tomato. She offers you some of either. Or both.>>747034
Kothbiro seems more than happy to join you by the fire, still shivering slightly from the cold. "Why not get Bones there to guard for us?" She motions at your undead minion. "Doesn't need to sleep. Just leave it at the entrance, and if it causes a ruckus something's probably up. Right? I don't know how magic works.">>747035
"Just curious. Might be worth something checking out further that way." Saskia prowls off into the darkness of the cave without a word, presumably to explore a bit.>>747035>>747032
She nods in confirmation to Sunbeam, eager to change the topic from her conversation with her. "Not too much further. We should reach that village by this time tomorrow. And from there, well, who knows. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just lay low for a while…" She yawns and goes through her belongings, lighting up a pipe and taking a few thoughtful puffs. She offers you some if you partake.
She notices your offer and hesitates, mulling it over before wordlessly leaning against you.>>747036
"Hmm.." says the sorceress, perking up thanks to the additional bodyheat. "Yess, that would work. Senssing motion while we ssleep would deter passerss by, long enough to ready oursselvess if needed."
Eying her minion's damaged tail, an idea runs through the sorceress's mind.
Raising a claw, a fluttering of cobalt bandages flow over the damaged segment, in an attempt to bandage the frayed bone.
>EP -1: Rejuvenate: recharge 1, spell; Channel magic into a target to revitalize them, restoring 3 hits. If Rejuvenate targets a minion, it has DC4 and fully restores their hits and heals a wound. If this Crits on a minion, give the minion +2 Max Hits until the end of combat.
[1d10] RejuvenateRoll #1 2 = 2
I roll over and take the meat, and grunt. "Tired," I mumble before stuffing some of the food into my mouth. I don't stay anything else, but I still stay turned toward the fire with the rest of the group.
Noghu watches Vajra bandage their minion with magic, silently emulating the bandages with some longer grass nearby, bandaging his wounds with a more natural form of gauze.
>EP -1 Natural Remedy: recharge 1, ranged; Use an unpredictable tincture to either fully restore a target’s hits to full and or removes all status effects. Crits on 9+ to also restore one wound, but Crit Fails on 2- to deal a wound of damage.
[1d10+2]Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
You manage to bandage your minion. They glow slightly, regrowing the bone and strengthening your minion. Kothbiro watches with curiosity. "Doesn't it bother you manipulating someone's remains like that? I mean, that's a person…">>747234
As you curl up, Saskia comes and joins you from the dark of the cave, returning from her exploration, carrying a dead rabbit. She drops it nearby, then comes up to you and sits down by the fire, lowering her head to the ground with a soft exhale. Seems you're not the only ones feeling tired.
There's a bit of a comfortable silence for a while as you eat and rest for a bit alongside your companions. Kothbiro grabs a sharp stick and starts roasting the tomato, but it ends up plopping off the end and into the fire. Her ears fold a little.
"Say." She breaks the silence. "After we get to the village, where do you think we ought to go? Got any plans for afterwards, or do you reckon we should just decide as we go?">>747238
You get to work with some tall grass from outside, risking the rain a bit to harvest it. You copy Vajra's bandages, wrapping it around your arm and midsection to treat your wounds. You feel a bit better already. Kothbiro watches with interest. "You're learning," she comments with a bit of a smile. "If you want I can show you how to treat those scrapes. Once we're in a more forested area, though. Not much growing out here in the mountains."
"It feels… not like my other magic. Gifts of Trakali, I mean." She says, looking into the fire. "Where do you think this fire witch comes from?"
"Stop back by my cabin soon. Grab some of my heavier gear. Check my 'shine still. Gotta get more supplies afore that. Long hike. Means I gotta pick up coupla more jobs. Sides that?" I give her a half shrug. "Ain't too sure."
Noghu cuts in with Kothbiro speaking on the snake's magic, "Not person, bones." Noghu says, before adding to help explain his philosophy to Kothbiro "Am Noghu. When die, not Noghu. Bones. She use what not used anymore."
As for the comments on the bandage, Noghu seems proud of his bandage, "Bone lizard cannot hide powers from Noghu. Noghu learn magics."
Vajra looks to the Noghu with surprise as he explains the situation in his own words.
"Indeed. The ssoul hass long ssince departed the body. The magic of my wrappingss animate them with motion, yet they are without life."
"Maybe we should ask her, next time we meet," she muses. "I've heard of pyromancers and warlocks like her coming from the Necropolis Litharge in the north. If I had to guess I'd say she's from there, though she doesn't quite have the accent…"
You've heard of this place before, though only in passing. It's an ancient city of black stone, teeming with necromancers and shadow-binders worshipping strange gods. It's said that nothing is forbidden in Litharge, no matter how depraved or terrible. It's a fell place shrouded in rumors, and one most steer well away from.>>747244
She blinks. "Oh, that's right. You have a home. On a mountain, right? It might not be a bad idea to go there. Seems far enough out of the way, and there's sure to be adventure in that direction." She seems keen on the idea of having a heading in general.>>747245>>747247
Kothbiro shares Vajra's surprise at Noghu chiming in on a conversation. "I suppose that makes sense, in a way. Just seems wrong to use what was once someone like that. A corpse should be left alone, I say. …Can't deny it's a useful skill to have, though a risky one. Remember those ghosts we ran into?…">>747245
She laughs quietly. "Hehe. It's not magic. Just survival. Surprised you hadn't picked up on it before. What do they usually do in your tribe if someone's wounded?"
Noghu responds simply, "If too slow? Kill, eat."
"Ah yess. The magic that callss undead iss dangerouss to thosse that cannot bind their will to their creationss."
she emphasizes the point by manipulating the jaw and skull of her undead saurian, running her claws along it's fangs. "The undead are drawn to life, driven to rage by it. It takess a great deal of focuss to keep but a few pliant, ssomething i sseek to improve upon."
"Ah." Sunbeam says with a suppressed urge to show her disdain to the mention of necromancy.
"She seems… very wordly. She cares for the greater meaning." >>747248
Sunbeam chimes in on the discussion between Noghu and Vajra. "In Trakali, we say "Life is not over until the sun sets." It may be a not very well translation, but we consider those who have passed to still be with us, just in other forms."
"You can see how that would cloud ones opinion of necromancy."
I nod. "Up in the mountains," I confirm. "Built it roundabouts twenty year ago, but do some work on it afore winter every year. Ain't much, but it's a warm place to lay my head when I ain't out huntin. Got a bunch of trophies from my hunts I keep there, too. Skins and fangs and tusks and skeletons and such." I cock my eyebrow. "Y'all're gonna come with me?"
Her lip curls. "Why am I not surprised…">>747250
The saurian clacks its jaw slightly comically. Kothbiro watches with interest. "You think they crave what they can't have?">>747251
Kothbiro nods. "She's definitely something else. I expected her to be less inviting than she is, from the rumors I'd heard before. It's a good thing we didn't cross her. She seems quite powerful."
She seems a bit amused at your seeming dislike for necromancy. "I can. I suppose that'll have to be put aside for a time, though, given present company…">>747253
She shrugs. "It might be a worthwhile venture. Besides, anywhere's better than these lands. Thenn's troops will be on the lookout for us soon enough…" Her expression darkens all of a sudden, taking a few thoughtful puffs of her pipe.
"Hmm. I ssee why the roaming dead would not fit ssuch a view."
"By my temple'ss undersstanding, it iss a wasste to ssimply leave the dead to resst."
"The ssands of Abysssinia are a harssh place even in good timess. All who can work musst work, elsse the tribe will not ssurvive. to return the dead for labour iss a necesssity."
"Ursine in mind, I myself am…" She pauses, perhaps realizing she has the wrong translation of 'bear', then continuing. "I am less vilifying of the practice, given recent friendships." She says, looking to Vajra.
"I do not think Trakali has always been correct in history in faith. But I should not say such things." She says with the fear of a sunday school child.
I hum, nod, and return my attention to the fire. Probably got plenty of money to throw around lookin for us. Imagine he's the vengance seekin type. Ain't good for us.
"Own alpha now." Noghu repeats, poking his spear into the fire.
She peers into the skull's eye-holes pensively.
"Mm. Perhapss. The magic that animatess the dead iss a sstrange ssort, drawn to life like a moth to fire. Perhapss it iss an echo of their passt exisstence, tied to their form."
"There iss still much to learn of necromancy. It iss not a sschool taught freely away from the ssandss. Too dangerouss."
"I understand. Trakali has no need for such laborers. Our lands are fertile and our winds favorable." She is conflicted for a moment. "I see the commoners toil so much. For royalty they'll never meet. If the dead could preform such tasks, why do we force the living?"
Kalidan contentedly naps against the snake, letting the words pour over him without feeling the need to add to them.
She stifles a smile at your mistake.
"Well, there's no one around to judge you. We're all equal nothings here," she says warmly.>>747264>>747262>>747259>>747258>>747266
With full bellies, weary bones, and generally high spirits, you begin to fall asleep. Your rest is peaceful, the gentle patter of the rain outside putting you all to sleep one by one.
The following morning, you awake feeling very well rested. The storm has passed over, and the sun shines brightly through the cave entrance. Kothbiro is still asleep by the time the rest of you wake up, covered in a roughspun blanket and snoring quietly. Saskia nudges her gently to wake her up, but it doesn't seem to be enough. She's out like a light, still on the mend after your adventure in Galatian. The she-wolf looks back at you with a stare that suggests disapproval of her deep sleep.
You get the feeling something's different about the campsite, but you can't quite put your finger on it.
I start to pack the few things I unpacked, letting the zebra rest for now. Before I actually move anything, though, I pause and slowly pan over the area. Somethin seems off, but- hmm…
[1d10+3]PerceptionRoll #1 5 + 3 = 8
Kalidan stretches, yawns and rises. He blinks at the subtly different campsite for a moment, squinting his eyes and pointing his ears, his face masked in sight confusion for a moment.
The moment passes and he shrugs, gathering his pack. He steps over to where Kothbiro is snoozing and looks down at her with Saskia, making no move to wake her. He looks amused at the she-wolf's displeasure.Roll #1 8 = 8
Awakening from her slumber, the sorceress brings herself upright, still coiled near the previous night's fire, now embers.
Still toasty from Kalidan's resting, it takes little time to notice that something is amiss. She uncoils to her full height, tasting the air.
[1d10] perception, DC-2 (detect life)Roll #1 8 = 8
>>747268> +1 wound I assume
Noghu looks for a clean and deep enough puddle to look over his battered complexion in the reflection and to wash himself.
"Do you usually wake up early as well?" Sunbeam says to Saskia as she attempts to wake Kothbiro, already awake and sitting by the embers of the fire.
You notice footprints in the back of the cave. They look like they belong to some sort of clawed creature. Something was watching you during the night, but chose not to engage. Further inspection reveals they made off with one of your bags, despite having the skeleton on guard. Vajra detects they must have come from deep inside the cave.>>747272
You manage to find a nice puddle outside. It's not deep or anything, but it'll do to get washed up.>>747274
No response from the direwolf except for a slow blink.>>747274>>747272>>747271>>747270>>747269
Sunbeam's jostling stirs Kothbiro. She frowns and blinks a bit, getting up with a bit of a groan. "What time is it?" she mumbles, stretching out like a cat and cracking her neck. "Should probably hit the road so we can get to the place already…"
Seeing the tracks, Vajra hisses in anger!
"Hsssh! We were robbed! The ssandss-touched creature retreated deeper into the cave!"
"Ah. Do not worry friend, you can learn this language soon enough as well" She says with a smile.
, Kothbiro, come on now, let us go." She says, forgetting to translate the actual time.
Vajra hurriedly checks to make sure everything she carries is with her.
[1d10] equipment checkRoll #1 8 = 8
"If shallow, can smoke out." Noghu mentions, "Creature who no breath either die or run."
I grit my teeth and let out a quiet growl. A'course the dern skeleton didn't stop whatever that was. Can't rely on witchery for nothin. I double check my own gear before packing up and making my way out of the cave. Gonna have to cycle night watch between livin folks from now on.
"Ah, that could work, though it'ss sscent iss further down than expected."
"Wait, what?" Kothbiro sluggishly rises to her feet, looking around with a frown. "Ugh… Let's just hope we can get to the village by tonight. I don't fancy sleeping on rocks. Let's just… let's just go."
With that slightly grating start to the day, you set off into the mountains.
The skies above are clear, and the world is quiet here. Ahead is an expanse of rocky terrain, with minimal grasslands and narrow, winding passages through dirt and stone. Occasionally, a raptor will fly overhead, on the hunt for prey. Kothbiro points out an adjacent mountain. "Just past there, we'll be able to start descending into Nira Valley. At the bottom is a bend of the river, and on it, the village of Oriole. That'll be the border of Galatian territory. Let's just hope we don't run into trouble…"
As you press onward, it becomes increasingly tricky to navigate the landscape, both due to the monotonous nature of it and the spiked rocks that become part of the natural geography. Saskia steps gingerly as you press forward, and Kothbiro takes the highest ground she can, trying to forge the path ahead.>roll Navigation
Well, if we're this close I'm sure we ain't gonna find nothin we can't handle afore we reach the village. I adjust my pack on my back and continue on into the mountains.
[1d10]NavRoll #1 8 = 8
Still fuming over the morning's theft, she slinks forward over the jagged path ahead.
"Curssed beasst.. leaving while it holdss our thingss.. indignity.." she grumbles, tapping a claw on crossed arms as her minion snakes along behind her.Roll #1 7 = 7
Noghu trails behind and picks up the rear, watching over the rest of the party cautiously.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"Ah, such a peaceful change in scenery, yes friends?"
Sunbeam says, happily trekking along.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Kalidan follows the pack wordlessly. His usual talkative nature seems to be dampened by something. Climbing the occasional tree to get a better view around the area, he stays within eyesight but not close enough to hear Kothbiro's explanations.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
"Ah, sso it sseems our detour did not cosst uss too much time after all. I had not expected uss to be sso closse."
You move on. The journey across the mountain is exhausting, but by pacing yourselves, you conserve your strength, and prevent yourselves from succumbing to fatigue. At one point, Noghu slips, almost falling off the side of the cliff. He catches himself, but not before suffering a large, painful gash down his left forearm.>Noghu takes 1 wound
Eventually, you come to a bit of a crossroads:
The high road, which you are on, takes you to a point in the mountain that seems to end in some sort of giant nest. Going there might risk having to deal with whatever inhabits those rocks.
The low road seems to open up into a system of stone tunnels, which seem to have been dug by a rock-boring creature at some point. Taking this path would entail navigating a complex maze, in relative darkness to boot.
Saskia looks pointedly in the direction of the tunnel maze, while Kothbiro seems to think otherwise. "As long as we give the nest a wide berth and avoid tampering with it, we should be able to pull through. Right?" Both of them look at you, waiting for you to weigh in.
"Hm. Iss Ssaskia familiar with the tunnelss? It may make for sswift travel if our guide can sshow uss the path."
Sunbeam dashes over to Noghu after his tumble, offering him a few of her wraps to cover up his wound.
After which, she looks over the two paths. "I agree with the wolf. I do not seek to fight a spider in her home."
Kalidan eyes the large nest warily. "I don't really get on with humongous birds, or whatever it is. My vote is for the tunnels as well."
Noghu pushes Sunbeam away passively attempts to patch his wound with plants found along the mountainside himself, whimpering softly enough not to have the others overhear.
>Natural Remedy: recharge 1, ranged; Use an unpredictable tincture to either fully restore a target’s hits to full and or removes all status effects. Crits on 9+ to also restore one wound, but Crit Fails on 2- to deal a wound of damage.
"Tunnel work."Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
Sunbeam lets out a small sigh of disappointment and disapproval towards Noghu's rejection. She then agrees with his choice.
"We even have an expert."
Without even considering the tight, cramped spaces filled with no knowin what, goin no knowin how deep, and extendin no knowin how far, I start walkin toward the high road.
Saskia looks over to you and paws the ground slightly. You don't get the sense she's familiar with them per se, but rather prefers it to the alternative of confronting whatever built a giant nest.
Though seeing Thungr head another way, Noghu assumes he has a better plans than just words and follows.
Seeing Thungr move with determination up the high path, the sorceress opts to follow.>>747302
"Hmm.. the dark of the tunnelss iss concerning. Perhapss Thungr hass a point. If we are ambusshed, it iss better to face it in full light than by torch."
[1d10+2]DC 4 Survivalist (Craft stone tipped javelins)Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9
You managed to craft 6 javelins during downtime.
"Splitting up seems like a bad idea," Kothbiro points out. Saskia just looks at her snootily, turning up her nose slightly before heading off into the tunnels.
It's dark in here. Too dark. Saskia barely fits in the tunnels, and you are forced to walk in single file. Without a proper light source, you can't see more than a few feet ahead of you. Saskia pauses, then looks over her shoulder at Sunbeam, as if wanting her to do something about it.>>747299>>747304>>747301
Kothbiro joins you as you creep closer to the nest. It seems to be made of large branches, leaves, and other such things that a nest is normally made of. Within are three enormous eggs, white as snow and spackled with black dots. Each egg is the size of Thungr's torso. Kothbiro seems to recognize them, color draining from her face a little. "Okay, changed my mind. This isn't a fight we can win. Let's turn back."
You get the feeling the nest's owner is watching you.
Her confidence is the direction evaporates as the eggs come into view, though she hides the concern well enough.>>747305
"Hmm.. Thungr, perhapss we sshould reconssider?"
"Of course." Sunbeam blows a small little light in front of her, its light reflecting off her scales and hopefully illuminating the cave.
Light [1d10] (if roll is necessary)Roll #1 5 = 5
"Even if mated, it fool to try and take on group. Too easy to get behind, and if try and fly, can wrap wing to crash." Noghu counters, "We no hunt, but we no flee."
"Avoid the nest. We show we ain't a threat maybe we ain't got a problem. Y'all ever fight in a tight cave? Ain't somethin you wanna get stuck doin when you actually got light. Specially ain't somethin you wanna do when whatever made
the cave is out in the dark somewhere." I look the eggs over. If it does seem like it's too big of a risk then I'll head back, but if it seems like we can avoid the fight then I wanna keep movin.
[1d10]Whatever identifying the egg would beRoll #1 10 = 10
Kalidan shrugs at the ones who insistently begin climbing towards the huge nest, swishing his tail as he joins the dogs and dragon inside the dark tunnels.
"That's handy," the cat remarks, appreciating the light despite his decent night vision.Roll #1 9 = 9
I nod. "Well said. Ain't here to try and kill it or nothin if we ain't gotta."
You use your new draconic breath to illuminate the scene. A wisp of glowing mist comes out of your throat and lingers, shedding some much-needed light in the tunnels.>>747309>>747312
As Sunbeam illuminates the scene, the tunnels come into view properly. The sides of it are unnaturally smooth, glossy and rounded, like they haven't just been dug but rather melted through. It seems whatever carved out this part of the mountain did so quite some time ago.
There is a path straight forward, along with a path leading down and to the right, and two paths leading left. The first left hand path is narrower, but seems to open up into a wider space, but the second one slopes upward and turns a sharp bend, making it impossible to tell what lies beyond. Kalidan senses some fresh air coming from his left, suggesting the path forward is in one of these two.>>747313>>747311>>747308
Thungr recognizes them as bird eggs; specifically, a raptor's. It must be one hell of an eagle.
"I'd rather not get carried off by a roc," Kothbiro says quietly, confirming Thungr's suspicions. She points down a winding path just past the nest which seems to lead further down the mountain. "Let's press on and try not to stir up any trouble.">roll Navigation
Nodding, Vajra follows behind Kothbiro, her and her minion taking pains to avoid disturbing the nest as they slither past.
[1d10] NavigationRoll #1 7 = 7
I grunt. Yep. About what I expected. Keeping my eyes out for anything we need to avoid, I head on toward the path.
[1d10]NavRoll #1 10 = 10
Kalidan pauses to sniff the air, wrinkling his nose at the dankness of the cavern. He turns toward his companions, making sure they all stop together.
"Hey, let me scope this out before we make any decisions, k?"
He doesn't wait for a reply before ducking into the upward bending path, trying to see if it leads anywhere worth exploring.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
"Ah. This is not my talent." She says, a bit lost but hopeful.
"Do you have any ideas? She says towards Saskia."
[1d10] NavigationRoll #1 9 = 9
"Rocks no carry." Noghu murmurs, poking at the stoney earth with his spear. He follows Thungr.
[1d10+1] navRoll #1 9 + 1 = 10
You manage to steer well clear of the nest, making your way over the rocks and to the steep dirt path. By taking it easy and going one step at a time, you manage to get to the bottom of the path, which seems to connect with the cave system the others went through. You even think you can hear them in the tunnels somewhere.
You feel a sudden strong wind, and hear the beating of wings. Looking back, you see a gigantic golden brown eagle, at least the size of a house, swoop down and land near the nest. It hasn't noticed you, mercifully. Kothbiro swallows nervously. "That was a close one. Let's see if we can't meet up with the others, yeah?">>747609>>747610
Saskia tilts her head a little at Sunbeam's question. She's about as oriented as you are.
Sunbeam, however, feels a light breeze coming from the upward path, and the two follow behind Kalidan. After a bit of travel, you can see cracks of light coming through, and you think you can hear the others. The problem is, there's a large buildup of rocks standing between you and the outside. You'll have to either find a way through, or clear a path.
"Stand aside." Sunbeam says with newflund confidence as she goes to tear through the rocks with her sharp as steel claws.
Destroy rocks [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
"Hmn, seem far easier going over. You right, should look for bodies."
Noghu peeks around to see if there are any nice looking plants to practice dark magic like the snake does.
>Natural Remedy: recharge 1, ranged; Use an unpredictable tincture to either fully restore a target’s hits to full and or removes all status effects. Crits on 9+ to also restore one wound, but Crit Fails on 2- to deal a wound of damage.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
Kalidan doubles back, looking for a path that doesn't end in a wall of rocks.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Avoiding the giant eagle, the sorceress takes notice of the noises behind the collapsed rockwall, chuckling to herself.
"Aha, lookss like our path wass the better route after all."
standing before the fallen rocks, Vajra casts bandages into the earth around her.
"Ssoul long buried 'neath age-packed earth, clear thiss path, prove your worth!"
[1d10] Raise dead
The undead saurian slithers forward to begin clearing smaller boulders away.
[1d10] move earthRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
I grumble a little, but if anyone actually backtracks into the tunnel to meet up with the rest of the group I still follow them.
No luck. You just break a nail.>Sunbeam takes 1 hit>>747614
You forage around for some herbs. You find some that look similar to what Vajra uses. Unfortunately for you, they turn out to be poisonous, giving you a painful rash.>Noghu takes 1 wound>>747615
You go scouting for a bit. You think you've found an alternate route judging from the fresher air, but it's too dark to see much further without a light source. You hear several heavy footsteps coming from up ahead.>>747950
You conjure the skeleton of a young dragon from deep beneath the earth. It is missing an arm, but is otherwise in good shape. >Dragon skeleton: 10/1>Racials: Dragon Flight, Chromatic Scales: Fire, Dragon Breath
Saskia looks at the skeleton, flicking her ear in disapproval.
The saurian begins to move the rocks, but it doesn't seem to do much.>>747951>>747614
Kothbiro takes initiative and enters the tunnel system. "We should try and find the others already so we can move on. I don't want to lose more light."
The tunnels are dark, musty, and oddly damp here. There must be a water source nearby. From them, you hear Vajra casting a spell. It quickly becomes difficult to navigate them without a light source, however, and going too far forward results in you fumbling in the dark.
You suddenly hear light, pattering footsteps in the distance.
"No deeper, why we go round top otherwise? We get lost like others." Noghu says quietly, whimpering from his new rash and scratching at it.
" Sunbeam curses as she pulls her claw away. "Surely stone is harder here than it is in Trakali, she says, trying not to embarrass herself further.>>747615>>747954
"You have found a way?" She asks, poking her head over to Kalidans new path, a bit wary of the noise ahead.
Kalidan drops down into the darkness, hiding himself while investigating the source of the heavy footfalls. He stands (crouches?) ready to fall back to his allies if he is discovered, or finds trouble.
He peers through the darkness, ears and whiskers swiveling.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
I grunt. "Don't want any of the others to get kilt," I grumble. "Do the same fer us… prob'ly." I sigh as it starts to get darker. Why did I expect the zebra to have a torch? Stopping before it gets too dark to see what I'm doin, I shrug my pack off my shoulders, kneel down, and pull out my oat pouch and a bit of the oil I bought back in town. Already runnin outta this stuff quick after them little critters. Soaking the pouch in just enough, I flip my spear, notch it, and tie the drawstrings into the notch.
Using my flint and steel, I ignight the makeshift torch and push past the zebra, headed toward where it sounds like the witch is. Guess I'll buy some extra oil and cloth next town.
[1d10]nav if neededRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
"Because if the others are lost in there, we have to get them out," Kothbiro replies. "We're just going to have to hope we don't get lost ourselves…">>747957
Saskia looks to you, then to Kalidan, trotting off behind him silently.>>747955>>747958>>747959>>747957
As you follow the tunnels, you almost run headlong into each other. Saskia lets out a yelping bark of surprise, and Kothbiro pulls her axe, only to stay her hand when she realizes. "Oh, there you are. We were just looking for you. Come on, we found the way out."
Noghu grunts quietly and nods, less talkative with the injuries.
Impressed with the quality find amongst the canyon soil, Vajra carefully disassembles the dragon and places the bones into her tablecloth bag, as the others have found a route through, and follows.
Kalidan almost lets out his own bark off surprise, finding himself almost at the business end of a familiar axe. He smoothes his ears back and collects himself for a moment before responding.
"Oh, hi. Thought you guys went to tangle with the raptor?" He quiets his voice and glances around at uttering the last word, a futile gesture in the darkness of the tunnels.
"Anyway, let's get out of here. This place kinda makes me claustrophobic." He follows Kothbiro's lead, cautious of the walls seemingly closing in around him.
"Oh. Turns out we all went the same way. That is good, I was worrying about you all." She says, quickly noticing Noghu's injuries and approaching him gently, as if to wordlessly ask permission to help.
Reunited, you exit the tunnels and catch up with Vajra in the process. With everyone in the same place, you start trekking down the mountain, towards the region that Kothbiro called Nira Valley. You get a good view of the lay of the land: mostly wetlands, streaked with streams and creeks running off from the main river in the distance. You can just see the farmlands surrounding the village of Oriole where you're headed, on the edge of the river. On the opposite bank is an enormous kingly statue, much like the ones you passed so long ago, marking the edge of the land of Galatian.
You descend the mountain range and begin to cross the wetlands. It's easier said than done: the terrain is soft, boggy, and hard to read due to the dense grasses, reeds and bushes. Every once in a while, you'll step in a deceptively deep puddle, or have your feet sink into the mud. It's hard going, and what's more, it's difficult to make sure you're going the right way…>roll Navigation
While he normally hangs out, the injured dog tries to hang out in the center of the marching order, not wanting to take yet another injury from hanging behind.
[1d10+1] navRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"This is terrible." Sunbeam says flatly. "This land is like walking through the bottom of a lake. But even worse." She groans as she ventures on, very unaccustomed to the terrain.
"It is unbecoming of myself to complain but this is quite a challenge." She says, keeping her eyes on the horizon as she looks for a way to speed up this arduous journey.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Having designated her Saurian to carry the bindled dragon, the undead breaks a muddy path ahead of Vajra to avoid the worst of the struggle
"With luck we will be free of thiss accurssed bog before long.." she trails off, shuddering at the feeling of mud on scaleRoll #1 9 = 9
Kalidan picks his way cautiously through the marshy ground. At one point he looks back to offer a snarky remark to Noghu, who looks equally dismayed by the moist state of affairs, but before he can get more than an introductory chuckle out he finds himself thigh-deep in mud. He has to frantically scrabble at the loose footing, inelegantly dousing himself in the evil puddle. Before he can pull himself free, he is covered in muck, his fancy clothing all inundated with filthy water, his flippant attitude extinguished.
Dripping with water and displeasure, he plods dourly behind the group. He is eager to find another, preferably drier, route.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Most of you languish in the muddy grounds, slowing progress down to a crawl. Kalidan gets lost in the reeds at one point and it takes about half an hour for him to find his way back to the others. Kothbiro almost walks into quicksand, and Saskia begins to gnaw at some leeches that cling to her. Vajra, for a change, is the one to guide you out of this wretched stretch of land; spotting higher ground, you head pointedly towards it, and by the late afternoon you are back on dry land, wiping off mud from the trek in the grass.
"Well that was unpleasant," Kothbiro gripes, polishing her axe vigorously. "I'd hoped we'd find a shorter way through. Let's get cleaned up and head down. Oriole's just ahead. We should be able to wash up in the river there." Saskia steps away from the party and shakes off the water and mud on her fur.
"Well." Sunbeam begins, trying to shake off the bog both figuratively and literally. "It is good that that is over, yes?" She says as she heads towards the river.>>747966
"For once it would not be a terrible thing if I accidentally drop you in." She says, trying to joke a bit.
Noghu remains quiet and miserable, wanting rest but having had it deeply trained into his mind never to show weakness around a pack.
[1d10] navRoll #1 7 = 7
Kalidan hides his relief at finding his way back to the group under a mask of mud and anger. He shakes off a negligible amount of moisture, plodding carefully with each mud-coated paw, his whiskers drooping with wetness and displeasure.
"Agreed," he mumbles at the zebra's complaint. "That sucked."
His ears perk slightly at her mention of a river. Normally he wouldn't care for running water, 1 but his finery has taken a bit of a beating, and he wouldn't say no to the chance to clean the filth off. Without another word, he beelines to the river's edge and wades in, fully clothed.
After a thorough dunking, he strips naked and drapes his pack and clothes over a rock, sitting sullenly not facing the group as he combs himself with his tongue.
With no small amount of annoyance, the sorceress snakes through the grass to clean her scales the best she can.
"Hessitant i may be to rissk cold water, to remove the mud it will have to do."
Relatively clean, she follows the others down to the river to wash up.
Ready to get back into town and take stock of my gear. Looking down at my mud caked legs and huff a bit. Maybe actually clean up, too. Been a little while. I quietly follow the rest of the group.
After taking a moment to breathe, you head down to the fishing hamlet. Kothbiro seems relieved to finally be there. The days of nonstop travel are beginning to catch up with you all, and getting to bathe in the river seems like a relief.
The hamlet of Oriole seems rather pleasant to your eyes. It consists of few small buildings on the banks of the river, mostly made of adobe. It seems to rely greatly on the river for sustenance; you can see several boats with fishermen out and about, even as the sun begins to wane. The population are mostly Dogs, it seems, and you can see several of them bathing in the river themselves. The villagers give you curious looks, but keep their distance and mind their own business, going about their daily chores singlemindedly.
"Not much to look at," Kothbiro comments, "but it's cozy. We should be able to stay here a spell, recover, and then plot our next course. For now, though…" She starts heading eagerly towards the river bank, leaving her belongings and her coat under a nearby tree. She seems in good spirits.
"Different pack.." Noghu looks wearily, following Kothbiro.
"Ah. It is nice to be somewhere where we are not constantly being attacked by warlords, yes?" She says with a smile. "Perhaps we will all find some comfort and direction here." Sunbeam concludes as she happily saunters into town, ready to stumble into another encounter.
Arriving at the edge of town and the river it borders, Vajra takes the opportunity to test the water, before cleaning herself along the riverbank, commanding her saurian servant to clean off her gauze and cloth in the meantime.
Kalidan takes his time drying himself, and when the rest of the crew departs he tails behind, waving his clothing in the sun in an attempt to dry them.
How Clean Are These Clothes? [1d10]>>747978
"Oh yeah. I'm sure this place will be REAL friendly." He eyes the townsfolk warily. "At least you can't really burn down a house made of mud," he chuckles to her in a quiet aside.Roll #1 9 = 9
I drop my pack next to the zebra's along with the only piece of clothing I currently have. My bearskin cloak. I keep my knife on me, strapping it around my bicep just in case, and wade into the river.
You head to the river. The townsfolk give you a wide berth as you approach, slightly intimidated by your appearance, as well as the company you keep. Kothbiro doesn't hold back, diving into the river and popping out a ways away, grateful for the opportunity to take a bath. Noghu and Sunbeam find that the water is cool and refreshing. Just what you needed, really. Saskia goes in and plays in the water happily, acting more like a dog than you've seen before.>>747981
Your clothes are stained with mud, dirt and other grime, but nothing a good wash won't fix. They're still wearable.>>747977
Kothbiro makes her way over to you eventually. Her good mood is dimmed a bit as she sees you looking rather haggard. "Are you alright?" she asks. "You look a bit out of sorts.">>747978
You head into town by yourself. It's not too lively; most people seem to be heading home for the day, and lights are starting to turn on in the windows. You notice a handful of guards wearing the same armor as those in Galatian. Thenn's soldiers. They notice you, but don't seem to know who you are, leaving you be but keeping an eye out in case of trouble.
Outside what looks like the town hall, you notice a billboard. It has postings for local advertisements, including, it seems, jobs.
There's also an inn that's in the midst of opening up for the night.
A small church is across the road.
Finally, there's a signpost at the far end of town, listing paths the road ahead can take you. In the distance, you see a stone bridge, taking you out of Galatian territory for good.
The church catches Sunbeams eye as she heads over to it. "What strange faith builds such ornate buildings?" She asks herself as she slowly enters, unsure what to expect.
I try to find a good spot to sit down, lean against the bank, and relax some for a bit.
[1d10+3]PerceptionRoll #1 6 + 3 = 9
Noghu lies on the river bed, leaving his paws in the water as he rests. "Healthy." He says quietly.
The roguish cat breaks off from the rest of the group, making his way into the town. He slinks through the streets, avoiding contact with anybody, especially the Thenn guards, trying to spot the richest part of town. Perhaps a merchant. Especially one that's closing up for the night.
Careful not to fall into the cooler, deeper end, Vajra finishes cleaning off before gathering her likely wet clothing from her minion, slipping it on and entering the town.
As she still lacks the money to even bother renting a room, Vajra opts to search the town hall's job board for later
You enter the church. It is small and sparsely decorated. The first thing you notice is that the ceiling is made of glass, allowing light to shine through to the altar at the far end. In lieu of chairs or pews, there are simply large red and gold rugs set on the floor. The altar consists of a large metal fixture in the shape of the sun.
There is no one around, save for an older Dog who is sweeping the floor at the moment. He looks up as you enter, doing a bit of a double take. "Oh! Welcome, traveler. What can I help you with?" He seems a bit intimidated.>>747985
You find a willow nearby providing ample shade. You go over to it and sit down for a while. The world is quiet here. For now.>>747986
"You don't look it," she says with a bit of worry. "You sure you're not feeling sick? Maybe an infected wound?" She looks you over briefly. "We're friends, right?">>747987
There doesn't seem to be much in the way of affluence in this town. Everything these people have, they made for themselves. There's a shop nearby, selling the usual fare: packed food, water, traveling supplies, etcetera. Looks like it'll be closing soonish. A quick once over reveals there's only one way in or out, through the front door.>>747989
You look it over. Surprisingly, there's quite a lot to choose from:
A feral boar's been breaking in to one of the adjacent farms, ruining their livelihood. There's a 200 bit reward for hunting it.
Some local bandits have been harassing the townsfolk with a protection racket. The mayor's offering 600 bits to whoever manages to either bring them to justice or drive them away.
Finally, a scholar from out of town is staying at the local inn, and is searching for a team of adventurers to break into and investigate a nearby crypt. He's looking for artifacts from it, and will pay handsomely for each one recovered.
I sit down, lean against the tree, and close my eyes.
"Oh, nothing in particular. I am just here to observe the architecture." She says, overpronouncing that last word. "It is quite beautiful, unlike anything I have ever seen." She says, walking over to a wall to admire the craftsmanship, making sure to not approach the altar too much.
"Sick means dead, I not sick." Noghu says, pulling himself up from his position and sitting up next to Kothbiro, thinking over the philosophical nature of what it means to be a friend. He shrugs, coming to a conclusion, "I not killed you in your sleep."
"Hmm." The cat, after examining the lone shop, marks its position in his mind and works his way back to the town hall to peruse the board. He reads over Vajra's shoulder.>>747989
"Looking for a job, huh?" He lets a pause ripen in the air.
"I say we scare off the bandits. Shouldn't be too hard to give them a spook with your boney buds. Maybe we can squeeze some information from the mayor about their lair, and 'recover' some back fees for him." He squeezes his paws in the air to emphasize the word "recover" while wagging his eyebrows suggestively at her.
Making note of the jobs available, the interest of the sorceress peaks at the note of artifact hunting. Perhaps an avenue of power?>>747994
She very nearly jumps out of her skin. Whirling around to face you, she opens her mouth to hiss out a complaint, before listening to your idea.
"Hmm.. Perhapss. It would
be a ssimple matter to route them, though it iss likely the mayor would know little beyond what the banditss have revealed, if they were ssmart."
"What of the Crypt? Dangerouss, perhapss, but a chance of retrieving powerful artifactss."
Kalidan shows a small amount of pride in having snuck up on the usually aware serpent. He nods at her suggestion, then cocks his head to the side as if in thought.
"Staying at the inn, eh? Offering a substantial reward?…" He lets the thought drift off without following up.
You rest for a while. As you begin to fall asleep, you become aware of heavy breathing beside you. It's Saskia. She's standing next to you, trying to get your attention. Though she can't communicate, you get the feeling she's leaving, having done her part to escort the party to this place. She dips her head slightly and huffs.>>747992
"Oh, thank you." He smiles. "I try to take care of the place as best I can. It doesn't see as much use as it did in the old days, but it's important to keep the traditions alive. …Er, just let me know if you need anything. I'll be around." He nods slightly and recedes to get back to work.>>747993
"Not necessarily. I've been sick before. And I'm not dead."
She snorts with amusement. "True. It's a miracle any of us are still alive, after what we've been through. Eh?"
"Yess, perhapss we could sspeak with him once the otherss have arrived."
"..And do not think me eassy to ssneak up on! You had ssimply ssurprissed me whilsst thinking of the tomb." she adds, turning her head up as she finishes her previous thought.
"The chance for power iss intriguing, but Thungr and the otherss are likely to want boar for a meal eassily over magical potential."
"Alright, hear me out," the cat wraps a paw around Vajra's scaly shoulder, pulling in close to whisper into her ear.
"Where there are jobs, there are opportunities. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for playing the hero, getting trophies and accolades and good-boy-points. But, listen. Trophies and good feels don't gather power. You hear what I'm saying?" He looks at her for recognition.
After a moment, he continues.
"We could have so much more. This town has more to offer than they appear to. Treasures in the crypt? Absolutely. Let's grab those for ourselves. The scholar? He himself is a lead to knowledge, which I'm sure you yourself understand is an avenue to power itself. The mayor, the bandits? There are two sides to every coin. Money? That's the ultimate power. What if," he lets go of her and steps back a bit to look her in the eyes. "What if these leads are jobs that we ourselves devise? We don't have to take them at face value. What if we take the information and use it to benefit ourselves, rather than play along to the normal rules of," he signs disgust here, "kill a monster, earn a penny?"
He steps back, eyes and ears pointed at her to receive her response.
She scratches her jaw with a claw in thought, parsing your words for a moment.
"Hmm.. Thinking more than the sstep ahead. Yess, i can ssee the merit of thiss. Forgoing the original reward to take what we can."
"But what of the law of thesse landss?" she asks. "Word may yet sspread of the sstrange group sstealing away with broken promissess of work unfullfilled and wealth sstolen."
"We have only jusst esscaped purssuit in Galatian. To presss our luck here would likely brand uss criminalss in sshort order."
"Ssurvival iss difficult when breaking trusst and law. Misslead the sscholar by omisssion of artifactss, yess, but invesst in word of our good deedss now and we may yet exploit ssuch faith later."
The cat scratches his chin, considering his response. "Well," he begins, "it's not really a crime unless you get caught, right? I don't know if you saw, but the guards around here look a lot like guards from," he lowers his voice to a whisper, "Galatian."
He leans back, eyes wide, waits a beat for his words to sink in.
"It's only a matter of time before word of us reaches Thenn. We don't have the time to ADVENTURE here! We're still on the lamb, and in case you haven't noticed, we don't exactly blend in to the local crowd."
He looks around, clearing his throat and lowering his voice again before continuing.
"Look, the way things've been going for us, I figure we've got about one day to make the most of this place, and thank goodness for them you can't burn down a mud house."
I nod and pull myself back to my hooves. Gathering up my stuff, I decide to head out to find a place to grab some food. Giving one last glance to the wolf, I say, "Thanks." turn, and head into the hamlet.
(I apologize for the intrusion but I would like to participate in these quests and roleplay. Do you have a discord or someplace you all hang and plan these at?)
for a description of the hamlet of Oriole.
"Is this town not as of faith as it was before?" Sunbeam says, aware of how strange that sounds. "My friends and I are but humble visitors, so I do not mean any harm in my intrusions." She says politely, on her best behavior in a place of faith.
I grumble a little as I see the community board. Looks like one'a them what got more'n just jobs on it. Guess I'll deal with that later. For now, I head into the inn to settle in some.
"No, I fight to live this long. Claim luck or miracle is insult." Noghu looks out to the town ahead, then to the canteen filled with gem shards, "Still have gem, dogs might have wrap magic."
He attempts his own 'witchcraft' again, finding reeds to wrap his wounds.
>Natural Remedy, 9+ to heal a wound, 2- to lose one, everything else is nothing
[1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"Yess yess, i ssee what you mean." she replies, scratching her snout. "We're likely to draw the ire of the guardss anyway, that we may asss well take what we can and run."
"Fine. Given we have already nearly burned down a keep and killed sseveral guardss, we might asss well continue. Until we esscape to landss beyond Galatian, at leasst."
"Excellent!" The cat is pleased and maybe just a bit surprised to have the necromancer on his side. "Alright. Well, we should probably speak with both the mayor and the scholar, to size up their offers (as well as their coffers, get what I mean?), then maybe reconnect with our buds and see what they have in mind. Could be they have ideas of their own about how best to get this thing ablaze." His eyes sparkle as he does a tiny dance, backing away in rhythm from the snake with his pointed teeth gleaming in a smirk.
"But first!" he turns with a flair. "If we aren't going to be here that long, I could really go for a drink!" He stalks off toward the inn purposefully.
The old Dog looks grim. "Not since the Thenns took over. They're… not fond of our ways. They do not follow the Path of the Undying Sun, and would replace us with their own beliefs. We are lucky to be here on the frontier, and not the capital…">>748456>>748459
You both head to the inn, the Nine of Cups. The interior is a bleached, sandy color, matching the exterior, and decor is minimal. Most of the furniture is part of the floor and walls, having been carved out of it. There are a few patrons lingering around, mostly at the large bar in the middle of the building. A flight of stairs at the far end lead to the rooms.
The bartender, a large, muscular Felid, looks up from cleaning a tankard, nodding in greeting to you and wordlessly offering to take your order.>roll Perception alongside your actions>>748457
"That's… that's not magic," Kothbiro says bluntly. "Also that reed has thorns…"
Her warning comes too late, as you suffer a nasty prick from them, ostensibly containing a mild venom. Your wounds just smart even more.>Noghu takes 1 wound
Kothbiro clicks her tongue in annoyance and looks around, spotting some better reeds nearby and fashioning a bandage. "Here. See? This is how you're meant to do it," she says sternly. "You have to learn the vegetation in these parts, or it'll bite you worse than any animal could. Now hold your arm out and stand still."
Noghu whines softly as he's weakened further, shamefully holding out the arm and putting his arm out as his tail tucks between his legs.
"Ah." Sunbeam speaks in a hushed voice. "While I am not of your faith, I agree with your opinion on…" She pauses, thinking. "I-I am sorry, but this tongue is not my first. Did you mean to implicate there is more than one Styrr Thenn? Siblings?" She says, her voice twinging with fear.
Your wounds sting slightly and you can't help but flinch as Kothbiro gets to work. "I said stand still. Sheesh." She treats your injuries with some sort of balm she carries before bandaging them with the reeds. After a few uncomfortable moments, you feel the pain starting to subside, and you feel better already. "See? You can't just get by on strength, you know." She pats the bandaged arm and pulls back. "How's that?"
"That's the name given to his underlings," he explains. "Or so I've heard. In less than half a year they've already seized this land." He shakes his head bitterly. "..I'm sorry. You probably didn't come here to discuss politics. I-is there anything I can help you with?"
Kalidan nods nonchalantly to the barkeep, twitching his ears in subtle recognition of their shared ancestry. He looks around for a moment before sidling up to the counter.
"House ale, please," he orders politely. "And thanks. By the by, my friends and I are in town for a night or two. Do you have rooms for rent?" >>748456
Kalidan spots his largest companion trying ineffectively to look incongruous. "Thought we'd find you here," he remarks, slinking over to the giant. "What do you think? Find a job, or keep moving?"Roll #1 5 = 5
Perhaps regretting her decision, Vajra slithers behind the Felid as the pair move to the bar.>>748460
Vajra enters the Nine Cups with the others, her undead saurian pausing to stand by at the entrance, occasionally peering into the bar from around the door's corner.
The Sorceress snakes her way up to the bar, coiling into an impromptu seat. "A Glasss of water, for now, pleasse." she asks, scanning the bar as she settles into her coils.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 2 = 2
Noghu quietly RRrrrr
s at Kothbiro handling him, but stays still and allows for Koth to wrap the arm. He stays quiet for a moment, struggling to figure out what words to say. "Thank."
"Ah, I apologize again. This tongue and this land are both foreign to me. I hope that one day your home will be… ah… hmm… bettered." She says, stuck on a comforting word.
"My friends and I have come to this town merely as a band of adventurers. But I came to this holy place for prayer. I understand I am not of your faith and I will not protest if you deny this request. On my travels I have not had a moment to reflect in some time. Surely a fellow creature of faith can understand this wanting to take respite." Sunbeam says humbly with her hands clasped down by her thighs.
"Don't mention it. Now then, we should see what the others are up to…" She looks up, only to pause and frown. Saskia is gone. "…Huh. Didn't even say goodbye."
He blinks. "Ah. Well, it may not be your faith, but you are a welcome visitor. Stay as long as you like, traveler." He clasps his hands and bows out, returning to his caretaking duties and leaving you to your own devices.
Kalidan notices a patron in an alcove looking at the group with interest; a slight, grey unicorn with a short beard and a robe. Must be the scholar.
The innkeeper nods and prepares your drinks. "10 bits," he says to Kalidan.
At the question of rooms, he nods again. "I do. Three per room, 30 bits a night. How about it?"
Noghu takes the command literally, making a mental note to never mention it again. "Did task, no reason to stay."
Noghu gets to tracking the scent of the others.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6
I briefly glance down at the cat, look back up, and answer. "Job." Can't buy nothin when you ain't got no money. Less he was plannin on sleepin outside.>>748460
I nod back and sit down at the bar. "Liquor. Hot food." Don't really care what right now. Just want a drink and somethin in my belly.
Sunbeam smiles and nods in return. She carefully approaches a carpet and sits down.
For a moment, she is overwhelmed by this peace. When she was on her own she often took hours or even days simply to rest and pray. Now with her newfound companions, she has had hardly a minute to think truly about herself."uikpa mochintin inon tikpiah…"
(For all that we have…)
Emotions wash over her. She has not said those words in what has felt like years. Feelings of home and of comfort, the innocence of a young lastborn princess. The bitter sting of realization, as the nightmares prophesied. And the day she left, hopeful this was the right thing to do."…iuan mochintin inon tipiatiuhkeh…"
(…and all we are going to have…)
Her friends. The four fools she thought she could command like subjects when they met. Sunbeam had never realized what they would mean to her. This journey was something they had all shared. A mutual memory she never realized possible."…titlasokamatih, Kōl-Ti, uikpa in itlamant in tonatiu."
(…we thank you Kōl-Ti for the gifts of the sun.)
The Sun. The untouchable ideal guiding the life of so many Trakali. To bask in its unachievable perfect light is a gift no Trakali has ever received or ever will. A faith based on idealism and impossible perfection. For a second, Sunbeam wonders. Is a belief in the impossible better than none at all?"tiyah"
She continues to sit with her eyes closed.
Kothbiro follows you. You both enter the village of Oriole, getting odd looks from some of its citizens. The Thenn guards seem a bit wary of you. You both follow the scent to the local inn, where you find Thungr, Vajra and Kalidan getting comfortable.
As the group was unable to cash out the hunting expedition, Vajra keeps quiet as the others discuss payment.>>748474>>748465
"Ah yess, the job board. The sscholar sshould be here by now. Perhapss we could find thiss hidden ruin while we're waiting?"
Noghu looks to the others, leaning on his spear, "When is next hunt?"
"Keep a tab for me, will you?" The cat slaps down a couple coins, totaling around 50 bits, before sauntering away. >>748474
"Hmm," Kalidan sips his ale thoughtfully before walking away. >>748477
"Real talker, that one," he quips, gesturing over his shoulder at the overly stoic minotaur. He nods his head at the small grey unicorn in the corner. "Looks like our man. Want to lead the way?">>748478
The cat grins at the dog. "Soon, and for the rest of your life."
looking to where Kalidan is pointing, Vajra nods.
"Very well. Let uss meet with the sscholar while we wait for the resst."
Uncoiling herself, The sorceress makes her way over to the seated unicorn.
You sit there for a while, thinking of everything that's happened. Despite recent events, it feels like this new chapter in your life is just beginning. The future is uncertain, for now, but you feel that as long as you stick with your new friends, you'll be able to take on whatever the universe may throw at you. >+3 max hits and +1 max wounds, temporarily
Kothbiro, having entered alongside Noghu, tilts her head slightly at your words to him. "What's that meant to mean?">>748480>>748479
You approach the unicorn, who looks up from studying a scroll of some sort. He sizes you all up with a slight smile. "I take it you saw my notice here in town. You are travelers, yes?"
"Forever hunt I know, when is soon."
Sunbeam takes a deep breath, then arises from her rug. She takes out a Trakalian coin and marks it the same way as she did for the beggar, and leaves it on the altar.
She steps out of the church and goes to find her companions.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"Indeed. We had noticed the offer for work and wissh to disscus further while we have the chance. What do you know of thesse ruinss?"
Kalidan stays behind Vajra while she speaks. He keenly eyes the scholar, trying to read his character, and whether he has backup in the tavern, all while sipping his ale nonchalantly.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Noghu tags along.
It takes you a good while, but you eventually find them; they're in the local inn, speaking with a scholarly unicorn you don't recognize.>>748486
He seems a shrewd type. Polite, soft spoken, and speaking very plainly. He is quite confident in his own abilities, but not to the point of arrogance. Looking at the scroll, it appears to be a map of some sort, ostensibly of the crypt.>>748486>>748485
"Excellent. I'd hoped someone would show up. I would have tried in the capital, but traveling there alone is… difficult." he extends his hoof. "My name is Adamant, by the way."
"To answer your question, madam, I know that they have been here a very, very long time. I have asked around about them in this place, and was able to acquire something of a map." He gestures at the scroll. "Doubtless out of date by now, given what's happened, but they will do as a rough guide.
"According to local legend, an exalted priest of the Undying Sun, Hoppipolla, coveted heretical artifacts, and used them to become a terrible warlock, claiming dominion over these lands long ago. The kings of old sealed him here, burying him and his acolytes alive in their own secret temple along with their riches, but not before he put a curse on them binding their souls to our world…"
Kothbiro looks uneasy; you recall the terrible wraith-kings you encountered some time ago.
"Since then," Adamant continues, "the Grave of the Fallen Saint has been investigated several times, but cave ins and certain warding seals have made it impossible to make much progress. Until now."
Hidden ruin? I glare at the wall and shake my head. "Different job. 'Less y'all wanna split up. Don't do hidden ruins, ancient temples, or forgotten tombs.">>748478
Kalidan listens, rapt, under the scholars spell against his better judgement. "Until now??" he blurts out, then looks around sheepishly. "I mean. What changed?"
Sunbeam enters, catching only the tail end of the conversation. She approaches her friends and asks.
"Oh? What trouble are we getting ourselves into this time?" She says with a giggle.
"Ssome meanss of traverssing through the ssealss, perhapss?"
"What other job, prefer outside." Noghu nods, sharing Thungr's sentiment.
"Apparently we're raiding a tomb," Kothbiro answers dryly.>>748490>>748491>>748492
"The crypt has changed," Adamant answers simply. "Ways that were shut or blocked have reopened, and some doors have closed altogether. I am something of an antiquarian. There is much scholarly potential in investigating these ruins.
"Make no mistake, however. I am well aware of the risks involved in delving into the tombs of forgotten madmen. It is one I am not willing to take. Therefore, I have acquired this." He reaches into his robe and produces an odd tool or weapon: it looks like a branding iron in the shape of the sun symbol Sunbeam saw in the church, but shorter, the length of a dagger. "I procured it from a roaming exorcist. A Blessed Firebrand. Anathema to Hoppipolla's ilk. To combat the undead that surely roam those halls, we must use this weapon to fend them off. And by no means should we disturb the tomb of Hoppipolla himself, if we should come across it. Awakening a forgotten evil would be… less than ideal."
"You will be rewarded, of course," he goes on. "Money is not a concern of mine. I don't expect you to make a decision immediately, but I can guarantee this venture would be well worth your while.">>748493>>748489
Kothbiro joins you both. "I've heard enough. This doesn't sound good. I'm all for exploring forgotten places, but the tomb of a dead sorcerer is just asking for trouble. Is there anything else we could do around here?"
Sunbeam is intrigued by the iron. "What a fascinating implement. It can cast away vitel
?" She says, shortly before Kothbiro protests.
"Hmm. I have trust in your faith myself, but if my friends protest I must stay loyal to them." She says, a bit conflicted through wanting to both thank the church in a way and recognize her friends wishes.>>748493>>748489
"How different would it be from the tomb you explored before we met?" She says, not entirely sure if that was a tomb of anything.>>748492
"I can tell your fascination comes from a point of admiration, Vajra. This sorcerer sounds like a powerful member of your fellow necromancers."
With a hissing sigh at the other's annoyance, i turn back to the Scholar.
"Perhapss another time, Adament."
drawing myself back up, i snake my way back to the bar for my water.
"Yess yess, i am aware of the group'ss disstasste for tombss. There iss alsso the boar that hass been desstroying the nearby farm. Perhapss that iss more to your tasste?"
Kalidan shows his pointy teeth at the aged unicorn. "Just a second please, while my compatriots and myself converse.">>748493>>748492>>748491>>748489
Kalidan pulls the group into a huddle, somewhere away from any prying ears. He looks to either side before addressing the group.
"Look, guys. This buttwipe," he notices the scholar looking at them, offers him a wide and genuine smile before continuing, "this total egghead wants us to do his dirty work for pennies. I'm all for an honest days work," he looks around as if to rebuke interjections, and finding none, continues. "But it kinda seems like he has bits for grabs, and I for one don't see any reason not to grab them." He smiles up again at the scholar before continuing his hushed whisper to the group.
"Look. Let's agree to his terms, get payment up front, find out where he keeps the cash if possible, and then get the buck out of this podunk backwater town, onward and upward to greener pastures. What say?"
"Indeed. To think of the wealth of artifactss hidden below! It iss enough to ssalivate over."
"Unfortunately, pressent company iss not inclined to aggree with me, and i would not ssurvive the trek alone." she laments, sipping her drink forlornly.
"He did ssay 'we'" she w(hiss)pered back
"He intendss to travel with uss to the tomb, pressumably. Up front payment iss unlikely."
"Boar good, means food without pay. Explore with full stomach."
"Yeah. And where'd that place get me? Ain't nothin but bad luck.">>748494
I nod again. "No tombs.">>748497
I grunt and shake my head. "Gonna pretend I didn't hear that. Ain't gonna stop y'all. Ain't gonna join. I'm with the dog. Gonna look at other jobs."
"I am with you scalekin. Perhaps for very different reasons, but we should respect the wishes of our companions.">>748497
She scoldingly whispers back to Kalidan with the fury of an upset mother. "We are already branded criminals here! Do you really want to attract the ire of a whole nation over robbing one noble?" She takes a deep breath, then continues. "I apologize. I did not want you to act too hastily.">>748500
"Noghu is wise. Perhaps taking an easier job first would benefit us. This tomb is not leaving anywhere, but the boar may leave anytime.">>748501
"Do you consider us bad luck Thungr?" She says, mostly as a joke.
Kalidan flattens his ears against his head, assumes a look as if struck. "Of course not, my dear dragon! I wouldn't dare attract the ire of the entire nation to rob a single noble!" He smoothes his whiskers with a paw. "Of course you realize, we're already outlaws here by denying Thenn of his precious topaz. He's the boss, right? In case you didn't notice, every guard here is dressed just like his goons back at Galatian. Coincidence? I don't assume so. We're already outlaws, sweetie pie, and I wouldn't put too much stock into us fixing our reputations right now. Not after the debacle with the fire and whatnot." He eyes the dragon coolly.
He nods, presuming vitel means undead or cursed. >>748495>>748496>>748497>>748500>>748501
"I understand your reservations," he says calmly. "The job won't be going anywhere, and it is a significant commitment. And there is risk involved, of course."
Kothbiro considers what Kalidan has to say. "As long as we don't stir up too much trouble in there, I think we'll be fine. But… it's risky. Very risky. And we're still in Galatian. It's only a matter of time before word of the capital reaches this place. We have a week, if that…"
"Maybe taking something else first would be good though," she muses. "We really do need the money, and resources. The problem right now is that we don't have those or a real plan. Sunbeam's right. We're fugitives now. We have to tread lightly."
She gives Thungr a side eye. "I don't like the idea of grave robbing either, but what's with you? You're the strongest one I know. Why are you so afraid of sorcery? It's nothing you can't handle. Besides, we have a sorceress of our own, don't we?"
"There iss alsso the boar." I reply, louder for the otherss to hear.
"Of dire ssize, ssupposedly. it hass been tearing through a farm nearby, and there iss payment to deal with it. Perhapss that would ssuffice in the mean time?"
"Perhapssss." She says, sounding like Vajra as she thinks while extending her s. "I am no thief, but given the present situation… agh. What am I saying? No, Kalidan. I will not abet your thievery.">>748505
"We do have two very talented hunters in our company. Both of which seem interested in this bounty as well." She says, looking over Thungr and Noghu for confirmation.
"Hunt." Noghu confirms.
I shift a little. "Ain't nothin good come from no witchin. Specially the old magic and curses you see in tombs and such. Ain't had many good encounters with it. I can kill it, but-" I try to suppress a shiver. "Things got a way of gettin ya from beyond the grave."
"You do not have to speak further of this. I understand your distaste for the undead and while it is not where we are going right now, such creatures are powerless in the face of the light. toneltokokayouh ka tochimal
Our faith is our shield." She says, trying to comfort and empower him.>>748507
"I agree." She says simply to Noghu, giving him a gentle smile and nodding.
"Hmmph." Kalidan makes an annoyed face at Sunbeam, then sticks out his tongue for about two seconds before dissolving into laughter. When his eyes open at her, they are all good nature and humor. >>748508>>748509>>748505
"Fine. The boar, maybe? At least we won't go hungry.">>748504
"A week, huh?" He eyes the zebra. "That's giving Styr a long time. You don't think we've been followed?"
She rolls her eyes. "They're just strolling bones. I'm sure if it were really serious, Adamant would've mentioned curses and such.">>748512
"Messengers take time to travel," she points out. "I doubled back to check for following tracks the other night while I was on watch too. Didn't see anything. I think we're safe.">>748505>>748507>>748508>>748512>>748506
She looks around, seeing that there's a consensus among the group. "Hunt," she concurs. "So who do we see about this then? Doesn't sound like too hard a job. If it's anything like those birds it shouldn't be more than a day."
I nod. Definitely boar.>>748513
I hum. You don't mention curses if you want folks to go in. Not on a community board. Guess if it really was that bad they'd look for someone who actually deals with it.
"Take the job. Visit whoever is givin it for the details. Resupply some. Spend the night here," I say. "Rest up. Eat. Sleep. Eat breakfast. Leave in the mornin."
"Should wake before sunrise, best hunts at dawn."
"Fine." Kalidan downs the rest of his ale.
After finishing his small coughing fit, he addresses the group. "Are we staying here? Room isn't free, but it seems safe. And warm." >>748505
He flicks his tail as he meets eyes with the sorceress.
"The board only mentioned the farm nearby. Perhapss we sshould ssearch the area?">>748516
she meets your eyes and nods towards the others, shrugging knowingly.
"Perhaps we catch it while it is still sleeping?"
"Surround, at least. Give no room to start charging."
"I see. Were such tactics common in your homeland?"
"Or lead it into chargin. Some boars can change the way they're headed, but most gotta stop and turn. Kilt a big ole devil pig that way. Stuck it in the ribs after it ran by.">>748518
"Wild things ain't usually light sleepers. Takes some doin to sneak up on em. Best to track and ambush.">>748516
I nod. "Here, I imagine."
"It likely does not sleep in the open. We will have it cornered in its den? Does that sound right?"
"Hmm.. quite the dangerouss possition, i would imagine. a beasst backed into a den would likely gore one of uss before we could sstop it, much too closse."
[Last 50 Posts]
"Ah. I never presided over the military tactics of our empire. Trakali usually had such an overwhelming numbers advantage it rarely mattered. I trust whatever Noghu and Thungr come up with." She says with emphasis on the and.