"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Owynn," the hobb replies. Bitsa shifts his weight and the scrape of leather sandle on grit and rock is loud in the passage. "If the chasm indeed blocks our progress then we'd have a hard time just crossing it. Who knows where that opening in the cliff wall leads? I'd hate to toss my grapple up there just to interrupt someone's dinner. Why don't we head back to the others, find out what they discovered about that door and decide from there."
Bitsa suits words to action and picks his way carefully back down the shadowed passage towards the cavern, the others, the double-doors and further mysteries.
I'll have the deep-fried battered pixie with balrog dipping sauce and a Hobgoblin ale.
Frightfully anxious about how he looks in the torchlight, and not seeing his reflection anywhere, Aonghasan pulls out a small mirror from his belt and begins tossing his hair, misting it with a peach-scented alchemical mixture from his grooming kit, and tossing it again, before tousling it with his hands and then c-ocking his head to get his hair to do that thing where it falls enigmatically across one eye. All the while giving orders to Herman to position the torch just right.
"For a wizard,", he says absently to Herman, with his gaze fixed upon his reflection, "There's nothing quite as important as presence and bearing. These things focus the mind and bring the spirit into harmony with the cosmos. Cosmos, after all, means beauty, and without beauty, the binding forces that hold everything together would come unstrung, and devolve into a dull, grey, formless waste...
"Not unlike Dead End, if you know what I mean." Here he looks up at Herman, smiling. "What am I thinking? Of course you do!"
Post by monstermike on Nov 19, 2010 13:04:18 GMT -5
After further exploration, the group seems to be at a standstill. Pan realizes that he may not have described what he saw in the next cavern carefully enough. It did not seem like a trap to him, so much as the result of some kind of accident.
He gathers everyone together in the lantern light near the ancient fire-pit and grabs a bit of blackened wood. Drawing on the floor he says, "No, look. Here's the floor of the cavern, and here's the crevasse. On the other side, high up in the wall is an opening. There's a big cone of rock directly underneath, and the bodies or whatever are on the ground right by the cone of rock. It looks kind of like maybe they were digging a tunnel and didn't know they were about to break through to the cavern. Then boom, the whole thing gives way, and the diggers end up dead on the floor by the big pile of rock that fell out of the opening."
Here's what Pan draws:
As everyone stands pondering Pan's drawing, a soft dinging sound and a magical glow begin to emanate from the pack Herman is carrying. Perplexed, Herman pulls off the pack and opens it up. Herman rummages through the pack for a moment and extracts a small crystal orb, about the size of a billiard ball.
As he holds the glowing orb up, hazy swirls form inside it, then begin to clear. Everyone can see a tiny image of Mr. Smythe's bespectacled face in the orb. Mr. Smythe blinks a few times, pushes his spectacles up his nose, and begins to speak.
"Ahem. Hello there. Forgive me. I instructed Sherriff Cogburn slip this little thingy into one of your packs as he was loading the wagon. I've been watching you from time to time [via Mystic Vision] and you seem to be at a loss. I checked through the historical archives of Dead End for information about Tallinoor. Apparently, he was buried in a tomb in the cavern you are now in - it seems the villagers at that time thought his spirit would prevent the cave trolls from returning to the cave. I think that's what is behind the double doors. I don't know what you will find in there - the archives are pretty spotty on some things - but you may learn something."
With that, Smythe's face is shrouded by the haze again, and soon the crystal orb goes dark.
Bitsa rocks back on his heels where he's crouched on the ground listening to Pan and Mr. Smythe. "That clarifies things, then, friends. I'd recommend we take a look at Tallinoor's doors and see if we can finesse them open." The hobb gestures beyond their circle to the portal in question, "From there, if we can ascertain if there are any bit's or bob's inside that'll be of help." Bitsa grimaces slightly and offers, "Of course, if it's a tomb our actions may disturb the dead but if Tallinoor was indeed a protector of these people perhaps his shade will understand our quest and forgive the transgression."
So saying, the hobb gets to his feet and hefts his pack. He strides, as much as one of his diminutive stature can, to Tallinoor's doors and begins to examine them with a professionals eye and hand. Bitsa runs his hands over the smooth, aged surface of the doors, examines their fit in the dressed-stone frame. The lack of a handle or obvious lock has him a bit mystified. He looks at the cave wall and floor where the doors are inset and casts about for any depressions or protrusions that could be used to trigger a mechanism, either trap or lock. Lastly he gently probes the doors central seam with fingers, sax and then thieves picks to try and discover any hidden latch.
Roguery roll for opening Tallinoor's door - 2+3+22=27
Note - I know Tenkar and Aonghasan have already looked at the door and didn't find any traps. I'm quite happy to step aside and let Tenkar Open Stuck Things. I don't want to be a glory hound here but Bitsa wouldn't be Bitsa if he didn't examine a locked door.
Post by monstermike on Nov 19, 2010 19:49:41 GMT -5
Bitsa's ministrations with the door yield little new information. The door was clearly built to simply be pushed open. There is no bar or latch and no sign of any release mechanism. Probing the gap between the doors with his sax, Bitsa encounters resistance half a meter above the floor. The point of his sax is rasping against rock. It does indeed seem as if the door is blocked by a small rockfall.
[Bookkeeping: Bitsa gains 5 AP LK for this L1 investigation of the door]
Edit: You were rolling vs. LK right? I had it as DX. Changed now.
Owynn scratches his head. He is not keen to being observed, especially magically, and even less to disturb a dead's last home. Now he is at a loss to decide what was the best course of action. A little confused, he turns to 'Hasan: "Do you know any magic trick which would allow you to push the stones behind the door without making too much noise?"
"ack! With the armor and weapons I carry, I could walk on feathers and be heard for miles! Let me give the doors a push and we can deal with the nasties as they are." Tenkar moves to the doors. "Are ya ladies joining me, or shall I kill all the troll on me lonesome?"
Asking himself why he even bothered to ask the wizard, Owynn moves toward the doors to join Tenkar. "The hell with it. Let's just push these doors and see what is behind!" he says. When everyone who wants to join is ready, he starts to push.
Post by monstermike on Nov 22, 2010 10:17:36 GMT -5
Tenkar and Owynn brace their shoulders against the doors and give a mighty shove. Their muscles strain and faces turn red and veined with effort as the doors creak in protest against their combined force. At the peak of their effort, they hear a loud, raspy pop as a wedged rock is broken and the doors swing open, shoving the rockpile out of the way with a thunderous grinding sound.
"Well, that would wake the dead." remarks Owynn.
Herman brings the lantern forward. You can see that you are in a large crypt, about 9 meters wide by 15 meters deep. (20'w x 50'd for you imperialists). There is an elevated marble slab in the center of the room. On the slab is the dessicated body of a warrior, still in scale armor and an open-faced helm.
'Nasan and Bitsa can see an aura of magic surrounding the slab and body. The aura does not appear to glow any brighter around the armor, weapon, or helmet - they seem to be common and non-magical.
As you approach closer, you notice that Tallinoor's hands are linked together across his chest on the pommel of his battered broadsword, whose point reaches down to the warrior's feet. There is a silver piece in each eye socket and a gold piece in his open, skeletal mouth - placed there to pay the ferryman for his passage into the afterlife. Clearly, he was given a hero's burial.
Walking around the room, you see nothing of interest on the walls, the floor, or the ceiling. This room is clearly just what it appears to be - a burial crypt for a single fallen hero. There are no entrances or exits other than the doorway you just came through.
Herman walks around the slab in hushed awe. There is an engraved bronze plaque on the front of the slab. He brings the lantern closer and brushes off the dirt and cobwebs with his hand. "Look at this."
The inscription on the plaque reads, "Talinoor willingly gave his life to save his village from the cave trolls who once dwelt here. Those who Honor his heroism and sacrifice will benefit from it. Beware to those who desecrate his grave, as they will bear our curse forever."
Herman, always ready to follow printed instructions, kneels before the slab and bows his head. "Thank you, Tallinoor for your great deeds and your sacrifice." He stand up again. "Well, that was cool. Wait 'till I tell the girls back in Dead End about this."
[Bookkeeping: Tenkar and Owynn shared a L8 SR. For AP purposes, I'm going to do some bad math and say that equals a L4 SR a piece. Tenkar takes 36 AP STR, Owynn takes 28 AP STR. 'Nasan regains 1 WIZ.]
Your move due by noon, Nov. 24. (Kneel, Steal, Leave, Something else?) I'll follow up on Wednesday, but then your next move won't be due until Monday, Nov. 29 since people may be otherwise occupied over Thanksgiving.
Game time 4/4 11:50.
Edit: Went back and checked my notes - Tallinoor is wearing an open-faced helm. Earlier, I had it posted as a full helm.
When Owynn sees Herman kneel, he shrugs and contemplates the writing, wondering if there is a hidden meaning behind it. He then inspects with attention the crypt, trying to notice details which might not be apparent at first sight. At the same time, he asks Bitsa and 'Hasan: "Any magic in there?"
Bitsa follows the others and looks around the bare room. The faint shimmer of magic, much like a heat haze, bathed the body on the stone slab. The hobb approached Tallinoor after hearing the dedication read out by Herman. Fishing a sling bullet from his pouch, Bitsa lays it on the stone near Tallinoors feet. "Your Grace, if you have any advice on defeating Salazar, I'd be grateful for the knowledge. Rest in peace." The hobb turns away to answer Owynn, "There seems to be a shimmer around Tallinoor but it could be a trick of the eyes. What say you, oh Magnificent and Learned Evocator?" Bitsa addresses the question, mildly mocking, in Aonghasan's direction.
Post by monstermike on Nov 24, 2010 11:27:43 GMT -5
[Posting for Pan]
Pan joins Bitsa near the foot of the slab. He reaches into his pack and pulls an apple from it, placing it next to Bitsa's sling bullet. He twists his chin hair for a moment, trying to come up with the right words. "Must have been a helluva fight. I don't know what your story is, big guy, but I respect a fighter who will go all out to get the job done."