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File: 1567687010970.jpg (85.61 KB, 1600x796, climber_by_andreasrocha_dc….jpg)

 No.723535[View All]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuMh2GXTZuo

In a time long past, before the coming of the Two, was a time of gods, heroes and monsters. A world as yet unexplored, an age of high adventure.

And in this age, eons ago, four wayward wanderers did find themselves crossing paths. Perhaps it was chance, or perhaps ordained by fate. I alone can elucidate the adventures of these four.

Hearken now to the Tales from the Age of Steel!
300 posts and 11 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.726023

>>726015
Kalidan, slinking close to the ground, tries to hide himself from the enemies. He notices Kothbiro's look of concern, nods slightly at her, before looking for the nearest high-ground outside of combat.

 No.726025

>>726023
Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.726026

>>726017
You twist your body gracefully in an arc, avoiding the rib like it's nothing.

The arrow is broken, and is difficult to put together again for the moment.

Candlehead's blows pry a few bones loose from the Reaper's claws, but between his and the Soldier's repeated blows, his bones are scattered.
>Reaper takes 3 hits

>>726018
Your aching wounds are soothed as you apply the medicinal herbs. Their healing properties are remarkable; you feel better already.

With both of Vajra's minions besetting him, you charge at Candlehead to finish him off. You ram into him with all the force you can muster, hitting him so hard that he violently shatters into a million bony shards. There's not much left of him once you're done.

>>726020
Thungr's pretty much annihilated Candlehead by now, but you spot a few of the fragments of bone feebly twitching, crushing them under the butt of your spear for good measure.

You spot Limber clinging to the walls like some overgrown gecko, surveying the fight from afar.

>>726023
>>726025
The nearest vantage point that you can see is a ledge that seems to connect to a higher level of the maze. It seems like one of many balconies of a sort. Oddly, you can see small multicolored lights on the floor of this upper section, silhouetting a figure that is watching you from afar. It looks like a fellow Felid. Female, with a large sword on her back. As she sees you watching, she darts off into the maze. You recall Thungr's warning of someone having flipped the bridge earlier.

>>726017
>>726018
>>726020
>>726023
Kothbiro spots Limber and starts moving towards him with her axe at the ready.

Limber reclaims his skull and hurls it at Noghu!
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.726028

>>726026
I rub my shoulder as I step away from the shattered skeleton. Quickly finding my javelin, I pick it up and hook it back into my pack with my other two and my spear. Turning my attention back to the battle, I try to find the last skeleton.

[1d10]Perception
[1d10]Hunter Sense

Roll #1 7 = 7 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.726029

>>726026

Noghu quickly reacts to the sight of Limber's toss, trying to bind the skeleton's arm before it can make a proper toss.

>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] DC-1

>actions divert whether or not Bola succeeds. On success, the next roll is a restrained strike at DC-1. If it fails, the roll is a dodge. Didn't want this to be 2 posts


[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 10 = 10

 No.726030

>>726026
Without hesitation, the Felid launches himself up, over the balcony, attempting to follow the unknown form through the darkness silently.
He turns to give one last glance to the party, still in the midst of combat, before dropping to all fours. He pads quietly into the blackness, following his mark with intense feline concentration.

Following the Trail [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.726032

>>726026
The Reaper fades briefly, its claws and mask hitting the ground unceremoniously with a clatter. After a moment, the shadows stretch towards the abandoned pieces, which rumble ominously.
[1d10] Recover

The finger arrow continues to right itself from the stony floor.
[1d10] Recover

With her minions disabled or too far away, the sorceress hisses in frustration as she chases after the agile skeleton.

"Hsss.. Get back here! I will carve you to ssplinterss mysself for your perssistance!"

>zone change


The soldier, having layed out the flailing skeleton, begins trudging after Vajra and the antagonistic Limber.

Roll #1 2 = 2 / Roll #2 3 = 3

 No.726034

>>726028
You spot Limber crawling up the walls, chucking bits of itself as weapons.

>>726029
As Limber winds up his throw, you respond with a quick hurl of your bola, strapping his arms to his body. He clatters to the ground, losing a few bones in the process. A ferocious war cry from you seems to intimidate even the mindless undead, stunning him momentarily.

>>726030
You break away from the gang and go after the Felid. It seems whoever this adventurer is, she's been leaving herself a trail of small, brightly shining stones to mark her path. You keep following in the direction that she went, only to find that the trail stops abruptly, and the path forks in several directions. Not only is there a crossroads leading forward, left and right, but also a set of rungs carved into the wall that lead to an even higher level. Your quarry could have gone anywhere. You can't help but shake the feeling, however, that you're being watched.
>roll Perception

>>726032
Your minions fail to rise as you approach the now helpless Limber.

>>726028
>>726029
>>726032
As Limber falls, stunned by Noghu's bolas and war cries, Kothbiro goes to swing her axe, but hesitates. She looks over to Vajra. "Witch. Will you be needing this one for anything, or should we swing away?"

You hear the clacking of bone on stone in the distance as reinforcements threaten to arrive. Kothbiro frowns. "Let's get moving before we have to fight even more. …Say. Where'd the cat go?"

 No.726035

>>726034
"Cat flee. His nature."

Interrupting Kothbiro's hesitation, Noghu smashes the spine of the skeleton with the butt of his spear, "We go, too much noise. More will come."

 No.726036

>>726034
>>726035
I nod. "Best," I say. No telling what's in the actual maze and past. Best not to waste our energy if we don't gotta.

 No.726038

>>726036
[1d10]Navigation

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.726039

>>726035
[1d10] DC-2 nav

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.726041

>>726034
She shakes her head "It iss uselesss to me. My control cannot extend to that which iss already raissed."

With the excitement over, the various undead summoned, save for the soldier, return to inert bones and sand.

"Let uss move on, there are more dead nearby.." She slithers past the bound bones through the exit, the soldier plodding along behind her.

[1d10] Navigation

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.726042

>>726034
Kalidan follows the trail. Glancing behind and all around him, he pockets each of the shining stones marking the path back.

When faced with a choice of which direction to head, the felid takes a moment to search for further clues.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.726044

>>726035
She frowns in disapproval as you simply break the skeleton with a finishing blow, but doesn't comment.

>>726035
>>726036
>>726041
You continue to traverse the maze, avoiding the incoming skeletons. You find yourselves going deeper down to the lower levels, beyond what could feasibly be called a temple. It's like this place was built into a cave system below the temple itself. You can only ponder how much effort went into this place.

You eventually come to the dark place Noghu found. It consists of an elaborate stone archway that once contained a door, but courtesy of Noghu is now just a pile of intricately designed rubble. To call the room ahead dark would be to call a lake a puddle; it is black as death, the darkness almost tangible. It is clear that this is not just poor lighting; there is some sort of fell magic at play here blinding you to what lies ahead. Kothbiro sticks her torch in, only to pull it back completely snuffed out. She frowns in concern. "What should we do here? There has to be a way to be rid of the shadows… Hm…"

>>726042
You notice pawprints in the dust, leading towards the rungs. You climb them, only to be presented with a long, narrow hallway. Further on, you can see the mysterious cat examining something on the ground, crouching down and fiddling with a contraption. As you climb up, her head turns to you sharply, her eyes gleaming in the darkness. She doesn't seem afraid of you, though; rather, she flashes a playful grin before darting off further down the hall and around a corner, as if inviting you to chase her.

 No.726045

>>726044
"Was blocked. No longer."

Noghu points to the pile with a satisfied, slightly eerie grin. He then points to the darkness.

"See? Needed light. Now light."

 No.726046

>>726044
Surprised by the magic at work, The sorceress looks on at the pitch black darkness ahead of them.

"Hmm.. An interessting sspell indeed. Perhapss there is ssomething of note nearby?"

Backing up, Vajra examines the area before and around the door for some sign of spells cast.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.726047

>>726044
>>726045
"Don't think that's true," I say, nodding toward the snuffed torch. I hum and look around with the witch. Some kind of light? Or maybe we're just supposed to go through the dark?

[1d10+2]

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.726049

>>726044
>>726047
>>726045

"Until we know the sspell's nature, i would advisse againsst entering. Asss the light wass ssnuffed out, sso too might our livess share the fate."

 No.726050

>>726044
Kalidan watches the contraption with wide eyes. After she leaves, he remains motionless, listening for several moments in the darkness for any clues. He continues tracing her, slowly and methodically, paying special attention to the contraption she left behind.

Follow [1d10]

He takes a moment to examine one of the stones his mark has left as a trail he has collected, as well as count how many he was able to pilfer.

Appraise [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8 / Roll #2 7 = 7

 No.726051

>>726047
No. Command: Now Light." Noghu reasserts.

 No.726053

>>726045
"Well obviously light doesn't work here, genius." She waves the burnt torch in your face. "You could have destroyed our only clue to getting through this thing, you do realize."

>>726046
You turn your attention to the rubble. Despite Noghu's best efforts, some of the pieces of the door are still intact. They seem to depict three torch sconces. Pieced together, they would have made some sort of map, but there's not much hope of doing so now.

>>726047
You can't seem to find much of interest, sadly, save for a few stray cobwebs.

>>726049
Kothbiro has a brainwave. "Why don't you try sending him in and see what happens?" She points at the Soldier, who's idly kicking at some stray dust.

>>726050
You are forced to sidestep. It seems she was rearming a pressure plate trap when you interrupted her.

You have collected about a dozen of the marker stones at this point, though there were many more leading in the opposite direction.

You keep following your quarry. She's always two steps ahead of you, navigating the maze with ease. She doesn't even bother leaving the stones for you to find at this point, though, as if she's trying to get you lost. You only ever catch glimpses of her, just out of sight, waiting for you to catch up.

Eventually, your tracking takes you to a dead end in the form of a wide open room, circular in design. It resembles some sort of arena. Your eyes have adjusted to the darkness by now, and you can see what looks like some sort of torch sconce in the center of the room. There's no sign of the Felid, though, at least not at first glance.

 No.726054

>>726053
"How? Was stone. Stone not light."

 No.726056

>>726053
I grunt. "Seems sendin' that thing in is our best bet. Can't find nothin' out here. 'Less someone has a better idea."

 No.726058

>>726053
The sorceress hisses at realizing the door's nature.

"The door held the key, a map, ssshattered and usseless now.. Piecing the door together will take time, ssomething we cannot afford to wasste…"

With a gesture, the soldier stands at attention and trudges into the darkness of the room ahead.

 No.726059

>>726053
The large black felid takes one step inside the cavernous room and immediately spooks. This looks bad. He starts looking for ways out of the room, with particular attention to the way he came in. Namely, turn tail and run. Quietly.

Nope, nope and nope [1d10]

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.726060

>>726058
I rub my face with my hand and shake my head. "Yeah," I say. "That'd make sense. Think we should-" I nod toward the undead. "tie it to somethin first? In case it don't come back?"

 No.726062

>>726060
>>726053
"Hmm.."

raising a claw, ethereal gauze wraps around the soldier's shell, ending at the sorceress' wrist.

"Thiss will do. If the magic failss, we will have our ansswer of the room'ss safety."

 No.726063

>>726054
"It could have held some sort of clue to-"

>>726058
>>726054
Kothbiro's expression sours. "As I thought." She crosses her forelegs and stares down Noghu angrily. "A fine job you did, dog."

>>726062
>>726058
You wrap some gauze about the Soldier, binding it to you as you send it forth.

>>726058
>>726054
>>726058
The Soldier dutifully marches forth through the archway, vanishing into the darkness. You can hear its bony footsteps clacking on the stone surface as it explores.

After a bit of searching, it returns, trundling back out through the dark veil without a scratch. It seems the room itself is safe, at least on the surface, the darkness being the only impediment. Kothbiro breathes a sigh of relief. "…Don't suppose any of you can see in the dark?" she asks.

>>726059
You turn to leave, only to find yourself face to face with your prey as she falls soundlessly off of her perch above the doorway. She's a slender Felid, with grey fur and bright green eyes, about half a head shorter than you. She wears a red sleeveless coat, and a sword is sheathed on her back.

"Find what you're looking for, drifter?"

Despite being taller than her, you can't help but feel like she's turned the tables on you, and the hunter is now the hunted. She takes a confident step towards you, staring you down with a cocky smirk.

 No.726064

>>726063
Noghu scowls.

"Why would they give clue? You show hunter map to your food?"

 No.726067

>>726063
I shake my head. Wish I could see in the dark. "'Specially not that kinda dark."

 No.726069

>>726063
"I cannot, though my ssensess are ssharp, enough to move with ssome caution at leasst." she replies, dismissing the gauze around the soldier.

"If we sstay closse, we may yet pass through alive."

 No.726070

>>726063
The felid is taken aback to be so abruptly face-to-face with his so-called prey.
"Well," he starts, recovering his wits, "thanks for dropping in!" He laughs awkwardly at his own joke as he tries to look and feel around for an exit to this chamber, his eyes darting everywhere as his mouth prattles off.
"How about those skeletons, huh? Pretty crazy stuff. Shoulda seen the gorilla! You, uh, from here? Tourist myself," he continues searching.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.726073

>>726064
"Whoever built this place wants to challenge us to try and claim the Heart, obviously. …You're not very smart, are you, dog." She eyes you up and down. "If you're not going to give us a name, then I might as well call you Fool."

>>726067
>>726064
>>726069
Kothbiro looks out into the darkness. "So, the way I see it, we can either go in and try to feel it out, or try a different direction and see if we can't disable the darkness somehow. What do you think?"

>>726070
It's a dead end. And this fellow adventurer is blocking your only way out.

She ignores your babbling and keeps eyeing you, crossing her arms and firmly blocking the doorway. "Why were you following me? And give me back my Prism Stones. I kind of need those."

 No.726074

>>726073
I snort. "Don't know. I like Fool." I run my hand through my beard and think. "Think there would be a way somewhere else? Wouldn't that mean going back through the maze?"

 No.726075

>>726073
"Word as strong as who says. You followed me."

Noghu shrugs.

"Your light bad? no light. You want further? We go further. Paw against stone."

Noghu says, dragging his hand against the left wall to give an example.

 No.726077

>>726073
Realizing he has no escape, the cat finally turns toward his prey, offering a friendly smile and upward turned paws, gesturing peace. "Haven't we met before? I can never forget a beautiful face."

Persuade [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.726081

>>726074
"It's just one end of the maze, right? This place is huge. Could try looking somewhere else. Might even be able to find a way to disable this. …I mean, we don't even know for sure that this is the right way."

>>726075
She seethes quietly and looks away as you come back with a good point, not replying.

She nods as she sees your intent to keep moving forward. "I guess that could work. We'd just have to be careful not to end up getting completely lost."

>>726074
>>726075
Kothbiro seems torn between both options, looking from one to the other. "So what'll it be, then? Forward or back?"

>>726077
She snorts derisively at your attempt to turn on the charm. "That doesn't answer my question. Why are you here? I mean I can guess why you're here here, but why split up from the rest of your group?" It's clear she's not going to let you leave without an explanation.

 No.726082

>>726081
I shrug. "Guess we move forward. Make sure to move slow and feel out for pits. Main problem is traps. Can't find 'em in the dark. Don't wanna get speared."

 No.726083

>>726082
>>726081
Noghu pounds the butt of his spear against the ground a couple of times, dragging it in front of him and looking to Thungr,

"It can feel ground give sooner than you."

 No.726084

>>726083
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.726087

>>726082
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.726088

>>726081
Kalidan's ears fall to the side and his shoulders slump. He leans against the side of the wall, showing every trace of feeling unwell.


"To be honest with you," he begins, "I've been pretty badly injured. I don't really know any of these parties," putting his hand into the bag to handle one of the shining stones.
He continues, "and, having already taken a few blows, I was kind of just looking to roll out." He pulls the shining stone out and transfers it into an inner pocket.
He continues, "You seemed like you knew where you were going, is all." Pulls his hand out of his pocket, gestures friendliness to her.
He smiles apologetically, showing the remaining stones off in the pouch he's placed them in.

"I believe these are yours."

Sleight of Hand [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.726089

>>726082
>>726083
>>726084
>>726087
"I'll try to watch our backs," Kothbiro says. "Whatever that's worth."

You move into the shadows. Your torches are instantly snuffed out; you can't see an inch in this oppressive blanket of darkness cast over the room. As Noghu suggested, you keep moving forward, one hand against the wall, feeling out the room blindly.

From what you can tell, it's quite small; you manage to do a complete loop around in a minute or so. The far end of the room seems to end in a huge wooden door, while from some blind fumbling, you find three torch sconces in front of said door.

Thungr fumbles in the dark, almost tripping over something, losing his place and getting separated from the party.

>>726088
She gives you a look. "Hm. Yeah, you're not really in fighting condition, are you."

She takes the stones without so much as a word of thanks, digging around in a side satchel for a bit. "Here. Drink this. Might help." She passes you a tiny flask of fizzing red liquid, with a hint of green. She waits expectantly for you to down it, eyeing you carefully.

 No.726090

>>726089
I slow down and continue carefully moving through the room, feeling out the floor a little gentler. Pulling out one of my javelins, I try to use it to help feel out the way ahead.

[1d10] navigation

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.726091

>>726089
"Not puzzle minded, Noghu waits by the sconces, silent but investigative.

[1d10] checkin out sconces

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.726092

>>726090
You feel around in the dark blindly, eventually prodding something significantly fleshier than the rest of your surroundings. "Hey. Hands off, mountain man," Kothbiro growls.

>>726091
It is undeniably a sconce.

>pausing

 No.726093

>>726089
Kalidan eyes the other Felid carefully, as if trying to determine whether or not she would poison him. After a long stare, he shrugs, pulls the whole shot and swallows.

"Yeah," he coughs, trying not to choke. "Not really in fighting shape at all. Pretty much ready to get out of here. Have any ideas?"

He looks her over, now that they are close, keeping an eye for valuables, quality of weapons and trying to place her accent.

Perception [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.726094

>>726093
You down the potion. It tastes bitter, but not unpleasantly so, with a slight burn to it.

"Well…" She thinks. "Not being downed by dead weight is a start."

As you try and make sense of that, your legs suddenly give way, and you fall painfully to the floor. Your body refuses to obey. You can't move, no matter how you try.

She grins. "Don't worry. It wears off after a minute or so. Just enough time to see what you're carrying."

You can't even talk due to the poison, forced to stare as she rummages through your belongings. She frowns in disapproval. "No weapons, barely any gold, only a smattering of rations… The world hasn't been kind to you, has it. Then again you probably deserve it. Taking drinks from strangers and all."

"Ah! Here we are!" She pockets the gold and the emerald you'd found earlier. "Ought to be worth something. Wouldn't you agree?"

She crouches next to you. "Tell you what. You want your loot back so bad, come and get it. I'll be around. Maybe."

With that, you are forced to watch as she turns tail and dashes off into the shadows, leaving nothing behind. At least you kept the Prism Stone hidden.

After a while, your limbs start to respond again. Despite only being about five minutes or so, you feel incredibly stiff and sore. Your legs especially. Other than that, you're okay, for now. No sign of where the thief went, though.

 No.726095

>>726094
>pausing


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