No.723535[Last 50 Posts]
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!
We begin at a forgotten temple to a nameless god, on the edge of an eastern cliff facing the sea. The Wayward Wanderers came from near and far, seeking the treasure whispered of in remote corners of the land: a great gem, the Heart of the Sun, kept in this very temple. Normally, it is sealed, but every seven years, on the summer solstice, the temple opens, inviting would be treasure hunters to test their might and prove themselves worthy of this prize. Thus, the four converged, strangers to one another, unknowingly working towards a common goal - along with others…
The hunter, long relegated to a lonesome life, found himself stalking a new type of prey. Unbeknownst to his quarry, he followed an odd, serpentine woman for many miles, leading him to the edge of the world…>>723539
The summoner, surreptitiously coveting greater power, followed whispers on the wind of a great treasure to be claimed. Shirking her temple duties, she took to the wilds, traveling light for many days, until she found herself at her destination…>>723540
To the chagrin of a fellow treasure hunter, the thief followed a stolen map to a great treasure, seeking a great fortune from a forgotten gem. The map, its origins unknown, has a message written on it: "Only the worthy shall claim the heart…">>723541
The accursed heard rumors here and there of a great treasure to be found to the south-east, on a certain day once every seven years. Realizing the day was soon approaching, and with aspirations of greater fortune, he followed these rumors to their source, at the edge of a green cliff by the sea…>>723538>>723539>>723540>>723541
After a grueling journey, you find yourselves at the stone steps leading to the Nameless Temple. Nestled on the edge of a seaside cliff, it is plain to see, even from a distance, that the temple has not been used in an age. It resembles a fortress more than a temple, with great stone walls covered in vines and roots, and oddly shaped watchtowers, many of which are crumbling to dust. Much of the temple has been consumed by a great tree that has grown into it, slowly consuming this ancient structure.
What draws your attention, however, are the great stone doors. They are completely covered from top to bottom in writing, though it is not a language any of you can read. The doors are battered and scratched, presumably from intruders attempting to gain access early, to no avail. For now, the doors to the temple are firmly shut. It is one day before the solstice, around late afternoon. Tomorrow, at sunrise, the doors of the temple are said to open.
From nearby, in the shadow of the temple's overhang, you can see a faint flicker of firelight, suggesting a campsite.
Your presence is unknown to each other, for now.
Despite his distance from the strange creature, Noghu burrows below the surface to hide himself from sight, following the snake through their tremors.
[1d10+2] BurrowingRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
A dark shape flits through the bushes, darting from cover to cover. A feline-shaped shadow silently pauses, its long tail flicking in anticipation. The form of a large cat in a worn gray gambeson slowly emerges from the underbrush near the end of the stone steps leading to the temple.
The cat, staring at the ancient edifice half-eaten by nature, purses his lips and lets out a quiet whistle. He pulls out a small tattered slip of parchment from some inside pocket, eyeballing back and forth between it and the crumbling structure. Apparently satisfied, he replaces the paper within some hidden pocket and takes a confident stride toward the steps, when something gives him pause.
He sniffs the air. A camp.
That means others. Sometimes danger, sometimes a source of unexpected windfalls. Kalidan waits for a moment, weighing his options, then attempts to creep back into the foliage in order to approach the campsite unseen.
Stealth [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
I squint through the darkness at the red orange glow in the distance. I'd expected to be alone, but thinking about it that was an ignorant assumption. For whatever reason, if this gem is supposed to be as valuble as folks say, it only makes sense for others to go after it too.
I decide to keep my distance, unrolling my pack a good bit away from the temple itself, and set to work setting up a stealthy little camp of my own.
[1d10+2]DC 4, burrowing out a dakota fire pit and starting a fire in it
Once set up, I pull out some dry meat and my waterskin and eat.Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"Ssuch fertile land, perhapss there may be aught to raise here.."
Having traveled so far from the sands of her home, the sorceress Vajra busies herself with an incantation, preparing one of several soldiers for the coming raid.
She raises her clawed hands, ethereal strips of runed cloth phasing into the soil around her.
"Shifting ssands, sscour the trees, a sservants handss i call to me!"
[1d10] Raise deadRoll #1 5 = 5
The ground below you is dirt and weeds. Little obstacle for you. You dig through it as if plunging into water, tunneling below the strange serpentine creature, unbeknownst to her. She appears to be casting a spell of some sort.>>723545
You stick to the shadows and undergrowth, as is custom for you, approaching the campsite quietly, trying to get a bead of what you're up against. You manage to get a good vantage point on the steps, clambering up a tree and peering out.
The camp consists of a single patchwork tent, a small firepit with a black pot, a backpack, and a furled up bedroll. The lone occupant of the camp appears to be a large pony, but they are dressed in brown and black tattered clothes with a masked hood, such that it is difficult to make out details of them. You notice a large two headed battle axe propped up on a rock nearby.
The pony is currently stirring the pot, humming idly. Seems like vegetable stew.
You can also see a second fire starting further down the way, but you are too far to be able to see much of them. Slightly closer is an odd serpentine saurian, who appears to be in the middle of casting a spell of some sort. The dirt a ways behind her appears to have been disturbed recently.>>723546
You hang back near the bottom of the steps and start a camp of your own. Before long, you have a merry blaze going, getting ready for the night to come.
From nearby, you hear a voice chanting. Sounds like some sort of spell. You aren't alone in this place.>>723547
The strips of cloth float to the ground like feathers, the runes glowing brightly as you call on a servant. Sure enough, one appears. From the ground comes a single ethereal figure, covered from head to toe in bandages. It appears to be the mummified ghost of a pony warrior, the dessicated, skeletal mouth the only part visible. The specter floats above the ground slightly, hanging limply as if held up by puppet strings, ready to serve.>Minion is at 10/1
A chill runs down my spine as I hear the chanting, and I swing my head around to look for its source. My lips curl into a sneer. Magic. Of course there'd be some damned magic.
[1d10+3] PerceptionRoll #1 9 + 3 = 12
Seeing as the snake has ceased traveling for the moment, Noghu turns his attention to the location the creature was likely intending to visit. Burrowing towards the temple, he begins to check for proof of a lower level (bricks or cobbled stone) and to see if any of it's loose enough to push in and get a sneak preview.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Hmm.. Adequate." states the saurian, circling the specter briefly, before turning her attention to the temple.
She flicks her tongue out briefly to taste the air, gauging the surrounding area.
[1d10] Detect life
>Serpentine senses: As a saurian, Vajra can 'taste' the air with a flick of the tongue, allowing for greater detection within her surroundings. perception checks to detect life gain a -2 to DC.Roll #1 8 = 8
An equus and a serpent. Presumably other treasure hunters. And… is that a mummy? Kalidan also sees perhaps a recent gravesite. The situation may be complex. Best to wait and see. He remains perched in his tree, willing to watch and wait for now.
Slowly, quietly, he pulls a snack from his bag. His movements are so slow that they're imperceptible.
Monch. Monch. [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You see someone off in the distance, further up the steps leading to the temple. A saurian sorceress, by the looks of it. She seems to have conjured some fell minion to serve her, calling spirits from the ground itself to bend to her will.>>723550
You keep burrowing upwards towards the temple, eventually having to stop once you hit solid rock. Moving around it, you manage to find the rock is carven, and clearly part of the temple itself. You push your luck, digging a bit further, eventually finding one of the many walls of the temple interior. With a bit of elbow grease, you manage to dig a hole in the wall; once you stick your hand through, however, you are stung with a jolt of searing pain down your arm, as if you had thrust it into a fire. It passes quickly, but it is clear that there is some ancient magic at work here, preventing trespassers from entering the temple. Trying to peer through proves rather fruitless, as it is too dark inside to see anything, but you catch some silhouettes of what seem to be winged statues in the dark.>>723551
Your senses tell you there's at least four others in the area right now. There might be more. It's difficult to tell.>>723552
As you chow down on the snack, the pony's ears prick up like a frightened rabbit. With one fluid motion, they spring to their hooves, take up the axe and start pacing about the area, searching for the source of the sound.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 3 = 3
Kalidan pauses mid-chomp, slowing down his already imperceptible motions to a virtual standstill. He masticates once, twice, swallows and waits.
Undeterred by the potential onlookers, Vajra confidently slithers the rest of the way up to the great temple gate, the mummified warrior floating slowly behind her.
Noghu giggles in pain, recoiling and snarling. Digging out his path a bit more and replacing the misplaced stone, Noghu places one stone ascance to remember a secret exit in case he needs to flee from the inside later.
My sneer turns into a scowl. Sorceress. And a snake, too. I lift my spear and rest it on my lap. I continue to watch the scaley vermin, slowly tear pieces off my dried meat, and pop them into my mouth. Ain't nobody gonna get the jump on me no how.
[1d10+3] Angry watchingRoll #1 10 + 3 = 13
"Someone there?" the pony calls out. She's a mare, albeit a surprisingly large one. No response, obviously.
"…Well, if there is, I'm not looking for trouble." She seems to dismiss the sound, and resumes her place by the fireside. "…Stupid," she mumbles to herself as she spoons out a bowl of stew. She seems to raise it in a slight toast, as if she were sharing the camp with someone else, then starts chowing it down thoughtfully.
After a bit, you see the saurian from before approaching, followed by an ethereal mummy.>>723555
You slither up to the temple with your minion in tow. The great double doors loom over you ominously. To your left is the campfire you spotted earlier. The lone occupant, a large pony in hooded rags, is frozen in place as you appear, staring out at you suspiciously.>>723556
You do just so. You are suddenly aware that the snake creature you've been following seems to have moved on.>>723557
As you watch, she and her thrall keep moving up towards the temple entrance. Seems she's intent on entering once it opens at dawn.
Perturbed, Noghu tries digging up, only to be blocked by the stone steps of the temple. Upset by annoying stone creations of the lesser species, Noghu is spends his time digging for voles and warrens, waiting till the snake moves on from her safe place.
[1d10] underground huntingRoll #1 1 = 1
I grumble. Snake probably got some freaky magic what makes it invisible or walk through walls or something. It might not get the jump on me, but what if it gets the rock first? Maybe I should just nip this in the bud right now. Instead, I just sit there, tighten my grip on my spear, and continue watching her. After a minute I pull out my wineskin, take a short pull from my clear shine, and re-cork it, keeping a sideways eye on her the whole time. The strong liquor sends a shiver through my whole body and warms me more than the fire ever could. I toss the last of my meat in my mouth and grumble a little more.
[1d10+3] More angry watchingRoll #1 4 + 3 = 7
Making her way to the door, she spots the ragged pony, frozen in place nearby.
Presuming them to be frozen in fear, she chuckles wickedly. "Ssteady yourself, pony. Your terror iss appreciated, but it iss not yet your time. I am here merely to wait."
Kalidan watches carefully. The mare appears distracted. The serpent has been seen. By their reactions, it seems they do not know each other. This may prove interesting.
There being no reason to leave his perch, Kalidan ever-so-slowly takes another bite, watching ear-perked curious. His long black tail dangles down, the end twitching every so often.
Keeping Monches Quiet [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
You chip your claw a little as you hit stone. Moving on, you don't find much in the surrounding soil, save for a few stray worms or tubers. You find yourself inadvertently digging very close to the surface.>>723560
She seems to be speaking to someone out of sight, presumably whoever's occupying the campfire.>>723561
She gives you a suspicious look. "I'm guessing we're both here for the same thing." Her eyes flit from you to the silent wraith that follows you, then back to you. "No other reason to come to this forsaken place." She's not really asking. >>723563
You feel a slight rumbling beneath you, like something shifting underground. The mare seems to feel it too, looking down briefly before continuing to fix you with her hard stare. You also think you see one of the leaves in a nearby tree swaying strangely, but it's probably just the wind.>>723562
You watch as the two meet. Seems the mare is suspicious of anyone who comes to this place. You can only assume she doesn't intend on sharing the treasure with anyone.
Upset by multiple pains, Noghu digs out his own burrow and curls up, believing the snake to be resting here for the night anyways.
>Ready for dawn, will be waked by large enough squabble happening above.
Jealous of the treasure, eh? That's just fine. Kalidan can work with that. The beginnings of a smile twitch at the edge of his feline lips.
He continues to watch. The mummy in particular has some dangly bandages that are of particular seeming importance, dragging along the ground tantalizingly. He becomes slightly hypnotized watching their dance as the ethereal corpse-figure lumbers haphazardly behind the serpent.
Slowly, unthinkingly, he begins to inch himself down the tree and into the brush, intent on perhaps catching said dangly bits twitching so tantalizingly across the ground.
Stealth [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
She laughs again, a raspy sound like dry wood brushing together. "Correct."
"The power of the gem will prove a mosst useful tool in-"
Feeling the earth move beneath her, she looks down at the stone, flicking out her tongue in confusion.
"..in my planss." she finishes, the wind effectively knocked out of her sails. "Just what iss going on here.."
H'm. Guess it's meeting whoever's at that camp. Well, don't guess it matters. Something happens I can probly deal with it. I decide to pass some time before bed by pulling out my jaw harp and twanging out a little jig.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
You inch down from the tree, but slip and miss your footing. You manage to twist around and land on all fours elegantly, but the gig is up. Both the saurian and the pony have seen you.>>723567
Before she can say anything, you hear a loud rustling sound from the tree, and a felid falls out and lands in front of you, presumably saving face.>>723566>>723567
Startled, the pony wastes no time in seizing her axe, holding it to the felid's head in a swift motion. Her eyes dart from him to the saurian. "How many of you are there?" she demands. "Are you following me? Touch me, and you're going to lose limbs.">>723565
There seems to be a bit of an altercation happening above, preventing you from sleeping. Things seem to be going a bit wary.>>723568
You noodle on the harp a bit, but your attention is drawn by the voices coming from the top of the steps, causing you to lose concentration and play a flat, twangy mess. Seems there's at least three up there.>>723567>>723566>>723565
You can hear an odd buzzing sort of sound coming from further down the way, near the bottom of the steps. Seems like someone's attempt at playing music. The pony is distracted momentarily by it, but focuses her attention on the saurian and the felid newcomer.
Before attempting to surface, Noghu tries to get a feel for the amount of people above him, centering himself underneath the entrance to the temple.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 6 = 6
Slinking back with a hiss, vajra draws her ritual dagger, tail rattling as her minion stirs to life, placing itself between the felid and her.
"Sssands take you! You nearly ssent me to the dead realm, explain yoursself!" she hisses, her pomp replaced with jittery fright.
Kalidan stares at the serpent and the pony, wide-eyed with a look like he was caught with his paw in the cookie jar.
For a moment he considers flight, casting a quick glance behind him to judge potential egresses. Looking back to the treasure hunters, he stands slowly, smoothing his mane with a humble gesture of amusement, grinning sheepishly at the pair, the mummy and its tempting appendages temporarily forgotten.
"Ladies." His low voice smoothly carries over the sound of dusk wilderness.
Meant To Do That [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
I grumble again and raise my fist, shaking it at the group. "Y'all quiet down up there!" I yell. My rumbling, gravely voice booms across the cliffside. "Can't focus," I mumble. Some of us are trying to make music. I take a deep breath, pop my harp back in my mouth, and get back'a twangin'.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Glaring, she flicks her tongue out for a moment, then sheaths her dagger.
"Sskulking tree fiend.. You musst be one of the sscents nearby."
"You're likely to be bit if you sstartle a snake, you know."
The large black and gray cat in the worn gambeson, seeing the snake stow her weapon, closes his eyes smiling with his palms upward in a gesture of apologetic dismissal.
"Worse things than having a beautiful creature sink their teeth into you." He winks roguishly at Vajra, then turns to the mare with the axe wielded so closely.
"You mind?" He puts a single digit against the blade and slowly pushes it away from him, then grins.
Feels like three at least. Perhaps even four. From what you can glean, they're distracted at the moment, bickering amongst themselves.>>723572>>723575
The only response you get is a blade pressed to your throat, and a nick on your finger. "Were you spying on me?" the pony hisses. "You working for them?">>723573
You're not sure whether your shouting fell on deaf ears or not. Whatever the case, you get back to playing, churning out a lively boogie melody.>>723571>>723572
Yet another distraction comes in the form of a loud voice shouting indistinctly on the wind. Seems to be coming from the direction of the music, which promptly resumes after a bit. "What is this?" the mare barks irritatedly, still on edge.
Staggered by the change in tone, Vajra looks away quickly, aggressively rattling her tail in response.>>723576
"I have no part in thisss." the saurian replies with a groan. "To think sso many arrived to claim the gem.." she grumbles, scratching her jaw in thought.
Hearing the distant music, Kalidan's ears point toward the source. "Not a bad rhythm," he murmurs to himself under his breath.
The cat blinks at the pony, all friendly confusion. "Insistent, aren't you? No need to be like that. We're all here for the same reason, yeah?"
Turning from snake to mummy to pony, he appeals to the group as a whole. "Look, you… three," he hesitantly includes the vacant corpse minion. "We can all help each other. I'm not even sure what this place is, but if we share information, we may get a more complete picture of what's going on."
Assuming the axeblade is still not uncomfortably close to his neck, he introduces himself. "Kaliban, of Abyssinia," he states, tapping his closed paw to his chest, then tilting his head and looking to his new comrades expectantly.
With the group quieting down a bit I let myself get a little more into my playing, tapping my hoof to the beat.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Not liking his odds, Noghu once again is content on waiting out the noise, waiting for others to sleep before inspecting back above ground.
The mare seems wary still, but relents, bringing her axe away from Kalidan's throat. Slowly, she puts down the weapon, deciding to trust you, for now. "Kothbiro," she introduces herself as, and pulls off the hood. She's not a pony at all, but a zebra. She has deep blue eyes, and her mane is cut very short. >>723579
You keep playing. The melody rings out loudly across the cliffside, in harsh contrast to the crashing waves below. Despite your solitude, you do not feel lonely. …In fact, you can't shake the feeling you're not alone at all.>roll Perception>>723580
The others seem to have made some peace, and are introducing themselves. You hear the names Kothbiro and Kalidan used. You hear faint music coming from further away.
she pauses, flicking her tongue out again.
"I am Vajra, ssorceress of Abysssinia. There were four creaturess nearby, perhapss waiting for the ssolstice as well."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
You see a group of at least three individuals of unknown race, silhouetted on a nearby hill. Accompanied by a wagon, they seem to be starting a campfire of their own, keeping watch over the temple for the night. You get the feeling they know you're there, but they don't seem to be making an attempt to engage.
"Four?" Kothbiro parrots. "You and the cat, plus the musician down there… But where's the fourth?…" She suddenly remembers the slight tremor from before, and stamps her hoof on the ground, looking down at the dirt to gauge a reaction.>>723580
You feel a thud
from up above. It seems like they're onto you.
Kalidan, warming to this zebra (who might try to kill him), offers his paw in a friendly gesture of peace. His own deep blue eyes meet hers. "Kothbiro. Nice to meet you." A hint of amusement and maybe something else flash across his face for a moment they share.>>723582
"Vajra," he offers his paw, then laughs. "Abyssinia is a long way away, my dear! I have known others of your kind, but that was a long time ago, in a desert far far away." He gazes at her warmly. "It brings to mind thoughts of home."
Turning his ear again toward the sound of music on the wind, he cocks his head at his new comrades-in-arms. "Do you hear that, or am I losing it? If we're all getting friendly, the more the merrier, right?" His eyes dart back and forth between the two sapient creatures present.
She reluctantly shakes your hand. You get the feeling she wants as little to do with any of you as possible.
She looks towards the source of the music with a furrowed brow. "I'd rather not," she replies, without elaborating. It seems like she wants to avoid attention by any means.
The saurian hesitates, before returning a smile, taking his paw with her claws. "Yess, quite a wayss away, but a ssmall price to pay for the treassure of the temple." she replies with a chuckle.>>723587
"Given the Musician'ss presence we may not have a choice. No doubt he iss here for the temple too."
"Four?" The large black cat, wearing a curious look on his feline face, watches the threatening mare stamp at the ground. "Does that help flood them out?">>723847
Kalidan chuckles mirthlessly. "Look, we have only a few options, as far as I see. We can fight, we can end up joining forces – tentatively – or we can pretend other treasure hunters aren't there and let them follow us, with the added benefit of a possible surprise attack. I know which I would choose," the cat says, making himself comfortable on a flat rock near the campfire and crossing his legs comfortably.
"Let's all play nice for now. I don't want someone thinking they can sneak up on me." He displays an impressive grange of sharp teeth. "It might not go well for them."
Noghu grimaces as dirt falls on his head, squinting his eyes shut as he remains patient and waiting the situation out.
I grunt, take another swig of my shine, put it away for the night, and get back to twangin' away, stomping my hoof with the beat. 'Long as they don't bother me no sense in bothering them.
[1d10]Boing boing boingRoll #1 3 = 3
how silver is my feline tongue[1d10]
Roll #1 4 = 4
[1d10] PersuasionRoll #1 6 = 6
Nothing seems to happen when she stamps the ground. Kothbiro still seems suspicious, but stops doing so, for now. "Thought I felt something before.">>723847>>723856>>723864>>723868
She crosses her forelegs defensively, but gives a stiff little nod. "Fine. But if any of you cross me, heads will roll." She trails behind you with trepidation as you investigate the source of the music.
The source, as it turns out, is a huge, shaggy minotaur in furs, sitting by a firepit of his own. Kothbiro hangs back warily, leaving you to make the introductions as she assesses the area.>>723857
Seems whoever was thumping above has stopped. They seem to suspect your presence. A minute or so later, however, you feel them starting to leave, heading back the way they came to explore something else.>>723861
You keep playing, to somewhat limited effect. It seems to have attracted the attention of the trio up on the hill; as you finish, you hear a few notes of a melody coming from their direction, played on a string instrument of some sort, as if challenging you to play along.
You hear footsteps coming from the stone steps of the temple, and you get the strong feeling you're being watched.
"Hmm.. very well. Disspatching each other so ssoon to the temple'ss opening would rissk exhaustion. If only to face whatever may be insside, i will join thiss alliance."
The cat beams his predator's grin. "That's the spirit. Let's not go killing each other before it's time." His eyes linger on the serpent's frame for a long moment, something either threatening or enticing in his emote.>>723870
Kalidan hops up to join the group as they wander down to the unknown source of music. Seeing a shaggy minotaur with his defenses down, and realizing his cover is already pretty much blown, he goes the straightforward route.
"Ho there!" He greets the beast from a far enough distance as to not be taken threateningly, then closes in slowly. "Friend! I cannot help but notice your skillful tune. I, too, am somewhat of a musician." All smiles and slow movements, he pulls a handmade wooden flute from somewhere near his belt, shows it for inspection, then raises to his lips to play a short illustrative melody for the group.
I Swear I Know How To Play This Thing[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Still cautious, Noghu stays in place… cackling softly again.
'Too many.. Wait for sleep.
Following behind Kalidan, Vajra keeps watch on the minotaur, her mummified minion floating nearby.
As I hear someone approaching, I drop my jaw harp and eyeball hoever it is. Some cat? Don't look too threatnin'. i grumble, grunt again, and give the kitty cat a small greeting nod. I cock an eyebrow when he pulls out some kind of pipe and gives it a toot.
My spear still on my lap, I lift my instrument, brush my shaggy beard down so it's not in the way, and twang back.
[1d10]I also know how to play this thingRoll #1 8 = 8
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
One of my ears flick as I hear the sound of some string instrument. Someone else wanting to play all the way out here? Seems kinda odd, but I guess if they ain't attackin' I may as well shoot some notes back. I start and then I hear the felid.
Roll #1 7 = 7
You both play a rollicking, upbeat tune, going back and forth trading musical phrases as if you were clashing swords. By the time you're done you feel like you understand each other on some level.>>723886
The cat is not alone; with him is a lithe snake-like saurian, and a tall, well-built zebra. The latter seems to be hanging back warily.>>723887>>723889
You notice at least three others up on a nearby hill, making a camp of their own as night falls. They're too far away to get a good look at them, but given you're out in the middle of nowhere, they can only be here for one thing. Kothbiro notices them as well, freezing in place and scowling a little. Their presence seems to make her uncomfortable.
My breathing is a little heavy after the song, but I set my spear down beside me, pull myself to my hooves, and hold my hand out to the felid. My voice is a hoarse, seldom used rumble as I say, "Howdy." I look around at the rest of the group and then up to the group on the hill. "Guess y'all're here for the rock too."
The saurian glares towards the camp further away, making note of the position before focusing on the Minotaur in front of her.>>723893
"'Rock'?" scoffs the snake "The Heart of the ssun iss more than a ssimple stone. By all countss, it iss a powerful artifact indeed, with sso much here to protect it."
I turn my eyes to the creepy magic snake, stare at her for a second, and finally step back and sit back down. "Rocks a rock."
Kalidan, also a bit winded, gives the bushy bull-headed beast a warm smile at the end of their impromptu jam sesh. The felid nearly pounces at the offer of a handshake, wrapping his huge furry claw around the Minotaur's hefty appendage.
"That was awesome. You're really good," the cat affirms, nodding. "What do you call that instrument?"
"The rock?…" Kalidan blinks for a few moments before he remembers exactly what he is here for. "Oh. I was looking for something I only know as "the heart of the sun" or something lame. I guess it's just a stone? Doesn't matter to me, really.">>723890
Looking to the other camp on the hill, Kalidan gives a bit of a shudder.
"Should we try to make friends with everyone? After all, we don't know if they're going to attack us later. Best to at least know your enemy."
Turning to the others and sizing them up, he realizes he needs to add something here. "Also, if they're working as a group, it might be beneficial for us to at least form some temporary pact. You know; so we don't get outnumbered."
The short maned zebra nods, tearing her eyes away from the trio on the hill. "I thought there'd be a larger turnout," she shrugs. She doesn't seem to want to be here, but makes the best of it, extending her hoof. "Kothbiro. Only met this lot just now. Seems we're going to be exploring the temple as a group. …Don't suppose you'd want to join in.">>723900
Kothbiro blinks. "News to me. Far as I know, it's just a really valuable gem. Never been one for magic myself." She eyeballs your mummified minion uneasily.>>723904
Kothbiro shakes her head. "I know them. They're not here to make friends. Best leave them be, I say."
The cat finds a comfortable spot near the minotaur's campfire and settles in. "Names Kalidan. Don't need to share your supplies, didn't bring enough for me to share mine. But light of a fire and a fellow musician might be nice to spend the night near. Not to mention, safety in numbers." He does his best to act as though he means that last bit as he positions himself to keep an eye on all present parties, as well as the foreign campfire on the hill.
Eventually, the cat pulls out his flute and noodles on it quietly, one ear perked toward any other activity, wiling away the night, wary of surprise attacks and waiting for dawn.
((ready for timeskip))
I look down at my fire and hum, pulling my spear back into my lap. I suppose I haven't been in many of these temple things, and it wouldn't be all that great if I had to deal with more folks alone. 'Specially they decided it was worth it to attack me. After musing on it for a moment I look up at the zebra, hold my hand out, nod, and grunt.
(Ready for timeskip)
"Hmm true, the gem itsself musst be worth a fortune, but a jewel like it could make for an excellent catalysst."
Perhaps emulating Kalidan, Vajra coils herself up near the fire as well, her minion facing towards the mysterious camp in vigil.
"Until i can examine it, it iss a mysstery. We will see jusst what it can do in time."
Noghu waits till the night to emerge, taking a good look at those camping while skulking far enough away from the fire light. When spotted, he does little to hide himself, only standing still and staring.
(ready for timeskip)
As you all camp together and get better acquainted, Kothbiro keeps an eye on the other adventurers on the hill. When it comes to sleeping, she excuses herself, and returns to her own camp.>>723913
When night falls, and everyone is asleep, you emerge to examine the strangers out of curiosity. Apart from the serpentine one, you spot a large, shaggy minotaur, a tough looking zebra, and a black long haired Felid. Seems they've made some sort of alliance.>>723910>>723911>>723912>>723913
The following morning, you are awoken by the loud, grating sound of stone scraping stone as the temple opens. It is barely light out; the first slivers of sunlight are barely on the horizon, and the cries of foreign birds can be heard in the surrounding trees. If you move quickly enough, you would be able to see the doors opening of their own volition, inviting prospective treasure hunters to test their mettle within. Kothbiro is already up and about, gathering torches and having breakfast, which consists of a few foreign fruits. She looks back briefly to see who will follow before wordlessly heading inside.
I'm already awake before first light and have had a breakfast of more dried meat and hardtack. While not the best meal, it serves its purpose. I gather up my supplies, throw dirt over the embers, and wait. When the gate starts opening I stand back up and make my way toward the temple.
Kalidan sleeps lightly, having prepared everything for early action. At the barest light of dawn, he takes his pack and creeps from his resting place, not bothering to check if his compatriots arise. He makes his way silently into the temple behind Kothbiro, not announcing his presence but not actually putting himself into hiding as he slinks along one wall through the giant stone doorway.
Before entering, he casts a long glance toward the other encampment, wondering whether they were leading or following the unknown group.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Waking from an uneventful night, Vajra summons her minion to her from it's watchful position, making her way back up the stairs and into the temple proper.
"Hmm.. Let us ssee what thiss temple has to offer."
Having tunneled back underground, Noghu goes to test the wall he had broken into earlier to see if the enchantment still stands.
You look up towards the other campsite, only to find it abandoned already. The fire's been snuffed out and the tents taken down, as if they were never there.>>723919>>723921>>723923
The entrance hall of the temple is an archaeologist's worst nightmare. It seems to have been ransacked many times by prospective treasure hunters on other occasions when the temple has opened. Great monuments from some forgotten civilization have been smashed to rubble, many valuable ornaments pillaged. What does remain are two great statues flanking the entrance, depicting a pair of lizard saurians, their right hands outstretched upwards as if reaching to the skies. The pillars of the room that are still standing are decorated with knot-like patterns running all the way up to the ceiling. Looking back, you see a carved message left by an intruder as graffiti; it is too gloomy to read without examining closer.
Kothbiro looks troubled by this, looking back and seeing you tailing her. She digs around and passes you each a torch, lighting them with a pair of sharp black rocks she strikes together. "Not much to look at, is it," she comments.
Past the main hall, you can see a set of branching, winding corridors, which slope steadily downwards:
The leftmost corridor is lined with engravings depicting the same two saurians. It leads into a large, circular chamber, which seems to have multiple levels to it.
The rightmost corridor is wider, and has what look like coffins lining the walls, some of which have been smashed open before. Part of the wall seems to have broken further in. While this doesn't prevent you from traveling this way, it would be difficult to clear the rubble, and, more importantly, it blocks your view of whatever lies beyond.>>723924
You burrow through your tunnel and try to move through the gap. It seems you may enter the temple now; at least, it isn't burning your hand off anymore. It is too dark to be able to see what lies beyond, but you could wriggle your way through the opening and take a look.
I take the torch and slowly walk into the temple, ignoring the writing completely. Stopping at the left corridor, I crouch down and check for traps.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
Audibly scratching through the temple hall as she slinks forward, Vajra takes the torch with a nod, before using it to Examine the graffiti along the wall.
"What a terrible messs.. Time has not been kind to thiss place."
Noghu pulls his way through, replacing the bricks haphazardly, feeling his way around the walls to see if there is a column to hide behind as he waits for others to enter.
Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
The cat accepts the torch graciously and takes up a place in the group, preferring to stick near the back.
Kalidan picks his way among the crumbled masonry carefully, keeping an eye out for threats. He suspects looking for loot this close to the surface is pointless, so he keeps his attention purely on any living beings besides his compatriots.
Keeping Eyes Open [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 9 = 9
You survey the corridor. Sure enough, there's a pressure plate set into the floor. Looking around for what it may trigger, you see a few small holes in the wall and ceiling. Either spikes or arrows, doubtless. Kothbiro notices the same thing. "They really didn't want anyone getting in here, did they.">>723934>>723940
You notice they're not words at all, but tallies, progressively getting fainter until they just stop. There must be at least 10. Nearby is a lone pony skeleton in tattered, rotted rags, with a broken legbone, feebly clutching a long rusted shortsword. Kothbiro looks disturbed at the sight, but doesn't voice her thoughts on this grim scene.>>723935
You wriggle in through the gap, your eyes adjusting to the overwhelming darkness. You see silhouettes of statues in the dark, and crouch behind one, blending in with the shadows. From not too far above, you can hear footsteps and familiar voices.>roll Perception>>723939
You swear you see one of the coffins move slightly. Luckily, you're not going down that path. You follow Thungr down the left path, avoiding the pressure plate trap he located, until you get to the room beyond.>>723931>>723934>>723939
The adjacent room connected to the lefthand corridor is even bigger than the one you were just in. What catches your attention is the ceiling. Though it has faded over the centuries, the intent is still clear; it is made as a replica of the night sky, painted in black with white spots representing the moon and stars, all in the exact spot they would be. Kothbiro seems impressed. "Wow. Can't imagine how long this would've taken to make."
You exit the corridor onto a stone platform. A flight of stairs leads to the main circular room, where can see a few bones strewn about. They look like they belonged to adventurers at some point, from the battered gear some can be found near. Four life size saurian statues flank a gate leading to a connecting room. The gate is sealed shut, however, and the means to open it are unclear. The statues are all facing the gate, their arms by their sides.
There are also four closed stone doors in the room. What lies beyond each door is unclear. The doors do seem to open, however, unlike the main entrance.
Kothbiro takes it on herself to start investigating the four statues, looking them over for anything of interest.
Noghu lurks, trying to adjust his eyes quickly as if he was tunneling.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 9 = 9
Not surprised. I suppose if it's something worth taking it's something worth protecting. I avoid the pressure plates without any trouble and make my way into the large room. I look around at the skeletons. Well, whoever died in here has been here a while. Either they got locked in or were killed by something that's probably already dead. I briefly glance up at the ceiling before taking a quick glance around the room to be sure there aren't more traps, head over to the statues, and look them over along with the zebra.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13
Kalidan gives a long stare to the coffin that moved by itself. He prods Thungr to point it out. "Not a good sign, that. Best case scenario, the dead are coming back to life. Worst case, it's the living. I would stay on your guard," he advises, loud enough for Vajra and Kothbiro to hear his warning.
Kalidan, knowing more than a little of the night sky, examines the ceiling for realism and location. If it is in fact an accurate starmap, he reckons, it should be possible to guess an approximate distance from his homeland, where he spent many nights staring up at the celestial spectacle.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Following the trio down the left corridor and into the larger room, Vajra approaches one of the stone doors, examining the surface for some means to open it.
"Perhapss the gate can be opened through a door.."Roll #1 6 = 6
You hear the slow grinding of stone. In the gloom, you think you see one of the statues turning its head to face you, spinning all the way around like an owl. The statue is of a saurian, lizard-like, larger than it would be in reality.
It's not your imagination. Each of its body parts individually spin around, turning to face you impassively. The slow thudding of stone on stone rings out as it starts menacingly trudging towards you.>roll Perception again in addition to whatever else you do>>723949
These don't seem like mere statues upon closer inspection. A thorough look over reveals something interesting: they are cut at the shoulders, neck, hips, knees, elbows, and other joints, as if designed to be articulated and moved by some mechanism. Kothbiro, on noticing this, tries to move its arm herself, but it's too heavy to. "Hmm… Maybe they're meant to be put in a certain pose?" she suggests.>>723952
"Let's hope it's the former," Kothbiro replies darkly. "I'd rather deal with walking bones than other looters."
The stars don't look familiar to you at all. You're a very long way from home right now.>>723953
With a bit of effort, the stone door opens, revealing a small antechamber. There is a rather complex mechanism in place here, a series of rusted iron levers with multiple tracks upon which they can be moved. It seems to operate something, but what is unclear. Inspection of the other three doors reveals similar setups. Two of the rooms have urns in them, but a preliminary inspection reveals nothing within but ashes, though there could be more if searched.
"Agreed," the cat responds to Kothbiro.
Kalidan watches Vajra open several of the doors and begin to puzzle out the contents. Cautiously, he dips a paw into one of the ash-filled urns, sifting through them in order to try to find anything worth value, or attention.
Do You Even Sift, Bro [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
>>723955>Lucky Dog: passive; Every dog has its day, and you have yours frequently. Your first turn in combat enjoys a higher chance to be critical, giving your actions Critrange -2 (i.e. An action that Crits on 10 now crits on 8+).
[1d10] Perception (Crit DC-2)
Snarling, Noghu readies spear, watching the strange stone lizard turning to face him and approach him.
He cackles menacingly [1d10] (Crit DC-2), the sound echoing in the dark room as he throws a bola [1d10] (DC-1, Crit DC-2) at the golem's feet, attempting to halt its approach.
> 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.
>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.Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
Thungr hums, runs his hand along his beard, and nods. Looking around the room, he notes the four other doors. "Don't think there'd be clues in any'a them other no doubt trapped and dangerous rooms, do ya?"
"Hmm, perhapss.. ssimply moving leverss around is unwisse, for now. Let uss exhaust our optionss before continuing."
Making note of the levers here, Vajra returns to the main room to look down the right corridor.
You rummage through the ash and crumbling bones, finding some long-forgotten sentimental offerings at the very bottom!>+20 gold pieces>>723959
There seems to be writing of some sort etched into the stone sentinel's forehead, but it is too dark to make out.
Your intimidating cackling has little effect on the mindless automaton, while your bola merely bounce right off its stone surface.
Its petrified fingers crack and crumble as it curls its hand into a fist, swinging at you with a haymaker!
She nods and cautiously approaches one of the stone doors, pushing it gently open and slipping into the room. It is cramped, and appears to hold an intricate mechanism of levers on stone groove tracks, as if meant to operate something. This particular room has a set of burial urns lining the rightmost wall.>>724391
The rightmost corridor is blocked by rubble, making it difficult to see whatever lies beyond. The walls of this corridor are lined with coffins, many of which have been smashed open by looters; others, rather disturbingly, appear to have been clawed open from the inside. These are invariably empty.
As you examine what you can see of this corridor, you hear an eerie, spine-chilling cackle as if of some feral beast echoing through the damp dungeon walls, coming from whatever lies beyond the debris.Roll #1 5 = 5
Continuing to giggle quietly with discomfort, Noghu takes the butt of his spear and smashes it against the creature's side, striking with the same force he uses to dig through the earth.
Shatter: recharge 2, weapon; Breaks the target's defenses to open them up for attack. Deals damage and increases the Crit Range for all attacks against them by 2 for two rounds. Can be used against inanimate objects or armor to break and damage them efficiently.
[1d10] DC-1, used against an inanimate target.Roll #1 8 = 8
Scowling at the rubble, she pauses, tasting the air with her tongue as the cackling echoes off the corridor.
With the rubble blocking her path, she retreats to the left chamber, to reexamine the room mechanism.Roll #1 6 = 6
Kalidan grins to himself, pocketing the loose gil (still covered in the remains of someone's loved one) in his well-worn gambeson.
He follows the snake lady. Noting the coffins that have been clawed open from inside, he tuts. "I knew it." He looks to the rest of the ragtag little group. "Y'all ready to smash open a skelly or ten?"
He follows Vajra into the antechamber, checking out the other unlooted urns, hoping to pocket more pocket change.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"It sseems the dead are resstless here, yess." she aggrees. "Do try to ssave the bones from breaking too badly, i may have usse for them."
You duck and easily dodge the slow, methodical swing. Seeing a brief opening, you slam the ancient stone with the blunt end of the spear, cracking the side of the guardian. Bits of debris fall off it, but it doesn't seem concerned by this. It swings at you with its off hand in a backhand slam!
It seems there's another traveler further in. How they managed to bypass you is beyond you. Whoever they are, they appear to be warm blooded, and rather large.
You return to the lever mechanism. Each of the four rooms seems to have one. There's no hints immediately visible as to what they are intended for.>>724488
You find a token left in one of the other urns. It's a small, cracked emerald, not much bigger than your claw. It's flawed, and probably not worth much more than pocket change, but it's something.>>724487>>724488
You see Kothbiro in the far right room inspecting the levers. Tentatively, she fiddles with the complex mechanism. With a slow, methodical grinding, one of the four statues in the main room begins to move. Through a miracle of rope-and-pulley engineering, these statues seem to be able to pose via the levers, though they are fixed in place. She is a little startled, but when it becomes clear they are no threat, she begins to think. "Hmm… Seems we have to find the right pose for them…"
She leaves the antechamber, beginning to look about for clues, wracking her brains.Roll #1 7 = 7
Kalidan's grin widens as he pockets the gem. Looks like this venture has already paid off.
The large cat, not easily impressed, instinctively reaches out and pulls one of the levers. "What's this all about, then?"
entering one of the mechanism chambers, Vajra tests the pully system inside, to see which lever controls what movement.
"Interessting.. perhapss we could try to match the sstatue'ss posess."
I meander over to the door with her and cross my arms as look around at the room. "Dern puzzles," I grumble. "Couldn't just kill somethin'. Gotta make me go tiptoing and pussyfooting around." Without spending too long on the leavers, I walk over to the urns to get a better look, keeping an eye out for traps.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
Having created an opening, Noghu again throws a bola and jabs his spear in the cracked area.
[1d10] DC-1, Crit on 8
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 Crit 8 basic attackRoll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
The urns appear to be just that. They are made of blasted clay, once painted in vibrant colors, but the inexorable march of time has faded them to muted shades of grey. Within, you find an odd artifact: an old bronze effigy of a bull, covered in bluish green patina, roughly the size of your hand. The eyes are inset with onyx gems. It seems like quite a valuable artifact!
I let out a quiet, "Huh," and put the artifact away for now. Seeing nothing else interesting, I return to the leavers. "Think we should just go pullin'em willy nilly?" I step up to them and squint to get a better look.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 9 + 3 = 12
As you operate the levers, two of the other statues begin to move. You soon find that it is only the arms and the head that are poseable: the head can rotate 360 degrees, as can the arms, elbows and wrists. The elbows are also hinged. The range is rather limited. Kothbiro nods in response to Vajra. "That'd be my guess too. Question is, what pose."
She keeps searching the area, trying to find some sort of hint.
Your spear bounces off its stony surface. This time, however, your bola is effective, and stops the statue in its tracks momentarily, entangling it.
The statue tries to tear away its bindings.
Upon close inspection, there appears to be something painted on the wall of one of the chambers, though it is so faded by age that you mistook it for just weathering at first. It depicts four saurians posing like the statues at the entrance of the temple, their left arms extended with the palms facing upwards, and their heads turned left. They seem to be reaching to the sun.Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
I watch the statues as I move one of the leavers at random.
Noghu strikes again, taking advantage of the opportunity and snarling as he flanks the tangled statue and stabs at it's back.
[1d10] DC-1Roll #1 2 = 2
Kalidan plays with the lever a bit, noticing that the statues seem to respond to his input. He hums a small song to himself as he tries to make the statues dance to his own internal rhythm.
Losing interest, he digs around anything else that looks steal-able.
Loot [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Tinkering with the statues, Vajra alternates between adjusting the levers and peeking out of the door to see the statue's status.
"Have we found anything?" she calls out from the room. "Perhapss a depiction?"
I look away from the statue and toward the snake. Right. There were other folks trying to figure it out too. "H'm?" I point to the faded images. "Think them pictures are how they should be? With their arms up."
You fiddle with a lever. One of the statues begins to move, extending both of its arms forward fully like some bizarre zombie.>>724499
The back is made of solid stone, and your spear glances off, creating violent sparks.>>724500
You find a long forgotten ceramic jar in a corner. Prying it open, you find little but a foul stench, and black stains of something within long rotted. Some things are best left unknown.>>724501
You bring both statue arms up fully, putting it in a sort of H pose.
Kothbiro returns. "There's those big statues in the first room. Maybe if we copy their pose, the gate will open?"
"Ah, an exccellent idea!"
with renewed vigor, Vajra manipulates the statue into the shape of the entrance pose, slithering into the entrance room on occasion to double check her work.
I deadpan, grunt, and step out of the room and into the main one, already ready to go into the next and get this over with.
The statue keeps struggling with the bola.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Not in the position to strike its weak point, Noghu disregards the spear and goes to shove the statue over.
[1d10] unarmedRoll #1 10 = 10
Kalidan waves a paw before his nose, trying to extricate the stench. Gross.
Looking at Kothbiro, acknowledging her input, he states, "I think that if the makers of the temple were trying to make a puzzle, this is beyond ridiculous. Why would they make it something just anyone would guess? Maybe they are making it such that the uncommon guesses are the answer. Who are they trying to keep out, here? Who are these puzzles meant for?"
In expose, he jabs at a lever carelessly.
"It does seem obvious, doesn't it. Maybe the hard part isn't getting in, but getting out," she muses ominously.>>724504>>724502>>724505>>724509
Kothbiro crosses her forelegs as Thungr shares his findings. "Well, it's worth a shot, I suppose. Let's see now…"
Vajra, Kothbiro and Kalidan proceed to move the levers around, getting each statue into the correct position. As each one falls into place, you hear a tremendous grinding and rattling as the gate at the back of the room slowly opens.
Beyond lie three more branching paths.
The leftmost room seems to have once been a dead end, but the wall has been broken down by other prospective treasure hunters in the past, opening into a natural cave formation which was repurposed by the architects of this place. You can smell mold, and hear the faint sound of running water.
The centermost path slopes sharply downwards, leading into the bowels of the temple. It seems to be a one way trip. The walls leading to this narrow slope are lined with depictions of snarling, grotesque faces.
The rightmost path leads to a dark room. Something seems to be scuffling about in here. It almost sounds like a fight breaking out.
In addition, you think you can hear voices coming from behind, from near the entrance. Seems like you aren't the only treasure hunters anymore. Kothbiro looks uncomfortable at this. "Let's just pick one and keep moving," she says tersely.>>724508
You shoulder slam the statue, knocking it off balance. It teeters awkwardly for a moment before falling over, crumbling into pieces and falling inert. Your foe has been vanquished!
The perils of this place never seem to end, however. You can hear voices coming from nearby, though it is too dark to see much yet. In the stifling gloom, you can make out two paths available:
The corridor ahead slopes upwards. You can see a faint flicker of light coming from the end, where the path turns abruptly left.
The corridor behind seems to open into a large chamber. You can't see much of it in the blackness.
Noghu lurks into the murky darkness of the chamber, using it once again to lurk and hide.
[1d10+2] LurkRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
"Ah, sso the path ssplits again.. The path further down iss quite ssteep, would it do uss well to invesstigate the cave firsst?"
I heas toward the righmost path without saying anything. As I step through the open door, I keep an eye out for traps and keep my spear at the ready.
[1d10+3]TrapsweeperRoll #1 2 + 3 = 5
Kalidan notices the two paths on either side ending. He realizes the center, although leading to an unknown path, does not end prematurely, and so takes it, slipping his body down the the pathway which allows for him to transform into another world.
having been thoroughly ignored, the saurian slithers after Kalidan with a huff. "Sss.. fine! ignore me then, center it is."
You head deeper into the darkness, running one hand along the wall, making as little noise as possible as you move. The mossy stone walls open up into a large, open area, but without a proper light source, it is impossible to see what lies ahead.
You hear the shifting and scraping of stone on stone from behind you. In the gloom, you can only just make out the statue reforming itself, as if nothing had happened. You also hear footsteps in the distance, coming from the opposite corridor.>>724512
"Perhaps," Kothbiro ponders. "It doesn't seem likely the Heart of the Sun would be kept in a hidden cave, though. The centermost path seems like the most obvious one, but I can't see a way to get back out…">>724513
Kothbiro shrugs as you leave and follows you with mild curiosity.
You don't see any traps, but you do see a room full of saurian statues. These look quite ordinary, unlike the ones you just witnessed, with no joints to speak of. You can't help but get a threatening feeling from them, for some reason.>>724514>>724512
"Hm, I don't think that's such a good i-"
You go in anyway, squirming your way down the cramped, narrow path feet first. You are unable to see where it is taking you the whole way down.
You soon find out. The path drops you abruptly into a vile, foul smelling pit. Shining your torches around reveals the ground is littered with old bones, most of them snapped or gnawed by some unknown beast. This room is circular, the bones forming a sort of mound in the very center. There are a few ways out of this room, but they appear to be locked. No sign of a key, at least not in immediate sight.
You can hear the slow, heavy breathing of some dread behemoth, relaxed as if asleep, bringing with it a rank, stale, warm breath. No matter where you shine your torch, you cannot see it.
Using his spear to press the floor ahead of him to make sure it doesn't drop suddenly or gives into weight, Noghu continues to lurk away, looking feeling alongside walls if there is any vantage point he could climb up and spectate the explorers from.
[1d10] blind percepRoll #1 7 = 7
In the dim light, the panicked, wide-eyed Vajra makes a valiant effort of tasting the air, looking for the source of the breathing in between holding back gags.
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 4 = 4
I freeze as I realize the other two went down the clearly trapped pit with no way out. I briefly consider just leaving them behind, pinch the bridge of my nose, and shake my head. Quietly grumbling to myself, I spin around, let out a little huff, and head down the probably deadly center path instead.
You creep along in the darkness, feeling your way by using your spear as a cane and running your hand along the wall. You manage to make out a ledge up ahead, and with a bit of elbow grease, haul yourself up onto the vantage point via some convenient wall cracks. No sign of whoever else is in here yet, but you crouch and wait for them to approach.
As you listen, it appears they are doing the exact opposite. The footsteps grow fainter, and eventually vanished, as if they changed their mind.>>724518
Seems that whatever it is, it's slumbering beneath the mound of its previous victims. It seems like a question of locating the key and getting out without waking it up.>>724519
"Hold on now. Where are you- Oh, for K'sani's sake."
Kothbiro very reluctantly follows you into the death pit. Your nostrils are assaulted with the stench of death and decay. You find yourself in a wide, circular room, littered with mangled bones. The smell is unbearable; the fetid miasma of centuries of victims of whatever rests in this room. There are five locked doors at geometric intervals, while you can hear a persistent, restful breathing of the dreaded beast. >>724518>>724519>>724514
The three of you are reunited in the pit, along with Kothbiro, who scrunches up her nose at the sight of the place. "What an incredible smell you've disc-" She freezes as she hears the breathing, gritting her teeth and looking to the locked exit panickedly.
carefully sliding over the bones around her, Vajra slowly circles the pit, waving her torch slowly in search for the glint of a key!
[1d10] SearchRoll #1 8 = 8
I tightly grip my spear in one hand and pull back the bear head of my cloak. Running my hand through my long, wild, greasy hair, I mull over the decision I've just made for a moment. "Y'all really shoulda known better," I mumble. "'Specially you, miss wizard. Ain't your type supposed to be smart?"
I crouch down and squint through the darkness, trying to see by the light of the snake's torch. Slowly, I crouch walk around the room looking for some kind of key or some other way out. Even as I search, though, my guess is we'll end up needing to kill whatever that thing is to get out.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
"Our friend here wasss already two pawss into the pit before i could sstop him." she quietly replies, gesturing to Kalidan. "I wanted to ssearch the cave, but no, that would be too ssimple.."
Seeing the rank breath of a sleeping behemoth, Kalidan takes a breath or two. He finds that the closeness of a situation makes him able to breathe open, finding a home for homeliness (breath incorporated) and a way to breathe naturally.
You spot a glint of metal beneath the bones. It seems to be attached to an iron ring around… something. The breathing gets slightly louder. "Easy," Kothbiro warns, axe at the ready. "We should just try to grab the key and run. Whatever this monster is, I don't know if we can handle it."
Kalidan looks around, trying to keep a cool head and not panic. He tries to see if he can climb back out of the pit, extending his claws and scraping them against the stone walls.
Escape! [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Chuckling for the first time not out of discomfort, Noghu waits a moment longer before hopping down, exploring deeper into the darkness. Surely the prey will reach her eventually, it gives him plenty of time to set a trap.
You try to scrabble up the walls, but can't get a grip on all the moss and slippery stone, falling back onto the bone pile with a loud clattering echo. The breathing stops for a moment, but then resumes. Kothbiro stares at you fearfully. >>724668
You keep feeling your way through the area, your eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness. Before long, you can make out some basic shapes in the gloom:
Two statues flank a door directly in front of you. You think you can hear something moving about beyond it.
To your right is a stone bridge of sorts leading across a pit. You think you can see someone standing at the other end of the pit, but it might just be another statue, or your eyes playing tricks on you.
Behind you are a set of what seem to be stone coffins, firmly sealed shut, save for one which is slightly ajar.
"You really got yourself into it this time, Kal ya moron," he mumbles. Turning to the others, he asks, "Anyone happen to bring some rope?"
He begins to sift through the bone pile with the others, looking to identify previous victims and possibly locate a clue.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Noghu stays low to the ground as he looks to his right, deeming the individual at the other end to be a possible threat. Without making more sound, he tosses a bola across the bridge.
[1d10] DC-1 Bola (Lucky Dog if this would start combat)Roll #1 8 = 8
Spotting the metal but wary of the beast, vajra sends her minion forward to investigate the object, the mummified form shuffling over the bones along the way.
All I can do is grunt and shake my head. "Well," I say in a hoarse whisper. "Guess now all we can do is try not to get dead.">>724672>>724666
Deciding the creepy, ghostly, blaspheme on our pure earth is better fodder than me I decide to let it grab the keys. Keeping my grip on my spear firm, I don't take my eyes off whatever is on top of them.
Kothbiro nods. "Not much, but I've got some." She holds up a spooled length of about 15 feet of rope.
The bones seem to belong to previous adventurers. They are eerily gnawed and… dissolved? in some parts. You find a few belongings of the previous hapless victims of the unseen beast, including a coinpurse.>+15 gold pieces>>724671
Even in the dark, your aim is true! The bolas traps the figure, catching it unawares. It appears to be a revived skeletal saurian, toting rusted armor and weapons of an unknown civilization. You hear it clatter to the ground with a rattle and clank.
As it struggles to free itself, you hear it make a horrific creaking hiss, as if calling for help!
[1d10] Freeing itself>>724672>>724670>>724673
The mummy digs away the bones, revealing the keys… along with the beast they are attached to. It appears much like a gigantic ape, covered in russet fur, its skin a dull grayish black. It has made its nest beneath the bones, currently fast asleep. Thin, spidery scars line every inch of its exposed face. Around its neck is an iron ring, upon which the keys to your escape are placed. Its head alone is almost as big as the average pony. You notice a set of scars around its neck, intricately carven in the shape of unknown runes. Some fell sorcery has kept this beast alive for untold ages.
Kothbiro freezes at the sight of it, clamming up and readying her axe. She points out the keys and looks to you with consternation. "What do we do?" she mouths silently.Roll #1 9 = 9
Far off in the distance, you think you hear a faint, unearthly scream. The great ape remains dormant and undisturbed, for now.
>>724674>crit Bola sends the target helpless without removing a wound>helplessness activates passive>Wild Hunt: passive; After rendering a foe helpless, the Wildguard's first action next turn becomes Automatic. Rendering an enemy helpless with this automatic action does not activate WIld Hunt again.
Running on all fours to seize the advantage, Noghu quickly goes to crush the skeleton's spine with the staff of his spear.
Kalidan pockets the coins without hesitation. They make a soft jingle as they join the small change he has already collected.
Turning to Kothbiro. "Hmm. You think we could use it to climb outta here? Maybe weigh it down with some of these bones, try and craft a makeshift grappling hook."
As the huge ape is revealed in its bony resting place, Kalidan's fur stands up all over.
"Oh. That's a big 'un. Think maybe he's friendly?"
Without getting too close, he tries to examine the iron ring around its neck, specifically whether it would be possible to remove the keys without removing the beast's head.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"Ain't hard to figure out," I say, sizing up the huge beast. I point my spear at it. "We move them keys, we wake it up. We got one option." I snort and take a slow step forward. "Kill it." My eyes briefly glance toward the chute we came down when I hear the screech. Looks like those other folk ran inro something too. Shaking my head, I turn back to the ape and eye it for any weak looking spots. Them magic squiggles don't look too good, though. Watch out."
[1d10]Marked for DeathRoll #1 3 = 3
Kalidan nods at the minotaur. "If we don't have to, we shouldn't, but I'm in agreement. Perhaps we can disable it or blind it before it awakens."
Vajra rolls her eyes, the runed gauze around her wrists shimmering with magic
"Let uss at leasst try the more delicate approach firsst."
The wrappings on the mummy's forelimbs glow as the sorceress takes control, maneuvering the corpse closer to the ring, in an attempt to gently free the key.
[1d10] free the key!Roll #1 3 = 3
You smash the skeleton in the spine, easily cracking the ancient, frail bones. The legs keep struggling for a moment, then fall still.
The top half of the skeleton, however, remains animated, freed of the bolas. It claws towards you frantically, snapping its bony jaws!
In the distance, you hear more screams answering the call, and the sound of stone shifting and bones creaking!>>724677
It seems loose enough that you could, with no small amount of dexterity, lift the iron ring from around its neck without disturbing its slumber.
"We could try, I suppose. Not a bad idea, actually," she says, rubbing her chin. She holds out the rope for you to take. "I'm… not the best with knots. Why don't you give it a go?">>724678
You notice that its ears appear to be atrophied. The beast is deaf, which explains why it hasn't woken up yet. You could try spearing it in the eye, perhaps. Or going straight for the neck. >>724680
The mummy fondles the iron ring, jangling the key and trying to pull it over and off the ape's head. This proves to be no easy task, however, and the beast stirs slightly in its sleep, twitching and stirring, letting out a low growl. Kothbiro freezes, frantically motioning at you to abort before it wakes up fully.Roll #1 1 = 1
"I'd wager the thing cain't hear," I say, pointing towards its ears. "We might actually be alright long as we don't jostle it too much. We fight it, should probably go for the eyes first."
[1d10] Hunter senseRoll #1 3 = 3
Ignoring the half skeleton, Noghu kicks the inert half into the pit and sneaks further into the temple while nothing else is around to follow.
[1d10+2] Hide (+2 if i can leave combat)Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"Wait wait wait!! Why are you going to have the dead one try?? Wouldn't it make more sense for someone with some natural dexterity to pull it off?">>724681
Kalidan takes the rope from Kothbiro. He fishes around for a large enough bone for his purposes, perhaps a pelvis. Tying the rope neatly through and around it, he tests its heft, then attempts to swing the makeshift grapnel up the shaft.
Up and Away! [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Wide-eyed, the sorceress pulled her claws back, forcing the mummy away from the beast a few steps.>>724684
"You are welcome to try. I had asssumed an undead would not alert it from the smell, an unssuitable meal."
"Oh. Hmm." He raises his arm, sniffs at his armpit, pulls his head back and squints. "I see what you mean."
You keep an eye on the slumbering ape, waiting to see if it begins to stir. It seems to be slowly coming to from Vajra's mummy jostling it a little, frowning and shifting. The ground beneath you shakes a little as it starts to move…>>724683
You kick both halves of it into the pit and sneak forward, sticking to the shadows. You can see several more figures moving in the dark, but you can't make them out just yet, nor can you make out the details of the room you're in. It seems the skeleton's alert got the attention of several more, who are on patrol throughout the area now.>>724684
With careful aim, you manage to lodge a hipbone into the tunnel you slid through. You test it for firmness before shimmmying up the rope; it's wedged in very firmly, enough for the average pony to use without much trouble. Vajra or Thungr might have a harder time of it, though.
I glance from the beast, to the cat, to the snake, and finally down at myself. Lifting my arm a little, I take a deep sniff. My eyes widen a little and I shake my head as I get a snout full of the scent of dirt, sweat, and something else I can't really place. Something sharp and earthy, like a long unwashed animal.
"Guess that's it, then." I stand up straight, hold my spear out, and let out a bellowing roar as I advance on the beast.
[1d10] marked for deathRoll #1 10 = 10
Hiding when he can, Noghu tries to find a places where he can stay still and watch a patrol pass him, setting up another ambush.
She holds her claws up wordlessly, her point proven.>>724687
though with the ground shaking, all pretenses of quiet are lost as the beast stirs.
Joining in with the attack, the mummy claws at the creature vigorously as more bandages flutter into the bone pile around Vajra, the rattle shaking in time ominously as she chants
[1d10] Mummy melee
"ssullen boness, hear my call! an ancient beasst i bid you fall! With limbss ssharp and hide sstrong, return to life with thiss sserpent'ss song! Reaper
[1d10] Raise ancient: reaperRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
My nose curls at the chant, but I keep my trap shut for now.
He turns triumphantly to face the group below. "Made it!" His eyes widen as combat begins in the pit beneath him. He hesitates a moment, then curses and throws himself back down the hole, claws extending and rearing back for a flying attack from above. He aims for the great beast's eyes, hoping to get in a cheap debilitating shot or two before it is fully aroused.
Dual Wielding + Cleave [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
You hone in on the great ape as it stirs, marking it for certain death.>+1 duration due to crit>>724690
You stay out of sight, watching the undead patrol go past. They move in single file, heading to the bridge, led by a skeleton with a candle affixed to its cranium, illuminating the room as it goes. You notice that there are pressure plates just about everywhere; one of the skeletons at the very back inadvertently steps on one and is immediately skewered by spikes coming from the walls. The others don't seem to care.>>724691
The ancient bones that line the Great Ape's lair start to twitch, forming together into a terrifying amalgamate, swirling with black and purple energy. Dwarfing you in size, the Bone Reaper has a stocky build, its feet made of skulls, lacking a distinct head. Its most noticeable features are the powerful forearms; and the huge, blade-like rib bones where the hands should be. It is like some bizarre cross of a gorilla and a praying mantis in this way. It stands ready to fight for you.>>724693
You slash the Ape across the face, leaving a light cut across its brow. It doesn't seem too perturbed by this, frowning and twitching as it begins to stir. Its thick hide could block a spear, let alone your claws. You barely draw blood.>>724689>>724693>>724691
As it begins to stir, Vajra's mummy shambles towards it, raking at its face with bony claws, giving it a rude awakening. The Great Ape shakes it off, rearing up on its back legs. It towers over you all, dominating the chamber with its presence, regarding you all pensively. Its eyes are a deep, soulful amber, sunken like craters in its craggy, gray skinned face. Its arms are built like tree trunks, and its torso like a boulder.
It looks down at the mummy with slight annoyance as it tries to attack again. There is a deafening silence; then, the Ape lets out a star-shattering roar, backhanding the mummy into a wall, splattering it with a single mighty blow. It pounds its fists on the ground and roars again furiously, amber eyes burning with primal rage.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRGRSCAOqh4
With the mummy destroyed, it turns next to the one that scratched it. It shambles towards Kalidan and brings its fists down on the cat!
Kothbiro springs to action. "Mother save us… Okay, it's happening!…" She pulls out her axe and charges it with a barbaric yawp, taking a swing at its legs.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
Noghu tries to keep track of the plates pressing into the ground, trying to form a pattern in his head [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Kalidan lands on all fours, glaring up at the great ape, his hackles standing straight up, his eyes glued wide open with adrenaline. As the giant fists swing toward him, he does his best to roll out of the way.
Ack! Dodge! [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
"It's happening alright!" I charge with my spear held out, letting out a rebelious yell in response to the roar. My hair falls into my face, but I ignore it as I drive my spear into the thing's side.
[1d10]DC-1 because AccurateRoll #1 1 = 1
The mummy impacts the wall, dust and gauze exploding outward, before drifting down slowly.
[1d3] Turns to reborn
Ignoring the mummy, Vajra cackles at the sight of the bone amalgamate.
"Ahahaha! Wretched creature! Look upon my power and despair!"
With her bandages blazing with cobalt light, she guides the amalgam to lumber forward, bringing it's ribbed limbs into the beast before it.
"Go now, Reaper! Tear limb from limb!"
Splitting her focus, she sends more bandages into the bone pile, calling for another creature.
"Boness of the pit, to me! A champion of sturdy form i dessire!"
[1d10] Summon esper: SlamRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
/ Roll #3 4 = 4
/ Roll #4 7 = 7
/ Roll #5 7 = 7
You use the limited amount of time and light to commit the location of the plates to memory. It seems that if you stick to higher ground, you should be able to avoid getting turned into a shishkebab. On the lower level, where the skeletons are, the pressure plates are set out at regular intervals. It seems that this section of the temple is set out in a sort of maze, with several intersecting paths and dead ends. The fact that you can barely see your hand in front of your face doesn't help.>roll for Navigation if you're going to keep exploring
In the distance, you hear a spine tingling roar, as if of some feral beast.>>724696
You avoid getting instant squashed like a grape, but the shockwave from the ground pound is enough to send you flying. You hit the bone pile face first. Your vision blurs, your ears ring, and your head spins.>Kalidan takes 5 hits, helpless>>724697
You charge the Ape with animosity. Without missing a beat, it goes for a low blow, knocking your feet out from under you with a single swift swipe. It seems smarter than it looks. You fall flat on your back, winded from the blow.>Thungr takes 5 hits, helpless>>724698
The Reaper rears up, brandishing its mantis-like forelegs before lunging at the Great Ape. Both its blows ring true, spearing it in the gut. With a roar, the Ape elbow slams the Reaper, knocking it back and off balance.>Reaper takes 2 hits
You reach out to conjure another ally from beyond. This one appears as a swirling tornado of miscellaneous bones and wrappings, with a single prominent claw floating via dark magic on its left side.>>724698>>724697>>724696
The ape kicks Kothbiro away like swatting a fly. She takes the blow gracefully, tumbling over and righting herself. Seeing Thungr and Kalidan fallen, she doesn't miss a beat in rushing over to the former and trying to haul him back up.
[1d10] Helping Kalidan
The Great Ape charges at the Reaper, throwing its arms out in a tackle!
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
low to the ground and quiet, Noghu continues to delve deeper into the strange ponymade cave, switching between walking upright and on all fours when he needs to be more mindful of objects on the ground.
[1d10] navRoll #1 10 = 10
I see the sweep too late and crash to the ground. My chest heaves as the wind rushes out of my lungs, but I force myself back to my hooves. Barely managing to catch my breath again, I jab my spear up into the ape's side.
[1d10]DC-1Roll #1 6 = 6
The dust and gauze swirls near the impact, blue light filtering through the air near the highest concentration.>1 to reborn
The Reaper staggers back a few steps, crushing a few bones beneath it with it's weight.
Vajra righting the amalgam like a master to it's puppet, the sorceress mimes bringing both claws together and down on a shadow target. the amalgam follows suit, bringing both arms down into a double axe handle onto the charging beast!
The swirling stormclaw flies towards the beast as well, gathering momentum with it's claw before slamming it into the creature's side!
Vajra continues to laugh madly, her eyes aglow with blue light.
"More, more! Another for the fight! What boness sstill free, i ssummon thee, to join me thiss night!"
more bandages sink into the pit, the remains around her rattling with vigor!
[1d10] Raise deadRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
/ Roll #3 10 = 10
Kalidan is knocked aside by the impact and falls prostrate into the bone pile, the wind knocked out of him. It is all he can do to turn over and attempt to clamber to his paws.
He shoots a grateful look to Kothbiro as she rushes to his side. "We should have stuck with the grappling hook," he manages to spit out, along with a little bit of blood.Roll #1 10 = 10
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 1 = 1
You start marking your way through the maze by leaving markings on the stone wall with your spearhead. It's remarkably simple to navigate once you get the hang of it. After not too much longer, you come across what looks at first like a dead end, but then you realize is a great stone door. There seem to be markings on the door, but it's too dark to be able to make them out effectively.>>724701
You stab it in the side, driving the spear deep into the Great Ape's intestines, driving it in as deep as it'll go. It roars again, wheeling around to face you furiously, the wound gushing blood freely. You notice that where the blood hits the ground, it seems to smoke, slowly eating through the scattered bones…>>724702>>724704
The Reaper dodges the charge, countering with a double strike to the Ape's back, but the Ape shrugs this off easily.
The Stormclaw surges towards the Great Ape, giving it an almighty shove with its one bony claw. The Ape is taken off guard, having not noticed you summoning it, and staggers off balance and lands in a sitting position. It huffs and grunts as it rights itself, beating its chest angrily.
You summon the remains of a long-dead saurian; stocky, with a hard bony shell around its torso, wielding a femur as a club. It looks like it was once some sort of soldier, from the rusted iron helmet it wears, nodding to you clumsily and readying its makeshift club.
>Tortoise Saurian racials: Reptilian, Hunker Down
>Reptilian: Saurians are covered from head to toe with thick protective scales, making them unusually hardy opponents. However, they are also very susceptible to the cold, shunning frigid environments. You take -1 hit from all incoming attacks, unless you're hit with an Ice elemental attack, in which case you take +1 hit from all sources for 3 rounds or until helpless. Being exposed to warmth, such as being hit with a Fire attack, can remove the debuff. This debuff also applies when in cold environments.
>Hunker Down: automatic, recharge 3 after effect ends; You are even sturdier than most saurians, possessing a thick protective shell. You can hide away inside this shell, giving you even higher damage reduction, taking 1 less hit than normal (total -2 hits) for the next 2 rounds. However, doing so makes you almost completely immobile and ineffective in combat, suffering a -2 to dodge rolls and -1 to all other rolls. The effect is cancelled if you are knocked helpless, and the DC is raised by 1 for recovering from it.>>724703
To Kothbiro's surprise, you flip over easily, righting yourself and flipping back up into a standing position, shrugging off the immense blow like it was nothing in an impressive feat of acrobatics. "W-well, we still can," she points out. The rope is still dangling there. Perhaps it could be used as an escape route, or by some other means in the skirmish?…>>724701>>724702>>724703
The Ape seems overwhelmed by the bony minions attacking it. Its beady, oddly soulful eyes dart about the battlefield before it shoots out one enormous hand towards Vajra with terrifying speed!
With its other hand, it starts tossing stray bones and bits of debris here and there, warding off anyone who gets too close to it!>roll to avoid taking damage if attacking the Great Ape as an instant action
Kothbiro keeps up her strategy of going for the legs, trying to hamstring it!
[1d10] DodgeRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
First attempting to push the door open, if that does not work Noghu begins to search around the floor and walls for anything to interact with.
[1d10] lookRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
Still overcome with the power she wields, Vajra only just notices the hand reaching out to grab her!
With the speed of a snake, the sorceress makes an attempt at slithering away!
The dust finally gathers together in a flurry of bandages, reforming the mummy once again! The form is worse for wear, but it dutifully shuffles towards the beast, claws outstretched to attack!
The Reaper reaches a limb of its own, bringing it down into the beasts outstretched hand with fury!
The stormclaw recalls it's claw, battering the beast with it's whirling bones!
Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 6 = 6 / Roll #3 6 = 6 / Roll #4 8 = 8 / Roll #5 4 = 4 / Roll #6 6 = 6
"Can't get through the skin with my claws, eh? There's more than one way to skin a monkey!"
Kalidan dances in close to the beast, doing his best to avoid the macabre attack of flying bones and rocks.
In one bound, he fearlessly throws himself onto the great ape's back, gripping tightly to the iron ring around its neck and pulling as hard as he can.
Grapple [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
[1d10]. Mummy Dodge
The soldier readies its club, marching forward to deliver a powerful blow!
[1d10] DodgeRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
I try to steer clear of the burning blood as I pull my spear free. As the ape thrashes around, I spin and try to dodge it and any debris, aiming to stick it in the kidney. From the look of it I might have to pull out my magic killin' axe.
[1d10]stick it with my stickin stickRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
Iron Will to stick it.
The door won't budge. You bruise your shoulder trying to brute force it. A look around the area doesn't bring up much either, though it seems that this door is the end goal of this maze. You feel you probably have to do something elsewhere in the maze to get the door to open.>>724707>>724709
You react on pure instinct, dodging out of the way of the incoming grab by mere inches. You curl up against the wall, avoiding any and all damage, watching as the Ape's enormous paw snaps closed, grabbing naught but thin air.
The mummy reforms and charges at the Ape while its head is lowered, clawing at one of its eyes. It roars as the mummy draws blood, spattering the area, where it hits the rocks and bones and smokes like acid. The mummy is splashed with this as well, corroding its frail surface.>Mummy takes 2 hits
The Reaper avoids the barrage of debris, skewering the Ape's hand through to the other side. It snarls and flails, splashing the Reaper with blood from the wound!>Reaper roll to dodge, instant action
The Stormclaw phases through the debris, but the Ape claws at it, grabbing its claw and snapping one of its fingers clean off!>Stormclaw takes 2 hits
The Soldier powers through the debris, shrugging it off with its powerful shell, and cracks the Ape in the mouth with a horizontal swing. A molar goes flying, and the Ape lets out a guttural hiss, dribbling corrosive blood.>>724708
You artfully dodge the debris it's throwing, clambering on to its back. It seems taken off guard by this; the back seems to be a weak point for it, being deaf. You also notice it has an enormous iron two-hander embedded in its back, like some sort of morbid sword in the stone.
The Great Ape roars and tries to shake you off!
You stab it in the vital organs. It roars and pounds the ground with its fists furiously, sending blood flying everywhere along with the debris. Some of it hits you, along with the debris, burning your skin and pummeling you into submission!>Thungr takes 9 hits, helpless at 0/3>Marked for Death ended>>724710>>724709>>724708
Kothbiro's swing is true, and she brings the Ape down on one knee momentarily, slowing its movements. She uses the momentum to use her axe to do a sort of pole vault, trying to join Kalidan in grappling it!
Though wounded, the Ape still has plenty of fight left in it. It swings at Vajra's minions in a wide sweeping attack with both open hands!
[1d10+3] Cleave: Reaper, SoldierRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 8 + 3 = 11
Noghu chuckles, not wishing to have to back track for something else after all this time. Instead, he begins looking for cracks, looking to slowly chip away at the door with claws meant for digging.
>Shatter: recharge 2, weapon; Breaks the target's defenses to open them up for attack. Deals damage and increases the Crit Range for all attacks against them by 2 for two rounds. Can be used against inanimate objects or armor to break and damage them efficiently.
[1d10] DC-1Roll #1 10 = 10
Kalidan seems almost as surprised as the ape that he was able to latch onto its back, even more so as it attempts to dislodge him. He clings to the iron ring for dear life.
Not getting shaken off [1d10]
Looking down, he sees the handle of a large blade poking out.
"Hello, what's this then?"
He launches a flurry of quick kicks at the blade, attempting to either lodge it further or utilize the blade to rend the monkeyflesh beneath.
Bunny Kicks [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
As I'm pummeled into the floor, my spear slips from my hand. I can feel blood ooze out of the side of my mouth, and I let out a wet cough. Quickly, I shrug out of my cloak, suddenly feeling incredibly hot. The edges of my vision blacken and the world around me swirls. The smells, sounds, and sights of the room blur as my entire body is wracked with terror. Then, just as fast as it closes in on me, it's gone. Darkness falls over me.
Thungr's body writhes on the ground, and red foam leaks from the edges of his mouth. A loud snapping noise crackles through the air as his body bulges and bends at unnatual angles. His fingers fuse and elongate into massive clawed paws, and his entire body seems to swell, causing his woolen shirt and pants to burst. His face shifts into something more animalistic, and his teeth elongate into long fangs.
In a moment it's over, and standing where Thungr once stood is a short faced bear scarcely shorter than the ape standing on its hind legs. Unlike the ape, who's eyes show a spark of intelligence, the bears black eyes show nothing but hunger and bloodthirst. Its lips peel back and it lets out a roar before charging the ape.
[1d10+1]slam, crits on 8Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
"kahaha! Foolissh! Your fate is ssealed creature!"
"Pit of boness, you musst deliver! Ssubmit to me a minion of quiver!" More bandages flow down, more bones stir.
[1d10] summon esper, Marksman shot
The mummy lashes out again, determined to attend its task!
The Reaper stumbles backward to avoid the blood, before levering itself forward to meet the beast head on with a bony claw!
[1d10] Dodge blood
The stormclaw readies its claw once again, spinning into the beasts back with the force of the movement!
The soldier retreats into its shell in an attempt to weather the storm.
Roll #1 5 = 5 / Roll #2 4 = 4 / Roll #3 2 = 2 / Roll #4 5 = 5 / Roll #5 6 = 6
You find a sizeable crack in the stone door. After prying at it for a bit, you give it a good whack with your spear. Then another. Then a final, mighty blow. The whole stone door comes crumbling down in a deafening display, giving way to the chamber beyond.
Unfortunately, you have no clue what lies beyond. It's so dark you can't even see your hand in front of your face. You also feel an unearthly chill, and a vague, untraceable sensation of dread crawling on your back.
You get the feeling you shouldn't have done that.>>724714
You dig in deep with your claws, clinging to the Ape like a particularly stubborn barnacle. Despite its thrashing, you stay firmly lodged in place.
As you spot the blade, you kick at it; however, it seems like it's been there for a very, very long time. It barely budges at all.>>724715
The Ape roars right back, charging and meeting this new threat head on. It easily bodies the smaller, weaker creature, ramming into you headfirst and knocking you to the ground.>Thungr takes 5 hits, helpless>>724716
The bones stir, knitting themselves in unnatural patterns. Several finger bones connect, forming a floating arrow, ready to fly at your command.
The Ape bats the mummy away, throwing it to the floor.>Mummy takes 2 hits, helpless
The Reaper's bony surface is melted away by the beast's blood. The Ape intercepts its jab by grabbing the claw and shoving the Reaper away like it's nothing.
The Stormclaw gouges at the wounds created by Thungr, deepening them. The Ape snarls and tries to bat the Stormclaw away.
The Soldier seems to shrink into its shell, limbs and head retreating, becoming almost impenetrable.>>724716>>724715>>724714
Kothbiro is frozen in shock momentarily as Thungr undergoes a monstrous transformation into a terrifying, gigantic bear. Unfazed, the Ape continues its rampage, lunging forward and biting at Vajra!
[1d10+1]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 4 + 1 = 5
laughing nervously, Noghu begins to trace back out out of the maze following the path he took before, hunting the candle skeleton.
Kalidan clenches his kitty jaw and continues to cling tight. He tries to readjust his grip and pulls the iron ring as tightly back as he can, trying to choke the beast out.
Gripping [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
The Reaper is sent scattering from the tremendous blow, its left foreleg shattering into bony splinters from the impact.>Reaper takes 6 hits, helpless
The Soldier 76
shrugs off the blow, though it is rattled to its bony core by it.>Soldier takes 4 hits
The bear is only briefly stunned by the battering and, further enraged by the ape's attacks, snarls and lifts both arms in the air and brings them down on it.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
Dodging the bite of the beast, vajra readies her knife as the head of the creature looms above, stabbing forward in reply!
[1d10] restrained strike
The mummy hits the ground once again, turning to dust, this time with no movement to speak of.
The stormclaw whirls into the beast again, tearing it up with a barrage of bones!
The Reaper's bones are scattered violently around the pit from the impact. After a moment, the bones begin to roll towards the center Mass, reforming the body
The soldier peeks it's head out of the shell, striking forth cautiously in retaliation for the rattling it received!
The skeletal arrow aligns itself with the approaching head, zipping forward with great speed!
[1d10] Marksman shotRoll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
/ Roll #3 4 = 4
/ Roll #4 9 = 9
/ Roll #5 5 = 5
As you leave the room of advanced darkness, you easily catch up to the skeleton patrol, following the only light source around. They have crossed the bridge, and are heading towards the room with the statues. Ambushing the candle skeleton won't be easy; it is at the front of the group, and there are about half a dozen of them between it and you.>>724719
The Ape thrashes from side to side, eventually shaking you off. You fall into the bone pile once again, dizzy but still standing.>Kalidan takes 2 hits>>724721
You bear your claws and rake at the Ape, gouging deep trenches in its collar and chest. It flinches and staggers backwards from the blow, accepting this new challenge. Staring you down, breathing heavily from its injuries, the Great Ape hops about on the spot, grunting and throwing bones and debris about in an intimidating display.>>724722
You shank it in the cheek as it lunges forward, artfully twisting your body away from its attack. The pain doesn't seem to register with it, and it pulls away, taking your knife with you, still firmly lodged in its cheek.
The Stormclaw pelts and pummels the beast's head with its whirlwind of bones, causing it to flinch and close its eyes, shrinking away.
The Reaper begins to reform, but its bones are scattered all over the room.
The Soldier jabs its mace into the Ape's eye, injuring it significantly. It growls and bats at the undead minion, but doesn't manage to do much due to its shell.
The arrow bounces off of its head harmlessly, twisting around in midair and returning to you.>>724719>>724721>>724722
Kothbiro willingly lets go of the Ape, bringing her axe down as she falls, aiming to gouge down its side!
The Ape charges bear-Thungr in a fit of rage!
[1d10+3]Roll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 8 + 3 = 11
The bear stands its ground, moving to wrap its arms around the ape and tear at its throat with its massive jaws.
[1d10+1]BiteRoll #1 2 + 1 = 3
File: 1570327582895.png (Spoiler Image, 332.62 KB, 1244x1800, Vajra 3 raw pearl necklace.png)
With her knife still embedded in the beast's cheek, the sorceress rattles her tail in fury!
"Ssandss take you! I will have to pry my dagger from your corpsse!"
The stormclaw builds more speed for the bony claw within its gale, sending it flying forward into the creature!
More bones begin to rumble into the slowly reforming mass
[1d10] Reaper recovery
The soldier extends from it's shell, taking its club with both claws to chop it downward onto the ape!
the bone arrow zips forward to collide into the beast's face!
[1d10] RangedRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
/ Roll #4 8 = 8
Thinking the situation over hunched in position, he thinks over the rudimentary logistics of acquiring the candle without it going out. Finding fighting off 6 or so skeletons and then acquiring the skull of one with limited movement too difficult to reasonably do, he thinks to his original prey instead. Having once dodged the light source, he now starts to prowl back near where he saw the light disappear far back near the statues, intent on taking either the light or it's wielders with them to the dark, foreboding room.
Kalidan lands on all fours, rage glinting in his feeling eyes. He spends no time at all hurling himself back toward the great ape, swinging at the uninjured eye with razor-sharp claws extended.
Dual Wield [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
The Great Ape charges you, grabbing you by the lower jaw and carrying you with it in its charge, slamming your head against the wall. One, two, three, four times. It tosses you aside like a spent torch, disregarding you entirely. Your head feels light, and you can taste blood.>Thungr takes 7 hits, helpless>>725149
The Great Ape swats the Stormclaw away like an insect, sending its bones scattering.>Stormclaw takes 5 hits, helpless
The Reaper reforms, regaining both of its mantis-like forearms.
The club smack takes the Ape off guard. It flinches and turns to face it with a low growl.
The arrow hits it right in the forehead, driving itself into the beast's skull. It roars and wrenches the arrow free, tossing it away angrily. Blood trickles down its face, hissing and smoking as it spatters on the bones below.>>725150
You slink past the bone patrol, retracing your steps past the statue room and through the adjacent corridor. You find a spacious room with four more statues, all in the same pose, their left hands extended upwards towards an elaborately painted ceiling depicting the stars. You find an open gate, past which are a few more paths to take. You can hear a ferocious battle taking place, with the savage roaring of at least one beast. It seems to be coming from… below?>>725151
You run and leap towards the wall, then use the momentum to leap again, this time towards the Ape. You land on its face, jamming your claws deep into its other eye. It lets out a scream of sheer rage and agony, thrashing about as you blind it. Your claw begins to sting and burn as it is covered in the beast's blood. You are forced to let go, landing on the pile of bones on all fours again.>Kalidan takes 2 hits>>725148>>725149>>725151
Kothbiro's attack works, leaving a huge, bloody gash down the beast's leg. It roars and pounds the ground with its fists at the sudden pain. Grinning, Kothbiro keeps up the offensive, swinging her axe at its kneecap with a grunt of exertion.
[1d10] Avoiding blood
The Great Ape, now blinded, throws itself about in a mad attempt to hit anyone in its way!>everyone that isn't helpless roll to dodge, instant actionRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
Kalidan snarls in pain as his paw is burned by acid. He shakes it off and looks up just in time to notice the ape thrashing about, and jumps back to avoid its blind attacks.
The cat nurses his wound, contemplating his next move. Now that the ape is blinded, there is the very real concern of the wild bear and all the undead, neither of which he fully trusts to not turn on him once the combat ends. Assuming he is not made helpless, he carefully makes his way along the wall and scrambles up the rope to the safety.Roll #1 6 = 6
The bear foams at the mouth as it goes down, snapping madly at the ape. Its chest heaves and its claws scrape against the ground as it tries to drag itself back to its paws.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
With her dagger gone, Vajra only now looks to her allies, several horribly mangled. She flicks out her tongue in annoyance, sending more bandages into the pit.
"With woundss to heal and friendss to mend, i call forth one to sslow death'ss end." she intones.
[1d10] Summon esper: heal
with the bones and wind dispersed, the bandages animating the pieces begin to wisp the parts back together
[1d10] Recover stormclaw
The reaper, now reformed from the bones lashes the beast with a barrage of strikes!
[3d10] Reaping strikes
The soldier swings the bone club upwards before slamming it back onto the creature's side!
thrown to the side, the arrow ricochets off the bone pile and the wall, aiming for the back of the ape's head!
[1d10] RangedRoll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
/ Roll #3 5, 3, 10 = 18
/ Roll #4 4 = 4
/ Roll #5 8 = 8
Grinning, Noghu follows after the sound of battle. Surely should his prey wins or loses, either side will be weakened enough for him to finish the job should the situation provide.
You nimbly pull yourself up the rope to safety, watching the situation unfold from above.>>725154
You scrabble about, eventually hauling yourself back up, ready to keep fighting.>>725155
You conjure an apparition from the pile of bones; a black, ominous figure with the skull of a bird for a face. Great bone claws, thin as needles, sprout from within its cloak-like body. It hovers behind you like a shadow, rippling slightly, unfazed by the chaos around you.
It seems to take a while for the Stormclaw to reconstitute.
The Ape fends off the Soldier and the Reaper's blows, save for one. The Reaper skewers the Ape straight through the throat, driving its razor sharp claw straight through to the other end. The blood eats through the bone, making it snap right off the Reaper's arm. The Ape gurgles horribly and stumbles about, clawing at the bone lodged in its neck.
The arrow bounces around, piercing through the Ape's skull, driving itself into the monster's brains. >>725156
You go down a narrow, steep looking tunnel, which eventually turns into a slippery slope, leading you downwards into a pit of bones. There is an enormous, dead ape lying among them, as well as a tough looking zebra with an axe, the serpentine saurian you have been tracking, an enormous feral bear, and a slim black cat.>>725155>>725154>>725153
With these final, fatal blows dealt by Vajra's minions, the Great Ape teeters on the spot, letting out a low, guttural groan. With an almighty crash, it topples to the ground, throwing bones everywhere as it collapses, stone dead.>roll to avoid the debris, instant
There is no time to celebrate. Just a moment later, you are joined by a savage looking Dog resembling a hyena, who slides down the tunnel you all took to get here. He inadvertently dislodges Kalidan's grapnel, sending him toppling to the ground.>Kalidan roll to recover
Kothbiro breathes heavily, looking over to the newcomer, axe still in hoof. She seems too exhausted to fight, but eyes him with suspicion.>>725156
"…And who are you?" the axe-wielding zebra demands, looking at you with inherent mistrust.
Noghu holds up a spear to the zebra, pointing it to the others,
"You all weak, I uninjured. Want to live? Follow."
"Gah!" Kalidan exclaims, as he is stuck by a body in the dim hallway and knocked back into the fetid pit below. Orienting himself midair, he attempts to land on his feet amongst the bones.
recover [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
A great commotion occurs as most of the undead immediately dissipate, adding sand and bones to the already intense debris storm. all that remain are the soldier and the sorceress, who struggle to find cover from the debris!
[1d10] Dodge, soldier
[1d10] Dodge Vajra
"Aahaha! The Beassst wass no match for my horde! An ironic fate, to be sslain by hiss passst mealss."
amid the hailstorm of bone, she slithers to the creature to wretch the dagger free from its face.
[1d10] pull (if needed)
"What sspiritss of healing i could ssummon are gone, their interesst is sspent. We.. well, you all, will have to lick your own woundss for now." she adds, gesturing to her injured allies.Roll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
/ Roll #3 8 = 8
The bear's pupils dilate as it sees its prey fall dead. In one final, brutal lunge it hurls itself at the dying ape as its body begins to shift amd pulse. It roars as the snapping of bone resonates from deep within it once again. At the end of the transformation a slightly battered and significantly more (completely) naked Thungr lies face down on the floor.
[1d10] dodge. If pass it falls short before transforming.Roll #1 10 = 10
>>725160>>725157>Wild Hunt: passive; After rendering a foe helpless, the Wildguard's first action next turn becomes Automatic. Rendering an enemy helpless with this automatic action does not activate WIld Hunt again.
Using the intimidating he has on his side from his dramatic entrance, Noghu turns his head towards the snake he has been tracking, pointing his spear and cackling menacingly.
You will tell me how you make bone walk.">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.
"That doesn't answer my question," she replies, tightening her grip on her axe and eyeing you hard. "You with the Arinese? Hm?">>725159
It turns out cats don't always land on their feet. You do a graceful faceplant into the bone pile.>>725160
Both you and the Soldier get pummeled by the debris cloud, though you both shrug it off easily due to your naturally tough skin - or shell, in the soldier's case.>Vajra and Soldier take 4 hits
Once it settles, you wrench the knife free. It's slightly corroded from the blood, but still usable.
"I have a few poultices to go around," Kothbiro replies, not taking her eye off the stranger. >>725161
You manage to avoid the debris as you transform back into your minotaur form. Kothbiro spares you a glance, but remains focused on the newcomer. "What in Mother's name was that?">>725162>>725161>>725160>>725159
You notice the ape moving slightly. Though it remains dead, the wounds begin to close, its damaged eyes reconstituting slowly, flesh and skin and hair reforming with a horrible squirming sound. As it heals, the ape remains inert, non hostile for now. Kothbiro stares in shock, almost dropping her axe as she stares. "…Key," she blurts. "Now."
She rattles her tail aggressively at the intrusion, before pausing as the spear is aimed with purpose towards her.
"You.. Very well."
the gauze wound around her wrist glows, and an image of the wrappings in cobalt blue float from her claws to the ground below.
"It iss the gauze that i channel power through. With it i may bind the dead to my will, though it iss usseless to thosse unfamiliar with the dead artss."
Noghu takes advantage of the distraction of the ape, throwing a bola at her legs and grabbing her by the neck.
[1d10] DC-1 Bola
[1d10] grappleRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
I sit up and rub my head. Darn, didn't expect to run anything that strong here. I groan as I pull myself to my hooves and fetch my robe and pack. I throw my robe over my shoulders and shake my head again before pulling the hood up and over my unkempt hair.
"Long story," I grumble. Finally I notice a newcomer. Some little doggy. I brush my robe off and turn back toward the ape, ignoring the slightly aggressive pup for now. Clearly I missed something while I was gone, but at least that darn monkey is taken care of.
I crouch down and search for the key, quickly unhooking it from the collar before whatever kind of freaky magical stuff is happening finishes.
Saurians both living and dead are battered by debris! Vajra angrily brushes herself off, bruised but still standing. "Dissgraceful. At leasst we are rid of the ape. Let uss move on."
The soldier stands silently at attention near the sorceress.
Kalidan lands painfully among the bones, lies there for a short while, then attempts to pull himself to his feet.
He snarls at the newcomer wild dog. "I recognize your kind, dog. You're a long way from home."Roll #1 8 = 8
Kothbiro leaps out of the way of your bola with a shout, doing a forward roll and swinging her axe at you. "I knew it!"
You take the key from the collar while the Ape heals. It doesn't seem to have regained consciousness, completely comatose as its wounds regenerate, stitching together so it may challenge the next would-be treasure hunter. You notice that there are a few other keys attached to the ring. Perhaps they will be useful later on.>>725169
You pull yourself back up. Seems a bit of a scuffle's broken out between Kothbiro and the feral Dog. Meanwhile, the Great Ape appears to be slowly healing.Roll #1 2 = 2
The diamond dog bears his teeth, saying nothing in response but a low growl.>>725170
"You not follow, you not want to live."
Noghu doesn't strike back, instead guarding the exit.
I grab all the keys and look around for the door, not bothering to let anyone know as I unlock it.
"What iss the meaning of thiss?!" hisses the sorceress "you claim you know a way to ssafety yet attack uss? Cease thiss and explain!"
Noghu laughs, slightly more distinct than his normal cackle, "Not safety, I find what you seek. Do not have light."
Noghu guesses, assuming whatever they were after were deeper in the dungeon.
"He's just crazy," I say. "I got the key, witch. Just ignore 'em and let's get outta here."
Kalidan sticks close to the walls and follows the Minotaur through the unlocked door. >>725171
Eyeing the dog carefully, Kalidan gives him a wide berth and does not engage.
"Hmm.. Very well." she replies, following behind you at a slithering pace.
You dodge her attack and make for the rusted iron door at the far end of the pit. She looks confused as you don't attack back, staying her hand but still clearly suspicious.>>725172
After a couple of tries, you find the right key, opening the door to the corridor.>>725174
As you mention having found whatever they're looking for, the zebra relaxes a little, still wary of you. "…Fine. But any tricks, and it's your head. Understand, whelp?">>725171>>725172>>725173>>725176
The stranger leads the way from here, only to find he doesn't actually know where he is. The path splits into two in a T-intersection.
The leftmost path seems to lead to an open area with running water. You can hear faint murmuring voices coming from here, the sound of which immediately puts Kothbiro on edge.
The rightmost path spirals upwards. You can hear sharp, clacking footsteps, like bone on stone, coming from this path. You can smell something damp from this direction, like moss.
As you move further into the dungeon, Kothbiro digs into her satchel and produces three small pouches of what look like medicinal herbs. She gives one poultice each to Vajra, Kalidan and Thungr. "They're all I have for now," she warns. "So be careful with them."
"You are injured, I am not. I would win fight."
Noghu moves forward, gesturing for Kothbiro to give her torch.
"Follow. Moving statues ahead, push over and break.">>725177
"Snake. Moving skeletons ahead too. Do wraps control?"
The cat pads along with the group, collecting himself and (literally) licking his wounds. That acid blood was no joke. Tastes terrible, too.
He takes the medicinal herbs from Kothbiro and sniffs them deeply, pockets them with a grateful smile and a nod.
"Hopefully that was the worst we'll find in here."
Coming to the T-intersection, Kalidan sniffs the air, his ears waggling either direction.
"Perhaps we will have to fight, either way."
She accepts the herbs with a nod. "very well. I may yet draw aid to heal our woundss, but thiss will prove usseful.">>725179
"No, ssomething elsse has brought them back. The sspells to control the moving dead are different, but bring them down and i may gain control." she replies.
Thungr takes the poultice, grunts, and puts it away. Best to hang on to that for later. He shifts his spear back to both his hands, crouches down, and closes his eyes as he focuses on the voices.
[1d10+3]PerceptionRoll #1 6 + 3 = 9
"We'll see about that. Do you have a name, or should I just keep calling you whelp?">>725182
You try to listen in on the conversation. There are three voices you can make out: a deep, gravelly male voice, a second deep voice, this one female, and a cold, reedy male voice.
You can't make out their conversation, as they're too far away and the running water makes it difficult to hear, but you hear some key words: "Galatian", "Heart", "Nicanorian" and "Styr Thenn". The latter name is vaguely familiar to you, but you can't recall where you've heard it before.>>725179>>725180>>725181>>725182
You head right, away from the voices and towards the walking bones. It turns out to be the right guess; the room is familiar to Noghu, being an alternate entrance to the bridge room. The skeletons he saw earlier seem to be in another part of the temple, and the bridge is left unguarded, leading into the maze. The room itself consists of a narrow 15 foot stone bridge, below which is a deep, dark pit.
Kothbiro looks to Noghu. "Well now what? What am I looking at?"
"Learned many paths. Broke door. Returned for light. You light."
Nohu says, continuing into the maze.
Slinking her way up the spiral to the rightmost room, the sorceress looks out to the pit, flicking her tongue out in though.
"Hmm.. a bridge? how ssimple."
At a mental command, the soldier pushes ahead of the others to slowly plod along the bridge, to test the stability of the stone.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 1 = 1
I hum as I pick out the few words I can manage. "Stir then mean anythin' to y'all?" I ask, assuming at least most of the chatter is about the rock.
As they make it to the bridge, he cautiously peeks over the edge and into the darkness. "So, you been here already, doggy?" he asks Noghu. "You said you found what we was lookin' for, didn't ya?"
[1d10+3]PerceptionRoll #1 4 + 3 = 7
[1d10-1] InsightRoll #1 1 - 1 = 0
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 2 = 2
The soldier plods on first, testing it out. It seems quite stable, for now.>>725389
Kothbiro looks grim at the name drop. "…Yeah. Not now though. I'll explain later.">>725390
It's hard to see in the dark, but it looks like there's some sort of alcove up in one of the walls. There's the silhouette of what looks like a felid watching you all. As you begin to cross the bridge, it flits away nimbly.>>725391
The memory of the name eludes you. Might just be deja vu.>>725386>>725388>>725387>>725392>>725389
You start heading across the bridge, Noghu first, then Vajra and her minions, with Thungr and Kothbiro bringing up the rear. As you all begin to cross it, you hear the distant sound of a mechanism activating. Thungr thinks it's coming from the alcove up above. Suddenly, the bridge begins to rumble and shift beneath your feet, moving by some unknown contraption. You lose your footing as the bridge begins to flip upside down, threatening to throw you all into the abyss below!
Kothbiro yelps fearfully and tries to leap off before it's too late!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
I look up at the felid and grunt. Great. Now some creep is following us. "We ain't alone," I say. I carefully step onto the bridge. Exactly like I expect, something happens and the bridge starts to shift. My heart leaps at the sudden movement, but I keep myself calm and follow Kothbrio and leap before I'm thrown off.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
With Vajra and her soldier further along the bridge, the sorceress and the skeleton rush the last portion in an attempt to escape the rotating bridge!
[1d10] SoldierRoll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
Noghu cackles in worry, quickly shifting his weight and positioning his spear to pole vault across the gap.
[1d10] DC-1Roll #1 7 = 7
You manage to easily sprint across to the other side before it flips, skidding to an abrupt halt.>>725396
You get a running start and pole vault yourself to the other end of the bridge, landing on the platform gracefully.>>725395
The bridge flips on the two of you before you can get to the other side. You slip and almost fall, managing to grab on to a protruding brick on the edge of the walls of the pit. The soldier manages to cling to the edge, but his bone mace falls into the abyss in the process.>>725394>>725395>>725396
Kothbiro does a dive and a forward roll as she gets to the other side. You see the bridge turn upside down, revealing razor sharp spikes on the underside, blocking the way back. Doesn't seem like you'll be able to go back that way, unless you can find some way to flip the bridge again.
Kothbiro sees Vajra struggling and rushes over, leaning over the edge and reaching out to try and haul her up.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
I shake my head, drop my pack, and pull out my rope. Realizing that her creepy abominations will actually probably be useful, I unravel the full length, drop one end down the ravine beside her, and drop to one knee. "Climb up," I say. "Doubt you're too heavy for me to lift up."
Noghu turns away from the cliff, looking into the maze onward.
"Keep moving. Made noise. They hear."
[1d10]Strength rollRoll #1 6 = 6
"Quiet. I'm helpin' the witch."
Gripping the ledge with her claws, Vajra makes an attempt to reach over and grab extended help!
[1d10] Haul upRoll #1 2 = 2
The soldier mimics the sorceress, reaching for the rope as well.
[1d10] haul upRoll #1 10 = 10
Thungr manages to haul Vajra up on his own, with minimal help from Kothbiro. The soldier, meanwhile, manages to scramble back up and haul itself onto the platform without any outside help. With everyone saved, Kothbiro starts warily pushing onwards into the maze, tailing Noghu.>everyone roll Navigation
"You said we weren't alone," she says to Thungr as they enter. "What did you mean? Are we being followed?"Roll #1 4 = 4
Thungr tightly wraps his rope back around itself and tosses it back into his pack with the rest of his stuff. After, he slings it back across his shoulder and picks his spear back up. "Some cat," he said. "Saw it where that sound came from. My guess is it's the one that flipped the bridge." He follows Kothbrio and Noghu into the maze.
[1d10]NavigationRoll #1 7 = 7
scrabbling back onto safety, the sorceress sighs, her death avoided.
Facing the maze, Vajra proceeds inside with the others, her soldier plodding behind, it's lack of hammer showing no reaction.
"Impresssive they had managed to build ssuch a place. I did not expect to deal with mazes and sspinning bridgess entering thiss temple.."Roll #1 7 = 7
Noghu leads ahead, trying to follow his path he took before.
[1d10] DC-2Roll #1 6 = 6
I give the witch a quick nod. Least she's polite, I guess.
"Did you see what they looked like?" She seems a bit anxious all of a sudden.>>725406
"It's not just defences against thieves at this point," Kothbiro ruminates. "It's like the whole place is designed to test us. Even down to the doors only opening once every seven years.">>725405>>725406>>725408
The maze is pitch black, its great stone walls towering over you, as if the place is built to intimidate. It soon becomes clear that this labyrinth of misleading passages is designed to be as confusing as possible, as it is built vertically as well as horizontally, with stone ladders or flights of stairs leading to higher and lower levels of the maze. All along the walls are carved symbols you don't recognize, along with carvings of saurians usually depicting sun worship; and, at one point, even sacrifices to the sun.
As you traverse the maze, you keep hearing footsteps other than your own. They sound like walking bones searching for wayward intruders like yourselves. Eventually, while following Noghu, you come across a group of them blocking your way. Approximately half a dozen skeletons with weapons in varying states of disrepair are patrolling this section of the maze, the leader of which Noghu recognizes as Candlehead from earlier.
You are currently on a sort of balcony staring down at a lower level of the maze where the skeletons are. A flight of stairs to your left leads to the section they are in, and where Noghu feels the party should go to get to the Black Room. You could, however, try to sneak past by snuffing out your torches, or even ambush them by jumping down from the alcove, though this may prove risky. Kothbiro starts assessing the situation, looking for alternate routes, unsure of how to tackle this scenario.
"No," I tell her. It was kinda hidden by the shadows, so there isn't much more to tell. As I move through the maze I get a little annoyed. Seems like the deeper into this temple thing we get the bigger pain it is, and being played with by someone who's probably long dead irks me a little.
As we make it to the skeletons I shake my head. "Don't wanna fight the skeletons," I say. "But-" I strap my spear across my pack and pull out my short axe. "Looks like we don't got much choice if that's the way we're goin'. How y'all wanna do this?"
Noghu begins to sneak ahead, trying to flank alone before they begin to fight.
[1d10+2] lurkRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
Snaking away from the light, she begins the slow crawl down the stairs in an effort to stay hidden
"Let uss try the ssafer option first, yess?"
The soldier remains within the balcony, observing the skeletal pack below out of sight.Roll #1 8 = 8
Seeing both of the others sneaking, I shrug, crouch down, and follow.
[1d10]SneakingRoll #1 8 = 8
Kothbiro thinks. "Maybe if we take out the leader's head-" she points to Candlehead- "we could throw them off for a while, since they won't have a light source of their own. Would give us time to sneak by, or ambush 'em. …Or the witch could try to take over one of the skeletons. Maybe. I don't know if that's how magic works." She shrugs. >>725412
"Hey wait, I think we should-"
Opinion discarded. You sneak down the stone steps and around the oblivious bone patrol once again. You maneuver yourself behind them, following their tracks without a sound.>>725413>>725414
Kothbiro grunts and follows you all as you follow Noghu's lead, sneaking behind the skeletons. She snuffs out her torch for now, to make the sneaking easier.>>725414>>725413>>725412
The strolling bones stroll on, unaware of your presence. They do, however, stop dead in their tracks as they spot Vajra's soldier standing at attention. Candlehead points him out with a shrill, creaking hiss. With a jolt, the skeletons spring to action, beginning to throw rocks and spare bones at it!
[4d10]Roll #1 5, 5, 1, 2 = 13
Noticing the band of bones drawing their attention to the soldier, Vajra commands the undead to change it's position, Drawing more of their ire before falling back to the bridge.
During the distraction, the sorceress continues onward, the soldier completing it's distraction before returning to dustRoll #1 3 = 3
There are seven skeletons in the bone patrol:
Candlehead is unarmed, and appears to be the leader and tactician of the group. He seems mostly harmless.
One is headless, carrying its own skull as an impromptu weapon. It seems quite agile, despite its impediment.
Another seems to have been some sort of gladiator, wielding a rusted bident and a tattered net.
Two of them are rather unremarkable, save for the fact that they appear as nearly identical saurians. They are two of the ones throwing things at Vajra's soldier. They are Alpha and Bravo, for convenience.
The third thrower has a sort of leather sling, and wears the remains of a hooded cloak. It looks like it was made out of some sort of flag.
The other thrower has fashioned a mean looking lance out of the spinal column of some unfortunate sod, and wears crumbling stone armor.
In summary, the seven skeletons are:
>>725415>Noncombat talent, immediately become revealed once combat starts
>Lucky Dog: Crit DC-2
Noghu lets out a menacing cackle, throwing his bola at the hooded skelie as he goes to intimate the gladiator into submission.
>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] Crit DC-2, Gladiator>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, Crit DC-2. HoodieRoll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
Though the dog attacks, I decide to attempt to stay hidden, picking out the leader and preparing myself to fight him.
[1d10]Marked for death
[1d10]Stay hidden (if needed)Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 1 = 1
With the dog rushing forward, the sorceress Hisses quietly in frustration, pulling the soldier back from the distraction and sending it down the stairs to meet the skeletons, while her bandages light up, her hiding space glowing blue as she intones:
Sshifting sstones, maze and bone i call from you a phantom form! Fit to fight and ssmassh their forms! REAPER
[1d10] Raise ancientRoll #1 7 = 7
You leap out at the bone patrol with a cackle, hurling your bola. It misses, and draws the attention of the patrol!>>725419
You keep an eye on Candlehead, but as Noghu attacks, his light catches you, betraying your position to the rest of the squad!>>725420
The soldier curls into its shell and rolls down the stairs like a ball, popping out ready to fight by your side.
A shadow begins to form in front of you, coalescing into the form of a Reaper! A flickering shadow like a billowing cloak, with two enormous claws floating by its side, disconnected from any arms, the Reaper's countenance consists of an eerie blank grey mask, ripped from the stone wall itself. It flaps and flickers as it floats by your side, bone claws twitching, eager to tear into the skeletons!>>725418>>725419>>725420
The skeleton warriors are taken by surprise by your appearance, momentarily disorganized!
Kothbiro charges at Lancelot with her axe!
[1d10] Kothbiro Attack
Lancelot counters with a jab of his bony lance!
[1d10] Lancelot Attack
Hoodie grabs a rock and starts spinning his sling!
Limber scuttles away into the shadows!
Gladiator moves to protect Candlehead!
Alpha and Bravo rush to attack Vajra's Soldier!
[2d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 4, 3 = 7
Grimacing, Noghu jabs Hoodie with the butt of his spear in the spine, as he had with the previous skeleton he fought.
[1d10] DC-1 ShatterRoll #1 5 = 5
I curse under my breath as the dog gives my position away. Gripping my axe tight, I stand up and charge the skeleton with the candle.
[1d10]axe swingRoll #1 2 = 2
Kalidan, dropping in behind the party, eyeballs the cadre of skeletons before then, sniffs and wipes at his nose.
He extends his deadly-sharp claws, glances down, then retracts them, leaving his bare battle/travel-worn pads.
The cat gears up and charges Alpha and Bravo, sliding in low and swinging at both of them with both of his iron-hard fists.
Dual Wield/Cleave [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
Disarmed as the soldier is, it lumbers forward to deck one of the pair attacking it!
[1d10] Melee, Alpha
The Reaper Joins the soldier in attacking the band's secondary, scraping groves into the maze walls with it's sweeping claws!
[3d10] Reaping strikes, Bravo
Undeterred, The sorceress sends more bandages to scour the maze for minions to call.
"Ancient maze, hear my plea! With arrow and bow ssend one to me!"
[1d10] Esper: marksman shotRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 10, 4, 4 = 18
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
Gladiator falls to pieces as you slam him with the butt of your weapon. The enchanted bones start to reform from the attack, not downed but vulnerable to further attack.>attacks vs Gladiator crit on 8+ for two rounds!>>725423
Gladiator, though momentarily in pieces, hurls the net at you from the ground, interrupting your attack. He takes advantage of the distraction to stick you in the arm with the rusty bident!>Thungr takes 4 hits>>725424
You pounce towards the twins, pummeling them both with a flurry of blows, sending ribs and smaller bones flying! As you go for a final punch, however, Bravo grabs your fist, interrupting your attack and sucker punching you in the face. You stumble backwards, dazed but not downed yet.>Kalidan takes 4 hits>>725425
The soldier shrugs off the blows like they're nothing, shoulder slamming Alpha and following up by crushing the skeleton with the shell on his back, reducing him to bony splinters!
The Reaper joins the fray, tearing Bravo to shreds with a flurry of wild claw swings, sending bits of bone flying everywhere!
You take advantage of both of them being downed, taking a fingerbone from Bravo and raising it as an arrow to command!>>725422>>725423>>725424>>725425
Lancelot jabs Kothbiro in the chest, sending her stumbling and interrupting her attack. She grits her jaw and goes for another swing!
Lancelot swings his lance in a backhand motion!
Candlehead points at Vajra and screams, directing the remaining skeletons to her!
Hoodie hurls a jagged rock at Vajra's Soldier!
A skull is thrown out of the shadows towards Vajra!
Gladiator throws his net at the Reaper!
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
/ Roll #3 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #4 3 = 3
/ Roll #5 1 = 1
Taking advantage if the situation, Noghu once again repeats his tactics of knocking down and intimidating the skeletons.
[1d10] Word of Power: Gladiator (Crit DC-2)
[1d10] Bola: Hoodie (DC-1, Crit DC-2)Roll #1 8 = 8
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
Kalidan's pretty face is given a solid thump by one of the twins, and so he takes a second to blink the stars away. He pants in the corner, wiping still-flowing blood from his face and surveying any available escape routes. Should it come to retreat, he prefers to have a plan, or at least a direction.
Blinking the blood from his eyes, he focuses in on the first thing he can see clearly, which is a candle-headed foe. He orients his still-spinning head and stalks toward the flickering light, ready to smack the ever-loving litter out of it.
Dual Wield [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
Dodging the skull thrown at her, Vajra sends the finger bone zipping off in the direction it came from, aiming for the offending skeleton!
[1d10] Marksman shot
The soldier, having blown Alpha to pieces, Turns it's attention to the ranged one, barreling forward into a shelled bodyslam!
[1d10] Slam, hoodie
The Reaper, splintering it's kill of Bravo, floats haphazardly forward, scraping it's claws along the ground into an upward swing at Hoodie!
[1d10] Melee, HoodieRoll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
I cry out in pain as I'm stuck with the bident. Gonna have to clean that later, but for now I continue to focus on the one leading them in hopes the others will scatter.
[1d10]marked for deathRoll #1 5 = 5
You sound your barbaric yawp throughout the maze, rattling Gladiator down to his bones. The reforming skeleton falls apart momentarily, stunned by your cackle!
Your bola goes wide, and Hoodie jumps out of the way, eyeing you next.>>725428
There's three more branching paths, indistinguishable from each other, leading further into the maze.
Gladiator is protecting Candlehead, taking the brunt of your blow. You lay into him, shredding the skeleton to bits, sending assorted bones flying as you rip it to bits. There's not much left of the skeleton when you're done, save for its weapons of choice.>>725429
The finger arrow goes wide, missing the skulking skeleton.
The Soldier and the Reaper are too far off to be able to deal damage to Hoodie just yet, but both move towards it, now in range to attack. The Reaper tears the net to ribbons as it flies towards him, while the rock does a surprising amount of damage, cracking the Soldier over the head and leaving it stunned.>Soldier takes 1 hit>DC to hit things is raised by 2 for 1 turn>>725430
Candlehead continues to elude you, hiding behind his minions.>>725430>>725429>>725428>>725427
Lancelot knocks Kothbiro away with his lance slap, but gets an axe to the chest for his efforts. Kothbiro is left injured and winded, trying to recover!
Lancelot leaves her be, focusing on Thungr with the axe still in his sternum!
With Gladiator down, Candlehead starts hiding behind Lancelot!
Hoodie hurls a stone at Noghu!
The skull clatters to the ground and rolls back into the shadows!Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
/ Roll #3 10 = 10
quick to react to the hurled stone, Noghu rolls, staring down the hooded skeleton and barking to throw off it's aim.
>Wild Hunt: passive; After rendering a foe helpless, the Wildguard's first action next turn becomes Automatic. Rendering an enemy helpless with this automatic action does not activate WIld Hunt again.
Automatic Word of Power Hoodie
Kalidan blinks, wipes more blood from his eyes. "Scat," he murmurs, resolving to bleed less from now on.
He shakes his head to clear it, reorients himself and strikes at the candle-headed Skelly with both claws and a ferocity matched by his pain, fear and anger.
Dual Wield [1d10] [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
Returning to Vajra, the arrow is sent flying towards the Gladiator, pining off of the maze walls to confuse the angle of attack!
The soldier's head is sent literally spinning at it rights itself long enough to send a bony punch towards Hoodie!
[1d10] Melee, Hoodie (DC to hit +2)
The Reaper follows suit, swiping at the skeleton with both claws wildly!
[1d10] Melee, hoodie
Vajra meanwhile sits up and flicks her tongue out to taste the air, searching for the hidden skeleton.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
/ Roll #3 7 = 7
/ Roll #4 6 = 6
My nostrils flare as I become increasingly annoyed. I reach out and try to grab Lancelot by the throat with my free hand, trying to hold him in place while I cleave his skull in two with my axe.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
You bark and snarl loudly, disorienting Hoodie and throwing off his aim. Nevertheless, the rock hits you square in the head, knocking you off balance and leaving you seeing stars. Your vision blurs.>Noghu takes 3 hits>DC+2 to hit enemies next turn>>725433
Lancelot protects Candlehead from harm, taking a blow to the head, sending its jawbone flying. He doesn't seem too perturbed, however, and knocks you away with a swipe of his mighty lance!>Kalidan takes 4 hits, helpless>>725434
The finger arrow flies towards Lancelot, hitting him right in the wrist, breaking his dominant hand right off. His lance clatters to the floor!
Hoodie skitters away from the Soldier's attack, countering with a one two punch combo that sends the turtle-saurian staggering.>Soldier takes 1 hit
The Reaper's powerful double swipe cracks Hoodie's ribs and fractures his left arm. He doesn't seem to mind much.
While you can't detect signs of life, you spot Limber clinging to the walls, hidden in the shadows.>Limber no longer counts as Stealthed to you>>725435
You grab Lancelot, now Lanceless, and pin him to the wall before cracking his skull in half. The skeleton falls apart in your hands as you deliver the blow, crumbling into a pile of bones.>>725432>>725433>>725434>>725435
Kothbiro, now back up, picks up her axe from the remains of Lanceless and sizes up the situation, moving towards Candlehead, who's left vulnerable for a moment. The skeleton leader throws his head back and wails, as if calling for reinforcements!
Hoodie kicks at the Soldier in an attempt to retreat to range!
Limber, not having noticed Vajra having spotted him, hurls his skull at the Reaper!
[1d10] AutocritRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 2 = 2
I drop the skeleton remains. grit my teeth, and let out a low growl as the leader wails. Switching my axe to my off hand, I pull a javelin off my back, quickly heft it to find the center, and chuck it at the unguarded skeleton's skull.
[1d10]Marksman ShotRoll #1 8 = 8
>>725436>Hoodie's crit kick misses due to Word of Power
cackling in pain and clutching his head, Noghu gives a cautious thrust of the spear at the skeletal leader.
>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] DC+1 (DC+2 and DC-1 counteracting it)Roll #1 5 = 5
Kalidan grits his teeth as he is smashed to the ground with a lance the size of his body.
He draws in breath raggedly and attempts to climb to his paws, admittedly less acrobatically than before.
Recover [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Spying the hidden skeleton clinging to the walls, Vajra rattles her tail as she recalls the arrow, sending it flying off into the dark towards the assassin!
[1d10] Ranged, Limber
The bones of the soldier rattle as it takes a step back, swinging again with a bony claw at Hoodie!
[1d10] Melee, Hoodie
The Reaper surges forward in pursuit of the fleeing skeleton, flailing it's claws wildly!
[1d10] Melee, HoodieRoll #1 1 = 1
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
Candlehead's candle head is knocked off its shoulders by your javelin, clattering to the ground and shattering into a hundred shards of bone. The headless skeleton staggers, completely disoriented by the blow, swiping blindly at thin air.>>726011
As Thungr's javelin beheads the leader, you jab at the flailing headless skeleton, knocking it over momentarily. It manages to right itself, not too injured from the attack.>>726013
You manage to pull yourself back up. Your ears are starting to ring, and your injuries are mounting. Kothbiro shoots you a brief glance of concern mid-combat.>>726014
Limber curls into a ball and throws himself to the ground, rolling away from the arrow, which cracks slightly as it hits the wall.
Hoodie fails to retreat to range, getting momentarily stunned by a blow from the Soldier before being snatched up in the Reaper's claws. It lifts the skeleton up before tearing it in half, proceeding to systematically dismantle and scatter its bones with an unsettling, surgical method.>>726010>>726011>>726013>>726014
Candleheadless swipes his claws blindly at whoever's nearby - in this case, Vajra's Reaper.
Kothbiro looks around as a skull is thrown from the shadows, trying to spot Limber.
Limber pries off a rib and throws it like a boomerang at Vajra!
[1d10]Roll #1 10 - 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
/ Roll #3 9 = 9
The hidden skeleton lobs a bonemerang in retaliation, forcing the sorceress to twist away in an attempt to avoid it!
The Arrow, having chipped itself on the wall, writhes on the ground as it tries to become airborne again.
With limber torn to shards, the soldier turns its sights on the now headless, candle-less candlehead, striking it with its bony talons.
[1d10] Melee, Candlehead
The Reaper, having taken apart the skeleton previous, slashes with gusto at the flailing skeleton before it!
[3d10] Reaping, CandleheadRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
/ Roll #4 5, 6, 6 = 17
I slip my axe back into my pack, pull out the poultice the zebra gave me, and rub it on my aching arm wound. Letting an audible huff pass through my nostrils, I scrape the floor with my hoof and charge the headless skeleton, moving to crush him against the wall with my body.
[1d10]BodyslamRoll #1 10 = 10
Noghu keeps away from harm, again striking cautiously with his spear as his ears perk, listening to try and find the last combatant.
[1d10] DC-1 (deals 3 hits max)>Perception
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
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.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
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
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]Hunter SenseRoll #1 7 = 7
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
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.
>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
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
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.
The finger arrow continues to right itself from the stony floor.
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!"
The soldier, having layed out the flailing skeleton, begins trudging after Vajra and the antagonistic Limber.Roll #1 2 = 2
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
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?"
"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."
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.
[1d10]NavigationRoll #1 4 = 4
[1d10] DC-2 navRoll #1 7 = 7
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] NavigationRoll #1 6 = 6
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
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.
"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."
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] PerceptionRoll #1 8 = 8
"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
"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."
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.
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. Command: Now Light." Noghu reasserts.
"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.
"How? Was stone. Stone not light."
I grunt. "Seems sendin' that thing
in is our best bet. Can't find nothin' out here. 'Less someone has a better idea."
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.
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
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?"
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."
"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.
"Why would they give clue? You show hunter map to your food?"
I shake my head. Wish I could see in the dark. "'Specially not that kinda dark."
"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."
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
"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."
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?"
"Word as strong as who says. You followed me
"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.
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
"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.
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."
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."
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
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
"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.
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] navigationRoll #1 9 = 9
"Not puzzle minded, Noghu waits by the sconces, silent but investigative.
[1d10] checkin out sconcesRoll #1 1 = 1
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.
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
[Last 50 Posts]
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.