Post by scottenkainen on Oct 24, 2014 13:20:42 GMT -6
Turn 24a for Joaquim, Marcel:
Marcel had to ask to be shown where the entrance to the cellar was and an unassuming door near the rear of the chapel was pointed out to him.
Steps led down into a spacious cellar, 30' x 50', with a 12' high ceiling. There was a large cistern filled with water at the west end of the long cellar, and rows of carefully stacked wooden crates and barrels lined up before it. There were wine racks on each side wall, each 10' wide, with recessed alcoves on either side of the racks.
Marcel heard something downstairs close. It sounded like a heavy door.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 24, 2014 13:33:17 GMT -6
Turn 23a for Ximo:
Fedur had indeed spotted Ximo and waved vigorously for Ximo to come over. Not comfortable with associating with his foolish "friend" right now, Ximo had his server go over and apologize for him, saying Ximo would have to leave soon anyway and did not wish to interrupt Fedur's dinner party. The servant came over with a bottle of white wine, sent from Fedur.
Fedur's bodyguard was nowhere to be seen in here, but before finishing the chicken course, Ximo decided he would not risk another encounter by staying longer.
However, Fedur's bodyguard happened to be at the entrance to the banquet hall, talking to the staff out front. He and Ximo gave each other surprised stares.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 24, 2014 14:12:44 GMT -6
The rest of turn 23 for Ximo:
"Hey!" the bodyguard said, on recognizing Ximo. He started to reach out to grab Ximo as he moved past, but paused. Apparently re-prioritizing in mid-act, the bodyguard turned and ran into the banquet hall to check and make sure Fedur was all right. While he did that, Ximo made his escape.
While wandering the High Quarter, Ximo passed three women talking in the street. One woman seemed distressed.
"I won't go back to work for those orphans anymore!" the woman said to the others. "They're cursed, I tell you! First the fire, and now monsters in the old chapel!"
Ximo, having drunk a little more wine than he was used to decided to see what "monsters" these women had mentioned. He hurried to the old chapel, he guessed they meant the old Temple of St. Cuthbert he had heard about a number of times. He was becoming certain that it would be best to know as much as possible about what was going on in this city.
Post by Ronny Serio on Oct 26, 2014 19:20:46 GMT -6
Half-way down the stairs, there was a lantern hanging on the wall. Marcel slipped it off its hook on his way down. Joaquim followed cautiously behind, with Curro Crepso trailing. Marcel started further into the cellar, but was brought short by Joaquim's voice.
"Wait. Why not just head back up, bar the door and summon the guard? Whatever's down here isn't going anywhere."
"I don't know," Marcel said, tentative. Normally the big man would agree with Joaquim's assessment, but something in his gut was telling him no. "Who knows how long it will take to get some soldiers in here. I don't like the idea of giving whatever is down here time to work their dark business."
"It's too dangerous," countered Joaquim. "You're not thinking clearly. It's the children, they're clouding your judgement."
"You might be right," agreed Marcel. He continued on his way further into the cellar, regardless.
Joaquim let out a string of curses and then sheepishly apologized to the Priest a few paces behind him. "Crespo, have one of your men summon soldiers. Church's First Army if you can find them, but the Viscount's Men will do. Then hurry back, please. This could get messy."
Curro Crespo complied with Joaquim's wishes and the Mage hustled to catch up to his friend.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 27, 2014 13:34:54 GMT -6
Turn 24 for Joaquim, Ximo, and Marcel:
Ximo arrived at the Old Chapel of St. Cuthbert to find the front door ajar and chaos inside. Five adults were trying to get about two dozen running and, sometimes, screaming children under control. As Ximo stepped in, he spied three armed men moving swiftly through the chapel to a rear door, one of whom was definitely Curro Crespo and two of whom he recognized from the Bronze Unicorn Inn last night. Ximo made several attempts to question people as to what was going on as he made his way further inside, but made no luck until Curro emerged from the rear door, tried to run past Ximo, and said, "Excuse me, Ximo, but I must fetch the watch!"
Meanwhile, Joaquim and Marcel reached the bottom of the stairs, but still saw no one about cellar, even by the light of their borrowed lantern.
Ximo decided to see what type of criminality had been revealed. And was interested to see the two men from the Bronze Unicorn. He headed across the room and, since no one stopped him, headed down the stairs. Just in case there was trouble, he hefted his quarterstaff like his former master had trained him. Though he was aware those lessons had been barely more than rudimentary, he figured he could smash a thief in the face if he had to. He was careful to make enough noise that he didn't surprise the two men from the Bronze Unicorn.
Post by Ronny Serio on Oct 27, 2014 15:37:47 GMT -6
"See anything," Joaquim asked Marcel.
"No doors," Marcel said, peering closely at the ample shadows looming about the room. "Must be some sort of secret passage."
"Or maybe a trap door set into the floor. There could be a lower storage area below us."
There were footsteps on the stairs. Joaquim turned to look and saw a stranger descending behind them, quarterstaff in hand. The man looked vaguely familiar, Joaquim thought he might have been dining with Caltaran at the Bronze Unicorn the night before. A priest then.
"Be wary, father," Joaquim said. "Something's down here, but they've gone into hiding. You know anything about hidden doors down here?"
Marcel began approaching the nearest alcove, angling his lantern to get a look into the darker areas.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 28, 2014 8:31:47 GMT -6
Turn 25 for Joaquim, Ximo, and Marcel:
The three adventurers delayed introductions and resumed the hunt for monsters. Unfortunately, the room turned up none. They checked carefully behind all the boxes and barrels. They saw nothing swimming in the cistern. Each alcove was a tiny shrine with a painting of Saint Cuthbert, a different pose in each, painted on the back wall.
"This is all very...picturesque," Ximo observed. "Monsters, seen by children but ne'er seen by adults...Secret places 'neath abandoned, well figuratively abandoned, temples...And three adventurers, two brothers-at-arms brisk and determined...and the third, a cipher, an unknown quantity. Mysterious, his motives uncertain and his doubts palpable. All we need is some barely literate noble from the sticks to turn it into a cheap drama."
Ximo was rambling a bit and a part of him knew it. But he had immersed himself in the strange goings-on of this city and he suspected it was affecting him.
"Why not poke around and see if we can find the hidden door?"
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 29, 2014 11:29:59 GMT -6
Turn 26 for Joaquim, Ximo, and Marcel:
They took the alcoves clockwise from the northeast corner. The first three contained nothing unusual, but Marcel noticed that the northwest alcove had a wet floor. Joaquim noticed that this was the only painting of St. Cuthbert that was pointing, specifically at the north wall of the alcove. And, while they continued to search for a secret door, Ximo was the one who discovered that the painting of St. Cuthbert's cudgel concealed a button. On pressing the button hard, a small door popped open, just 5' tall and starting 2' off the floor.
Above them, the door to the cellar opened and many booted feet were coming down.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 30, 2014 12:09:32 GMT -6
Curro Crespo arrived, with five patrolmen of the Church's First Army in tow.
"Tunnel? There's no tun--" Curro was saying before they showed him the secret door and the tunnel. "Cuthbert's cudgel, there really is a tunnel. I've never been told of this."
Ximo was examining the water in the cistern. It appeared fresh. When Ximo brought up interviewing the children, one of the soldiers spoke up.
"That sounds like a good idea. We'll leave four men down here guarding this tunnel, while I go back upstairs with anyone who wants to be on hand while the children are being interviewed. I would like to know what they saw before I go into the tunnel after it."
Post by Ronny Serio on Oct 30, 2014 13:23:00 GMT -6
Joaquim was about to accompany the questioners when Marcel spoke. "Monsters was good enough for me. I've no need to interrogate children." The big man stepped up into the tunnel and started in.
"You idiot," Joaquim muttered. What was the point of summoning soldiers if Marcel was just going to rush ahead anyway. Sighing, he climbed into the tunnel as well. He looked back to the soldiers. "Come on then. What's done is done." He offered a silent prayer to Heironeous, hoping the soldiers would follow him, and set off after Marcel.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 31, 2014 8:56:32 GMT -6
Turn 28 for Joaquim, Ximo, Marcel:
Curro Crespo took command of the patrolmen. "Three of you go in there with them, one come with me upstairs to interview the children, and -- you -- you stay here and come let us know if there's trouble in the tunnel."
It was a single file tunnel, with Marcel leading, followed by Joaquim, Ximo, and then the three patrolmen. The tunnel was dark and they needed Joaquim's borrowed lantern to see. The floor was uneven and in places the standing water was a foot high, while in other stretches the water barely covered their toes. It also fluctuated in width from 6-8' as it wound its way from the old chapel's cellar towards the center of the city.
After 100', the tunnel widened to 10' and was lined on either side by stone sarcophagi lining dark niches. Also within these niches were glowing red eyes -- and spears sticking out to attack intruders.
((Marcel is 20' from the first flanking pair of small spear-wielders, 25' from the next pair, and so on.))
Post by Ronny Serio on Oct 31, 2014 11:26:41 GMT -6
"More kobolds," muttered Marcel as he stepped forward to engage them. Though he and Joaquim had twice battled the creatures, he'd yet to actually fight them hand-to-hand. So far, his friend's magic had always brought a quick resolution to their encounters. His advancement, however, was brought short by Joaquim.
"Wait," said the mage. "Look, they're holding where they are. Standing guard, just trying to keep us out."
"What is this place," said Marcel.
"I have no idea." Joaquim looked to the guards and to the man Crespo had named Ximo. "Any of you have an idea where we might be in the city? And anybody bring any missile weapons? If they're just going to wait there, we can pick them off from range."
Ximo thought as best he could of what he knew of the city and the relative direction they had traveled, "If we've gone as far as I think and in the direction I think, this part of the city is the location of a number of manor houses. This could be a family crypt beneath one of those places. I cannot help but point out that if those are the sarcophagi they appear to be, this tale has grown more and more hackneyed. The author is really beating us over the head with this 'dark secrets' theme."
Ximo realized he had not answered Joaquim's question, "I have a dagger I could throw. But it's the only dagger I have..."