Post by scottenkainen on Feb 19, 2015 12:24:37 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 27 for Axen, Clybe, (Gratien, Kepa):
Once Gratien was back to normal, the four men proceeded cautiously into the tunnel to the south, with its undead-lined side passages. "The way out is straight ahead," Clybe said, trying to reassure them. But the way was winding and it was not always easy to tell if they were still on the right path, or a side passage.
"This place is full of evil..." Gratien said, hating the word "evil".
But they did succeed, and soon they saw the light of day again. It was, indeed, a bright and sunny day that greeted them and the fens seemed calm and quiet.
They emerged from the "Mouth of Wee Jas", the man-made mound lying at the heart of a grove surrounded by swamp trees.
"Ah, so this was the way!" Kepa exclaimed as Axen showed them the raised path heading slowly out of the fens. They followed the dry trail in single file, with Axen in the lead, then Kepa, Clybe, and Gratien taking up the rear.
For five long miles the four of them followed the trail as it snaked through the fens. But at last they came to open, grassy fields and the twin hills where Axen and Clybe had battled goblins just yesterday. There was no sign of the goblins who had fled.
Ramon began helping loot the orcs and the cultist so they could take their loot back to the chapel. He did not express the grim thought but he figured the bodies would keep the ghoul from hunting too far afield for some time.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 19, 2015 13:12:37 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 27 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie):
With four people free, the looting went quickly. They acquired:
1 suit of platemail 6 suits of chainmail 4 pole arms 2 morning stars 1 flail 2 sp, 5 cp, 5 gp an unholy symbol a sack of two vials of water (or appeared to be water) a phylactery holding a gemstone a gold ring
Daphne soon recovered and they made their way back safely to the unholy chapel. There, they started to compile treasure, grouped in a "what they could keep" pile apart from the hidden treasure horde.
Ramon brought the equipment his party had looted into the chapel as well, careful to keep it in its own pile as well, "We are now joined in our purpose but I cannot speak for the rest of my party as to what to do about what we found when we were less united," he explained.
"I suggest we keep the secret door sealed in case we have to leave this room or should we fall. That way the others can still recover the treasure and we prevent it falling into the hands of any enemies," Ramon said once they had started to think about settling in for the wait. He was tending to the rescued adventurer and trying to make the man comfortable. ((Unless the other band wanted to take him out with them.))
"Perhaps we could even make short explorations of the nearby rooms, at the very least to make sure no menace lurks nearby."
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 20, 2015 10:59:49 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 28 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie, Cayetano):
Ramon and the others added the loot from their last encounter with the loot from the chapel (minus the loot from the secret room), and combined with the loot from the room to the south of the chapel, and came up with a total of:
Armor: 2 suits of platemail, 6 suits of chainmail, 4 helmets, 1 shield, Weapons: 4 pole arms, 2 morningstars, 1 footman’s flail, 1 footman’s mace Coinage: 5 cp, 37 sp, 1 ep, 23 gp Gems/jewelry: 2 gemstones/phylacteries (one already in Ramon’s possession), 1 gold ring Items: 2 unholy symbols, bone scrollcase, 2 wineskins, 12 days of iron rations, two vials of water (?) Prisoners: 1 unconscious cultist
Jean-Marie was not liking those unholy symbols. "We should do something about those things..." but he was at a loss for what to do.
There was still more treasure to go back and gather, from the previous orc battles.
Cayetano had been judged to be too weak to walk back to the Village of Penwich as soon as Axen and Clybe had been ready to go.
"Are you sure that we're safe here?" Cayetano asked. Ramon shared the prevailing theory that the ghouls were somehow unable to enter the worked passageways north of their tunnels.
"It remains to be seen if that's true of the wights..." Daphne pointed out.
A while later, Ramon caught Fortunato, Daphne, and Jean-Marie all whispering to each other. Ramon was not able to overhear them.
Ramon ignored the whispering. Whatever the three were discussing was their business. He did walk over a little later, " I want to check on something and I don't think anyone should wander off alone. Daphne, would you mind accompanying me?"
If she was willing or if another of the three chose to come, Ramon led the way back to the barracks like room with the locked chest and mural. As they walked he made small talk, "I grew up in a monastery. a grand place, I thought. Then I saw the cathedral in Verbobonc City and, by St. Cuthbert that is a wondrous place. What bout you? Are you from the City?"
Once they were in the room he kept the conversation going as they searched the room carefully. Then Ramon tried the keys he had found on the lock of the chest.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 23, 2015 10:40:47 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 29 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie, Cayetano):
"Certainly," Daphne said. She accompanied Ramon back to that room to watch his back, and to talk.
"Not originally," Daphne said as they made conversation. "My family is from Safeton, on the Wild Coast. We moved to Verbobonc when I was eight. I loved Verbobonc. As 'safe' as Safeton was supposed to be, Verbobonc always felt so much safer...more tranquil. I learned to fight when I discovered even Verbobonc is not always a safe place, and that people like us had to fight to keep it safe...as safe as it felt like, when I was young."
By now, Ramon was in the chest, which was indeed unlocked by one of the keys he now possessed. The chest's contents were surprisingly sparse. There were some scattered coins -- 24 sp, 50 ep, and 6 gp -- a silver-inlaid helmet with short horns on top and, underneath the coins, a finely-crafted hand axe.
Further, Ramon and Daphne were able to gather the treasure off the orcs that were killed in this corridor earlier and added that treasure to their total. This cache was:
Armor: 3 suits of chainmail, 3 helmets Weapons: 3 battle axes, 4 throwing axes Coinage: 32 sp, 12 ep Items: enough wine to fill 1 skin, 2 days worth of iron rations
"I agree, the time seems to have come for those who wish to see Verbobonc remain safe for children and the meek or weak to fight. I'm glad that our two groups have found common cause on this expedition. The Cult is so deeply committed to sowing distrust among the forces of order that it would be horrible if our two parties fell into that trap," Ramon answered Daphne.
"Ah, more of interest," Ramon said as he helped empty the newly opened chest. "Did you get the opportunity to check the cultists' quarters? Have they been cleared out?"
Ramon and Daphne took their load back to the chapel and added it to the pile. They distributed the wine and rations to whomever desired them.
"Koldo, how are you holding up?" Ramon asked the soldier when they returned. Then he addressed the larger party, "Has there been any discussion of the idea of making sure the immediate area around here is clear of danger? I'm ready to check some of the nearby rooms."
As they followed the path, Clybe mused out loud, "I've been thinking about those bandits that we met earlier, Axen. I think I have an idea to handle them, but I need the three of you to do something if we spot them. Axen, keep your eyes out and if you see them, stop immediately and backtrack. I think our odds are best if you all hide with our small treasure while I speak to them directly. Be prepared to attack if they ambush me, but I don't think they will."
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 24, 2015 14:08:39 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 30 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie, Cayetano):
"The cultists' quarters? Oh, the room to the south of the chapel?" Daphne asked. "Yes, there were four of us searching that room, so I think we got everything."
"I'm good!" Koldo said, when Ramon asked him about any injuries.
"Yes, let us see what else we can find here..." Fortunato said, to Ramon's suggestion.
First, they went back to the very first room Ramon and his comrades had explored and secured the treasure pile from that room as well. What they added to their pile in the chapel was: 2 suits of scalemail armor, 2 helmets 1 battle axe, 1 morningstar 9 ep, 14 sp
"You should be glad the others are going for a wagon," Cayetano observed. "The armor is probably your best treasure here, but no one's going to want to walk all the way back to a town to sell it."
It was agreed that everyone would go as a group to explore the remainder of this 'sanctuary' at the rear of the undead warrens -- even Cayetano, who was given a dagger to defend himself with, but told to stick to the back and run back to the chapel if they were in trouble.
They went to the first door Ramon and comrades had passed, on the left, when first emerging into the worked passages of this sanctuary area. The door was stuck, but they got it open.
This was another sparse bedroom. The far wall was covered by another large mural, this one depicting the sacking of a city. Waves of humanoids -- goblins, orcs, and other monsters -- were depicted looting and burning building. The city's inhabitants stood at the center of the city, with three red-robed men standing over them.
Something moved in the corner of the room -- it turned out to be an ordinary rat.
The furnishings were battered but still useable, including a bed, a small chest, and a large, crude chair, its padding torn and re-stuffed with grass.
Fortunato checked the chest for traps and declared it safe. Before opening it, Fortunato paused and said, "The rest of the treasure in this place belongs to Ramon, Koldo, and their comrades-in-arms, yes? But we are agreed that anything found from now on is split with my party as well?"
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 24, 2015 15:26:35 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 28 for Axen, Clybe, (Gratien, Kepa):
It was 12 miles back west from here to where the bandits had been spotted. The party of four arrived late in the day to the mostly flat, wooded terrain the bandits called home.
Clybe walked 30' ahead of the others in a non-threatening manner. Indeed, so non-threatening was he, that he blundered, seemingly unnoticed, into an ambush waiting for his three companions, without them seeming to have noticed him!
After both parties got over their surprise, the bandits -- there were nearly 12 of them -- got down to the business of pointing weapons at the four adventurers, and the four adventurers pointed weapons back.
"Well, look who came back!" one of the bandits called out. "Did you figure you owed us more gold?"
Many of the bandits laughed. At least they were in a good mood for whatever Clybe planned to say.
Ramon agreed readily, "Of course. That's the fairest way forward. In fact, I had assumed it was what we were doing. Thank you for making sure it was clear to everyone. Would you like to try one of these keys?"
While Fortunato worked Ramon studied the three red-robed men for any sign of their identity.
"I think we should leave that portcullis in place for now, but that other long hallway past the cultists' quarters would be good to investigate."
Clybe cleared his throat. "Well, if you remember, my friends, when we last saw you there were many more members of our party. You surely remember the cleric, Ramon, as well as my other companions? When we travelled onward from here, we did find a great treasure, one I'd be happy to show you on a map... because, frankly, such information is useless to me now. You see, that treasure is being guarded by a band of orcs and cultists, some of which wield magic far beyond what I have ever seen. My friend... is dead. In the end, one of the orcs used magic to possess his mind. I intend to return to my order, to bring word."
Clybe put a devastated look on his face.
"If you men are brave enough to take on an enormous group of magic-wielding orcs and cultists, be my guest. You will be well rewarded for killing them off. Not only that, there are others who will reward you in Penwich and Verbobonc if you bring proof of your deeds to them. Allow us safe passage to Penwich and I will gladly share the exact location of the treasure and the orcs and then you can make up your mind for yourself by scouting there. Of course, if you choose to fight us, you will probably defeat us... but in that situation, you will not only not know of the treasure for which we speak, but you'll soon have to face the group of clerics who will seek Ramon and myself out here."
Clybe hoped that the positive reputation of his Order, as well as his own personal charm, would convince the bandits to listen to him.
Axen listened to Clybe's story, in which the cleric wove the events of the recent past into an impressive tapestry of... some sort of truth. He assumed that if the bandits went for the story, Clybe would send them on a wild goose chase.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 25, 2015 10:40:07 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 28a for Axen, Clybe, (Gratien, Kepa):
"You forgot somethin', city boy," a bandit missing teeth said through a sly grin. "We can still take all the rest of your gold, and then go get this big treasure of yours. So start throwin' down your weapons and valuables, boys!" he shouted to Clybe's companions further back. It looked like the rest of the bandits were of the same hostile and greedy state of mind.
"Fine, kill us, then. I will not tell you where the treasure is until you ensure our group fair passage, as I will not let that treasure fall into such lawless hands. If you want to know where it is, then leave four men here with us and send the rest in that direction for a good mile. I will not share the map until they are far away. I'll then draw you a map and we'll walk our separate ways. I swear on my honor as a cleric of Saint Cuthbert that I will give you a truthful map, but I also swear to you that if you rob what little we have, my lips will remain sealed through my dying breath. Not only that, the Cuthbertites are soon going to come looking for us, and if they have any reason to suspect that you brought harm to our order... well, let me just remind you of the cudgel that represents our order. You have a choice, men. You can either earn pennies from robbing us and have the wrath of the Order of Saint Cuthbert upon your heads while also missing out on any chance for treasure, or you can simply walk away with a map that points you to a great treasure given to you by an honorable cleric of the Order who will remember that you avenged his dead friend. It's up to you."
Clybe knew full well that if he gave them the map immediately, the bandits would probably kill them anyway. The only way to tempt a bandit is through his greed, and the only way that Clybe could keep himself safe is to alter the numbers a little. Clybe did assume a defensive posture, just in case a fight still happened, and brought his hand near his weapon.
Axen was almost taken aback by Clybe's powerful speech. It was a crazy, desperate gambit, but it was probably their only hope of getting out of here without a very difficult fight that would likely wind up with all of them dead. He fingered his sword, just in case.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 25, 2015 23:58:32 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 28, rd. 1 for Axen, Clybe, (Gratien, Kepa):
After a long, tense pause, during which Gratien and Kepa stepped up and stood beside Clybe, another voice from among the bandits shouted "No killing! Take them alive! Strike to subdue, boys!"
And, with that, the battle Clybe had hoped to prevent was joined. But Kepa got the jump on everyone and waded into the front rank of men with spears and swords. He hit one of them and drove the bandit to the ground, unconscious, with his magic blade.
Three crossbowmen took aim at Axen, hanging back alone, and one of them managed to hit him. It was a light wound.
Three attacked Clybe with the flat of their blades, but he blocked two easily with his shield and his armor saved him from the third.
Two attacked Gratien and missed.
Two attacked Kepa and one struck him with a spear.
Gratien positioned himself in striking distance of three bandits -- and managed to cut down one and seriously wound a second one.
((Rd. 1: Kepa's to hit: 9+1, 9+1, 11+1- 5+1 dmg; to hit Axen: 5, 3, 16- 6 dmg; to hit Clybe: 5, 11, 15; to hit Gratien: 11, 7; to hit Kepa: 9, 19- 2 dmg; Gratien's to hit: 8, 14- 3 dmg, 15- 6 dmg))
Day 7/Turn 30 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie, Cayetano):
The small chest contained 19 cp, 52 sp, 4 ep, and a silver and jade-decorated necklace.
"Nice piece...small pieces of jade, though," Fortunato observed. "We won't get rich off of this piece."
"What about that portcullis, to the north of us?" Daphne asked. "Do we want to try and force that up, or skip it and try the rooms to the north first?"
"I was just thinking that we should leave the portcullis down for the time being. It may be that way for a reason. Let's do the rooms to the north and then the long hallway past the cultists' quarters."
Ramon wondered how Clybe and the others were doing. Hopefully they had avoided those nasty bandits.
Axen went straight for the crossbowmen, hoping to keep them from shooting at the melee fighters. He did his usual low dash mixed with rolling falls to keep the crossbowmen off target as he approached, then swung at the legs of the first crossbowman he reached.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 26, 2015 10:32:53 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 31 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Daphne, Jean-Marie, Cayetano):
The room to the north of the portcullis seemed to be have once been a bedroom identical to the one south of the portcullis, but the mural on the wall of this room had been scratched completely off. There was a small chest in this room which Fortunato checked, opened, and found contained: 150 cp, 28 sp, and 16 ep.
The last room to the north was yet another bedroom, this one containing a high-backed chair carved with antlers. The chest in this room had been left open near the chair, with pieces of half-eaten meat crawling with centipedes in it, on top of some coinage. Fortunato -- whose job this apparently was in his party -- dumped the contents of the chest out on the floor so the money could be separated. This amounted to 20 cp, 54 sp, 24 ep, and 5 small dice carved from lapis lazuli.
All this was deposited back in the chapel, before the adventurers headed south down the long tunnel.
"Fortunato, do you, or does anyone else think that chair might be worth something? How good is the craftsmanship? With a cart we might be able to haul it out with the rest," Ramon suggested as they headed down the long tunnel.