Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 6, 2013 16:53:17 GMT -6
Highbough, Wen and Guntrum leave the bulk of the company to complete their evening activities at the campsite and clamber up to the top of the rise to survey the foothills about them.
Dusk proper has already settled over the hinterlands, and there may be half an hour or so of twilight left to them before full night arrives.
There are already deep shadows in the folds between rises, though the night is clear and the grey-green moon already looms large and ripe in the sky.
The abbey squats in the shadow of the next main rise, perhaps another hundreds yards or so distant. It is slightly above your present position and partially concealed by intervening terrain. You cannot see the camp fire, even in the dimness, but a small column of smoke can still be made out if you look very carefully.
Guntrum thinks it might be best to find out what can be found out about the cook fire rather than the abbey, itself. Whatever sleeps in the ruins will still be there in the morning; whatever party has the cook fire is possibly not nocturnal and may be either an ally or an additional problem.
Wen would whisper to the others. "Well it looks like someone is home. I wonder if we should get a bit closer? I'm carrying the The Eerie Lambent, I could cast it on the edges and see if we can lure anything out?"
Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 6, 2013 21:40:18 GMT -6
The Eerie Lambent: Conjures a host of 1d6 + caster level animated, levitating candle flames. These move as a whole wherever the magic-user desires, darting back and forth at pace, turning corners and navigating openings. These may attract attention, frighten animals, illuminate a passage, and so on, but wink out of existence if ever they stray further than 100ft from the caster, or when the caster rests or is hit.
Wen is wise enough to realise that conjuring a host of magical lights could attract unwanted attention to himself...
Highbough does his best to reign in Wen's youthful enthusiasm. "Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought of the things for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (An old Elf adage, I think...)
Last Edit: Jan 7, 2013 12:38:53 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 7, 2013 15:47:09 GMT -6
Wen and Guntram seem keen to get a closer look, and set a course to circle around to the side, then rear of the abbey at a distance. Highbough follows, muttering old Elvish adages to noone in particular as he hobbles along...
The trio pick their way along the rough slopes in the fading light, taking care to stay largely out of sight of the abbey. Despite a few moments where tired feet stumble, stones slip down slope, or dashes have to be made from one shadow to the next, they circumnavigate the abbey quite uneventfully and have no reason to suspect that they might have been seen.
Their circuitous route takes them the best part of an hour to traverse, by which time dusk has passed and the blanket of night has settled over the land. It is well the the moon is large and ripe in the clear sky, for it bathes the land in a low silver-blue illumination which is infinitely helpful. From their new position the trio hear the distant echo of a wolf howling as they gaze down at their quarry...
Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 7, 2013 17:54:30 GMT -6
The abbey wall looks as sound from south-east as it did from the west (where the remainder of the company are encamped). It appears to be an irregular shaped, five-walled structure. The shortest wall is roughly 60ft long, and the longest is perhaps twice that. The entire wall is about 10ft tall, and comprises great whitewashed stone pillars at each corner, with a stout timber stockade wall in between. The whole is set on an earthwork of stone rubble and earth so that it stands upon flat ground despite the slope of the hillside.
Within the wall is a small cluster of shingled rooftops, and a chimney from which the smoke arises.
There is a thatch of stunted trees surrounding the far side of the structure, with some of them almost overhanging the wall.
"Guntrum, take this news back to camp." Highbough whispers. "Wen let us enjoy the night air until our watch is over." He continues, "I am cheered by that plume of smoke, for it means the abbey is not completely overrun by undead as I feared, for night walkers have no need of cook-fires."
He lapses into silence and spends the rest of his watch shift lurking around, a ways apart from the PC's camp, with his ears trained for any voices, animal noises, the clang of metal, or other sounds from the abbey. Wen is welcome to join him, but nobody who moves louder than an Elf or Hobbit.
Last Edit: Jan 8, 2013 23:44:19 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 10, 2013 16:26:24 GMT -6
Wen and Highbough watch Guntrum head back to camp, but decide to linger in the night a while longer... it is a beautifully moonlit night, after all.
When the human has passed from hearing, they converse quietly in Elvish, keeping a sharp watch over the silver-blue hills from a comfortable vantage atop a lazy boulder...
Sometime after Guntrum has gone, the pair spot a shadow that moves. It is hardly larger than a Man, but quiet as a mouse. It has all the cunning of a hunter, and it appears to follow in Gumtrum's tracks... but then is gone from sight utterly, and does not return.
"I agree; we're in trouble!" whispers Highbough. "Are you up for a game of cat and mouse, my young friend?" Highbough takes advantage of the moonlight to examine the ground where the shadow passed; are there any footprints or signs of passage to suggest this is a corporeal being that can be tracked? If tracking is an impossibility, then he thinks it's time to return to camp; he doesn't want the party to be split if a supernatural enemy has scouted our location.
Wen would follow Highbough as he inspects the ground looking for tracks, doing his best to avoid making noise. Wen keep an eye out towards the abby trying to sense any movement in that direction as well.