Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:13:07 GMT -6
Waysoftheearth: Highbough wriggles down Olaf's rope, penetrating the bizarre surface which somehow baffles ordinary sight.
But once he has passed through it, his eyes are affronted by the sore truth!
The Abbey is a forlorn wreck, charred by fire, blasphemed by grotesque graffiti, and decorated with foul skins and carcasses strung up like trophies. The ground is blackened with ash and densely littered with skulls and bones. Fires smoulder and black tar bubbles in pits dug into the earth, and rotted heads gawk sightlessly, spitted upon pikes staved into the suffering earth.
Looking back toward Olaf and the real world, Highbough finds he can scarcely see anything more than a grey haze beyond the enchanted surface...
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:14:06 GMT -6
Mushgnome: Ack! Highbough gags and retches at this affront against nature. But he gathers his wits and leans on the Ire Spear for reassurance. He tries to get the lay of the land. What lies between him and the chapel, and what can he see, are there any doors/windows/entrances? Any movement or noises?
The bell-tower is still largely intact, although blacked and blasphemed.
The large arched windows at the rear of the chapel were once filled with beautiful stained-glass windows, but these are now smashed, leaving a gaping opening in the rear wall -- about 60ft from the duo's current position.
However, a crude pit has been dug all around the perimeter at the foot of the abbey wall, in which a foul black tar broils and burns with a low but nauseous green flame.
Some 60ft further around the abbey's wall is the proper entrance. A great black double door flung wide open stands beneath a huge Gothic arch that is riddled with gargoyles. A stout timber bridge has been laid over the burning moat, but there are two figures standing on the far side of the bridge -- entirely cowled in heavy black robes so that their features are completely concealed. They seem alert but partially preoccupied with what is going on just out of sight inside the abbey -- At their feet are three large-looking wolves circling restlessly -- completely unchained!
Thank Thuul that the wretched pong form the fires seems to have baffled their noses...
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:16:41 GMT -6
Highbough: Highbough joins Olaf in immediately taking cover! But he hesitates at climbing the bell tower: "How can we support with bow and spell if we climb back up above the illusion?"
He studies the rear of the chapel for any smashed windows or other openings that might be large enough for an Elf or man to slip through. He supposes he could blink through, but then how to get Olaf over the tar-moat?
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:17:28 GMT -6
Olaf: Olaf will try to get Highbough to join him in hiding behind the bell tower for our conversation.
"Yes, I guess you are right." Olaf says, a little disappointed at not being able to take the high ground.
"Hum..."Olaf looks the situation over, "Isn't there an opening in the wall there?" he points at the rear of the chapel. If we could tie our rope up on the bell tower somewhere and you could blink with one end of it across the moat and tie it off there, I could slide down the rope from the tower to the chapel side of the moat. We could enter there."
"Otherwise, I think we might want to hide and wait until the others make their appearance." Olaf says.
Olaf says, "It looks like the guards and their wolves are watching something over that way.", he points toward the devastated area, "That would be our companions coming this way from what I bet they think is a perfectly normal Abbey interior.
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:17:49 GMT -6
Highbough: "Somebody was ringing that bell not long ago," reasons Highbough. "If there are one or two sentries in the bell tower, let's take them out now. Then we will control the high ground, and one of us can keep watch from above the veil of illusion, while the other keeps watch below. I do not want to be anywhere near that pack of creatures if Master Ulric approaches from the other side! When he's done blasting them, you and I can pick off the roasted stragglers."
He grips his weapon so tightly it begins to smoke! "Enchanted beasts cannot ward against the Ire Spear; what about your weapon Eris? Do you have an enchanted or silver blade? Now, be careful of their bite, young man..."
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:18:22 GMT -6
Highbough: "Be careful; these foes are not to be trifled with! If all else fails, lure them into position directly below the bell. I have a soell to heat metal; we can crush them with the red-hot bell!"
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:18:43 GMT -6
Olaf: Olaf nods and then starts toward the door to the bell tower. If it is open he'll cautiously look inside before entering. If it is closed, he'll stop and listen, ear at the door, before attempting to open it.
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:18:58 GMT -6
Wote: The blackened bell tower is a narrow affair. At its base is a flimsy wooden shutter rather than a proper door. Opening it carefully, Olaf sees that the whole of it is wide enough for a ladder that climbs up to the bell, and a rope which hangs down. The rope could be yanked to ring the bell. The interior space is more akin to a chimney than to a proper "tower". Given the bigger outward appearance, the walls must be rather thick.
It would be a squeeze for one person to climb up... but it's doable. Having two people up there at once is out of the question.
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:19:17 GMT -6
Highbough: "I don't see any wolves in here, Olaf... Shimmy up the ladder if you like, but I'm going to keep an eye on the situation in the courtyard; those guards looked like they were agitated about something. Our help may be required sooner than later!"
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:19:42 GMT -6
Olaf: Looking up Olaf shakes his head and says doubtfully, "I guess, I could climb up there, but I doubt it will give me the advantage with my bow I thought it would."
"I still think our best bet might be to tie the rope off here, you blink across the moat with the other end of the rope and tie it off there and then I cross the moat by holding onto the rope." Olaf says.
"Well, if we're not crossing the moat and going in the back way, then I agree we should just wait to see if we can help our friends when they arrive." Olaf says, "I hope they arrive sooner than later, though."
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:19:58 GMT -6
Highbough: What are the physics involved, of Highbough blinking whilst holding one end of a rope and Olaf is holding the other? I am game to try, if it sounds realistic. Otherwise I am keen to rejoin the rest of the party, I have a hunch their position will be revealed quite soon. I'd say we have accomplished our mission by scouting the rooftops, checking the bell tower for guards, and fixing a rope as an escape route for the party if necessary.
Post by waysoftheearth on Mar 22, 2013 4:20:23 GMT -6
Wote: The interior space of the bell-tower is about 3ft square -- so it's a narrow rise, to be sure. But there would be a commanding view from the top (unless it were confounded by the illusion).
Olaf doesn't know much about sorcery other than it's something best left well alone!
In his mind, there's no reason why he couldn't hang onto one end of a rope while Highbough magically "leaps" across the moat with the other end. But what then? There's nothing handy nearby to anchor either end of the rope to... unless Olaf intends to stand there holding it himself?
Truth is, the tar moat is only about 10ft wide. Olaf reckons he could leap it pretty easily with a bit of a run up.
Highbough's concern is that if we set off on our own (for example sneaking off to find the loot) we will miss an opportunity to assist the other party members here real soon. Plus, since Olaf doesn't have a magic weapon, I doubt we could survive an encounter with even one of these things. What do you think, eris?
Post by waysoftheearth on Apr 2, 2013 16:58:00 GMT -6
There is no sign of any battle. There are distant noises with a concerning edge, but these might be almost anything -- they are mostly obscured by the hissing, bubbling and smoldering of the burning tar-pits, and the general moaning of the surrounding wilderness.
The guards at the bridge-way seem agitated. They are intermittently communicating with someone (or something) else inside the debased abbey. The wolves are pacing back a forth in an irritated state.