Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)   Posted by Dragondog.Group: 0
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 579 posts
 Solamnic squire
Sat 4 Jan 2020
at 01:58
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
PM

This message was last edited by the player at 02:03, Sat 04 Jan.

Dragondog
 GM, 2499 posts
Tue 7 Jan 2020
at 14:09
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
About an hour after you opened the door and Irren cast the spell, Misha returned from the path leading upward.
Misha Quill
 player, 384 posts
Wed 8 Jan 2020
at 14:51
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Misha spotted the group, but she kept out of sight from the main camp all the way as she quietly made her way back to them. She beckoned them back through the doors to get everyone out of sight. Even then she remained wary, peering down the tunnel. Finally, relaxed enough as they were in a relatively secure position, she laid out what she found. She looked sweaty and shaken. Something clearly hadn't gone right.

The others were looking expectantly, so she sighed and took a deep breath. She was clearly not happy, but seeing Grim pad over seemed to restore her spirits a little. She had to tell the others, so she just started.
"This place is bad. We need to use the other entrance the dwarves spoke off. The mage and his staff are nowhere near here." She glanced back at the door, still extremely wary.
"You saw the ogres. Too many to take. But on the upper layer are those.. dragon things. Also a lot more then you want to fight."
Misha let out another sigh. She was gathering energy to remember everything.
"From that room tunnels go different ways. One is a dead end, one leads to the inner volcano. A lake of molten rock. It's too hot to cross. Suicide. But there is a path regardless. I think only the draconids can take it." She licked her lips, then remembered how thirsty she was. She took a swig from her waterskin, and petted Grim as she shared the worst she had found.
"Down the other path there is a... shrine. An altar. Dragon skulls. I think it's to.. you know, the evil goddess." Her eyes were wide. She had clearly seen something.
"They sacrificed kender there. Lots of them. The blood is still there. A pool of it. And the dead kender too. They came... crawling out... when I tried crossing the room."
She gulped and paused for her companions to digest what she had said as she took another swig as she buried the memory again. She mulled over sharing the last bit. Misha knew the knights could not resist it, but to omit it would be a massive slight. She just had to share it, or some of the others could not forgive her. Irren she could not give a rat's rear about, but she looked at Zacharias as she finally shared the last fact.
"There's still a living prisoner. Girl. Didn't see her, only heard her. Locked up near the shrine room." She sighed. "I couldn't take her. Can't sneak her past all that." She beckoned half-heartedly towards the doors. "Can't take you past that either. We need to look for the other entrance. Either it goes to the other side to the molten lake, or it goes to the other side of the shrine, is my thinking. Either way, it's more likely to get us to the ogre mage and maybe that prisoner then trying to fight our way through that horde."

Misha took another swig and turned a bit, petting Grim. She clearly was done explaining.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:52, Wed 08 Jan.

Brother Zacharias
 player, 589 posts
 The world is my library.
 AC 19 HP 38/22
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 01:55
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Zach nodded to the stealthy woman
"Well done, my friend.    I agree that the other entrance sounds more prudent.  We need find that prisoner, you're right about that.  Did she sound like a kender, or is there something else afoot?"
Dragondog
 GM, 2501 posts
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 07:39
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
GM passing a message.
Tark Ka-Orilg
 player, 203 posts
 I honor my Code
 HP 59/59
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 10:00
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Tark considers her words and nods reluctantly, stroking his long chin. "You're right. The prisoner is more important a consideration than any glory attached to such a battle. It seems we must search for this other entrance. Perhaps we might try divination to locate another entrance."
Misha Quill
 player, 385 posts
Thu 9 Jan 2020
at 21:53
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Misha tiredly shook her head at Zacharias.
"I don't know what she was. She just sounded like a woman. I didn't want to go closer to her, in case her shouts attracted the jailers." She sighed. Clearly, sneaking past all that she had reported on had been exhausting.
Dragondog
 GM, 2502 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 04:35
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
It's late, but Misha's report is urgent.

Wrapped in new flight spells and a new Zone of Air with extended duration, you quickly left, and went up the mountain.

About a half hour later, you were at the plume entrance the gully dwarves had told you about. The narrow pillar of rock was about 100 feet across at the base and more than 75 feet high. The stone was sharp and jagged, but provided plenty of convenient handholds for scaling the sides. If you had needed them.

You landed on a narrow shelf along the edge of the plume and you gazed into a dark tunnel that led into the mountain.

It seemed to be a straight drop for the first 50 feet or so, before it angled sharply toward the heart of the Peak. Unlike the rock outside of the plume, the stone within the tunnel seemed to be perfectly smooth. Though there were ridges unevenly spaced throughout that looked as if it would provide some holds for climbing.

As you descend deeper into the tunnel leading into the peak, not only did it grow darker as the ambient light faded, but oddly it also seemed to grow a bit cooler.

After the first vertical 50 feet, the tunnel slanted down so that you needed to adjust the direction of your flight. Without it, it would be slower going, but faster than climbing vertically.

The tunnel was somewhat less than 25 feet in diameter and continued for over 500 feet before it emerged overlooking a large cavern.

The massive chamber, apparently made of solid obsidian that glistened oddly, cast flickering shadows along the stalactite-studded ceiling.

Delicately shaped bridges of obsidian crossed every crevice of the floor, connecting numerous small tunnels along the edges of the cavern. Ladders of the same craftsmanship allowed easy access from tunnels to the floor, including the tunnel that you were currently standing near.

Small patches of glowing phosphorus moss grew along the cavern walls and ceiling, casting a soft, diffuse blue-violet light over the entire cavern. Perhaps it's a trick of your eyes, but after a few moments of staring across the chamber, you began to notice that the diffuse light seemed to make the uneven floor undulate."
Fayrlan Estfalas
 player, 76 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 05:11
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Fayrlan's ears pricked, and he pulled out his silver tube and held it to his eye.  "I hear insects.  Many and large.  Or perhaps very many and slightly less large.  Give me just a moment."  He concentrated on the sounds and tried to match them to creatures he had seen or heard of.
Brother Zacharias
 player, 590 posts
 The world is my library.
 AC 19 HP 38/22
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 07:02
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Brother Zach cocked an ear.
"I hear it, as well.  A distant chittering of some kind."
Then he was quiet, trying to let Fayrlan concentrate, and thought hard as well.
Misha Quill
 player, 386 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 15:27
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
In the gloom Misha made a face. She did not like bugs.
Tark Ka-Orilg
 player, 204 posts
 I honor my Code
 HP 59/59
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 15:30
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
"Bugs?" asks Tark. "Is that why the floor seems to move and undulate?" Tark reviews option for dealing with swarms.
Misha Quill
 player, 387 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 15:36
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Misha groaned a little.
"Tell me we can still fly."
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 580 posts
 Solamnic squire
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 17:08
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Irren paused in thought as the party discussed approaches of dealing with swarms, but something niggled at the squire's mind, until it suddenly clicked as he stared at the bridges.  He turned back to examine the shaft they had just traversed.

"Handholds outside the pillar.  The passage here - ridges spaced for climbing.  The stone within the tunnel is perfectly smooth - it has been worked.  Then here, within, we have refined crafting of the bridges and ladders.  This has all been crafted.  Certainly not ogre work with the gentle touch, nor the spacing.  The demon draconians... no, there are long-developed construction, a care of beauty in workmanship - they were violent and explosive.   Definitely not dwarven style, more elven in grace, but not decorated as I would expect.

"It is possible that it was something done ages ago, by a lost folk, but... there is no build-up of dust or plant, nothing appears collapsed.  It is being tended at the least, if not being repaired or mended.  And several folk would be required to maintain this, many more to build such.  It is polished, to reflect light.  Look how it reflects the violet light of the glowing moss.  Oh... and the moss is NOT on the ground, only the walls and ceiling.  The ground is kept too active for the moss to expand across such an easy surface.  Whomever maintains this is definitely land-walking as are we, if the ladders were not a clue.

"Let us be cautious with our action.  The insects we hear may be pets or friends of the race doing this work.  It would seem unlikely that they are a danger to us, unless they are very very recent to the area.  Perhaps a group of Kagonesti?  I had thought them more wild, but with the changes done to this region, who knows..."


Irren checked that the party were ready to proceed, then did so cautiously, but with his weapons away to show peaceful intentions.  As an experienced warrior, he could respond with quick violence, but his courtly training knew well the value of appearances for diplomacy.

"'Prudence, wisdom, charity, kindness, and faith...'"
Dragondog
 GM, 2503 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 19:54
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
GM passing a message.
Fayrlan Estfalas
 player, 77 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 20:27
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Fayrlan re-examined things, not believing his eyes.
Dragondog
 GM, 2504 posts
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 01:23
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
If your eyes aren't betraying you, the uneven obsidian that formed the floors, the ladders, and even the bridges are made up entirely of living, moving ants, each the size of a large dog.

Scurrying along the walkways formed by these ants, slightly larger ants were moving around, busy with various unknown tasks, while ants the size of small ponies seemed to be carrying food to various sections of the floor. You watched as they passed the food down and disappear, apparently to be distributed among the small ants forming the architecture of the colony.

Suddenly, you heard a skittering sound behind you, and when you turned, you were confronted by four large ants scurrying along the walls of the tunnel, each carrying a gruesome catch in their mandibles.
Tark Ka-Orilg
 player, 205 posts
 I honor my Code
 HP 59/59
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 09:28
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Tark says "Is there any way of giving us all a scent that the ants will avoid? Perhaps a Prestidigitation spell?"
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 581 posts
 Solamnic squire
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 15:14
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
"That.. is why the architecture looked different... living architecture."  Irren's facial expression was one of amazement, then settling into an impressed look.  "Very cooperative, working together for their movement, more powerful ones distributing  for the smaller workers.  Perhaps hunter and worker castes?  We might expect warrior or defender castes, and likely a queen for the hive?"

The squire's consideration of what might lie ahead was interrupted by appearance of the four larger ants.

"Hunters, bringing in food.  Stand to one side, slowly.  I don't know if they act the same as diplomatic functions, but you never block folk from the food, nor servers from the table."

Irren thought back to his younger days, and tried to shepherd the party behind him slowly, ensuring a clear path for the hunters... and keeping himself between the groups if his assessment was wrong.  If only the parties could speak...


OOC:
08:12, Today: Irren Bridgeguard rolled 22 using 1d20+5.  Wild Empathy.

Fayrlan Estfalas
 player, 78 posts
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 15:32
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
With his previous rolls, does Fayrlan know if these are intelligent?  He has tongues prepared, which will work if they are int 3+, and will cast it if he thinks they are or doesn't konw.
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 582 posts
 Solamnic squire
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 20:59
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Rather than offensive action, Irren appeared to be echoing somewhat the earlier exchange with the ogres, trying to take their measure, and not simply destroying these creatures.  Swift action against the corrupted creatures earlier had not been a problem for him, but his expressed interest in these ants in culture and creation seemed to have elevated them to some degree, at least.

He focused his will upon the lead ant, trying to take its measure.


OOC: Det Thoughts, focusing first on the lead ant
Dragondog
 GM, 2505 posts
Thu 16 Jan 2020
at 23:59
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
GM passing a message.
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 583 posts
 Solamnic squire
Fri 17 Jan 2020
at 03:20
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Irren nodded to the front ant, and half-turned to the others, gesturing them back against the wall, before turning back to the ant.  One hand gestured to the ant, then motioned the ant continuing onwards.  This was followed by a second hand gesture encompassing the party, and palm to the ground twice, then staying.... questioning towards the ant.

"They are not pets.  They are intelligent, if limited discussion.  He wishes to complete his 'mission' and report to the others that they have 'guests'.  Keep back.

"I don't know.. I haven't tried to speak with creatures magically - not except Aqee, here.  I can try to speak with them, trying to bridge out something like we can speak, but it might be wiser to wait a moment?  Fayrlan, Tark, Zach - do you have any skills at speaking magics, to help, or if such work if the creature doesn't speak words?  My magic is... new to me. "

Misha Quill
 player, 388 posts
Fri 17 Jan 2020
at 07:59
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Misha did not share Irren's enthusiasm for diplomacy, and her hands were on the pommels of her swords.
"Are you joking? They want to tell the others they have food walking into their lair! Remember the last time you wanted to have a talk with some monsters?"
Tark Ka-Orilg
 player, 206 posts
 I honor my Code
 HP 59/59
Fri 17 Jan 2020
at 10:11
Re: Chapter 1.6 The Peak of Membakar (Main)
Tark says "I do indeed have such magic. Tongues will allow anyone the ability to communicate with any intelligent species. But are you, Irren, our best Diplomat? Perhaps I should take the lead on this? No, from our history together I know you to be a better negotiator. Thus...  " Tark casts a Tongues Spell on Irren, Extending its length. The spell will last 2 hours.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:09, Yesterday.