The Keep.   Posted by Curse.Group: 0
Curse
 GM, 51 posts
Tue 5 May 2015
at 17:43
The Keep
Though five of the group had entered and tried settling in for the night so far, what of the other half? They had been separated form the group proper, three,Sankt, Ayleth, and the companion the detoured for, Lan'elli in the village right off the start, the other three; Pandora, Millie, and Kerath in the black winding woods between the shore and clearing.

Their stories are their own to tell of those times, but by fates hands, even though the relentless icy downpour and miles of sprawling, tangled, poison-oak and sharp bramble filled woods, they reach the same destination. On the exterior, the keep was old, nondescript, and abandoned looking, but even through the deafening storm a slight hint of life was detectable. There on the second floor window was a hint of light flickering oddly against the curtain, shadows dance past, like hundreds of slim legs.

There before them was a grand door, large enough for a minotaur to stroll in. Its huge mass wavered ever so slightly against the winds, most likely it wasn't locked in any way.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:02, Tue 05 May 2015.

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 37 posts
Tue 5 May 2015
at 17:58
Re: The Keep
Lan gave his companions a brief glance before observing the massive door in front of him.  He shivered in the cold rain, soaked to his bones and muttering under his hood.  He had noticed the shadows dancing on the window overhead, but ignored them.  It was time to get out of the rain.  Without waiting for his companions and completely unaware of the danger inside the Keep, Lan placed both hands on the doors and gave a mighty heave, unsure how heavy the doors may be.

The door gave way, and Lan wasted no time entering the Keep.  Now shivering uncontrollably, Lan threw the hood from his head and stamped his soaked boots.  "By all the g-gods!" a string of curses followed, and not quietly.  "If it isn't c-c-colder than a witch's t-..." his voice trailed, reminded of present company.  Glancing red-faced toward Ayleth he quickly caught himself and promptly finished, "-oe.  I was going to say toe."

Lan cleared his throat.  He began to survey his surroundings, advancing into the room a few steps.  He kept a wary hand on the pommel of one of his daggers.  "Where is everyone?"  He shook himself violently, trying vainly to rid himself of these shivers.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:01, Tue 05 May 2015.

Kerath Taliss
 player, 11 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 14:09
Re: The Keep

My eyes closed, my fur wet by rain, dirty in the mud, is a perfect camouflage in the darkness of the dark forest. The few rays of light that penetrate the undergrowth are not enough to determine whether it is day or night, just my instinct can help me to find the right path. I am aware, all my senses focused on the darkness and gloom. Sniffing the breeze hoping to find a familiar smell, a smell that guide me through the maze of trees, humidity, mud and darkness. I have learned to enjoy the silence and loneliness, I have learned to listen in loneliness, to feel in loneliness, and silence somehow has become a comrade of life.

I open my eyes ... I start walking through the grass and mud, quietly, careful, stealthy, not to break the silence that protects me of the unknown.
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 21 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 17:15
Re: The Keep
Two glowing lights peered out from the darkness, they continued to move forwards revealing a worn helm. The spectral knight Zigor re-sheathed his sword upon recognizing the trio, "Oh... You survived... and made it out here, what luck you must have, and I as well."  His words rang as hollow as his body.

"Well, I suppose we ought find you some of the flying beasties to draw you lot a hot bath and tend a fire then? Oy, you've got a few more guests here!" The ghost turned his attention to the kitchen way and called out into the darkness.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:27, Thu 07 May 2015.

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 38 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 17:25
Re: The Keep
Lan shook himself again, sputtering.  He said nothing, just glanced in the direction that the knight had called.  He glanced backward to Ayleth, "Flying beasties?" he muttered, puzzled.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 12 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 18:09
Re: The Keep
"We most go to the North."

I said, and started to walk slowly in that direction, looking at each person in the eyes, attentive to any change in the hostile and unfamiliar environment of the forest.
Curse
 GM, 53 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 18:24
Re: The Keep
Soon enough Karath's group reached the keep, just in time for the storm to quell to a sprinkle. An explosion of bats left to the skies soon after, disappearing to all directions of the forest. "Look! It's the others!" Millie offered, spotting the crowd in the open entryway.

A few bats of the hundreds did stay behind from the hunt though, not vampiric, but fruit bats; including the young citrus-named one the other group had rescued, flew into the grand hall to answer the call. "Hello. Um, are you more friends?"
Kerath Taliss
 player, 13 posts
Thu 7 May 2015
at 19:11
Re: The Keep
"Is everyone allright?"

I shake my wet fur, I splashed water around, water and mud. While I wait for the answer to my question, I see the new site we have reached. I try to find a good place to camp, restoring forces dry off. I put all my senses on this task.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 12:40, Wed 13 May 2015.

Zigor Blaidd
 player, 22 posts
Tue 12 May 2015
at 04:23
Re: The Keep
"Alright?" The dead soldier's laugh echoes form its armor around the hall "Well, the others are alive, or at least they were when they turned in." The red lights in the helm turned upwards towards towards the stairs in the center of the hall "Probably asleep by now, I'd guess. Though on the other hand the littler cat seems to have taken a shine to a promising new recruit we've picked up... Bah, now I've been infected by such vulgar minded drivel being among you mortals too long. Go ahead and get your rooms from the animals already if that make you feel at ease."
Fruit Bat
Tue 12 May 2015
at 04:23
Re: The Keep
"Umm, about that... Well, I heard from the eldest that we kinda have an emergency and no one can go up right now... but like, you could stay with us in the cave maybe? We're working on it... but we kinda um..." The young bat stammered shyly, but finally blurted out the main problem. "Could you maybe perhaps spare some blood for Countess? She woke up and she's really thirsty and breaking a lot of stuff right now."
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 39 posts
Tue 12 May 2015
at 05:07
Re: The Keep
Lan blinked.  He noticed Kerath and the others join them but didn't get a chance to greet them before the fruit bat said something about a bloody-thirsty countess.  His ears twiched, almost as if he believed he'd heard wrong.  "What?" he said numbly, his hands falling to his side.  "Blood... thirsty?" He cast a darkened look to the spectral knight, then to the stairs to which the knight had glanced.  He shouldered his bow into his hand and nocked an arrow, gesturing to the knight, "Come on, we have to get up there!  Go ahead of me."
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 23 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 02:16
Re: The Keep
Zigor drew his sword and marched up the steps, pausing and hiding behind his shield near the top. "Fie! The bleeding door's been set ablaze!" One of the knight's few weaknesses was light, and light it was, nearly everything in the room was burning orange as smoke filled the air. There was no telling if anyone was inside from the banister, and it didn't seem to be spreading to the stony and bare walkway. To the left and right the far doors the ends of the halls were opened.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 14 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 13:21
Re: The Keep
Kerath instinctively seeks the hilt of his sword Blood Rage, advancing behind Zigor with cautious steps.

¨ What choices do we have? There is no other way? Personally I do not like bloodsuckers ...¨

Maybe that dislike for vampiric creatures was the result of some past adventure or maybe not, maybe that phobia was instilled by the legends sung by bards of his tribe in the nights under the stars.

The darkness is not a problem for Kerath, his eyes are adapted to find the slightest trace of light and provide an excellent night vision. But an unexpected change in the intensity of light will blind for a few seconds the proud Chengahl.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 40 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 14:13
Re: The Keep
Lan noticed the open doors on either side and shook his head, "There are two ways," he said in answer to Kerath's first question.  The half-elf turned to Zigor, "Right or left, knight?"
Kerath Taliss
 player, 15 posts
Wed 13 May 2015
at 16:58
Re: The Keep
To Kerath, Zigor was not an enemy, but, the fact that he was a vengeful spirit do not provide a lot of confidence and always kept him in a state of alert when Zigor was close. On the other hand, he knew about the exceptional battle skills that Zigor possessed and his particular dexterity using the shield and sword. It was a trump card to have Zigor as an ally.
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 24 posts
Thu 14 May 2015
at 23:24
Re: The Keep
"Something feels wrong both ways... Ugh, especially to the left, it feels like some sort of 'holy' magic." Zigor looked away to the right, continuing on towards the door.

Within there was a young looking white haired woman, passed out on the floor and covered in blood. The room was messed up, half the furniture was shattered to pieces, and insect-like limbs and pieces littered the ground and the bed. A fireplace burns on the northern wall. A strange scent fills the room.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 41 posts
Fri 15 May 2015
at 00:56
Re: The Keep
Lan glanced longingly toward the left door.  While the knight may not have liked the idea of 'holy' magic, it seemed like an appropriate alternative when the half-elf spotted the strange girl on the floor. "Gods," he exlaimed, keeping the nocked bow in his left hand, he pointed with his free hand to the woman on the floor, "She's not one of ours.  What do you suppose happened?"
Kerath Taliss
 player, 16 posts
Fri 15 May 2015
at 13:51
Re: The Keep
"Zigor verifies the girl on the floor, but be careful, remember the words of that bat."

"By my ancestors !!!!! I hate vampirism !!!"

"Lan'elli, inspects the room, maybe there is some secret passage, some ..."


Kerath not end the words... he took a deep breath that was slowly dropping out, with eyes closed was savoring every particle of air, every essence hidden in the room odors; moisture, blood, dust, bats, spiders, wood, stone, fire, the particular smell of Zigor, the most attractive essence emanating from Lan'eris and ....

Opened his eyes and turned his attention to the bed. A scent caught him, a known scent, familiar scent, a smell that could enjoy again when he joined to this adventure...
Shaking the imposing hairy body, he moved toward the bed and said: "They rested here. They were here. They are close. Feliph and Tath."

This message was last edited by the player at 13:52, Fri 15 May 2015.

Zigor Blaidd
 player, 25 posts
Sun 17 May 2015
at 00:11
Re: The Keep
Zigor approached the lady tentatively prodded her with the blunt side of his sword. With no response, he knelt down closer, turning her over onto her back. "This one's not breathing." The knight said matter of factly. "Let's see; there are few puncture wounds, shallow, paired with tight spacing. The hem of her clothes is burnt. Nothing else, she must have been one of those folks that bleed a lot I guess. I'd say she must have died from the spiders' poison." Upon this, several bats started sobbing loudly.

Moving away form the body carelessly, the spectre turned its gaze around the room. " Looks like quite battle eh? Arrows, claw-marks, burnt spiders, broken furniture; I wouldn't have thought Tath and our new acquaintance capable of this much damage. It almost makes me wish I have gone up-stairs too."
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 42 posts
Mon 18 May 2015
at 14:16
Re: The Keep
The half-elf took a deep breath, glancing toward the other door.  He entertained the idea of leaving Zigor and Kerath to investigate the other room, but shook the thought away when he saw the woman's body again.  Kneeling beside her, Lan gingerly brushed a hand over the woman's sightless eyes, closing them.  He turned and regarded the weeping bats.  This must be the Countess they spoke of, the half-elf mused.

Standing to his full height, the half-elf shouldered his bow and put a hand on the hilt of one of his daggers.  "How do you suppose they escaped?" he inquired, stepping further into the room to investigate.  Something about the fireplace seemed off to Lan.  As he awaited the knight's response, the half-elf scrutinized the area around the fireplace.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:17, Mon 18 May 2015.

Zigor Blaidd
 player, 26 posts
Wed 20 May 2015
at 04:42
Re: The Keep
"Well..." The knight paused for just a moment, not enough to indicate any serious thought on the matter. "The door is open. I'd assume they ran out. It's not like the spiders could operate a door, eh?" The spirit looked towards the door, it was bashed in, the latch laying clear across the room like a battering ram struck it open from the hall.

"What's it matter in any case? They are obviously not here. We should split up and check the other rooms." Not waiting for an answer, he started marching towards the door, but before he reached it, the crying bats began to drop to the floor, unconscious.
Sankt
 NPC, 1 post
Wed 20 May 2015
at 04:42
Re: The Keep
The healer rushed to the bat's side, looking them over. "They are poisoned. I thought I smelled something strange in the air." He barely stifled a yawn, and focused sharply on the bats, tending to them and trying to figure out how to help them.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 17 posts
Wed 20 May 2015
at 13:13
Re: The Keep
Kerath turned his attention to the door which provided access to the corridor, felt that his eyelids were becoming heavy and the room began to spin. Kerath try to maintain balance while understand what was happening. He look at the dead body of the girl while he could stammer:

"P...ois...ssss...son ... Sssss.....piders ... Lannnn... Antidot..."
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 44 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 07:08
Re: The Keep
Lan had already been crouching when a strange feeling overcame him.  Kerath's words echoed his thoughts.  Coughing, the half-elf tried to stand and staggered a little, managing to stand only by leaning on the fireplace.  He swore and followed the wall back to the door, "Zigor, help Kerath, I can't support his-" a cough, "his weight," he murmured.  As he exited the door, he pulled a solitary dagger from its sheath and glanced around, finally looking back to check up on the others.

Upon remembering the Angel-man, Lan cleared his throat and drew in a choked breath.  He started to speak, faltered, then managed, "Sankt, can you do anything about the poison?"
Tora
 player, 42 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 02:02
Re: The Keep
Tora comes into the room slowly with Eve over her shoulder and sees the situation no better in here. "It's poison in the air. You eventually end up like Eve here." She pats Eve's behind as she says this. "If anyone has a cure, I'm all ears. If not, we should get to someplace with cleaner air. Eventually even I'll succumb to this foul air."
Curse
 GM, 61 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 13:38
Re: The Keep
The angelic healer began chanting mystical words without another word wasted, even though he was happy to see the pair reunited with the group, it was definitely a race against time at this point. It was easy enough to cure a person of poison, but he was being worn down from dawn to what was now well past midnight, trying to cure an entire room, which itself was still filled with hundreds of times a normal dose of an unknown poison, as well were his own lungs. holding back a cough in his throat, he managed to initiate the last verse before swooning.

A dim white light radiated in the room, lessening the poison in the room and all it touched, the side effects would remain for a time, but now staying awake was more a battle of willpower for those affected. Ayleth grabbed under one of the healers arms, her other hand with a cloak over her mouth; she seemed used to that sort of thing. Millie scooped up the bats and quickly left the room, while Zigor apathetically helped the massive Kerath away.

The group headed down towards the main hall on the first floor, not wanting to stay any longer in a poisoned, smokey, and ignited second floor. After they left the room, the last out might might have caught something white moving out of the corner of their eyes...

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:41, Wed 03 June 2015.

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 45 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 20:06
Re: The Keep
Lan noticed the motion and wheeled in its direction, his shaky hand still wrapped around the hilt of his dagger.  He reached with his free hand and found Ayleth's shoulder, using it to keep up with the group as he scanned the area.  As a half-elf, his vision was not as good an a full elf's, but still better than a human's.  He squinted to see through the smoke and the haze of the poison's effects.  He would have said something, but he figured it better that the group keep moving to escape the malady behind them, especially if it meant finding those still unaccounted for.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:19, Sat 06 June 2015.

Eve
 player, 36 posts
Sat 6 Jun 2015
at 02:23
Re: The Keep
Eve coughed a couple times, clinging tightly to Tora's fur. She forced herself to hold her stomach, attempting not to vomit down the back of her companion. She pulled for her scarf and wrapped it around her nose and mouth. She felt another series of rough coughs escape her.
Curse
 GM, 63 posts
Sat 6 Jun 2015
at 16:45
Re: The Keep
The group managed to get down the stars as the heat lapped at their backs, but any who caught a glimpse of the fire would have a hard time seeing the grand hallway they backtracked to. It was darker than ever, if not for the contrast in lighting, then from the time of night. No longer did the lightning crash and illuminate the room, the grayed reflecting clouds passed giving way to the void dark skies.

The door that Kerath, Lan'elli, and co walked in was now closed, a dimly glowing sigel roughly etched into it. Sankt might have known what it was, had he regained consciousness, but he had already been laid gently onto the floor along with the slumbering bats.

Suddenly a creaking can be heard in a passage behind the stairs; it was too dark to see what lurked there, but there was a brief glint, like the edge of a knife.
Tora
 player, 43 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 04:03
Re: The Keep
Tora let out a guttural growl at the noise and extends the claws of her free hand. She then crouches and says a quick mystical word, resulting in her claws catching on fire. She gets ready to drop Eve if combat ensues.
Tath
 player, 35 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 05:28
Re: The Keep
Feline eyes glinted from the fiery-clawed hand of Tora's, though the sense of danger permeated more out of a defensive nature than any malicious intent. The thought of keeping up the charade for a prank at her friends' expense was overruled by what little she could see from her vantage point. Eve over Tora's shoulder, other's lying down. A part of her was thankful for the special qualities the scarf that covered her airways had. Slowly, she rose from her poised crouch, dagger glinting into nothingness as the muted sound of metal on hardened leather could be heard, if faintly.

Tightening her grip on Feliph's hand in what she hoped was affectionate encouragement, Tath emerged from the shadows, pulling back her hood as she stared at Tora, brow quirked. "I take it you've had some fun, too?" Her tone was light, airy. Joking, even, but anyone who knew Tath relatively well could sense the same underlying desperation and anxiousness - Playing it down merely helped her cope. . .If at the cost of some tactless asides.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 46 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 21:36
Re: The Keep
Lan watched the exchanged with a cynical grin, privately appreciating the catfolk's light-heartedness despite the very bad day the rest of the group had apparently experienced.  He knelt near Sankt, making certain whether the angel-man himself had been affected by the poison, or if he was just exhausted from his magic.  Continuing to watch the others, Lan began to realize they'd have to leave very soon if they wanted to get some rest.
Tora
 player, 44 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 06:26
Re: The Keep
"It's been interesting. Bats, spiders, vampires, mystery voices and poison gas." She pauses and looks up the stairs. "Oh, and a fire too." She looks back and say "You seem to have been taking it easy if your roommate can still stand." Her hand drops but the flames continue to burn on her claws.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 18 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 15:32
Re: The Keep
Kerath ears move slightly when he hears familiar voices of his comrades. He rise up helping with one of his spears. Kerath was still dizzy from the poison and her head hurt a little. When he realizes that they are all together... he says, his voice was almost a roar:

"We need fresh air to purify our lungs."

Kerath feel calmer to see that everybody was OK and together...
Eve
 player, 37 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 16:44
Re: The Keep
Eve coughed with a weak smile, "fire was my fault." She coughed a second time holding in the aching feeling. Her head was throbbing but she was beginning to clear her mind and think back on each of the odd events. "Let's go." She patted Tora's back, "I've had my fill of facing death for the night. To fresher air, please."
Feliph
 player, 56 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2015
at 05:53
Re: The Keep
Feliph followed close behind Tath, worriedly assessing the apparent health of the others, especially the figure that was laid out. She didn't recognize him, maybe he was another castle native or something? In any case, Tora and Kerath had helpfully laid out the top priority, so she skipped a greeting and said in a serious tone "We don't need to go rushing out yet, I'll take care of the air. What happened to him?" She nodded toward Sankt, but didn't wait for an answer before waving her hands and uttering a few magic words in an echo of the air-purifying spell she'd cast earlier.
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 27 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 05:57
Re: The Keep
The poison hadn't noticeably reached the lower floors at that point, but the spell managed to take away the smell of smoke in the air, letting the living in the group breath a lot easier. Zigor just shrugged, "I guess the lad isn't as used to the real word as you are. Bloody priest types; always the first to fall on the battlefield, never with a spell worth a lick in a fight... Not that there was much of a battle to be had, surely I'm as cursed as the rest of you lot, bored out of my mind while excitement is abound in every other room."

The knight complained, stepping towards the door to check on the rain and the state of the roads. "Oh, and look at this, another cute little spell to keep the wind out, eh?" The knight stabbed his sword into the runes on the door and it, along with the arm touching it went flying across the room, narrowly missing Lan'elli's head as it disappeared into the next room. "Agh! Industria!" The spirit slid back into a defensive position, shakily looking around for an attack.
Brother Arach
 NPC, 1 post
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 05:58
Re: The Keep
"Oh, so NOW you leave? After ruining my work, slaughtering my flock, and ignoring every offer of mercy... You should have listened to the human, poltergeist." A voice filled the room, echoing from every angle, yet none; it would have been a voice familiar to those in the room that had dealt directly with the spiders. "Please forgive me, but no, I cannot let you go, not yet, and not all of you." A figure entered the room from the kitchen, his long robes seemingly floating across the floor; his presence seemed dark and fleeting, like a shadow.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:23, Thu 11 June 2015.

Eve
 player, 38 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 16:21
Re: The Keep
Eve tapped Tora as to tell her to put her down. The sickening feeling was wearing off until the voice had come back to them. Had she heard a voice in the passage before she got sick or was she imagining things. She figured at least standing on her own two feet she stood a better chance at helping than being dead weight.
Tora
 player, 45 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 17:23
Re: The Keep
Tora gave the man an irritated look. "Let?" She then lets Eve down and places her close enough to the wall that she could support herself if needed. "So just who is it that makes demands of us?" She crouches and looks like she's ready to pounce.
Brother Arach
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 21:32
Re: The Keep
He steps forward, closer to the group and the light of the flames.

"I am Arach, just a simple monk sworn to protect the travelers of this region. I mean no harm... I merely do not want any of you feeding the beast that lurks these woods. If you leave into the dark and treacherous weald she will hunt you down one by one. Nothing but husks will remain by day's break. Hunt her first, behead her. I would myself yet I am forbidden to kill. Only then will these lands be safe!" He sneers, a crazed wrath fills his eyes.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:35, Thu 11 June 2015.

Tora
 player, 46 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 23:10
Re: The Keep
Tora chuckles. "No, your order never does the dirty work themselves. They just encourage others to commit atrocities against those you deem too inhuman. You seem to think that the blood isn't on your hand if you don't directly do the deeds."

She snarls and sniffs the air. "I'd be tempted to give you up to her as an offering but that doesn't seem likely. You have no scent, so what trickery are you up to? Are you actually here or is this just some illusion?" She glances around to see if there is anything she'd missed.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 47 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 01:45
Re: The Keep
"Let the monk speak for himself.  His eyes are not those of a liar.  Besides, I think I'd sooner be rid of a blood-thirsty beast than a monk."  The half-elf's words were measured, as if he were trying to soothe a wild mare.  Lan removed his gaze from the were-tiger and took a step toward the monk, outstretching a hand in a gesture akin to a call to parley, "Tell us more, monk -uh... Arach, right?  What do you know of this beast, and how can we hunt it down?"
Kerath Taliss
 player, 19 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 14:32
Re: The Keep
Kerath Taliss was watching the new man who spoke them. He said he was a monk, but ...he always thought that monks were pacifists beings confined to their ideals and cults. Arach, The Monk, did not inspire much confidence. Kerath was certain that the rest of the group felt the same.

Kerath, with his swords, ready to be brandished, came to Tora and whispered something in his ear.
Tath
 player, 36 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 15:13
Re: The Keep
"Turns out, she's just as useful as she is cute." She'd replied in kind to Eve and Tora's musings, winking, though she let the matter still as the newcomer arrived.

Tath was never one to follow the sword, first. She'd always thought violence was a last resort, to be used when every other Ace up the sleeve had been emptied. Still, such philosophy didn't keep her from looping her thumb in her belt, hand mere inches from her blade as she gave the rest of her party members a lingering glance, before slowly stepping forward. Her lips quirked downward into a sneer of disdain, obscured by her scarf though they were.

"You seem to have an interesting view of the situation, friend - Say, I've an interesting notion." She folds her arm, one hand rising to tap at her chin idly. "Unless you've coin to put in my hand within the next ten seconds, I'm afraid we've no obligation to listen to you. And mind you, it's a steep price we'd be asking. Though, since I can't smell you. . .I can't help but think you're nice and safe somewhere else, sitting on your laurels." She chortles out a catty chuckle.

"In which case, we've no obligation, either way. You want a beast killed, kill it yerself...oh, but wait." She snaps her fingers, gasping as her expression turns derisive. "No killing. Hrm...That is an issue, and let's see here. . .An issue, coupled with intruding on a group's private affairs, not to mention the lack of any offer whatsoever to help keep us safe or tend to our wounded." She swept her hands outward in an indicative gesture. "I think you misunderstand this entire situation completely. You better have some serious incentive to compel us towards doin' yer bidding here, else..."

A rather dangerous gleam appears in her eyes. "We might have a problem with a simple, nosy little monk like yourself. Might even have to pause our journey to seek ya out to show ya just how much of a problem yer makin' this." She shrugs, before relaxing. "Ya got two choices, a third if yer feelin' cooperative. Pay us, and my friends here can decide the price, leave us to our devices and make it a habit to stay out of our business. . .Or find a way to defend us from this oh-so-very-scary monster as we stroll away on our merry journey."

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 48 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 18:28
Re: The Keep
Lan'elli's shoulders slumped.  Somehow he feared someone would have reacted in the way Tath had.  Lan'elli, having never dabbled in the assassin's trade, found no use for intimidation.  He found it brash and useless when a window escape was a perfectly good alternative.  Besides, thief or not, Lan couldn't help but get the feeling this man ought to be heard out.  With an exasperated sigh, the half-elf removed his hands from his weapons and stood upright.  He walked past Tath and cast her a baleful glance before standing between her and the monk, "We'll hear you out, monk.  We're in no shortage of funds," he said, again glancing at Tath, speaking of the coin he'd 'found' in Grhinat before.  He faced the monk, holding out his palm.  "Tell us about the beast and then we'll decide which is a greater threat to us."  He cast a final glance at the rest of the group, praying to whatever god may be listening that the rest of the group had enough sense to at least let the monk talk.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:02, Sat 13 June 2015.

Brother Arach
 NPC, 3 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 07:09
Re: The Keep
The monk glared at the female feline pair in turn as they made their remarks, but then smiled peacefully as he turned to Lan'elli. "I'm afraid that your... -pet- *ahem* allies- are right." He bowed apologetically and touched the Elvin man's hand, only for it to pass through without feeling. "The creature here knows my scent, and it would hunt me down relentlessly if it caught it in the air. For that is its foul nature, a predator that sees anything with red in its body as nothing more than food."

"It knows no mercy, no reason, and to put it down would be the best for not only you, but for the wrenched and warped creature herself. I will do what I can to help you form here; as we speak my spiders are etching runes like the one on the door, if you can push the vampire into them they should do some damage. Just know that the monster is powerful, fast, and extremely resilient, but it can be harmed or turned away with certain materials; silver, fire, sunlight, and holy spells work the best, but certain woods and herbs can also protect you. I shall make sure that you all get what you deserve too soon enough; the order compensates our friends generously for their merits..." He smiled joyously at the group.
Countess Branwen
 NPC, 4 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 07:09
Re: The Keep
"That voice; healer, is that you?!" A rage filled voice came from the stairway above. "Where are you hiding, miserable cur?" The countess looked down at the group, her eyes as red as the flames, baring fangs as sharp as spears in a contorted grimace."There you are... No... you've just sent some thugs, haven't you?" She seemed much more aware than when she had met Tora and Eve, having just been asleep in the room when Sankt cast his cure.

She started to decent the stairs, her claws tearing through the handrail like it was sand in a playpen. Slowly, she punctuated each step with a word. "What. Have. You. Done. TO. MY. FRIENDS?!" He eyes were focused on the unconscious bats as she shakily made her way towards the group. She seemed very angry and just as hungry.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 49 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 07:31
Re: The Keep
Understanding hit the half-elf like a ton of bricks.  Wheeling to face the Countess, Lan'elli wasted no time in nocking an arrow and training it on the space between the woman's eyes.  Keeping the arrow perfectly still, the half-elf glanced sidelong at his allies.
Eve
 player, 39 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 19:02
Re: The Keep
Eve groaned at the sight of the countess. "Her?" She nodded in understanding, leaning heavily on the wall. She had been threatened enough by this woman before and nothing good had come of it. She could still see the burning blanket that had started the fire in the room they had long since left.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 50 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 21:40
Re: The Keep
Lan kept his arrow trained on the Countess and stepped to the side, carefully cradling Zigor's lost arm on his foot and kicking it, which still held the blade Industria fast in its grip, towards the knight with a nearly-amused grin.  "Take up your blade, knight.  It would seem your boredom has lapsed!"
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 28 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 22:27
Re: The Keep
The armor knelt down next to its arm, the smokey mist that comprised his true body snaked out to the gauntlet, raising it into the socket. "I thank thee, Verris. We shall see if my sword or our opponent is sated in this fine battle!" The knight closed in to the stairs, arms at the ready in proper stance for the vampire's next move.

 He seemed completely unsurprised at the Countess' revival, despite declaring her dead moments ago.
Feliph
 player, 57 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 09:00
Re: The Keep
Feliph was kind of lost at this point, so for the moment she figured the best thing to do was kneel down and tend to Sankt. Hopefully some of her spells would help him out of his apparent unconsciousness. "I think some of you have learned more about this place and its people than we did," she said softly. "But we're here to help." The "we" in this case encompassed herself and Hamilton, who was sniffing the air curiously with all the new arrivals suddenly crammed into one space. He knew better than to leave Feliph's side and sniff at the oddly scentless man, though.

As she started in with her diagnostic spells, the angry woman caught her magical eye, and she gave her a more searching look. "You seem... poisoned, I think something is affecting you mentally," she said, sounding concerned. "Maybe I can help, could I perhaps give you an examination as well?" Somehow she doubted she would get an affirmative answer to that, though.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 20 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 13:28
Re: The Keep
Kerath stepped between the newcomer and Feliph to protect her while attending Sank. He had his two swords ready for use if necessary. Kerath not have many weapons against vampires, except for his strength, which did not help much right now. Kerath not practiced magic and his weapons were not forged with silver. He thought that the best strategy was to protect Felip and Sank and if necessary behead the vampire head with a sword.

"Tora, use your fire on the bloody vampire."

Kerath roared while contracting all the muscles of his body in defense. His fangs gleamed in the darkness and his eyes were injected with adrenaline.
Tora
 player, 47 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 20:08
Re: The Keep
The flames on her claws goes out as she says "I think you have some misunderstandings Kerath. I have no interest in fighting her when that horribly vile creature lives. If he has some reason to want her dead it's enough of a reason to make sure she doesn't."

Tora takes a step towards the countess. "I do not wish you any harm lady. The healer is an enemy of mine as well. He's poisoned us and your friends and is trying to get us to kill each other. Don't let him manipulate you."
Countess Branwen
 NPC, 5 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 01:48
Re: The Keep
"H-huh?" the glow in her eyes dulled slightly as she broke her stare form the bats, briefly looking around at the others in the room. "I... I won't let you trick me. My amulet says there were invaders... and I remember fighting... something? I remember fire, and so many eyes...Urgh, my stomach hurts, so thirsty..."She stopped on the stairs, level to Zigor's helm, then leapt forward over the armor, landing knelt on one knee by Feliph, Sankt, and the Bats. Touching each of the furry creatures for just a moment, she sighed in relief. The vampire closed her eyes, breathing heavilly as though to calm herself from the temptation. "If I agree to a ceasefire, then can I have some blood? Just a tiny bit?" Her head turned towards Eve's scent instinctively, then snapped back. "It r-really doesn't matter whose..." An audible grinding noise came from her mouth, even her own servants wouldn't be safe for much longer if her hunger increased.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 21 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 13:14
Re: The Keep
The Kerath Taliss's muscles tensed and he took a position battle, he was ready to wield his swords with intent to kill.

Another roar came from his throat.

"Vampire, if you take another step towards me, I swear for the memory of my wife that these will be your last memories!"

"Tora, I do not know if the poison has clouded my logic, or my aversion to vampires, or the fact that this damn monk has no odor, but I do not trust in any of them."

" If they want to preserve their lives, stay away from my blades."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:58, Tue 16 June 2015.

Eve
 player, 40 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 16:33
Re: The Keep
Eve moved further behind Tora and Kerath. Something about the idea of being some ones meal didn't settle right. She didn't trust the monk, monks where too strict and yet untrustworthy. She clung to the rock wall she was leaning on, hands digging in deeply to the harsh rocks.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 51 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 23:57
Re: The Keep
Lan'elli made no response to the goings-on around him, save to shuffle slightly and turn the point of his arrow to follow the vampire's movement.  He watched carefully, half-wishing that he could just let fly the arrow and be done with it, but he knew better.  Unsure as to his understanding of the matter, Lan remained silent and watched intently.
Brother Arach
 NPC, 4 posts
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 06:38
Re: The Keep
"Don't do this! You must see that the beast is only asking for your aid because it is weakened. My spiders have been removing warm-blooded creatures from this forest for years just to get her down to this level. At her best and most cunning, you would stand no chance!" His eyes were desperate while he said this, but suddenly he smirked.

"Please forgive me if we meet again, my new friends, but I shall prove her nature. Lady Branwen, you would like nothing more than to drink there people dry, right? You want to feel the warmth on your tongue, you smell it in the air with every breath, you hear the beats of every heart in the room, thump...thump...thump..." He taunted the vampire, and she in turn covered her ears with her hands, and stopped her breathing. Her stomach growled, and so did she, a low animalistic growl that would probably send most wolves in the forest running. "I've sealed every door and window; make your choice."
Tath
 player, 37 posts
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 07:19
Re: The Keep
"Silence," Came the growl of the cat, though it may as well have been a Tiger for the ferocity that simple word had contained. "You're playing with lives, and I will not tolerate one commanding my destiny, especially one such as you." Her eyes had narrowed to slits as she stared at the Brother, a side of Tath very few would ever see - Possibly because she was so happy-go-lucky that so few had sought to tell her what to do, preferring instead to look in askance and in jest. In one swift motion, she drew her dagger before setting about loosening a sleeve. "Pray that we don't meet again, Brother, or else I'll slit your throat myself. But speak anymore, and you'll find yourself a Black Mark."

With that, she turned to the countess, the ferocity draining from her voice yet no less stern. "Keep yourself calm, my lady." In one swift motion, her bare forearm could be seen, Tath moving forward, stepping past the bats as she drew the dagger to her wrist, not cutting yet - She was interested in the Countess' reaction to her request before blood was spilled. "I'll give you what you need if you'll help us escape. Your bats were very kind - I'd like to think they try to emulate you, their Lady. Will you help us?"

This message was last edited by the player at 07:20, Sun 21 June 2015.

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 52 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 03:45
Re: The Keep
Lan's almond-shaped eyes narrowed.  Nearly amused at how badly this "Brother" wanted the Countess dead, he went rigid when Tath growled.  The sound made him shiver, but he kept his arrow trained on the vampiress's forehead.  He would let the rest of the group do as they wished, but he was more than ready to send his arrow through the woman's skull if she struck.  He wondered why the catfolk even bothered bartering with the Countess - she was certainly a more infamous thief than Lan, as well as an assassin!  This was an unexpected reaction from someone of her reputation, and it made Lan think twice as to his opinion of Tath.  Though Lan would have shot down the vampire and been done with it before a second thought, he second-guessed himself now.  The sudden moral quandary made his stomach turn: he didn't like it.  He'd rather keep things quick, simple, and easy.  But... he thought with a self-rebuking grimace, if we just killed her, hearing what we've heard and seeing what we've seen, we'd only hate ourselves later.  He loathed that knowledge, but he knew it was true.
Feliph
 player, 61 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 06:40
Re: The Keep
"Everyone, please, don't escalate things with that woman. She's been poisoned," Feliph said, her voice low but urgent. "I'm going to try to heal her, but it might knock me out." She looked down at Hamilton. "Hammy, if these guys here," she gestured to her immediate vicinity, excluding the two strangers, "have to carry me out or anything, it's okay." Hamilton gave a low, rumbling bark in response, understanding at least that he was in on some kind of plan, though whether he actually understood what it was remained to be seen.

She set her staff down on the floor, then walked empty-handed to the apparent countess and placed her hands on her shoulders. "Okay, just try and remain calm," she said softly as she began her magic, though she was pretty freaked out herself. This was way beyond the usual types of adventures she got up to.
Countess Branwen
 NPC, 6 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 12:46
Re: The Keep
The sudden outburst from Tath managed to read past Branwen's attempts to ignore Arach, and uncovered her ears. She eyed the Catfolk's wrist desperately, and nodded. The monk too was silenced by the threat.

So entranced was she that she didn't notice Feliph until she grabbed hold of her. She tensed slightly, looking towards the mage. As the magic coursed through her, she could only think of the pulse on the wrists on her shoulders, the beat of the young woman's heart. Her hand moved upwards,barely resisting drawing Feliph into a bite. Her fangs clenched, and still she did not breathe; one sniff and the hunger would overcome her.

Finally the speel was done; her eyes widened like she had just awoke. Her hand unfurled from itspoised grasp and she reached upwards, patting the back of Feliph's head gently. "Thank you..." She whispered, with a voice filled with emotion, like she was about to cry.

She looked up at the others, and down towards the bats and Sankt, purposefully ignoring the illusion of Arach. "I will help your group as you all have helped me, I swear it my name and my existence. This castle has many ways out besides the doors. In this room alone, a second staircase lies beneath the steps, with a passage leading to the nearest town." She touched the jewel on her necklace, and with a glow, the stairway split, revealing another passage. "Go or stay as you wish now, and take all you need with you. I, my subjects, and my county shall always welcome you." She let go of the mage and smiled weakly.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 22 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 14:22
Re: The Keep
The Kerath swords touched the ground. His feline face showed a little more confidence in Countess Branwen. Many were the feelings that invaded him, but the shame was not one of them. There can be no shame in protecting life with honor, His own life, the lives of his comrades.

Kerath looked directly to Taht... admiration, respect, courage. Taht was a feline, a good one.
Eve
 player, 43 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 16:34
Re: The Keep
Eve sighed as she relaxed a bit more. She looked at Feliph. The girl was brave to heal the countess. Everything about this place had been chaos. She looked at Lan, wondering what the half elf would do, his expression seemed to change with each new development of the scene around them. Eve leaned her head back and looked at the ceiling then the bats who had brought them this far. "Will they be alright?" She asked, truly concerned about the creatures. They had been the only reason she had not tossed the burning blanket on the countess what seemed like hours ago. She did not want to harm her for their sake.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 53 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 22:10
Re: The Keep
Lan relaxed, nearly fumbling over his bow for his emotions.  He felt small suddenly as a realization hit him: she was no beast, as the Monk had insinuated.  She was the victim of her own condition, the prey to which she was also predator.

She was fighting it, she didn't love what she was.  The half-elf cleared his throat as he replaced his arrow, returning Eve's curious gaze.  He silently echoed her question, looking at the Countess with eyes that were no longer aiming down the shaft of a deadly arrow, but seeing past the vampire's strange eyes and into a hurt soul.  Inspired by the bravery of the young newcomer and touched by the vampire's show of emotion, the half-elf chanced another glance at Tath, the catfolk.  Certainly, this would be an interesting adventure from here on out, for truly these companions of his were turning out to be nothing like Lan's first impressions of them.

He only prayed he did not fall short when it came his time to step up.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:11, Mon 22 June 2015.

Tora
 player, 48 posts
Mon 22 Jun 2015
at 23:00
Re: The Keep
Tora looks at the newly opened stairs and back to Brother Arach. "It seems that your plans are a complete failure 'brother'. It's been a while since I've been on a hunt, and I think it's past time that you where the hunted. You'd better have a lot on minions handy if you want to make this challenging. If not, I may have to play with my food."

She looks around to the rest of the group. "I'm going to explore a bit." She then heads to the stairs and heads down.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 54 posts
Tue 23 Jun 2015
at 03:22
Re: The Keep
As if waking from a dream, the half-elf blinked when Tora left.  He looked to the others and cleared his throat, "She shouldn't go alone," he mumbled as he tightened his grip on his bow and followed behind, keeping his right hand on his dagger.  "Some of us ought to tend to those who need it and others should look around and gather some supplies.  I have a feeling we'll need them."  He spoke to no one in particular, and in a soft tone.  Without waiting for a response, as if leaning on a newfound trust in his companions, the half-elf made his way down the stairs.

Upon finding Tora, the half-elf knew she was already aware of his presence.  he also knew that Tora was one of the few in the group who could have known, as the half-elf had naturally taken to the shadows.  He padded his way past her silently in the passageway, casting her a glance and nodding meaningfully.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:27, Tue 23 June 2015.

Kerath Taliss
 player, 24 posts
Tue 23 Jun 2015
at 13:36
Re: The Keep
Kerath Taliss followed the semi-elf down the stairs. His night vision could be a great skill for this time. With stealthy steps, his strong legs seem to float on the stone floor.He took a deep breath, looking for some stranger smell in the new room.

There was a thought that bothered him. The monk, the monk had no damn smell. He never found something so peculiar in all his years and adventures. Everything has its essence, grass, wood, stones, fire, spray, bats ... everyone and everything ... except the damn monk. But what if the monk dominates some magic or some spells, and it turns out that the monk is an illusion, a mirage to confuse us. In that case, an illusion can not inflict physical damage and if he appears Kerath was prepared to use his swords.
Curse
 GM, 66 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 23:30
Re: The Keep
The passage was unsurprisingly disused; no lights to be seen, but a few lanterns decorated the walls and the grounds in places. The few remnants of the past littering the tight dusky corridors suggested that this passage was once a mine of some sort. Besides the stray tools parts buried by time, there were even wooden cart rails leading off to a forked passage to the south, though the cart itself was nowhere in immediate sight. The support structures seem sturdy, and the air is dry enough to suggest the mine held good against the weathers of time.
Countess Branwen
 NPC, 7 posts
Sat 27 Jun 2015
at 23:55
Re: The Keep
The fruit bat and its cohorts finally awaken, as does Sankt. "Wha, wher are... Oh! You! You're Countess! You're okay, we were so worried..." The citrus named bat squeaked out happily, as did the others, they, in some dialect that bats (or at least the local bats) spoke.

The countess smiled at them "Rest for now, help our new friends if they need help finding anything, then get some more sleep." She stood up and bowed to the group of bandits once more "Thank you all again, I'm sorry for  anything that happened while I was... out of control. I'm afraid I don't really remember all that much, it's all kind of blurry. It's all been like a dream; scenes, smells, urges..." She glanced at Tath's wrist longingly, almost recalling something. "Er, excuse me. I have neglected my duties; I should see this fire is put out, then find the other bats and make sure they can get in." She touched the necklace she wore, concentrating. It appeared to monitor and control the castle somehow.

The countess, walked up the sides of the stairs that remained, up onto the walkway above the room near the waning fire that Eve has set earlier.
Tath
 player, 39 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 01:12
Re: The Keep
Tath watched as Feliph took care of the Countess, a small smile appearing on her face as she sheathed her dagger. Pulling her sleeve back in place, she took a deep breath, stretching as a tremor made it's way from her toes up to her head. Taking a deep breath, she sauntered over to Feliph, winking. What happened to the Tath that was so murderous just a moment before? Perhaps she'd gotten her way, and there was no need to be so gloomy.

Or, perhaps, she'd defied someone who had stacked the deck against them and was now choosing not to let him control her actions any more than he had already attempted to. She seemed pretty satisfied with the turn of events, regardless.

"Well, now, that's an interesting turn for the better."
Tath chirped, before gesturing towards the exit. "Shall we?"
Eve
 player, 44 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 03:58
Re: The Keep
Eve finally forced herself to stand completely on her own. The wall had been stable enough, but they had come to the point when they needed to move on. She watched the countess leave them. She looked at Tath, and nodded carefully.
Tora
 player, 49 posts
Wed 1 Jul 2015
at 00:28
Re: The Keep
Tora sniffs the air and stares into the darkness. "Nothing has been down here for ages. I doubt our 'friendly healer' knew about these passages. When I track down Brother Arach, he's going to have a long time to regret his actions."
Feliph
 player, 63 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 11:11
Re: The Keep
Feliph was left bone weary by the depth of the magical powers she'd had to call upon. She was able to hang on to her consciousness, but she unthinkingly leaned her head toward the countess when she patted the back of it, like the wandering mage planned on falling forward and letting the vampire catch her.

After a little while she managed to pull herself together a little mentally, at least enough to speak, but by then the countess had already walked away. She looked to Tath instead and managed to shake her head weakly. "I don't think I'm up for a trip. Can we spend the night here after all? Unless you'd rather go on after that man without me... I'm still confused about what went on here, I was going to ask that woman."
Tath
 player, 40 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 11:51
Re: The Keep
Tath frowned. The girl did look fatigued, though the rest of their group was very keen on leaving. They were the only ones, in fact, who'd had yet to go down the tunnel. Even the catfolk had to admit, even though the Countess' sanity had been restored, lingering did not seem the best idea. Still, the little healer girl had did her best, and Tath wouldn't begrudge her some rest.

Looking onward, Tath knelt down as she pulled her pack, along with it's various things attached, off and transferred it to her front. Her back now freed, she maneuvered in front of Feliph, patting a shoulder. "Sorry, cutey, doesn't look like the rest of us wanna stay. Dunno 'bout Tora, but I'm not gonna go after the priest-man unless he actually tries to force us t'do somethin'." She jerked her head towards the passage. "Hop on. No rest aside, I've got plenty of strength left to carry ya so you can get some well-earned rest." With that, the catfolk turned slightly, enough to catch Feliph's eye and wink at her as her voice took on a softer quality. "Ya did good, yannow."
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 29 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 03:59
Re: The Keep
Zigor put away his sword and shield with a noisy clank. "Hmmm..." The knight had some thought of what had just happened, but kept it to himself instead of making a scene for once. Instead, he turned towards Feliph. "If my liege wills it."

Turning towards the steps, he called down the passage firmly, "Oy! Hold a moment. Are you all really going to press on without your healers? I assume your minds have been just as addled as the lady of bats, so I'll spell it out for you. You flesh people have been poisoned, barely saved by our new recruit and the priest boy; they and Eve can barely move, and I might guess some of you fare not much better. I'm not dragging you back up if you lot pass out down there from exhaustion or ambush because of your foolishness."
Curse
 GM, 68 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 04:00
Re: The Keep
The spectral knight’s complaints echoed down the way loudly.  The mine creaked ever so subtly at the reverberation, then a clang, then a screech, like a very loud bat flying down the way, louder and louder. The sharper-eyed species might have just been able to make out a form just as it entered from the left-hand fork about twenty yards away; a large rusty mine cart was hurdling down the tracks right towards the group.

It was about half-full with rocks. Only around two feet of space existed to the left or right of the tracks, around five feet of space was above the lip of the cart to the ceiling, and only a handful of inches filled the area between the bottom of the cart and the tracks themselves.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:02, Sun 05 July 2015.

Lan'elli Verris
 player, 55 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 05:06
Re: The Keep
Lan'elli half-ignored the knight's words.  His regard for the spectral man was mostly outward, though he certainly preferred being on the knight's good side.  The half-elf sighed and clicked his tongue, outwardly expressing his growing exasperation.  A good night's rest was what he needed right now, and it was looking less and less like a good night's rest was even in the near future.  Then he heard the mine cart.

He saw it clearly with his half-elven sight: a large cart full of heavy rocks, and heading straight for him and his party.  Lan flung himself away from the rail he'd been following.  Not used to traveling with a group, he almost forgot to call out "Incoming!" but remembered just as he flattened himself against the wall.
Tora
 player, 50 posts
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 05:30
Re: The Keep
Tora grumbled at the armor as she was in no mood for a lecture from anyone. A little bit of poison might slow her down some but her anger was doing well at keeping any tiredness away. The 'brother' had poked an animal he would soon wish he hadn't.

Tora hears the noises and catches movement of something before she hears the cart. Seeing it she briefly things about stopping it but quickly dismisses that. If she broke something it's take time to heal and she wasn't letting something like that slow her down.

She instead hops up and grabs a support beam, letting her claws sink into the wood. She then pulls herself up and out of the carts way. Nothing too fancy as she was aware her reflexes where still below normal from the toxin.
Eve
 player, 45 posts
Fri 10 Jul 2015
at 18:24
Re: The Keep
Eve heard the sound from the corridor the others had vanished down. She groaned as she moved towards it, only to collapse a few feet away from the wall she had been using. "Zigor" She groaned as she curled up.
Feliph
 player, 64 posts
Sat 11 Jul 2015
at 07:09
Re: The Keep
Feliph was surprised by Tath's offer, but she was too tired to feel self-conscious about it. "Are you sure? I'm not that light," Feliph said tiredly. Not that she was that big, either, but she did carry a lot in her travels. "Well, we can try it, but don't tire yourself out."

She started to carefully climb onto Tath's back, clearly uncertain about just how to go about this, but paused when Zigor spoke, first to hear what he had to say and then to see how the others would respond. Instead she heard some unexpected sounds from the tunnel, apparently at least some of alarm, and hastily dismounted from Tath again. If there was some kind of emergency going on, the catgirl would be a lot more capable without Feliph weighing her down.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:24, Sun 12 July 2015.

Zigor Blaidd
 player, 30 posts
Mon 13 Jul 2015
at 00:26
Re: The Keep
The knight stepped away from the corridor towards Eve, moving closer and bending sideways, shield at the ready in his other hand facing the stairs and the sounds. The soldier cupped the violet-eyed elf's arm under her shoulder with his right gauntlet, lifting her upwards in a strange way no living human with a typical center of gravity or working muscles would naturally want to attempt. The spectre draped her over his icy-cold metal pauldron like a sack of flour, holding one arm over her back, all the while gazing wordlessly at the darkness.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 26 posts
Mon 13 Jul 2015
at 17:20
Re: The Keep
Kerath cursed when he decided to enter the field, but the urgency of the situation did not give him much time to think about many options to get out of the mess he was in.

With a jump, as accurate as possible, his head touches the roof of the tunnel, extending his strong legs and arms and his claws trying to cling to the walls of the tunnel.

Kerath expects the cart passes under his body and at the right time drop down and grab the cart for the back with his hands clutching his powerful legs on the floor to stop it, in a demonstration of full force.

Of course, he knows that can be dragged by the cart, but also knows that his friends may suffer much more damage if they collide with the cart.
Tath
 player, 42 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 20:22
Re: The Keep
Tath's eyes shot towards Zigor as she knelt for Feliph. Having hung back enough to be a sufficient distance away from the majority of the commotion, it took her a tad longer to hear the sound of a mine-cart making it's way down a track. Despite the newness of her companions, Tath was no stranger to the dynamic. They had people like Lan and Herself for finesse-ing themselves into situations, and people like Zigor, Kerath, and Tora for strongarming themselves out. With the strongest of the group having moved on, she trusted they would be able to handle themselves.

Which left Tath, still kneeling, merely a little tenser for her troubles as she glanced back. "Feliph, c'mon. Don't push yourself." That was the first time Tath had actually used the girl's name. "Get some rest while you can. Trust me t'rouse ya when you're needed or there's danger." Her ears twitched, angling themselves towards the girl as she diverted her attention to the weretiger, out of sight yet not out of hearing range.

"Tora, grab Sankt, ya? We'll alternate carryin' our tired and poisoned until we get somewhere safe enough t'make camp."
She called.

Edit: Fixed several meta-issues, as Tath is currently not within the passage, being near Feliph and the prone Sankt.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:02, Thu 16 July 2015.

Kerath Taliss
 player, 27 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 20:57
Re: The Keep
"RUN!!!!! MOVE!!!!!"
Curse
 GM, 73 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 21:41
Re: The Keep
The two in front successfully navigated the danger just enough to feel rumbling of the tunnel as the loose cart passed. The third, Kerath managed to position himself onto the other side of the cart. It did not stop, but it slowed faster as the wooden tracks splinter harshly at his tiger-like feet. The wheels squeal in protest as it continued, striking Pandora and lifting her from the ground.

Finally the heavy cart comes to a stop before touching the end of the mine, narrowly aoviding squishing Millie. The cart and Pandora seem no worse for wear.

The cart was large, perhaps enough to hold the whole group if they got rid of the rocks and squeezed together a bit. It seemed solid, a bit splintery, and speckled with rust, but well held together for the years.
Countess Branwen
 NPC, 8 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 20:02
Re: The Keep
The vampire at the top of the stairs hung over the steps, looking backwards into the darkness. "Are you all right down there?!" She called down the the newly opened passage. With the fire out, she stepped down to the lower lever, giving those remaining on the level a worried glance as she walked forward down the passage to the mine.
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 57 posts
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 23:42
Re: The Keep
Lan swore violently in reply, wheeling to face the aftermath. He took a glance back towards the place the cart had come from, to be sure nothing else would follow.
Tora
 player, 52 posts
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 06:04
Re: The Keep
In reply to Tath (msg # 86):

Tora hops down off the support and watches as the makes it's way to a stop. Tora grumbles and growls "That would slow me down..." She glances at the cart and then says "Instead of that, how about we toss the rocks out of the cart and dump the sleepy people in there. We'd travel faster and they'd rest more than getting carried like a sack of turnips."

She goes over to the cart and starts tossing rocks out of it.

In reply to Countess Branwen (msg # 89):

"We're just peachy. Some nice person sent us a cart for us to use."

This message was last edited by the player at 06:06, Tue 21 July 2015.

Pandora
 NPC, 17 posts
Sat 25 Jul 2015
at 22:45
Re: The Keep
Pandora offered a warm smile to the Tiger-man that saved her from being crushed. "Oh, thank you so much for your aid Mr. Taliss. If not for you act of applied deceleration, the full mass of those stones would surely be upon us now." Moving off of the cart, she jerk slightly, her clothes caught on a lever protruding from the cart's end. Suddenly the remaining loose rocks not taken by Tora spill out upon her and Millie as the end of the vehicle opens up. "Urgh..."
Zigor Blaidd
 player, 31 posts
Sat 25 Jul 2015
at 23:18
Re: The Keep
Zigor looked back towards Tath after the danger passed, but without a face, it wasn't clear what the look was meant to signify. He lowed his shield and proceeded forward down the stairs with Eve, following the Countess as she entered the passage. Approaching the cart, he lowered Eve down from the upside-down position he carried her in. One arm steadying her to stand by the edge so that she could see the unfolded scene. "Spirit of death! Is that contraption older than I?" He exaggerated, dubiously staring at their find.
Eve
 player, 47 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 06:38
Re: The Keep
Eve looked at the soldier that assisted her with a forced smile. Despite the sickness she was feeling she was grateful for his aid. The option of being put in the cart seemed unsettling but walking for her was becoming harder each time she attempted to pull away from the assistance of the wall or  Zigor. "I hope not," she mumbled at his exclamation.
Tora
 player, 53 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 18:36
Re: The Keep
Tora sighs and starts tossing the rock off of Pandora.
Kerath Taliss
 player, 28 posts
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 13:18
Re: The Keep
"You're welcome Pandora."

Kerath realizes the weakness of Eve, and gives his help, his voice was like an order:

"Eve, rides on my back, that way we will move much faster and you can rest and recover. It would be an honor for me."
Lan'elli Verris
 player, 58 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:19
Re: The Keep
Lan turned to regard the rest of the party from his position further down the shaft.  He made his way back to them in the darkness and sighed, "Didn't find anything interesting, but it looks like it goes on a lot farther."
Eve
 player, 48 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 02:25
Re: The Keep
Eve looked at the Kerath, "the pleasure would be mine, sir Taliss. But I do suppose we might be heading on, if the countess hasn't any more words for us." She grimaced against the pain. How had she been so infected by this? The other two who needed assistance were healers and had use their power to the point of fainting.
Tora
 player, 54 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 16:20
Re: The Keep
Tora finishes tossing the rock off of Pandora and clears out any left in the cart. "Ok, anyone that needs it hop in the cart. We need to get a move on."
Feliph
 player, 67 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 04:18
Re: The Keep
Feliph nodded, still exhausted, and climbed into the cart. "Thanks, everyone," she murmured. "If anyone is still feeling the effects of the poison or anything, I'll try to help you with it as soon as I'm able." She still would have preferred to spend a night here - especially considering the sleeping arrangements she'd missed out on - but such was life.
Curse
 GM, 76 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 03:45
Re: The Keep
The dark mine continued forward for what seemed like an endless stretch. It curved ever so slightly every few yards, paths branched off making it unclear how to return to the keep, if the secret passage was even still there. The air was old and stagnant, like being buried alive.

After some time passed, it wasn't apparent if there was another way out. After all, they followed the directions of a creature who was hardly even aware of difference between friend and food for what was perhaps years. The cart pushed ahead, making a sickening and repetitive squeak with each rotation.

Suddenly, there was light, a blinding contrast to the long night.

Please proceed to The Gulf Of Unity