Mission 1: Lines of Communication.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 33 posts
Mon 19 Jan 2015
at 22:30
Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Administrator Kel looked up at the gentle rap on his door. Even through his dwarven stoicism, it was obvious he was quite weary, with drawn features and reddened eyes. His makeshift office, shoved into a corner of the city guard's offices, was cramped, and full of discomforts and distractions.

"Sir, It's another group of volunteers."


"So, tell them the same thing you told the last three groups. We won't take back the mine through individual action. That's been tried and failed, and we won't be throwing good money after bad. If they want to help, instruct them to join the city guard or the militia."

"Yes sir, but...", the young dwarf coughed, "It's the group of volunteers we discussed."

Administrator Kel simply glared, in his fatigue, clearly not remembering whatever his underling was hinting at. His brow beetled, and he looked to be on the verge of an angry outburst.

"Sir, the 'mission' we set aside for the Pri... for a particularly important volunteer?"

Kel flushed, annoyed to be reminded of something he'd forgotten. "Well don't just stand there, usher them in!"



Kel looked over the rag-tag group in front of him and swore internally. Young, some of them. Inexperienced, most of them. Damn fools, the whole lot. But we chose this mission because it should offer little real threat. If they don't do something too stupid, they should come to no harm.

"Look,"
he said aloud, "It's dangerous down there. Too dangerous. We've called all work parties back and reassigned them to tasks in the city. The guard wants to do a push, but that won't be for some time, we've too many threats up here. There's lots of little tunnels throughout the city that connect somewhere down there, and now we've got things popping up out of them in good dwarffolk basements and root cellars."

"Just this morning, some sort of green slime starting coming up in the basement of Brightnail's Bakery. We couldn't do anything about it, it just sort of sucked up whatever we threw at it, and slowly it began to dissolve the supports, the flooring, whatever it touched. After the building collapsed in on itself and dissolved, we got a wizard to throw fire at the stuff until it burned away."


He looks off into space. "I loved that bakery..."

The dwarf shakes his head, and continues.

"That said, I do have some things that need doing. It's too dangerous to go down to the lower levels. But the uppermost level of the mine is mostly administration and supply, and about half the time, seems safe enough."

"So here's what I need. It occurred to someone that there's an old survey room in the mine that might have maps or partial maps of the mines. As you may know, we lost what we have up here in a combination of fire and negligence of duty. Getting replacements would be a boon for future operations."

"More worryingly, and this isn't yet public, the main tunnel to the Copperton settlement collapsed for unknown reasons about 48 hours ago. There's a spur of the mine that connects to the Copperton complex. If you can use that to get there and get us a status report on the citizens there, that will be very helpful."

"Finally, any intelligence about what's going on down there would be valuable. We don't know the full nature of their forces, nor their goals, nor their leadership, if any. If you hear or see something, it's a priority to report it when you return. Risking yourselves to get such information isn't a priority however, so don't let it distract you, or get you killed."

"I've talked to some of the old-timers who were heavily involved in mine admin before the shutdown. We've sketched out a map from memory that shows a route to the Copperton access tunnel, and passes reasonably near the Survey Room. It won't be completely accurate. The old fools couldn't agree on all the details. But it's better than nothing."


After split-second consideration, he hands the scrawled parchment to Klack, but you all see enough to realize that the map is woefully incomplete, little more than a route without context.

"Well. You wanted to volunteer. The mine may be a layer-cake of disaster, but all I'm asking you to do is lick the frosting. I've sent instructions to the guards at the main entrance to allow you passage. Don't take any unnecessary risks, and you'll be dining in Copperton this evening and back here tomorrow."

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:55, Tue 20 Jan 2015.

Klack Copperwise
 player, 22 posts
Mon 19 Jan 2015
at 22:52
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Klack takes the map and examines it closely "All of those side rooms and passages going gods only know where ..."

"Yeah, don't you worry, We'll get this done. No problem. In and out. They won't even see us coming. We'll be like ghosts. No sweat." The words sounded brave, a lot braver than Klack was feeling at the moment, but the job had to be done. In a way this was like training an animal, no matter what you could not let them see your fear or they would be all over you. "Show confidence. Make them believe and it will become so."

"Yeap, no sweat at all."
Charlotte 'Char' VolkStrom
 player, 12 posts
Mon 19 Jan 2015
at 23:22
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Charlotte squinted at the map, it looked complicated. Not that she was dumb, cartography just wasn't her specialty. She had wanted to help the Dwarven city she had fallen in love with, and so she was here, as part of the party.

She smiled at the dwarf with two huge dogs, "Don't worry, we'll be fine." Not a hint of arrogance could be heard, just simple optimism.

Charlotte was cheerful and idealistic, certain that they would come back alive. Hopefully it would not lead to their downfall.
Esko Vladikov
 player, 7 posts
Mon 19 Jan 2015
at 23:34
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
"If you don't sweat, you aren't doing enough," Esko said brusquely. He was here to get a job done and would not abide any slackers. He wondered how many among the volunteers could be stealthy, especially in corridors that echoes and amplified every sound or if they would have to a use a light that could be spotted from hundreds of yards away. "Prepare for the worst and you'll never be disappointed," he recalled his mother's wisdom. He filed away the note about the green slime and was thankful for the oil he carried.
Theoseg Palamek
 player, 13 posts
 Paladin
 HP:13/13 AC:17
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 03:49
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
The paladin of Moradin had taken a place in the rear of the group for obvious reasons, primarily to prevent any of the others from being able to see. Despite his position, he was full to the brim with eagerness. He still managed to keep it inside and instead stood stone still, gripping the handle of his hammer while he listened intently to Kel.

"We'll need something tough to put the maps in. And someone quick to carry them."
Khaz
 player, 10 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 09:07
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
"Administrator Kel, I appreciate your willingness to accept our help.  I will not forget this.  Have no fear, your trust in us is not misplaced."

"Theoseg, good thinking!  I don't have any mapcases, but we can buy one or some if no one else does."


The Axe of Moradin was ready to leave.  He asked the group at large, "Is there anything else we need before we set off?"
Abaxtar Quartermotte
 player, 9 posts
 Got a problem?
 I've got a musket.
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 18:38
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Abaxtar stood at the rear of the group, happy to be overlooked for the moment.  Despite everything else, the gnome feared that Guildmaster Blackwright would charge into the room at any moment and drag Abaxtar back to his workshop.  And with so much left to see...

The gnome shook his head, doing his best to refocus his attention on the problem at hand.  Everything looked simple.  Just dart down into the mine, past a few rooms, and then back to Cooperton.  Then again, with slime from the Deepdelves invading bakeries, things weren't as simple as they appeared.  Though as his companions seemed to exude confidence, maybe he should as well.

The little gnome shifted, feeling the weight of his bags and supplies, then spoke up.  "Yeah, let's get down there and get this done."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 37 posts
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 19:10
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Having accepted the mission, you file out of the city guard's offices and into the guard's complex. It seems strangely desolate, with none of the usual drilling or activity one would expect to find. A small row of memorials stands in silent testimony as to why; all of the guards that are fit for duty are out in the city, risking themselves trying to be everywhere at once to more quickly respond to the threats that are emerging from below. Any that are here are catching a few scant hours of sleep, or have duties which completely occupy them.

Out in the city as you head to the marketplace, the mood is subdued, but activity goes on. Here you see the guards that were absent, patrolling in larger groups of four or five. Some shops are closed, but most of the merchants are more pragmatic, keeping their stock available while waiting for the situation to either resolve, or for an evacuation order to be given. Prices, always elevated once the storm season sets in, appear to be even higher than usual. Cold weather gear and foodstuffs appear to be selling at a particular premium.

As you near the market proper, you come across a group of guards loading goblin bodies onto a cart. Smoke still rises from the wooden portions of a nearby wooden structure, and it takes you a minute before you recognize it as a large chicken coop. A few of the guards have minor wounds, and there is a family of dwarves that seem to be trying to offer each other comfort in the face of this new adversity. Not far from the coop, you see an unearthed tunnel, and a dwarf, clearly dressed in the uniform of the city's civil engineers, taking measurements and assessing the best way to seal it against future intrusion.

It comes as a relief that the marketplace itself seems fairly normal. The large, profitable businesses here see no reason to close in the face of the city's hardship, and some of them have their own private guards as well. A human beggar, strangely pathetic and out of place on this cold winter day, holds out a tin cup as you pass. "Alms?" he pleads, in broken Dwarvish.

Any standard non-magical adventuring gear is available in the marketplace at standard prices. Cold weather gear, Mountaineering gear, and food are available, but at 3x the normal price.
Charlotte 'Char' VolkStrom
 player, 17 posts
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 19:16
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Charlotte felt pity upon seeing the freezing beggar. That poor man, the thought.

She deposited a silver into the man's cup, and smiled, "Have a nice day."

She moved on after that, staying with the group. She didn't really need any more supplies, and she was ready to go.
Khaz
 player, 12 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 19:29
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Khaz purchased a scrollcase for the map, and a warm blanket (expecting triple cost).  "Who wants to carry the map?"  He'd give the scrollcase to any who wanted to carry it.

Khaz then strode to the poor human and offered him the blanket, depositing a coin in his cup as well.  "Stay warm, friend."  He then returned to his compatriots.
Magnal Stonebraid
 player, 11 posts
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 19:34
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Near the guards loading the goblin bodies stood a stout, read haired Dwarven woman, still young by Dwarven standards. As you all approach she waves at you all and approaches, "Sorry I missed the briefing back there, I had to give these guards a hand."

She looked as if she just arrived, some crisp snow still clung to her boots. She ignored the beggar as she approached the others and instead let out a sharp whistle. At the sound something moved in the shadows between two buildings and a massive bat carrying half a goblin came forth. It dropped the corpse onto the cart before landing next to Magnal.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 38 posts
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 20:09
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
The beggar seems a little surprised to receive multiple shows of generosity from amongst the party, murmuring "Blessings of Fharlanghn upon ye," to Khaz in awkward Dwarven, and "Thank you kindly lass, for aid to a fellow traveler in these cold dwarven lands. May Fharlanghn ward you on your journeys," to Char in much clearer common.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:47, Tue 20 Jan 2015.

Abaxtar Quartermotte
 player, 10 posts
 Got a problem?
 I've got a musket.
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 20:11
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Abaxtar walked past the beggar, face pointed to the ground.  He didn't want to reveal to the others exactly how impoverished he was.  Aside from his tools and weapons, the gnome carried little else.
Esko Vladikov
 player, 8 posts
 Rogue
 HP: 10/10
Tue 20 Jan 2015
at 21:03
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Esko spat on the ground. "Give'em a pick and send him to a mine. Beggin' ain't no way to earn a livin'. If you can hold your cup out, you can hold a lantern for someone else. Hells, I'd pay him to carry my pack if I didn't think he'd run off with it. I'd teach him to speak properly as a bonus."
Klack Copperwise
 player, 30 posts
 Wizard
 HP 7/7
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 00:25
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Klack scrounges his nose at the sight of the beggar "There are some who are not able to, but others do need help. The question is always which one is in front of you."

Klack takes out a small piece of paper and quickly writes something on it then hands it to the beggar. "Here take this to the Three Bone Kennels. My family runs the place. Give it to a foreman and he will see about giving you a job."

Having done his good deed for the day, Klack continues on with the others.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:01, Wed 21 Jan 2015.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 42 posts
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 06:28
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
He looks down at the piece of paper and then back up at Klack in some disbelief. "Are you sure?" he asks, slowly climbing to his feet, and then looking somewhat embarrassed because he now towers over his benefactors. "Thank you! Thank you! You won't regret this. I will find a way to repay this kindness."

Standing, it is clear that his figure is somewhat thin and drawn, and his footwear is badly warn and inadequate for the cold streets of Deepdelve. Clutching the paper like it was made of platinum, he executes a deep bow in Klack's direction in a fair approximation of the dwarven style, and then slightly less extravagant bows to the rest of the party. Moving carefully, he heads off in the direction of the address.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 45 posts
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 06:45
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Your time shopping is as fruitful and not lengthy, since you already equipped yourselves with most of the things you'll need. After a short trip through the market, you make your way to the entrance to the old mine.

Truly, the mine's entrance is a grand affair. The tunnel is wide enough for five to walk abreast, and once had an elaborate system of minecarts that went in and out of it. The machinery for the carts is still in evidence, but it is clear that it has not been used in some time. In fact, it looks like the minecart tracks themselves have been torn up.

The contingent of a dozen guards does indeed seem to have been notified of your coming, and let you by with a wave and an admonition to be cautious.

As you descend the long slow tunnel into the depths and darkness, it is all too apparent that the mine has fallen from its days of glory. The walls of the tunnel are carved with bas relief figures of warriors and miners alike, and they seem to gaze at you with reproachful eyes for letting the one-time jewel of the dwarven kingdom fall into such a state.

Finally, you reach the end of the tunnel. There is a door ahead, by which there is a sign reading "Mine Administration. Check in Mandatory. No Exceptions." Up ahead on the right there is an archway. There is a faint smell of smoke in the air.

As you stand in the silence, you hear what sound like voices coming from the far side of the wooden door, mostly indistinct. Suddenly one voice rises angrily, high and shrill, above the others. [Language unknown:  "Venstrugh! Is menck loeeof ectourwit our o wiie outh i!"]

After the shout, the sounds from beyond the door become quieter. As if in response, from the archway on the right, you hear the sounds of an echoing distant scream.


OOC: Make sure you explain what you're using for light for your two non-Darkvision party members
OOC: See the "Exploration Maps" thread for more visual context of this location.

Esko Vladikov
 player, 9 posts
 Rogue
 HP: 10/10
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 07:09
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Esko nodded with approval to Klack as the beggar ran off.

Inside the mine, at the sound of the voices, he walked swiftly towards the door. "Anyone catch what language that was?" He placed his hand on the handle and waited for the others to catch up before opening it.
Khaz
 player, 13 posts
 My kin can move mountains
 The Axe of Moradin
Wed 21 Jan 2015
at 10:02
Re: Mission 1: Lines of Communication
Khaz was glad someone could help the beggar, he had tried.  There were plenty of his kinsman present who needed assistance first, with jobs, goods and food.  At least the human had hope.

"I didn't catch the language.  Did it come from ahead or the door on the right?"


OOC: Which door had Esko advanced towards?