Chapter 6: Out of the Black.   Posted by Raellus.Group: 0
Raellus
 GM, 784 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 29 Jul 2017
at 21:42
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

With Amaldaris and Gronk poised to rush into melee range, Corros, Nic, and Jenna let fly at the whip-wielding grey dwarf.

The unwitting slave-master is overwhelmed, first buffeted by eldritch blasts (D1 -15HP), then blasted by a bolt of Arma's radiant energy (D1 -18HP). The duergar is knocked forward, dropping his whip and face-planting at the feet of one of the slaves (D1 is dead!).

Nic smoothly switches targets, putting one arrow, then another, into the next closest Duergar (D2 -17HP). Startled and hurt, it spins around with a pained yell to face its attacker.

Amaldaris and Gronk are off down the passageway leading to the level below. They arrive at a sharp U-turn and realize that the passage continues on, after a short jog to the right. They ignore this alternative for now and curl around the sharp, descending turn. As they come around the corner, ready to fight, the five remaining Duergar disappear in quick succession, blinking out of sight like candles hit by a stiff breeze. The captives are, for the moment, too startled to react, but when they do, the Drow is first, crouching down and moving quickly towards the fallen slave-master.


Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:19, Sun 30 July 2017.

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 637 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Sat 29 Jul 2017
at 23:15
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
"Well, that was unexfuckingpected," Nicolai growls as he discards his bow and readies his blades.  He circles to put Corros between himself and Jenna's armor, hopefully giving the witchling some protection from the Duergar who he expects to be maneuvering for advantage.  "Let's move up.  This is about to turn into a knife fight in a pantry."

Nicolai
AC 16; HP 61/61; Superiority Dice 4/4
Move: Toward the Duergar's last known position
Attack x2: Rapier +1 on first Duergar to appear in melee range (attack +7, damage 1d8+4)
Bonus: Off-hand dagger +1 on first Duergar to appear in melee range (attack +7, damage 1d4+4)

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 507 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 14:40
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
"Where have they gone?" The duergars' sudden disappearance left Jenna momentarily confused, her gaze lingering for a split second on the spot where they had been but were now no longer. Nicolai was already moving though so the blonde haired Priestess simply bobbed her head, her question a rhetorical one, looked over at her half elf lover. "Corros, stay behind me." If they did reappear hopefully it would not be in their rear.

Jenna then falls in to step behind the Ardani, her head moving from side to side as she moves down the same passageway that Gronk and Amaldaris descended a few moments before, watching for any sign of the mysterious dwarves, ready to smite them down with their Arma's Blessing or another bolt of the Goddess's radiant grace dependent on how close they are if and when she sees them.

Jenna
AC: 21, HP 56/56
Ready to engage duergar on sight - warhammer +1 if in melee range, 1 x guiding bolt (level 2) if at a distance
Spell slots expended: 1 x Lvl 4, 2 x Lvl 3, 1 x Lvl 2, 1 x Lvl 1

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 462 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 23:45
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Corros doesn't have to be told twice.  Or three times.  Nic's movement placing the warlock between the priestess and the rogue had been statement enough.  The half-elf suspects Nic is right, too.  He doesn't think that sudden disappearance of the dwarves means the companions have carried the day in battle.  In any moment, he is expecting the sudden reappearance of bloodshed.

"Happy right here, yeah?"  He might even have flirted in the moment a little, too.  If he didn't think he was about to get stabbed.  The power of The Library begins coalescing around him, ready to wreak vengeance.

Corros
61/61 HP, AC 13
Hellish Rebuke prepped (4th level, 5d10 damage, dex save for half)
Will cast Shatter on a mass of three or more duergar (4th level, 5d8 damage in 10' radius, con save for half)
2x Eldritch Blast if less targets present (+8 to attack, d10+5 damage each)

Gronk
 Party NPC, 129 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 19:31
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Gronk is startled by the Duergars' sudden disappearance, but he doesn't lose his cool. Deepdelver didn't say anything about dark dwarves being able to teleport, so the half-Orc assumes that they are still nearby, but invisible. He looks at the floor of the cavern, searching for signs of movement, while cranking his other senses up a notch.

Gronk
AC 19; HP 88/88
Attempting to make a basic attack on unseen target; riposte on tap


-

This message was last edited by the player at 20:03, Wed 02 Aug 2017.

Raellus
 GM, 787 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 21:16
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Amaldaris pulls up short of the chained slaves, seemingly at a loss for what to do now that the Duergar are no longer visible.

Gronk passes the half-elf, shield up, but it proves difficult to block the blow that can't be seen. A Duergar's warpick strikes Gronk under his right collarbone; the half-orc's scale mail absorbs most of the blow, but the sharp point of the weapon still manages to draw blood. (Gronk -6HP). The Duergar attacker is now visible, standing toe-to-toe with the much taller half-orc. Gronk reels back as he is struck again, this time by a second attacker which duly appears before him. (Gronk -6HP).

Amaldaris somehow manages to avoid the same fate. He feels a puff of wind on his cheek as his invisible attacker's mattock whizzes by. The Duergar appears on the back-swing, presenting its exposed right shoulder to the half-elf monk. Amaldaris is quick to respond; his long-bladed spear darts out twice, both times piercing the Duergar's armor (D4 -22 HP). The monk withdraws the blade with one hand while lashing out with the other. The onslaught is too much for the Duergar to withstand (D4 -8HP; D4 is dead!)- it falls dead at the half-elf's feet. Amaldaris isn't so lucky the second time. A warpick wielded by a second unseen attacker embeds itself in the half-elf's upper left arm (Amaldaris -6HP). The wielder then appears, replacing his fallen comrade.

Nic and Jenna round the corner to see Gronk beset by two Duergar, and Amaldaris facing off against a third. Just past their two engaged comrades, another Duergar suddenly appears, growing rapidly to ogre height. It's still got two of Nic's arrows lodged in its side, but the feathered shafts now look ridiculously small protruding from the dark dwarf's enlarged body.

While Nic continues moving towards the melee, Jenna stops in her tracks and focuses her goddess' power into a bolt of radiant energy. Gronk appears to be in the most trouble, at present, so Jenna ignores the physically larger target and directs the spell attack towards the Duergar just to the right of her half-orc companion. It impacts in a shower of incandescent sparks, temporarily highlighting the target for Jenna's friends (D5 -20HP; grants advantage to next attack).

Corros is also hanging back. He takes aim at the largest target, that being the ogre-sized Duergar. Somehow, both of the young warlock's spell missiles streak by the overgrown dark dwarf without hitting it.

Gronk, hovering on the edge of rage, homes in on the glowing Duergar, knowing full well now what that divine illumination signifies. Spike caves in its head with a satisfying crunch (D5 -15HP; D5 is dead!). The half-orc pit fighter turns his attention to the first attacker, but misses with his next swing.

Nic doesn't miss, though. The Ardani arrives at his green-skinned friend's side and launches a flurry of attacks against the outnumbered Duergar. Touch of Sylk bites twice, and the rogue's dagger finishes the jobs with a curling slash. The Duergar drops hard and proceeds to bleed out on the floor. (D3 -30HP; D3 is dead!)

The Duergar in front of Amaldaris disappears again as the half-elf takes aim, leaving only the enlarged Duergar in sight. The big one hurls a javelin at Nic. The comically small (compared to the wielder) projectile sails wide, leaving Nic unmarked.


Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:32, Sat 12 Aug 2017.

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 508 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Thu 3 Aug 2017
at 18:26
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
How could you miss that! There's an amused twinkle in Jenna's mind, her thoughts drifting fleetingly through Corros' head as the Warlock's spell fails to find its intended target. There was no time to dwell on the matter though, for the giant sized dwarf - the mere thought of that particular paradox was enough to make Jenna's nose wrinkle - was still standing and appeared to be spoiling for a fight while another one was probably lurking under a cloak of invisibility, could appear anywhere to strike at one of them.

Jenna moved forward, took a step to one side to try and ensure that none of her comrades are in the way then raised her hand, concentrating on the threat that she could see for now, intent on unleashing another bolt of Arma's radiant energy in the direction of the giant Duergar, hoping that that would aid the others in their efforts to smite it down.

Jenna
AC: 21, HP 56/56
Engaging giant Duergar with Guiding Bolt (Lvl 3)
Spell slots expended (including this one): 1 x Lvl 4, 3 x Lvl 3, 2 x Lvl 2, 1 x Lvl 1

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 464 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 22:25
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Corros gives a mental sigh of disbelief and then sends Jenna a mental smack on the ass as she heads towards the ogre sized dark dwarf.  Some spell slinger you are.  His own voice is echoing a sarcastic laugh.  With no further time to dwell, he starts pulling two more bolts out of the ether.  Maybe this time he'll get a little luckier.


Corros
61/61 HP, AC 13
Two Eldritch Blasts on the ogre sized threat, +8 to attack, d10+5 damage

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 638 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 23:57
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Oblivious to the byplay, Nicolai closes on the enlarged Duergar - what do you call a giant dwarf? - and lays into it with a flurry of slashes.  The hairs on the back of his neck are standing up, though - there's at least one more enemy close by and invisible, and he doesn't know if any of the chain gang membera are going to turn on their rescuers.

Nicolai
AC 16; HP 61/61; Superiority Dice 4/4
Move: into melee with enlarged Duergar
Attack x2: Rapier +1 on enlarged Duergau (attack +7, damage 1d8+4)
Bonus: Off-hand dagger +1 on enlarged Duergar (attack +7, damage 1d4+4)

Contingency: If other Duergar reappears, Nic will divert movement and all attacks to it instead.  If it pops out of invisibility in melee with him, he'll spend a superiority die for a riposte.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 17:54, Sun 06 Aug 2017.

Gronk
 Party NPC, 130 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 18:30
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Gronk's certainly not much of a finesse fighter, so he looks to engage the rather large target that he can see instead of the smaller one that he can't. He pivots to face the giant Duergar and strides in, Spike cocked to deliver a killing blow.

Gronk
AC 19; HP 76/88
Move to target, 2x basic attacks v. the biggun


-

This message was last edited by the player at 18:33, Sat 12 Aug 2017.

Raellus
 GM, 790 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 19:32
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

For two or three seconds, the cavern is illuminated as if by the noonday sun. The giant Duergar is flung down by Arma's power, killed instantly by an overpowering blast of radiant energy. (GD -35HP; GD is dead!)

It takes a few seconds for the hero's eyes to adjust to the returning dimness of their surroundings. They just catch sight of the Drow slave darting off into the passage to the left, leading away from the hairpin turn leading back to the rock shelf/window where the party first espied the diggers. They also hear footfalls that don't seem to match up with those of the fleeing Drow- likely the vanished final Duergar- heading away in the same direction.

The other slaves are either cowering or scrambling for the keys that the escaped Drow presumably used to free him/herself. Among the chained prisoners are one dark-skinned gnomish-looking creature, a malodorous, bipedal reptilian, and a hideously ugly, pot-bellied humanoid, clad only in a ratty breechclout.


Your Turn.

-
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 639 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 00:52
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Nicolai blinks away afterimages from Jenna's overcharged spell.  "Whoa.  Go Arma."  He shakes his head, then steps forward and kicks the keys toward the vaguely-gnomish prisoner.  "There you go.  It'd be great if you didn't turn on us.  For you, I mean."  He gestures with a dripping sword to clarify his meaning.  "Some grateful regurgitation of information wouldn't go amiss, either."

With that, he puts his back to a wall to forestall assassination attempts from invisible dwarves and watches the prisoners for any sign they're desperate, stupid, or confident enough to attack their erstwhile liberators.
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 511 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 07:52
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
"Arma brings light to the darkness." The words tumbled softly off Jenna's lips in response to Nicolai, a recitation of an expression she had often heard spoken in the Cloisters, though one that she had always thought to be metaphorical rather than literal. Her eyes had returned to their normal blue, appeared to be shining, perhaps partly a trick of the light following the explosion of radiant brilliance that she had just called down on their foes. Or perhaps that brilliance had been like oil poured on fire, caused the Priestess's faith and zeal to surge.

In any event she seemed more than a little in awe of the power that she had called down. Jenna still thought of herself as a novice within Arma's ranks, but to look at the Duergar, the after effects of the bolt still dancing around its lifeless corpse and to know that she had done that, that in the course of one moment, one beat of the heart, she had struck it down with an explosion of light that was still causing her to blink.

That was Arma's power. And glory. Was Jenna fit to channel that power, to be a conduit for it? Could she be trusted with it? She suddenly felt unsure, wanted to go to Corros, to have him hold her. She always felt safe in his arms. But she could not, not now, the others would not approve. There was still work to be done. And so she restricts herself to moving close to the Warlock. Anyone watching that was unaware of their relationship might think that she was simply seeking to protect him should more Duergar - or other foes - appear. Were he to let his mind drift through hers he would note that the casual banter of  few moments ago was no longer in her thoughts.
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 465 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 19:02
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Corros smiles a little as Jenna steps closer, moves just a little bit, protecting her as much as she protects him.  Maybe the others can't see the uncertainty in the way she stands, but the warlock can and he wants to comfort her as much as she will allow.  It's fragile, this thing she holds, and Corros knows that.  More fragile than this cavern will allow.  He does what he can with a slight nod, acknowledging that yes, he would love to be somewhere else with her, but that this is where they belong right now.

Instead of focusing any longer on the two of them, he watches as Nic turns to the only creature remaining.  The creature doesn't look exactly happy, which is understandable.  Anyone that could dispatch its captors so effectively could certainly return the favor if so inclined.  If the communication attempts from the rogue go nowhere, Corros will tap into The Library and offer up a tentative "Hello, do you mind if we ask you a few questions before we let you go?"
Raellus
 GM, 791 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 20:11
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

The Deep Gnome holds up its hands in surrender, nods in response to Nic's instructions, then slowly reaches for the keys. The reptilian and the grotesque humanoid both hang back as a result of the Ardani's rapier gestures.

The gnome unshackles himself then holds up the keys as if to ask, "Should I give these to the others?" It looks startled by Corros' psychic inquiry. For the moment, its mind remains closed to the warlock.

Despite some initial awkwardness, communication is eventually established. Both the Deep Gnome and Amaldaris speak Undercommon. The High Elf translates.

"You have rescued me. I will gladly repay the deed with information. What do you wish to know?"

The Deep Gnome's name is Svnimn. He's not exactly sure where he is now- he estimates that his village is about a day's march from here. He was part of a foraging party- mushrooms- that was ambushed by Drow. The Dark Elves were forced marching them somewhere- perhaps their cursed city- when the ambushers became the ambushed. A force of Duergar overcame the Gnome's original captors and brought him here, forcing him, and their other captives, to dig.

For what? Svnimn can't say for certain, but the Underdark's been buzzing with rumors of a great power buried somewhere in this region. Both the Drow and the Duergar have dramatically stepped up their raiding recently. If Svnimn had to guess what for, it would be to capture slaves for digging in search of this great power.

-
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 512 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Mon 14 Aug 2017
at 14:39
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
"It seems we need to be wary of the Dark Elves." Jenna mused when the gnome had recounted his tale. "The one who fled may bring others here."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:40, Mon 14 Aug 2017.

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 640 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Sat 19 Aug 2017
at 23:10
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
"It'd be great if we could get them and the Duergaur to kill off each other."  Nicolai cuts Corros a sideways glance, one street kid to another.  "So every major player knows there's something valuable in play and we're too far on the outside to deal ourselves in or blend.  Kinda limits our options, doesn't it?  I think this," he nods to Svnimn, "is about as much diplomacy as we're likely to luck into."

"I'm in favor of cutting the others loose.  I don't know that the enemy of my enemy is anything more than my enemy's enemy down here, but it may spread some confusion.  That's probably our only remaining advantage."
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 467 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Sun 20 Aug 2017
at 16:14
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

"Agreed," Corros tells Nic.  "A little more chaos down here probably isn't going to hurt us.  Might even get us a little more time.  Or a moment of hesitation when we need it most." The half elf cocks his head slightly and grins.  "Besides, I don't have enough hard-tack to share and getting to know more new people feels like a chore, yeah?"
Raellus
 GM, 792 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 9 Sep 2017
at 21:33
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

"Again, thank you. If ever you need a place of refuge, my village will welcome you... as long as I am there."

The subtext is subtle but clear- there's no guarantee that Svimn will make it back home alive to tell his people of the rescuers he bid welcome. The Underdark is a dangerous place at the best of times and clearly, recent developments have upped the danger considerably.

-
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 468 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Tue 12 Sep 2017
at 14:46
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

Corros goes forward, making sure the prisoners are loose from their chains to send them on their way.  Whatever they need from the bodies of the Duergaur they are free to take in order to increase their odds of survival in the busy Underdark.

"I guess we go down, yeah?" he asks his friends. "There was that center room in the old place.  The one with the crystal.  Maybe we need to find that here."
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 642 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 17:12
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Nicolai stands back while Corros frees the other prisoners, just in case any of them confuse mercy for easy victimization.  "That's as good a route as any," he responds to the witchling.  "Svimn, we can't guarantee anyone's safety, but if you're going in the same direction, we'd welcome a guide."  He flicks a mental interrogative toward Corros, querying how much the party wants to reveal of its agenda down here.
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 514 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 19:29
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Jenna's head nodded in agreement with Corros. The Priestess felt tired but knew that there was no time to rest, they had to press on now, not give their enemies a chance to regroup. Besides, there was every possibility that the Reaver's servants were somewhere in this underground labyrinth, and they needed to be dealt with, face Arma's wrath and justice. And so Jenna's hand grasped Arma's Blessing tightly.

"Let us go." If the Deep Gnome could guide them then so much the better. Provided he could be trusted of course.
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 643 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Sun 15 Oct 2017
at 21:18
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Nicolai's gaze flicks to Jenna for an instant, reading her suspicion even though she's not broadcast it through Corros' link.  He nods incrementally and his right wrist flexes slightly as he presses the heel of his hand to the pommel of the dagger up his sleeve.  If Svimn decides to betray the group, he won't live to revel in it.
Raellus
 GM, 793 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 18:45
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black

The grateful Svirfneblin beckons the Four to follow him. It quickly becomes apparent that Svimn is not entirely sure where they are, but after a few minutes of essentially aimless wandering, he finally recognizes the surroundings; soon the party is on course for Svimn's village.

As the group winds and dips through the caverns, Svimn gives the newcomers a primer on recent events on this corner of the Underdark.

"My people found the old tunnels above some time ago. We did a bit of exploring, didn't find much, except some places clearly meant not to be disturbed. You meet the Gollum guards? Yeah? Well, they clearly didn't want us poking around so we left it all alone. Wasn't worth the risk. Trouble started when others began showing up. The Underdark's always been a dangerous place, you know, but it started getting even moreso- all kinds of monsters you might only see once every couple of years, showing up nearly every day, acting unnaturally aggressive too. Even peaceful creatures, like the mushroom men, started attacking folks. And then the Drow and Duergar came. They're clearly looking for something, and I'm guessing it has to do with those ancient tunnels. They dig- or make their slaves dig, leastways- and fight- each other mostly, but anyone or anything really. We- my people- try to keep to ourselves as much as possible. You saw what can happen if we don't."

The party emerges into a large chamber. The high ceiling is hung with massive stalactites and coated with bioluminescent lichens. About four Gronks up, in the far wall of the chamber, there's an opening, covered by an iron door. From just above the door extends beam. Hanging from it is a wrought iron basket, of sorts, connected by a chain and pulley. Svimn approaches the opening, stands beneath it and closes his eyes. A few seconds later, the door opens and another Svirfneblin appears. He does something just inside the doorway and the iron basket slowly descends on its chain.

"You lot are bigger than me so we'll need to take a couple of trips. Who's going with me?" Svimn asks.

Your Turn.

-
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 644 posts
 Human Expediter
 Tegyrius
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 20:52
Re: Chapter 6: Out of the Black
Nicolai eyes the basket, does some quick math in his head, and decides, fuck it.  "Nice craftwork," he says appreciatively and sincerely.  "I'll go first.  I want to see this in action.  And," he makes a production of glancing around, "Gronk to balance out the weight."

As far as it goes, his math is sincere, too.  Nic and Corros are similarly slightly-built, and Jenna plus her armor is probably almost as heavy as Gronk.  Amaldaris likely weighs more than Svimn, so... close enough.  Two trips, from what the gnome just said.  And if there is treachery at the bottom, Nic figures he and Gronk have the best chance of surviving - maybe even clearing some working room - until Corros can magic himself and Jenna down to them.  He's not willing to bet against Amaldaris having his own method of making the descent quickly, either, based on what he's seen the elf do so far.