2: On The Run.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Smith
 player, 87 posts
Thu 11 Aug 2016
at 02:38
Re: 2: On The Run
Smith nods affirmation. "I will. Once we're away. They are sturdy enough, and numerous."

He heads on, rummaging for the other scale. Once the group have distanced themselves somewhat from the stirge menace, he stops and shines some light on the scales. "Hmmm... I think that... maybe... hmmm. Wait! I think we have it - see, if we go this way, which is that way down here, there's a clean and clear route out of here! We've got it!"

He then hurries off... and finds himself staring up at an unmarked cliff face.

"Ah. Well, as long as we make it up there, I'm sure we'll be fine... I feel like Mother was trying to teach me an important lesson about the necessity of pitons and so forth with the last lesson she taught us. Shame I never got to restock my toolbelt accordingly."

He then proceeds to struggle across, heroically refusing to give up and accept defeat (and the need to work out an alternate route), ultimately resulting in the others not needing to help him get across (an achievement for short, stubby little Smith).

OOC: So, I think we've nailed Pathfinding now with those two successes from the fight? and that's a success on Trailblazing. Two to go! One hour added to travel time. :)
GM
 GM, 255 posts
Sat 13 Aug 2016
at 01:52
Re: 2: On The Run
Just before the ascent up the cliff face, the sunrod the party had been using fades out. Another is struck and the party ascends.

The cliff face leads the party of constructs up to a ridge, that has risen up inside the mountain, or wherever it is that they are now. The other side of the ridge, apart from the trouble it would be to climb down, seems uninviting, but that would be in the wrong direction anyway. So the group follows the ridgeline down the way their composite map indicates.

The stone of the ridge is crumbly and not the easiest to traverse at a march. Before very long, the enclosing walls of stone narrow together, nearly blocking the way. There's a crack that can be squeezed through, however, into another space.
Pathfinding successfully completed. 4/6 for Trailblazing.
Graven
 player, 80 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Mon 15 Aug 2016
at 15:50
Re: 2: On The Run
Graven takes a look at the narrow crack through which their path would have them pass. "We make it through this, but..." He looks down at the narrow ledge and the gap below. "I think I'd rather have a bit more breathing room." He takes a moment to inspect the stone, finding the grain, ensuring what he's about to do won't escalate. He scratches a few arcane symbols into the stone, and these begin to glow when Graven touches the stone with the tip of his blade. Light traces a line between the runes he's carved, magically scoring the stone, and he executes a modified version of the shockwave spell he's used in battle, blasting a few large chunks of stone away from the wall and down into the depths. The narrow ledge in a tiny crack is now a comfortably wide pathway.

OOC:
11:32, Today: Graven rolled 24 using 1d20+9.  Arcana (Trailblazing) - Break stone to widen ledge.

Pathfinding successfully completed. 5/6 for Trailblazing.

Chopper
 player, 104 posts
Mon 15 Aug 2016
at 19:57
Re: 2: On The Run
Chopper had been quiet since their previous combat. He'd found himself thinking about how quickly and devastatingly his axe had torn through the beasts they'd encountered. Was he a weapon, to be aimed at an enemy? Was he made for destruction only? He thought back to the forge that they'd lost. The forge where he'd been made, where he'd hoped to do some creation of his own. He looked at the stones around them, he was in awe of the way Graven had just blown apart the stones, but he wanted to connect with the stones somehow. He desperately wanted to feel connected to something other than the destruction he so adeptly rained down on his enemies... He could have sworn that just prior to the controlled explosion he had heard the rocks cry out to him, warning him, beckoning him.

OOC:
15:51, Today: Chopper rolled 15 using 1d20.  Nature. It's a failure, but not too shabby for a skill with no bonuses :)

Azm
 player, 46 posts
 Cycle of The Sun
 1 Action Point
Tue 16 Aug 2016
at 11:49
Re: 2: On The Run
Moving along their pathway, the party finds a narrow crevice in the wall. Through this crevice a supernaturally cold wind is blowing. Seeing no easy way to avoid moving through the blast of air, Azm decides to intervene himself to block as much of the wind as possible to allow the others to safely pass. Grabbing hold of both sides of the crevice, he pushes himself as far back as he can, feeling the biting cold even through his aura of heat, "Move quickly I cannot stay here for long."

OOC: 07:46, Today: Azm rolled 12 using 1d20+9.  Endurance Check.
Thankfully I am trained in endurance...too bad I rolled my minimum needed

GM
 GM, 265 posts
Tue 16 Aug 2016
at 22:57
Re: 2: On The Run
Both the communicative rocks and the shaft of blasting cold hint at elemental strangeness. It was written in some of the Facility's records that the depths of the world - Khyber, those dark places are called - eventually lead to a chaos of elemental energy. Perhaps this region has some connection.

Not long after those two encounters, the party begins to see signs that they are near the end of their journey. Ice rather than rock begins to become more common and the wind (drier now, less dank) carries the organ-pipe tones that indicate openings to the outside.

There are other sounds, too....

Very slight tapping noises are coming from up ahead. Stone, hardened but embrittled with cold, is being worked with tools, in at least two locations currently out of your line of sight. Now and then one of the sources will stop and there will be a discussion between two irate voices in hushed tones.
In case that's not clear, there are four people up ahead, working on the stone and ice with tools. In point of fact, they are goblins.
Smith
 player, 88 posts
Wed 17 Aug 2016
at 00:38
Re: 2: On The Run
Smith says, quietly, "We should make sure we don't surprise them. They might take offense at the surprise, and we are trying to avoid killing anyone, yes? Perhaps they will be friendly. It would be nice to make some new friends."
Graven
 player, 82 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Wed 17 Aug 2016
at 22:40
Re: 2: On The Run
"Agreed, Smith, though I'd settle for just not having to kill people," Graven whispers. "How should we approach them? Any ideas?"
GM
 GM, 269 posts
Tue 23 Aug 2016
at 12:36
Re: 2: On The Run
As soon as the party makes themselves known, either by their sounds or their light, the noises cease. At the limits of hearing there are footsteps and a whispered conversation that sounds like an argument. Then silence again.

Suddenly a small pale face pops around a distant bend of a side tunnel. The bulging eyes that dominate the face reflect the light of the sunrod with a greenish-red luminescence. The eyes blink and then the face disappears again.

There's a tapping, but not as of working being done, rather as of a signal being sounded. Another chalky face appears at another bend further ahead. Gone. Tap, tappity, tap. Again a face appears, at the extreme limit of the sunrod's glow.

The goblins are departing, but they're doing so in a way that allows the party could follow them.
Do you choose to follow the goblins where they lead, or do you prefer to continue to reach the ice planes? Or something else?

If you choose to follow them, you have time during the journey to apply your skills to your advantage in any upcoming dealings with the goblins. I'll explain in the OOC thread.
Smith
 player, 90 posts
Thu 25 Aug 2016
at 02:06
Re: 2: On The Run
"Hello there? Strange Goblins? If you would stay a moment or two, we would like to meet you... my name is Smith, and these are my brethren Chopper, Azm and Graven. We don't want to hurt you!"

Smith's words are sincere, which helps compensate for his complete lack of skill or natural aptitude...

OOC: Diplome at them! 16 on the die! :D
GM
 GM, 272 posts
Thu 25 Aug 2016
at 12:11
Re: 2: On The Run
At the next bend in the tunnel, one of the goblins is visible, standing poised to run but with an intrigued look on its face. It appears to have waited, perhaps to hear more of Smith's words. Then its nerve fails it and it bolts to join its fellows.

The process of leading the party with taps continues.
Graven
 player, 84 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Fri 26 Aug 2016
at 03:35
Re: 2: On The Run
Graven, taking what has become his habitual place at the top of the marching order, is the perfect mark. As Smith could probably attest from their days in the Forge, Graven is un-mischievous even for a construct. He's sincere to fault, and when the goblins playfully lead him into a steep, slippery incline he absolutely beefs it. He takes the goblins' chittering laughter good-naturedly, gathers what remains of his dignity, and sets off at the head of the party again, this time a little more warily.

OOC:
22:43, Today: Graven rolled 8 using 1d20+6.  Insight DC12.

GM
 GM, 275 posts
Tue 30 Aug 2016
at 19:59
Re: 2: On The Run
The goblins lead the party through the tortuous and treacherous tunnels and into tall, narrow chamber. The walls rise steeply, but are craggy and climbable. Your light reveals several pairs of goblin eyes gleaming at you from cover in various places on the wall: the four goblins who led you here, plus at least one other.

There is also a goblin on the floor level, at the other end, standing near a large crack in the wall. On a ledge near him, there's a lit candle that looks like it was molded from greenish slime rather than wax. The goblin's hand rests on a sheathed short sword. Directly in front of him, its tail arching eagerly and electricity occasionally crackling along its claws is a massive scorpion.

"I see," the goblin says in a low voice, using the same Common tongue with which the Forge imbued you. "Yes. Interesting. You are not of the king's vault, I do not think. Or am I wrong?

"You are prepared for conflict, yet you offer peace. An uncommon pairing, here underground. You are trusting. Not many are who survive this realm.

"But from us you need not fear. My name is Grath. By the grace of my masters, I led a search for the vault of the giant king who once lived here. I have found it," he glances at the crack in the wall behind him, "and have been probing its secrets. Our numbers have dwindled and I daren't... rush in.

"How do you come to be here?"
A 10 foot wide space, about 30 feet across. The walls rise up ten feet on each side, then go five back and rise another 10, five back and then a steep wall. There's excellent cover on the ledges.

Grath is a blackblade. There are also the four cutters who led you here, a sharpshooter and a stormclaw scorpion.

There's no need to roll any checks unless there's a clear definition of both success and failure. You're welcome to come up with these yourselves, if you want. Basically, Grath wants you to lead the way into the vault, but he can't easily force you.

So, feel free to communicate in character. We'll see how it goes.
Smith
 player, 92 posts
Tue 30 Aug 2016
at 21:49
Re: 2: On The Run
"We can help!" Says Smith cheerily. "If you let us stay with you afterwards and stay friends I'm sure we'd be happy to do it... We lost our home, you see, so... We need a new one."
GM
 GM, 276 posts
Wed 31 Aug 2016
at 17:07
Re: 2: On The Run
Grath looks decidedly uncomfortable at the prospect of a lengthy involvement with the warforged. He tries to stay positive. "Yes. Friends. Of course. Well... friends... through this crevice is one of the rooms of a vault. Our masters have charged us to access a minor vault that lies further in. We will need any guards and wards dealt with while we work. That would be your task."
Graven
 player, 86 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Wed 31 Aug 2016
at 17:34
Re: 2: On The Run
Graven exchanges a silent glance with his companions, turns to the kobolds, and says, "We may need to press on, rather than stay with you, but we are willing to help you in exchange for a guarantee that there will be no hostilities between us." He considers, and adds, "What do you believe is in this vault? Would you be willing to share any items that might be of more value to us than to you?"
GM
 GM, 277 posts
Thu 1 Sep 2016
at 15:18
Re: 2: On The Run
"Hostilities? I wish none. But maybe you do not know the ways of life, construct. Life has needs and if those needs are scarce..." the goblin shrugs. "Still, we need not share our food with you, eh?

"Ah, the vault. My masters seek... knowledge. Books. History concerns them greatly, so they tell us. But no one knows what is still there. The vault is ancient, perhaps empty by now - though perhaps still defended. We must see.

"I do not know what such as you might value. And I do not know what might be of value to my masters. But, we are concerned only with the smaller vault. What you may find elsewhere is yours."
Smith
 player, 93 posts
Sat 3 Sep 2016
at 04:59
Re: 2: On The Run
His cheeriness now somewhat forced, Smith nods and says "We'll take it! Don't worry, boss, we won't let you down. You'll see. You'll wonder how you ever did without us!"

He then turns back to the others. "We can handle anything, I'm sure of it. This will be fine. Let's go and get vaulting!"
GM
 GM, 279 posts
Tue 6 Sep 2016
at 18:50
Re: 2: On The Run
Grath smirks - perhaps an attempt to smile that went awry - and bows with a sweeping gesture to invite you into the crevasse. After the warforged, the scorpion enters, then Grath, then the other goblins. The crevasse is a narrow fit for the warforged and progress is relatively slow. "Continue straight on," whispers Grath. "It opens into the vault shortly. But tell us: why are you here? What would you be doing if not... helping us?"
Graven
 player, 89 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Wed 7 Sep 2016
at 02:52
Re: 2: On The Run
Graven has taken what is becoming his usual place at the top of the marching order, and he pauses to answer Grath. "We are fleeing people who sought to exploit us. Others of our kind also fled, and we want to find them, and find a place and a purpose for our kind." He shrugs, and adds, "We might have left you to your devices and pressed on, except that we prefer to avoid violence, and we have time to spare." Graven pauses, considering. "That, and we are curious, I think. If you tell me there's a vault, I want to see what's inside it."
GM
 GM, 282 posts
Thu 8 Sep 2016
at 19:41
Re: 2: On The Run
"Purpose..." Grath murmurs. "Yes. Unless exploitation is your purpose."

The crevasse soon opens out into a chamber that is clearly not natural. The floor is flat and relatively smooth, though make of the same stone as the caverns. The wall is both less flat and less smooth than the floor, and rises at your backs as you exit the crevasse, followed by the goblins, though not by the scorpion, which seems to prefer the tighter space. The ceiling is visible above, high enough that a creature four times the height of a warforged could walk around comfortably.

The chamber seems vast, but most of it is not easily accessible, because it's crammed nearly full with objects that must have been of value to the being whose vault this once was. At this point, it appears to be tumbled down wreckage - perhaps it always had been. But the fragments of stone and wood and metal and other, stranger materials, echo with the warforged. The Forge Ancillary trembles slightly against Chopper's artificial outer surface.

This wreckage, or some fraction of it, relates to creation forging. Exactly how would take some time to determine, but the relationship is unmistakable, even though it is writ on a literally giant scale upon ancient, decrepit media.

The wreckage rises up well above head height for the warforged, so it's hard to tell how large the chamber is and how much it contains. There are paths through the detritus though.

The only light is the party's sunrod. The air is very stale and dusty, but the goblins don't seem to be having difficulty breathing. There are noises throughout the room: rustlings, drippings, creakings, skitterings.

"What I seek is another room, within this one. The doorway is marked by two hands, and an... altar."
Smith
 player, 95 posts
Sun 11 Sep 2016
at 04:29
Re: 2: On The Run
Smith gazes about himself in rapturous wonder as they walk past the wreckage of the Giant's Forge. "This... this is like home, but on a far grander scale. Give me a decade in these ruins and I could reshape the world..."

He shakes his head clear of the thought.

"I can work this area out, I'm sure. I'm an artificer apprentice myself, and familiar with this kind of forge. The layout makes perfect sense to me... let's go, brothers!"

GM
 GM, 285 posts
Mon 12 Sep 2016
at 17:18
Re: 2: On The Run
The group begins to pick its way along one of the somewhat clear paths in the junk. Behind you, there is a squeaking sound, followed by a sharp twanging. One of the goblin cutters has snapped a wiry piece of metal off of an adjacent wall of junk and is inspecting it. Suddenly, the scorpion, its beady eyes and sparking claws still visible in the crevasse, skitters backward, deeper in. The goblin looks up at the rest of you and gives an inane smile as it shows off its prize.
A gobling cutter has cluelessly triggered junk avalanche, which will attack on initiative 8. If you think your character would see the impending attack, and can beat that initiative, feel free to take action. The minion is utterly unaware and won't act on its own. If the other goblins know what's up, they aren't interested in acting.

10:14, Today: GM, for the NPC junk avalanche, rolled 8 using 1d20+3.  Initiative.
Graven
 player, 92 posts
 Warforged Swordmage
 Runecarver
Tue 13 Sep 2016
at 14:32
Re: 2: On The Run
OOC: Graven cannot act in time

10:31, Today: Graven rolled 2 using 1d20.  Initiative.

GM
 GM, 289 posts
Tue 13 Sep 2016
at 18:36
Re: 2: On The Run
Grath starts toward his fellow goblin, but eyes the amount of detritus about to fall and stops short, hissing through gritted teeth, and holding out his arms to prevent any of the other goblins from moving into the hazard.

The hapless cutter tilts his head "Bree..." he says, forming a question. Then he looks up. "...yark?"

Then the avalanche of junk tumbles down on him. He's lost immediately in a cloud of dust which set the goblins coughing, and has you all shielding your eyes. Suddenly, the goblin comes bounding out toward you, scratched and contused (as well as confused) but not otherwise the worse for wear.

The cascade of material continues for a little while, then peters out, with only a few small chunks plinking down now and then. The path between you and the crevasse is still passable, but with difficulty.

Grath slaps his minion on the back of his head, snatches the bit of wire from him, and waves it in his face while dressing him down with a harsh whisper. The phrase "bree-yark" is used frequently. The cutter says nothing, just cringes.

Grath, ends with a glare and another threatened slap, then turns to you with an ingratiating grin. "My apologies for Snicket's misstep. I hope it has not... complicated your efforts to guide us through. I admit I was surprised none of you acted to save him. Perhaps you have what it takes to survive after all."
11:20, Today: GM, for the NPC junk avalanche, rolled 7 using 1d20+4.  Attack vs. Reflex of goblin cutter.

11:24, Today: GM, for the NPC junk avalanche, rolled 3 using 1d4 ((3)). Duration in rounds.