Mt. Doom Reconnaisance.   Posted by GM StarMaster.Group: 0
Lucien Soulban
 player, 51 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Fri 30 Oct 2020
at 23:33
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "Magic most likely. Could be anything coming out of the lava. For all we know it is an invasion platform for Kossuth. We need to go back unless one of you thinks you can get into those caves and get back out with the intel."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 15 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Fri 30 Oct 2020
at 23:52
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"I considered it, but I don't have any stealth capabilities except through magic," Vashon responds. "I'm also not so arrogant that I think I can take on the world. If there is something down there that can cause this Great Disaster Esmeralda foresaw, it's probably more powerful than I am."

"Discretion seemed called for."

"So, yeah, probably should go back. The Oracle thought we would need these Wonders to defeat the problem... or maybe just stop the Disaster. Whether she was wrong or right, it's not my place to challenge that."

Lucien Soulban
 player, 52 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Sun 1 Nov 2020
at 15:16
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
 "You coming? And do we want to offer the dwarf a way out?" Lucien says in response to his companions. "If we do want to offer the dwarf a way out I can get us there and then back to what sounds like our base."
Aniyu
 NPC, 37 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Sun 1 Nov 2020
at 20:01
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"The ranger said he'll continue to watch to see what happens," Aniyu responds. "He's well aware that something could rise up and surprise him, but he's willing to risk that."

"He's also aware that he probably can't do anything about whatever happens, but he was a bit relieved to know that we're also looking into it."

Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 16 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Wed 4 Nov 2020
at 03:42
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"If the two of you are ready, I can teleport us all back to the monastery," Vashon offers.

"I think we've found out about all we can from our initial recon. We've learned enough to know how to prepare for a return if it winds up being what we need to do."
Lucien Soulban
 player, 53 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Wed 4 Nov 2020
at 15:08
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "I'm ready to go." he says as he adjusts the straps on his armor from where he loosened it to allow the heat to vent.
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 17 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Wed 4 Nov 2020
at 15:52
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"Right. Back we go," Vashon says.

"Grab hold."

Once he feels a hand on both shoulders, he casts his Teleport spell and focuses on reappearing in front of the monastery.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 55 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Thu 12 Nov 2020
at 00:13
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Lucien slaps his hand on Vashon's shoulder at the same time that Aniayu does. The teleport magic taking them back.

To Catastrophe Thread.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 14 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Fri 13 Nov 2020
at 20:16
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Unfortunately, about the time they teleported away is the time Stein arrived.

He and his mount arrive in a more discreet manner than had occurred at the monastery, keeping low and using cover. The two moved in unison across the terrain, both skilled in stealth, as they advanced on the volcano and its caverns.

As they move in, they scan the area with a mind to caution. surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, his colourful uniform seemed to almost help blend into the bright hues of the terrain. His own skin cooperating to further facilitate the blending of color.

His own knowledge of caves and rocky terrain allowed him to almost read the land before it entered into his field of view.

Unfortunately, he didnt have the knowledge the others did and so his first task would be to find a way up and onto the lip of the volcano without being seen. A den of feiry creatures may not be the worst threat about but it was still a formidable one.

While not a science, one can usually read cavern pathways based on grades of erosion. if there is a seperate exit and entrance than there would be a current and wind currents cause distinct erosion. the part that one couldnt be certain about is which exits connected to which entrances.

Thankfully, Stein wasnt alone.

As he approached the base of the mountain, He would extend his hands towards two seperate openings, whispering a chant, slowly... buzzing began to be heard from throughout their vambraces... several insects would drop or take off from under his arm ware to make their way out to find cavern entrances.

when it seemed no more were going to appear, Stein would lower his arms and begin, once more, moving across the mountain side to seek out any other cavern entrances that the bugs werent going to investigate.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:51, Fri 13 Nov 2020.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 80 posts
Sat 14 Nov 2020
at 04:28
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
As it turns out, there's no 'lip' to the volcano--it's more like a lake of magma in the valley. Jimmy can see mist at the other end which he figures out is due to the magma touching on a lake of water, no doubt fed from the glacier beyond it.

The valley is rather narrow as valleys go, and the mountains rise up a bit steeply on either side.

At the near end of the valley that's half-covered in magma, Jimmy can see a number of creatures moving around. It's too far for him to identify them.

The caves are on the western side of the valley near the bottom of the mountains, but not very regular. He is able to determine that they are natural caverns.

Several creatures are here as well, that go in and out of the caves, but he can't tell what their purpose is, as they neither carrying anything out nor anything in.

Overall, he finds five caves... at least in this area.

There appears to be a small island in the middle of the magma lake, and he can see what may be a dragon 'swimming' in the magma.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 18 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Sat 14 Nov 2020
at 06:33
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
ooc: which caves have a breeze passing through them?
GM StarMaster
 GM, 83 posts
Sat 14 Nov 2020
at 09:52
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
All of them have heat coming out of them.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 20 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Sun 15 Nov 2020
at 03:48
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Finding, as the gm said, heat and a sort of wind coming out of all of them.

Stein will sneak to the nearest one. Once there, he will direct a few of the insects into the cave, guiding them into it to investigate where it went
GM StarMaster
 GM, 86 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2020
at 21:00
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
The cave that Stein sends the insects into turns out to be a tunnel that goes deeper into the mountain and slants downward. The insects are just about at the range of shared senses when two creatures march into view. Stein has a brief moment to see that the humanoid creatures seem to be made out of magma before the intense heat they give off vaporizes the insects.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 22 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 02:57
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
ooc:
How close did the insects get before going crisp?
I'm going to assume it has a damage aura of sort... probably is as hot as the magical magma everyone was looking at before. Did it look as bright and hot?

or did it look less hot? did it look like there were signs of other creatures past these two?

What other details of these two magma creatures can I determine? A knowledge check? or should I just try a few.

Is the tunnel is a straight shot? minus the slope of course, like... how far back could I engage the magma things from if I felt I needed to.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 87 posts
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 03:30
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
The insects got within about 20 feet. The tunnel wasn't wide enough for them to get past the creatures.

The creatures looked to be just as hot as the magma out in the lake. No other creatures could be seen behind them.

The tunnel wasn't perfectly straight, it had some variation along it's length, but no sharp turns. You could engage the creatures at least out to 60 feet as that was all the distance you saw.

The two creatures walk out of the tunnel entrance at that point. You can now see that what looked like hair is actually flame.

They have two arms, two legs, one head with two eyes and one mouth... not sure if they have a nose. They walk upright, appear rather stocky but are only 4 feet tall.

They walk over to the magma lake, the nearest part of which is about 100 feet away. They apparently talk to each other as they go, point to the magma a couple times, and then move over to the left. One reaches down and sticks a finger in the magma for a few seconds, shakes his head and then move farther to the left and repeats his actions.

A skill check might be needed depending on what else Stein wants to know.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 23 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 04:42
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
In reply to GM StarMaster (msg # 61):

Stein, determining that these are like patrols, will send another couple of instects to move to within 30 feet of the 'magma men' while also sending a small swarm into the tunnel again.
Following the insects he sent into the tunnel, he will use them as a forward scout but will try to listen in to what the magma men are saying.


Steins aim will be to continue sneaking down the tunnels, use the insects as scouts to help see threats before they see him. If any block his way, he will sneak to within 40 feet and 'long-step' to the opposite side of them in order to get past them and then continuing. The aim is to investigate the tunnel and see what it holds besides patrols.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:48, Mon 16 Nov 2020.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 88 posts
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 07:17
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
The insect swarm can't get that close to the magma; they have to stay at least 35' feet away. They can only managed that because of air circulation. Down in the tunnel, there wasn't enough.

You wouldn't think there would be that much nuance in the Ignan language, but apparently there is. The magma creatures are trying to find out the best area of the magma to do certain things... 'bathe' if that's really a thing and 'cook', though there's no indication of what they'd cook and presumably eat. The areas they point to and test are either too hot or too cold.

As soon as Stein enters the tunnel, he loses contact with the swarm as they are out of range.

Heading down the tunnel, it was a bit cooler at first but gets hotter the farther he goes. After about a 150 feet, he comes to a cross tunnel that heads off at an angle to the left and right. This appears to be a tunnel of the Underdark. It's definitely hotter off to the right, which probably leads to the magma.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 24 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 08:54
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
In reply to GM StarMaster (msg # 63):

ooc: good to know, ignan is nuanced.

Stein will send insects down each tunnel to see if he can get a better feel for where each may lead, leaving a few insects 200 feet behind him to watch out for anything coming from that way.

Also, eventually, the insects that were left outside will make their way back to me unless destroyed.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:50, Thu 19 Nov 2020.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 91 posts
Thu 19 Nov 2020
at 20:22
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
There's only two tunnels to explore. The one to the left goes for about half a mile before it starts connecting with other tunnels. There's apparently a network of tunnels underground here in the mountains.

The one to the right goes about 300 yards before it seems to end abruptly at a large cavern. It's nearly 100 feet high. The tunnel ends high up on one side of the cavern, but you can see what appear to be 3 other openings in the opposite wall--openings that appear to be filled with magma, yet it doesn't flow out of them.

Additionally, there is a large hole in the middle of the cavern floor, with a pulley and chain system suspended over it. One end of the chain disappears down the hole. The other end of the chain goes to a winch alongside the hole.

There are dozens of strange creatures moving around down on the floor of the cavern, including a fire giant.

The insects can't go any farther as the heat intensifies in the cavern.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 33 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Fri 20 Nov 2020
at 10:45
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
In reply to GM StarMaster (msg # 65):




I need to gauge how to best survive the cavern, if it's too intense for them then it may be too intense for me. Since this seems to be where I need to go then I need to test the waters, so one brave little soldier needs to gauge the oven, onward brave little buddy... onward to the great beyond. Stein will direct an insect or three to to go on in and see just how hot, for the good of the colony?

Anyways, also, so those magma filled openings sound like a great place to investigate. before the bugs go, can I see through them to get more details about them. Does it look like there is some kind of force preventing the magma from spilling through the openings into the cavern? or does the magma naturally bypass the openings?

Where are they in relation to the magma pool on the surface?



Are any of the creatures talking about food, being hungry, or being sleeping. The aim is to try and determine if these are extraplanar or native, are they being drawn in, call... so to speak, or if they came from a portal. Maybe see if I can pick up if any mention having arrived on this plane recently or not. And any other information I can pick up.

Maybe see what kind of magics there are about the creatures.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 93 posts
Fri 20 Nov 2020
at 16:12
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
As you move along the tunnel, you don't detect any secret doors, no concealed doors, no creatures burrowing beneath you, nothing trying to sneak up on you, and no hidden traps.

The insect makes it about a foot into the cavern before it burns up.

It would seem that the farther you go into the cavern, the greater the heat gets. There's probably an upper limit, though, and it's probably not as hot as the magma. Then again, the heat would seem to be coming from the magma.

As Stein studies the cavern, he realizes that the magma is being kept out of the cavern by (probably) walls of force. And, yes, the magma through the holes is most likely the lake of magma from the surface.

It's hard to determine if the magma is magical or if the magic is just the wall of force keeping it out.

The creatures below all seem to have a magical aura to them, but it's unclear what it is, other than to say it does not appear to be conjuration. The two exceptions are the fire giant who seems to have several magic items on him, including huge axe, and the three silvery men walking about. At the very least, they have wands that they point to the walls, floor and ceiling at various times. There are also more magmin down here, plus fire elementals, salamanders, and hellhounds. It's the latter that concern you, for they cast eyes upward to the tunnel now and then, as if they might be sensing something... perhaps the buzzing of the insects.

You're really too far away from the creatures below to get any sense of what they are saying. In any case, you don't pick up any indications of portals from them.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 34 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Fri 20 Nov 2020
at 20:56
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
thats fine, plenty of good reasons to get out, now, anyways.

with the walls of force blocking using detect magic methods on the magma, there is nothing more I can gain here anyways.

Stein will leave this particular cave system and randomly check two more, all the same way, to try and see if they are all the same or if there is anything different. if they are the same then I think we can hand waive going through the steps? if they are different then I request we skip up to any differences.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 94 posts
Sun 22 Nov 2020
at 23:01
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
A couple of the cave tunnels lead back to the big cavern. The others just connect with the underground tunnel network.
Hardcore Jimmy
 player, 35 posts
 Half-Elf Ranger/Rogue
Sun 22 Nov 2020
at 23:25
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
And A look at the surface will likely grant Stein the same insight as the rest have already uncovered, he will take a look but no more and then make way back to the rest.