Mt. Doom Reconnaisance.   Posted by GM StarMaster.Group: 0
GM StarMaster
 GM, 22 posts
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 16:09
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Since Hsang has gone and looked at the maps, only Vashon is currently standing outside, though he is joined a moment later by Lucien.

As they both look up at the slowly diminishing gray-white plume of smoke and ash to the north, the ground trembles beneath their feet, signaling another quake.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 28 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 16:54
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"If you will give me a moment I will get a good look at our destination. After that I can save us the long walk." Lucien spends a moment adjusting the torso area of his armor before a set of feathered wings comes out of his back. He smiles and takes off. After a moment he returns less of a smile, but pleased none the less.

"The volcano is roughly 60 miles to the north at that end of the range. Now getting there is the easy part. Finding anything once there might be interesting. You ready? If so take my hand."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:57, Wed 07 Oct 2020.

Aniyu
 player, 16 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 17:05
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu excused himself from the Citadel as the groups split up. There was very little done to plan how they might coordinate, but hopefully the others would use the Citadel, and those involved, to share information.

He offered another polite smile and bow to those together, expression dropping and glancing off into the distance as he felt the rumble through his feet. He turned back to the rest, "I can fly fine, and if everybody else can fly or be helped further, I can teleport us to a general spot up in the air over the mountain to save more time. Otherwise, it'll take me about 6 hours to get there."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 7 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 17:59
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"We can all teleport," Vashon says. "At least, that's what I was understanding Lucien could do."

"He just got a bird's eye view of the volcano, so he can teleport both of us there with him. Then you or I, Aniyu, can teleport us back."

"Is that the way you see it, Lucien?"

"Did you see anything we should be aware of?"

Aniyu
 player, 17 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 19:01
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu gives a polite, apologetic waist bow and nod in quiet agreement.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 30 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 22:16
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "That is the long and short of it yeah." he says offering them both a hand"As I said if your ready we can go."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 8 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Wed 7 Oct 2020
at 22:41
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Vashon, of course, knew how Teleport worked, so he grabbed hold of Lucien's hand.

"I was hoping a few more might join us, but I guess this is it. I'm ready; let's go."
Aniyu
 player, 19 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 15:23
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu took the offered hand and relented to the teleportation effect.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 31 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 16:41
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "And away we go." he says as he mutters the incantation and makes the appropriate sign to transport the three of them to a volcano.

 They arrive on a fairly stable area of the rock face. With a plume of grey-white above them and heat all around.

OOC: Figure that much I can say. Past that I leave it up to the GM to describe.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 29 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 18:09
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Lucien had been able to spot a suitable place to teleport, which wasn't too close to the huge pool of lava. It was a rocky ledge on the southeast side of the lava pit, probably some 300 feet above and 500-600 feet away.

Apparently, when the volcano erupted, it didn't actually destroy much of the surrounding mountains.

As soon as everyone reorients themselves after the teleport, they can look around.

While Lucien has already seen this, it didn't quite register until he got here: there's no volcano. Actually, no volcanic cone. The eruption came right up out of the ground. A cone should eventually form by the deposit of alternating layers of ash and lava.

That doesn't seem to be happening here--there's just a lake of magma. If it's orange-red, it's magma. If it's gray, it's lava because the surface has cooled.

You can spot a number of different creatures moving around the perimeter of the lake. It even looks like something is 'swimming' in the magma.

Although the plume has diminished, it's still being fed by the lake of water to the north of the magma lake. It appears as if the magma is slowly eroding/melting the ground at the southern end of the lake and then the water spills over into the magma, instantly vaporizing it.
Aniyu
 player, 20 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 19:27
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu glanced around to take in the scene, "I would like to get closer; survey the outside and that creature before checking underneath." He dipped his head before reaching his foot out, drawing a crude symbol in the ash. He stomped his foot down onto the mark, putting his weight into it, and lifting up into the air as if the mark was rejecting him from the ground itself.

He reached into his Haversack to pull out three small vials. A moment of focus and they filled with clean, clear water. He then spit into each of them, the tiny amount of spittle hitting the water and turning it a dark amber, almost brown.

He offered a vial to each of them, the contents smelling like a strong alcohol, "For focus.". He raised his own up for a swig, wincing at the burn, before shaking his head to compose himself. Those who drank it found a comfortable warmth through their system, but their minds sharpened.

He let them decide what to do with the vials, muttering a new spell before he could address any questions they had. A few intricate, geometric hand symbols in the air before a deep inhale, letting the land itself tell him about the area around them.

Casting:
- Overland Flight (Fly Speed 40' for 10 Hours)
- Create Water (into the vials)
- Tears to Wine (Turn three vials into 'alcohol' that give +5 Enhancement to Intelligence Checks for 100 Mins.)
- Lay of the Land (Gain +5 Insight on Geography/Survival -- also learn about the geography within a 5 miles radius).

Lucien Soulban
 player, 32 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Fri 9 Oct 2020
at 02:37
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "Well I'm going down there to talk to them. Likely folks from the Plane of Fire." he says as he gets ready to move again. "It's the big one swimming that worries me the most to be honest."
GM StarMaster
 GM, 33 posts
Fri 9 Oct 2020
at 13:53
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
There's not much Lay of the Land will tell Aniyu that he doesn't already know from mere observation.

He's high up in the mountains, and most of these mountain peaks soar up to 4 miles high. The volcano seems to have erupted from one of the high valleys between two peaks. That's why the magma hasn't gone anywhere--it's trapped between the surrounding peaks.

To the northwest, at the other end of the lake, a glacier covers the mountains there, a spur that runs north.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:11, Wed 14 Oct 2020.

Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 9 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Sat 10 Oct 2020
at 22:53
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Vashon eyes the vial Aniyu a bit suspiciously, but decides that they are all in this together even if it wasn't his choice, and the best and fastest way out of it was to go along instead of trying to fight it.

He takes the vial and drinks it.

"Do you really think it's necessary to go down there?" he questions the others. "I think it's a better than even chance that those creatures are hostile. Are you prepared to do battle with all of them? And what happens if we beat them? Do you really think they'll talk... assuming they even know anything?"
Aniyu
 player, 21 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 00:43
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu nodded at Lucien's suggestion; Lucien seemed the best to speak to them if they were willing to speak, and also the best to have in front if they decided they didn't want to speak.

He floats backwards towards the center, smiling back to Vashon, "You are making a lot of assumptions, some of which are very insightful. We are simply gathering more information."
Lucien Soulban
 player, 33 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 14:28
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "Honestly I have no clue what their intent would be. It's a chance we would need to take. Either we talk to them or we attack them. Those are the only options. I try to preserve life when possible. Since Kossuth is more often than not a being of law I am guessing they are as well." he says as he shrugs his shoulders. "Besides getting in and out is a cinch."
Aniyu
 player, 22 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Tue 13 Oct 2020
at 00:32
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu continues towards the largest magma lake, floating above the ground and looking for more detail to help him identify the creatures.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 34 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Tue 13 Oct 2020
at 12:56
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  Lucien shrugs "Gotta at least try to be peaceful first." he chants and makes a few arcane gestures and a door shows in the air for a moment. "It's now or never buddy. I'm going through." Lucien waits a moment to see what Vashon will do and then steps through himself directly to the ledge above the lava pool.

OOC:Taking you up on offer for languages Ignan seems most appropriate here.

In Ignan he says "I come in peace. I and my companions seek for my this lava up welling occurred and who you all might be."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 10 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Wed 14 Oct 2020
at 01:38
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
OOC: I'm confused. I thought we were already on the ledge?


Vashon's eyes widen as Lucien creates some sort of door, but steps through with him.

Wherever they are, he gives a quick glance around to see if there are any creatures nearby that might be threatening them. If he spots any of them, he'll try to figure out what they are.

21:36, Today: Vashon the Vigilant rolled 18 using 1d20+4 ((14)).

He has no relevant skill, so it's just an Intelligence check.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 35 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Wed 14 Oct 2020
at 02:01
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
In reply to Vashon the Vigilant (msg # 19):

OOC: We are on one ledge and several hundred feet away is another which the Fire things are on.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 42 posts
Wed 14 Oct 2020
at 02:58
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance



Lucien and Vashon step through the door onto another ledge about 10 feet above the ground but still 30 feet away from the magma. You can feel the heat even from here.

Aniyu is flying around above the ground. He realizes now that there is only the one huge lake of magma.

With everyone closer to the creatures, you can now see them more clearly. There are four different creatures that you can distinguish. The easiest to identify are the hellhounds, about half a dozen of them. They seem to be playing fetch with the small humanoid creatures that have reddish-orange skin, thin leathery wings, and small horns.

There are other humanoids, slightly taller, that have blackish skin with reddish-orange glow at the joints and what appears to be flame for hair. Even here, a faint heat shimmer can be seen surrounding them. At least two of them are riding around on a snake-bodied humanoid that has a spine of crackling flame that also dances along the creature’s blackened, fiery-red scales.


One of them is close enough to hear Lucien--one of the winged humanoid. It flies up to the ledge and hovers in front of Lucien.

"I don't care who you are! No one comes here unless Gralroch says you do! How many pieces do you want to be in? Hee-hee-hee!" the creature responds in Ignan.
Aniyu
 player, 23 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Wed 14 Oct 2020
at 18:52
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu continues to fly over the lake of magma, surveying the geological aspects of this to find a better source of creation. He kept his distance as he looked over the different creatures, calling upon his familiarity with the natural and unnatural to identify them.

OOC:
- Identifying the creatures with Knowledge (Planes). If Knowledge (Nature), add +2 to the roll below for the same check.
- Hellhounds: 14:48, Today: Aniyu rolled 33 using 1d20+23.
- Reddish-Orange Winged Humanoids: 14:48, Today: Aniyu rolled 24 using 1d20+23.
- Blackish Flame-Hair Humanoids: 14:48, Today: Aniyu rolled 37 using 1d20+23
- Snake-bodied Red-Scaled Humanoid: 14:49, Today: Aniyu rolled 24 using 1d20+23

For the name Gralroch: 14:51, Today: Aniyu rolled 29 using 1d20+23.

Lucien Soulban
 player, 36 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Wed 14 Oct 2020
at 19:24
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
 "Now that is no way to treat your neighbor." he replies in Ignan. "If I wanted to be threatened I would just walk into Zhentil Keep. Who exactly is saying I couldn't be here? As for pieces your welcome to try, but I warn you I am not defenseless and am in point of fact quite capable of defending myself."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 11 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Fri 16 Oct 2020
at 02:47
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Vashon has no idea what any of these creatures are. If the small winged humanoids weren't dangerous-looking, they'd almost be comical. Reminded him of imps.

He kept his guns holstered so as not to appear threatening, but that didn't seem to matter to these creatures.

He continued to keep an eye out for any other threats--above, flanks, even behind  him. He wouldn't swear that any of these creatures couldn't move through solid rock. But he let Lucien do the talking, even though it appeared as if negotiations weren't going to go well for them.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 44 posts
Fri 16 Oct 2020
at 04:27
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu can't really fly 'over' the lake of magma because the heat rising up off of it would be extremely dangerous unless he was high enough that it'd be hard to see the creatures below!

You can definitely say that none of these creatures are 'natural' and that they are probably all from the Elemental Plane of Fire.

The dog-like creatures are definitely hellhounds. They are immune to fire and also breath fire.

The Reddish-Orange Winged Humanoids are fire mephits. Also immune to fire, and prone to pranks.

The Blackish Flame-Hair Humanoids are magmin, probably the most dangerous of creatures you can see. Apparently, they are made of living magma.

You are pretty sure that the Snake-bodied Red-Scaled Humanoids are salamanders.

Unfortunately, you have no idea who or what Gralroch is.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 47 posts
Sat 17 Oct 2020
at 01:41
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
The mephit (apparently a fire mephit) replies to Lucien:

"Then go ahead! Don't blame me if the others attack you! Though, it'll be fun to watch!"

He either seems to be oblivious to your question or intentionally not answering it.

"Or you can go play with Spot!"

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:26, Sat 17 Oct 2020.

Aniyu
 player, 26 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Sat 17 Oct 2020
at 03:50
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu swirls around in the air over the pit of magma to survey the shape and the creatures. He makes some conclusions, closing his eyes for a moment to inhale the heat from the magma below into his lungs. He closes his eyes as his body shifts into energy, into a humanoid shape of white fire, not far from his original skin tone. His arms came up to cover his face, perpendicular plumes of flame from his fingers crossing over his face as he stared down at the mephit below.

He floated down to the space near Lucien. He brought a hand up to the mephit for a moment to confer with his allies. He only used that moment to gesture to each of them with a small deep bow, one that might accompany a request, despite him not naming one.

He turned back to the mephit, stepping forward and letting the flame of his body suddenly surge, the white color turning almost blue, speaking in Ignan, "I am charged by the primordial forces to learn about, and resolve the situation of this magma pocket." He held up his flaming hands, summoning a small cloud of snow that melted and sizzled away at his hand, but showing he commanded more than ability to make himself resistant to their attacks.

"We can do so with your favor in a way amicable to you and your lord -- or we can do so without any consideration." He paused for a moment to let them consider his offer for peace, "Who is your Lord, why have you all come here, and where has this magma pocket come from?"

OOC:
- Wild Shaping into Medium Fire Elemental

- Taking five rounds to curse the mephit in question. Using Soothsayer, meaning all penalties don't start until they being applicable.
 -- 4x Rounds Using Evil Eye to give the Mephit a -4 to AC, Attacks, Skills, and Saving Throws. He'll roll WIL vs DC 19 or suffer effects for 7 Rounds (success = 1 rd)
 -- 1x Round giving him Misfortune (roll with Disadvantage on Attacks, Skills, & STs for 2 rds)
 -- 3x Rounds using Fortune on Aniyu, Vashon, & Lucien (Each gain Advantage on Attacks, Skills, & STs for 2 rounds)

- Intimidate Roll: 23:49, Today: Aniyu rolled 32 using 2d20+15 ((17,10)).

This message was last edited by the player at 03:53, Sat 17 Oct 2020.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 52 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 00:53
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"You talk too much!" the mephit nearly screams and flies away, completely intimidated to the point where he's not going to hang around.

Aniyu realizes that he wasn't dealing with an overly smart creature or one that had the information he was looking for. On the other hand, you also can't quite figure out what its position or function is.

Although your fire elemental body is resistant to fire, it's still not enough to overcome the heat from the magma completely. As long as you stay far enough away from it, no problem. Going for a swim in it is still not recommended.
Aniyu
 player, 28 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 05:09
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu narrowed his eyes at the cowardly response to his simple questions. He looked around at the rest of the creatures that were seeming to ignore them. He raised himself up higher, clearing his voice, "Is there any who would speak for this gathering?"
Lucien Soulban
 player, 37 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 23:55
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"Well this is eventful. Looks like a twisted family trip to a mountain lake to me. That thing is probably a pet dog or something. It's the hostility that has me worried." he says to his closer companion. "Listen we got what we came for for now. That name should mean something to someone. Maybe one of our new friends back at the monastery. I suggest we return from whence we came before the magma gets closer."
Aniyu
 player, 29 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 18:03
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu looked to Lucien and cocked his head, "I don't understand. If these creatures are unrelated to the event, then the name means nothing and we've learned nothing. I long accepted my mission would be dangerous, even before I got to the Citadel."

He looked back and forth between them, "This magma pool is unnatural and impacting the landscape." He gestured towards where the lake was pouring into the magma and evaporating away. "I intend to resolve it. If these creatures are so hostile as to attack strangers just for investigating and asking questions, then I intend to resolve that as well."

He gave a polite chuckle, probably some attempt to lighten the mood, but he always seemed cold and stoic, even when currently in the form of a fire elemental, "The Oracle surely wouldn't have sent us here for no reason, right? Or at least not for just an featureless name, without context, that the 'pet dog' was threatening strangers with freely."
Lucien Soulban
 player, 38 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 18:25
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "I can't get close to the lava. That poses a problem. I have few if any spells to help with that. I said recon not assault. If you can bring them closer it would be a different story."
Aniyu
 player, 30 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 19:06
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu nodded slowly, "If it comes to that, I'll keep it in mind. I apologize, you were very concerned with people being prepared, I assumed you were prepared for the heat. And, to be clear, I am not 'assaulting' them, I am just not afraid to defend myself."

Aniyu gave a small waist bow towards Lucien, "You seem very concerned with me making demands or having expectations of you. I apologize if my tone has suggested as such. I am not your better or your leader in any way. We are equal allies in the goal of helping people."

He stood upright again, "I would like to take more time here. I presume the others need more time to even figure out which book to read, never mind to read the book itself. I would like to put similar effort into my part of the task. I can get home on my own if that is required."

He looked to the others for a response, before turning back to the elementals in the pool -- hoping one will answer his previous call.

OOC:
Do I need another social check? I sort of assumed my previous Intimidate check might find somebody else to come with, I mean, unless the check failed.

Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 12 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 19:31
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"It sounds as if you are arguing from the wrong end of our knowledge," Vashon speaks up at the seeming impasse.

"These fiery creatures are extraplanar, right? Does that not suggest that the magma is extraplanar as well? They are clearly here to discourage visitors and will no doubt attack all intruders. Even if their nature is one of aggression, they don't seem inclined to attack willy-nilly, but I'm sure they will if we try to advance."

"Do we really expect these creatures to tell us anything? Or, if they did, it would be the truth?"

"We shouldn't depend on a single viewpoint. There's a lake at the other end that's spilling into magma, generating all that steam. And there's a glacier beyond. Is there potential danger in that fact?"

"If you get another creature to talk to you, ask what kind of creature Spot is. I'm thinking Spot is that thing swimming in the magma. It might be a dragon."

Aniyu
 player, 32 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 22:28
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu kept his face aimed towards the other creatures, a dual purpose of hiding his expression and also to keep focused on getting more information, instead of convincing the others for permission to do so.

He spoke out loud, clearly to Vashon's comment, "I don't have your answers. That's why I want to do more research. I am aware that it is riskier than hypotheticals, assumptions, and guesses, but I would rather try and confirm one way or the other -- especially, when it comes to preventing the apocalypse. All information is helpful, even if it is only a confirmation that a lead is a dead end."

He lifted off the ground a small amount as he stared off into the distance, "For example, even if these creatures fear Gralroch more than me, maybe we could talk to them?" He pointed off to the east, up into the mountains, "There is somebody camping up there. Perhaps they have been studying the creatures or the land longer. Though to prevent further argument, I will admit: I am unsure what they do or don't know. I am unsure of how dangerous or not dangerous they are."

He finally turned back to the group, "Also, the magic that created this magma has other effects." He kicked his heel into the ground, "Something is blocking my vision into the earth. That could be a side effect of us being near the Underdark, or it could be related to whatever force caused the destruction. Either way, I am not prepared to do any mass excavation for a group today, and a blind Earth Glide might make me swim right into a pocket of magma."

He looked between the pair, giving a waist bow, "I am going to speak to the camper. You are both welcome to work with me on this." He turned back and lifted up off the ground, heading in the direction he gestured earlier.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:25, Wed 21 Oct 2020.

GM StarMaster
 GM, 60 posts
Thu 22 Oct 2020
at 16:34
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
Aniyu flies off and heads for one of the mountains to the west behind the group. You are already at the base of those western mountains.

The camper has camped in a high notch between two peaks where he has a clear view of the magma lake below. He's set up a tent, and is dressed for the cold weather altitude. He has a spyglass that he uses to spy down on the lake and the creatures around it.

He's not oblivious to Aniyu's approach but doesn't seem to be all that concerned since Aniyu clearly didn't come from below and does not appear to be a fire creature.

When Aniyu lands, the man stows away his spyglass.

"It's about time!" he says in Dwarven, sounding a bit agitated as well as relieved.

"Rocky Boulderdash, High Mountain Ranger," he introduces himself. "I suppose the volcano did so much damage that no one wanted to investigate further. It ain't natural, you know. You need magma chambers below the surface to suddenly push up and break through. It usually happens explosively. There weren't any such chambers underneath these mountains as early as this time last year."

"Pleased to meet you, Rocky Boulderdash," Aniyu responds. "I am Aniyu the Northern Druid. I came from much farther away than you did, but I, too, detected the unnaturalness of the volcano."

"It's worse than that! I've been here a week and I've watched the magma rise about an inch a day! If that keeps up, I estimate it'll start spilling out of the mountains in about a month."

"Also, don't know if you noticed it, but something is starting to rise up out of the middle of the magma. You can barely see it, but it wasn't there yesterday."

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 16:35, Thu 22 Oct 2020.

Lucien Soulban
 player, 40 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Thu 22 Oct 2020
at 17:36
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
In reply to GM StarMaster (msg # 36):

OOC: How far is the ledge/cliff that this dwarf is on?
GM StarMaster
 GM, 62 posts
Fri 23 Oct 2020
at 03:04
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
From where Lucien and Vashon are, the Dwarf is about 1.5 miles away.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 42 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Sat 24 Oct 2020
at 00:05
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  "Well I can get us there, but we wouldn't be able to get back here until tomorrow. Your call honestly. We need info and I'm better that whoever our testy friend is talking to might have more info." Lucian says to Vashon. "Or we can go home and hope Aniyu feels like sharing with the group."
Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 13 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Sat 24 Oct 2020
at 23:34
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"I was never expecting to find anyone to talk to in the first place," Vashon replied. "Even if there were creatures here, which we did find, why would they talk to us? Or, more specifically, were they really going to tell us all their secrets?"

"Can you fly? I just cast Overland Flight on myself, so I can fly around and check things out. Remember, too, I can teleport us all back to the monastery."

"I'm not really familiar with these creatures, so I suppose when they get tired or need a rest, they can just lay down on the ground. Still, it seems strange that they don't have some sort of lair. That's what I was hoping to find. If there are any secrets, any information to be had, I thought that's where it might be found."

"If that person's been camping in the mountains here, I expect he'll still be there after we reconnoiter."

Lucien Soulban
 player, 43 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Sun 25 Oct 2020
at 13:39
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
  Lucien chuckles "No I have used up my ability to fly for today to get the info we needed to get us here. I have a few more uses of the spell that brought us from over there to here. Past that I am basically out of travel spells after the last teleport." he says. "Just be careful and don't get in over your head."

Lucien moves over to the edge of the ledge to observe the fire elementals a little better.
GM StarMaster
 GM, 66 posts
Wed 28 Oct 2020
at 01:20
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
At first glance, Lucien thinks what these fiery creatures are doing seems pointless, and he's chalking it up to the different in thinking. After a few minutes, though, he starts to think they are 'waiting'... just killing time until something happens.


Vashon flies around the area on recon. At several places, he spots more of the same creatures that seem to be going in and out of some caves. He also sees something in the magma lake. At first, he thought it was just the big creature in there, but he still sees it swimming through the magma and going around the object in the middle.

The creature erupts out of the magma a few times, giving him the sense that it is akin to a sea serpent, but, while he doesn't spot any wings, it looks more like a dragon.

The object in the center isn't more than 10 feet across and only 2 feet high, but Vashon can't get close enough to examine it any better than that.


Aniyu finishes his conversation with the High Mountain Ranger, and then flies back to rejoin Lucien.
Lucien Soulban
 player, 45 posts
 Human Paladin/Sorcerer
Thu 29 Oct 2020
at 05:43
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
 "Either of you come up with anything? These guys are waiting for something but I don't know what to happen." he says.
Aniyu
 NPC, 36 posts
 Human Winter Witch/Druid
Fri 30 Oct 2020
at 17:35
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
"That's a Dwarven High Mountain Ranger over there," Aniyu replies to Lucien, pointing in the direction of the camper. "He's been there since the volcano erupted."

"He says the magma keeps rising, which, I suppose, helps explain why it isn't cooling into lava. Of course, it also isn't flowing anywhere. He estimates about an inch per day... 30 days before it starts flowing out of the valley. Maybe. Unless the amount of magma increases, that rise will slow down as more and more area is being covered."

"And something's rising up out of the middle. You can just barely see it now through all the heat shimmer, but it wasn't there two days ago."

"Waiting? Maybe they're waiting for that thing in the middle to fully emerge. Whatever it is. Some sort of keep? Source of the magma, maybe? Where their leader is?"

Vashon the Vigilant
 player, 14 posts
 Human Sorcerer/Gunslinger
Fri 30 Oct 2020
at 22:30
Mt. Doom Reconnaisance
After flying around the area, mostly the perimeter of the magma lake and making it a point to avoid flying OVER it, Vashon heads back to where Lucien is waiting on the ledge. He sees Aniyu get there just before he arrives.

"More creatures over there behind the ridge," he tells the others. "There are going in and out of several caves, but I have no idea what they are doing. They don't seem to carry anything in, and they don't carry anything out. At least, not that I could see."

"And something seems to be rising up out of the middle of the magma lake. It's kind of hard to tell. Might have been there since the eruption."

"I got a better glimpse of the creature swimming in the magma. It sure looked like a dragon to me, though it didn't have any wings that I could tell. I'm no expert on dragons, but I've never heard of a dragon that could swim in magma. For that matter, I'm not sure how it does that. Magma's pretty dense. It'd be worse that trying to swim through molasses."

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.