Mt. Doom Reconnaisance.   Posted by GM StarMaster.Group: 0
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."