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  #526  
Old 04-15-2018, 12:34 AM
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That's the first king down
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Lazrul didn't answer. He didn't swing the club like Fandrik had expected. Instead he simply twisted in place and gurgled as lifeblood poured onto the hungry earth and stone.

The halfling slowly lowered the dagger as he casually shifted his weight to keep his balance through the half-ogre's final twitches. Lips pursed under the mustache and his chin came down in thought. A look of disappointment, with a mix of sadness, crossed his face. "Sorry it came to this, big guy. Thanks for your help against the gnolls." The dagger flashed from his hand to stick into Lazrul's hip before the free hand was then dragged across his eyes.

"Well then." The private moment passed as quick as it had come and Fandrik glanced from warrior and gnoll to Hector, and back again, before hopping off the side of the half-orge and using the dagger to slide down for a soft landing. He placed the weapon carefully back into his makeshift belt as the others put up their own arms." Fandrik Ergyle Nar'danglestump. Of the same family in Absalom. At your service." A flourishing bow that would have looked smooth with a cape but instead seemed out of place in his rags. He had almost said that he was glad to find civilized heroes and rescuers in this forgotten dungeon but the newcomers really hadn't done anything except pose as a distraction so far. And even that wasn't of their own choosing.

Cocking his head, Fandrik examined them. The warrior-woman and the gnoll seemed at odds yet under some sort of mutual understanding. They were clearly dangerous enouh. The ifrit must have been the smooth-tongued one. When the Ifrit noticed him staring the halfling grinned unabashed. "Pardon, sir. I have only ever seen one or two or your race in the great city before. No need for rum to gain fire in your blood, eh? HA! I could really go for some rum." Head turned to Grak'Ark. "Of course I've never met a civilized gnoll until now either. Ha-HA!"

A quick turn on his heel and he began to lead the newcomers into the other room with the dark circle on the floor. "It's a new day, gentlemen! And, er, lady. Come, come. There are no more of us." Beckoned them to follow. "You'll want to see this hungry thing on the floor. We haven't been too much farther away since escaping the gnolls. We are rather trapped between them and a huge spider on the far side there. Though I did manage to keep all my teeth." A side look at Grak'Ark with a knowing smile. He didn't know how to take the gnoll so he intended to converse with him as he would anyone else. For now at least.

"Come, come." The remaining slaves were motioned to follow as well. Once in the sacrifice chamber Fandrik pointed out the dark circle on the floor and explained that it seemed to eat blood. "It's very odd and we can't make heads or tails of it. Now where is I butchered the name intentionally as he has no idea what or where that isKelmarine? And who is this Carrion King that you seek?"

The busy little man wanted to talk but he also wanted to keep moving. Often folks didn't think as well on their feet but that was how he preferred to do his thinking. And they needed to see how useful these newcomers could actually be. So far they had been full of only words and lifting a grate but Fandrik would give anyone a chance. Such is the unending cheeriness of the would-be pirate.

 
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  #527  
Old 04-15-2018, 03:05 AM
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Grak'Ark
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The gnoll merely nods at Drusilla’s comment, doing his best to hide the smile at her reaction. But the gnoll’s positive mood vanishes in a moment as the obnoxious halfling begins to blather on, explaining how they had been unable to escape because they were afraid of a spider. Trapped by a spider? How little is he?

He does his best to hold back his rage at the annoying little man, at least until Fandrik insults him.

The gnoll steps forward and towers over the chatty halfling, a thin line of drool dripping from his maw as a low rumble comes from the back of his throat. "I am Grak’Ark the jackal, gnoll of three tribes. I am the destroyer of my own family and loyal biyu of this fatara. I am the enforcer, the shifter, the gifted one and the chosen vessel of the true goddess Lamashtu.

I am anything but civilized, half-man."
he says, another thin line of slobber flowing from his lower lip as he continues.

As if to emphasise his point, the gnoll turns to Drusilla and says "Hadis, the meat is fresh and I hunger, I will feed."

Not waiting for a response, the gnoll steps away from the group and falls to the ground and begins tearing into the soft flesh of the dead ogre-kin’s belly. It takes only a few moments for him to pull out Lazrul’s delicious liver with his serpentine-like fangs.

 






 

Last edited by Squeak; 04-15-2018 at 10:55 AM.
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  #528  
Old 04-16-2018, 06:49 AM
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Hector Grimm
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It took a few moments for Hector to realize that this was the end of the tyranny. The second tyranny he had endured and suffered under in these lands, that is... if you do not count Clemment Sixprin and his ways. Lazrul was dead and despite their oddities, the strangers before him did not immediately throw him into their custody. He listened and learned, the same pained and strained expression on his face, dabbled with blood and gore too. His knowledge of the gnoll tongue was faltering and what he knew, he knew from the suffocating time under Rokova, but it served to catch single things through the drawled ramble of Grak'Ark. He did not say anything until Drusilla - the woman intrigued him still - explained the reason for the gnoll's presence, Hate? he turned face halfway to the towering gnoll, at least we have that in common... The statement came out cold and bitter, but nonetheless true. Hector had been in the dark too long, it had wrecked his mind. Even those that he had once considered the subjects of his admiration - be it from their intellect, their cunning or their courage - was now withered to dead, black sprouts that had done nothing from him. He would make the best of what he could get and right now, that amounted to the halfling by his side, a torrent of immense bravado, and the slaves behind him - expendables.

You said you slew the gnolls and their Unchosen? there was vengeance to be had and there was one gnoll, in particular, that Hector wished dead above all others, Among those that fled our retaliation was their excavation leader, Rokova... how that aforementioned hate soared high on the sky of revenge when he spoke his name, A cleric of Rovagug, dressed in violet robes and tattooed across the left of his face. Hector allowed for the identification to seep in, did he appear among those you slew?

Hector wiped off the blood on Dragonwing, picked up the light on the floor and gazed in both wonder and curiosity when the beady-eyed gnoll bend to feed on the dead half-ogre. The last word had been seeking permission with Drusilla and Hector glanced at her, My name is Hector Grimm. The old man had been a slave for months, but old habits die hard and Hector found that he gave a slight bow to the lady before him. Had it not been a deep dark dungeon dedicated Rovagug and had she been just a tad closer resembling Countess Carmilla, Hector might have been on his knees, kissing her ring. No, Hector mused, grinning, those days are the past. Instead he held his head high, ignoring the smacking of lips and primal growling from the gnoll, We will help you cleanse this den of foulness and grant you what little knowledge we’ve obtained during these last, dark days. As Fandrik claims, the room behind us seems to be a room with the sole intent of feeding Rovagug’s endless hunger. This room… Hector gestures to the walls around them, painted from floor to ceiling with tributes to human and animal sacrifice. Knives to throats, beheading, body remains piled in heaps. A large painting of a Kelesh farmer or commoner dominates the eastern wall, his head separated from the body and a scream frozen on his mouth forever. Where the mouth is open is a hole leading into a raw earth tunnel on the other side. Above the head of the poor peasant is the symbol of that hungriest of the hungriest beasts: Rovagug. His spider legs spread from the fanged mouth to pull in, much like Giant Spider, and consume, consume, and consume. This rooms seems to be a sort of ceremonial waiting room for the sacrificial room behind us. Further through the doors, where the spider lurks, we sensed fresh air… Hector paused. They were seeking deeper. You do not seek fresh air, do you?


 


 


 



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  #529  
Old 04-17-2018, 03:00 AM
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Drusilla Vanadici
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With a touch of reluctance, as if there were more important matters to tend to, Drusilla follows the halfling into the other room. She glances at the dark circle with mild disinterest—“Rem: magic?” is her only reaction before quickly scanning the rest of the room. Though unversed in magic, the Chelish warrior is no stranger to the idea of blood runes fueled by sacrifice. There is no practical advantage to be gained from the circle, however, and so she dismisses it with hardly a second thought. Still, she can understand why the small swashbuckler might find it interesting: some of the stricter houses in Cheliax enforce their rule with blood, and their servants are often slips like Fandrik. Blood stains can be so difficult to remove.

“Kelmarane is a town to the southeast, at the foot of the Brazen Peaks. We cleansed it a year ago. It was under control of the Carrion Tribe—the same tribe of gnolls based in this lair. We seek their chief—their Carrion King—to snuff out this threat, once and for all.” She pauses, her gaze shifting from Fandrik to Grak'Ark, relaxed but alert as the one-eyed druid asserts himself. Used to such outbursts, Drusilla acknowledges the gnoll with nothing more than a slight flick of her hand, dismissing him to feed upon the ogre. Waste not, want not.

Her attention returns to the halfling. “Nothing beyond this room? This is it?” Her face is blank, as indifferent to Fandrik's stature and rags as she is to his casually dashing manner. The only emotion she betrays is a mild disappointment at the lack of intelligence and the lack of any further slaves. There is hardly even any sign of disgust at the horrible pictures painted around the room—it is as if she has seen such gruesome images many times before.

“Five gnolls. Three Unchosen. Their gear is outside.” The woman responds to Hector with the brisk ease of a military officer. “No sign of this cleric. When did he flee?” Her gaze becomes keener, even as her lips twist ever so slightly into a thin scowl. “We've heard of him though. He's digging for something. Any idea what?”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector Grimm
“You do not seek fresh air, do you?”
“No. We seek vengeance.” Her gaze widens, to encompass Fandrik and the other slaves. “Any more information? Where did you escape from? Where do they hold the slaves who did not escape?”

 
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  #530  
Old 04-18-2018, 09:15 PM
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From evil to... other evil?
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Fandrik listened politely while on his guard around the suddenly volatile gnoll. One phrase caught his ear and much of the rest faded into the background unheard. "I am Grak’Ark the jackal, gnoll of three tribes. I am the destroyer of my own family... the destroyer of my own family... my own family... vessel of the true goddess Lamashtu. I am anything but civilized, half-man." As the towering jackal bent to feed, Fandrik lamely replied. "I stand corrected. En-joy your meal."

Blanching slightly, the halfling backed away from Grak'Ark. From gnoll chains to Lazrul to this? Lazrul may have been better to stick with. Uncertain what they had gotten themselves into, he made a silent promise to keep an eye on the monster-lover. Can't trust any that would turn on their own family.

Fandrik perked up at Rokova's name. It was clear that he would also be interested in hearing of the cleric's fate. "Nasty, treacherous one, that." The mustache received a good twirl and his eyes darted to the feeding gnoll before he could stop them.

As the discussion continued smile bloomed in agreement with Hector's declaration of assistance. "I agreed to see this old man out of here so if that involves shutting down this vile place, then let us tally ho! Ha-HA!"

"A scroll case." He answered Drusilla. "He turned and ran shortly thereafter. Probably due to our mocking as much as to the giant spider that was eating all his dog-friends." A flourishing move indicated the resulting bodies and the rest of the room with the circle in the middle. "We came from back the way you arrived. Blasted open a whole and then closed it behind us. It seemed they re-opened it." Fingers played with his mustache. "The hairy eight-legs is blocking one way out, the gnolls were back the way we came and this seems a dead end. Perhaps you can find something we did not."

He was quite interested to see what Rem had to say about the circle in the floor and kept near to him. A polite, curious halfling distance. Not under his feet as he sometimes does protectively to Hector. Not only was he intrigued on the subject but if the ifrit seemed knowledgeable then perhaps he could help puzzle out the items they had found in here already.

 
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  #531  
Old 04-20-2018, 01:59 AM
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Remkah`ar
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Remkah`ar waited behind Drusilla as the detente seemed to take hold, even if so fragile that it would crack under the light feet of Gark. Speaking of which, the Ifrit called out, “Gark! are you still here with us or have you abandoned your Hadis Drusilla and your commander Grak'Ark!”

The eyes of the Ifrit seemed to have cooled a bit as Lazrul lay on the floor.

Bright, wet crimson pumped amid Lazrul’s fingers as he held his wounds. His eyes swelled with indignation and disbelief, and his scars blazed white across his blunt features, wheezing through the blood flowing from his mouth and nose. Remkah`ar watched as the blood spurted into the air, spraying across the face of Hector, amalgamating and darkening the dusty floor of the cavern. Lazrul’s body struggled to breathe, to live, even as the comprehension dawned in the ogre-kin’s eyes that his life ended. Remkah`ar watched the light in the ogre-kin’s eyes shrunk like a starving candle until it extinguished.

The bright fiery red of Remkah`ar’s eyes had faded to a dull orange glow as everyone settled down from the adrenaline of the battle and sheathed their weapons. Remkah`ar did not have trust in the old man or the half-ling yet, but he did have confidence in the combat senses of both Drusilla and Grak'Ark. If they felt no threat from this batch of slaves then neither would he.

The two mingled parties seemed to come to a bunking of their differences and feel each other out. As the discussions and pompous rhetoric continued Remkah`ar takes note of the stonework directions from Drusilla. Unlike the fettered narcissistic ranting’s of the gnoll Remkah`ar knows from experience that Drusilla speaks from a cold and calculated tongue and what she says has no taint of politics. She quips her command regarding the circle and the Ifrit without hesitation moves around the Party directly to the ring to inspect it. He also pays close attention to the others and the brittle slaves lurching out of the shadows but attend to his task dependably.

He turns back to the group out of due respect, “I am Abdul-Azim Remkah`ar, but my friends call me Remkah`ar or Rem when the time is short.” He looks over Hector and Fandrik with curiosity as more of their tales unwind in their disclosure, “You have been captive down here for some time it seems from your tales. We feel sympathy for your difficulty, but remember that we are requesting that you join us in a quest not just to defeat the gnolls that served as your slave masters, but to vanquish the Carrion King, the master of this mountain. Are you up for such a task?”

As though their answer meant nothing more than the burning sands in the endless desert the Ifrit returns to his examination of the circle that consumes blood.


 
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  #532  
Old 04-21-2018, 03:12 AM
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Drusilla Vanadici
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Upon learning what Rokova seeks, Drusilla flicks a questioning glance at Remkah`ar. Although the scroll case must be a powerful magic item—why else would the gnoll cleric devote so many resources to finding it?—a scroll is of absolutely no use to the fighter. The only person it might possibly help is the sorcerer, and he shows no interest, so Drusilla mirrors his reaction.

The warrior listens intently as the transcribing info from the OOCslaves describe their path from the slave pen to the mines. The details are fuzzy and sometimes contradictory, obscured by a blur of darkness and the barbed whips of the slave masters, but there is enough information for her to piece together the route. Downstairs. Pass two doors, to iron staircase. Passage to large metal door: Carrion king. She squats low on her haunches, tracing a crude map in the dirt as the magic glowing stone circles her head, pausing every now and then to look at a slave for verification. A large circle is drawn, to the east of the top of the staircase: the great dome where the hyaenodons reside. At its northern edge, by the crude wooden barricade, she marks an X. “Escaped here?” From there she is able to reconstruct a map to their present location.

Standing she nods, satisfied with her reconstruction of events. “Rokova must have sent out the gnolls and Unchosen we killed.” Unfortunately that would likely mean that the cleric is with the Carrion King, or nearby. A pity that he wasn't killed when he was more vulnerable and relatively alone. Still, the slaves had shown some ingenuity in using the spider against the gnolls. They would be of some use.

“Open the exit.” Drusilla glances towards the blade trap. “We'll get you better gear,” she looks at the cowering slaves, “then find another place to hide. I have an idea.” Her eyes glint, resting on Hector's finely crafted weapon—too fine for the likes of this place. “Where'd you get the sword?”

 
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Old 04-21-2018, 04:44 PM
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Hector Grimm
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Hector fixed Remkah`ar with a steely gaze when this one spoke. This one brims with power... Through his long life, those he had met who had truly mastered magic had always invoked a certain dread-mixed awe in him. He found that while he studied the magician, his heart beat faster. Would the fate have been any different, had I been able to wield and harness magic? Remkah`ar brought him out of his thoughts with a plea for decision. Hector briefly glanced at Fandrik. Whatever right he felt to decide and command, he was - after all - not entitled to decide anything for Fandrik. He nodded, Yes. I know the doors that lead towards The Carrion King. We shall aid you.

The woman was a tactician, so much was clear. She had asked for details that few had deemed worthy in such a pursuit and Hector had given them to his best ability. When she laid down the plan, Hector chimed in, The room displaying the symbol of Rovagug, between the pit of slaves and a door that could possibly be the guard's quarters, should be investigated. That Rokova was drooling and slavering more than usual whenever Rovagug was mentioned or the symbol showed itself. Hector paused and turned the black ring on his finger as he thought, I wouldn't mind to check who they threw in the slave pit again. The gnolls kept us in chains with a line of slaves. As the battled raged I found that the head of another such chain - a man called Mundhir - was breaking for the surface. I'd like to see if he succeeded.

Hector prepared to move. Untangling the stuff they had prepared for the assault and bringing what was still intact. He made sure to congratulate the last slaves on their ability to stay alive. They had not contributed and had not done any damage, but they breathed and could live to see another round of terror. While he was busy preparing, Drulia asked him about Dragonwing. He padded the hilt affectionately, One man's misfortune, another man's luck. I found it on a corpse in the hallway behind us, he motioned in the direction he thought to be where the room with the scorched and charred corpses was, It have served me well, the short time I have owned it.

To Remkah`ar he added, There was also this ring, he held out his hand and showed him the black ring on his finger. There was a time when this particular gesture would have elicited a kiss from someone of lower rank than Captain Grimm, but he did not suspect the magician to see it that way, I found it the same place and have determined it to be magic. Can you tell me what powers it wields?


 


 


 



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  #534  
Old 04-21-2018, 09:50 PM
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Deals and wheels
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All the comradery suddenly gave Fandrik a serious chub for some mugs of wine to cheers with. Memories that seemed like years ago floated behind his eyes of friends, back-pounding stories and brandy. "If only we had some brandy to wet our lips. Eh, old man? Ha-HA!" He grinned like a child caught stealing candy and spread his arms wide (which was only about two feet). "Count me in, Remkah`ar!"

He had heard the warrior woman say that they were getting paid something and the halfling nearly asked for amounts. Instead he only smiled, cleaned the blood and dirt from his hair and clothes with a flashy twirl of a cantrip, and placed the information in his figurative back pocket.

Listening to Drusilla - she was so confident that it was persuasive - Fan practically bounced after Hector to untie or cut the ropes holding the guillotine in place.

They began discussing items so he chimed, twirling his mustache as the metal clanged down behind him. "We also found this ring! Seems dwarven, and holds some sort of abjuration magic though I do not know any specifics. Any help would be of great thanks." If Rem agrees, Fandrik also draws out the magical thieves' picks that he wound into his rope belt to ask for the same. "These are the only things we found aside from gnoll equipment and a shiny scarab from one of these boxes." Once again the halfling's mood was brimming like they had already left the dungeons behind.

 
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:18 PM
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DM Summary
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House of the Beast: Day 2
Gozran 12 4710 – Sunday

Sunrise 6:30AM | 8:00PM Sunset
(12:45PM)

Light Bearers
Drusilla- Ioun torch (20' normal / 40' shadows)
Hector- Stone, Light Spell (20' normal / 40' shadows)- on the ground

Darkvision
Grak'ark (60')
Remkah'ar (60')
Gark-the-Goblin (60')



House of the Beast: The Middle Temple
[DiCE]
Remkah’ar Spellcraft for the Black Ring (DC20): Rolled 24 | Successful
Remkah’ar Spellcraft for the Dwarven Ring (DC20): Rolled 19 | Missed
Remkah’ar Spellcraft for the Scarab (DC24): Rolled 24 | Successful
Remkah'ar Spellcraft for the Thieves' Tools (DC18): Rolled 10 | Missed
Grak’ark Religion Knowledge for the Black Circle (DC25): Rolled 21 | Missed
Hector Religion Knowledge for the Black Circle (DC25): Rolled 23 | Missed

Room 13: Vault Room

List of Slave Equipment to Choose From
Lady Almah’s Hires had collected a trove of treasure in their exploits. The ex-slaves have done the same thing. There are mounds of mining equipment gathered in the room (the amount is “unlimited”) and there are a few other items they have collected to use from gnolls and explosive materials. Dru can count these into the long list of inventory she is always calculating in her mind, reaching the avalanche equation that will tilt the final battle into their favor.

Mining Slave Equipment
Hemp Rope 50'
Torch
Chain 20'
Lock, good
Manacles, common
Drill
Ladder
Pole
Shovel, common
Spike, iron
Flint and steel
Pick, iron
Sledge, Iron or wood

Specialized Mining Equipment
6 Fuse Grenades (already collected by Hector and Fandrik)
6 Vials of Acid (already collected by Hector and Fandrik)

Slave master Equipment
Scorpion Whip:
1d4 Dmg x2, 3lb, slashing
This weapon looks much like a standard whip but with a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip, giving it the ability to do lethal damage, even to creatures with armor bonuses. In all other ways it works like a normal whip. A creature proficient with whips can use a scorpion whip. Whip-masters of Katapesh usually apply poison to the weapon’s spines.

Carrion Guards
6 potions of cure light wounds (already collected by Hector and Fandrik)
(4) +1 studded leather armor
masterwork scimitar
masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str) 20 arrows (poisoned with deadfall scorpion venom; DC 19 Fort save, 1d2 Str damage 1/round for 6 rounds, cure 1 save)
stingchucks

The Black Circle

Gunk, blood, and fissures of tissue surround the hole in the floor but all of it vanishes when next to the hole. Tapping your foot on the hole just shows that it’s an illusion- it’s solid ground “painted” black and you can’t fall down it. From what the others describe, when they were at the height of their battle, anything with physical life force is sucked into the hole when they are injured.

Hector and Fandrik are both educated dandies in their own right, lost in this hell that is the House of the Beast. When confronted with the Black Circle Fandrik had took a stab in figuring it out but didn’t come to a conclusion. Hector spent the week trying to know but, he too, couldn’t come up with anything despite the extensive tutorage in his youth and experiences through life.

With the New Comers, Remkah’ar observes that this is indeed magic but not of his field of understanding. Rites, ceremonies, or anything concerning gods has nothing to do with his connection to the efreet or sorcery. Grak’ark, when asked about it, just growls… he’ll have nothing to do with Rovagug’s ceremonies. Despite his self, the gnoll of Lamashtu also tries to understand the Black Circle (to destroy it, to spite Rovagug) but it has nothing to do with what he has learned from his mother about prayer and connecting with the Gods.

The Black Circle… remains a mystery. It stares up from the floor, unblinking, uncaring like the stars hovering in the night sky above the Brazen Peaks.

Leaving Lazrul’s Kingdom
Fandrik is eager to untie or cut the ropes holding the guillotine in place, dismantling one of the traps he took so long to make with Hector’s help. That never-ending, undying energy that continuously vibrates from him just bubbles out with that catchy laugh following him everywhere: “Ha-HA!” In this serious, calculated collection of characters trying to cleanse Pale Mountain, Fandrik is altogether a unique addition to the group.

The guillotine mechanics falls apart and the metal portal falls forward with a loud thunder- an end to this chapter. They step out of this room and into the tunnel, following it back into the room leading back towards the other gnolls, the door to the tight hallway guiding back to the Spider Lair to the west, and the Vault of Rovagug to the north (locked and remaining shut).

Rok

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The bit of damage smarts but Rok is still okay after being smacked by… whatever that was in the darkness. The steel door of the guillotine slamming down sends the raven flapping up, timid. Rok has some intelligence about him (Int 6) but he is unable to understand what is going on except for Dru’s last command: call if he sees anything. After a moment’s consideration he calls to Drusilla after being hurt. This must be the warning she was looking for. He call out in his dark, devilish language:

“Drusilla! Raaak! Drusilla! Demons about! Raaaaaaak!”

The group returns to see the raven flapping about. The light from Dru shines into the room, orbiting.

The raven settles down and flies to her shoulder when it sees two newcomers: a human and halfling. Something deep within the animal’s spirit diverts into another direction.

...---Places Parallel----------
“There he is!” says the dark thing within. A thousand miles away a gale glides through the Cheliax trees, blowing off the willow leaves. A coven of witches look up from their little hermit in the dank, wet land. Something has happened. The elder stands, peering at the cold wind and inquiring upon it’s meaning.

From the cove of trees, below decaying leaves, in the place that the witches worship, a Voice reaches out to the raven to Pale Mountain. “Go to him. That be your new master, Rok. Tell me of the souls he collects.”


Rok lifts from Drusilla’s armored shoulder and flies to Hector, perching on his bare shoulder, driving it’s claws deep into his bare skin until it draws blood. “Raaaak! Raaaaak! This be why Nadia came to this land. She has failed where this man will thrive. Raaaak!” Gods and mortals be at war here. Other things add to the war too: sorcerers, witches, rage, and fire like that of Hector and Remkah’ar.

Both Drusilla and Hector can command Rok now but Hector will always have dominance. The character might not realize it right now but this might grow apparent over time. Hector can’t unlock the spells within Rok, only Nadia can, but Rok will remain as a helper and passenger to Hector.

Magic Items
"These are the only things we found aside from gnoll equipment and a shiny scarab from one of these boxes."

The picks are finely made, likely dwarven crafted and pitch perfect, with a silvery chrome glossiness as if they just came out of the furnace. Remkah'ar handles them, knows that they are good quality, but can't specify anything else. The same goes for the dwarven ring.

The black ring from Hector, he sees, is a Ring of Protection +1.

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Lastly Fandrik hands over the scarab he found in the Room with the Black Circle. He hasn't handled it much since he put it with all his other equipment hanging from ropes tied around his body. The small metal beetle is cool and hard to the touch. Remkah'ar takes it with his red hands and turns it around and around. On the belly of the scarab is a pin to attach to the clothing at your chest like a brooch. The design is rather simple and geometric. With a few words and his glowing orange eyes he sees the magic radiating from it. Ropes of moderateabjuration slides up and down it. A few more mummers and sees that the cords of magic break false forms- specifically polymorph. What it's doing in a ritual room to Rovagug, he has no idea. "When this brooch is worn or held it works like a True Form spell. If you fool someone into wearing it I guess it will revert them against their will." He notices something else. "Clay seems to make it... inactive. I don't know why." He hands the brooch back after half a minute of handling it, ready to get back to matters at hand.

That's when the brooch comes to life.

Rem knows that something is wrong when he feels its small legs tickle his skin, the little body squirming, his hand stretched down to Fandrik to give it back. The wings hum and it sounds more like a metallic fan than an insect. The beetle opens it's fanged mouth (it wasn't there before) and flies directly for Rem's heart. He gasps, trying Reflex Save (DC15): Rolled 10dodge it in the last second, falling back, but is not able to bend fast enough. The beetle shreds through his rich, red robes and burrows into his chest. Rem's blood is burning hot and sprinkles of it splashes onto Fandrik's face.

The wishcrafter feels pain like nothing before. The only thing that might have been worse was for Dullen when his father shredded his chest open with clawed, undead hands. He can't help but yell as the beetle lodges it's self past the intercostal spaces between his ribs and Dmg 32cracks them open like tree branches and enters into his heart.

Remkah'ar withers in agony on the ground, barely alive from the experience. Blood pumps from his chest and... by the gods... he can still feel it squirming.

One of the halfling slaves falls to his knees, terrified. "We are being punished for breaking our chains! We are all going to die!!!!" The other slaves fall to their knees to, seeing this as a bad omen.

Gark-the-Goblin
Gark is busy eating a nice, big, plump wet booger while this is all happening. He's getting bored... and only Rovagug is more destructive than a bored goblin. Then he hears Remkah'ar cry out. He stands up, curious, chewing on the crunchy and wet mucus and facing the tunnels where Dru, Grak, and Rem vanished when something else pulls his attention away.

Battle cries from the gnolls.

"Sh*t sh*t!" complains the goblin in his quick, squirmy language. He looks around the edge into the large dome room to see packs of gnolls meeting four squads (four dozen) of troglodytes in battle at the stairs rising back to the great dome above ground. A gnoll falls to his death off the stairs as a troglodyte pushes off, only to have a Hyaenodon leap up the stairs and drag him down screaming.

"Sh*t sh*t!"

He grabs his holy symbol of Lamashtu to pray for a quick spell, rethinks it, then goes running into mines to find the others. He finds Remkah'ar squirming and bleeding on the ground but doesn't pay it any mind. "Hey! He drops the goblinoid speak. "Hey! Big fight outside. We go. NOW!"


DM Notes
  • * Remkah'ar still has a hp left and can move normally at the moment. Just don't let him trip and get that 1 nonlethal dmg, knocking him out!!!
  • * There are a few places you can go right now. I don't think I need to specify anywhere, the combination of your explorations will allow you to come up with something.
  • * The battle has not moved towards the mines. It might... it might not. I will determine that randomly by the roll of the die.






Master Maps:
Salamander Nest
 

The Outer Temple
 

(G)The Great Dome
 

(H)The Middle Temple
 

(I)The Lower Temple
 

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  #536  
Old 04-23-2018, 12:41 AM
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Grak'Ark
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The gnoll rises from his gristly repast to inspect the loot of the fallen, either unknowing or uncaring of the infernal words Rok was speaking. His belly is heavy with door and distended, but despite his strong desire, the strange gnoll refuses to allow lethargy overtake him.

He instead makes his way over to the spoils of battle. nodding as Rem informs him that the studded leather was magical. He needed no examination of the fine bow and scimitar, the obvious quality craftmanship clear to the combat-minded gnoll. Knowing that these items would be a valueable commodity to trade in return for aid to their cause, he folds them all carefully and stuffs them into his pack, only slightly slower from the heavy load.

When Rem falls to the ground, Grak’Ark moves quickly to his side, knocking over one of the halfling slaves in the process. His left claw pulls out his wand while his right claw hovers over the iffit’s heart, prepared to thrust into the living wishcrafter’s chest to grab the beetle if needed. At least he would have a chance of survival. he knows, realizing that if the beetle moved any deeper it would be fatal.

After he taps the iffrit with his wand, Gark comes in talking some nonsense before making an ultimatum to the group, A growl fills Grak’Ark’s voice as he responds in an angry voice. "Kabila farko sai Lamashtu" he barks, reminding the goblin that nothing except the goddess came before the pack. Nothing.

"Tell the hadis what it is you have seen, slowly and in the language of the hairless pafe. I will tend to Rem." he commands the goblin as he returns to his work on the iffrit.

 


 
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  #537  
Old 04-23-2018, 09:21 PM
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Drusilla Vanadici
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Drusilla nods coolly as Hector shares his insights into Rokova, but her composure cracks, if but for a few seconds, when the old man mentions Mundhir. She winces uncomfortably at the name, as if with regret or even guilt. After a long moment of silence she responds, her voice flat and low. “Mundhir succeeded. Then he came back—to help us enter this place.” Her eyes flicker towards the gnoll. “Dead now.” Her lips form a tight, hard line as she falls silent, refusing to say anything more on the matter.

The warrior glances over the gear offered by the slaves. The mining equipment could be put to good use constructing traps, or rather more traps, given the ingenuity of the slaves. The rest of the items are quickly scanned and dismissed, much like the useless Black Circle—the only thing she takes are the stingchuks, and these are not for her own use.

Walking back into the room where they left Rok, the fighter rushes forward at the raven's call, her hand moving instinctively to her weapon. “Demons? Where?” With a touch of incredulity in her voice, her eyes quickly scan the cavern while her ears strain to hear any sound of this new enemy. But her worry transforms into a disapproving scowl as the raven flaps past her and onto Hector's shoulder. Not because the bird chooses the old man over her—she never asked for this bird, and better that he feel the pinch of those razor sharp talons than her. No, her displeasure stems from the way the raven nestles comfortably into its new nest, making it clear that the forgotten demons are nothing more than a false alarm. Birdbrain. “Silence,” she orders, annoyed by the raucous cawing, “or I feed you to the gnoll.” But before she can comment on the raven's prattle about Nadia, the ifrit suddenly gasps, clutches at his chest, and collapses.

“Control them!” she barks at Hector as most of the slaves fall to their knees, gibbering in fear. Her gaze rests upon Fandrik for a split second, but her cold, accusing glare seems to last for an eternity. Fortunately the shocked expression on the halfling's face makes it quite clear that this is an innocent, but nearly deadly, mistake.

The goblin's sudden entrance only adds more confusion and drama. Luckily Grak'Ark is quick to react, both in tending to the fallen sorcerer and in dealing with Gark. Drusilla nods in agreement with the gnoll's words, though part of her wants to take advantage of this battle. A glance at Remkah`ar immediately quells any such thoughts.

“Clay,” she reminds the druid of what the sorcerer had said about deactivating the scarab. She doesn't bother telling him to destroy it, trusting in his gnoll instincts and hatred of Rovagug to accomplish that task.

The warrior turns to the goblin. “Show me the secret door.” She gestures towards the southern wall. “Then report.” Intent on maximing their time, she plans on securing a place to hide, just in case, while listening to the goblin's report of the battle outside. In between searching the door for traps—the scarab served as an ample warning—and picking through the goblin's chatter, she throws a question at Hector. “Did Rokova or the gnolls ever use that door?” A finger points at the locked door to the north, the one emblazoned with the symbol of the Rough Beast.

 


 
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  #538  
Old 04-24-2018, 07:44 AM
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Hector Grimm
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Since the winged beauty had lifted him from his misery and failed attempt as a commander of war and given him reason to strive for something bigger, Hector has studied the language of Hell. As she was granting him a whole new notion of sensuality - one that came dressed in pitch and chains, spikes and manacles, whip and blades - she had also granted him a sprout of the infernal tongue and he had honed it and found it to his liking. Precise and demanding in its own right.


The raven spoke it and Hector dropped into a broader stance immediately, scanning the cavern in line with Drusilla in search of the mentioned demons. It named her and there was the slightest release of tension in Hector. He felt a strange bond with the bird, like as if it knew him? As it flew towards him, his first reaction was to let Dragonwing sing, but again this odd sensation of recognition or belonging crept up on him and he lifted his arm to accept it. He felt the claws pierce his skin and eyed the bird sidelong, Tell me Nadia and her story. That of course meant that Drusilla could not have her silence, I will hear you out.

Hector stepped back in a less guarded position and felt the bird on his shoulder. A grin flashed his face. I like it. He cocked his head to the side and spoke to Drusilla, How come you speak the tongue of Hell?

Then Remkah`ar fell and there was turmoil to be dealt with. Hector shifted his position and looked disparagingly at the slaves, No, he stated to the crying halfling, We are going to live. At least I am. That is all that matters for now. But if you keep crying and whining, our enemies will surely be alerted and you will have brought their ire on us. The old man stretched out a hand to help the initial agitator up - a kind gesture against the dark mood in his eyes, I doubt that is what you aim for? He did not allow the halfling to speak, but motioned for the others to stand, Equip yourself with crossbows and bolts and get ready to move. Only now did Hector turn to Remkah`ar and the healing of his wounds.

He was surprised to see that Grak'ark wielded healing magic. It might be prudent to have this one on my safe side, It must be removed. These were the first words Hector uttered in the barking tongue, apart from in the jail cell when he had murmured words and phrases to himself. Thus, it was unclear what he exactly meant that needed to come out...


 


 


 




Last edited by Dressedtojazz; 04-25-2018 at 05:40 PM.
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  #539  
Old 04-24-2018, 12:46 PM
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Grak'Ark
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The gnoll looks over Rem with concern in his eyes. While his efforts had healed the iffrit, he knew that if the unnatural vermin reached his heart, it would be over.

Grak'Ark calls our to Drusilla in his native tongue, knowing that Rem would not understand his words. "The beetle still burrows beneath his flesh. If it reaches his heart, this wand will not save him." the gnoll says in frustration.

"I may have to rip it out, but doing would most likely kill him." he explains, unsure as to how he should proceed. But his eye widens a bit as he has an epiphany, another way in which he might be able to retrieve the vermin from the innards of his packmate.

"Wait... There may be another way." he says excitedly as he leaps to his feet.

"YOU!!! Half man, come here!" he shouts at Fandrik. "You are a tricky one and I have seen you possess some minor magics. Can you create an illusion?

I need one that shows the beetle climbing into Rem's flesh - and shows it returning the same way it came out. I need this NOW."
he growls, hoping the diminutive creature had the ability to do what he needed.

"You!!! Grey Muzzle!" he shouts at Hector. "The quiver holding those poison arrows is made of clay. Remove the arrows and bring it to me!" he demands, as he cracks his knuckles in anticipation of what was to come.

 


 
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:37 PM
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Scary scarab
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just a reminder of the aid anothers in OOCLooking over the items with Rem, Fandrik made some notable points to help with determining how the items worked and for what purpose. Hearing the name of one of the other slaves that Hector had spoken about, the one that had started fighting the gnolls with them, Fandrik glanced over to see Drusilla. Perhaps she isn't all cold heart after all! The enjoyable puzzle-time came to a shocking end while the halfling stood with his arm outstretched to take back the scarab. He waved away a dark butterfly and was left gaping as the beetle he nearly grasped turned to life and burrowed into the ifrit's chest.

Unsure if they were under an attack or if the sorcerer was playing a trick on him, the halfling rolled backwards and came up behind the shield. Eyes wide and looking around, they rested on the squirming person he had just been conversing with before flickering to Drusilla and the accusation in her face. "I... I thought it was mundane." Cheeks flushed, he stuttered out an excuse that did nothing to assuage the guilt that assaulted him.

Grak hurried to heal the sorcerer and Fandrik looked on. He had healing of his own that could be added to the gnolls but he had the impression that he needed to leave the man's care to his allies. I wouldn't trust me to treat my friend if they had just done that to him.

Hector was talking to a bird, strangely enough, and Dru was examining a wall. That, perhaps he could help with. Keeping an eye on the gnoll and the one being healed, he stepped closer to the warrior woman and goblin to run his eye over the area and aid anotheradd anything that stood out from her own observations. "Perhaps the containers where I found it has some clay th..."

"YOU!!! Half man, come here!" Fan spun towards the gnoll that was tending to the man he had injured and listened to the instructions. The beetle had not come out. "I can do that." The mustache received a twirl at being able to help. Though he followed the rough gnoll speak, he continued in the common tongue. "Tell me who we are doing this for so I can ensure it is angled correctly. Who is the audience?" Don't say the man that likely feels it still in there please. No matter the answer, he will help as best he can.

 
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