Game Thread Ch. 10: Old Owl Well - RPG Crossing
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 09:49 PM
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Ch. 10: Old Owl Well

After AgathaYou trundle out of the valley of the Shrine of Savras, leaving behind you one beautifully sanctified tiny tomb, and many newly dead orc and ogre corpses for the birds to pick. You take a bit of time to gather, from all the orcs you ended, the most fetching, convincing, well-fitting pieces for a couple of great Many Arrows Orc costume. Anya does a pretty terrible job of adding the mountaintop fortress that you guys saw with a dragon in it to the map you have. She just really doesn't know where it is, but you have a reasonable description, you can ask around.

Ripper does just a little bit less ditch-hopping and chipmunk chasing, and after a few miles of majestic trotting, Coucou comes out of his pouch and mounts up on the neck ruff. It's quite adorable. Wolf Ripper seems just a little more mature and self-actualized. Whether it's having the ability to turn into a human, or the possession of a new pet, he looks a little bit bigger.

You march through the rest of the day, reminiscing with Anya about everything that happened. She takes an interest in practicing the Many Arrows dialect, and wants to look over a lot of stuff on her clipboard about the signaling codes. You just keep thinking about Melarue and Cael, and how beautiful and sad it was. You've both decided that you will investigate Old Owl Well, and see if you can check out this Necromancer if he's there. Following the directions you were given by Halia, you, the goat cart, the increasingly gallant wolf, and the cleric who's muttering flerpen derfen clerkdee whoop, head in that direction.

As evening falls, and you crest a low ridge, you spy the crumbling ruins of an old watchtower standing amid the rugged hills. The place is so old that the walls are only mounds of rubble enclosing a courtyard of sorts, adjacent to the broken stump of an old tower. A colorful tent has been set up in the middle of the courtyard, but no one is in sight.
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Old Sep 24th, 2020, 10:44 PM
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TO DO LIST

She borrows the clipboard and draws up some plans with her crayons. Just a simple one stall barn, attached to the Teapot, with a small pasture, a roofed shelter with crossties for grooming (where the goat can get out of the weather if she likes) and a tack room with narrow stairs up to an orphan loft. It will be nice for a pair of sisters or an absolute palace for a singleton. She works on it until Anya gets grumpy and takes her board back to work on deciphering orc codes


Not much progress...They need help!

Who speaks orc in Alfriston, anyone, do you think? Fioravanti asks Anya.

The codes could be pretty flerpen important, when they get to Wave Tree. And right now, her plan is to go there, because she has the stone, but still no useless chains of uncounted word spasms from Daz. She doesn’t like it.

She’s also worried about Marigold. She has promised to take Marigold to Wave Tree, or on some Harper-fun murder spree. And Marigold seems bardically awesome and would be FUN to play Lie to Orcs with. But she is just too SMALL and ADORABLE to be a creditable orc. A tinterpad and the world’s best orc outfit can’t fix THAT. Maybe the necro will have some ideas about how to stretch a Hin? Or---GOBLIN! Maybe Marigold needs a GOBLIN costume! SOme orcs work with Goblins---she remembers Cheesy. That might WORK.

As they get close Fioravanti says, LISTEN. This guy may be trouble. She makes itsy bisty spider fingers. Halia kind. Like, probably a tool bucket. But we are prettier than him, and smarter, and we are Tiloa....she natters on, telling a little story about their awesomeness, including plenty of words Ripper knows, like GOOD BOY and DOG and COOKIE, until all three of them mantle of majestyfeel pretty pumped.

Then they see the tent and the ruins. No Necro standing around bad-uncle-touching corpses. Hrm. It’s troubling. And she's dragging a little squirrel and Beatrix and a gold bell she really wants to cash in...

Pomosch! Anya whispers, one hand on each of them, and she feels strength flow into her, and with it, courage. That’s a new thing!

Watch the goat, she tells them. Not with your MOUTH, she clarifies for Ripper.

They stay out of sight, and she steps forward, calling to the tent, HAMUN COST? Are you there? I’m a friend of Halia’s...

 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 24th, 2020 at 10:46 PM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 11:15 AM
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BREEEAAHHDDNight is falling. Over the mountains to the east, the sky is dark, and in the west there are reds and purples fading in the sky. As you approach the tent, calling out the name of the Necromancer, half a dozen torches on poles around the tent, and in sconces on the watch tower, flicker to life and blaze up. In the firelight you watch as a hand from inside the tent pulls back a flap, and the top of a body emerges.

"BREAAAD," it returns your call. "BREEEEEAHHD."

You see a humanoid shuffle out of the watchtower, and then another. These creatures look like they were once human, but then they rotted around the edges, got run over by a heavy caravan, spent some time underwater, laid down in an agricultural field to get plowed, mowed, sowed, and harvested, and then got consumption. They're indisputably zombies.

They're not aggressive but they feel very... present. They mutter and mumble different words like FIIIIIRE and BREEEAAD and TREEEEE. It's not threatening but it isn't welcoming.

Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 25th, 2020 at 11:15 AM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 12:06 PM
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Ugh. Necros.
SO GROSS. Necrotic is her least favorite kind of pain. She hates that belly-dropping rot, the feel of her tight flesh sloughing, loosening around her bones. Hates. It's honestly the worst thing about darling, clever little Wail. She is happy to feed Wail blood, but no, when it channels Melarue, it likes to fester.

Still, Halia’s also fester-ful known associate must be somewhere about, alive and working. Or else these nastinesses would be feral and murdery. Or perhaps just corpses.

Via amulet, she gives Anya, well, not the ALL CLEAR. More like the ALL DISGUSTING BUT NOT IMMEDIATELY PERILOUS, I THINK.

The torches feel like a perimeter. She is careful not to step into the watchtower’s glow, or the light caused by the ring of poles as she moves closer.

HAMUN COST, she calls. Will you not offer hospitality to an associate of Halia Thonrton’s? More than an associate, I’d say. We are in several kinds of business together; She has invited me to don fashion for men.* Come out, and let us meet each other.

She still has the note, packrat that she is, in Halia’s writing. She has it in her pocket, in case he wants to see proof.

Meanwhile, Anya and her entourage of animals are investigating, also careful not to break what Fiora believes is a security perimeter.

Anya is perception 12looking and thinking, but she is distracted by the BREAD yellers. Ugh. She is stoic about all sorts of pain, but has her own reasons for repulsion. It's a dirty kind of magic.

Ripper, who knows who they were coming to see from when he was human, is sWOLF perception smell/hearing 21niffing and listening with CouCou on his shoulder. He is trying to find a PERSON smell, a pulse, under the cries and stenches of the dead.

Beatrix is useless.

OOC *OKAY so I debated on using the phrase. *I* know it is password. Fiora does not definitively know this. BUT, all through this story, she has repeated said it and kept the note, talking about it with 2 other NPCs so far as a kind of sexual innuendo, implying Halia both has this quirk and is kinda into her. She has seen weirder at FALCON’s and at weekend house parties in Vallos, much less among the fae, and she presumes an adventurer will be worldly and unprovincial. She also figures if this guy is close with HT, he will know her proclivities. Halia certainly seems unashamed of them; she even told F in public back at the Alfriston meeting that she was welcome to visit her in the mansion if she would come in drag. SO FV is using it not as proof of SNAKE person, but as proof of Halia intimacy. I think she would say it.


 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 25th, 2020 at 03:06 PM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 12:25 PM
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Zombie Hospitality Five StarsAs soon as you say "Don fashion for men" the mood of the group shifts from suspicious warding to warm friendship. Almost too warm.

Immediately three more zombies come pouring out of the tent. One of them, who can't even do a word but utters a polite and ingratiating guttural gurgle, pulls back the tent flap and welcomes you to come inside. Another goes over to fawn on Beatrix and come her chin fluff with his rotten fingers, going, "CHEEEEESE" adoringly. One licks the bell thoughtfully and then tries to help you push it inside the tent, nearly ramming the cart up Beatrix's butt. Coucou gets all shirty and fires off an Eldritch Blast, singing the ear of one zombie, who responds by seizing and shaking in what may be a post-death kind of laugh.

"This is GROSS," says Anya. "We are SLEEPING here?"

You peep in the tent and there are zombies in there setting up bed rolls, stoking the fire, going all Vanna White on the haunch of a deer that was hanging from the ceiling but which they now shove onto a spit and put over the fire to roast. One presents towels. One offers a mug of something. It's all "be our guest" up in here.

Ripper sniffs and ponders, tilting his head left and right. He whines, confused, and runs around, indicating he can't smell any kind of thing here that's not dead or undead. You see that there is an actual well here, in the middle of the clearing, near the tent and the watchtower, and Ripper runs over to it and sniffs deeply, then looks at you as if to indicate: someone is down in the well.
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Old Sep 25th, 2020, 01:06 PM
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Well, Well, Well...
JUST SO GROSS. But they need dinner. And it smells good---Better than cold rations. They eat haunch, except Anya who can barely eat at all, looking at the cheery deadies swirling about so helpful. Fioravanti likes being served and fussed over, though. She acclimates quickly and tries to teach Cheese to milk Beatrix, so they can have fresh milk in their hot tea.

If there is no Necro climbing up over the walls of the well after they have a quick, restoring bite, they are going to go down it.

DO NOT EAT THE GOAT, she orders the staff, sternly. They are not dragging a goat down a well. Bad enough they have a tiny squirrel, but Rips is NOT leaving his CouCou with the corpses, even though they seem so Upstairs Maid-ish now.

Fioravanti is pleased to have them, truthfully. She feels they won’t eat Beatrix, much less let some passing bobcat get her. BECAUSE. It’s a code, she has realized. QUITE belatedly. Halia was inviting her to join the upside down flying snake people. Ugh.

She’s juuuuust a little let down that it wasn’t a more personal invitation, and not only because she thinks she could absolutely pull off a pair of fitted breeches and a mustache. It disturbs her THAT IT BOTHERS HER that Halia’s invite was professional. But then, everything about Halia Thornton is disturbing.

Including her corpse-loving friend, and his staff, and his absence from his own camp.

They go check out the well. Is there a rope? A ladder? A way down? And how are they going to drag a dog----Oh. Nevermind. Here is Mr. Ripper, all thumb having and everything, ready to use the lengths of rope they are knotting together. They lost about 20 feet at THURDLEDURDLEDORFTREE, but Ripper, in human form, apparently carries fifty more feet in his little pack.

Anya casts light on the clipboard, and theyperception 21look and listen down the well, Unless they hear or see something that indicates danger, Fiora will call the necros name...softly. If they do not hear back or see how he got down, they will use their rope, and descend. Even if they see his ladder, they will tie off their own rope, to have a way back that they trust.

 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 25th, 2020 at 01:09 PM.
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 09:17 AM
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Down the WellYou get your precious possessions set up in the watchtower, and urgently impress on the placidly nodding zombies that they should 100% not eat Beatrix nor should they allow passers-by to wander off with the bell. The head zombie, the perhaps butler to this squad of servants, approaches you with obsequious fervor and bows in agreement. He extends his hand -- is he pointing? there's like half a finger? -- and says, with enormous effort, "FREEEEND OF MAAAANSSSHHOOOOOON" and then appears to be completely mentally exhausted, and his leg falls off.

Leaving the zombies to sort out their leader, you rappel EFFORTLESSLY into the well, dropping lightly as a butterfly down 20, 30, 40, 50 feet into the gloom. The well is about five feet across, and the stones are well made, and still in good shape, although this well indeed feels very old. You sense that the water is still very very far below you, and as it is silent you start to wonder if maybe the Necromancer just fell down here and died, but just then you drop down past a hole in the wall of the well.

You have no trouble stepping into the hole, which is about four feet by four feet. It looks as though the stones of the well have been pulled out and then the rock beyond it has been blasted away with some kind of magic. You can see scoop marks like somebody carved this with a big spoon, but the scoops are very smooth, not a mechanical job but a magical one for sure. The tunnel carries on in front of you, and you call for Anya and Ripper to come down which they deftly do. But not as deftly as you.

Anya shines her clipboard in and you see the tunnel continues on away from the well, and then turns.

OOCInclude marching order in the tunnel as well as a perception check with your next post, everyone can make it.
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Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 26th, 2020 at 09:18 AM.
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 09:43 AM
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Well, Well, Well, WELL.

She is not a friend of Manshoon, but she knows what an Anagram is. SO! She is definitely zombie-served under super false pretenses. But, TBF, she does most things under super false pretenses, and her motives are good; she suspects Halia’s associate is in trouble down a well, and she is HALIA's associate. So. Today she is a friend of a friend of a friend of Manshoon. Close enough.

She gives the goat one of her precious store of apples, so a nice thing has happened to her. In case a bunch of zombies eat her. She can’t drag Beatrix down a well unless she is ALSO secretly a druid. Beatrix snarfs her apple in a fully-goaty-non-druidic way. GOOD LUCK BEATRIX! WE ARE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!Oh, well.

Down they go.

Ripper first. He likes being first, in this form. He has a certain carelessness about his human body that he lacks when he is wolfy. It is almost as if it is borrowed thing that he is riding around in, and he is happy to use its thumbs and its big brain and its language-making mouth, but it is not him. If it is stabbed or shot, he takes it less personally.

She wonders how or if or when this will change. The more he uses it, the more he settles in, will he become it? He will be a wolf, always, the way her Uncle is a person, but Droo-id Poo-it also now has titles and identities and relationships as a bee, a deer, etc, and he is truly a bee, and truly a deer. Take-away: Droods are weird.

She follows Rips, who is perception 12doing his best, but he especially is too anxious about Beatrix to pay attention.

Anya is too upset to look percep nat 1 for 5around at ALL, yammering at Fioravanti through the amulet. BUT WE ARE NOT FRIENDS OF MANSHOON, RIGHT? BECAUSE HOW WOULD I KNOW? YOU JOIN THINGS. YOU ARE A JOINER. She is telling Fiora a LOT of disdainful information about The Black Network, and how power mad they are, everything she has ever read about them, perception 9so it’s hard to notice the details with that big red voice back in her head, even though Fiora really feels that they are DOWN A WELL that has disappeared a rather powerful necro (all those zombies!) and someone should pay attention.

 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 26th, 2020 at 09:45 AM.
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 01:50 PM
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Through the TunnelThe tunnel is cramped. You have to go single file and bent over and it's hard. It's also cold and a little bit damp. You run hot naturally but Anya shivers and insists she's fine. You have a hard time figuring out whether the tunnel is going up or down, left or right -- there are a lot of switchbacks and dead ends, as if someone dug in one direction for a while and then stopped and went in a different direction from a point farther back.

"It's like a mine," says Anya. "As if they were chasing a vein of... what?"

You can't really see anything strange or interesting in the walls -- just regular rock. Finally the tunnel goes down abruptly and dumps out with a sharp drop into a dark open space below.

OOCMake a dexterity saving throw for Ripper -- if he succeeds DC 15 he doesn't fall in the hole. If he fails, he falls in and down onto a crumbly uneven rock floor, maybe Anya bumped him from behind. He takes 1d6 damage and he's not able to get back up on his own and it's dark down there.
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 02:10 PM
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IT IS A HOLE
Ripper is a wolf. A wolf in exuberant-young-man clothing, yes, but a wolf. H16 dex savee doesn’t go falling into any holes like a stupid person might. He stops instead, abruptly, and totters.

It’s a hole! he says, helpfully, as they yank him back.

Yes. We see that. Thank you, Ripper, Fiora doesn’t say, though she would absolutely have said it, quite coolly, to any talky being who was less newly human. Instead, she pats him, absently. It is NICE, when your dog becomes a person, to find you still like him, very, very much. As opposed to being horrified by his paunchy eyes and phlegm-rattles.

Anya squiggles forward to shine her light down into it, and both girls Perception 21peer and peer as she flashes it all around in swoopies, trying to see how far it goes, if the tunnel continues, what might be down there. They have left 50 feet of rope at the well mouth, but they still have 70 between them. Can they get down? Are there BATS?

Ripper sniffs all around, eyes closed, trying to SMELL only perception 24catch the scent of the necromancer (OR PERSON! OR LIVE THING!) he smelled earlier.
 

 


 
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 03:09 PM
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Into the Huge CavernSensing no immediate danger, and with Ripper assuring you that he smells essence of the Necromancer, and also eau d'zombies, you careful ease each other down out of the hole and into a large cavern. Anya flashes her clipboard around and you see a massive cave with stalactites and stalagmites, several small still pools of dark water, and a very high ceiling. Huge boulders and slabs lie around, but you can see where someone else has dropped down here out of this hole, maybe many persons even, and headed into the cavern. With his perception, Ripper also catches a very strong trace of magical energy down here.

"It's almost like a fog, like tendrils of a mist," he says. "I feel it more than I smell it. It's making me feel great."

You look around at each other and every in the dark you can see that you guys all look pretty amazing for people who have been basically crawling through a dirty tunnel. Hair is curling and soft, skin is dewy and fresh, aches and pains dispelled. Ripper points to the opposite end of this vast cavern, and you see a light purple glow.

Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 26th, 2020 at 03:10 PM.
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Old Sep 26th, 2020, 03:30 PM
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We So High
Fiora has been drunk. And eaten strange weeds and stranger mushrooms. And huffed magical powders into various orifices. Not at home. Never at home. Nan did not stand for nonsense. And she's outgrown it, quite frankly. But as an adolescent, she often ran about with charming, young, rich, I invented this word to mean YOUNG AND DISSIPATED, SPOILED BUT CUTEdissipants, younger sons and wrong-side-of-the-blanket-borns with no family crests but aristocratic manners and cash to burn.

So she knows when she is high. She can even recognize specific kinds of highs, if she's experienced them before. So she knows what kind. NOTHIC HOLE kind. It did not hurt them last time---but they did not linger. Still, this feels weaker.

YOU ARE SO PRETTY. IT IS NICE. MY HAND IS PRETTY. Anya blares via amulet. Fioravanti would guess the cleric has not spent a lot of time being high.

Ripper snickers. His whole FACE wavers, the jaw thrusting forward, as if he is about to shift back into wolf, but then he stops it and stays personned. OR she is hallucinating. Great.

YOU ARE MADE OF STARS, FRIENDO, he whispers, hot and airy and over-loud into her ear. She can smell the haunch on his breath.

I KNOW, RIGHT? Fiora whispers back. She is pulling out an old scarf from her disguise kit; she tears it into strips, tying a mask around each of their faces. Hopefully it will lessen the effects.

HAMUN COST? She calls aloud toward the purple light. Halia Thornton sent us to check on you. I told your zombies that....we share a friend....and they let us come look for you down here. Are you here?

If he answers—or if he doesn’t they make their CAUTIOUS way toward the purple light.

 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 26th, 2020 at 04:04 PM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 08:52 AM
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Across the CavernYou make your way across the cavern, sometimes climbing over rocks and slabs, sometimes dropping down into little trenches. It takes a lot of concentration to figure out the best way and not get turned around but Ripper is good at this and follows the tracks of a lot of zombies and Hamun Kost. Finally you reach the other side of the cavern, and you see that a tunnel leads off from that side, from which the purple glow is emanating. The tunnel leads sharply down, and you have to hang onto the rough walls to make it safely down. This is not the same kind of tunnel as the one you were in before -- no more magical scoops -- this is dug by material tools.



The rough walls of this cavern rise to a vaulted ceiling hung with stalactites and clumps of luminous purple crystal that cast a violet glow on the room, your faces, your hands, your fingers, hey, they call them fingers but I've never seen them fing, look how they wiggle, oooooo. A passage leads off to the west, flanked by twenty foot tall statues of humanoids, their faces set in grim expressions of pure forbidding. On the floor of this cavern there's a weird scene. There are two huge holes in the ground, rough, as if from an explosion. There are two humans, clad in stone armor, dead and withered and already beginning to rot. There are also a few dead zombies, and two huge piles of mixed stone, earth, and gravel.


OOCThe map is the room with the statues in it. The downward tunnel leading into it is the pipe there on the right. So you're like, in the entrance there on the right of the room right now. There is nothing alive in this room that you can determine with any kind of check, all seems quiet. Roll an intelligence check to try and interpret the scene, if you need help. There are footprints all over the place that may help you recreate what happened, if you spend some time examining them.

Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 27th, 2020 at 08:59 AM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 09:32 AM
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The Furry Worm
right-aligned image


Anya has of course been mapping on her clipboard. So they can GET OUT. Fioravanti looks the map over and gets the giggles.

It looks like a furry worm. I had a furry worm. Nan made it. This room looks like it. See, like, the statues are the google eyes.

You are high, Anya says sternly, like a high person might.

Fiora doubles the scarves over their mouths. Because there are dead people here and shiz HAS gone wrong and they need to get their ish together and be SERIOUS.

Rips still seems to have a line on the Necro’s scent. Where is he, she asks him, in there? She points to the west. And---can you tell if he is alive or not?

She really, really wants him to be alive. She never met the guy, he uses gross magic, he is an upside down dragon black S word whatever---she REALLY wants to save him. Maybe it's her regular, ongoing, and pervasive Ilmater complex. Maybe she thinks he is worth more to Halia than even the bell, and Halia has CASH, and she LIKES cash.

Or maybe she just wants to please Halia. Troubling.

They spend a little time trying to puzzle out the footprints and the explosions. Anya fiora int check 12It’s not TERRIBLY clear.

Rips, Fiora says, GOD SHE LOVES TALKING TO HIM WITH WORDS IN THESE LITTLE INTERLUDES, IT IS SO GREAT AND EASY TO GET HIS HELP! Can you smell trace it – like who is what footprints? Like what is this dead guy, and what is Hamun, and what is zombies.

Her seems to prefer to not smell the zombies, which is odd. WOLF Ripper would likely be rolling in them already. Or maybe not. Because he is not at all squeamish about sticking his whole face into the non-zombie dead guy butts and getting a good whiff. It's liek he doesn't like the KIND OF dead they are. Undead, even dead undead, are gross to all of them

He sniffs at the dead guys, then the tracks,investigate 17, no advanatge even tho scent because thats only for perception i THINK trying to figure it out.

 

 


 

Last edited by Fillyjonk; Sep 27th, 2020 at 09:34 AM.
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  #15  
Old Sep 27th, 2020, 09:56 AM
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lostcheerio lostcheerio is offline
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Investigation and Onward"There was a fight here," Ripper says, one eyebrow up and his long human finger tapping against his temple, "And I believe that Hamun Kost and his zombies won. Although they did lose a few of their number." He points to the fallen zombies. "I definitely smell him this way," he says, pointing to the tunnel west. As you stand there examining the various elements of the scene, you notice in the purple light of these crystals the stalactites begin to shift and drip, like wax almost, and they grow several more feet as you stand there. Then the flow stops to a trickle, then a drip, then they are solid again.

"Let's move," says Anya.

left-aligned image
You head into the tunnel to the west, and follow it for a while, Ripper assuring you that Hamun Kost went this way. It hooks around to the right and opens up into a roughly circular chamber with two other tunnels leading off it. In the center of the chamber is a creature with rough scaly skin, three taloned legs, waving hands, and in the center of it a cavernous maw. Next to the creature is a humanoid in stone armor, much like the ones you saw dead in the chamber back there. He's hucking silver and gold pieces into the gaping mouth of the creature, and he notices you with delight.

right-aligned image
"Oh," says the human in the armor, in a smarmy, ingratiating tone, "Look, Treacle. We have more visitors. Hello, visitors. Do you have an offering for Treacle? You know, Treacle will have his candy. He will have his candy! Treacle has been eating candy all day but he never gets enough. Oh, gold, jewels, iiiiiitems, all will appease him. Do you want Treacle to give you a sniff, to see how much candy you've got?"

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Last edited by lostcheerio; Sep 27th, 2020 at 10:07 AM.
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