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  #46  
Old Jan 8th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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An'mal
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The rocks collapsed buring a unit of kobolds with it. An'mal hardly paused when Bossy Lass paused. He was looking for eggs, and Yddraixl. Kobolds weren't neither of those things. He just kept running straight cos Snepa had pointed straight. The tortle hadn't mentioned they would need to take a right or a left. The eggs were straight ahead. An'mal was certain of it ... or was he? Sprint slowed to a jog. Jog came to a stop. He turned and looked back over his shoulder. What had Snepa said? An'mal scratched his luscious locks which somehow had returned to their nearly perfect place since Gristle had tried to nest on his head.

Gristle! An'mal heard the kobold's voice through the haze of his rising rage. When Gristle spoke, An'mal would listen, for Gristle was the embodiment of the music. His song had kept Snepa from death long enough to tell them to go straight. Straight! An'mal needed to go straight! Why had he stopped?? Oh yeah, Gristle was saying something. "...I'm good at digging kobolds out of cave ins!" Gristle clearly knew something An'mal did not, there was something or someone important under those rocks. As the leader of the band, Gristle's way, was the way! An'mal ran back to the collapsed junction. It seemed Gristle was composing a song as he tried to dig out his fellows from beneath the rocks ... the title was catchy: the Good Good Underground Sewer Land. "Nice" An'mal purred his approval has he threw himself into the rock clearing, trying to haul out the kobold who was sticking out the most, while he repeated with a warbled howl. "And half of them got crushed to death anyway deep in the Good Good Underground Sewerland! Rrrrrocks!" Thud th-thud thud. An'mal began rocking again. And by that, I mean that he began tossing rocks in what could only be described as a semi-rhythmical fashion. And kind of singing apparently. "When I lived in the sewers I got hit in the skull like twelvety-six times! Falling Rrrrrocks!"
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Last edited by jbear; Jan 8th, 2021 at 02:13 PM.
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  #47  
Old Jan 12th, 2021, 11:13 AM
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Day 1

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The group's first instinct in situations that involved cave-ins seemed to currently involve digging things out. At least it seemed to be instinct to what some are viewing as the de-facto leader of the group, Gristle. Gristle went straight to the rock rubble and starting doing what he could for the trapped Kobolds. While Baruuk was determining the safety of the situation, Dagg, Ayaga, Harp and An'Mal were putting muscle against rock, and extricating who and what they could.

The first one that they could get to was Pilfer, and soon after two other Kobolds were removed from the rubble. Pilfer was worse for ware, as one of his arms hung limp, a foot was turned at an odd angle, and part of his tail was missing. But the he wasn't one to stop when things were needed. He quickly ordered the two other kobolds that were uncovered to begin digging out others that could be dug out before turning his attention, and his battered body towards the group before him.

He looked at the group that had just uncovered him, instantly recognizing Dagg, since she was the one that he had direct contact with. "I da' know n'ting 'bout no eggs." He shook his head, almost trying to get it back in order to determine what he needed to say. "I know there be n'truders don 'ere. I da know what's goin' on above, but dere be a group we was followin'. And dey look like dey 'ad a guide. Someone dat know bit o' down 'ere. Yddraixl got a meeting spot deep below were she holds moots wit her mose trusted... Snepa, Tucker, Fun Fun... I da' know why that little gobber's ever dere... 'En Uders.

Pilfer looked back at the progress that the two other Kobolds had made, and saw a third was out, and a fourth almost uncovered. But there would be a lot of work to be done still to get the passageway cleared. "We'll 'na stop dem before dey get to the meet. Ne'er get ta Yddraixl 'fore dem... u'less." Pilver looked at the group that was with Dagg. To him they seemed like a stupid enough lot. Perhaps they might be that... or at least crazy enough for something else. "Dere mi' be a'way ta get ta da meet 'fore Dem. But it won't be fun." Pilfer grabbed his half broken spear, with just the blade, and a half a handle on it, and began limping back towards the crossway that An'mal had originally started going down before returning to help Gristle.

"Well! You comin'?" Pilfer looks back at the group, seeing if he can convince them to follow.

OOGMDoes anyone recognize the intentional movie reference in the post? There might be an unintentional one that I didn't realize I put in.

Also, let me know if you need a Pilfer Translation.

Map:
Code:
   |x|
   | |
---/ \---
O       
---\ /---
   | |
    ^
O = Ceiling rubble collapse.
^ = Direction group is coming from.
x = Direction Pilfer is now going.

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  #48  
Old Jan 13th, 2021, 02:36 AM
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Baruuk hesitated just a moment while the others rushed forward to help extricate the kobolds from beneath the rocks. It wasn't that he didn't care about their fate, but he was filled with an over abundance of caution. Before, they had been alone in a small room. Just them and the rubble. But here... here there four approaches. One they had come from, he was reasonably sure of its security. Another was safely blocked by the cave-in itself. Wherever the kobolds had been going, whatever they might have been chasing... it wasn't going to get any closer until the rocks were cleared. But that left two hallways stretching off beyond the limits of even his bugbear eyes. While the others dug, he stood watch, bow at the ready.

From behind him, he heard the noises as the first of the kobolds was extricated. The ranger found Pilfer's words difficult to follow... but he was able to get the gist of things. Looks like the kobolds were just as in the dark about this whole egg business as Baruuk was himself... he wasn't quite sure how he felt about the level of company he was being kept in... but nothing could be done about that now. But the kobold did seem to be more in the know about the general goings on above. Whatever these pinkskins were up to, it didn't seem likely that their intentions were pure.

If they were going to win glory this day, it wouldn't be above. It would be down here, in the dark. Baruuk nodded at Pilfer's words. He wasn't sure just how bad a path had to be before the kobolds thought it 'not fun', but it seemed that they were about to find out. "We're coming."

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  #49  
Old Jan 13th, 2021, 05:59 PM
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Dagg stopped working, grabbed her spear and gave a long, hard look at Pilfer. She wasn't entirely certain that she trusted him, but then again, she didn't 'trust' anyone. But, in this instance, she determined him to be straightforward enough that she'd be willing to follow.

She glanced at the rest of the group, assessing their spirits. They were hard workers and good stock. A barely perceptible smirk broke her icy demeanor before fading back into her focused Resting Bugbear FaceRBF. Without a word, she looked to Pilfer and nodded.


OOCBefore I make a post, I'd like to do an Insight Check on Pilfer. I'm trying not to metagame or anything, but Dagg would be on high alert and I think she would be looking for anything out of the ordinary involving his mannerisms, speech patterns, etc. I figure that Dagg is somewhat familiar with Pilfer and, being who she is, she's probably observed him and his mannerisms and drawn some conclusions about how he would behave in one situation or another.

Just looking to see if she feels like, in this moment, Pilfer is honest and just wants to lead us to Yddraixl or if he has some sort of ulterior motives. Don't want to be led into an ambush.

I got an 11.

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Last edited by Reliq0770; Jan 14th, 2021 at 02:54 PM.
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  #50  
Old Jan 13th, 2021, 07:37 PM
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An'mal
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An'mal helped haul out the busted kobold and looked up at Gristle to see if it was time to run on. Nope ... Gristle was still digging out kobolds. An'mal dug some more and helped free another pair of them. They could dig themselves out now; not that he didn't love rocking with his band but An'mal had other places to be ... somewhere straight down that passage. Dusting off his hands and smoothing back his hair, An'mal snorted some dust that had gotten stuck up his nostrils and turned to jog away (his growing rage seemingly reduced to a lower simmer as the physical effort and the music that emerged from the task seemed to re-centre An'mal back towards his cool, calm collected self).

The busted kobold first rescued began to talk right at the moment. Ahh... this is why wise Gristle stopped to rock... the broken one knows important things! An'mal turned back to listen. "I da' know n'ting 'bout no eggs." Well that was disappointing ... An'mal turned back to leave. "I know there be n'truders don 'ere." Oh no, wait he does know something after all. An'mal stopped and listened once more. "I da know what's goin' on above..." Ok, An'mal was losing patience. He was certain not even the broken one himself knew if he knew anything important. He began to jog off ... why wasn't everyone else jogging off with him? An'mal was almost out of ear shot by the time Pilver said "We'll 'na stop dem before dey get to the meet. Ne'er get ta Yddraixl 'fore dem... u'less..." An'mal stopped again and rubbed his chin thinking to himself... Should I stay or should I go now? ... should I stay ... or should I go now ... If I stay Yddraixl's in trouble. But if I go the wrong way there will be double ... An'mal's foot was tapping as he thought all of this. No, Snepa said it was this way! The broken one is just a tease tease tease! Having heard enough to know that he wasn't going hear anything important, An'mal ran off just before he heard the really important part. At least he was running in the right direction.
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Last edited by jbear; Jan 13th, 2021 at 07:40 PM.
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  #51  
Old Jan 14th, 2021, 06:30 PM
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Gristle nodded to himself, pleased. The kobolds were digging themselves out of the rubble, just as he knew they should. Kobolds were smart like that! It was a good motto: When the walls fall down on you, you just pull yourself up by whatever bones aren't snapped into bits and keep goin' about your day. Unless, of course, all of your bones were snapped into bits, in which case you should probably rethink your plans for the day, and the foreseeable future. At least, that's what Gristle assumed you should do. He'd never really gotten the chance to discuss such things with anyone who had actually broken all of their bones in a cave-in, on account of them either A: being occupied with screaming in agony or B: being Not Alive (and occasionally C:, which is Option A quickly followed by Option B).

Pilfer, minus part of a tail, pulled himself free (See? Usin' those non-broken bones to keep goin' about your day!) and directed the group down a hallway. Gristle was stuck in his musings about cave-ins and broken bones, but he caught Pilfer using the words "Yddraixl," "meeting spot" and "fun," so that's probably good.

Most importantly, Scary Lady Dagg and Sad Friend Baruuk were already following Pilfer, and Noisy Friend An'mal had taken off almost immediately, which meant that Gristle should follow them too. Gristle liked having other people do the important things like "paying attention" and "making decisions," which really weren't his forte. He was glad he wasn't the leader, as leading tended to involve those sorts of things, and the last time he was put in charge of something important was the time he got his head stuck in a railing for three hours and somehow started a small fire in a room full of dried lichen.
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Last edited by Pseudonymous; Jan 14th, 2021 at 06:35 PM.
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  #52  
Old Jan 19th, 2021, 05:31 PM
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Harp Strum supposed orcs were a wee bit egg-like, so long as you squint at them the right way. What with their big, lumpy heads and pallid colors, Harp Strum could very easily think that just maybe the brutish giants were hatched from some very big, very ugly eggs. Even Ayaga struck her as a prime egg candidate the more she looked at him. He was colored like an egg. Well, a rotten one, anyways. And his head was oval-ish. A bit broader around the jaw-line but if Harp Strum squeezed her right eye close just enough, she saw the makings of a fine egghead! But unfortunately that was as far as her eggspiracy went before Pilfer mentioned that he knew a shortcut to the Viridescent One.

That was all the information Harp Strum (and co.) needed to pick up arms again. Harp Strum bounced onto her feet and yanked her hood back down. Her feathered face hidden, except for her cracked beak which continued to stick out like a sore thumb no matter how hard Harp Strum tugged her hood forward. Thumbing the handle of her dagger, she looked to Dagg then to An’mal then to Baruuk as they all agreed without saying much of anything at all that they’d follow Pilfer towards his clever little shortcut. Harp Strum wanted to ask where they were going and what made it unfun but Harp Strum was a clever enough bird to know there were better times for questions. No, she’ll just save her questions for when they were in the middle of something important!

Slipping up behind An’mal like a second shadow, Harp Strum stayed low to the ground. She tried to vanish into the dark again. She really did try. But the rhythmic beat of An’mal’s heavy steps put that pretty little tune of his back in her head, and eventually, Harp Strum just couldn’t help but hum under her breath. "And half of them got crushed to death anyway deep in the Good Good Underground Sewerland! Rrrrrocks!"

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Last edited by Strangemund; Jan 19th, 2021 at 05:50 PM.
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  #53  
Old Jan 19th, 2021, 05:58 PM
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The resident orc did not have as much luck with digging as he had wanted. His hands had tightened so fiercely and white-knuckled around his shield grip and the haft of his pick during the run after Sneppa's death that they opened slowly and worked sluggishly. Still, enough was done so that the kobolds could begin getting the rest of their number out. He was secretly glad he had not uncovered any dead ones, partly for the simple fact of not wanting more death among their own, but also because he wouldn't have known how to address the nameless, scaly dead. Better that their living kin do so. He would have hated to unwittingly defile something. The thought crossed his mind that the dwarf body back behind them needed dealing with if and when all of this was over- if for no other reason than to spare the living a very short but no less terrible ghost resentful at its lack of beer-basted burial rites. But that could and would wait.

Once he had massaged his fingers a bit and flattened smooth a little shred of skin that had gotten torn up, Ayaga tuned back in to the conversation. He tried to ignore the sensation of something boring into his very bones and soul, and glanced over at the curiously squint-eyed kenku several times, but said nothing of it. He scrunched his brow up slightly and remained several words behind Pilfer while deciphering exactly what the kobold was saying through his markedly different accent. But when the lamed 'bold began to hobble his way down one passage, Ayaga jogged closer until he was a few paces behind. "Wait. Who were they? How many? What did they look like? The group you were following, how did you judge they are being guided?"

 
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  #54  
Old Jan 21st, 2021, 09:57 AM
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Day 1

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Pilfer found himself now being followed by five of the most motley lot he had encountered in a long time. The sixth of the group had gone ahead, but at least he had gone the correct way. "Whaz hiz roosh?" Pilfer questions to the group behind him, as he hobbles down the hallway as best he can, surely slowing down the groups normal speed. Occasionally, he would stop at a seemingly innocuous place, pull aside a random rock, grab something from underneath, put it in a satchel that he was carrying, and then put the rock back.

Six times he did this, every time, pushing over a different type of rock: sometimes in a group, another covers in mud, the last one actually embedded in the wall. If you didn't know what to look for, it would take hours of meticulous searching to find even the first rock. There where some times that the group would stop, guessing as they waited to see which rock Pilfer would turn over, only for the kobold to say he was just catching his breath and move on.

Since Ayaga had managed to ask a very interesting question, it caused Pilfer to stop and pause in order to think of the details that he was interested in. "Dar wer fi' o'dem. Leadin' was a fat bugbar. At least 'E was showen da way. Two wit'out arm'r. One's da one dat caused da cave-ins. 'Uman lookin. Two was armored to da teeth... couldn't even see any skin on da one. Da uder looked "'Oly", if you catch me.

"Day was go'en stray to'ard Yddraixl. Didn't matter if we blocked dem, or try to get down down a side passage. 'Stray as en arro', day was goin'."
At this last part he slowly stabbed his straightened hand forward in a slow thrusting motion without stopping until his arm was fully extended. "Mus'a been goin' for Yddraixl." He said this statement with quick cock of his head, signifying it was the only possible conclusion given the clues.

Finally after continuing down the corridor, the group found themselves looking at a dead-end. A site that An'mal had been greeted with several minutes earlier. Pilfer walked up to the mass of earth that seemed to bar their path, and put his hand on it, as if looking for something. With a confused face, the kobold took several steps back and cocked his head, as if slightly confused. Finally he stood to the side of the cave, his hand on the wall holding him up from falling down.

"Ere!" He said, turning his head looking at his hand upon the wall. "Move dis rock." Those not as trained in how to look at rocks, and cavern walks just saw a cavern wall, but to at least Gristle, it was obvious. There was a slight roundedness to that part of the wall and there looked to be a slight indentation at the edges.

OOGMWell, not more more to do than calm down An'mal, who is probably pissed at this point, and make some Strength/Athletics checks to move a large rock... when I say large, I'm talking the size of Gristle.

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Old Jan 24th, 2021, 07:25 PM
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Gristle, graced with perhaps more enthusiasm than actual ability, skittered over to the massive rock Pilfer pointed out and dug his little claws into a gap between it and the stone behind it. He pulled with all his might, his feet pinwheeling uselessly against the floor as he struggled for purchase, but the stone remained unmoved.

"Something's... wrong with... this rock!" he huffed, still struggling against the stone that was at least three inches taller than he was himself. "Wait, wait, no... I... I got it now!"

He did, in fact, not have it now. The stone shifted ever so slightly, only to rock back into the exact same spot it inhabited before.

Gristle gave one last pull, losing his grip and tumbling back onto his backside.

"Not a good rock!" he grunted.

He clambered to his feet and studied the massive stone with all the brain power he could muster, which honestly wasn't much. They needed to move the rock. Pilfer says the rock needed to move. Gristle could not move the rock. But the rock needed to move. It is big. Gristle is not as big. But wait! There are other people in his clan now! Bigger people! Yes... Yes! It was a crazy idea, but it just might work!

"Wait..." Gristle says, turning slowly to the others. "Kobolds are normal sized, and the rock is kobold-sized, but you are all big! What if..." He paused as his train of thought momentarily derailed. Give him a minute. "What if... You... move the rock?" And there it is. A grin slowly lit up his face as the realization of his own brilliance hit him.

"And I can make The Noise to Help Move Rocks!" He pulled the little drum from his back. "I know that... um..." He paused, the grin momentarily melting away, "Um... I know that The Noise To Make Snepa Not Die was... not a helpful noise," he said awkwardly, nervously tapping the drum with his fingertips. "But The Noise has to be helpful now. Maybe it was tired, and that's why it didn't help Snepa. But now it has to work! I can make The Noise... And... The Noise will have to work! It will!" His voice was slightly tinged with an edge of desperation.

The grin returned, now a bit wild, and Gristle raised a drumstick above his head.

BANG BANG BANG!!!

"MOVE! THE ROCK!" he belted out with a whoop. BANG BANG! "MOVE! THE ROCK!" Bang ba-BANG! "WE ARE GOOD AT MOVING THE ROCK!" BANG BANG BANG! "THIS IS THE NOISE-- BANG Ba-BANG! "--TO HELP MOVE THE ROOOOCK!!!"


ACTIONSGristle will grant one BARDIC INSPIRATION to the next person to post. A d6 to you, lucky individual!
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Last edited by Pseudonymous; Jan 24th, 2021 at 07:26 PM.
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  #56  
Old Jan 25th, 2021, 12:00 AM
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Baruuk sighed a little inside as Pilfer indicated yet another rock lying between the group and their goal. Their aim kept shifting, escaping their room, unearthing the kobolds, finding Yddraixl... but there always seemed to be the same thing standing in their way. Even the dwarf... what was a dwarf except a rock with a beard?

The bugbear had sat out the kobold excavation. Out in the open, with so many branching paths, he'd felt too tense to let down his guard like that. But here in this dead-end, with his companions around him, he could relax a little. He left his bow propped against the cavern wall and waited respectfully back while Gristle did his best to move a rock as big as he was. Baruuk's thick eyebrows raised slightly when the stone did in fact start to move, but they settled down again once it rolled back into place.

He was a little less amused by this 'Rock Roll' music that the kobold was now providing them with, although it was undeniably catchy. Sounds could carry a long distance along these small, twisting corridors. But, asking Gristle to be quieter was a self-defeating proposal. He'd probably just compose a 'Being Quiet' song for their benefit. No, the best way to get him to stop was to move the rock, right?

Baruuk stepped forward to see what kind of leverage he could get on the boulder. "Thank you, Gristle. Now that you've loosened it up, I'm sure it will be much easier to move." He put his back into it and leaned into the boulder, long limbs coiled up like springs. Was it moving? Was the song working?

OOC
 

 
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Last edited by hafrogman; Jan 29th, 2021 at 01:13 AM.
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  #57  
Old Jan 25th, 2021, 03:11 AM
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Daggonae 'Dagg' Bloodbane
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Dagg listened closely and observed Pilfer as they made their way down the tunnel. His strange habit of picking up rocks seemed peculiar, but she assumed it was important enough to merit slowing their progress.

What's more, she took note of their prey. Approximately 5 enemies;

'One holy individual... Best to target this one first. The last thing we need is for any of the Pink-Skins' Gods getting involved in this.

Two heavily armed individuals. Probably best to have An'mal and Ayaga tackle these two head on, while Harp-Strum and Baruuk make precision strikes on the weak parts in their armor.

That just leaves the last two that weren't wearing much in the way of armor. Without knowing their capabilities, I'm at a significant disadvantage, but if Gristle can stay behind me and provide support as needed, we may have a shot...'


The wheels in her head continued to turn as she planned out the upcoming conflict.

'That leaves the bugbear that is with them. If it's being coerced, then perhaps death would be too harsh a punishment for this betrayal. However, by assisting the Pink Skins, this bugbear has committed treason and must bear some penalty for their actions. If it were up to me, I'd sentence them to imprisonment or banishment...

Whatever the case, we need to ensure that we take them by surprise. A swift and overwhelming surprise attack would do wonders to swing the odds in our favor.'


Dagg continues to ponder options and scenarios, not realizing that her body has been on autopilot as they walked. Snapping out of her strategizing, Dagg saw An'Mal attempting to move a rock of some sort. Best to lend a hand.

She took up a position next to him, giving him a nod;

"On three? One... Two... Three!"

Putting her strength and weight behind it, she helped as best she could in attempting to move the rock.
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Old Jan 29th, 2021, 10:09 AM
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Day 1

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Looking at the rock in front of them, the group did what it could to move what was in their way. While Gristle did a good job of showing everyone where the rock was, his efforts resulted in the boulder (really... lets call it what it is), moving several finger widths away from the wall, before moving back into its original position, minus a bit of dirt having now fallen to the floor. Baruuk and Dagg, on the other hand, managed to do more than just nudge the the rock a bit, but move it from one side of the tunnel to the other, now leaving a hole the size of Gristle in it's wake. While Gristle could easily walk through the new hole, Harp Strum would have to crouch to get in, and the others would need to crawl.

During all of this, Pilfer wasn't idly watching though. While the grunting and shoving and moving was happening, he was taking the six little rocks that he had collected, and was putting some oils, powers, and other unsavory substances on them. All while talking to the group about what to expect. "Tucker knew that this path would take a person strait to the meeting chamber. There are no branches, and no side corridors. It's a straight shot. The problem is what's there along the way. We lost some Kobolds down this path. Or at least we'd think we did. He was waiting for a time when we had secured the rest of the keep before tackling this path. Something about this path just doesn't feel right. It doesn't sit well with your bones. It's the only path that'll get someone to the meeting chamber quicker than those pinkies are going.

"If you want a shot at helping Yddraixl, this is it."
At this point, Pilfer starts handing everyone one of the stones he had been working with. "This should help you out. Just say 'Yarkle' when you feel like you could use a bit o luck. Hopefully it'll do what it's intended to.

"I would go in with you, but I feel like I would be slowing you guys down, not helping you get there faster," This last part is said as he taps the leg that he had been limping on the whole way down this corridor. "I'm going to go back and see that the others have finished digging themselves out, and get them digging our own way towards the meeting room." With one last look at the six of you, he gives a quick nod of his head, as if silently saying 'best of luck' or 'break a leg', then he turns and limps back down the corridor that everyone had just come through.

On the other side of the hole a new and different view. The cave system seem to be wetter, and shinier. There are gems along the walls that seem to glow with an unknown light. The ceiling is only about eight to ten feet from the floor. The tallest of you can walk without having to hunch over. Every ten to twenty feet, you notice a drop of water... or something... drop from the ceiling to the floor, giving a soft 'drip' sound that seems to slightly echo through the corridor.

OOGMStones: Currently active for ten minutes, in game. 1 use: If your character yells "Yarkle", the stone will activate, providing you with advantage on your next roll. Must be declared/used before rolling. After ten minutes in game time, the stones become inactive, and won't do anything.

I need to go back and redo Pilfer's language to match his previous accent, but I wanted to get this up quick.

Great work on the Deities everyone, let me know of any things that you don't like about them, or think need to be changed. I'll probably add a few of the stories/saying that you've come up with, like you did for Gob.
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  #59  
Old Feb 2nd, 2021, 10:30 AM
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Ayaga did not know what to make of the exact composition of the group of interlopers, but he was glad that the makeup was common knowledge now. He furrowed his brow at the mention of a bugbear. Of course it was ridiculous on some level to assume that every bugbear held the same allegiances as all the others- they were no more or less varied in their nature than orcs were- even humans had some diversity to them, albeit sharing certain common threads of self-interest and/or shortsightedness throughout. But here, in what was to be the seat of their employer's new tribe, that simply couldn't be the case- this was something clandestine. His eyes drifted cautiously over to the other three shaggy Goblin-speakers in their group, though he hated himself a little for it.

The orc silently shared Baruuk's anxiety when the singing started up again. He kept an eye on the passage they had come down, just in case something managed to come up behind them. He hoped that the kobolds were able to press on and help, or were at least out of the way now- perhaps all kobolds everywhere could benefit from being that way for a few moments... but the rock budged, and then moved all the way, and they were left with the uncomfortably small fit. He did not want to be the first one of his size through that crawlspace.

Fortunately, he was sufficiently distracted by the pungent stone that Pilfer set in his hand. Ayaga made a double take at it, then craned his neck back to pull his head away from it as much as possible when the smell smacked him in the rounded little nose, which wrinkled furiously for a moment. It was not that the smell by itself was so offensive- it was that it remound him of certain odors he and his people associated with evil. But after a few moments, the orc sifted through the mιlange of stinks and determined that there was no horseradish in there. That allowed him to get past his initial preconceptions, only to be faced with the implication that this stone was somehow magic. He nearly dropped it to the floor then and there, but his grip was held firm by the worry of what would happen if it broke open.

Hesitantly, he accepted the stone and tucked it away into a small bag on his person that was not holding anything else at that moment. He didn't want to break taboo and reject a gift, after all. He firmly shut the bag using a little drawstring fastened in place by—you guessed it—a bit of bone. It looked to be another finger joint of some sort. "Ha'hnah, who herded the water buffalo, you are remembered..."

Getting down onto his hands and knees after Gristle almost assuredly bounded forward into the unknown, Ayaga crept through the low space until he came out into that land of cold light and colder, clammy floors. He stood up and looked about in awe, his eyes adjusting quickly to the new lighting, his lungs filling with the dampness of the new air. Surprise took him as he realized that they were no longer in a humanoid's approximation of the underground- now they were truly passing through the veins of the earth.

He looked at once to the glowing crystals, fearing that yet more magic was coming to them. But then he opened his mouth, cocked his head, and stared into the space where water was dripping. Where were they, exactly?

 

 
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Last edited by Grozug; Feb 2nd, 2021 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Added Nature check to Actions.
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  #60  
Old Feb 2nd, 2021, 12:42 PM
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Harp Strum
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"Yark-- oh!!" Harp Strum clasped her talons over her beak, as she realized she almost ruined Pilfer’s very, very, very important magical gift by using it too soon. But she didn’t mean to. She just had a habit of repeating things that were supposedly very, very, very important. Like don’t stab the orcs because they made fun of the way she talked (even though they definitely deserved it.) Or don’t steal from the merchants no matter how magnificently blue their wares were. The last one was the toughest to do, so Harp Strum imagined saying ‘Yarkle’ only when she needed the extra help would be a cake walk by comparison!

Harp Strum stuffed the smelly rock in her pouch, after she flaked off the mud and crud that caked its surface. Carefully, delicately, purposefully, she placed it beside her favorite aquamarine sock she found abandoned near the laundry room and her favorite berry blue cup, which sat right next to a bunch of blueberries that were looking less blue for every day she’s kept them holed up in her pouch, as they were now somewhere between a fuzzy rotten blue-gray and a gag-me yellow. "There, safe and sound, my sweetest little darling. No harm will come to you today." Lovingly patting the muddy rock’s head, Harp Strum returned her attention to the encore show of Gristle and his rock-n-roll crew.

As Baruuk lifted up the stone with his mighty Bugbear arms, Harp Strum applauded loudly, wooting and cheering like a one-bird crowd. Which wasn’t far from the truth, as Harp Strum went out of her way to mimic the sounds of a bustling tavern, where Baruuk was the showgirl who showed off a little too much knee and Harp Strum was the whistling crowd that just couldn’t handle how hot the Bugbear was. But once the rock was shoved aside and Gristle squirreled his way into the opening, Harp Strum joined him with a hop and skip, ready to find out what secret hideaway Pilfer and the others knew that she didn’t!

And oh, oh, it was magnificent. Everything Harp Strum’s little heart hoped it would be. The secret path to the Viridescent One was a massive cavern with a winding trail that led deeper underground. It's dark depths unknowable even to Harp Strum’s keen eyes. But most excitingly, it reminded her of the bardic tales she’d listen to in the pink men cities. Tales about secret smuggling dens carved out from beneath bustling cities’ bellies, forgotten catacombs unearthed by adventurers lusting after ancient fortunes, or the horrifying homes of monsters so gruesome they only lived in dark pits such as these. Harp Strum got goosebumps on her goosebumps, but nothing stole her breath away more than the glowing blue crystals that grew from the cavern walls.

Harp Strum gasped so loudly her friends would think she was struck by an enemy’s arrow. "LOOK AT THAT!!" She squawked, and in the blink of an eye, Harp Strum darted between Dagg’s and An’mal’s legs, hopping over Gristle’s head, and climbed up and over Ayaga’s shoulders as he unfortunately placed himself between her and a wall full of glowing blue crystals. With one bird foot digging itself in Ayaga’s shoulder and the other pushing down on his head, Harp Strum kept herself nice and balanced on her makeshift ladder as she eyed a crystal that was bright and blue and every bit as beautiful as a song sung for love.

At Ayaga’s confused grunt, Harp Strum gently ‘shhhh’d’ him and slowly flipped her cloak aside, pulling open another pouch clipped to her right side. It was full of tools. A metal file good for chipping away at pesky locks. A set of narrow-bladed pliers perfect for pinching gems out of fancy goblets. Lockpicks for every door that didn’t know how to stay open and a hammer and a chisel who spent its days not carving statues out of marble, but what Harp Strum had every mind to do here. Sticking her tongue out through the crack in her beak, she eyed the crystal, like an artist waiting to make his first strike on marbled stone. Then with a few quick decisive strikes, she hit the base of the crystal with her chisel and hammer.

Harp Strum wiggled her head up with pure pride at her work, even though none of the others would know why until she gently dug her talons into the back of the crystal, and with a pop, it fell into her palms, glistening and bright. Harp Strum’s beady black eyes beamed with pure and unbridled love as she held up the crystal, as it was bigger than her hand could hold. She made a happy chirp sound, and patted Ayaga affectionately on the head for a job well done before she leapt off his shoulders, landing on the ground with the crystal nestled against her breast like a freshly laid egg.

Gazing lovingly at the bright blue crystal, Harp Strum sang in a honeyed voice that was as sweet as a summer's day. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine~ You make me happy when skies are gray~ You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you~ Please don’t take my sunshine away~" Hugging the crystal close, Harp Strum thought nothing could get any better than this. But her bubbly joy turned to outright horror when Harp Strum realized that...that everyone just heard her super-secret song reserved only for her super-secret Ritual of Appreciation. Wide-eyed, Harp Strum locked eyes with Ayaga then Dagg then Baruuk and so on and so forth until she was certain that there was no way none of them hadn’t heard her sing.

Feathers ruffling up, Harp Strum cut her eyes to the ground, embarrassed beyond belief. "I-am-going-to-scout-ahead, goodbye-and-thankyou!" She quickly shouted, and then promptly booked it down the cavern trail, only to stop a good distance away from the others as she checked for traps and dangerous steps, all the while praying to whatever god that would listen that maybe Gristle would do something way more embarrassing than her! Anything that would make her newfound friends forget that oh-so embarrassing scene!

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Last edited by Strangemund; Feb 3rd, 2021 at 12:27 PM.
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