Game Thread Chapter 1: A Rock and a Hard Place. - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Dec 2nd, 2020, 02:11 PM
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Chapter 1: A Rock and a Hard Place.

Day 1


Rumors of Yddraixl's might had traveled far over the land. Well beyond the Ingeronto Forest, and it's neighboring lands. Some talked of her prowess in battle, and the army she commanded. Others spoke of the fortifications she built in the heart of the forest. Others spoke of the safety she garnered with deals brokered with several of the pink races. While peace itself was something no "greenskin" truly had in these lands, Yddraixl had created something close to it. If not peace, at least mutual respect, and part of the world that was her own.

The first day that you came to the forest, you encountered the outriders. Worg riders through and through, but these were different. Coordinated. Strategic. Fast and Fierce. These riders weren't just goblins, but included a few other races as well. Kobolds, and Grung among the lot. All of them working to patrol the edge of the forest looking for any new recruits, as well as unwelcome guests. You knew instantly not to mess with these, not by the trophies that they carried... but by the look of the worgs. Well kept, and obviously bred for a purpose. Not the mangy lot you would normally encounter.

Being brought to the center of the forest was like walking through a wonderland. Glades of mushrooms being cultivated for food. Practice fields where groups conducted their martial exercises. Warrens showing a sense of permanence and the preciousness of new life. Smoke billowed from different buildings accompanied by the obvious clanging of hammers and anvils. There are a few others practicing their skills out in the open under the forest canopy. At the center of it, was a set of castle ruins slowly being rebuilt, and restored to its former glory, although with a slightly different design aesthetic. Tucker was definitely a marvel of engineering prowess. And the trees surrounding the castle ruins weren't just for show, but house a veritable labyrinth of walkways and crows-nest style platforms.

Over the past few weeks that you have been here, new recruits have been integrating into the system, including yourself. Everyone starts at the lowest ranks, the muck jobs. It weeds out those who are willing to do anything to be here, versus those that aren't willing to do anything for the survival of all. Lugging rocks, dealing with latrine work, hauling lumber, moving goods from trades with locals. Cultivating plants and butchering animals (without eating them immediately). The work was tiring but never the same day after day. They also mixed up those who worked together, perhaps trying to find who would work best with each other. Some days you might work with someone from three days ago, along with someone who just came into the came. Today's group was no different.

Today's task finds you clearing out things that has been stored in a room under the castle. Tucker want's to use the room for something new. You are moving boxes, chests, crates, and shelving from this room, to one designated for storage. Keeping track of what you find, marking down what was moved and to where. Some of the things were locked, and would need someone to open them... at least someone not from the group to open them, as Tucker didn't trust you yet with looking into locked boxes.

You were down to just sweeping up random bits of dirt and debris when the earth shook. You had no idea of it's source, but the results were instantly observable, as pile of rocks and dirt covered the entrance, barring your exit. A small shaft of light from a flickering torch in the outer hallway showed that you weren't completely enclosed.
OOGMLet me know what you want to do, and roll what you think is an appropriate check for it. Right now we're really open ended. I'll give you the results of your roll in my next post.
 

Let me know where you're standing on the map so I can update accordingly.
Low Light Conditions are in effect.
Opening the doorwayOpening the doorway requires several cumulative successes from the following:
  • Standard action: Str or Athletics check DC10
  • Bonus action: Str or Athletics check DC13

You are effectively moving the rubble in order to make a hole big enough for:
  • Large Creature, or Medium with Powerful build: 10 Successes
  • Medium Creature: 9 successes
  • Small Creature: 8 successes

Since you have the option of both a standard action and a bonus action, one person can make two successes in a round, if they want to go faster.

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Last edited by Insacrum; Dec 3rd, 2020 at 01:58 PM.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2020, 06:08 PM
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The little kobold bard's comically oversized eyes widened as a wall of rock and dirt closed off the entrance. He and his new pack were now locked in a small, dark room underground, cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped.

Great! It was just like being back home!

"Oh! Look!" he cackled, bouncing from one foot to the other, "We gots a nice new wall, and nobody's skull got crushed by the cave-in! That's the best kind of day! Don't have to clean up any brain-meats off the floor, and there's no way for sewer gators to get in!"

He gleefully scampered to A1 on the mapthe far corner of the room and started digging through the rubbish and dust.

"This corner is mine! I saw it first, so I'll live here!" He pulled out his tattered bedroll and crammed it into the corner in a wrinkled lump, more a nest than a sleeping bag.

Gristle was not, perhaps, as concerned about this development as he should be.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2020, 06:18 PM
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Daggonae 'Dagg' Bloodbane
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She awoke this morning, much like she had any other. Daggonae Bloodbane lifted her head off of her bedroll and stretched, her chest rising with the expansion of her lungs. She breathed in the morning air, the sweet smell of dew mixing with the musky smell of the Worg Kennel.

Dagg preferred to sleep under the stars. Something about sleeping indoors made her feel confined... It wasn't anything more than a minor irritation that she was capable of enduring when necessary, but her preference would always be the vast and open sky.

She lifted herself onto her knees and sat there for a moment, eyes closed, allowing the stillness of the morning to ease her mind. Meditation, even if it was only for a few moments, was often useful. So, as she sat there, she listened to the worgs begin to rustle awake and smiled. Without opening her eyes, she could feel it's stare;

"G'Morning, Pup!" She opens her eyes and looks to her left, locking eyes with one of the smaller worgs in the kennel. Though she'd never touched it, she felt connected to this one worg in particular. Breathing a heavy, comforting sigh, she says; "May the Gods grant us both power and strength today!"

"You're a weird one, even for a bugbear, ain'tcha, Dagg?" The voice was high pitched and unrefined. Exactly what she expected from a kobold. Pilfer had been here for a while now, and while Dagg didn't exactly like him (let's face it, she didn't like most people here), she definitely noted his value. He was smart and she would often see him picking up pieces of parchment, reading them, and then putting them back where he found them. He knew the value of information which made him valuable to her. "Come on then. Tucker's gotta task for you."

She didn't respond. She simply smiled at Pup once more before standing, gathering her things and following Pilfer down to the storage room under the keep.

There were others that came to assist in this task, a few of which she'd seen around camp. But, rather than socializing, Dagg did what she always does. She observed... She listened... And, she focused on the tasks at hand.

They were nearly finished when it happened. Dagg had been carrying the last of the refuse out of the room when the entirety of the castle shook. The stonework fractured and collapsed, trapping her and the others in this room. But, not all hope was lost. When her wits returned, she looked around;

"What in the Gods' name was that? Is everyone alright?" It wasn't the first she'd spoken today, but it was definitely one of her longer sentences. She coughed twice, removing the dust from her lungs; "I can see light coming through a crack in the rubble. Birdie... Or, um... Harp-Strum? I've seen you around camp. You're good at assessing dangerous situations. Can you take a look at this rubble and make sure it's not going to collapse further if the Orc, the other Bugbears and I start moving it? Maybe get Gristle to help. Everyone else should create and assembly line to move the rubble from the door to A-1that corner. Strongest to the front, weakest in the rear. We'll remove the rubble one piece at a time until we have a safe exit. We can rotate shifts if someone gets tired. We keep working until the job is done. Conserve whatever water you have. Once we're out of here, our first priority should be ensuring that this isn't some sort of attack and ensuring Yddraixl's safety. Agreed?"


OOCDagg will be second in the assembly line, so I assume that with our Long Limbs, she could be standing around E-3 ready to work.

@Ayaga's prompting, Dagg is listening for whatever she can hear beyond the cave-in. I rolled in the Dice Roll Thread and got a 20 total.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2020, 06:53 PM
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"Taro'gaan, who built the rafts, you are remembered.
Ombaal, who befriended the bear, you are remembered.
Shosh, whom the spirits clove in twain, you are remembered."


The tattooed and bone-bedecked orc man had come to the forest looking like death. He didn't look much different from that now, weeks later, but he somehow seemed better despite that fact. He had offered his few goods and what little strength was left in his body to a goblin farmer on the edge of the woods, and in return the little creature had furnished him with room, board, and directions deeper into the forest. He was happened upon by the first worg patrol of the day, his hands outstretched in a gesture of peace, a sack of fresh meat hung from one elbow as a gesture of goodwill toward the riders and their mounts.

"Tuul'rort, who ate the creatures of the dirt, you are remembered.
Grakka, who fell in frenzy upon the tor-Gabaaz, you are remembered.
Little Damba, who walked only in your parents' dreams, you are remembered."


He fell upon his knees and wept when he saw the old castle and the veritable city that was growing out of it. The flurry of activity and the melange of peoples overwhelmed him and his senses, after so many weeks spent creeping along in forlorn or worried solitude. He likened it to fresh flora and fungi growing from the rot and bleached bones of death. Rarely did he ever do things hastily, but he swore loyalty to the warlord and entered her service on that same day. That same night was the first time anyone heard the litany of bone-naming which was all too familiar for some people now, weeks later.

"Hruunta, who was drowned by Och'il, you are remembered.
Och'il, who was drowned in kind by the elders, you are remembered."


After months of vagrancy and relative destitution in the wilderness, menial labor was no difficult thing to throw himself into. He worked his hands to blistering, and kept quiet and out of the way when he wasn't doing his 'remembering'. Resocialization was a bigger challenge for him, especially now that he was dealing with peoples of different tribes, customs, and gods. More than once, he had misread a social cue and stuck out painfully for it- on one occasion, he mistook an invitation to arm-wrestle as a challenge to a duel to the death. He would have lost to the half-ogre in question in either case, but he was more embarrassed than anything else. There was no end to his apologetic bows in those early days.

"Garib, who was known to the goblins, you are remembered.
Chort, who hammered the copper, you are remembered.
Mi'hruu, who raced always with Daz'kar, you are remembered."


But he was getting better. He had drawn the cordial curiosity of a handful of the other Ingeroto immigrants, if not their outright friendship, and he was beginning to feel something approximating confidence in his abilities again- or at least his ability to sweep and move junk around. And that was precisely what he was doing that day, after the heaviest and most valuable items had been lifted and moved out for later storage. He held a reed broom in his hands, and raked it vigorously over the floor and along the corners of that room, scraping up a pile of cobwebs and debris. As he worked, his eyes roved over the bones that decorated the backs of his hands and forearms. As they landed on each, he spoke remembrance to it in a low hushed croak, and then moved on to the next.

"Tla'zan, whose foot found the rare viper, you are remembered.
Esheb, who thundered upon the drums, you are re-"


The tremor shook him terribly, breaking his concentration on the list of the named dead. But he had been standing in a wide stance as he swept, and with a hand braced against the far wall, the orc managed not to fall over. For long seconds after the collapse, he remained perfectly still, and as quiet as he could be, as if any movement could lead to further destruction. He also took that time to get his panicked breathing down, more to save face than to conserve potentially limited air, and to let his eyes adjust to the deepened darkness.

"We are fine. I will help move the stones." He answered Dagg's call as he padded over to the center of the room and dropped the broom that was still clutched in his fists. "... Gristle is also well, it seems." He continued in a more deadpan tone. Then he gently snapped his fingers toward the pleasantly chattering kobold, and tried to discourage him from building himself a nest then and there.

"Shh. Now is not the time, little one." He tried to settle the kobold down like one would a child- or a pet dog. "We might still die in here, we have to be careful... Shh." After a few moments, the orc furrowed his eyebrows and stared at the hint of lesser darkness by the collapsed doorway. He opened opened his mouth up and cocked his head to one side, jaw moving slightly.

"... Shh! Quiet!" He hissed at everyone, not only the bard. "Listen... do you hear bloodshed?"

 

 
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Old Dec 3rd, 2020, 12:52 PM
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Oh! Oh! It was lovely, so very lovely to live with the Viridescent One and her flock! It was everything Harp Strum hoped it to be! A community that thrived beyond the wild woods of Ingeronto Forest in a ruined fortress bursting with life! Life! Could you believe it? In a place almost as broken as her? Oh! Oh! And then there were people like her gathered here as well-- those who have been wounded one too many times by the Pink Men! Their goal and her goal one-and-the-same as they all came together to the same single place in the whole wide world to build a better life for all. Harp Strum thought such wondrous things only existed in her wildest dreams, but when the worg riders found her, she never felt so happy to be wrong! And she sang about it for days, weeks even! As it was hard not to carry a tune when everything looked so grim and gloomy months ago. The work was hard, yes! Undoubtedly hard! But Harp Strum really felt she could make a home here! Maybe even…

Friends.

Oh! Oh! It was hard not to get giddy at such a thought! Friends, she thought and gushed and chirped about as she went from one task to the next. She could make all sorts of friends here, of any kind at that! Kobolds, goblins, orcs, and other creatures she’s never seen in her whole entire life! And she was eighteen years old, you know! She’s practically seen everything by now! Although she won’t deny some of them intimidated her a little. Just a smidge, though. There were many Bugbears who were dour in demeanor and didn’t crack a single smile when she mimicked her best jokes. And she meant it when she said she used nothing but the best! All her knock-knocks, funny noises of all flatulent flavors, she even told her prized joke about The Chicken. But it all fell on deaf ears, which made her think maybe they were deaf and she needed to use more slapstick.

But the Viridescent One didn’t give her time to try that out. Again, Harp Strum was tasked with the important job of proving herself to the flock! She needed to work hard and do terrible, awful, super gross tasks to prove that she wanted to be here more than anybody else! And she did, she really did, so much so that she stabbed one or more orcs who rudely questioned that. Which was probably why she was tasked with a different group today. Not because she wanted so badly to belong but because stabbing people within the flock was apparently wrong. She didn’t know. Nonetheless Harp Strum was still very, very, very excited to help move boxes and things and tiny Kobolds that were in the way from one room to the next down below the fortress’s gurgling belly. She hadn’t been that far down yet, so it was very interesting to see that it wasn’t broken down and in pieces like parts of the upper fortress was.

Which Harp Strum was fairly sure she was saying just as much to the others when the whole room shook with a mighty quake. Harp Strum screeched a nasty sound akin to a cat getting its tail stepped on as she jumped off the ground and onto a nearby crate as if that would save her from whatever made her whole world shake. Dust belched from the ceiling near the doorway and briefly filled the room with a thick fog that made her eyes water. Harp Strum rubbed at her beady black eyes with her clawed hands until she heard The Comic Relief known as Gristle-- who Harp Strum may or may not have framed for prior sweet crimes-- cackled happily that they had a new...wall? “A nice new wall!” Harp Strum repeated in Gristle’s peppy little voice, her head cocking to the side as she blinked towards the doorway only to find that there was no doorway to speak of now! Only a huge wall of rocks that made it very terribly hard to do anything close to their tasks. It was definitely, DEFINITELY a bad word.“Grruck!” said Harp Strum, who didn’t know what that Orcish word meant but she heard it enough to know it was perfect for unfortunate situations as these.

The Powerful Woman known as Dagg who barely said a word to Harp Strum and her many funny jokes spoke a whole entire sentence to the group when Dagg realized what happened. And that was how Harp Strum knew they were in a serious predicament since Dagg only saved her very, very pretty voice for special occasions. Harp Strum was halfway off her crate when Dagg addressed her, the gangly Kenku freezing in place as she didn’t know if she was about to be blamed for this. It would have been fair to. The Gods of Irony wouldn't have been able to resist picking on her for her bold words about how nice it was that this part of the fortress wasn't ruined just yet. Instead Dagg surprised and flustered Harp Strum’s little beating heart by saying she noticed her around camp and that she thought Harp Strum was good at assessing danger. Which was true, very true, but Harp Strum was just flattered she noticed. “Thank you so much, luv!” came the bubbly, girlish voice of a woman that didn’t match anyone’s voice in camp, let alone in the entire forest. It was sweet like honey and just as thick with an overbearing charm. Harp Strum beamed at Dagg, hopping over to her with a grin on her broken beak as she said in Dagg’s voice. “Harp Strum? look at rubble, please and thank you!” She finished with a flirty voice that would make an upstanding paladin blush.

Delightful! Delightful! A perfect opportunity to prove herself to her flock! She’ll help save them all from being trapped and be regaled a hero! Among many, of course, since Harp Strum knew from the size of the rocks that she couldn’t move them alone! She stood in front of the blocked doorway, eyeing the boulders, the shifting dust, and the flicker of light coming from the other side. Chewing on various ideas on how to get through, if they could get through, Harp Strum studied the arrangement with a keen eye. It took her a minute or two to figure it out, but the answer seemed plain as day to her! Strange how Dagg didn't see it, but maybe she still had dust in her eye. She chirped again in Dagg's voice as she proudly held her beak up high, Harp Strum feeling as tall as a giant as she happily announced. "Maybe get Gristle to help. Everyone else should create and assembly line to move the rubble from the door to that corner. Strongest to the front, weakest in the rear. We'll remove the rubble one piece at a time until we have a safe exit." Which was more or less Dagg's plan from the start, but you know, Harp Strum confirmed it would work swimmingly! And that's what mattered, right?

As she waited for more praise, it was then Harp Strum heard something in the distance. Pausing, she cocked her head to the side and then up towards the ceiling as the faint clang of metal and angry cries could be heard from above. The sound unmistakable, even for her, despite most of her life spent in human cities. It was the sound of battle. Real battle. The Innocent Babe known as Ayaga must have heard it, too, because he asked everyone to remain quiet. His melancholy eyes glued to above.

Harp Strum’s heart skipped a beat. And then another as the sound above continued. She looked back at the others, her breath hitching quietly as she tried to find the words to confirm she heard it, too. But her mind raced and her tongue dried. She had nothing but the noise itself to speak. So, she did. Reluctantly, hesitantly, worriedly, Harp Strum mimicked the sound her and Ayaga both heard.

The thunderous roar of battle.


OOCHarp Strum moved to G5, and I will make a roll to check on the rubble to see if I can garner any more information about it.

EDIT: NAT 20, BABBBYYY!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2020, 01:51 PM
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Baruuk Talonface
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Baruuk was no stranger to scut work. The low, menial jobs that always seemed to end up falling on the same people. Didn't matter who was in charge. 'Crap rolls downhill.', as they say. He sighed and then coughed slightly as he breathed in a face full of dust, stirred up by one of his more vigorous companions. There always seemed to be a rotating supply of people to work with. He briefly wondered if that was intentional. If you were always working with the same people, you'd start to count how long you'd been at the bottom of the pile. But by mixing it up, you got to hold on to the hope that soon you'd be the one moving up. His only consolation was that he recognized some of these faces, they weren't all brand new... he wasn't alone down here.

Clearing this chamber was the dullest of the dull scut work, but at least it wasn't quite as foul as it could be. Rubble, dirt and debris. Nothing too objectional. The crowd was a little strange, though. Two other bugbears? Then an orc, a kobold and... whatever Harp Strum was.

Baruuk was shaken from his reverie by literal shaking. He steadied himself and looked around, trying to figure out what was going on. The dust of the collapse had hardly had time to settle before Gristle was declaring his joy with their new living situation. The bugbear had to admit, the little kobold's boundless glee certainly took him out the situation for a moment. He shook his head, and gave a little chuckle. Maybe Gristle had it right. None of them seem to have been crushed... so at least there was that. Of course, Ayaga had to sour the mood by
bringing the harshness of reality back into sharp relief. Orcs, right?

Of course he could hear the sounds of battle from above, couldn't they all? But there was no way to join the fray yet. Another battle he was going to miss. Would he make his eventual escape only to discover another family slaughtered in his absence? Perhaps Dagg was right. They'd quickly shift all this rubble and ride out... well, walk out, reinforcing the battle above and bringing victory and glory along with them.

Baruuk hauled himself into position in the middle of the room, following Dagg's instructions. He wasn't the strongest, but nor was he the weakest. Middle of the pack. "I am also unhurt." He didn't know why he felt so strange talking to others of his own kind... particularly her. He resisted the urge to look at An'mal and see how the third member of their little set reacted to his stilted speech. Harp Strum repeated the instructions... and seemed confident enough in the plan. Given his druthers, Barruk would have liked to shore up the entranceway as they dug... but they had just finished removing all the shelving and boxes from the room. Nothing to do for it now but get to work. "Let's move some rocks."

OOC
 

 
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Old Dec 3rd, 2020, 03:46 PM
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It took several moments for the sounds of conversation and calls of his own name to break through the muddled haze of Gristle's concentration. He looked up, a dead cricket in one claw halfway to his mouth, as Ayaga snapped his fingers at him. Ayaga was nice, Gristle thought, crunching away at cricket exoskeleton as the orc told him to be careful. Everyone in this group was nice, or at the very least, not immediately out to kill him. That was good. He looked around, trying to figure out what everyone was talking about.

Scary-Lady Daggonae was pointing at the rubble that had fallen over the entrance and seemed to be organizing people to move it. That was good-- Gristle liked having someone who knew what was going on and how to survive it, as it meant there was less of that confusing "thinking" thing for him to do on his own. Gristle was much better at following orders than coming up with them.

He had missed part of her instructions, but luckily the very funny bird-lady Harp Strum helpfully repeated the section about Gristle, for which the kobold was grateful. Baruuk, too, mentioned moving rocks. Ok! Gristle can do that! He wasn't sure why they wanted to ruin this perfectly good cave by opening it back up to the surface, but everyone else seemed to agree on it which meant it must be a good thing. Harp Strum and Baruuk and Dagg and Ayaga and An'mal were very big and very smart, so they must be right.

Messily cramming the bedroll back into his pack, Gristle Moves to G4scampered up to the rubble and eagerly began to STR check: 16claw away at the rocks.

Hmm. Noises were coming from behind the rubble. Well that's odd-- Rubble doesn't usually make that kind of noise. It reminded him of something. Something... bad? Harp Strum mimicked the noise. Ah, now he recognized it!

"Oh!" he said brightly, snapping his fingers, "Yes, those are fighty noises!" He was pleased with himself for a solid two seconds before the implications of this truly dawned on him. "Oh, no, those are fighty noises!"

Why were his new surface-friends fighting? Was there a sewer gator up there? Were there Tall Scaleless Folk in armor with swords? The kind who tear down walls and made his whole kobold clan mysteriously disappear and left him all alone?? He didn't want his new family to disappear. Last time that happened, he discovered the Surface and it wasn't nice. He didn't think he wanted to have to discover ANOTHER whole new world of strange creatures and be all alone again.

He started to dig a little faster.


 
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Old Dec 5th, 2020, 10:56 AM
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An'mal hadn't been sleeping well at all since he'd rumbled into the forest encampment on the back of one of Khu'pa and Aleese's ox drawn wagons and the elderly orcish couple had set up shop. Khu'pa had encouraged An'mal to find his own place within the warband. With those fierce looking Worg riders they had passed on their way in, it was pretty clear that they wouldn't need An'mal on lookout anymore. And so An'mal had thrown himself into the grunt level tasks he was assigned by this Tucker guy. An'mal was no stranger to hard work. Tucker reminded An'mal of his now deceased gang's own resident architectural genius, Slaish, so An'mal worked extra hard to impress his new boss. But it was the nights that were killing him. With all the fidgeting, farting and fighting that went on well past sunset, there was no way a bugbear could get the twelve hours sleep he needed to face the day with the proper demeanor. And last night had been the worst.

Not far from the nest he'd made for himself some wise guy had stayed up well past bed time cracking endless knock knock jokes. Admittedly they were pretty funny and An'mal had chuckled away more than once despite his growing crankiness. Not to mention the poet who seemed to be struggling to remember the names of the people from his poem... listening to the guy remembering and remembering and remembering and remembering was not the way An'mal preferred to wake up before the sun had even cracked the sky.

So when he found himself clearing out junk in a musty room beneath the ruins, An'mal found himself drawn to one corner of the room that looked so snug and comfortable that one could hardly argue with the voice that crept into the back of his mind, coaxing him towards that corner and rustle down beneath the tarps that lay there behind the stack of crates. No one would miss An'mal if he just closed his eyes for a few moments; a brief power nap, the briefest of its kind after which he would awaken energised and ready to work twice as hard! His lids drooped over his eyes and sleep came quickly as An'mal reassured himself that a nap was the right thing to do.

The beat of rocks thudering to the ground awoke An'mal from his rejuvenating slumber. The vibrations floor were still humming through his body and for a moment An'mal was unsure where he was exactly, what with the tarpaulin covering him completely and leaving him surrounded in the warm darkness he had wrapped around himself. As his senses returned An'mal had the distinct sensation that something or someone was sitting on his head, moving around, gently clawing his face through the tarp like a cat settling down on its bed. "... so I'll live here!" Was that wee Gristle, the musical prodigy? An'mal had already taken a shine to the tiny kobold; Gristle was music in movement. Nevertheless, An'mal couldn't have Gristle living on his head.

Fingers snapped and shushed Gristle's chatter. An'mal recognised the voice. It was the poet who had been so busy remembering all morning. An'mal frowned. But the poet said something that caught An'mal's attention. "Listen ... do you hear bloodshed?" Did he? An'mal tried to ignore Gristle's nest making on his head and catch the poet's meaning.

A new voice made catching much of anything other than bossy commands difficult. Gristle scampered away suddenly, leaving An'mal's head kobold free beneath the tarp, so An'mal stood up. Well he rose up, draped in the dark heavy wax coated fabric of the tarp, like a dark ghost arising from the corner of the room. The dark spirit moved liked death itself towards the fallen rocks blocking the entrance. "Hrugghek wanders the halls!" An'mal intoned in a deep voice thick with sleep, something that sounded quite fitting of a spirit from beyond the grave. The edges of the tarp were trapped beneath the pile of heavy crates and so An'mal soon walked out from under it, stretching his muscular back and standing to his full height of nearly 8 feet. His normally tidy well kept hair was frayed to one side and sticking up whislt remaining flat where he had rested his head. It looked like a bird had tried to nest there ... well, not a bird but rather a kobold. Heavy bags of gray sat grumpily beneath An'mal's half lidded blood shot eyes. He didn't look too enthused about being awake yet, but if there was blood in the air, sleep would have to wait. "Must be work to be done" An'mal finished, taking stock of the debris and the work group forming to clear it.

Amidst the barks, An'mal had heard something about strongest to the front. Ah, the barks were from that fiery lass An'mal had seen around. Made sense. She was obviously talking about him, so An'mal moved to the front. He stood in front of the rock pile for a moment. Instead of hauling rocks, he took in a deep breath and closed his eyes. The air was full of dust and breathing so deeply made him cough a bit despite trying to smother the reflex. An'mal sought out the music of the battle that supposedly rang out above. The moment he found it, his eyes snapped open. "Let's rock!" An'mal bent down and began hauling rocks, tossing them so that they bagan to land upon the ground (where no one was standing) in some sort of abstract rhythm to the dissonant sounds of clashing swords, shouts and savage screams that raged above.
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Last edited by jbear; Dec 5th, 2020 at 11:03 AM.
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Old Dec 7th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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The sounds of fighting coming from beyond the collapse was unmistakable. They needed to get out of this room and fast if they were to help in any meaningful way.

Luckily, her direction seemed to be well-received by the group because everyone immediately sprang into action.

Harp-Strum was directing them on which Boulders to pull and which to avoid.

Ayaga, Baruuk, and An'mal were making short work of the labor-intensive process of digging themselves out of this cave-in.

Even Gristle was getting in on the action, carting off small rocks and insect carcasses as he was able.

Dagg was a little dumbfounded by the situation. Were they not going to talk down to her and tell her that her plan was stupid or flawed in some way? Were they really just going to do as she directed without so much as an errant punch being thrown at her? Clearly, they were building her up with false confidence to enact some other, more harsh, degredation later.

She quietly made her assessments as she began assisting in the clearing of the rubble.
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Old Dec 7th, 2020, 10:27 AM
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Day 1

Interesting things were now happening within this small room. Not only was there a group dealing with the issues of being on one side of a relative cave in, but a group structure was starting to form. Bonds were starting to develop. Leaders were leading, and followers were following. Some might even say that a group dynamic was developing naturally. As a side effect of that dynamic, the group was moving forward, rock by rock.

As the grunts and groans of moving rocks started, things started to move around the room. The room that the group had worked so hard to clean was now nothing of the sort, and the throwing of boulders had it's own effects on the room, along with the light coming from the hallway outside. As things moved around, the sounds of battle was becoming clearer and clearer. Was it because they could hear better with rocks not in the way, or was the sound coming closer.

All manner of clangs and bangs gave several of the group members memories of battles previously fought. Some remembered sneak attacks made by elf, others remember sieges by and against dwarves. There are even some sounds of magic floating through the air. There was a sense of urgency starting to grip the group. A bit of urgency, and a stronger sense of purpose.

OOGMCurrently 5/10 successes.
Low Light Conditions are in effect.

 


Opening the doorwayOpening the doorway requires several cumulative successes from the following:
  • Standard action: Str or Athletics check DC10
  • Bonus action: Str or Athletics check DC13

You are effectively moving the rubble in order to make a hole big enough for:
  • Large Creature, or Medium with Powerful build: 10 Successes
  • Medium Creature: 9 successes
  • Small Creature: 8 successes

Since you have the option of both a standard action and a bonus action, one person can make two successes in a round, if they want to go faster.


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Old Dec 7th, 2020, 12:43 PM
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An'mal
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Name: An'mal
 

 

 

 



The clashing of sword crept closer. "Clash, crrr ke-clash, clash clash". Rocks thumped upon the ground. "Thum. Thum. Thum tha-thum thum." The light from the other side of the growing crack gave life to the swirling dust that filled the air. An'mal closed in on the next line of rocks, picking out what he deemed the biggest and heaviest within his long limbed reach, a rumbling in his chest arose as a few broken words between hums.

"We rock ...hum hum... on the front line
A battle right out of the blue
The air's alight with the sound of a fight
Heads will roll and rock tonight"


More rocks thudded out of the way. An'mal didn't even notice, completely caught up in his slightly off key half sung mutterings, but the dyed tufts of hair that coated his forearms, calves and back seemed to stand up on end. A close observer might even swear that his messy bed hair righted itself as An'mal rocked on... but of course that was impossible. One of the heavy rocks slipped out of An'mal's hand and landed on his toe. "AAAAAAooooooooowwwwww!" he bellowed. His bellow was somehow more in key than the rest of his tune.
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Last edited by jbear; Dec 7th, 2020 at 04:20 PM.
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Old Dec 7th, 2020, 10:14 PM
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"Careful now." Dagg cautioned as she kicked the rock off of An'mal's foot. "We'll need you fit for the fight that follows."

She gave him a nod as she continued on their task. The large rocks were heavy, but thanks to Harp-Strum's direction, they were manageable.

"Keep at it, everyone! Can you hear that? We're nearly through!" Her voice bellowed over the sounds of their continued progress.
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Old Dec 8th, 2020, 12:27 AM
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The little kobold crowed with delight as the rocks shifted, creating a perfect exit.

"A victory for us!" he squeaked, bouncing from one foot to the other. "This is a great door."

With all the grace of a drunken gopher, Gristle crammed himself into the small gap between the stones. He struggled for a moment but soon popped out on the other side.

"Yes yes! Now we can all escape!" He waited a moment, expecting the others to follow. No one did.

Hm.

Maybe, he thought, his new Surface friends didn't know how caves worked, what with living in that big scary Above-Ground place. Well, Gristle was the expert at living underground! He'll have to show them!

He poked his head back through the hole to look at his trapped companions.

"Don't worry! You can go out this way!" he chirped. He was greeted with the sight of someone's shins. He stared at the legs for a solid 20 seconds before something occurred to him.

"Oh," he said. "Oh! This is a great door, but you are all too big for a good normal door like this one. Not your fault!" he added quickly, "I'm sure you didn't choose to be hatched as Things That Are Not Kobolds!"

Hmmm. How to solve this problem? He could try to make his friends smaller, but that would probably involve chopping off legs, and his friends seemed pretty attached to theirs. Well then, he'd just have to make the door bigger! Truly, he was the genius of his time.

He grabbed the edges of a large boulder and pulled with all his might. His feet scraped fruitlessly against the dusty floor as Gristle fails his strength check with an 8the boulder itself remained perfectly motionless.

"Hmph! That rock is not good," he huffed. "Maybe these are one-way rocks." He squeezed himself back through the kobold-sized hole in the wall and rejoined the others. He grabbed a much-smaller rock and Bonus action: Strength check PASSES with a 20this time had more success on moving it away.


 
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Old Dec 8th, 2020, 10:51 AM
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Baruuk had to give the group credit; they'd already made a sizeable dent in the pile of rubble blocking their exit. The ceiling seemed to be holding, and they'd be out of here in no time. He briefly thought back to his old tribe. The biggest third would have spent their time lazing around, bullying the smaller bugbears into doing the work. The middle third would have fought amongst themselves to figure out who had to actually do work. The final third would have set about their work with a sullen air, and in the end, the whole process would have taken much, much longer than if everyone had just done their part. Their loss still stung, and he wasn't sure how he felt about his new life under Yddraixl... but you couldn't argue with the results.

He shook his head to chase away old memories and reached out with his arms. He could see the smaller members trying to scrabble at the rocks, to some degree of success. But Gristle in particular liked to bite off more than he could chew. Still, the tiny kobold had identified a prime candidate. Baruuk strode over to the rock he'd watched the bard fail to move a moment before and effortlessly hauled it away. Once released it rolled itself clear of the rubble pile and rested nicely against one wall. With a self-satisfied nod, and a little misplaced confidence, he reached for another large rock and gave it a heave. It moved... just a little, followed immediately by a shower of smaller rocks from above that clattered around Baruuk's head and shoulders. With a stinging faceful of dust and a number of new bruises, he left the boulder where it was and stepped back sharply. "Maybe not that one."

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Last edited by hafrogman; Dec 8th, 2020 at 10:54 AM.
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Old Dec 8th, 2020, 10:58 AM
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Don’t panic. Don’t panic. The nest is fine. The flock is safe. It has to be. It will be. Because if it wasn’t then...then…

Harp Strum clutched at her pounding heart. The pain tight in her chest. Constricting every breath she made until the room was spinning out of control. She closed her eyes tightly, trying to block out the sound of her erratic heartbeat and the orchestra of violence that erupted above their very heads. But it was so loud, so very loud. And she could barely make out what everyone else was saying. She heard them speak-- Dagg, Gristle, even The Flawed Ruler known as Baruuk whose solemn voice always drew Harp Strum in-- but a strange kind of deafness had fallen over Harp Strum. The voices of her would-be flock were muffled and distant. Like Harp Strum was pushed underwater where the only thing she could hear was herself. Her doubts, her fears, her past mistakes; it drowned everything else out.

Don’t panic. Don’t panic. The nest is fine. The flock is safe. It has to be. It will be.

Don’t panic. Don’t panic. The nest is fine. The flock is safe. It has to be. It will be.

Don’t panic. Don’t--

THUD!!

The loud crash of a boulder landing squarely behind Harp Strum snapped her out of her panicked episode. Harp Strum’s feathers puffed out in every direction as her close brush with death had her squawking in surprise and looking like a puffball. She leapt away from the spot, cowering behind Ayaga as she looked up and around to try and figure out where it had fallen from. Harp Strum feared it was the roof caving in but then she heard him. The Euphonious One. The Bombastic One. The Big Lunk. He was here. Him and his glorious luscious locks that shined prettily like Harp Strum’s favorite blue stone was here. The joy Harp Strum felt was worthy of a song or two for she liked the one named An’mal. He was always singing in camp when he should have been doing something important. She liked that about him. That and how little he noticed her watching him from the shadows.

And he was here! Oh! Oh! He was here! And already fast at work at the rubble that stood between them and freedom! A song on his lips as he steadily threw another boulder across the room like it was nothing at all! A heroic vision straight out of the many bardic tales Harp Strum heard from the pink men! And he was not alone, either. Harp Strum blinked as Dagg joined him with ease. Her muscles flexing in a way that made Harp Strum’s heart flutter strangely as she easily lifted a rock twice--nay, three times Harp Strum’s size and threw it aside like it weighed no more than a sack of fuzzy potatoes! And little Gristle, sweet Gristle, foolish Gristle, he moved a rock as well! Her favorite Kobold-- and he was undoubtedly her favorite for the way he banged on his little drum constantly at every hour of every day--didn’t allow his fear to take hold of him like Harp Strum did! He acted, just like the others did, too, when faced with the worst.

Harp Strum’s feathered brow furrowed at the realization that she was very, very foolish to allow herself to get caught up in her dour thoughts. Things were supposed to be different here. For all of them. And already she acted like it wasn’t going to be. But no more! No more! She will play her part, too! Like she promised the Viridescent One! And she’ll start by picking up a rock and moving it! Just like the others!

“Let’s rock!!” Harp Strum repeated An’mal’s chant, her clawed fists thrown into the air with all the excitement she could muster in her tiny body. Harp Strum hopped over to a rock near Dagg. It was huge and menacing and very, very, very important to remove if they wanted to make headway to the other side. Harp Strum grabbed it with both her hands, dug her feet in, and lifted--and lifted--annnnd liiiifted---aaaaaannndd liiiiiiffteeeed--and it wasn’t going anywhere. Huffing and puffing, Harp Strum fell across the rock, exhausted. Her arms already aching. She had no idea how Baruuk, Dagg, and An’mal did it with such ease. Maybe she was choosing the wrong rock to start with. It was pretty big. And shaped weird. Kind of looked like Baruuk’s mopey face if she looked at it long enough.

She pulled at Dagg’s shirt to gain her attention. Harp Strum flexed her non-existent muscles before she repeated in An’mal’s voice again, “Let’s rock!!” and pointed at the pesky rock she just couldn’t move. Harp Strum figured that Dagg-- or anyone else for that matter, Harp Strum wasn’t picky-- could move that terrible rock for her. Which wouldn’t be so terrible for them since Harp Strum already warmed it up for them. Moving on to another rock, Harp Strum stared at it with a thoughtful squint before she decided it was just too big for her. And like before, she pointed at it for the others to pick up. Harp Strum’s foot tapping to the music An’mal made as she went from rock-to-rock, boulder-to-boulder, deciding that each one was either too big, too square, too ugly, until Harp Strum found one that was absolutely perfect!

It was a rock that was perfectly spherical. Not a single craggy crater found on its silky smooth surface. Harp Strum knew it was meant for her the moment she laid her eyes on it. Spitting into her hands, she rubbed her scaly palms together and grabbed it from the bottom. She grunted and huffed and pulled with all her might. Harp Strum’s right eye twitching as she used every ounce of strength she could muster to pull it free. She just. needed. to move. it. a little. and.

Harp Strum’s foot slipped out from underneath her. The Kenku squawking in terror as she fell tail-feather over head onto her back. A flurry of baby feathers fluttering into the air as she hit the ground with a loud thump. Harp Strum weakly croaked, “Heads will roll and rock tonight.” She just didn’t realize it would be hers! Owwww!



OOCI bet you can guess what I rolled for the STR checks.
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Last edited by Strangemund; Dec 8th, 2020 at 11:02 AM.
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