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  #31  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:47 PM
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Shinier than a Gnome's First Gear KitCleaning has its perks, today of all days.

Aurgus quickly becomes the leader of the group left inside, with Jimjar following his lead and helping out with the same kinds of things until otherwise directed, cleaning up his mistakes with the delicate detail all Gnomes are expected to have (to Aurgus anyway), and ultimately helping Shushar find his way, not quite as clumsy as he otherwise was. Aurgus even goes on to bait Jimjar, betting him to keep him on task. Gnomish: Oi, bet you're a toad!"اوئی ، شرط لگائیں کہ آپ ایک ٹاڈ ہیں!" It matters little who wins or loses, as long as the work gets done. And it does get done.
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Ront's life seems to rest in Aurgus' hands.


But Aurgus is not a toad, which is a nice touch at the end for his pride.

As they work, Darendil and Ront bring in water to refill their buckets so they have clean water to work with, to drink for the soldiers, to power some mechanism. Treated a mules, it clearly irritates Darendil more than Ront; the latter, an Orc, was likely subjected to worse treatment in his camp, meaning this was particularly meaningless as far as cruelty goes. Darendil, claiming to be a prince, has more to lose.

On their third trip back up the elevator, as they reenter the barracks the Gnomes and fish-man work in, a Drow guard trips Ront, causing him to slam his long yoke of buckets into Darendil, spilling one of his own and causing Darendil to spill both of his everywhere, right at Aurgus' feet. The transfigured prince, cursed or not, roared, singing his rage in Elvish before his eyes flashed red and he stool, a head taller than Ront, and grabbed him by the throat. The Drow guards did not immediately draw their weapons, watching as the disadvantaged Orc was backed into the wall. The yoke on his back prevents Ront from responding in kind, and he gurgles from behind his his tusks as Darendil's own eyes go red in rage. He snarls, drooling at the mouth, his fur rippling as if he were one of those other creatures, the Quaggoths, and it occurs to Aurgus in that fearful moment that Darendil looks just like a Quaggoth.

Jimjar looks away. Shushar says something, in clear Undercommon: Undercommon: Please, prince, you'll kill him!"Qualla qu'ess, do'rn elgg ukta!" He does not heed the warning.

The Drow grin widely at the show, some even cheering. Ront's life seems to rest in Aurgus' hands.
Diamonds in the RoughThere are many explosions in the crystal mines, or Quaggoth den, depending on how one wants to look at it, and most of them are positive.

They all work hard, though perhaps they wear it better than Aryka does. Not used to such strenuous activity, it exhausts her Aryka suffers from Exhaustion until the end of a Long Restfaster than anyone else. A sad thing, but not one that most prisoners are willing to grant pity over. She is, after all, the favorite. All the same, they work. Laudan is creative enough to use her spellcasting, something that, along with her frustrations, draws the attention of the Quaggoths, if not the guards themselves. She is careful to toe the line.

Because Stool has unlocked communication between everything.

Oh, not everyone. You have to actively think it to everyone before you send out a thought to everyone! Stool thinks loudly, allowing everyone to hear. Another voice booms in, laughing at first before speaking in a highly dignified accent. Oh, that is quite lovely, Myconid was it? Are you of the Neverlight Grove? Emdal infers, and soon so does everyone, that the voice belongs to the Derro, Buppido, who continues to work as if nothing wrong is going on. Do you know it? Do you know how to get there!? I wanna go home real bad! Buppido chuckles mentally. Oh I know it, little one. A glorious and gorgeous place, and I can get you there, if we can get out of here. As the thought enters everyone's head, he looks directly at Emdal, then at Isarrel, his unruly dusty facial hair hiding any kind of reaction, along with his milk-white eyes. Nothing else comes from Buppido for a time.
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"... I can get you there, if we can get out of here."


Oh jolly geez, that'd be so great, thank you, thank you! But Shushar said there's no way out of here, not unless we figure out a way to use the elevator to get to the pool below and watch out for the spiders, and also maybe get our things back because everyone came in here with weapons, which he hates because he's a pacifist, but I told him I didn't know what that idea meant, so he explained it to me that his people are real violent and he wanted to enlighten them and everyone, and that if we wanted to get out of here, someone has going to have to do something drastic, and that we would have to wait for the right moment, but I don't know what that is, and I don't know what a moment is, and I just wanna go home! Maybe this thought thing needs an off-spell.

Everyone begins to experiment with the thoughts. The Elf explores keeping her thoughts to herself, and in due course is largely successful, her own digging process largely successful. Rollo introduces himself and has almost instantaneous success keeping his thoughts to himself, controlling them quite well. Laudan uses her own proficiency to express her dislike of this place and her thankfulness to Stool, who returns it in kind.

The only person in their group who says nothing is the Svirfneblin, the male twin who keeps staring at the entrance to the cavern. He works, haphazardly.

The work is exhausting. By the end of all of it, Aryka and the Svirfneblin are breathing heavily, ready to pass out, yet they are not yet done. They have to show what they found, and are patted down to find it.

Everyone found something, at least, which spares them the rod. Some are better than others, with Laudan having blasted one the size of her hand, unrefined and only partially burnt from the blasts, and Isarrel finds a long thin one, at least the size of Emdal's forearm. The Drow are quite pleased and rechain everyone, taking them back to a sleeping Eldeth and a bored Turvy, with Topsy rushing to her the second he can. Food is brought out and each person gets a bowl, the Drow are so pleased.

The others have not yet returned. They have a moment to potentially talk further, to rest, and, if they want to, plan.
  #32  
Old 10-08-2019, 04:39 PM
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Worn out from the work, it took visible effort for Issarel to maintain her perfect posture. Her muscles trembled as her limbs begged to be released from the strict expectations that had been placed upon them. As she handed over the long crystal that she had found, her hand shook as if it had a mind of its own, despite all of her attempts to keep it still. Whenever the drow wasn't watching, she would cast a tiny spell - the only one she really knew - to cleanse the sweat from her skin and fill the air around her with the faint smell of freshly bloomed lilies after a spring rain. She had worked so carefully to cultivate her image even in this dark dank hell that, when a bead of freshly formed sweat dripped down her forehead and onto her nose, a level of undeniably almost unreasonable panic arose in her that was hard to contain. Her mouth gaped slightly and she almost lost her already precarious grip on her blanket before retreating back to the edge of the cave. A moment and a whisper later, and her face appeared dry and clean once more, finally allowing her to calm her frenzied heart.

It wasn't until they were led back that she noticed the poor condition of two of her cell mates. They were so exhausted that neither had touched their food and instead they lay leaning in various positions against the hard stone wall. A brief sense of joy passed over her, seeing the red-headed human so unhappy, before it was replaced with a feeling she wasn't very accustomed to.

'I didn't even notice before... they must think so little of me. Wouldn't they feel so blessed if I were to be the one to tend to them? Of course, they would think themselves lucky and as would the others to find themselves with someone so beautiful, inside and out,' she thought, trying to assuage a strange feeling of guilt that she couldn't shake.

She scooted down to the two, trying to keep the chains from pulling on her sore limbs. After checking to make sure she wouldn't be noticed by guards she began tending to them. She magically cleaned any wounds that they had, as well as their faces, and warmed their manacles to a comforting temperature.

"Here," she said, pointing to their metal bindings, "let them rest on your aches. It will ease them in time. Not even the fallen ones' favored toy deserves such a treatment." She smiled.

Afterwards, she forced small puffs of air past them creating a small breeze to cool them down.

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Last edited by DaysUntold; 10-18-2019 at 09:46 PM.
  #33  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:43 PM
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Rollo had one of those moments-- those moments he was sure everyone had at one point-- of humming a song inside his head, yet not quite grasping the words of said song. Inside his own mind, the tune sounded awfully familiar like he had heard it from somewhere. It was a really good song. It was a frustrating endeavor to put lyrics to whatever his mind had pulled it up from.

His dark purple-blue tail flicked back and forth in a cat-like annoyance, although it was a bit more menacing by the sharp barb at the end; scraping the dirt and stone with the sound not unlike a blade across a whetstone. One good thing about his focus on an unnamed ditty was that it kept him from feeling the monotony of the mine and the cuts on his hands. Rollo felt the rawness and pulling of ruined skin, sure. But blasted, his memory was shot.

The Tiefling pursed his lips as he listened in on the others’ thoughts, and he filed away some information. ‘--not unless we figure out a way to use the elevator to get to the pool below’. That was useful. Was Shuushar that fish-person-thingy, right? Shuushar was probably correct in thinking that causing a drastic diversion of some kind, or take a massive risk, was the only way out and Rollo would keep an eye out for that right moment.

He was ready for a risk. If he was destined to die down here it was going to be on his terms. He’d be damned if he was going to wither away like a grape in the sun. No-sir-y! He wasn’t going to be turned into a raisin! He'd go out as a fat, plump grape cut down in his prime. Everyone would say he went down swinging and not like a beaten dog.

As they were all lead back, his eyes were attentive to any sort of keys on their Drow capturers. If he could get his hands on them…Too bad he couldn’t make a copy. As soon as he took them, he’d have to act fast-- they all would. The keys would be missed, he was sure. Carving or shaping anything took too long. He learned that with the shiv he had started to make and was found out not too long after. Whatever he was going to do, it was going to have to be done silently and quickly.

Rollo lay completely sprawled on the cool, dirty ground with his eyes closed and his head resting against something hard. Probably a rock. The chill was welcomed against his sweaty back and aching muscles. He didn't give the shackles a second thought as his mind wandered...

Underground. No, maybe it was up top. It had been both? He had gone there for some reason. Wait...Where was there? Smiling faces and deep voices. The clattering of spoons against cups in a tempo. Feet stomped, joining in. Festive air despite the dreary song subject. The smell of sweat and dirt.

Suddenly, Rollo's eyes fluttered open. He couldn’t place where he’d had learned it, but it came back to him almost immediately. “Ohhh…” Rollo breathed, “I remember how it went, now.”

He smiled a sharp-toothed smile as he sang the song he swore must’ve been from the Dwarves. Or was it from the Deep Gnomes...The Humans? Eh, at least he had the words at last, after grasping in the haze of his mind for hours. But, it had to be of the smaller folk as no one could beat them in song, after all! It was a thing of personal pride to know that to be true.


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Last edited by Odyssey; 10-08-2019 at 09:04 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:22 AM
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Aryka Finnister
Female Human Bard

 


Bedraggled and dragging, Aryka sat down heavily. Her day may not yet be over, if Ilvara decided that some entertainment was in order for the evening. On days like this, Aryka did not feel much like the favored one, but it was too late to change course now.

She sits still as the food is passed around again, collapsing into herself until she is a mere tangle of emaciated limbs wrapped up in a small knot. Once the distribution is done, though, she unties herself and stares at the puréed mess of mushroom, this time served on what seems to be a large insect shell. This place truly deserves to be one of the Hells.

As she stares, Issarel makes her way over and tends to both herself and the svirfneblin. Aryka smiles a weary thanks at the elf. Your kindness is appreciated, she thinks. Issarel's kindness is touching in a way that warms Aryka more than the warmed manacles. Aryka is warmed through. She sits up a little straighter. She seems a little more alert.

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Aryka, listening
Then the tiefling begins to sing. He had a fine natural voice, if untrained, and his command of pitch was good. Aryka did not recognize the song, so she wrapped her arms around her knees and listened. By the second verse, she's humming a harmony line. By the third time the chorus goes by, she can sing along, albeit in sotto voce. As he finishes, she sighs. You'll have to teach me that one, she thinks in Rollo's direction. It's really quite lovely. It reminds me of a song I know. It sounds better with the violin, but I think I can still sing it.

She sings, then, and it's easy to see why she has such a high opinion of herself: her voice is rich and mellifluous, resonant and transcendent. As an instrument, it's gorgeous. Her performance, on the other hand, is lacking. With such an expressive voice, the failure to use it well is particularly offensive. But rather than the song, what comes through most clearly is her exhaustion. In one place she stumbles on her phrasing. Her tongue gets tied on the lyrics in one passage. In the end, her performance makes the song sound more repetitive than nuanced.

She knows she didn't do the song justice, but she recognizes that she's too tired to do much better. She frowns, feeling worse for having given the song a go. It's not a feeling she's used to. Still, the music was stirring that thing in her that Issarel awakened. It says something about her self-awareness, that she can criticize her own performance.

That thing, that vital spark of personhood, of agency and consciousness: that is the thing that is stirring after a prolonged absence. Aryka is realizing that she is not alone.

I have some things to share, she thinks. Information about our captors. We should wait for the others, though. Stool, can you do the telepathic spore cloud thing again, when the others are back?

Also, I am going to try to heal Eldeth. It would be nice if someone could distract the guards. Aryka drags herself over, moving closer to the sleeping dwarf, before finally settling in to eat. She takes a bite of her insect-and-mushroom taco. Maybe when I'm done eating.

 

Last edited by phinar; 10-09-2019 at 02:04 PM.
  #35  
Old 10-11-2019, 12:19 PM
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Emdal Daerdahl
Male Shield Dwarven Ranger
 

The others found far better crystals than he could - some larger than he even imagined! Was this small chunk of crystal sitting in his mouth even worth the effort of hiding when larger ones were present. Though, he wouldn't be able to hide anything larger than what he had. He only had one other spot he could even possibly hide a large crystal like the one the fancy elf held - but that was an impossibility since that was an exit only. Even now he would be pressed to find a better spot for the one he had. He could risk tying it in his beard but that would likely be found along with the other item. He could probably pin it against his waist and this damned mushroom cap but when he could safely do that and to the degree it would hold is up for question. What were these things for anyways?

All this pondering was pointless as more important information was being given - elevator. They need to get on it somehow, but how was the platinum question. He would need to speak with the others on this later when they were alone. His mind turned to Stool "Lad, how long kin ye do th's ere trick whit ta mind talkin?" if they were to talk then it needed to be quiet, and he needed his traitorous tongue that seized at the worst times to be omitted from the equation. The call to stop digging was given and each of them turned in their quarry. His ancestors would probably weep at the sad results he yielded - though his ancestors would probably weep that his grandsire decided to turn to brewing over digging. Upon being patted down he realized that the didn't bother to check his mouth! What luck! He still hadn't the foggiest on what this damned crystal did though so the accomplishment felt almost hallow. Regardless, he was, for once, appreciative of his 'mean' face for one couldn't tell he was quite happy in this moment.

Being lead back to their cage he shoved the crystal in-between his lip and jaw and accepted the mushroom mush this time. He felt the urge to hurl it back up and fought it off - he also felt the crystal digging into his gum as he finished his share and passed it along as Rollo began humming his tune. He couldn't properly recall if that was a dwarven song or no, he wasn't much for hanging in taverns - to the dismay of his kin. He heard the human ask the little myconid the question he was going to ask. He had no information to share - that didn't mean they didn't need to discuss what the little one shared with them. Mayhap he could even speak to Shuusha once he returned.

Listening to the humming he felt it would be best to remove that crystal from his mouth, give his gums a rest; maybe try hiding it in his skirt and hope that hold. Aryka began stating her intents when the dwarf tried to
Dice * Sleight of hand:
d20+2 (2)+2 Total = 4
carefully remove the crystal from his mouth and move it towards his skirt. As he shifted his stance and covered his mouth momentarily to pretend it was a nervous twitch he scooped one of his dirty fingers into his mouth feeling the crystal and tried to grab it. Sadly, the crystal was still slightly covered in mushroom gruel and saliva and slipped not only out of his mouth but from his hand and to the ground.

As the crystal hit the ground his eyes widened as his hand darted to it and eyes darted to the nearest spot where the guards weren't looking and
Dice * Throw Rock:
d20+4 (20)+4 Total = 24

OOC - ofc i get a nat 20 on a rp "attack" roll
threw the crystal as fast as he could with scary accuracy off into the darkness hoping they would turn their attention to it even for a moment or two. "Hopefully that did tha trick!?" he thought outloud already lamenting his decision. What if that thing was helpful!!? What if someone saw him? Curse his dumb hands!
 

Last edited by Retry; 10-11-2019 at 01:57 PM.
  #36  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:55 PM
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Aryka Finnister
Female Human Bard

 


As much as she asked for it, it still comes as a surprise when Emdal spits out a crystal and flings it off into the darkness. It's a surprise, but a welcome one.

Aryka seizes on the distraction, slowly but smoothly extending her hand to touch Eldeth's broken finger. Softly, she murmurs, "Light warms all! Light warms all!Me'a urna ilya! Me'a urna ilya!" It's a line from an Elvish nursery rhyme, delivered in perfect sing-song, but somehow the words mean more, have deeper weight than Aryka's whisper alone conveys. The words mean the warmth of a summer's day; they evoke that moment when the dawn crests the hills and the mist rises from the fields. The words themselves invoked the spark of life, a spark that Aryka channels down into Eldeth's broken finger.

Aryka tries to keep her back to the guards, to block their line of sight. She doesn't want to be caught casting, for fear of what they'll make her do.

But at what cost to Emdal has she bought her little deception? She looks to the dwarf worriedly.

Thank you, she thinks in Emdal's direction.


 

Last edited by phinar; 10-11-2019 at 04:20 PM.
  #37  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:02 AM
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Aurgus "the Thick"
Rock Gnome Cleric



Pausing from his furious scrubbing of the smooth, stone floor of the barracks Aurgus leaned back to sit on his heals and catch his breath. Wiping the sweat from his brow with the back of his arm, he watched out the entrance as the orc and the hairy beast of a "prince" approached with their loads of water. The gnome let out an appreciative grunt as he witnessed their ability to to move the masses of fluid. Well-suited to the task.

The scenario that followed seemed to occur in slow motion. Darendil had just maneuvered the containers hanging from his yoke through the entrance and Ront was positioning himself sideways to bring his load through as well. Aurgus saw the look on the Drow guard's face before he saw his action. A crooked, smirking grin that telegraphed there was soon to be trouble. There was no way the orc could have even seen the extended leg to avoid it, coming through the door with his backside to the heinous guard that stood watch over the barracks just inside the door. Once tripped Ront began to list and awkwardly rotate, trying in vain to regain control of the sloshing loads that hung from either end of his yoke. He smashed unto Darendil with a clamour of grunts and thunks, buckets spilling their contents and further unbalancing the yokes, accelerating the aqueous disaster.

The gnome's eyes widened as the tide of water made its way across the floor toward himself, felt its coolness as it wetted his hands and then knees and feet. Darendil, already on edge, went into a rage and immediately went after the orc. Aurgus' eyes scanned the room, and found the guards gawking at the situation and appearing more amused than anything. He briefly pondered escape. Is this the time? Do I make a go of it? The thought faded as quickly as it had come, a crude gurgling from Ront's throat bringing his attention back to the grudge before him. No, this wasn't the time. And he very well might need these folks when the time did arise.

Without putting much more conscious thought into it Aurgus found himself springing from the floor and sprinting to insert himself between the two prisoners. His nearly-naked body wet from the spilled water, he slickly wedged himself between the orc and the quaggoth. He looked up at them with a scowl and pressed against their bellies with all his might in an effort try to separate them. Having seen no indication that the three of them shared a tongue, he angrily chastised them in a chattering, piping tone, alternating back and forth between Gnomish and Common. "No! You idiots! Know you enemies!اپنے دشمنوں کو جان لو!" He looked quickly back and forth between them, his own eyes reddening with anger. "They make fools of you, pitting you against one another!وہ آپ کو بے وقوف بناتے ہیں ، آپ کو ایک دوسرے کے خلاف اڑا دیتے ہیں۔ Do you want to give them what they want? Do you want them to be pleased with themselves? They make you suffer... and you give them gifts!وہ آپ کو تکلیف دیتے ہیں ... اور آپ انہیں تحائف دیتے ہیں!"

He leans in and pushes on Darendil with both hands to try to make more room between the quaggoth and the object of his fury, looking up at the prince and taking on a pleading tone. "Save it! Save it for when the time is right!وقت بچنے پر اس کے لئے بچت کریں! And for the real enemy!" Panting from the effort and scowling with frustration the gnome balls his hands into fists and takes a firm posture, glaring up into the quaggoth's eyes. Don't you see? We are stronger together! Save it. Please!


 

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Last edited by Simandl; 10-15-2019 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Serious proofing and typo repair!
  #38  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:24 PM
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Laudan Khotz
Air Genasi Warlock


The strange, cute little mushroom creature filled Laudan's mind with words. Within those words was hope. She hadn't given the fish-man that Stool spoke of much of her attention in the tenday she had been in the Underdark. So many of the creatures were so exotic and foreign that she didn't know if they shared any similar thoughts, much less common moralities of her own enlightened homeland. The smallfolk tended to speak to each other in their rolling, tympanic language but she didn't know what It might contain. It was the same with the lilting speech of the elves, and the furry beast that also spoke it. But now, under the influence of the scented spores, she knew they had more in common than they didn't. Al least they had the desire to be free in common and what else was there at this point?

Back in the cave that was their prison, she looked at each of them that had returned as she sat in her spot, pulled into a tight ball of thin blue limbs. She watched as the woman who had gotten the worst of it tried to tend to those who had exhausted themselves in the effort of the mines. She cocked her head and watched the elf in her ministrations and listened to the devil-kind sing his song and the rejoined song of the other woman. What did she have to add? She stretched her neck and rested the neck manacle on her knees to ease the weight of it. When the dwarf fumbled for something in his mouth and then tossed it away as quickly as it emerged, she perked up and looked with concern toward the door guards. Aryka took the moment to move toward El-adeth. She put her hands under her folded legs and moved her fingers, whispered words of power came from her lips like a breeze over a bottle and a Gust cantrip pushing Emdal's gem 10' away from where it landedgust of wind tumbled the thrown stone further into the dark cave so the guards might not find it. "Careful, Dwarf-man. I hope that we will find your treasure before they do."

Laudan continued to watch the guards. But with her silence ended, she decided to add more, "I do not know what is the elevator or how to get us out from these slave chains, but I can, by the grace of Khotz, bring one of us safely down the falls to the bottom on the Levitate :Pwinds of Djinn if such a thing can help us. How can we get these bindings off of us?" There was a sort of agony in her voice in their minds as she concentrated on speaking to all of them.
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  #39  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:53 PM
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A Circus for DarknessThere's more to that Gnome than meets the eye.

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Ront's eyes begin to darken, as the blood in his veins strains for air. The Orc's windpipe begins to collapse as the Gnome begins roaring his orders, and at last, the Elven prince of sorts comes to his senses, realizing what lies at the end of his hand. He gives a curt laugh and crosses his massive arms. Elvish: Hm. Foolish Orc. Not worth my time"Amada Glamhoth. Il- e' amin coiasira." Ront, grabbing his throat, coughs, looking at Aurgus, looking fearful but thankful, before growling and using the Gnome to pick himself up, pushing hard on Aurgus. Unfortunately as he stands, he falls, too light-headed.

The Drow love it, almost falling over with laughter at the Orc's suffering.

After a moment, the hideously scarred Drow comes over, barking orders in Undercommon. Undercommon: That is enough, fools. Pick up the Quaggoth, prepare to head back to your filthy cave."Nindel zhah z'lonzic, oolos. Pict phor l'Quaggoth, orior ulu karliik rath ulu dosst nasket har'ol." He looks to Jimjar. Undercommon: And if your surface friend says anything again in your hideous language, or that disgusting Common tongue, I will remove his tongue from his head and nail it to his groin"Lu'ka dosst shinduago abbil tanaleth'u jalbol 'sohna wun dosst xanalress, xor nindel rul'selozan Rivvin ooble', Usstan orn drewst ukt ooble'dal ukt karliik lu'edru ol ulu ukt isscors". He says no more on the subject, and expects them to work.

Jimjar obliges, moving to Ront's side and nodding for Aurgus to help him. Gnomish: You did good, berk. Bet you can't lift him as good as I can."تم نے اچھا کیا ، برک۔ شرط ہے کہ آپ اسے اتنا اچھا نہیں اٹھا سکتے جتنا میں کر سکتا ہوں۔" He grins, his earring glistening in the dark room. Shuushar nods, coming over to help Aurgus.

A good turn. And soon, they will be returning to the cave with the others. Perhaps they fared better?
 
The Fun-giThe breeze comes; even the Drow notice it.

It is subtle at first, but breezes in the Underdark are rare. Stale air, humid or dry, is the norm in this place, so a breeze is welcome, and mysterious all at once. Everyone feels it, feels the relaxing gentle push Isarrel provides. The guards notice it and whisper something to themselves, but do nothing more than that. Not yet, Arkya notices.

Not yet, but they will. Whoever it was.

And then comes the singing, the Tiefling providing his own relaxation. Perhaps not relaxing, the content of the songs is perhaps not quite that relaxing to those who understand it, but it has rhythm and it sings to their soul. It is carthatic, and inviting, telling true their experience even if the exact incident is not true. Still, it is good for each of them, and it inspires Arkya to give a less than inspired performance of her own.

Then come the questions, the formulation of plans.

Oh, this? I can do it a long time; I need to refresh the spores every so often, but I'm just putting myself up in the air. We talk through the way your emotions and body-energy play with the spores, so so long as my spores are in the air, you can talk, like this! Lalala! I'll do it again when Shuushar and the others get back. Gee, do you think they'll be my friend too!? He stands and sits and stands again, like an excited little puppy. Spores go out into the air again, almost unseen and deathly quiet, and settle.

Hi Dwarf-lady! I'm Stool! We want to talk to you? Right, Emdal? Oh, this is Emdal, Dwarf-lady. What's your name again? Just think it!
left-aligned image
What is this? What have you done to us, Stool?


Wha' th' Devil is this!? Get outta me brain, ye wee mushpup!

I'm no mushpup, I'm Stool!

There is a grumbling, low and rumbling, almost mouse-like, within their heads now, and the two Svirfneblin, Topsy and Turvey, look to one another, the male mumbling. The female thinks. What is this? What have you done to us, Stool?

I've let you communicate with the rest of us, so we can all speak the same language! Hi Gnome-lady! I'm Stool!

They need a distraction to heal Eldeth, to get her a little more gregarious, and Emdal is the man for the job. Taking a crystal, he throws it with precision and force. It bounces off the wall, which gives it a spin as it sails and flies for the railing on the edge. It hits where the thin rope meets the wood, and causes it to break. The distraction is perfect: the two Drow rush forward to watch as the wood and rope tumbles down, and takes more with it. This was perhaps more than Emdal intended, but they now have something more interesting: a very dangerous rope ladder going down. How far? not very. But it's something.

Another breeze blows, the Drow too distracted to notice it, pushing the rock back towards the landing and at the mouth of the cave. Emdal's stone remains, hidden by the entrance of the cave. The Genasi's own work is as subtle as anything can be in this place.

The Drow are none the wiser as to where it came from.

And with that, Eldeth is healed.

Wha's goin' on!?

Someone had better stop Stool from explaining all this.
  #40  
Old 10-20-2019, 01:42 PM
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Aryka Finnister
Female Human Bard

 


Hello, Eldeth. It's Aryka. Don't panic. She takes a breath, scoots a little bit away. Nobody is prying into your thoughts, but we are able to communicate telepathically by sending thoughts to the group.

Now she scoots back against the wall, dragging the remains of her "meal" with her. I have healed you; hopefully you feel better.

The drow might not be too pleased with your recovery. Not sure what to do about that.

Speaking of the drow, I know some things that might be helpful. Aryka pauses and closes her eyes. Her forehead creases in concentration.

I learned things, watching them. Maybe useful things.

Like, I don't know what this shipment is, but I know it's late, and I know that's upsetting Ilvara. That might be useful to know?

But here's something I think is definitely useful. The warrior with the scarred face is Jorlan. He hasn't always had those scars. A few days back, he got in a fight with an ooze. Who would have ever thought I would root for an ooze? Not me, but then I never imagined this.
She smiles wanly at that.

He used to lead the warriors. He used to sleep with Ilvara. She cast him aside, and he doesn't like it. The new leader, Shoor, is cruel as Ilvara. He shares her bed now. Meanwhile Asha, Ilvara's second, has been spending a lot of time with Jorlan.

She pauses again, but doesn't look up, doesn't even open her eyes. So I have been thinking. I tried to remember every tale where someone escaped from slavery. There aren't a lot. That poem the Prince was quoting, earlier. It's an elvish epic about a slave revolt. In that story, the poet caught a guard by surprise and used his weapons against him. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to do so, but there are a good number of warriors here, and we are not all fighters ourselves.

Then in
Out of Thay, Harald escaped from the Red Wizards by virtue of an activist. He and several others were freed from captivity by a partisan; Harald was the only one of them to make it out of Thay.


She goes on like this for a while, summarizing eight distinct escapes — or attempts, in the case of a few — from captivity. Two are from the Underdark, but only one of those made it to the surface again. There's a theme: most of them are violent clashes with slavers that end in an escape.

But the story that I was thinking of, the story that Jorlan and Asha remind me of, is the story of a Luskani slave named Elisha the Brave. She took advantage of a rift between her owners. She ... she, uh, was of service to her mistress, and when her mistress triumphed, she was given her freedom.

Lamely, she finishes, Not that I think Jorlan or Asha is likely to free us. But I feel like we should be able to take advantage of this rift.
  #41  
Old 10-21-2019, 05:36 PM
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Laudan Khotz
Air Genasi Warlock


It was strange hearing the voice of the singer in her mind. Aryka liked to use many words and you couldn't get away from them. She did not relish the time when the foul tempered drow prisoner decided to speak. Thankfully, the stories were interesting and reminded her of the times she would sit and listen to the women talk and gossip at their leisure. Laudan was never a participant then. She was unwelcome.

The Genasi closed her eyes and remembered the white marble columns, the brilliant wool carpets and pillows that covered the intricate floor. She remembered the cool touch of that stone floor on her bare feet and the joyously wicked voices weaving their business. When Aryka finished, she found it difficult to add her own thoughts. The cork had been firmly placed in her throat. But as she opened her eyes and witnessed again the dank cave and the sores on her ankles where the bindings rubbed and would not relent, she found her voice again though that mental communication.

"I do not know when we can speak to Jorlan and Ashathese peoples alone to do as you say in the stories. Maybe violence is best if we know where we are going once we find our freedom. But where do we go? The Elevator? Where is this? Maybe with a bit of fleece, I can cast my Charm Personmagics again and gain a friend of one of these elves. But where can we find fleece in this place? El-adeth also knows the thing she helped me make. Shall I tell them of it friend, El-adeth?" Her mental words seemed solid and heavy compared with the breathy words of her own mouth.
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  #42  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:57 AM
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Isarrel listened as the others hatched plans. For a moment, she wished she had the intellect that her sisters and parents had, then again, they wished they looked like her. A smile came to her face at the thought, bringing with it some of the charm and glamour that seemed to endure within her despite the terrible place they were in. After all, who needs magic if men and women alike are willing do anything within their power to make you happy. As Arkya spoke, Isarrel daydreamed of the stories that some other little red-haired woman would tell of her someday.

"Maybe violence is best..." Lauden's voice said from somewhere deep within her mind and Isarrel let out a small laugh that sounded alien to this dark place, like little bells set to sway on the breath of a spring breeze.

"I'm sorry," she thought to the others, "I don't engage in violence."

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  #43  
Old 10-23-2019, 11:40 AM
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Rollo hadn’t moved from his place on the ground, his hands laced behind his head despite the pinch of the shackles on his wrists. He watched the others work together in healing the injured dwarf. He listened quietly as Aryka gave over helpful insight about the relationships between their drow capturers. Every detail, no matter how small, could be helpful.

The strange woman with blue skin, Laudan, mentioned fleece for her magic. He pursed his lips. The drow quarters might have something like that? They had luxuries. Perhaps, if some of them had to work there again, someone could look? He grinned to himself. It was nice they were all working together, now. Or, the beginnings of it.

Rollo shifted his head to look at Isarrel. He chuckled out loud. It was lighthearted though unabashedly amused. “You might not engage in violence,” Rollo thought, finally sitting up from his place on the ground, “but violence has certainly engaged with you.”

The lack of pupils made his stare an eerie one. He cocked his head to one side as he regarded the radiant elf, “If you don't 'engage in violence,' then what do you do?” The elf had a pampered air about her, that much he knew, but there had to be more to her than that, right? Rollo added, “I mean, if we are going to get out of here, we’re going to need everyone’s help in whatever way you all can. I, for one, am pretty sneaky. Ilvara was trying to be cruel, but she was right,” he wiggled his fingers with a smile, “I’ve got some lucky hands. Quick too, if need be.”

He looked over everyone, “Each of us has something to bring to the table. Aryka has already given us some valuable information that we could use, I told you what I can do. If we know what each other can do, then we’ll have a better idea of how to use everyone’s skills to make a plan and get out of here.”


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Last edited by Odyssey; 10-23-2019 at 11:41 AM.
  #44  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:23 PM
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Emdal Daerdahl
Male Shield Dwarven Ranger
 

Emdal was quickly beginning to like this- Stool. The lad kinda grew on you - though growing on things was a mushroom's specialty he supposed. "Thank ye, lad." he stopped himself from chuckling as he was re-introduced to Eldeth by the means of Stool's spores, last thing he needed was the guards to see was him chuckling after having successfully distracted him. He was very lucky for Laudan's aid in hiding the evidence after he placed a surprisingly well aimed shot.

He eyed the area where the rope fell down hanging over the edge then looked off in a different direction least he draw attention to it, listening in on the conversation that was going on. "Violence isn't always the answer, distractions, aversion, subterfuge - only when yer options are out should ye pull the bow string. Tha's at least what me Pa told me...As fer me - I'm good at findin me way through places like these. Use ta roam in these sort o places, that I did. Ain't ta best wit tha bow - but I'm pretty good wit pathfindin" he felt fairly embarrassed stating his skills like this, as if he were bragging. He pondered if he had a OOC - and Retry wonders if he just tempted the RNGods to make sure he always failed at pathfinding now...right to.

"Oi. A rope fell yonder from ta distraction. If'n we manage to get our of this ere cage - think we should climb down 'r at least take it wit us?"
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Last edited by Retry; 10-24-2019 at 09:38 AM. Reason: re-wording
  #45  
Old 10-23-2019, 09:52 PM
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Aurgus "the Thick"
Rock Gnome Cleric


Aurgus grunted and groaned as he widened his stance to try to accommodate the orc as it unceremoniously grabbed the gnome and tried to pull himself up. Ront's collapse after the attempt drew laughter from their callous captors, causing the gnome's face to flush with anger. He bit his tongue and worked to calm himself, recalling the wisdom of Gaerdal Ironhandf, who espoused strategic patience over hasty reaction in times of war.

It was then that the guard, the especially ugly and scarred one, made his threat in the tongue of the Underdark. Aurgus felt his face redden further and could sense his hands clenching into fists once again. Preparing a retort for the guard the gnome began to turn to confront the Drow when Jimjar appeared in front of him, ready to help hoist up the weezing orc, and making bets as to who might be able to do it better. Aurgus paused and blinked at him, his rage subsiding and wisdom once again prevailing. Had the Svirfneblin sensed what was about to unfold and stepped in just in time to stop it? Or was it dumb luck? No such thing.... no doubt the wagering deep gnome's timing was guided by the hand of Nebelun the Meddler himself.

Aurgus nodded and mumbled "Mm hmm" to the grey-skinned gnome, purposely not responding in either Common or Gnomish.
Dice Strength Check:
1d20+2sch13 (10)+2 Total = 12
Squatting down in an attempt to get leverage, he joined Jimjar and Shuushar in trying to hoist the bulky orc to his feet. The callous, scarred guard had made it sound like it was time at last time to head back to the cave-cell. Let's get this beast on his feet, finish up here, and get back to the others.


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