A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Dragonspear Depths IC

    Dragonspear Depths

    2.2.1375DR, Year of Risen Elfkin, Western Heartlands

    Late afternoon. The sky is overcast with low-hanging clouds about to snow.

    The freshly fallen snow crunches under your boots as you walk up the last meters of the densely wooded slope of Dragonspear. You approched the mesa from the southeastern slope, where the ruined main gate yawns. The forbidding walls encircling the edges of the mountaintop are at least 15m high, blackened and crumbling. They almost touch the thick grey clouds, heavy with snow.

    The icy cold makes the snow crispy. You all can see the puffs of breath when you talk. You pass through the skeletal remains of the castle gate into the former town of Dragonspear. Ruined houses and municipal buildings dot the landscape, their ruins claimed by scattered pines, various fruit trees and brushes. You hug the left-side wall and walk for several minutes on a well-trodden path hidden under 10cm of snow.

    Your travelling companions of the caravan you have been escorting keep looking over their shoulders as they have been for the last two days. Finally, you hear a gong of a temple bell before you, and slightly lower walls and a functional, open gate appear to grow out of the wall left to you in the distance. A small fortress huddled within a fortress. Redsealburg. The trees around this smaller keep have carefully been cut down.

    20 meters before the gate, you feel suddenly at ease, but also as if you were watched and closely scrutinized by a titanic entity. Disconcerting at first, you remember what your companions told you: This must be Glorianas Blessing, the powerful blessing spoken by the Archangel over Redsealburg, which allows almost all creatures to enter, but punishes murder, assault, theft and most other crimes with divine fire. In other words, death.

    While you were told to still care for incoming arrows if within the Blessing, your companions walk more at ease when crossing the threshold. Smiles appear, jokes are made, and pipes are lit.

    You have arrived successfully in Redsealburg. After crossing the gate with a cursory check by two human mercenaries of the Company of the Salamander in their black and yellow tabards, you stand on the central plaza. A vast, massive Inn stands before you right to the West, windows warmly lit and chimneys running on full power. It is four stories tall, built of dark grey stone and pinewood. Three Dragons are on its sign: The highest is silver, then green, then black. Wood smoke and the scent of grilled meat reach you whenever the door opens.

    The caravaneers pass the Inn for now at the left side and make for a large trade contor built directly at the wall in the distance. They nod to you and mumble words of greeting in passing. They were all glad to have you accompanying them so far during the journey from Daggerford to the Boareskyr Bridge in the south.
    You notice a billboard besides the entrance of the Inn. Caravaneers and fur-cloaked Salamander mercenaries and some workers are scurrying around you, trying to finish their business for the day.

    As you look around, you see the first fat snowflakes drifting down from the grey clouds, whirled around by icy gusts of wind. Apparently, the snowstorm starts cycling up.
    Before she makes a beeline for the inn, Indrana hands over the payment for your last services so far: Five platin pieces for each of you.

    "Thank you for escorting Severine and me so far. Here, the payment as agreed. I would like to invite you to diner and discuss another job for you, if you are interested. It is about exploring the Depths, which is somewhat riskier than escorting an old woman across the Sword Coast. But the payoff is also higher, and you all look tough enough to make it. If you like, meet us in two hours in the Three Dragons. What say you?"


    Spoiler: Overview of Redsealburg
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quar bristles in the growing cold. "Aye mi lady, it's worth a listen at least. Not too much sights around these parts in any case. There anything good in this inn o' yours?"

    Spoiler
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    oops wrong char name. Rectified
    Last edited by tofucake; 2019-12-19 at 11:48 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Snowflakes make a different kind of glint on Jasper's gem-like skin in the gray light. "I'm so glad you asked, ma'am. I'd want to plumb the Depths anyway, but doing it with Selūnite blessings is better still. I'll see you there shortly," he says with a broad smile. The genasi shoulders his pack and goes to arrange stabling for his shaggy war-pony.

    Spoiler: money?
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    What should I be paying for room&board for the pony?
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    A feeling of safety came over Lillian as they crossed the border and her blades slid back into her billowing sleeves, though a glance at the noblewomen they were escorting was enough to remind her that lack of violence did not mean anyone was entirely safe. "Of course. I will just find a place to stable Milo for the evening and I'll be there presently." Working with Severine brought her closer to her goal and excused her from financing the party she required to enter the Depths, if it lost her control in the makeup of that group. No one would be stupid enough to enter the Depths alone...with one possible exception.

    Spoiler
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    Small single room (and stabling) -2 sp
    Last edited by Benoojian; 2019-12-19 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Cost correction

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Indrana smiles and nods to all of you through the snowflakes.

    "Severine and I will go in and ask Kalgin for a room. It is quite decent, you can look at the menu which is on that blackboard beside the door. If you need additional materiel for the expedition, you can go buy it in the morning, I think. If the Mists allow us to leave Redsealburg tomorrow. Until later."

    Both her and Severine, by the way, are armored with chain shirts under their winter clothes and armed with silvered maces and wooden shields painted black and emblazoned with seven silvery stars.
    Severine carries a crossbow and a quiver of bolts. Where Indrana has a weather-beaten, tan face, Severine is of ethereal paleness, except for her black hair and red lips. Both women are on the smaller side for humans.

    As you can read on the menu, the inn sells the following:
    Spoiler: Three Dragons Menu and Boarding
    Show


    Owner: Kalgin Beermaster

    Meals:
    Always on sale:
    Dried Apples: 1gp per pound
    Crackers: 5sp (3 dozen)
    Farmer's Cheese - 3sp a pound
    Smoked Sausage - 1gp a pound
    Sourdough bread - 1sp per kilogram loaf
    Bacon (pork, 1 pound) - 2gp
    Butter (per pound) - 3sp
    -- rations are sold for standard price and composed of those elements - 5sp

    Breakfast:
    Smoked Sausage or bacon
    Chicken Eggs
    Duck Eggs
    Blueberries
    Oatmeal - all together 1 gp

    Lunch:
    Rabbit stew
    Broad beans
    Pear
    Sourdough bread
    2gp

    Supper:
    Mixed grill
    Green Beans, grilled
    Spiced bread
    Pear and apples
    15sp

    Drinks:
    Prices per litre:
    Clear Water 1cp
    Tea, Shou - 3cp

    Alcoholic:
    Stout (Three Dragons Homebrew) 2cp
    Ale, common from Daggerford: 3cp
    Bitter Black from Arabel 4cp

    Wine, prices per half litre:
    Mead (honey wine) from the North, 25cp
    Spiced Tethyrian Wine (cinnamon): 4cp
    Local Kneecracker Cidre (Three Dragons): 2cp
    Zzar: 1sp per glass

    Spirits:
    Northern Dwarven Gutbuster - 5sp a shot. Drink at your own peril.

    Boarding:

    6 person room is 1sp per night per person
    small single room is 2 sp per night per person
    good single room is 2gp a night per person

    All guests are entitled to stabling for one mount up to horse size during their stay.


    Spoiler: For all players:
    Show
    If you all don't want to do something in the rest of Redsealburg, I will have you enter the tavern tomorrow evening. Feel free to interrupt, don't feel railroaded. This is just to speed things up.
    Last edited by GameMaster_Phil; 2019-12-18 at 12:20 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CasualViking's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Khiral

    "Dinner it is, then". The elf unslings his backpack, and rolls his arms and shoulders to loosen up. He picks his pack back up and carries it in one hand as he approaches the inn. He opens the door, and stands in the doorway, scanning the room, before entering.
    Semper ludens.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Once her mule is settled and her excess gear stowed in her small private room, Lillian takes the extra time to look for a little extra work while she's in the depths. A jobs board would be exemplary, but one can't assume a town this small is that well-organized.

    The Alchemist is a particular focus in her search, because an alchemist only stays this close to danger for one reason, to find rare ingredients. Well two reasons, but the rare ingredients help in fleecing adventurers of every last copper. If she can't find a steady source of jobs to cherry pick from, at least she can find one with a hyperfocus. After some small talk (or perhaps very little small talk, as Lillian has little skill in ingratiating herself) Lillan comes to her point. "I'm sure there's something you'd pay handsomely to recover from those ruins."


    Spoiler
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    Diplomacy to Gather Information (1d20-1)[11]

    Diplomacy to Influence Logarius' attitude (1d20-1)[13]

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Alfie welcomes the clink of coins in his purse, a welcome sign of things to come, he hopes.

    "A listen costs little but time, but a missed opportunity may let a dragon's hoard slip by."
    Alfie says, trying to sound sagely and sure of himself. "I would hear your words."

    Alfie secures a place in a six man room, stables his donkey, orders dinner, and gathers an extra weeks rations while filling his waterskin.
    Last edited by Ancient; 2019-12-19 at 09:59 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quar shakes off the loose snow as he enters the inn, making a mental note to check out the forge the next morning. Pulling out a pockmarked block of wood from his pack, Quar sets it on a bar seat before sitting on it. He wasn't going to pay for another damaged piece of furniture. "Innkeeper! Your mixed grill and a shot of your finest dwarven spirit!"

    Spoiler
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    Messed up the name on the first post. Rectified. Can I assume Dior came along on the caravan? One free ride for one free extra hand. If so they take 2 beds in the 6 bed room
    Last edited by tofucake; 2019-12-19 at 12:05 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Edan nods to confirm his agreement on joining as soon as the Depths were mentioned. The chance was there and he had all the reasons to take it. He decided to remain in the background though. It was better to remain in the background for the time being. He arrives right on time as per the agreement. Hopefully, he could get everything to move on and be part of the expedition.
    Thanks to linklele for the amazing avvy.
    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    On a long enough scale, every OOTS forum discussion turns into a debate about alignment, Miko, or Familicide.
    Spoiler: Easydamus result
    Show

    I Am A: Neutral Good Human Paladin/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level)
    Ability Scores:
    Strength-15 Dexterity-13 Constitution-14
    Intelligence-16 Wisdom-17 Charisma-14
    Alignment: Neutral Good

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    @tofucake: Sure, Dior is around. He is resting, as his hand is acting up right now.

    @Lillian: You take a short walk aorund the small town before following your companions inside, as everyone goes either straight to Kalgin, their rooms or the stables. You find a blackboard attached to the Red Seal Chapel, whichs stands on a rock needle south of the inn. You had to cross a small stone bridge to get there. Logarius has closed for the night.

    The entries:
    Spoiler: Job Board
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    -- Reward: 3000 Gold for reliable map of location of a source of Chaosfire stones. Ask Logarius for details
    -- Missing: Canard, son of Godot, Master of the Dragonspear Forge. 500 Gold Pieces reward for proof of fate, 1500 gold reward if returned alive. Ask for Rickert for Details
    -- Reward: 2000 Gold for jar of Glowing Zurkhwood spores. Details: Echina's Apothecary
    -- Reward: 50 gold per dead marauder of the Bloodskull Band - Collectible at Salamander Company Barracks


    You all enter the Three Dragons Inn, and the taproom is as big as the large house promised. On your right, there is a bar, on the left wall are compartments with tables and sitting banks divided by wooden lattices for some privacy, and on the back wall are stairs up to the rooms and a big, roaring fireplace.

    In the center of the room is another large fireplace where meat is grilled on charcoal - the source of the mixed grill you ordered. Mixed grill means whatever meat is available that night. Tonight, that would be a boar roasting over the coals. The rest of the taproom is filled with tables and chairs, about three quarters occupied with caravaneers and other people.

    Kalgin, a tan, black-haired dwarven woman, is behind the bar and is obviously the boss, bustling around, doing work, washing glasses and so on and ordering her barmaids and cooks around.

    You secure your lodging with Kalgin, pay the listed prices and bring your stuff to your preferred rooms. After everything including mounts is settled, you all return to the tap room.

    There is a hulking half-orc with a black bandana looking sourly into his drink at the bar, a red-haired human spear-maiden from the north is quietly eating, a beautiful blonde, tan gold elf woman clad in creamy white robes with a staff in one of the compartments is drinking some tea. You also see a well-built black-haired, tan half gold elf who has a greatsword leaning beside him wolfing down his meat and beans.

    You all meet up with Indrana and Severine, who have secured a compartment, and order your supper of choice. While you all eat, Indrana prepares to speak.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    The Inn is brightly lit by hundreds of candles in the rafts above your heads. The wood is, however, not scorched, only richly colored by age.

    "First of all, let me thank you again for escorting us the last months.

    I informed you beforehand in general terms what I am here for. I seek information about the so-called Heresy of the Obscured Lady. Selūne's Faithful are a diverse people, sure, but this one strays a bit far from our generally accepted tenets of faith. It is almost unheard of for Selūnites to call something a heresy, but here we are.

    I am not even sure if the faith is as well-meaning as the clergy of the Moonmaiden or of darker bent, but one thing I know: It is associated with the increase in madmen and strange cults around the Western Heartlands, and from historical sources in Candlekeep I realized that it began in Dragonspear. I do not know if it is a source of insanity or a symptom of it and I would like to find out more, so I can either find a cure or end this heresy entirely.

    The heresy was practiced here openly before the Fall of Dragonspear, I think over a hundred years ago, as the Basilica can attest. I heard from a crypt almost directly below the Basilica, and of other places of faith in the Obscured Lady in the Depths.

    I would like to ask you,"

    She nods to each one of you.

    " to escort my grandchild Severine here into the Depths to these hidden places of worship. She will write down any scriptures and try to create drawings and rubbings from the architecture and iconography of this strange cult. This is not done in a minute, however. I reckon that she needs to spend around an hour in a room or cave to get the necessary details down. For each completed set of transcripts per room or site I will pay you, as a group, 400 Gold.

    If you manage to find relics like scrolls, spellbooks, spell charms, books or icons or anything else related to the heresy that you can bring up into Redsealburg, I would like to buy it off you, but what you find is first and foremost yours, of course. I will try to make a good price for you to outbid any other buyers.

    I have read from a place called the Tomb of the Lythari in one of the diaries of one of their priests, which should be almost directly below the Basilica, slightly to the north. This should make a good starting point for your research, if you accept this task from me. I expect that there are quite a number holy places of this heresy in the Depths. We will probably need several expeditions to get to the bottom of this."


    She sits up straight. You can see the muscles in her cheeks flexing.

    "Payment is of course coupled to Severine returning alive and healthy to me. Also, as Severine will freely lend the divine magic provided to her by Our Lady to your cause, she expects one share of any loot excluding the gold for exploring a holy site."


    Severine shrugs lightly and adds: "I am risking my live with all of you, after all." and gives a little smile.

    Indrana looks at you expectingly and asks:
    "What say you?"


    Spoiler: Edan, but not a secret
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    Edan, you do not have to pay for lodging in the inn, but Logarius docks you a likewise amount of money for living in a small chamber above his laboratory. He is that kind of boss. As you took some time off to escort Indrana, you didn't have to pay anything during that time, but also didn't get paid.

    But as long as you work in his lab, the money for lodging and food is balanced out by the above-average payment.

    You knew of your master's obsession with some bright, yellow-green potions infused with chaosfire magic an adventurer hauled up several years ago, before the Battle of Broken Wings. Since then, Logarius has made it his pet project to find out how to create those.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DaOldeWolf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    "Deal." Edan declares without a single moment of hesitation. He didnt care about the conditions as long as he managed to make a discovery. He knew he would get the main attention of Logarius by bringing the key element for his long awaited discovery. He simply grins and waits to see who else was going to join him on this journey.
    Thanks to linklele for the amazing avvy.
    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    On a long enough scale, every OOTS forum discussion turns into a debate about alignment, Miko, or Familicide.
    Spoiler: Easydamus result
    Show

    I Am A: Neutral Good Human Paladin/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level)
    Ability Scores:
    Strength-15 Dexterity-13 Constitution-14
    Intelligence-16 Wisdom-17 Charisma-14
    Alignment: Neutral Good

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    CasualViking's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    "Interesting", Khiral says. His inscrutable elven eyes seem to be far away. "I am in.". He waves his hand dismissively, as if the question was moot. "Practicality: In terms of days and supplies, how long should we expect the first foray to last?".
    Semper ludens.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Alfie tried to look reserved and impassive while running the numbers, he could pay off his seemingly bottomless tuition and send money to his blessed mother in no time if this came together, IF of course he lived, Dragonspear was supposed to be dangerous.

    "It seems our goals are aligned. I myself am no slouch at research. I have carrying out many home...err research assignments for my alma mater. I will ensure the safety of Ms Severine. "Alfie says, trying not make too much eye contact. Girls, there was a subject of much theoretical debate at school.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    "Four hundred?" Jasper looks at the assembled crew and guesses at who's likely to take part, holds Severine's eye for a moment, then returns his gaze to Indrana. "Fair enough, I'm in as well. I'm pleased you chose me."

    The genasi's voice and relaxed stance are rich with self-certainty. And his skin is rich with glints, the light of the candles reflecting off scattered chips of polished stone.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quar peers over the small mountain of pork on his plate as he listens to the offer and raises his eyebrow at the proffered payment. "400 for babysitting an art expedition? You're expecting opposition in this tomb of yours, aren't ye."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Lillian nodded along, this was far more casual an arrangement than she was expecting, "If you want a share than you are a member of the expedition, and not it's leader. I can't speak for everyone, but there are far more reasons to descend into the Depths than just your murals." She paused for a moment, "Granted, the sure bounty will likely elevate it in most cases." Not that Lillian planned to follow the will of the party if her own private quest came up.

    The severe woman sipped her mulled wine, regarding the rather dour gentleman "My husband once said that you don't rest in the Depths without a small town around you. Not if you plan to wake up anyway."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Severine shrugs her shoulders.

    "To be clear, it is 400 gold per site for all six of you, so roughly 66 gold pieces per person per archeological site. Also, since my grandma and I only know the position of this single location, I would not have been in a position to lead you anywhere anyway. I do not claim or want a position of leadership. My intention is to help you explore the Depths and if we find some relics of the heresy, I would like to archive them."

    She brushes back her hair. She looks at Khiral.

    "We heard that everyone who entered the Depths either came out the same day or not at all. So provisions for one or two days should suffice. I do not know why that is so, but the Mists usually come at night. If one dawdles too long in the Depths, they might find their way out barred by the Mists. This might be a reason."


    Then she turns to Quar:

    "As a matter of fact, I do. This place is a haunted hellhole of a magnitude rarely seen in Faerūn. The Church of Tempus sponsors this town to attract adventurers to keep a lid on the corrupting influences from below. If you hunger for a fight, I believe you will be satisfied even during the first expedition."


    She looks at all of you.

    "Any more questions? If not, let's have some diner while not freezing around a campfire. I would suggest to meet up tomorrow morning and check how the Mists are on Dragonspear. If you all agree, of course."


    Edan: You know from your former work for Logarius that resting in the Depths is also difficult: Like Lady Lillian says, you get either murdered in your sleep or awoken so damn often that resting basically does not do anything for you. You'd need a group the size of an orc tribe or mercenary company to set up a real camp. Also, you know Rickert, the hulking half-orc at the bar from your apprenticeship. He is currently the primary blacksmith of Redsealburg and as such has talked to quite a number of adventurers.
    Last edited by GameMaster_Phil; 2019-12-21 at 06:05 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    "Sounds fair enough to me, though I'll have ye know I'll be digging any tremairs out of your relics if I see any. I got ehh a client that could use some decursing."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    You all spend your evening dining and having drinks, having settled the matter. Unless anyone disagrees, you all go to sleep eventually. You all agreed to check the weather and the Mists in the morning and mount the first expedition into the Dragonspear Depths, if it is permitted by the Mists.

    3.2.1375DR, 7 AM

    You all awake from your warm and comfy beds. It was refreshing to sleep under a roof again, with a small stove in your room providing warmth. Walls and floor are panelled with bright pinewood. The snowstorm last night has abated, having deposited a foot of powdery snow. The weather is sunny, clear, slightly windy and very cold at -10°C. You all can decide to have breakfast and/or use the bathhouse, before the group and Severine, her cheeks blushed, meet at the main gate at 10 o'clock. You all squint in the light of the sunny snow. No traces of the Mists of Dragonspear.

    Guards and workers are busy around you, and the caravan you escorted is making ready for departure to the south, to the Boareskyr Bridge. The Dragonspear Forge and Logarius' Laboratory are busy already, with black smoke billowing into the clear winter sky.

    ---

    Spoiler: Slightly OOC
    Show
    If you want to buy something from a caravan, at Logarius' alchemical laboratory, or from Rickert the Blacksmith or do something else in Redsealburg like gathering information or talking to an NPC before setting out, just post it here or OOC. I suggest that at 8PM CET on Dec. 27th, the expedition shall proceed. Merry Christmas to you all, I will be back at Dec 27th, maybe earlier, time permitting. Again, don't feel railroaded. If you want to do anything at any point in time, just pipe up.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quar is already at the forge inspecting the smith's goods, before asking for a pick. He makes some small talk with Rickert before asking about Canard's circumstances. "Till recently finding lost laddies was my trade. What the tale behind your master's laddie? Where was he headed for what purpose ? How long has he been gone and how would I recognise him?"

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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    The morning the group is to gather for its first outing, Jasper goes to the apothecary to learn how to identify the desired spores, then to the Salamander barracks to ask about proof for the offered bounty. "I don't plan to go Bloodskull-hunting, but if my group is attacked, what do I need to bring back to show I've done the deed?"

    Until the rest of the party arrives at the gate, the genasi passes the time buffing the more glittery parts of his skin with a cloth scrap.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Quar:

    The ancient Dragonspear Forge is made from dark grey stone, slightly below ground level so you had to descend three steps into Rickert's working area. A vast assortment of available weapons and armor is stored in bins, crates, on racks and on shelves at the walls. You notice a greatsword hanging on the wall, masterfully crafted. It has a completely silvered handle and crossguard, a blackened steel blade with a serpentine silver dragon on the first third of the blade.

    While handing you a heavy and a light pick to test, Rickert shrugs his broad shoulders uncomfortably.

    "Canard was... is a human and the son of my master. He was always a decent swordfighter and sometimes got hired as help by adventurers for jobs. It brought good money for his family and his father. Last time I saw him, Canard got hired by a company of explorers like you. Well, no offense, but they looked a bit better equipped like you, magical armor and so on. That was ... three months ago. First day of Uktar. They wouldn't show me their maps, but Canard told me they would be going to kill a hydra, who blocked a stairway to the Deeper Catacombs with its lair. They said it would be east of the Basilica stairs entrance, and south of what they called the Mushroom Gallery. Sorry that I don't know more.

    There were two which I met: Sir Galos Swanshield, a human knight of the North. Sundabar, I think he said. He wears a distinct slate-grey suit of plate mail with a golden right arm. The gauntlet is styled like a dragonclaw. Very distinctive. He disappeared as well.

    And Velius Xanthum, also missing. That's a wizard who had apprenticed at Delfen Ondabar's tower in Daggerford. Might have been a half-elf, wore blue robes. Just in case you see them, ask them really hard what happened.

    Canard is a pretty tall blonde human "

    he shows about 190cm height with his hand.

    " who has burn scars on his right hand and three small, circular burn scans on the right side of his neck. Honestly, his disappearance all but killed his father and his wife. I try to hold it here together, but... " He walks to his forge, rolling his shoulders.

    "If you bring him back alive, that " he points to the greatsword on the wall. "Is yours to use or sell. No questions asked. If you bring back his body, which..." he lowers his voice." I consider way more probable, you get 500 gold pieces or the equivalent in goods from the forge. Good luck. You buying that?" And he nods towards the pick in your hand.

    -----

    Jasper meets with Echina, an aasimar with shiny blue eyes and copper-red hair and almost marble-white skin. She tells you that you can identify the Glowing Zurkhwood spores by sight - they emit faint golden light, and by smell - they smell like vinegar. Zurkhwood Mushrooms are the timber of the Underdark, big mushrooms which grow 12-15 meters tall and which have a hard, wooden stem and cap. She learned that this peculiar sort also serves as a light source and grows extremely fast in marshy surface environments, almost double the growth speed of normal Zurkhwood and any other kind of timber.

    You then meet Lotarn Sarrin at the barracks, a severe-looking half-elf clad in chain mail and a thick fox-furred cloak with the now well-known Salamander heraldry. He is the commander-in-chief and just finishes giving orders to a patrol of six mounted humans and half elves, all armed with big longbows and lances. After asking another mercenary, you are introduced to him. He greets you and then sizes you up

    "If you plan an expedition to the Depths, be advised that these marauders like to attack when you are on your way out. Maybe even at the surface. I want them dead. If you are forced to defend yourself with lethal force... Bring me the mask and a right ear. They are filthy murderers and I have reports that they threw in their lot with cyricists." He hawks, then spits into the snow. "Good luck, and Tempus bless you."

    ------

    You all meet up at the agreed time, and then leave the keep and walk into the untouched snow. You can talk to each other while you walk. The trek is not very long, but hindered by the deep snow. A small path is cut into the vegetation to the North. It weaves between snow-laden ruins, pines and underbrush until the plus-shaped Basilica of the Four Moons looms above you. An ominuous silence lies over the mountain. Only the wind sometimes rustles a twig.

    The Basilica of the Four Moons is a vast, 12m tall and at least 50m wide cross-shaped edifice. You ascend several steps into it, passing between tall, smashed double doors. Above the doors is a stained glass window depicting a white-haired woman superimposed over a black starburst holding her hands out in benediction. The inside is a halfway cleared mess, with broken and smashed benches pushed roughly to the walls. You are basically at the south end of the plus. At the center, 10m away from you, a large, at least 6m diameter hole has been smashed into the ground. Wooden stairs have been added to this hole, which hug its wall while descending into it. On the opposite end of the plus, you see the same wreckage and a stained glass window with a more traditional depiction of Selūne as the Maiden. Snow has fallen onto the central area, as the ceiling above the hole was obviously a glass dome, which lies in shatters around the darkness.

    Small golden motes appear to slowly fall, like snow, from the sunlight-filled former glass dome onto the ground.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quote Originally Posted by GameMaster_Phil View Post
    You can talk to each other while you walk. The trek is not very long, but hindered by the deep snow.
    As the group wend their way north, Jasper shares what he was told about the spores and the Bloodskulls. "Let's not exhaust ourselves down there -- we should leave with time and energy to spare so we won't be helpless in an ambush." As they approach the Basilica, he looks around for hints as to where marauders might be coming from. How do they survive the Mists at night? Maybe they rest inside? It's worth some thought. Probably on the part of someone with more insight, like Alfie or Lillian or Severine.

    Spoiler: tracking?
    Show
    Perception or Survival, looking for signs of recent activity in the snow or around the Basilica's entrance ... if this is something I should roll, then: (d20-2)[7]. I have a racial Wis penalty and a non-outdoorsy class, so I'm not expecting much.

    Coming at the problem from the angle of motivation/emotion, a Sense Motive check to guess the thought processes behind the marauders' known habits: (d20-2)[10]. Again, if I'm even supposed to be rolling. The way I GM, I roll everything where the player shouldn't know how well the character did, including all knowledge and perception checks.

    Edited to add: The following paragraph assumes that a typical animal, even if trained for combat, will not be willing to go dungeon-delving with us.


    At the broken entryway, Jasper asks Severine, "Have you been in here before? Know a good place to tie up a pony?" His animal has a shaggy coat and doesn't seem bothered by the cold, so there's probably a reason he didn't look for a convenient tree outside.

    Inside, the genasi takes a little time to examine the glass shards and the drifting motes. It figures that he'd be attracted to the glittery stuff.
    Last edited by Dimers; 2019-12-28 at 03:27 PM.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Khiral

    As they approach the building, Khiral unslings his backpack and carries it in one hand. In the other, he carries his sword. Inside, he lets out a long, impressed whistle. His face looks different - his habitual sneer is gone! - as he looks around the basilica.

    "Is this a place of interest, or are we going downstairs?"
    he asks, with an actual smile on his face as he looks around.
    Semper ludens.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    "Maybe we should consider our formation. Like who should be in the front and who should stay in the back. " Edan suggests wanting to bring some strategy into the mix. It would be foolish to just jump ahead without any kind of plan. "Also, I think its a good time for any preparations that might be necessary before diving in. Does anyone need to prepare before we head down?"He adds trying to be careful and mindful of his teammates.
    Thanks to linklele for the amazing avvy.
    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    On a long enough scale, every OOTS forum discussion turns into a debate about alignment, Miko, or Familicide.
    Spoiler: Easydamus result
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    I Am A: Neutral Good Human Paladin/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level)
    Ability Scores:
    Strength-15 Dexterity-13 Constitution-14
    Intelligence-16 Wisdom-17 Charisma-14
    Alignment: Neutral Good

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quar tests his newly purchased light pick along the way as he relates Godot's plight to the group. "Good iron," he thought to himself.

    Upon hearing about the Bloodskulls, he urges the group to push ahead. "Doesn't seem wise to hang around up top and let them observe us. Best we head on downwards."

    Looking about in the Basilica, he pipes in when Jasper mentions his pony. "Ye sure it ain't gonna become a juicy pony roast for them marauders while they wait for us up here?"

    Spoiler: Quar, what do your dwarf eyes see?
    Show
    Looking for signs of human traffic to and fro the pit. How recent the tracks are, if present, would be good too.
    Perception [roll0] -> 8 natural 1
    Survival [roll1] -> 27 natural 20

    edit: oh yea forgot the rolls die when you hit preview. I'll roll in OOC
    Last edited by tofucake; 2019-12-29 at 01:26 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    [...]
    Spoiler: tracking?
    Show
    Perception or Survival, looking for signs of recent activity in the snow or around the Basilica's entrance ... if this is something I should roll, then: [roll0]. I have a racial Wis penalty and a non-outdoorsy class, so I'm not expecting much.

    Coming at the problem from the angle of motivation/emotion, a Sense Motive check to guess the thought processes behind the marauders' known habits: [roll1]. Again, if I'm even supposed to be rolling. The way I GM, I roll everything where the player shouldn't know how well the character did, including all knowledge and perception checks.

    Edited to add: The following paragraph assumes that a typical animal, even if trained for combat, will not be willing to go dungeon-delving with us.

    [...]
    Survival is indeed the right skill, and you even passed checking for tracks in the fresh snow (DC 5). Older tracks under the snow in this case are DC 18+, which Quar has found. The fresh snow from last night is untouched. Regarding the thought processes of the Bloodskulls, there is no roll. I hope it becomes clearer during gameplay.

    Animals, if they are trained for combat, are assumed to be trained to go underground, so that should not be a problem. But the stairs down will be really difficult for horses and ponies. There are lots of convenient trees scattered around the basilica, so that would be not an issue.

    Severine looks around, she has her star-crested shield ready. She is especially interested in the stained-glass window above her. Today, she wears an open-faced helmet on top of her winter clothes and chain shirt.

    "Sadly, this is my first foray into the Depths as well. We didn't know that the entrance would be such a spiral staircase. Can your pony get down these stairs? Quar is right, I'd rather not leave it unguarded up here with marauders around the entrance."

    She points back south over her shoulder with her thumb.

    "It's only a short walk back to Redsealburg, shall we quickly go back and stable it? Should take less than half an hour."

    ---

    As you all look around the basilica, with Jasper quickly focusing his interest on the central area with its motes and the glass shards after checking for tracks, Quar takes some time to examine the snow-covered ground and the surroundings a bit more intense.

    Khiral looks around, his mood uncharacteristically good, and shifts his equipment load to combat readiness. Edan checks if everyone is prepared and tries to get all to agree to a formation. As the stairway down allows only for one person after another, discussing who goes first becomes necessary.

    Lillian and Alfie look around, taking all the information in, and also look for threats (take 10 on perception).

    Some time passes.

    More details of the basilica become clear - the basilica interior is paved in white marble. On the walls are small alcoves with statues of different robed women, apparently important clergy of this basilica, in different states of disrepair. The ceiling is arched, except for the central area, where it is open to the air. As you advance, it becomes clear that the western and eastern "wing" are dedicated to the Mother and the Matron imagery of Selūne, all depicting a beatiful, white-haired human woman offering benediction. All four wings have a stone altar shaped like a crescent moon, tips pointing upwards, in the center of their respective wing. You just passed the one of the black starburst, maybe the Obscured Lady aspect?

    Jasper proceeds to the central area, and sees, that the glowing motes which drift lazily down from the sunlight-filled broken glass dome are, in fact, incorporeal golden feathers. They disappear if touching the ground or any surface. It slightly smells of incense here. The glass shards were once a starry sky, with artfully connected astronomical constellations included.

    There are no new tracks after it snowed, but Quar finds about a dozen small humanoid tracks, several days old, heading into the cathedral from north-west, joined by two heavy medium tracks. He also finds at least 5 days old medium-sized tracks coming from north, circling around the east side of the basilica. On the small patch of snow around the vertical shaft down itself, Quar and Jasper find very fresh tracks of what they recognize to be a medium or large vermin, like a spider or scorpion.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Dragonspear Depths IC

    While you are doing your part, Severine pulls out a sketchbook and starts drawing the glass window.

    "Please keep watch while I make a sketch."

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