Author Topic: Episode 07: A Chamber of Horrors  (Read 83 times)

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Offline fraz

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Episode 07: A Chamber of Horrors
« on: October 09, 2005, 07:18:38 PM »
Episode 07
A Chamber of Horrors

[Saturday 16 Sep 05]

Cast of characters:
Dale: Blackspear
Laren: Matt
Jarmok: Johan
Maal Brengain: fraz
Ragnar: Himo

---------------------
Sythus [Spring]
Valley Year 237
Duthash Zinnyas Fehy [8 May]


Jarmok: After having returned back from the cave you find that the cabin that has become your home offers a silent welcome. Although some questions have been answered some remain and others form. Threshold is bustling beyond anything that you might have imagined upon first arriving in the cold season. It is busy in a way that makes you nervous in being among so many strange people. You become frightenlingly aware of how different you might actually be considered among commoners.

You awake in the morning and start to go out on the early march. Heading out the back door you see a pack of grey wolves lying in the yard. You stop to assess the situation and they all get up to sit and stare at you. The pack leader stands on all fours and begins to inch forward slowly. You can see that he's not in an aggressive stance and just seems to be curious.

OOC: Johan if you have any memory of the conversation that took place here please, by all means, indulge.

Laren: After returning from Xuad'Tarn your mind is moving almost too fast for you to keep up with it. You now have rest from the uncertainties of the past but are plagued by the mercurial future. It's good to be back and get some rest. Having returned late last night exhausted, you went straight to bed. Waking in the morning to the noises outside you get up. Through the second story window you can see the Rosewalk Bridge and the deep waters of the Fogveil. "Is this now my home?", you wonder. Time enough for those deep thoughts later. Perhaps swapping stories with the twins will ease the mind.

Maal: Yesterday was the day of recovery. By the afternoon Ashe had released you from his care and you were once again back to your old self...be that good or bad. During the walk back to The Thornhedge it dawns on you that Stormhunter and Stagdrake probably have some things waiting for you. You had requested from Stormhunter a brand made special of the sunburst of Kossuth. Stagdrake was going to make a style of quiver for your spears. Right now, however, food is the first thing on your mind. A bath perhaps might do some good too. The other items can wait until later. You get the quiver after lunch and check on the iron. To your disappointment it will be finished tomorrow. The rest of the day is uneventful.

You wake the next morning and it's still quiet as you head out for the morning jaunt.

Ragnar: Unleashing the focus of your mind felt great! Destroying the evil crystals in the Ring of Mists was invigorating! Finally there was some satisfaction in this victory. After having been beaten, enslaved, and bound by the chains of memory you got to fight back and loosen those bonds.

Dale: It's been three days since you've arrived and still you're stuck in the common room next to Sayer and the smelly dwarf. You've come to learn that Stinky, as you've named him, snores, burps, and farts louder than anyone you have heard before. Even Xorn, your frog companion, junps back into the pack when Stinky blows one off. Despite all of the hassles to your left, the discovery of the Ring of Mists has you overwhelmed with curiosity. This emergence seems to be something that you've waited for your whole life.

The triple shot of "dizzysap" as it is known has hit your head and belly hard. As you get up out of bed to go relieve yourself in the privy ol' stinky cuts loose with with another of his vile backside clouds. The smell lowers any defense that you have at keeping your stomach at rest. Without control and with little warning you thow what is left in your belly all over the dwarf. The dwarf in his deep slumber continues on sleeping not having noticed the mess you left him.

---------------

Morning:
Maal Brengain, Ragnar, Laren, and Dale are sitting in the common room of the Thornhedge when Julius Hawkhaven enters. The councilman greets them, but notices that Jarmok is not present. He then talks briefly with Keltan and they send a runner out to find him immediately.

Meanwhile,
Jarmok is conversing with the wolves out in the wilderness. Althought he is in his humanoid form now, they recognize his scent. He apparently met them during a night-time excursion as a wolf.

Jarmok visits the Ring of Mists with Ashe(See the ICD: A New Day Dawns)

A wee bit later, back in his cabin, Jarmok answers a knock upon his front door. A runner has arrived from the Thornhedge with a messge: Julius requests Jarmok?s presence at the inn for an urgent matter. Jarmok makes his way to the inn and joins the group.

Julius explains that there has been an odd sighting south of the town, past the Overspan. Local folks have described a pack of "wolfy-rat things" wandering around the area. The party reacts with surprise. More rat-things? But are they rat-like or wolf-like? Which is it? And is this somehow related to Rawling?

Julius would like the Protectorate to investigate this matter. Jarmok immeadiately heads out the door with the rest of the party following along after they have collected their gear. Dale introduces himself to Laren as they walk along southward through the town. They have a brief discussion about Jarmok, who Dale also has never met before.

The party soon arrives at the Overspan. Jarmok searches for tracks away from the more heavily trafficked areas. He soon finds tracks: They are clawed quadrapedal foot-prints. Jarmok leads the party as he follows the tracks. He tries to determine the size of the creatures based on their foot-size. He finally announnces that these creatures are about as long as Laren is tall (but more massive in overall size).

The clawed tracks eventually lead the party back to the ruined cart and horse carcases. The carcases have been ravaged: everything is a disgusting rotting mess. The party continues to follow Jarmok back towards the cave. The tracks lead into and around the cave entrance. Here, Jarmok finds large booted tracks (bigger than Maal's sizable foot). There is a stinking, rotting stench here as well.

The party re-enters the cave (Dale is here for the first time) and follows the tunnel to the first chamber. All here looks exactly as it was when they last left.  All the skeletons are still here in the same positions. They invest the lone mining cart: it is empty. The group backs off and quietly discusses the next step: to wait for whatever or whovever owns the booted feet to return or investigate deeper.

Laren and Dale apply their sleep poison to a couple of bolts and the party advances to investigate deeper with a lit torch.

They arrive at the next chamber (where two parallel dead-end sets of tracks (with three mining carts) split off from the main line). The webs and spider carcase are still here. The bodies of the dead kobolds and troglodytes are ravaged and eaten. One mining cart still has a dead kobold in it. The other two carts remain empty.

They continue straight ahead towards the giant cavern leaving the left passage unexplored for the present. As the party enters the massive cavern, they hear growling, chomping, and munching from ahead. Their torchlight, however, is not strong enough to penetrate through the darkness to the opposite side of the cavern where the dead people were left hanging upon the walls by chains.

The adventurers can hear several growling beasts approaching in the darkness just beyond their torchlight. Suddenly they are attacked by six "wolf-rats", large wolfish creatures with rat tails and maws filled with razor sharp teeth.

The combat begins!

Laren hits with a poisoned arrow.
Dale misses with his crossbow.
Ragnar hits with a crossbow bolt.
Laren hits with another poisoned arrow.

Ragnar is attacked, but is missed as he dodges.
Maal Brengain strikes with her spear.
Dale switches weapons, dropping his crossbow.
Jarmok is missed twice, beating one wolf-rat back with his shield.
Ragnar uses a psionic Mind Thrust on his foe: the wolf-rat explodes, splashing everyone with gore.
Dale is bitten.
Jarmok growls as he attacks, but misses.
Laren is attacked: the wolf-rat scratches him and bites very deep [8!].

The wolf-rats are in a frenzy now [their ACs are +2].
Laren hits hard with a vengeance [crit]!
Ragnar tries another Mind Thrust, but it fails and his psionic energy is nearly spent now.

Dale, fed up with being scratched and chewed upon, finally throws caution to the wind and casts a Sleep spell. Yet, as he does so, he is attacked and hit twice! He manages to get the spell off successfully, though, and the four remaining wolf-rats fall asleep. All of the sleeping creatures are then slaughtered.

The party investigates a bit, but ultimately they retreat to town to recover. Laren and Dale go straight to Ashe's house for some treatment; Maal goes for a swim; and Jarmok returns to his cabin.

Duthash Zinnyas Syncath [9 May]
Morning:


The party meets at the Thornhedge Inn. They return to the cave to find one set of fresh booted tracks leading away from the cave entrance and into the woods. They follow the tracks back into the cave and through the tunnels to the large chamber. The wolf-rat corpses are here, but, strangely enough, all seem to be missing their teeth and claws. The human corpses (still hanging on the wall) are missing their teeth as well.

The party continues forward into unexplored territory. The tunnel ends abruptly in a collapsed corridor. There does seem to be a slight breeze coming over the stones that are blocking the tunnel, but Jarmok finds no tracks or signs of recent passage.

They return to the chamber with three mining carts and the spider carcase. Here, they follow the left tunnel and find stairs climbing up. Jarmok searches the steps and finds recent large, clawed, bipedal footprints (troglodyte tracks).

Maal Brengain takes the dying torch from Ragnar as they advance up the stairs. There are thick webs blocking their way, so Maal thrusts the torch forward and burns them away, clearing the passage upward. At the top of the stairs they find a chamber. There are old mining tools here. Two doorways lead outside. Another doorway (to the left) leads to a chamber with a forge and some raw ore. The party follows the passages through another chamber which then connects back to the first chamber with the stairs.

They exit to the outdoors and briefly investigate the immediatley surrounding area. There is nothing of interest, so they return to the stairs and, after lighting a fresh torch, descend and exit the complex through the cave entrance in the cliff face.

Jarmok decides to investigate the tracks in the surrounding woods. Suddenly, he morphs into a wolf right before the eyes of the other Protectorate! Laren and Dale are shocked, but Maal (who has already seen this once before) shows no reaction and remains on guard, keeping a look-out over the area from the cave entrance.

Jarmok follows the scent of the tracks a short distance, but the tracks and the scent seems to mysteriously disappear - as though the one making the tracks actually left the ground entirely.  Hmmmmm... He suddenly howls - calling for help from any nearby wolves. Perhaps others will be able to indentify the scent, or somehow be able to follow it further.

Some familiar wolves show up. They are the same wolf pack that Jarmok met one night recently while in wolf form. Jarmok communicates with them, asking for help. Laren has now seen enough and departs abruptly, muttering to himself.

[Laren's story continues in "Laren's Nerves".]

Jarmok leads the wolves past Maal and into the cave. Ragnar and Dale follow in with a lit torch, while Maal remains outside on guard.

The alpha wolf investigates the tracks, following them into the woods and sniffing all about, but cannot seem to follow the scent any further than Jarmok. Jarmok and the wolves finally part ways and he morphs back to normal (he is very tired now, though).

The party slowly makes their way back to town. Jarmok needs to go home to rest for a bit, but wants to meet up again in the evening and return to the cave at dusk. He and Maal Brengain hope to catch the mysterious stranger in the act (whatever act that may be!).

As the party arrives back in the town:
Ragnar goes to the Stump looking for Laren.
Jarmok, Maal Brengain, and Dale find Julius and make their report.  They explain that there are still several human bodies in the caves that need to be removed and that there is a broken wagon with rotting horse corpses that should be cleaned up as well.

Jarmok then heads home to rest.
Dale heads to Ashe's to gather info. On the way, he visits Philip Stagdrake to purchase a baldric for his staff.
Maal Brengain heads to the Thornhedge for an ale and then skinny dips in the Fogveil to refresh herself.
Ragnar buys a lantern and oil at Mugs-n-Jugs before finally returning to the inn.

Later at sunset:
The party (including Laren) meets up again at the inn. The streets of the town are illuminated with torches as the Protectorate once again make their way south to the Overspan.

The party eventually arrives back at the cave entrance and are dismayed to discover that they are too late. Jarmok easily finds fresh tracks leading away from the cave and into the woods. Realizing that these tracks have only just been made minutes ago, he follows them off into the woods as fast as he can. The others follow him closely and soon they arrive at the edge of a cliff facing southward where the tracks disappear.

As they look out into the fading sky, they are shocked by what they see: a wyvern-like beast with legs flying away in distance. Jarmok has seen this before, back on the evening of Gorrish Arek Basque [23 April] [in Episode 1: A Cold Sythus Morning], however, Ragnar also recognizes the wyvern from his time in slavery. He responds unexpectedly, yelling, "Revenge!" and runs off into woods with the lantern. Jarmok follows him out of concern, but cannot catch up to his long-legged friend.

Maal Brengain and Laren are indifferent to Ragnar's reaction and resign themselves to walking back to the town in the dark, but Dale shocks them by casting a Light spell on the end of his staff. Maal is quite perplexed by this, but, in her usual manner, says nothing in response. They eventually arrive at the typically over-crowded Stump and are welcomed into the kitchen area in the back to drink in semi-private.

Meanwhile, Ragnar runs until his lantern has faded. Jarmok has followed him as closely as possible and finally catches up as Ragnar collapses from exhaustion.

Continued in:
Ragnar's Return
and
Kitchen o' the Stump[color=#444444:f555d330bb][/color]
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