Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chapter 19: A Battle Soon Finished

As the group of stalwart adventures stared at the snarling beast, Aurelious jumped into action. Rushing forward and drawing one of the swords on his back he surprised the snarling beast with a gash on the cheek. Quickly recovering from the blow the creature jumped back only to meet the blade of Richard in the side. Startled the beast recovered again.

Suddenly a call from behind of “No time for this! Agenmem!” Calenon finished his spell, Two steaks of light streaked into the room and swooped through the air. The bolts of light took the form of two hawks of grey light. They screeched toward their target and exploded in a blast of light. When the light subsided the critter’s tail could be seen squirming into it’s burro. Before anyone could react it was gone.

"Was wondering when we'd find these," Thomas mutters as he drew his weapons. Thomas walked to the hole and looked into the inky blackness “Well it’s gone…”


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chapter 18: A Door with Teeth

The ceiling disappeared into the darkness above them. Some times a crevice or edge of the stonework being caught in the flickering light. The marble walls were of exquisite workmanship as was the floor, albeit covered in rubble from the collapsed ceiling and columns. Their they stood admiring the workman ship of the door, feeling a bit small and exposed in this cavernous space. Especially after the confines of the catacombs.

“We should wait for everyone before we do anything with it." Aurelious remarked as he arrived. He studied the reliefs of the door, but could gather nothing of the symbols. Being in a strange land was starting to be taxing. Very thing was strange and unfamiliar. Even the gods them selves seemed to be different here. Aurelious grimaced

Finally, as Thomas filtered to their chosen spot before the door, he remarked. "Perhaps we're getting somewhere now...well at least if we get through here. Well this symbol seems to be Moradin, of course, and this one I bet Lorem can tell us…"

“Dolor’daHan, the anvil, know for some of the greatest blacksmiths in the Dwarven empire.” Lorem said as he turned to look about the room.

“Yes, of course, but this last one seems familiar some how though I can’t put my finger on it…”

Calenon smiled, for he had just spent the last four months pouring over that symbol, studying its intricacies and meanings. The black Iron rod and the Crystal Ball. “It should Thomas, that’s the Symbol of Koral Lierman himself. It looks like we have finally found traces of him.”

“Well good!” exclaimed Thomas, “we’re finally getting some where.”

He stepped forward and examined the hole, "Well I certainly don't want to stick my hand in there. Instruments to play and all that...what about the odd wall sconce over there? But before we do anything, perhaps Richard should check for traps."

"Here's hoping nothing tries to decapitate me this time..." Grumbled Richard as he stepped toward the door.

“Don’t bother it’s not trapped.” Lorem’s voice came from behind them as he was searching trough the rubble, as if searching for something. “That is a door from the forges of Rom Mor. It is expertly crafted by the finest Dwarven engineers. Made out of adamantine the door cannot be broken nor can the face place be removed. The door is locked by twenty separate locks kept under the faceplate and placed intermediately around the outside of the door. The locks can only be unlocked by the activation of the central mechanism, which can only be activated by the key, which is also a necessary and central component too the mechanism. You can open the door by magic, but each individual lock needs a separate spell. You can pick the door too, but without removing the faceplate, which can’t be done in this case, the process is almost impossible. And even if you did remove the plate, each lock has to be picked separately. The mechanism in the center of the door can be made to go off too, but without the key… it won’t work. It’s a pinnacle of Dwarven engineering. Completely mundane, but effective against magic and thieves alike. Although, as a draw back, the door is almost never trapped because the traps get in the way of the complex machinery. The dwarves must have really liked this Koral fellow.”

Lorem approached the glowing rod on the ground which had been ripped from the wall some how. A bit of the Marble was still attached to it. Suddenly Richard called from behind him.

“Lorem Look out!”

“Lorem looked up into a bit of a hole in the rubble. A creature that looked like a mix between a boar and a rat had crawled out of the depths within. It snarled at Lorem as it dropped it’s meal, which looked to be the remains of a human foot. The creature looked as surprised as everyone else. It snarled.

Richard grimaced. “A Biter”

The party readied itself

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chapter 17: Into the pit

The companions stand on the edge of the abyss looking at the thirty foot drop to the stone below them. The eerie blue light ekes through the hole illuminating their stark faces. The drop seems almost ominous as a small stone breaks loose from the ruble and falls, clattering on the stone bellow. The sound echoes hollowly around the room, making it sound ancient and hollow. Suddenly Calenon dulls slightly as a blue shimmer seems to fade from him and his light goes out.
“damn.” Calenon frowned

Richard looked to Calenon

"Calenon seems most anxious to get down there." Richard extended his hand over the precipice and looked at Calenon. "After you"

Calenon grimaced as he lamented the loss of his spells. “While I am anxious to get down the hole, if, Thomas, you still think it a good idea for someone to wait here, I think I may be the best choice. Whether to run to your aid or from danger up here, my spells provide the quickest and safest ways in the group, I think.”

Lorem quickly assessed the situation. “As I don’t see how any of you will manage to climb down whilst holding a lantern, and that if their is something down their they will surely see us descend; I will volunteer myself to lead as my dark vision is surely as good as if not better than any of yours."

Lorem turned and started checking his gear. "I think the more important question at this point is do we leave the rope hanging for us to later ascend or do we take it with us? It is quite possible that we will need it later and with self-closing doors backtracking my not be an option later; however I do feel uneasy about removing our only way back... If we do decide to take it with us perhaps we should have whoever can fall the most gracefully come down last.”

Thomas paused for a moment and turned to Calenon. "As for the rope situation, what spell did you plan to use to get down there? Spider climb perhaps? If it is something where you can climb or float up as well, then I've the perfect solution."

“I have several options; Spider Climb is one of them.” Calenon responded as Thomas searched his bags for a small rod. He pulled it out showing the surface of the rod which was quite plain to look at and unadorned except for a carving of a dragons head at one end. Thomas pressed a button hidden in the carving’s open jaws and released the rod. On instinct Calenon reached to grab it when surprised it did not fall to the ground.

Thomas Smiled. "We can retie the rope to this, and I can use a mage hand to release and drop it back down. That way we could take the rope with us and still get back up. If you don't have such a spell though, I suppose we can always cut it in half. It's about a fifty foot length, so a chop in half would only leave us a slight drop down."

“If you would explain to me the way this wonderful.... rod, I suppose you would call it, works, if I have to flee I can take the rod, and thus the rope if we attach the rope to it, easily if I must flee down the hole.“ Calenon frowned. “If, however, we do not think anyone should be left here, I would prefer not to use any of my spells, at least to descend."

"It's simple really," replied Thomas as he reached forward and pulled the rod from the air, "you just press a button in the carving to activate or deactivate it.” Thomas turned to the others. “After the events in the previous room I don't know if we should leave one behind or not. While being blocked off is possible again, leaving that person stranded, having him separate from the rest might be the only hope of anyone making it back out..."

“Leaving a lookout behind seems like the best option to me.” Calenon marveled at the rod as he put forth his incite. “And, while not the best option for a solo flight, my magic gives me, I think, a better chance than anyone else for escape.” Calenon looked up from the rod. “But, if we do leave a lookout, we need a way to mark the path taken, a way to mark any traps not disarmed, and a decision on how long the person should wait."

Aurelious glanced up from the hole. "We have no idea if we're triggering something to close these doors or... It could be anything else. In our current situation I would suggest we not leave anyone behind, even as a lookout. As far as who goes first, Lorem I believe is the most suited. As for the rope situation... I believe the use of a spell is better than cutting our rope in two. Perhaps this rod and mage hand is the answer we seek"

"If you are up for it, than I would agree you go first Lorem." Thomas agreed
Lorem finished his preparations and stepped toward the hole. "I am not sure I like the idea of leaving someone behind. I was simply trying to find a way down that didn’t require loosing the rope."

"It seems the consensus is that we all go together. I can go second, but someone will probably need to catch my staff; I would prefer to use the rope if possible. Also, I believe my spell has just expired. And Thomas, just a thought for if and when we have to come back this way, would we be able to throw the rod in the air and engage it with a Mage Hand so that we need not use any spells in ascending either?"

"We will have to see on that one. With the weight of the rope attached it would probably be too much for it to lift and I don't know how well I would be able to time it trying to press the button if someone were to throw it."Thomas untied the rope from the rock and retied it to the rod before he activated it over the hole."Looks like you're up Lorem..."

"If their is something hostile hurry down otherwise take your time. And lets make sure not to undo the rope until we are sure their is an exit in this room that we want to take."

As Lorem dropped into the hole the fist thing his dwarven eyes noticed was the change in stone. The black stone which had choked the light of the catacombs above him had now given way to a fine polished marble. This room looked mostly destroyed by the gigantic stone that had crashed between the floors. From where he sat, still perched atop the gigantic dwarven hewn stone a good 20 ft from the floor bottom, it looked like great cools had held on the great vaulted ceiling. The light originated from an interesting wall sconce which looked merely like an iron rod that jutted from the wall and was writhed in a blue flame. Another rod had been knocked loose from the wall and now lay among the rubble on the floor. The room seamed unadorned, or at least what was left was unadorned. In fact the only thing that was worth mentioning was the door.

It was a magnificent door of the finest Dwarven work. Perfectly round it stood nearly ten feet across and made of a dark black metal. Three reliefs were carved into the door. One Lorem recognized as that of Dolor’daHan, the anvil, know for some of the greatest blacksmiths in the Dwarven empire and another was that of Moradin, hammer and anvil, who’s symbol is fastened to all great works, at least it was in the old days, but the third symbol gave him pause. It was of a great circle that held within it a storm and a black rod. Lorem did not know it. From where he stood he could see a hole in the center of the door possibly large enough to stick his fist.

The rest of the room was destroyed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chapter 16 (con): A Suprise

The door stood hard against thier minds as the puzled and talked amongst themselves. Little did they notice that one of thier number had slipped back out the way they had came. When they finaly decided to go, leaving the puzzle of the door for a latter date, the party found that Richard is long gone.

“where’d he go…” Calenon stated as he pulled his staff around.

"I believe Richard may be in the room with the hole." Aurelious stated as the party rushed after the dark and silent man down the tiny winding passage. After a short while they burst forth into the same blue light as before. Before them stood Richard standing on the edge of the precipice snuffing out his candle.

“so glad of you to join me.” He said with a smirk

Aurelious came down the steps into the room and stood with Richard at the edge of the hole. He looked into the pit of blue light and spoke "Care should be taken to not wander off. In order to complete our goal, we may not be able to backtrack to find anyone. We will most definitely not split our reduced numbers up, to find someone."

Richard shrugged his shoulders.

“Well now that were back in the creepy blue room it’s time to decide who gets to go first.” Thomas said as he tied one end of the rope to a protruding bit of rubble and checked it for weight. He then threw the other end down the hole.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chapter 16: A Surprise

With more than a few grumbles the party turned around and head back thought the winding tunnel. They noticed traveling back a slight upward grade that had been unnoticeable before. The new lantern cast flickering shadows upon the walls of the tunnel, silhouetting the travelers as they ascended. Leaving the blue light behind them found their way back into the mural room.

The mural room was just as large as they remembered and although the light of the lantern helped them see the adventurers still saw fit to cling to the wall so as not to loose their way. Traveling left they relived the tale of Aym's reign on the throne, all the way too the end when she was kept from entering through the gates, all without meeting another entrance. There was now only two exits out of the room, including the path they had just come back through which left only the path back too the guards burial chamber which was now some where over the pile of rubble that littered the floor.

"But I thought..." Muttered Richard.

"Aye..." agreed Lorem. "Something is amiss. The Murals show no sign of another entrance either and this pile of rubble seems bigger than before..."

"What the hell is going on?" Calenon exclaimed.