Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wilds - Do Not Feed the Reptiles

The next two turns in my play by email game find the party doing some exploration, with two party members splitting off to do their own thing. Chaos seems to be the order of the day...

"Give a yell if you get in trouble!" calls Raúguey, as he an Locky trot north along the hall to the old statue.

"Bu... Wa..." Durego seems confused.

"Mans always run off," mutters Mordikarr. "Bad luck." He shrugs and heads through Cross Hall (pausing to look down the stairs, which extend out of sight), then stands before the double doors. "Clever man look for tricks, yes?"

Ingvild does his thing, and finds nothing unusual. The doors are thick wooden panels, barred on the near side. Ingvild whispers, "I'll remove the bar, you two can lead," to Mordikarr and Durego. He does and they do.

Beyond the doors is a 10-foot wide hall, extending 30 feet or more W. There is a door at the far end, a chamber to the N, and another set of stairs leading down to the south. There's some sort of stonework in the NW corner of the N chamber, a low wall or mound.

Meanwhile Locky and Raúguey begin their examination of the defaced statue and bare wall behind the old tapestry. "Looks like a rock to me," says Raúguey.

"See if you can move it," suggests Locky.

The statue is heavy, but not that heavy. Raúguey moves it a few feet to the side, and then the pair begin another thorough search of the wall, floor and statue...

"Keep an eye on the stairs," says Durego. "Mordikar, let's check this chamber." As the others filter into the hallway, Mordikarr and Durego examine the 15x15 room. The stonework in the corner proves to be a low wall around a narrow shaft. Mordikarr tosses a pebble down the hole and hears a faint *plonk* as it strikes water below. The pair shrugs and returns to the hall, where Rawon, Maro, and Ohwatoo are watching Ingvild check the W door, leaving Tesso and Dagmarten guarding the stair.

"All clear," whispers the thief. "Just a plain latch." He gestures, indicating the door opens into the space beyond.

Mordikarr works the latch, and shoves the door wide, then gags as the stench of rotten meat mingled with something bitter and stale rolls out of the room beyond. "Smells bad!" He takes a quick look into the room, a 15x25 chamber with the long axis running N-S. Several open archways and open doors lead out of the room on all sides, and bones litter the floor.

"I got a bad feeling about this," mutters Durego.

"You always get a bad feeling," says Rawon, taking a sip from his flask.

Whatever quip the cleric was going to respond with is cut short by Suren's low growl. As the fisher clambers up Mordikarr and curls around his shoulders Ingvild whispers, "What was that?"

"Something big move in there," says Mordikarr hefting his blade.

"I don't hear anything," says Durego, and both elves shrug.

"I heard something too," says Ohwatoo. "Maybe we should close the door and get Raúguey and Locky?

And speaking of our wayward heroes... The pair have completed their search, again. "Nothing here," says Locky. "Where to now?"

"Let's go through the Chamber of Pits, check on the others, then north to the Grate Room," says Raúguey.

"That sounds like a plan," agrees Locky.

The pair cuts through the pit-filled room and into the West Hall. They look south and see the double doors open, but no one in sight, though they can see light. "Looks like all is quiet down there. Let's go." Raúguey leads the way north, skirting the dead trogs and the pools of blood that surround them.

OOC: the sound within the room is indistinct, something heavy shifting around, perhaps a little splash too. The NW open passages appear to lead to steps down, but it's hard to get a good look. Two open, one closed door.

Durego pulls the door shut as Rawon and Mordikarr head E to find a piece of bait for whatever's in the room. Ingvild sticks by the door, listening. Tesso and Dagmarten maintain their watch on the stairs. Ohwatoo and Maro hang near Durego, ready to respond to anything that might happen.

As Rawon and Mordikarr round the corner, they see a lantern heading N in the West Hall. Rawon gives a low whistle, and hears Locky whistle in return. Raúguey waves, and the pair disappears around the N corner, into the Grate Room. Mordikarr frowns. "Where little man and big man go?"

"No idea. I hope they know what they're doing." He ponders a moment. "Not all who wander are lost, but I'm not sure about those two. Come on, let's get a corpse." The pair heads for the dead trogs, picks the nearest, and starts to drag it down the hall. Before they get five feet Mordikarr stops and points. "Money bag?"

Indeed, the trog has a belt pouch tied to the leather harness that serves as its sole garment.

"Let's check the others before we move this one further," says Rawon. The pair quickly searches the three dead trogs, and finds three small pouches, plus a bronze bracer. [For a treasure-focused group, you guys sure don't search corpses very often.] After the brief delay, the pair drags the corpse down the hall and over to the door.

Meanwhile... Locky and Raúguey have gone through the previously wedged door (which was still wedged), and into the chamber beyond, a long north-south affair with short passages leading to the entry door and a second door directly south. There are a few crude crates and small barrels stacked in the NE corner.

Locky investigates these while Raúguey heads south to the door there, pausing to listen while Locky flips open the topmost crate. "Dried meat, I'm not sure what kind," he calls in a low voice. "I'm not sure I want to know," he mutters more quietly. The barrels are sealed but a gurgle from one indicates liquid contents. A pool of liquid beneath one seems to be water. The halfling joins Raúguey at the door. "Hear anything?"

Raúguey shakes his head. "Nothing. I'm going to open this." He gestures at the door, which is made from smooth gray stone engraved with a flowering tree surrounded by leafy vines. It's held shut by a verdigrised bronze latch mechanism.

"Shouldn't you let... Ah, never mind," says Locky as Raúguey works the lock. It practically falls apart in his hands, and with a hard push the door swings wide...

At the other group, Durego and Ingvild open the door and Mordikarr and Rawon heave the trog corpse into the space beyond. Rawon tries to wipe the stench off his hands, but only succeeds in transferring it to his pants leg. He drops back a few paces and takes a sip from his flask, hoping to dull his senses a bit. Ingvild, Durego, and Mordikarr keep watch at the door, ready to yank it shut if trouble stirs.

There's silence for a few moments, then a stirring and a splashing, followed by movement from the NW corner of the chamber. A massive reptilian snout appears in the S opening in the W wall and a huge croc-like lizard crawls forth. It's quickly joined by a second, and then a third from the N opening. Each of the creatures is fifteen feet long at least, with long teeth and curved claws. They move forward in a rough line, closing on the dead trog. Two stop, and the third pauses, staring at the group. Mordikarr reacts swiftly, yanking the door shut, just as the lizard charges. It slams into the wooden panel, causing it to shudder in its frame, but it holds (for now).

"Lizard mad. And hungry," says the beastmaster. "Think we let them eat."

"I... think that's a fine idea," says Durego.

Locky and Raúguey investigate the next room, an apparent dead-end. It's about 20x12 and there's a small table at the south end. Everything is covered with a thick, thick layer of gray dust, it's clear no one has been in here in years. Moving cautiously the pair check out the table. The top is piled with stubby mounds of melted wax, the remnants of dozens of candles that burned out long ago. "See anything?" asks Locky, who can barely see the table top.

"Too much dust, but this looks like it may be an altar or something." He wipes away some of the dust, revealing the pale marble of the tabletop. "There's a metal seal or something inlaid in the top, it looks like a flowering tree surrounded by a wreath of vines. I've never seen anything like that before."

"Maybe Rawon or Maro would know something. Elves like trees and woods," says Locky knowingly.

"Whatever. Looks like this is a dead end. Where next?"

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