Monday, April 7, 2014

Wilds - Stuff and Aaah, Monster!

A bit of a catch up post. I missed posting a turn or two last week so here's a big post covering recovery, treasure examination, and... trouble.

As the formerly-held rouse themselves, stretch out the kinks, and generally grumble about being unable to get in on the action, Raúguey and Ingvild go to work on the chest, first dragging it into the hall, then using the crowbar to pry the lock loose. Durego takes the time to cast his two healing spells, one on Locky, one on Maro [3 and 2 respectively]

The lock a well made piece, but Raúguey's strength, guided by Ingvild's guile, finally do the trick. The shank twists free of the locking mechanism, allowing Ingvild to carefully remove it. After another check for traps, the thief opens the lid, revealing the contents of the chest, a rectangular object wrapped in several layers of sheep hide and tied with leather thongs, a small pouch that rattles and clinks nicely, a metal vial with a crystal stopper, and a bundle of six chalk-like sticks about the size of a man's thumb.

"Before we do anything else, let's use this Detect Evil scroll and see if anything here is... problematic. I'm concerned about that armor," says Durego, peering at the chest-breakers from the doorway.

"Good idea," says Ohwatoo.

Tesso, Locky, and Rawon gather up the loot and place it all next to the chest. Durego reads the scroll, which disintegrates in his hands as he completes the incantation. The cleric blinks a few times and mutters, "That's a strange feeling." He turns to the items, and carefully looks them over one by one. "I see nothing untoward here," he finally declares.

"What about this sword?" asks Maro, raising ElfSword. "We should check it, and Raúguey's sword, and the ring and amulet too."

This is done, and nothing proves to be evil, not even Tesso. [Note that Detect Evil lasts six turns]. Ingvild checks the rest of the box contents over and finds no traps. He gives the all clear and the others gather round and start unpacking.

The rectangular bundle contains a leather-bound book. Ohwatoo's eyes snap to it as soon as Locky unwraps it. "I'll take a look at that!" exclaims the mage. He moves away from the others and cautiously opens the book.

"This looks like chalk," says Dagmarten, hefting the bundled sticks. "Maybe some kind of ritual tool?"

"Maybe," says Locky, "but this is loot, pure an simple." He opens the pouch a spills the contents into the lid of the chest. Gold, silver, and copper, with a few flickering spots of brightness indicating gems or jewels.

"This is a spell book!" cries Ohwatoo. "Maro, take a look at this. I've never seen these incantations." The two spell casters spend the next 20 minutes poring over the tome, while the rest of the group keeps watch or counts coins. The tally is complete and Raúguey is starting to mutter about 'doing something' when Tesso, on watch in the stubby hall and dressed in the newly discovered armor, calls a warning. The group goes still, but even if everyone were talking you would still hear the weird growl-shriek from behind the door, and the scraping of heavy claws against the oak panels.

[Hasty planning ensues.]

"No, keep it out of the middle of the hall!" hisses Locky as Raúguey pours oil along the walls of the stubby hall.

"I can't help it, the floor must be slanted. That's the last of it. Let's get in place." Behind the big man, the door shudders under another blow. "That thing can hear us for sure," he mutters.

As the others work Maro stoops over one of the dead kobolds piled in the statue hall. He touches the cold flesh and seeks the dead ember of the creature's spirit. Contact. "How powerful is your leader, the necromancer?" whispers the elf, struggling to maintain the tenuous contact with the failing spark of sentience.

"Kaglagara is mighty. He calls the dead. He leads the big ones! He is favored of Jadrago!" squeals the spirit, before it flickers and fades away.

Maro rises from his crouch, unconsciously wiping his palms on his cloak.

"What did it say?" asks Rawon, who is still watching the stairway door.

"Nothing of great use," mutters Maro, who accepts Rawon's proffered flask and takes a swallow.

"We're set back here," says Ohwatoo from behind the second statue, leaning precariously on the chest.

"OK, cast your spell. I'll start moving the statue." Raúguey puts a shoulder to the heavy stone, slowly sliding it to the side. There's a renewed clawing at the door, and a long thick splinter *pops* out of one of the panels.

GRAAARRRRKKKKKK! The shrieking roar from the far side seems louder, angrier. Raúguey moves back to the off-side of the door, the only place left to stand. He glances right at the statue, and the now visible image of Ohwatoo standing next to the leaning statue. "I see you Ohwatoo. I'm going to..."

That's all Raúguey gets out before the bracket holding the bar in place snaps and the door swings half-open.

WHAM! It' slams into the statue, and a crack shows in the splintered panel.

WHAM! Something slams into it again, and the statue slides a few inches.

"Whatever it is it's strong!" calls Raúguey.

WHAM-CRACK! The door slams into the statue again, and splits in half. Raúguey is forced to dodge the swinging half-panel as it slams into the wall! A hulking bear-like form shambles into the room, emits a horrific shriek-growl and rises to stand on its hind legs. The huge head swivels and saucer-like eyes lock onto the fighter. The beak opens, and another shrill growl fills the room!

"They have an owlbear!" cries Ohwatoo.

[Round One - Tied]

"Light it up!" shouts Maro.

"Can't, it's not in the oil!" shouts Locky in return. "It's not moving! Raúguey, get out of there! Draw it towards us!" Those in the next room suddenly see a flaw in their plan. Between the statue and the Ohwatoo images, there's no line of sight into the stubby hall for missile fire!

"Let me get it's attention first!" Raúguey aims a blow at the creature, and connects! Bees stream out of his sword, humming and buzzing around the beast's head! [4 damage]

With a growl the creature claws the air around its head, and Raúguey offers silent thanks to the gods. Too soon apparently. The creature's head snaps forward and its beak snaps closed around the fighter's shoulder. "AAAUUGH!" [5 damage]

[Round Two - Foe Initiative]

"This was a bad idea," mutters Raúguey, as the creature towering over him claws and bites again. One claw wraps around his shoulder, the other his lower back. "Ahhh crud!" he shouts as the beast yanks him into its powerful embrace. [Yikes: 16 damage. Warrior, your life force is running out!] The creature drops the partially stunned Raúguey, and turns its gaze toward the statue, and the hovering image of Ohwatoo, which is backpedaling away from the door.

Mordikarr remains beside the door. He gives Suren the suggestion that she go bite the beast in an attempt to lure it closer, but Suren gives him an angry "Are you nuts?" growl, and clambers onto his back instead.

Seeing Raúguey is pinned, Locky thinks fast. "Get ready to shoot!" he cries, and shoves the statue as hard as he can. It teeters and tilts, and falls forward with a *crash*. It misses the beast, but clears the way for archers and wand fire. Rawon, Maro, and Ohwatoo fire arrows and a two magic missiles at the creature. Locky joins the shooting too, ducking to the south side of the door as he unleashes a sling stone. Rawon and Maro both miss, but Locky scores a hit. [9 magic missiles damage, 2 damage]

Finally, Raúguey manages to stagger to his feet. With a muttered cry of warning he dives past the fallen statue and lands in the fire room. "Good thing I got out of the way!" says Locky. "Get ready with the torch. It'll be moving forward now!"

Dagmarten, Ingvild, Tesso, and Durego are stuck in the back with nothing to do.

[Round Three - Party Initiative]

Raúguey scrambles out of the way, almost collapsing when he finally gets beyond the pillars. Locky, and Rawon fire again, as does Ohwatoo. Maro tosses his own crossbow aside, picks up one of the spares, and fires as well. Maro's bolt scores a hit, as does the magic missile (of course). [Total damage: 6] The others prepare for the beast's charge. It cooperates, lowering itself to all fours and scrambling over the statue. As it reaches the doorway, Mordikarr unleashes a powerful blow with his heavy two-handed blade, a mighty blow that hits between head and shoulders. [11 damage]. Suren growls encouragingly as the creature stumbles, falls, and slides forward a few paces into the fire room.

Mordikarr pokes it a couple times. Then looks down at Locky, who is pulling his sword. "It dead, Locky."

"Good!" cries the halfling. "But make sure will you? Cut its head off to be sure."

As the others assist Raúguey to his feet, Mordikarr complies. "That thing was strong!" exclaims Raúguey, still shaken by the creature's crushing grasp.

"Well now we need to get out of here. You're badly wounded, and we're completely out of curing spells," says Durego.

"Also, it looks like the other door is shattered," says Maro, who is keeping careful watch on the west end of the stubby hall, anticipating further action.

"I wonder where that necromancer got to?" wonders Rawon.

OOC: All is quiet beyond the stubby hall, at least so far as Maro can tell. The stairs also remain quiet.

Damage tally:

Raúguey: 21 damage
Locky: 4 damage
Maro: 8 damage
Ingvild: 1 damage
Tesso: 3 damage

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