Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Font's Secret Passage

Saturday, September 6, 1650, early afternoon
Weather: with pleasant temperatures and a brief drizzle, with a fresh breeze (18-24 m.p.h.)

The drizzle has begun to break up some, and the wind 'freshened,' as the party descends into the tomb stairwell.  The sound of dripping water becomes evident immediately as you brush aside the caltrops from your path.  The stairs descend some twenty feet before dwindling into a set of small, natural rock ledges, which are part of a natural cave.  Nine-toes, having lit the torch, now tries to hold it high so as to diminish the shadow cast by Ahmet's bulky frame, which blots out much immediately in front of the fighter.  Meanwhile, the great drops of water fall from the ceiling like fattened rain.

The tunnel is narrow, but six feet wide, but with a roughed out flattened surface, somewhat muddy.  It is evident to Ahmet's eyes (upon taking the torch himself, so he can see his own feet) that there has been a great deal of traffic through here lately.  The mud (mixed with clay) shows things have been dragged through it; it shows the footsteps of armed men (humans), and of someone with small, bare feet (too small to be human, but wide and with nubby toes).

Then, as the tunnel widens into a natural cave formation, some twenty-feet wide with an seven foot high roof - dripping everywhere, and pools formed in every shallow place amid the mud and hundreds of stumpy stalagmites (the stalactites are but a few inches long) - Ahmet catches sight of footprints that appear to have been made by a large dog ... with two inch claws.

172 comments:

Ahmet said...

Ahmet motions for Lukas and Nine-toes to be silent, and indicates the footprints with the torch.

He passes off the torch to Nine-toes, hefts his pick-ax, and steps into the large room.

Lukas said...

Lukas remains behind Nine-Toes, and draws a dart, keeping it at the ready.

Alexis said...

Upon entering with the torch, it is not so much a room as a long, extensive cavern, dipping in the middle, then wending very gently to the left ... the light from the torch is cast sixty feet outwards by its reflecting over the many water surfaces ... but that same water makes some of the distant features difficult to discern clearly.

Ahmet said...

Where do the footprints lead... in a particular direction, or going everywhere?

Any droppings, gnawed bones, or other signs that we might be walking into the lair of some hideous beast?

Alexis said...

It is difficult to tell. The route through the tunnel, where there are many tracks, and signs of things being dragged through the mud (perhaps the butts of spears, wheels and the like) carries on between stones for about twenty feet, until the mud gives out onto bare rock. There are traces of muddy footprints that continue on in a line through the middle of the cave ... but to see where you will have to follow them.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet looks back at Nine-toes and Lukas with a raised eyebrow, sweeping his hand toward the footprints and track marks as if to say, "what the fudge?"

Then he'll signal for them to follow, and continue after the trail.

Jeremiah said...

(OOC - Very sorry not to post today.

Worse news, my workplace is cracking down on internet usage. We've all been in a crunch since the new governor took office, and for the time being my department is under very close scrutiny. I was warned by my supervisor today that our usage was being monitored.

If I had a cell with the internet, I could easily switch, but at present I don't. I am looking into getting one, but in the meantime I am MIA during work hours.

Sorry to leave literally in the middle of a dungeon. If you want to hand wave Ninetoes out, I understand. I dearly wanted him to pursue Fatima at some point, was even considering converting for her sake, but c'est la vie. I hope this doesn't ruin others enjoyment first and foremost, and I hope it doesn't hurt Ahmet and Lukas's chances of completing their mission. I would like to come back later if possible and if you all find that acceptable.

To make it plain, this is not over anything in game. I really do love the game. It has 9so far) been a unique experience to say the least. I've never met a group of players I like more and I've never met a DM as talented or dedicated. I think I can say that in all honesty, and I've been playing since the 80's myself. I started DMing before I really knew the game, and I never could afford modules. I thought the game was beautiful because it leaves so much to one's own creativity. No one gets that better than you, Alexis. I never know how you'll react to what I say, so I don't say much, but I really do like your work in this game.)

Lukas said...

(OOC: That is sad news.)

Alexis said...

Don’t quit.

Do the best you can. Things may improve, or circumstances may not be as dark. In the meantime, post whatever afterthoughts you can manage after work, and wherever possible I’ll adjust. There will be chances to solve problems, make suggestions, add information and possibly occasionally do battle after hours. Let’s see how it goes.

Alexis

Lukas said...

Lukas follows Ahmet with a nod, he looks like he is about to say something before biting his lip however. His speculation has grown silent shortly after entering a tunnel and spotting that occupants have been here.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I suggest you subscribe to updates on each new post... you'll get the comments emailed to you. You can't post without going back to Blogger, but you could email Alexis. Perhaps that would work as a temporary solution.

This is assuming that personal email accounts aren't being monitored... which they could be. Maybe make friends with someone in the IT department?)

Lukas said...

(OOC: This is my last post today after all the shit blogger has given to me. I honestly give up. (Thanks Alexis) If the game ends up going later due to everything, I don't personally mind as I am Pacific time here and usually end up staying up later more often than not. I don't mind waiting if necessary.)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC I can still post before 7am ET and after 4:30pm ET. I'll work on a workaround. Thanks for the support.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Terrible news, Jeremiah. I hope you can work it out as I agree with all your points made about how great the game has been. I'd hate for us to lose you.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I have removed the captcha requirement from this blog. Hope that helps Lukas)

For the moment, the party is standing in the cave, getting dripped on.

Lukas said...

Lukas puts a gentle pressure on Ahmet's back to say 'keep going' and then quickly releases so not to offend. He then follows Ahmet.

You slipped into the 'wills' Ahmet

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I had said Ahmet follows the trail... I'll repost.)

Ahmet looks back at Nine-toes and Lukas with a raised eyebrow, sweeping his hand toward the footprints and track marks as if to say, "what the fudge?"

Then he'll signal for them to follow, and continue after the trail.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Sigh... I thought we'd beaten the "will" issue to death already!)

Ahmet looks back at Nine-toes and Lukas with a raised eyebrow, sweeping his hand toward the footprints and track marks as if to say, "what the fudge?"

Then he signals for them to follow, and continues after the trail.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I am nothing if not a pain in the ass)

Ahmet leads the others. The cavern continues for quite some distance, with many slow turns; it is evident that it is going towards the ridge where the castle sits. The water dripping from above is constant, but it is fairly warm and something akin to having a continuous cool bath. You are all soaked to the skin; any papers not in a scroll case, or any item in a paper box, may be ruined and will have to make saving throw.

In the first hundred yards, and without drawing this out further than it has to be, the tracks disappear in the wet. Occasionally they pick up again after a patch of clay and mud, but then disappear. There is, however, a fairly logical path over the stone and between the stalagmites, particularly in that you pass a number of deep pools. There is one which you must wade through a bit deeper than your ankles.

I trust you have more than one torch. You'll need three before you see anything of interest.

Ahmet said...

Nine-toes is the torch man; his character sheet says he has nine.

Ahmet said...

Do all the tracks (animal and what appear to be wheel tracks or spear butt tracks) travel together?

If not, unless there is an objection from the monk or the mage, Ahmet follows what he considers to be the "man-made" tracks as opposed to the "dog" tracks.

Lukas said...

No objections of coarse.

Alexis said...

The tracks coincide. You see only two "dog" tracks past the entranceway.

The cavern widens at a point about half a mile in. You've been wending your way for more than an hour, for much of it is rough going and difficult. It is here that the cavern opens to a forty-foot wide chamber, some twenty-five feet below you on a steep and slippery slope. Water accumulating from the ceiling makes rivulets that scan down this slope, and there's a little stream fed by the droplets that pours out of a higher pond.

Upon the far side are a dozen lanterns hanging from different parts of the roof, with caps protecting the flame beneath from the rain. The light hasn't been evident due to the effect of your own torch; but the light from the lanterns also conceals your presence. I won't ask; I'll assume you put out your torch.

A narrow doorway, only five feet in height, leads out from this larger chamber on the far side.

In the chamber is a pool some thirty feet across, and bare stone circumventing the pool. On the pool's far side are skeletons of what looks like cattle; about ten or twelve skeletons in all. The 'cattle' skeletons are, however, no larger than big sheep - perhaps four feet long, with heads no bigger than a human's.

Something is skimming the surface of the pond. It looks like it might be a muskrat, but it seems too long and sinewy for that.

Ahmet said...

Hmm...

If we start down the slope but lose our footing, are we likely to wind up in the pond, or is it not that close to the bottom of the slope?

Can we get to the small door without having to go through the pond?

Ahmet said...

And one more question... what's the range from our current position to the critter in the pond?

Alexis said...

There is a space between the slope and the pond; slipping would not cause you to fall in the water. As I said, you could circumvent the pool by walking on the bare stone I mentioned.

The creature appears to be swimming towards the edge. It would be about nine hexes from you.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet turns to his companions. He looks at Nine-toes and mimes firing a crossbow at the creature. He then looks at Lukas and waves his hands, waggles his tongue, and furiously points at the creature with such conviction it's almost surprising that a death ray doesn't emanate from his fingers.

He then takes up a position, pick ax at the ready, to defend the other two should the creature manage to charge up the slippery slope.

Lukas said...

Lukas readies his dart as the creature approaches. He point's it out to Ahmet with his free hand.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet rolls his eyes at the dart and again gestures furiously with his death-ray finger, this time squinting his eyes, flaring his nostrils, and pursing his lips.

Lukas said...

(OOC: The best part is, I'm fairly certain it's undead, and I'm plain out of undead swatting supplies... So what's the travel time on that turn undead? Is it here yet?)

Alexis said...

The creature in the water climbs out.

It's a Mink ... about eight feet long from nose to tail, with black, slick fur, and large paws that would probably correspond to the 'dog' tracks you've seen.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: How are we handling Nine-toes... should we pretend he isn't here?)

Having never seen such a creature before, Ahmet has no idea what to make of it.

Judging from the pictures I can find of it online, it doesn't look like it would be very dangerous to a big strong Turk. He elects to ignore it for now.

Ahmet attempts to make his way to the door.

Lukas said...

What is the save for my package of bacon? Everything likes bacon...

Lukas goes for his pack looking for his bacon package... Assuming it is intact, he tosses it to the side of the big mink. All the while cooing and saying, "Aren't you a pretty thing...."

Alexis said...

(Assume Nine-toes is here; if it's necessary to have his input, we'll hold up the game - I'm in no hurry)

(GCI: a giant mink would be something dangerous with those claws)

Please make a dexterity check to climb down the slope. Lukas will need to make some decision. I'll rule that Nine-toes would probably finish loading his crossbow with the intention of covering Ahmet.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet holds up, seeing Lukas is about to attack the creature with... bacon.

(OOC: Ah, if Nine-toes can take an action, I would prefer to stick with my original plan of staying up here on top of the slippery slope and chipping away at it with ranged weapons.)

Lukas said...

For the record, Lukas is operating off the assumption that the beast is likely tamed. Personally I'm not putting an untrained animal in my secret exit... When I get one. Though I must say, 4lbs of bacon is not as nice as a whole cow...

Alexis said...

How much bacon? While digging, Ahmet will take note that there seems to be a half eaten 'cow' among the skeletons. The mink rips off a piece the size of a man's thigh and starts back towards the water.

Ahmet said...

Alright... let's not tally up here any longer.

Ahmet starts down the slippery slope.

D20: 12

Lukas said...

Lukas nervously grins and starts to edge around along the top. "Better my bacon than my thigh."

Alexis said...

That gets Ahmet down the slope.

As soon as he touches bottom, half sliding, one hand on the stone surface, the mink drops its piece of meat and bristles.

Andrej said...

(OOC: If you guys kill that thing save some pelt for Andrej's fat pimp coat!)

Andrej said...

http://thingsfatpeoplehate.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/doggsnoop-fur4.jpg

Lukas said...

Lukas readies his dart. He continues edging along the stone path that goes around the pool.

Alexis said...

I didn't catch it, Lukas ... did you indicate that you had climbed down the 25 foot slope that leads you to that path? If you had, can you roll a d20?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet gets to his feet and readies his pick ax. "Nine-toes, shoot the blasted thing!"

Alexis said...

(OOC: My day is over. This will give plenty of chance for Nine-toes to shoot! I'll look to see what's new in a couple hours)

Lukas said...

If the bare stone is at the bottom of the slope, then I wait to see what happens with Ahmet. If it's at the top I was starting around.

Jeremiah said...

Ninetoes shoots:

8
3 dmg

Alexis said...

(OOC: sorry about thd delay, Nine-toes)

That misses. Ahmet will need to roll initiative with the giant mink - a d6 is required from him. Nine-toes can easily slide down if he wants, and Lukas needs to tell me what to do - but these things need to wait to see if the party moves again before the mink does.

Ahmet said...

D6: 2

Lukas said...

I was trying to edge around to the other side without sliding down. If that is not possible, I prepare to engage from a distance.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I hope you guys can forgive me. You're both in combats, and I feel completely burned out. If it's all right with everyone, I'm going to post something and take a little time off, perhaps a day. Possibly I might feel better this afternoon; for the moment I can't get myself motivated)

Lukas said...

(OOC: No problem here)

Andrej said...

No worries, Alexis. That's the advantage of this format... we can pick it up and play whenever you're ready.

Ahmet said...

No problem at all... we'll pick up again when you're ready.

Alexis said...

Okay,

If I could clarify everyone's position: Ahmet is down on the bottom of the slope, by the water; the mink has just rolled initiative against him, and Ahmet has lost. Thus, the mink will attack first.

Nine-toes has just fired his crossbow.

Lukas is at the top of the slope. I am going to try to put up an image, because I think people may be confused about this. Give me a few minutes and we'll get started when I've got it up.

Lukas said...

Thank you, sorry bout that.

Alexis said...

There, the image is up. Can I have a confirmation from both the mage and the fighter that it's been seen and understood?

Lukas said...

Awesome, got it.

Alexis said...

Butch is around; he commented on the other blog. No sign of him here, though.

Ahmet said...

Got it.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Hey, no fair! Andrej gets a Paladin, and we get a Giant Mink?! Unless... Ahmet can convince the Giant Mink to join our party as well? Come on, pal! It'll be awesome! Ahmet and Minksy, what a team!)

Lukas said...

(OOC: Yes, I would love a giant mink. Don't forget he gets a lady too.)

Alexis said...

Yes, well, since that is sorted out.

The mink attacks Ahmet. It more or less spins around him very quickly, attacking with claws and a mouth full of teeth. The mink weighs about 322 pounds ... the mink hits with both its claws and just barely with it's bite, causing 3, 4 and 5 damage, in that order. 12 altogether, but it takes the bite to finally stun the big fighter. I believe your hit points on your character are recorded backwards, Ahmet)

Worse, while the fighter's body and face are quite badly raked, the worst comes when the mink sinks its teeth in upon biting and sucks 3 damage more worth of blood out of Ahmet's shoulder.

The party may take what action it deems appropriate.

Lukas said...

Lukas begins casting a spell. In this case sleep. On the Mink.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ouch! I thought we were friends, Minksy!)

Ahmet smashes him in the head with his pick ax. But do I get an attack because I'm stunned, or I don't get an attack? The Morlock/Andrej combat has me all confused.

Alexis said...

(GCI: Let me try to explain it this way.

If I say that you are stunned, you will be attacked again before you get to attack. If you are missed, or less than 1/4 of your hit points are caused you are pretty sure of getting another chance to swing.

I will point out with Andrej and the morlock. Both swung simultaneously. The morlock missed. Andrej hit. And because Andrej hit, and the morlock didn't, Andrej got to hit AGAIN. And because Andrej missed on his SECOND try, the stun was past and the morlock got to attack.

In this case, the mink attacks. It gets three attacks in one round. Ahmet is stunned by the third attack. Now, the mink attacks AGAIN before Ahmet can attack, because Ahmet is stunned. If the mink misses Ahmet, like Andrej missed the morlock, then Ahmet can attack.

Are we there yet?)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ah... I thought when you were stunned, you had to sit out the next round.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: that is how it most often happens. In fact, what you miss is your chance to make an action until you are again attacked. You're actually still defending yourself - your AC remains the same - but until you're 'not stunned' after your opponent's attack, you're unable to take any action on your own. You're being buffeted around, or desperately parrying, or some other similar act.

Picture Andrej swinging after the simultaneous at the creature on the ground. The creature can't get up or do anything until Andrej attacks.

Just as right now, Ahmet can't do anything until the mink does something first)

Alexis said...

Lukas casts his spell; that takes this round.

I'll rule that Nine-toes is loading his crossbow, though it will take him a long, long time; usually a heavy crossbow takes three rounds of reloading and one round to fire, but because Nine-toes isn't good with crossbows, it takes him FOUR rounds of reloading before he can fire it.

Alexis said...

The mink attacks Ahmet with both claws, again hitting twice. It does 3 damage, and then 2 damage. It then bounds away from the fighter - it moves 8 hexes per round - and straight at Lukas.

(GCI: it uses two moves to attack Ahmet - due to its multiple attacks, it requires only one move to attack, as opposed to the two normally needed - it needs 2 move to get five feet from Ahmet ('escaping' the combat) and then expends the other four of its move rushing the mage. At this point, then, it is about 15 feet up the slope, and 25' from Ahmet, when the party takes its action)

Ahmet, the damage doesn't stun you (ratios 3/16, 2/13) ... but you don't move fast enough to attack it hand-to-hand. You could hurl something, however).

Lukas, there's time to discharge your spell at the mink. It's semi-intelligent, so it can be affected ... but it gets a saving throw, due to that same low intelligence. You'll put it to sleep for 5 rounds (60 seconds) if you succeed - but being asleep will not mean that it will remain as such if it is attacked. Attacking the mink will wake the creature up.

Alexis said...

Wait, that's wrong. I'm miscounting Ahmet's hit points.

He has 11 after the first mink's attack, so that 3/11 and 2/9 ... so the first hit DOES stun Ahmet.

Alexis said...

Lukas, its been awhile since I read the sleep spell. If I'm wrong about it, could you please correct me?

Lukas said...

Lukas will discharge the spell on the mink. And hope it will at least delay it for now. Then he will move backwards 5 feet. (If I remember correctly that is possible.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: That critter messed me up! 20 damage in two rounds!)

Lukas said...

Slapping or wounding will awaken affected creatures. Sleeping creatures can be slain if successfully assassinated (assassins strike at three levels higher).

Awakening creatures can take no action the first round after awakening.
Creatures of five hit dice or more may make save vs. magic

Lukas said...

Furthermore it only effects 4-16 HD of creatures... if I were to roll the assumed 4d4 that would be... 10 HD max

Lukas said...

(OOC: Think of the juicy XP! :D)

Alexis said...

The sleep spell has never been corrected since my mass effects on hit points per hit die rules. Being bigger than a human used to mean more hit dice ... but now one a hit die can be as much as 60 hit points; its all very tricky.

I'll rule it doesn't get a saving throw. I'll also rule that given its weight and hit dice, it collapses on the slope, rolls to the bottom and remains there, sleeping.

Actions?

Ahmet said...

I don't like the idea of leaving this thing alive and behind us, but honestly I don't think we'd be able to kill it. I'm down to 6 HP.

Can we tie it up without waking it up?

Alexis said...

It's doubtful you could tie it up. Chances are it would slide out of any knot you could tie.

Ahmet said...

Alright... I'm for leaving it be and moving on through the small door. What say you Lukas? Should we wait until tomorrow to proceed so Nine-toes can weigh in?

Alexis said...

It will wake up about 48 seconds from now.

Alexis said...

Nine-toes will complete the loading of his crossbow.

By the time the mage got down to the bottom of the slope, and half way to the cave, the spell would end and the mink would be awake.

Ahmet said...

Can we pause for Nine-toes, or do we need to take an action now?

Lukas said...

I assume there is no benefit for attacking an incapacitated target? Nothing particularly devistating?

Otherwise I would suggest any healing salves you have now... I don't think were going to make it out without a fight.

Ahmet said...

I have two, and each heals 1-4 points... so best case scenario I'm up to 14 HP. That might buy me a round and a half. ;)

Lukas said...

Of stunned... There's always retreat... sort of. If you can get back up the slope.

Alexis said...

1) You can attempt to assassinate the mink. This will mean rolling a percentile die, and at any rate you will do damage. If it fails, you will have one round to finish the mink off. That failing, the mink will be able to attack.

2) Nine-toes can fire his crossbow, or take some other action this afternoon, once he reads this. Worry about what Ahmet does, and I'll pause (or go back in time) as necessary. Nine-toes will have the crossbow ready to fire when the mink is still down for 2 rounds left.

3) Ahmet will need help coming back up the slope - a rope or something.

Ahmet said...

Obviously, Ahmet has no idea how long the creature will be sleeping for, but perhaps Lukas, in his experience, knows it will be for less than a minute, and shares this information with Ahmet.

I would assume the mink is very close to where Ahmet is standing? (Ahmet was at the base of the slope when it attacked; it then ran up the slope and tumbled back down.)

My first priority is to ensure Ahmet is in position to assassinate the Giant Mink before it wakes up (or before Nine-toes wounds it with his crossbow).

If Ahmet is already close enough to the Mink to assassinate it, he applies both doses of healing salve.

If he doesn't have time, he saves the healing salves for later and/or whoever else survives. ;)

Lukas said...

Lukas tells them that they have less than a minute, then prepares a dart. He has no rope to aid Ahmet. Nor healing supplies.

Melchior said...

(OOC: Yeah, I was going to warn you guys - my grandfather owned a mink ranch. Regular-sized mink are freaking vicious - I saw one run up my grandpa's arm and latch onto his lip. It wouldn't come of until he broke its neck and disengaged the lower jaw. And that was a mink 18 inches long. Wolverines are a 4-foot long version of a mink, but even they weigh only 70 lbs or so. A giant mink would be... badass)

Lukas said...

(OOC: It's right up there with racoons. Those are nasty critters.)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC- Things have been crazy in and out of work. Been getting the house ready for 6 guests this week. Every year Kim's high school friends get together for a weekend of board games. Yippee. Apparently the friends she played D&D with don't visit....)

Do Ahmet and Lukas want me to fire? Let me know and I'll roll.

Ahmet said...

Hmm... a couple questions for the DM.

1) Can we all attempt to assassinate in a simultaneous coup d' grace, or is it just one attempt?

2) Does Ahmet have the best chance at succeeding?

Lukas said...

I doubt a mage has any significant knowledge of killing something quickly with a sudden blow. Nine-Toes might I would think, pressure points and other such monky things. Although since it sounds like Ahmet was the kind to do terrible things to small animals as a child I wonder how it would convert to a large one...

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Actually, that is one of Ahmet's character traits!

The character's long abuse of animals has created an aura about the character which animals distrust. Animals associated with the character begin with a morale of 11, and rolls against morale must succeed twice before morale improves.

Not sure if that helps, but he definitely is the man for the job...)

Lukas said...

(OOC: Of coarse you do realize that's why we can't have a pet giant mink. You'd probably piss it off and we'd have to put it down or bury you.)

Alexis said...

1) As many people as can fit around the creature can attack, but only the best assassination chance is applied; in this case, we’d have Ahmet roll it. Lukas can’t attack unless he climbs down the slope.

2) Ahmet’s level is the best, and it is by level that the assassination chance is measured.

Nine-toes can fire at the same time. I don’t know if Lukas has something he can throw.

Ahmet, please, when you’re ready, roll the hit points gained from the salves and then roll a d% for the assassination, and your damage.

Nine-toes, if you can hear me, roll to hit and damage.

Lukas said...

Lukas will attempt to throw a dart at the same time. I assume he can make the throw to the bottom of the stairs.

d20: 16
d3: 1

Ahmet said...

D4: 4

D4: 2

D100: 65

Damage: 5 (if I can use my +3 for Strength, 8)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Nine-toes, you need to be more definite with your statements, if you're unable to participate moment-to-moment. Indicate two or three possible actions: for example, "1) I'll fire if everyone attacks; 2) I'll jump in front of the mage if the mink tries to attack; 3) if everyone runs, I'll try a rear-guard action; etc., that kind of thing)

For the present, I'll assume Nine-toes attacks with crossbow. Unfortunately, I have him rolling a 4.

Lukas does do 1 damage, and Ahmet does manage 8 damage ... but the assassination attempt failed. The mink is awake. The party has initiative, so Ahmet can swing again, and Lukas can take some other action. Nine-toes didn't foresee this possible conclusion (he hasn't practiced yet at this kind of if/then running), so I'll have to rule he doesn't take an action at this time.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Now I believe this is a free round when he's "waking up," or does he get to attack me next?

Well, in any event... I'm going to have to bash him in the head again.

We could'a been pals, Minksy! You brought this on yourself!)

To hit: 14
Damage: 7

Lukas said...

Lukas throws another dart and withdraws from the edge in case the mink decides to pursue him.

d20: 5
D3: 3

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Heh, Nine-toes with a 5 and Lukas with a 4... I'm picturing Ahmet ducking under this shower of errant missiles. I WILL FIGHT IN THE SHADE!)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Ahmet, I said, "Ahmet can swing again." Why are you still busting my balls about this?)

Alexis said...

Ahmet's attack of 14 hits. It causes 7 damage.

(GCI: my stunning rule also has this consideration:

If the creature has more than one attack, then damage equalling 1/4 of the creature's hit points will reduce this number by one - the creature's main attack. Damage equalling 1/3 of the creature's hit points will reduce the number of total attacks by two. Damage equalling 1/2 will reduce the number of total attacks by three. Damage equalling 2/3 will reduce the number of total attacks by four. Damage equalling 3/4 will reduce the number of total attacks by five. And so on)

The mink has three attacks; Ahmet does more than 1/3 of the mink's hit points, so two attacks are lost - but the mink can still attack with one claw, and does so.

Alexis said...

The mink rolls and hits, causing but 1 point of damage. This is not enough to stun Ahmet,

AND AHMET CAN ATTACK AGAIN.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm not busting your balls. I'm honestly confused about the stunning rules. But this wasn't about stunning, but about the spell's description:

Awakening creatures can take no action the first round after awakening.

Doesn't that mean it can't attack?

As for stunning... well, I'm still confused about that, but I don't want to get too sidetracked.)

Ahmet swings again.

To hit: 15

Damage: 8

Lukas said...

If Lucas has an opportunity to attack again, he advances towards the edge again and throws a dart.

d20: 12
d3: 2

Alexis said...

Ahmet hits. Eight damage virtually kills the mink. It is still alive, but it is STUNNED and has no attacks at all this round.

Ahmet can swing again.

I'm sorry to say that Lukas misses.

At this point, the party hears a high pitched whistle, the sort made of metal, that one would hear used to call men to order, or animals to heel. The sound comes from the direction of the far tunnel, beyond the pond.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet swings again, in an attempt to finish this thing once and for all.

D20: 13

Damage: 7

Alexis said...

That, surprisingly, misses.

I await Lukas' action.

Lukas said...

Lucas throws his second-to-last belt dart.
d20: 16
d3: 3

(OOC: For the record, if I add modifiers it will be listed as d20+1 or d20-4 or some such)

Alexis said...

Then it should be pointed out that Lukas is +1 to hit with missile weapon on account of his dexterity (the bonus is the same as the initiative bonus).

I'm satisfied just to take the final result, Lukas; if you must record modifiers, please record the actual die roll and the modifiers in brackets after the final number: 17 (16+1).

At any rate, a 16 or a 17 hits, and kills the mink.

The whistle sounds again.

Alexis said...

Shit. Ahmet, I was wrong about your miss. You're 3rd level, so your THACO is 18, which means a 13 hits AC 5, which would have hit. Lukas' dex is higher, however, so he does get the kill ... but you would have killed the mink if he had not.

My error, and I apologize.

Lukas said...

"Everyone, prepare for trouble." Lukas says to the group. "I think someone is coming."

(OOC: Alright, thanks I will start using that now. I just was trying to use that system so there was the most clarity on what I was doing.)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet gathers himself and prepares for whatever is coming next.

Lukas said...

Lukas also prepares, by preparing I mean to say he crouches down and uses the angle of the slope to try and hide his position from the door. At least immediately if possible.

Alexis said...

Does Ahmet want to be down here, at the bottom of the slope? Or does he want to climb up to his friends? Nine-toes has a rope, and lets it out for Ahmet to grab onto.

Ahmet said...

Yes, thank you... I'd much rather have Ahmet on top of the slope.

If possible, as Nine-toes is tossing down the rope, Ahmet gathers any darts he can easily reach to return to Lukas. I have a feeling he's going to need them.

Alexis said...

Ahmet manages to grab two darts, one nearby and the one from the mink.

He manages to get up the slope and hidden beside Nine-toes when a shadow appears in the doorway. It looks to be perhaps 10 feet from the edge of the door.

"Nebbles! Come here Nebbles!"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet passes the darts to Lukas and readies a dagger.

Was Nine-toes able to retrieve the rope, or is it still dangling down the slope?

Andrej said...

(OOC: Nebbles is a perfectly good name, but it'll always be Minky to me.)

Alexis said...

Nine-toes is able to retrieve the rope.

Through the doorway appears a dwarf. He's massive, about 180 lbs. and 4'3"; he has a double bladed short axe at his hip, and is dressed in furs with a great helmet. Keeping at his heel is another giant mink.

The dwarf calls out for Nebbles again, and seems to be looking for him throughout the cave. But for whatever reason, he doesn't see the dead mink at the bottom of the slope. Apparently, the shadows from that end of the cave conceal the black furry body.

Lukas said...

Lukas whispers to a nearby companion, "I bet he knows if the bishop is here."

Lukas said...

Lukas does not seem enthusiastic about the other mink though.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet stares open-mouthed at Lukas.

Lukas said...

See this is where I would cast charm person and force him to attack his own mink. At the least it would possibly cause confusion in the mink, possibly causing further combat. I'd also have him shout if the bishop is present.

Of coarse this is a dwarf, he is both resistant to magic AND looks like an opponent with more than one HD worth in him.

Alexis said...

What's your range? He's about 55 feet away.

Lukas said...

The spell lists 120'

Alexis said...

Then you can try it. But failing would indicate that someone was nearby ... and minks can trail like bloodhounds.

Lukas said...

Of coarse that means that they could track us down anyway since Ahmet was on the ground level near the corpse. It sounds like it's either get a plan or try and outpace them boys.

Alexis said...

Judging from the behavior of the dwarf, he doesn't seem overly concerned that Nebbles isn't answering him. He moves forward, picks up a bone from the skeletons and tosses it into the water, apparently thinking Nebbles might be under the surface.

Alexis said...

(OOC: boy, I sure hope I sent the correct version of charm person to Lukas ... I used to have a version that made charm person with virtually no time limit - until that was changed)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet raises a hand to silence the other two, and waits. But he does cast a glance over his shoulder to see if the coast is clear behind them, if they must retreat.

Lukas said...

(OOC: Heh, it has one round, I have to choose very carefully what I do...)

Lukas said...

Lukas prods his companions, to inform them to see what he is doing. Lukas does his best to quietly reach into his pack and disburse the caltrops behind the group, in case they need to retreat.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Behind us? Why not in front of us?)

Lukas said...

(OOC: I figure in front of us might make me visible to the dwarf)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ah, good point. Well, we'll just have to tiptoe through them. At least we know where they are.)

Lukas said...

(OOC: What's the caster level for a potion?)

Alexis said...

There is no one behind the party, only the empty cave.

As I've pointed out before, questions about what things do or plans made are "in campaign" and therefore don't need OOC.

The caster level on a potion is the level of the drinker.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet waits and observes, ready to toss his dagger should anything attempt to come up the slope.

Can Nine-toes quietly reload his crossbow, or would that give us away?

Alexis said...

A crossbow loading would be noisy.

The dwarf will start again towards the far passage. "Come on, Grimtler," he'll call. The living mink, that had begun to sniff in the direction of the corpse, turns to heel at once.

Lukas said...

Lukas waits and shakes his head, he waits until about 15 seconds after the dwarf has left audiovisual range. "Do you think he saw us and pretended not to?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grunts. That clearly never occurred to him. Clever Dwarf!

Then he shrugs. They must go forward either way.

He reminds Lukas to gather his caltrops, then asks Nine-toes to spool out his rope again, to make it easier for the fighter and the magic-user to make their way down the slope.

Using the rope, Ahmet returns to the base of the slope and watches the exit for any sign of the Dwarf and/or Grimtler while Lukas climbs down after him. Then Nine-toes can gather his rope and monk his way down to the bottom.

Nine-toes and Lukas can gather darts or bolts if they want... then I'm for going through the exit, if you two are.

Alexis said...

*blink blink*

The DM is wondering if Ahmet truly desires to die.

Ahmet said...

We haven't succeeded in our mission. For all we know, we'll peek through the doorway and see the Bishop petting Grimtler for being a good little mink.

But I suppose the mink will smell us coming before we even get close to the door.

Well, this is why Ahmet isn't the strategy guy in the group. :)

Lukas said...

Yeah, probably not forwards. At best we should recover our ammo, maybe dump the corpse in the water with some rocks so it drops to the bottom, and gtfo. Maybe to use the wall instead, or just to heal up.

If we leave for a longer term I recommend paying an urchin to keep us up to date on if the bishop enters or leaves town, and try and watch the secret entrance between the three of us.

I don't have rocks though. Figured they wouldn't be too useful.

Alexis said...

Not really possible to sink the mink. It's body will bloat anyway, the fact of which the intelligent mage would be well aware.

Ahmet said...

I don't know if we want to tip our hand to an urchin -- it would likely just get back to the Bishop.

Any point in hiding the corpse? I could drag it to the water's edge and toss it in (dunno about how to secure the rocks to it -- I guess with rope?)... but that would leave a pretty obvious blood trail, no?

Ahmet said...

Let's just assume Nine-toes and Lukas talk Ahmet out of his dumb plan to pursue the Dwarf, we leave the mink where it is, and get outta here.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I want to start a mink sinking craze; if only I had a band I could name)

Can I confirm you're both heading back to the Inn? Or do you have other plans?

Ahmet said...

We could gather up ammo, but it's easily replaceable at the market. I can loan you a few silvers.

We could be jerks and toss the caltrops down so they're in the shadows near the body.

Ahmet said...

Yes, once Lukas is ready I'm for heading back to the Inn.

Lukas said...

Lukas is a jerk, and chucks the caltrops around the mink. Furthermore he does try and retrieve his last dart. Finally he does head back to the inn. I still think we should use our guise as writers to try and get us an 'interview' with the bishop.

Lukas said...

And to get an interview, we need to know if he's in town so an urchin might help.

Alexis said...

Outside, there is a blasting storm. The temperature has climbed, but a high wind, 35 m.p.h., has the trunks of the trees in motion. Effort is needed to walk against the wind, and you can feel the force behind your backs as you head for town.

This keeps up the whole way back, which takes more than two hours. You're tired, beaten, starving from lack of food and your water supplies are drained as you come in through the inn door.

There's no one present inside, except the bar mistress. She squints at you, and asks what will it be.

Ahmet said...

"Roast mutton and goat's milk!"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet takes in the empty inn. "Where is everyone?"

Lukas said...

"Sounds good to me." Lukas says following Ahmet's request, "Unless you can do some magic with a potato."

Andrej said...

(OOC: I once saw a woman shoot a potato out of her... aw, nevermind.)

Alexis said...

Order whatever you like. I'm going to give out some experience now:

Ahmet, who bore the brunt of the damage: 788.

Lukas, for making it possible for Ahmet to live (and himself, too): 260

Nine-toes, who is invisible behind his wife's multiple friends: 141

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Is the Inn truly empty of customers? Is it now Saturday night, or early Sunday morning?)

Lukas said...

So I'm thinking we come up with a plan tonight, then tomorrow try it. Unless you'd rather rest until wounds are cured and try again...

Ahmet said...

I'm not quite sure what to do, honestly.

Correct me if I'm wrong on any of these points, but I believe:

1) The Bishop supposedly left Munster very early on Thursday morning.

2) Franz told us a man and a woman (dressed as a streetwalker) boarded a carriage and departed with three riders. The man we captured in Munster bid them farewell.

3) Lukas, who was on the road from Arnsberg to Hamme on Thursday afternoon, did not see the carriage on the road to Arnsberg. But the next day, returning home to Arnsberg from Hamme, he DID see the carriage (driven by a beautiful woman with three riders) going to Arnsberg. So apparently the carriage did not go directly from Munster to Arnsberg, as it took us about 12 hours. Why would it take him 36?

Between Munster and Arnsberg, we passed this Inn:

Your pace slowed to five or six miles an hour, you reach the Bellhammer Inn at the promised crossroads at six p.m., the sun still a good way above the horizon. A stone marker tells you Arnsberg is 15 miles away upon the south road, and Soest 8 miles away upon the east road. Sunset will not come for another two hours at least.

Perhaps they stayed at the Bellhammer Inn on Thursday night. That is why they didn't arrive until Friday? Only 15 miles away; we could ride there and check it out without losing more than a few hours.

Any other thoughts?

Lukas said...

Worth a look. Am I riding with you or nine-toes?

Lukas said...

Oh and I saw *A* carriage but I don't think it was THE carriage was it?

Alexis said...

A carriage, incidentally, does not travel as fast as horses; as well, there may have been a reason for the carriage to have stopped in Hamme; you don' t know for certain.

Lukas, I definitely described you seeing the carriage with the woman on Friday morning.

If the carriage left on Thursday morning, it would take 20 miles to get to Hamme; this would take the carriage about 6 to 8 hours; a horse does it in 3. If the carriage left late in the morning on Thursday (you don't know when it left) it could have arrived in Hamme as the sun was going down.

Alexis said...

This is continued on the next post.

Lukas said...

Hrm I thought I saw something mentioning the bishops carriage, I was wrong.