Friday, January 31, 2014

The Old Storeroom

Entering the area marked 'old storeroom' on the map, you find yourself in a long room that slopes about twenty degrees from the right to the left as it shows on the map. The right area is no more than 4 feet high; the left, about eight feet in height, but in general the bottom of the left wall is about eighteen feet below the bottom of the right wall.

The area where the 'key' is indicated is a hole about eighteen inches wide and a foot deep, evidently empty. The 'bug hole' is indeed about five feet in diameter, with unnaturally smooth walls which Maximillian wouldn't think was a beetle. It appears to have been some sort of boring animal, most likely insectoid - beyond that he can't be certain. The bug hole descends about 20 feet within the 40' illumination of the torch (the last twenty feet of that illumination being very dim at best), so that the slope is quite precipitous.

Lukas would think the walls were most likely built by smaller creatures than something nine feet tall. The stones are simply too small for hands of that size. There are small bits of graffiti about, mostly the sort that would be done by children, of small humanoid creatures with stick hands and fingers. The floor is made of pressed, rotted grains, hay, straw, clay, dirt and stones that have been allowed to crumble somewhat over perhaps two or three decades, and is slightly damp.

Aside from the bug hole, there is no sign of an exit.


cross section of bug hole


52 comments:

Maximillian Boii said...

Does the room appear part of the temple architecturally, or burrowed underneath it?

Without approaching the spot, (thinking of the unterns interred beneath their head stones), what is at the spot where the map indicates an intersection with the new store-room?

Alexis Smolensk said...

A constructed room underneath the temple - but the underside of the temple would be more or less equal to the ceiling of only the right side of the room. As you go left, the roof slopes downwards with the floor.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet probes around with a dagger inside the "key hole", seeking a... key hole.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There's nothing to see in the hole, with eyes or dagger, Ahmet.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, using his knowledge of underground construction, searches for "secret doors" (or indications of bricked-over construction, disturbed rock, unnatural seams, etc.) in the wall/ceiling that would indicate a current or former connection between this room and the "new storeroom" indicated on the map.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well ... I don't want to give Ahmet the idea that he's able to 'find secret doors.' The knowledge of underground construction is really more the specifics he describes, along with a general sense of whether or not the area is unsafe.

That said, yes, there is evidence at approximately the place where on the map that the 'Old Storeroom' meets the 'New Storeroom' that the wall has been rebuilt; the stones are clean and the mortar is fresh.

Lukas said...

Well THAT'S noteworthy.
Not only residents, but residents with construction technique that isn't cover it with mud and straw.

We've got some brains amongst whatever is in here. Does the key fit in the hole like a key hole? Visually first of coarse, does it seem about right?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet pulls out the key from Untern's pack.

Ahmet said...

Between Lukas and Ahmet, do we think it would be possible to tunnel through the new construction without causing a cave-in? (I know we don't know what's on the other side of the wall; I mean, in our educated estimation, would removing a man-sized block cause a structural integrity problem?)

Lukas said...

The one problem with that is that any 'bugs' down that hole are bound to hear us long before we remove the third brick.

Ahmet said...

Well that would give Andrej and Maximillian something to do, too ;)

Alexis Smolensk said...

The bricks might reasonably be removed one-by-one by first scraping out the fresh mortar. The mortar is perhaps less than a week old.

Lukas said...

Sorry, how's that key to keyhole size ratio?

Lukas said...

Ok, HERE's the question.

What are they storing so long term they are using mortar/brick?

I'm guessing either there's a better way in, or there's something else going on there.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Has the party forgotten that the Untern, father and son, as well as their friends, have been here already?

Lukas said...

Well I'm curious why Untern would seal it up with brick?

Were they trying to live here and found it inconvenient?

Or perhaps they found another way through and blocked off the old way to use it as a store room?

Or they found some ancient horror they needed to seal up quickly...

I'm mainly curious why anyone would care about the intactness of a wall in the middle of an ancient ruin. I can only imagine anyone that would take the time to mortar it up would have some kind of incentive to do so.

Maximillian Boii said...

I haven't...

I see it as we're coming in the back door Lukas; I think they're trying to keep the rats out of their store-room, as it were.

It sounds like the key-hole is a hole from whence a key came, after it was dug up by the Untern party, not so much a lock.

Before we begin busting down the wall, we could either investigate the area above-ground (Whoever built the wall and rigged the column to fall surely heard it. I'd think they'd come to investigate) or we could investigate the bug-hole, which perhaps burrows into other parts of this temple. Then again, I just considered the amount of stone whatever it is burrowed through, and I'd rather not come upon something that can do that in a tight tunnel.

Ahmet said...

Perhaps their mage had a Passwall spell. ;)

Lukas said...

Give me all the loot for a few adventures and I'll show you a passwall spell! :P

Anyhow, I'd buy that Max, that's a fair point.

So do we want to cover our asses by checking out the tunnel first or go through the 'sealed' wall.

I'm betting they rigged the pillar around the same time they fixed the wall. In fact, I bet they could find the orcs and assume that they 'got em' if we go marching down the tunnel and come back later. AND assuming the orcs aren't super picked over looking. Which they probably are.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry to give the wrong impression. The Bug Hole has not been made through stone, except to break the interior wall of the room. The principle tunnel itself is hard clay.

Ahmet said...

(I think James is buried under a foot of snow.)

Lukas said...

(OOC: He should ship some to Cali, I think we're going to have a VERY dry summer.)

My vote is either solve for someone coming through our entrance, or follow the tunnel.

James C. said...

(OOC: Sorry gents, it's not so much the snow but I am working form home and trying to complete a project and send it off to another before close of business today so I'm pressed for time.)

I think it most likely that the wall was put up by the occupants of the dungeon after the Unterns and their allies put a dent into them. With the collapsing pillar having taken out the Unterns but not us, I say we proceed taking the wall down. Were we to remove armor and make our way back out to the pillar, what are we hoping to find? If the occupants are out there, all the more reason for us to be here in a somewhat defensible position sneaking back through the backdoor. We can check the tunnel first as well, but I'd vote against going back at this point.

Maximillian Boii said...

remember that the tunnel descends steeply, so we'd likely have to be lowered on a rope.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Not quite that steeply. The surface of the tunnel is soft enough that it will allow you traction to climb out on foot without needing a rope.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Put the skinniest guy, likely Lukas, on a rope and lower him down the hole. Wait for something to bite Lukas, then reel him up and see what we caught...)

Can the bricks be quietly removed by chopping out the mortar, or would that take days to accomplish?

Maximillian Boii said...

That's a good point Andrej. That hole past the grate is likely indefensible, and we'd be armorless to boot. My thought was that we might be able to get out before an ambush was properly set up, but we'd be playing the odds and tipping our hand at the same time if someone was there.

OK, vote time?

Lukas said...

Lukas is only 6'2" and 221 lbs. Don't worry he's plenty skinny.

Id say wait a respectable time to ensure we are not ambushed from behind, then try and quietly peel out the mortar on the storage spot if we are not spotted. If we are, our only escape may be the bug tunnel.

Maximillian Boii said...

My vote is to explore the bug tunnel first.

Ahmet said...

Let's explore the bug tunnel first. I don't like it being our only escape route and not knowing what we're escaping into.

James C. said...

Agree on the bug tunnel.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet volunteers to go down alone, or do you guys feel he should go with someone, or all of us together?

Oddbit said...

All together, with an eye for the actual residents coming up behind us in the tunnel while they try and find us.

Maximillian Boii said...

It's pretty cramped... I'm not sure I can provide any help from behind. maybe we should toss a torch down first?

Alexis Smolensk said...

I'm ready to follow on the tunnel at the point where the party deliberately chooses an order. Just for the record, the torch you lit at the start of this has about 13 minutes of play on it (I'm loosely keeping a general track on it).

Butch said...

I suppose throwing the torch down would be a good idea. Better to fight here where we can bottleneck at the hole, than fighting single file in the tunnel. Or perhaps worse dropping down there into who knows what and getting surrounded.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet suggests tying a rope to a torch and slowly lowering it, rather than merely tossing one down.

Lukas or Maximillian, perhaps one of you should do the lowering while Andrej and Ahmet stand ready in case we're immediately attacked by a swarm of beetles (or a cloud of bats or a sleuth of bears or a murder of crows...)

If anything does pop out, you can just let go of the rope to free your hands.

Maximillian Boii said...

I do that, using my rope. (50ft)

Andrej said...

Sounds like a sound plan. I'm in Ahmet. Andrej stands ready with mace drawn.

Maximillian Boii said...

If I have to step into the tunnel in order to get the torch to a place where it will slide down freely, I do that.

Andrej said...

Let us keep the newly lit torch and lower the one with 13 minutes left on it, yes?

Maximillian Boii said...

I step back out of the tunnel still holding the torch, and light a second torch, which I hand to Lukas, then I proceed to do what I just described. ;)

Oddbit said...

I approve of all the probably overly cautious planning.

Lukas said...

(OOC: Jeeze could ONE of my devices have the right account logged in?)

Alexis Smolensk said...

It is so frustrating sometimes to play by comment.

The bug hole was never intended to be a straight-down hole. Unfortunately, I failed to include the part where the slope was about 45 degrees. I did describe the 'slope' as 'precipitous' so its my own darn fault. Let me be clear. To descend the 20 feet down into the bug hole, to where it straightens out and then becomes impossible to see further along, does not require rope. An individual can climb it. Lowering a torch on a rope will only mean the rope drops to the slope about or ten feet below.

Do you need a diagram?

Andrej said...

I think I've got it. Shall we just single file right into it, then?

Andrej said...

I should say one at a time, single file would indicate we all climb down at once. I meant to say somebody go first, Andrej perhaps without a torch. Then Ahmet with a torch, then Lukas and then Max?

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have added a cross section of the bug hole to the post.

There's probably no need to light a second torch, except that the person in front carrying a torch won't provide much illumination for the person at the rear.

Maximillian Boii said...

I think I'm ok with a single torch, and the order described by andrej.

Ahmet said...

Onward!

Andrej said...

Andrej moves down the slope to where the tunnel straightens out. He will stop here and use his infravision and listen.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Three out of four is good enough to move forward. The next post is up.