Taihun

The Ride South pt. 5
The North/South Deride

Upon hearing the rumours, Cragenak strove out of Hargijk north, along the barrow road, past the huntlands and into Giant country. While he knew this was dangerous, he also knew the potential rewards. And so on he walked, driving himself through the crisply cool air whipping through the savanna. The smell of popberries fill the air, that soft, comforting and warm smell that reminds some southern traders of boiled potatoes; at least those that refuse to season, the damned southern simpletons. After breaking camp from the first night, Cragenak notices that the old Book Hold is gone. Not only gone, but completely gone. No rubble, no debris, nothing. Racing over, he notices a small carriage parked next to it, two Gnomes nearby. Finding a good few boulders to hide his approach, he moves closer still.

As the two dragons fly out of the tower being bitten and scratched by swarming rats, ash flying from their fur in a thin cloud resembling smoke, they are struck by the sudden flip in gravity, struggling to maintain a steady course. Gemscale leans to the side and pulls his tail up in order to bite one of the rats off, and he manages to clamp his jaws around one and pull at it, tearing its skin and releasing a viscous, lumpy liquid that likely once was blood. The small creature squeaks loudly as it is flung into the air and then grabbed in jaws again, this time being swalled whole. The flavour was bitter, sour and incredibly undercooked; most unpleasant. Whether through the distraction of the meal or the lack of aerodynamism brought on by bringing his tail up mid-flight, Gemscale quickly loses control and spirals towards the side of the ravine before catching himself.

Hexfang flies straight up, finding no bother with flying straight “down”, although the feeling in his guts doesn’t match the fact that he can see the clear blue sky, the cool sun glinting in one eye. His moment of appreciation for the beauty of the world around his stopped short as he reaches the summit of the ridge around the ravine; a rat bit through a scale. Not around it, not passed it, but through. There is now one scale on Hexfang’s rear left leg with a toothmark in it. The softer scales of young wyrmlings are often prone to scratches or marks. Rarely this. This is almost insulting.

Shooting out of the ravine ahead, Cragenak sees a large Green Dragon, smoke billowing from its scales, roaring and snapping away at unseen assailants. Smaller than you were expecting, but Dragons nonetheless.

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

Cragenak, if you succeed on a Perception check, DC 15, you can see the rats on Hexfang.

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The Ride South pt. 4
Rats on a Dragon

Gemscale and Hexfang quickly dash out of the tower, clambering down the stairs and spreading their wings. Dash over the small carpet of rats, a few of them manage to latch on an begin biting at their scales. While unable to get through the tough hide, they do manage to make flight uncomfortable, and the sudden fear that perhaps they might get through strikes as both dragons take off out the doorway.

Hexfang, you take 3 HP of damage, Gemscale, you take 3 HP of damage. You both have rats clinging on to your legs and tails.

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

Given the distraction you’re both suffering from, please give me Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks to fly controllably. You’re at a disadvantage due to the topsy-turvy gravity in the area, which means you roll two d20’s and choose the lowest result, and that’s your roll.

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Citadel Delve pt. 12
Wet Bones

Heavy sounds of water crashing from above into the room fill your ears, the echoing shouts and cries reverberating less and less with each passing second. It’s unclear how long you have until the room fills to the roof, but it’s not long.

Simon whispers into the end of his staff, and seems to encourage it to glow, brighter and brighter, as the water reaches the four steps higher. The staff lights up the room, casting deep shadows. As Simon raises his arm to his eyes to shield them from the splashing water, his face turns to horror as he sees the room; he can see five muddied skeletons, each moving inhumanly fast, heading towards Lorawyn and the party at the door.

Nix and Darrin, on opposite sides of the door, shout to people on their respective sides; Nix organising the lifting of the heavy metal door separating the party, Darrin chastising Korik for suggesting he search the crack in the wall instead of try and help his friends.
Talison, shaking off the sting from the cut on his leg, charges over to the metal door and braces between it and the floor, pushing with his legs to try and lift the smooth barrier. Jila, jutting his jaw and swearing in his most gutteral Elven, marches over to Talison and, locking eyes with him, also braces against the door, pushing up.

The skeletons seem to have designs on the living. Marching onward, one skeleton heads towards Lorawyn, who is still shaking off the effects of the masonry falling on her head. Staggering slightly as the water level rises to just below chest-height, the Skeleton lunges forward with its blade, but Lorawyn manages to gather her wits enough to kick her knee reflexively, catching the flat of the blade and knocking it aside. Two more Skeletons only just make it to the base of the steps, almost submerged save for their heads and shoulders as they hunch forward, but two more manage to work their way to the top of the steps, one looking ready to devour Simon, another gazing at Nix, its empty eyesockets made ever more dreadful by the long shadows formed by the light on Simon’s staff. A glob of mud drips from its jawbone and splashes into the water below.

Korik, leading Adrik and Bennet through the passage behind the tapestry, finds himself winding his way through the tight crawlspace slower than anticipated, the rough stonework and cramped quarters slowing egress. After thirty or so feet, while there appears to be no end visible, Korik can smell that the moisture is getting closer, and the further in he gets the louder the sound of rushing water, where before he could only hear small splashes. Adrik feels he is going in the right general direction for his order, and the crevice does seem to curve around to match near to where the others are trapped. If it keeps going the same way, you should end up on top of them soon.

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity bonus). What do you do?

Talison, you’ve already made your strength roll and in the next round, provided you don’t abandon your action, you will be able to lift the door slightly. To get past this door trap, you’ll need to make two consecutive Strength (Athletics) checks, and then you’ll need to make one each round you hold the door up, and a final one for you to get under it without dropping it first.

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Citadel Delve pt. 11
Tunnel of Terror

Nix, shouting back up to Korik on the mezzanine, coordinates a strategy; the four up above will quickly finish sweeping the room for anything useful, and then head down to join the others to chase down the Elves, in the meantime Jila, Talison and Lorawyn will wade towards the door and try to get it open. Simon and Nix stand, anxiously awaiting the recombining of the party.

Korik pads his way into the room, deftly avoiding bits of glass and broken wood. Skipping between clear patches of ground gracefully, he makes it to the middle of the room and then swivels, casting his gaze carefully over everything. He notes the cinnamon in the air, the sound of distant water droplets, the splashing of the others wading, and he feels the chill in the air, but moreso, the slight breeze. From behind… the tapestry gently moves, suggesting the breeze is coming from behind it. As the breeze picks up, Korik catches the fabric and, slowly peering behind it, sees a narrow, dark passageway, not three feet wide. The smell of rain and moss billows from within.

As Lorawyn and Talison pull ahead of Jila, they reach around halfway to the other side, struggling with each step in the gloopy mud, the odd stick or bit of debris catching their feet. As they stride forwards, the ground below them suddenly gives, slowly gliding down an inch or so, with a subsequent muted “click-clunk”, metal on chain and then a rolling sound. Without a moment to react, at either end of the corridor at the tops of the steps, in front of each doorway, a large metal sheet door drops and slams heavily to the ground. The shockwave rumbles the room again, as the door did, only this time the creak becomes a crack: the ceiling gives way in the middle and a chunk of masonry falls, followed by a deluge of water.

As the water level begins to rise, so too do strange forms; in the darkness, more humanoid shapes can be made out against the water. Something is in here with you…

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

Lorawyn and Talison, please roll Dexterity saving throws to dodge the masonry. Lorawyn, you can impose disadvantage on your roll if you want to try and save the torch.

Situation: Nix, Simon, Jila, Lorawyn and Talison are trapped in a corridor quickly filling with water and there’s something in there with them. Korik, Darrin, Adrik and Bennet have discovered a small hidden passageway upstairs. Good luck.

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The Ride South pt. 3
Fire Rats pt. 2

Hexfang leans forward, attempting to squeak like a rat for a moment, trying to appear as non-threatening as possible. The rat that began running away stops, turns and looks quizically at him.

A wave of other rats, some larger, some smaller, crash forth from beneath the table, small embers emanating from their nostrils as they scream high and shrill. Jumping in front of Hexfang, Gemscale spreads his wings full, hawks back his head and pulls up on his abdominals, forcing his breath to condense and push out forcefully. As he opens his maw wide, a small jet of liquid squirts from either side of his mouth, splashing together in an instant and breaking into a gout of hot dragon fire in the forced breath. The cone of fire burns hot and bright, ravaging the wooden floor below and setting fire to the support beams. The building creaks. As the floor directly affected crumbles to the lower level, the rats all appear to be unharmed, quickly scurrying towards the stairs and gnashing their terrible teeth at both dragons, an awful glint in their eyes…

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

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Citadel Delve pt. 10
The Itch

Darrin stares hard at the powder, holding out an empty flask of his, his brow furrowing into deep concentration, a bead of sweat forming and trickling down near his eyes. He can feel a roar deep within him, and the pump of blood in his veins booming in his ears, like great footsteps. Shaking the feeling, he breathes deeply, closes his eyes, and then opens them, exhaling long, and slow, moving his hand in a slow, gentle fashion. The parchment in the room flutters, some chips of wood and shards of glass scatter slightly and what seems to be a puff of wind gathers a clump of purple powder, lifting it into the air. Another breath in, and Darrin brings his own hand in towards his chest, slowly, and the powder, unsteadily, hovers towards the flask. As the powder begins sifting in, slowly, Darrin realises he has been holding his breath for a moment too long, and has he quickly tries to get the breath out and another in, he loses his concentration; the powder flies into the flask, shutting itself in and tries to toss itself aside, the roaring within him giving him a dull ache in his chest. Darrin quickly shakes his head and stamps his foot, squeezing his eyes shut and grasping the flask with both hands. After a moment, he releases his hands, knuckles white, and sighs.

Adrik, still looking around the room, notices this display but continues examining the shard of parchment Talison had given to him. Upon attempting to return it, he noticed that Talison was gone. Looking outside, he sees Talison and Jila jumping down over the stone mezzanine, past an amused-looking Korik, back to the floor below…

Nix, Lorawyn, Talison, Jila and Simon are all chasing the Edhel’s through the entrancehall and down the central stairs. Simon mutters under his breath “Snakes are all spine…”, but then opens his eyes wide in feigned innocence when Jila shoots him a look.

The Edhel’s do not stop, and keep running. After a good dozen or so feet, the stairs end in a wide corridor, the floor covered in water, perhaps three feet deep, and at the other end, maybe sixty or so feet, is another set of stairs heading up and a doorway at the other end. The Elves, upon reaching the other side, scarper around the doorway out of sight save for one, neither Geran nor Wudmirk. This Elf grabs the heavy wooden door and, with great effort, closes it with a slam. The room gives a slight creak, soon drowned out by the sound of quickly dripping water from the middle of the ceiling. This room must have been flooding for years, as the trickle is only slight, and the mouldy stone on the walls shows that the water level has remained fairly consistent, likely running out at the same rate as it’s falling in. The Edhel Elves, after running through this water, have disturbed what looks to be a significant amount of silt below, as the water looks brown and murky.

What do you do?

Currently, Nix, Lorawyn, Talison, Jila and Simon are at the middle of these stairs on the near side of the flooded corridor. Lorawyn is carrying a lit torch. Korik, Adrik, Bennet and Darrin are up on the Mezzanine level.

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The Ride South pt. 2
Fire Rats

As the two dragons manouvre up the staircase, their large hefts causing the weakened wood the creak loudly, they suddenly smell fresh burning, and hear the skittering of small creatures on wood. Looking over the top step at the floor above, the dragons can see movement at the far end of the room near some tables, and a sudden shift to their left at the door to a room: it’s a rat.

The rat is on its hind legs, scratching at its nose with its front paws, when it stops and notices the two humongous reptilian monsters before it. It shakes its fur, releasing a small cloud of ash, and runs quickly towards the back of the room, towards the other movement. You can now hear loud squeaking, and the rumble of dozens of tiny footsteps rallying.

Roll initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

Just a note: last session, Tubanen, the Gnome, fell up the ravine and is now at the top. He is not with you currently.

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Citadel Delve pt. 9
The Room

Darrin, working his way over and around the debris in the room, sees that the broken glass is from an alembic, the former contents long since dried up, leaving a purple powdery residue on the inside of some shards. Aside from this, there appears to be the remains of three long desk tables, four stools and stacks of parchment that have long since succumbed to the ravages of time. Those that aren’t stuck fast to the floor with damp become incredibly brittle and fall apart. There is a slight breeze in the room, and the sting of something cold in the air. There’s the smell of cinnamon coming from the glass, and something stale coming from the tapestry.

Lorawyn blinks into the room, still unable to make out much more than the vague outline of the doorway. Inside it is pitch darkness. Simon and Bennet do the same, before Bennet reaches, without looking away from the doorway, into his pack and removes a torch and a small flask. Still not looking at what he is doing, demonstrating the practise he has had with such things, he drips the flask contents onto the torch, twirling it to get a good coverage, and then puts the flask away. He quickly rubs a small stick against the side of it until a small puff of smoke appears, and then he holds the end of the torch an inch or so from Lorawyn’s mouth. The torch quickly catches, and Bennet pulls it back to behind his head, giving him the light he needs without blinding himself. The dancing shadows make the room seem more untidy than it is, stretching the broken table pieces across the floor and walls.

What do you do?

In the room currently we have Darrin and Adrik. Everyone else is outside. You now have a lit torch, so Lorawyn can see now :)

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The Ride South
Double Dragon

The two dragons, upon seeing each other, take flight; Gemscale further within the tower, running to the top of the large wooden staircase at the back, Hexfang leaping into the air and spreading his wings, flying down to the base of the tower. The flight is gruelling, however. It feels like he’s flying straight up, fighting the pull of the ground to gain momentum. He manages to do so, easily even; he flies straight up with little effort often, but the sensation is so jarring, like he’s tumbling in the air, that it takes a moment to adjust.

Circling around the tower, Hexfang can see inside some of the windows. There’s black scorched stone inside, the odd burned bookshelf and a store room with intact crates and boxes. The bottom-most window is a large observation pane filled in with glass. Inside, the dragon Hexfang saw in the doorway stands firm, watching… waiting.

Gemscale, inside the building, sees stairs to either side leading further up, his current position being on an observation landing at the back of the tower. Above appears to be a series of small rooms, presumably offices for the monks who lived and worked here.

It appears the two dragons are at a standoff, neither in a vulnerable position. Tubanen, spotting the gold dragon, offers a hail in between clutching at scales for dear life.

What do you do?

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Citadel Delve pt. 8
Started at the middle

After the rest, the party packs up from their brief rest and begins looking for the best way to head up, following Nix and Simon’s directions to do so. Korik, attempting to hide his disdain for the lack of spelunking experience apparent in the group, ties one of of his rope around his waist, and drops the other end down for the others to use to climb up.

Bennet, before climbing, wanders over to the wall and makes a small scratch with his knife. Simon wanders over to look, and turns with his puzzled expression still hanging on his face. He struggles to climb the rope effectively, feet dangling and flailing about as he tries to haul his weight up using just his hands. As he slides down, Bennet leaps effortlessly from a standing position onto Simon’s hip, then kicks off onto his shoulder, then another kick and he’s on the rope, wrapping his legs and arms around it; he then blithely slithers up the rope and swings onto the balcony; he smiles and waves at Simon, enjoying himself a little.

Once everyone climbs up, Geran suggests examining the different rooms in two parties, since the rooms appear to only be around fifteen to twenty feet long, and perhaps two or three men wide. The Edhels offer to examine the far room, and without waiting move to walk around the mezzanine to it. Simon makes a sound that seems like it was meant to be “Bah!”, but he quickly coughs, complaining of a dry throat. Not a single one in your party miss the slight handwave that Geran quickly makes as he walks away…

As Simon’s throat clears, he blinks awkwardly in the darkness. Down below, the glow of the overcast day outside could at least highlight the contours of the room. Up here, there is total blackness. Those that can see in such conditions see a plainly patterned tapestry, fairly rough and worn, hung against the back wall of the room you’re standing in front of. The room appears to have been ravaged by time and the cold, several torn parchment fragments litter the floor, along with broken table and stool pieces, and some broken glass that seems to have come from some curved apparatus.

What do you do?

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