Taihun

Citadel Delve pt. 49
New Indoor Horizons

Nix confidently steps towards Jila, her voice quiet but firm, not a single syllable out of place.""Master Jila, should you take another step I will have you apprehended, just as the Prince here." Jila looks at Geran, who stares wide-eyed in return. Nix continues. “A second, and I will instruct the druids to utilize their magics to interact with the Monolith, teleporting the entire thing out from this place, most likely to another plane where no one shall benefit.” Jila’s eyes dart to the monolith, a fear striking his face. He then looks back at Nix. “A third step, and I will make sure you don’t take a fourth.”

Nix lays out her view on the situation, and emplores Jila to not run off. If they can only all discuss things and arrange an agreement before getting other authorities involved, things might have some kind of amicable conclusion. Simon stands by, impressed at Nix’s abilities, a comforting and supportive smile on his face.

Jila opens his mouth to speak when an excited voice pierces the hum-backed emptiness of the cave. “You have to see this, guys…” Lorawyn has her head hanging out of the side of the monolith, her body submerged into it. Waving Jila into it, Nix climbs into the monolith after Lorawyn. Bennet and Korik pick up Geran and drag him through, eventually followed by everyone except Ero… Taking a last quick glance around, Ero feels a slight unease. The mushroomoid creatures now react cautiously, very unsure of the humanoids having entered their domain and behaved violently. Having observed Ero’s non-involvement, some of them venture closer, the creaking of their bodies an odd comfort as Ero stares at the face of the monolith, the subtle movement of light giving away that it’s a portal of some kind at the moment.

Reaching his hand out to touch the monolith and pass through, Ero quickly snaps his head back and clenches his throat to stifle a scream. A small crystal grows deep within the dirt of the planet, moving stones and rocks and mountains out of the way; growing and splitting and spreading it moves faster and faster until the planet breaks apart, the screams of lives being snuffed out, numbers untold. His body his own again, Ero lets out a long, slow breath to try and calm himself, his heart pounding at his chest. The monolith still allows him entry…

Lorawyn, Nix and the others emerge feeling fresh and enervated. Looking around the blue-green room they see the finest stonework in excruciating detail, writing and pictures beautifully set into the walls and ceilings. Two flaming pools of oil sit atop stone altars set at the base of a set of stairs. The monolith they’ve emerged from is much smaller, perhaps 10 feet high, 4 feet wide and half as deep. It is symmetrical and looks to have been cut and worked. A symbol lies carved at the top, smaller runes running down in orderly vertical lines set into the crystal.

Adrik takes a moment to look up from the small cub returning to sleep in his hands. “… Korath?”

What do you do?

Talison is no longer exhausted.

Talison +15XP
Nix +15XP
Darrin +5XP
Lorawyn +15XP
Adrik +5XP
Ero +15XP
Theodore +15XP

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Kobold Hunt pt. 26
Egg Dash

Approaching the green Dragon pressing her weight against the creaking, thick wooden support post by the ramp to the roof, Gemscale begins questioning HexFang as he replaces her pack and gear on her person. Adamant to remove a pillar and take it through to the next room, she is left to that action as Gemscale instead returns to the beastiary, sniffing at the air to try and track down Taytay… Alas, the scent of feces, wet fur and burnt flesh are all that his nose can detect. He can plainly see where the others went, however, and can follow them.

Lorrias clambers to his feet and rushes over to the fallen Kobold priest, taking his by his collar and wrapping his arm around him, holding him by the neck while he stands behind and points the tip of his blade to the soft flesh of the priest’s throat. “STOP!”
The tall Kobold and Aar look between the crazed Elf and the eggs on the ground, and dash forward to grab the eggs. Throwing the priest aside, Lorrias grits his teeth and raises his eyebrows as he brandishes the tip of his blade at the absurdly proportioned Kobold. Holding his hands up and dropping the daggers in them, the Kobold scans the area and notices that the oddity of the situation has stunned the crowd into momentary disbelief and inaction, but it won’t last more than a few more seconds.
Looking back to the new Elf in front of him, and ignoring the sword pointed at him, he lowers his hands slightly and bends his knees, getting ready to grab the eggs and run. “If we are of the same mind” he moves his eyes to the ceiling and walls of the wooden indoor marketplace to emphasize his point “to escape this wretched place, you should come to.” With that, Zadkiel drops to his heels, grabs the eggs and leaps up again, Aar taking the chance to pick up the last one too. “It’s dangerous to go alone.” Zadkiel and Aar both turn and run past the Elf and his sword into the shocked crowd of Kobolds, further away from where they came from and towards another exit from the marketplace.
Lorrias spends barely a second to weigh up his options, opting to follow this strange Kobold; perhaps things are not as they appear, here.

What do you do?

Hexfang +5XP
Gemscale +5XP
Zadkiel +10XP
Aar +10XP
Lorrias +10XP

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Citadel Delve pt. 48
Parlay

After the gagging of Geran, Nix and Simon quickly set about trying to assure the mushroom folk that they are not at risk. Making sure to bring Jila, Talison, Lorawyn and Geran into as much of the conversation as they need to be, Nix and Darrin begin deconstructing their predicament.

Between the feuding Elven houses of Magolglir and Edhel, both seemingly aware of the Monolith already and having made a move on the place, it’s clear that no peaceful resolution will be easily found. Concerns over the power of the thing, the repurcussions should anyone find out about it, and the consequences of saying nothing, especially since untrustworthy subjects also know, are shared out loud among the group.

It appears the choices are both immediate and far reaching; if Geran is let go, he will likely fetch more soldiers. If Geran is killed, a political incident with military implications will likely be triggered.

Jila, despite fighting alongside the party for most of this journey, unfortunately falls into a similar dichotomy; having already said his piece to Talison, it’s clear that Jila cares more for his House than for his bonds forged in battle.

Nix speaks to both Elves, appealing to their sense of justice. She makes it clear that on their current course, war is the only result. She then clarifies that the Order of the Monolith will ensure the fair monitoring of the crystal monolith, and that the site will likely become a place of learning where all can benefit.

“Pipe dreams, m’lady.” Jila chides. Standing to his feet, he squares his shoulders and begins slowly backing away towards the ridges at the sides of the pit wall. “We can’t just hand control of the Monolith over to some ancient scroll-rollers. We…” he looks around, noticing his being outnumbered. Greatly. “I’m afraid, Lady Nix, that I am able only to take your request to my Lord.” he speaks through a jutting jaw, his pride almost flat like a paper mask. It is unclear how sincere he is, but he appears to be conceding.

“Mph! Mmmmmph!” says Geran.

Adrik gently gathers the wolf cub into his hands, the unconscious pup finishing its reflexive swallows of the small amount of food Theodore gave it. Holding it close, Adrik can almost hear its beating heart in his own eardrums.

Lorawyn hears Nix’s mention of the Druid Order perhaps helping in some capacity. It is at that point that it becomes abundantly clear to her that the Order’s orders are unclear. What is she to do in this situation? Can she speak to her Archdruid circle leader for advice? What effect would using Druidcraft on the Monolith have?

“It appears that we find ourselves at a crossroads, ladies and gentlemen, no two ways about it. Despite the treasure we find before us, and the boon it could have for all in the region if it is used wisely, we cannot escape the torment of our petty squabbles.” Simon strains through the words, seemingly trying to think of what he’s saying as he’s saying it. “If we leave, others will come. If we stay, then none of us ever leave here again. I find I am in favour of leaving and letting the Elves duke it out. Somergleam has survived without access to a Monolith so far, it shall continue to do so. To attempt to let any person or group control the Monolith invites bloodshed in the name of power, I fear.”

What do you do?

Talison has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison +10XP
Nix +10XP
Darrin +10XP
Lorawyn +10XP
Adrik +10XP
Ero +5XP
Theodore +10XP

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Kobold Hunt pt. 25
Market Tackle

Lorrias whinces at the spear strike, but flips around the guard and continues his chase of the egg-carrying priest. Kicking his feet as he lands from his flip, he launches into into a dive, arms outstretched, sword clutched firmly in hand. The extra thrust sends Lorrias forward and into the back of the Kobold, sending them both tumbling into a heap.

The egg-like shapes clatter with a rock-like sound against the stone floor, as though they were hollow. They don’t roll much, however, seeming incredibly heavy. The Kobold’s jaw slams into the ground, the top of the vial crunching between his teeth sending the broken glass bottle skidding across the floor.

Lorrias rolls onto his back, winded slightly but finding himself quickly recovering. Looking around, he sees what looks to be a strange, dark bazaar. With it being all indoors, there are no tarpaulins or sheets. Instead, low benches with stock on them appear to be left mostly unattended. Crowds of colourfully dressed Kobolds begin to gather, most of them purely confused. Lorrias also notes that this doesn’t look military; there are children here.

Aar and Zadkiel manage to work their way through the zig-agging corridors and into the market area, spying the robed Kobold and Elf collapsed on the floor. There are three stone oblate spheroids on the floor nearby along with a broken glass vial. If any looks are cast towards the pair, it is to compound the looks from the mess hall; confusion, trepidation, and concern.

As Gemscale leaves the pantry, bundles of gear collected and various bottle and tinctures packed, he moves to the corridor HexFang is in. Having previously enjoyed slashing at and jumping on Kobolds, it appears she is now indulging in pressing her weight against the thick wooden support beams for the ramp back up to the roof.

What do you do?

Hexfang +10XP
Gemscale +10XP
Zadkiel +10XP
Aar +10XP
Lorrias +15XP

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Citadel Delve pt. 47
Choices Made

Ero looks down into the pit, watching his newfound friends sneaking up on an unaware man and readying themselves to capture him. Torn, he moves to entrance, cutting off Geran’s escape while visibly removing his support for action against the Elf.

Theodore looks over the small pup in his hands, the realisation of its demise sinking deeper into him. His voice breaks as he speaks. “I-I’m sorry. I can’t do anything. I can’t save him. It’s too late.” Taking his hand and covering the small cub, he reluctantly gets ready to hand it over to the mushroomoids. He stops, however; was that a kick?
He had felt for a pulse, any sign of life and found none. His skills were not lacking. He pulled his hands close to his chest and opened them up to look upon the wolf again. Struggling to open its eyes, the cub wobbles as it tries to lift its head. A wimper and another leg twitch, and then it falls asleep, chest heaving up and down. It is tired, malnurished and still badly hurt, but it’s alive! Gently rubbing the back of its neck, Theodore rifles through his pack with his other hand trying to grab something small that it can eat.

Darrin and Adrik pick themselves up from their crystal-induced episodes. Both men feel an emptiness inside; Adrik feels cut off from the Feyweave for the first time in decades, while Darrin simply feels… more spacious. He feels like his anger has subsided somewhat and his mind a little clearer. Adrik feels great loss and sorrow, and the weight of years of isolation. But he looks up at the wolf cub now moving, and feels the sudden wash of comfort that he saved a life. He also feels that his savrifice produced another effect nearby, but his grasp on the flow of the Feyweave around him dwindles by the second until it is all gone.

Talison looks to Nix, who gives the signal to go. Almost as if choreographed, Bennet and Korik leap a foot into the air and land softly on the hard stone of the ridges of the pit wall, avoiding the granular dirt and smaller loose stones that would make noise. Skipping from ridge to ridge, the two rogues look like dancers they way they lift their knees quite high in order to control their landings and soften the sound. The others down below barely notice them, and they know that they’re there. Odds are that Geran won’t notice them until it’s too late, Talison catches himself thinking. His tactician’s mind still alerted him from time to time.

Nix stands up a little straighter and walks casually out from behind the pillar, Jila, Lorawyn (still shaped like a cat) and Talison quickly padding softly behind the Elven Noble. Lorawyn gets to him first, startling the man as he muses “Hello, there, cat.”
Leaping upon him first, Jila launches into the air with a grunt and tackles Geran, delivering a swift punch to the jaw before grabbing his arms and crossing them over his front. Talison rushes to wrap rope around his feet, managing to grapple the flailing limbs and tie them taught and together. Bennet and Korik skid to a halt by his head, kicking up aa small amount of dust and dirt into his face, causing him to spit and splutter. Korik casually removes his rope bundle from the side of his backpack and hands it to Bennet, neither man taking their eyes off Geran. Together, they grab his hands and tie securely around his wrists and weaving between his fingers, stopping him from using them in any spells.

“Wha- Why can’t I shift? What have you d-mph!” Geran screams, his eyes widening in horror. Bennet stands and claps his hands together, trying to clear them of dust and dirt after he tied a rag around Geran’s head and into his mouth, gagging him. Nix stands by, simultaneously comforted by the achievement and safety, while being aware of the suspicion and caution being communicated by the mushroom folk now. They are keeping a wide berth, huddling together and looking frightened.

The mushroomoids on the other side of the monolith also react the same way, pulling away from Theodore and eyeing him suspiciously, the smaller one cuddling into a larger one.

Jila stands up from sitting on Geran’s chest, breathing heavily and wiping his mouth, realising that in his anger he had started frothing slightly. He gives a sharp look to Nix as if he has just been caught, and then quicly straightens up and regains his usual look of defiance. He moves to Talison and claps him once on the shoulder before retreating to sit with his back against the wall of the pit as he looks at Geran. “Highborns…” he snorts derisively.

What do you do?

Talison has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison +10XP
Nix +10XP
Darrin +5XP
Lorawyn +5XP
Adrik +15XP
Ero +15XP
Theodore +15XP

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Kobold Hunt pt. 24
Chasing Dreams

Aar quickly scans the room, noticing that the only other door in the room, at the far end, is too far away for another Kobold to have reached by now without them still seeing him. The only other exit is this corridor to the right that the Elf ran down, and where all the kobolds are looking. This must be the way the priest ran.
Turning to Zadkiel to see if he had come to the same conclusion, he spots the last moments of his lips moving, quietly incanting a spell. As Aar blinks, he sees Zadkiel, tall and dark, before his eyes close, and when he opens his eyes he sees a tall Kobold turn their head to him and nod.

It takes a split second for Aar to realise what Zadkiel had done. “Great idea!” he starts to exclaim in a low voice to avoid attention, before realising that he would not be able to mirror the trick. “I don’t know this spell…”
Turning his attention back to the task at hand, Zadkiel asks Aar if he could see their quarry. Aar suggests that they should pursue the Elf, and that they might be after the same goal. The two start racing towards the corridor, confusion and shouts of “Who giant?” in draconic greeting them from the crowd. It seems the kobolds are ignoring Aar for the most part, assuming that Zadkiel is a giant Kobold and must have a good reason for running with him.

HexFang’s rampage can be heard down the way, which brings Gemscale out of his slight daze. He had been so focused on freeing these animals that he hadn’t noticed that he’s now alone in this room. Jumping down from the bear cage and with a final contemplative look at the bolt lock, he decides to wander over to his shackles and look around. The humanoids had run off, presumably chasing down the priest. HexFang was seemingly having fun, her roars and the screams of Kobolds giving Gemscale no reason for concern there. Noticing the room off to the side again, he wanders in to have a look. He finds several packs, bags and flasks tossed about in the room along with lots of raw and jerkied meat, some of it beginning to mould over. Weapons and armour, some belonging to Aar and Zadkiel, along with some farming tools, lie strewn about with no care given to their accessibility or upkeep. It looks more like a larder that has been usurped as a storage room. Gemscale easily finds all of the equipment the party had and grabs it. Looking over the flasks, he begins to open a few and sniff their contents. Besides a few bottles of what he determines to be urine and alcohol, there are three cuboid bottles and one dodecahedronal flask. The flask is made of a purple glass, and the liquid inside looks thick and black. The smell is of vanilla and lavender, possibly an alchemical base or a potion of some kind. The bottles all are brown glass, and contain tinctures that vary in their newtonian properties. Besides the strong ethanol smell, they each have a hint of a citrus fruit, seemingly a different one per bottle. Only the lemon-like one seems familiar, and might be either a healing salve or a cleansing oil for spiritual rituals.

Dashing through the corridors as it twists this way and that, Lorrias manages to keep up with the priest. Seeing him stop at a few junctions and make changes to his direction based on how crowded a path is, the wizard manages to catch up some ways and is now only about eight feet away. The two charge at full speed down corridors, through rooms and into what seems to be an indoor marketplace. As he runs as fast as he can, unfortunately he misses a guard in the market square that tries to slash at him with a spear. The near-hit rattles Lorrias somewhat, almost draining his resolve.

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

Lorrias takes 3 Hit Points of damage from the spear attack.

Lorrias can make a Strength (Athletics) check in order to close the gap and catch the kobold. If not, you can keep chasing for a bitlonger

Hexfang +5XP
Gemscale +15XP
Zadkiel +10XP
Aar +10XP
Lorrias +15XP

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Citadel Delve pt. 46
Visions Galore

Nix, Bennet, Korik, Jila, Talison and Lorawyn begin moving to the lip of the pit, ready to drop down and capture Geran. Ero questions who or what Geran is, Simon filling him in quickly on the agreement he made and apparently broke with Nix yesterday. “I do think it would be rather rude for us to murder our hosts’ other guests under their own roof. Surely the thing to do would be to greet him as friends, escort him to safety, and then murder him. Of course, then there’s the question of this elven princeling. Do you want a feud? Because this is how you start a feud.”
“A bit too late for avoiding feuds, I’m afraid. An elven feud was brewing before we even came in here.” Nix explains.
“I say let the Taihun decide his fate, little friend. But then I haven’t any personal stake in the matter. Still, I should hate to scare the shitaki out of our little friends.” Ero breaks from his serious tone at his joke, a wry smile stretching across his lips.
“Take him alive, preferably. Bennet or Korik might be the best for sneaking behind him to gag him immediately.” she says, looking at the two experts before her. They each give a look of understanding before turning and lightly jogging around the edge of the pit, avoiding the glow and using the stalagmites as cover.

Talison moves away from Jila while the group descends to the base of the pit, moving close to Nix to confide in her privately. “Why dont we just kill the smarmy bastard? We have no use for him anymore.” He shys from Nix’s look that she shoots at him. “Not that he has ever been much use.”
Lorawyn overhears. “Let’s try not to kill him…I wish we didn’t have to use violence at all.”
“I hope it doesn’t come to that. The death of an elf prince is never taken lightly. That means war. Though a public shaming might do more damage and keep us from bringing a whole elven family down on us.” Nix whispers eyeing Jila carefully. When she turns back to Lorawyn, she appears to have disappeared, a small cat appearing in her place, leaping from ridge to ridge and climbing down to the base of the pit faster than everyone else.
“Not if they never find the body. A cavern that houses an artifact like this is bound to be… dangerous…” Talison thinks on his words. “I am sure the meenlocks don’t give a damn about elven politics.” he says, seemingly as the idea enters his mind.
“I thought better of you. If it comes to that we might have to. But killing for pure power or ease is not my way. It is a coward’s way out.” Nix’s tone mirrors her sentiment.
“There is only one artifact. Do you think he is going to let us walk out with it? As much hell as he has put me through, I would love to kill him, I will admit that. But that is not the reason. This is preemptive!”
“If he tries to escape or not yield the monolith to the Order’s protection, then I will have no choice, unfortunately. If he goes willingly, then the order can pass judgement or deal with the elven courts.” Nix tries to reason with Talison, realising that she is speaking with a comrade in arms, and one that is likely to become a fast friend.
Talison’s voice loses its edge, a resignation on the surface. Nix knew better, though. She could hear Talison’s resolve beneath it, his strength and the sound of an idea being reconciled. “Of course, M’lady. You are right.” Talison slides down the next ridge, keeping up with the nimble wizard. “We will give him a chance. You have my deepest apologies. I am a warrior; I often tend not to think beyond the tip of my blade. I will trust your judgement.”
“There is not much I would like more than to just end it now” Nix concedes, resisting placing a comforting hand on his arm knowing that not only are they moving to arrest Geran, but that Jila is not far behind.
“I promise you, if he even utters a word of resistance I will make sure it is ended and justice is done. I will also make sure no harm is done to you and your colleagues, now…” Talison glares at Jila as the unaware, or perhaps simply focused, Elf clambers down the last few ridges “… Or ever.”

Theodore looks down at the wolf cub the small, childlike mushroom person is holding in front of him. The cut on its leg looks superficial, but the thing isn’t moving… Gently nudging the cub’s side, Theodore can see that it has died fairly recently. Instinctively picking it up to check it over, the creatures around him allow it and look on with a mixture of curiosity and reverence. Lifting its eyelids and lips, Theodore can tell from the colouration and the burst vessels that the pup died of a combination of trauma and starvation. Some months ago it was attacked, and has struggled since. It somehow lasted until the last few hours. Alas, there is nothing within Theodore’s power that can restore the cub to life.

Darrin and Adrik have both reached the base of the pit around the time Nix climbed up to warn others of the presence of Geran. Darrin feels a strong compulsion to reach out and touch the side of the monolith. Giving in to this feeling, he tentatively touches his fingertips to the nearest facet. His fingers slide effortlessly against the smooth surface. Sliding up, he pressed his palm against the facet and leans in to it slowly, pressing his ear to the crystal to see if he can hear anything. His movements barely feel his own.

Adrik, while not feeling the same compulsion, sees the odd Elfblood man hugging the Druidic Artefact before him. Hearing the party following and climbing down the pit, he turns to greet them. In doing so, he spots Theodore cradling the small, limp dead wolf cub. A sudden wrenching in Adrik’s stomach almost bowls him over, his gloved hand bracing against the monolith. Raising his bleary eyes to look at the crystal, his mind races. Looking between the cub and the monolith, Adrik quickly removes his glove and slaps his hand on the monolith, forcing his command of the Feyweave to produce a surge within him.

Adrik opens his eyes to see a bright white light all around him. The edge of his vision has tinges of a bright green. Everywhere he looks, nothing but white. In the distance, he can hear a sound that taunts the edge of his hearing. He tries to move towards it and cock his head to get a better listen. A sudden rush of wind blasts his face as the loud whiney of a horse rattles his ears. The beast wanders in front of him: Adrik is now stood in the middle of a village square… Somewhere familiar… Turning and looking around, confused as to how he got here, Adrik looks up at the sign of the tavern-looking building in front of him. The letters seem to shift as he looks at them, settling into one shape while he sees them. ‘Sheep Gut Pirate’. Looking away, Adrik tries to pick up on other clues as to where he might be. He sees a familiar looking smith hammering away at something on an anvil, and more carts, donkeys and horses pulling by. Turning back to the tavern, the sign now reads ‘Peppered With House’. Almost in a daze, Adrik ignores the sign and steps into the building. Inside it is completely empty except for a single person sat on a stone on a hillside, the wind blowing through her hair and the twilight dusk pulling at the colours of her dress. Spinning on his heels, Adrik simply sees more hills and grass behind him. Turning back to the woman, a small, Elf-looking maiden, he takes a step forward before she looks up at him and speaks from all around him without moving her lips. “All that can be will be in time.” She stands and approaches. “Life flows through life. A connection has been made. Your heart yearns for life.”
She looks caring and comforting, and gives a slight smile as she looks up at you, standing almost toe to toe. She looks very beautiful, and she almost seems to make you feel that beauty within the depth of your soul. Her face takes a slightly more serious shape, as though she’s concerned. “One cannot gain without giving. Do you give freely?”

As Darrin shakes his head and tries to push past the dissociation he feels when looking at people climbing down into the pit just as they did more than a day ago, he looks over to Adrik; the Dwarf is collapsed on the floor, one hand still touching the monolith, his eyes rolling into the back of his head and his jaw clenched tight.

As they work their way around the sides of the crystal, Nix and Talison look over to the other side where Jila and the cat are stood crouched, still out of sight of Geran who has his back fully to the crystal. Up above, Bennet and Korik stand by some stalagmites, looking down and waiting for a signal. Everyone is poised. Jila shifts his weight from foot to foot, the rope in his hands coiled and ready to be used to tie up Geran.

What do you do?

Nix, Lorawyn, Talison, could you 3 all roll for a Dexterity (Stealth) check for me? That’s 1d20 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus if it’s a skill you’re proficient in. Talison, see below:

Talison has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison +10XP
Nix +10XP
Darrin +15XP
Lorawyn +10XP
Adrik +15XP
Ero +10XP
Theodore +15XP

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Kobold Hunt pt. 23
Corridor Chase

Zadkiel and Aar rush over to the doors, lowering their heads so as to not hit the ceiling. The two stop and listen for a moment, a commotion happening on the far side of the door. Looking at each other, Zadkiel places one hand on the door. “I’m going to open it. You ready?” As Aar nods, Zadkiel presses his hand firmly against the door, letting it swing open. Within the next room, the two bards see at least two hundred Kobolds gathered in what appears to be a mess hall of some kind. A brown-grey slop of some kind is held in the hands of many Kobolds, with some of the material dripping from their jaws as though they’d eaten some. All eyes appear to be not on the two bards entering, but rather on a corridor leading out of the room to their right. Charging through the hall and into this corridor is an Elfblood man wearing robes and weilding a sword.

Lorrias manages to avoid the few Kobolds trying to grab at his robes, getting to the corridor and seeing the escaping Kobold, still carrying the oblate spheroids and the small vial of liquid. It appears a merry chase is underway.

HexFang heaves the Kobold in her claws back up and over her shoulder, launching it at another spearman. The Kobolds collapse into an unconscious heap. Slowly turning her murderous gaze to the body beside her, she shifts closer, raising a single clawed finger ready to draw it across the Kobold’s exposed neck.

Gemscale turns away from the cages of lizard-birds, and dashing forward on three feet while nursing his fourth, he leaps up and onto the top of the bear cage. Making a full turn and looking through the bars, he sees that he can remain up here for the duration without attracting the paws or claws of the bear within. That is not to say that the creature isn’t disturbed by the large Dragon now perched above it. Gemscale looks over the edge of the cage at the front below… the locking pin is at the bottom of the door. To open it, he would have to either cling to the front of the cage, vulnerable to swipes from between the bars, or jump back down to the ground in order to lift the pin and open the door. The experience with the lizard-birds has certainly soured that idea, although it isn’t outside the realms of possibility. Would the bear recognise the help?

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

Lorrias, to chase the Kobold you should make Wisdom (Insight) or Wisdom (Perception) skill checks to either intuit or see evidence of where they go. You are entering a labyrinth of corridors moving this way and that, with offshoots and rooms all over the place. It is recommended that you run as fast as you can (Taking the Dash action) to keep up.

Hexfang +10XP
Gemscale +10XP
Zadkiel +5XP
Aar +5XP
Lorrias +10XP

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Kobold Hunt pt. 22
Egg and Spoon

Bardino and Zadkiel see the small bird lizards leap out and attack Gemscale, thrusting their heads forward and trying to peck him. Seeing another creature venture from the cage and turn to look at them, they turn on their heels and run headlong into the corridor nearby, deciding to chase down the priest while also escaping the danger they know the Dragon has just got himself into. Racing along, Zadkiel sees a Kobold leave a side corridor into the main thoroughfare that he and the other bard are running down; he places his hand in front of him and uses it to push down the Kobold’s head, vaulting over the top of it and continuing running. The two see the corridor turn sharply to the right, passing several smaller room doorways and side passages and following the larger passageway. Turning, they see the corridor zig-zags and ends in a set of double doors, the ceiling beginning to lower until is reaches the top of the doorway at just over five feet from the floor.

Gemscale tussles with the bird-lizard creature, its scales rubbing against his own creating a hormonic reinforcement of the beast’s own screeching. The smell of guano accompanies the thing, filling the Dragon’s nostrils and distracting him slightly. Grabbing it in his claws, he throws the beast back into the cage and sweeps his arm across to grab the door and swing it closed. Fumbling with the locking bolt, the creature leans through the bars and scrapes at Gemscale’s talon with its beak. The strike surprises the gold Dragon, forcing him to retreat quickly. Thankfully, the bolt is back in place. Unfortunately, the scrape rattles his scales and now tingles most uncomfortably. Seething, he restrains his curses.

HexFang, unaware of the the plight befalling his golden compatriot, charges angrily at two Kobolds hiding behind a corner nearby, dragging one of them out with her jaws and tossing him into the air. Grabbing the frightened creature by the ankle with her claws, HexFang then swings the Kobold horizontally into the other Kobold, smashing them both against the wall. Both of them now knocked out, she turns with a growl to the others she can see trying to hide, their spears pointed at her as though trying to keep the immense magnitude of her presence at bay.

Lorrias takes advantage of the distraction, stepping into the mess hall and moving among the Kobolds there, dashing quickly to the middle of the room in order to get a closer look at this creature and the orbs bundled in his arms. Although they are not clear exactly what they are, they seem important. Given the audience he’s illiciting, he’s either someone important like this Taytay he’s heard of, or perhaps simply a lower standing of Kobold carrying something they shouldn’t. Either way, Lorrias sees his presence is not only noticed, but seems to be drawing attention away from the robed Kobold. Almost dropping one of the egg-like spheroids, the short man stares at you, mouth agape, and turns sharply to run out of the hall down one of the side passages. The room appears to be uncertain how to react, some Kobolds standing to ready themselves aggressively, others skulking back. Either way, a fight would be costly; there are over two hundred Kobolds here.

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

Gemscale takes 3 Hit Points of damage and needs to make a Constitution saving throw.

Hexfang +15XP
Gemscale +10XP
Zadkiel +10XP
Aar +10XP
Lorrias +10XP

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Citadel Delve pt. 45
Monolithic Discoveries

Ero looks about at the surrounding cave structure, the bright green light providing ample glow to see by. There appears to be no discernable exit, no way out of this cave bar the way the group entered. As vast as the cave is, the airflow and visible ecology seems to support this assessment. Very few predators, little diversity in the plantlife, and the relative cleanliness of the cave show no signs of visitors in recent memory. There also appears to be no ambush point or sign of a trap; no mezzanine, no platform, no murder holes. It seems safe.

Darrin lets out a breathy gasp. “Wow… Look at that…thing!” He catches himself and shakes the feelings that begin to stir within him. While he’s never seen something like this, something within stirs and seems to want to connect with the structure. Licking his lips and stepping forward, he appears struck with a thought as he stops and rumages through his pack. Pulling out one of the green shards, he holds it in front of him, partially blocking the monolith in the pit, noticing the similarities in their composition. “Simon…is that thing… The treasure?” He turns to look at the bearded holy man, who returns his look with a wide-eyed look of bewilderment. “Because I didn’t bring my big bag.” Darrin continues, before turning back to the structure in awe.
“… I think this is going to be a tad more complicated than I thought…” Simon responds, glancing over to Jila before moving closer to Darrin and whispering his concerns over what is to come. Nix’s agreement with the Elves, after all, would be to negotiate on how to deal with the treasure once it was encountered, and Simon suspects that Jila knew about this monolith all along.

Theodore sees Darrin take out the small green shard and compare it with the monolith. Looking down at his hands, he sees that the larger pieces he has picked up also match the monolith. Some pieces seem to resemble crystal wands, while others are broken chunks, but regardless they seem to match up with the smaller shards that the others appear to have. Seeing Nix disappear over the lip of the pit, Theodore starts after her, following her down the steep slope onto the stepped ridges that help with climbing in and out.

Standing side by side, the two Druids invisibly share their connection with this monolith. The Order was right: they do recognise the artefact. This is it. The crystal monolith is the Druid Artefact they are tasked with protecting. “Adrik, we’ve found it! Oh, thank the Feyweave!”
“Yes we did lorawyn. And it’s very beautiful.” the usually silent Dwarf speaks deeply, almost euphorically. Of course, the limits of the mission the Order gave were vague; now the monolith has been found, it’s clear how close Simon is to finding it… now what?

Reaching the bottom of the pit, Nix and Theodore look up the tall, ridged slope they’ve descended. Friendly faces look on above, with Bennet and Korik taking the time to look over the claw-like crown of stalagmites surrounding the monolith. Mushroom people gather around them, making friendly gestures. They do not respond verbally, nor do they seem to understand what is said, but they accept your presence and continue to make stretching, creaking sounds.

“Do you know what it is or does, Nix?” the heavily armoured knight asks, reverently keeping his distance from the object, and a hint of interrogation to his voice. While he was sure of its purpose, he needed to establish what she knows. Nix seems entranced by the structure, slowly walking around it and moving closer, her fingers caressing the surface gently. It feels solid, like polished stone, with a static charge around it that gives a spongey sensation. The creatures emerging from it must have done so with magic, as that facet seems entirely intact now.

Slowly wandering and allowing her eyes and mind to explore this giant crystal, Nix lets her hand slip into her belt pouch and remove a small pearl and a glassy shard. She then disappears around the far side of the stone.

Seeing the small bundle of fur in the arms of the smaller mushroom creature, Theodore kneels down to its level and adopts a caring tone. “Is it okay? Can I take a look at it?” Holding the furball close to its chest, the small one moves towards him until he bumps into him, and then turns and sits on Theodore’s thigh. Cuddling into him, he twists his body so the knight could see the small wolf cub, its hind leg injured and its eyes clamped shut. It lies very still.

Atop the mouth of the pit, standing a short distance behind the others, Jila turns his back to the party and moves his face close to Talison’s in order to speak privately with him. In a low, gravelly tone, he whispers to the Half-Elf “This is the prize, Talison. This is what we were sent here for. Not exactly something we can split with these others.”
“Again, something the mule wasn’t made aware of.” Talison replies with a brief smirk. “Then what do we do, if we can’t split it?”
“We leave. Let the others do what they want. That monolith is now under the jurisdiction of the royal court Magolglir. Our mission now is to return, and inform them of our findings.” He pulls back to read Talison’s face, which has begun to scrunch into a disapproving look. Furrowing his own brow, Jila speaks more sternly “An army will be sent to secure the area and any remaining people will be… ‘dealt with’.” Despite initially conspiring with Talison, Jila pulls back slightly, seemingly uncomfortable.
“Dealt with?” Talison quickly looks around, knowing he was being louder than he hoped. Hushing his tone, he tries to cover his upset. His aggressive hand gestures betray otherwise. “You wouldn’t be here without these people! And now that you don’t have a use for them you want them dealt with?”
Matching the hissing, whispered shouting, Jila returns Talison’s tone. “They are outsiders, Talison! Do not forget, we are here on a mission for OUR people! We may have fought alongside these warriors, but that does not mean we abandon our mission…” Quickly taking a breath, Jila recentres himself and exhales deeply, walking around Talison and stopping by his side, the two of them no longer looking at each other but now both regarding the party at large. “Look, we’ll make sure everyone is removed. It’ll take us around a week to get back, arrange a contingent to travel out and secure the area again. These people will be gone by then. Our people will then take control.”
“Our people? More like your people. Just… don’t hurt them, or so help me it’ll be the last thing you do.”
“… That sounds an awful lot like a decision being made. Be sure it’s not one made in haste, boy.” With that, Nix approaches.
“A decision has been made, be sure you are not in the way.” Talison leans in to whisper this to Jila before Nix gets too close.
“Geran is here!” Nix blurts out, almost breathlessly.

Nix grabs Talison’s arm and waves Bennet over, who leaps down from his stalagmite climb and joins them. “Geran is behind the monolith…” Nix continues, elaborating on how she saw him sitting with his back to her, a few of the mushroomoid beings sat with him. He didn’t seem to notice her, but once she performed her magical readings she quicly came up here. Having proven himself power-hungry, she proposes they sneak around to the far side, bind him and gag him, making sure he can’t cast spells or try to use the monolith. Jila takes a deep breath before agreeing, nodding at Talison with a look he had seen many times. His emotions were gone again, and it was all about business. Their spat, Talison knew, wouldn’t get in the way of the task at hand. While handy in a pinch, it can be infuriating to witness the cool, collected way Jila conducts himself at times.
“What of the mushroom people? Are we sure they won’t respond if we become aggressors in their domain? Do they live here?” Bennet begins questioning as the Elf makes his way around to the far side of the pit, ready to strike from above.

What do you do?

Nix discovers that the monolith contains the following spells, made available after a week-long ritual to attune to the monolith:
9th
*True Polymorph
8th
*Power Word Stun
7th
*Mordenkainen’s Sword – Unique Spell
6th
*Investiture of Wind
5th
*Seeming
4th
*Grasping Vine
3rd
*Wind Wall
*Magic Circle
*Daylight
2nd
*Find Steed
*Zone of Truth
*Glyph of Warding
1st
*Find Familiar
*Unseen Servant
*Catapault
*Beast Bond
*Detect Poison and Disease
*Fog Cloud
*Bless
*Longstrider

Talison has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison +15XP
Nix +15XP
Darrin +15XP
Lorawyn +15XP
Adrik +15XP
Ero +15XP
Theodore +15XP

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