Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

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deltreey
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Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 10th, '17, 22:11

OOC: Taking a bit of liberty here. Feel free to correct me on any bit of this. After this the characters are yours, just giving you the breakdown of what you’re surrounded by.

It was cold and dark when Bill was dumped into the prison. He’d been there for weeks now. As a halfling, he was blind in this place, but his druidic powers afforded him a bit of a reprieve, when he was willing to risk being spotted as a magic user. There was one thing that he was sure of after only this short time in the prison. This was not a lonely place. It was harder to find places where there weren’t people than to find places where there were. Finding a quiet place to sleep wasn’t the worst of it. Keeping his belongings to himself was a much more challenging task—not that he had any. Some nights, he’d heard the sounds of prisoners being beaten in exchange for something they’d found, whether it was food or something more useful. The other prisoners were clearly not to be trifled with. The world around him was cold stone, and the air was 16ºC in this place. The warmest spots were surrounded by other warm bodies, so perhaps it was a gift by his jailer to put him so deeply among other inmates, or perhaps this whole place was getting full.

He’d chosen to be a loner in what amounted to the opposite of a lonely world. He was quietly marking his progress on the ground, which was not the most effective method, but it worked. He had found a bit of hardened dirt that he could scrape at to mark the days, and it worked well, for about a week. Sadly, he returned to his literal hole in the wall one day to find that the dirt had been caked over. He stayed up that night—if you can call it a night—watching for the saboteur to return. They never did. His desire to avoid conflict in a world where he was both at a disadvantage and in possession of highly valuable skills led him to convince himself that he had done it. That he had rolled over and destroyed them in his sleep. It made some sense, and it wasn’t like he needed proof. Who could argue with him? The trial only existed in his head.

It was then that he heard the scream. He’d heard fights break out in the prison before, but this was different. This was a death knell. In the moment it happened, his first thought was one of argument. Couldn’t they have held out just a little longer? Couldn’t they have waited for their release date in an undesirable hole as he had. It was the words themselves that brought the realization to him. He had never heard of anyone ever being released. The same voices that passed by his “bunk” each day, were always there the next. There was no talk of life after prison. There wasn’t one. This wasn’t punishment for crimes, or rehabilitation for wrongdoing. This was disposal. These people were being sent here to get rid of them. He was never going to leave this place.

The thoughts processed in a split second. His mind reset itself again as the scream stopped, abruptly, disturbingly, with what can only be defined as a crunch.

Zertius had been in prison for a much shorter period. After only a few days in this hell-hole, he was already starving and in pain. The floor was not smooth, but rough stone. It was a far cry from even a road let alone a bed. The darkness was penetrating, as was the cold. His desire to avoid using his magic was a smart one, made evident after only a few moments inside. He had been searching against the entry wall for a few minutes when he heard people for the first time. At first, he heard familiar words echo from them and a light spell glowed displaying the group. The caster, a frail man, was being dragged by the other two prisoners. His legs appeared to be broken. The looked at Zertius briefly in the light, then, rather than dismissing the spell, the caster was struck in the head by the largest prisoner with some sort of club. It looked like it was made of bone. The caster didn’t even get a yelp out before the glowing orbs of light dissipated. Apparently, they had no interest in Zertius, because all he heard after was the sounds of their feet, and the dragged unconscious caster, shuffling away.

It was a disturbingly loud few days, spent hiding to avoid conflict, but hearing it all around. It was during a quiet moment, one of those late nights—if you can call them that—when everyone was asleep that he heard the scream. It was a woman’s voice. It was not another fight. This was the scream of death. It had not been surrounded by the sound of a tussle. It didn’t make sense. A dead prisoner would not scream, and one in a fight for their life would be making much more noise than a simple cry. What death could she have seen coming, but had only enough time to scream about it.

Thica was big. Entering, the cave had an enormous mouth. In the darkness, it seemed much much bigger. If not for the entrance wall, she might have struggled to find where the cave walls began. It was dark, like the bottom of the ocean. She’d only just begun to attempt to get her bearings when the scream erupted. The sound made it clear that she was not the only woman in here, but also that there was now one less.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 10th, '17, 22:49

Zertius has been trying to keep a positive attitude; what he knows of Desna is that she tests her faithful on the road, but also brings them luck and eventual freedom. Zertius still feels like he has morality and Desna on his side, as he is innocent of his accused crimes. On the other hand, the gods don't show themselves much anymore in this land, and Zertius knows very well that his knowledge might be a falsehood. However, Desna has continued to grant Zertius clerical powers during his journeys, and for that he thanks Desna daily.

Zertius has been quietly praying, just barely above a whisper since he entered this place, at least once an hour. More frequently after Zertius saw what happened to the frail caster. If Zertius saw a loose stone or two when there was the brief light cantrip, Zertius would have waited until after the light went out, and then dropped to the ground to try and pick it up in the dark.

Zertius keeps toying with making just enough water for him to have a few sips, but is worried about who will "see" him do it. Zertius thinks Desna has told him to just wait a little longer, but the thirst is really becoming an issue, and if he waits too much longer, he'll no longer have any strength or voice to even cast a spoken orison.

The scream jolted him out of a prayer; and, something compelled him in the back of his mind to be "ready". Was that Desna, or was that instinct? Zertius uttered a short prayer to Desna in common, without speaking her name, "Guide me in my steps towards freedom, and bestow luck upon those who have earned it..." And then he clicked over into problem solving mode.

What can Zertius tell that's around him? Can he see / hear anything? Can he localize the scream? What he wants to do is grab a stone, get near a crowd of people so as to disguise casting a light orison on a stone or something else throwable, and then to ricochet it off the walls so it's not apparent Zertius cast it. If the light shows that he's surrounded by mostly humans or other non-darkvision creatures, he'll quietly cast for a small mouthful of water directly into his mouth and swallow it in tiny small swallows so as not to look like he just drank water.

EDIT: Per IRC conversation, Zertius has no Divine Focus at the moment, and may not be able to cast spells; but, as far as Zertius knows, he's able to cast them as usual. He's never been without a holy symbol of Desna's butterfly before.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 10th, '17, 23:21

This wasn't the first time Thica had been thrown in a dark pit with rough company. After all, that was essentially how she had made her living over the past few years. Still, they usually weren't this dark for long, and the circumstances were seldom so shady. In fact, only once had she ever been forced to fight after having been knocked unconscious, and there'd been a riot when she'd escaped with her life from that one. This was not looking good.

Her rage came back as soon as she remembered. It had been an old man who'd done her in that time, too, but the similarity ended there. He'd had few teeth in his mouth, but that wasn't just age and infirmity. Most had been knocked out. Perhaps he hadn't thought he had much left to lose. He hadn't been as harmless as she'd thought, when he'd tricked her into meeting him in the wrong place, and snuck up behind her.

She caught him in his game and thought that she'd still had the upper hand, but the old man had an old dog, and the dog didn't care that its master had brought her wrath upon himself. Everything had gone dark just after she'd brought the mutt to rest by heaving an old chamber pot down over his head.

The old man didn't have much respect for the dead, because when he had her fight unarmed in his pit, which while better-furnished than this one still didn't seem any more pleasant, the defeat of his old dog was the one and only of her previous deeds he related that wasn't a complete fabrication.

Thankfully, someone in the crowd saw fit to toss her a spiked club, against the owner's desires, a friend of hers was able to charm one of the pit's half-orc enforcers into taking a chance the demand hazard pay just when he was called on to release the dire rats.

With the cage to jump off of, the walls of the pit were neither high nor slick enough for the arranged spectacle to proceed to its intended conclusion from there, so those in attendance did not, after all, get their chance to witness 'Thica the Mutt' torn limb from limb as advertised. Though, they found plenty of worthy substitutes.

Here, now, she seemed to have been abducted by some insufferable, pretentious wizard for what seemed to be, so far, nothing more impressive than she'd seen before. Unless her friends had hijacked another ship recently, they weren't going to be coming to her rescue again, likely, so this time she could expect to be on her own. Still, she felt less worried than she'd been when she had no idea what the man wanted.

But no, it seemed everyone wanted her for the same reason, no matter how haughty they were, no matter whether gold, magic, scars, steel, or words were what they thought was most important in this world. They wanted to see her lose, when she was placed in her element and put in front of a crowd. From the sound of it, they'd been successful here with their last contestant, but then, that was how it usually was. While Thica was not undefeated, she was still alive, and that meant she hadn't lost when the crowd was out for her blood. That was a record worth keeping.

She followed the wall, listening for the sound of boots, or breathing. Even in friendlier fighting pits, there were sometimes whips to encourage the fighters to get a move on. From the darkness, and the size of the cave, she began to wonder if she was already in some kind of arena, but if so, why were all the shouts coming from farther in? She tried to search for something to arm herself with, if only a rock she could easily hold in hand.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 11th, '17, 15:40

The crunching sound is sickening; and if he'd had anything to give, the ground would have been spattered. Instead, Bill dry-heaves, and tries with all his might to keep the noise down and swallowing back the tears.

The heaving quickly stops, but the tears keep coming. Not because of fright or the discomfort of illness, but because of the hopelessness of it all. He really could've done without that realization, and tries to somehow reason himself back to blissful ignorance.

Obviously he couldn't have been sent here to rot, that would be so inefficient - what with the transport here and all. Execution would have been much more economical. No, surely somewhere deeper this hell-hole must hold a mine, or a factory, or something, where the powers-that-be wanted him to toil for their gain. That's what caused the disturbing sounds, patrols gathering prisoners, and only by his cunning... or dumb luck, had he evaded them thus far.

But they might have heard the heaving and the sniffling! Better to relocate. Goodbye, tonight's 'home'. He tries to quickly, but stealthily, move away from the direction the commotion was coming from. As he does so he grips his one possession, his trusty dirty-stylus, and tries really hard to unthink how much its shape and texture reminds him of a dried turd.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 12th, '17, 11:01

The scream was followed by an eerie silence. For a few seconds, there were no sounds at all. It was only then that it became evident that this place had never been this silent before. It was actually eerie.

The silence was broken up for each of you, only by the sound of your footsteps as you, being the crazy hero types, approached the danger that you had heard only a moment before.

Perception checks please.

The silence was broken as abruptly as it began. The sound of shouting and screams erupted in the caverns. The noisy caverns became an echo-chamber of screeches and thuds. For the quiet travelers who had not yet interacted with other prisoners, the idea that the place had been crowded and noisy was immediately disproven. This place carried noise, as caverns often do, which meant that the constant noise around them might well have been hushed conversations and whispers, even at a distance. Suddenly, it was as if their heads were side-by-side with thousands of massive gongs, as the sound of a thunderous stampede of panicked people came...toward them?

Their decision to inspect the danger was going to hurt--a lot. The screaming masses were fleeing, and these three were moving against the current. The sounds of muffled screams of other prisoners being trampled gave them evidence of what would happen to them if they didn't think quickly.

How do you survive a stampede?

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 12th, '17, 11:46

Perception: 1d20+4 => 20, 4 => 24

Thica quickly discarded her whole train of thought. And her improvised weapon, or search for one. This was different. If this was an arena, the whole crowd must have been in the pit. All she knew how to do in a situation like this was to stay on her feet and push through. She was close to the wall, but that seemed to be where everyone else assumed shelter would be, so she slipped away from it when she had the chance.

Bending down to pick anything up was too dangerous--even someone who'd fallen down--and it was likewise dangerous to stay near anyone who had fallen, at least until they'd been trampled, since they might try to grab her and haul her down, as well. If she had the chance to catch someone who was in the process of falling, though--which could well include anyone unfortunate enough to crash blindly into her--they could make a nice shield to protect her from the worst of the current, which in her defense was still a kinder fate than serving as a shield to protect the floor. She remained alter for an opportunity while enduring the bruises from people she couldn't see to dodge.

More important than anything was staying on her feet. She spoke in as calm a voice as she could manage, loud enough for the two near her to hear, but hopefully without broadcasting her location too clearly. "You two, form up?" It was just a suggestion. She reached up to her face to double-check that there was nothing blocking her vision, as unlikely as it seemed, since she'd been able to see just a few seconds ago.
Last edited by Namaphry on May 12th, '17, 15:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 12th, '17, 12:32

Perception: 1d20+5 => 1, 5 => 6 with whatever minusses for being in the dark.

Holy mackerel! Stampedes sure know how to focus a wandering mind.
Bill wants nothing more than to cower until it all goes away, but he find that he can't. Frozen in fear? No, some power within, telling him to stand tall and leave everything to 'it'.

OOC: Bill was moving away from the sound, but w/e, on to business:

How far away is the throng?
Is there any vegetation around? Maybe roots dangling from the ceiling? How high is the ceiling? Or maybe there's a patch of fungi? Are mundane fungi considered plants for purposes of spells? And if there are plants, would Bill know? Would his perception help, however it turns out? Would a liberal interpretation of Nature Sense actually convey the sensing of nearby nature?
Better to explain what I want to do: cast Entangle in between Bill and the oncoming people. Either they'll slow down and not crush him, or they stop entirely, are crushed by those coming up behind, bodies pile up and the entangling agent, whatever it may be, wraps it all up into a nice barricade.
Plan B is scream like a girl and press himself against the wall, because there's no way he can outrun this mob. Hopefully the pursueing Cruncher doesn't notice him :)

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 12th, '17, 13:43

d20+4 => 12, 4 => 16 is standard roll assuming good light etc..

Since Zertius can't really see anything, he's going to do his best to just go with the flow if he has to; top priority is to not get knocked over and trampled to death.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 12th, '17, 15:16

Quick to respond, your actions changed the outcome from what it could have been.

Zertius fell in step with the crowd, but his lack of any decent tools found him pushed behind other, more aggressive prisoners. He was struck as they sprinted by 2d3 => 3, 3 => 6 , and found himself falling into the group. His senses were keen though, and in the mix of it all, there was a subtle difference to the usual state of things. There was something off, beyond the strangeness of them running away. There was a liquid on some of the crowd, being kicked about at foot-level. It was wet--but it wasn't warm like blood. There was...water. The prisoners had stepped in water or something close to it.

Bill had been trying to find a hidey-hole to begin with, but it wasn't working. He had to go toward the crowd just to get to a turn-off to get him out of the line of danger. Some of these people were about to flee straight into a dead-end, which would be very messy. But he found his way, having gotten his bearings surprisingly well, before the crowd engulfed him. He was smaller though, and he had been planning longer than the others. He was able to find a shapely crevace to avoid the crowd, at least, until it got even more crowded and rowdy.

Thica, however. She wasn't jaded from long hours in this place. She was still fully-aware of her surroundings, and in a place that most of these prisoners were less likely to trample. She had heard something in the silent moments, but the silence was no more. In order for the people she had heard to hear her, she had to shout over the already unbearable din. It was fortunate that she had not been in here for weeks, suffering voice loss from thirst. She bellowed in a calm, but voluminous voice. The sounds carried across the crowds, and it was intimidating. Many of the fleeing prisoners stopped dead in their tracks. The expression was warranted though, because they were promptly trampled by those coming from behind them.

Bill and Zertius heard it too, and it wasn't far off. "You two. Form up?" The words could've been an order by someone with authority down here, but that wasn't usually how they did things. As Zertius had learned too early, the truly powerful down here tended to be silent. Perhaps it was a manner of stealth that benefited them. But Bill could hear the question mark in the words. It was clear that someone was identifying potential allies to hold fast against the crowd. Who they were identifying, and why wasn't clear. But then...did that really matter?

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 12th, '17, 17:19

Damage on character sheet. (6 damage for being bumped? Or was he hit by a (improvised) weapon?)

When you say senses are keen, what exactly can Zertius perceive (other than there's water somewhere nearby)?
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 13th, '17, 03:37

Zertius is a keen sensed individual, having a high Wisdom score (and a 16 on your perception check). He is observing, via senses that do not include vision, that these prisoners have wet feet. He was struck, rather unfortunately with max damage, by panicky prisoners trying to pass by him. On the upside, the 6 damage is non-lethal.

While normally, this would be an ideal time for a battle map, due to your impaired vision, it would give you information you did not have.

Bill (Glim), given that you've had no sense of any vegetation since you were dumped down here, I'm going to lean toward the more peaceful hide-away route, until such time as you actually need to go the route of casting. More of a "not quite yet" scenario.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 14th, '17, 14:14

Zertius will continue with the flow of the crowd. Ears and touch senses on the alert for any new information he can deduct. Is no one in the panicked crowd speaking or yelling anything?

He's also actively feeling for any item that could be fashioned into a small shape of a star-knife (for holy symbol purposes, not large enough to be a weapon) or butterfly or even a small rock with an edge that he could scratch a holy symbol into his skin
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 14th, '17, 14:40

(Unsure of how to react)

Bill tries to grab anything people might drop in the confusion, even if it is more dirt.

Perception: 1d20+5 => 10, 5 => 15

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 14th, '17, 20:34

Bill, Strength Check Please.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 16th, '17, 12:31

Strength: 1d20-1 => 9, -1 => 8

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 16th, '17, 12:46

Bill's search for an item on the fly did not go as he'd hoped. There was nothing in this crevice, which meant reaching out into the crowd to grab something that may have fallen or gotten kicked.

His small size, made it easy to reach in, and he grabbed something readily. Unfortunately, a foot promptly stepped on his hand and his strength did not hold out long enough to keep the item in his grasped, as he pulled back a throbbing hand.
1d3 => 1 => 1 nonlethal damage

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 16th, '17, 12:50

Thica's words were met with a clear response. At least 4 other people joined her ranks to hold fast against the crowd. It was tough going (Strength Check Please) but they were holding against the crowd.

She had no idea who they were, but they were working with her, rather than against her, so the benefit was obvious at this time.

Zertius, Perception Check.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 16th, '17, 15:00

Strength check (not raging yet!): 1d20+2 => 12, 2 => 14

So far, so good, then. Probably best not to think about it too hard without more information, though thinking of ways to get more might be nice... Maybe when things were a bit quieter. There was enough demanding her attention already.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 16th, '17, 15:27

The surge was tough to hold, but Thica was not a small person. Her assistants were struggling as well, however, and the pressure would have been enough to knock them down. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on perspective, at least one of her assistants seemed less scrupulous than others and bashed a couple of heads in of those surging toward the group to reduce the flow. Say what you want about the nature of that action, it kept the formation from falling, and kept the five of them in line. With a bit more assistance, or slightly better footing, it might not have been needed, but what was done was done, and the warm liquid splattering across the shins of the five holding formation as the crowd continued to crush the two people that had been injured was evidence of that.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 16th, '17, 16:19

Until she knew what was going on, Thica didn't find any use in judging her 'assistants'. She didn't know who any of these people were--who were the fighters, who was the crowd? Was this just a cave full of people with no distinction?--nor did she know if her assistants were armed, though it was easy to assume they were and the crowd weren't, after what had just happened.

She stayed on her guard and took extra care to avoid slipping on the blood, moving the formation to avoid it if the others were so inclined. She was in no position to order them around, however. And for all she knew, complimenting them on a job well done would only enrage someone. She stayed quiet.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 16th, '17, 22:09

Zertius Perception: 1d20+4 => 8, 4 => 12

It was 5 very tense minutes of crowds flooding through before the world began to change in a noticeable way. It wasn't just Zertius anymore that was feeling wetness. Bill could feel it too, lappinginto his hiding place like the waves of a river bank. And Thica, and the four people with her were also feeling it touch their toes. "Sonofa--this place is flooding." The cave was not yet silent, but the words hung in the air long enough that even Bill and Zertius could hear them. For Thica though, the direction they came from was more obvious. The man who spoke was located suspiciously close to where the crack of a skull had happened earlier.

The game had changed. It wasn't about getting out of the cave for freedom. Now finding a way out was a matter of survival.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 16th, '17, 22:45

"I don't suppose anyone has a map? Hm, little joke. This way was blocked, when I checked it." Thica didn't need to taste the water to determine if it was freshwater or salt. Beyond that, she wouldn't be likely to learn much if she did, though she suspected it wasn't fresh rainwater, and that she'd taste more than she wanted soon enough. "If it's coming in, there's a way out. We just have to find it."

Though practically speaking, this was a useless bromide, she still preferred to say it to contradict the unspoken alternative. She didn't have any more useless things to say, though, and started trying to make sense of the air currents. It hadn't occurred to her yet that the others might have been trapped in the cave for more than hours.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 18th, '17, 22:46

Zertius calls out to Thica's voice in the darkness, "No map over here, but I might can fashion a makeshift torch."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 19th, '17, 11:58

Bill takes a sip of the water, just to check if it's any good. If so, for lack of a jug or waterskin, he will probably soak his shirt in it and see how long it'll hold moisture.

He'll stand up in his cubby, and will stay close to the wall, nursing his hurt hand. When the clamoring dies down and he can hear the voices he'll keep quiet, but will try really hard to pinpoint where they are. He'll also try to feel out if there's a current to the water.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 19th, '17, 12:00

2 Fortitude saves Bill.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 19th, '17, 12:02

Fort #1: 1d20+6 => 1, 6 => 7
Fort #2: 1d20+6 => 19, 6 => 25

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 19th, '17, 12:08

Bill's desire to stay silent was a failure. He hacked and wheezed. It took a great deal of his inner strength to resist the urge to drink more water. He was so thirsty, but the vomiting up the water he had just drank helped a bit.

It was salt water.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 19th, '17, 12:11

*Bleghugh. The water, my friends, is salt, let me tell l you. Brreguh. Ahem."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 19th, '17, 13:18

Thica was used to taking charge when she and her friends put themselves into trouble, though this might have been the worst case yet, and she didn't know anyone else here. Still, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. She tried to encourage the others and give them some direction without admitting her own position.

"That's a good sign. We're still by the coast, and not too deep. That means we're only in danger if they're pumping it in. And if they are, then let's go put them in danger. Make the torch if you can, let's move on and find the source."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 19th, '17, 13:22

The man who spoke earlier responded abruptly.

"That doesn't make any sense. This thing is a volcano." The words were followed by a muffled curse and the sound of someone covering his mouth.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 19th, '17, 13:37

Thica tried not to let her temper get the best of her when she tried and failed to make sense of this objection. "Does it matter what sort of hole this is? I don't think so. The ground isn't shaking, so it's not like the land's sinking. We just need to find where this is coming from."

She started to take steps in that direction, realizing after about two of them how very careful she needed to be when she had no idea whether there was going to be ground under her feet, someone to step on, or something much worse.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 19th, '17, 19:33

A voice of reason int his hell hole. Bill will get out of hiding and try to approach Thica. Apprarently she had a plan, which was much better than having no plan - a position he found himself in, as now, all too often.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 19th, '17, 21:49

Zertius calls out towards Thica, "I'm over here! Come to me if you can!"
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 22nd, '17, 20:47

"I'm headed that way, anyway," Thica asserts as she walks over, trying to stop before she crashes into anything.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 22nd, '17, 20:49

When Thica gets close, Zertius whispers, "Make some loud noises, I need to try and create light, but I want my chanting to be covered up..."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 22nd, '17, 20:54

Trudging through the water was not yet difficult. Zertius was the deepest among you, and it was just above his toes by this point.

The four unnamed prisoners followed behind, not worried as heavily about formation. The noise of the fleeing prisoners started to fade a bit, and the cave was filled with a more relaxed hum, and the sound of lapping water.
"I didn't know this place was a volcano." A voice interjected, as if trying to start a conversation.

Will Save Bill.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 22nd, '17, 20:57

Though she thought this was strange, Zertius couldn't see Thica's face and she didn't bother to say anything. It was easier to just splash one foot up and down in the water nearby while covering him, as if she were just cleaning it off. She threw in an off-hand response to the other speaker, to say "Neither did I."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 22nd, '17, 20:59

Zertius attempts to cast Light on a piece of clothing of a nearby person (not Thica), making a butterfly motion with his hands and saying his chant as low of volume but not all the way to a whisper as he can.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 22nd, '17, 21:43

The act of casting was louder than Thica expected. Zertius, ever the devout, wasn't going to call upon his god with a whisper. Thica had to overdo the noise making, shouting a bit as if she wasn't the one splashing, to overcome the sound.

On the one hand, it wasn't evident who had been trying to cast. On the other hand, the sound of casting was fairly obvious to anyone with any magical talent. Fortunately for all involved, nothing actually happened when the spell completed.

A snap of broken bones was heard, followed by a muffled scream and a splash next to Thica. "As I was saying, this place is a volcano. And I know where one of those tunnels where the heat escapes--"

The man, still writhing in the water interjected over the speaker
"Vents." The sound of skin on skin contact and a loud *oof* ended the man's words abruptly.

"I know where one of the vents is."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 22nd, '17, 21:59

Thica made a mental note not to argue semantics with this fellow. She didn't know anything about spellcasting, though. "Very illuminating, thank you," she said, pretending the spell hadn't failed, then considered the violent man claiming he knew a way out.

"If you know a way out of here, why are you still here?" She tried not to sound accusatory.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 22nd, '17, 22:07

"He--" The sound of more muffled scuffling followed. It was hard to tell if the man was trying to drown his grammatical co-prisoner.
"My reasons are my own, but I'd say it's worth the risk at this point. I'd rather risk burning up in the lava--" You could sense the man on the ground resisting the urge to say "magma", "--than drown--or be crushed--here with you folks."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 22nd, '17, 22:38

Zertius is in shock and silent; this is the first time he's called on his god and she hasn't answered him. He prays silently in his head asking for guidance. After that he replies, "I hate this place, and travelling through a volcano's vent to get out of here sounds like a journey worth attempting."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 22nd, '17, 23:22

"How do you even find vents in a place like this? The ceiling must be a mile high at places. Listen to the echoes. There's a voice still casting-asting-asting eight hundred feet behind us."

"And I can't even see where you guys are."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 23rd, '17, 00:10

OOC: Don't worry about the will save. It was to avoid speaking, as your character is craving human contact after all this time.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 23rd, '17, 00:20

Thica thought it was a bit strange that her tunnel-seeking associate refused to give his reasons, but then immediately implied what they were. But there were stranger things going on. "If you can't see, use your ears. Let's go check out this previously-deemed-too-dangerous-to-use escape route, then."

She tried to recover the one who was being drowned, even if she had to carry him. Anyone who was willing to volunteer information that another wanted to hide from her, even at the cost of great personal suffering, seemed worthwhile to have on hand. Besides, everyone who was still here had proved something just by not being part of the stampede.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 24th, '17, 13:42

"Follow my footsteps." The voice said to what amounted to 7 people trying to follow at this point.

The sound of the man on the ground getting up was only a brief distraction, but the splash of water at the man's feet made it very easy to follow, especially as the group combined to make much more noise.

He led the way through the tunnels for nearly an hour, the water rising all-the time, before he spoke again.

Perception Checks Everyone.


"It's just up ahead, but the water's risen too high. You're going to have to go under." The sound was followed by a subsequent smack of skin against skin. Perhaps a preemptive smack at the grammatical prisoner.




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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 24th, '17, 14:08

Perception:
1d20+4 => 19, 4 => 23


Thica remained skeptical, there was no evidence yet that this man had honest motives, so far. And he was still trying to keep his companion silent. She decided she wasn't going to lead the way. "What did you find here, before the water rose, then? Some sort of crawlspace?"

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 24th, '17, 17:05

1d20+4 => 8, 4 => 12
perception for Zertius.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 25th, '17, 12:46

Perception;
1d20+5 => 14, 5 => 19


"For how long?! I'm a terrible swimmer."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 25th, '17, 13:13

As if the question was not asked, you hear the sounds of three people taking in deep breaths and diving under the water.

Let me know if you follow and how you keep up under water.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 25th, '17, 13:36

Thica makes an exasperated noise, wondering if the three who went first can see where they're going.

"Do you need me to carry you, halfling? I'm likely the best swimmer here."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 25th, '17, 13:59

Zertius prays to Desna for guidance on whether he should dive into the water or not.

"Oh gracious Desna, please lend me your guidance on whether diving into this water blind is the path you intend me to take."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 25th, '17, 14:07

"I don't know about Desna, but if you want Thica's advice..." She considered the problem for a moment, straining in vain to see the alleged passageway. "If this tunnel hasn't flooded before, I doubt those three dove in blind. They must have seen where the walls are well enough to feel safe jumping in headfirst... especially since they're not wearing helmets. I could find the way for the rest of us and come back to give you directions."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 25th, '17, 14:10

"That would be the kindest thing anyone has done for me in here. Thank you! The name is Bill, by the way. What should I call you, miss? And you, sir?"

"I think I can at least light the way down there."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 25th, '17, 14:14

As your conversation continues, the fourth person in your group debates for a moment before you hear a screech. "Ack! A body!" The man's voice was a bit higher pitched, perhaps due to the fright, but evidently not female. The words were followed immediately by the sound of his head going under. Perhaps he chose to follow the others, rather than waiting in here with what he perceived to be bodies.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 25th, '17, 14:16

"Really? Uh... don't take this the wrong way, but prove it. You're not the first to suggest that."

"Call me 'Gar' for now." Given the concern of their last fellow traveller, she added, "And hurry."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 25th, '17, 15:10

OOC: We're supposed to start swimming, completely blind?
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 25th, '17, 15:12

The water is about at waist level. Swimming in caves comes with its own set of dangers. It's up to you all what you want to do. You've been abandoned by the NPCs.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 25th, '17, 15:23

Fine. Zertius says to Thica and Bill, "I'd rather die doing something than just sitting here..." Then to no one in particular, "Desna guide me". Zertius then dives in the water and starts swimming.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 25th, '17, 15:45

Thica had as much time to think as she wanted, but Bill was starting to struggle, so first she felt around for somewhere safe to put him. "I'm going to try to find the way ahead and come back for you. Try to stay right here, and see if you can make a light. I'll be back soon. This is where the air is, after all."

After Bill was more or less secure, she moved forward to where the others had gone, dove under, and felt ahead with both hands, using her legs to propel herself, slowly enough to avoid injury. She made sure to remember the way back, so she could quickly escape if injured or unable to find a way forward.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 25th, '17, 23:37

Bill tries to cast light, using his trusty clump of dirt as DF.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 10:09

For those diving under, the darkness of the cold water was all-encompassing. Even simple logic dictated heading in the direction that those before you had gone. Doing so led quickly to a stone wall. You could still feel the surface of the water, but pushing yourself under the wall curved slightly, indicating a turn of some sort.

Bill attempted to cast:
1d100 => 93 => 93


Bill's spell worked. The light emanating from some bit of material within the dirt, slightly dimmed by the surrounding materials. It had taken years of practice to master the art of spellcasting. It had taken weeks to perfectly form his Divine Focus, all the while practicing with it to try to make it work. Only with a very precisely formed holy symbol had Bill even been able to cast before. To be able to cast with this bit of dirt he had found in the cave...that was a very strange event indeed. ]

Just as Zertius was fearfully investigating the turn to try to figure out what he was swimming into, the water lit up from above, Bill's spell casting some level of visibility on the world around. He could see a small tunnel near the ground, which would be a bit tight, but not unbearable, even for a large person.

For those above the surface, the light provided less hope, and more terror. The body that the screaming man had seen was clearly floating in the water. It was a woman, stuck in some collapsed stone. More specifically, it was half a woman. The lower portion was not here. The water was filling with her blood--a dark mist under the water in this lighting. The wall itself had crumbled somewhat, making the water very dirty and with bits of rock piled about, and various materials floating in the water. The brownish water made it impossible to see Zertius beyond his feet, still near the surface. What he was doing under the water was not yet evident. The height of the cave was evident, not much larger than the people in it here. The height of the water was as well, waist height made it not a danger for most--with the distinct exception of Bill, the current source of light.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 11:24

Zertius is going to go pop his head up for a fresh breath of air before swimming into the small tunnel near the ground.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 11:32

Thica continued exploring underwater until she also had to return for air. If all she found was the same tunnel as Zertius, it was going to be difficult to turn back once she was inside, and carrying Bill on her back wasn't going to work. Though, she could try to use him to light the way, instead...

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 26th, '17, 11:55

The spell working scares Bill so much at first that he fall right from the perch where Thica had stuck him. Luckily there's plenty of water to land in.
He grabs his holy rock tightly and tries to avoid looking at the half-corpse.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 12:02

The bit of material felt somewhat fragile to Bill, not stone-like at all.

Zertius Dexterity Check.
Thica Dex & Strength Check if you're carrying Bill through the hole.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 12:03

Thica is swift to conclude she doesn't want to stay where she is after she surfaces, gets a deep breath, and opens her eyes again. She reaches for Bill, and as soon as she can steady her breathing again, bunches up the back of his prison garb in one fist, so she can haul him down to the tunnel Zertius found and hold him out like a lantern while swimming through it.

"Don't lose that, and keep your feet and elbows tucked in. And watch your head. It looks like they went this way." Given this place was still full of unknowns, she wasn't quite ready to stake her life on there being an exit at the other end of this tunnel, but she was confident enough to risk having to hurry back, if going forward seemed to go nowhere, or worse, even with her holding Bill out to light the way.

Dexterity check:
1d20+2 => 3, 2 => 5

Strength check:
1d20+2 => 10, 2 => 12

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 12:26

Dex check
1d20 => 6 => 6
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 12:50

Zertus was glad to find that the tunnel itself was not long. In fact, without the water, it might have just been an opening to a larger area. It was surprisingly easy to pull himself through the hole and out the other side, where he quickly tried to surface again--only to find out that this area was not nearly as high as the one he just left. He banged his head on the cave ceiling as he surfaced doing
1d2 => 1 => 1
nonlethal damage.

Zertius surfaced into a dimly lit room. He could make out the basic shapes of his current allies as they inspected the wall, which seemed to be the source of the light, a reddish glow of hot rock.

Thica followed, pushing Bill ahead of her. The way this place dealt with mages seemed all the more evident by this action. She grabbed him like a tool, rather than like a comrade, shoving him ahead of her, using his skills for her own health.

Bill's light pouring into the room was blinding. Under the water, it wasn't nearly as bad, but as the light surfaced, the wall itself was no longer visibly glowing at all. In fact, the hint of shapes of people was instantly replaced by bold obvious figures.

2 Half-orcs, one other strong human, and 1 frail human, Thica & Zertius, the other two humans, and Bill, the halfling. Your current group, standing in a room, looking at each other for the first time.

The scars on the half-orcs indicated that they'd been here for some time. Thica's fresh clothing belied her recent imprisonment. The frail human appeared to be more starved than weak in general, and the strong human with the group--well he was just eerie. Even after the underwater adventure, his face was still black with dirt. This man, whom you'd heard screech like a girl just a moment before, looked to be the most fiercesome among them...at least, in the light.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 13:07

Thica wasn't too thrilled by the social gathering. It was unsettling to see that everyone was wearing the same prison garb... except that some were much older than others. Trying to keep the mood light, instead, she probed them with, "Well... You're all still here. Does that mean you've been waiting for us?"

She kept holding Bill near the surface of the water, unless there was somewhere better to put him. Now that there was no danger of drowning, she didn't deem it necessary to hold him out at arm's length or wave him around, but the water was still too deep for him to get by on his own.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 13:15

The low ceiling here was eerie. It was barely above waist height. the water here was slightly warmer than outside. Strangely though, from your tightly packed seated positions (with the exception of Bill). You could keep your heads above water. Bill will notice that the water was actually slightly lower here than it was elsewhere in the caverns.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 13:41

OOC: Damage updated on Zeritus. 3 hp total remaining.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 13:47

zertius immediately looks for something that looks like it could work as a DF.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 13:53

The ceiling and walls had carvings in them, like people had spent years here marking the days. Even the day markings seemed to have grown into works of art, by those without decent tools or skill, growing into complex objects like people and flowers. Zertius was able to spot a bit of carving on the wall that might resemble a butterfly or moth, but wasn't not certain that it is precise enough to work. Even then, it was definitely attached to the cave wall.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 14:02

Is there a rock or something that I can try to chip off the carving?
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 14:03

There is a lot of debris and material about. Nothing here is piled high as most of the damage is probably outside this little alcove, but you could try digging around near the entrance hole.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 14:19

One of the half-orcs replied to Thica, his voice memorable as it was often followed by the sounds of a scuffle. The grammar prisoner said "We can tell it's here because it's warm. But we don't actually have anything to get through the stone." His fellow half-orc smacked him in the head as a way of replying.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 14:24

"...This was the plan? To go into a little cave to dig through red-hot rock as an escape route? I thought you knew how to reach the tunnel. We wouldn't have time for this if we had a dwarven mining team, and if we did they'd probably tell us there were even odds of us all being killed when they finally broke through.

"Tell me we have an alternative, and we just didn't give up an hour of air when we could have been searching for where the water is getting in." As much as Thica wanted to beat them unconscious and go back to plan A, right now, it wasn't going to get anyone out any sooner, even if it would make her feel much better...

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 14:27

Zertius first is going to walk up to the butterfly carving, and says to everyone else, "I'm going to try and call some fresh water. Come over here and be ready with your hands cupped if you want a drink."

Zertius places his hand on the carving on the wall and attempts to cast create water (freshwater) in a few gallons, directly above his head. He prays to Desna, and then tilts his head back and opens his mouth at the end of the prayer, in an attempt to get a gulp of water if the spell succeeds.
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 14:30

Thica doesn't drop Bill fast enough to do this, nor does she rush to participate at all. Maybe she'll regret it, but for the moment she's aiming for some dignity.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 14:30

Fort save Zertius

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 14:31

Fort save:
1d20+4 => 9, 4 => 13
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 14:34

Zertius could feel the spell working through him. Without a holy symbol, he was glad something was happening. But then something felt--wrong. It was as if the wall itself was absorbing the magic. It was a good thing he still had his wits about him too, because it felt like, if he wasn't careful, it might have absorbed him too.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 14:39

Zertius jerks his hand back and says, "Even the walls are cursed in this place; it just tried to take some of my essence into the wall. I don't think tunneling into the walls are going to work my new friends."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 26th, '17, 17:19

"Maybe getting absorbed by the wall is the only way out." Bill muses, perfectly content to have Thica kind of guarding him against this motley crew.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 17:24

"That doesn't sound like a way out," Thica opines. "Though I'm not hearing any better suggestions. Unless you've got one, how about we go back to finding the ocean?"

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 17:27

"At least we're safe here." The grammar prisoner interjected.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 17:29

"From what? The water? That's only until the air runs out."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 26th, '17, 20:15

"If we have time, that is, to wait for the air to run out. That water level on the other side is still rising, soon it'll start siphoning in."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 20:19

"I've only been here a day or two... is this place really that small? Is this just the tide flowing in and out? Or is this the mages' way of killing us all periodically?"
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Glim » May 26th, '17, 20:36

"Maybe that cracking sound was some plug finally giving out.... Unless it was you guys?"

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 20:51

"Nope. Not me. I couldn't even see until we got into this light."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 26th, '17, 20:52

"It's not the tide," Thica asserts. "There's been no barnacles anywhere, just for one thing. I don't think this has happened before, though I haven't been able to see enough to be certain. The woman who was torn in half, that wasn't caused by water, crowds, or a cave-in, though. That was something else."

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 20:54

"Do we think the something else broke in from the ocean? Maybe we can find where it entered..."
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 26th, '17, 23:06

The half-orc who had clearly taken on the leadership persona spoke simply.

"The water's not rising in here, but it is flowing." Perhaps he was lying to get you all to stay with him. Perhaps he would need some food later. Or perhaps his survival skills that led him to conclude there was a lava vent behind this wall were the same ones used to make that deduction. Or perhaps he was just unwilling to give up the power he had gained briefly by leading you all deep into this cave.

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 26th, '17, 23:18

Can Zertius tell whether or not the water if "flowing"?
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 27th, '17, 14:08

Survival Check

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby Namaphry » May 27th, '17, 14:21

Where the water is flowing has been a relevant question to Thica since she first noticed it was there, since she's currently missing nearly everything that matters other than air to breathe and ground to stand on, and it follows that the water is coming in from the ocean, which is outside, where most of those things are known to be. Where the water is flowing to might also point to some route that isn't a dead end, as well.

Survival:
1d20+5 => 10, 5 => 15

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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby lhx » May 27th, '17, 21:14

Survival
1d20+3 => 8, 3 => 11
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Re: Chapter 1: The Mages' Prison

Postby deltreey » May 29th, '17, 01:32

Zertius was able to determine that the water was flowing, but Thica took it one step further. She pulled a bit of string from her clothes and let it sit in the water. It was a tense few moments as everyone watched the bit of cloth flow toward the wall, then down under the dirty water. The wall that was indicated was the one that the half-orcs referred to as a vent.
"I told you!!". The leader of the two outburst.


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