The Underdark Mission (Session 1)

Outside the city of Drache lies a number of cities, towns and provinces of varying size and populace. Most of the people living outside Drache are natives who speak Arangothian and observe the native customs and rituals. Click here for a list Arangoth's locales, and here to view a map.
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Nymphetamine
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 pm
Preferred Title: Marog the Destroyer
Characters: Aezra
Azalia Stygian
Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
Ianesene
Isabelle Auxerre
Nesira Vertal
Rix
Senkessa Silak-Dekhal
Siraz'jah Av'Zathrak
Location: Seattle, WA

The Underdark Mission (Session 1)

Post by Nymphetamine » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:35 am

(03:03:42 pm) <@Eliya> It was out of necessity due to the accompanying Quarek(s?) that they travel mundanely to the Gulanadurian occupied Vuulari city of Chath'z'ress. A week long journey that brought them to the outskirt edges of the Elgar Forest. Escorted into the city by the Gulanadurian guards, their mounts would be seen to with great care. The Gulanadurian government was furnishing several concessions to this --
(03:03:42 pm) <@Eliya> -- particular adventuring party, in return for clearing out any threats in the deeper Underdark of the city. At this point, the Emshi psychic, Eliya Almakira had already done some leg work, so they had a point of entry waiting. Their mounts would be taken care of by the Gulanadurians for an undetermined amount of time while the party itself traversed the passages beyond the former temple of --
(03:03:42 pm) <@Eliya> -- Maldrathass.
(03:07:03 pm) * Aridia is now known as Sylestra
(03:11:47 pm) <Anoush> She had taken a mean-looking tough horse that was cheap because of its bad attitude. Oddly, she seemed to get along with it just fine. Kindred spirits, maybe. She had to dig into Guiscard's stash to find most of what she thought she needed, but the time between Eliya's visit and the departure was ample enough to track down the rest. Aside from mundane adventuring gear -- rope, climbing
(03:11:47 pm) <Anoush> tools (mostly for the others), travel food, water, and some personal effects (like her prayer beads), she had some alchemical concoctions that would aid underground exploration and combat, chief among those the six-pack of potions of darkvision. Anoush could perceive her surroundings in total darkness, but that took focus, and sometimes you don't have any focus to spare when you're surrounded
(03:11:47 pm) <Anoush> or under mental assault. In addition to her newly-made magic sword, she brought a silvered sword (because you never know), and a plain ol' wooden staff. She was neatly geared up, and hoped she was ready for whatever this expedition threw at her.
(03:13:10 pm) <+Kassad> When he got everyone together, the warlock forced everyone to sit through a briefing that crossed into boring multiple times. They would be going into the middle underdark via some old drow passageways to reach Lost Oranthuus, an ancient hive-city of the mind flayers, left abandoned after some outside-context problem took them out. He mentioned the illithids' frightening psionic potential no -
(03:13:10 pm) <+Kassad> - less than five times in an hour and explained that while getting stunned retarded was a very likely outcome, it paled in comparison to getting dominated or eaten, which were also very likely. On top of this, he went through a fifth of some ancient Monster Manual that focused on cavernous fauna. The rest of the time was spent explaining that two of the party members - the Quarek cousins - -
(03:13:11 pm) <+Kassad> - broadcast an antimagic field that also kind of worked on psionic waveforms. So combat would rely on intelligent movement in and out of the Quareks' null zones, which they'd have to master before they entered the city. Questions could be asked any time, as long as it was not during an encounter, where action was required. -
(03:16:31 pm) <+Kassad> The prize, he said, was anything they could carry back with them. He was interested in some lore, the only part of the explanation he left vague, saying only that he'd "know it when he sees it." The trip towards the Elgar and underground was uneventful and Eliya was deployed to clear the path for them with the Gulanadurian guard. Along with the active members, were several NPC backup warriors, -
(03:16:32 pm) <+Kassad> - several wilderness-trained porters and a half-drow guide who used to be enslaved by the Vuulari.
(03:16:32 pm) <Anoush> She rummaged around during the part of the briefing that touched on cavernous fauna, ensuring she had her bottles of both acid and alkaline, no less than two each. She was no alchemist, but she knew the importance of such things. She was both impressed and nonplussed at having to manage combat in and around an antimagic zone, and made a mental note to just stay away from the Quarek
(03:16:32 pm) <Anoush> cousins in general. Guiscard may have taught her arts that transcend the boundaries of magic, ki, and psionics, but they still fell under the "magical" category.
(03:17:37 pm) * Uzzo is now known as Welkith`Quarek
(03:17:55 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek may not be the best choices of traveling companions where forms of magical transportation are concerned, but what the Quarek's lacked in that facet they more than made up for with their charming personalities, quick wit and sauve conversational skills. Ok, who are they kidding, the reasons why the Quarek's were invited were readily apparent to anyone that had known them for more than a few --
(03:17:56 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- moments, and were at least vaguely familiar with their 'condition' as it might be called, whereas they prefered to lean towards the insinuation it was some manner of blessing. Of course, this wasn't the only thing they brought to the table, as evident from the suits of plated steel that adorned their aptly capable physiques, even from a simple glance one could tell these were not the trappings --
(03:17:57 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- of polished, fanciful nobility, but the arms and armaments of those who'd honed their talents in the wilds and perils of The Vale. While never having been to the Underdark, there were certain provisions that seemed more than common sense to bring along, as indicated by the packs brought along with their steads, which once left behind meant they were strapped on and prepared for travel on foot. --
(03:17:58 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- A little bulky, perhaps, but they seemed practically unconcerned with the weights, those that had no benefit or fortune with all manners of magicks had to train their bodies rigorously to contend with a world that wanted them dead at every turn and knew no manner of mercy, and they excelled in these environments. (End)
(03:21:24 pm) * Shayde (AndChat505@wage.gap.does.not.exist) has joined #BDI*Quests
(03:21:25 pm) * ChanServ sets mode: +v Shayde
(03:22:23 pm) * Gudbye is now known as Perldosia`Quarek
(03:23:31 pm) <+Kassad> Besides the present members, they also had with them a blonde half-orc enthusiastic about all kinds of zoological discoveries, a Menxvanic crusader, and a a soon-to-be magistrate's clerk with adventurous ambitions. The one called Kassad kept his specialization vague. He walked around blind, with his eyes veiled and a seeing eye raven that linked to him magically. Only a few times did they see -
(03:23:32 pm) <+Kassad> - him with his hood off, early in the morning. His eyes were intersected by jagged scars, burnt out and draped in grayish-white film, useless forever.
(03:24:32 pm) <@Eliya> Known to the Gulanadurians, Eliya took lead of interfacing directly with them. Yes, the party was present to clear out the lower city. No, they had no time frame for it, a couple of weeks maybe? Yes, provisions would be appreciated. Outfitted with adventuring kits and supplies by begrudging dark elves, they were lead to the old, and slightly ruined temple of Maldrathass the Spider. By this --
(03:24:32 pm) <@Eliya> -- point, much of the finery and items of worship had been removed to be smelted down into other iconography. Chath'z'ress was nearly a year into its Gulanadurian occupation and conversion by the sword, but such political nuances didn't matter to the party. The Emshi lead them to their staging area, already partially set up by the Gulanadurians. The camp was modest at best, but it would serve as a --
(03:24:32 pm) <@Eliya> -- safe space.
(03:26:28 pm) * +Shayde (AndChat505@wage.gap.does.not.exist) Quit (Quit: <@Nymphetamine> gimme dat big dick)
(03:27:55 pm) <@Eliya> To be noted, said staging area was within the confines of the temple of Maldrathass, outside the passage that lead into the mindflayer city.
(03:28:42 pm) <+Kassad> "From here," Alim was saying, at some point, "We are going down through the old hunter-passage and a few caverns, where it empties into one of the bigger areas in the middle underdark." He had drawn a map in his grandmotherly hand and was going over it with a candle. "We might have to cross chasms and fight wild beasts or worse. That'll bring us to the base of the abandoned city, where we'll -
(03:28:43 pm) <+Kassad> - make camp and prepare to explore it part by part. Any questions?" He raised his veiled face and looked around the table.
(03:28:43 pm) <+Kassad> - make camp and prepare to explore it part by part. Any questions?" He raised his veiled face and looked around the table.
(03:32:19 pm) <Anoush> She rubs her chin as she looks over the map, not trying very hard at all to memorize any of it. "You guys all have ways to cross chasms, right? I brought some rope and climbing implements, but those are mostly for you guys. I can make basically any jump." At some point while they make camp, she inspects the area around it where the religious iconography is and/or was, partly curious
(03:32:19 pm) <Anoush> about it but also wary of cursed objects. Even fallen deities and vestiges could spite those who defiled their places of worship.
(03:32:40 pm) <@Eliya> The psychic did not answer beyond a shake of her head. Well appraised of what they might find, what they hoped to find, and the dangers, she did not have any questions for her companion. Glowing eyes turned to the others within their party, quietly assessing each of them. She was dressed in her usual gear of indigo coloured robe and tunic, armed with an heirloom samshir and an enchanted --
(03:32:40 pm) <@Eliya> -- dagger, the Emshi was ready for what they would find.
(03:32:52 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia is alongside her cousin, in that aforementioned full plate armor and a satchel bearing basic adventuring supplies, including certain produce and liquids from home that bear a similar magical disruption aura. It was perhaps teetering on the edge of too much to carry, but she had figured her load would get lighter as she went along. Her weapon of choice on this mission is her halberd, with a two foot void
(03:32:52 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> black head with a long spike, aka holepuncher, axe and hook, and long langets that protect a staff varnished in void black as well. Total length is 7ft, and it extends her field of affect about 10ft, due to the halberd augmenting it with variable reach depending on thrust and swing. Perldosia would do her best to add in unmentioned details, like magic isn't dispelled by the effect so don't expect their field to
(03:32:52 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> block a projectile magic spell if you stand behind them too far. Perldosia doesn't have any questions so far and thus remains silent.
(03:36:34 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek - One might notice that the Quarek's were... well, lets just say they had their quirks. During their travels it'd be difficult to overlook that they had very specific daily routines, such as how they'd spend nearly twenty minutes every morning doing 'eye exercises', utilizing a stick held at different ranges of arms length to focus upon in various manners, a method of training by which they --
(03:36:35 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- improved their eyesight, and more importantly, their vision in the dark. There was also the fact they brought along bilberry preserves, which they ate every morning as part of their breakfast in moderation to prepare themselves for their environment, not to mention the red hued crystalline lenses that they fashioned into the interior of their helmets visor's, which served to cut out any --
(03:36:36 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- unnecessary forms of light and allowed them to focus on a single spectrum in the dark. The Quarek's couldn't see details in the dark, but they made up for it by having extremely impressive ability to discern shapes and silhouettes when these methods were combined together, which meant they had no need for magical support nor torches (or rather, that they needed to make up for the lack of --
(03:36:38 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- these). Aside from the obvious armour clad form, he carried with him a sturdy looking heater shield, along with a heavy crow's beak warhammer, while along his back is strapped a weapon he keeps draped in a spare cloak to keep out of sight, though anyone could easily tell that it exuded the same aural effects of anti-magic that the Quarek's themselves did, and in fact served to amplify their --
(03:36:39 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- individual fields out to a range of roughly ten feet or so. He followed along with his cousin, and while he was normally the kind of man that never stopped talking under any means, the moment they had arrived Welkith had fallen uncharacteristically silent, apparently the man knew the difference between work and play, and now that they were about to put in work it meant getting his gameface on --
(03:36:40 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- and shutting his trap unless necessary. (End)
(03:37:50 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> "We can handle ourselves where any climbing is concerned, we've properly prepared for such a prospect. That said, I wouldn't be against catching me if I fell, i'll be apt to fall in love with my savior, so there's a bonus in it for you."
(03:39:58 pm) <Anoush> Welkith's "suave" response would be met with a several-second-long blank, empty stare. "Right."
(03:41:04 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek offers a snap of his fingers at Anoush's response, which is coupled with an ever-so-suave finger-gun gesture towards Anoush.
(03:41:12 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia's helm is off for now, so anyone could see her roll her eyes at her cousin. Anyone would also see that her strawberry blonde hair, prematurely greying at the roots and tied back into a taut braid, has a radioluminescent glow.
(03:43:42 pm) <+Kassad> Kassad who had been coaxed into riding a horse all the way here, was evidently happy to be on his feet again. But he hid this from Eliya. They shared a tent along the way, making their relationship easy to figure out. Right now he was all business, his snarky and amusing pessimism sheathed for the time being. He revelred in the uncanny feeling of a quest, something he hadn't experienced in a -
(03:43:43 pm) <+Kassad> - decade. "Very good. We'll see about getting the drow to set up a pay per use teleportation field down there so we can pop back for supplies but no promises." He clapped his hands together. "Well, if everyone's ready, let's get to it."
(03:50:52 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek kinda just wrote off the prospect of a teleportation field, for reasons that were particularly obvious by this point, so Welkith made mental note to conveniently ensure that any of the more 'valuable' things remained behind during those excursions to make sure that they didn't find themselves alone in the Underdark. It wasn't that he didn't trust those strange desert psychics, it was... --
(03:50:52 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- definitely because he didn't trust trust them. For all his bravado and self-styled charm, Welkith wasn't an idiot where it really counted. "Ready to delve into the horrors of the Underdark? You really know how to get a fella excited." That statement aside, he was clearly ready to contend with whatever this adventure threw at them, or at least was very good at pretending he was capable of --
(03:50:53 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- dealing with it, and sometimes that's the most important part of an endeavor. (End)
(03:51:21 pm) <@Eliya> Prior to their departure, Eliya had seen to both of the Quareks with the intent of testing their combat skills. In this, it was revealed that the Emshi was an agility fighter with well honed skills that had been tested repeatedly in her home environment from a very young age. Despite their ranged weapons and their magical disruption field, the psychic was vicious, even when neutered of her --
(03:51:21 pm) <@Eliya> -- psionic abilities. Satisfied, she had deemed them both fit for this adventure. Smash cut to the present where the quiet woman followed the lead of her fellow countryman. With her pack settled uneasily on her shoulders full of supplies and ready to be discarded at a moment's notice, she nodded. "Let us head out then." Welkith was shot a look at his enthusiam but beyond that, her attention --
(03:51:21 pm) <@Eliya> -- returned to the sorceror.
(03:58:46 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia is very reserved compared to her relative and doesn't say much other than a, "All right," in response to Kassad. She pops her helm on, tucks the braid underneath, and keeps the visor up. Despite wearing full plate, Perldosia is still reasonably agile. It helps to have a ranged weapon too. The halberd is held in one hand, and her satchel is slung across her torso. With everything she's wearing, she looks
(03:58:46 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> like any other sturdy knight right now.
(04:01:24 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek - Eliya would have found out that, despite the manner of arms and armaments that the Quarek's bore, they weren't the slow, flat footed fighters they'd appear to be. Heavy fighters they may be, they showcased very indepth understandings of how best to make use of their dispositions, which resulted in a mixture of power-heavy styles intermingled with savvy techniques gained by years of --
(04:01:24 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- training with particularly weapons and served to beguile their nature as simple brutes with flashes of unexpected flexibility and agility in a melee. Also, at no point does Welkith in particular ever draw or reveal the weapon that's strapped to his back, which adds far more unnecessary mystery as to its nature than is warranted or necessary, which he chalks up to as 'Not in the mood to fight --
(04:01:25 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- with it' under any manner of query. (End)
(04:09:39 pm) * Infern (uid229841@se-176931.hathersage.irccloud.com) has joined #BDI*Quests
(04:10:50 pm) <Anoush> She had declined invitations to participate in any sparring, and given that their journey was a largely peaceful one (likely due to the size of their group and sticking to civilized roads), there was no real opportunity to show off any fighting skills. The skilled warriors in the group would pick up that she was light on her feet and perceptive enough, however, and the two thin swords
(04:10:50 pm) <Anoush> she carried weren't for show, being rugged and used-looking. She did, however, have a chance to show off other skills -- specifically, those relating to camping, wilderness navigation, and cooking, being able to spot and pick wild herbs to add just that extra little bit of flavour to their meals. She was a notably light eater, eating easily half what a normal person would, and certainly
(04:10:50 pm) <Anoush> less than what the more physically-imposing warriors would need to be satisfied.
(04:11:04 pm) * Jill_the_Ripper is now known as Sway
(04:13:09 pm) <+Kassad> The passageway, which started off clearly hewn out of stone by a humanoid race - the drow - gradually gave way into more natural features of a cave system extended into the darkness. After two grim Gulanadurian ranger types opened the heavy metal portcullises and false walls that exposed their path, a strange bouquet of subterranean smells wafted up at them: fungus, staleness, organic matter -
(04:13:09 pm) <+Kassad> - in some configuration never before encountered by the surfacers and so on. As they descended, the cave opened up from ten feet in diameter to fifteen, then twenty, then the ceiling was lost from view, except for those who had dark-vision. Alim walked cautiously in the middle, just out of range of each Quarek, carrying something resembling a cross between a curved ritual knife, a bone wand. It -
(04:13:09 pm) <+Kassad> - resembled a khopesh, ruby tipped and carved with fiendish grammatons.
(04:20:08 pm) <Anoush> If nobody else pulls out a light source, she'll gladly carry a torch in one hand and her staff in the other, and move up front. She would look skinny and under-equipped compared to the plate-clad warriors, and she made it a point to stay out of the range of their auras. She had her methods, and they relied on forces that she assumed were negated by their unique trait. She lit the torch
(04:20:08 pm) <Anoush> by rubbing her bare hand on the end, snapping her fingers, then blowing on the torch to ignite it, some kind of apprentice-level minor spell.
(04:21:49 pm) <@Eliya> This part of the cave system was new to Eliya. There was a strangeness in that clinging to her that she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Being deep within the earth was abnormal and the claustrophobia seemed to weave its way through her. The woman mastered these feelings as she looked out into the darkness. Like Kassad, she had positioned herself outside the range of the Quarek fields, --
(04:21:49 pm) <@Eliya> -- but what she did was vastly different. The psychic opened her mind, lowering her barriers to cast out her consciousness into the caves beyond vision. Her ability to see in the dark was minimal, mostly human limited beyond what she could boost with the psionic sonar. In this way, she 'looked' beyond, seeking out the consciousness of creatures.
(04:21:57 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek was definitely out of his element, the Underdark, and underground in general isn't something he was particularly familiar with, instead being far more at home in the Grey Fangs or the primeval forests of Sresar Vale, but they both had that same 'ominous things waiting out of sight' feeling to them. Welkith seemed entirely unconcerned with taking up the position of the party's vanguard, the --
(04:21:58 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- heavily armoured and armed figure taking point behind the cover of his heavy shield as they moved along under the direction of Kassad. Despite the fact he was clad head to foot in that suit of plated steel, his movements barely betrayed this detail, having long since grown accustomed to the second-skin and protective shell that served him so well, which meant he had long since familiarzed --
(04:21:59 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- himself with every nuance and characteristic of its existence to the extent he could limit the slide and press of metal upon metal to a level that was far more suitable for crawling around in the dark depths of the earth. As far as light sources were concerned, he carried none, as his hands were already filled with shield and warhammer, though the flick of light occasionally earned the --
(04:22:00 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- reflection of a red gleamed hue as it washed across the visor of his enclosed helm. (End)
(04:23:21 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia tries to figure out where she should be in the group for now. Most would be keeping some distance from her and her relative, so her natural inclination, with Kassad being the leader and steering clear of her, is to hang in the back. Which, puts her away from Welkith for now. As she walks into the cave system, she flips her visor down then holds her halberd two handed with spike pointing downward. Anoush's
(04:23:21 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> torch offers more than enough light, in fact, she has to squint for a moment until her eyes adjust thanks to her efforts to gain night vision through nonmagical means.
(04:26:09 pm) <+Kassad> Alim carried a bullseye lantern in one hand and his wand-knife thing on the other. Mysterious far off rumbles, drips and the distant howl of wind could be heard. Occasional bats darted around the requisite stalactites and stalagmites and Alim already managed to forget which was which: the ceiling or the floor growths. Abruptly, the stony ground, which occasionally crawled with centipedes, -
(04:26:09 pm) <+Kassad> - spiders and the dark insects they preyed upon, swerved, and a wave of fresher, cooler air hit them. The lanterns and torches revealed a vertical drop in front of them. The rocky ledge proceeded along the massive canyon which disappeared into the darkness. The bullseye lantern's beam just barely reached a similar ledge on the other side of the chasm, at least 60 feet away. The abyss was as tall -
(04:26:10 pm) <+Kassad> - as it was deep - the beam of light could not reach the ceiling somewhere far above them.
(04:30:28 pm) <+Sway> Bringing up the rear of the group was the bard, Imlokar. The dark elf was at home in the underdark, and could see perfectly fine without the torches. In fact, the torches messed with her sight a bit, which was why she hung in the back, keeping watch behind them. Dressed in deep browns and greys, she'd blend in just about anywhere in the shadows, and she'd even worn a hood over her snowy
(04:30:28 pm) <+Sway> white hair, which was braided tightly against her head in a million different little plaits. There's a pack strapped to her back, filled with a few neccessities such as rope and bandages. Her daggers remain sheathed at her hips. Really though, it's her voice that she has brought to this particular table. On the palms of her hands are twin hooks, folded inward against her palms, matching a
(04:30:28 pm) <+Sway> set of hooks on the toes of her boots.
(04:30:45 pm) <Anoush> "Oh, alright. Here, give me a moment." Anoush gives her staff a little twirl and holds it behind herself, but keeps the torch held up. She centers her ki and focuses on the image of a dancing leaf on the wind in her mind. She steps forward, performs a balletic twirl, then springs into the air over the chasm, completing a second twirl as she does. She clears the entire gap with seemingly
(04:30:46 pm) <Anoush> no effort on her part, landing as lightly as if she had jumped down three stairs. She turns back to the group and gives a smug smile. "Shall I set a spike for a rope?"
(04:34:12 pm) * Riddy (Riddy@is.a.huge.dork) Quit (Ping timeout: 250 seconds)
(04:34:23 pm) <@Eliya> The psychic's eyes glowed like blue witch lights in the limited illumination. She would always be seen when facing the party, even if the light was to go out. Casting out to the left, she made her way along the edge of the drop off, seeking out a path down.
(04:35:18 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek moved along, cautiously, but confidently, those normally heavy foot falls of his avoiding the silhouettes of squirming and crawling shadows as they moved in front of his feet, lest their presence be made known with a crackling crunch beneath his sabatons more than it already was with the cascades of light from torches and lantern. That ability to discern edges and shapes with his well --
(04:35:19 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- trained and honed night vision of mundane means was well suited to picking out that drop in elevation before he found it out the hard way. He was just about to loft a query concerning how they'd intending to get a rope across, by which point Anoush showcases just how light on her feet she is by clearing the gap with ease. "Show-off." The words leave his lips and are muffled due to his --
(04:35:20 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- enclosed helm, but they do little to disguise the fact it wasn't a begrudging comment, perhaps having found the maneuver impressive, which it definitely was. "Set it extra tight if you don't mind. Unless we're head down or up, in which case you may have wasted a jump." He note as he raises his voice enough to cover the gap, as apparently he'd prefer it be nice and secure to contend with --
(04:35:21 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- the bulk of particular members of this entourage. (End)
(04:35:32 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> headed*))
(04:37:47 pm) <@Ravynetti`Tivaurd> In Chath`z`ress, there'd been a few of the surface sell swords who might've had second thoughts. Fortunately, there were ample hires on hand to pick up to replace them. And thus, a Dol-Druuni who'd been enjoying watching the forced conversion of the remaining Vuulari had signed on. Mostly because coin only lasted so long when idle. Zor-Kreel keeps to himself for the most part, the dark
(04:37:47 pm) <@Ravynetti`Tivaurd> dwarf built solid and broad, just lingering near the gear, on guard as he'd been hired to be. The dark, utilitarian cloak of his barely conceals the dark mail he wears, and atop his broad head rests a metal helm that a surfacer might've been hard pressed to see any artistry in. His armament? a broadsword sheathed at one side, a handaxe at the other, and a stout glaive which he rests idly
(04:37:47 pm) <@Ravynetti`Tivaurd> at one shoulder. He remains quiet enough as he follows the others' lead. He wasn't, after all, paid to talk.
(04:37:55 pm) * Ravynetti`Tivaurd is now known as Zol-Kreel
(04:38:53 pm) * Riddy (Riddy@t-01-055-983-085.hsd4.ca.comcast.net) has joined #BDI*Quests
(04:39:13 pm) <Anoush> "Ah... oops. I was so eager to show off, I didn't stop to ask if we were, indeed, going up or down instead of across. Which way are we going?" She leans over to look downward, then cranes her neck to look upward. She tap taps the ground with her staff, feeling very foolish.
(04:40:03 pm) * Riddy (Riddy@t-01-055-983-085.hsd4.ca.comcast.net) Quit (Changing host)
(04:40:03 pm) * Riddy (Riddy@is.a.huge.dork) has joined #BDI*Quests
(04:40:47 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Eventually she makes it to the canyon, still in back with Imlokar technically. Perldosia would still keep her distance, unless the dark elf wanted to be within her radiation field. She'd cautiously make her way to the ledge and gaze down until her eyes adjusted to see if she could spot the silhouettes of a path below. One of the other things at her side is the void black dagger she carries all the time, so often
(04:40:47 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> that Perldosia forgets it's there sometimes. Anoush asks the question on her mind before she could.
(04:41:53 pm) <+Kassad> The curtain descended for a quarter mile, before terminating. She could hear the sound of water deep below, where a stone from above dropped in. As Anoush leapt across, she stirred a few pebbles, which fell with a similar sound. The ledge the martial artist now stood on extended for a few score feet, then turned into a tunnel in the igneous rock. It resembled a segment of body if a vein had -
(04:41:53 pm) <+Kassad> - been removed, a molten vein of the world. Hammering in a piton would be difficult but doable.
(04:42:51 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> "I assume it's either down or across. This is the 'Underdark', afterall," she says finally after staring into canyon long enough.
(04:44:03 pm) <+Sway> The bard says nothing, merely watching Anoush spring across the canyon like it was nothing. Iym was also not paid to talk, but to sing, and at the moment, there were no songs on her lips. She paused just ahead of the dark dwarf, waiting to see which direction they planned to go in. The sound of pebbles disturbed makes her sharply pointed ears twitch faintly.
(04:51:02 pm) <+Kassad> They had plenty of rope and had one of several ways of passing an end to Anoush: shooting it across or using telekinesis.
(04:52:46 pm) <@Eliya> She kept her mind open to the world, feeling those companions that stood outside of the Quarek field such as Kassad and Anoush. Her reach was about seventy five yards in a radius around her, cast all about her save for the mute zone that was the Sresarian cousins. Seeking out life forms, from the undefined minds of lower lifeforms like animals and such, to even the cautious touch of --
(04:52:46 pm) <@Eliya> -- ilithids, Eliya sought to provide them some warning of anything that might approach them. She was also looking for the blank spots that would indicate something obscuring an area, or hiding, though this was not infalliable. Things had appeared invisible to her before. Returning to the party and seeing as that they were indeed seeking the way across, she could handle getting the rope across if --
(04:52:46 pm) <@Eliya> -- necessary.
(04:54:22 pm) <Anoush> "It sounds like it's just water below, and there's a tunnel over here. I've got some rope and a piton, so I'll get started." She takes off her pack to retrieve the appropriate items, then chooses a sturdy-looking spot on the ground. She focuses, taking a breath, and focusing her power into a single strike to drive the piton directly into the stone -- no hammers necessary here! Once that
(04:54:22 pm) <Anoush> was done, she got to work tying a rope in one of the knots Guiscard taught her, then she performed a similiarly balletic leap back across the chasm, to where the rest of the group was. "Alright, someone drive this spike in on this side, and I guess the rest of you can hand-over-hand across."
(04:56:50 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek peered warily over the edge a little, and while his mundane ability to see in the dark was impressive, it was certianly nowhere near up to the task of seeing anywhere close to the bottom. Fortunately, those pebbles sent cascading down into its depths serves to give indication as to what's below, which isn't extremely helpful since a fall from this height into water would still prove fatal. --
(04:56:50 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- On the bright side, rather than dying instantly if they hit cold hard stone, there's the chance they'd survive the plummet heavily injured, and the promptly drown to death in that state. Good times. Seeing as how their guide hadn't indicated that they should be headed down, his assumption is they'd need to cross. Fortunately he was fit enough to contend with any climb, and his possessions could --
(04:56:51 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- be cinched down to ensure nothing fell free in the endeavor. After the rope was secured via piton or another manner, which he'd supply the hammer to if necessary to ensure a secure fit, he'd wait until it was his turn to cross. Hand over hand? Hell, he wasn't taking any chances, as evident by how he'd utilize his legs to encircle about the rope to help carry his weight while pulling himself --
(04:56:52 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- across the rope upside down beneath it when it came to his turn. (End)
(04:57:10 pm) * @Zol-Kreel leans his glaive back across his shoulder, splitting his attentions between watching the back of the group for anything that might approach from the rear, and eyeballing the bard before him. Oh, he didn't have any weird mental sensory abilities, but he knew not everything down there had a mind to give it away, and trusted his own piercing dark vision to see some 120 or so into the
(04:57:11 pm) * @Zol-Kreel pitch black beyond their lights. He'd wait for the important folk to cross.
(04:57:43 pm) <+Kassad> "We have to get all our shit across too," Alim said, letting one of the hirelings take the rope and begin hammering it in. "I'd feel better with a second rope. The first person across can secure it on that side. Gamayun, extra darkvision." Cones of faint light seemed to erupt from the raven familiar's glowing eyes. "And now, one by one," he said.
(04:59:38 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek would affix the end of the second rope to his waist in light of Kassad's suggestion, assuming he was the first one to cross.
(04:59:55 pm) <+Kassad> (everyone pick a climb order. Welkith is first.)
(05:01:01 pm) * @Zol-Kreel will be last to cross, but will help to get gear stowed so it can be drawn across on any secondary ropes that are set up. He seems to have at least some experience with traversing the dangers of the under dark in that regard.
(05:02:29 pm) <+Sway> With a slow smile at the dark dwarf, she turns toward the rope, being the second to last to cross. Allowing for others to cross ahead of her, she'd patiently wait her turn. When it came time for her to cross, instead of going hand over hand, she'd begin to cross it on foot, like a tight rope. Her voice carried softly as she sang a tune of agility and sure-footedness, allowing her to cross
(05:02:29 pm) <+Sway> with little difficulty. Once on the other side, her voice silenced, leaving an empty space around her.
(05:03:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Oddly, Eliya's psionics does reach into Perldosia's range and causes some visual aurora borealis-like effects. The dim green and blue light display is more prominent in whichever direction Eliya's in standing. She watches Anoush perform more acrobatic feats with a grin disguised under her helm. "Excellent." Fortunately she has a way to strap her halberd to her back, though it's not an ideal way to carry a pole arm
(05:03:03 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> it allows usage of both hands. Once Welkith starts across and finishes, Perldosia is lined up to go after him in the same manner though with both ropes attached after Welkith does that job.
(05:06:19 pm) <+Kassad> Welkith crossed the rope successfully without incident. Perl's turn. As she climbed past the rope's midpoint, feeling it taught under her hands, she heard a strange sound from above and below. From above, the beating of large wings, while from below, an unrecognizable sound accompanying the whistle of air towards her. The illusion faded, revealing the water level much higher than it seemed before. And a great tentacle reached from the w
(05:06:20 pm) <+Kassad> <cut> tentacle reached from the water, trying to grab her off the rope. Simultaneously, a swarm of dire bats descended on the party.
(05:06:30 pm) <+Kassad> (taut)
(05:06:52 pm) <+Kassad> (roll for initiative)
(05:07:02 pm) <@Eliya> `roll 1d20
(05:07:03 pm) <GameServ> Eliya rolled 1d20: 19 <Total: 19>
(05:07:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> `roll 1d20
(05:07:07 pm) <GameServ> Perldosia`Quarek rolled 1d20: 12 <Total: 12>
(05:07:14 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> `roll 1d20
(05:07:15 pm) <GameServ> Welkith`Quarek rolled 1d20: 1 <Total: 1>
(05:07:16 pm) <+Sway> `roll 1d20
(05:07:16 pm) <GameServ> Sway rolled 1d20: 4 <Total: 4>
(05:07:33 pm) <+Kassad> `roll 1d20
(05:07:33 pm) <GameServ> Kassad rolled 1d20: 20 <Total: 20>
(05:07:37 pm) <+Kassad> `roll 1d20
(05:07:37 pm) <GameServ> Kassad rolled 1d20: 1 <Total: 1>
(05:08:44 pm) <+Kassad> (The monsters go first)
(05:09:40 pm) <@Zol-Kreel> `rroll 1d20
(05:09:44 pm) <@Zol-Kreel> `roll 1d20
(05:09:44 pm) <GameServ> Zol-Kreel rolled 1d20: 17 <Total: 17>
(05:10:07 pm) <+Kassad> The tentacle swung up trying to coil around Perldosia and drag her under. The bats flew at the other adventurers, trying to inflict bite attacks or to just make them lose balance and fall from the barely-10-foot ledge. There was about a dozen of them so everyone gets at least a bat apiece.
(05:12:17 pm) <+Kassad> (Eliya's turn)
(05:14:20 pm) <@Eliya> Well outside the Quarek field, the psychic has her full abilities. As predicted, the creatures this close to the pervesion of Elgar Forest or mindflayer hive did not appear at the edges of her consciousness and there was no chance of warning anyone. When the bats descended and the tentacles rose, she was faced with a bat. Creating a small lance of blue, glowing psychic energy, she hurled it --
(05:14:20 pm) <@Eliya> -- at the bat closest to her.
(05:16:59 pm) * Sway is now known as Iymlokar`Torani
(05:17:13 pm) <+Kassad> (Zol)
(05:17:15 pm) * @Zol-Kreel had been waiting near the rear with the bard, and though he was not in a position to deal with any tentacle creature from below, dire bats he can handle. As he was armored in mail and helm, he had little enough fear of what they could do with him. Rather, he shifts his grip on his glaive and half swings, half thrusts it forward. He seeks to intersept the one that was coming for the
(05:17:15 pm) * @Zol-Kreel seemingly less armored singer before him with the cruel, sharp blade at the end of that staff.
(05:17:26 pm) <+Kassad> (Perl)
(05:21:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Something about the sound below, like the moving water is closer than it seems suddenly makes her on edge more so than the sound from above. Then when the sound of something large moving in the water occurs, she cranes her head around while moving one hand to grab onto her void black dagger to unsheathe then swing at the tentacle in an attempt to slash it across as it tries to grab her.
(05:21:34 pm) <+Kassad> (Iymlokar)
(05:21:56 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> As the tentacle bursts from the water and the bats begin to flap around, Iym begins to sing. Her voice is hauntingly beautiful, but no sooner did it begin than her voice became a pitched, disaharmonic wail, a piercing cry meant to disorient the bats as they flapped around. It was the sort of sound that would grate on sensitive ears and wreak havoc on a natural sonar type creature.
(05:22:39 pm) <+Kassad> (Welkith)
(05:25:30 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek dutifully set about securing the second rope that he carried across, using the back side of his warhammer to ensure it was wedged in as far as possible for a tight fit. Of course, since he was busy tending to that matter, the other things transpiring around the party were a bit secondary, as he was trying to make sure everyone could cross safely instead of falling to their doom. Welp, looks --
(05:25:31 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- like potential doom arrived earlier than expected. "Build a tee pee, come inside, close it tight so we can hide, over the mountain and around we go, here’s my arrow and here’s my bow." Welkith casually muses his knot tying efforts with a song he learned in childhood about tying knots, which explains why he was distracted. He pushes himself up straight, dusting off those articulated steel --
(05:25:32 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- gauntlets covering his hands and fingers and looking supremely satisifed despite his facing being obscured by his helmet. "The fuck?" It's at this point the heavily armoured fellow realizes that everything has gone to complete shit during his brief knot tying stint, and lacking any manner of resolution that could be solved by hitting it with his warhammer, which is why he reaches down to --
(05:25:33 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- his belt and roughly yanks free one of the bags hanging from it. The sizzle and spark emitted by the fuse lit by the action springs to life as the packed back of now lit flash powder is chucked down into the canyon towards the tentacles in the water before it'd erupt in a blinding flash of light. Actual explosions were a bad idea in the underground after all. "Eyes to the skies!" He --
(05:25:34 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- shouts in warning to help others avoid succumbing to the blinding flash before it erupts, at which point he begins attempting to swat down one of those bats with the assistance of his warhammer. (End)
(05:31:15 pm) <+Kassad> Alim's raven darted into the safety of a compartment on his gambeson. The warlock skewered one of the bats on the end of his knife. Blood down the rivulets as the ruby flared to life. Eliya sliced her bat's life open and Welkith pulped one with a hammer, sending it tumbling down. The tentacle coiled around Perl's leg, despite the stabs that the warrior inflicted on it. It tugged at her trying --
(05:31:15 pm) <+Kassad> -- to pull her from the rope, even as the knife found it. The flash bomb only made it slow down for a few seconds. The other hired help engaged the bats, although one porter was knocked off the ledge and plummeted into the water, disappearing. A feeling of hunger swept over everyone, even as they figured that the bats must have been controlled by something. The flash and the discordant singing --
(05:31:15 pm) <+Kassad> -- disoriented them, making them easier to strike down. A second tentacle reached out of the water, grabbing at Welkith's leg.
(05:35:48 pm) <+Kassad> (Eliya)
(05:35:48 pm) <@Eliya> At the feeling of the presence, Eliya withdrew her shielding, immediatelly bringing up her wards to push out the influence. She perhaps felt the thing more clearly because of her rather cocky outward extension of her mind. The Emshi attempted to force out the presence from hermind, focusing on that before all else lest she fall asleep to its presence.
(05:39:05 pm) * @Zol-Kreel rips his glaive downward through what bat as he can, and steps forward, meaning to pass Iymlokar with heavy steps. He continues to sweep his glaive up and then through whatever larger bat might be nearest, although at that point it's less to aim for particulars as to keep as many as he can moving within that threatening range of his polearm. He grits his sharp teeth as that feeling
(05:39:05 pm) * @Zol-Kreel of hunger begins to emanate. Not that a dol druuni needed any particular motivation to seek meat.
(05:40:34 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> "Damnit," she blurts out as she tries to fend off a massive tentacle while also finding it necessary to look away lest she's blinded. Something else is in the vicinity and its honed onto Perldosia, which is evident in the way the aurora-like light displays starts popping off with a fury. She'd feel whatever it is reach her mind, but not tamper with her due to the distortion her effect has on psionic energies. The
(05:40:34 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> light display would be brightest in whatever direction the creature trying to access her mind is. Her legs are over the rope with her ankles locked, not swinging, so the tentacle reaching for it ends up being easier to keep stabbing at with the dagger. But as that seems ineffective she loops one arm tighter around the rope, exchanges dagger with halberd and thus starts offering the tentacle jabs with her pole arms
(05:40:34 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> long and sharp spike all the way to the axe part of her weapon, and follows up with a jerk downward to add a bit of slicing.
(05:41:31 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> The wave of hunger washes over her, and her song buckles for a moment before she sighs, exhaustion making her feel weary and unwilling to fight. She would change her song then, to that which would make the party feel fulfilled and bolstered. Apparently this bard knows her shit. As she sings she unsheathes both daggers, stabbing at one of the bats she'd managed to disorient before, the
(05:41:31 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> blades wickedly pointed and fast. Roguish bard is roguish.
(05:44:21 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek finds solid, albeit temporary purchase with the far end of his warhammer as what's left of the bat struck with it is sent tumbling down into the darkness lit up by the flare of flash powder. "Take that ya blood suckin' bitch." He shouts out as a splash of bat blood mist decorates his weapon and armour. Seeing as how he had to briefly averted his gaze skyward, as per his own warning due --
(05:44:22 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- to the flash, by the time the angle of his vision was cleared to return downward he found a tentacle wrapping itself around his armour clad leg. The warhammer is deftly spun in his grasp, the laynard on its handle securely fastening it to his wrist, and proceeds to slam the crow's beak down into the rocky terrain in an attempt to hook it forcefully into it. His other hand, having freed his --
(05:44:23 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- heater shield from safe keeping in the meanwhile like it was second nature, was lifted to repeatedly slam its heavy steel (and tapered) bottom edge violently down onto the tentacle attempting to drag him into the canyon in an effort to either A.) Make it release its grasp, B.) Sever it, or C.) Both of the above. "Imma grill yer ass with molasses!" (End)
(05:51:02 pm) <+Kassad> Perl's tentacle, distracted by the flash and someone falling in, was batted aside and released her leg as it repositioned to strike once more. Not so Welkith's tentacle, which shuddered under the strikes but dragged him towards the edge until the afflicted leg was pulled off and he barely managed to hang on to the ledge, which part of his lower body now hung off - but eventually the coil --
(05:51:03 pm) <+Kassad> -- loosened enough to try to pull his leg out. Zol, the bard and some of the others thinned out the bats, which now soared back into the air above, looking for a better strike angle. Anoush leaped across the gorge once more, striking at Welkith's tentacle. Alim, meanwhile, gathered the flying bat blood into a single sphere, which sizzled with heat all of a sudden and streaked towards Perl's --
(05:51:03 pm) <+Kassad> -- tentacle, inflicting magical burns. And Eliya stumbled but caught herself and didn't go over the edge as she continued fighting the monster in her mind.
(05:55:16 pm) <@Eliya> It had been foolish to open herself so much, so far to this world. The action allowed the insidious presence to worm its way into her mind. The thing distorted her vision so much that she closed her eyes. Hands flew to her head to clutch at her short dark hair. Eliya tried to dredge up the centering exercises her uncle taught her so many years ago in the Fareedah. *Remember the crystal --
(05:55:16 pm) <@Eliya> -- sands. Remember the sun on my face. The embracing warmth. Remember the caress of dry winds. The taste of the sand. The song of wide open sky, embracing me,* she could be heard muttering in high Najjira, the liquidy language rolling off her tongue as she sought to reclaim her mind through rote memory of key phrases embedded into her psyche over twenty years ago. She lowered herself to her --
(05:55:16 pm) <@Eliya> -- knees to lower her center of gravity, to brace herself against falling, but otherwise was occupied trying to push the thing from her mind.
(05:58:02 pm) * @Zol-Kreel continues forward with those slow steps. He keeps his eyes on those creatures above, but then does glance to the water from whence the tentacles had risen. He'd try to peer into that water to see if he can spot any bulk that might indicate a shape within the fluids below, and if so, how far down it might be. For the moment, he's mostly holding that glavie defensively, ready to strike
(05:58:02 pm) * @Zol-Kreel out at any of the bats that might dive down to within range. "Ain't no way this be a coincidence, gotta be that thing in th' water causin' it all."
(06:00:42 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> As the tentacle releases for a moment, Perldosia repositions her halberd for a better angle, eyes keeping track of the direction it might come at her, to slice the tentacle down the middle as it tries to lash at her again. She'd simultaneously try shimmying across the rope to her prior destination on the other side, with her ankles locked over the rope for dear life, while jabbing and slashing at the tentacle
(06:00:42 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> before it can fully grab onto her. Hopefully Kassad's ball of hot blood circumvents her effect and strikes the tentacle. Her effect would still be doing its light display and might indicate the direction of the thing reaching into everyone's minds.
(06:04:41 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> Being as the bats have gone higher in search of a better angle, she'd sheathe her daggers in one smooth motion, reaching instead for a handful of throwing knives that were sheathed along her forearms. Aiming for the tentacle reaching for Welkith, she let them fly in hopes of dislodging the reaching arm from Welkith and enabling him to scramble onto the ledge again before being pulled off.
(06:05:23 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek rained down repeated blows onto the tentacle, which only seemed to piss it off, as evident by how he was getting dragged closer and closer to the edge, which made the blows from his shield increasingly violently and frenzied since ol' Welkith here abruptly remembered the fact that he can't actually swim. The giant tentacled horror? That was secondary to the prospect of taking a dip in that --
(06:05:25 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- water in his heavy armour. His grip tightened to bone white knuckle levels on that warhammer, which was the only thing keeping him still halfway on the ledge, "Little help here!" He shouts, at which point Anoush leaps across the gap and offers the tentacle a slash, to which he responds, "A little more help!" Apparently the level of assistance wasn't quite up to snuff with what he --
(06:05:26 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- was requesting. Seeing as how he was clearly on the wrong side of a losing battle, he slides his forearm up further along the straps of his shield, freeing his hand just enough to grasp ahold of the strap retaining those bags of flash powder on his belt, which is wrenched free in one go and sends most of them tumbling down into the canyon with lit fuses, resulting in a cacophany of subsequent --
(06:05:27 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- explosions as they detonate in succession within the various depths of the water below. (End)
(06:10:10 pm) * SireWolf (SireLoup@84-084-177-86.dab.11.net) has joined #BDI*Quests
(06:11:13 pm) * Jadar (SireLoup@41-391-987-372.dab.23.net) Quit (Ping timeout: 240 seconds)
(06:13:04 pm) <+Kassad> Eliya's mantra forced the cold fishlike presence back long enough for her to control herself again. Perl managed to keep the tentacle fended off as it darted around for a better angle. Welkith managed to free himself with determined bashing and Anoush's help: after the kick, she landed on the ledge and grabbed him by the arm or shoulder. The flash bombs fell down and went off in a chemical --
(06:13:04 pm) <+Kassad> -- strobe, making the tentacles flail around and causing almost everyone's mind to fill with a sympathy headache. A mournful wail seemed to shake the cavern from the inside of their own minds. In the flashing light, something wet and rubbery could be seen near the surface. Something huge. A cascade of seeking magic missiles seeming to be made of dark light geysered out from this flesh. Some winked --
(06:13:04 pm) <+Kassad> -- out near Perl or Welkith but the rest arced down and flew at the adventurers. Alim managed to counterspell half of them in the nick of time but Zol would be struck, feeling like a mule kicked him. A few hirelings fell down and struggled to rise again. Alim glanced up via his raven and saw several massive stalactites hanging down through the gloom roughly above where the tentacled mass was --
(06:13:05 pm) <+Kassad> -- rising. He gestured to everyone and pointed up. --
(06:18:09 pm) <@Eliya> That presence was so alien to her, it slimed the interior of her mind in reprehensible manner. She shuddered as she felt her limbs her own again. The words continued to flow from her lips as she looked up at the others. There was no time to feel singularly useless, but she looked around at the others, eyes coming to rest on the Najjira warlock. He gestured upwards and up she looked. Sharp --
(06:18:09 pm) <@Eliya> -- naturally formed spikes hung from the ceiling of the cavern. All they needed was a push. Eliya pushed herself up and away from the ledge, exerting telekinetic force to do so only so she could test her abilities in the wake of the creature's slimey touch of her mind.
(06:21:39 pm) * @Zol-Kreel raises a hand to cover his eyes at the flashes and strobes, as it seems to sting that dark dwarven vision. Thus he's caught somewhat unawares when that streak of magic missiles streams out. There's little he can do about it, regardless. His sort were resistant against most magics, but a magic missile was a magic missile, and so they strike, through his armor, and into the thick
(06:21:39 pm) * @Zol-Kreel flesh beneath. He stumbles back, and goes to one knee, bracing on his glaive with one hand, like a staff to keep himself upright. His other hand moves to his chest and torso. He remains on his knee a moment, taking a few deep breaths, gathering a second wind as he can, before lurching to his feet again, one after the other. He turns his red and black eyes up to where Alim had gestured
(06:21:39 pm) * @Zol-Kreel upward, a bit of blood trickling from the side of his mouth. He spits darkly to one side, and concentrates. A surge of strength seems to rip through his already solid looking form, and he tenses his muscles. Those muscles bulge, and then continue to double. That chain he wears begins to grow with him, as does his glaive, as inches begin to get added to his height. The Dol Druuni would grow
(06:21:39 pm) * @Zol-Kreel in place, enlarging bit by bit to nearly twice his starting size.
(06:25:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia would keep shimmying to the other side of the rope while fending off the tentacle. She doesn't have much recourse aside from using her halberd, and falling into the water in her plate armor would not be conducive to surviving. She'd catch Alim pointing toward the ceiling and spots a few silhouettes of stalactites. Seeming to catch his drift, and definitely not wanting to remain hanging over the water,
(06:25:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> she'd hurrying up with shimmying as best as she can. If she makes it across, she'd call out, "Menx-fucking-van, get me on that ledge," both as a spiritual plea and for assistance from the party members on the ledge.
(06:25:35 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> As the wail pierced through her mind, she went to her knees, glancing upward as Alim caught her attention and gestured. With a nod, she looked up, and her voice would join Eliya's telekenetic push, growing louder and more focused, almost like a physical force, until it could break the very rock above them. Even as she sang, she could feel the presence in her mind, hungry and seeking, but
(06:25:35 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> intelligent as well. She focused her voice as much as she could, until it shook the stone above them.
(06:26:33 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek finally managed to pull and drag himself back fully up onto the edge with Anoush's assistance, in both the form of tht slice and helping hand she offers to the task. By the time he has his feet back beneath him and his wits about him, he's assaulted by that feeling of sympathy... which he promptly gets over rather quickly because that tentacled son of a bitch just tried to drown him, not to --
(06:26:33 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- mention the aurora-like effect cascading off of his aura quickly tipped him off that it wasn't a natural sensation. "Move your ass!" He shouts at Perldosia since she's still hanging off of that rope over the water (and tentacle) filled canyon, which is quite possibly the worst place to be short of at the bottom of it. He raises his heater shield instinctively as those flashes of magic --
(06:26:34 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- erupt and leap out at the party, though the effort is rendered moot by his aura as they wink out of existence the moment they come into contact with it. He next thought, lacking any actual measure of taking action on those stalagtites hanging from the ceiling since he lacked anything with range on his person, was attempting to assist Perl with getting off that damn rope and to --
(06:26:35 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- safety. (End)
(06:30:38 pm) <+Kassad> But the tentacled thing seemed to find the Quareks most interesting as its tentacles assailed them again, when both of them already stood firmly on the opposite (destination) ledge. One tentacle whipped at each of them, trying to strike a stunning blow, then drag them down. Anoush bounded up, clinging wall to wall to try to reach the stalactites and try to break them with her blows. The rock --
(06:30:38 pm) <+Kassad> -- cracked and began shaking like a baby tooth. Another blast of magic missiles hurtled out from the void but Alim managed to put up some kind of shield up, while reaching out with his blood-fueled arcana, trying to decay and destabilize one of the other stalactites' base, to make it fall. The bats descended once more, trying to make people lose their footing.
(06:35:47 pm) <@Eliya> "Aboleth!" she shouted to the party, as if naming the oily, slimy, filthy thing would serve them better. Perhaps give them an idea of what they were dealing with, or its range of abilities. Eliya looks across the cavern in the dim light for Perldosia as she feels the ceiling loosen under the combined efforts of herself, Iymlokar and Alim. The important part was that Perldosia made it --
(06:35:47 pm) <@Eliya> -- across. If the ceiling came loose before she did, Eliya would seek to hold it back through telekinetic grip, well above the Quarek field. But otherwise, she'd allow it to fall so long as the Quarek was clear.
(06:40:34 pm) * @Zol-Kreel grips his glaive in one hand, and even as the thing lurches upward to go after the Quareks on the other side, this offers him a fairly clear view of the back. With his eyes blazing, the enlarged dwarf studies the back of the creature. He reaches down to sweep his handaxe up from his belt, and then with a careful eye, flings it from where he stands, intending to strike for where he
(06:40:34 pm) * @Zol-Kreel guesses a vital organ might be. Admittedly, such back attacks were far more useful against humanoid creatures than non humanoid ones, but basic principles should still hold. Though the handaxe would return to normal size once he releases it, it'd still be driven with the sheer power that that enlarged form might lend to it.
(06:43:10 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> As Welkith comes to her aid, she sighs out, "Thank you." With her feet on solid ground, her confidence gets a massive boost. Perldosia would waste no time in facing the canyon while shuffling a few paces back, halberd wielded with two hands and pointing straight forward. She'd aim to spear the tentacle with her pole arm's long pointy spike with a forceful thrust then pin it to the ground toward her side. If
(06:43:10 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> successful, she'd slide one hand forward along the shaft as she steps forward, unsheathes her dagger with her other hand and tries to slice the tentacle in two. An armored foot would also mash against the tentacle to hold it down as she severs the thing.
(06:43:46 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> She kept up the rock-crumbling song, even as the bats descended again. She focused her will into her concentration, arms raising above her head, as though she sought to pull the rocks down with her bare hands. Drawing in a deep breath, she ducked out of the way of a bat and let loose a note toward that ceiling that would shatter bone, were it focused enough toward it.
(06:47:15 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek finally knows exactly what it is they're contending with after Eliya yells out its name. Unfortunately, Welkith has absolutely no idea what the hell an Aboleth is, so that information goes as far over his head as those stalactites were. Bats? He could give a damn less about bats, which was one of the benefits of being clad head to toe in an encasement of high quality steel plate, so he --
(06:47:16 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- practically ignored them since there were far more important details to contend with. Namely, the giant tentacles lashing out at the Quarek duo. "Ain't out of the fire yet." He quips to Perldosia after he's assisted her onto the ledge, and supposed safety, which doesn't last long. That heavy heater shield is raised defensively as he braces for impact, which hits with enough force to tear --
(06:47:17 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- free the straps keeping it secured to his forearm and send it scattering back across the rocky ground behind them. Now having free his hand, it allows him to grip and utilize both hands on the long handle of his warhammer, which he cocks back and digs his sabatons in, winding up to deliver a powerful two-handed full bodied swing at the tentacle assaulting him. (End)
(06:51:57 pm) <+Kassad> The swooping bats managed to pull another hireling down into the water, where a third tentacle swiftly coiled around and disappeared him. Perl managed to spear the tentacle and sever a good length, getting sprayed with mucusy ichor for her trouble. If any of the mucus landed on bare skin, it would immediately produce a strange pain, making the spot damp and tender. A similar thing happened --
(06:51:58 pm) <+Kassad> -- when the warhammer slammed into the other tentacle, unleashing a burst of slime. The handaxe slammed into the rubbery skin, going in from the momentum. Whether it was from the concerted pain of the assault or the imminent knowledge of collapse, the tentacles withdrew and dove into the watery crevasse, just as the ceiling came down and rained down with stalactites two and three times as large as --
(06:51:58 pm) <+Kassad> -- a man, and four times as heavy. One of them almost flattened Eliya and caused her to fall from the ledge, along with another NPC warrior. Both dangled from their respective sides - Eliya on the destination end with the Quareks and the NPC on the origin end. The rest of the falling stone and debris wedged into the canyon, creating a crude, slippery walkway above the surface of the water. The bats --
(06:51:58 pm) <+Kassad> -- flew off and the tentacles did not reappear. --
(06:53:45 pm) <+Kassad> (initiative is over but we can keep using it for ease)
(06:54:11 pm) * @Zol-Kreel would brace his feet wide apart, and snatch one hand down, trying to use the extended reach from his enlarged side to catch NPC_obj_4 in mid fall if he can at all. His glaive is snapped out to the other side, in case he needs it to halt his own momentum against the stones.
(06:57:32 pm) <@Eliya> Too much of the ceiling came down at once and far too close. Narrowly missing the fall of a massive stalactite, and still somewhat disoriented from the initial assault, the psychic slipped from the edge with a sudden shriek. Only quick thinking managage to save her from entirely falling down into the water. Scrabbling at the edge and attempting to catch herself with a sudden and abrupt --
(06:57:32 pm) <@Eliya> -- redirection of her kinetic force, she clung to the ledge by her finger tips. She'd push herself up through force alone, but her reserves were becoming strained, so as soon as she got high enough to slide on arm onto the ledge, she'd rely on physical strength alone to hold to the rocky outcropping. If unaided, she'd attempt to pull herself up.
(06:59:09 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> As the rocks come down, she ends her song, panting with the effort. She drops to her knees again, and then on all fours, having expended a great deal of energy just then. She too then dove for the edge of the ledge to catch the NPC as he/she/they/it/whatever fell. The hooks against the palms of her hands folded outward, hooking into the NPC's armor and grabbing hold. She uses the hooks
(06:59:09 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> in the toes of her boots to anchor her feet.
(07:00:45 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> As the spray of slime ejects from the tentacle, she covers the small eye slits on her helm's visor. Perldosia is wearing full plate armor with gambeson, padded chausses, then light linens below that. Hot under all that armor? Yes. Protected enough against slime, very likely. With the tentacle gone, as long as she unhindered, she'd turn to where the sound of bodily crashing is heard on the ledge, in case it's
(07:00:45 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> another tentacle. When she sees it's Eliya, she forgoes her own reservations about getting the Emshi psychic within her aura and attempts to aid Eliya in getting back onto the ledge.
(07:02:17 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek lands a thudding blow on that tentacle, which explodes in a burst of slime for his trouble, though fortunately the Quarek's knack (or fetish?) for being as armoured as possible at all times as the social scenario warrants it, means that the slime finds plenty of places to splash across that are fortunately not skin. That said, it's still all over his armour. "Good gods that stinks." He --
(07:02:17 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- finally chimes in as he gets a whiff of the substance covering parts of his plates, muttering something about already spending enough time as is dealing with keeping his armour clean and rust free. He first checks to make sure Perldosia is in one piece, he sets about checking to see if anyone else needs assistance (that he cana actually assist from his position that is). Barring that, he sets --
(07:02:18 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- about fetching his shield, the straps of which he'll have to repair the next time they get a chance or make camp, and for the time being is strapped to his back for safe keeping until that time arrives. (End)
(07:02:41 pm) <Anoush> Anoush lands on the destination side, and gives her magic sword a twirl and flick to get any gunk off of it. She looks around to take stock of who is up, who is injured, and who is gone, then leans over the side of the chasm to look into the water, where several -- too many, in her opinion -- of their hirelings were pulled into the water, and would likely never be seen again. She changed
(07:02:42 pm) <Anoush> the flow of her ki through her body and performed a mudra with her free hand, transforming her desire for vengeance into a more useful form, and tucking it away as a reservoir of power for later. There would be no saving the ones taken, only avenging. She'll then look around for anyone who needs help, and is about to move to Eliya's aid, but sees one of the Quareks is already doing that.
(07:02:42 pm) <Anoush> She sheathes her sword, and waits. "The aboleth has revealed itself, putting it at a disadvantage for the next time. Be ready for more of the same, but be wary of illusions and other trickery. It might try to turn us against each other, too."
(07:03:23 pm) <+Kassad> Alim's face twisted when Eliya faded from view behind the falling rock. But then he saw her being pulled up and breathed a sigh of relief. "Allright! Keep it together!" He yelled once he saw that she was going to be okay. "It can come back any minute. Let's get across this thing, as fast as we can!" Giving example, he climbed across the impromptu rock bridge, as the rope had snapped from the --
(07:03:23 pm) <+Kassad> -- falling stalactites. "Must have been a relatively young and inexperienced one," he muttered. "Or half of us would be dead by now."
(07:03:30 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek also decides to ask, because he's clearly not on the same page as everyone else on this matter, and it seems to be a somewhat pertinent detail at this point. "The hell is an aboleth?"
(07:04:52 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> "That... thing." She points to the water where the Aboleth had disappeared. "Is an aboleth." As if it needed to be said. She'd get to the other side as quickly as she could, skirting the dark dwarf on her way and giving him a soft pat with one hand.
(07:05:07 pm) <+Kassad> "A dread fish monster," he responded to Welkith. "With magic, psionic potential, and..." He squinted at the man's armor. "Do not touch that goo under any circumstance," he instructed.
(07:05:44 pm) * @Zol-Kreel slowly returns to normal size as that innate enlarge wears off. He looks back to the few remaining on the origin side, "A'ight, get ye 'cross." He pats the area where his hand axe once was and scowls, then wipes at his mouth again. The pat from the dark elf earns a nod in return, before he moves to take up what remaining packs he can. And with that, and glaive in one hand, he begins
(07:05:44 pm) * @Zol-Kreel to hustle across as well.
(07:05:44 pm) <Anoush> "An aboleth is an aquatic creature with mental powers, like a fish with tentacles. I'm also reasonably sure there's no such thing as a young aboleth -- I was once told their minds are eternal, and even if slain, they can reform and return from their watery home plane." She nods to Kassad. "Their slime grants the ability to breathe underwater, but makes it impossible to survive outside
(07:05:44 pm) <Anoush> of water. That and their mental abilities is how they make slaves of mortals."
(07:08:02 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek seems to gloss over details such as 'dread fish monster' and 'magic and psionic potential'. Snore. It isn't until Kassad gets to the goo part, a very important detail as far as he's concerned since it's all over his belongings, and touching it is going to be a bit on the difficult side when he gets around to taking it off. "That.... sounds pretty ominous. There a chance any of you know a --
(07:08:04 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- good goo-b'-gone cleaning solution to get this stuff off my armour? Aside from, you know, putting a lit torch to it?" The latter, while an option, was kind of in the Plan B pile for obvious reasons. (End)
(07:08:14 pm) <@Eliya> Just as well that she was within the Quarek field, or else the entire party might have been blasted by a wave of sudden fear from the psychic dangling off the edge. Perldosia is lucky wearing gloves on her hands or else she might have felt it through physical contact with Eliya, as the blast would have been heightened due to mortal danger. Crisis averted. She mumbled something in Najjira --
(07:08:14 pm) <@Eliya> -- first and then remembering herself, repeated it in Common, "My thanks, Perldosia." On her feet now, she walks away from the ledge to a safer distant and tentatively reached below for the aboleth's presence, as if to scry out its status of among the living.
(07:11:50 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia acted on impulse instead of putting two and two together about the aboleth when she went for Eliya, since the Quarek is covered with goo. She'd glance at Eliya to make sure she didn't accidentally cause harm. Thankfully her hands were spared from the goo apparently, as Eliya doesn't seem effected. She'd mutter something as she looks around for something she could maybe wipe herself off with.
(07:12:14 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> It should be noted that her speaking voice is just as lovely as her singing voice. She pulls her hood back up over her hair as she reaches the other side of the ledge area, shrouding herself in darkness once more. She peers down into the water, expecting the thing to return at any moment. "We should move. Quickly. Quietly." Iym pats herself down, noting that she's down two throwing
(07:12:15 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> daggers. Tucking the hooks at her palms away again, she waits for the others before going anywhere else.
(07:12:17 pm) <+Kassad> "Because one race that uses mental powers to make slaves of mortals isn't enough down here," he said, as if invoking the gods to look upon this shit right here. He waved his hand to Welkith. "Just clean it with a damp cloth while wearing gauntlets. And use a little torchlight for good measure." He turned to Anoush to see if she had anything else to say on the subject. The NPCs meanwhile --
(07:12:17 pm) <+Kassad> -- scrambled across, handing over their bags and supplies in a line. No one else fell in, although an eerie stillness now filled the cavern before a strange sound issued from the distance. A hissing sound. As it got closer, it sounded almost like the rushing of water. Intense rushing of water. Like a wall of it. And Eliya would feel the ominous fishlike presence coming closer once again. The only --
(07:12:17 pm) <+Kassad> -- way out was in the upward-sloping cave connecting to their destination ledge, roughly 30 feet wide.
(07:17:43 pm) <@Eliya> "Hurry! It is coming again!" She feels it before she hears it, and her voice only adds impetus to Iymlokar's urgency. Looking to the Quareks, she urges them on. "Go, far," she tells them with need clarion clear in her voice. She wanted them out of range of herself so she could help the others hurry across the gap, but she couldn't do that standing within their field. If they went --
(07:17:43 pm) <@Eliya> -- on ahead, she'd turn to the others, using her kinesis again to help them steady on the ropes, to support their burdens and balance across.
(07:18:42 pm) <+Kassad> Everyone is across by now. The rushing water is coming from one side of the crevasse they're in, meaning it's about to get flooded. They have to escape through the 30ft wide cave. Some of them are already in it.
(07:19:00 pm) <+Kassad> The cave slopes upward, meaning it'll get flooded slower.
(07:19:04 pm) <Anoush> "Fortunately, they die just like most things -- stab it, crush it, blast it with lightning." She shrugs and looks for her dropped torch, then double-takes at the sound. Rather than draw her sword, she steps aside to let the hired help and party pass toward the tunnel, then performs a mudra with both hands and draws on the hate she stored up earlier, channeling it through her body. Her
(07:19:04 pm) <Anoush> fingertips glow reddish-yellow, small wisps of smoke rising from them, and she assumes a stance, waiting for the foe to show itself.
(07:19:41 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> Iymlokar pushes through toward the cave, heading up and into it. She'd help others do the same, rushing them off the ledge and into the cave. "Go, hurry. Now."
(07:19:48 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek is a little thankful that he brought along his usual traveling supplies of white wine vinegar for armour maintenance, hoping that the acidity would assist not only in removing rust as it would normally, but also help dissolve that goo in the process. Either way, there's gonna be extra armour maintenance the next time they make camp. "So, not to be a buzzkill on our success of not dying, --
(07:19:49 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- but i'm not the only one hearing that right?" It's at this point Welkith makes the universal body language sign as he gestures towards the upward-sloping cave in a 'maybe we should get the hell outta here?' manner. He doesn't need any further encouragement after Eliya chimes in, to which he decides to take up his own advice and begin moving further along that pathway since there wasn't --
(07:19:49 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- exactly any way he could go back the way they came. Also, Welkith immediately gets all the encouragement he needs to begin powering his way through the path since he can't actually swim, and he's wearing armour, which is not helping that fact in the slightest. (End)
(07:20:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia didn't have time to wipe herself off as a new sound filled the cavern. "I think quietly is out of the question," she says, looking for the most viable exit whilst moving further away from the ledge. Once the up-ward sloping cave is apparent, she'd start running in that direction. Halberd pointing forward, though there is a smaller metal spike at the other end as well. Eliya didn't need to do much to
(07:20:02 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> convince this Quarek that she'd need to move fast. Of course, she'd offer to help carry things but she didn't want to get goo on other people's gear.
(07:20:39 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek offers to help carry absolutely nothing on the other hand. Fuck drowning.
(07:23:40 pm) <@Eliya> With Gamayun no where in sight, Eliya turned to the blind warlock, reaching for him (and possibly transfering more aboleth slime), she sought to lead him after the others.
(07:25:14 pm) <Anoush> Anoush's focus falters for a moment and the glow from her fingertips flickers, and she looks at the tunnel. She starts to say something, then stops herself, and turns wholly to face the wall of water and the approaching aboleth. She takes a solid stance and clenches her rear hand into a fist, and presenting the open palm of her lead hand to the wall of water. She then speaks to herself:
(07:25:14 pm) <Anoush> "Royalty is a continuous cutting motion -- I divide infinity into smaller infinities." She then unleashes a roaring bellow, a single forceful syllable that can be heard above the roar: "REND!" She makes a vertical chopping motion with one hand toward the wall of water, projecting a glowing blue vertical wave of cutting force that grows in height the further it gets from her, intending
(07:25:14 pm) <Anoush> to slash into and through the water to redirect it against the walls and disrupt its flow, and hopefully striking whatever hides beneath the water. It makes a ringing sound like the aftermath of a bell being struck, without the initial gong.
(07:29:15 pm) * Shayde (AndChat505@wage.gap.does.not.exist) has joined #BDI*Quests
(07:29:15 pm) * ChanServ sets mode: +v Shayde
(07:35:40 pm) <+Kassad> Unfortunately, in the mad scramble, several of the hirelings became convinced that the upward-sloping escape route was a downward sloping death trap. The immaterial mental tentacles reached where physical ones couldn't. Some were even glancing at their party members as if trying to figure out who was friend and who was foe. As Eliya tugged Alim, he didn't move with her. Instead, he seemed to --
(07:35:41 pm) <+Kassad> -- be muttering under his breath to cast some kind of spell, punctuated with the ritual knife cutting into his arm to produce several droplets of blood, that quickly vaporized. The afflicted party members swayed precariously and moved for the cave entrance, before he followed along with Eliya, Gamayun's face peeking out from a compartment in his gambeson. The wall of water crashed down on them, but --
(07:35:41 pm) <+Kassad> -- was, in the last moment, divided by Anoush's parting strike, its thundering mass sweeping up towards the ceiling in two waves of spray, giving them time to get in the cave and keep running up. Water filled up behind them, with the monster rising up through it. The rush of water, the squelch of mucus and the faint bass chorus-like sound of telekinetic waveform filled the space. One by one, they'd --
(07:35:41 pm) <+Kassad> -- start to be overcome by exhaustion. But ahead, the cave seemed to widen and the water appeared to be slowing down. --
(07:38:30 pm) * @Zol-Kreel grits his teeth anew as he raises one thick fingered hand to his temple. "Wot, ye all thinkin' o' just leavin' like that.." But then he closes his eyes, growling. He raises his glaive in one hand and begins to move up the passage, though he's as slow as all dwarfs tend to be. "Ye be waitin' fer me!" He calls over the crashing water, and begins to hasten onward, almost stumbling.
(07:38:31 pm) * @Zol-Kreel It's only fortunate that his slightly slower pace is somewhat made up for by that ability to press on through exhaustion. A low, almost mad laugh begins to rise from the dark dwarf's chest.
(07:41:54 pm) <@Eliya> The warlock's grim magic was not unfamiliar but no less comfortable despite exposure over the last year. Eliya attempted to block the creature out of her mind, the sound of her uncle's mantra echoing through her mind as if it could fill all the spaces to block it out. From her grip on Kassad's wrist, he might hear her voice murmuring this in the back of his own head, seeking out to buffer --
(07:41:54 pm) <@Eliya> -- his own defenses against the aboleth that followed them. Upwards they went, following after the others at a distant from the Quareks, but no less hurried for that.
(07:43:07 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> She waits for the dark dwarf, and then turns up that tunnel herself. As the dwarf begins to laugh, she eyes him suspiciously. The exhaustion overwhelms her again, and she begins to slow down, panting and bracing herself against the tunnel's walls, even as she hurried onward as best she could. "Keep...going... hurry..."
(07:43:17 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek showcases just his nimble and fleet of foot a man in heavy armour can actually be as he works on getting the hell outta dodge on this rising water situation. Whatever the hell those behind him were doing, welp, that was their business, and they didn't need any assistance from him as far as he could tell, which was simplified by the fact he hadn't bothered looking back during his trek. --
(07:43:17 pm) <Anoush> "Everyone who can't fight it, get into the tunnel -- I'm going to try to finish it off. I'll join you shortly, regardless." She takes a different stance and performs another mudra. Fortunately, the wellspring of fury she had stored earlier surges to the surface completely of its own accord once she can see the aboleth through the water. She performs a mudra with both hands and tries the
(07:43:17 pm) <Anoush> direct approach once again, spiting the aboleth's attempts at trickery and deception. She lets out another bellowing shout, echoing through the caverns and chasms: "KILL." She then thrusts a palm out at the aboleth, a seething, sparking orb of force -- a physical manifestation of her rage -- blasting out from her palm like a cannonball directly at the aberration.
(07:43:18 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- Exhaustion? That's a pretty strong motivator. Know what's an even stronger motivator? Being terrified of drowning, which is exactly what's fueling out dear Welkith's jaunt as he powers up that sloped cave like a man on a mission. (End)
(07:43:40 pm) <Anoush> (my bad on the colours)
(07:44:09 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> It's exhausting enough to be wearing plate armor and fighting. Now running at full speed she's fighting against that exhaustion which seems to be quickly growing worse. When the hirelings seems to become confused she calls out to them, "The cave is your best hope right now," then when the cave gets a bit wider she yells out, "Hurry." She manages to keep ahead of others as she runs upward into the cave.
(07:47:45 pm) <+Kassad> The water kept slowing down and finally stopped rising behind them, its reservoir having reached its natural limit. A tentacle whip just barely missed Zol. He felt the telekinetic force trying to pull him back and avenge him for the handaxe but Anoush's force orb disrupted it long enough for them to get clear. As they ran away from the watery surface, an echo of mental laughter filled their --
(07:47:45 pm) <+Kassad> -- minds. You would have preferred being caught by me, it seemed to say, in the direct language of platonic concepts, all of which were coated with dark slime. No gods will help you now, little mortals. Their passageway straightened out and emptied into vast dark fields under a sunless sky, so broad and massive, it must have been at least a mile acrosss. Before them was an elevated piece of ground, --
(07:47:45 pm) <+Kassad> -- just large enough for a fortified camp ground. And behind it, visible through giant mushroom-stalks were the first geometric shapes they saw on this journey. Non-euclidean shapes that unsettled with their very presence, barely visible in the faint bioluminescent fungus growing around them. --
(07:49:02 pm) <+Kassad> "Lost Oranthuus," Alim said. "The fallen hive-city."
(07:49:05 pm) <Anoush> Anoush's kamehadoken would explode when it slams into whatever it hits, creating a heatless blast of thunderous, bludgeoning force.
(07:49:39 pm) * @Zol-Kreel glares back over his shoulder, and for a moment looks about to pause as that telekinetic force slows him further. When that force orb hits though, he stumbles forth out of range. He continues to laugh as he goes. "It be in me head I think. Ye're all bastards out t' kill me. Well o' course ye be. Ye ain't Dol-Druuni. The only weird part be that it were s'posed t' be some great hint
(07:49:40 pm) * @Zol-Kreel that it bestow..." He huffs the words out, and when Iymlokar begins to slow, he snaps a hand out, seeking to grasp her by the waist, and if he can, hoist her over his shoulder to carry onward. "When erryone be yer foe, th' one t' watch closest be th' one who says he be yer friend." If he can manage it, he'd continue onward, until that passageway straightens out, and only then means to put
(07:49:40 pm) * @Zol-Kreel his burdens down.
(07:51:29 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> She's plucked up, being very light and small, and flung over the dark dwarf's shoulder like so many bags of potatoes. It's there that she almost passes out from the exhaustion of both the fight and the wave that passes over them. She doesn't struggle. She's set down then as they enter into the straightened end of the passageway, and remains on her feet through sheer force of will.
(07:52:14 pm) <Anoush> Regardless of the success or failure of her attempt at a finishing blow, Anoush bolts for the tunnel to follow the others. When she catches up, she's breathing heavily and sweating, more than one would from a relatively short sprint like that. Turns out, channeling one's rage into a blast of force takes a lot of energy. "Is anyone injured? I have poultices and..." She takes a deep
(07:52:14 pm) <Anoush> breath. "Poultices and medicinal salves. Not magical."
(07:53:00 pm) <+Kassad> The telekinetic hum of the aboleth's mind fades away. Only a faint cavernous wind whistles past them in gusts.
(07:54:23 pm) <+Kassad> "Come, let's set up on that rise over there," said Alim. "If we're lucky, there's clean water nearby. Given how much moisture these undertypes need, I wouldn't be surprised if there's another river running through here, hopefully not connected to that fucking fish."
(07:55:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> "Will we have to go back and kill that later?" she says to someone, probably Welkith, as the aboleth reaches into their minds to warn them all. Perldosia is still covered in that goo, and, given Kassad's warning, she didn't want to spread it around to other party members like a contagion. With the water behind and a flat, dry surface before her, she scopes out the environment. "Spooky," she mumbles as she eyes the
(07:55:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> unsettling shapes around her. "Well," her head cranes around to take stock of other party members who made it, "I guess this is as good a spot as any to set up camp and rest." Then as she finds a spot to take off her satchel, rest her halberd, and sit. Now she lets herself feel that exhaustion. "Can -- can someone help get this goo off me?" Her gaze through her visor turns to Welkith, "Tit for tat -- you wash mine,
(07:55:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> I'll wash yours?"
(07:55:24 pm) <@Eliya> At this point, being within the Quarek field would feel like a relief. She released Alim's hand now that they seemed to be out of danger, the aboleth's taunting laughter murmuring between their ears. Glancing back over her shoulder into the retreating water, she grimly thought ahead to the future, when they would have to retrace their steps and once again encounter the creature. Lips pressed --
(07:55:24 pm) <@Eliya> -- tight in upset, she lturned back to look their fellows, those that remained in this group. Her head began to ache. *Matathu's tits,* she muttered under her breath in Najjira. Wearily, she expanded her shielding to press out the unsettling feeling from those nearby and not withing the Quarek's range, such as herself.
(07:56:32 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek could, at this point, care very little about any long lost cities, or any other mysteries of the underdark. In fact, the only thing he seemed interested in is sitting his ass down on the first decent looking piece of ground that wasn't under water, at which point he begins finagling with the hinge of his helmets visor so he lift it, an effort that very much improves his ability to catch his --
(07:56:33 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- much needed breath. Running in full plate? He can't handle that just fine, but once it was mixed with the adrenaline dump over his fear of drowning and coupled with those mental waves of exhaustion, he needed a breather very badly. "Shit.." He pushes himself up, using his warhammer to push himself back to his feet since the actual campsite they'd be headed to was a little futher along. --
(07:56:34 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- "Sounds good to me." He murmurs over to Perl in response to the query about assisting in armour washing. (End)
(07:56:55 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> can handle that*))
(07:57:30 pm) * @Zol-Kreel huffs for breath as he looks to Anoush, after putting the bard down. He nods when Alim suggests where they might camp, then straightens, back cracking. "Gonna need a rest and a stout brew 'afore long meself. And if'n they be medicinal spirits, so much th' better." He snickers to himself, then rests his glaive at his shoulder.
(07:59:07 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> She remains silent, but offers Zol a brief smile in thanks. With a nod at ALim's words, she heads for the rise. There she will help set up camp, with the words of the aboleth echoing in her thoughts. "We are damned, and this... is hell." She hummed softly as she worked, just enough of a tune to ease weary muscles and heal superficial wounds. It would help her as well.
(07:59:17 pm) <Anoush> She notices the unsettling structures with their probably-impossible architecture, and her breathing slows as she stares at them, bent with hands on her knees. She slowly straightens, still breathing heavily, and looks around. "Guiscard described illithid cities to me, but I didn't think it was... this bad... it hurts just to look at it." She looks to Zol-Kreel, and gives a chuckle.
(07:59:18 pm) <Anoush> "I have some rice wine, but that's blessed -- I'm saving it for a battle ritual, not for fun." She gives him a smile, then starts helping set up camp -- but she ducks out after only a few minutes to find a place to sit. The cumulative fatigue of resisting the aboleth's mental assault and her own two spectacular attacks, in a row with no chance to refocus in-between, caught up to her.
(08:00:52 pm) <+Kassad> "I hope there's another entrance," said Alim. "The adventurers that came by here during the time of Iznagar, said there was an alternate escape route. But the one who said it was a Gavin Riesling, notoriously unreliable reprobate. Kind of like me. So who knows." The party, down two porters, had to work slightly harder to bear all their belongings up to the defensible rise, before setting up --
(08:00:53 pm) <+Kassad> -- the oversized crossbows, outward-facing spikes, tents and all the rest. "They had a lich with them though. We don't."
(08:01:24 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> After she sits down, she pulls her pack off her back and rummages around in it. Pulling out a flask, she offers it to the dark dwarf. "It'll do for now."
(08:02:31 pm) <+Kassad> "You okay?" He demanded from Eliya, the first calm moment he saw her.
(08:04:17 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia every so carefully lifts her visor so she has better range of vision. Then wipes her hands off on the outside of her satchel, where there isn't already some goo, so she can open it with care and retrieve a cloth and supplies to start wiping off her armor. "C'mere," she says to Welkith, totally ready to wipe him down. Once the two Quareks have thoroughly cleaned off all that aboleth goo and polished that
(08:04:17 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> armor to a shine, Perldosia would help set up camp. She has rations for herself to eat tonight and some Sresar Vale wine and spirits to dull the ache. Of course, it's all from her family's estate and somehow has the same aura as Perldosia, if a bit weaker.
(08:04:25 pm) * @Zol-Kreel glances out over the city, then murmurs "I don't see how the deep hunters go after them critters. We got fellers back home wot hunt these things t' keep Dol Druun safe, but they come back weird as that shit." He points to the buildings, as if they were offensive to him. Then again, most things were. He nods to Anoush with a chuckle, "Well, I'll make do. Got hit with magic, and while
(08:04:26 pm) * @Zol-Kreel I be tough enough on the exterior, I feel like it struck me insides." When Iymlokar offers that flask, though, he offers a sharp toothed grin. "Aye, now that's preparation, girlie." He'd lift it to tkae a long swig, if only to seek to settle his insides, before going about the task of helping set up the camp's defenses.
(08:06:33 pm) <+Iymlokar`Torani> She'd probably be one of the first asleep, after eating something and taking more than a few swigs from her flask. She'd need to be well rested for the journey ahead.
(08:07:16 pm) <@Eliya> The strain had begun to show in her bright eyes as she looked to him. The aboleth's slimey lingering traces could be felt along the inside walls of her psyche, lending itself to the unnerving sensation of the hive city. "Strain headache," she said in Common, spare words that were familiar enough on their own. The Emshi had overexerted her abilities before, so it was nothing new. --
(08:07:16 pm) <@Eliya> -- "You and Featherface?" she asked of him, inquiring of the familiar as well. She would not relax until they had set up camp, dedicated to that with the last of her physical strength.
(08:08:15 pm) * Iymlokar`Torani is now known as Jill_the_Ripper
(08:08:47 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek set about digging out the vessel of white wine vinegar be'd brought along for any potential de-rusting, which he figured would assist in the effort of de-goo'ing just as well due to its acidity. The Quarek's clearly put a lot of care and pride in their armours, namely because their lack of magical or otherwise supernatural abilities meant they had to make up for that squishiness in a fight, --
(08:08:47 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- and in life in general. After he'd reciprocated the efforts of Perldosia and ensured that her armour was just as squeaky clean as his own under her care, he'd set about helping assisting with the general camp, as well as setting up their own particular portions. Despite having stripped off the suit of plate, he still does all of this while adorned in his gambeson, because again, their fondness --
(08:08:48 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- for staying armoured at all times wasn't just done on a whim. (End)
(08:09:29 pm) <+Kassad> "Fine," he muttered. "Though I am starting to resent that psionics even exist in the world. You're lucky that you're pretty," he said, making a halfhearted attempt to squeeze her bum.
(08:11:36 pm) <+Kassad> ((Characters can now hang out at the base camp and RP rest or preparation. When we get critical masses of players together, we will do a city segment at a time. I want everyone to be able to do at least one or two segments.))
(08:12:10 pm) <+Kassad> ((There are three segments: the slave quarter, the masters' quarter, and the undervault))
(08:14:23 pm) * Zol-Kreel is now known as Ravynetti`Tivaurd
(08:15:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> Perldosia and Welkith, after the general arrangement of the camp is done being laid out, set up the Quarek side of the camp, a good enough distance from others due to their weird trait. It made sense to only carry one tent for the two relatives. Less weight. When Perldosia's armor cleaned, she removes it, likely with help from Welkith. Then she's just wearing her light armor which remains on. All her belongings are
(08:15:07 pm) <Perldosia`Quarek> secured and she crawls into the tent for rest.
(08:15:31 pm) <+Kassad> ((The base camp is defended by large repeating crossbows on swivels, sharpened stakes, a magical alarm, an oversized magic circle against whatever, and armed guards watching in shifts. There is a small creek for water and there are enough food supplies for a few weeks. A dark elf enchanter is trying to set up a teleportation platform to take people up to the surface, but it will take a while.))
(08:19:24 pm) * +Welkith`Quarek would set about the task of repairing the straps of his shield, which had been broken when the aboleth had struck it with its tentacle. Speaking of which, the arm which had absorbed the blow wasn't broken, but it certainly was sore afterwards, a fact that became more and more apparent as that adrenline wore off and natural exhaustion set up, and would likely feel even worse the day after. --
(08:19:25 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- Normally, after a suitable number of drinks to accompany those rations, he would probably begin his usual attempts at far too close kinship in an attempt to get Perldosia to massage the aforementioned arm. But, at the moment, he was just too tired, so he lets those magical folks do what they do best outside of their auras and crawls into that tent they were sharing to get some much needed --
(08:19:26 pm) <+Welkith`Quarek> -- rest. (End)
(08:20:01 pm) <@Eliya> She made a tired, scrunched up sort of expression at him for both the comment and the caress, but did not protest beyond that. Once their tent was set up, she fished out her first aid kit and insisted on overseeing the treatment of Kassad's wounds with quiet care.
(08:20:39 pm) <@Eliya> (( Please PM with your availability for tomorrow and Sunday, in EST, and then for next Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. ))
(08:22:19 pm) <+Kassad> His wounds were scant. There was only the self inflicted cut and a bruise he took from a violent spill he took on the stone floor. But he let her pamper him and looked like he enjoyed it. The warlock had a somewhat inhuman relationship with pain. The first NPC guards were already setting up. "I have to... set the magic wards," he said, with a loud yawn.
(08:25:26 pm) <Anoush> Once she feels a little better, she starts inspecting the repeating crossbows. She's used crossbows before, but never seen any this big or with this repeating mechanism, and she wanted to familiarize herself with it. She didn't go as far as test-firing, though -- no point in wasting ammunition, especially this early on in the expedition.
(08:33:26 pm) <+Kassad> The crossbows, which looked like portable versions of the giant ballista thing from Dark Souls 3, were loaded with oversized bolts tipped with incendiary heads, enchanted to make a small fiery explosion after embedding in someone or something.
(08:36:24 pm) <@Eliya> Most of her own injuries were largely psionic or maybe to her pride. Luckily, Alim's wounds were light and did not need much of her attention. Nodding quietly to him, she gave his hand a squeeze before he moved to set the magic wards of their camp, she turned to collect some water for the headache tea she had brought with her, as well as to both of their rations for supper. She was --
(08:36:24 pm) <@Eliya> -- exhausted, but meant to see to other needs before giving into the arms of sleep.
(08:38:17 pm) <+Kassad> Alim set the magic wards using lots of diagrams painted onto the ground and was dead tired by the time he was done. He crawled into his tent and slept, while the eldritch city shimmered in the distance.

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