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Chapter 4 - Moving on

Turn 6

DM Turn 6, a Treacherous Floor

Dainn, Khoron and Circe join Damien and Cyvara up on the ledge. They talk to the newly awakened Cygar and Lianya, who agree to join the party.

As Cygar tells you his story, you notice scars and wounds across his hands and face. Khoron calls upon Moradin to heal Cygar, and some of the more obvious wounds upon the half-elf heal.

Malikor stands back, away from the ledge, carefully absorbing everything.

[Tony's having a small problem with snow at the moment, but he's still with us.]

The symbols at the back of the ledge are examined. All they really reveal is that this was once a temple of good, now corrupted to evil. Cyvara examines the symbols and appears to notice something. Mention is made of the possibility of a link to the Happy Hunting Grounds.

[Singing happy, happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy ... sorry, Ren & Stimpy joke :)].

Circe picks up the jars of unguent. He opens one and smears a little on his finger - it's like no herbal mixture he's ever seen. But there's something about it - a soothing feel or fragance, perhaps? He also inspects the potion; it's obviously magical but of what? He isn't sure.

[The unguent is like Oil of Olay/Ulan ... do they have that in the States?]

Damien hands down the six golden yellow gems to Kilroy. The gnome examines them each carefully, murmurs a quiet "Aahh!" and begins writing in his journal. As he tells you that they are amber, and you discuss the the notion of the "Treasurer".

Tyrmar is passed down the rusted short sword, after Damien has sharpened it slightly. As Tyrmar grasps the sword, it begins to emit a faint light. With sword in hand, Tyrmar looks at the other exit from the room, its door hanging off its hinges - another passageway lies beyond.

Dainn jumps off the ledge and takes the amber gems from Kilroy, as the bard looks over the other items and applies his bardic knowledge. Nodding knowingly as he touches each one, he makes little notes in his journal. "I think I know what these are", he tells you.

[And whether he tells you anymore is up to him ... I'll presume the party divide up the treasure - please discuss this next turn].

After this, the marching order is discussed. You eventually agree upon the following order: Kilroy and Cygar (scouting - side by side), Malikor and Lianya (side by side), Circe, Damien, Dainn, Tyrmar, Cyvara and Khoron.

After checking his equipment, Cygar motions for the party to wait and listens at the doorway. Hearing nothing, he moves down the passageway out of the light. He comes back and tells you there is no sign of the ghouls and that the passageway turns into a stairwell leading down - the stairway appears to be unlit.

Some of you withdraw light sources [tell me who does] and the party slowly move down the stairs ...

At the bottom of the stairs are the remains of a door, beyond which is a room. The floor in the room is almost entirely missing and gutted from the fire. About 60 feet below the floor is the gray stone of a cellar floor.

There is an open doorway on the opposite side of the room on this level. Something appears to be moving down in the deep, dark cellar ...

There are three possible ways to walk across the space - a charred and crumbling section of floor clings to the left wall, a narrow pathway of fallen beams stretches across the center like a bridge, and a sounder section of floor, only burned at the edge, runs along the right walls. All three paths are accessible from this end and lead to the doorway on the opposite side ....

[By the Gods! It seems campaign theology has sparked an interest; so, here's more background:

Celestian is the _human god_ of stars, space and wanderers - he's neutral with good tendencies. He is served by an order of paladins, known as the Order of the Shooting Star, of which Lianya must be a member.

Silvanus, also known as _Rillifane Rallathil_ in the old tongue, is the elven god of wilderness, forests and sylvan elves - he's chaotic good with neutral tendencies. And, of course, Moradin Soulforger is the chief god of the dwarves - he's lawful good. A character may or _may not_ have a patron, as noted in a message last turn.

Enstad, Cygar's home, is a large city some 160 miles northwest of the Free Lord's Keep.

Kilroy looks over the burnt and blasted flooring. He appears to be making some sort of calculation to himself with various mumblings. Finally he glances back up to the group and announces "I am a very light fellow. I believe that I could make it across to the other side with the most minimal amount of danger. Once there I will attach a rope, the end of which one of you will hold, to a suitably strong structure. This will act as a safety rope for the, um, heavier members of the party. What do the rest of you think?"

He suddenly remembers something and quickly removes his journal. He begins thumbing through the pages then announces "Oh! The sword you found is one of the famed 'Blades of Dumadan'. They were used by the Dwarvern peoples to defend their citadels against the Goblin hoards back in the early days of the Dwarvern Empire. Most are still in the possession of the Dwarves but one was stolen about 300 years ago by a halfling thief. His name escapes me for the moment. It was thought to be lost when the thief was lost at sea along with the ship he was travelling on. I can only conclude that the pirates of this city captured the vessel and brought the swords here."

He holds the blade out for Khoron to see "Look at the rune on the hilt. It is the dwarvern rune for D. The sword is famed for its lightness and accuracy to strike the unjust (+1 short sword)." He then removes the jars of unguent. "These were created by the quasi-deity Keogtom, who created a mystical ointment that could cure wounds, slake thirst, heal poisons, and cure diseases with a single application. They are know as Keoghtom's Ointment. This bottle, though, has me baffled. I have no idea what it does but it is clearly magical."

Damien upon hearing that the Ointment is one of healing will take one of the jars and place it in a belt pouch, "I will hold on to one of these, the other two should be placed with ones not capable of healing"

As the short sword begins to glow Damien grins at Tyrmar "Looks like it was made for you Tyrmar" Then Damien listens as the story of the blade is told, and looks to Khoron "Do you know of these blades?"

Damien then waits as Cygar scouts, and once reports of a clear passage are given Damien will follow the others along the passage to the room with the collapsed floor.

As Kilroy suggests going across to secure a rope Damien replies "That is a good idea, I hope 50' of silken rope, it is very light and very strong, made by the elves of my home village. I will secure it about you, so that if you should fall, We can pull you to safety"

Damien looks over the edge, and sees something moving, then looks up at the ceiling, thinking about something.

"Call me paranoid, but I don't like the idea of leaving something behind us as we move on. That moving shadow in the cellar has me worried. If it has flying capabilities, Kilroy could find himself on a precarious ledge when it flies to attack. Perhaps it doesn't have flying capabilities, but is a living creature of this temple. There is no way we are all going to be able to cross that floor without attracting its notice. If it can inform others of its kind of our presence, we could end up with weakened defenses if enemy reinforcements come while are party is split across both sides of the room."

Lianya moves forward as far as she dares to peer down into the cellar. "Can anyone create some light down there so we can see what we are in for?"

Moving onward, Dainn expects the ghouls to attack at any minute. As he gets to the bottom of the stairs, he is perplexed as to where the ghouls went.

After Kilroy has told of the properties of the short sword, Dainn looks at the others, "Ok, we have to decide who is going to carry these items that has been found. As to the bronze zees, Lianya may carry them as Damien mentioned earlier. If no one objects, I will carry the six gems [OOC: and will be able to store some psi points in them when we rest]. Does anyone wish to wield a legendary short sword? [i.e. have proficiency in short sword] Damien has claimed one of the jars of ointment. That leaves three more. Who else would like one? As to the potion, we probably need to just put that into storage until we can get it properly identified. Who wishes to carry it?"

Looking down to the movement in the cellar, "Lianya, I'm with you. That movement down there makes me very uncomfortable. We know the ghouls had to go somewhere. Do you think that is them moving? Until we know for sure, I don't think that we need to take any risks."

Thinking for a moment, he adds, "We could always go back upstairs and get some wood, bring it back here, light it and toss it down there to illuminate the cellar. Since we can see the grey stones of the floor, I would think that the chance of starting a larger fire would be minimal. That is one idea. Does anyone else have another?"

Cyvara tries to peek past the others to see what they have found. "Are the ghouls down there?" Finally, she gives up trying to see, and brushes off a stair step to take a seat.

"Tiring," she comments to Khoron, making idle conversation as they wait. "Do you get used to this? Have you been on a many of missions, for your god or people?"

Cyvara scans the symbol and finally reports to Damien, "No, I guess there is nothing here to find. I was just expecting there to be something more significant about this once hidden room -- there's are no doors on this level. Maybe they just stashed their treasures here."

At the offer to be helped down, Cyvara smiles and says enthusiastically, "Yes, thank you."

"I must agree with Lianya on this. If there is one thing I learned from life on the streets is that you don't want an unknown person/thing sneaking up behind you. I think that this is especially important since several ghouls ran down this way not that long ago. " I am going to first off look for tracks at this point to see which way the ghouls must have gone since there were no other exits between the last room and here. I will then use my Infravision to scan the area below us to see if I can spot anything. I will also ask everyone to be quiet while I try to listen for any noise/talking which might help determine what is down in the cellar.

If I can't see or hear anything then I will say, " I suggest that I go across to the other side and try to see if there is a way down into the cellar over there as I don't think we want to be lowering ourselves down into this hole one at a time.. I should not have a problem getting across and I will not go too far ahead. Does anyone have a problem with this idea?" I will await any comments and should no one have a problem I will begin my way across on the right wall, but I will 'hug' the wall as I go. Once at the other door I will cautiously view the area beyond for more stairs or doorways.

Should there be negative comments to this suggestion I will wait for someone to suggest a different option.

Lianya chuckles, "Well I am probably the last one to speak on the matter of infravision, but my understanding is that it works on a principal of body heat -- Do undead creatures have body heat? Is the lack of heat sources below us a reliable enough assumption to risk split our group in the face of adversary? Not that it doesn't hurt to try it -- at this point I would rather contend with creatures that HAVE body heat."

"Agreed, undead probably wouldn't have body heat to show up with infravision, but nothing says that whatever's down there has to be undead. I don't think it is a waste of time to try and I would also much rather deal with a 'live' person. As for it being a reason to split up, I don't think I was trying to imply that it was, I was just suggesting that it might be worth taking a quick look on the other side to see if there was an easier way down. I don't see what harm it does since we are all just standing around here anyway. But like I said before if anyone had a problem with my thinking I would wait, so I will hold off and see what other suggestions are made."

That said I will walk back to where the others are and begin talking to Dainn "Has anyone else asked about the Sword yet? If no one is going to take it I do know how to use one, and I would also like to hold on to one of those healing ointments if possible."

Seeing Cygar approach, Dainn turns toward him and listens to his questions. "No one has mentioned that they want the sword as of yet. If no one objects, you are more than welcome to it. Also, it might be a good idea if you did take one of the ointments - being up front where the danger is most likely to come from."

Thinking for a moment he adds, "I overheard you talk about going down to see what is moving in the cellar. I'm not so sure that is so wise. If whatever is down there sees you, we would not be able to help. It would probably be best if we all stayed together."

The dwarven priest lets out a brief, warm chuckle. "Lass, my life if a mission for my god. All of my actions, my words, and my beliefs are a mission for Moradin. But I do understand what you mean, and no I am not on an official mission of my god. As to my people well I'm not on a mission for them either. I guess you could say I am a ambassador for the dwarven nation and Moradin. I hope my actions speak well for the dwarven nation and for Moradin and I hope in turn that I can learn from the other nations. I believe that the gift that Moradin bestowed upon me should not be just for dwarves but for all to see." Khoron puts down his pack and pulls out a fist sized stone carving of a dwarf leaning over an anvil. The detail on the carving is exquisite as you can see the expression of grim determination on the face of the dwarf as he raises his hammer for another blow on the iron-ore resting upon the anvil. The hairs on his head and in his beard are finely detailed and there are slight wrinkles on the dwarf's apron and leggings. "I spend my time expressing the gift that my god has given me and in turn I share his gift to me as gifts for others. Please take this carving as a gift."

"Forgive my question," Lianya turns toward Dainn, "but I joined this party a little late -- this is the only direction I have gone. Are there other ways we could take? We seem to have firmly established that we are all nervous about the situation, so perhaps we should backtrack and take a different path?"

Khoron takes the blade in hand and studies the rune intently. "I have heard some stories about these blades but most of it was just a mentioning in stories and legends. The Blades of Dumaden are a legend among my people but as to whether this is such a blade I cannot tell. By the etching of the rune and the style I can tell that it is an old weapon, even by dwarven standards. If it is one of those fabled blades there is not much I can add onto what Kilroy has already said. I do not know of their direct powers other than that they were magical."

If no one objects then I will take the sword from Dainn. "I don't know if I made it clear, I had no intention of going down into the cellar on my own. It appeared to me that we wanted to make sure that whatever it is that is down there was not going to come up behind us. My only intention was to try and find the easiest way down into the cellar. I don't particularly cherish the idea of possibly hanging from a rope and being attacked, shold it be decided to go down there. I was only going to go to the other door and see what I could determine from there."

The young sorceress holds out her hands to tenderly accept the carving, surprised by its weight. She looks over the details of the miniture sculpture. "It is amazing. You have a very fine hand for such work," Cyvara exclaims with true sincerity in her voice. She turns the carving this way and that, but finally hands it back to the dwarf. "I cannot except it. My Master would not want me to accept gifts. My apologies; it is very beautiful."

Nervously, she searches for a way to change the conversation. "So, what gifts has Moradin entrusted you with?"

With a warm smile, Dainn answers Lianya's question, "From what we have seen, this appears to be the only way. At least the only quiet way. We did find some type of orc guard outside (which may have just been guarding horses now that I've thought about it), but we were able to enter in here through a secret passage. I think that it is this way or fighting for every step down the other path."

Looking to Cygar, a mischevious smile spreads on Dainn's face, "I just wanted to be sure that you were not going to try any heroics like that to impress the ladies. Actually, I only heard part of your conversation, and I wanted to be sure of your intentions."

Looking to the group, "It appears that we have a few options before us. One: to continue on and ignore the movement in the cellar, Two: to let someone cross over and see what he/she can from the other side, Three: toss a light source (torch, burning board, Damien's coin, etc) down there and see what we can. Does anyone else have any other ideas?"

Looking up at the tall fellow, Kilroy manages to keep a sneer off his face as he replies to the statements just made.

"My dear, dear fellow" he begins, honey dripping from his voice. "I agree with you whole-heartedly. Wouldn't do to have someone sneak up on the point man. And the infra-vision thing. Good idea!" He begins walking around, seemingly gaining momentum as he goes. He glances at Dainn and nods his head "You have the right of it with our options but I think tossing Damien's coin down the hole might be a bit much. Why not lower it down instead."

He suddenly stops again in front of Cygar. "Just what do you know of Gnomes, big man?" he asks. "For your information I also have infravision. Being related to the Dwarves" (he glances at Khoron with a small smile) "My people are quite handy underground. I am also very light and could easily get across those beams over the centre of the pit. And the idea of someone sneaking up on ME is utterly rediculous. I was voted in as point-fellow by the rest of the group and will not have some upstart new group member push me out of the position. For that matter, I'm not sure if I really trust you. Could be that you want to go ahead to warn someone of our coming. No, you stay in the centre of the group for the time being where we can all watch you."

The gnome storms off away from the group, obviously enraged behond speaking. He seats himself down and faces away from the others then takes out his journal and begins reading.

Damien: "I have a continual light spell on a coin in my belt pouch, it will light everything up, but it could also alert anyone outside to our presence, if it's light can be seen from outside the building."

Damien: "There was an area we passed before that had been recently plastered over, I wonder if there could have been anything there, It seemed very out of place in this burnt out wreck"

Damien "I was thinking that we were looking for a way across not down, if we have something to deal with down there, then I say we take care of it from up here with arrows and them go down there and recover them."

Damien waits for a reply on the light coin and its possible use.

Khoron hesitates before he reaches out and takes the carving back. "I must say I have never had anyone turn down one of my carvings before but if that is what you wish then that is the way it shall be. What gifts has Moradin entrusted me with?" Khoron holds out the carving, "This is the Soulforger's gift to me. I can feel stone, I can sense what is within the stone and I reveal the hidden shapes and messages. My hands are adept at shaping and reading stone. I do use tools of course, but it is the hand that uses the tool, the hand that is guided by Moradin, that carves the stone. That is Moradin's gift to me, my ability to shape and carve stone. That is the gift that I in turn seek to share with others. Would it be fair for me to use my gift to craft things only for my eyes? Or even worse to craft things for profit?"

Slowly and carefully Khoron returns the carving to his backpack. "I don't just carve stone, I do have some experience with working metal and I have recently started carving wood but my love is stone. It is strong yet it can be carved into the most delicate objects and there are so many types and shades and grains and textures. Stone is a magical thing with beauty hidden deep down, if you are willing to look."

Khoron looks across the open area and scratches his beard in thought. "I think we should throw a torch down below before anyone attempts to cross. If we still can't see anything down below then someone can test the way across before the others follow." The dwarf kneels over and checks the fallen beams and the right and left walkways as the discussion continues.

Damien: "Infravision seems a good choice, because if we see anything we will at least know we are not dealing with undead again. I think we may have trampled any tracks that may have been left on the floor. I still think a rope should be secured to you if you try to cross. Shall we proceed."

Tyrmar steps forward, "I would like to use of the sword for myself. If we are to be facing more undead I will need an enchanted to be able to strike some of the creatures."

Sighing, Dainn says, "Actually, I was just listing the various options - those viable and those not. I wouldn't want to toss such a useful object unless absolutely necessary. Actually, I say that we go back and get a large board - or door -, light one end of it, and toss it down into the cellar with our archers waiting to fire. A torch may not illuminate the entire area, and that is why we might want to consider a larger piece of wood."

Seeing Kilroy storm off, Dainn watches him as he settles down and starts reading in his journal. Turning to Cygar, "I am sorry. Some do not easily trust others, and given the current circumstances, I can see his point of view. We were sent on this task, and we know that we can trust each other. You and Lianya just appeared, and we have no way to verify anything that you've said. I'll try to speak to Kilroy and calm him down. We need to be able to rely on each other if we expect to succeed on this quest."

Walking over to Kilroy, Dainn sits down. "Are you doing all right Kilroy?" Seeing how intent Kilroy was in reading his journal, Dainn thinks to try to take the gnome's mind off Cygar, "I was wondering if you might make our journeys into a ballad. I've seen you keeping records in your journal."

"Plastered _over_?" Cyvara repeats. "That is unusual. If most of this old temple is burnt, then bare plaster would not have remained untouched... unless somehow protected. Maybe we should go back and check it out. It could be covering something, or an illusion. Where did you see that, Damien?"

With a sigh Kilroy lowers the journal to speak with Dainn. "I am sorry for my outburst. I really get annoyed when you big people, not you personally, think that just because one is small then they aren't capable. I am probably one of the smartest and quickest present. I don't say this to brag but mearly to point out that I have talents that the rest of you might not have. I am not strong at all. In fact, I am rather weak, even for a gnome."

Sighing again he puts the journal away. "Thank you for coming over to talk. Sometimes that is the best cure for anything. In answer to your question, I am recording our adventure as we go and am hoping to incorporate it into a ballad to rival all others. If only my meagre talents don't let me down."

Circe stands back and listens to everyone talk about what to do next. " Why doesn't someone light a torch and throw it down or cast a light spell onto an arrow and have it shot down into the cellar. I beleave a continual light spell would be too bright to toss down there. If no one objects I would like to keep the potion so I could study it at a later time." After hearing Koron and Cyvara end their conversation, Circe walks over to Koron and mumbles something under his breath.

The room is approximately 45 feet long, with the burnt portion being some 35 feet of that (5 feet on each side). As mentioned, the pit is some 60 foot deep.

The room has a ceiling, which has minor holes. The only light illuminating the room is from the short sword (or did someone light a torch?)

Dainn: [OOC: Just to make sure that I haven't offended anyone (particularly Ian), I never claimed to have the sword or other items other than the gems. I was just bringing up the topic as Simon requested in the main post. Until Cygar mentioned that he wanted the sword, no one had really said that they wanted it other than to inspect it. I'm leaving it up to Cygar, Tyrmar, and anyone else who wants it to decide on who actually gets it :) Looking over the old posts, Tyrmar did get a response out of it however ("As Tyrmar grasps the sword, it begins to emit a faint light.")]

Dainn puts a comforting hand on the gnome's shoulder, "That is quite all right. I know what it is like being different from others. I guess that you could say that I'm the black sheep of my family. Pretty much all the males of my family aspire to be great knights, and all but myself, have been. It wasn't easy growing up. My two older brothers were embracing their training with sword and lance, but I tried to avoid it as much as I could. I was just lucky that I was able to eventually convince my mother to let me study what I wished.

"Just always remember that you are just as capable as the rest of us. You wouldn't have been chosen if you weren't. We each have our different talents and abilities - even though some of them may overlap with others. As I said before, we need to depend on each other if we are to succeed on this quest. I still think that your place is up front where you might be able to talk our way through a bad situation. However, it would be good if Cygar was able to check for traps as we go along. It just wouldn't do if we accidentally set off a fireball trap now would it?"

Smiling, Dainn says, "You are most welcome. I thought that you might be working on a ballad of this little adventure. It seems that all quests need a bard to record the journey." Winking, he adds, "Just remember to put me in a favorable light."

"Tyrmar, I did not realize that you had an interest in the sword otherwise I would not have asked for it. I think that it is only fair that you have it thought. As Dainn rightfully pointed out it was for you that the sword first showed its potential power."

Turning I walk over to where Kilroy is sitting and say "I must also apologize to you Kilroy, I did not mean to 'take over' as it were. You are right to be wary of me. Iit does seem strange that you just came upon me here in this place and I know it doesn't help much that I can't remember how I got here. I only hope that we can find a way to put this behind us. Hopefully soon I will find a way to prove my story to everyone's satisfaction."

Turning back to the party, "As expected I did not see anything down in the cellar but I was able to make out some slow, lumbering footsteps down there. It would seem that we have either run across the ghouls that fled from you or some other undead creatures. I don't have any suggestions at this point in time. Without knowing what is on the other side we don't know if there is any way of these creatures to get out of the cellar and come after us or not. I think we need to make a decision soon though as to whether we are going to cross or not as the longer we sit here the more chance there is of being discovered by something or someone."

"Damien, did anyone check out the newly plastered wall that you found earlier? I agree that after seeing the condition of this place it would seem strange to have new plaster on a wall within this building. It may be a doorway or something which has been sealed up for some reason. Maybe another possible option for us to consider is to go back and check out this wall."

Hearing mention of the burned room, Dainn speaks, "Actually, I had forgotten about that wall. I really don't know if there was much to that or not - other than someone trying to do some repairs. The room was burnt and partially destroyed - like several others in this temple. If memory serves, the wall in question appeared to be stoutly built, and had been patched in several places." [OOC: just to paraphrase what was in the post where we found that room]

Lianya chuckles, "If we stand here much longer we are inviting an attack. How far is the backtrack to the plaster wall?"

If its short: Lianya nods. "Okay, I suggest we head back there and check it out. If it proves nothing, we can come back and handle this dilemma -- maybe the creatures below us will be gone by the time we get back. I am getting nervous just standing around waiting for the ghouls to return."

If its long: Linaya frowns, "Okay then we may as well continue here. Perhaps our quietest, most dextrous member can try to sneak across that pathway and attach a rope, or even scout a bit ahead. Dangerous work, though -- if he encounters problems, we won't be there to back him up. If we get a rope attached, I will be happy to go over first. At least then I can try to hold off any attacks while the rest of you get over.

Cyvara pipes up, after having been silent after talking with Khoron. "Lianya, it seems silly to send everyone back to check that out when it is probably nothing to warrant interest." She stands and dusts off her robe. "It would only take a minute to go back and look around. Why not have Damien and I check it out, and we shall return in a few minutes. By then, you should have discovered what is below and how best to circumvent our current obstacle. Otherwise, we'll all be waiting around for one another or getting in each other's way. There are enough of us now that we should be able to get everything done without too much difficulty. The way behind us is clear, so there is not likely to be any danger."

Not waiting for a response, the uncharacteristically assertive Cyvara turns about and heads back up the stairs, headed (at a quick pace) for the spot where the party last saw the patched and plastered walls.

Malikor looks at Dainn and says, "I believe the Dumadan blade would be of better service to us all if it were wielded by Tyrmar." Then to Cygar, "I do not mean any offense to your skills, friend, but should we encounter any more ghouls, Tyrmar will not be hindered by their paralyzing touch, and the blade may continue to combat the evil."

[In reference to KHORON's move: Khoron looks across the open area and scratches his beard in thought. "I think we should throw a torch down below before anyone attempts to cross. If we still can't see anything down below then someone can test the way across before the others follow." The dwarf kneels over and checks the fallen beams and the right and left walkways as the discussion continues.]

As Khoron inspects the walkways, Malikor asks, "Which path appears to be more stable to you?"

[In reference to DAMIEN's move:]

Malikor nods in agreement when he hears Damien's statement, then adds a caution, "Just be sure that what you are shooting is not another unfortunate in a situation similar to that of Cygar's and Lianya's when we found them."

[In reference to KILROY's move:] Malikor listens to Kilroy's offer while gazing across to the far side of the room. "I think you are right, friend. Should you do so, I have a length of sturdy, elven-made rope you can use. I am somewhat skilled with knots and can secure the other end on this side of the room."

The elven warrior stares down into the darkened cellar. The thought that his children might, at this very moment, be in the hands of the slavers he is seeking, enduring unimaginable terrors, creeps into his mind. His clenching fist is the only outward sign of the rage that threatens to overwhelm him. Taking a deep breath, he says to his companions, "Whatever we do, drop a light and deal with the thing below, or move to the other side, let us decide soon and move fast."

Damien: "It was back near the entrance, when we came in. I did not think much of it before, but it was there, an oddity among all the burned areas. Now that we have seen much more of this place and it looks like a fire swept the whole place, the plastered area must have been new"

Damien looks at the ceiling and walls, and judges them to be sound, and secure enough. He turns to the others "I believe the continual light spell on my coin will illuminate this entire room, and it looks like the ceiling will not let any light out. So I think it would be safe to use it here, all I would need to do is take it out of my pouch and hold it out, it's power of illumination is strong enough to illuminate the ground."

Damien will use the coin if the rest agree.

Damien: "Yes I was just thinking that same thing, Cyvara and I were thinking maybe it is something we should check. Let's deal with this problem here, I have a light source, I'll let someone without a bow hold it, and the rest of us with bows will take up position, and if the light reveals an enemy we will be ready. Then we should check out that section of newly plastered wall."

[In reference to: Damien will use the coin if the rest agree.] Still staring into the cellar, Malikor says, "Please do."

Damien turns to face Malikor, and then grips one of his belt pouches, and quickly unties the string holding it closed. As he opens it light spills out of the pouch, Damien withdraws a coin and quickly covers it with his hand and passes it to Malikor, then he withdraws to carved figurines of Lions speaks two words "Kala, Arbra come to me, my friends" as Damien speaks the figurines glow and in seconds two large full grown lions appear, at his side. One male lion with a long full mane stands about 3' at the shoulder, and fully 6' in length, next to him is a female lion only slightly smaller in size. The lions growl quietly and lash their tails about, as they sniff the air, not liking the scents they are catching.

"Malikor my friend, hold the coin, it will light your way, if needed. I shall be back before you know it. If Dainn was right about the wall, then we will be right back, if it turns out to be more, I will send Arbra back to bring the rest of you" Damien pats the female lion on the head when he says that, and she rubs against his leg. "Tyrmar will you join me, I will not let Cyvara go off by herself."

With that Damien will follow along after Cyvara, the lions at his side, all 3 moving without much sound.

(OOC: That was pretty cool Cyvara, and gave me a good reason to bring in the lions, thanks, I've been dying for an opportunity to use them)

Tyrmar replies, "Thank you Malikor." The elf looks at the blade for a long moments and an look of amusement crosses his normally expressionless visage, "Though I am sure there are dwarves out there who would be most upset at an elf wielding one of their ancient blades."

Tyrmar moves forward through the group to see what the holdup is, with a glance down into the pit he comments, "A bit of light would be a good idea, though it is possible that down there are the ghouls that fled the battle earlier."

When the discussion about the plastered wall comes up, Tyrmar just shrugs, not concerned enough to think it warrants an investigation.

Malikor ponders Tyrmar's statement for a moment, thinking also of Khoron, then replies, "Perhaps your use of the Dwarven blade may stand as another example of how well the two races can work together toward a common goal."

[In reference to DAMIEN's move:] Malikor quietly takes the coin from the ranger. Concern that Damien might be led into more danger than he can handle by following the human sorceress, even with his impressive feline companions, shows in Malikor's expression. "May Ehlonna guard you," he says to the departing Moon Elf, then turns to the rest of the party. "Let's have a look, shall we," he says more than asks. Holding up the clenched fist with which he keeps the glowing coin, Malikor slowly opens his hand, making sure to keep the coin securely pinched between his fingers, allowing the magical radiance to flood the room.

Seeing that Damien and Cyvara have decided to go off on their own to check the wall that was in repair, Dainn sighs. "Just be careful you two. There is a chance that I could help you from a distance if you get into trouble, but I will first have to know that you are in danger. I could create a link with you now, but it might be too much of a drain me [OOC: Simon, roughly how long would it take for them to get there?] How about this - you send back the male lion if there is any type of trouble. That way, I could contact one of your minds and find out what is going on and help if I can. Even if it can roar from a distance, I can start the process.

"I could also go ahead and mentally ask you how things are going in a few minutes. That wouldn't be too draining. I could try to give you enough time to get there."

Damien clasps Malikor's shoulder, "Thank you, friend, I shall return and if there is any danger, one of the lions will return. I shall not needlessly engage an enemy in battle. I shall stay quiet and to the shadows and darkness, I can track Cyvara by her heat signature"

Damien shifts to infra vision, and follows Cyvara's heat trail, footsteps, disturbed air, etc. the lions will sense anything in the way of undead. We will return to the area, and examine the wall, Damien will use a dagger to pry at the plaster to determine if there is anything beyond, will try to make a hole in the wall if possible, though a small hole, he will not take the whole wall down even if it is possible to do so.

If anything is discovered, he will send one of the lions back to the others.

Damien "I do not understand such powers, but if you can contact me, then give me several minutes, and call me, that would save the lion a trip back, they are friends, and unnecessary risk should be avoided, I can call them once a day, but if they are slain, i cannot call them for another week."

Turn 7

DM Turn 7, An Unavoidable Fate

The scratching of Kilroy's quill against parchment is the only sound you hear as the light from Tyrmar's sword illuminates the burnt-out room in front of you. Dainn speaks softly to the gnome, and Kilroy puts his journal away and rejoins the group.

Suddenly, Cyvara makes her announcement and bustles her way past the others as she rushes back up the stairs, pushing past a bemused Circe. The mage looks at Tyrmar, who shrugs. "Humans!" he says.

Damien takes the coin out of his purse and gives it to Malikor. As the wild elf takes it, Damien calls to his lions who emerge in a puff of smoke beside him. The lions growl quietly and lash their tails about, not liking what they can smell.

Dainn says something about using his powers to keep in touch, but then Damien too is gone back up the stairs - saying something about not letting Cyvara go off by herself.

From where they were inspecting the burnt floor, Cygar and Khoron get up and come back to the doorway. "What?" says the dwarf. "Pardon?" says the half-elf.

Circe shrugs at them, and turns to Tyrmar. "Elves!" he mutters.

Lianya gestures for Malikor to use the coin anyway, and so he slowly opens his hand, making sure to keep the coin securely pinched between his fingers, allowing the magical radiance to flood the room. Kilroy and Lianya walks forward to the edge, and leans over to look.

"By the Stars!", she exclaims. All of you rush forward to look.

In the middle of the cellar stands a large insect-like creature standing on its rear legs. About six feet tall, its hard carapace shines in the light. Surrounding it is the torn and ripped bodies of the ghouls that escaped from you earlier.

The creature is looking up directly at you, unaffected by the light. Suddenly, Dainn grasps his head and exclaims in pain. He steps back. A strange chittering noise is heard from the creature, which moves into the shadows below. A sound, like that of stone scraping on stone, is heard and then the creature appears to be gone.

Across the other side of the pit, five heavily armoured orcs emerge from the doorway. They stop in shock when they see you. "Narlak! Narlak!" one screams as it runs back through the doorway. The other four pull light crossbows from their belts ...

[Hmm. Remember, private combat actions to me. Damien and Cyvara should not respond to this post, but read the separate message to them. As soon as everyone else has sent me an action, we'll move again.]

Chapter 5

Chapter 3