The next morning Vogh and Talin sleep in pretty long, matter of fact they don’t leave the room until it is time for lunch .  As they just enjoyed each other and the company.

They both finally got up and went to have a nice lunch.  During lunch Vogh thought aloud, why don’t we head down to the undercity again and make a posting ourselves for a priest?  Another option is we could first go see father Fabitor and see if he knows a capable priest that would like the adventure?  We can then head out to town.  While I was adventuring outside the city a little halfling I ran into had this belt that could heal him a few times daily.  He said he could even heal others with it if needed.  I think perhaps we should go shopping for something like this for us.   Talin thought it was a great idea and then asked if her gnome friend might have one?

After a bit of silence the meal was finished.  Vogh asked Talin if later he would join her for dinner at the estate, she knew he would jump at the idea and so they were off to see father Fabitor first.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin and Vogh left after lunch, heading out into the rainy day. A typical Ptolus drizzle misted the whole city. The bards wrapped their cloaks about them and pulled hoods over their heads.

The Square was still busy, people likewise covered in cloaks beaded with precipitation. Several members of the monstrous races didn’t even bother with coverings. A couple orcs walked through like it was a dry day, one over-sized ogre who strangely wore a pink vest made of some type of fur and a lone centaur whose hooves clacked on the stones as he made his way through the Square. He held his head high above the whole crowd with a sword taller than Talin strapped to his human back.

They descended the stair into the Undercity Market. As usual the hustle and bustle down here matched the Square above. Both made the right turn and headed down the long hallway to the Delver’s Guild offices and Gathering Hall.

Vogh asked one of the Delver’s Guild workers for a quill, ink and paper to post a notice. They produced all three quickly and requested they be returned. Clerics seemed to be in high demand. Several notices were already posted for them. It seemed healers were in short supply and high demand. The bards weren’t certain how likely they were to lure someone to their group over another.

Still, they filled out the notice (What did you say on it?) and posted it on the board with all the others. It seemed none had been removed in the short time since they first observed the board. A few new notices caught their eye:

1) A wizard wants a meteor retrieved.

2) Giant dragon turtles are attacking a couple places along the cost along with some smaller fishing vessels which the Fisherman’s Guild would like dealt with.

3) A goblin tribe from outside the city came across a cache of magic items and wants to sell them to someone inside Ptolus. None of the shop owners trust the goblins, but Jessie Thorton wants some protection to accompany her to purchase the items and resell in the city. Those that accompany will receive a static payment and a percentage of the sales.

I’m working on you all going to the church

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
The note:

Do you want to help a group get rid of Abhoth, Source of All Uncleanliness, who slumbers deep below?  Our group possesses a map that leads to Abhoth.  We are a group of 4 warriors and 2 bards in need of a healer.  You will be promised a 7th of what is found for the chance to rid the world of the Source of All Uncleanliness.

If interested please ask for Vogh and Talin at the Ghostly Minstrel.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Both bards exited the Undercity and entered the still misty afternoon.

They moved through the press of the Square and crossed Center Street to St. Gustav’s.

They were incredibly lucky because there was only one person in the Chapel seeking healing that day. Brother Fabitor was just finishing with him as they walked in.

Both the bards were quite shocked to see a Dragonborn standing in full plate armor with two nasty looking swords strapped to his back. His silver scales were beautiful, but torn and bloodied beneath several bandages. Brother Fabitor was removing and discarding the bandages as he poured healing magic into each wound until the beautiful scales were restored, if still stained with blood that needed to be washed away.

Fabitor smiled when he saw the two bards after opening his eyes from the castings.

“Greetings my friends. You caught me on a very slow day. What brings you to see me this fine Ptolus day?” he spoke with a smile on his face.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
It was good to see Brother Fabitor again.  It was also good that he didn’t have much business either.  The one person he was helping though was a dragonborn.  She had only seen one before and never talked to them so she had to take her chance and make small talk at least, if he wanted that is.

Excuse me, I see that your armor and scales are quite a messed up.  I could clean you up and make things look clean again if you want that is?  My name is Vogh by the way.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The large “man” stood closer to 7 feet than 6 and stopped to look down at Vogh as she addressed him. His scales were all healed now, but his armor did show some damage from the wounds. He had a very deep and gruff voice.

“You want to clean my armor? Why? I do not want to take it off here.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Oh you don’t have to take it off, I am able to cast a spell to clean it up while it is on.  Vogh said as she hadn’t thought about what she had said before and felt a little weird.

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Dragonborn
———————————————————–
“I mean no offense gentlewoman but I am not in the habit of having strangers casting spells on my person…”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
I can totally understand that, what if Brother Fabitor here vouched for me.  Afterall you are allowing him to cast spells about your person.  Vogh said with a quick smile and then she looked over to Brother Fabitor.

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Brother Fabitor
———————————————————–
“That I can indeed sir. Vogh and Talin are of the utmost quality. They helped a very dear friend of mine.”

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Dragonborn
———————————————————–
“What’s in it for you?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Nothing except a chance to help out.  I am here to see Brother Fabitor and talk about some help.  If you don’t want me to help then I won’t.  She then turned to Brother Fabitor, We will be in the back when you are finished.

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Dragonborn
———————————————————–
“Well humanswoman, if you simply desire to clean my armor for no coin then I’m not going to stop you. But I warn you, no funny business.” The giant of a man covered in scales and with a head resembling a dragon snapped his jaws to punctuate his sentence.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh gets the components ready and casts the easy spell on the dragon man.  It no time his armor is clean a well as any scales that were dirty.  Of course it doesn’t repair the armor, but it is shiny once again.

There you go.  Looks good all shiny I must say.  What happened if you don’t mind me asking.

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Dragonborn
———————————————————–
The dragonborn male lets out a “harumph” of interest at seeing his armor immediately clean.

“I hope you expect nothing of me m’lady. I offer nothing but my thanks. I bid you all good day.”

With that he turned and left the church.

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Brother Fabitor
———————————————————–
The priest spoke up after the dragon scaled man left, “That was kind of you miss Vogh. But why offer to clean his armor like that?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
You are quite welcome and as I said, I am asking for nothing in return.  Just wanted to make you smile.  When the dragonborn began to leave she said, you have a good day yourself.

Turning back to Brother Fabitor and his question, Vogh simply said, It is an easy spell and you never know when one might meet again.  He will remember what I did for nothing in return.  So, since you have some time, we have a question for you.  We found a map and a note when we went down in the sewers.  We raided a ratman nest and found them.  Vogh told Fabitor what they found and then added, the group we were with wants to go down and kill this Abhoth, Source of All Uncleanliness.  None of the four men we were with know how to heal, but they surely can fight.  So we have put up an add looking for a healer and I also thought I would come here and ask you if you knew anyone that could help.

===========================================================
Brother Fabitor
———————————————————–
The priest chuckled at Vogh when she mentioned Abhoth.

“The men you went into the sewers with want to kill one of the Lord’s of Chaos?” He chuckled again. “Well that’s bold.”

He gave her a wide smile before he continued.

“No one of my order would be interested in ‘adventuring’ as everyone seems to call it. I’m always available here to heal any wounds, for a reasonable donation, which you all even have a credit for. Are you both fully healed?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Lord of Chaos you say?  Now that is something.  Sounds like we could be over our head on this.  Would you discourage us to not seek this out?  Vogh asked.

When asked if they were healed she responded,  Oh yes, we did receive some minor wounds, but nothing that a good nights sleep couldn’t handle.  We weren’t bitten either so we know we probably weren’t diseased.

===========================================================
Brother Fabitor
———————————————————–
“I don’t know anything about this map, and the Lords of Chaos are said to be sealed. That being said, I don’t know anyone powerful enough to defeat them even if they were loosed on the world. You must choose your own journey. And I’m glad to see you’re healthy. Thank you for clearing out a ratman nest. Those things are terrible.”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin looked over at Vogh to see what she thought about what Brother Fabitor had said.  Talin wasn’t sure if he was strong enough to stop a Lord of Chaos either, but he would support Vogh in whatever she chose to do.

Vogh my darling, I think we need to talk about all of this.  We still have time to make a decision and I want to make sure we cover all our bases.  Talin said with a look of concern on his face.

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Brother Fabitor
———————————————————–
“Who even knows what that map goes to. Are you Delver’s Guild members? I know they have an extensive library. Maybe they could help?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Listening first to Brother Fabitor and then Talin speak, Vogh smiled.  She had a feeling it was too much as well for just the group they were with before.  Perhaps the library would be a good place to start looking for more information. Sweetie, you are right, we should talk more about this together, alone.  I had an idea to take you to the estate tonight and see if my brother has returned yet.  I want to have you meet him and it would be nice to see him again as well.

She turned to Brother Fabitor then, Thank you for the information.  It is much appreciated and won’t be forgotten.  I think we are going to leave now.  We wish you a slow day Brother.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The brother smiles big and shakes both their hands again before wishing them well with their searching.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Since it was still early enough in the afternoon, Vogh figured now would be a good time to head to the estate while it was still light out.

When they arrived, Vogh asked right away if her brother was there.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh spoke the arcane phrase that swings the doors open magically.

Mariette was nearest the opening door once again, just as she had last time they visited.

“Miss Vogh. Welcome again. May I assist you with anything today?”

When she expressed interest in seeing her brother Mariette shared Raule was indeed in.

“I saw him leaving to ride the grounds. I’m sure you can find him quickly on the estate. Or if you prefer I can send a runner to fetch him and announce you.”

[Private to GM: Mariette (servant)

Sallina (mother)

Raule (adopted brother – composer/performer)]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
With her spirits heightened, Vogh smiles at Mariette.  I think we will just head out onto the grounds and see if we can see him.

Vogh then turned to Talin, care for a ride on the estate?  I can show you the garden I used to play in as a young girl.  It is a magical site I must say.

With that Vogh bowed to Mariette and headed towards the stables.  She hoped ‘Flash’ was still in the stable.  Her horse was one she rode quite often.  Flash was a mare of the purest black color and full of spirit.

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Talin
———————————————————–
“But of course. I cannot remember the last time I rode a horse. It’s been a while to say the least.”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
They left the main house and headed out to the stables where two stable hands quickly added bit and bridle. Flash was indeed still in the stables and looked fit as ever.

They rode out, both a bit stiff from being out of saddle for a while, over the beautiful grounds. There were a handful of gravel trails which they stuck to while looking for Vogh’s adopted brother.

The grounds were large but it did not take them long to find Raule riding atop a beautiful chestnut with a long, flowing mane.

Raule was lazily moving through the grounds, the horse doing most of the guiding as he took in the scenery and seemed in a bit of a daze.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh spotted her brother on the chestnut horse he had always ridden, she smiled from ear to ear.  That old horse obviously still had it and looked as if he was the one leading things.

Lets go, he is right across that small row of hedges.  I suggest not trying to jump.  Old Corina there will stop just before the hedge and you will be the only one going over.  Vogh said with a laugh.

As they got close to the hedge, Vogh put heal to flank and sped up a little, putting some distance between her and Talin.  At the last moment she let up on the reins and giving Flash her head and let him do the work.  Soon enough she was in the air and over the hedge.

Talin did as he was suggested to do and went around the hedge as he caught up with Flash and Vogh and now her brother.

Vogh did a miraculous dismount as she neared Raule and as he too dismounted, they smashed into each other and gave a hug.  Raule, it has been so long since I seen you.  How are you brother?

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Raule
———————————————————–
“Well greetings and salutations adopted sister. I heard my misfortune was to miss you on your last visit after so long. And you sir, must be Tail-in [his pronunciation :-)].”

Raule lightly tugged the reins on his chestnut and the steed trotted over to the group. Her brother handed Vogh a single flower the young man had previously cut, then he removed a riding glove and extended his hand to Talin.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Yes, it was too bad we missed you, but we are here for the night.  I had hoped that you were here this time.  Luck was with me this time and here you are Raule.  It has been a long time since we saw each other.  What have you been doing with yourself?  Vogh asked her brother.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin grabbed the man’s hand with a tight grip and a look into his eyes.  Yes, I am Talin.  It is a pleasure to meet you Raule.  I must say you have a wonderful sister and I look forward to hearing some stories of her childhood.  Were you just heading in or are you riding some more?  I would like to see more of the grounds if there is time.  Talin said with a smile.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
(How do you want Raule to take Talin? He could be the jealous older brother, or totally cool with it.)

“Ah. What haven’t I been doing sister?! Ha. Writing and performing has kept me very busy. I hear your travels have kept your life full and exciting?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Ah you are back to writing.  That is good, I am happy that you found it again, Raule.  She could see on Raule’s face that he was only stating his questions for her benefit and not his.  She always knew that he wanted to go adventuring, but as royal blood and the only male it was up to him to continue the name.

I had my trials out on the road.  I almost lost my life once when a couple of hill giants had surprised us in some foothills.  My adventures now have taken a much more exciting and fulfilling turn.  Vogh looked to Talin at that point and smiled warmly. We just came from the undercity yesturday after clearing out a rat’s nest with a group of warriors.  We just aren’t sure where our next adventure will take us.

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Raule
———————————————————–
Raule’s brows climb ever higher with each exploit Vogh shares. More than a little jealously crosses his face.

“By the gods you have seen adventure. Thankfully they have returned you to us unscathed. Perhaps I will accompany you someday…” He let the thought hang in the air, but they both knew it wouldn’t happen.

“We’ve heard of the ratmen scourge. I’m certain the city is better off with your efforts to end their blight. You don’t know what you’re doing next?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
No we have no idea at this point.  We were going to head back down to follow a lead, but after some discussion we may not do it after all.  We have a couple days to make a decision on it.  Vogh commented with a shrug of her shoulders.

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Raule
———————————————————–
Her brother edged his horse to move forward slowly as he asked Vogh, “What kind of a lead?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh relays to Raule what they found and that they talked to Brother Fabitor about it.

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Raule
———————————————————–
Her brother’s brows climbed to nearly his hairline, tightening his entire face. Raule reigned in his horse and turned to face Vogh and Talin.

“Did you not train in the ancient histories sister? Abhoth is one of the Lords of Chaos, a major Galchutt. Do be careful sister… You should discuss this with someone wiser than us. Gods forbid if you stumbled across something which could unleash their horrors on our world…”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Raule knew she hadn’t studied that stuff.  Was it a jab?  Or perhaps he had just forgotten.  We did seek out others and now I am with you, my very intelligent brother.  This wasn’t a jab either, for Raule was very intelligent indeed.

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Raule
———————————————————–
He turned his chestnut lightly and they started moving through the beautiful and expansive grounds once more. “I know little else beyond the name, but the Delver’s Guild Library is extensive and I would start there if I were you. But again, I caution you. Don’t unleash the Lords of Chaos on our world accidentally sister! He let out a little chuckle, as if it was a preposterous idea, but one never knew about unknown maps.

Vogh realized quickly Raule meant no slight with his question about her studies. Often he forgot she did not undergo the same education all the blood Kath children had.

They continued through the estate, marveling at the beauty of flower, fauna, tree and animal life.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
As the three rode the the grounds and chatted, Vogh told the story about how she met Talin.  She even went so far as to tell her brother that she had fallen hard for the man.

To Raule, he could easily see it in her actions and the way she spoke about Talin.  Vogh knew her brother to be a little more than just a little protective brother and she wanted to see his reaction to the information.  She knew that his scrutiny of Talin would perhaps let her understand even more about Talin.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Raule scrutinized Talin subtly as Vogh talked. He clearly appreciated her words, but was not so quickly accepting of this man.

Talin returned Raule’s looks with kindness and patience. He understood a big brother meeting a male friend for the first time.

The trio rode the grounds until they made their way lazily back to the stables. Raule dismounted from his chestnut and allowed a stable hand to take the reins and lead the horse into the barn.

“Well sister, it seems your life truly has been full of adventure.”

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Talin
———————————————————–
When Talin dismounted and a stable hand took the reins, he turned to the others.  Raule was a tough read for sure, but it was just a first impression and Talin believed he did okay.

Now was time to have dinner with everyone and Talin meant to find out more about Vogh.  Raule I sure hope you do share some of your times that you spent with Vogh as a youth.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin walked across the courtyard and into the huge, Manor house once more. The side door they used did not open magically.

The two bards parted ways with Raule who ascended a small stair and headed to his room to change and prepare for dinner.

They walked through a long and wide corridor which lead to a similar stair. Vogh lead them through a route new to Talin which ended in her bedroom once again.

She stripped and cleaned herself up then donned a beautiful evening gown. Talin did likewise, watering down his hair and brushing out the length then tying back into a tight tail that kept every hair in place. He dressed in the finest outfit he owned and polished his tall boots.

They both left behind the marvelous swords but both laughed as they secreted one dagger each. You never know…

Arm in arm the descended the grand staircase and proudly entered the great dining hall. Unlike the last time they dined with only  Sallina, Voghs mother, nearly every member of the Kath family was present, and many others. Nearly 40 people were in the room. Groups of people were clustered with drinks in their hands.

Vogh pointed out and named those Talin didn’t know, which was basically everyone.

Matrenus Kath, husband of Lady Davina Kath who was the head of the house, stood with Tallaeth, the half-elf husband of Ethisha. Ethisha being the beautiful daughter of Matrenus and Lady Davina incredibly skilled in dance, performing as a ballerina. The two Kath men were with a couple of other men Vogh did not know.

Sallina Kath, Vogh’s mother and sister to Lady Devina, was chuckling while holding a long stem glass half filled with some clear liquid. She stood with Ethisha and Katerin Kath. Katerin was a fantastic sculptor, having created many works in the Kath Manor and others throughout Ptolus. She was also Lady Devina’s cousin.

Raule was there, dressed in a fantastic and stylist outfit. Talin knew the  young Noble men had been favoring this style of late. A straight black coat ended at his waist in the front but had two tails that extended nearly to the floor behind his calves. His black vest covered a deep maroon high collared shirt which looked uncomfortable to Talin, the tops nearly stabbing Raule in the throat. Deep red pants matched the shirt and were tucked into low boots made of a soft and shiny fabric. They had barely any sole which was completely decadent. Those fine boots would be ruined outside the stone floors in this mansion. No one outside the most wealthy could afford such finery. His while outfit probably cost more coin than Talin had ever touched. Such was the same with nearly every person in the great room.

Never could the young Bard remember every name Vogh rattled off but he tried his hardest ever repeating names like a mantra to commit them to memory.

Raule stood with Garin Vnata, the haughty effete who served as Vice Chancellor of the Conservatory where her brother so often performed. Narris Dallimothan was with them as well, holding a large wine glass filled with a nearly black liquor. Vogh explained House Dallimothan, which Talin had heard called House Dragon due to their strong ties to the draconic, was a close ally of Kath. Narris and Raule were good friends.

Narris wore a coat cut in the same style of Raule’s made of what looked like liquid silver. The full arms of the coat seemed to ripple as he gestured. Beneath the gorgeous coat he wore only a bright, white shirt with no collar, but a v-neck that plunged below his pecks accenting a hairless and muscled chest. Deflecting the eye from his skin was a silver chain that ended in a silver dragon claw clutching a perfectly clear, rounded gem.

Two guards dressed in the house colors opened both double doors and between them strode Lady Davina Kath with a wide smile. She was regal.

The dress’s train slid behind her a couple feet silent on the stone floor. The high collar flared away from her neck as it climbed above her jawline, was contrasted by the deep cut down the chest which revealed a titillating tease of her ample cleavage.

She walked to the head of the table and everyone made their way from their groups to take places as well.

“Welcome my family and esteemed guests. Thank you for joining us this evening. I hope your bdeals are progressing as well as dinner. We have only the finest drinks to curry the best deals.” Everyone chuckled at her jest, even though it held some truth. “Our chef has a delicious spread prepared and this wouldn’t be House Kath without performances!” The beautiful woman clapped her hands and music filled the hall as five instrumentalists entered from a side door and positioned themselves in a semicircle of chairs separated from the diner’s.

“We also have a few featured performances prepared later in the evening. Let us dine!”

On que a string of servers entered the room bearing silver platters. Each person was served their own, upon which a small serving of cheeses and olives were presented along with several dipping options. Miniature swords allowed one to create a kabob to test variations.

The conversations continued with Vogh and Talin sitting nearest her mother and brother. Raule beside Talin and Vogh beside her mother.

“Vogh told me a little of how you met. We’re you aware she was of House Kath before she brought you here?” Raule inquired of Talin.

The brother seemed pleased, and slightly relieved, when Talin explained Vogh shared nothing of her family until she brought him to the Manor.

Talin asked after Raule’s performances and pieces he was working on currently which the young man was all too happy to share. Narris listened on Raule’s other side and he turned side to side so both were included.

Sallina asked after her adopted daughter’s recent adventures. Vogh was happy to share all that had occurred but she could sense some unease in her mother as she spoke. Sallina said there was nothing wrong but her adopted daughter knew better.

The evening progressed beautifully. The meal was beyond delicious consisting of seven total courses which included a sinfully sugary dessert. Raule sang part of a new piece he was working on. Katerin presented a painted clay sculpture to one of the honored guests Vogh did not know. And another cousin conducted the small orchestra in one of her newest compositions.

Everyone was full, well drank, and ready to end the evening on a high note.

Sallina stood from the table, as did Talin, Raule and Narris.

“Talin, I’m going to steal my daughter for a bit this evening.”

Sallina walked out of the great dining hall with Vogh. She noticed a look shared between her mother and Lady Davina as they exited the room. Both beautiful woman moved in their luxurious dresses out into the night air. They sat across from each other on plush divans positioned on a covered balcony overlooking the grounds. Soft lights illuminated the stone area, lacking the dancing of candle light marking them as magical.

“My daughter. You know I love you dearly and I do not wish to ruin your visit, but there is something we must discuss. You were adopted into this family by my will and hand. You bear our house’ name by my wish and the allowance of Lady Davina. I know you’re aware this is odd for adopted orphans, but I knew you were special. You’ve shared your feelings toward Talin with me, and I’m very happy for the love and happiness you’re feeling. The reason I’m discussing this with you is that it seems like you’re considering a long term future with this man. It is with a heavy heart I ask you to reconsider…”

She paused with pity in her eyes as she looked on at her daughter, allowing Vogh a moment to absorb everything said so far. Before she responded Sallina continued.

“You see my dear, if you marry anyone outside the Kath family you will no long be of our house, but their house, if they even have one. For you to make a life with Talin would mean leaving this house behind. I do not wish to see that happen. You are not of Kath blood, so you could marry into the family to be an official Kath, and to ensure your children would be of our family as well. I know this is hard to hear, especially where your heart is now. But I urge you to think of these things for the future. I put you, my children, before all else and I know you will feel the same for yours one day…”

Tears rimmed Sallina’s eyes as she spoke the hard truth to Vogh, but she steeled herself and awaited her adopted daughter’s response.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Having the time of her life with all the family and more at dinner, Vogh was able to tell all the stories of her adventures after she left the house and also her time here since she returned.

During her stories she could tell that her mom had something on her mind.  When asked she said nothing, but Vogh knew her mother quite well even though she had been gone for some time.

When she was asked to meet with her mother and Lady Davina outside of the dining hall she knew something was wrong.  She didn’t even have the depth of knowledge when her mother told her what she had.  Vogh broke down crying when her mother said what she said.  How could she make such a choice? Mother what if I don’t marry at all?  Am I required to marry to keep in family?

Her world was swirling around in her head and it took all her training to calm herself.

===========================================================
Sallina
———————————————————–
“No one will force you to marry daughter, but don’t you want to be an honest woman? A lady may enjoy a man’s company but to flaunt tradition would be disparaged.” She sighed at seeing her daughter’s distress. “You need not do anything immediately. We just needed to have this conversation.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh didn’t even know what to say honestly.  She looked at her mother when she asked the question.  Of course I want to be an honest person.  Then something in her mind went off.  What would it take for the house to adopt Talin?  He is a talented bard and would only add to the wonderful music that this house has put out in the past and will in the future to be sure.  Or is there a different way?   Vogh was grasping at straws.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
“Child… He is no child. And we cannot adopt a man into our family. It’s unheard of! And can you imagine the rumor mill? We adopt a man, then you marry him?! Vogh. No. I’m sorry daughter.”

Her mother stood, pity and tears still rimming her eyes. She stroked Vogh’s cheek and left her to the night air and her thoughts.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Just before her mother exited the hall Vogh asked one more question.  What if Talin joined the Knights of the Chord?  Would that be enough mom? 

===========================================================
Sallina
———————————————————–
“But to be a Kath my sweet. Not to be a Kath. I’m sorry. Goodnight.”

 

Vogh could tell this pained her mother but it pained her far more, obviously.

She didn’t have to do anything but this certainly complicated the life she was anticipating.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: totally fine with this course.  It is different than what you were initially thinking.  Are you not wanting them to adventure together anymore?  If that is the case it is fine with me.

Vogh sat alone, distraught.  Her world just crashed in on her and she knew that she had some thinking to do.  It wasn’t like she cared for the money or the prestige about being a part of the house, it was the fact that she would miss her family.  Her mother, brother and all the others.  They were family.  Talin would understand he was sure of it.  But how could she ask this of him?  How could he ask it of her?  He wouldn’t, he would just let her be and she knew it.

After some time alone and a freshen up, Vogh returned to the dining hall.  She sat next to Talin whom smiled when she returned.  Vogh gave a meek smile back and continued chatting with the others.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
ooc: I don’t want them to stop adventuring at all. This just came to me when I was writing the room encounter and thinking about Vogh’s past. Her future caught my imagination and I was thinking how her Noble family would react. You’re right I was thinking about something to alienate her from her family that would be reconcilable over time or task.
Anyway, this just came to me and I went with it. There are always workarounds so we can do something. In the meantime we can add a little angst to Vogh and their relationship. Nothing has to happen right now.

Dinner was winding down when Vogh rejoined and many of the guests and family were starting to make their way out of the great hall.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh waited for all to leave before she and Talin got up from the table.  It was evident that she had something on her mind, but she smiled and led Talin back to her room.  She needed to have some closeness time badly.

Fade to black….  Unless you want to play Talin some?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 188):

Fade to black is fine.

What happens next morning?

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Vogh
———————————————————–
In the morning, Vogh rolls over and tells Talin that she is going to go talk to her brother and go for a ride.  I have some things on my mind and need to see what Raule thought about you.  If you don’t mind staying here I would appreciate it.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin was fine with waiting, albeit a little concerned. He had a good talk with Raule, who seemed to like him during their conversation at dinner. Talin wondered if this had anything to do with Vogh and her mother leaving for a while during dinner. He gave her his best smile and told her he was happy to wait.

Raule was already downstairs taking breakfast on the same porch where she spoke with her mother the night prior.

“Good morning sister. Didn’t drink too much last night did you?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Good morning Raule, No didn’t drink too much.  Vogh said meekly.  I was wondering if you wanted to go riding?  I need some time on the grounds and would love it to be like old times. 

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Raule
———————————————————–
“Why I would be happy to ride with you. Another fine day for enjoying our grounds.”

They walked in silence to the stables where the hands got the same horses they rode yesterday ready. Raule finally asked after they were away from the stables, “You’re uncharacteristically quiet. What’s going on?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Now away from anyone that can hear.  Vogh begins to sob.  Through her cries, she tells what mother had said.  So, now I have no idea what to do.  I don’t want to lose my family.  I could care less for the money and prestige of all of it, but I lost my family once already.  What did you think of Talin, Raule?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Her brother shared her distress, “He seemed like a genuine fellow. He said hew knew nothing of your family until well after he met you, if that’s true then I felt a lot better. I would be worried he was only with you for the wealth. I understand what mother is saying, but to clarify, you won’t be banished from the family… You just won’t gain the full benefits of being a Kath any longer. It’s not like we’ll forbid you to visit!” He chuckles lightly to break the tension a bit.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh had a lot to think about for sure, but now she didn’t want to think about it.  She kicked her heels into the flanks of her horse and spurred it on to gallop.  Calling back to her brother she said, Race you to the lake where we used to swim!  It really was more like a pond, but it was a spot they had gone many times as children when it was hot outside.

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Raule
———————————————————–
Raule kicks his horse in the flanks causing it to leap forward immediately accelerating to a full sprint and the race was on.

They rushed through the trees and foliage, the horses breathed hard from the exertion of the run but obviously enjoying the change of pace.

The two had to lay low in the saddles, their heads just inches away from their steeds’, careful not to lean too close as the horses bobbed their heads with the run and could smash a rider’s nose. But both were excellent riders and flowed with the horses’ movements.

Soon they burst through the tree line onto open grass that led up to the water. They broke stride together and allowed the horses to trot the remainder of the way. Raule jumped down onto the soft ground and dropped the reigns allowing the panting horse to drink.

“Been a while since we’ve done that! Ha!” Her brother chuckled as he looked around the small pond.

Sorry for delay. Work & Church are nuts with our big kid’s thing this week.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
The ride was thrilling and she enjoyed it as the wind blew through her hair.  Even though she had a bit of a head start the both of them came into the clearing at the same time.

Now off her horse and walking to the pond, Vogh said, Raule I missed you very much.  It had been far too long since I saw you.  I will be finding more adventures with the Delver’s Guild and in case I don’t return.  I wanted to tell you I love you.  Vogh then wrapped him in a tight hug and then fell to the ground to lay on the grass next to the pond.

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Raule
———————————————————–
“Don’t return? Why wouldn’t you return?

He sat and reclined beside her, propped up on his hands.

“Are you saying you might die out there? Or are you saying you might not return because of your relationship with Talin? Sister, I told you, you won’t be banished from the family, you just won’t be Kath anymore.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
I am saying, I lead the life of an adventurer and one never knows when something could go wrong.  As for Talin and I.  It is still way to early in our relationship to make a choice of this.  I will tell him though and see what he thinks about it.  Vogh lays on the grass looking to the cloudy sky.  Like usual it looked as though it may rain any moment.

What plans do you have for the next months brother?  Vogh thought to change the subject and get to more light talk.

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Raule
———————————————————–
Raule sighed and thought a moment before he responded, watching the clouds above as Vogh did and avoided looking her direction.

“Do be careful…” He started, with worry in his voice. “I know you would never be satisfied living the life of a Noble, cooped up in a mansion and preening for others. But I would not see you dead in the sewer by the hand of a filthy ratman.”

He did turn toward her and prop himself up on his elbow, hand supporting his head.

“My plans, sister? I suspect I will keep working on my pieces and performing. I rather enjoy the preening.” He smiled and chuckled at himself.

“I do not enjoy the stress of travel and “adventure” that you crave. The thrill of the performance and the gasp of the crowd drive my desires.”

Raule looked away to the clouds, then seemed to tear his gaze away to look back at Vogh and asked with a bit of worry in his voice, “Do you have any plans? I know you can never be sure where your path will trod, but do you have a point in the distance you’re keeping in sight…?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh looked back down to her brother.  He was her brother even though they weren’t blood.  They shared many a day like this in the past just talking and relaxing in the sun watching the clouds.  Those were the days, his question had her thinking about her future then.  She hadn’t really had  point in the distance that she knew of.

That definitely is a good question, Vogh said.  You know I haven’t the slightest idea.  Though I think having a goal is a good start to making it happen.  I know I have thought about joining the Knights of the Chord.  I have heard many tales about them and with my link to the house it would seem right.  I just don’t know how to go about making that happen.

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Raule
———————————————————–
“The Knights? You know, you would have to take orders, right…?” Her brother smiled out of the corner of his mouth as he asked. “And they even expect their orders to be followed, you know, without questioning or arguing… Are you sure you can handle that?!” He full on laughed as he finished his query.

Reflexively he raised his arm to deflect any playful attacks.

“In all seriousness, they have been tied to Kath for centuries, and are a very noble group. They would be lucky to have you among their number. Plus, you wouldn’t just be a sellsword fighting for “adventure.” He sat up and crossed his legs his hand touched chin in thought.

“It wouldn’t be difficult for me to arrange a meeting with Hallusiun.”

Vogh knew the name of Hallusiun Everfar well. The beautiful elf was as deadly with song and blade. He had been leading the Knights for longer than she had been alive. Raule finished with a question that had a hint of hopefulness in it…

“Have you spoken to Talin of this?”

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Vogh
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With a light-hearted laugh of her own at the mention of orders, Vogh says, it is funny you say that.  Of course I can take orders, though my natural instinct is to give orders, she said with another laugh.

At the mention that he could arrange a meeting with Hallusiun, Vogh rolled over onto her stomach and looked right at Raule, Yes I would love a meeting with him.  How old is now?  He has been the leader as long as I have known.  Vogh rolled back to her back to look into the sky once more with a smile on her lovely face.  Raule always seemed to make things better, she thought.

After a few more moments, Raule asked another question, one she had a feeling he would ask.  I have talked about it to Talin.  Was close to when we first met actually and getting to know one another.  I told him I was interested in joining them.  Talin though doesn’t share the same want.  He likes the life he is living, that is one of the reason I have fallen for him.  He is a free spirit.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
“Well “free spirits” the Knights of the Chord are not, so keep that in mind. But I understand your attraction to the man. Guard your heart sister.”

With that he stood and offered a hand to Vogh. They mounted and rode back speaking of the gardens and grounds around their home.

They took the longest way possible to reach the Kath stables once more, where they dismounted and allowed their horses to be led away for tending.

HAHA – Guard your Carnal Treasure!!! 😀 https://www.youtube.com/watch?…youtu.be&t=1m47s

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Back at the stables, Vogh allowed the stable boy to take care of her horse as she walked into the house once more.  Raule’s words rang in her head as she moved to her room where she knew Talin was probably awake by now.

As she came in the room she saw that Talin was up and dressed and was at the window.  When the door opened he turned and saw her.  Well, good morning my love.  I didn’t want to wake you earlier, I went for a ride with my brother.  There were things I needed to talk with him about.  I hope you slept well?  Vogh asked as she began to undress.  She had a bit of dust and dirt on her clothes and didn’t want to wear that to breakfast.

Talin didn’t turn his head as she undressed, and the look that he was giving her was one she knew well.  A little more excitement before breakfast couldn’t hurt, she thought.  As her last piece of clothing was stripped off she headed to her bed and crawled up on it looking at Talin the whole time.  Well, are you going to just watch me or join me?  Talin of course needed no encouragement.

Fade to black….  Now to the breakfast hall….

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Narrator
———————————————————–
They redressed and headed downstairs. Being a bit late they were the only two being served, but the staff cooked fresh so as not to serve sub-par fare.

“What did you and your brother talk about?”

Vogh shared with him what she felt was right as they finished their breakfast.

“Are we leaving today, or will we be remaining?” The bard asked. Vogh could tell he was ready to be gone from the Kath household and back into the “real world.”

Talin had definitely lost his regular spot at the Minstrel, but with the coin they gained there was little reason to rush back into danger. However, both of them needed the adrenaline more than the gold.

In the main city, the small wealthy they accumulated could allow them to live in relative luxury for years, but in the Noble’s Quarters it could be blown in minutes.

“I don’t like feeling so, out of place, as I do here. Plus, it doesn’t feel right just staying on your family’s good graces, eating their food and whatnot. No matter how plush the givings.” He smiled at that then closed his eyes and sighed at the delicious flavor of fine pastry.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: First, did Raule say he would get back with me about the meeting?

After telling Talin all what went on with her and Raule while riding, Talin had asked if they were leaving.  Vogh could see and hear the discomfort in his voice.  Perhaps it was time to leave once more?  Vogh thought about what they could do and she remembered the postings on the board in the undercity.  There was one that sounded interesting enough that they could check out.

Talin I do think it is time to leave.  I was thinking, do you remember the posting in the undercity about Jessie Thorton wanting to purchase goods from goblins?  Would you want to check that out and see if it is still available?

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin thought a moment, looking up at the ceiling while concentrating, “I honestly don’t. But a lot has happened since we looked at the board.” He smiled back at the beautiful Vogh. “I remember something about a meteor, and the constant ad for the ratmen. The money was good, but I’m not sure revisiting the sewers would be enjoyable. Nevertheless! I would be happy to be away from here, no offense love, and return to some excitement.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Well then let us finish our breakfast and then head to the undercity and see what we can find.  Vogh says as she takes a sip of freshly squeezed orange juice.

ooc: Thought I had replied and was waiting on you lol

Any thought about what you want to do with Willow and Feng?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin agrees and they enjoy a rather quiet meal together.

Raule didn’t appear for the duration but Vogh wasn’t surprised. Their conversation had been a difficult one. She had some thinking to do and her brother didn’t seem to like any of the decisions she was considering.

This was one of the reasons she had left. The Noble houses remained the Noble houses through control and calculated maneuvers throughout the city. Vogh had been adopted into and trained the culture, but it literally wasn’t in her blood like Raule’s.

She craved excitement and adventure impossible to experience through posturing and maneuvering in politics or business. A song on her lips and an enemy at her sword were preferred.

Talin was a kindred spirit in this regard. He would not likely have sought excitement the way Vogh had. The fellow singer and story teller enjoyed a good adrenaline dump, but he also enjoyed his comforts, and clean clothes.

Ironic he did not act comfortable in the Kath house. She would likely need to question him further.

Both finished breakfast and exited the magic Kath doors into a calm, but cloudy day.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Once Vogh and Talin were out of the richer areas of the city she turned to Talin, I had the feeling you weren’t so comfortable at my home.  Is there some reason or was it just too much for you?  They had walked and chatted comfortably after leaving and nothing mentioned to her about it so she had to ask.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin was a bit uncomfortable answering the question, and stumbled over a few words before he finally grabbed the ones he wanted. “You know I love comforts, but the nobles, which I guess includes you… They just seem so far beyond the opulent. The level of wealthy they have, my mind simply cannot fathom. I felt like a servant being entertained out of pity, or someone being tolerated. I’m not used to that. I’ve always made my own way. Being a ‘kept’ man was the feeling, and it did not settle well. I apologize for any offense my flower.”

“Any thought about what you want to do with Willow and Feng?” Not yet. 🙁 Trying to just keep up with my regular stuff 😀 I will get to it asap though. Also, someone posted in the Giants thread. Do you want me to let them know you’re alive but likely wont’ be returning? Have you thought about turning that game over to someone else? (not me :D)

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Vogh
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Vogh listened well to his words, she knew them all too well.  It was why she had left in the first place to go seek adventure the last time.  I fully understand your feelings.  We do not have to stay there again if you don’t want.  I rather like it no matter where you are honestly.  So lets speed to the under city shall we?

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Talin
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“I won’t say we should never stay there again, simply sharing my feelings with you. Agreed.” Talin walked with less tension as they made their way through the always crowded streets, eyeing the wares on nearby carts to see if anything caught their fancy.

He grabbed two apples from a nearby cart and paid the young woman managing the fruit, quickly putting the produce into a simple juggling routing. Talin ended by tossing an apple to Vogh and biting into the succulent skin himself.

They didn’t rush, but made their way to the Delver’s Square where they joined the flow into the Undercity Market, made the right turn and walked down the long hallway into the meeting room of the Delver’s Guild.

Several groups of people milled about, some looking over maps, others sorting supplies, and many simply lounging and enjoying a snack.

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Vogh
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Vogh caught the apple with seemingly practiced ease and brought it to her lips and took a bite.  It was a sweet apple which tasted delicious.

Finally making their way to the Undercity, Vogh and Talin moved over to the board to see what kinds of adds were written.  Perhaps there was something new they could take on.

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Narrator
———————————————————–

The Delver’s Guild common room was busy, as usual, but Talin and Vogh had no problem approaching the board. Several other individuals were surveying the board, moving up and down the large wall littered with more papers than any one person could likely ever read. Overlapping bulletins showed older postings behind, hinting at missed opportunities.

Both the undercity, and the guild especially, sported colorful characters, even for Ptolus. Delver’s Square above and the unique shops attracted all manner of intelligent creatures. The bards had already seen many interesting individuals.

Who stuck out the most at the wall was definitely the bald headed elf, with his gray eyes and smooth, green skin. He had the soft, beautiful face common to elves and the lithe build. But unlike his other pointy eared kin, he wore heavy armor and a large sword across his back, with a short sword at his hip. Certainly a strange elf.

The dozen or so others ranged from sturdy dwarves with mugs of ale drinking and reading, a couple high elves, and several humans of course.

Most of the postings were still present. (reference Message #476. Link: link to a message in this game)

Several new ones were added. One really made Talin’s eyes bulge out:

DRAGON SLAYER NEEDED
See Gorti of the Delver’s Guild.
“A black dragon has been seen flying over the swamps lands to the far east.
Highly skilled and brave warriors up to the task of slaying the cursed beast.
A sizable fortune awaits those who answer the call.

He chuckled, “Want to go fight a dragon?” then blew out an exasperated breath at the enormity of such a task as he kept browsing.

SUPPLIES RUNNING LOW.
Shopkeeper, Madam Marie
“I am running low on a particular herb that is used to make my exquisite elixirs, potions, and tonics. Meet me at my shop for more information.”
Reward: An assortment of potions and one extra potion of the guild’s choice.

There was the ever present call for ratmen hunters and they learned it was easy to find those groups just by hanging out in the room and listening to conversations. Many of those present were hunting tails for the gold.

[Private to GM: Golemmoth Dlaralthor is a 237 years old male high elf gladiator.
He has a bald head and gray eyes.
He has smooth green skin.
He stands 169cm tall and has a skinny build.
He has a soft, beautiful face.
He has a abstract tattoo on his back and he fidgets frequently.
He doesn’t worship any god.
He is very direct.
He is very obstinate.
He always obeys his superiors.
He is always joking, even at inappropriate times.
In a relationship
]

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Vogh
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It never ceased to amaze Vogh just how diverse this city was.  Sure up top people kind of stuck to their areas, but down here, there were all sorts.  After looking over the board she was torn between two missions.  Sorcerous investigations and Missing daughter were the most appealing to her.  When Talin brought up the dragon, Vogh looked at him with wide eyes.  I am not sure we are even close enough to be capable of surviving something like that.  What do you think about finding the daughter or finding the missing magic items?

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Talin
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Missing magic items? Where did you see that?

“I could go either way. Want to flip a coin?” Talin took out a gold coin and tossed it nimbly into the hair. He let it fall into his palm, quickly closing his hand and turning to smack it on the back of his opposite hand. “Looks like the coin said tails ‘mylady. Do you want to overrule the coin, or go hunting?”

Talin gave her his best boyish smile as he played the coin through his fingers across his knuckles.

17:04, Today: DM, on behalf of Talin, rolled 2 using 1d2.  1 = girl 2 = items.

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Vogh
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Vogh watched as the coin flipped into the air.  She didn’t really care either way so the coin would be their fate.  As Talin caught the coin and revealed their fate, Vogh smiled.  Looks like we help the sorcerer out with finding the magical items.  Let us head over to see if he is available and see what it is he is missing exactly.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin agrees with a smile and they head out of the Delver’s guild hall, but not before grabbing a couple snacks for the walk. What? We might as well get our dues worth. he smiles back before biting into a crisp apple.

When they reach the staircase the outgoing traffic has all but ceased and it’s not hard to understand why. The rain outside was pouring so hard it was actually running down the stairs like a waterfall.

“Wow. I haven’t seen a deluge like this in some time. You know, this makes me think of something.” Talin struck a kind of pensive pose while holding his few treats. He reached up and stroked his chin as he looked at the water then turned to Vogh.

“We carry several magic items, and there are hundreds of different kinds of items with various functionality.” He stopped talking and moved away from the stairs to a place as far from another individual as possible where he dropped his voice to a whisper.

“Why isn’t there a magic item that blocks rain? How hard could that even be? There are floating shields and invisible barriers that block weapons, why not something that floats around you and keeps you from getting wet? We ourselves can even use Prestidigitation to remove dirt or water, but what about the non-magic users, even the wealthy?”

Talin’s eyes visibly gleamed as he said that then he dropped his voice into a nearly indiscernible whisper as he spoke very close to Vogh’s ear. “We could sell these magic items to the rich and make a fortune…” He smiled at her as he pulled away a few inches and waited for her response.

[Private to GM: Dularius Mul: Sorcerous Investigations.
@ Magical surveillance and lost item recovery.
@ Reasonable prices.
@ Inquire at the Red Stallion Pub, North Market
]

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Vogh
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The torrential downpour wasn’t something that Vogh wanted to go into right at the moment, as she looked up to the waterfall.  Then as Talin pulled her to the side making comments about blocking the rain, she wondered what he was about….

I am not sure there is a product or magic item that does something like that.  Besides we can’t just go about making magic items and seel them.  Someone else has the market on selling magic items and I am not about to go against them, least not at this time.  Either we just grin and bare the weather or we find a mission down here to do in the meantime.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin was a little caught off guard by the finality in Vogh’s words.

“Are you talking about the Dreaming Apothecary? I guess we could commission them to make an item and then try to sell it, but they wouldn’t need us to sell more. Maybe there is someone outside the city who could make them and we could import them? I don’t know. Just seemed like a good idea.”

The look on his face was definitely flustered. They hadn’t really had a disagreement up to this point in their short relationship so this was uncharted territory. Vogh could tell Talin was burying his frustration behind a half smile as he waved and dismissed it. “Well, just an idea. Let’s see what else is down in this place while we wait for the rain to let up.”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
It was queer to see the unmoving flame of the everburning torches on the walls. The flame looked real, and even danced a bit, but they all danced independent of each other. There was almost no air moving down here to stir them, but still they danced. Plus the lack of smoke was strange as well. Neither bard was unaccustomed to magic, but so many present on the walls was certainly interesting.

The delver’s guild common area was well ventilated and did not smell as though it was beneath the earth. The undercity market area certainly did. Odors of dirt, moisture, sweaty bodies and other less than desierable smells swirled around their noses as they moved.

The entire cavern was crowded with stalls and tables displaying an unending array of wares.

One vendor was selling magical scrolls, another weapons, a sign pointed down a hallway opposite the stairs from the delver’s guild office advertising potions and elixers. There were several tables with a single human sitting behind each, all males, with a set of weapons, armor and other miscellaneous items. But it appeared they only had those items to sell and no others.

The strange sight of a lizardfolk caught both of them by surprise. A male, they thought, lizardfolk sat behind one sturdy table that showed several weapons, leather armor, studded armor, boots, bags, rope and more. All of his items showed some, or extensive wear, but all looked to be repaired. The create was even then working on a leather item, stitching and re-working the leather on a satchel to blend his fix in with the original piece.

Finally they made their way around to the Wall of the Lost. Wives, husbands, friends, and family members of missing delvers post notices here in the Great Hall containing descriptions of their loved ones and the general area of the Dungeon they were last known to be exploring. Dozens, maybe hundreds of names and descriptions decorated the wall in a macabre collage.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin stopped at a few stalls and picked up one item or another to examine the craftsmanship and ask about price. After passing a handful of the single individuals seemingly selling only a grouping of items his curiosity got the better of him.

He approached one older human with a head of white hair, but a beard with mutton chops that still sported more auburn than white. The man sat back at ease watching passerby’s but leaned forward, one hand gripping a lit pipe. “Have you an interest?”

“I have an interest, but in yourself. Why is it you’re selling what seems like a single person’s items, as several others seem to be doing?”

Benedict leaned back in his wooden, collapsible chair, less interested now but he puffed on his pipe and answered. “These are my items. As you can see, young man, I’m no longer in my youth and would prefer the coin in my pocket to these hanging, useless, in my home.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin was sure acting weird.  Vogh didn’t know what it was exactly, but he was very defensive with his response.  She let it go for now though and went along with Talin to check out the community below.

The many vendors selling their wares was interesting.  She wondered if they might be able to make a good deal down here for something.  Vogh cast one of her simple spells to be able to see if things were magical in nature and then began looking over the wares.

ooc: not sure what I am wanting or even need, just looking.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin was interested in the man, who introduced himself as Benedict.

Benedict went on to explain he had done his fair share of traveling, fighting, and even a bit of delving. But the underground was not his mug of ale.

They exchanged pleasantries, Talin wishing him the best of luck on selling his items.

Vogh’s spell took effect and her eyes began to see faint glows radiate from items throughout the cavern. Nothing on Benedict’s table glowed with signs of magic.

It was obvious some of the armors and weapons around were magical, and many of the people milling about had items glowing.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin there are quite a few things both on people and on the tables for sale that are magical.  Some of them quite magical indeed.  None of Benedict’s items were magical though, in case you were wondering.  Besides the magical rain blocker, is there anything your heart desires?  Perhaps we can find something we both can use down here.

I honestly have no idea how much gold we each have….

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As per the loot thread (link to a message in this game) you have:

Total Wealth Accumulation per Person to date: 862 gold, 446 silver, 803 copper
(not necessarily in this form. You can convert small coins to larger obviously)

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Talin
———————————————————–
“I’m not sure love. I’ve never had enough expendable income to think beyond a room, and a good meal. Occasionally I would have a boon and could afford a new outfit. I guess it depends on what we do next. We’re going to see the chap about the flyer, but I’m not sure if we need anything to accomplish his tasks. So, we’ll have to see where we’re lead.” He laughed and ran his hand through his hair somewhat flustered at the concept of not really knowing where they might go, what they might do, or where they might end up.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh hadn’t thought about it at first when she asked Talin what he wanted.  In her past, she could have whatever she wanted if she asked.  Course over the past year that had changed and she was fending for herself now.  The only thing I think I could use would be is better protection against attacks.  This armor is finely made, but it only provides so much protection.  It cost a pretty penny as well, so finding something better will probably be too much for us. ooc: I would want magical mithril breastplates for the both of us.  It would give +2AC or more….

The two kept looking around at the items and the people, then she said.  Should we just take up a supply run mission while we are here? 

This message was last updated by the GM at 07:22, Sun 15 Oct 2017.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin let out a low whistle as he thought about the cost of magic armor. The mithral that protected him now had cost him nothing. Thankfully the orcs who had it hadn’t damaged it by “modifying” the armor to “fit” them. They didn’t miss it since the lot of them lay dead after ambushing the seemingly slight, but deadly man. A small smile creased his lips as he thought about that encounter.

My lady has expensive taste indeed. He chided Vogh. I did not give coin for mine. I’ve browsed the armories and ogled their magic, but the prices nearly knocked my ears off. Maybe someday. We’ve been doing well. Or maybe we’ll find a treasure as we delve. I’m up for a supply run. Sure.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
They made it back into the Delver’s Guild hall and told one of the front desk people that they were interested in a supply run. They were informed the next supply run wasn’t until the next day and was already fully staffed.

“If you want, I can put your names down as interested and contact you for the next run we need people to fill…?”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin politely declined and moved away.

“We can just wait a bit more and head out to this Dularius.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
A little disappointed about not being able to do a side mission quickly, Vogh moved with Talin back away from the counter.

I think that will be fine.  It isn’t like we haven’t been wet before.  Let us just go now.  Vogh said with a smile.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin gave her a lascivious wink when she said “wet” then moved out.

The rain had not let up, but thankfully they weren’t far from the Minstrel. They dashed across the nearly empty square. People were tucking under the shops’ eaves and overhangs to stay dry until the pour let up.

A few coaches rolled by on the road, their occupants protected from the driving precipitation.

And a few porters drug carts, or urged unhappy pack animals along, heedless of the rain and needing to reach their destinations.

When the duo jumped through the inn’s door, sopping wet, they each flicked their fingers and whispered their own words immediately drying themselves. Puddles remained at their feet, but from head to toe they were dry once more.

“Want to summon a carriage of our own? Or would you rather grab a cover and make the walk?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Once dry again Vogh answered Talin.  It is coming down pretty good, let’s get a ride.

sorry so short…

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Nothing to apologize for. Every man must work with what he’s born with. Oh, you meant the post. HAHA! 😀

Talin steped outside the door, but remained beneath the overhang to stay as dry as possible.

Eventually an empty carriage mad its way into the square and he flagged it down before someone else beat them to it. Vogh and he dashed out the door and into the carriage. The driver was covered in a leather cloak with hood drawn. The leather was heavily oiled as the water beaded and ran off the garment. Several clasps kept the coat closed from throat to knees, keeping the man dry. Above the knee leather boots kept his feet free of water as well.

The horses seemed not to mind as they trotted away. Through the shrouded opening facing the front of the carriage the driver asked their destination and Talin told him the Red Stallion Pub in the North Market.

Emerald Hill neighborhood

The carriage’s glass windows kept them dry while affording them a nice view. They were afforded a beautiful run through the Emerald Hill neighborhood.

Named for its greater than normal volume of trees, shrubbery, and grassy lawns, the Emerald Hill neighborhood is a favorite among the elves. It is generally considered one of the nicer, safer neighborhoods in Midtown, if not in all of Ptolus. Unlike the rest of the city, here the buildings are almost all uniformly made only of wood (no stone). Most are built in the elven style, with sloping span roofs and an angular or curved rather than rectangular layout. Tree-lined boulevards are common in the area, as are small but verdant parks.

As the city has a total elf population of about seventy-five hundred, all local elves by no means live in this one neighborhood. That said, most of the thousand or so people who do live in Emerald Hill are elves and half-elves.

At the heart of Emerald Hill (at the literal top of the hill) lies a walled compound known as Iridithil’s Home. The compound has a small temple, a number of gardens, and other services, but it primarily offers elves an elaborate inn and restaurant. Here, some of the city’s more prominent and influential elves congregate in surroundings free of other races.

Temple District

Leaving the beautiful nature behind they crossed over King’s River and entered the Temple District. Teeming with churches, shrines, and the headquarters of various religious orders, the Temple District is a strange hodgepodge of good and evil. Churches of every size, shape and design are found here. A famous quote of the temple district from Kevris Killraven: “There are temples to more gods here than one can catalog. Gods, it would seem, breed faster than rats in Ptolus…”

Vogh crinkled her nose in disgust as they pass the Temple of the Ebon Hand. A vile group just on the edge of being banned from the city, the Cult of the Ebon Hand is said to harbor degenerates and encourage wrongdoings of the highest order. Cultists of the Ebon Hand revere mutation and deformity. They are a blight on the city and few know why they are allowed to remain and practice their macabre faith.

North Market

Not long after they pass into the North Market.

The North Market is known for its open-air stalls more than its workshops more popular in the South Market. Many lifelong Ptolus residents call the North Market simply “the Market,” while they call the South Market the “South Market.” The North Market, which centers more or less around the North Gate, attracts farmers and others from north of town with goods to sell. Ptolus residents themselves conduct a fair bit of commerce here in open markets and shops. One of the busiest commercial areas, Market Street, runs through the heart of the North Market. The district is bounded by the cliffs of Rivergate on the west, the wall of the Necropolis on the east, the city wall on the north, and Golden Elm Way on the south.

Red Stallion Pub

The Red Stallion Pub stands out on the wide street as it’s one of the largest, most popular alehouses in the district. It’s always full of a strange mixture of farmers, laborers, and marketplace merchants. Today has the Pub packed even tighter than normal thanks to the rain driving everyone inside.

Talin had paid the carriage driver, and tipped him well, before they rushed into the Red Stallion. The sea of people crowded every inch of the floor, with a few servers squeezing through the press bearing ale mugs and light food above their heads to keep them safe.

[Private to GM: Dularius Mul: Sorcerous Investigations.
@ Magical surveillance and lost item recovery.
@ Reasonable prices.
@ Inquire at the Red Stallion Pub, North Market
]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh hadn’t been in this part of the city before so she was glued to the window of the carriage as it rolled past the open stalls and stores.  Even though the rain was relentless, there were still quite a number of people out and about this day which had Vogh shaking her head.  Her hair still slightly wet didn’t have the bounce it normally had.

When they pulled up to the Red Stallion and both jumped out, Vogh took a direct route to get out of the rain while Talin paid the driver.  When Talin was by her side once again, they entered the establishment.  With the torrential downpour outside, the place was packed.  This would make it a little harder to find their contact for sure.  Shall we go to the bar?  We can ask for a drink and where Dularius Mul might be located.

ooc: sorry was making the character….  You must let me know what you think….  you know his AC can be a LOT higher than it is with Barksin and use of combat expertise, your Ki strike, also a +3 during surprise rounds.  With serene rage it can be a lot higher as well.
The idea is that with Robbilard’s Gambit he can wade into battle and if someone attacks him, he gets an AoO, up to 5 per turn with combat reflexes.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
[Private to GM:
Mal is a 117 years old male drow sorcerer.

He has very long, braided, white hair and green eyes.

He has silky black skin.

He stands 167cm (5’6″) tall and has a lean build.

He has a square, very fanciable face.

He has a small piercing on his left ear.

Personality Traits

He is always ready to help others.

He doesn’t care about risks or odds.

He has an imaginary friend.

He openly worships Silvanus, God of wild nature, druids. (True Neutral)

He believes that he is related to Silvanus.

Relationships
Sexual Orientation

Straight

Relationship Status

Married

++++++++++++++++

In a market ward, surrounded by narrow alleys and active marketplaces. It stands adjacent to a brick-walled warehouse.

Description

The inn is a two-storey timber and brick building, with several stained glass windows and elf-wrought tables and chairs. Accomodations consist of several large rooms with beds and woolen mattresses. The inn once belonged to a wizard, and a small fire elemental still dwells in the hearth.

Innkeeper

The innkeeper is a tall female human named Eveth. She possesses a magical hammer which  once belonged to the renowned fighter Eveth, who defeated the Dragon of the Dagger Hills.
Menu
Roasted Chicken and Cranberry Tart, Glass of Whiskey (1 sp)
Boiled Crab and Dried Radish, Tankard of Ale (11 cp)
Steamed Lamb with Ginger and Buckwheat Bread, Glass of Brandy (4 sp)
Roasted Catfish and Lemon Pie, Glass of Wine (2 sp)
Patrons
Eanellas: Female Elf Scofflaw, Good. Eanellas has black hair and sharp green eyes. She wears plain clothing and carries a cedar staff. Eanellas holds a grudge against clerics.
Cilia Velley: Female Halfling Scholar, Evil. Cilia has matted white hair and light blue eyes, and an unusual tattoo on her leg. She wears modest garments and carries a fine stiletto. Cilia seeks a company of adventurers to thwart the monstrous plan of Vale the Lich Knight.
Sigga Rosskedotr: Female Dwarf Craftsman, Evil. Sigga has auburn hair and light gray eyes, and wears glasses with gold rims. She wears simple clothing and riding boots. Sigga has an animal companion, a ginger cat named Thatur.
Eonild: Female Human Entertainer, Neutral. Eonild is fey in appearance, with cropped gray hair and brown eyes. She wears tailored clothing and a dragonscale cloak. Eonild seeks only fame and glory.
Rumors
Hany the poulter has been searching the area near the Sanctuary of Gardens
Bely has challenged Reder the limner to a duel
A silver dragon is held imprisoned within the Sanctum of Arcane Madness, trapped behind a magical door with nine seals
Magic is altered in strange ways within the Tumunzar Mountains
The true king is held captive within the Barrow of Bloody Evil
A swarm of gargoyles lurks in the ruins of Agser’s Deep
The brutal murderer Vala was seen near the hall of the Monks Guild]

Vogh and Talin push through the crowd to reach the long bar, which is equally crowded with people at stools, and pushing between those to place orders.

The innkeeper is a tall female human. She’s past her prime years but has a handsome face framed by short cropped, blond hair.

After much waving and a couple shouts Vogh finally gets her attention and inquires about Mal. The woman points to the back, right corner of the common room.

One again the bards have to push through the crowd, finally reaching the corner. They broke through the crowd to find a healthy space separating the nearest person from the occupants of this area. A cushioned bench seat wrapped around the corner in an L shape, separated from the crowd by a rectangular table, and possibly the only open floor space in the Inn.

It was immediately apparent why the common people kept wary glances this way, but maintained a respectful distance.

Smiling up at them was a silky, black skinned elf. His long, white hair was tightly braided down his back and emerald green eyes crinkled with his big smile as he greeted them.

“Hello.”

The drow had a lean build, framed by a tailored robe of a deep green the same color as his eyes set in his square, very fanciable face.

He cocked his head sideways, revealing a small earring in his left ear, also a green gem.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
With a drink in hand though now almost full due to the constant pushing of patrons in the establishment and a sip here and there, Vogh makes her way to the corner of the bar.  When she suddenly makes her way into an open space she almost drops her glass as she sees why the spot is empty.  Out in the world, she had heard of these dark-skinned elves and most of the rumors were not good ones.  As it said hello, Vogh looked to him and then Talin.  She didn’t know if he had heard things about them, so she was checking his response.

She did look back and say hello though as to not be rude.  Hello, are you Darius Mul?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin did as poor a job hiding his surprise as vogh did.

“Why yes I am. Please, have a seat. It seems you know my name. What might yours be?”

Vogh and Talin both offered their name (fake or real names?) and took seats opposite the drow.

Talin spoke up, “We are here in response to your ad for assistance or employ.”

The affable drow kept his smile and nodded at Talin’s words.

“Of course. Of course. What are you most interested in? Tell me a little about yourselves and I’ll have your drinks refilled.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Judging from Talin’s look he had heard something before about the reputation of these elves so Vogh let Talin take the lead.

When asked what their names were, Vogh answered with her first name only.  Talin did likewise and took their seats at the man’s table.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Well, we are interested in item retrieval.  Vogh and I have had a run down in the sewers chasing ratmen for their tails and we thought it might be good to get out of there for a bit.  We are both bards strangely enough and have had experiences both here and outside of the city.  Talin commented at first a little shaky in his voice.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
“Ah yes. Nasty business that. But work that needs to be done and I’ve heard good gold can be earned.”

He took a sip of his nearly clear drink and waited, with a small smile, as one young woman refilled both bards’ drinks.

“You may place that on my tab.”

When she left he continued speaking.

“So you’re interested in item retrieval? Do you have any experience in procurement? Have you spent much time in the under city?”

Mal listened and sipped his drink lightly as they explained. Then nodded and when he waved his hand a book appeared in it along with a pen clipped to it.

The drow opened the small, black, leather bound journal and flipped a few pages then rested his finger on a line.

“I’ve got two options for you. First,
a client had something taken from them. They want it retrieved and don’t want the city watch involved, for their own reasons. Second, a delver hasn’t returned who had in his possession a magic item on loan. Either he’s dead in a hole or stole it. Which would you prefer?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh wasn’t sure she wanted to be working for someone that wanted to avoid the city watch.  It didn’t necessarily mean that they were bad people, but it was a tad shady for her.

Talin, how do you feel about trying to find the delver?  We can do a little exploration as well of the undercity in the meantime.

When Talin agreed, Vogh asked, so what is the item that the delver lost? We will need details naturally.

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Darius Mul
———————————————————–
“Of course. Of course.”

He pulled a piece of parchment from beneath the table and began scribbling notes.

“Take this to the Delver’s office and you will be granted a map of the area. The young dwarf’s name is Dolmyr Brighttoe. He has a rod of Metal and Mineral Detection. You can understand why such an item would be so valuable to a delver. The item is relatively non-descript, which is why location spells have been unsuccessful.”

Mal drew out a simple representation of the rod, explaining it was about two feet long, and was carved from stone with natural lines to resemble veins of ore underground.

“I will pay you 5% of the item’s value if you return it to me. Which is more than 500 gold. If, however, you see fit to sell it somewhere, believe I will find out and your lives will be forfeit.”

It was frightening how the drow said everything in a cheerful tone and the friendliest smile on his face. Even threatening their lives.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Darius really didn’t know them from the next adventurer so the threat was hollow to Vogh.  His tone at saying though was quite clear in her head.  Vogh looked to Talin, whose eyes went wide with the reward amount and then looked back to Darius.  It sounds pretty straightforward, and so you know.  I am not one to cheat someone nor do I like being cheated.
Is there a time frame?  We know not for sure where he is at this time.  Also, once found we just return here?

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Darius Mul
———————————————————–
“As is always the case in business, as soon as possible is best. He’s been missing almost 10 days now, and you’re not the only ones looking for the item. So time is of the essence for success. And you are correct, if you find the item, simply return here and you will be compensated.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Easy enough, so Delver’s office, ask for the map.  Was there anything particular that Dolmyr said about what he needed the rod for that could give us a clue as to where he may have gone?  Besides the obvious looking for metal and minerals in the caves, which would suggest noncivilized areas.  Vogh asked.

Lastly, when were the last and first people hired to find the item.  So we know what we are against for time.

===========================================================
Darius Mul
———————————————————–
“No. He was not so kind as to share his plans, or what he was searching for.”

Darius gave a bit of a joking smile which they knew was at their expense.

“Oh. No one has too great a start on you. Maybe a day or two.”

Vogh and Talin departed from his table and pushed through the crowded room once more to the exit. They waited a bit and flagged down another coach to avoid getting soaked from the still pouring rain.

They returned to the Ghostly Minstrel to discuss, gather any gear needed, and head to the under city.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: Can you just ooc the times in your next post for me please. DM Note: Previous Post Updated.

Back at the Minstrel Vogh grabbed her gear and Talin did likewise.  They then made their way back to the Undercity.  They then went to get the map and went off to look it over to make a plan of attack.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The first issue Vogh and Talin discovered as the map started at the entrance to a place called Ghul’s Labyrinth, which was on the other side of the Mirror Mage off the Undercity Market.

Neither of the bards had ever navigated the maze, nor any maze for that matter.

This leaves them with two options, either try to navigate the maze themselves or find a delver to lead them through the obstruction.

Since neither had the desire to waste hours, or days, stumbling around underground they decided to pay someone in the delver’s guild as a guide.

After asking around and having several people refuse, then laugh at them they noticed one man who sat lazily on a couch seemed to be watching them with a half smile.

His blonde, curly hair gently hung over a lean, warm face. Woeful black eyes watched Vogh and Talin moving about the room and talking to the different guild members. A beard handsomely complimented his hair and cheekbones.

Both moved over to the plush couch he was reclined on, with a leg thrown over one arm. He would stand tall among others, despite his lean frame.

“Greetings delvers.” He said the word sarcastically, lightly mocking them. “The name’s Adam [Private to GM: Eustice]. You need to traverse the maze?”

There’s something bizarre about him, perhaps it’s his gentleness or perhaps it’s simply his unusual demeanor.

“The maze is seen as a right of passage for new delvers, so that’s the what for those folks were giving you. Being as that’s the case, I find myself a little light of coin and would be willing to head you on through if you could oblige some gold?”

Symbol for the Mirror Maze

Talin shrugged at Vogh, not seeing any other alternatives.

“How much”?

“Well what’s in life not set by how much it’s worth to you?” The quipy blond man responded.

Talin and Adam haggled for a bit, then settled on 10 gold. Both bards felt that was steep for walking them through a maze, but again, no other options.

Could you check back on your expenditures and track how much gold you have? I don’t want to micromanage, but it would be nice to understand a concept of how much you’ve got. You’re paying to keep a room at the Minstrel too.

Adam threw back the rest of his drink and stood to his full height, which allowed him to look down on both of them. He smiled again and set off down the tunnel to exit the Delver’s Guild and move through the undercity market. Staying to the wall shared by the delver’s entrance they avoided most of the traffic and bustling of patrons, sellers and loiterers.

A right turn led them down a wide passage with one passage on the left before arriving at a mirrored wall straight ahead. Their guide turned left and started making turns, occasionally, idly, dragging a finger along one mirror or another, which left behind streaks.

The maze didn’t seem complicated with Adam leading, but seeing him walk into what seemed like a wall, then navigating around areas which tricked the eyes, until you knew their secrets, certainly made both feel the 10 gold was well worth it.

Finally they stepped beyond the mirrored walls of the maze and stood in front of three major passageways. Entrances to Ghul’s Labyrinth, the left of which marked where Dolmyr’s map began.

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Vogh
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Following Adam through the maze, Vogh made a mental note of the direction they headed so when they had to enter the maze again she would know the course to take.  She could see too that Talin was doing likewise, so between them, they would have no issue the next time through.

When all three finally broke through to the other side Vogh took out the map once again.  Thank you very much, Adam, the 10 gold was well worth the trip.  We can take it from here unless you also know the labyrinth as well?

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Adam
———————————————————–
The tall, blonde man chuckled, hands on hips as he shook his head.

“Were you alone making that offer lovely, I might accept. But seeing this strapping gentleman tagging along, I believe I’ll return to relaxing and watching for better prospects.”

With a small bow, barely more than leaning forward, he went back into the maze and disappeared around a mirrored bend.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin thought it a good idea too if Adam could have come with, but then Talin wore a frown when he heard the man say what he said.  Talin didn’t like the idea of another man having a fancy for his Vogh…  It may have even shown on his face.

As the guy disappeared behind the mirror, Talin relaxed and looked to Vogh.  Shall we begin?  Pull out the map and let us see where we shall go.

Do you have a map for me?  Not sure how you want to do this.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
No map. Just story 😀

With Adam gone, Vogh produced the map provided by the drow, Darius. It was a crude line drawing, made on rough parchment. Nothing fancy, or too descriptive. Nonetheless, it was all they had to go on.

They proceeded down the left doorway, as marked on the map. All three doorways looked very similar: cut stone, arched in a rough curve and decorated with skulls of every race around their perimeter. Vogh and Talin had both seen dwarf carved stone, this was not their work. A much less skilled hand had carved the arches, tunnels, and floors. The floors were not perfectly flat like a building or dwarf hewn passage. Instead there were obvious chisel and pick marks everywhere, making the floor easy enough to traverse, if uneven.

The map tells them to head forward and make a few turns, indicating tunnels branching off the opposite directions of turns. These branches end with just short lines, indicating they are only references for the correct turns and not to be followed.

[Private to GM: I want to have a Random Encounter with a Trap set by Sorn-Ulth orcs.

GHUL’S ORCS page 493

The Sorn-Ulth have skin as black as pitch and beady white bulbous eyes.
Their faces look more human than those of other orcs, but they are still bestial.
Most walk hunched over. Use standard orc statistics with the following
modifications: –2 Strength, +4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, +4 Charisma. SornUlth
have a +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks.
Their favored class is sorcerer, and there are many fighter/sorcerer multi-classed
Sorn-Ulth.

Use Adventure #2 while they are Delving

They could encounter Goblins and wind up going backward through the adventure to end up in the house located in the North Market.

Maybe meet Triss while they are in the caverns/underdark?]

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin looks over the map with Vogh and they both decide to just head down the path they believe the dwarf would have taken, as the map shows.  Let’s try to remain quiet down here and use hand signals for talking.  Talin then shows the few main hand signals he knew and Vogh added in some as well.

With that, they moved silently down the chosen path with weapons drawn for security.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Talin (msg # 258):

what are you using for a light source?

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Have to go with a torch

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 260):

You have an Everburning torch in your handy haversack, so does Talin. haha. Ok.

I will do a post as fast as I can today.

Fair Warning: I assume nothing in your favor, especially in a “dungeon.” So if you say “we’re walking forward” and don’t say you’re doing anything else, then all you’re doing is walking. This means you can’t go back and say, “well, I was also checking for traps” etc…
😀 You. Have. Been. Waaaaaarned! 😀 😀 😀

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Both Talin and Vogh think of their magical torches, which the matching magical backpacks produce at their thought. A queer feeling to remove a lit, burning torch from a pack, but the magic of the items prevent any burns, and keep the torches lit at all times.

Several paths lead off left and right as the duo move forward, but always they ignored the short lines and focus on the dwarf’s continued path. None of the lines accounted for distance, so a line might seem short, but in fact take them an hour to travel.

A handful of uninteresting and rooms existed off the main track they followed, but a quick peak inside revealed them to be empty.

Their stomachs informed them it was near lunchtime.

Did you pack any rations?

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Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: I didn’t write anything down as far as rations, but since I think I am still within the limits of your ‘fair warning’ let me say yes we took 5 days of rations with.

After some time of following the map, Vogh’s stomach began turning a bit letting her know it was time for a bit of food.  She stopped and made a motion to Talin with her hand going to her mouth and mouth making chewing motions and then shrugged her shoulders.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Alright, but if you want to have taken anything else not on your list, you get one more post to do that and then YOU’RE CUT OFF!! MUAH HA HA! 😀

Talin was feeling a bit peckish himself. They summoned rations from their magical packs and ate in near silence, surrounded by rock and silence. The noise of eating which no one ever notices, was painfully apparent in the stillness of this world below the city.

Both had a light sheen of sweat coating their bodies as no air moved in the passageways. They also didn’t know the exact time, or how long they had been down here.

They were on a mission to find this magic item, and hopefully a little fun while they explored this aspect of Ptolus neither had experienced.

After eating the salted meat and hard bread they each took a swig of water and readied themselves to move on. The map had not lead them astray so far, but they seemed to not even have traversed half way. Compounding that the map didn’t account for distances, neither knew how long they could be down here.

As they reached a fresh fork, the map indicating they should go left, a sound echoed up from the opposite tunnel…

How do you think the humans are handling being underground for the first time? Many people freak out knowing millions of tons of rock hang above their head.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh was the first to hear the noise from the other direction.  She tugged Talin to a stop and pointed the other direction.  When he heard the noise as well he put a finger to his lips to be even quieter than before.  Since their weapons were out already Vogh slowly began to stalk the way towards the noise.

Move slowly towards noise keeping the torch out in front of her.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Nothing was visible to the two except more roughly carved tunnel like they had been traversing for the past hours.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: We will go for 200 paces then return back the other direction.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 267):

They moved forward and the sound coalesced into a cry, wailing. Slowly the form came into the range of their light. A gnome, but with the darkest skin they had ever seen on one of the little people. The thing had its leg caught in a trap that resembled a claw month with wicked steel teeth bit into its nearly black skin.

It cried out in a language neither understood. But clearly its intent was to be rescued from the trap trying to claim its leg

The trap ended in a short chain with links thicker than a man’s finger and mounted into the stone wall.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh heard the wailing cry.  It sounded to her like something was in a lot of pain.  When they finally got close enough and the light washed over the diminutive figure she quickly came on guard.  She wondered where its friends were if it had any.  It could be a trap.  In a soft voice, she called to the thing in common and then other languages.  If it didn’t understand Talin tried.  Are you okay?  We can help if you need.

My languages are: Common, Draconis, Abyssal, Infernal, elvish, goblin
Talins are: Common, orc, halfling, giant, gnome

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The things eyes went wide at Vogh’s use of the goblin tongue. Immediately it started rattling off words as fast as its emactiated lips could form. Spittle flee from its mouth as it spoke rapidly and pulled at the clamped trap. Vogh recognized the similarities between its tongue and the goblin but she could not keep up. She caught. Orcs. Trapped. Help.

Again, the pleading in the eyes transcended all language barriers. It was terrified and wanted to be free.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: Did Talin’s gnome tongue do anything?

Vogh makes an appraisal of the creature looking for weapons before moving in closer.

07:33, Today: Vogh rolled 13 using 1d20+5.  spot check.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The gray gnome perked up even more when Talin spoke the gnome tongue. A similar outburst ensued with Talin able to understand only Help and Escape. The little being, a male they were certain, twisted at their approach and nodded which made his ears flop.

He was emaciated and dirty, wearing barely any clothing and what he had was tattered and torn. There were clearly no weapons on him. He looked more a slave or captive than anything.

Pulling and tugging at the claw clamped on his leg, he kept gesturing with wild eyes and hands for them to assist him in opening the trap.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh could almost feel the pain the little creature was feeling, the clawed teeth digging into his leg must really hurt.  Vogh whispered to Talin, tell him to remain quiet and we will help him out.

With that Vogh called forth two pitons from her pack and with the aid of Talin, she pried the teeth of the trap open enough for the creature to break free.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin’s eyes bugged out of their heads as a small pea size ball popped up out of the trap when it opened. On instinct both of them tucked and rolled away as the fireball exploded in the narrow cavern.

Both of them had hair and clothing singed but nothing serious. 8 damage since you succeeded at reflex Save.

The dark gnome was nothing but a burned husk laying on the floor.

A rumbling laughter echoed through the cavern. Both torches were on the ground, dropped in their desperate rolls. At the edge of their illumination the laughter grew closer as three faces squinted in the light.

These orcs were very different from any the bards fought before. Their skin was black as pitch with beady, white, bulbous eyes. Their faces we’re more human than typical orcs.

The strange orcs wore heavy metal armor and carried large weapons, two swords and one long handled ax.

They held malice in their eyes as they gripped their weapons tight and lunged forward as one.

Orcs initiative: 22

We’re not on a surprise round because you succeeded at your reflex saves. Roll initiative and tell me your first actions (if you beat the orcs)

[Private to GM: The  Sorn-Ulth have skin as black as pitch and beady white bulbous eyes. Their faces look more human than those of other orcs, but they are still bestial. Most walk hunched over. Use standard orc statistics with the following modifications: –2 Strength, +4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, +4 Charisma. SornUlth have a +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks. Their favored class is sorcerer, and there are many fighter/sorcerer multiclassed Sorn-Ulth.]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the trap was tripped, Vogh saw it at the last moment and rolled into Talin as it exploded.  She didn’t have enough time to see if the little creature was okay when the orcs showed their faces.  They seemed a little off to her from ones she has seen before.  She unentangles herself from Talin and gets ready for the approach of the orcs.

22:34, Today: Talin rolled 17 using 1d20+7.  init.
22:33, Today: Vogh rolled 13 using 1d20+3.  init

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Two of the orcs were closest to Vogh so they slashed down with their swords, then the lone axeman took a two handed, heavy swing. Talin dodged the clumsy attack with the bulky weapon, and Vogh slapped one of the big swords aside but the second sword blasted through her weak back handed attempt to block, smashing into her shield then sliding around to cut deep into her shield arm. 11 damage

Talin felt the sting of two stabs come from nowhere. He didn’t even have to think, he knew the spell well. Magic missles had just struck him. He hollered out to Vogh,

“We’ve got a caster somewhere!

19:40, Today: DM, for the NPC Orcs, rolled 20,11,11,15,11,16 using 1d20+7,1d12+5,1d20+7,1d12+5,1d20+7,1d12+5.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh did her best to block the two blades aimed at her, she was able to deflect one of the blades, but the other slipped past her defenses and opened up a deep gash on her arm.  With blood flowing freely now, Vogh decided to bring to her lips a song to bolster her and Talin.
Vogh nodded to Talin’s remark and would have to try and deal with that next.


Take 5ft step away from the creatures= move action
Inspire courage= standard action
10:10, Today: Vogh rolled 16 using 1d20.  knowledge check to identify the creatures.

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Talin
———————————————————–
As Vogh began to sing, this boldened Talin to action.  He used his music in a much different way than Vogh, his words were meant to cause fear in the enemy.

Standard action= Activate Inspire Awe Will save DC for all is 29.  Failure means they are shaken.
Move action= 5ft step away.
10:23, Today: Talin rolled 29 using 1d20+13.  perform sing.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
OOC: Vogh has heard about the Orcs that Ghul “created” among his dozens of other perversions and concoctions.

All of the orcs are affected by Talin’s music, but they fought forward through their shaken condition and pressed the attack.

Vogh is hard pressed as both orcs step in, following her, and strike again. The one was visibly disturbed by the music, his face screwed up in fear and anger. Vogh easily deflected his half hearted attack. Its companion swung as hard as he could with the big blade and theough sheer force he wounded the much smaller woman. The blade crashed hard into her shield and Vogh knew there would be some serious bruising there tomorrow. 6 damage

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh once again defends well and blocks or deflects the blows from the two orcs, but the second blow crushed into her small buckler, the impact straining her wrist as it did.  She felt the sharp pain in her wrist.  Knowing she can’t begin casting a spell against these foes, she instead strikes out at one closer to Talin.  Her blade takes up the music she had sung before.

18:32, Today: Vogh rolled 20,20 using d20+14,d8+14.  attack orc.

Not sure how the battlefield looks so just using imagination on placement.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin not being attacked takes the moment to charge the orc that Vogh had attacked.  His music staying strong to inhibit the orcs ability to strike out effectively.

Talin looks for the right spot to deliver a stunning blow.  DC 17 Reflex save or be stunned for 5 rounds.

18:37, Today: Talin rolled 29,15 using d20+14,d8+11.  attack same orc as Vogh
18:40, Today: Talin rolled 5 using 1d4+1.  sudden stunning.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The bard duo moved and fought together masterfully. Despite Vogh’s injuries, she still brought the pain. She dodged away from her two attackers to finish off Talin’s one and make it closer to a fair fight. Stepping away from the two orcs she moves under Talin’s block of the large axe and stabs into the human-looking orc’s gut. It stopped in mid-swing from the pain, breath blasted from it’s lungs. Talin’s matching jagged purple crystal sword opened the beast up from shoulder to hip, spilling entrails onto the floor.

DC 15 Balance check to retreat that way past the entrails/body or a DC 10 running jump check to clear them

Neither knew where the caster was, likely hidden farther down the corridor, out of their sight.

Two remaining orcs charged forward as the bards finished their companion then pivoted ready for the attack. Talin angled forward faster than Vogh and both orcs brought their swords to bear against him. He blocked one of the blades with his shield, but the other sword made it past his blade’s block and connected squarely with his chest. 17 damage

Talin lost his breath for a moment, then gasped as he stepped back a half-step to collect himself and bring his shield in front of him to stop a second chop.

Then it was Vogh’s turn to feel the magical stings stab into her. 9 damage

Your turns!

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Dot Map

e = entrails
t = trap
O = orcs
v & t = obvious

<— Exit        Deeper –>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
E  t  V  O
E     T  O
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh felt the tiny stings of the magical missiles that poked her skin standing the hair on end.  She didn’t know where the wizard was but knew they were running out of time.

Vogh decided to strike again at another orc hoping to bring it pain before she went down.

20:37, Today: Vogh rolled 19,19 using d20+14,d8+14.  attack orc .

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin struck out at another orc, this time one that Vogh didn’t hit hoping to drop it before it could cause him more pain.


Reflex save DC17 or be stunned for 20:39, Today: Talin rolled 4 using 1d4+1.  sudden stunning.
20:38, Today: Talin rolled 19,14 using d20+14,d8+11.  attack other orc.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin’s orc didn’t have a chance to be stunned as his crystal sword opened it from balls to belly with his vicious chop. Seeing Vogh so injured greatly bothered him and he lashed out with all his strength.

Vogh didn’t have as much power behind her swing due to her injuries, but she still opened a nasty gash on the orc’s chest.

The beast staggered back a step after seeing its companion cut down in a single blow, then having it’s own skin opened by the nasty purple sword. He half-heartedly swung his sword which Vogh easily blocked with her buckler.

Holy crap!
15:08, Today: DM, on behalf of Vogh, rolled 33,14,34,19 using 1d20+14,d8+11,1d20+14,d8+11.

Talin and Vogh both lunged at the dying orc. Twin jewel swords entered its body from opposite directions, puncturing both lungs. The orc died with a slight wheeze then the thump of hitting the floor.

Both bards tensed for the coming magical assault, but after several tense moments they relaxed, realizing the invisible magic user must have fled.

Dang! You got very lucky! 😀 I freaking love The Heart of the Dice!

I rolled to see if the orcs would flee, then his attack totally biffed it! Then you guys rock 30’s in your attack!!!

It seemed they were alone with four dead bodies in the cavern. The artificial flickering of the always burning, magical torches made their shadows dance on the rough-cut walls.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh lashed out with her blade as the orc fleed and as Talin did likewise the last of the orcs fell.  She looked about for the wizard that had been casting at them, but he was nowhere to be found.  Vogh didn’t have the heart to chase either and ignoring her wounds, she bent down to the little creature they had first freed.  She checked to see if it was still alive by chance.

If it was she cast a healing spell on its body.  If not then she would look to Talin and ensure the both were healed of most of their wounds.

20:39, Today: Talin rolled 17 using 2d8+10.  Cast cure light wounds twice.
20:38, Today: Vogh rolled 17 using 2d8+10.  Cast cure light wounds twice.

Thank you Talin, I almost joined these beasts on the ground.  I feel much better, though I could certainly use more healing and you look the same.  We have 2 potions we should drink.  She called the potions from her pack and handed Talin one and opened the topper of the other and drank it down.

20:42, Today: Vogh rolled 6 using 1d8+5.  potion.
20:42, Today: Talin rolled 9 using 1d8+5.  potion.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh could tell from the gnome’s extensive burns, lack of movement or heartbeat, that he was indeed dead.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Poor little gnome, I wonder where he escaped from?  Do you think that our dwarf friend could have been captured by these orc looking creatures as well and is being held?  Vogh asked Talin to see what he thought.

I can’t track anything at all, can you?  Vogh asked Talin.  When he said he couldn’t either then Vogh said, shall we see where this magic using enemy went off too?

Talin wasn’t sure about it but then decided it wasn’t a terrible idea and they could continue with the mapping of the map so they could find their way back if needed.

So the two gathered their stuff again and began heading in the direction they thought the wizard went.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
After they healed themselves and collected their torches, the bard duo continued down the unmapped corridor. The passage was not straight, just like most of the other tunnels they had been traversing. Nor was it perfectly carved, like the others. They had to watch their footing as they walked to avoid tripping on a small outcrop formed by the poor carving.

Not a long distance from where they left the gnome, the tunnel split in two…

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the tunnel split, Vogh looked to Talin then looked to the floor to see if there were any tracks at all that would give her a clue to where the enemy went.

21:36, Today: Vogh rolled 22 using 1d20+7.  search

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Narrator
———————————————————–
While definitive tracks were not obvious, the dust was disturbed far more on the left tunnel.

Are you moving silently? Checking for traps? Anything?

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh saw the slightest hint of disturbance on the cave floor that something had passed down the one corridor and so they began to head that way.  She tried to remain as quiet as possible, but she wasn’t one of those real sneaky people so her footfalls were a bit heavy compared to Talins.  As they moved, she looked for traps, not wanting to be surprised again.

If you want to roll secret for traps she will look every 10 ft or so.

07:37, Today: Talin rolled 19 using 1d20+3.  move silently.
07:36, Today: Vogh rolled 9 using 1d20+6.  move silently.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin moved much more cautiously as they turned down the corridor. Both of their eyes were darting all over the place, searching for any traps or tricks the weird, black orcs might have left for them.

11:02, Today: DM rolled 23,17 using 1d20+7,1d20+4.  Search for Traps Vogh/Talin.

They moved what felt like at least a hundred feet and had not found anything of interest. Both stopped and strained their ears but heard nothing…

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh didn’t know if they should continue any further.  The further they went this way the farther from the goal they moved.  In a hushed voice, she whispered to Talin, I think we should head back to our original route.  We aren’t finding anything here.

With that, the both of them moved back to where they killed the other orcs.  Having forgotten to check them she quickly went about looking at their bodies.

Once picked clean, the two moved the direction they originally followed.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to DM (msg # 270):

The three ebony orc corpses had a combined total of 11 gold pieces which were stamped with skulls and looked like they hadn’t been in circulation, or use, for decades…

Other than that, the rough hide armor was all but destroyed through the Bards’ battle prowess but the two large swords and long handled battle axe were all in fine shape.

They travelled on for several hours with no excitement. Neither had any method to track the time but they were tiring.

You don’t have a way to track time, right? You can do a knowledge check probably as they would be more adept at telling time without clocks like modern people. Also, did you get any note as to where the Delvers Guild rooms are?

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Not sure what you mean about the delvers rooms?  But, if they are waypoints then Vogh would have gotten a map.

After traveling some time and not having any further problems, Vogh looked over to Talin.  I think we should try and find a place to rest for the night.  With that, she pulled out the map with the waypoints and tried to see where they just might be in accordance with each map.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh signed in frustration when she realized they had passed the nearest waypoint some time ago. It was hard to tell distances from the small map, which didn’t even contain every tunnel, but at least there was a waystation on this main passage.

The duo turned back and trekked for at least an hour until they found the very subtle waystation door. The steel door had been painted a dull gray to match the surrounding rock, which had let Vogh and Talin walk right past it.

As they looked closer, it was clear some of the paint had chipped off and blue steel was beneath. The door had no handle as it was opened by command word provided by the guild. This changed regularly they had been told, and they had the current word.

The waystations are supposed to be stocked with all manner of supplies, but unfortunately when the bards opened this one they found it completely empty. I rolled 3% 😀 and 10% of the time they are empty. Ha. Bad luck! But at least they would be secure to rest in here. Both remembered the guild paid people to restock waystations, maybe next time they could make some coin taking advantage of that.

No cots or sleeping options were available other than the floor.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When the two found the door and spoke the words to enter, Vogh made sure they weren’t watched before going in and closing the door behind.  With the light now completely contained within the chamber, Vogh looked around to find that nothing was replenished.  She pulled out a quill and ink and made a note that the place needed to be stocked.

Still thinking she needed to keep quiet, Vogh whispered to Talin.  Well, at least it is out of the way and we can rest without worry.  I am need of a good rest too, those orcs and that pesky wizard still have my body sore.  She pulled out some of her rations and offered some to Talin who smiled and began to eat as well.

It wasn’t long before both were dead asleep cuddled up with one another for warmth and comfort.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 299):

might want to use a different adjective than dead 😉 haha

The two slept comfortably through what they thought was the night. Both awoke near the same time, but without any sight of the sun it was impossible to know the time below the Earth.

Regardless, they couldn’t stay here and they had a task to accomplish. The door opened easily outward then shut just as silently as if there were no hinges or they were perfectly oiled.

They stood alone once more in the caverns, magical torchlight illuminating out before and behind. Since these sections were known to them the bards proceeded with less caution. Once they reached the spot they turned back the previous night, they began moving slower and being more careful.

… More coming …

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Tandem minstrels moved their way down corridor after tunnel. Movement was slower than before after their painful lesson with the black orcs, but they stayed safe and encountered no further issues through hours of walking, turning and watching.

Finally, the duet reached the final point on the map. The long tunnel they had been traversing continued on ahead, but they had no further reference on the dwarf’s crude cartograph. Worse, Vogh and Talin continued walking and faced three choices at a fork.

The dust on the ground was relatively undisturbed around all three tunnels. Around the four tunnels, the room was wider and almost a circle. One corridor led into where they stood, and three exited. The dwarf’s notes gave them no hint as to which direction they should go…

[Private to GM: Perhaps the PC’s coule meet Triss?

Module Test of the Demonweb: file:///E:/documents/D&D/books/Adventures/Level%2006-10/Test%20Of%20The%20Demonweb.pdf]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Each studied 2 extra cure light wounds and got rid of both the other 1st level spells.

As they got close to the circular chamber with the three exits, Vogh looked down at the map.  It was the end of the line and nothing left to sort out.  It would be up to here to map out the rest, so they can get out safely.

Not knowing which way that the dwarf went but knowing the normal rule of adventuring in tunnels, Vogh pointed to the left tunnel.  I say we follow tradition and head to the left.

Talin nodded and as he had been doing, took a two pace lead.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Both bards felt their stomachs growling just as their heard a scraping ahead of them.

Talin, in front, was the first to react as he saw the human skeletons step into his light. One, then two, and scraping of bone feat on the stone suggested more, moved toward them.


1. Talin
2. Skeletons
3. Vogh

10:04, Today: DM rolled 13,22,18 using 1d20+3,1d20+7,1d20+5.  Init: Talin, Vogh, BG.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin is quick to react and as he identifies what is headed his way he takes a split second to tell Vogh, Skeletons up ahead.  Either we run or we fight but I can hear more coming.

Vogh looks at him and says, let us run!  She turns and begins heading the direction they came.

Talin begins running away back the way they came.  Trying to remember any defensible positions.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 304):

The carved tunnels leave no position better than the last. The skeletons approaching are left behind as the humans rapidly retreat.

Both bards reach the tunnel entrance again and are down to 3 options

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Back in the open chamber once more, Vogh caught her breath and then made a mark on the outer left of the tunnel they just returned from.  SK was all she wrote.

Well, that didn’t work out as planned.  We will still need to go back that way to map things out though.  But, first, let us try the right passage.  Talin agreed and took the lead much as before.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Both moved quickly down the right corridor to separate themselves from the skeletons. Ahead a marble door, easily a food thick, stood partially open. Beyond the door their magical torches illuminated a staircase carved into the stone.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Thought we were running from skeletons??? hehehe  Does the staircase go up or down or both?

Talin pulled close to the marble door and peered through it to see what was in the next area more clearly.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
HA! Dang typo! 😀

Beyond the nearly foot thick marble door the stairs descended into darkness. The stale air feels thicker and more humid than the previous tunnels. Etched into the walls are ancient designs muted by time. A coat of heavy dust covered the floor.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin said to Vogh in a hushed voice as he came back, looks like a room that has a staircase heading down.  It is quite a bit more humid in there than out here too.  Want to give it a try?  Or check out what the middle way has in store for us?

Vogh thought about it for a bit and decided to look at the ground more carefully.  She was trying to see if the door looks like it has been opened recently or if the dust is not disturbed.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The dust has not likely been disturbed in their lifetime, the door seemingly left at this angle for a long time. The stairs look completely ordinary, if much better carved than the rest of the tunnels they have been moving through. The door, the stairs and the artwork on the wall would not likely have been the work of evil armies moving through but by hands that cared for their work.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
After seeing that the ground lay undisturbed, Vogh said.  Let’s check the middle way and see where it goes.  We can always come back this way if we need too.

With that Talin led them back to the middle tunnel and down that one.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
By the time the bards made it back to the room with four tunnels the skeletons were entering the cavern area. They needed to act fast or the skeletons would be able to attack.

They could run down the central tunnel and face the unknown. They could leave through the tunnel they came from, toward the surface. Or the marble door tunnel they just stepped out of.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
I began a post last night, but the wife had other plans for me…

Talin came into view of the skeletons as they entered the chamber, thinking quickly on his feet he cast a simple spell hoping to trick the skeletons.  He put out his torch as did Vogh.

Cast http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/ghostSound.htm
Think I will be in the habit to attach links to spells from now on.

Talin made it sound like there were 20 human beings talking and making their way down the tunnel that the skeletons had come down (moving away from the skeletons starting 20 ft away from them down the tunnel).  If you don’t think it is possible then have them go down the tunnel we first came into the chamber.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The skeletons seemed unfazed by the spell sound conjured and continued on toward the living and breathing humans.

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Talin
———————————————————–
As the skeletons came on Talin cursed to himself and pushed Vogh towards the marble door.  The both of them picked up the pace and got to the door.  No use closing the door, but it would make for a clogging of their foes to fight.  Once inside Vogh started to sing and then let her sword take up the tune, then the tune changed and became more feral and with draconic wording.  This boldened the two with the force of a dragon.

Ready to attack once a skeleton pops its head through the doorway.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
As the duo moved through the door and started to sing annoying bugs started moving around them. In just a few seconds they were being buzzed around, and they were starting to bite!

The marble door swung shut in front of them, protecting them from the skeletons, but the locust swarm was increasing and they could not tell from where.

Each of them felt the press of the bugs, crawling on them, biting and attacking in their swarm. Their swords were useless against the hundreds of insects flying around them.

09:58, Today: DM, for the NPC Locust 2, rolled 3 using 2d6.  Vogh.
09:58, Today: DM, for the NPC Locust 1, rolled 4 using 2d6.  Talin.

Both bards turned and moved down the narrow staircase and emerged into a room larger than twenty feet square. Some footprints, smaller than human show in the heavy dust and head forward into the underground area. They can see the tunnel, well carved and formed, extends forward, but also has an immediate right turn available.

The soft sound of chuckling comes from in front of them, then a loud hissing. It’s obviously coming from the side passage. As it’s impossible for them to move forward without passing the side tunnel they move forward.

After a short jaunt down a side passage, they could see into a room filled with dust and cobwebs. An elf child sat in the center of the room laughing, seemingly unperturbed as three enormous spiders wrapped it in silk…

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Vogh
———————————————————–
With her blade still keeping up the song, She turns to Talin, we need to help the youth.

She sprang forth with her blade to attack the spiders.

22:13, Today: Vogh rolled 22,24 using 1d20+3,1d20+7.  Vogh, Talin initiatives.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 318):

Go ahead and roll your attacks and damage too

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh slashes her weapon at one of the spiders on the right side.  Hoping that it will leave the boy alone.

22:38, Today: Vogh rolled 23,19,13 using d20+15,d8+14,5d6.  slash her blade.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin moved forward with caution and slashed meekly at the spider.  He didn’t have a straight out phobia of the things, but he had a strong dislike for the eight-legged beasts.

22:40, Today: Talin rolled 14,22,20 using d20+13,d8+14,5d6.  slashes at spider.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Talin (msg # 321):

Each of the bards eviscerated the spider they attacked. The third screeched and rushed Talin. The quick footed man side stepped the charge. As the beast rushed past him, his sword opened its side which caused the thing to collapse in death throes.

With the threats neutralized they moved to help the elven child only to realize it was merely an illusion cast on a simple wooden replica of a child…

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Lifting up the wooden body of the child, Vogh sighs a sigh of relief.  Well, I am glad that the thing wasn’t a real child as she tossed the wood body down.  Do you think the spiders were able to cast that illusion?  Or is something else afoot here?

Vogh says a few arcane words and begins to look around the room they are in.

Cast http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectMagic.htm

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin shook his head then Vogh remembered a spider able to use some spells, as well as change its form at will. But these were not Aranea spiders. Nothing glowed with magic at the casting of her spell. Someone had cast that illusion, but they weren’t sure who, or how long it had been like that.

Moving out of the room they could see back toward the stairwell they descended then they could go to the right and there were two more tunnels as options.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
What else is in the room?  Any belongings from others the spiders may have caught?

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Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 325):

Nothing but carcases and spider webs.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
With her spell still in effect, Vogh along with Talin moved out of the room and began to move to the right.  They both moved up to the next intersection and Vogh peeked around the corner.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As the two bards move forward another they notice a tunnel off to their left which seems to fork left and right. They pass this area for now to reach a short tunnel leading to another room similar to the one they just left.

Strange sounds emanates from this room, as though a door is blowing open and slamming shut in a strong wind.

A large chest sits in the middle of this 25-foot-square room. Every so often the chest pops open, then quickly slams shut. Vogh and Talin can glimpse the the contents in their torch light between the cycles: a shining helm and several fragile-looking glass vials.

The chest appears to have no locking mechanism, and if any attempt is made to move it the wooden box seems stuck in place. Attempting to break the lid or chest would certainly shatter the delicate vials.

If one was so inclined, it might be possible to snatch a vial between openings and closings (Reflex Save DC 25), but the helm is too large to be removed in this way.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As both bards move about the space they brush over the end of the wall and notice a fresco carved into the stone. There is a caption written in a strange script. The fresco depicts a multitude of small spiders with elven faces in a large web, beneath another, larger spider with a female face and a malevolent grin.

12:35, Today: Secret Roll: DM rolled 15,21 using 1d20+7,1d20+4. Search: Vogh / Talin.

Talin rubbed the dust away from the script and studied it carefully then spoke out, “We are all Lolth’s food.”

12:37, Today: Secret Roll: DM rolled 15,24 using 1d20+8,1d20+4.  Decipher Script: Vogh / Talin.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh looked at the chest trying to see if she could find any magical traps with her detect magic and for any mechanical trap, she checked the chest thoroughly.  Talin stay back in case there is an issue.  Vogh said as she moved forward to inspect the chest.

19:38, Today: Vogh rolled 19 using 1d20+7.  search for traps .

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
There appear to be no traps, other than the possibility of catching one’s arm in a slamming chest if trying to retrieve an item.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh watched a few times at how hard the chest closed on itself.  She took her grappling hook with her rope attached, and while it was open she set the grappling hook and pulled to keep the chest open.  Talin grab the items if you can.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 332):

The chest didn’t slow, and bent Vogh’s hook as it slammed on it a couple times..

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh didn’t know what to make of the chest.  It was a curious thing indeed.  Vogh was a loss for words.  Any suggestions Talin?

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
“We could just try snatching one out… Might hurt if we’re not fast enough.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
It could chop our hand or arm off as well.  I am not willing to chance that honestly.  There is one more thing I would like to try.  Vogh pulls out her pitons and when the chest opens again she puts two pitons, that were in each hand, on the edge of the chest so that when it closes it may hold it open.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Unfortunately the pitons are merely driven into the wood, like nails.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Disappointed that her last thing didn’t work and the current loss of the pitons, had Vogh pouting.  Well, I currently can’t think of anything else to do.  I just can’t believe this chest is real.  It is not magical and so how could it be doing this?  Is there a lever or something around that is causing it to do this?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 338):

Who says it’s not magical?

Talin looked up at the fresco again then asked, “A lever, a hidden button or perhaps a command word…?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
ooc: I still had my detect magic going.  What is magical?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 340):

The chest is obviously magical and the fresco on the wall seems to be as well

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Well, Talin, you are might be on to something.  The fresco might be hiding something from us.  Vogh moved over to the fresco and gave it a scrutinizing eye.

rolled a 13 on search.

Not finding anything she said the word ‘Drow’ to see if it would have an effect.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Nothing happens but the words are clearly the focus of the magic

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh gets a thought.  Talin, maybe we can offer the chest something and it will stop opening and closing?  She pulls out a coin and tosses it in while the mouth is open.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 344):

The clever Bard landed the coin inside the chest, clattering against the wood but the sound of the lid slamming shut once more punctuated the declaration of a failed idea.

😉 Wink. Ha.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh only shrugged her shoulders at the failure.  Well, I say we just move along Talin.  Clearly, neither of us know how to stop the magic and can’t dispel it, so we should investigate further on.

With that the two moved back to the tunnel that opened now to their right.  She waved Talin to once again take the lead.  She followed 2 feet back.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin moved stealthily through the dust covered corridors. The floors aided their movement with their expertly carved and smooth surface, a vast difference from the caverns they had traversed before being trapped on this side of the marble door.

Another corridor opened into what seemed an empty room off to their right, and they had a room off to their left.

The room seemed clean, except for a pile of bleached bones in the far corner. Frescoes depicting the bloody and gruesome worship of Lolth the Spider Goddess cover the walls. A table or altar of some kind stood against the far wall.

Before the duo entered the room (to the left) their keene and searching eyes spotted a nearly invisible webbing that covered the entire entrance to the room. Then both nodded to each other that they also spotted the very well hidden spider creature, an Ettercap, in the room waiting to ambush.

10:55, Today: Secret Roll: DM rolled 21,20 using 1d20+5,1d20+1.  Spot: Vogh / Talin.

Ettercap:

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Just before walking into the webbing, Vogh saw the form of the creature she understood to be an ettercap.  She hadn’t necessarily ever met one but had done plenty of research on them.  They were generally evil creatures so Vogh began to softly sing her song to bolden her and Talin.  While doing this she backed up to a spot that would allow Talin to move down the corridor they just came from and Vogh to be in the one heading in the opposite direction of the room the ettercap is in.

Talin get ready in case it comes out.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Sorry, to clarify, you’re going to skip this room for now and head into the other room? If so, that’s what I’ve written below, but if that’s wrong I can change

The walls of the empty room were spattered with a dry, rustlike substance. A partially intact mosaic that seemed to depict a large black widow spider devouring an elf male decorated the pockmarked and uneven floor of this room.

Vogh and Talin can easily tell the rustlike substance is old, dried blood…

Nothing else is present in this room, but there is another hallway opposite the one they entered, the one which lead back to the ettercap still behind its web.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
That is correct!!

The scene of the next room really has Vogh on her toes.  If they were in a den of the drow, they surely were not going to last long.  Vogh kept up her low singing that was barely loud enough for Talin to hear as he paced slightly ahead of her.

Talin will move towards the next opening opposite the one they entered as he looked over the mural.  He hoped it wasn’t real, for the torture the male had probably gone through was unbearable.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–

After moving through the bloody room both bards’ eyes lit up as all across the floor, dozens of sparkling gems lay scattered in this next room.

Off to their right the room opened into a huge circular chamber, and two moor openings led into more rooms, but it was hard to ignore the sparkling wealth simply lying on the floor.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
As Talin approached the room and saw the gems on the ground his eyes indeed lit up with excitement.  Could they have just found a treasure trove?  It couldn’t be that easy though.  There had to be something down here guarding it all.  Were they even real?  He stopped Vogh before they entered the room not wanting her to be in danger if there was a trap.

First, disbelieve the gems are even there.  Then check for traps.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh’s sharp eyes looked at the gems, trying to bore through any illusory magic which might be tricking her as the wooden, elf child had previously. No such deception revealed itself to her eyes, nor Talin’s. These might be the genuine article.

She searched the opening into the large room and found nothing to be concerned with before entering. There were dozens of the gems simply lying haphazardly on the floor.

As both bards enter the room they could see a huge statue of a giant spider with a woman’s face dominated the circular area to their right.

The rooms in front of them also lacked doors and the magical light of their torches slightly illuminated irregular walls and what looked like small benches.

Only a couple steps into the gem room they had several options.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Not wanting to disturb the gems at all Vogh and Talin picked a path that would take them to where they could see what was in the room on the far left.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The duo picked their way through the plethora of sparkly objects. When they reached the middle of the room Vogh was blasted from overhead, covered in a sticky substance that stuck her in place.

Talin was able to turn and look up to see a monstrous spider larger than he and vogh combined descending from the ceiling. It landed on the ground and was ready to attack him.

It’s Talin’s turn, surprise round over.

Escape Artist DC 13 or Strength Break DC 17

Initiative:

Talin 13
Vogh 11
Spider 11

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin thankfully saw out of the corner of his eye the spider, but it was a little too late to warn Vogh.  Talin had rolled out of the way of the web and as he came to his feet he saw the spider descend and that gave Talin a chance to charge the beast and slash his blade at it.

17:41, Today: Talin rolled 21,20 using d20+13,d8+14.  slashes at spider.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Though Vogh was caught unaware as the webbing came down upon her, Vogh was able to roll almost to the end of the webbing.  This afforded her the chance to be able to wiggle her way out of the web before the Spider was on her.

17:45, Today: Vogh rolled 17 using 1d20+6.  escape artist check.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin glides forward, stabbing his sword home while Vogh breaks free of the net. The large spider, grievously wounded from the vicious blow tries to snap back but cannot lurch forward with the tear in its body.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin dodges the feeble lunge of the spider and slashes across the things bulbous abdomen hoping to end its life.

As he lunges forward he stumbles on a few gems making his swing wide of its mark.

16:40, Today: Talin rolled 14,18 using d20+13,d8+14.  kill spider

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Now clear of the webbing, Vogh eyes the spider squaring off with Talin.  She gathers herself and her blade and rushes to Talin’s side and just as he stumbles she slashes her blade across to hit the spider.

16:43, Today: Vogh rolled 19,15 using d20+15,d8+14.  Hit spider.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The spider shutters and its death throes and collapses to the ground causing the tinkle of gems scattering across the floor.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
As the spider falls dead, Vogh looks about the room with a more scrutinizing eye.  She looks at the ceiling and all over the place to make sure they are alone.

Are you okay Talin?  Did it get you?

When he said no, she moved towards the room on the left once more.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 362):

Both rooms look nearly identical. The bench and each turns out to be an altar which also has some dried blood on it and both rooms are covered in carved Fresco’s depicting all manner of worship of the Spider Queen.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh wasn’t sure what to make of it all.  The frescos were scaring her more than a little.  IF half of these images were real then they could possibly be in trouble.

Talin lets check out the rest of the rooms so we know if they are clear or not.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin walk in and inspect each room, then finally enter the largest room which is circular. This room seemed unnaturally cold. A statue of a giant spider with a woman’s face towered in front of you. It was by far the largest room in the complex, and on the far side of the room a large hallway lead to what appeared to be two more rooms.

[Private to GM:
Both had Bestow Curse cast on them: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/bestowCurse.htm

11:52, Today: Secret Roll: DM rolled 3,2 using 1d3,1d3.  Talin / Vogh.
11:51, Today: Secret Roll: DM rolled 9,9 using 1d20+8,1d20+7.  Will Save Talin / Vogh .

Vogh: -4 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.
Talin: Each turn, the target has a 50% chance to act normally; otherwise, it takes no action.]

The northern room also contained a small altar dedicated to Lolth. More frescoes extolling the beauty and cruelty of the Spider Queen decorate the walls like the first two rooms.

Numerous spiderwebs lined the walls of this 15-foot-wide room. A mosaic depicting a large black widow spider devouring an elf male decorated the floor. There seems to be writing near the mosaic, etched into the floor.

12:03, Today: DM rolled 16,30 using 1d20+9,1d20+12.  Know. Local Talin / Vogh.

Vogh noticed the mosaic was a more intact version of the pattern in the area covered in dried blood. It represented the triumph of their Spider Queen over the elven pantheon. The writing on the floor is clearly in the same ancient Drow script seen elsewhere, but the passage of time has rendered it undecipherable.

Through this room another was accessible through a narrow hallway. A desiccated corpse lied facedown near the entrance of this room. It was a dwarf dressed in adventuring gear. From the look of the fallen body, it seems this dwarf was trying to flee the room in a hurry.

[Private to GM: The PCs are likely leery of this chamber, having found
a dead adventurer here. The room is, in fact, trapped.
Anyone walking into the room far enough to reach the
body triggers the trap.

a Fear Trap: CR 5; magic device; proximity trigger
(alarm); spell effect (fear; caster level 15th (sorcerer);
Will DC 16 resists); Search (DC 29); Disable Device
(DC 29).

Creatures affected by the fear trap flee for the duration
of the spell. The fear trap was intended to work in
tandem with a poison dart trap that triggered when a
creature attempted to leave the room at more than a
walking pace. The hapless adventurer lying on the floor
already triggered this trap, however, and Arda’s servants
have not reset it yet.

The corpse is a fallen adventurer who came to a bad
end in Arda’s lab. If the PCs are here searching for the
village’s lost heroes, this is one of them. A Search check
(DC 15) reveals a small dark imbedded in his back.

The corpse carries a nonmagical shortsword and wears
a serviceable suit of chainmail. On its belt is a pouch
containing a set of thieves’ tools and a moonstone
worth 50 gp. The room is otherwise empty.

Should a cleric attempt to speak with dead, the spell
provokes unsettling results: the corpse babbles incoherently
for the duration of the spell, shrieks aloud, and is
then still once more. The adventurer’s last moments of
life were full of such unspeakable terror that the impression
of it has overwhelmed all other knowledge that
might have been imprinted on his body.]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin, I am not liking this.  We haven’t found a way out AND this all looks a bit too ominous for me.  Are you able to cast detect magic?  I would like to see if anything here is magical as well.

After a moment Talin casts his spell and begins to look all around.  The two would go back to the other rooms they were just in as well to see if anything stands out they didn’t see before.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
There is the faint glow of an Abjuration spell in the middle of the room.

There is nothing else in the room, no decorations, no furniture and no designs on the walls. Additionally, you see no blood.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin will continue to look around the room to include the ceilings.

Vogh, the center of the room has abjuration magic, or at least it did as it is quite faint now.  I say we do not go near the statue and we find a way out of here.

With that Talin moves past the statue over towards where the dwarf is and continues around to the next area.  He takes a peek at the dwarf and his gear quickly while his magic sight is active.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Sorry, I don’t think I’ve described this well since I was on my phone.
See the map below. You’re just outside Room 6 where the dead dwarf is.
p.s. You’re looking for an item carried by a dwarf…

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin feels fear start to grip his throat as he nears the dwarf, unnatural, spell-caused fear. He immediately focused his thoughts into a razor edged concentration and fought against the false feelings. The bard knew the effects of the spell passed over him without harm.

He was then able to search the body of the fallen dwarf. Through searching a dart was obvious in the back of the dwarf, which had been poisoned. Thankfully Talin discovered the trap must have been a single shot, mechanical style because he was not summarily shot.

Disturbing the body as little as possible Talin looked all around him and his detect magic sight landed on an object glowing with small power. The rod matched the description their employer had provided. The dwarf wasn’t easily identifiable due to the bloating from the poison and decomposition. His poor body was in a bloated state of decay, stretching his skin taught before he would eventually deflate to be emaciated in death.

The dwarf had beside him a nonmagical shortsword and was wearing a serviceable suit of chainmail. On his belt a pouch contained a set of thieves’ tools and a moonstone gem (50gp).

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
While Talin checked out the body of the dwarf in the room, Vogh stood watch outside the room in the hall (about near the 7).  Talin called out to her when he found the rod.  I found the rod I think.  It matches the description at least.  ,
With that he took the wand and the gem and returned back to Vogh.

Have they checked out all the rooms then? 

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As far as the bards could tell, they had explored every room except the one where the big spider had been laying in wait. There were no other exits obvious to them except the way they had entered.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh asked if there was any exit out of the place and when Talin said ‘no’, Vogh put on a pouty look.  Are we going to have to mess with the statue?  I don’t really want to do that, but perhaps there is an exit there?  Or in the room with the Ettercap.  What do you say we take the thing out first and then check the room and if we find nothing then we return to the statue?

Talin, shrugged his shoulders and said, might as well.  We haven’t found a way out yet.

The two made there way back over to where the ettercap was and before getting close, Vogh brought up her song and then let her sword take over.  She felt the power it gave her and she then began to sing her infernal song of fire.  One that would strengthen their blows with the power of flame.

Talin too could feel the power and he moved forward and touched the flame of the torch touch the spider webbing blocking the way in.

Ready!

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Again Vogh and Talin faced the clean room with a pile of bleached bones in the far corner. More frescoes like the other rooms extolled the awfulness that is the spider goddess. The altar of some kind still stood against the far wall.

As the two peered through the webbing they looked for the same monster, spider-thing they saw before but it was nowhere in sight. They knew of the webbing covering the entire entrance, so they would not become entangled in that, but they would have to deal with it first.

Talin tested a non-magical dagger against the webbing and found it cut away easily. They were able to clear nearly the entire doorway of the nearly invisible trap webbing.

Now what? 😀

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
With Talin leading he tossed his magical torch into the middle of the room to light it up completely.  He looked about from the floor to the wall to the ceiling to find the creature.

If he found it they would charge.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin is first into the room, and immediately upon looking up he sees the beast stuck to the far corner ready to pounce on him. The 12 foot tall ceilings put the beast out of both bards’ sword range.

Initiative:

  • Vogh
  • Talin
  • Ettercap

15:18, Today: DM rolled 18,11 using 1d20+3,1d20+7.  Initiative: Vogh / Talin.
15:19, Today: DM, for the NPC Ettercaps, rolled 6 using 1d20+3.  Initiative.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Each of us is going to delay.  If it comes at them they will swing their blades.  They spread apart to make a harder target for the thing if it is able to spit webbing.

22:36, Today: Talin rolled 17,19,15 using d20+13,d8+14,5d6.  attack Ettercap.

22:35, Today: Vogh rolled 30,17,19 using d20+15,d8+14,5d6.  attack Ettercap.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The ettercap spits its webbing at Talin, who was ready for the attack and easily moved away from the filaments. Then Vogh jumped as she heard something behind her and instinctively rolled as another group of webbing splattered where she previously stood. As she spun she realized there was a second ettercap attached in the opposite corner.

Top of Round 2. Talin’s turn

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Not knowing how often the thing can spit webbing, Talin casts a quick spell and dancing lights appear in front of the things face.

Vogh sees the tactic and she herself casts a spell, but this one was more powerful and would hurt the thing.

Talin cast http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dancingLights.htm

Vogh cast http://therafimrpg.wikidot.com/heartfire
fort save DC16

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
The lights distract the thing for a moment, causing it to drop down from it’s perch to attack Talin directly. Both of its legs hit the ground awkwardly causing it to stumble. The thing still lunged forward but was way off as Talin easily dodged to the side.

Vogh’s spell causes the red fire burst and her ettercap was outlined in flame. It screeched as the fire burned its skin. Likewise this bipedal spider creature dropped to the floor to attack Vogh. She was less fortunate as the enraged and hurt creature came at her in full view and with a vengeance. The bard’s eyes shoot open as she immediately recognizes poison in the beast’s bite (Roll Fort Save DC 15 or immediately take 4 DEX damage).

16:17, Today: DM, for the NPC Ettercap, rolled 13 using 1d20+4.  Fort Save DC 16.
16:18, Today: DM, on behalf of Vogh, rolled 3 damage using 1d4.  Heartfire spell damage.

16:20, Today: DM, for the NPC Ettercaps, rolled 22,5,8,4 using 1d20+5,1d8+2,1d20+5,1d8+2.  Attack/Damage : Vogh/Talin.

Top of Round 3

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh felt the burning poison as it entered her body and immediately she felt the effects take hold of her.  It felt as if she was under a slow spell as her reaction slowed somewhat and she seemed less stable on her feet.  She still had her wits about her though, thankfully, and she willed herself to slash her blade across in front of her to would or at least kill the beast that just bit her.

16:22, Today: Vogh rolled 8 using 1d20+5.  Fort save.

21:08, Today: Vogh rolled 27,18,19 using d20+15,d8+14,5d6.  Slice the spider.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
As the ettercap came down and tried to bite him, Talin once again was able to fend off the attack.  He took his blade and tried to bring it across and through the belly of the beast to spill its guts on the floor.  At this time Talin was unaware that Vogh had been bit as her song echoed through the room.

21:17, Today: Talin rolled 29,17,20 using d20+13,d8+14,5d6.  kill ettercap.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Thankfully for Vogh both her and Talin’s attacks were mortal. The beasts wailed as they clutched their torn abdomens and fell to the floor in a pool of ichor.

She could feel the burn of the poison in her blood and hated the weakening she felt.

With the two spider-things dead the duo could survey the room and noticed the strange piece of furniture, and altar or maybe a desk, contained a drawer.

They also noticed even more wall designs. The wall frescoes showed a drow priestess in a black-widow mask performing a bloody sacrifice. They formed a narrative as the captive, apparently a young drow or elf male, was first chained, then tortured, then hauled before the priestess, who cut his heart out with a ceremonial dagger.

Vogh, while resting, had part of the design catch her eye. Some kind of hidden writing was obscured near the final frame of the fresco narrative.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
As the beast fell, Vogh was thankful, but also let go of her song.  The burning pain of the bite was getting the best of her.  She turned in time to see Talin kill the other beast and as it fell she moved to his side and grabbed his shoulder to turn him to her.  Talin, I’ve been bitten.  She then showed him the wound and the ichor dripping from it.

I have been poisoned.  I am going to need to rest, as she said the last bit she sat down and looked over at the frescos on the wall.  More of this dark elf killing another elf it seemed.  It was gory and Vogh was about to turn her eyes from it when she noticed something off.  Standing once again, slowly, she walked over to the fresco to take a better look.

21:47, Today: Vogh rolled 17 using 1d20+8.  decipher script.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Unfortunately Vogh was unable to figure out the writing. She wasn’t familiar with drow script and this resembled an elven hand, but the characters did not make sense to her.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Talin, I can’t quite understand what is written here.  The language seems very familiar, but I can’t put my thumb on it.  She called over her shoulder to Talin.  As she looked over at him, Talin was going through the drawer to see if there was something there that could help Vogh and the poison.

Can he roll an aid check?  Or will that still not be enough?

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
As Talin inspected the drawer he once again felt the power of a spell wash over him and once more he steeled his mind against the intrusion. He found himself unhindered and unaffected so he continued to inspect the locked drawer.

The bard let his razor focus guide him through the manipulations required to open the lock on this drawer, and even disable the trap while doing so. His eyes lit up when he saw the contents of the drawer.

Inside, Talin discovered four large and beautiful gems (400 gp each) and a single golden necklace (600 gp). Two gems were alexandrite, while the third was a black pearl and the fourth a beautiful aquamarine.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
While disappointed that there wasn’t a vial of antitoxin in the drawer, Talin did scoop up the trinkets inside and put them quickly in his pack before returning to Vogh’s side.  I am sorry dear there wasn’t any antitoxin in the drawer.  We can check out the alter and see if there is something.

With that, he moved over to the altar and checked for traps.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin didn’t discover anything in the room beyond the altar and the pile of bleached bones, clearly plucked clean by the now dead bipedal spiders.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
With nothing found at the altar either, Talin says, I think we need to head to the statue.  Beyond the frescos that we can’t read it is the only thing we haven’t checked out as of yet.

I am curious about the gems in that main room though.  I think we should see if they are real before heading to the statue.

Once to the edge of the room, Vogh bends down and grabs a gem from the floor and looks it over.

Talin will be doubling up on the trap checks…

22:22, Today: Vogh rolled 20 using 1d20+7.  appraise.

===========================================================
Narrator
———————————————————–
They figured out rather quickly almost all of the gems in this room were fake simply by kicking them around and listening to the sound of glass. After just a few minutes they were able to find two very large tiger eye turquoise stones worth about 25gp each.

Talin stowed their find and the two finally turned toward the statue room and stopped dead in their tracks…

Leaning against the statue stood a beautiful drow female.

Standing at over six foot her frame was muscled and lean, little of which showed beneath her imposing drow chain armor. Her hair blazed platinum, braided tight and tucked into her armor, but her eyes glowed a violet red. A single short sword, gleaming with drow magic was sheathed at her hips, while its mate was in her hand tip pointed at the floor. She had a small shield strapped to her arm. It was crafted to resemble a spider. Spider legs sprouted from the shield’s arachnid body and the many faceted eyes gleamed in the torch light. The gems color shifted and changed even while the duo stood there watching her.

She seemed at ease, almost bored, when she spoke in a melodious but cold voice.

“We are all Lolth’s food. Surrender your spirits to the Queen of the Demonwebs, and your lives will be spared until she calls upon you for sacrifice, as she calls upon us all.”

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Vogh
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ooc: Distance to the drow?

Vogh was taken aback by the appearance of the rather confident drow standing near the statue.  She put her hand on Talin, before the drow spoke, to get his attention.  When she spoke the words it reminded her so much of the frescos on the walls.  She no way would allow her to be food for anyone.  Since she still had her blade out which held her song, Vogh cast a spell to aid her and Talon.  She knew this might get the drow into action, but she needed the extra help.

Cast http://dnd.arkalseif.info/spel…ation–45/index.html

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Talin
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Talin began to sing a song of his own.  It was one of horror and power.

Inspire awe- every enemy within 30’ must make a Will Save equal to the bard’s Perform check. DC 27

10:04, Today: Talin rolled 27 using 1d20+13.  sing.

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Narrator
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Both bards saw a shiver run down the black skinned elf’s body at Talin’s song, and noticed her eyes narrow at Vogh’s casting. She raised her sword and adjusted here stance to a far more aggressive posture, then spoke.

“Humans… musician…” she spoke both words with derision and malice,
“You may still leave here alive if you pledge yourself to Lloth. The mistress of this gauntlet merely wished to observe your kind in combat. You need not die here…”

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Talin
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Not wanting to let this drow get too much time to prepare, Talin charges forward and slashes at her with his blade.

23:31, Today: Talin rolled 33,16 using d20+15,d8+15.  crit check.

23:30, Today: Talin rolled 34,22 using d20+15,d8+15.  charge drow.

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Vogh
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Vogh begins her song of fire once more and moves towards her target.

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Narrator
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Immediately the world went dark as an impenetrable globe of darkness appeared between Talin and the drow. He felt a tiny sting in his abdomen (Fortitude Save DC 13 or fall asleep). It was barely a pain (1 point) but he felt the burn of a poison seeping into his body. Worse, when he reached where the drow should be, his blade found only empty air.

20:07, Today: Secret Roll: DM, for the NPC Drow, rolled 23 using 1d20+11.

Then her voice came from another direction, but neither could see. “Rivvils. I said, there is no need to die here… perhaps we could help one another… There are many eyes of the Spider Goddess. Even walls can have eyes, dalharen.”

Knowledge DC 15 to know what rivvil/dalharen mean.

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Vogh
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Vogh saw the darkness appear between her and the drow and then heard the drow speak from another location.  She listened to the words a first unfamiliar to her to understand what they might mean.

10:19, Today: Vogh rolled 29 using 1d20+12.  knowledge check.

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Talin
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When there was light, suddenly there wasn’t but that didn’t deter Talin as he came forward and sliced through nothing.  His strike was true, but the target wasn’t there.  He pulled the thing from his stomach and tossed it aside.  Nothing but a little sting is all as he once more shrugged off the magic that tried to grip him.

10:18, Today: Talin rolled 29 using 1d20+13.  don’t fall asleep.

After the drow spoke, Talin responded, how could we help you? He said through clenched teeth.

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Drow
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“These walls have eyes, but lack ears. I remain here, slaying visitor after visitor, as they all prove inadequate.” The voice continued to move and bounce around in the cavern.

“I want to leave… The door will not open for me…”

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Talin
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Trying to track the woman was not easy as she bounced all over the chamber.  He knew what the answer was to his question before the drow spoke it, but he wanted to make sure.  Now that he knew, Talin wondered how it could be accomplished.

How will you get the information?  What kind of information do you seek?  Talin asked.

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Narrator
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“My mistress wishes to better understand the surface dweller’s fighting abilities. But I grow tired of this repetition and lack of challenge.”

At this time, the drow steps out from behind the large statue, close to the entrance tunnel which leads back to the stairs, on the opposite side of her globe of darkness. She has her shield in front of her and her sword to the side at the ready, but she does not advance, nor look likely to do so.

“I know we are far from the deep underdark, not even far from the surface, but I do not know what is above us. Further, I don’t care. I simply want to leave this place.”

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Vogh
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VOgh speaks up then, Why are you bound to this place?  What keeps you here?  If you could go somewhere where would it be?

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Narrator
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“The exit will not open for me. It will for you. I wish to leave. Where I go and what I do is my business. But you will leave with your lives…”

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Narrator
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 398):

rivvil means human and dalharen means children, in drow

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about it for a moment.  She wanted to leave of course and with Talin.  The drow seemed like she probably could take them out so letting her go would allow them to leave as well.

We agree to the terms.  Vogh looked to Talin whom didn’t seem pleased.

With that Vogh and Talin led the way to the stairs and the way out.

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Narrator
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The drow stowed her shield behind her, it appeared there was some kind of harness which connected her shield to her back and allowed it to drop to her arm. She kept her sword out and in front of her but made no threat to close the distance between them.

When the humans reached the heavy stone door, immediately insects swarmed them again. The stings and bites were quickly left behind as the duo shoved the door. Once again they were in the caverns they left behind.

The drow rolled through the swarm and came to her feet.

“This is where we part.” She said simply.

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Vogh
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Vogh watched as the drow left them.  She was in no mood to follow or get any other information.  It was time to get above ground and finish the quest they took to retrieve the item.

As they left to return Vogh kept a keen eye to her surroundings.

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Narrator
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The duo found the return trip to the surface uneventful. They were able to retrace their steps easily due to Vogh’s map work.

Seeing the reflective glass let them know they were once again at the mirror maze.

Working together the bards navigated their way back through the reflective walls and into the undercity market. Judging by the lack of sunlight coming down the stairs it was night in the world above.

Thankfully the Minstrel, and their room, was not far as they were exhausted. Vogh’s weakness slowed her and she needed to rest.

The Minstrel was not crowded that night, and they were able to make it to their room, and bed, quickly and easily.

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Vogh
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Vogh was exhausted when they finally made it back their room.  She didn’t even undress, she just flopped on the bed and fell asleep.

Talin knew she was still feeling bad and just watched her as she slept.  Before long it was morning and without waking her, Talin grabbed breakfast and returned to the room.  Vogh was still asleep and thus he just let her sleep.

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Narrator
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Vogh woke feeling better, but still not fully restored. She would need more rest, or magical intervention.

Their mission had been a success. The magical item was recovered, and they discovered the fate of the poor dwarf. They had only to return the item to the strange drow and collect their reward.

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