The Challenge of Fort Lancing

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Log Info

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=    The Players    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Fidget             2'11"    29 Lb      Goblin            Female    
    A purple goblin in a layered, mismatched set of fancy clothes in myriad    
Miril              7'7"     410 Lb     Giantborn         Female    
    Solid-built giantborn; soil-toned skin, glacier hair.                      
Schara             5'7"     120 Lb     Unknown           Unknown   
    A Tall figure of burnished metal with a fur lined cloak.                   
Simony             3'5"     34 Lb      Goblin            Female    
    Albino Goblin in copper robes edged in blue trim.                          
Tlanexhuani        7'3"     316 Lb     Sith-Makar        Male      
    Azure sith-makar with bronze armor and hammer.                             
Warrick            5'10"    165 Lb     Human             Male      
    A middle aged Eldanar with a big crossbow and armor.      
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=  As the GM  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Telamon            5'6"     140 Lb     Half-Elf          Male      
    A platinum-blond half-sil man with dancing dark eyes   

Adventurers' Guild, midmorning

The signup for this job was a bit vague -- a request from the Alexandros government to investigate a disturbance in an army holding? Well, sometimes things are kept that way because the principals involved don't want to publicize it.

In a secure room of the Adventurer's Guild, you are met by a member of the Alexandros military, Lord Captain Levine. Once everyone is inside, he gets down to business.

"Fort Lancing is not exactly what you'd expect. It's more of a research bastion, for developing new techniques and tools, artifice, magic, or mundane, against the foes of Alexandros." Levine scratches his short beard. "Obviously, we don't talk about it much, especially with tensions heating up fast between Alexandros and Charn, or the continued threat from the lycanthropes."

"But six days ago, we received a garbled magical sending from the fort. All we could make out was 'send help'. We sent a detachment -- and haven't heard from them since. So we fear something has happened." He rests his fists on the table. "You're probably wondering 'why us?'. The fact is that you're not as well known as more powerful and famed adventurers. We want to keep this quiet. This isn't a suicide mission, though. If it looks serious, get back as fast as you can -- we'll consider our options."

Miril, who is a particularly big giantborn who absolutely does not have the habit of a lot of tall people to try to look smaller than she actually is, came pretty close to bashing her head a couple times on the way down. Fortunately, she never quite did.

"I can imagine you don't want to advertise!" Miril rolls her neck, working out a kink in it. "All right, that seems to make sense," she allows, after a moment's thought. "I'd rather not die for it, ha ha! But it makes sense to get some people out there to take a look. I'll go, for certain."

A moment's pause, then: "Uh, what have they been working on lately? In case it exploded and killed everybody or made poison gas or something."

Warrick, for one, is in his blackened scale armor with a large crossbow on his back. He's familiar with the Lord Captain, at least in passing. With his helmet under his shoulder, his brows furrow at the reasoning, and the report.

"So, let me get this straight, Lord Captain," the once-guard shifts on his feet. "You wish to send a group in that- mind you- are not nearly as experienced as the city's detachment. And the detachment hasn't even sent back as much as a runner."

He runs a hand down his face, glancing to the giantborn and her reasonings. "... that too. With all due respect, the playbooks here aren't prognosing this well."

The city and lands here seem to have many enemies lately. The elder bluescale's tail sways slowly as he listens to the Lord Captain. He isn't familiar with the city's warriors, to say the least, but yet...

Before he opens his maw for questions, others have already asked some very good ones. "Ssa, other warriors not return now we go?" He thinks a moment. "This one want help..." He then looks to the others. "Go as hunters, not warriors? Step quiet? Watch, listen?"

Fidget had mostly been interest in this job because someone had said something about werewolves, and that sounded fun, and she'd tuned the rest of it out. She had been working on making something really cool at the time, or there had been a squirrel.

But at this talk of research, artifice and magic makes her ears visibly perk up, with a twitch. "Yeah, what cool things were they making? You gotta spill!" the goblin asks, excitedly, though her reasons for asking were obviously not the same as the others.

Schara was waiting awkwardly off to one side of the room, checking over their equipment for another time. Finally they look up, and the artificer nods once. "Forts aren't usually used for research purposes, they're supposed to be more for military security, if I understand them correctly. Perhaps calling it a fort is meant to throw people off if they do not want the purpose being known?" They muse aloud. "Six days is a lot of time since hearing about a threat however, things could be worse there now than before, especially if it is a fortified building."

"Well, they're right, too. What were they doing that might have caused problems? Do you think it was an issue from people attacking it based on recent reports, or did something go wrong inside it?"

Simony had entered the Guild with some trepidation, looking about the place somewhat nervously. When they are escorted into the secure room, the albino GOblin offers a bow. She finds a spot to settle, where she pulls out a small notebook and pencil. Immediately the pencil begins to wiggle back and forth as she begins to sketch parts of the room, interesting pieces of the ceiling and windows, as well, a few notes on those assembled or whom show up shortly thereafter.

Her head cants sideways as the good Captain begins explaining the situation. "I am not familiar with the military's unit strengths and designations. Are you willing to inform us as to how many people are in a detachment, and approximately how many were at the base?"

Simony snorts and lets out a sigh. She nods at Warrick. "Warrick is definitely on the right track. You're going to have to give us more information if you want this to be a successful venture. Too many unknowns here. And frankly... it'd work better if you ... as a Khazad friend would say... stop blowing smoke up our asses."

"I mean, sending scouts is a good idea," Miril says, defensively, to Warrick. "Even if they're not the most experienced at fighting. Plus, it would work out pretty well if we DID manage to find something out! But we do need to know more first, before we go. Or I go, if you won't."

She does not, at least, interrupt Lord-Captain Levine besides that.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss the specific research being done at Fort Lancing. However, I was able to see the last reports and they involved certain applications of divination and abjuration magic. How this factors in, I'm not sure. The workforce was pretty diversified -- humans, sil, khazadi, war golems, gnomes -- a lot of viewpoints being brought to bear on ideas."

The lord captain exhales, giving Warrick a bit of a stink-eye. "This isn't an assault, Warrick. As your makari friend notes, this is a task for hunters, not a siege. If we bring in someone well known, I guarantee something will slip." He sighs. "Also, I've made quiet inquiries, and a number of the more powerful adventurers are readying for a strike against the werewolves from what I've been told. I don't want to jog their elbow unless I -know- we have a more serious problem."

Warrick crosses his arm, armor clicking softly as he rests on his back foot. A glance is shot to the group, him relaxing as he sees Schara, Tlan, and Simony. But he raises a brow to the giantborn. "... scouts were sent before..." he murmurs, shaking his head and nodding to Tlanexhuani. "Slow and steady."

He listens to the Lord Captain, staring back at him like a grunt who's been given too many crap orders. "Very well, Lord Captain," he bows his head. "Seeing as how this fort is well warded, does it have any sort of ingress we can take advantage of aside from the front gate?"

"Well, sure - but they were scouts, and we're ~adventurers~" Fidget waves her arms in the air dramatically with that pronouncement, and a puff of glitter drifts down around her grin, "We've got this, no problem. We'll figure out what happened, figure out what cool thing they were researching, and be back in time for drinks and dessert."

It didn't look like she cast a spell, so she must just... have a pocket full of glitter on her somewhere.

"Yeah, and if they don't come back, what're you going to do? Act blind?"

Miril reaches up and touches the holy symbol she's got - it's Angoron's, probably not to anyone's surprise. "Well, *I'm* going to go," she says, though honestly she is curious about the wards too, if only because (from experience) she is fairly likely to walk face-first into one.

She flicks glitter off her hip from Fidget tossing it. It doesn't matter if it got over to her - she makes the attempt anyway. "Ha! That's the spirit - though I think it might take a little more work than that."

The albino's expression has slowly formed a frown, the pencil wiggling furiously across the notebook's page.

"So no information on what we should expect there, nor any idea of how many ... people we should expect. It has ... secrets and experiments and who knows what else... Proper soldiers and scouts already missing, and you're sending the third stringers because... you don't want to jog the elbows of people unless it's a serious problem?"

The Gobbo leans her chin on her hands. "Just how many people have to disappear before you consider it serious?"

"You sent scouts, and haven't heard from them either? What is it that's causing communication to break down so completely? They were only able to send information enough to say send help, that's very vague. Most magical spells are capable of sending at least a bit more in a message than that." Schara notes, tilting their head to one side. "What if this was a trap designed to draw people in?"

The artificer audibly sighs. "I guess we're going to find out as well, but I don't want us being unable to make contact either if something happens. Otherwise, you're just going to keep sending further people investigating to potentially serious danger. That's not me saying I do not want to help, but if we are doing this, I want it to be handled as safely as possible."

Tlanexhuani blinks, slowly, at the appearance of glitteriousness in the air. He holds his breath a moment, lest he start breathing sparkling clouds. After it settles, he thumps his tail ont he ground. "Ssa, we go. Slow. Careful. Watchful. No one alone. Stay as group."

He looks to the Lord Captain. "How far is fort?"

The Lord Captain arches an eyebrow. "Yes, that's where 'secrecy of the realm' kind of falls into play here." He measures the party with his eyes. "Alright. The last report that came down was regarding some kind of magical experimentation involving scrying and extended awareness. How a properly prepared wizard could project his or her mind into a building -- or a fortress -- and sense it as though it was their own body."

"Needless to say, no one understands -why- this would cause this kind of breakdown. It's not like they were conjuring up creatures, or building a better fireball." Levine furrows his brow. "Our plan is to teleport you to a hidden position just outside of the fort, thirty miles from here. From there, you'll enter in through a secret gate in the lower level -- well, it was secret till now." His lips quirk. "With any luck, you can find out if it's Charnese infiltrators, ethereal filchers, or a bad batch of rum."

Warrick's head tilts down to Fidget. Blinks at the glitter. Cranes up at Miril. A gauntlet pinches the bridge of his nose before a long exhale leaves him. "Right." He's just going to leave it there.

He shifts a bit to stand next to Schara. Already jabbed the stressed out Lord Captain enough. "Fine, let us get going, fill us in with others need to know information along the way," he concedes, tightening the strap on his crossbow. A brow quirks at the explanation, a notebook flipping out to take mild notes. Ones that are vague enough.

"Hopefully its Charnese... not a fan of magical experiments, but.." he shrugs. "Let us be off."

"I'll test the rum!" Fidget volunteers, but otherwise seems excited to be involved in the plan, and how it's at the intersection of intrigue, danger, and magic. "When do we leave? Also, how did those scouts that you're hoping aren't dead approach the fort? Same plan? Worse plan?" she asks, with all the goblin tact. "We should probably try not to step into the *same* trap."

"Damn, teleporting?" That is, in Miril's estimation, breaking out the big guns - nobody's going to pay to do that when the people they asked to do it have perfectly good feet, unless it's actually really urgent.

And scrying? Well, Miril can't figure out how learning how to become aware of a building would cause something like this, but she was never really the very best at that particular part of her training. Spellcraft is hard and Miril is the first to cheerfully agree that she's not always very good at the intellectual parts of her job; she's a battle priest, not a wizard or a scholar. So, hopefully one of the others.

She does give Warrick a bit of a long look, though. "If you've got a problem about me, you can tell me to my face," she says. "I don't really care if you like me or not; you don't know me! But if you've got a problem working with me, tell me." She has yet to figure out that exhalation besides the fact that Warrick appears to be incredibly straight-laced.

Simony sneezes violently, and then again, and again. She casts a baleful eye at Fidget a moment while she covers her nose and mouth. Her other hand continues to jot things down. DAMNED GLITTER

"Yes, yes, secrecy of the realm. If we die, you won't have to worry about that." The ablino sniffles and sighs.

"I'm guessing then we're going outside the city first? Since the wards prevent teleportation and all that jazz."

GAME: Fidget rolls spellcraft: (3)+12: 15

"I guess we're going over then, I wasn't expecting teleportation, but that will be alright. Time is an important factor, and who knows how long their supplies are able to hold out in a crisis." The artificer notes. "I can think of many ways of how projecting a person's consciousness into full coverage of a building could go badly. Especially if said tests did not go exactly to plan."

A look to Warrick, to Miril, back to Warrick. "Is something the matter? It's very hard to say something to your face, maybe he could stand on a chair or something?"

Warrick, the jaded Eldanar arbalest, cranes his head up towards Miril. "I don't. Not yet. I am just being pragmatic so we don't have overzealous mistakes," he says flatly. He shrugs.

"Bless you," he pats Simony on the shoulder.

Warrick just snorts at Schara.

There was alot to take in even before the details of the last experiment and that teleportation is involved. Tlanexhuani is interrupted from still processing this by the banter between peers. There is worry of animosity for a moment before it appears to pass. He simply thumps his tail once more. "Ssa, we go now. See more, know more when there." He doesn't even have all the questions to ask, much less any answers. They will be there when they arrive. Hopefully not too much else will be there with them.

Once the paperwork is filed... and the next of kin documents sorted... the group is escorted out of the city by a couple of grim faced guardsmen. Evidently they are 'read in' on enough of the details that they don't want to know any more.

The teleportation circle is cleared and ready, a wizard in the employ of the crown standing there ready to activate it. Once everyone is inside, he smiles broadly. "Alrighty then! Let's just get you lot on your way. Everyone have their arms, legs, ears and tails inside the circle? Good! Sending you off, in three, two, one--"


Well, there are worse ways to travel, and that one was smoother than expected. You appear inside a small, somewhat natural cavern, mage lights casting a dim glow. There's a door that presumably leads outside. On the floor you can see the teleportation circle slowly dimming again. So far, so good.

Simony looks a little concerned right before the pop, and on the other side, she seems to breathe a sigh of relief. "Well, that wasn't so bad this time.", she says softly.

The Gobbo looks to Warrick then, moving to his side. "Thanks!", is her cheerful reply to the sneeze blessings. "How're you and your daughter getting on? It's been a little while."

Now the area they're in is noticed. The Goblin stalks over to the door, and puts her ear to it to listen.

Tlanexhuani has never telported before. He has no idea what to expect. He braces himself for whatever it is and closes his eyes. Maybe he was expecting far worse, or he missed the POP! in his bracing? It's not until Simony moves that he opens one eye, slowly, to peek. They are not in Alexandria anymore?

"Are... here?" he asks tentatively, other eye opening to watch Simony move to the door to listen.

"That's fine," is Miril's response to Warrick. "Just so long as it's not gonna cause a problem." And it doesn't sound like it will, so no problem.



Miril has never travelled by teleportation before. She's not sure she likes it very much; it was the first time she'd ducked in the time any of you had met her, just in case it has a top that she might have stuck something 'out of the circle' of. Mostly she was worried about her hair, because she figured they'd warn her if her head was up too high.

She has a sudden urge to yawn, popping her ears. "Bleh," she says, before carefully stepping out. She doesn't quite draw her weapon, but she sure considers it. "Think so," is her quiet response to Tlanexhuani. "Ready to head out?"

The artificer blinks as they arrive on the other side of the portal, and the death ray on their arm is readied as they stop, braced with a mismatched wooden arm as best they could. "I am ready to head out if the others are. I hope they are sending in the wizard afterwards to make sure this area is secure. I do not like the implication of them not being sent with us, however."

This wasn't the first time Warrick has been deployed in this manner, him holding his breath and pulling in all of his gear. But, tails? He looks around and-

Pop! He stumbles briefly, armor clanking lightly as he gets his footing in the cavern, crossbow unslung. He puts his helmet on. "She's getting on well. She's getting into watching jousting."

He looks around, spying the door. "Right, there's the door to get to the gate," his voice echoes in his helmet, nodding with Schara.

GAME: Simony rolls perception: (20)+10: 30
GAME: Fidget casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14

After a few moments with her ear pressed to the door, the Goblin begins to make signs with her hand.

"A light breeze blowing, and birds singing. All I can hear." <Handspeech>

Miril looks completely blank at the signs.

"What did you hear?" she asks, which kind of eliminates the point. At least she's not very loud about it. Miril reaches behind to grab the grip of her weighty tetsubo-like earthbreaker, but she doesn't immediately draw it from its tangle of carrying straps.

Before they teleport away, Fidget weaves a detect magic spell so she can see the teleportation effect happening for her curiousity.

Once they arrive, she looks around with that same magic sight to see if there's anything of interest here, especially those interesting things that can kill you. "Don't see any magic around, except the circle of course. Shall we?" she points towards the gate and then takes a step or two forward before pausing and deciding to wrap herself in magical armour. Best to be safe when you're walking into danger!

She peers at Simony's handwaving, trying to figure out what spell Simony is trying to cast, with a baffled expression.

GAME: Fidget casts Mage Armor. Caster Level: 3 DC: 15

Tlanexhuani is pleased they are all intact, that they've arrived, and that Warrick's youngling does well. At Simony's gestures, his head tilts a moment before he moves to the door to join her. He them opens the door. That -is- what the gestures meant, ssa?

The artificer tilts their head. "She is speaking with her hands, what is she saying, Warrick?" The artificer asks of the ex guard, peering at the exit. "We should be careful, it may only be safe here because people don't know about this place. Or if they did, that raises the question of why they did not use it? This space was filled with numerous spellcasters, was it not?"

Warrick nods to Simony, him gesturing on as he adjusts his crossbow. "Just outside noises," he says to Miril and Schara. "Let's move," nodding to Tlan as he opens the door. "Potentially spellcasters. Gird yourselves as we get to the gate."

The door opens to reveal a path, carved through underbrush. Evidently this cave is pretty well hidden. It winds along towards a low hill, where a stony keep squats. Small, but evidently well built, but it seems to glower at you under the sunlight.

Following the path takes you to a small portcullis with a lockplate on the wall, just the right size for a key Lord Captain Levine gave to you before you departed.

Simony looks to Miril and Schara. "Just wanted to confer information without more noise than necessary. My apologies." She looks to Tlanexhuani. "No. But thank you!" She slips outside, ducking between Tlan's legs. Crouching, she begins to move along the path. "No one around.", Simony whispers.

Miril unhooks the earthbreaker with a practiced twist and snap of her wrist, then rests it on her shoulder instead. The shape she's chosen for hers makes it particularly well-suited for that, and she's strong enough to bear the weight without any complaint.

She's not especially sneaky but she does make an effort to make less noise than she otherwise would. No stomping, no whistling. She may not be good at sneaking but she is also crouched down a bit to look at tracks, mostly to see if anyone else has gone this way recently that she can tell.

GAME: Miril rolls Survival: (9)+7: 16

"Ah," Tlanexhuani is is corrected and thanked, both. He is also less hampered nor even surprised by small scampering underfoot than one might expect. After he steps out, his nose lifts to the air inhale and scent their new surroundings, though he does not delay. Instead, he follows the path close behind Simony, eyes focused out ahead rather than on the path. "Not go too far ahead," he suggests quietly. At least until they find...

The Door.

Schara joins the others in leaving the cave, stopping to take a look around to remember the placement when it would be time to exit. The artificer continues walking with the others, not trying to be particularly stealthy or loud, but at least at the ready.

Following along, and also trying to keep quiet, Fidget watches with her magical sight to see if anything or anyone is in their path. Taking the heavy key that looked somewhat comically oversized under her arm, she jams it into the socket above her head height, and turns it...or tries to. It's kind of stiff, and it's a very awkward height to turn for her, so she grabs it and shoves her whole body into the lower part of the key, which squeaks open and unlocks the portcullis. "Okay, I did my part, but I think lifting that is beyond me." she suggests, dusting her hands off on her petticoats.

She's surprised when the portcullis, after a moment's hesitation, starts to rise up into the walls of its own accord!

Miril keeps her eye on the track.

"Don't think anyone's really come this way for a while," she murmurs, as they travel. "Which doesn't mean nobody's been to the FORT, just that they didn't come up this path."

When Fidget turns the key, Miril actually steps forward because she assumes that she is about to have to lift a portcullis. But she doesn't. "...? They got an artifice portcullis? Seems like you'd want to stay down instead of rolling up easily, being a portcullis and all."

"Is why others not return?" Tlanexhuani suggests to Miril. "Walk on foot, maybe could not walk back? Not know of tel port station?" He may have been ready to help with any lifting when the portcullis rises on its own. "Ah! Iss self-powered! Not mean iss eassy move when locked." The mechanism now has his full attention as he looks over the portway, portcullis, and any pieces of it that might be visible from the outside or sticking his snout within.

Simony nods to Tlan, "I won't go to far ahead." Spider Masher is pulled out of the loop on her belt, she steps forward as the portcullis starts to lift. She glances at Miril and shrugs. "It could be a simple counterweight. And perhaps this is meant to be an emergency escape? With hardly a path noticeable, and the teleport circle nearby, it makes perfect sense."

The albino pats Fidget on the shoulder. "Good work!" She looks to the others, "Let's get moving before someone spots us... anyone want to take the lead?"

Warrick walks in the center of the group, his large crossbow loaded and pointed away from others. Looking up to the sky, then to the walls. His fingers drum the wood of his weapon.

Key in slot. Gate arises. "Excellent," he says, voice muffled slightly by the helmet. There's a nod towards Simony. "I can stand center. Schara and Tlan in the back. Others fan the front," he tactically suggests.

The chamber you enter is windowless and large, smelling faintly of... whitewash, and soap? It actually looks surprisingly clean, the walls plastered and painted in a neutral light-gray hue, lit with small mage lights that illuminate the room. At the far end, on the eastern wall, a door is nestled into the wall.

The room is dominated by four ten-foot long, five-foot deep sarcophagi -- at least that's what they look like. They might be shallow cisterns, judging from how they're filled with some strange, brackish liquid that's dark and impenetrable to the eye. Along the walls are inscribed intricate lines of runes that glow a soft greenish color, scribed along each wall near the ceiling.

<OOC> Schara would like to investigate the runes
<OOC> Telamon says, "Know/Arcana or Spellcraft."
<OOC> Simony would like to listen at the other door, while avoiding runes, and the cistern/sarcophagi.
GAME: Schara rolls spellcraft: (11)+10: 21
<OOC> Tlanexhuani will divide and conquer with Schara and look at the sarcophisterns?
<OOC> Fidget will aid Schara?
<OOC> Warrick will just keep watch and let the mages do their thing
<OOC> Miril says, "Miril will look at the runes too, not that I expect to find much, lol"
<OOC> Telamon says, "Fidget: roll Spellcraft. Tlan: What would you like to roll? Perception, Knowledge...?"
GAME: Fidget rolls spellcraft: (15)+12: 27
<OOC> Telamon says, "Make a spellcraft check, Miril. Tlan, roll perception."
GAME: Miril rolls Spellcraft: (2)+3: 5
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls perception: (15)+9: 24
GAME: Simony rolls perception: (3)+10: 13
<OOC> Warrick says, "i suppose, tel could I use military theory to see what the purpose of this room is, in terms of like, defense"
GAME: Warrick rolls knowledge/military theory: (14)+7: 21

The albino nods to Warrick, slowly advancing into the room. The glowing runes are eyed curiously, but the Gobbo makes no move toward them. The cisterns/sarcophagi are also eyed, but avoided.

Simony ends up at the door, which is peered and sniffed at, before she listens closely to it. After several long moments, she turns to eye Warrick, waiting to catch his eye before gesturing in handsign once more.

"Quiet at the moment. I'll keep my ears open." <Handspeech>

"I don't think I should be in front, no matter how many fans I have. Currently zero, but I will accept applications at this time." Fidget protests and complains, but with a smirk of bemusement. She sticks around the middle of the group, though sometimes lagging behind a little as she slows to peer at the auras that envelope the place, and she shares "So much magic, kind of hard to see any of them properly. Divination and Abjuration."

The runes in this room draw her eye in particular though, and she follows after Schara in trying to decypher both the meaning and the nature of the runes, offering her thoughts in an enthusiastic tone as they figure things out.

But Fidget is a tactile gobbo, and she asks Miril if she can stand on her shoulders so she can touch the runes. "Sometimes that does things. Good things, bad things, explosion things."

"Still seems like it's making it easier. If it opened that way from the inside, okay, but the outside? That's just asking someone to sneak in." Miril shrugs. She's not really in charge of fort design, though (and this is for the best).

She is perfectly happy to follow the advice to stay near the front, though. She was going to do that anyway. So she's near the front when the group moves into -

"Oh. It opens into the crypt. No wonder people don't go this way." Miril pauses. "Though it's the cleanest crypt I've ever been in," she allows, given she smells soap. Her nostrils flare as she stalks through the room, pausing at one of the sarcophagi for a moment before moving on toward the runes.

"Eh? Sure, but if it explodes I'll blame you." Miril grins - she's joking - but she is still perfectly okay with giving Fidget a lift up. It's not that high for her; seven feet is just eye level.

"Iss ... normal for fort?" Tlanexhuani asks as the room does not seem normal to him. Oddly, the least normal thing to him is not the glowing runes that Schar and Miril are looking at, but the odd cisterns. He examines one, and sniffs at the water. Which promptly makes him snort. "Iss not good water. No drink! Iss not old, but is ..." he makes a vague grasping motion with one set of claws "..wrong. Still no drink!"

He looks to the others with this warning, and then focuses upon the others and the runes.

"Fascinating door, I wish I had time to study the function further, but now is not the time for it, I am certain." The artificer muses before stepping inside and turning their study to more immediately useful things. The artificer spends some time peering at the runes, tilting their head to one side and another. "Whoever made these runes is either very skilled, or spent a lot of time on them, or both. They certainly match the explanation given by the guard captain, something to do with divination and abjuration wards and, that might be what they were testing. Some sort of wards designed for defense of a building in some manner, but I can't say for certain. They were testing new things here, and it has clearly been altered in some way."

The artificer looks over, and tilts their head again. "I would not go poking things you are uncertain of unless you have a plan in place before hand, especially if these wards are designed to protect the place." They warn, just a bit too late. "What do you mean by not good water? Not old as in not stagnant, but tainted in some other form? Why would that be here in the first place?"

Warrick enters the chamber, visor pulled down as he carefully steps to the center, providing overwatch. He quietly watches the party, but his gaze lingers to the room itself. He rubs his chin. "This... place holds sorties- squads, hold them in a siege. But it's been remodeled for a difference use."

He glances to Simony, nods, then looks to the others. Tilts his head to the side. Blinks and sighs slightly. "... please don't touch anything. Literal magic experimentation could mean rapid detonation." And a nod towards Tlan. "Yeah, don't... drink this stuff."

When Fidget climbs up onto Miril, and touches the line of runes, there's a gentle pulse of green light under her fingertip. Kind of pretty, really. And then a couple of things happen.

There's a loud CRASH as -two- portcullises -- the one that raised up, and a -second- one on the inside of the archway -- slam down, closing off the southern exit. A strange, metallic sound echoes through the room, like an echo.

And then four -things- explode out of the sarcophagi. Ragged forms, dressed in the rent garments of Alexandros's guard, bearing axes as they leap from the still fluid to confront the trespassers!

As she touches the wall and the green flashes around, all Fidget says is "Umm...uhoh."

GAME: Miril rolls 1d20+6: (2)+6: 8

Good news: the rune doesn't explode!

Bad news: everything happens anyway!

Miril half-drops, half-sets down Fidget (it's a drop but only from about three feet up, and she can easily land on her feet). "Shit," she says, followed by: "Stay behind me!" Having already gotten her earthbreaker out, it's only a moment before she swings it, two-handed, at the closest ex-guard; she's misjudged the sarcophagus though and has to alter her swing to not slam her tetsubo into it, giving the thing an opportunity to get out of the way.

GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (15)+5: 20
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d8+3: (6)+3: 9
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (20)+5: 25
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (2)+5: 7
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d8+3: (6)+3: 9
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (9)+5: 14

The creatures heft battleaxes and stride towards the adventurers. An eye-watering stink comes off them, like something pickled in brine for too long. One slams its blade into Warrick, drawing blood, while another strikes at Miril savagely. A third swings at Tlan, but the cut goes wide and strikes sparks off the sarcophagus.

<OOC> Telamon says, "Roll Know/Religion."
GAME: Simony rolls religion: (12)+religion: 12
GAME: Simony rolls knowledge/religion: (19)+8: 27
<OOC> Simony says, "Yes. I derped. It's a 20 if you want to take my first roll."
<OOC> Telamon says, "A 20 is enough. Paging."
<OOC> Simony says, "Okay, so, to 13,9 And channel healing roll."
GAME: Simony rolls 3d6: (11): 11

Simony was still listening at the door, and it startled at the CLANGING of the falling portcullises. She turns just as the things jump out of the cisterns, which causes her eyes to widen. Squinting then, she frowns. "Poor bastards... these are draugr. Undead made usually from drowned sailors... but these... guys were drowned in these pits?", she calls out, as she moves away from the door. The Goblin winces as Warrick and Miril are wounded, and she moves closer. Her hand comes up to the holy symbol around her neck, and she prays, imploring Navos to aid her companions, to lessen their pain and heal their wounds.

GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+6: (13)+6: 19

The last undead abomination pauses, seeing the flare of positive energy that revitalizes Miril and Warrick. It sniffs the air suspiciously, and then begins stalking towards the sarcophagi where Simony is hiding, hefting its axe though it's clear it hasn't quite realized what it's hunting yet.

GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1-2+1: (19)+7+-2+1: 25 (THREAT)
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1-2+1: (7)+7+-2+1: 13
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1-2+1: (20)+7+-2+1: 26 (THREAT)
GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1-2+1: (5)+7+-2+1: 11
GAME: Warrick rolls damage1+1: aliased to 1d10+0+1: (10)+0+1: 11
GAME: Warrick rolls damage1+1: aliased to 1d10+0+1: (5)+0+1: 6

Warrick spins around at the crash, the arbalast swearing something in Khzadul as he readies himself. And then he sees the drowned guard. He freezes. And takes an axe in the side.

The once-guard gasps in pain before butting the crossbow at the drauger. "Shit, form up! don't get cut off!" he shouts, cranking his crossbow as two shots sail over towards one going for Simony. He slides back, teeth gritted. Knees slightly shaking.

GAME: Schara activates her Titan Armor, gaining: +4 Dex
GAME: Schara rolls 1d20+3+6+1: (18)+3+6+1: 28
GAME: Schara rolls 2d6+4+1: (7)+4+1: 12
<OOC> Schara says, "fire damage +dazzle for one round"

Ah, that's why the water was bad. decomposition in the water source. Decomposing bodies that were now up, and attempting to attack them.

The artificer takes the death ray that was already out, and takes aim at the corpse moving to the side. The metal coils in their left arm heating up and erupting into a gout of flame that sizzles away at them. The wooden hand bracing the arm scorches black where it touches the metal. "Fire isn't working properly, that's okay. Warrick is right, stay together, fire isn't working properly, I'll adjust what I can and hopefully electrical impulses work even though those burn things as well by a different method."

GAME: Fidget casts Burning Hands. Caster Level: 3 DC: 15
GAME: Fidget rolls 3d4: (4): 4

Fidget lands on her feet after the drop, and starts muttering magical words as she rushes past Simony, weaving a tangle of fire into existance between her hands, and jumps around the corner as the fire becomes an orb - clapping her hands together and bursting the orb of fire into spewing its flames around the corner into the crowd of zombie creatures.

She's visibly dismayed when the flames seem to do nothing but blast some steam off the walking corpses.

GAME: Tlanexhuani activates his Titan Armor, gaining: +4 Str
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls weapon3: (9)+9: 18
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls damage3: aliased to 1d8+6: (8)+6: 14

Tlanexhuani knew the water was wrong, but not that it was THAT wrong. Not until ... corpses? suddenly emerge from the water. He is surprised and slow to act, but finally touches a claw to his chest, sending a spark of his bloodine into the bronze splints of his armor. The pieces seem to come alive with the charge, constricting tighter in places and acting as second scales aiding him to move. Move he does, mostly to free his hammer and lay into the one in front of him. "Go back sleep!" He then steps to Warrick so that they might guard one another and possibly others.

<OOC> Miril says, "I would like to activate my justice judgement! Then strike 4 again. Activatinga judgement is a swift action"
GAME: Miril rolls 1d20+7: (19)+7: 26
GAME: Miril rolls 2d6+6: (6)+6: 12

Miril catches an axe, and not the fun way; a solid strike, though she's saved from serious injury from Simony quickly patching it back up. "Thanks!" Miril calls.

Warrick suggests they form up, and she agrees with that. "On it, once I get past this asshole - " She pauses a moment in her attack to heft her holy symbol, calling upon Angoron's power before she re-grips and delivers a powerful two-handed swing, a horizontal smash to send it reeling.

GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (9)+5: 14
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (11)+5: 16
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (7)+5: 12

The draugr stalk forward, swinging their undead limbs at the living who have dared invade. But as the adventurers rally, slamming blows into their unliving flesh, the stalking undead's swings fall short, missing Tlan, Warrick, and Miril as their rotting fists fail to connect.

GAME: Simony rolls weapon2 a move into 13,8 after.: (19)+0: 19
GAME: Simony rolls weapon2: (9)+5: 14
<OOC> Simony says, "Just wanted the proper +"
GAME: Simony rolls damage2: aliased to 1d6+1: (3)+1: 4

Simony is mildly surprised at being able to practically hide right under the draugr's nose, and her eyes WIDEN to saucers as the heavy roar and blistering heat of flames lights up her little corner. Taking advantage of the turn of events, she hops up off the corner of the cistern, and smashes the undead across the face with her warhammer.

"They're essentially waterlogged corpses, fire will not be effective. Try lightning, maybe? Or holy water!", she says loudly, as she moves to stand in in front of Fidget.

GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (16)+5: 21
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d10+3: (3)+3: 6
GAME: Simony rolls fortitude: (5)+7: 12

The draugr staggers as it sops up several hits, but it locks onto Simony as the little gobbo slams a hammer into its flesh. As the priestess shifts to cover Fidget, the draugr winds up and slams a decomposing fist into her, bruising her and leaving a smear of foulness on the robes she wears.

GAME: Warrick rolls weapon1+1: (17)+7+1: 25
GAME: Warrick rolls damage1+1: aliased to 1d10+0+1: (2)+0+1: 3
GAME: Telamon rolls 1d20+5: (6)+5: 11

Warrick cranks the crossbow, him leveling another shot out, but it just hits water logged clothes. "Shit," he hisses. There's a moment where he makes a snap judgetment, and he shoves one of the drauger off with a backhand of his metal armor before rushing around and yanking out a mace that dangles on his hip. "Establishing flank!" he barks out. <Merctalk>

GAME: Schara rolls 1d20+3+6+1: (12)+3+6+1: 22
GAME: Schara rolls 2d6+4+1: (7)+4+1: 12
<OOC> Telamon says, "Damage type?"
<OOC> Schara says, "swapping to uh, I never use this"
<OOC> Schara says, "electricity"

"Alright, no fire, no, okay." The artificer begins rambling as they fumble to get their left arm working with a blunt instrument of a hand. eventually they manage to flip the switch, causing the coils to shift in the arm and plates to shift into place between parts. Taking aim again, the artificer looses a jolt of electricity which jumps through the water laden body and almost instantaneously causes the break down of their major joints as the electricity ravages them, sending it crumpling to the ground in a heap.

GAME: Fidget rolls weapon5-4-2: (10)+5+-4+-2: 9
GAME: Fidget rolls weapon5-4-2: (13)+5+-4+-2: 12
GAME: Fidget rolls 1d8+0: (6)+0: 6

Noting the advice, Fidget frowns at the ineffectiveness of her current spells, but one hand rustles around in the numerous frills of her skirt and produces a dragonspitter which is too large for her little gobbo hands. Grabbing the weapon with both hands, she braces and lets a shot fly at the nearest draugr's head. She misses the head but hits it square in the chest, leaving a sizeable hole leaking black liquid and the creature gargles out a groan as it slumps against the wall and slides messily down it. "Got one!" Fidget exclaims proudly as she works on stuffing her now useless weapon back in her skirts.

GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls weapon3: (18)+9: 27
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls damage3: aliased to 1d8+6: (8)+6: 14

Tlanexhuani is mostly focuses on the one, make that two, near him, but does glance towards Simony and Fidget where the other ... things are headed. Or they were until they are shot, zot, or otherwise halted. It is a relief that he then turns to focus as he swings his hammer at the one that attacked him again. It is another solid blow that crumples the creature. "Behind you!" He warns Warrick unecessarily, but steps up to be ready to strike at the remaining creature.

GAME: Miril rolls 1d20+7: (20)+7: 27
GAME: Miril rolls 1d20+7: (20)+7: 27
GAME: Miril rolls 6d6+18: (15)+18: 33

"Then I won't bother with fire!"

Miril was never bothering with fire.

Most of the draugr are down and out, but one isn't, and Miril is determined to handle it before it hurts someone else - it just attacked her, after all, and failed to get past the scale under her breastplate.

Switching stances, she winds up and delivers an improbably powerful blow at a mostly horizontal angle. It isn't sufficient just to disable the draugr - it actually throws the corpse back several feet as she lets out a battle cry.

When the last draugr hits the floor in a broken heap, there's blessed silence. Then... a funny hum, a crackle of energy, across the far wall. Green and blue lines begin extending down from the runes, weaving together, forming something. A face appearing to push out of the wall. Feminine, disdainful, with glowing green eyes set in a deceptively delicate, even lovely countenance. And it -speaks-.

"Who are you? You are not part of the garrison, I do not recognize you... no matter. When my minions find you, they will bring you before me. I will learn all your secrets, and you will learn more about pain than you ever wanted to know."

With that ominous threat, the face fades back into the wall...




Face in the wall: Image: