Demons What pt 3

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You have entered a cave.

The good news is that the demons aren't close enough to see it yet. The bad news is that they're still onm their way. The pink snow is providing you shelter, but it's not like the mouth of a cave will be easy for them to miss without you making some efforts to conceal it.

The wounded, too, are making a not inconsiderable amount of noise in their groaning and grunting.

Ahh. A cave. Where certainly nothing in it could ambush Celeste and her comrades while they're busy thinking about demons outside. The half-orc grumbles, grinding tooth against tusk; she refrains from sheathing her weapons, and lightly taps blade against shield. "I'm going to stand right here," she announces, "In case those demons reach us before we're ready. Someone should check to make sure this cave isn't already home to something. We may also want to see if there's another way out before we do anything about blocking the way in."

Wilma peers into the back of the cavern, but doesn't go exploring just yet. Stomping the snow off the bottoms of her boots, the dwarf looks at the others arranging things. "Goin' to need to do somethin' 'bout the entrance, I'm thinkin'. As open as a bardlin's mouth, it is."

Exploring a cave? That sounds like a job for Lucy! She draws her rapier and sets her glowing Ioun stone to circle above her head before moving deeper into the cave.

Felicia is rather busy trying to help the wounded get to a resting she can spread around cures and even channels for them all....

Serraphine looks about to assess this situation with a frown, her hand reaching up to smooth back through her hair, retying it. She had already used some of her fervor to handle that fatigue on the way in. Good thing too, this was not going to be an easy night. She drops the wood off and peers toward the entrance of the cave, "Yes, we do. Does anyone have any ideas? We'll have to make it easily accessible, we'll need more firewood tonight. Not to mention, we'll need some rocks for the firepit to keep the heat and the light in. Don't want it bouncing out from the cave too far." She starts pointing at ablebody looking people from the airship.

"You and you." Serraphine says, "Think you can do something about the firepit? You and you, help out Felicia please. "

The cave does extend further, though it is dark down thre and it is possibly full of, like... pink snow bears or something.

At any rate, people are grateful for the chance to stop and rest.

Malorn stands up and heads towards the back of the cave, "I'll go with you. I can see quite far in the dark." He says as moves to follow behind Lucy.

GAME: Felicia rolls heal: (11)+9: 20

GAME: Malorn rolls perception: (1)+13: 14 (EPIC FAIL)

GAME: Lucy rolls perception: (5)+11: 16

Felicia lets out a soft breath, but she also tries to bundle them up as best she can in the cave. She looks to Fi with a look that she would know...they can't go anywhere further now.......they need rest.

Celeste remains where she is, making sure no demons are about to leap out of the woodwork and sprind through the entrance for a few minutes; when it becomes evident that they aren't, the gladiatrix evidently decides her time can be better spent elsewhere. "Keep an eye," she asks of one of the sailors, before marching purposely off towards where Lucy and Malorn are busy sussing out the cave depths. It's perhaps more likely there will be something there to fight; and in any case, Celeste isn't much use with the wounded. She's much better at causing wounds than healing them.

GAME: Wilma rolls survival: (13)+9: 22

GAME: Celeste rolls survival: (18)+8: 26

Malorn continues to look over his shoulder as he goes back with Lucy to find out how far deep the cave goes. He hmms as he sees some scratch marks, "Looks like some small animals were here. We could move the others back, but I don't think that there is another exit."

GAME: Malorn rolls survival: (9)+3: 12

Lucy points out to Celeste with her rapier where the tunnel seems to end, and signs of an animal or two. "Whatever they were, they must have left - it looks deserted now," she remarks. "But they may have had the right idea, if we stat here we may be trapped."

GAME: Lucy rolls survival: (19)+2: 21

GAME: Serraphine rolls Survival: (8)+1: 9

GAME: Felicia rolls survival: (20)+3: 23

Wilma continues her station near the entrance, even after Celeste wanders off. Not to guard, though she can - no, she's studying the entrance.

Serraphine pokes at a couple of the airship crewmen to get them to move faster in setting up the firepit that's shielded from the outside. "You get the idea, right?" And then she's headed off toward the front of the cave, a glance to Felicia to make sure that the other two she conscripted are helping out Fe. A nod of her head and it's a stop over at Wilma. "Okay, so, what're we thinking to hide us from the outside? Plan?"

Lucy returns to the entrance to stand next to Serraphine. "I could try to lead them off," she offers bravely. "As long as they don't see me, I can make tricky sounds or lights and try to senf them in the wrong direction..."

Felicia looks to Lucy. "lead what off?"

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"F'ore ow long den?" Baz rumbles from his perch near the entrance where there is more likely to be kill'n. "You fink you can out run dem for a a few minutes? How fast you be o' foot. Dey got small ones, big ones, dog ones." The work squints his blood shot eyes. "Used to get that too from the 'ordes back home. Lead us off, sure, fun ta run. Never run far, fast enough. We catch den it's down to the cutt'n and scream'n." He turns his green face towards Lucy with a grin. "'Ere dey also gonna be eat'n. I bin 'ere before. Always eat'n. Dey likes ya alive too, ever feel what it like to have meat pulled from yer bone? That scrape of metal an claw vibrating up your body to ya ears. It's pain." The big ork rumbles his eyes almost glowing in pink glow. "It's pain that don't stop."

"You mean, besides those demons followin' us?" Wilma asks retorically from the other side of the entrance, "Snow, snow, an' more snow - whatever we're goin' to be usin', I forsee... snow bein' part of it.

"If you think you can stand being out in cold," Serraphine says as she looks toward Lucy, "Then I'd rather you try and get us more wood for the fire. It's going to be a cold night, and we'll probably have to hole up here for the evening lest we freeze to death during the night." The Arvek scuffs her foot lightly on the ground and then Baz is talking to them. She raises her eyebrows as she listens. "He has a good point, not to mention the flying ones." Di adds before looking between them all at the front of the cave. Hmm.

Lucy listens to the others, her expression falling as she's reminded of all the demons that could be pursuing them. "You're right." Then she produces the rod that was their objective. She holds it in front of her, in between the adventurers. "And there's this."

"I'll go with Lucy, if she's going outside." Celeste re-materializes at the entrance, since the cave has been checked. "I won't have a problem with the cold. I've got a solution for that." She taps the heel of one of her greaves against the other one. "Of course, that only sorts things out for *me*, but at least I'll manage to not freeze to death and hopefully get a solution for the rest of you going. I'll follow Lucy's lead, I think she knows this sort of terrain better than I do."

Felicia says, "Perhaps using part of the wood to act as a barricade...then snow as camoflauge, Fi. because we need to build a fire for them, to stave off the frostbite so we can move out when they're better.""

"Problem is goin' to be air flow. Unless you ladies found anythin' that kept the air movin' in the back?" Wilma asks, looking towards those who explored that way.

Malorn looks towards the others, "I can create some darkness around the entrance to the cave to help to camouflage it." He offers as he comes back from exploring the back of the cave.

Felicia looks to Malorn. "All night?"

Serraphine looks toward Wilma and gives a dip of her eyebrow, "On the contrary, if we have a spot at the top open, and a spot at the bottom open, that will allow for airflow, the warm air flows out up top, the cold - fresh air - flows in from the bottom." A nod of her head. "Darkness though..." She turns to look at Malorn, "That will be very helpful. How long does it last?"

"Right." Baz rumbles again. "I'm gonna go find big rocks." The large Oruch stomps out of the cave entrance. His armored form clinking in the cold. Waving his right hand every once in awhile to knock blobs of snow from his face and shoulders as he begins casting about for things to move. The bigger the better, even if he'll have to apply a bit of magic power to the muscle.

"Tell you what." Celeste stretches, rolling her shoulders. "I'm going to go get their attention. Just me. Then I'm going to run off, and lead them away; I'll run all night, and be back here in the morning." She taps the heel of her greaves once more, this time with her sword. "Boots of the winterlands," she rumbles, "So I'm going to be just fine out there, and you can all have a fire in here and not, y'know, freeze to death."

Malorn has to think for a moment, "I don't use it very often but it doesn't last very long. I'd say five minutes at most. It might help to augment any boulders we put up."

Lucy looks at Celeste with an expression bordering on awe. "Here - take this." She offers her Ioun Torch. "It makes light like a torch, but you can shut it off whenever you want - we used to do it all the time with our dancing lights. If you get too far ahead and you want to make sure they don't lose you, let it glow for a little bit, just long enough for them to see you and follow. Then you turn it off so they don't know -exactly- where you are..."

Felicia takes a deep breath. "See if you guys can get this entrance covered up." She says to Serraphine and Wilma. "We'll have to sleep in shifts and hope the demons don't find us."

Celeste takes the torch from Lucy, and nods her head. "Thank you. I'll return to you when I get back." She holds it up in the air around her head and steps out. "HEY!!" she bellows, as she strides away from the cave. "YOU LOT!! I HEAR ASUMIT HAS A TINY MAN-PART TO MATCH HIS INADEQUATE BRAIN!!" She bangs her sword smartly against her shield. "COME AND GET ME OR I'LL TAUNT YOU AGAIN YOU COWARDS!" And with that off her chest, the berzerked picks a direction and takes off, away from the cave.

GAME: Serraphine rolls Diplomacy: (5)+7: 12

Crunch-Crunch, goes the rocks in the snow as Baz rolls them slowly back to the cave entrance. Trip after trip the large Oruch continues to move the biggest rocks he can find. Carrying or pushing/rolling them back for the others to use. Ice and snow flaking off him as he pants out great clouds of steaming air. "Haw, the little girl was funny, that'll get dere attention. Now when dey catch her, dey gonna have a reason to 'urt her real bad. Good way ta go."

Serraphine nods all around as it seems like there's some sort of plan that's forming up around this. She looks up, then out and finally back and nods again, "Okay... Okay. So, let's get some rocks-" And Baz is already doing it, a nod of her head, "Perfect. Let's set up some more rocks, Wilma, can you supervise the assembly of the branches and make sure we leave some space open at the top and bottom? I'm going to get the crew to help out and finish that firepit."

With that, the Arvek stalks back into the cave, looking about at the crew, "None of us wants to die on this damned pink rock, right? So let's get some of you up front, we need to camouflage it. Branches and what not. Wilma's gonna handle that - ask her what to do. The scary looking guy-" She gestures at Baz, "Could probably use some assistants to watch him move the rocks." And then she turns back toward the firepit to help with that once again.

Before long, you've made progress. You've concealed the entrance to the cave well enough, as well as can be expected really, and have succesfully gotten fire going.

Celeste has no doubt distracted at least SOME of the demons, but now you have a long night to look forward to of /hiding/ from them.

You begin to hear screams in the distance. Monstrous and horrifying ones. DEmons, for sure.

After one last check on the sailors that need rest, Felicia covers them up to keep them as warm as she can, then starts to help with the cave entrance, if not make a fire to warm them up. It's definitely going to be delicate since the demons are chasing them....

Lucy tries to find a spot where she can stay warm. Every few minutes she springs to her feet, does a few practice lunges with an imaginary rapier, and then draws her real rapier and swings it around to keep her hand and arm loose. As time goes on there's more and more time between each session, until finally she's snoozing fitfully between two female crewmembers.

Pulling out his massive curved blade the Oruch settles down near the entrance. His big armored form adding a second layer between the fire and the outside. He simply sits and waits for what is to come. Occasionally plucking at one of his scars or old injuries. Eventually falling into fits of sleep, his crushed up nose snorting and snarking before he blinks back to wakefulness with a gurgle or cough.

Wilma points out where the brances need to be for the air holes, and helps settle everything in - well, at least the things within reach. That said, she makes a point of staying out of Baz's way while carrying all the bigger rocks, and once there is enough structure, listens and stares at the barricade, a grim look as the screams are heard.

Serraphine will help with the last of the firepit, the lighting, and then she's off and moving. Every time someone starts to look nervous, she walks over and tries to give them a little courage before moving on to the next group. Morale needs to stay high after all.

Malorn helps with the rock wall and he moves to have a seat near it. He sits with his legs crossed and he starts to meditate as he rests.

With everything set, all that's left is to settle in for the night. Celeste, at least, should be safe outside if the demons don't catch her.

That's a big if.

The good news is that she did succeed in leading them away from you. For the most part, you don't hear too much through the night. You're on guard, of course, all of you but and at one point they do pass by, veering dangerously close, but it seems your efforts to hide have paid off.

For now.

Eventually, the firwst rays of the sun begin to creep around your concealment efforts but you can still hear the cries of the vrocks outside.

Everyone is hanging in there, but at this point, dehydration is a serious concern. You don't have enough water for all the injured.

GAME: Celeste rolls athletics: (5)+5: 10

GAME: Celeste rolls stealth: (5)+0: 5

GAME: Whirlpool rolls 3d6: (8): 8

Felicia steadily makes water for everyone in the they can drink up as soon as they're able.

Lucy yawns and blinks her eyes open. Once she remembers where they are she lurches to her feet. She looks around quickly to see if everyone seems more or less capable of travel. "Wait - Celeste still isn't back?"

Meanwhile, outside, Celeste is being chased.

The real problem is not the dretches and legions of foot based demons on the mountain now. Most of them have gone higher up. No, the problem is the /flying demons/. Trying to shake them before they can get her is not easy. Thankfully, the mountainous terrain has numerous crevices and more she can try to lose them in, but for the msot part, they're trying to direct the foot traffic to get her while searching for the others.

So far, Celeste has been unable to shake them.

Serraphine slept when she could though out the night, and during her shift she slowly walks about the cave - though staying closer to the entrance - granting all she can with some measure of courage using her being as a means. Her aura if you will. The steady footfalls, the non-plussed sort of feeling toward those demons moving about. She was hoping to give them a peaceful night for as long as she could. Even when she settled down, it was near the wounded and most fearful - sleeping with her sword in hand.

When the night finished and morning was upon them, she was putting her armor back on. Straps, chain, badded cloth, all of it layer after layer of gear because she couldn't sleep in it yet. "How are we doing?" She calls out while tightening down another strap. "Firewood? Water? Wounded?"

"Me arse hurts, cold stone an armor mak'n it feel like I've been getting hoof'd by a horse." The big Oruch comments, scratching the aforementioned part. "But we all seem ta be alive. Guess the mouthy girl lead'em off well enough. 'under if she still alive or if'n she's a meal now?" Shifting slowly Baz grunts as he stretches his legs and arms. "We should probably tink o moving, make a pallet or something an I can drag some of dem wounded."

Wilma's answer is pretty much a grunt as her fellow guard answers well enough on those matters, "Got close once or twice, but things seem to have held out."

"better get used to it. We've got a long way to go and we've got demons to avoid." Felicia says softly. "I slept fitfully most of the night. Thankfully...I rested." She then looks towards the entrance holes. "They're going to have a rough time in the snow. Some of them were pretty bad off with frostbite."

Lucy climbs halfway up the rock wall so that she can peer through the airhole. She squints through the brightness wnd the sudden facefull of cold air. "What do we do now? Unless another Airship comes to rescue them," Lucy lowers her voice as she glances back at the crew, "I don't know if they'll be able to last. There's only so many of us that can -sacrifice ourselves-" she shoots a dirty look at Baz, "-before that horde finds them."

Felicia says, "and...if we put up a smoke signal....the demons are going to find us before any aitship comes to see it."

GAME: You nominated Celeste for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated Malorn for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated Lucy for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated Felicia for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated PloxLogGoblin for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated Baz da Ork for good roleplay.

GAME: You nominated Wilma for good roleplay.

"We should assume no airships." Serraphine says with a sigh, giving the final pull on a strap and standing up. Her sword is pulled out for a moment, then slid back in to make sure the frost didn't seize the blade yet. She looks for a bit of oils to coat the end of the scabbard. "Well, when we get to the other side of the mountain, maybe we can make some sort of sled for the downhill. That may let us get some distance."

There's a wide grin towards Lucy from the big Oruch. "She made her choice, Kor rewards bravery an kill'n." Rising fully to his feet Baz stretches again and sheaths his blade. "Next time maybe it'll be me eh? I can run for a few hours 'fore I get too tired. Bet ya could hear me for miles too. Go down in a big pile of demon claws. Den the pain in my ass i'd probably be just 'eeth and dicks and not this ere cold damp mak'n me feel old." With a chortle the big Oruch makes his way towads the entrance and pokes his head through one of the holes to see if there's anything other there. ~shooop~

There's nothing out there.

The land immediately outside the cave looks relatively clear, though Baz can see the vulture-like beings still circling form time to time. Once you're out, they probably will be able to see you fairly quickly.

GAME: Celeste rolls athletics: (11)+5: 16

GAME: Celeste rolls stealth: (9)+0: 9

GAME: Serraphine rolls perception: (8)+3: 11

GAME: Felicia rolls perception: (4)+3: 7

GAME: Lucy rolls perception: (6)+11: 17

GAME: Baz da Ork rolls perception: (17)+3: 20

GAME: Malorn rolls perception: (9)+13: 22

Pulling his head back in the Oruch jerks his thumb at the exit. "Mostly clear out dere, got a few o dem flying ones weav'n back and forth. Doubt we could get away from them for long. So best be gett'n mov'in and ready to be kill'n them. No time ta waste here anymore. Unless we want to freeze and starve." The Oruch grins with his large capped tusks. "'course I could eat well me self."

Out on the mountainside, Celeste is running. Still, running. Some might think the Berzerker would be regretting her decision by now; she isn't, but it would definitely be handy to live to tell someone that she regrets nothing. Somewhere along the line she has managed to trip over something and sprawl out over the rocks, leaving her with a bleeding abdomen and similar treatment to the knees, but that isn't slowing her down any; the wounds have since clotted on their own, and she's still going. "At least I'm not cold," she growls to herself, giving an eye up to the vulture-demons flying overhead, and taking a moment to give them a rude gesture.

Litters produced (though not as many possible as you'd like) and the wounded strapped in and more, at least oyu can fianlly break out into the mountain proper while you've got daylight.

Maximizing your potential with the bizarre, buzzard like demons above is going to not be easy.

While Baz and Malorn are the firwst to notice it, you all see the buzzards circling in the distance. Seems /something/ has them distracted.

Thja'd probably be Celeste.

Lucy waits for her turn to leave the cave. One miserable night was more than long enough to spend there. Then a thought occurs to her and she reaches up to tug at Serraphine's arm. "At night we heard the demons - if the mountain looks clear now maybe they passed us by. Should we keep going over the mountains...or head down?"

Malorn spots the buzzards as well as Celeste, "Well those vulture demons are going to be a problem. I can cast some darkness, but I doubt it would hide everyone it has a radius of about 20 feet."

Felicia says, "I have no idea, Fi. I'm just trying to keep these people alive...."

Serraphine looks out and spots the demons too, she lets out a grunt and turns her head to look out and down. There was that idea, but that would take them further away from where they started, right? Up and over was closer, but would take more time. She reaches up, stroking her chin, a frown as she looks out toward where their companion lead them off too.

"No, I think we need to keep with the original plan." Fi looks over to Lucy, "It is a good idea, but we can't leave Celeste out there alone and she'll be expecting us to go up, not down." She nods her head and then points to the smattering of trees and the rock outcropping, "Maybe we can try to stick to those to keep out of sight longer." She glances back to Felicia and frowns.

"Yes, quite, and you're doing a phenomenal job." Serraphine says to her.

Felicia takes a breath. "We need to find another cave then.....same plan as before too. Get in, barricade ourselves in, and hope for the best. if we go down, we'll run into the ground soldiers...and we're dead."

GAME: Serraphine rolls Stealth: (9)+-2: 7

GAME: Celeste rolls athletics: (8)+5: 13

GAME: Malorn rolls stealth: (14)+3: 17

GAME: Celeste rolls stealth: (15)+0: 15

Malorn takes a moment to cast darkness on himself so that most of the party is covered by darkness. He starts to stealth along and tries to keep an eye on the sky.

...well, then.

You have a path up the mountain you can take, that was pointed out earlier. Wilma is still on top of that. Dwarves, mountains. They know how these things work.

The buzzards finally look like they've lost interest in whateever it is they were circling around, so they're slowly returning back to more rgular patrols. Up ahead of you, you c an hear the howls of demons. It's clear they think that you're /in front/ of them rather than behind them. That's the good news, for the lot of you, but it's only going to take you so far.

You evade the buzzards... for now.

Celeste keeps running; there isn't really any other option in front of her at the moment. She's doing her best to evade the vultures, but the approach of daylight is going to make that more difficult too. Well! Nobody said this was going to be easy, and in any case easy isn't what she signed on for. In point of fact, the half-orc is grinning from ear to ear, in spite of bleeding, exhaustion, and a massive demonic host. This is fun, afterall.

Wilma has disconnected.

The big Oruch tromps along, using his size and strength to break trail and transport the wounded. Taking the most weight he can, and still be effective. Baz doesn't speak, saving lung capacity for mule work. Simply tromping along hoisting his share of the labor.

Lucy does her best to hustle along and not get left behind by longer-legged crew and party members. "You know what we're missing? A ranger!" She flashes a smile and then puts her head down again to hurry along.

Felicia tromps along as best she can too. She makes sure to keep an eye on the wounded as well.......especially the ones lagging behind.

Serraphine assists with Baz's endeavor and helps with a litter of her own. She hears was Lucy says and gives out a chuckle, she shakes her head and grins wider, "You're very right. I do wish we had one about now - perhaps one that could cover our tracks. At least, for now, we can use their own tracks against them." She nods her head and looks around, a shadow passing over her gaze, then a look to Felicia.

"Felicia." Serraphine says, staring at her rather sternly, "Do you have any more of those cookies from that priest, the ones shaped like a coffin?"

Felicia says, "No. I don't, actually. Sorry to disappoint you.""

Serraphine lets out a heavy sigh and continues trudging with the litter. Drat.

GAME: Felicia rolls survival: (13)+3: 16

GAME: Lucy rolls survival: (10)+2: 12

GAME: Wilma rolls Survival+4: (3)+9+4: 16

GAME: Serraphine rolls survival: (19)+1: 20

GAME: Baz da Ork rolls survival+2: (19)+5+2: 26

GAME: Celeste rolls perception: (9)+6: 15

Celeste has been running all night. Now, her legs are still moving, but she's damn tired and running is almost more like staggering; but sooner or later she's got to rejoin the group. Sleeping on the mountainside in broad daylight. Still, the gladiatrix reckons she's shaken them off, so at last she makes her way back. As she slogs her way back into view, she waits until she is close to the group before dropping to one knee, clutching a hand to her wounded belly and gasping for air. "Here," she half-whispers at last, holding the ioun-torch out to Lucy. "Thank you. I helped." The nackered half-orc looks up, and abruptly grits her teeth, tensing tired muscles up once more. "Up there," she adds, lifting her sword to point at the top of the ridge, "Demons." She spits, and swears crudely. "Get ready."

Indeed, as your eyes turn up towards where the exhausted Celeste is pointing. Above you, on a ridge, are a handful of creatures, crouching. They'd spotted you from above, just barelyt. There's only six of them and they're skidding down the mountainside towards you.