After nearly half an hour of travel, the hired treasure recovery team held the cave within their reach. Behind them the port city Danenton lay still visible. This cave they approached had a reputation for illegal transaction, so it was likely the first place to look, even had their employer not given them orders to come here.
Lord Fraiser, the client and a member of city council, insisted when they met with him, that one of his enemies surely paid to have an item of his stolen. He even went as far as to imagine that the piece, a painting of some forgotten monarch, would be exchanged at the popular location.
The hireling adventurers did as they were bidden, leaving early the next day on the short journey. The next few minutes would tell whether this mission would be a fast earned profit, or a tedious stake-out.
The party is starting at the bottom of a short climb to get to the mentioned cave. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves and interact with each other, or on the other hand, shush each other as the goal approaches.
It had been a couple of months since the group had been together, yet no more about Jevaf had she given than her name, and by now the others could come to expect nothing more. There was something about the quiet Drow that seemed to suggest she had little to say. Perhaps it was her lack of speech and opinion, or perhaps it was the dangerous glint in her eyes when the conversation shifted to query about her past and particular skills. Regardless of what it was, she kept to herself, even after these months, and even now she is silent, with only the noise of her equipment truly making any noise for her.
Professionally, she fastens spikes to the tips of her leather boots, securing them about her ankles. Once finished this, she judges the face of the climb. Deeming the harness and her pitons and rope to be unnecessary for this short distance, Jevaf pulls out a set of metal claw-like gauntlets, with a spike extending from each fingertip. She fastens these carefully to her hands, and begins her ascent, stabbing into any cracks she spots with her feet, or balancing on a good foothold, as she reaches upward almost catlike with her hands. Each stone and each crack she considers before either clasping the hold or stabbing her spiked fingers into an array of cracks before stepping up further. She concentrates on her task, her eyes wary as she goes further up.
On the journey to the cave, Maaht didn't say much. He wasn't really at ease with most of the members of the group, even now. And they had already worked together more than once. He didn't like gawd-awful, gaudy paladins. None of 'em. And that the one in the group was one of his own kind was a kick in the b-- umm, well anyway, he liked this paladin even less. But even Maaht had to admit he had been useful, so he tolerated him.
The darkie-elfie was too quiet. Maaht was far from being the type for lengthy discourse, but she was downright sulky, as far as he was concerned. There was a furry cat-person thing that was just different enough to interest Maaht, but Maaht didn't start conversations. He usually ended them. He wanted to find out where this thing was from and what it was about. He knew about dwarves, but the one in the group specialized in archery? Wierd. Other than that, and his red hair and beard he was always fussing with, he was alright, Maaht guessed. The humans in the group were okay, too, as far as that goes. Everyone seemed to hold onto their end of the rope okay ...
What really rankled Maaht was that he couldnt intimidate any of the group. He always had to go somewhere else to take out his frustrations. People were supposed to be afraid of red dragons, and since Maaht had painted his armor that color and then had painstakingly drawn lines in the wet paint to make it look like scales, it should be pretty obvious where his interests and abilities lie ...
Anyway, the only reason that he stayed with the group, at least for now, is that it had been lucrative so far. Maaht liked having gold to spend, and he liked being able to use his abilities and skills. Seeing him do that was what usually made people run from him. He liked that. It's what they were supposed to do.
Maaht wasn't happy that he had to leave Harss in town, but it was only a short walk to the cave, according to their employer, and he wasn't about to leave the animal unattended at the site while he went delving about like a worm in a burrow. He didn't much like "wandering about" underneath the ground. He had done it once before, and that's how he knew he didn't like it. It was fine for dwarves and gnomes darkies and the like ...
When they reached the climb point, Maaht watched elfie strap on some spikes and stuff and start the climb, and he shook his head, thinking <>i"yah! wanna see ol'mister metal-bug crawl up that! ", as he glanced back at the palandin, smiling, but quiet. For his own part, Maaht unslung his quiver, pulled two long leather straps out of it, andused them to bundle his javelins and morning star into the quiver and then tie the bundle to the quiver strap so as not to lose them. he also loosened the straps on his backpack to give himself more freedonm of movement for a while for the climb. Then he started up ...
[[ normal climb attempt @ +5 *crosses fingers* ]]
Posted on 2008-08-14 at 05:47:44.
Edited on 2008-08-14 at 05:52:48 by Wyrmsting
Climbing and been done often in his youth he would be the fastest and strongest in his tribe of warhungry orcs but the others weren't less fit or strong than him it was just that he was driven, driven by an unrelenting passion to beat his peers they had bullied and tormented him about his ethical and moral beliefs but at everything Grakh would win he would beat them at running, climbing, Jumping, swordsplay and even riding.
However, with this big hunk of metal strapped to him things could change and as flexibility was not a speciality for this armour but keeping him safe was so nevertheless he started to climb the cavern wall as quietly as he could keeping clinking to a minimum.
Gamiates watched the cliff grow closer with aprehension. He had guessed that this journey would result in the need to climb since he first spotted the cave, though he wished with every approaching step that it would not be necessary. By the time he stopped before the base of the cliff, he was cursing himself for not having a Jump spell prepared to deal with things like this.
He reached out to the rocky mountain face as Grakh did to his right. He winced at the idea of one even as strong as he climbing in that full suit of steel. Gamiates himself wore no armour, opting for a long black tunic with elbow length sleeves and pale yellow breeches. Besides, armour would do nothing more than get in the way of his spellcasting gestures, which was ultimately his most important asset. Gamiates paused one last time to ensure that none of his supplies would be tempted into an impromptu flight, then glanced up to the top of the cliff. This wouldn't be an easy climb for either of them.
Okay. Finally. They got here. While Gorsh was used to lagging behind faster-moving, long-legged folk, he was tired after the pace the rest of the group set to get to this cave. And by the Forges! Now he has to climb? Climbing formations such as this was not unnatural to Gorsh, but by Moradin's Braided Beard! Did they have to be in such a hurry? When they arrived at the cave and he saw he'd have to climb, Gorsh sat down to catch his breath so as to be refreshed enough to make the climb easily. But the others seemed in a rush.
The two half-orcs made quick preparations and started their respective climbs quickly. Gorsh still smiled at the night-and-day difference between the two of them. Their sizes, demeanors, and attitudes not only differed, they often conflicted. Which was sometimes amusing to listen to, if one was smart enough to keep silent. The Drow woman , like Gorsh, seemed to be in no hurry. But even she was ready to make the climb quickly. No help there. The humans? Short-lived people always seemed to be in a hurry to get to wherever they were going. His companions seemed to be no different. And Gorsh still marveled at the cat-person, Drassar. A unique one, he. And the dwarf liked to learn about unique things and people. But the furred one was as withdrawn to speaking to the dwarf as was the Drow female.
Ah, well. Gorsh stood and checked his gear, to be sure that nothing would become separated from him if he slipped or -- Moradin forbid! -- fell. Once finished, he began his own climb after first checking the face to find the most solid area of the low cliff, with the least amount of fissures. This would most likely be the safest route, but not necessarily the easiest ...
This morning Drassarr had felt in a kind mood, he did not know why but he felt like going out of his way to help the rest of the group help these humans, as a result he got himself this task to do. Before setting off he was dismayed because he couldn't take Katarin his horse because of a cliff, Katarin wasn't just a horse, she was his companion and had been for a long time but this time she had to stay back. He payed for a climbers kit with 8 silvery platinum coins and gave the sum demanded to the stables before taking a waterskin and his tent from Katarin's saddle bag and then set off.
When he saw the group he was worried at the presence of 2 characters, two half-orcs, he did not like orcs. And one of the a RED dragon sharman, his tribe had a dragon sharman and so he recognized one when he saw one, but why a red dragon, their evil!
Having already got over his inhibitions he traveled with the group, running ahead a distance and then slowing to slower then even the dwarf letting them catch up then flitting ahead again, he knew the other races found this annoying but he couldn't simply keep a pace. Whenever his tribe moved it was like this but an a scraggy group with people running and walking at the same time. Something he did try was this not-talking idea, it was again as foreign to him as keeping a pace, he tried this for a wile but it was boring, he knew some the other to be interested in him and so he slowed to the dwarf's pace to talk to him. Speaking in dwarven he started to talk.
"Thank the spirritss it'ss drry." This mere sentence was almost be uncomprehendable in common but he hoped it would be OK in dwarven. "I can not sstand the rrain, it getss my furr matted and heavy."
His voice was soft and feline as, he pured slightly on the R's and hissed less on the S's but it was still noticeable, although not melodic the sound of his voice was pleasant, in the same way the puring of a cat is a nice sound to hear.
Remaining one of the few not trained in climbing he hoped that his newly purchased kit would help him, he would not be able to use the boots but he hoped to ask Gorsh for some help picking is route.
When he got to the foot of the cliff he hung back and watched the others make their way up so he could pick the best route, even though he was the fastest walker it was him they were all waiting for at the top. It was slow work and he hated every second of it.
Posted on 2008-08-15 at 01:36:11.
Edited on 2008-08-15 at 08:56:09 by Loki
Making it there first was Drassarr, followed by the rest of the group, Gorsh taking up the rear. He wanted to rest for a while, but the others were taking to the cliff at once. Grakh jumped to the wall immediately only to come sliding down. He tried climb again from ground level, and after about five feet or so, Grakh began to feel good, then all went south. He went to continue lifting his hand to grab the next convenient hold, meanwhile his other hand slipped and down he went. The next try was the one he made it all the way this time.
After slipping on her gear Jevaf began to climb, she made it up with relative ease and little effort. Gamiates had a much easer time in his escapade, climbing up the wall was quick work, though after a short while it begun to grow hard, so near the top he had stop and let one arm relax at a time. After shaking it off Gamiates climbed up to the top.
Looking at the two beside him, Maaht shook his head and began to climb. After a few moments of climbing, he then realised he was at the top, later he turned to watch the others in their climb. Gorsh monitored the wall to find the least amount of cracks, when he found said spot, he proceeded to climb the first few tries were unsuccessful, trying a third time he managed to pull his body off the ground and climb the rest of the way up.
Waiting for everyone to get up Drassarr, climbs up with no effort at all. None the less in half the time, or better in some cases.
After the party made it up the cliff, they then turned to the entrance, then proceed forward.
(By the way Utan, you were right not the easiest, you got two ones in a row.)
Posted on 2008-08-15 at 04:08:40.
Edited on 2008-08-15 at 04:42:45 by Okron
Curse my armour Grakh thought to himself, he had made a mockery of himself trying to get up the cliff and Grakh sense of humour was not nearly at the same level as his dignity he felt almost ashamed that he had to try so many times to climb something the others found easy.
On the brighter side of life he had been able to make it in full plate armour which is commendable to say the least now at the top he wandered what they would do i mean storming the place wasn't the best idea in his books but sneaking around was not noble as he had wished it sneaking around in full plate would be hard to say the least.
One bit of Grakhs equipment he knew would be useful in this cavern was his tower shield as if the walls were thin enough he could uuse at as cover for not only him but his whole party letting the archers shoot over it while the melee combatants could form a phalanx if any had spears as he doubted his longsword would work in such a situation.
By the time Gorsh reached the top of the short climb, he was only slightly tired, but frustrated in the worst way. He knew better than to assume that cracks meant falling! Cracks were places to put fingers. They were handholds. A lack of cracks meant a lack of handholds, and that meant falling! And he had a few bruises to prove that bit of logic. It was only after falling twice that he finally realized the folly of the initial assessment of his climbing route. When he returned to the same point the others had ascended, he also was able to do so. Maybe not as fast, but he made it, frustrated more with himself than with the lack of rest, now.
His frustration lent him energy, which was a good thing, for even after the climb, the others were heading for the cave. Gorshak followed with a deep sigh and a shake of his head. But he wasn't so tired, at least not now.
Posted on 2008-08-15 at 07:55:04.
Edited on 2008-08-15 at 07:57:19 by Utan the Orange
Drassarr watched the others ascent carefully, they made quick work of it once the got started but allowed himself a few purring chuckles at Gorsh but he had no hopes to manage the climb any better. As it worked out he managed the climb easily, even with all his equipment over his back, he was sure that if he didn't have that special elven quiver he wouldn't have even made it half way.
In half the time it took the others to get up he was on the cliff top and looking into the cave, he was considering roughly the same things as Grakh but with a few differences. 'If we all sneak in then if one of us is found then all of us are, but storming it would be madness maybe if...'
But then he remembered Grakh's precious shield and started voicing his thoughts.
"Do you have your towerr sshield with you Grrakh?" He said looking hopefully at Grakh's backpack "becauss me and Jevaf could go in hiding and you with the others could go with you. That way they now theirr being confrronted and we have ssurprrise."
Grakh looked upon the disgusting cat featured humanoid. He replied to the question "Of course I have my shield, dragoncrest, and yes your plan is very wise, lets do this I am sick of waiting here above the evil creatures below, they shall be vanquished."
Drassarr was very glad that the half-orc agreed to his, how these short tempered and stupid creatures survived long enough to learn to speak is beyond him but with all his prejudice against them the stupid head-strong things were needed, if only to draw enemy arrows.
A bit of this must have come out as he let a cruel smile just touch his lips when he next spoke about the evil creatures below, they shall be Grakh. He had seen people fight with Grakh's type of shield before, he thought it stupid to sacrifice manoeuvrability and face the enemy face on when their flank is soo inviting.
"Let'ss get thisss show sstarted then, it'ss tirring sstanding. In the worrdss of my 'good' frriend Grrrakh 'the evil crreaturress below, they sshall be vanquisshed'" he said takeing off the climbing gear and placing it into a backpack he also purchased.
Posted on 2008-08-16 at 12:31:42.
Edited on 2008-08-16 at 17:30:20 by Loki
Jevaf says nothing as she expertly takes off the spikes on her boots and her climbing claws, and repacks them in her backpack, in the meantime listening to the others as they plan. Finishing her task, she looks over at the others as they finalize their plan, not saying anything.
Wordlessly, she nods to Drassarr as he gets ready to move forward. Jevaf silently contemplates her choice of weapon. For the moment, it would seem her bow is her best option; it would allow her to aim at virtually any of the enemies and strike the most dangerous one first.
With her hood still for the most part blocking her face, Jevaf reaches behind her back and pulls out her bow. Then, staying close to the right side of the cave, she enters, paying close attention to the ground before her and avoiding loose rocks and other things that could make noise.
The dark elf woman was already unstrapping her climbing stuff and stowing it when Maaht got to the top. She was still silent. When the human and dwarf got to the level of the entrance, they, too, checked their respective items for security after the climb.
While untying his morning star and freeing the javelins in his quiver, Maaht noticed that Mister Goodie-Two-Boots and the cat-thing seemed to have struck a deal, whatever it was. Well and good, for them. Maaht didn't have to know about it, and he didnt have to be in on it. What bothered Maaht was that those two seemed to be in a hurry to get to, oor at, something. Typical.
While checking ang loosening his gear, Maaht mulled a bit over the groups association, as he had done many times before. He knew that the strength of their company was in the disparate ideals and ethics working together, seemingly against all odds. Sure, they fussed at one another at times, argued, but those minor conflicts had never come to blows. Considering his disdain for laws and rules and total ambivalence to good and evil, Maaht found it amazing that the group hadn't split up long ago. But then again, maybe all of them were in it for the same reason he was -- mutual greed. Which meant that his "cousin" -- he mentally spat the word like acid -- over there wasn't as altruistic as he would like the others to believe. But Maaht didn't know if that was the case, and really didn't care. As long as things remained as they were, without physical in-fighting among group members, their association was bearable.
He shook his head, as if to shake off the thoughts like sweat off his brow. Then he picked up and swung his gear into place for travel and approached the entrance also ...