"How did I end up here? Honestly, I wish I knew." Heironymus looked around at the others in the group. He had no reason to hide anything from them.
"I am not from around here. In fact, I know little of the area - Vorlance gave me abookwith some basic local information in it because I know so little about the place I have found myself in," he added,holding up the little book.
"I just disappeared from my part of this world and reappeared here. I needed work, so after looking around for a while trying to figure out where I was, I hired on with a merchant as a gaurd. We were ambushed. It was some form of an inside job, although I am not sure how. The merchant daughter was captured by our attackers, although she went willingly. Two of us went to search for her and attempt a rescue. We failed, but did bring the father a sealed message from the kidnapper, who seemed to desire war between two local nations - the war you heard Vorlance comment on as a distraction."
"We were imprisoned on the claim that we were a part of the conspiracy. What game was being played, I do not know. Perhaps in the minds of those who wanted war we simply knew too much? Who knows. Gronz helped us to escape." With a nod to the half-orc he added, "which I still appreciate."
"And now I find myself here. I know little of why I am here, only that I keep getting buffeted from one situation beyond my control to another. And how do you find yourself in our group?"
Posted on 2011-03-28 at 11:54:27.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
(OOC: Feel free to continue this conversation, but I figure the I've already made you guys wait long enough for an update. So here it is.)
The first day of travel went smoothly, which seemed to be a pleasent change for much of the group. The Demonspine Mountains seem to get closer with each passing step. By the time the group made camp, their best estimates placed them in the foot hills by nightfall of the following day, if the weather holds out.
Unfortunately, the weather didn't hold. Early the next morning a storm begins to role in. Clouds cover the light of the moons, leaving the land illuminated only by the soft glow of several volcanoes in the distance to the north.
(For those without darkvision, some light source will be necessary for you to move safely. Reminder: Low-light vision has double the normal range in this world.)
Undetered the group trudged through the rain and darkness towards the remote mountain temple. At the end of the third day, the rain still pouring down, they reach the base of the mountains. Tomorrow, they would have to climb.
The cliff face before you is honeycombed by caves and alcoves. An overhang of stone provides a bit of shelter from the weather, though with everything soaked, you may have a bit of difficulty starting a fire.
(OOC: So, you have made the trip to the mountains without apparent incident. The next posts should deal with the current night, how you intend to approach the the climb, as well as any changes in prepared spells (for those who do that sort of thing)).
As was to be expected Gronz was a half-orc of few words, saying next to nothing the entire hike. When addressed he would normally grunt or give short one word answers that quickly put a stop to any conversation attempts. He had made up his mind after the prison break that he was not here to make friends with these people, he was here for the pay and the challenges to come, for the chance to see what he was truly capable of.
When the storm rolled in with its thick clouds and biting rain he cursed loudly in orcish but for the most part continued on with little complaint, there was little point in complaining about things that were beyond their control. When camp was set up at the base of the mountain he set about to shaking dry, much like a wet dog, which he smelled pretty close to as well. He then dug a trail ration from his pack, munched on the tough dried food that made him almost miss the mansion, almost but not quite, and volunteered to take first watch as he seemed to have the least trouble seeing in these overcast conditions.
Posted on 2011-03-29 at 10:08:08.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
Update on the cliff
The following morning the party prepares for the climb. The face before them went almost straight up... a challenge to be sure.
With hesitation and caution they began. Stone by stone the group climbs. Foot by foot, with each step seeming to threaten a deadly fall.
Hours passed, and it seemed like very little progress had been made. Even the muscles of the strong half-orc were tired and aching. About fifty feet above there was a small plateau. Hopefully it was big enough for the party to get some much needed rest, perhaps even rest for the night, despite the earliness of the hour.
Hope, and visions of food and rest flashed across their minds as they climbed further. But their minds were not the only thing working at that moment.
A screech from higher up the mountain echoes off of the stones, then another. Sever pairs of wings soar out into the open sky, blotting out a portion of the starlight. After watching them for a moment you see them begin to circle, approaching you as you cling to the rocks... with talons bared.
Quarilin cursed himself under his breath. All the knowledge of all the histories in this world would do him or anybody else no good if those creatures see them as prey.
He apparently had a lapse in foresight, for he had the rope but not the pitons for climbing. Without those, his rope would be risky at best to use, Useless to the group at worst.
Only when he was sure of his footing and handhold of the rock, did he pull one handed his wand from his pack and secure it within the confines of his belt. If those winged beasts got too close, he would have something for them.
Quarilin finally speaks up,"Climbing like this is suicide, folks, but I do have an Idea. If one of you would climb up next to me we could each use a free hand to help each other tie my rope onto a crossbow bolt which I could fire at and over the nearest out cropping or maybe into the stone as a make shift piton. It'll be risky, cause we could lose the rope all together, but its all over anyway if those flying whatsits above us decide to have lunch while we are here. what say you?"
Posted on 2011-04-03 at 19:43:46.
Edited on 2011-04-03 at 19:55:19 by Tiamat5774
As if hours and hours of climbing this ridiculously steep cliff face had not been bad enough, the shrill screeches overhead alerted the half orc to an incoming threat that would prove very hazardous to their survival if it was not dealt with. Realizing that trying to fight these bird creatures while hanging from the cliff face would be suicidal at best Gronz pushed himself to climb faster and hopefully make the last 50 feet to the plateau above where he could make a better stand against any foe on stable ground.
((Yes I realize attempting to rush this climb could very well result in a fall, dropping not only Gronz, but putting any team mates below him at risk too, but he is a rash half orc, and not one to fully think things like this through. If he falls and in the process knocks anyone else down with him, I personally apologize, but I feel it is truly what the character would do in this instance, and is what he will be doing. On the plus side, if he does manage to make it before anyone else, and before these birds get to them, he does have a rope in his pack and may be able to find some way to secure it and lower it to the others.))
Raina ~ Climbing the Cliff Carelessly for a Chance at Covering her Cohorts
Heironymus began telling his tale, and it was easy to hear the sarcasm and frustration in his words. It was refreshing to get a straight answer after all of the muddled information she had received since being brought to Vorlance’s estate.
"And now I find myself here,” the cleric mused, “I know little of why I am here, only that I keep getting buffeted from one situation beyond my control to another. And how do you find yourself in our group?"
Her hand paused and hovered slightly over the leather as she looked back at Heironymus, wondering how much to tell him. He had, after all, been forward with her. Yes, but you don’t know these people at all. She inwardly winced at memory of the last time she saw her sister. Better be vague.
“Mmmm,” the noise came deep from her throat, “my story sounds very much the same, minus the prison break.” She smiled faintly before settling herself down for the night. Although that’s not the half of it, is it?
The continuous rain made sleep difficult to find. Waking up to it the next morning was even worse. Raina pulled on her gear and stared up at the looming cliff. She longed for a hot cup of tea. Perfect weather for a nice morning climb. The face of the cliff looked unyielding, but a plausible path could just be made out in the rain. This certainly wasn’t like climbing a stone wall up to a window, but the precise foot placement and slow work was reminiscent of the task.
Relief began washing over Raina’s tired limbs as the top began to creep closer. The treacherous climb so far hadn’t claimed any of the group, and the plateau carried a promise of rest and nourishment. A screech rent the air. Black leather creaked as she looked over her shoulder towards the sound. Wings could just be made out silhouetted against the starlight. A curse escaped her lips. At least it has stopped raining.
Quarilin broke the party’s silence, "Climbing like this is suicide, folks, but I do have an Idea. If one of you would climb up next to me we could each use a free hand to help each other tie my rope onto a crossbow bolt which I could fire at and over the nearest out cropping or maybe into the stone as a make shift piton. It'll be risky, cause we could lose the rope all together, but its all over anyway if those flying whatsits above us decide to have lunch while we are here. what say you?"
True to his nature, the half-orc did not reply but instead pushed on ahead up the cliff.
“He’s got the right idea,” Raina said to the others, nodding upwards towards Gronz. She had pushed herself to the physical limit before, and that hadn’t been a matter of life or death. This situation definatly was, although the makeshift piton might be more on the side of death. She inched towards Quarlin, “Tie that rope around my waist, and between the half orc and myself, we’ll get you guys to the top without as much risk.”
((OOC: A.) If Quarlin goes for it, Raina will help tie the rope around her waist, remove one of her daggers and place it in her teeth [oh yeah ^_^], and follow Gronz as quickly and safely as she can using her Climb and Acrobatic Skill. Once at the top, she’ll assist Gronz in hauling at least Quarlin up (I know, no climb skill) and assisting/hauling Heironymus up the cliff. For upcoming battle, it’ll be crossbow, then rapier if they come in for a landing (while trying to be as stealthy as possible. I know this might not be possible depending on terrain and where she’s at when the battle begins).
B.) If Quarlin doesn’t go for it, it will be much the same but sans Quarlin’s rope. If Gronz produces his rope at the top she’ll help, but she won’t suggest it (because she doesn’t know he has it!) but instead prepare to battle the birds of prey. ))
Posted on 2011-04-05 at 15:30:58.
Edited on 2011-04-05 at 15:45:33 by Celeste
“Tie that rope around my waist, and between the half orc and myself, we’ll get you guys to the top without as much risk.”
"I don't think you want to be tied to me. I'm bigger than you. If I fall, you will also. Climb quickly and then help us up when you are secure."
For some strange reason the cleric did not understand, an image of a mask dropping down in front of him as he and many other people sat tightly packed together inside of a large metal hallway with little windows came to mind. The image made no sense, nor did the strange voice saying,"always put your own mask on first, only then assisting others." It was a strange vision, but a quick shake of his head cleared his mind as he continued to climb.
"Climb quickly." So saying, the cleric continued up the cliff himself. He was more than willing to accept help, but did not want to put others at greater risk. The ledge above was their greatest hope, buthe kept his eyes out for something closer. The cliff had been riddled with ledges and caves - if he could find some place to brace his feet he might be able to make a small stand and provide some cover for the others with a spell or crossbow bolt. But if it wasn't at least moderately secure, he'd be better off continuing the climb.
"Looks as if you've done this before. I think Heironymous is right. Just take my rope, it's strapped and hanging off my pack. Chances are you'll make it to the top before we do. If you're tethered to any of us and we fall we'll take you down with us, so when you get there you can lower the rope down."
*Raina is more than welcome to take the rope off of my pack with her. If she still wants it tied to her waist Ill help her with that, for ease of carrying the rope. Quarilin will continue to climb carefully, being sure of all his hand-holds and footing.*
Posted on 2011-04-06 at 01:32:53.
Edited on 2011-04-06 at 01:48:35 by Tiamat5774
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The group's collective gaze settles on the shadows in the sky as the soar, blocking out stars with the beat of their wings.
,"Climbing like this is suicide, folks, but I do have an Idea. If one of you would climb up next to me we could each use a free hand to help each other tie my rope onto a crossbow bolt which I could fire at and over the nearest out cropping or maybe into the stone as a make shift piton. It'll be risky, cause we could lose the rope all together, but its all over anyway if those flying whatsits above us decide to have lunch while we are here. what say you?"
Quarlin's suggestion seems to fall on deaf ears as first Gronz, then Raina and Heironymus accelerate their climb. Shrugging, Quarlin continues up the cliff behnd them.
Hand above hand they climb, constantly aware of the sharp talons bearing down on them, but fearing to look, in case that simple movement should slow them down or worse, cause them to slip. The shrieks grow ever closer at their backs.
Raina is the first to reach the small plateau, Quarlin's rope in hand. Quickly she ties the rope around her waist and looks out over the edge, getting the first good look at the creatures bearing down on them. Their lizard-like scales glint int he moonlight as the glide on bat wings. The spikes on their tales seem to have some manner of liquid streaming from them. One of them cries out once more and like a sudden blast it hits her... wyverns. She didn't know much about them, but she had heard stories and that was enough.
Gronz was next over the precipice, slipping only slightly as he brought his lead foot onto flat land. Heironymus and Quarlin were still having a bit of trouble. The cleric was weighed down a bit more from his equipment, and the wizard was not nearly as adept at finding the hand and footholds necessary to traverse such a treacherous place.
The wyverns circle once more and then dive towards the party, anxious for their next meal.
(OOC: So, I will be rolling initiative for this next round. Raina is on the plateau (a rough 25' semi-circle of flat ground before the cliff climbs once again) with the rope tied seemingly securely around her. Gronz has also reached the plateau and has just gained his feet. Heironymus and Quarlin ar both still about 20' shy of the plateau slowling moving up the cliff face. The Wyverns will be able to attack this round. Now, it is your move.)
Posted on 2011-04-17 at 20:09:26.
Edited on 2011-05-09 at 11:44:10 by Steelight
Quarilin begins to panic....almost. Panicking at a time such as this is just as much suicide as climbing, for him at least.
"You know, this would be an excellent time for that rope!"
*if the rope doesn't come down in the first round, Quarilin will risk one handing the rock hoping for a good foot hold for both feet, get his wand from his belt and start Color Spraying the wyverns when they come into range hoping to at least stun them. If the rope comes first he will climb as fast as he can up the rope, with Gronz and Raina hopefully pulling us up*
Heironymus was a fan of armor. Most of the time. This would be one of those other times. Unless, of course, it proved effective against wyvern claws, then he'd like it again.
While he pondered the effect of armor, he continued to climb, keeping an eye out for the rope from above. He'd let the wizard use the aid to go up first, but would be very happy to make use of it as quickly as he could. In the mean time, he climbed.
When he got to the top his best choice would probably be his crossbow.
These things looked to be quite a bit stronger than what Gronz was used to handling in his thug work, and as such he realized that maybe he might need some help up here if they were to survive to climb any higher up this mountain. Glancing around him he tries to locate somewhere, anywhere, to tie his rope in order to drop it down to aid the others in getting up here, the magics the cleric and mage could bring to this fight would be more useful than trying to take a stand on ground against flying foes. Finding nowhere suitable to tie off the rope the half-orc chooses instead to take a risk and drops to a kneel, bracing himself on the hard ground as he lowers the rope to the others, bracing himself against the weight that is sure to come when they begin their climb. Large muscles tightened beneath his grey skin, and he hoped silently that the female that had beat him up here would be able to hold off the beasts while he was otherwise occupied.
((EDIT: adding new information/action based on DM elaboration))
Posted on 2011-04-28 at 12:46:00.
Edited on 2011-04-30 at 04:29:08 by Shield Wolf
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The two creatures spiral towards the group hungrily. As the get closer, their stinger-tipped tails come into view dripping some sort of liquid.
The first of the pair swoops straight at Raina as she stands tall, attempting to hold the creature at bay until her companions have reached the ledge. She readied her rapier at its approach. It swoops down slashing with its claws and whipping its tail at the rogue. The claw of its wing her firmly as it flys by, spinning her full circle and disorienting her a bit. (Struck for 4 hp damage.) The tail scatches harmlessly across her armor, leaving a slight scratch and traces of the strange liquid behind. Despite her diziness he lashed out with her sword, grazing the creature, but leaving a mark of her own on its reptilian body.
Meanwhile, Gronz sets himself as firmly as he can and tosses the rope over the edge of the cliff to Heironymus and Quarlin. Immediately the wizard begins to climb. Light as he is, the half-orc has no trouble supporting his weight as he climbs. Just has he reaches the precipice of the plateau the other creature of the pair swoops in, but not at Quarlin... at the cleric that is holding on for dear life belof the ledge.
Its tail strikes him hard, penetrating his armor on his left side, just below his ribs, and pumping the liquid into his veins. The momentum of the blow knocks him loose from his handholds. Dsperately he shot his hand out to grab the still dangling rope. By sheer luck he managed to grab hold, just as his entire body seemed to burst, burning with liquid fire from within. (6 hp damage)
Atop the ledge the half-orc saw the diving wyvern, and held his breath and the rope tightly. The sudden weight on the rope pulled him to the ground, dragging him right to the edge of the cliff, but he held on. The muscles in his arms bulged as he channeled all of his thought, and all of his strength into them.
Slowly, painfully, Heironymus began to climb.
(OOC: As referenced in the post, these creatures are wyverns, but they are only medium-sized creatures. The one that attacked Raina flew by and soared back to the sky, preparing for another pass. The other flew out and is hovering about 60 feet to Heironymus' right, also seeming to prepare for another pass, yet it seems to be... smiling.. and waiting...)