The ex-templar waited on the one side of the corridor, keeping a close eye on the way they had come in. Tobias knew the Raslan was freeing the first of likely many. The warrior cursed softly that he had not the wits earlier to have claimed the weapons of his fallen enemies in order to equip the refugees.
The loud creaking of the iron door alerted Tobias that Korviss had been successful, and he let his crossbow settle more firmly on the doorway that they had entered through earlier, just waiting for a death merc to show his ugly bandana.
...But the sight of the elf woman...
She was the most exquisite, the most exotic, the most elegant creature the knight had ever seen. Her beauty, even though dimmed by the dank surroundings, and even though tarnished by her (likely) long captivity, could not be concealed, not be covered... but it shone through, bright and awesome in this dark place... like a lightning storm during a humid summer night on the plains... chaotic, wild, fearful... yet beautiful.
The knight averted his eyes back to the door, so as not to stare... so as not to become enthralled. As Korviss indicated he was moving back to the door by the wardrobe, Tobias spoke to Kresimir, "I'll watch the entrance way, if you give our lockpick some company."
The big man began wrenching on the doors to the cell. Metal creaked and protested as his hands attempted to pry the bars apart. With a small sound of disgust? Its so hard to tell with nonelves, the small man motioned for him to stand aside. He produced an oilcloth that bundled oddly shaped tools, and set to work on the lock.
Kaimelle couldn’t help but stare at the Halfling. She knew it was too good to be true, knew that guards were going to clop down the hall and incarcerate her would be liberators. The lock continued to make clicking noises, and she saw the Halfling glance up at her before going back to work on the device. After a few moments, he yanked the lock free and swung open the door. Kaimelle’s position in the room allowed the door to just miss her; too many times had she been brutally knocked down by a violent shove with the bars.
The Halfling reached in and took her hand. His palm felt warm against her icy cold skin, and he squeezed and pulled at the same time to get her moving. Her bare feet began to move against the hard stone floor, and she stepped out into the hallway. A breeze seemed to rush around her, rush through her; a penetrating wind reached out and touched her soul.
Kaimelle slowly closed her eyes at the familiar sensation that had for so long been cut off from her. The Halfling was still holding her hand and speaking softly to her, "I'm sorry my Lady. We cannot guide you to the surface yet. We believe there are others down here help captive in situations not unlike your own. As such, as much as I would like to bring you to safety, we cannot. Our job is not yet done here."
His voice hesitated, "That being said, you are, of course, free to leave on your own." She could feel his body shift, though she kept her eyes shut, still savoring the renewed connection, "That is the way out. I would warn you though that we fought some rather nasty fellows on our way here, and I am honestly uncertain if there are more out there. You are also free to accompany us if that is your wish. I, at least, will do my best to keep you safe pretty one." He released his hold on her and moved away.
Her eyes flashed open. His words finally seemed to penetrate the Mith’ganni’s mind. …there are others down here …. more out there… rather nasty fellows…
“I will come with you,” Kaimelle said to the Halfling and the large man as she followed them down the corridor. Her voice sounded unusual, as if lack of use made it a little more husky. “There are many who need to be repaid some of their kindness.” Her mind wandered to the refugees she had been traveling with, and not for the first time , doubted that any would still be alive. Her end of the corridor had been empty aside from herself; probably reserved for those who harbored a connection with the Ether.
A figure loomed at the end of the hallway, and the Mith’ganni had to suppress a desire to call upon her magicks. The two that walked with her regarded him with friendliness, but the sight of another tall, large male set her on edge. She attempted to calm her nerves as he openly stared at her with shockingly clear blue eyes. The mess of curly brown hair softened the would-be hard face, and he quickly shifted his eyes towards the door. His deep voice directed towards the other big man, "I'll watch the entrance way, if you give our lockpick some company."
Torn between staying with one large human that towered feet above her, and going with a different towering human, Kaimelle decided to stand near the entrance. Her mind was too frazzled to make any concrete decisions, and not moving back and forth seemed to be the best plan she could formulate. The Mith’ganni attempted to keep the Ether at the forefront of her mind as she gazed silently out the door.
Posted on 2011-06-07 at 15:36:39.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
As Koriss works on the lock his head perks up as a thought strikes him.
Quickly he turns to the wondrous elf.
"I'm sorry my Lady. You might find a change of garb in this wardrobe over here. I'm sure you'd rather be wearing that than the clothes your captors left you."
Kresimir watched nervously as the Raslan worked his trade upon the cell lock, and with a satisfying click, his small hands swung wide the doors, releasing the captive, yet captivating woman from her prison.
The Gano had only seen a small handful of Mith'gani in his lifetime, and even then it was many years ago while travelling with the nomadic gypsy's he called family.
As they made their way back to the main storeroom, Kresimir kept his glances toward's the woman to a minimum. He knew the stories of their kind, was surprised when she had volunteered to accompany them, thinking her desire to be outdoors, to feel the rush of wind against her skin, to gaze upon the skies above would motivate her. However, her comment -- “There are many who need to be repaid some of their kindness.” -- touched Kresimir on a level where familiar stirrings took hold of him as well. This woman had been broken, breaten, and was clinging to the one thing she could draw strength from.. The desire to hurt those who hurt her, pure, primal, revenge.
Grimm knew that feeling well, for it guided his steps even now. He would do what he could to see her pain eased at the expense of her captors. There was no morality behind his toughts, merely the desire to quell the beast within.. to feed the need.
"I'll watch the entrance way, if you give our lockpick some company." Tobias had said to Kresimir, breaking him from his reverie.
He head over to give Koriss any assistance he may require should he unlock the door only to find trouble on the other side.
Tirmut 6th, 1022
Despite her battered and delicate state, her clothes torn half to rags and her eyes wild with torment, the unearthly presence of the Mith'ganni was truly awe inspiring to behold. The rarity of encountering one of the Twilight elves in a man's limited lifetime was in itself a landmarking event. Both Tobias and Nick found it a struggle against their strength of will not to stare at the woman, and set themselves to guarding assignment once again.
Her nerves were wracked, but Kaimelle bid her desire to accompany the team further into the ruin, although her vaguely-worded reasoning for it piqued the curiosity of more than one of those present. But, as none knew exactly what talents the elf maiden harboured, pressing on in the search for the remaining captives seemed the thing to do.
Koriss had already set himself to work on opening the door adjacent to the heavy wardrobe, where Tobias had earlier failed to produce a key. An inspection from the halfling's keen eyes revealed no traps or triggers on their side of the heavy barrier, and directing Kresimir to stand beside him to supply the torchlight, produced his trusted housebreaker's tools and began probing the inset locking device. The gentle clunking of his pick and spoon set sounded slightly more strained than his efforts on the cell door. He ground his teeth in irritation. The lock was rusted inside. He could tell even without having a look at the components. The resistance his delving was met with told him enough. Still, he was certain he could get them through.
A moment's thought paused the halfling, and he bade Kaimelle inspect the wardrobe for something that might fit her. Even though an exact match was unlikely, a woman did not deserve to be garbed in the shreds that hung about her frame. Who knew. Maybe her hunt would turn up something she could make do with for the time.
Tobias kept his eyes settled on the door from whence they entered, his crossbow held ready in the event they were joined by one of the skull-masked mercenaries. Guard duty was natural to him. Anything involving himself and a weapon, for that matter. His time among the Templars had at least provided him with the martial skills and confidence required to use them. Nicholas, however, was a man of the book, and though he'd been able to hold his own well enough, he seemed largely dependent on having another warrior at his side for support. Strength in numbers.
He snapped from his line of thought as a faint noise crept to his ears. Something out of place. Another set of boots, and it was on the other side of the door.
The ex-soldier checked his grip on the crossbow stock. The approaching figure would find the door locked, and surely realize that the party had come this way, even if merely determining by the bodies dumped on the stairs. It would go and find help, and the room would be stormed. The advantage belonged to himself and his companions, though, for they had the means of setting up a defensible position within the storeroom.
Then recognition settled upon him, and his hand shot to his pocket. He had neglected to lock them in.
A grating of the heavy door on the rough stonework floor started to fill the room, resonating off the cold walls. Reflex took the swordsman, and he rushed forward, eating up the ten foot gap in three long strides, and slamming his body against the moisture-swollen door. A cry of protest issued forth from the other side, but the element of surprise was his, and Tobias managed to shove the door closed with a heavy thunk. Nicholas was already dragging a nearby barrel towards them, seeking to lodge it against the door.
The three on the opposite end of the room heard the commotion, and it was apparent what was happening. Haste moved the halfling's fingers a little quicker, while Kaimelle felt her nerves flaring again. They were coming back. Her liberators were a mere grace of solace before the tormentors would return.
But things were different now... The Mith'ganni could feel the Ether forces around her. She could dip the fingers of her spirit into their milky depths, draw upon them for might, for comfort. She would be ready for them this time.
A loud clank turned Kresmir's head to the Raslan beside him, and with a smug grin, Koriss grabbed the doorhandle and hauled it open with a groan.
An exit had been procured, but from the looks of it, there was a reason none of the keys had fit.
The stone walls were not of a typical mason's cut. These seemed bored straight out of the rock itself, almost as if some great beast had eaten its way through. Mold and mildew slicked the grey surface, and Kresimir's flickering torchlight caught the gossamer threads of cobwebs netting the corners of the hall. As far as the dancing orange glow could reveal, the end of the corridor was not in sight. But it was a way out of here. Not one present doubted that there would soon be more bodies on the opposite side of the entryway, and all it would take would be one with a key to the lock and their position would be breached.
But, this door was not the only way out. This one had obviously not been used in quite some time, but the alternative was the one at the end of the cell block that had previously contained Kaimelle. Two ways out; one already opened up. A thump at the door pressed further hurry upon them. Somebody was trying to force it open. Or maybe the investigator had been joined. Either way, it was not a time to delay.
(OOC: Tobias and Nick are blocking the door the party initially entered. Nick has dragged a heavy cask in front to serve as a barricade, and there are plenty of other things that can be used as well. Tobias is currently holding the door shut, although he can feel it being battered from the other side.
Kresimir, Koriss, and Kaimelle are near the now-opened door near the wardrobe. Darkness extends beyond torchlight, and a slight chill can be felt if one steps over the threshold.
If she searches the wardrobe, the best fit Kaimelle can find is a a scarlet pair of silk leggings that are slightly too tight, and a purple vest with ivory buttons.
Let's keep momentum going, and keep those great posts coming in!)
Tobias shoved his entire weight against the door, even as it shuttered against the thud-thud from the other side. Part of him wanted to step aside, to pay attention to the rhythm of the thuds... and, at just the right moment, suddenly open the door and let the enemy stumble in. Preferably into my crossbow bolt, thought the warrior.
But that plan assumed only one man on the other side, maybe two, and who could say now how many were on the other side. [OOC:Can I do a Listen check to try and determine how many people might be on the other side of the door?]
It was then that Tobias noticed that the Raslan had managed to open the other door. "Kresimir, think you might be able to bring that wardrobe here?"
Kresimir knew the stalwart knight may have caught the door with his speed, but being uncertain of how many would be barring down upon it was not something any of them wished to leave to chance.
Upon Tobias' call, Kresimir quickly moved to the wardrobe, Pushing, pulling, dragging or carrying the wooden obstacle over to the door in an effort to help bar it.
"Nick, Roll them heavy sealed barrels over here, and we'll lift em upright once I get this wardrobe into place." With a chuckle and the thrill of battle once more coursing through his veins, the Gano said "Function before Fashion I'm afraid!" As he moved the wardrobe as best he could.
Posted on 2011-06-15 at 13:32:38.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
Lead the way
"Here Lady elf." The raslan says as he tosses a sunrod to her. "I don't suggest you lead the way, but I shouldn't be the one carrying the light. I'm much more effective on the fringes."
He stops himself for a moment, looking at the battered elf, his anger rising within him as memories of his own people being tormented and beaten for the crime of being a raslan... her tormentors had done much the same to this beautiful creature... he would repay the injustice if he had the chance... but for now he had to be more concerned about her safety and the lives of the others that had accompanied him here.
In a voice much darker than the others had yet heard come from the small rogue. "Let's get her out of here, and find the rest of them."
Tirmut 6th, 1022
Clapping a hand over his ear to shut out the noises of the dragging wardrobe and one of the nearby barrels, Tobias leaned against the rough surface of the heavy door, focusing on discerning the number of bodies present on the other side. The constant thump and groan of effort that came from the other side made it difficult to listen for any others, but he finally caught it. A second beat that came out of time with the first suggested another had joined the first. There were at least two trying to force him out of place.
One or two would be no problem for their assembled group, and now they had been joined by Kaimelle, whose talents were yet unknown. But they had done a lot of fighting this day. The strain of it was heavy on mind and muscles, though some were able to actually ride off of it and find themselves further pumped.
Fight when necessary. A barricade would prevent further harm from coming upon them. Or at least serve to delay it.
Setting down his torch on the stone floor, Kresimir's mighty strength allowed him to haul the wardrobe, albeit noisily, over to lean it against the doorframe. He was momentarily joined by Nick's efforts, and between the two men had successfully laid several hundred pounds of blockade to seal them in. Which now left two available paths to take.
Koriss was already working on it, having produced a sunrod from one of his pouches, and giving it a crack to emit a conical ray of light from its tip, handed the item off to Kaimelle. It was time to move. Raslan and Mith'ganni crept into the roughly hewn stone shaft, the glow from the sunrod searching the shadows for what lay within their covering darkness. Glinting on the silken threadwork of cobwebs, and reflecting the slight sheen of moisture on stone, the device was able to pierce the dark further than Kresimir's torch had been able to, and revealed an opening at the end of the tunnel, nearly thirty feet into the dank corridor.
Padding cautiously down its length, the pair were tailed by the three humans, and shortly emerged into a larger room, still of the same crudely carved stonework. Footfalls resonated eerily within its walls, reflecting back on their creators. Kaimelle's sunrod crept around the corners of the chamber, revealing four individual raised steps on the left side of the room, each topped by a large, rectangular stone box. A matching set of four lay on the right half of the room, making a symmetrical image down the forty-some feet of the room. At the farthest end of the chamber, atop a set of five stairs leading to a raised dais, was a final blocky shape. Beneath its bulk, draped over the dais, hung a scarlet sheet.
From where they stood, faint lettering could be seen across inlaid into the side of each block, though the distance and improper lighting prevented reading. From the looks of things, other engravings accompanied the script, differing across each of the stone surfaces.
All at once, it dawned upon all five present. They had discovered a crypt.
Posted on 2011-06-22 at 05:31:59.
Edited on 2011-06-22 at 05:48:11 by Tek
Tobias cursed their luck as it became clear that there was no way through this passage. The fact that they had stumbled into a tomb left him with a darker, ominous feeling. Death by the death brigide in the place of the dead...
"I have no desire to lie here with the dead," piped in Tobias. "And we have not the time today to explore the meaning... there's too much at stake. Let's get to the door in the cell room. Hopefully, we'll still have time to make our exit before this place is swarming with death."
The ex-templar didn't wait for the others to follow his lead (though he hoped their would). He was worried their foes at the store room door, fearfully that they had made their way in already. He double-timed it back to the end of the corridor, but stopped just prior to entering the store room, peeking in to check the status of the barricaded door. His acquired crossbow was ready if necessary to shoot down his foes.
The Large Gano took heavy footfalls down the passageway which eventually led them into a dank chamber, with stairs hewn from the earth and leading to numerous shapes atop raised platforms. A chill ran down the back of Kresmir's neck, and he swatted at it like it was some bothersome pest, but truthfully this place unnerved the large man.
As Tobias spoke, and took his turn to leave, it took little motivation for Kreimir to follow. "What lies in wait here would seem to have much more time on their hands than we do. Come, let us find a more advantageous place for combat than among the home of fallen strangers."
Taking up a spot next to Tobias as much as room would allow, he nodded grimly to the blunt, yet sagely words the ex-templar had ushered.
Small space after small space. Kaimelle rolled the sunrod in her fingers, focusing on its light as they moved into yet another corridor underground. The musty smell of decay lingered in the air as the room opened up into what seemed to be a crypt. She ducked her head down to avoid most of the cobwebs, and gazed upon what her light had shown her.
"I have no desire to lie here with the dead," the large human with the beard said at once, "And we have not the time today to explore the meaning... there's too much at stake. Let's get to the door in the cell room. Hopefully, we'll still have time to make our exit before this place is swarming with death."
The red headed one agreed, and turned to leave with the first, "What lies in wait here would seem to have much more time on their hands than we do. Come, let us find a more advantageous place for combat than among the home of fallen strangers."
Exhaustion set in, and the Mith’ganni was in no condition to argue, let alone think about the consequences of any actions. She turned to follow the rest back into the corridor. Her mind cast about for something to say; something to distract her from the pressing walls that were surely going to cave in under decades of decay.
“I never did understand human and dwarven desire to bury their dead deep underground,” Kaimelle said to the group, her voice still thick with inactivity. “Separating the dead from the heavens above just seems so… heartless.”
Posted on 2011-06-29 at 13:28:57.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The little one
Maybe if I just take a little peek...
The others had been discussing running the other way... but the little Raslan's curiosity was running particularly high.
Despite his friends decision, he moved towards the central sarcophagus his sharp senses searching for trip wires and traps the whole way.
"You guys go ahead, I'll follow behind momentarily. There's just something I want to check..."
The little one stepped catiously up to the stone remnant of the dead that seemed to be the focus of this chamber. Realizing that their pursuit would not be far behind, he searched quickly for any sort of latch or way to open the ornate coffin, for he knew his own strength would not be enough.
(If the party leaves he will strike another sunrod and finish his quick examinations.)
Tirmut 6th, 1022
Discretion, encouraged by the pressing circumstances – or perhaps the inexplicable chills brought upon by the stale, musty air of the tomb, was felt heavily throughout the party. Despite the prospect of treasure, whether in the form of material gains, lore, or perhaps something beyond that, the urgency of the situation was voiced clearly by Tobias. Indeed, with so many people unexpectedly waiting for their arrival, the stakes were far too high to be squandering their time digging around the dark corners of the crypt.
The ex-Templar led the way to the hall, fully intent on returning to the cell block where Kaimelle had been broken from. Grimm followed suit, his warrior's mind set on establishing a battleground, should it come to swords being drawn once more. It took little effort for the battered Mith'ganni to tail the pair of humans, her nerves afire from the tightly enclosed space. Her observation on the distance between themselves and the skies above echoed throughout the chamber in the wake of her footfalls, thus leaving behind Koriss, and, to the halfling's amazement, Nick.
Indeed, the curiosity of a skilled pilferer was in many ways on par with that of a learned man of the book, and after assuring his companions that he would be after them promptly, the duo turned to face the foreboding rows of sepulchres.
From beneath his cloak, Koriss produced another sunrod, cracking it to life, and casting its conical ray about the vault. Nick's luminescent holy icon had lost its imbued glow, and he had returned it to its typical place about his neck, but the one light was sufficient for the two of them to work by. Sweeping it across the chamber, each sarcophagi in turn cast a looming shadow against the ancient stone walls, exaggerating its size, but perhaps not its importance.
Illuminated beneath the light of the alchemically-forged rod, Nick leaned in and wiped a palm across the cold stone surface of each great coffin, clearing the dust away from the engravings adorning their faces.
“The scripture is old,” The priest's words echoed eerily in the room. “But I believe I can read these. Bring the light closer, if you would...” Koriss complied, stepping in beside his companion. With the light focused on the blocky engravings, he allowed Nick a moment to decipher the text.
“Herein lies Varmont Browyer, eighth lord of Taihedge.”
A lord. That almost certainly meant that Koriss's feelings of finding something of value here were indeed accurate, and the duo moved on to the next sarcophagus down the row, heading for the back of the room.
“Herein lies Eli Browyer, sixth lord of Taihedge.”
Nick's voice crept throughout the shadows on the edges of their lightsource.
“Herein lies Drusas Browyer, fourth lord of Taihedge.”
The next coffin's lid was cracked down across the center, and the upper half of the slab had been slightly slid away. Peering cautiously within, the grinning visage of a dusty white skull leered back from its encasing within an ornate battle helm. Shining the light further down its length, an elaborately crafted suit of scale armour bedecked the skeleton, embalmed in a heavy coat of dust. Distressingly at first, a number of dead, dried rat husks also shared the grave of Talmo Browyer, the second lord of Taihedge.
Ignoring the row lining the opposite wall, the duo finally approached the dais, eager to see what rested atop the scarlet sheet. Climbing the steps with a haunting chorus of resonating footfalls, human and halfling lay eyes upon the huge stone sarcophagus. Significantly larger than all of the other eight within the walls of the vault, the lid of this one bore a carved relief of a handsome bearded man garbed in a lord's regalia, a shield and gilded spear laying on either side. All around the figure, beautifully carved roses bordered the heavy stone slab.
Nick peered at the scripture on the side of the coffin, scrubbing away unknown years worth of collected dust from the chilled surface.
“Herein lies Gervais Browyer, first lord of Taihedge, and Grand Warden of Tresslemere Forest and her surrounding environs.” The cleric looked back at Koriss, wearing the smile of a man who had unearthed a great treasure. “Scarwood must have been called Tresslemere in past centuries. I can only assume that this Taihedge refers to the ruins around us. I can only wonder at how long ago this might have been...”
Koriss tapped his foot impatiently, and Nick snapped from his reverie of wonder. Even though they'd opted to investigate the crypt, Tobias had spoken true. There was much on the line, and wasting time was not a suitable course of action. His keen eyes searched the coffin for a means of opening it. The heavy lid looked to weight at least a hundred pounds by itself. Perhaps more, even. But he'd often heard of such things having a means of release to make it easier for those lacking physical might to lift the lid. Those such as himself.
To his dismay, no such mechanism was to be found. Perhaps this thing predated the development of such devices, but he did have an unexpected alternative in the form of Nick, who he had fully expected to leave the crypt with the others. Despite the scholar waylaying him with his constant inspections of the ancient lettering, it was still another body to help push.
Together, they set themselves against the heavy stone slab, shoving with all their might. At first, it refused to budge, but under their combined efforts, fuelled by the desire to see what was within its confines, the heavy stone slab began to move aside, a gravelly scraping sound echoing loudly throughout the vault. A few inches, then a few more, and before long, the lid had cleared the halfway point and tipped over the backside, falling to the floor with a tremendous thud. It was only his carefully trained ears that alerted him to the low clunk that signalled the danger that would follow their efforts.
Shouting a curse, Koriss kicked himself away from the dais, throwing himself hard to the stone aside the steps, just as the stairs themselves began to crumble away. Nick was slower to react, barely managing to hook his fingers over the rough edge of the sarcophagus with enough time to not join the collapsing stone, which fell with a clatter into a newly exposed pit. The tomb had been trapped, a most suitable one, given the nature of the crypt. Join the dead in their eternal rest, deep beneath the earth.
Their sunrod had fallen amidst the broken stone fragments, though it had not been buried beneath them. Judging by the placement of it, the hole was maybe fifteen feet deep. It would have been impossible to climb back out of if one did not have companions. And though Koriss had managed to get aside it, Nick was now hanging directly above the chasm, and had begun sidling himself to the secure edge of the pit, trying to hook a foot onto solid ground. Picking himself up, the halfling hurried around the gap to where Nick was moving towards, and hopped up onto the dais. With an extended hand and his feet anchored against the edge of the stonework coffin, he helped to haul the priest to safe ground, each motion cautious in the insufficient light emanating from their dropped beacon.
Adrenaline still firing in their bodies, it took a moment to calm down before Koriss produced his third and final sunrod, activating the chemicals within, and began inspecting the contents they had nearly become trapped in unearthing.
Laying atop a long bolt of scarlet silk, an intact skeleton had been buried in a beautiful coat of mail, a faded cape wrapped about its neck, and fastened with a silver brooch cast in the form of a soaring hawk. No doubt the family coat. A full-faced helmet enclosed the head, a number of rubies cresting the brow, and laying on either side of the remains of Lord Gervais Browyer, as depicted on the relief atop the lid, were a large kite shield and a beautiful broad spear, greater in length than the lord himself. Across the face of the shield was the same swooping hawk emblem that was worn on the brooch, and Nick dragged it out of the tomb, finding it to be especially heavy, but balanced well. It could be a suitable replacement to his current one. Koriss reached in and lay hands upon the spear, carefully lifting it out. He looked a ridiculous sight, bearing a polearm more than twice his height, but the half was formed of smooth ebonwood, and the head was a leaf-shaped tip, which he found to still be especially sharp when he ran a finger across its edge. Crossing between business end and handle, a hawk emblem formed a sort of cross-guard, as would be borne by a sword.
It suddenly dawned on the pair that they had no idea how long they'd been in the room for, and stepped down carefully from the dais, taking great care not to slip into the exposed pit, and hurried out of the crypt. With their newly acquired trophies of spear and shield, the duo was quite pleased to be out of the chilled confines of the Browyer family vault.
Haste was made to get away from the haunting feeling that each felt within the walls of the crypt, although splitting their numbers didn't quite sit well with anybody. But, there was more on the line here than the possibility of treasure and knowledge. There were the lives of others. Though he no longer served in Ilphian's army, duty was still a strong quality of Tobias Sennett, and he led the way back down the roughly hewn stone hall to return to the storeroom.
Though their hurry stripped them of all measure of stealth, it was obvious that the pounding at the door had stopped. Whether this was a good or a bad thing, none could discern. When she'd been dragged here and imprisoned, that was the entrance Kaimelle had been hauled in, although that didn't eliminate the possibility of a secondary way in or out. Rather than wait and find out what was exactly going on, the trio wasted no time in rounding the corner and heading into the holding room.
With a look at the bars that had previously held her captive, an involuntary shudder ran through the slender figure of the Twilight Elf, but the big, strong presences of the two men at her sides helped her to relax. They would make sure she didn't wind up back in a cage. She would soon see the sky again.
The door at the end of the short hall was locked, but this did little to deter the group. Tobias fished into a pocket, producing the set of keys he'd employed to get into this basement in the first place, and began trying them in the lock. The second one bought purchase on the tumblers, and with a click, the soldier felt the throw of the release, and began to pull the door open.
From elsewhere in the subterranean structure, a heavy, booming thud could be heard, and all three stopped and held their breath. Had they triggered a trap in hauling the door open? Koriss would have been able to tell, had he been here. But Grimm shook his head to dismiss the collective thought. It had come from behind them, not before.
Dragging the door open allowed Kaimelle to illuminate the way ahead with her sunrod, which revealed an intersection in the corridor; one branch leading straight ahead, and the other to the right. This was different from before, however. While every torch sconce they had thus far encountered was unlit, a number of these before them were burning. From beyond the intersecting path, and down the right hall. Their own short stretch of fifteen foot hall was unlit, glowing only from Kaimelle's light, and the residual flickering of the further-on lights.
This was as good as a map. Lights would not be placed if an area had not required frequent use. But to go right or straight?
Approaching the branch in the hall, the trio quickly assessed the outcomes. Going straight, the hall turned to the left, leading out of sight. To the right, however, the door that sat twenty paces away from them possessed a grill of bars at eye-level. Generally a good indication of a place to hold captives. They hurried down the length of it to the door, and one by one, peered inside.
The room revealed was a darkened chamber, seemingly without windows or even sufficient headroom. But the shapes of bodies on the other side of the door were visible without a doubt, their silhouettes picked out by the dim torchlight that filtered through the bars to light up a pale orange square on the floor of the cell. The exact count was impossible to determine, but it looked as though they had finally found what they were looking for.
A chill ran over Kaimelle's smooth neck, and she turned about with an inexplicable sense of urgency. At the end of the hall, standing directly at the mouth of their own section of corridor, was a single man in black. He seemed at ease, almost relaxed in his stance. From beneath the folds of his black cloak, the white grinning skull emblem they were becoming familiar with was plainly visible across a coat of oily black chainmail.
“Going my way?” His strong voice caught the attention of Tobias and Kresimir, and the pair turned to look at the speaker. Unlike the other members of the Corps that they'd combated thus far, this man wore his hood down, revealing a sneering visage with eyes as cold as ice, and his shoulder length brown hair worn freely about his head. Confidence emanated from his figure, even in his stance of hands on hips.
Chilling blue eyes locked on Kaimelle, and his mouth levelled out into a thin, thoughtful line. “This isn't where I left you, my lily.” His eyes roamed her body, and though the elf was garbed in improperly fitting clothes, she still felt as though he were eying her beaten, bare figure. She knew that face, that hair. One of the bastards who had payed her 'visits' during her imprisonment. Alone, she might have broken down and wept at his presence, but with the two men at her side, she wasn't by herself anymore. She could be strong with her new companions, just like them.
“No matter,” He shrugged his shoulders, pushing his cloak back to free his arms, and in the flickering torchlight, his drawing of a slender, flowing sword appeared magical. The blade looked almost like a flicking serpent's tongue, perhaps fitting of the predatory looks he cast at Kaimelle. “I don't think a thanking is in order for letting her roam free. So rather, I think I'll just cut you to pieces and save my supplies with feeding these slaves.”
Long strides ate up the distance down the hall in no time, the perverse look he had eyes the Mith'ganni with changing completely into one of business. Minus the negotiations.
(OOC: Here's a long one for you guys. I'll break down this info into two chunks.
Koriss/Nick: Investigation of the Browyer family vault revealed a bit of info for Nick (Still being NPC'd, but didn't want to right leave him out) and the looting of Gervais' tomb, which plundered a shield for Nick and the long spear that Koriss picked up. The stairs collapsed via a trap, though the dais was still accessible by climbing up onto it from the sides. No harm done, besides a bit of a scare. Unfortunately, they are now a bit behind their companions, and moving at a hustle, will be able to reach them in a few rounds (Since all the doors are open)
Tobias/Kresimir/Kaimelle: Battering of the storeroom door has ended. Moving on to a T-intersection on the other side of Kaimelle's cell reveals prisoners held to the right behind a heavy door with a viewing grille. They are now closed in by a single Corps mercenary, one who had previously spent 'time' with Kaimelle. The hall is wide enough for two to go side-by-side, and Kresimir is closest to him, with Tobias at the door. You have time to reposition and arm yourselves before he is upon you.
Kaimelle passed her check to resist his intimidation, and is at normal efficiency.
Make sure to select your behaviours, because I want to move this out in large chunks of combat rather than one-by-one rounds. Compounding on your behaviour via situational decisions is acceptable, though if you do so, make sure to be specific.
In the excitement of finding the prisoners, Tobias had forgotten all about strategy... forgotten all about tactics. The sound of the man's voice behind him raised the hairs on his neck. "Going my way?" the man sneered.
Tobias spun around, glad that Fortune had not put a crossbow in the man's hands. I should have left Kresimir in the other hallway to keep watch! Come on, man. That's just basic training.
The man continued to taunt the elven lass, while the ex-templar regained his composure. Even as their foe drew steel and made his approach, Tobias moved with speed to engage. Passing the keys to the elven woman as he moved into position, he gave quick instructions, "See if you can get the door open."
Now, if I can just shoot around my big friend, Tobias thought, as he took aim at their foe with his crossbow. Damn it! Korviss, now would be a great time to join us! OOC: Not sure what behaviour I'd call this, but here's what I hope to do over the next couple rounds...
This round: Pass keys to Kam, take a shot at the enemy with the crossbow (drop crossbow). If this seemed next to impossible with Kresimir in front of Tobias, then Tobias will just move in engage in melee combat, dropping the crossbow and drawing steel as he does. Attack!
Next round: Draw sword while moving to engage enemy in melee, engage in melee
Rounds following: Try to set up the advantage by moving into position to flank the enemy with Kresimir, engage in melee. If Tobias catches Korviss entering into the fray, moving in such a way to allow the Raslan in on the attack fun as well.
So... "Ranged", then a mix of "Press The Advantage", "Support Party Member: Flanking", and "From Every Angle: Find Blind Spot"? Something like that.