Only a foolhardy adventurer would embark on such a perilous quest, without first finding out as much as possible about Firetop Mountain. That is why you have travelled to the village of Gilford. A sleepy village with a small population, Gilford is situated just two days travel from Firetop Mountain. When you arrive, you make your way to the local tavern, the Unicorn Run.
The Unicorn Run is a well-kept establishment, providing good meals and fine ales. It is owned and run by Otto Stormcloud, a retired human adventurer who bought the tavern many years ago.
Most of the locals here are of a friendly nature and when they hear of your plan to raid Firetop Mountain for it's riches they offer you a pint of cheap ale and a chat, or just a chat depending on what they are doing at that time. Many rumours circulate about the Mountain. There seems to be some truth in the story of the Warlocks treasure being kept in a magnificent, ornate chest with two locks; the keys to these being guarded by the creatures lurking within the dungeon. The Warlock himself is a sorcerer of great power. Some describe him as young and some as a frail old man. Some say his powers come from an enchanted deck of cards, others from a silky black glove he wears. The entrance to the Mountain labyrinth is said to be guarded by goblins but the inner chambers by more fearsome creatures.
It seems that many adventurers have used Gilford as starting point for their trek to Firetop Mountain. Not many have returned and those that have only warn to stay away from the place. Rumours circulate the village about your plan to take the Warlock's wealth for yourself but in turn rumours have kept you in the village, waiting for the courage to ascend to the Mountain... perhaps if there were more of you then you'd stand a better chance then the ones who didn't make it back.
Your small group sits around a table in The Unicorn Run for the last time, last time before you set off to take the riches of The Mountain for your own. Gilford is only two days trek away from the supposed entrance to the mountain, an alleged cave in its size that's guarded by lesser fell creatures, and the going will be tough as it's barren, trackless ground all the way according to the few that have ventured that way. The trek isn't a worry though, neither are the goblins that are supposed to guard the entrance, it's what could be what is inside The Mountain that worries you. No one can tell you the same, one person will talk of a ghoulish presence that stalks the tunnels, another of savage beasts, one more of a trickster bent on turning men mad, indeed it seems for every man or woman you talk to there is a different story of what hides within the passages of The Mountain. Among the stories there is one constant, The Warlock. An old man of great magic who has enslaved the very rock to his will and who has amassed a considerable collect of treasures even if you don't count the abandoned belongings of those who have attempted to take the treasures for themselves.
(I've attempted to set the scene, it's early evening in game now and you've got some time before it gets dark. You have rooms booked in the tavern and a simple dinner on it's way. Just talk between yourselves and interact with the environment, don't worry about shopping for additional supplies, just PM me with details and we'll assume that you got it earlier this day. Nothing not listed in the players handbook, everything costs twice the listed price.)
Posted on 2011-03-15 at 10:15:25.
Edited on 2011-03-15 at 10:52:34 by Loki
A gaze around the inn.
Taking a swig of a mug of water.
The priest was looking around, not warily, but in a friendly manner. Not attention, but almost... boredom?
He rummaged in his rucksack for something, then decided not to, straightening up. Oh, no, actually, he wanted to check his medical kits... yep, all there. Er... oh yes, they were there. He relaxed.
Another swig of water, and Andrew leant back in the chair, "So what's the plan?"
Ever since his arrival in Gilford the cleric of The Light had not said much, choosing instead to let the more chatty among them do the talking as various townsfolk were questioned. So many conflicting rumors circulated about this mountain, so many possibilities as to what awaited their little group of treasure hunters.
As they gathered around the table at the Unicorn Run for the last time he did the best he could to quiet the voices hissing at him in the back of his head, "You know this is crazy, you're all going to die in that mountain, and for what? You really think people will look at you differently just because you succeed at this? NO, you will always be a monster in their eyes, embrace that fact and abandon this fool's mission!" Val shook his head vigorously trying to shake the voice loose, causing his hood to slip just enough for the others at the table to see the small black horns that crested his pale brow. Quickly he drew his hood back up, hoping that no one had seen anything and shrugged as the other holy man asked if they had a plan. "My only plan is to survive this, if we can manage that much then I'd say we're doing well enough."
Tobruk sat uncomfortably in his less than adequate chair, he was a massive bulky figure and he was a Half-orc with high standards. The ale was fine but nothing special and the food was little better than what he would feed animals, as he sat there looking at worried faces and pessimists he thought the company were of a lesser standard too, Tobruk decided he would have to be the leader else this will end horribly.
'Confidence is key, you cannot succeed without it' said Tobruk in a gruff voice.
'You must believe in yourself and those around you, and right now I do not believe in any of you'
As he was saying this he saw the shifty looking creature in his peripherals and swore he saw horns, as his hood slipped off his head, and under the table made his sign against evil. He noted to himself to watch out for this one. Next he saw the rather clumsy and ditsy priest messing around in his bags, this was the worst group of people to raid a very difficult and nasty sounding mountain with he could imagine.
'I think we should leave at sunrise tomorrow and lets get going this treasure will be mine'
Posted on 2011-03-19 at 15:20:49.
Edited on 2011-03-19 at 18:54:57 by The_Haruspex
Val looks to the Half-orc and replies, "There is something to be said about your enthusiasm, but no amount of confidence can replace skill and preparation. You would do well to remember the virtues of patience and humility. And another thing, what do you mean the treasure will be yours? You planning on being the only one to survive this endeavor, or do you plan to double-cross us when all is said and done?"
Andrew shrugged, "I'm not here for the treasure, myself, so as long as you don't try any of that stuff our friend here is thinking, I'm fine with that."
He showed no sign of having noticed the horns. But he had, and knew that there was no point in just seeking confrontation. Everyone had a right to be, and anyone he had trusted so far could probably be trusted 'til the end.
Tobruk looked the tiefling hard in the eye, studying him. He deemed him trustworthy for now.
'I do not intend to take the whole treasure, you take my words wrongly. What I meant by that statement was to say my share of the treasure.' Tobruk found himself in a similar predicament to which he was no stranger. Often he would say something rash in the heat of the moment which would cause offence, or give people a misunderstanding. 'The reason why I wish to leave so early is to get on with the task at hand, it is my nature and such is the way I go forward with things.'
The cleric nodded in understanding and replied, "Now it is you who misreads my statement, I never objected to leaving first thing in the morning, the more daylight we have for the trek then the longer the Light can watch over us." Val's deity was an obscure one, few people knew the truth of the glory of Elishar, few knew the warmth that came of worshiping the one true god (as is the belief of the followers of Elishar). The most his companions truly knew at this point was that he regularly referred to his god as the Light.
Tobruk was never good at the best of social situations, and sitting in this small crowded dingy tavern, was not the best place for the large half orc. Even though there was obvious tension, Tobruk held his fury at bay. Tobruk never liked to be beaten and found himself being only bested in social interactions.
With this in mind, calmly, Tobruk said 'We leave at first light.'
With the immediate course of action settled upon the tiefling settled sipped on his drink and waited for their meal to arrive. Upon its arrival he tipped the waitress a few coppers for her time and set about picking at the meal. If anyone was watching closely enough they'd notice that he ate very little if any of the meal, almost as if eating anything at all made him sick to his stomach. The truth of the matter was though that his need for blood was getting the better of him and this normal food was just a meager tease against so unnatural and vile a hunger. He resolved to go out that night, before going to bed and see if he could catch himself something to feed on, even if just a rat in a filthy alleyway.
Tobruk scoffed down his distinctly average meal but he thought he may as well get used to it as trail rations would taste little better than dirt. He saw the small tiefling leave a majority of his meal, and enquired 'Not hungry?' Suspicious as ever about this being. 'Well if not my I finish it keeps my strength up you see.' Tobruk said flexing his muscles. 'I am bloody hungry.'
Daeren stood a short distance from the table, trying not to mix. Nobody who saw him would have noticed anything particular about the average sized human. That was the point. Daeren sighed at all the melodrama at the table. If this continues, I might do better on my own. Such senseless squabbling can only attract attention... which is the last thing we'll need in the mountains...
Daeren shook his head again, then headed to his room. He'd have to be up early to meditate, especially if the group was to leave at first light.
Val pushed his plate across the table toward the half-orc and replied, "By all means, do enjoy it." With that he rose to his feet and gave a polite bow, "Now gentlemen, if you will excuse me, I'd like to get some air before heading in for the night, I must get 8 hours of rest before we leave, so I intend to turn in early." Without awaiting a reply from the others he made sure his hood was up well over his head to cast a deep shadow and hide his face and headed out the door in search of something to satisfy the unnatural hunger that gripped his body.
((Looking for stray dogs, cats, birds, rats, anything he can catch alive and get some blood out of, he'll be certain to dispose of any corpses so as not to draw too much attention from anyone. As much as he hates to use the ability, if he must he'll use darkness to make sure he isn't seen.))