No.723535[Last 50 Posts]
In a time long past, before the coming of the Two, was a time of gods, heroes and monsters. A world as yet unexplored, an age of high adventure.
And in this age, eons ago, four wayward wanderers did find themselves crossing paths. Perhaps it was chance, or perhaps ordained by fate. I alone can elucidate the adventures of these four.
Hearken now to the Tales from the Age of Steel!
We begin at a forgotten temple to a nameless god, on the edge of an eastern cliff facing the sea. The Wayward Wanderers came from near and far, seeking the treasure whispered of in remote corners of the land: a great gem, the Heart of the Sun, kept in this very temple. Normally, it is sealed, but every seven years, on the summer solstice, the temple opens, inviting would be treasure hunters to test their might and prove themselves worthy of this prize. Thus, the four converged, strangers to one another, unknowingly working towards a common goal - along with others…
The hunter, long relegated to a lonesome life, found himself stalking a new type of prey. Unbeknownst to his quarry, he followed an odd, serpentine woman for many miles, leading him to the edge of the world…>>723539
The summoner, surreptitiously coveting greater power, followed whispers on the wind of a great treasure to be claimed. Shirking her temple duties, she took to the wilds, traveling light for many days, until she found herself at her destination…>>723540
To the chagrin of a fellow treasure hunter, the thief followed a stolen map to a great treasure, seeking a great fortune from a forgotten gem. The map, its origins unknown, has a message written on it: "Only the worthy shall claim the heart…">>723541
The accursed heard rumors here and there of a great treasure to be found to the south-east, on a certain day once every seven years. Realizing the day was soon approaching, and with aspirations of greater fortune, he followed these rumors to their source, at the edge of a green cliff by the sea…>>723538>>723539>>723540>>723541
After a grueling journey, you find yourselves at the stone steps leading to the Nameless Temple. Nestled on the edge of a seaside cliff, it is plain to see, even from a distance, that the temple has not been used in an age. It resembles a fortress more than a temple, with great stone walls covered in vines and roots, and oddly shaped watchtowers, many of which are crumbling to dust. Much of the temple has been consumed by a great tree that has grown into it, slowly consuming this ancient structure.
What draws your attention, however, are the great stone doors. They are completely covered from top to bottom in writing, though it is not a language any of you can read. The doors are battered and scratched, presumably from intruders attempting to gain access early, to no avail. For now, the doors to the temple are firmly shut. It is one day before the solstice, around late afternoon. Tomorrow, at sunrise, the doors of the temple are said to open.
From nearby, in the shadow of the temple's overhang, you can see a faint flicker of firelight, suggesting a campsite.
Your presence is unknown to each other, for now.
Despite his distance from the strange creature, Noghu burrows below the surface to hide himself from sight, following the snake through their tremors.
[1d10+2] BurrowingRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
A dark shape flits through the bushes, darting from cover to cover. A feline-shaped shadow silently pauses, its long tail flicking in anticipation. The form of a large cat in a worn gray gambeson slowly emerges from the underbrush near the end of the stone steps leading to the temple.
The cat, staring at the ancient edifice half-eaten by nature, purses his lips and lets out a quiet whistle. He pulls out a small tattered slip of parchment from some inside pocket, eyeballing back and forth between it and the crumbling structure. Apparently satisfied, he replaces the paper within some hidden pocket and takes a confident stride toward the steps, when something gives him pause.
He sniffs the air. A camp.
That means others. Sometimes danger, sometimes a source of unexpected windfalls. Kalidan waits for a moment, weighing his options, then attempts to creep back into the foliage in order to approach the campsite unseen.
Stealth [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
I squint through the darkness at the red orange glow in the distance. I'd expected to be alone, but thinking about it that was an ignorant assumption. For whatever reason, if this gem is supposed to be as valuble as folks say, it only makes sense for others to go after it too.
I decide to keep my distance, unrolling my pack a good bit away from the temple itself, and set to work setting up a stealthy little camp of my own.
[1d10+2]DC 4, burrowing out a dakota fire pit and starting a fire in it
Once set up, I pull out some dry meat and my waterskin and eat.Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"Ssuch fertile land, perhapss there may be aught to raise here.."
Having traveled so far from the sands of her home, the sorceress Vajra busies herself with an incantation, preparing one of several soldiers for the coming raid.
She raises her clawed hands, ethereal strips of runed cloth phasing into the soil around her.
"Shifting ssands, sscour the trees, a sservants handss i call to me!"
[1d10] Raise deadRoll #1 5 = 5
The ground below you is dirt and weeds. Little obstacle for you. You dig through it as if plunging into water, tunneling below the strange serpentine creature, unbeknownst to her. She appears to be casting a spell of some sort.>>723545
You stick to the shadows and undergrowth, as is custom for you, approaching the campsite quietly, trying to get a bead of what you're up against. You manage to get a good vantage point on the steps, clambering up a tree and peering out.
The camp consists of a single patchwork tent, a small firepit with a black pot, a backpack, and a furled up bedroll. The lone occupant of the camp appears to be a large pony, but they are dressed in brown and black tattered clothes with a masked hood, such that it is difficult to make out details of them. You notice a large two headed battle axe propped up on a rock nearby.
The pony is currently stirring the pot, humming idly. Seems like vegetable stew.
You can also see a second fire starting further down the way, but you are too far to be able to see much of them. Slightly closer is an odd serpentine saurian, who appears to be in the middle of casting a spell of some sort. The dirt a ways behind her appears to have been disturbed recently.>>723546
You hang back near the bottom of the steps and start a camp of your own. Before long, you have a merry blaze going, getting ready for the night to come.
From nearby, you hear a voice chanting. Sounds like some sort of spell. You aren't alone in this place.>>723547
The strips of cloth float to the ground like feathers, the runes glowing brightly as you call on a servant. Sure enough, one appears. From the ground comes a single ethereal figure, covered from head to toe in bandages. It appears to be the mummified ghost of a pony warrior, the dessicated, skeletal mouth the only part visible. The specter floats above the ground slightly, hanging limply as if held up by puppet strings, ready to serve.>Minion is at 10/1
A chill runs down my spine as I hear the chanting, and I swing my head around to look for its source. My lips curl into a sneer. Magic. Of course there'd be some damned magic.
[1d10+3] PerceptionRoll #1 9 + 3 = 12
Seeing as the snake has ceased traveling for the moment, Noghu turns his attention to the location the creature was likely intending to visit. Burrowing towards the temple, he begins to check for proof of a lower level (bricks or cobbled stone) and to see if any of it's loose enough to push in and get a sneak preview.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Hmm.. Adequate." states the saurian, circling the specter briefly, before turning her attention to the temple.
She flicks her tongue out briefly to taste the air, gauging the surrounding area.
[1d10] Detect life
>Serpentine senses: As a saurian, Vajra can 'taste' the air with a flick of the tongue, allowing for greater detection within her surroundings. perception checks to detect life gain a -2 to DC.Roll #1 8 = 8
An equus and a serpent. Presumably other treasure hunters. And… is that a mummy? Kalidan also sees perhaps a recent gravesite. The situation may be complex. Best to wait and see. He remains perched in his tree, willing to watch and wait for now.
Slowly, quietly, he pulls a snack from his bag. His movements are so slow that they're imperceptible.
Monch. Monch. [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You see someone off in the distance, further up the steps leading to the temple. A saurian sorceress, by the looks of it. She seems to have conjured some fell minion to serve her, calling spirits from the ground itself to bend to her will.>>723550
You keep burrowing upwards towards the temple, eventually having to stop once you hit solid rock. Moving around it, you manage to find the rock is carven, and clearly part of the temple itself. You push your luck, digging a bit further, eventually finding one of the many walls of the temple interior. With a bit of elbow grease, you manage to dig a hole in the wall; once you stick your hand through, however, you are stung with a jolt of searing pain down your arm, as if you had thrust it into a fire. It passes quickly, but it is clear that there is some ancient magic at work here, preventing trespassers from entering the temple. Trying to peer through proves rather fruitless, as it is too dark inside to see anything, but you catch some silhouettes of what seem to be winged statues in the dark.>>723551
Your senses tell you there's at least four others in the area right now. There might be more. It's difficult to tell.>>723552
As you chow down on the snack, the pony's ears prick up like a frightened rabbit. With one fluid motion, they spring to their hooves, take up the axe and start pacing about the area, searching for the source of the sound.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 3 = 3
Kalidan pauses mid-chomp, slowing down his already imperceptible motions to a virtual standstill. He masticates once, twice, swallows and waits.
Undeterred by the potential onlookers, Vajra confidently slithers the rest of the way up to the great temple gate, the mummified warrior floating slowly behind her.
Noghu giggles in pain, recoiling and snarling. Digging out his path a bit more and replacing the misplaced stone, Noghu places one stone ascance to remember a secret exit in case he needs to flee from the inside later.
My sneer turns into a scowl. Sorceress. And a snake, too. I lift my spear and rest it on my lap. I continue to watch the scaley vermin, slowly tear pieces off my dried meat, and pop them into my mouth. Ain't nobody gonna get the jump on me no how.
[1d10+3] Angry watchingRoll #1 10 + 3 = 13
"Someone there?" the pony calls out. She's a mare, albeit a surprisingly large one. No response, obviously.
"…Well, if there is, I'm not looking for trouble." She seems to dismiss the sound, and resumes her place by the fireside. "…Stupid," she mumbles to herself as she spoons out a bowl of stew. She seems to raise it in a slight toast, as if she were sharing the camp with someone else, then starts chowing it down thoughtfully.
After a bit, you see the saurian from before approaching, followed by an ethereal mummy.>>723555
You slither up to the temple with your minion in tow. The great double doors loom over you ominously. To your left is the campfire you spotted earlier. The lone occupant, a large pony in hooded rags, is frozen in place as you appear, staring out at you suspiciously.>>723556
You do just so. You are suddenly aware that the snake creature you've been following seems to have moved on.>>723557
As you watch, she and her thrall keep moving up towards the temple entrance. Seems she's intent on entering once it opens at dawn.
Perturbed, Noghu tries digging up, only to be blocked by the stone steps of the temple. Upset by annoying stone creations of the lesser species, Noghu is spends his time digging for voles and warrens, waiting till the snake moves on from her safe place.
[1d10] underground huntingRoll #1 1 = 1
I grumble. Snake probably got some freaky magic what makes it invisible or walk through walls or something. It might not get the jump on me, but what if it gets the rock first? Maybe I should just nip this in the bud right now. Instead, I just sit there, tighten my grip on my spear, and continue watching her. After a minute I pull out my wineskin, take a short pull from my clear shine, and re-cork it, keeping a sideways eye on her the whole time. The strong liquor sends a shiver through my whole body and warms me more than the fire ever could. I toss the last of my meat in my mouth and grumble a little more.
[1d10+3] More angry watchingRoll #1 4 + 3 = 7
Making her way to the door, she spots the ragged pony, frozen in place nearby.
Presuming them to be frozen in fear, she chuckles wickedly. "Ssteady yourself, pony. Your terror iss appreciated, but it iss not yet your time. I am here merely to wait."
Kalidan watches carefully. The mare appears distracted. The serpent has been seen. By their reactions, it seems they do not know each other. This may prove interesting.
There being no reason to leave his perch, Kalidan ever-so-slowly takes another bite, watching ear-perked curious. His long black tail dangles down, the end twitching every so often.
Keeping Monches Quiet [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
You chip your claw a little as you hit stone. Moving on, you don't find much in the surrounding soil, save for a few stray worms or tubers. You find yourself inadvertently digging very close to the surface.>>723560
She seems to be speaking to someone out of sight, presumably whoever's occupying the campfire.>>723561
She gives you a suspicious look. "I'm guessing we're both here for the same thing." Her eyes flit from you to the silent wraith that follows you, then back to you. "No other reason to come to this forsaken place." She's not really asking. >>723563
You feel a slight rumbling beneath you, like something shifting underground. The mare seems to feel it too, looking down briefly before continuing to fix you with her hard stare. You also think you see one of the leaves in a nearby tree swaying strangely, but it's probably just the wind.>>723562
You watch as the two meet. Seems the mare is suspicious of anyone who comes to this place. You can only assume she doesn't intend on sharing the treasure with anyone.
Upset by multiple pains, Noghu digs out his own burrow and curls up, believing the snake to be resting here for the night anyways.
>Ready for dawn, will be waked by large enough squabble happening above.
Jealous of the treasure, eh? That's just fine. Kalidan can work with that. The beginnings of a smile twitch at the edge of his feline lips.
He continues to watch. The mummy in particular has some dangly bandages that are of particular seeming importance, dragging along the ground tantalizingly. He becomes slightly hypnotized watching their dance as the ethereal corpse-figure lumbers haphazardly behind the serpent.
Slowly, unthinkingly, he begins to inch himself down the tree and into the brush, intent on perhaps catching said dangly bits twitching so tantalizingly across the ground.
Stealth [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
She laughs again, a raspy sound like dry wood brushing together. "Correct."
"The power of the gem will prove a mosst useful tool in-"
Feeling the earth move beneath her, she looks down at the stone, flicking out her tongue in confusion.
"..in my planss." she finishes, the wind effectively knocked out of her sails. "Just what iss going on here.."
H'm. Guess it's meeting whoever's at that camp. Well, don't guess it matters. Something happens I can probly deal with it. I decide to pass some time before bed by pulling out my jaw harp and twanging out a little jig.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
You inch down from the tree, but slip and miss your footing. You manage to twist around and land on all fours elegantly, but the gig is up. Both the saurian and the pony have seen you.>>723567
Before she can say anything, you hear a loud rustling sound from the tree, and a felid falls out and lands in front of you, presumably saving face.>>723566>>723567
Startled, the pony wastes no time in seizing her axe, holding it to the felid's head in a swift motion. Her eyes dart from him to the saurian. "How many of you are there?" she demands. "Are you following me? Touch me, and you're going to lose limbs.">>723565
There seems to be a bit of an altercation happening above, preventing you from sleeping. Things seem to be going a bit wary.>>723568
You noodle on the harp a bit, but your attention is drawn by the voices coming from the top of the steps, causing you to lose concentration and play a flat, twangy mess. Seems there's at least three up there.>>723567>>723566>>723565
You can hear an odd buzzing sort of sound coming from further down the way, near the bottom of the steps. Seems like someone's attempt at playing music. The pony is distracted momentarily by it, but focuses her attention on the saurian and the felid newcomer.
Before attempting to surface, Noghu tries to get a feel for the amount of people above him, centering himself underneath the entrance to the temple.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 6 = 6
Slinking back with a hiss, vajra draws her ritual dagger, tail rattling as her minion stirs to life, placing itself between the felid and her.
"Sssands take you! You nearly ssent me to the dead realm, explain yoursself!" she hisses, her pomp replaced with jittery fright.
Kalidan stares at the serpent and the pony, wide-eyed with a look like he was caught with his paw in the cookie jar.
For a moment he considers flight, casting a quick glance behind him to judge potential egresses. Looking back to the treasure hunters, he stands slowly, smoothing his mane with a humble gesture of amusement, grinning sheepishly at the pair, the mummy and its tempting appendages temporarily forgotten.
"Ladies." His low voice smoothly carries over the sound of dusk wilderness.
Meant To Do That [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
I grumble again and raise my fist, shaking it at the group. "Y'all quiet down up there!" I yell. My rumbling, gravely voice booms across the cliffside. "Can't focus," I mumble. Some of us are trying to make music. I take a deep breath, pop my harp back in my mouth, and get back'a twangin'.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Glaring, she flicks her tongue out for a moment, then sheaths her dagger.
"Sskulking tree fiend.. You musst be one of the sscents nearby."
"You're likely to be bit if you sstartle a snake, you know."
The large black and gray cat in the worn gambeson, seeing the snake stow her weapon, closes his eyes smiling with his palms upward in a gesture of apologetic dismissal.
"Worse things than having a beautiful creature sink their teeth into you." He winks roguishly at Vajra, then turns to the mare with the axe wielded so closely.
"You mind?" He puts a single digit against the blade and slowly pushes it away from him, then grins.
Feels like three at least. Perhaps even four. From what you can glean, they're distracted at the moment, bickering amongst themselves.>>723572>>723575
The only response you get is a blade pressed to your throat, and a nick on your finger. "Were you spying on me?" the pony hisses. "You working for them?">>723573
You're not sure whether your shouting fell on deaf ears or not. Whatever the case, you get back to playing, churning out a lively boogie melody.>>723571>>723572
Yet another distraction comes in the form of a loud voice shouting indistinctly on the wind. Seems to be coming from the direction of the music, which promptly resumes after a bit. "What is this?" the mare barks irritatedly, still on edge.
Staggered by the change in tone, Vajra looks away quickly, aggressively rattling her tail in response.>>723576
"I have no part in thisss." the saurian replies with a groan. "To think sso many arrived to claim the gem.." she grumbles, scratching her jaw in thought.
Hearing the distant music, Kalidan's ears point toward the source. "Not a bad rhythm," he murmurs to himself under his breath.
The cat blinks at the pony, all friendly confusion. "Insistent, aren't you? No need to be like that. We're all here for the same reason, yeah?"
Turning from snake to mummy to pony, he appeals to the group as a whole. "Look, you… three," he hesitantly includes the vacant corpse minion. "We can all help each other. I'm not even sure what this place is, but if we share information, we may get a more complete picture of what's going on."
Assuming the axeblade is still not uncomfortably close to his neck, he introduces himself. "Kaliban, of Abyssinia," he states, tapping his closed paw to his chest, then tilting his head and looking to his new comrades expectantly.
With the group quieting down a bit I let myself get a little more into my playing, tapping my hoof to the beat.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Not liking his odds, Noghu once again is content on waiting out the noise, waiting for others to sleep before inspecting back above ground.
The mare seems wary still, but relents, bringing her axe away from Kalidan's throat. Slowly, she puts down the weapon, deciding to trust you, for now. "Kothbiro," she introduces herself as, and pulls off the hood. She's not a pony at all, but a zebra. She has deep blue eyes, and her mane is cut very short. >>723579
You keep playing. The melody rings out loudly across the cliffside, in harsh contrast to the crashing waves below. Despite your solitude, you do not feel lonely. …In fact, you can't shake the feeling you're not alone at all.>roll Perception>>723580
The others seem to have made some peace, and are introducing themselves. You hear the names Kothbiro and Kalidan used. You hear faint music coming from further away.
she pauses, flicking her tongue out again.
"I am Vajra, ssorceress of Abysssinia. There were four creaturess nearby, perhapss waiting for the ssolstice as well."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
You see a group of at least three individuals of unknown race, silhouetted on a nearby hill. Accompanied by a wagon, they seem to be starting a campfire of their own, keeping watch over the temple for the night. You get the feeling they know you're there, but they don't seem to be making an attempt to engage.
"Four?" Kothbiro parrots. "You and the cat, plus the musician down there… But where's the fourth?…" She suddenly remembers the slight tremor from before, and stamps her hoof on the ground, looking down at the dirt to gauge a reaction.>>723580
You feel a thud
from up above. It seems like they're onto you.
Kalidan, warming to this zebra (who might try to kill him), offers his paw in a friendly gesture of peace. His own deep blue eyes meet hers. "Kothbiro. Nice to meet you." A hint of amusement and maybe something else flash across his face for a moment they share.>>723582
"Vajra," he offers his paw, then laughs. "Abyssinia is a long way away, my dear! I have known others of your kind, but that was a long time ago, in a desert far far away." He gazes at her warmly. "It brings to mind thoughts of home."
Turning his ear again toward the sound of music on the wind, he cocks his head at his new comrades-in-arms. "Do you hear that, or am I losing it? If we're all getting friendly, the more the merrier, right?" His eyes dart back and forth between the two sapient creatures present.
She reluctantly shakes your hand. You get the feeling she wants as little to do with any of you as possible.
She looks towards the source of the music with a furrowed brow. "I'd rather not," she replies, without elaborating. It seems like she wants to avoid attention by any means.
The saurian hesitates, before returning a smile, taking his paw with her claws. "Yess, quite a wayss away, but a ssmall price to pay for the treassure of the temple." she replies with a chuckle.>>723587
"Given the Musician'ss presence we may not have a choice. No doubt he iss here for the temple too."
"Four?" The large black cat, wearing a curious look on his feline face, watches the threatening mare stamp at the ground. "Does that help flood them out?">>723847
Kalidan chuckles mirthlessly. "Look, we have only a few options, as far as I see. We can fight, we can end up joining forces – tentatively – or we can pretend other treasure hunters aren't there and let them follow us, with the added benefit of a possible surprise attack. I know which I would choose," the cat says, making himself comfortable on a flat rock near the campfire and crossing his legs comfortably.
"Let's all play nice for now. I don't want someone thinking they can sneak up on me." He displays an impressive grange of sharp teeth. "It might not go well for them."
Noghu grimaces as dirt falls on his head, squinting his eyes shut as he remains patient and waiting the situation out.
I grunt, take another swig of my shine, put it away for the night, and get back to twangin' away, stomping my hoof with the beat. 'Long as they don't bother me no sense in bothering them.
[1d10]Boing boing boingRoll #1 3 = 3
how silver is my feline tongue[1d10]
Roll #1 4 = 4
[1d10] PersuasionRoll #1 6 = 6
Nothing seems to happen when she stamps the ground. Kothbiro still seems suspicious, but stops doing so, for now. "Thought I felt something before.">>723847>>723856>>723864>>723868
She crosses her forelegs defensively, but gives a stiff little nod. "Fine. But if any of you cross me, heads will roll." She trails behind you with trepidation as you investigate the source of the music.
The source, as it turns out, is a huge, shaggy minotaur in furs, sitting by a firepit of his own. Kothbiro hangs back warily, leaving you to make the introductions as she assesses the area.>>723857
Seems whoever was thumping above has stopped. They seem to suspect your presence. A minute or so later, however, you feel them starting to leave, heading back the way they came to explore something else.>>723861
You keep playing, to somewhat limited effect. It seems to have attracted the attention of the trio up on the hill; as you finish, you hear a few notes of a melody coming from their direction, played on a string instrument of some sort, as if challenging you to play along.
You hear footsteps coming from the stone steps of the temple, and you get the strong feeling you're being watched.
"Hmm.. very well. Disspatching each other so ssoon to the temple'ss opening would rissk exhaustion. If only to face whatever may be insside, i will join thiss alliance."
The cat beams his predator's grin. "That's the spirit. Let's not go killing each other before it's time." His eyes linger on the serpent's frame for a long moment, something either threatening or enticing in his emote.>>723870
Kalidan hops up to join the group as they wander down to the unknown source of music. Seeing a shaggy minotaur with his defenses down, and realizing his cover is already pretty much blown, he goes the straightforward route.
"Ho there!" He greets the beast from a far enough distance as to not be taken threateningly, then closes in slowly. "Friend! I cannot help but notice your skillful tune. I, too, am somewhat of a musician." All smiles and slow movements, he pulls a handmade wooden flute from somewhere near his belt, shows it for inspection, then raises to his lips to play a short illustrative melody for the group.
I Swear I Know How To Play This Thing[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Still cautious, Noghu stays in place… cackling softly again.
'Too many.. Wait for sleep.
Following behind Kalidan, Vajra keeps watch on the minotaur, her mummified minion floating nearby.
As I hear someone approaching, I drop my jaw harp and eyeball hoever it is. Some cat? Don't look too threatnin'. i grumble, grunt again, and give the kitty cat a small greeting nod. I cock an eyebrow when he pulls out some kind of pipe and gives it a toot.
My spear still on my lap, I lift my instrument, brush my shaggy beard down so it's not in the way, and twang back.
[1d10]I also know how to play this thingRoll #1 8 = 8
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 5 = 5
One of my ears flick as I hear the sound of some string instrument. Someone else wanting to play all the way out here? Seems kinda odd, but I guess if they ain't attackin' I may as well shoot some notes back. I start and then I hear the felid.
Roll #1 7 = 7
You both play a rollicking, upbeat tune, going back and forth trading musical phrases as if you were clashing swords. By the time you're done you feel like you understand each other on some level.>>723886
The cat is not alone; with him is a lithe snake-like saurian, and a tall, well-built zebra. The latter seems to be hanging back warily.>>723887>>723889
You notice at least three others up on a nearby hill, making a camp of their own as night falls. They're too far away to get a good look at them, but given you're out in the middle of nowhere, they can only be here for one thing. Kothbiro notices them as well, freezing in place and scowling a little. Their presence seems to make her uncomfortable.
My breathing is a little heavy after the song, but I set my spear down beside me, pull myself to my hooves, and hold my hand out to the felid. My voice is a hoarse, seldom used rumble as I say, "Howdy." I look around at the rest of the group and then up to the group on the hill. "Guess y'all're here for the rock too."
The saurian glares towards the camp further away, making note of the position before focusing on the Minotaur in front of her.>>723893
"'Rock'?" scoffs the snake "The Heart of the ssun iss more than a ssimple stone. By all countss, it iss a powerful artifact indeed, with sso much here to protect it."
I turn my eyes to the creepy magic snake, stare at her for a second, and finally step back and sit back down. "Rocks a rock."
Kalidan, also a bit winded, gives the bushy bull-headed beast a warm smile at the end of their impromptu jam sesh. The felid nearly pounces at the offer of a handshake, wrapping his huge furry claw around the Minotaur's hefty appendage.
"That was awesome. You're really good," the cat affirms, nodding. "What do you call that instrument?"
"The rock?…" Kalidan blinks for a few moments before he remembers exactly what he is here for. "Oh. I was looking for something I only know as "the heart of the sun" or something lame. I guess it's just a stone? Doesn't matter to me, really.">>723890
Looking to the other camp on the hill, Kalidan gives a bit of a shudder.
"Should we try to make friends with everyone? After all, we don't know if they're going to attack us later. Best to at least know your enemy."
Turning to the others and sizing them up, he realizes he needs to add something here. "Also, if they're working as a group, it might be beneficial for us to at least form some temporary pact. You know; so we don't get outnumbered."
The short maned zebra nods, tearing her eyes away from the trio on the hill. "I thought there'd be a larger turnout," she shrugs. She doesn't seem to want to be here, but makes the best of it, extending her hoof. "Kothbiro. Only met this lot just now. Seems we're going to be exploring the temple as a group. …Don't suppose you'd want to join in.">>723900
Kothbiro blinks. "News to me. Far as I know, it's just a really valuable gem. Never been one for magic myself." She eyeballs your mummified minion uneasily.>>723904
Kothbiro shakes her head. "I know them. They're not here to make friends. Best leave them be, I say."
The cat finds a comfortable spot near the minotaur's campfire and settles in. "Names Kalidan. Don't need to share your supplies, didn't bring enough for me to share mine. But light of a fire and a fellow musician might be nice to spend the night near. Not to mention, safety in numbers." He does his best to act as though he means that last bit as he positions himself to keep an eye on all present parties, as well as the foreign campfire on the hill.
Eventually, the cat pulls out his flute and noodles on it quietly, one ear perked toward any other activity, wiling away the night, wary of surprise attacks and waiting for dawn.
((ready for timeskip))
I look down at my fire and hum, pulling my spear back into my lap. I suppose I haven't been in many of these temple things, and it wouldn't be all that great if I had to deal with more folks alone. 'Specially they decided it was worth it to attack me. After musing on it for a moment I look up at the zebra, hold my hand out, nod, and grunt.
(Ready for timeskip)
"Hmm true, the gem itsself musst be worth a fortune, but a jewel like it could make for an excellent catalysst."
Perhaps emulating Kalidan, Vajra coils herself up near the fire as well, her minion facing towards the mysterious camp in vigil.
"Until i can examine it, it iss a mysstery. We will see jusst what it can do in time."
Noghu waits till the night to emerge, taking a good look at those camping while skulking far enough away from the fire light. When spotted, he does little to hide himself, only standing still and staring.
(ready for timeskip)
As you all camp together and get better acquainted, Kothbiro keeps an eye on the other adventurers on the hill. When it comes to sleeping, she excuses herself, and returns to her own camp.>>723913
When night falls, and everyone is asleep, you emerge to examine the strangers out of curiosity. Apart from the serpentine one, you spot a large, shaggy minotaur, a tough looking zebra, and a black long haired Felid. Seems they've made some sort of alliance.>>723910>>723911>>723912>>723913
The following morning, you are awoken by the loud, grating sound of stone scraping stone as the temple opens. It is barely light out; the first slivers of sunlight are barely on the horizon, and the cries of foreign birds can be heard in the surrounding trees. If you move quickly enough, you would be able to see the doors opening of their own volition, inviting prospective treasure hunters to test their mettle within. Kothbiro is already up and about, gathering torches and having breakfast, which consists of a few foreign fruits. She looks back briefly to see who will follow before wordlessly heading inside.
I'm already awake before first light and have had a breakfast of more dried meat and hardtack. While not the best meal, it serves its purpose. I gather up my supplies, throw dirt over the embers, and wait. When the gate starts opening I stand back up and make my way toward the temple.
Kalidan sleeps lightly, having prepared everything for early action. At the barest light of dawn, he takes his pack and creeps from his resting place, not bothering to check if his compatriots arise. He makes his way silently into the temple behind Kothbiro, not announcing his presence but not actually putting himself into hiding as he slinks along one wall through the giant stone doorway.
Before entering, he casts a long glance toward the other encampment, wondering whether they were leading or following the unknown group.
Perception [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Waking from an uneventful night, Vajra summons her minion to her from it's watchful position, making her way back up the stairs and into the temple proper.
"Hmm.. Let us ssee what thiss temple has to offer."
Having tunneled back underground, Noghu goes to test the wall he had broken into earlier to see if the enchantment still stands.
You look up towards the other campsite, only to find it abandoned already. The fire's been snuffed out and the tents taken down, as if they were never there.>>723919>>723921>>723923
The entrance hall of the temple is an archaeologist's worst nightmare. It seems to have been ransacked many times by prospective treasure hunters on other occasions when the temple has opened. Great monuments from some forgotten civilization have been smashed to rubble, many valuable ornaments pillaged. What does remain are two great statues flanking the entrance, depicting a pair of lizard saurians, their right hands outstretched upwards as if reaching to the skies. The pillars of the room that are still standing are decorated with knot-like patterns running all the way up to the ceiling. Looking back, you see a carved message left by an intruder as graffiti; it is too gloomy to read without examining closer.
Kothbiro looks troubled by this, looking back and seeing you tailing her. She digs around and passes you each a torch, lighting them with a pair of sharp black rocks she strikes together. "Not much to look at, is it," she comments.
Past the main hall, you can see a set of branching, winding corridors, which slope steadily downwards:
The leftmost corridor is lined with engravings depicting the same two saurians. It leads into a large, circular chamber, which seems to have multiple levels to it.
The rightmost corridor is wider, and has what look like coffins lining the walls, some of which have been smashed open before. Part of the wall seems to have broken further in. While this doesn't prevent you from traveling this way, it would be difficult to clear the rubble, and, more importantly, it blocks your view of whatever lies beyond.>>723924
You burrow through your tunnel and try to move through the gap. It seems you may enter the temple now; at least, it isn't burning your hand off anymore. It is too dark to be able to see what lies beyond, but you could wriggle your way through the opening and take a look.
I take the torch and slowly walk into the temple, ignoring the writing completely. Stopping at the left corridor, I crouch down and check for traps.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 5 + 3 = 8
Audibly scratching through the temple hall as she slinks forward, Vajra takes the torch with a nod, before using it to Examine the graffiti along the wall.
"What a terrible messs.. Time has not been kind to thiss place."
Noghu pulls his way through, replacing the bricks haphazardly, feeling his way around the walls to see if there is a column to hide behind as he waits for others to enter.
Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
The cat accepts the torch graciously and takes up a place in the group, preferring to stick near the back.
Kalidan picks his way among the crumbled masonry carefully, keeping an eye out for threats. He suspects looking for loot this close to the surface is pointless, so he keeps his attention purely on any living beings besides his compatriots.
Keeping Eyes Open [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 9 = 9
You survey the corridor. Sure enough, there's a pressure plate set into the floor. Looking around for what it may trigger, you see a few small holes in the wall and ceiling. Either spikes or arrows, doubtless. Kothbiro notices the same thing. "They really didn't want anyone getting in here, did they.">>723934>>723940
You notice they're not words at all, but tallies, progressively getting fainter until they just stop. There must be at least 10. Nearby is a lone pony skeleton in tattered, rotted rags, with a broken legbone, feebly clutching a long rusted shortsword. Kothbiro looks disturbed at the sight, but doesn't voice her thoughts on this grim scene.>>723935
You wriggle in through the gap, your eyes adjusting to the overwhelming darkness. You see silhouettes of statues in the dark, and crouch behind one, blending in with the shadows. From not too far above, you can hear footsteps and familiar voices.>roll Perception>>723939
You swear you see one of the coffins move slightly. Luckily, you're not going down that path. You follow Thungr down the left path, avoiding the pressure plate trap he located, until you get to the room beyond.>>723931>>723934>>723939
The adjacent room connected to the lefthand corridor is even bigger than the one you were just in. What catches your attention is the ceiling. Though it has faded over the centuries, the intent is still clear; it is made as a replica of the night sky, painted in black with white spots representing the moon and stars, all in the exact spot they would be. Kothbiro seems impressed. "Wow. Can't imagine how long this would've taken to make."
You exit the corridor onto a stone platform. A flight of stairs leads to the main circular room, where can see a few bones strewn about. They look like they belonged to adventurers at some point, from the battered gear some can be found near. Four life size saurian statues flank a gate leading to a connecting room. The gate is sealed shut, however, and the means to open it are unclear. The statues are all facing the gate, their arms by their sides.
There are also four closed stone doors in the room. What lies beyond each door is unclear. The doors do seem to open, however, unlike the main entrance.
Kothbiro takes it on herself to start investigating the four statues, looking them over for anything of interest.
Noghu lurks, trying to adjust his eyes quickly as if he was tunneling.
[1d10] percepRoll #1 9 = 9
Not surprised. I suppose if it's something worth taking it's something worth protecting. I avoid the pressure plates without any trouble and make my way into the large room. I look around at the skeletons. Well, whoever died in here has been here a while. Either they got locked in or were killed by something that's probably already dead. I briefly glance up at the ceiling before taking a quick glance around the room to be sure there aren't more traps, head over to the statues, and look them over along with the zebra.
[1d10+3]Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13
Kalidan gives a long stare to the coffin that moved by itself. He prods Thungr to point it out. "Not a good sign, that. Best case scenario, the dead are coming back to life. Worst case, it's the living. I would stay on your guard," he advises, loud enough for Vajra and Kothbiro to hear his warning.
Kalidan, knowing more than a little of the night sky, examines the ceiling for realism and location. If it is in fact an accurate starmap, he reckons, it should be possible to guess an approximate distance from his homeland, where he spent many nights staring up at the celestial spectacle.
Navigation [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Following the trio down the left corridor and into the larger room, Vajra approaches one of the stone doors, examining the surface for some means to open it.
"Perhapss the gate can be opened through a door.."Roll #1 6 = 6
You hear the slow grinding of stone. In the gloom, you think you see one of the statues turning its head to face you, spinning all the way around like an owl. The statue is of a saurian, lizard-like, larger than it would be in reality.
It's not your imagination. Each of its body parts individually spin around, turning to face you impassively. The slow thudding of stone on stone rings out as it starts menacingly trudging towards you.>roll Perception again in addition to whatever else you do>>723949
These don't seem like mere statues upon closer inspection. A thorough look over reveals something interesting: they are cut at the shoulders, neck, hips, knees, elbows, and other joints, as if designed to be articulated and moved by some mechanism. Kothbiro, on noticing this, tries to move its arm herself, but it's too heavy to. "Hmm… Maybe they're meant to be put in a certain pose?" she suggests.>>723952
"Let's hope it's the former," Kothbiro replies darkly. "I'd rather deal with walking bones than other looters."
The stars don't look familiar to you at all. You're a very long way from home right now.>>723953
With a bit of effort, the stone door opens, revealing a small antechamber. There is a rather complex mechanism in place here, a series of rusted iron levers with multiple tracks upon which they can be moved. It seems to operate something, but what is unclear. Inspection of the other three doors reveals similar setups. Two of the rooms have urns in them, but a preliminary inspection reveals nothing within but ashes, though there could be more if searched.
"Agreed," the cat responds to Kothbiro.
Kalidan watches Vajra open several of the doors and begin to puzzle out the contents. Cautiously, he dips a paw into one of the ash-filled urns, sifting through them in order to try to find anything worth value, or attention.
Do You Even Sift, Bro [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
>>723955>Lucky Dog: passive; Every dog has its day, and you have yours frequently. Your first turn in combat enjoys a higher chance to be critical, giving your actions Critrange -2 (i.e. An action that Crits on 10 now crits on 8+).
[1d10] Perception (Crit DC-2)
Snarling, Noghu readies spear, watching the strange stone lizard turning to face him and approach him.
He cackles menacingly [1d10] (Crit DC-2), the sound echoing in the dark room as he throws a bola [1d10] (DC-1, Crit DC-2) at the golem's feet, attempting to halt its approach.
> Word of Power: Use a mix of authority and your own personal methods to extract information from a target that you would not normally get from basic means. In combat you can force an enemy to miss their next attack. On Crit you render the target helpless.
>Bola; instant, recharge 2, weapon, ranged: Throws a bola to temporarily disable a target. Bola does no damage, but on hit interrupts the target's current action and prevents movement, requiring them to break free of the binds that turn. On crit, it also sends the target helpless without dealing a wound of damage.Roll #1 5 = 5
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
/ Roll #3 2 = 2
[Last 50 Posts]
Thungr hums, runs his hand along his beard, and nods. Looking around the room, he notes the four other doors. "Don't think there'd be clues in any'a them other no doubt trapped and dangerous rooms, do ya?"