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Reset Era Players Present: Reign of Fear -- A D&D 5e Play-By-Post Campaign

Oct 25, 2017
661
"I was wrong to think they might be the ones that might have ambushed us."

He turns then moves to address one of the people nearest him so they can relay Skullcrusher's message, "I don't think these creatures mean us ill will. We're going to see if we can find out anything from them. Oh! And please keep my fox safe for a little while longer, I don't think the spores would be safe for her."
 
Oct 26, 2017
996
"I will stay behind and continue to mend the wounds of the caravan," says Keranos. "Please do not linger in the caverns too long; we do have hundreds of townsfolk looking to us for leadership and guidance."

He retreats to the triage wagon and continues resting, in preparation for the next round of healing magic.
 
Oct 31, 2017
547
((Sorry, busy past couple weeks. Largely a result of looking for my sister’s missing dog, who is now back.
After that has been various demands (and files I am incapable of opening).

Anyway, Galen’s going to have to be going, and I’ll try to do something in character when I’m home.))
 
Nov 2, 2017
130
Ludwig finds himself doing double takes at the arrival of the mushroom people, first with a look of horror at Fheiss's suggestion that they fucking eat them, then with a little surprise that a self-proclaimed god who's big on revenge would also be thrown off by that.

Eventually, things settle and it's understood that the mushroom people want the group to follow them. "Sounds interesting! I'll come along if I can fit in the passages. Otherwise, I'll use stay here and guard people."
 
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Mike
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
The strange mushroom people lead those who opt to go with them a bit further down the pass before they start ascending up a portion of the wall like little fungal mountain goats. The handholds aren’t overly difficult and they only rise the height of three men standing on top of one another’s shoulders, so it is no strenuous climb for anyone with the exception of Ludwig on account that he lacks the hands necessary for utilizing handholds.

At the top of the climb, a cleft is readily evident that is otherwise impossible to view from below, with centuries of accumulation of rocks and stones providing a loose slope to descend it. The bottom is illuminated by the ghostly blue bioluminescence of both mushrooms growing in the shallow cave and the decorative patterns of the fungoid guides. Some kind of monolith stands against the far wall, to which the mushrooms hurriedly approach, dragging anyone they can by the hand.

When they draw near, it becomes readily apparent that the monolith is made of the nigh indestructible metal of the Hauntaur, and the reflected light of the mushrooms nearby highlighting the contours of carvings in its surface. They are inordinately excited that the number of fingers on the Endowed’s hands matches those of the carvings on the slab, apparently oblivious to the fact that the Endowed are lacking the horns and tails of the figures depicted. Closer examination reveals a seam running straight down the middle and hinges on either side.

The fungoids press a thought into the minds of the Endowed. Yours?
 
Oct 25, 2017
636
Thosar scrutinizes the monolith for a while. Examining the contours and shape, he tries to think of any mention of this object in his historical studies, though little comes to mind. Further examination of the mechanism brings a bit more understanding of what the slab actually does.

((History roll: 15
Arcana roll: 31
Detect magic in case of anything interesting on that spectrum.))
 
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Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess wraps his cloak around his face to minimize breathing the spore pollens as he follows the mushroom people into their home. He gazes to the monolith and squints his eyes. He wonders if the individuals depicted could be tieflings? He looks for any clues in the artwork, any subtle details that might clarify further.

Generic intelligence check: rolled 15. (14, 1)
 
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Mike
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
It doesn't take a whole lot of investigating or historical knowledge to figure out that this appears to be a door or a gate of some kind. The metal slab doors are heavy--too heavy for the myconids to ever open on their own, with their spongy build and crude implements--but the combined efforts of the full-sized humanoids present would surely be able to at least crack it open by applying the correct leverage.
 
Oct 25, 2017
636
"Hmm, a door then. Perhaps this is a small hideaway or vault. Something of interest is surely within, let us heave to gentlemen! I think some rope and effort will provide us an opening."
 
Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess seems unsure as to the carvings on what Thosar describes as a door of some sort. He sends a magical message to one the mushroom people that had implanted a word into his mind, replying, We aren't sure who exactly this slab belongs to, but it is something we would like to find out should we find them. Regardless of whether it is their right to investigate, this could be an interesting bit of history that they might have discovered. Perhaps it would give more clues as to Telmur's true history.

He then nods to Thosar, "Hopefully less effort than it was to carry the boulders."
 
Nov 2, 2017
130
((No objections here, bring on the DLC!))

Ludwig is panting heavily by the time he arrives at the vault. Without being able to use the handholds, getting to the top of the cleft is a difficult, exhausting matter. For a bit, he's breathing too heavy to talk, let alone explain how he got up there.

He winces a little as Fheiss reminds him of his mishaps with the boulders, and adds "Yeah, I'm ready for a round two. Let's get this thing open!"
 
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Mike
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
With all the agile grace of a mountain goat carcass, Ludwig somehow finds his way up and over the escarpment and into the shallow cave with the rest of the Endowed sans Keranos and the mushroom people.

Even though this is clearly a seal by the Hauntaur to shut away a horrible plague of death spores, the Endowed through caution to the wind, and after some false starts manage to lever first one door, then the other open.

Overcome with curiosity, the glowing mushrooms bound into the space and begin to explore. The humanoids present for this excavation recognize this as the much smaller cousin of the train line that ran between Hammerfall and the White Wastes. A rail is present, but no cars. It seems to stretch endlessly along an east/west axis, but it seems to be perfectly level and easy going. Like a cave, it is warmer than the frigid mountain night air outside.

It could be a shortcut, though they would be limited to what water and food people could carry on their person, as the cliff is too steep, the door to narrow, and the tunnel too compact to allow horses and wagons.

Or maybe it goes nowhere. Or worse than nowhere...

((Decision tree time! Taking the tunnel could reduce your travel time, would come with an accompanying boost to morale, but would crater your supplies. Or you can keep on the mountain path.

Please, no eating the myconids.))
 
Oct 25, 2017
661
Whatever Fhiess might have been expecting, an additional railway for ancient transportation was not it. Likely the same thoughts running through the heads of everyone else, the considerations for if it might provide a shortcut have many unknowns and complications.

He shakes his head. Something doesn't seem right. "Why was a passage like this hidden behind a door with these inscriptions on it? Was it meant for the people carved on the front to use as passage much like the passages the orcs had used? If that's the case then that would mean this passage could have been meant for tieflings in the past."

He shrugs, "In any case, telling hundreds that I've already promised would see their families again that we are going to chance an underground shaft that we have no idea the destination may be a difficult sell, even for Skullcrusher."
 
With everyone's attention on the door and the possible implications for their further journey it might present Sagishi looks for a dimly lit corner to change. Once he is in his vulpine form he takes a thorough wiff of the surroundings and the path that leads into darkness.

((Perception roll after advantage was a 21))
 
Nov 2, 2017
130
In response to Fheiss saying the passage might be a hard sale, he says "Actually, I'm thinking the exact opposite. It'll probably be super easy to sell the tunnel shortcut to them since they just got stung hard up there an drew want this to all be over as soon as possible. Ditching our supplies will suck, and while we can make water easy enough, food might be hard if we don't have anything to purify. Plus, if I'm being honest, I'm not thrilled about going through a tunnel that might get too small for me to fit through. But hey, if it might shave off several days, it may be worth considering."

((I think create food and create water is all under the same spell, but Ludwig doesn't know that if the food hasn't been appearing :p. Exploring the tunnel sounds good, he slightly favors but can take or leave using it as a shortcut since he get some kind of claustrophobic in anything short of huge tunnels))
 
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Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess considers Ludwig's different perspective, rubbing his chin as he thinks. It is true, many will be impatient and might take the opportunity if convinced there is a shortcut -- however, it isn't certain whether this is a shortcut and the Bard would prefer to consider the options before making another mistake as he did before. He says, "Perhaps we should satiate our curiosity before making a decision. After all, this seems to be an artifact of historical significance and our fungi friends seem to be interested in what's inside."
 
Oct 31, 2017
547
((Having just rolled up characters for some coworkers, I have to say water creation spells both do and do not also create food. Create Food and Water is a third level spell, but you get a spell for just water before then. Galen is also interested in checking this out, which is why I needed to know the time.))


Galen peers into the passage. "Perhaps a couple of us could check it out while the rest of our caravan rests."
 
Oct 31, 2017
547
(With enough time to get back, probably. Galen's willing to skip resting if there's a good chance this is helpful in the party's current endeavor. Not quite his call, though.))
 
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Mike

Mike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
The tunnel is eerie in just how unerringly straight and level it is. The path ahead is always a yawning mouth of darkness, as is the path behind, leaving only the isolated island of light of the explorers and their myconid escort. It seems positively endless, and nothing of use is discovered before the hour on their timepieces rule that they should turn around and head back if they're to return in time for the rest of the march to strike camp. The myconids, however, seem perfectly content to continue on and explore, and their mental state gives the impression that they have wanted to see what was behind the door for a very long time indeed, and the monotony of the tunnel doesn't dissuade them in the slightest. Soon their ghostly blue glow is swallowed by the shadows as they continue on their way.

If the tunnel holds anything of benefit, it would likely only be found at its terminus.
 
Oct 31, 2017
547
((
It seems positively endless, and nothing of use is discovered before the hour on their timepieces rule that they should turn around and head back if they're to return in time for the rest of the march to strike camp.
Just to check, is this to mean the mass exodus of militarized townsfolk has not yet made camp? I had been under the impression they had, but it could be that they haven't. The state of the camp setting might determine people's actions?))
 
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Mike

Mike

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
((To strike camp means to pack it up, pitch camp is to set it up. There may be more baseball analog terms, but I don't much care for either camping or baseball, so who knows?

The text holds true if you guys want to spend the rest of the night exploring the tunnel, but we can retcon it and say you turned back earlier and managed to get back before dawn to get a few hours of sleep or whathaveyou. Bottom line, the tunnel's not going to yield any secrets unless you commit fully. Pick your poison, I guess : ) ))
 
((I wanted Sagishi to have a talk with Galen for a while, so that actually works out for me. Now will I find the time to write the backstoriy piece I want to use as a hook for said conversation... that needs to be seen.))
 
Oct 25, 2017
661
As others make preparations to fully explore the tunnel, Fhiess approaches Sagishi with some of the supplies they plan on bringing to them. While holding the items he murmurs, "Ah, Sagishi.. Are you okay with the decision to leave?" He pauses for a moment his eyes shifting while trying to find his thoughts, "I mean! I won't stop you or anything. It's just that.. You were always there when I couldn't be brave or when I couldn't stop myself from shedding tears."

He shakes his head then forces a smile, "I hope to return the favor when we meet up again. You've been the best friend I've had on this journey after all."
 
Sagishi is rummaging through his bag when Fhiess approaches him. He accepts the supplies the bard hands him with a thankful smile that changes to a look of worry when he sees the sad expression on his friend's face. Once Fhiess has finished talking however the kitsune's smile has returned. It occured to him that this was the first time in his entire life that someone actually called him his friend. Drinking buddies, collegues or other acquaintances he's had dozens over the years, but no one he would have callled a friend. It's hard to be friends with anyone when one has to constantly hide a part of their identity.

The realization actually makes him consider to stay with the caravan as for a moment his sense of curiousity battles with this newfound sense of companionship.

"I... Look, this is only goodbye for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks tops. But we have come across stuff from these old Hunter, or whatever they are called, people way too often ever since shit went down, that it would be foolish not to check this out."

He places a hand on the bard's shoulder.

"Honestly I actuallly wish you'd come, since I don't know how we will survive without your kind words to cheer us on, but you are needed here. Those people look to you for guidance and support and so far you have done a great job. I didn't even have to put any make up on you ever since we left Remdormo."

He pauses for a moment and then laughs.

"And maybe some time apart will keep Keranos and me from going for each other's throat the next time we meet. Which will be soon. In Westreach. We will have food that isn't rats and maybe even some proper beer and lots of new stories to share from out adventures:"

He gently squeezes Fhiess's shoulder, then turns his gaze to Fhiess's pet that is sitting at his feet. During their journey south the creature had shown not a single sign that it was anything but an ordinary fox no matter how hard Sagishi had looked for evidence of the opposite.

"Well, I guess you'll have at least one foxy friend still looking after you." Adressing the animal he adds, "You better take good care of my friend here, because if you don't I'll turn you into a scarf, are we clear on that?"
 
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Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess rubs one of his eyes while bringing himself to smile, "I envy your freedom, Sagishi. Whoever may track or chase you, they can only follow the paths you choose."

The arctic fox at this point has shed enough of her hairs that such a scarf would not be as fantastic. She looks up to Sagishi and simply makes a noise.

After Sagishi and the others have left, he says aloud quietly, "So this is goodbye then.."
 
It pains Sagishi to see Fhiess so obviously sad. The feeling of wanting to stay, rises up again and this time it is even harder to chase away.
"I..." he clears his throat and quickly bows down too rummmage through his bag. When he reemerges he is holding a couple of his juggling ballls.
"There's this group of kids that entertained in the evenings. Nothing elabarote. Just a bit of fun to take their minds off all of this. I was wondering if you could take over for me for the time I'm gone."
He holds the ballls out to Fhiess. "Here, I'm gonna lend you these. Don't worry if you don't get it right at first, if you drop them the kids will probably find it even more fun."
 
Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess is standing outside of the cave before a vast audience of children from Stonegate carrying a cheerful disposition in his smile and eyes. He spreads his arms out to present himself, "Stonecrusher has many talents! Not just the song and voice! I've been given an opportunity to perform the great carnival tricks myself!"

With a grin he holds out the juggling props and quickly begins to attempt to throw and catch them between his hands. His efforts are immediately futile, as one of the balls drops past one of his hands. In a panic, he reaches down to try to catch it but then the other ball that he threw upward returns from its leap and crushes the back of his head as swiftly as it was thrown upward.





At least that is how Fhiess imagines what would happen if he would try. He doesn't want to disappoint his friend, but at the same time the children would likely miss Sagishi as much as he does.. would Sagishi even find out if he simply never juggled? Perhaps there is a way to disappoint nobody.

He recalls something Sagishi himself had told him, that sometimes learning to lie is necessary. But is it okay to lie to his friend? Perhaps Sagishi would understand that it is necessary. Just as these many thoughts pass within a second, Fhiess takes the props and smiles, "Ah, I will see what I can do. Surely they'll laugh no matter how well I do."
 
OP
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Mike
Oct 25, 2017
1,912
Greater Seattle Area
((Alright, sounds like Galen, Thosar, and Sagishi are #TeamTunnel while everyone else is sticking with the caravan.))

The night of the fifth day of the journey proves to be one of discoveries, though nothing that appears to be of immediate use to the whole caravan. Still, it is too great an opportunity to pass up, so a contingent of the Endowed break off to further explore the tunnel and see where it leads while the rest sticks with the main host.

All the excitement in the night has made for little opportunity for rest, so there is an extra layer of weariness layered atop the hardships already being experienced. The day is relatively uneventful, but the vertical ascent is becoming increasingly difficult, and there are patches of snow on the ground where the sunlight does not shine. There's not much in the way of fuel for fires that can be scavenged, either; exposure is a significant concern that looms large as the sun makes its transit across the vault of the heavens.

The tunnel goes on and on, almost hypnotic in its monotony. It's enough to play tricks on the mind, and from time to time it becomes difficult to discern which way is forward and which way is back, even though you've presumably going the same way the whole time. But can you be really sure that you got up and moved on after a brief rest in the same direction you were traveling when you stopped? Certainty that seems obvious under the light of day crumbles and slips through your fingers like sand with the weight of the world over your heads.

There is a sense that there is something in the tunnel with you, always just beyond the range of vision, flitting ahead of you as you progress and sneaking up behind you in your wake. What happened to the mycnoids who went ahead of you, anyway? They only had a few hours head start and have the gait of children, surely you should have caught up with them by now, right?

Right?

((Wisdom checks for everyone, please))

((Day 6
Supplies: 5
Morale: 5
Population: 1700))
 
Oct 25, 2017
636
((Wisdom 1d20+2=19))
The farewells are quiet if present for Thosar, having not grown as close as the others. He makes sure to mark the wall on his right every hour or so with an arrow of chalk. Once the group takes too long to catch up to the myconids, he tries to keep an eye out for anything unusual.
 
((Wisdom 1d20= 8))

Sagishi enjoys the stroll through the dark tunnel. Lost in his thoughts he whistles a little song his mother once taught him. He doesn't even remember that there are mushroom people to catch up with.
 
Oct 25, 2017
661
Fhiess continues to hold the snow fox in his arms while looking to the increasing patches of snow amidst the thinner air. Although he had ventured through the tundra where even the very movements of the air are like a warrior's blades against skin, he finds that his time away had left him unprepared to feel the pain of the winter once more. Regardless, he keeps his composure and says to his pet, "It's beginning to seem somewhat like your old home, isn't it pal?"

He turns to Keranos and Ludwig, "Thosar, can you.. ah, that's right, it is just us three now isn't it?" He frowns, "I shall give a rousing speech about the truth of our survival in the snow covered wilderness and try to get everyone to huddle together for warmth, but is there some other way we could keep warm?"

<I'll roll charisma in my next post>