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Tairn » 1531.6.11 (Loemda)

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1531.6.11 (Loemda)

Play date: Mar 7, 2006

1531.6.11 (Loemda) - Midmorning

Ash whirls as he reaches the northeast corner of the building and yells “Dogs!” as the rasp of metal whipping from his scabbards brings his swords to hand. He takes a defensive posture. Meanwhile Traver has noticed the sound of barks and growls from both the north side of the building and somewhere to the south. Jack, Varendë and Keddick are far too engrossed in the lodestone reading to notice the sound of feral death on the hunt.

The dogs chasing Ash, now numbering seven, run straight towards him intent on bringing down their meal. Traver moves to Ash’s defense. A group of five dogs appear to the south and Varendë and Jack leave Keddick flat-footed as the join Ash and Traver. Three dogs surround Keddick and two race by hot on the heels of the elf and swashbuckler. Three of the dogs bite Keddick, and he responds by felling one with crackling magical energy from his vengeful finger.

Jack stands close to the building and slides his rapier in and out of two dogs in rapid succession while the two elves and the scout bring their blades to bear as well. Keddick slowly retreats towards the rest of the group and shoots a bolt into one of his attackers. Varendë drops the largest dog with a wicked cut of his sword, and soon all but two of the animals have fled. As the last canine breath whooshes out with a sickening blood-wet sound, seven dogs lay dead on the ground, but three of the men have tooth-marked wounds to show for the battle.

Everyone proceeds to the yet unseen southern face of the building to discover twenty foot tall iron bound wooden doors in good condition. One of the doors stands a jar. Varendë and Traver examine the door for tripwires, and eventually Varendë moves into the gloomy interior and gives the all clear. Although he attempted to open the door further, it did not move at his push. Ash continues to watch for returning dogs or another site of the small humanoid figure he glimpsed as they entered the ruined city.

As you enter the building, the first sight to strike you is the colored glass window high above on the north wall. Light filters through the window depicting a tall man in robes tied with some sort of belt. More men kneel at his feet and his right hand is held above them. A lone tree stands behind the robed figure. As your eyes adjust to the dim light, you can see a layer of dust and cobwebs covering everything. Enough light comes in through the high narrow windows to allow the elves to see clearly, and the humans to see well enough to move. Rows of high-backed wooden benches face the north end of the building where another representation of the monolith stands rising around thirty feet into the air. Well preserved choirs line the walls, and a balcony runs on the east and west walls at the height of the monolith’s peak. Two archways can be seen flanking the monolith, one each in the east and west walls. The north side of the building containing the monolith is semi-circular. In the center of the building, there is a metal railing three feet off the floor surrounding a black maw with steps leading down into it.

Varendë and Traver start a counter clockwise circuit of the exterior wall searching while Keddick accompanies them and taking the occasional reading with the lodestone. Each reading points directly at the monolith. The choirs are in good repair, but a dusty patina cover the wood’s luster. A thick layer of dust covers the bench inside each choir. Ash keeps watch out the open door at the south end of the building, while Jack roves about and eventually approaches the monolith and the area behind it.

While Varendë and Traver examine the five by five foot room through the eastern archway, Jack notes the base of the monolith is a bit over 3 feet on a side at the base, and it seems to be in scale with the monoliths at the corner of the bridge. All but Ash have noticed the alcove behind the monolith that has stairs leading up to the balconies.

Varendë and Traver continue their search of the room, but find nothing. They meet Ash near the southwest corner. Jack notices a symbol on the floor behind the monolith inlaid in a silvery metal. The symbol is inscribed within a hexagon inlaid with the same silvery metal about six feet across. Keddick attempts to detect magic, but can’t find any auras.

As Varendë, Traver and Ash walk towards the north end of the building, something catches Varendë’s eye about the top of one of the benches. He investigates and eventually breaks the end of the top of the back of the bench off to discover some sort of key inside. The key has a ring on one end with a four inch rod coming out of one side with a hole in the end.

While Ash climbs the stairs to the western balcony, the rest of the group heads up to the east balcony. The balconies are five feet wide. Ash proceeds quickly to the southern end to discover a small square piece of the white stone jutting from the wall. It appears to have a slight slope to the interior hole of the square as if something might sit within it. Traver hypothesizes that it could hold a candle after Ash calls across the room to alert the rest of the group of his find. They find a similar one on the end of the eastern balcony.

The group decides to partially block the opening to the outside with a bench. The benches seem quite rickety. Ash carries one to the door with Jack’s help, and then makes lots of noise as he knocks over a few more benches and declares the wood as worthless.

Into the Darkness
The group makes their way back to the stairs leading down that Jack previously investigated with Keddick. The stairs slope downwards at a steep angle. Varendë ties off his rope to the monolith. While Keddick covers the dimness below with his crossbow, Varendë and Jack descend carefully balancing on the tall, narrow steps. Ash and Traver use the rope to help them down with Traver nearly taking a bad fall. Keddick climbs down backwards last.

High stone arches buttress the building above ending in the floor in sturdy stone columns. Solid stone foots the stairs, and a musty, damp smell of decay and age hang heavy in the air. A second set of stairs lead down fifteen feet further south, but the stairs are only two feet wide.

The five foot wide archways entering the two side crypts are eight feet tall with a keystone at the top carved with symbols. In the center of the eastern crypt is a stone tomb with a top carved in the shape of a beautiful human woman, hands folded across her chests, and stone flowers in their hands. The stone has been worn smooth, and many of the delicate carved features have been lost.

In the far north end of the room, a stone door seven feet tall fills an ornamental archway. A small hole in the center of the door might be a keyhole.

Varendë notices a sheet of webs at the base of the narrow staircase.

As Traver and Ash approach the western archway, Traver hears the sounds of rodents within. He looks into the side room to see a mirror of the eastern circular room complete with sarcophagus and carved female figure. He also sees eye shine from a tangle of branches, leaves and grass covering much of the floor. Huge rats lie within the nest. Traver yells out “Rodents!” and both he and Ash prepare weapons to fight the beasts while flattening themselves against the walls outside the archway. The remainder of the group approaches brandishing steel.

The group waits calmly for the rats to come out, but they hide within their nest. While Keddick crumple three pieces of parchment and douses them with Jack’s oil, Ash boldly steps into the nest to attack the rats. Five rats surround him and he is bitten by two of them. Keddick cannot toss the parchment in to light the nest, so he steps up and casts a jet of flame from his hand into the nest beyond Ash. The nest bursts into flames. Ash retreats out the door, and as smoke pours out of the archway, the group waits for rats to appear. Keddick still standing at the entrance is bitten, and he then moves back. Rats are pummeled, and eventually the inferno inside rages and the group moves back to the door with five large rats dead in a heap.

Varendë checks the door for obvious traps and then inserts the “key” he found above in the bench. It doesn’t turn, but with a little persuasion from a piton for leverage, he feels it start to wiggle. Two crazed rats come boiling out of the archway. They attack and wound Traver. Soon enough they are hacked and bludgeoned to death.

All but Varendë suffered nasty bites from the filthy rats.

Varendë turns his attention back to the door, and with the help of Jack’s crowbar, he eventually turns the key halfway around. He pushes in on the door but it does not move. Ash tries to place a foot on it to help while he keeps his weapons out, but he succeeds only in pushing himself backwards. He sheaths his swords and puts his muscle into the push. The door starts to give way on the right and Ash changes his focus to that side. Soon the door is half way open. Varendë has an excellent view of a huge tangle of webs and hundreds of large egg sized spiders within the webs. The spiders continue with their spidery ways.

Someone suggests burning the webs, but Keddick counsels against it since their goal is a flammable book.

Varendë and Ash move to search the eastern sarcophagus. A fine seam can be seen near the top where the lid has been placed atop the base. After careful searching and less than helpful suggestions from Ash, Varendë finds what he thinks is a sliding panel at the base on the far side. With Ash’s help he pushes it six inches north, and they both feel a click through the stone. Nothing is revealed by the movement, and Ash’s attempts to move the sarcophagus top fail.

Several people realize they are hungry, and many stop to eat. Ash eventually walks over and checks the western sarcophagus now that the fire has burned itself out. The room is warm and smoky, but he is able to move a similar mechanism in that room. He again feels a click through the stone as the stone moves six inches.

While Keddick studies his spell book to learn color spray, Varendë and Jack discuss cutting the webs in the spider infested room. Boldly, Jack puts his rapier into action. As he slices through webs attached to the wall and the spiders within fall to the ground, they swarm out over and past him. Many of them bite his legs as they pass. Jack’s stomach churns as involuntary shivers run throughout his body. Bile rises in his throat, and his recent meal threatens to come back up. The spiders scatter throughout the room climbing walls, skittering across the floor, and quickly dissipating.

Condition Summary
Jack sustained a slight nip from a rat, and a number of spiders bit his legs. He has a few nasty looking spider bites that are red, hot and starting to swell, but he is otherwise unscathed.

Ash took two nasty bites to his left leg from vicious, filthy disease-carrying rats. Otherwise, he seems fine. A couple of day’s rest would help immensely.

Varendë took a nasty gash from a dog, but is otherwise fine. A good night’s rest might make him right again.

Both Keddick and Traver look bad. Each was savaged by dogs and bitten by a rat. The wounds are nothing a week of rest wouldn’t cure.

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