Air’s Day 14th of Skalar
The barbarian makes short work of the remaining bandits and continues on his way. The group follows him deeper into the complex…….
Meanwhile outside: Deirdre let Applesauce eat some grass……
Dierdre and applesauce stay close to the complex doors, but after nearly an hour of waiting she grows impatient, and curious of her allies’ whereabouts, she leads Applesauce to nearby grass and lets him eat. Once applesauce has his fill she returns to the door and upon hearing noises inside she presses her ear to the door. The sounds of a grating, squeaking voice greet her, the voice is yelling at something inside, saying to behave or it won’t get its food. Deirdre ignores the voice. Nearly a half hour later Deirdre begins to grow worried for her allies and makes up her mind to enter the complex, but as she approaches the door she hears some sort of skirmish inside the stable, and decides to avoid finding herself in the middle of it. Deirdre mounts Applesauce and begins to search for backdoors or secret entrances hidden around the base of the hill-complex. She rides slowly, making sure that she searches the hill as thoroughly as she can, and remains as alert as possible for fear of ambush or notice. Unfortunately, the bandaged neck wound and blood loss from earlier makes her woozy, and her vision blurred. After nearly an hour of searching around the hill she has seen little.
The adventurers: Lycium, Daresso, Zel’mak, Yvaine and Kosta, chase after the Barbarian, easily following him due to his war cries. He is much faster than they are, and knows the paths throughout this complex well. They come to a split in the hallway and choose to travel north, following his sounds. Here they find the Barbarian locked in another battle with the denizens of the hill-stronghold. He is bleeding, but has made short work of most of the combatants, some of the adventurers come to his aid and others try to pass through the skirmish. Across the room lies a wide open corridor, through can be seen Pietro ordering men to come to arms for arrival of the Barbarian. Kosta sees Pietro and readies his bow, aiming it at the mans back, Yvaine sprints up to Pietro and attempting to rest her blade on his throat and accidently knocking him to the ground. She slashes her weapon into the ground besides his head. “Tell your goons to put down their weapons”! she orders. “They can’t, if the tribesman makes it through here he will kill us all”! he responds, she shrugs, “Shouldn’t have kept us waiting”. She tries to intimidate him and his men, scaring away all but one, but before she can bargain with the man the Barbarian runs through and with a downward slash, he cuts off Pietro’s leg and laughs. He then continues his forward march deeper into the complex leaving pietro to die.
Yvaine looks at the man and realizes he will not survive the bleeding out. Kosta informs her of the bounty on Pietro’s head. She locks eyes with pietro, “Sorry” and with a clean thrust of her blade kills him instantly. Lycium comes over to loot the body, and Yvaine gets very defensive of Pietro’s belongings. “You can keep the coins, but everything else is mine”. Lycium finds some silver, but he greatly agitates Yvaine with the help of his “Humanoid Hatred” curse. Kosta points out the body to Zel’mak, who decapitates Pietro and puts his head in a burlap sack for Kosta, so that he may claim the bounty. Kosta throws the bag over his shoulder and suggests that they should continue. They all leave the chamber besides Daresso and Yvaine, Yvaine speaks with Pietro’s one surviving guardsman who did not run away. She convinces him to tell her where an exit lies, he tells her that almost all passages in the complex have a secret door east, which lies to the servants halls. Via the servants halls a secret exit can be found. Yvaine shares this information with Daresso.
By this time the Barbarian has gotten a good deal ahead of the adventurers, and his warcry’s can no longer be heard. The group follow what seems to be the most logical path and find themselves traversing a long hallway walls and a roof of stone and a floor of dirt and boards. Zel’mak recognizes the stone construction as that of the dwarves, knowing that most subterranean dwarven structures are laced with complicated dwarven traps he begins searching for them in order to keep the group safe. After a few minutes he discovers a dislodged stone panel, and recognizes it as a pressure plate, he lifts the stone and sees that the pressure mechanism still works, but that the swollen wood panels surrounding the plate will not let it be activated. He debates whether he wants to attempt to disarm the trap, or reactivate it, but decides against taking any action due to his lack of trap-knowledge and his lack of tools. Kosta, not wanting to be slowed down by this discovery Lycium notices Zel’mak investigating the trap and asks annoying questions about the find. Zel’mak tells him to forget it, and begins to walk away from the trap, Lycium is insistent however, and begs Zel’mak to fill him in on his history and explains that as a desert dwarf he knows nothing of his Mountain dwelling heritage. Zel’mak informs him that it doesn’t matter, and he will teach him at a later time. Yvaine however sees this as an opportunity, and puts pressure on Zel’mak to teach Lycium about the trap and his dwarven heritage. Zel’mak getting more and more agitated, says no. Just then Lycium crawls up on the pressure plate and threatens to activate it himself. Zel’mak turns and says nothing. In response Lycium jumps on the pressure plate, a five foot by five foot portion of the stone roof comes slamming sown and Lycium steps out of the way, with one foot still on the pressure plate. His leg is completely smashed and he passes out do the the shock. Daresso runs over to pick up the dwarf and administer aid, but in the process accidentally rolls Lycium back onto the pressure plate triggering the roof into careening downward again, this time pulverizing the dwarf into a puddle of gore. Daresso stares at the scene in shock, his face covered in Lycium’s blood.
The group is in complete silence, as his surviving gear and coin is picked up. It is decided that he cannot be buried do to the state of his body, but a funeral will be handled later. Zel’mak debated whether the trap should be marked so something like this wont happen again, but realizes that the gore should be marking enough. The adventurers continue on deeper into the compound. Meanwhile Kosta had already entered a chamber in which the Barbarian was hacking away at a large reinforced door. Kosta realized that the Leader of all of the bandits must lie beyond the door. Kosta made sure to stay far from the barbarian and his work, but noticed that there were to closed arrow slits 5 ft from either side of this door. He pushed in the stone block closing off one of the slits and when it fell inside the chamber he could see another archer was by the slit. Kosta dropped to the ground right under the slit, in order to avoid arrow-fire, and prepared to fire inside when the time was right.
Yvaine followed the group slowly, trying to think of a way to make it out of the complex alive, with growing resentment for those which “forced” her to go deeper into the complex in the first place. When Daresso, Zel’mak and Yvaine come into the chamber Yvaine sees the archer poised in the arrow slit. She yells out at the man, “We all want to go home and survive this, put down your weapons, and we can have our parley”. The man yells through the arrow slit telling her, “I would love to agree with you ma’am but we cannot put down our arms as long as that tribesman lives, once he makes it through that door he will kill us all and nothing is going to stop him but force”. All of his words punctuated by the sound of axe cleaving wood. Kosta begins to get up, ready to fire at the man behind the slit should things go wrong, and Yvaine responds, “Ok”. She walks up to the barbarian and promptly stabs him in the kidney. The barbarian, looks down at her, is nostrils flare and his metal studs turn gold with heat. A shockwave of scorching air bursts from his body burning Yvaine’s face and knocking Kosta off of his knees, throwing him unconscious to the ground. The heat seers the man behind the arrow slit knocking him to the ground. The barbarian looks at Yvaine’s burns, turns and gets back to work on the door. Yvaine, looks at her burnt hands and her unconscious ally. “Nope” she says.
She runs to the back of the chamber, where Daresso and Zel’mak stand she draws her weapon and looks at Zel’mak. “What are you doing, where are you going”? he asks. She responds, “Nope”! And lunges at him, her weapon catching his shield. Daresso Runs up to his broken ally, and props him up over his shoulder, pulling Kosta out of the room into the hallway. Zel’mak holds an offensive pose, but lets Yvaine pass into the hallway. Daresso asks if they should meet up where they came in. She says yes. And runs down the hallway.
Meanwhile, outside Deirdre had been tampering with a fake boulder she had found, she discovered that it was on hinges, and after finding a secret lever opened the way. Under the boulder was a dark passage straight down from which hung a rope ladder. She lit a torch and tied up Applesauce by the boulder. Deirdre climbs down the long ladder, and hits solid ground, inside of this dank chamber she sees nothing but a steep stairwell leading up, and hears nothing save the scurrying of cave vermin. She decides to follow the stairs up, straining her blurred vision, and her throbbing neck as ever higher she climbed. Eventually she come to a flat elevation with a single door to her right, she ignores the door and continues upwards, after what seems like forever she makes it to the top of the staircase and hears the sound of combat on the other side.
The Barbarian breaks through the door and charges those inside. The terrible chloric smell the group smelled earlier in the woods wafts into the hallway. Daresso feels Kosta go limp on his shoulder, and nothing he does can save him. Daresso lays Kosta on the ground and goes catatonic, standing in a stupor, considering what to do next. Zel’mak comes to him and drawing upon his experience as a soldier tells Daresso to snap out of it and deal with the problem at hand. Daresso doesn’t come fully to reality but decides to help.
Deirdre comes close to the door before her in an attempt to listen to what is on the other side, when the door swings open and a young man in expensive clothing charges out, upon seeing her he pulls out his rapier. Deirdre pulls hers and the stand deadlocked. The man in the finery then says," Something bad is happening in there, how about you and me run for it"? Deirdre takes him up on his offer and they run down the stairs, but once he reaches the flat spot in the staircase he takes a left and goes in the unchecked door, Deirdre continues her mad descent back to the ladder that brought her here.
Zel’mak charges into the room and sees that the Barbarian is in locked combat with an experienced pelandran soldier, two more bandits and a large wingless green dragon, Zel’mak tries to help. Two More bandits fall, then the green dragon bites the barbarian, and the old veteran stabs his blades into the barbarian’s back, his form falls limp upon the blades.
The Old Veteran steps forward while the dragon growls, is is severely injured, but stands strong. “I have a wife, who would very much like to see me at home tonight; the Barbarian is dead. I don’t know what happened here, but we both lost men, no need to spill more blood.”
Zel’mak takes a step towards the dragon and the barbarians body. The Veteran tells Zel’mak, “Leave”, and then he looks at the dragon, implying he will sick the beast on Daresso and Zel’mak if they do not comply. They agree, and start heading towards the exit. As they turn, the dragon whips away into the open corridor in the back of the room.
Deirdre hears the dragon begin to give chase, but she never looks back to see it, she just runs, as fast as she can muster. When she reaches the ladder at the bottom of the cave she climbs it has fast as she possibly can without ever taking her eyes off of the hole above which leads to sunlight and fresh air.
Yvaine and Daresso never meet up, she exits the compound via servants tunnels and eventually finds her way into a well dressed manor of sorts. She pays off one of the help to direct her to the outside. ONce she is in the cool night air she encounters Deirdre who had been circling the hill looking for her allies after she came out of the subterranean tunnel. Yvaine asks for the odd storybook back for Deirdre. Once she has this, she wanders into the darkness of the forest without another word.
Once Daresso and Zel’mak find their way back outside they encounter Deirdre, few words are said. Kosta’s belongings are requisitioned and he is buried respectfully. Camp is made and the three remaining adventurers eat quietly. The group tries to get some rest, but due to a combination of the uneven earth, the humidity and the traumatic events of the hours before, they sleep restlessly…..