OOC: Room for up to five players, mail if you want to join. Risky, but there's a reward!
Feb. 8, 2020, 1 p.m.
Arx - underwater caverns in the cliffside
Comments and Log
Afternoon shadows are beginning to lengthen over the Lowers, with the shadow of the Upper city and the bridge looming above. On the riverside, the story-telling hero dockhand stands to receive the would-be hero treasure hunters. He gives them all a dubious look.
"You all?" he asks, squinting. "Ugh. Look, I don't wanna get in no trouble for it being my damn fault a bunch of fancy upper folk got floated. So I gotta tell ya. Hope ya'll brought what ya need, yeah?"
Counting off items on his fingers, he goes on: "Weapons? Armor that don't drag ya down too much, cuz ya gotta do some swimming? Like, if you're real strong, go in plate. Or whatever alaracite shit ya'll got. That monster ghost fish ain't no joke -- and lanterns! Some way to get em through the water dry. Reckon it's real dark in there!"
When the dockhand notices Raymesin, his demeanor visibly relaxes with respectful recognition. That one's not 'fancy upper folk', and for some reason, he doesn't seem as anxious anymore. With a smile at the Ulbran, he tosses off a two-fingered salute and drifts away towards the dockyard.
Avoiding the desire to lose a toe, Mabelle decided to come with slippers this time. She is clad in all the shadowmeld she could find last minute, which is the best swimsuit she can possibly come up with. She walks onto the docks and glances at her lantern, dubious it will last under water much.
The pale Ashford with haunting eyes is dressed more for adventuring in the woods than in waterlands - but the leafy green attire just //might// blend in with moss and underwater foliage in an appropriate manner. The ...oddity of her outerwear is that blasted blood-colored coat. Why is she wearing it, anyway? Likely, Sunaia is here to represent the Inquisition, by the looks of that damed thing.
The white Inquisitor listens to the dockhand, her manner mild as she stands, listening to his advice. She doesn't say anything - as yet - but scans her companions, flashing a quick smile to Kaia and Orelia, then tilting slightly with a bow for Martino and Mabelle.
Orelia appears unconcerned as she prepares for the journey, making sure Crescendo and A Siren Song are firmly secured at her hips. She greets the other adventurers with a nod and a friendly smile as they arrive.
In matching outfits because, well why wouldn't they be, the Lord Martino and Kaia Malvici are stood beside each other nodding low as the dockhand. "Got it!" Sharp green eyes of Martino's crease before he reaches behind his hip to pat his small belt-kit and hums slightly, nose wrinkling, "Monster. Ghost. Fish."
Raymesin makes his way down the dock, the tall man clad in scuffed and scarred black leathers, as usual, with the hilts of two mismatched knives visible at his belt. He nods to the dockhand at the salute, offering the man an ever-so-faint smile, more a twitch upwards of the corners of his lips than anything else. He doesn't bow to any of the assembled, instead simply regarding them and offering one nod for the entire group.
Inquisitor though she may be, Sunaia is not unfamiliar to adventuring - in places across the Compact that few might even consider the white noblesse might have been. She's well-equipped, beneath her crimson coat: wax-sealed lanterns and plenty of rope - waxed and plain; even a long breathing tube for time spent underwater that Laric ensured she obtained from the Inquisiton's stores. Likely, between the pair, she's... got everything the group could need. And more.
There would be a returned smile to both Sunaia and Orelia, then another to her cousin Mabelle, before she noded to her husband's words. "Ready, indeed. No need to worry about it good man. Surely, we are all well prepared." she would say, somewhat confidently. Then a glance once more at Martino as he repeated those words. "You okay?"
Sunaia mutters, "Does your husband ... much ..."
Sunaia mutters, "... offense ... but he ... a bit ... a dandy."
Along the edge of the Gray River, panning east against the current that empties into the Bay of Thrax, the cliffs rise dark and stony-cold below the Sovereign Bridge. There's a spot that one might only see if they were looking for it, where the water sprays up white against the rocks, where it seems like there might be an entrance - mostly underwater - below the cliffs directly under the Ward of the Compact.
That place waits for the adventurers.
Orelia overhears just enough of Sunaia's mutterings to snicker.
Sunaia mutters, "... fuck all. Are ... ... I going to look ... ... then?"
Orelia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.
Martino checked strength + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.
Kaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.
Raymesin checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Kaia mutters, "... ... ... I shall keep an eye out for him and make sure he doesn't die ... ..."
Inhaling slightly, Martino lifts his sharp green eyes to the sky for a moment before biting on his lower lip. "Oh you are right, darling Kaia." Stepping up to the river bank, following on from both Kaia and Sunaia, the Lord Martino steps forward and begins to try and wade through the current before it picks up stronger. Starting to swing his arm through the water, the weight of armour as well as the kiss of nerves has him struggle already to get through the deepest points.
Sunaia checked command + propaganda at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.
Great. Swimming. Mabelle is a tiny woman fighting against the current and not quite succeeding. She swallows a lot of water but is determined to push through.
Eyeing the group, Sunaia quickly appraises the best swimmers from the worst. She points a finger first at Martino, then to Orelia and Mabelle: "Stay, stay, stay. The current's too swift; you'll likely drown." ...She notes Mabelle already and exhales longsufferingly, then wades into the water and attempts to pull the lady out.
Raymesin eyes the assembled nobles, then shrugs and makes his way down the riverbank. He glances over at some of the mutterings, his eyebrows lifting - but soon he's too focused on what he's doing to have much attention to spare for the mumblings of silks. "'And me a rope," he calls back from a handy rock, the Lowers accent utterly blatant, "An' I'll take one end through." The sheer size of the man means he can keep his feet in depths others will need to swim at.
Sunaia checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Orelia starts into the water confident enough, but the current is a bit stronger than the ponds and streams she grew up playing in. She feels it pull at her, down and away, but somehow manages to pull herself back onto the bank where she started, cursing under her breath.
Mabelle attempts to make a swim toward Raymesin, luckily, she only feels like she is in the middle of the sea, but she didnt get too far from the dock.
Kaia checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 37 higher.
Muttering swears that might make sailors blush, Sunaia diligently swims to Mabelle, dragging the woman up to the surface so she can breathe. Calmly, Sunaia instructs the woman, "Breathe. Don't struggle." The Inquisitor wraps a rope around Mabelle's torso - high under her arms and instructs again, "Lay on me. I'll swim, you... just lay there and try to look pretty." "Hey, big lad! Catch this!" Sunaia calls to Raymesin. When she's sure she has his attention, swiftly, Sunaia tosses the other end of the rope to Raymesin.
...Unless, of course, Mabelle struggles. In which case... Sunaia just might let her drown.
Mabelle checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
Like any good explorer Kaia lives up to the organization's name and manages to skillfully swim her way across. However, halfway there, she notices some are having trouble doing the same - her dandy husband being one of them. There's a bit of eyerolling there, before she's swimming her way back, and helping him out of the water. Once back on firm ground, she glances back to the dock area, noticing there seems to be someone with a rowboat available. "Give me a moment. I shall be back soon." She tells the group. In the distance she can be seen talking with a man, her attitude all commandeers like, she seems to be pointing to the group, and then the place where they were to be headed to. It takes a bit, but then, they are shaking hands and she's getting on the rowboat and bringing it back to the group. "Alright, you three! Get on!" she says, with a grin.
Raymesin catches the end of the rope, then braces himself and starts pulling, hauling the rope - and hopefully Mabelle - back towards the dubious safety of the rocks. Fishing for nobles, the latest, greatest sporting craze in Arvum's Lower Boroughs.
Orelia gratefully climbs into Kaia's rowboat.
Gasping hard, Martino's hands wave through the water as he attempts to maintain /some/ sort of above-head floating, lifting his feet to remember - or misremember - you can't drown if you float. While he's doing this though, Kaia is off being useful as is Sunaia and Raymesin, and needfully Martino props his hands onto the boat to pull himself up onto it, "Ughh." Drenched, he sits on it.
"As you wish," Sunaia releases Mabelle, swimming deftly to the opposite shore. It's a good day for a swim; it's been damned hot. Arriving to the other side, she does note that Kaia has managed to acquire a rowboat. She pulls herself out and waits, ...not quite as heartless as some might think, she does take a look to see if Mabelle is alive and breathing when she finally makes it back to shore.
Mabelle is being pulled behind Raymesin but her head isnt... always above water. So she bobs. Like a toy ship, all the way toward the cave.
River water gets into Mabelle's eyes, ears, nose and throat as she's hauled through on the end of Raymesin's rope. Upon the rocks near the tunnel entrance, she's alive - just sputtering and coughing a lot, probably. 4 inflicted and Mabelle is harmed for minor damage.
The tunnel entrance starts above water, but it's obvious once people are close (that being Mabelle, Raymesin, and Sunaia) that the craggy rocky channel descends very shortly in a way that would make it entirely underwater. Meanwhile, Kaia has Orelia and Martino in a rowboat, rowing up to the rocks without any further trouble.
Drenched, but now dragging himself up on the opposite side and now by the tunnel's entrance, the Lord Martino lifts his hands up in celebration, "I did it!" Proud, he lifts up his chin and steps forward, but not into the caverns, before glancing over his shoulder to everyone else. "So... rowboat for the way back?" His eyes crease as he attempts to maintain something of humour in the soaked group.
Mabelle reaches into her bag to pull out a wet vial. She takes a sniff of it and tries to regulate her breathe, giving a grateful smile to Raymesin and another to Sunaia for the rescue. She eyes the rest of the cave and mumbles, "Great. Why didnt I bring Truffle with me"
As she's the first one to the tunnel's entrance, Sunaia inspects the entrance. "It seems the cave goes underwater," she advises the group. "Let me go first and see how far it is; I'll come back and let you know what I find. Agreed?" The pale Ashford adventurer glances around the group for some accordance of agreement.
Orelia stands at the rocks, surveying the tunnel's entrance while stretching as much as her leather armor will allow. "Look out for ghost fish!" she warns Sunaia with a smirk.
Once reached the other side, Kaia jumps off the rowboat and ties it with a rope to something. They would clearly need it for getting back. Her gaze then moving about to the rest of the group, particularly on Mabelle -coughing a river out her throat, with a bit of concern. "Are you okay cousin?" she would ask as she closed in on the group already there. Her eyes moving in to take in the new challenge. "Oh...more water..." she begings and mumbles the rest to herself.
Kaia mutters, "... fear for you ... swimmers."
Shaking his head, and his helm, Martino walks a bit closer to the edge of the tunnel and notices /more/ of the water. Pursing his lips he points his fingertip out to the roof of the underwater tunnel, "If we follow the top there. There might be more air, or can at least follow it with your hands and not get lost!" Martino nods, a moment of smart.
"I'll do my best," Sunaia replies dryly, her lips only barely quirking at Orelia.
Raymesin helps Mabelle onto something solid with a half a smile in answer to Mabelle's, then nods to Sunaia. "Works for me," he agrees, setting about coiling the rope back up again as though he's done this before.
Mabelle straightens herself with the help of Raymesin and finds it suitable to note to him, "Mabelle, by the way". She assures Kaia, "I'm fine, just needed to breath something that wasnt in liquid form"
Sunaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 70 higher. Sunaia rolled a critical!
Kaia would nod to Mabelle and then watch Sunaia move in to survey the tunnel.
"Liquid's not the best way to breathe. I've tried it; it's not fun," Sunaia quips, even-toned to Mabelle - perhaps in an attempt at some humorous coalescence. She dives into the water immediately....
Murmuring with those still not yet to have jumped in, Martino's fingertips point still to the cracky rocks at the ceiling, "Follow it up there Lady Sunaia!" His voice calling to her, "Oh and you Messere." Trailing it to Raymesin. "If you want."
"Hmm...I best go with her. Make sure no fish ghost catches her alone //if// there's even such a thing." she says, before she too is diving into the water after her friend.
Kaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher. Kaia rolled a critical!
Martino checked command + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
Orelia takes a couple of deep practice breaths before braving the water again.
Orelia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.
Straining his voice slightly, Martino attempts something to convince Kaia as well before diving in, "Try... oh! Orelia... you try as well. Yes?" Laughing slightly as he delivers a strained call that loses itself in the echos
Mabelle checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 12 lower.
As Sunaia dives into the tunnel to go ahead and scout, Kaia follows after her -- and then so does Orelia, who manages to make the swim as well. But as Mabelle follows, she clearly encounters some difficulty in the tunnel. It's only the two men left on the rocks behind, Martino and Raymesin.
"Raymesin," the man himself replies to Mabelle, then watches Sunaia and a few of the others jump in. He ties one end of his rope to the rowboat, while waiting for someone to come back, or something else to happen. Martino gets looked at, and then he's watching Mabelle again - before turning to look at Martino. "After you," says Raymesin, with an elegant gesture towards the tunnel.
Mabelle attempts to stick to the upper surface of the tunnel, but what she doesnt swallow in water, she gets bumped on her head all the way there. She doesnt curse. She is a lady. She is thinking up ways in her mind to explode this cave into pieces once she's done with it.
"Oh we /supposed/ to all be jumping in?" Martino's head tilts for a moment to Raymesin as he chatters away, "Raymesin? Messere Raymesin? Ah Lord Martino Malvici. A delight to meet you!" Those on the other side likely hearing the Malvici Lord chat away rather than actually return to the water, glancing back over his shoulder and now everybody else is gone, he nods hard, "Oh yes! Okay... after me." Martino walks to the edge before ducking barely underneath the top of the rocks, following it slowly.
The rocky tunnel walls bump cruelly along Mabelle's armored form. 12 inflicted and Mabelle is harmed for minor damage.
Orelia does her best to utilize the eerie glow of the cave to watch the surface of the water for ripples of dripping water, in the hopes that she can find the air when she needs it.
Martino checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Raymesin checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 62 higher. Raymesin rolled a critical!
Ever the adventurer, the pale Ashford is finally in her element - and it's been so very long. She swims deftly, easily; and - rather than being frightened by the evil presence here, she's somehow... intrigued. She keeps swimming, seeking a place where she might be able to breathe, but draws her rubicund sword. She's not stupid, and knows how to fight underwater, if she must.
The rocky tunnel walls bump cruelly along Martino's armored form. 4 inflicted and Martino is unharmed.
Sunaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Kaia @check stamina+survival at 15
Kaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Mabelle checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.
Kaia checked command + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.
It's a little slower-going now that a sword is in her hand, and it's getting harder to breathe. But Sunaia manages to keep herself from drawing a breath....
Martino checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.
Raymesin waits for Martino to get underway, then ties the rope to a loop on his belt and follows. He goes a little lower, clearing both the rocks of the roof and Martino, with the rope paying out behind him. This would appear to be another of those situations where his sheer size works to his advantage.
There's some choking underwater as Mabelle begins to drown. She's moving towards the right, though, seeking that air - so hopefully she'll be okay. 7 inflicted and Mabelle is harmed for moderate damage.
Orelia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
Sunaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Sunaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.
Kaia would remain calm while moving further underwater, taking notice of pretty much the same things as Sunaia. However, as she continued to swim, she would attempt to signal those getting closer torwards the right where the dripping sound of water could be heard. Air! Go that way! There's air that way!
While Mabelle can't swim, she does like living. As she swims to the right direction, she eventually sees light and pushes herself up, breaking the water and taking a large gasp, and then comes a coughing fit
Gasping hard, Martino follows part of the top of the cave and perks up to breath slightly before ducking back underneath and still following the top with his hands, lifting up again. Spotting where others are going before ducking beneath to follow Kaia and Sunaia's lead.
Something has Sunaia's attention and she's a VERY happy woman. Even if she hasn't risen for a breath, it's become easier to swim - maybe a current she caught? The white Inquisitor, nonetheless, makes for the light - probably hearing echoes of Mabelle's coughing fit, as well. She breaks the surface with a clean, deep and quiet breath before glancing to ensure the Laurent lives (she does) and dips down again to continue onward.
Sunaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.
A menacing presence lurks in the underwater cavern here, and the quality of the water feels slimy - darker and colder than usual. There's the swirl of some great physical presence, and then as Sunaia approaches the flickering phosphorescence around some rocks, that presence comes into sight with a ghastly glow - a great, eel-like creature with massive jutting teeth. Someone could see its skeleton right through its transparent, luminescent body, dark blood pulsing through its ghostly innards.
And those teeth are big enough to chomp off a man's head.
It does not look friendly. And there is no air beside it. Those pale eyes are blind, but as it startles to face the would-be hero intruders, spines flick out aggressively around its visibly terrible skull - and also bristle up along its spine and flared tailfin.
Though the rocky ceiling of the cavern is directly overhead, making it impossible to rise from submergence near the entrance - somewhere to the right, the distant sound of dripping can be heard, as if there might be a place to crawl up out of the water.
And at least Mabelle has made it there, up to a rocky flat section of the cavern, what looks to be a dead end - and at least the fish would be unable to climb there.
Raymesin swims onwards, making his way towards that glowing presence. And, while he's at it, pulling one of the mismatched knives from his belt. Just another black-clad swimmer, big and gangling and not particularly tasty-looking, with a gleaming white blade coming from the nondescript hilt.
Raymesin checked stamina + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Sunaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 14 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 40, rolling 14 lower.
Hmm, interesting. Ugly thing, spiny, gross... neat! Sunaia appraises the ghostly fish and... its pale eyes are so much like her own that she definitely is intrigued. She makes to swim past the fish - under and beyond, to the north... maybe not the smartest, buuuut....
Having calmed down, Mabelle begins to inspect the less wet part of the cave
The ghost fish intercepts Sunaia with an eerie swirl of oily waters. It lashes out with its tail to stop her from moving past.
Using his hands, Martino shifts across the top of the cavern slowly and glances across to Kaia and notices those hands gesturing. Wriggling once more, he now dunks a bit further beneath the water to swim harder across to the edge where she pointed to. Eyes closed before meeting the rocky edge with his hands. "Ah!" He gasps, lifting his chin at last on the 'dry' land.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + spiny-tail-whack(3) at difficulty 10, rolling 30 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 40, rolling 2 higher. Sunaia rolled a critical!
Sunaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.
//INVIGORATING//, that's what this is. The fish emits some kind of oily fluids and lashes at Sunaia, but the woman's prowess in the water is fairly stunning. She dives down and past //JUST// as the fish's tailfin lashes at her and presses onward - seemingly unfazed - looking for another place to take a breath.
Raymesin checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.
Raymesin checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(2) at difficulty 64, rolling 42 lower.
After having gestured for some swimming closer to move to the right where there was air, Kaia too pulls herself up into the dry area of the underwater cave. Her eyes moving to inspect Mabelle and Martino for a moment. "You both good?" she would ask, before glancing back to the water, where the glowy fish was at --with Sunaia and Raymesin getting closer to it. Eyes wide. "Oh gods...what an ugly creature that is." she would state, before pulling her bow off her shoulder and taking an arrow from the secured sheathe. "I wonder if an attempt to shoot if from here would even work..." she admits, as she aims torwards it.
Mabelle checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Kaia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 10, rolling 29 higher.
Sucking in air, Martino dripped while stood beside Kaia and squinted down to the water where the glowing was, "That is... yes. Very ugly. Try giving it a go. I can see if there is something around here that might be a weapon if not." Martino nods low and makes his way around the dry part of the cavern. Checking to see what was around, anything sharp or anything shiny.
Orelia follows Kaia up and out to land, to air, and away from the creepy glowing eel. "I doubt it," she says. "Arrows don't move as well through water."
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(2) at difficulty 29, rolling 2 lower.
Raymesin focuses on the fish, the rope trailing out behind him - and then as it recovers from lashing at Sunaia, he strikes. The diamondplate blade is held almost in one place as the fish passes its range, the tall man letting the fish do all the hard work while he braces against the wall and ceiling.
Martino checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 137 higher. Martino rolled a critical!
Sunaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 35, rolling 3 higher.
...Yeah... it's getting a bit harder to breathe, now. That down-dive and back up again took some work. But, Sunaia swims on, presumably into the next cavern, where... something new happens! Hopefully a place to breathe.
A creepy groaning underwater howl emerges from the fish as Raymesin's knife point drags along its side, severing spiny fins and digging into its guts. Dark ichor and entrails leaks out into the water, swirling and clouding around its thrashing motions, and it curls in pain with a huge bite darting towards the Ulbran. Kaia's arrow finds a blind eye, embedded into the monster.
The open dark cavern above Martino, Mabelle, Kaia, and Orelia seems like a mostly empty, rocky and moss-covered wasteland. Mabelle looks around and sees that there's very little to be gained from this ledge except air to breathe. However, Martino is able to discern a thorny vine that might be used to choke the fish to death, or lasso it and drag it up onto the rocks? His eyes are amazingly sharp but there's really very little in the area.
On the other side of the cavern, Sunaia is swimming skillfully into the next tunnel, which seems wholly underwater - but she's forging on ahead like a very brave scout might do.
Orelia wields A Siren Song.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + monster-fish-maw(5) at difficulty 10, rolling 29 higher.
Orelia sees the thrashing of the great fish as Raymesin fights it, and dives back into the water to assist, sword ready.
Raymesin checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 39, rolling 3 higher.
Kicking her feet with steady, even motions, Sunaia pushes herself through the darkening water. She has an instinct - or just thinks there might be a ceiling up above, so she swims for it - and gratefully, she's right. She takes a deep breath and murmurs something utterly unheard.
Orelia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 10, rolling 59 higher.
Lifting up his fingertips, Martino's leather wrapped hands notice the thorny vine growing and he carefully gathers it in his palms before walking back to the edge of the water beside Kaia, "Look! Kaia... I found... something useful!" Martino shows it to Kaia and to Mabelle as he turns his torso, "Would one of you be able to try and get this around the fish neck so we can... drag it closer to the edge? Then even -I- can hit it." Martino glances from Kaia to Mabelle, leaving open the option to pick who dives in.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + dodge(2) at difficulty 69, rolling 47 lower.
Mabelle gazes at Martino and murmurs, "Yes, but then it will be closer to..", and then she realizes that's selfish and notes, "Yes well, maybe it will give the man some chance to breathe", she glances sympathetically at the water war/
The monster ghost fish dives towards Raymesin with those deadly teeth in the slimy water, but the Ulbran swims back so swiftly that the maw clamps thunderously shut right in front of him. And then Orelia's charging in with her blade, and abruptly the creature's head is severed from its eel-like body. More terrible ichor leaks out, dark in the water, and the glow fades. They're all plunged into utter darkness.
Sunaia checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.
Orelia finds her way back to land after taking the head of the monstrous fish. After taking a few clean breaths she starts wiping off the i her and entrails that clung to her while she swam with obvious disgust.
Kaia would let out a grin at having the arrow hit the fish's eye at the very least. Not that it was of any use...the thing seemed to be blind anyways, no? "Well that may not have been very effective...but at least I know it can be done!" she says, before her focus is being pulled back by Martino's call for attention. "Oh...so it seems you did." she concedes, taking a closer look at the thorny vine. "Hmm..." a glance given to both of them. "I guess by one of us trying to get it around its neck...you probably mean me, right?" she asks, with a rasied brow at them. "You two were barely able to make it here. I dread to think what would happen if you even attempt to get near that thing." she says, before extending an arm for the vine. "Alright. Get ready with your weapons, I'll try and bring it closer with Orelia's and Raymesin's help." she tells them. "Unless you //really// want to try it?" she says waiting for their replies.
An odd sound - but when adventuring, odd sounds are to be expected. Something's startled, though, by the breaking of Sunaia's body from the water's surface, from her deep breath and murmur. She likely hears the splashing in the other cave, will probably note the lack of glow... And then, it's pitch black. Well. This is why she brought the lantern. Now. If only there's a place to lift herself up further.... She hesitates, sniffs. Something... smells familiar. Sword in one arm, she reaches to the ceiling and attempts to swim towards where she heard the skittering, then lashes out randomly with her blade.
Raymesin checked stamina + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.
Raymesin breaks to the right, heading towards the air in that first cavern. He doesn't seem to worry too much about fish blood or fish guts, being far more concerned about getting some more air instead.
Sunaia checked intellect at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
"Ah well volunteered!" Martino's sharp green eyes crease for a moment as he reaches out to Kaia with the vines before plunged with darkeness and shifting his feet back slightly, still handing off the vine to Kaia to murmur, "It might be a useful tool still." The darkness, needing the Malvici Lord to squint through.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + crab-claw-parry(1) at difficulty 12, rolling 20 higher.
Sunaia checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + crab-mandibles(6) at difficulty 10, rolling 53 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 63, rolling 18 lower.
Something hard bats away Sunaia's slash in the darkness, but she's able to hold onto her sword. Then, shrouded by the murky black, something hard crashes toward her. 63 inflicted and Sunaia is harmed for minor damage.
It dawns on Sunaia that the waxed lantern would be EXTREMELY useful, right about now, but she has nowhere yet to light it. She lashes out at the noises on the shore violently, striking blindly, repeatedly - not the easiest feat in the world to do while treading water, so she clutches to a ledge. Something makes its way through, crashes hard at her... "Ouch," she murmurs. "Okay, that's not very nice." Sunaia pulls herself up fully onto the surface and swings again at where she hears the skutteling sound.
"Oh--it's dark." she says, and glances around. "Any of you got a lantern around?" she asks, her eyes squinting as they attempt to adjust to the lack of light. Her head titlting to the side at the sound of both Orelia and Raymesin moving out of the water to get some air. "Nicely done you two!" she would tell them, before pulling her backpack off one shoulder to search for something.
Kaia says, "Oh, and yes, it might be useful later." she would tell Martino with a nod. "Hold onto it?"
Mabelle apologizes to Kaia, "I dropped it when I hit my head", which time, huh? She eyes Raymesin when he comes to the surface and they are finally leveled, "You are tall"
Turning his head to Mabelle, Martino asked, "Latern? Oh wa-- I..." Martino reaches back to fumble for a moment but pulls up a slightly cracked lantern before crouching down and fiddling with it to start something of a fire inside, "One moment darling Kaia."
Orelia nods to Kaia and gives a bow with a flourish. "I dar say the beast didn't see me coming," she says. "Honestly, I don't know what good a lantern will do until the blood clears from the water. We may just need to follow the walls with our hands.
Raymesin takes a deep breath, then another, then grins up at Mabelle. "Yer just noticed?" And then he's looking around, or at least checking the voices. "We missin' one?"
Kaia glances about. "Hmm...Sunaia. Where's Sunaia?"
Mabelle praises Orelia, "That was disgusting and beautiful at the same time. She watches Martino struggles with the lantern and moves her gaze to Raymesin, "Well, I was busy living before so...". She then gazes ahead at the water and admits, "She was there with the eel, maybe she went the other way?"
Still fidling with it, blowing on the wick, Martino purses his lips as he shakes his head, "Broken. I cracked the glass earlier it looks like." Bringing himself back to his feet, Martino purses his lips before nodding to Orelia, "I think you are right. We need to get across to the otherside - without - the light." Sighing slightly, Martino steps to the edge and crouches down before dropping in the the water to follow the cave around once more.
"Well if we can't see anyway, I should go first," Says Orelia. "That way if we run into trouble, I can deal with it before the rest of you have to." She starts toward the water again without waiting to hear agreement.
Mabelle supposes, "Maybe we shouldnt have killed the fish, or maybe we should swim as a group, with a rope between us", so I wont die. She things that in her heart though.
Raymesin hehs. "Still trailin' a rope," he points out. "Give me a chance ter get set so's you don't pull me back." Another breath, and he sets out.
Orelia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.
Orelia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.
Mabelle checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.
Kaia would then let out a soft sigh. "She's done it again, hasn't she." she says in regards to Sunaia. "She's indeed likely gone ahead..."she concedes to Mabelle, and then adds. "She always does this." There's a soft shake of the head from here there in that drakness. "Yes. Orelia, you are right. Very well, I shall follow after Martino." she would say, and then glance to Mabelle and Raymesin...or rather where she assumed they'd be at according to their voices. "You two will follow right after us?" she asks, to confirm; before diving in after the first two. Second cavern here we go!
Raymesin checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
Raymesin checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.
Mabelle checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Beneath the water, Martino is overtaken by Oriela as she takes charge as he setles beneath it, kicking his feet beneath to lift his chin above to check on the status of others and then kicking beneath the water. Hand following the ceiling to follow his way around.
Kaia checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 20 higher.
Martino checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
Kaia checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.
Martino checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Martino checked stamina + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.
Everyone gets into the next cavern, even though Mabelle inhales some water again. 4 inflicted and Mabelle is harmed for minor damage.
The next underwater tunnel leans to a wider pool, and the stalactite-ridden ceiling rises overhead, letting swimmers lift their heads above the water once they emerge from the narrow channel between caverns. In the darkness beyond, there's a skittering sound - the clacking of sharp legs against the rocky floor. A wet hiss sounds out in vengeful protest, long and sibilant, followed by more clicking that chitters from mandibles. There's the song-slash of a sword through the air - Sunaia is fighting the thing in the dark, no doubt.
Somebody should probably get a lantern out! This one doesn't glow.
Mabelle waits on the ledge all polite and wraps the rop around her waist while she waits. This is embarrassing. Really. It is. She swims behind Raymesin. If you call that swimming. When they reach the next cavern, she cringes at the click noises and mumbles, "I dont like this".
Sunaia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Raymesin makes it through to the next cavern, but stops by the entrance. He reaches down and tugs on the rope he's trailing, then braces himself against the wall and roof so whoever's going to haul on the thing doesn't haul him back out. Funny noises are, for the moment, someone else's problem.
Just as she said she would, Orelia leads the group along the wall of the cave to find the passage Sunaia so recklessly went ahead without them to find. When she hears the sounds of skittering and snapping and ringing steel, she readies her own sword again.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + crab-claw-parry(1) at difficulty 9, rolling 15 higher.
Sunaia checked strength + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Gasping hard, Martino lifts up from the water and shakes his helm-covered head thrice before glancing back over his shoulder to Kaia. Reaching forward to offer her a hand, gaze trailing down to the bodice for a moment, "Darling. Here now. Take my hand." Martino faces away from the eel and the drama with Sunaia swinging at it for a moment. Clearly distracted for a moment or several.
The thing in the dark whacks away Sunaia's sword again with a hard click of carapace-against-steel. However, she still manages to hold her sword.
"Come on, now, be nice... or I'll have to bite harder," Sunaia mildly tells... whatever is skuttling. She decides, however, that it's about time to light a lantern - so, backing away from the skuttling noises, she gives herself some distance, quickly sheathes her sword and draws a waxed lantern and attempts to light it. ('wow, but it would be great if waterproof matches had been invented... or if I could just have some of those neat little brass bugs I've heard about...!' might be some sort of thought crossing the adventurer's mind.)
Sunaia checked intellect + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 31 higher.
Sunaia checked intellect + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.
A warped creature twists away from the sudden light, with a screech of pain. A massive crab-salamander the size of a grizzly bear, it hunches away from both Sunaia and the party of adventurers with sword-wielding Orelia at the forefront, curling between two stalagmites for shelter from the glow of fire.
It's a terible, deviated monster, with tiny gilled mouths all along the edges of its elongated carapace. These mouths boast hundreds of sharp triangular teeth that gnash and chatter, along with the frantic hisses that emerge from the crooked hard tendrils around its larger front mouth. Rolling eyes on stalks adorn the top of its head.
Beyond it lies a darkened tunnel entrance, promisingly above the waterline.
Kaia would take Martino's hand to get out of the water, and onto steady ground. Her eyes steady on his face, notice how his eyes trailed down and she gasped. "Are you cheching me out just now?!" she would ask him with a slightly exasperated tone, before the noises in the background pulled her attention away soon after. "That doesn't sound good. "Sunaia?!" she would call out to her friend. "You doing okay out there?!"
Orelia looks at the monster, back to the party, and back to the monster again. She brandishes her rubicund blade with a grin and moves to engage.
"Oh, you're a big boy. I'll have to tell Laric about you. Cousin to Salvadore, ol' boy?" Sunaia asks dryly, sizing up the massive monster now that she can finally see it. She sets the lantern in a safe place behind her and withdraws her sword again. "You're not gonna play nice, are you?"
Mabelle clings to the wall behind her as she notices the monster and mutters, "What is wrong with these animals? Why cant it be a normal crab?". Having proven utterly useless in anything that requires physical force, she lingers behind.
Raymesin glances over at the shrieking thing, then helps get Mabelle - and anyone else on the rope - through to the second cavern, before he heads for the 'shore'. Apparently he's quite happy to let the people with actual swords engage this one. Then again, he's got some fish guts still tangled in his hair, so it's not as though he's slacking.
"Oh me?! Um..." Martino's caught like a guilty child in a candy store by Kaia and then those noises shake the tunnel slightly. "Well that old man didn't mention roaring crab-beasts." Sighing heavy, Martino reaches to his vine looped around his belt and attempts to tie something of a knot in it to form a rope, a lassoo, "Umm. Someone strong hold my hips. I'll hold Kaia's hips after she swings and ties this around the beast's claws. Or head." Nodding firm, Martino reaches to offer it out.
Kaia checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.
Kaia checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
There's a lifted eyebrow shot at her husband as he shamelessly grabs onto her hips after having pretty much handed her over the thorny lasso. "Wait, huh?!" It takes Kaia a moment to realize what she was meant to do, but at last she understands. Thank gods and Sunaia for that light. She positions herself to start swinging that thorny lasso and she launches it at the creature. Oh good! All that aiming in archery has worked its charm! It seems to go straight for the salamander's neck. "I think I've got it! Hold me!" she shouts.
Just as the twisted crab-salamander is about to lunge at either Sunaia or Orelia, the thorny vine wraps around its ugly form and holds it still - this is unlikely to last long, as it shrieks in anger, a horrific eldritch whine-screech, and prepares to snap itself clear. This would be a great time for anyone to attack, as it could not dodge or counter immediately.
Orelia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
Raymesin checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.
Orelia moves in, her rubicund blade flashing red-gold in the lantern light as she swings.
Holding down onto Kaia's hips, Martino's feet kick back for a moment as they both fell the beast down. "We did it!" Pleased, Martino /now/ unsheaths his spatha and charges to the crab-beast.
Martino wields Southport Crimson Steel Spatha.
Martino checked strength + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
It's very nice that the damned beast's heads are snagged; Sunaia lunges in and strikes at the weird cousin to Salvadore.
Raymesin, meanwhile, stays where he is, bracing himself with one hand. The other pulls a plain black knife and flicks fowards, sending the blackened steel blade flying through the air, end-over-end, towards the salamander-monster.
Sunaia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 2 lower.
Martino checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 2 higher.
Orelia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
Ras GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + crab-mandibles(6) at difficulty 10, rolling 49 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 59, rolling 34 lower.
Kaia stands firm, holding the beast down from afar with the thorny vine lasso. Allowing for the others to launch their attacks. She seems to be struggling. "I might not be able to hold on for much longer, watch out!" she calls out to them.
The massive twisted creature has its carapace battered, dented, and broken by the various attacks, slashes, thrown knives - it finally breaks out of Kaia's thorny vine lasso with a roar, and leaps towards Sunaia with its mandibles, attempting to grab her bodily and jam her head into its dripping maw. Fluids from its wounds splash pale across the rocky ground in the gleam of lantern light.
Mandibles clack against leather armor as the monster tries to gnaw on Sunaia. 59 inflicted and Sunaia is harmed for minor damage.
"Unh," Sunaia grunts, but slashes back in fury at the beast. "I //told// you..."
Orelia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.
Sunaia checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.
Shifting back on his feet, Martino darts back quickly as he hears Kaia's voice. Ducking his head and probably overeacting to drop onto the floor with his chest. "Th-- nearly!" Turning his chin, he winces for a moment as it crashes into the leather armour of Sunaia while he lays prone.
With fluid grace Orelia adjusts her stance and swings again, this time aiming to fell the beast before anymore harm can befall her party.
With the beast on its last legs, Raymesin lets the nobles fight over who's actually going to kill it. He swims towards the 'shore', ducking underwater to try and rinse his hair - and his leathers - out in a cavern that isn't part-clogged with blood and guts.
"...I'd just come back biting harder," Sunaia murmurs as she slashes at the beast a beat after Orelia fells the damned thing. The pale adventuress turns and flashes a grin at Orelia, "Thanks."
The terrible crab-salamander twitches on the rocky cavern floor and expires. Beyond it lies the tunnel, this time above water, save for a puddle or two pooling between stalagmites.
Orelia holds an open hand out to the side and gives Sunaia a little bow. "I still owe you thanks for inviting me to dinner the other night," she says with a grin.
With a light chuckle, Sunaia flashes a smile at Orelia. "Consider that thanks?" Sunaia then steps to the creature and inspects it for something of any use.
Sunaia checked mana + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 34 higher. Sunaia rolled a critical!
Raymesin pulls himself out of the water and sloshes over to collect his knife. The observant may notice that both the sheaths at his waist have hilts sticking out, leaving nowhere obvious for the plain black knife to go. That done, he takes the end of the rope from his belt and ties it to something handy. Probably the salamander-monster.
Martino pushes his hands against the floor and pushes himself back up before sliding the spatha back down into his sheath. Nodding pleased at the work done, waving and claps his hands together before glancing around to inspect just - where - next. "Is there another part of the tunnel here? Orelia... Kaia. Messere Raymesin. Do you see anything?"
Inspecting the beast more closely, the pale adventurer's lips draw into a tight line... and deeper, into a frown. "You're a bad boy," she mutters at the thing. "...I know what you are." She glances to the others and sternly advises, "No one takes anything from this. Understood?"
Sunaia checked command + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Sunaia concludes flatly after a drawn breath, "If we do, we're all dead."
Kaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 58 higher.
Raymesin takes his knife back, then lifts his brows at Sunaia's pronouncement. "Gonna tell us what it is an' why we ain't takin' stuff?" It's not so much a challenge, more mild curiosity. He cleans his blade on the thing's hide, then turns to face Sunaia, rising to his feet; his hand goes behind him, and when it reappears there's no knife in it. For a moment, at least, at which point he draws one of the two at his waist. This one is jet black with cutting edges already red as blood.
Monster down and everyone moving around to inspect it, Kaia chooses to inspect and investigate around further as much as the light from Sunaia's lantern allows. "Hmm...it's too quiet." she states. "But...seems rather safe to go on." she says, motioning to the dark tunnel ahead. "We should keep moving. There's likely much ahead." she says.
"I'll tell you //why// we're not taking it back, yes," Sunaia turns to Raymesin, "Let me just give you a little story before we walk."
Inhaling deep, Martino nods low in agreement with Kaia as the silence around the cavern seems oddly quiet. "It is. We should, this cannot be the last beast beneath the city." Martino walks brisk once more, jogging slightly to catch up with Kaia before looping his arm into hers and murmuring quiet into her ear, "This adventuring is fun. Did you see me? Did you? I stabbed it. Well sliced it. But I hurt it. I did that." Like an excited puppy, Martino chats away and glancing to Orelia, "She did as well. Did you see?"
"...So... Big bad cousin to Sweet Salvadore is likely to set off all sorts of angry little nods to some...thing that won't like us taking... //its// beasts back with us. Is that enough for all to understand?" Sunaia asks, shifting into Inquisitor-mode briefly.
"Lord Malvici, your enthusiasm is endearing," Orelia says as she takes a moment to wipe off her blade.
Raymesin listens, then nods, reaching to his collar. "Just so's we're clear, though," he says, turning his collar over to show the skull pin, "Death ain't evil." For whatever reason, though, he doesn't re-conceal the badge of the Queen of Endings, but leaves it glittering in the light. And then people are moving, and the tall Harlequin moves with them.
With a dark chuckle, Sunaia gazes directly into Raymesin's eyes, "This isn't Death."
She'll stand guard over the beast and will fight anyone who dares try to get near it, so serious is the Inquisitor about her warning. Once everyone is passed, Sunaia follows the group into the next room.
Raymesin meets Sunaia's gaze with his own, meets her pale eyes with his own of palest blue. "I know," he replies, voice quiet. "But yer tale seemed like it weren't sure." If eyes are the windows to the soul, his are shuttered tight.
"Why - thank - you Lady Orelia. Oh, you should come join at a later date Kaia and I for dinner. Shouldn't she darling?" Martino creases his eyes to Orelia before glancing to Kaia to confirm it, "Can she. Please?" Really, the Little Boss Lady makes the decisions while partially listening to Sunaia talk about death and horrors and the Labyrinth.
As lantern-light creeps down the tunnel before the intrepid explorers, the smallest chamber by far comes into view, bathed in a flickering orange glow. There's no sensation of being sensed, no seething feel of something that lurks and waits.
Instead, the sprawled bones of human skeletons lie about the rocky ground. One is a ways further from the rest, as if it was the last surviving, and tried to crawl away before eventually perishing.
This eerie sight surrounds the placement of a battered, barnacled old moss-grown chest that sits against the ending wall of the cavern.
Kaia simply stands there listening to Sunaia's explanation with the seriousness it deserves; that is, until Martino is tugging at her arm asking if she saw him do what he did. "Oh,...um, yes." she would tell him, with a low chuckle. "Well done." she'd say with a gentle pat to his arm. "Keep it up! Not dying is good! I'm sure Thea and Domonico would agree." she tells him with a grin. A glance given to Orelia and she smiles. "Oh, yes, you should join us for dinner later." she concedes. "Although, Martino, darling...we should focus." she tells him and bobs her head ahead.
"I'd love to!" Orelia declares. She moves past the dead to the mossy old chest and tests to see if it is locked before trying to break it open.
Raymesin turns the corner, glances at the skeletons, then stops dead. "Huh," he says, then starts looking around, up and down and generally scanning everything he can see. "If I was you folks, I'd be lookin' ter see what killed 'em. Queen'a Endin's bless an' keep those as were 'ere safe," he adds, sounding a little distracted.
A murmured conversation passing between Sunaia (at the tail of the group) and Raymesin, she wields her sword still as they step into the chamber, her silver-moon eyes flicking, darting everywhere. She does, as Raymesin suggests, kneel down to the one farthest from the others and closest to the entrance to inspect it.
Martino pauses as he stands beside Kaia and nods low, glancing down to the bones and then across to the chest. "Orelia waaaaaiiit!" He called to her before she moved past. Glancing quicker, squinting to inspect around. "Messere Raymesin you are right. Chest comes last. Perhaps."
Sunaia glances to Orelia, "Mmmn, you might want to hold on that? I don't think we're //safe//."
Raymesin checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Sunaia checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Kaia eyes the chamber and her eyes widen as Orelia darts torwards the chest. "Orelia! Wait!" Yes, she's echoing those words along with Martino, but she too is moving closer to the woman --with her bow drawn out and ready, just in case, as her gaze moves here and there as are most of the group.
Orelia looks up from what she's doing and turns to her panicking companions. "What? We killed the monsters. What could be left?"
Kaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 41 higher.
Crouching down to the skeleton furthest away, Martino dusts it with his leather gloves hands and inspects. Squints as he purses his lips, "Because I think there must be something else. Why would they get past it and then die?"
Startled by Orelia's words, Sunaia hesitates and stares at the lady, "...Didn't you hear what I just told you? This is not //all// of the monsters down here."
Martino checked wits + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.
Really, Sunaia doesn't mean to be brusque. She's just... very matter-of-fact and blunt. Someone (maybe her best friend??) ought to teach her a more gentle approach to things. But, for now, and for her 28 years, Sunaia Ashford has said things as they are - and taken them as directly, as well. Sunaia returns her gaze to the skeleton and rubs a finger on it. "...Odd. This one was killed by a weapon... likely that one, over there."
Kaia after having inspected the skeletons nearby glances at the chest and kneels down near it to inspect it further. Noticing it's not locked she squints. "That's odd..." a glance given to Orelia. "Don't open it yet." she urges her.
Dusting his hand against the skeleton furthest away, Martino nods. "This one took a blow to the front. Almost like it bled out escaping. Perhaps." Martino twist his lips, he isn't a doctor after all but nods slightly. "Sunaia's one did it." Lifting himself up to his feet again, he exhales. "The basic theory would be they did it to each other over treasure. But then there would be gold all around our feet."
Raymesin moves further into the room, looking down at the skeletons as he goes. He glances over towards Sunaia, then Martino, and nods. "Killed by weapons," he agrees of the ones he's inspected - but when he hears 'that's odd', he's looking worriedly in Kaia's direction.
The pale woman flicks her gaze to Raymesin, "You're a Harlequin, yes? Know any prayers for these folks? Or anything about the occult? I'm just not keen to open that chest right away and find out that doing so turns us all against one another... or some shit."
"Alright, alright, I'm waiting." Orelia takes a step back from the chest and shifts her weight to one hip while the others investigate the area.
Kaia checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Raymesin checked wits + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Sunaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Raymesin's eyebrows lift as he looks at Sunaia. "I already said one prayer for 'em," he points out. "I'll say a few more, when we're sure as there's time. People're gettin' itchier'n a thief faced wi' a heap'a gold an' a sign as says 'Do not touch'. But for what it's worth, I ain't seein' anythin' as might be of the one as drives folks mad wi'greed."
Upon further study of the surroundings, Kaia gets a feeling that they were just normal greedy. Because none of the ancient, tarnished weapons are anything special at all - they're very crude. "I think we may be overthinking this." she says, and adds. "They were likely plain greedy. Those weapons look nothing special...and nothing around suggests something darker was responsible."
Walking away from the skeleton he was crouched by, Martino followed one as he kept his eyes on the floor, "Sorry Lady Orelia. Someone has to be alive to deal the cards."
Martino checked perception + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.
"Okay," Suania cedes after studying the area, as well. "Orelia, since you're itching to open it..."
Orelia licks her lips and sheathes her sword before lifting the lid open carefully with both hands.
Inside the chest is one, single, lonely - but huge - lump of pure gold. It's likely somewhat hard to lift. Since it's just one piece, what will the multiple adventurers do?
Peering into the chest, Sunaia hums thoughtfully, flicking her silvery gaze to the chest and around the area, looking for anything able to be burned. "I doubt we have enough time to melt it down..."
Kaia simply stares down at it. "How did it even get here?"
"Huh. I was more concerned with how we'd get it out. The thing's heavy and we have to swim," Orelia points out.
Inhaling, Martino's nose flares as he steps closer to the chest as he decides it is safer now. "Yes. You do not smell /Abyss/ can you? It is clear. Clean here even." Fingertip of Martino's points to the walls, following it around before glancing to the chest and the prize within. "Nor do we have the heat to melt it. Cut it into smaller parts?" Glancing across each of those around it, Martino taps his chin. "Might break something."
"Undoubtedly," Sunaia agrees with Orelia, flicking her eyes to Kaia, then to Martino. "Do //you// want to sit her and shave off gold for... hours, Lord Martino?"
Kaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.
At this point, Mabelle - who has been staying back and out of the way - has a suggestion. It's just gold, and she's not interested because she has plenty of money. But for the others, she recommends taking the lump up to the city and finding a blacksmith who can split it equally among them.
Raymesin's head tilts a little to one side at the glint of gold. "Huh," he says. "An' 'ere was me thinkin' I needed some new leathers. These're gettin' a bit old an' tore up. Could get all Oak'ide, wi' some'a that."
"...I just want enough... to make a pair of rings from my share," Sunaia turns to Raymesin. "If we can get the hunk out of here."
Kaia for the most part chooses to ignore the present conversation and begins to look around and about. She seems to be searching for something along the walls and corners. "Hmm...the cavern has no other exits." she states and then pulls her bag off to look for a piece of cloth sturdy enough to hold the metal. "Hmm, we could wrap it in this, and tie it with some rope. Drag it with us through the cave?" she adds, "Surely, the water will help it move more lightly?"
Pursing his lips, Martino closes his sharp greens to think further after Sunaia reminds him. "Yes. Hours." Martino considers further before wondering, "Who says we need to move the gold out /right/ now? What if we got someone to come here?" Then he hears Kaia's suggestion and opens his eyes, smiling broad as he nods, "The water will help it be a bit lighter. Someone is still going to hold their breath." Martino glances to Sunaia, as if he's made his decision on who that might be.
"Could two of the stronger swimmers carry it together, you think?" Orelia asks aloud. "I mean, it can't weigh more than any of us alone would, and we can pull weaker swimmers along."
"We have enough rope between us," Sunaia mentions, plucking a piece of waxed canvas from one of her many pouches. "I'll drag it with Raymesin... but, I'm a little worried, frankly, as there aren't a whole lot of places to take a breath."
Raymesin sighs. "Tie the rope on it, some carry an' some pull," he says. "The docker knows we was 'ere, an' 'e'll've told all 'is friends by now."
Orelia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 12 lower.
Leather hands clap, Martino nods. "Then it is decided. Lady Orelia you are right. We dragged the Lady Mabelle the whole way here after all." Having watched the cracky parts of the rocks, Martino creases his sharp green eyes to Mabelle before settling behind the chest to help others push it to the edge. "I can help you get it there."
"People aren't dead weight," Sunaia mildly reminds Orelia, stepping to the hunk and laying the waxed canvas down before it. She'll glance to Raymesin for his help and make an attempt with anyone else's help....
Sunaia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
"Shit, damn it!" Orelia exclaims as she attempts and fails to lift the gold.
Orelia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
Kaia nods. "Three of us, if not just two, could certainly pull it out with the aid of the water. I'm sure." she states. "As to how we get it from here..." she points at the chest. "To there!" she points at the exit. "We may have to roll it or pull it all the way maybe? Once we reache the water it might be easier."
From the volume of the hefty brick, and its weight at roughly a hundred and eighty-five pounds, it could probably form about a thousand gold coins - meaning each adventurer (aside from Mabelle, who opted out) would have 200 if it was somehow split evenly.
Raymesin, meanwhile, goes to each skeleton in turn to murmur a prayer and touch it with his fingertips. Gold is important - but the dead are important too.
Martino checked strength + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 2 higher.
Kaia checked strength + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.
"Sh-h-h-it!" Sunaia swears, heaving the gold brick with Orelia's, Kaia's and Martino's help. Once the brick is positioned in the center of the canvas, Sunaia will make a neat-and-tidy knot with her ropes, using her survival skills, so the gold isn't lost at the bottom of the waters.
Sunaia checked intellect + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Exhaling hard, Martino's back tenses from when he took a blow a few days ago while he pushes the gold brick. "Mmmmm!" Gasping hard, he straightens up and walks to the water once more. "Well. Good luck!"
After a great deal of effort through the caverns, the collaborative cooperation (rather than conflicting greed) of the adventuring party gets them through the network of caverns and back to the tied rowboat outside.
There's a certain peace that reigns inside the tunnel, now - corrupted creatures put to rest, and the dead prayed over by a Harlequin. And back at the city above, the division of the treasure awaits!
Raymesin finishes his prayers, then goes to assist. And yet again, it turns out handy to have someone around who's taller than most. He may be co-operating with the others, but he's also watching that brick of gold like a hawk. That's a lot of money in the Lowers, after all.
"That Brother Felix would likely be able to handle splitting up the gold," Sunaia suggests aside. She'll keep her hand ready on her sword as they make their way through the Lowers, watching the passers by with her most terrifying Inquisitor's stare. Which usually works, with Commoners... and might even trouble a couple of nobles. But very rarely the latter.
Martino exhales deep on the rowboat on route back, remembering this time there was a boat that Kaia got. Leaning slightly to her, smiling pleased down to the golden block, Martino murmured hushed. "I suggest we use our split to get the other one something just so lovely! I have an idea what I shall be getting you then." Laughing slightly hushed, Martino props his foot upon his helm as they row back. Proud of himself coming out of the cave with a few scratches. "Adventures are fun. Can I come again soon Kaia?"
Orelia volunteers to man the oars of their little boat as they row back to where they began.
"Ah, well that was interesting!" she would say, once outside, standing in a power pose. A nod given to Sunaia. "With all of us standing guard to it all the way up there, the piece should be safe until evenly split." she states with a grin, before moving in to wrap one of her arms around one of Martino's. "Oh, that's a lovely idea." she tells him, before endearingly leaning against his arm. "Of course you can! After I teach you a thing or two on how to ensure you always stay alive and well." she states with a chuckle. "You almost drowned on me today, remember?" she says before squinting at him momentarily. "We cannot have that happen again."
Back to list