EE1: Stonekeep - House of Lamentations
Sept. 15, 2020, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near The Roseward - Edge of the Roseward - Volkov Forest
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EE1: Stonekeep - House of Lamentations has started at Outside Arx - Lyceum near The Roseward - Edge of the Roseward - Volkov Forest.
After the fateful running into the Lamenters brutalizing a Scholar, our intrepid heroes went on to investigate this strange sect, eventually coming across one of their bizarre rituals, but not without some sacrifice: a scout, namely, who died trying to evade Lamenter pursuers.
Investigating the blue glint on the Stonekeep led them closer, and Daria led them around the patrols to a place where the keep is weakest, and more easily accessed; there is a crack in the wall, big enough to fit one person at a time, and since it is just under the ramparts, the intrusion is likely to go unremarked until they come across anyone in the garrison.
Daria stands somewhere on the edge of the group now. She's rather optimistic about the finding. "Hole!" she's hissed to alert the rest of the group to this way in. Mind you, it's dark, a tight fit, and the tower beyond is likely looking very ominous at this point given their previous encounter with the cultists. A curious look is being directed at primarily Dante and Lora. Do they dare to venture through this?
Contemplating the fissure in the stone wall of the tower, Dante keeps his sword drawn and nods at Svoli and Daria. "We probably should go ahead and see what we can see with the Marquessa and Lord Angelo a bit behind us. Daria, make sure to remain out of melee range as much as possible." The Marquis looks at the heroic group to see if they concur or have any other ideas. "We have to get in there - and there's many to slay, but from the inside out seems better than trying to storm the ramparts, as it were."
There is that constant glower to Svoli, watching the crack in the wall that has been found. At Dante's spoken thoughts on it, and the keep itself, Svoli gives a curt, grim nod. A light grunt, that seems to be her agreement with them. "Seems like the best chance we have of getting inside."
There's that slight nod of agreement from Lora. "I expect we'd be safer in there than out here, in a worst case scenario. Though it remains yet to be seen how many of them are inside." She looks up the wall, up toward the tower, up where that blue gleam was briefly visible. If she has some better thought about how to approach this, it's not offered, but she does not at all move to go first.
Angelo looks to the others, and seems to agree with this 'in the back' bit from his expression, for now. He nods to Dante, and takes a step back to fall behind the more martially inclined, next to Lora.
Daria nods towards Dante as she shoulders her bow. "Much better to go in quietly," she agrees with Svoli and Lora generally. "And there is likely someone inside. But hopefully not as many as outside right now." On this observation, she seems ready to duck inside.
"I can go last, make sure Marquessa Lora, and Lord Angelo are protected, in case any one spots us, or comes up behind us." Svoli says, and then waits to do just that.
Svoli checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 12 higher.
Angelo checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
Lora checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.
Amund has rolled 1 10-sided dice: 4
Daria checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.
Dante checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 10, rolling 33 higher.
Most manage to slip past the training yard they seem to have found themselves in, and into a foyer. It is empty, perhaps given the cult's religious ceremony taking place outside the castle, though the sound of boots can be heard down a hallway, sounding distant. Lora smacks into a jar, which wobbles, but doesn't quite topple over and break, luckily.
This foyer has two doors, one leading north, which likely means outward, and another, to the side, likely leading to the aforementioned hallway.
Angelo frowns slightly, seeing the two doors. A gesture to the side door, leading the hallway, and then a questioning glance to Dante, who's leading this outfit.
Bringing up the back of the group, Svoli has turned to watch the crevice that they had all just slipped through, one by one. Making sure that no one sneaks up behind them. There is a glance over her shoulder to see what the plan is, having noticed Angelo's gesture.
Daria's body posture is alert and attentive as she listens to the faraway steps, now having drawn out her bow again and looking in that direction. Angelo's silent recommendation is observed. She, too, looks at Dante with a quirk of her brow.
A quick, silent nod is given to Svoli and Daria, then the Marquis slips through the crack and starts to slowly make his way towards the passageway where the footsteps are coming from. When he gets to the mouth of the tunnel, Dante motions to have them all come forward and he murmurs, "Let's have the three of us go ahead again, but prepare for anything - if it moves, shoot it."
Of course Lora almost knocks over a jar, and she looks a tiny bit startled by it, even reaches out a hand to try and steady the thing. Mercifully she doesn't push it over any further, only makes a point of gathering her cloak a little more tightly around herself. There's a very slight twist of smile when Dante decides to stab or shoot anything that moves, but it comes with a little shake of her head. "Let's hope they don't have any more prisoners."
At Dante's murmured words to the groupd, Svoli gives a quick nod, and moves to follow him.
Daria checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Svoli checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.
Dante checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 9 higher.
It seems as if they found no-one descending the stairwell that confronts them when they open the door. Echoes of a conversation seem unintelligible from afar, but it would take caution to move up the next few levels.
Daria is creeping behind Dante and Svoli when the group filters into the stairwell and sounds of distant conversation reaches them. At this first hint of there being more than one person around, Daria frowns. "We can try sneaking up on them," she whispers. "Or at least get closer and listen in."
Dante tilts his head at Daria, nodding in agreement and gesturing to Svoli. "Let's try that - get close enough to listen as we move upwards and see what we can find out before moving in on any threat." He checks with Lora and Angelo afterwards, "Sound good to you two as well?"
Forgive Lora a glimmer of amusement as faint as candlelight creeping in from the next room. "As long as I do not manage to knock anything over," she agrees. "Better to see what they're up to. They were already given the chance to surrender, but I'd prefer to find out what we can quietly. Interrogation is not my favorite pasttime."
There is a nod from Svoli at Dante's suggestion of them moving up to see what can be heard. Her head turning some as Lora responds to Dante, and then she glances back to the Marquis. Ready to follow him forward, and up the stairs.
Angelo checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Angelo checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Lora checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Lora checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
Daria checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Daria checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Daria trails closely behind. "We will all look out for pots," she avows in a whisper-call back to Lora.
Svoli checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher. Svoli rolled a critical!
Svoli checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Dante checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Dante checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
The ascent of the stairwell proves uneventful. They hear Lycene Shav words, and then they see the people uttering these words, two lightly armored individuals carrying pikes converse with eachother. They turn pointedly to a reinforced metal door, before heading down the corridor to the left.
Perhaps there are fewer things now for Lora to accidentally walk into. Still. She doesn't stay so far behind that she can't catch sight of those two as they continue on their rounds, and though she takes a second to study the door - and to frown on it - her attention drifts off after them. "We should see where they are going, unless anyone can imagine what might be behind that door."
A door. A conspicuous door at that. Dante stares at it with curiosity, but the two guards are still around. "I admit, I want to know what's behind that door. Prisoners, perhaps? Whatever it is, though, I wonder if we shouldn't take care of those two first. If we do, we'll have to try to follow them as silently as possible - we don't want them to raise an alarm. Either that or we ambush them." Pausing, he points over, "Or we try the door."
Like Lora Svoli watches the two man as they converse in Lycene Shav, eyes narrowing a touch as she tries to see if she can make anything out that they are saying. And as they head off away from the very sturdy door. Svoli turns her gaze onto it, studying it and it's surroundings a touch. "Might be best to ambush them, rather then follow, but either way is fine." Svoli replies in a quiet whisper.
Angelo shrugs, and then "Suspicious doors were made to be opened, I always said," off-handedly. "We're already deep inside of a hostile keep, surrounded by people who want to kill us. It can't be -more- risky opening it, surely."
Angelo has no opinion on following or ambushing the men, however. Leave that to the people with the sharp bits.
Daria doesn't hazard a guess at what is behind the door but does follow the patrol with her eyes as they depart. She doesn't seem to think it's a good idea to leave them either but suggests, "Or just could post a lookout for their return for now." No sharp bits here to attack with BUT definitely still a bow to shoot them.
The door doesn't budge, and considering how sturdy it looks to the point it might be unwise to try and break it open, it's likely in the interests of the party to either try and pick it with whatever means necessary or to go after the key that might unlock it.
Once the door is checked over, and it seems they need to either pick the lock, or go find the key, Svoli gives faint grunt of annoyance. "Guess we need to go after them," she mutters in a whisper.
In that time, no more armed guards come up from either side of the corridor. Lora does look in both directions periodically, and here, at least, does a satisfactory job of playing sentinel... perhaps because no one comes up from either side of the corridor. She does look a little bit disappointed at the door's stubborn locked quality. "Let us find the guards, then. And the key."
Daria nods, and pokes her head around the corner. She'll get her bow up, and prepare to get the ambush as they discussed.
"Right then. We will have to be quiet - if we hear them coming let's set up for an ambush. Move slow and strike fast and hard if we spot them," Dante whispers with a nod to Svoli. "It's annoying, I agree." Tilting his head to Lora, the sentiment seems to be undisputed - the guards must be taken down. With sword in hand, he creeps along with Daria and Svoli a little before Lora and Angelo.
Svoli checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher. Svoli rolled a critical!
Dante checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 62 higher.
Daria checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Dante checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.
Svoli checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Daria checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Angelo, sticking with Lora, follows after the others more to not be left behind than any real desire to catch up with the guards. Not wanting to be caught alone, perhaps.
Angelo checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Lora checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.
The ambush doesn't go as well as planned. Whatever it was about the execution, the one of the guards turns suddenly when he spots the flash of a blade, or perhaps the glint of armor, and calls out, "We've got company!"
Two men with crossbows come out of a door nearby shortly after the two guards lower their pikes in an offensive ward, while two more, bearing axes, come out from further down the hallway, sprinting in.
Dante checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 8 lower.
Dante is struck by the axeman's bladed end on the shoulder, superficially. 15 inflicted and Dante is harmed for moderate damage.
Dante charges right at a pikeman, trying to jostle his way past and ends up getting the pike in the shoulder instead, sword swinging uselessly. A curse is released under the Marquis' breath, clearly irritated at himself as he begins to show flashes of rage in mossy green eyes.
Svoli checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 16 lower.
The pikeman rakes a line across Svoli's stomach, biting into armor. 18 inflicted and Svoli is harmed for moderate damage.
Throwing caution to the wind, Svoli charges at the other pikeman, growling as she attempts to thrust at him with her horse spear. Missing, and instead getting cut across the stomach.
Daria checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 50, rolling 1 lower.
Daria gets a cut from a bolt that whizzes past by. 5 inflicted and Daria is harmed for minor damage.
"Back!" Daria manages to call towards Lora and Angelo before taking aim. She attempts to get a bowman with her longer range, but misses. A shot is returned in kind, and grazes her arm.
Angelo is quite well aware that he has no business getting involved in this melee, and so rather than making an attempt that could only end with him skwered, and bleeding on the floor... He bravely backsteps away, ready to turn and make haste away if need be.
Lora might at least now be used to the idea of staying out of the way, of flattening up near to a wall as if to protect from stray arrows, and there to begin the slightly laborious process of unfastening the straps on her bag. She does look up midway through that, in time to see the first clash, the ring of metal against metal, and frowns at that again.
Dante checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 50, rolling 1 higher.
Roaring with anger from being piked and bleeding, Dante turns on one heel and makes a vicious slash at the other pikeman, the Edge of Perdition gleaming in the light as it arcs down in both hands. The hit doesn't seem lethal at first - not until the foe's hand reaches to his partially sliced open neck, blood running down like an open spigot.
Svoli checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 45, rolling 2 higher.
There is a flash of anger in Svoli's violet tinged blue eyes from the scratch across her stomach. Grunting as she pulls back, her jaw clenches as she moves back a couple steps. And then the small woman launches herself at the other pikeman, like a large cat pouncing on it's prey, she drives her spear downward from above her into the man. Burying it deeply. With a bestial grunt she twists the haft, and rips it free. The pikeman's body slumping down to floor.
Daria checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 3 higher.
As Dante and Svoli cleave down the pikemen, Daria gets a better line of sight on the crossbow wielders. These remain her targets. Perhaps she's trying to keep *their* attention. She plucks her bow string, and manages this time to get her arrow straight through a neck.
Blood slicks the floor where a Lamenter after another dies in vain, trying to protect their keep. They seem undeterred, though the clash of metal is bound to attract the attention of others if the fighting becomes too prolonged.
Dante checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 35, rolling 14 higher.
Dante charges ahead without anything in the way other than blood slickening the floor between him and the axeman, and taking his sword with an upwards thrust, the alaricite bites through steel and disembowels the heretic. The Marquis twists the blade as the man screams in agony, intestines pouring out in bloody ropes.
Svoli checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.
With the Pikemen down, and one of the crossbow men as well, Svoli's gaze shifts to one of the axemen. A low aggressive growl at one of them as she turns, thrusting her spear upward at them, as she runs lunges forward, in a runn
Daria checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.
With the Pikemen down, and one of the crossbow men as well, Svoli's gaze shifts to one of the axemen. A low aggressive growl at one of them as she turns, lunging forward as she charges at them. Her spear thrusted upward at them, as it bites into armor and flesh. Sinking through his gut, as she crashes into him, with loud grunt. A swift jerk of arm and hand, and she jerks the spear backward as the man grabs at his stomach. Both axemen being disemboweled.
Daria follows this with one last shot to the remaining heretic with the crossbow. It's again precise, and drops him without too much fuss. The prodigal shuts her eyes a minute, breathes, and might appear to be listening for anything further coming in their direction.
Angelo waits a bit as the last of the guards finally goes down, and then with a quick look around, decides now is as good a time as any to start pilfering corpses looking for keys. Someone had to do it, right?
Angelo checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 16 higher.
The smell of blood in such close quarters might be what makes Lora as pale as she ends up being, but as the last blows are exchanged and the Lamenters go down she straightens up, taking a deep breath full of the coppery air. She fishes out a bit of clean cloth from her pouch, and a little bottle of something, as if prepared to tend anyone who was really injured, though a quickish inspection suggests maybe only scratches. All the same. "Are you all alright?"
Still a bit caught up in the heat of the moment, Svoli takes a few heavy breaths, letting the adrenaline bleed out of her some. Wiping the blood on her spear off on one of the dead, or soon to be dead corpses. Turning to glance back to Lora at her question. "I'll be fine, just a scratch." Svoli replies to the Marquessa before her gaze shifts to Angelo. "Did you find something?"
At Svoli's question, Angelo lifts up the keyring, holding the silver key. "I think this seems promising," he says, standing back up, and starting to make his way towards the suspicious door from earlier.
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