PRP: Lost In Bidal Falls
House Alcaldia sent out another scouting party to continue mapping the new territory surrounding Bidal Falls, since they have made it known they intend to settle in the area they discovered, however its been weeks since that scouting party has returned. They know the general area the scouting party intended to start mapping, but now there's worry something bad might have happened. Can you help find the scouting party in time?
This plot is for 5-6 players of the Aeran Kinship. Favor will be given to members of House Alcaldia. Sign up is first come first served, with a waiting list on hand in case of missing party members. Please @mail Darinel with interest.
Once word reached House Alcaldia regarding the missing explorers, Kinlessa Darinel Alcaldia wasted no time. She recruited her sister, Mihris, to put together a team of volunteers to go find the missing explorers, and gave them a copy of the partial map that she and her sisters made while they initially discovered Bidal Falls. She marked the spots the Explorers were going to be searching, and the most likely place she thought they would be going. There were a series of caves not far from the falls themselves Darinel particularly wanted explored, to see if any additional minerals could be found on the land. She's geared everyone up as best she can, and sent them on their way, and now they are not far from the falls, or the potential caves themselves.
Shakian is along as muscle and as a volunteer. He always wants to see what's beyond the next hill. He has his sketchbook out and sometimes it seems as though the scenes around them are going directly through his blue-gray eyes to the pencil in his hand.
Mihris remembers the last venture well and is quite likely set up for running into reptillians of a particular size and nature - meaning that they have sharp pointy teeth. The Knight stands with the rest of the group, her large trident in hand as they cross towards the falls. "The way here is not very hospitable but the falls are rather lovely," she tells the group as they have made it rather far without any problems really. She rolls her shoulders back, sighing as she rocks back and forth on her feet before they continue on. But as they near she is already starting to look for signs of the explorers.
Never passing up an opportunity to see new places or the thrill of the unknown, Darien has come to Bidal Falls with the rest of the search party looking for the, supposedly, missing group of explorers that was sent out by House Alcaldia weeks earlier. He stands with the rest of the group, a bottle of rum in one hand and the other holding a rolled up map. He takes a healthy gulp of the bottle and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Being a cartographer, he has studied the map intricately before leaving Lorawin, and he unwraps it to have another glance, looking over the paper lazily. He looks a little bored, truth be told. He even yawns. "I'm about ready for a little 'inhospitable' to be honest. That or a nap...," he remarks to no one in particular, looking up from the map to scan idly over the surrounding area.
Joining the search party for the rare opportunity to shoot fireballs at hostile wildlife, Diuturna leans on her staff, giving out a loud yawn. "It is rather beautiful, that's for sure." she says, thinking aloud.
Before they set out, Nalaea had made sure to pray to Aereth for a blessing for them all. They were doing work in her lands, after all. And traveling; the Dawn Star is friend to travelers. Beyond that, however, the Reymar woman is clearly in more of an exploratory mood herself. Dressed in leathers, sword at her belt, and mala crystal ever at the ready: she's set in case something goes awry. Every so often she strikes off this way or that for a few yards out of curiousity and partly a desire to scout.
Shakian looks up from his sketching for a moment. Not taking his eyes off the hills he agrees, "Yes, beautiful, and mysterious, as well."
Mihris checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher. Mihris rolled a critical!
Darien checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Shakian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.
Darien checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.
Nalaea checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.
Diuturna checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Shakian looks as though he has spotted something, and he puts his sketchbook away from the moment. "Look here," he says, gesturing to the others. He heads off down a left hand fork to point something out to them. "Does that look like a piece of clothing to you, too?" He peers further down that fork.
"IT would be in our best interest to first check out the area that the other explorers were headed to and then consider the caves," she offers. Mihris glances to the to the others consideringly before she angles them in that direction that was chosen for further exploration. Caves being next priority on the list. "We need answers." She's giving a fair sweep of the land as they go, attempting to find signs. She pauses then, brow arching as she glances up at the sign of something. She gorks off to the left on a path that veers them closer to the caves. She lifts up a piece of cloth and pauses, "This," she says and then motions about where the plants are all broken apart. She nods to Shakian, "It appears that way. I worry what might be in the caves."
There's plant-life in Nalaea's face. Not purposefully, really, but she had struck off the path a little to try to get a deeper look into the woods and ran face-long into big, leafy fronds. Smacking them aside, she returns to the others as they discover some... cloth? "Does it look like anything they were wearing?" Beat. "Does anyone know what they were wearing?"
Pushing aside some foliage with the end of her staff, Diuturna calls out to the rest of the group. "I think I've found something! Some banged up plants over here, looks like someone's passed through here." A moment later, "I found another one! This one heads straight, that one follows the left fork."
Shakian nods. With the book out of his hands he can draw his sword. It looks like it's seen dirty work at times.
Shakian wields Utilitarian Short Sword.
Darien keeps a lazy vigil over the surroundings and looks back down at the map a few times, likely trying to pinpoint the groups current location. "I guess you could use the word beautiful...," he says, looking less than impressed. Then again, when does Darien ever look impressed. If the General of the Water Watcher didn't impress him, some hills sure aren't. He takes another healthy gulp of the rum and looks to Shakien and Mihris in turn as they seem to have spotted something. There's a subtle fire lighting in the depths of his dark eyes. "Ahh, now we're getting somewhere." He approaches where they found the cloth, but his attention is then stolen away as his old friend Diuturna then calls out to the group. He looks again to Mihris. "Is that the way the explorers were supposedly heading?" He asks, gesturing toward where Diu has found a clue in the form of trampled branches and foliage. He rolls up the map and tugs it away and instead unsheathes one of his two blades. The rum stays in his other hand, for now.
Darien wields Heart of Aereth.
When Diuturna calls out, Nalaea brushes some twigs off herself. "You sure that's not mi-" but her words fade off as more clear directions are given out from what's been seen. "Guess not." She checks the set of her own blade, but mostly just shakes her mala into hand. That doesn't require as much room to use.
"I do think they were meant to explore the caves and it appeears it is the most likely direction they went," Mihris remarks. A frown crosses her lips as more signs are found and the cripped cloth definitely does not help boost her hope for the exploration party. "I suspect whatever did this is not at all friendly so let us be careful, mm?" But the others are already arming themselves in preparation. A smile grows across Mihris lips and she nods to them before turning her attention down the path they have been drawn to. She starts in that direction, "Stay close, do call out if you see anything."
The path, should any choose to follow Mihris down it, is somewhat rocky. There are large and small pebbles that teeter and totter, making it somewhat difficult to travel, so great care needs to be made while walking along it. (OOC: @check dexterity + athletics or survival at 30 to navigate the path.)
Mihris checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.
Shakian checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Shakian checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 9 lower.
Darien checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher.
Mihris checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.
10 inflicted and Shakian is harmed for minor damage.
Darien doesn't fail to notice the hint of worry on Mihris' features. He flashes her a brilliant, confident smile. "I am sure they are ok. I can only assume they wouldn't have been sent her in the first place if they weren't capable," he tells her. He gives his older sister a mildly amused look, smirking before he looks back to Mihris. He nods. "Yes, let's not waste time that we don't need to. He follows in her direction, long legs quickly taking him to the front of the group. He's clearly ready for -something- to happen, one way or the other. He nimbly makes his way through the rocky terrain, seemingly un-bothered by the stones and pebbles.
Diuturna checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Diuturna checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.
20 inflicted and Mihris is unharmed.
5 inflicted and Diuturna is harmed for superficial damage.
Shakian has a nasty sword and a sharp eye, but he's also not exactly Mr. Smooth in difficult terrain. He loses his footing as slides away from the others. "Damn!" he swears, checking a nasty gash on his leg. He wraps it up to stop the bleeding.
Nalaea checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 65 higher. Nalaea rolled a critical!
Nalaea checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
Nalaea checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 14 lower.
Mihris trailblazes and that might be her undoing. Her trident goes out and down, trying to stop her from losing her footing. She makes a sound, grunting as she slips and the weapon starts to slip. A sound is made as she starts to side and she can feel the rocks dig into her right arm and hip, gritting her teeth as even the hide pants do nothing to help her. She manages after a moment or two to slowly try to get to her feet once she stops skidding about. There is a nice nasty rock rash along her arm as she dusts her hands along it. "HMMMPH," she grumbles out and finally starts to get to her feet.
20 inflicted and Nalaea is unharmed.
Shakian, Nalaea, and Mihris both start to slide down the incline toward the caves, and it doesn't fare too well for them. Diuturna isn't far behind them, but manages to find a purchase somewhere to stop her from sliding. She also manages to see a discarded canteen and bow partially down the path once she manages to even things out. Darien is able to see them as well, as he manages to handle the path with relative care and ease.
On a ship, Nalaea moves with an almost preternatural ease. On dry land, however, she's not quite as capable. She stumbles and though it is but a bare one, planting her other foot to try to catch herself is a lesson in folly: she plants it right atop loose scree and she goes slipping and tumbling like a couple of the others. Her armor, thankfully, is what gets banged up the most. Other than picking up dirt and gravel and looking decidedly dishelved... as she comes to a stop, she's able to push upright without any real damage on her person. Maybe some light scrapes, but that's the extent of it. Doesn't stop her from swearing extensively under her breath though.
Noticing the sound of grunts and curses behind him, Darien pauses in his step and looks back over his shoulder as he nears the bottom of the incline. "Are we alright back there?" He calls out, faint amusement in his voice. It's not like anyone got seriously hurt, by the look of things. Nalaea receives an slightly longer glance than the rest, and a smirk in her direction. He doesn't offer any assistance to his sister though. He knows better than that. Would like only earn him an angry glare and maybe a punch. Instead, once he is sure that everyone is ok, he turns back around. That's when he spots the bow and canteen. "I think we've got something here." He calls out, and starts heading in the direction of the seemingly discarded objects.
"Off to the caves, I reckon." Diuturna says to no one in particular, following Mihris. She starts to climb down the rocky slope, almost loses her footing, but slams the butt of her staff between some large rocks, keeping her from falling. Taking a breather, she looks around for a moment before noticing something quite interesting. "I found something else from the scouting party!" She calls out towards the others. "A bow and a canteen." She kneels, examining the items before picking them up, hanging the canteen from her belt and slinging the bow across her back. "Let's bring these back to the scouting party, eh? They must be missing them." She says, her voice filled with unrestrained optimism.
Shakian checks his crude bandage to see if it will hold up, picks up his sword, and sets off after the other people who have seen something besides stars and little birdies dancing around their heads.
At the bottom of the path there is a series of caves that can be entered. One set is straight ahead, one set is to the left, and another slightly further down the hill off to the left. There are no obvious signs at the bottom of the incline that show which direction the party may have gone, so it's really just a matter of choice at this point to determine which cave to go into. Though there are animal droppings in the area, and there's a tree that seems to be marked with ragged vertical lines. (@check intellect + animal ken at 25 to identify the animal markings if you so choose.)
Nalaea checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 25, rolling 15 lower.
Darien checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 25, rolling 16 lower.
Once he approaches where Diuturna is picking up the bow and canteen, Darien gives the items a quick look over. "Looks like they were discarded, and in a hurry." He says. Then he looks to Diuturna. "Are you alright?" He asks her, clearly referring to her near-fall just moments ago. She's a tough old woman, but still, no harm in making sure.
Mihris checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 25, rolling 8 lower.
Diuturna checked intellect + animal ken at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.
f Mihris is still feeling the raw sensations of riding along rocks. FUN! She lets out a breath and rises finally. SLowly she dusts off her skin and touches the ragged torn flesh curiously. "That will lead a mark," nothing but skin wounds and surface damage. She wets her lips and looks up and towards the others. "All well?" she questions as she glances to Diuturna. "Glad to see some of us can claim dexterity," she quips at the other Aeran who managed to stop herself. Slowly she picks her way now to draw near all the caves. "Mmmmm" She can not seem to determine where exactly they should go. "Well this is a case of any will do. Anyone have any ideas?" A red brow arches over her eye as she drags fingers through her beaded hair.
Shakian shakes his head. "Too busy studying land to know about animals. Although I'll try not to step in that."
Her brother would most definitely get punched for helping her. Especially when she's //totally fine//. Nalaea just has twigs and such sticking out of her hair now. The woman casts a look out from where they are and makes a sort of face. Oh, she sees the animal markings... but they mean a fat lot of nothing to her. All she can do is shrug in answer to Mihris.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Nalaea before departing.
"I'm fine." Diuturna replies. "Just a few bruises. Nothing I can't handle." As she nears the caves, she examines the scratch marks very closely. "They're bear marks." She declares. "A rather large one, judging by the size of the marks." Turning towards the rest of the group, she sighs. "This doesn't bode well, does it?"
Shakian looks concerned. "Bear? We'd be better if we'd brought some hunting hounds." But they didn't. He grips the sword more tightly. "Do we want to try and lure it out so we can all get at it? I'd rather not have to go at it one or two at a time, if we have to fight."
Darien likewise notices the marks on the tree, and the droppings. -That's- not pebbles. He's not exactly an expert in the fauna of the land, however, so his 'examination' doesn't yield any answers as to what might have made them. But someone seems to know or thing or two about this. He looks to Diuturna. "A bear...oh, how....exciting...," he remarks, sounding anything but excited. "Do you think there's more than one?," he then inquires, before looking at the various entrances to the caves.
"A bear?" Nalaea doesn't sound quite as concerned as some of the others. Curious, maybe. She chews at her lower lip a bit. "I should have had Jetsam join us. He'd probably enjoy eating bear."
Darien gives his sister a curious glance. "What's a Jetsam?" he asks, quirking a brow and uncorking his bottle of rum to take another healthy swig of the dark liquid contained within.
"That sounds a little less wonderful than one could hope for...which direction?" She remarks and then frowns, nose wrinkling up as she rolls her shoulders back. The sharp sting of her rash is noticeable. Mihris adjusts the hold on her trident. "It does not bode well at all," she admits to Diuturna. "But we need to be sure the others are not in need of help."
Darien checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 lower.
Mihris checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 21 lower.
Shakian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Nalaea checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher. Nalaea rolled a critical!
Shakian says, "Bear, huh." He speaks quietly although it's likely that if there's a bear around it's probably already smelled them. (Or the rum.) He wanders closer to the left-hand cave. "I think there's something that smells bad down here." He sniffs again. "Smells like death."
They know it's bear. That's all Nalaea needs. But still, she goes looking anyway; string with her mala rolling around in her hand. Just in case. As Shakian speaks of the cave, she's moving up closer to the opening. The woman reaches out and touches the walls of the cave opening. "Blood," she says finally. "Dried blood and-" a little further in to the right and she's squinting. "A handprint. Someone came this way. And they were hurt." Or had gotten drenched in something else's blood.
Glancing to Nalaea as Shakian speaks of death, Mihris lets out a long breath. "Very well, lets just take our time, no need for more smells of death," she says. The Alcaldia steps forward, pausing to give room for others so they are not crowded directly atop each other. A red brow arches over her green eye as she lowers her trident, pointing the tips towards the entrance. Fingers curl tightly about the weapon as she begins the slow step forward. She does not call out but rather attempts to whistle before they go hot footing it into the cave.
Darien has stepped closer to the middle of the entrances, looking it over, rum and sword in hand. At the mention of blood, however, he head snaps to look in Shakian and Nala's direction and the slightly bored expression is replaced one of serious consideration. A smile appears on his lips, though not one of joy, that much is clear. His hand clenches around the hilt of his blade, and the bottle is finally put away. For now. He unsheathes the second of the two twin cutlasses and knocks the tricorne on his head back a little with the back of his hand. Then he starts approaching. "I don't think we have the luxury of taking our time, not if we want to find anyone still alive. We didn't come here to find corpses," he remarks as he starts heading into the cave with confident steps. "Stay vigilant and observant, but let's not fuzz," he says, turning the two blades in his hands.
Shakian eyes the cave dubiously. "If there's a bear in there, I'd rather try to lure it out here where we can all tackle it together than go int a narrow space and have to fight one or two at a time."
Mihris whistles, but there's no response back to her whistle. Darien makes the decision to start walking into the cave, just as Shakian is lodging a different plan of action. The cave seems big enough for three people to comfortably walk side by side, four of they squeeze together. It doesn't take long to go into pitch darkness, unless someone has the foresight to create a light or pull out a torch or lantern. It's definitely large enough for a bear of the size earlier described to enter within.
As the others start to warily approach the cave, Nalaea steps forward from where she's been studying the wall and lifts a hand. She draws upon the lifewell and bam -- light. Let there be, etc etc. She doesn't rush forward, but she does allow herself to take a moment to get her bearings in the new light and get a good look around.
With no response from her whistling, Mihris glances at Darien as he hazards his way forward. "Wait," she begins, glad suddenly for the light that allows her to follow him as she pulls upon her Varne crystal. Looking ready to offer protection to those in the group should the need arise. "Take care," she says, not really wishing to see anyone hurt while they gather information.
The new light certainly does create a quick flash that might blind others at first look, but then steadies out evenly. Once there is light, it is easy to see the dark stained trail of blood leading further into the cave, but the drip drops of blood eventually stop. It's takes about 15 minutes of travel before the party comes to a forked junction. Either left or right, and the light does not provide any significant clue as to which way to go. The party will need to decide which way to go, and hope it's the right way.
Shakian sniffs the air at each of the branches of the cave.
Mihris pulls something from a pouch at her side, cupping it in one hand as she lets her varne crystal lower. It is a mirror and something flashes on its surface that she keeps to herself as she moves her focus from left to right. She hesitates to the left. "Gear and trouble left, we head left but we must be on guard. Either they camped there or they were drug there and..well," she lets her voice fade as she slips the small item back away from view and adjusts her hold on her trident.
Mihris checked intellect + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.
Darien checked intellect + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 13 lower.
Shakian checked intellect + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 26 higher.
Nalaea checked intellect + survival at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.
Darien doesn't rush into the cave, per se, but being a captain, he's used to being in charge and taking point. Lead from the front and all that. And that's exactly what he does, unless told otherwise by any of his companions. "Thanks, sis." He says in a slightly lowered voice. He makes sure not to let his long strides carry him too far ahead of the group, looking back over his shoulder every now and then to check on Diuturna, and his wife who -totally- is here, somewhere, probably checking out something shiny she might have spotted. When they reach the forked junction, he halts and looks over the two options presented to them. He turns his head to look back at the group when he doesn't find any clues as to which direction to choose. He nods at Mihris when she makes the decision for the group. "Left it is," he says. "Does your magic give you any idea about distance to said trouble?," he adds, already taking the first steps down the left path.
Shakian stops his pointless sniffing when he seems to hear something. He holds up a hand for quiet while he strains to hear something from that lefthand corridor. "I think there are voices," he says quietly. "I'm not completely sure. They're from that way, but lower down."
"Voices, well that is reassuring," Mihris remarks. "Bears do not talk the last time I checked. And no, no definitive distance is given, just simply that way. I suspect not far if Shakian is hearing voices," she remarks. THe pouche is closed tight to be sure and then the Knight is moving forward with the others.
The party enters into a large cavern. The light bounds and bounces ahead as they do, sparkling back from a handful of crystals, quartz really, in the ceiling. Nothing too precious. However, the thing that catches people's attention most isn't the crystals, but in the way that Shakian steps ahead and stops both Mihris and Darien from moving too far ahead, and even Nalaea reaches a hand out to try and stop her brother. Not far into the cavern, just past the gear, is a big gaping hole in the floor. It goes a long way down, but if the light is cast down the hole, it can be seen that there are about four people down inside of it. The party consisted of at least five people, so one is missing. The talking stops as the light is seen, except for one very tentative, "Hello?" It is a pathetic sound, really, hope mixed with despair. Just then, outside of the cave, there's loud ROOOOAAAAAAAAR!
Shakian suggests, "Quick to the tunnel head. If we can catch it coming out of the cave, we'll all be able to hit it, but it will be restricted in the cave." He has sword in hand, ready to do exactly that.
Hopefully her brother doesn't keep barreling forward or Nalaea might find //herself// down that hole. Instead, she lowers the light down as she crouches at the edge. Welp. That explains some things. But when the roar starts up, she looks back over her shoulder. "Hold that thought." That's all the poor exploring party gets from the priestess at the moment.
Mihris comes to a sudden stand still when Shakian stops her. His arm across her causes her to pause. The echo of a hellow from a sudden wide mouthed well of darkness makes her blood go cold. "Thank you," she murmurs to the Nerea before her head turns and she glances over towards Nalaea and Darien. About to say something else the roar cuts her off and she turns about, the varne crystal on her wrist lifted as she readies herself. "Here we go...guess no one was home and now is."
Darien halts as Shakian and Nala reaches out to make him stop, but he doesn't look back, keeping his eyes ahead. At the ready. "Thanks," he tells them both, eyes still front center. His eyes go to the hole in the ground when his sister lowers the light to reveal the elves trapped at the bottom. He starts taking a step towards the hole, but spins around on his heel when the roar sounds out, bending slightly in the knee despite the obvious distance to the creature making the sounds. His fingers tighten around the grips of his swords. He glances back at the whole."They'll be safe down there. We should deal with the bear first." A beat. "We've walked for 20 minutes already, do you really think there's a chance of cutting it off? Are we even sure it's heading in this direction?" The tall Marindur asks. He's ready to move, and move fast, at a moments notice, should the group decide to do so.
Mihris wields Torrent, a silverum trident emblazoned with waves.
Nalaea wields dark skies cloudy mala crystal.
"Whatever we do we need some room from this hole or we are goign to go falling in if it gets this way. We need room to fight at least so we have to head back the way we came," Mihris remarks. Glancing over her shoulder she notes Nalaea with the light. "Can you hold the light? Otherwise we will be swinging in the dark." There is hope in her voice as she readies the trident.
One hand falls to sword, but Nalaea keeps the other aloft with the light. "Unless any of you has a lantern or a torch I can light instead..." She shrugs. "I should be able to keep it up, but I won't be as affective dealing with this thing."
Darien nods to Mihris at her words. "Maybe if we could make it back to the fork, we could put a few of us in the right path and lure it down here, and then trap it between us as the others come from behind it?" He suggests. "We should be able to make it back there for it does if we move now." He looks to his sister, then. "You keep the light going, I'll make sure you get to bring home a nice cozy new rug eh?" He tells her, smiling roguishly and winking.
"I can help with that." Says Diuturna, who was definitely here a minute ago. She holds her staff above her head quite dramatically as a soft white glow emanates from it. "I wanted to shoot lightning, but light duty is alright too. Perhaps a little bit of both."
Glancing up at Darien, "I will go ahead with someone to lure it, I will be able to shield us from initial blows while the rest flank, if that is what we wish." She glances around to those around her, alreayd starting to take a few steps forward so she might have some room should they be taken by surprise. "I think it has smelled us."
"I'll go with you," Darien tells Mihris. "Nala you come to. Shakian and Diuturna, you'll hide in the right path and wait until we have lured it down here, then flank it from behind. Good?" Darien half-instructs half-asks, looking to the others. "We should hurry."
Shakian listens to the instructions. "I can do that."
Looking to Darien, the Chaos Knight lowers the tips of her spear towards the floor and as they all agree begins foward. "Hurry I can do," she says and starts to run, heading back down the path but making sure Nalaea is wihtin distance so she does not go blind and blunder into a bear. As the near the fork she starts to draw on the lifewell slowly, preparing the shield that will buffer any attack that comes their way.
There's a sort of look for Darien. A 'who died and made you my mom?' sort of expression. But Nalaea doesn't argue it either; it's a decent plan. So she moves away from the edge of the hole and starts down the tunnel with Mihris and her brother; trying to keep the light as steady as possible as they go.
Diuturna nods. "Come on, Shakian. We've got to stab a bear in the ass." She declares, scurrying off down the path, trying to keep the light steady as she does.
The run back to the front of the cave takes about 10 minutes, and its probably the longest ten minutes ever knowing there are injured and perhaps starving, and very thirsty explorers in the hole in the cave; with at least one of the five missing. There's a pretty good guess as to what happened to that one in particular. Another loud, angry ROOOOAAAAAR! can be heard, still outside of the cave, which suggests the bear has not come inside as yet. When Mihris, Nalaea, and Darien get to the mouth of the cave, there is a large, grizzly sized bear stomping and storming around outside of it, sniffing at the air. He's very big, and knows their are interlopers around, but doesn't quite know where to find them as yet.
Darinel has rolled 3 15-sided dice: 7, 7, 11
Darinel has rolled 1 15-sided dice: 6
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Mihris gets into position with the other three as she notes how massive the bear is. A slow shake of her head and the water starts to gather, the surface tension of the shield growing stronger as the droplets compress together to create a watery like surface that will buffer any incoming attack as the Varne crystal is extended outwards. Her hand on the trident shifts it into readiness, bracing the butt of it against the ground.
Shakian heads out of the chamber they were cautiously, sword held warily. He heads back toward the fork in the path, ready to hide down the right hand path and wait for the signal, probably the screaming death of someone.
Mihris checked intellect + mysticism at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.
That's a bear. That's a big bear. Nalaea clears her throat and keeps the light steady, but also juggles her mala crystal into her hand. "I think this is going to get messy," she decides.
Shakian steels his heart against plaintive cries of the lost souls below.
Darien just grins at the way his sister looks at him, his eyes dancing with mirth despite the seemingly dire situation they find themselves in. Then he starts heading back towards the source of the roars with the others. Once the bear comes into view, Darien takes position just slightly in front of Mihris and his sister, and behind the shields. "Damn he's ugly..." He remarks with a humored snort. "Get ready to run, we need to get it back to the fork if the others are to get a chance at striking at it." He looks back to Mihris. "Can you keep the shield up until we get there? Maybe slow it down somehow? I have a feeling he isn't slow." He asks. He looks to Nalaea, then. "You want to get his attention, sis, or you want me to do the honors?" Then he looks between the two. "Are we ready?" He doesn't seem frightened or worried. On the contrary. He seems excited. He spins the two blades and smiles.
Cutting the light as to not give their position away, Diuturna crouches low to the ground, relying solely on her ears to discern the movements of the bear.
"I got the shield, move slow however," Mihris remarks as she keeps the Varne extended in the direction of the rippling condensed water. The surface tension shifts minimally and finally solifies fully. Its like looking through a still pond, everything is only slightly distorted as she keeps to Darien's right. She moves forward slowly, attempting to keep the buffer as it is without letting it waver too much.
Nalaea checked intellect + evocation at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.
Nalaea checked mana + evocation at difficulty 25, rolling 24 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 25, rolling 49 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
This near the entrance to the caves, the light isn't needed. And so Nalaea lets it wink out so she can focus on the bear instead. Her hand clasps the string of beads with her mala crystal and she focuses on that power. There... there... yes! There's a flash of light and the sharp scent of ozone as a lightning bolt cracks impossibly in the sheltered space: aiming right for bear ass.
For the Frontrunners: The lighting /does/ hit the bear, and oh BOY does it gets its attention. The roar that comes from it is deafening. But, it looks like the only thing that's happened is that it manage to singe the bear, and it fur catches fire for a small bit before it extinguishes. No, not by any magical force. The bear is just that insulated. It spins, and looks around, sniffing at the air. Then it spots /them/. The three who'd returned to the cave of the mouth, and it barrels at them. All 600 or so musclebound pounds of primal beast. It looks like he is all GO and no BRAKES.
For the Backrunners: They are not so far away from the cavern that they cannot hear the plaintive cries of the explorers, and one of them seems to be crying over someone named 'Malan' and how he's now 'gone'. They're asking after the people who had the light, and at being abandoned. There are three distinct voices speaking in the hole, and they carry to the fork, but at low volumes given the distance.
Mihris checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
Nalaea checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Darien checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Darien checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher. Darien rolled a critical!
And that's ACTION. Nalaea immediately turns to head back down the tunnel, summoning the light once again to this time lead the way. It does enable the flankers to see them coming, surely... if the roar of the bear and the hurried footsteps down the tunnels weren't warning enough. "GET READY!" Okay, one more warning just in case.
Darien smiles as the bolt of lightning arches out from his sister's hands. Or crystal. Whatever those magic people use to shoot their elemental powers from. He turns on his heel to follow her as she leads the way back towards their hidden companions. When he notices Mihris falling behind, he murmurs something and spins around, sheathing one sword as he does so. All in one, smooth motion. "That's not gonna work," he tells her, and without a warning, he bends in his knees a little and uses his free hand to wrap around her waist, picking her up and slinging her over his shoulder, despite any protests she might utter. She can't rant at him later if she wants to, which she probably will. No time to worry about that now. Bot that he would anyway, but you know... As soon as he has a hold of her he turns around again, quickly catching up to his sister in the wake of the light her magic creates. Once 20 ft. or so down the left path of the fork, Mihris is returned to the ground. He smiles and shrugs at her, before turning around and unsheathing his second blade again, ready to face the rampaging ursine.
There is the bear. There is Nalaea drawing the bears attention. Now there is a reason to run. The shield likely could have waited but better off prepared than not. As she turns to run, she finds herself hampered by the conjured buffer and the other two get somewhat ahead of her as she tries to channel the lifewell to keep up the complicated piece of weaving. She struggles and makes a brief sound of frustration as her heterochromatic eyes narrow. The world suddenly spins and the earth falls away as she is lofted off her feet and she lets out an indignant squawk. Time to argue later, she merely looks at Darien when he sets her down. Quickly she is trying to reassert the shield when they finally make their placement, fixing any fracturing in the surface.
Darinel has rolled 1 5-sided dice: 5
Angry roaring can be heard coming down the hall, along with the pounding of feet and paws. The bear makes the most sound out of those bounding down the hall. Once the Frontrunners are in place, the Backrunners can work out their flanking position.
Down the hall, a female explore exclaims, "Oh gods! It's coming back!" The voice is rather weak and shaky.
Everyone can attack the bear.
Nalaea checked intellect + evocation at difficulty 40, rolling 34 higher. Nalaea rolled a critical!
Shakian has his short sword ready. He dashes forward, looking for an opportunity to thrust into a bear distracted by the rest of the party, looking to put all his weight behind his strike.
Mihris checked strength + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.
Darien checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher.
Mihris checked intellect + abjuration at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Nalaea checked mana + evocation at difficulty 6, rolling 55 higher.
Diuturna checked mana + evocation at difficulty 40, rolling 0 higher.
Shakian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 8 lower.
Darien checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
Diuturna checked intellect + evocation at difficulty 40, rolling 10 higher.
Diuturna checked mana + evocation at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 6 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 17 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(5) + fortitude(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 14 higher.
Darinel has rolled 1 5-sided dice: 5
Darinel GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawling(5) at difficulty 40, rolling 29 higher.
Diuturna checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher. Diuturna rolled a critical!
Shakian dashes in to strike and strike hard. But, as usual with him and physical activity, his strike goes awry.
Rushing out of the side path, Diuturna holds her staff into the air, the crystal emitting a bright white light to provide the other combatants with enough light to see. She points the staff at the bear, a veritable storm of razor sharp ice shards shooting forth. Maybe not the best thing to do in a confined area filled with friendly combatants, but it's too late for that now.
As the shield settles into place, Mihris takes the trident in both hands and waiting until the beast gets close, she reaches over in a heavy downward thrust of the trident to try to catch it in its face, going for an eye or something equally needed for the creature to get a clear look at them. Her muscles tense and the stout Knight narrows that heterochromatic gaze when her strike is let loose she growls and uses the force of her voice to add to the strike's strength, twisting the ends of the wicked barbed weapon to do more damage with it than just a forward motion. She hisses between her teeth and gives the shield a brief look. She connects but in the flurry its too soon to know exactly how much damage is enough.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 9 higher.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Darinel GM Roll checked stamina(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Darien just meets Mihris' stare with a sly smile. "Lost for words? I get it. You can thank me later," he tells her, winking, before turning around to face the charging bear and unsheathing his weapon. When the bear is near, he takes a step towards it, and then propels himself at it, dodging to one side last second as it comes within striking range, swinging both his blades at it in a smooth motion, using the bears own momentum to try and cause as much damage as he can.
This time, Nalaea does not drop the light. It does cause a look of rather intense concentration as the bear charges. The beads rattle a bit in hand, but that same scent of ozone, that same crackle... this time, however, the flash of lightning is even more intense and targeted more to //harm// the bear than to just surprise it.
Luck is with the party sent to find the missing Alcaldian explorers. Nalaea's lightning bolt, which barely marred the beast outside of the cave, strikes as though it has the force of million bolts behind it. It not only stuns the bear, but takes its toll on the bear's health and fortitude, allowing others to get in their attacks. Normally, the bear is much more dexterous and nimble than it is, but the electric jolt it received slows it down. He is only able to get in one attack, and it is a clumsy one at best, making its way toward Diuturna. He misses, both because of his impaired movement and also because of some one or other awesome move made by Diuturna in general. However, it is as the final strikes come in that the bear's eyes turn dull, and then to glass, and then it tumbles to the ground, dead.
Somewhere over the din of the battle, a cry can be heard. "Aeria! Noooo! Not you too!" The sound of the man's voice is wrought with haggard, soul wrenching pain.
Shakian looks down at the dead bear. Perhaps his aggressive rush caused it to have a coronary, although it seems unlikely given all the blood all over. "Let's get those people out of there. If no one has any rope, perhaps we can tie clothing together to make one."
The awesome move was Diuturna leaping into the air as she sees the bear charge at her, somehow managing to land on top of the great beast. Shooting a fireball into its ear is what she did next. Probably quite painful for the monster, although that's what it gets for messing with the crazy grandma elf.
Singed fur basically makes for a foul smell as she huffs out a breath. Mihris goes still as she lowers her trident when the bear falls and she hears the cry further down the tunnels. She waits though, this shield remaining so she can watch and be sure the bear does not move suddenly. When she looks satisfied she releases the water shield, the ground and hair receiving what was taken back. She hesitates, reaching out the butt of her spear to press at the grizzly just for a double tap sort of motion. Sighing she slowly lowers her weapon and looks at the others. "Now we get the others out," she says and waits for those who can light their way back to do so - no reason for more to get hurt.
Got to love lightning. Nalaea does, at least, by the near-manic grin on her features as the summoned blast strikes the bear. She lets out a little shudder, but is quickly distracted by the shouts. The woman turns and starts for the hole again -- light in hand -- to check on the trapped elves.
Spinning around, Darien moves to strike at the bear again. But before he can, Diuturna has somehow made her way ontop of it and is shooting a fireball...into...it's ear? Damn, he should have thought of that. The large beast tumbles to the ground and the Marindur captain moves over to the rug-to-be and gives it a little kick. "Hmm. Well that was easier than expected." He says, sounding almost a little disappointed. But he quickly follows the others to the hole with the leaves still trapped inside when they move there. "Nice work." He remarks to both Nalaea, Mihris and Diuturna as they move towards the trapped elves.
Wiping some blood off her face, Diuturna clambers off the corpse of the bear. Leaning onto her staff, she pants heavily, after all she's not a young elf. After her quick breather, she strolls towards where the elves are trapped, and helps light the area. "What're we going to do with that?" She asks, pointing a thumb over her shoulder at the corpse of the bear.
The hole is where they left it. Shining the light over the hole, they take the time to actually look inside and get the lay of the land this time. There are four elves within the hole, two male, two female; and two of them are not looking good at all. In fact, they aren't moving, and the other two are huddled over them, making sobbing sounds. There's also an awful lot of blood down the hole too, where they have clearly fallen without most of their gear, which rests above where Mihris, Diuturna, Nalaea, Darien, and Shakian are standing. Gear which consists of about half the food and water supplies needed for survival over several days, if not weeks. It'll take some pretty good magicking efforts or rope efforts to bring them all up from the bottom of the hole. There's more than enough rope with the party's supplies to and the explorer's supplies up top to pull them all up.
Shakian picks through the ropes to find those in the best condition. "Will someone lower me down? It's clear some of these people will need help."
Moving to work through the gear for rope, Mihris will tie some together so that they have enough links and will wrap a bit around her arm and ready herself to begin lowering Shakian down with the help of others. With her trident set aside, the Alcaldia grunts and begins to help lower so that Shakian can see to them and then the rescue group can see about pulling the scouts out.
Darien was -just- about to propose something similar as Shakian, but having been beat to the punch, he instead helps lower the other man down once the ropes has been sorted. After sheathing his blades. He'll stay at the edge of the hole and help hold the rope as well as helping the injured elves the last little way up once they near the surface with the assistance of Shakian.
As Mihris works to anchor the rope, Nalaea moves to her side to help. She can at least get one arm through the rope and grab hole even as she holds the light aloft.
Wanting to help, Diuturna grabs the end of the rope and pulls with all her might. She's rather small, however, and a bit of a weakling. She provides more mental support than anything. No one wants to look like they're pulling less than that tiny elf, after all.
Needing assistance is right; the two not moving are also not breathing. The other two who remain alive are certainly not well at all. They are exceptionally emaciated and in need or critical care, or at least a good dose of food and water in slow intervals. They are weak, and so rely heavily on the efforts of Mihris and Shakian to get them up and to the top of the cavern again. The others are able to be roped up and be pulled up as well, to be taken back to Aeran for their families to claim. The bear vanquished, and the rescue managed, it'll take about a week for the party to bring home the rescued scouts.
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