PRP: Valley of Mists Pt. 3

Initiate Zaltar has fallen into a deep sleep after picking a flower. Others race to find a way to awaken him and the Faenor scouts who were brought back to Thelos. Will the party be able to solve the riddle they were given? Will they be able to appease the ice elemental of the vale of mist? We will find out soon enough as we move on to Part III of the story.

OOC: This is part 3 of a PRP. If you want to join, please contact Cayn. Limiting to between 5-7 players for sanity! Those who have been a part of the previous two parts will receive first dibs.

Date

Feb. 7, 2020, 5 p.m.

Hosted By

Cayn

GM'd By

Cayn

Participants

Alethia Forwen Ideh Nagestos Relios Thorin Zaltar

Organizations

Location

Volandis Mountains - Silvermist

Largesse Level

Small

Log


Firn, a large snow wolf, Huginn, a large, black raven leave, following Thorin.

Imirie, the Gold anointed Starling, Nugget, tiger cub runt , Daffi-Dil, the loveable hedgehog arrive, following Forwen.

Firn, a large snow wolf, Huginn, a large, black raven, Forwen arrive, following Thorin.

Initiate Zaltar has fallen into a deep sleep after picking a flower. In the valley below, a thick mist blankets the land, making it impossible to tell just how deep the valley goes. There's a bridge that allows one to traverse a precarious path above the mist and the flowers, or one could simply go around the valley, if one needed to, though that journey would likely take a full day. Whoever built the bridge is long gone, and any signs of civilization that were once here are now gone as well, except for the bridge.

"The cost of touching Gala's gift is sleep," said the elemental that appeared, swirling upward, and then around, and then drifting closer to the party. "I must now tell you, what you must do, to see your friends awake. Gather each the following three: Morning's dew, from weeping trees. Five river stones, thus to appease. A fragrant scent, to ward disease." The mists swirl and drift apart again, and there is a final whisper, "Seek the standing stones, and they shall lead you to the sacred rite. Then you may yet end the unseen plight."

And so it is that they have been left with a mystery, a riddle to solve, and items to find.

The elemental is gone now, presumably melded once more with the mists, though an icy chill lingers in the air in her wake. Initiate Zaltar has been levitated by magic, so that he can be floated safely hither and yon as the party wishes. Meanwhile, Thorin mentioned something about standing stones, while Forwen thought she saw something over between some trees that looks suspiciously like a stone. And so, choices must be made, things must be discovered, and a riddle must be solved.

Ideh turned her gaze toward the direction Forwen had indicated, eyes slightly narrowed as she sought for the glimpse of stone the young Aeran had mentioned. As she sought, she spoke, her voice loud enough to reach the group. All save the poor Thalerith. That unfortunate soul. She moved up to stand beside where he was being kept aloft by the Knight Commander's magic. "So...do we assume these three are literal and traverse the wilds in search of them, or do we seek the stones first and see what we might find there, some sigil or rune to show us the way?"

Thorin looks toward the direction Forwen had indicated for a moment, narrowing his eyes, then he turns to Ideh and rolls his shoulders. "It seems to me that we're supposed to find the standing stones and proceed from there. I think that the riddle might be metaphor, or alternatively, that the stones will take us to the things we need."

Well Forwen really isn't one to sit around and talk about what should or shouldn't be done. Nope they can talk, she is checking out the stone.. after all there's stuff written on it! So onto Nugget.. the poor faithful tiger that she is and the two start that direction.

The stone that Forwen has spotted does indeed appear to be an ancient standing stone made out of some dark stone, perhaps granite. It stands about ten feet in height, and is carved, or perhaps Shaped, into sort of a smooth three-sided sided obelisk, narrower at the top with a point, and widening at the bottom. Upon the stone are etched a number of runes and symbols. The stone stands there, waiting like an ancient sentinel for someone to find it and unlock its mysteries. The runes are etched vertically down each side of the obelisk.

Ideh took a breath, deep enough to expand her chest and test her resolve, before she mounted Elba and allowed the black wolf to follow after the Aeran, calling over to Thorin where he was standing, "If it comes to it, I nominate you explain to the Aeran how we misplaced one of their own in the wilds." Her tone was deadpan, but she flashed the young Aenorr a grin before she and her wolf continued on towards the stone.

Thorin checked wits + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 49 higher.

Forwen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.

Ideh checked wits + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.

Thorin climbs up on Firn's back and rides over toward the stone, sliding back down once he's there. The obelisk is given several minutes of inspection and then the Knight Champion nods, speaking in a manner that almost sounds like singing.

Forwen is off Nugget and walking around the stone.. nope her hands aren't behind her back, she absolutely touches.. but even as she does, she is reading. "Morning's dew from trees that weep, outside a cavern, near. River stones, thus to appease, at river's mouth below. A sage's scent, to ward disease, in yonder hills must go."

Thorin says in Celestial, "Morning's dew from trees that weep, outside a cavern, near. River stones, thus to appease, at river's mouth below. A sage's scent, to ward disease, in yonder hills must go."

Forwen grins at Thorin.

Ideh, dismounting from Elba's back, made her approach to the stones, eyes scanning the runes and symbols carved into the stone. She withdrew a small book from the pack she retrieved from Elba, making note of three symbols, which she reproduced with a light hand, with a skill that was more years of learning than natural talent, pausing as she heard Forwen speak. "Knight Champion, what do you make of these?" She pointed out the carvings, rather than referring him to the renderings she had made for herself. Along the base of the stones. An ewer, a circle with five points at the edges, a brazier with a fire. "A place to set each once they are retrieved?"

Thorin looks at the carvings for a few moments. "I would think the ewer is to hold the dew, and that the points on the circle represent the stones we should collect--so five--and that once we find some sage, we should burn it." He looks to the elder Faenor and then the Aeran and then walks back to climb up on Firn. "Do we want to each find one thing, or go together to find each? I'm inclined to stick together, not that I'm going to be alone wherever I go." He glances to Zaltar, just floating along behind him.

As the group murmurs over the findings of the standing stone, the valley remains shrouded in mist below. It stretches far to the northwest from this point, hidden within a cloak of trees, within which this standing stone lies hidden. From this vantage, you can see the entire valley stretched out below, glimpses of those little flowers poking out here and there, most of them invisible, however, due to the moisture and the chill from the mists. That rickety bridge sways gently back and forth in the breeze. Somewhere in the distance, you can hear the twitter of birds in the forest, but other than that, there is little in the way of signs of life here, almost as if the forest creatures know to stay clear of the valley.

Fluffy white clouds drift overhead now as the day stretches on toward early afternoon, the sun occasionally peeking out from behind the clouds, to cast light and shadow upon the ground. There are no trails here, for this land is mostly uncharted, though there are a few deer tracks that can be followed, if one wishes. To the east, the Volandis mountains rise in majestic glory beyond the trees, and above the valley. Foothills, dotted with wildflowers this time of year, slowly become snowier and icier the higher the mountains climb. Little is known about what might lie to the south, which appears to be more foothills, dotted with pine, oak and maple trees.

Ideh says, "Together. We cannot afford to lose more of our number to whatever else might be out there."

Forwen is on Nugget again bitting into her lip. "So well it says there is a cavern near.. so that would probably means rocks or something to have a cavern in.. like the foot hills but well, which ones? We could be search for that for a very long time if we don't have a direction." pauses glancing at the stone. "One might think since the symbols are on different sides maybe that is the direction you need to go to find the item?"

Thorin looks at Forwen for a moment and then nods. "Or perhaps standing facing the side with the words, the tip will seem to point in the direction of the place the items are. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out..." He brings Firn around so he's facing the side that speaks of the cave and then looks ahead and behind of him to see if he can spot a likely place.

Ideh checked intellect + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Ideh moved around the stone, scanning the area, her eyes a bit distant as she looked from the stone and out towards the land as it spread out around them. When she came up beside the much taller Aenorr, she lifted a hand, pointing past him, beyond the stone, "Lake Heledir lies south in that direction, as well as the river that feeds the land from it." She glanced to the gathered elves, "If that theory is correct, the weeping trees may be north of us, but we cannot collect their dew until morning. The symbol of the brazier would take us east."

Forwen moves so that Nugget is standing in front of the ewer and she can look north, pointing to the foot hills that make up the wall of the valley. Though she is quiet for once while Ideh talks. "Do we have something to put the water in? And if I remember the maps, it could take a couple days to reach the river? Then back.. and the sage would be.." pausing to turn to look for where the sage would be if they were to follow this line of thought.

Thorin checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 24 higher.

Ideh checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Forwen checked perception at difficulty 10, rolling 33 higher.

As the clues begin to come together, it soon becomes easy to see that the symbols on the obelisk are each facing the direction in which that item could be found. To the east, there is the forest, the direction from which they came, and beyond that, the foothills of the Volandis mountains. To the south, the the circle with five points faces. The ewer symbol faces to the north. In all, it is a trek to each one, and timing is indeed important for that dew. This is not an easy task that has been set, but the nature of it becomes clearer, standing at these three points, and looking in these three directions, the path ahead seems obvious, because there is another standing stone to the south on a slight rise between the trees, toward the southern foothills.

Thorin looks from direction to direction and nods. "Yes, I think you're right," he says, to Ideh, and then turns to point toward the standing stone in the distance to the south. "She said to _follow_ the standing stones. It would seem we should head south toward the river first, then, and perhaps we'll see another once we've gathered the rocks we need." He looks to the two of them and then grins. "Shall we?" He gives Firn a couple of pats, and off he goes.

Ideh, nodding to each of the other elves in turn, returned to Elba, mounting the black wolf and urging her to fall in behind where Thorin was leading. She controlled the wolf with the grip of her knees, drawing her bow and knocking an arrow as they began the journey south.

Forwen follows behind, actually falling back to travel close to Nagestos since he has been so quiet. Not that it matters to the little Aeran, she immediately starts telling him about the time they had to outsmart a giant squid in order to find a magic mirrow on a sunken ship.

{As the group heads south, Zaltar is floated along with them, still lost in dreamless slumber. It takes only a small amount of time before the other standing stone comes into view. At a first glance, it seems almost identical to the other one, except the writing on it is changed. There are still symbols of Gala at the top, with her flower sigil etched within the stone. The circle symbol continues to point to the south, while the brazier points to the east, and the ewer symbol points to the north. Those, at least, haven't changed. But, the writing is different. As they've moved away from the valley, signs of wildlife have returned as well, with soft skitterings through the undergrowth, rustlings, and chirpings. The scent of pine needles is strong, as the majestic evergreens rise above the forest floor, leaving only columns of trunks and a carpet of pine needles to walk upon here, making the standing stone fairly easy to see, even from a distance.

As the group heads south, Zaltar is floated along with them, still lost in dreamless slumber. It takes only a small amount of time before the other standing stone comes into view. At a first glance, it seems almost identical to the other one, except the writing on it is changed. There are still symbols of Gala at the top, with her flower sigil etched within the stone. The circle symbol continues to point to the south, while the brazier points to the east, and the ewer symbol points to the north. Those, at least, haven't changed. But, the writing is different. As they've moved away from the valley, signs of wildlife have returned as well, with soft skitterings through the undergrowth, rustlings, and chirpings. The scent of pine needles is strong, as the majestic evergreens rise above the forest floor, leaving only columns of trunks and a carpet of pine needles to walk upon here, making the standing stone fairly easy to see, even from a distance.

Thorin comes up alongside the standing stone and looks at the words. This time, he simply reads them in elvish, for Ideh's benefit, "Place the dew in crystal ewer. Place the stones at five points hither. Light the fragrance within yon brazier, and call upon the Goddess' favor." He cants his head to one side and then arches his brow. Looking around in the directions indicated by the engravings. "Seems pretty straightforward."

Forwen frown a little looking around. "Well it sounds like we are going to need to writing this stuff down." already standing on tip toes to see if she can spot the next stone along the way. ".. cause I think we are only going to get bits and peices as we go.."

Thorin checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.

Ideh checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 1 higher.

Forwen checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 17 lower.

"Knight Champion, help me. I can feel something, some niggling, at the edge of my mind." Ideh, who was still standing by the stone called back to Thorin, her expression fixed, focused, as she looked out into the valley past the stone, "There is something. Something in these directions. North, south, east. But they are on the fringes. They mark the boundaries."

Forwen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Firn circles the standing stone one more time and Thorin's brow furrows. "The standing stones. I think they point to a central location. We've seen three, so far. That would be enough to triangulate a point."

Thorin checked intellect + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Thorin nudges Firn to walk a few paces away from the stone and turn in a slow circle as he sights each of the standing stones, the first one behind them and the third one ahead, and then he draws his eyes towrd the middle of the line between them, right where the one they're near would point. He lifts a finger. "I think we may find the task easier, if we go this way a bit. To the center of the triangle."

Forwen stands there just well... frowning. Her arms folded in front of her. "Someone should have brought a crystal ewwer.. I mean, that priestess should have told us we needed certain things. Maybe we missed something back in the beginning? Like there was a hidy hole? I mean there is obviously tools needed.. did anyone see a chest? There are always chests." the aeran scowls as if it is everyone's fault they didn't spie a treasure chest..... pirates.

Ideh moved to retake Elba's back, settling herself there. "Just as we found the path to lead us in the direction of those things we seek, it may be that we will find the vessels we need as well. If you wish to go back, feel free. But the day is growing long, and morning will come soon enough. We cannot afford to spend our time unwisely."

The trek through the trees as Thorin leads the way is not easy, for the land is more rugged, and hills make the journey arduous at best, even for the varied mounts that the group has with them. The pine trees have started to thin out as the terrain becomes rockier, though pine needles still litter the forest floor. There is a ravine not far away, which looks like it could be an ideal place for wild animals to make their homes, or for a place to shelter for the night. The sun, through the evergreen treetops, is slowly making its trek across the sky, the shadows growing longer, a golden glow suffusing the forest.

Forwen sulks... Sulks! For a good while actually. Not even regaling the Mage with stories of her adventures. The rather suddenly she stops.. blinking. Looking up from her plots and plans on how to short sheet some elves bedrolls, no doubt. "Water." then points to the ravine. I mean, yeah question an Aeran about going through the woods but never question an Aeran when it comes to knowing there is water.

Thorin checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Thorin brings Firn to a halt and peers down into the ravine. "Yes, there is," he says, then he narrows his eyes and furrows his brow for a moment. He just looks, and then swings down off the snow wolf and approaches the edge. "There's steps carved into the stone here, leading down. They look ancient." He looks behind him and gestures for everybody to follow him, and starts carefully heading down them.

It took Ideh only a moment, to dismount from Elba and move to follow in Thorin's wake. She set aside the bow, so that her hands might be free, but kept them on herself, so that they would not travel undefended. Each step she marked with care, marking as well, any other signs of the civilization, for lack of a better word, in the landscape.

Forwen checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 18 higher.

Ideh checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.

Thorin checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.

As the group approaches the ravine, the sound of trickling water can be heard more clearly. It's just a shallow little stream, likely swelling up from the recent rains, but there's a sense that this ravine was once home to a broader river. The ravine floor is mud and a trickle of water, but the stone outcroppings rise above to either side, allowing sunlight into the ravine from above, but also offering shade to either side.

Those steps, despite their age, covered in moss and partially overgrown with clumps of weeds, are surprisingly sturdy, and does not crumble. They support the weight of each elf as they descend below into the ravine, and once they reach the bottom, it can be clearly seen that there is a narrow opening to the left, at the very bottom of the steps, and the opening is very dark. There is no telling what might be lurking within. Yet, carved into the stone bedrock just outside, is Gala's symbol.

Thorin checked intellect + prestidigitation at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Forwen is coming last? Ideh can probably feel the little redhead bouncing on each step at her back. There was a need to scramble, but she couldn't! Teeth ground with impatience... but, she never said a word. Once they reach the bottom she scoots around.. careful not to jostle anyone but she wants to see! Ideh understands! She is short too!. Seeing the opening, Forwen is almost vibrating with curiousity as she edges closer and closer.

Thorin stops when they reach the opening of the cave. "The stones spoke of a cave," he says, quietly, glancing back over his shoulder. He then turns back to look at Zaltar and sighs. "Thalerith are so useful when caving," he says, shaking his head. He looks back toward the cave, holds out his hand and a large globe of light shimmers into existence above it. He sends it off floating on into the cave. "The dew is supposedly outside a cave, and the stones are in a river. I wonder if there is sage somewhere around here? And the ewer an brazier and such."

"If you bounce enough to dislodge the stones, Aeran, you will have to dig the footholds to get us back out of this ravine." Ideh offered those sage words with absolute gravity, as they made their way down along the wall, settling herself once she gained her feet and the safety of the ravine floor. Having no magic of that sort, she fished for a flint and some tinder, but set it aside as she saw Thorin conjure his light. "Useful, this Knight Champion." As she watched the globe of light moving inside the cave, she stepped to follow it, "It may be that we will find the implements we need inside."

As Thorin's light spins forth into the darkened opening, it reveals along the walls of stone several murals that seem to depict a story of some sort, though it is difficult to make out at a glance. The rocky floor is littered with debris, and there are cobwebs here and there, silken strands glimmering in the light of Thorin's globe. Eventually, illuminating the passageway far enough, it will come to show a large, open cavern space, glistening with moisture and damp, and in the center of this chamber there is an altar. Beyond the altar, a pair of stone doors carved with Gala's sigil seem to lead deeper into the cavern. And indeed, upon the altar, there is a crystal ewer, a copper brazier that has developed a greenish patina over the years, and five indentations in the altar in which to place stones, presumably. Yet, there does not appear to be sage here, nor stones, nor dew. Looking up, however, one might catch a glimpse of something moving. A lot of somethings. Bats.

"If you moved any slower, the moss will just grow over you." Forwen answered. Even so, she was right behind Ideh to enter the cave. After all there might be some big elf eating something in there and she didn't want to miss it! But no, it's just an altar, which is neat, just not as exciting as something huge and growly. The items are noted but since they just answer a question, she starts poking around looking for new questions.

Forwen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Ideh checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.

Thorin checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.

Thorin throws a nervous glance up toward the roof of the cave as he walks in toward the altar. "Is anybody else nervous about our gracious hosts just hanging about?" His voice is hushed, only just audible. "Forwen, be careful!" He quietly follows behind her, approaching the altar and looking at it, his brow furrowed.

"I always did look quite wonderful in green," was the elder Faenor's reply to Forwen, as they proceeded into the cave and began to look around. Ideh walked the perimeter of the room, studying the murals, but in the light, it was difficult. And so, she did what the old did best and delegated, "Knight Champion, can you make sense of what these murals are trying to say? They may be a clue to help us in all of this." Leaving them for the time being, she walked over towards the doors leading further into the cavern, reaching out to set her palms on them as she sought for how they might be opened. "We may need to duck beneath the altar when night comes and they leave their roosts."

Forwen can be very quiet when she wants too which means it's also easy for her to disappear for a moment without anyone really realizing.. which is what happens for just a moment before her disembodied voice sounds from the northern end of the cavern. "Or we can duck into these... I think I found the dew."

Ideh checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

Thorin looks at the altar for a moment, and then turns to look at all of the murals. "These murals tell the story of how those flowers came to be," he says. "Seems there was some sort of blight on the land, and Gala wept to heal it. Her tears became the Crystalbloom, protecting the land. She built this shrine to pass along the knowledge of how it works and how to...heal those who have picked one!" He then points to a part of the mural depicting a woman standing before the altar with a stone tablet in hand. "Stone tablets. I wonder if filling the items unlocks a chamber with actual stone tablets." He turns toward Forwen then. "Dew? Now?"

Ideh checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 16 higher.

Thorin checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 higher.

Forwen checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.

Nagestos checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 5 lower.

Ideh, though she continued to move through the space, listened with intent to anything that her two companions shared. She did indeed, move so slowly, that moss might gather on her, but soon enough, she too disappeared into an alcove, this one along the eastern wall, taking a knee as she bent to what appeared to be a small basin, reaching out a hand impossibly delicately to retrieve a wrapped bundle, "And I believe I have found the sage."

With all the activity in the cavern from the intruders, and all the talking, and moving about, it's inevitable that those bats will start flying and flapping around. It starts with one bat, giving off a high-pitched squeaky sound. Then, the others stir, and soon there is a raucous flapping of wings and little squeaks and squeals as the bats come free of their roosting places. The bats take wing, noisy and flapping and crazed as they seek to escape toward the exit. The sounds of the visitors are disorienting them somewhat though, so they flap and circle around, blindly seeking the way out so that they can begin their evening hunt. The sun, by now, is beginning to set outside. A perfect time for bats to wake up.

Nagestos checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 2 lower.

Forwen checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 4 higher.

Ideh checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 5 lower.

Ideh checked intellect + restoration at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.

Nagestos continues along, he's been silent because there's much to consider and think about. He hears the noise, the squeaking, and his eyes shift upward. The elder mage ought to have been aware enough to prevent himself from getting caught in the midst. He has lost his bearings in that moment and is unable to move out of the way of the fleeing bats.

Forwen heard the bat's first squeek! That was enough! The Aeran did the most logical thing she could think of she curled into a ball and pulled her hood over her head and to wait out the mass exit of the caves. Only when it didn't sound like anyone more was going to find their way out did the tiny redhead peek out. "I have the dew over here if we have something to put it in?"

The bats are in a frenzy, and it's not their fault really, they're just acting on instinct! Their flapping wings are stinging and swatting, and cause a few scrapes and scratches to Ideh and Nagestos, who can't quite get out of the way in time. Forwen's curling into a ball seems to be a good tactic, because the bats don't even come near her. 5 inflicted and Nagestos is unharmed.

The bats are in a frenzy, and it's not their fault really, they're just acting on instinct! Their flapping wings are stinging and swatting, and cause a few scrapes and scratches to Ideh and Nagestos, who can't quite get out of the way in time. Forwen's curling into a ball seems to be a good tactic, because the bats don't even come near her. 5 inflicted and Ideh is unharmed.

Thorin checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Thorin checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.

5 inflicted and Thorin is unharmed.

With the bats flapping and scratching, Nagestos tries to lift his arms to cover the vital parts and moves more generally out of the way in order to minimize the effects of the claws.

Just as Ideh was making her way out of the alcove, the bats begin their crazed flight, the small elf finding herself caught up in a flurry of them, one even ending up clinging to her head. Protecting that bundle of sage with one hand, it leaves her only the other to tug the bat from where it tangled in her hair, its claws scrabbling at her scalp and face. Her hand limned with that golden light, which seemed to sink into the creature she was holding, before she tossed it, in the same motion as she might have set a hawk to flight, the creature returning to the flock which seemed, with its return, to lose their fear and disorientation as they flew as one teeming mass towards the exit and into the night sky beyond.

Thorin throws his arms up in front of his face and ducks down, letting his hat protect his head and his bracers cover his pretty face. Letting his leathers do their job, he simply stands still until the bats have all flown out of the cave. His armor does get scratched up as they all swirl about him, and his hair gets a bit messed up. At least it's in a braid. But then once they've all left the cave to go hunting, he turns around and lifts his eyebrows. "Ah, I think I've spotted the stones," he says, walking toward an alcove and peering down into it. "Yes! There's five smooth riverstones here. I wonder if the order of the colors is going to matter." He reaches in and gathers them all up into his hands.

Thorin checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 41 higher.

Forwen stands then blinking at the leaving bats. "I need to appologize to Imirie." said softly before looking back to the basin of water. "Do you think that I could lift the water out with the crystal bowl? Or should I use something else?" suddenly not at all sure of herself because yes... she can go into anything, don't ask her about magic.

Ideh, ignoring what scratches and scrapes she had received in her tussle with the bats, carried the sage out of the alcove and back towards the altar, "The riddle said it was morning's dew gathered from weeping trees. The alcove with the sage had the carving of sage blossoms within it. What did the place where you found the dew? The ewer is there, on the altar. Let us see the stones, Knight Champion."

"It was the circle with the five points, the same as on the standing stones," Thorin says as he slowly walks over toward the altar, casting his eyes about the murals. "The order _is_ important, I remember seeing it on one of the murals..." He trails off, looking for it, pausing in his walk to turn around. Then he spots it. "There!" He studies it for a moment, and then goes to put the five stones--Pink, Gray, Brown, Black, and White--in the same order on the altar as in the mural.

Eventually, the bats do find their way out to the exit. Suddenly, they simply seem to calm themselves, and find their way to the opening through which the group came in, and flap their way out of the cavern to freedom and food. Meanwhile, as everyone recovers from that little surprise and gets back to hunting through the cavern, each will find that there are little alcoves at each direction: North, East and South. The doors are on the western side, where there is no alcove, just the doors, carved with Gala's sigil. Each alcove has a carving of the item needed, and a shallow basin with each item within. Stones to the south. Sage to the east. Dew from the northern basin.

As Thorin places the stones, though, nothing seems to happen. The doors remain closed, and nothing is changed.

Forwen folds her hands behind her, looking back at her alcove then again to the others. "It's a carving of a tree, with water dripping down the leaves into a shallow basin. But if you want me to use the ewer to lift it out I can. Or should we wait for dawn? Maybe we should wait for dawn just in case?"

"The first of the standing stones had an ewer carved upon it, as if it were necessary. And there is an ewer here, along with the brazier for the sage. And indentations for the stones. I do not think mention of the morning was simply something to add a flourish to the language, but I am no great scholar of magic, and know little of these sorts of things." Ideh did, however, move to set the sage into the brazier, though she did not make any attempt to light it. Instead, she looked up towards the top of the cavern, seeking for some sign that there was an opening to the sky there.

Thorin looks at the stones and back at the mural and then frowns. Then he nods. "No, I think that's likely a flourish. The stones weren't at the mouth of a river, either. At least not now. Scoop some out with the ewer, Forwen. I think once it's all on the altar, and the sage is burning, those doors might open."

There is indeed an opening up above, one or two of them, which might allow rays of glowing sunlight or soft opalescent moonlight to filter down into the musty cavern. Right now, however, the cavern is mostly dark, except for Thorin's glowing ball of light, as the sun is setting. Just a hint of twilight sky can be seen above at the moment. Soon it will be truly dark.

Forwen looks from one to the other, biting her lip. Moving to find the ewer, holding onto it with both hands as if terrified she is going to drop it. Forwen disappears back into the alcove, scooping water into it before bring it back just as carefully.. if not more, to set back in place.

Ideh frowned, though, really, who could tell, as that seemed her usual expression. But she did not gainsay Thorin's words to the Aeran. Instead, she drew her flint and stone, waiting until the water was brought and set back on the altar before she would strike the spark to light the wrapped bundle of fragrant leaves.

Thorin glances up toward the opening, furrowing his brow for a moment and glancing between it and the altar a couple of times, then just shakes his head and looks back to Forwen and then Ideh, nodding his head. "Go ahead and light the sage, Lady Ideh."

When the stones have been placed, and the water borught in the ewer, and the sage set to light within the brazier, something finally happens: The doors at the western end of the chamber begin to groan, and then they slowly push outwards into the cavern, Gala's symbol split right down the middle, stone grinding against the stone floor, revealing a darkened space within. There is no light in the chamber beyond, but chamber it must be. Thorin's glowing ball of light might be able to spread light at this point just enought to make out a vague shape within the room, but it is hard to make out.

Forwen stands back watching... because lets face it, magic has a habit of blowing up. If not for you, well live with Qahir for awhile. When the doors creak open, for a very split second she stands wide eyed and staring. A glance given to each of the others before... chin up, wave towards the little ball of light to follow please... and with all the confidence of one that truly believes everything will be okay in the end, marches to the doors and through.

Ideh took the time to set her flint and stone back into her pouch, before she stepped away from the altar, moving towards the now open doors. She did cast a glance towards Thorin, "Knight Champion, do you have the ability to summon more of those orbs of light so that we might see the next room more easily?"

Thorin checked intellect + prestidigitation at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Thorin watches as the doors swing open, a grin splitting his face as the light from his globe does more to light up his face than the chamber. "Yes, Lady Ideh, I do believe I can," he says, sounding very pleased with himself. He gestures toward the room with his hand, his fingers drawing an arc in the air, and the room simply _illuminates_. It's almost as if inside the chamber is outside at noon. Except for whatever's in there.

As Forwen marches into the room, and as Thorin's light accompanies her, the vague figure reveals itself to be a statue of a female elf, who appears to be both strong of spirit, and gentle in nature, judging by her pose and the resolved expression carved on her lovely face. She is holding one hand up as if in warning, and the other outstretched, as if in offering. Resting in her palm is a gilded scrollcase, etched with runes designed to keep it protected over a long period of time. It, and its contents. Within the room, as well, there are six braziers, currently unlit. It is a teardrop-shaped chamber, and the statue alone seems to be its focus and purpose. The braziers are hardly needed, now, thanks to Thorin's brilliant illumination. The statue gleams in the light.

Forwen checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Forwen's march only halts as the room because bright and her eyes start to blink.. standing in middle there is a small "phh" sound that comes from the Aeran as she slowly turns, ending facing the female elf statue and her out stretched hand. It's easy.. anyone with even a remote understanding of Forwen can see it.. they can see her fighting the urge to want to go up and see/get/ touch.. and they can see the moment she looses the battle and starts forward.

Ideh checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

"Thank you for that. These old eyes do enjoy the light." Again, there was that flash of a grin towards Thorin, as Ideh entered into the now well illuminated room. She did not miss the Aeran rushing headlong into unknown danger however, and she darted forward, to put herself physically between where Forwen was walking and the obvious prize, "You really *do* want to lose that hand, don't you, Aeran. Do not let your cupidity be the cause of us losing all that we have worked for and leaving those who suffer to die." She glanced back towards the nearly silent Archmage, "Get her under control or get her back to her own lands."

Nagestos checked mana + abjuration at difficulty 30, rolling 24 higher.

Nagestos raises his crystal with a half outstretched hand. He seems unhurried or worried as he concentrates with a narrowed eye on Forwen. They crystal radiates it's soft light as he places his wall up in front of her. As he watches he mutters under his breath.

Nagestos mutters, "Some ... mature ... ... and some do not."

Thorin checked wits + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 30 higher.

Thorin reflexively takes a step toward Forwen as she dashes off toward the statue, but then Ideh is intervening as is the Archmage. "Forwen, could you please get the scroll out of her hand? I think that's the knowledge this shrine is here to provide. It should tell us how to heal the others." He glances over to Zaltar, right there, ready to be the first test subject. And then he glances to Nagestos, raising his hand and making a patting gesture. "Archmage, you can lower your wall. It's just a statue."

Forwen is three steps in when Ideh pops up in front of her.. which would have been fine, if she didn't threaten! Forwen is already getting ready to retort, the air drawn in... her curls seeming almost alive as they bounce like a red cloud around her head, with the occasional puff to blow one from her face.... then.. Wall. Blink. "Wha..... Nagestos! That's not fair!" slumping against it and sliding down to sit on the ground and mutter... what might actually be dwarven curse words. Then Thorin is pipping up! "See!!" bouncing to her feet again, vindicated and giving the wall a thud.

Ideh, old hag that she was, was not in the least bit phased by the look of Forwen about to have a tantrum. "A statue that is both warning us away and offering us what we want most. I am not fool enough to believe that //that// is just a mere coincidence." But she stepped aside, physically, "We have had too many riddles today. Too many easy answers that were not easy at all." But now that she was not in the way, there was only the Archmage's wall keeping Forwen from the scrollcase.

Thorin checked mana + prestidigitation at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.

Thorin looks at the Archmage expectantly and then sighs. "Alright, then," he says, and then turns to reach a hand out toward Forwen, flipping his wrist so his fingers swish in the air and he lifts the hand up farther. She lifts up out of Nagestos' box and he sets her down in front of the statue. "I think the hand is warning us from touching the flowers, perhaps. I don't see anything to suggest we can't just take the scroll."

The statue waits, gleaming in Thorin's magical lights, hand outstretched with the gilded scroll case upon it, the other hand still lifted in warning. Nothing has changed during the exchange between the elves. If there is a riddle to be found here, it doesn't seem to be forthcoming.

Forwen squeeks as she suddenly is flying! Arms windmilling, curls flopping... its only once her feet are back on the ground that she breaths again. Then looking back at Thorin and Ideh.. there is a sudden solumn seriousness to the little Aeran's eyes before she nods softly, then turns back. Bitting into her lip stands on her tip toes to look at the elf statue in the eyes. "We have a lot of Faenor and one Thalerith that really need this. So please don't think we are taking it just to be. ANd if you need to punish so they can be safe.. thats okay too. I am stronger than I look." then with a very deep breath reaches into her pouch and pulls out a dream stone. "You have been guarding it a long time and I know it can be hard to let go, so I will give you this to replace it." dropping the dreamstone in the statues palm as she plucks up the scroll.

Forwen drops a bracelet of waves cradling a small dreamstone.

Forwen gets a bracelet of waves cradling a small dreamstone.

Ideh, for once, kept herself to herself, simply standing back to leave Forwen free to claim the scrollcase, her hands reaching up to check the bow and her quiver of arrows. And it was in that silence that she remained, as she moves closer to the wall so that she could see the entirety of the small chamber.

Thorin quirks up a brow. "I...don't think you need to leave your dreamstone, Forwen," Thorin says. "Besides. I've got things in my pack. I can probably just _copy_ what's on the scroll, and then put it back." He glances to Ideh and then Nagestos, and then unshoulders his backpack, starting to rummage thru it for some parchment.

The statue remains still, lifeless, cool as stone as Forwen offers up her words and then presents an offering. The scroll is taken, but nothing untoward happens. Indeed, the bracelet with the dreamstone, placed upon the palm in replacement, slides off the outstretched hand and slithers to the floor, seemingly of its own accord, with a soft rattle of silver on stone. Yet, there is a sense of rightness in the air - a sense of peace.

Ideh nodded, just that, at the glance Thorin gave her, moving away from where she had been standing at the wall and moving towards the doors, peering out into the chamber where the altar was, "That is your choice, Knight Champion. If it is only the words that we need from the scroll, then I see no reason to take it from this place, and risk the knowledge being lost."

Forwen steps back taking a deep breath and handing the scroll to Thorin. "Thats okay, she can hold it until you are done." then smiles a little before going to find some place to sit and wait, suddenly very tired.

Thorin pulls some parchment, and _only_ some parchment, out of his backpack, and then takes the scroll from Forwen. He uncaps the scrollcase and pulls out the contents. "Yes, I believe I can just copy this down...there doesn't seem to be anything intrinsically magical about it." He draws his finger across the parchment as he reads the scroll, words appearing as if he were using a quill. Mages are always showing off. "It seems if somebody were to perform the rite described here, they could get one of those flowers...but I'm not sure how that will help poor Zaltar, or the others."

Ideh, who appeared wholly content to guard the way back, not at all appeased by the sense of peace that seemed to fill the space, left Thorin to his work, though she did, on occasion glances back to make certain she could still see everyone in the party. Even the poor, and still floating, Thalerith. "I would not camp within this cave, but we will be better able to escape the ravine in the morning."

Forwen stands up, reaching down to pick up her bracelet and slide it into her pocket. A glance to the statue and nod of her head she starts for the door. "I can go out find a place for a fire and the wolves and Nugget to gather while you are finishing. It's going to be cold tact for dinner probably.. depending how much dry wood can be found." moving to put actions to words.

Once the scroll has been copied and replaced, and Forwen's dreamstone returned to her, that sense of peace remains. Has anyone checked on the floating Thalerith lately? After all this, one would think something might have changed. He does still appear to be sleeping, but does his coloring look a little bit better? More like his old self? It's hard to say at a glance.

Thorin checked perception + restoration at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.

Thorin doublechecks his copy and then rolls it up and puts it back into his backpack. Then he places the scroll back in the hand and looks to the others. He stops when his eyes settle on Zaltar, his head tilting to one side. He approaches the floating Thalerith, putting a hand on his chest to lower him a little, and he inspects him. Slowly his smile spreads. "Yes. I think she is warning against taking more than one Crystalbloom, which is all the rite permits. But, being in the presence of her blessing, here, Zaltar seems to have come out of his sleep. I wonder if the blessing offered by the plant would cure the others."

Cayn gets a potted Crystalbloom seedling from a silver-tooled belt with several pouches hanging from it.

Cayn drops a potted Crystalbloom seedling.

Thorin takes a potted Crystalbloom seedling.

Thorin drops a potted Crystalbloom seedling.

Thorin takes a potted Crystalbloom seedling.

Cayn gets a potted Crystalbloom seedling from a silver-tooled belt with several pouches hanging from it.

Cayn gets a potted Crystalbloom seedling from a silver-tooled belt with several pouches hanging from it.


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