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  #26  
Unread 8th of June, 2005, 01:12
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"What? Forced to read? Why would dwarves want to force me to read anything? By Gruumsh, how would they even know me?"
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Unread 8th of June, 2005, 04:01
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Shade looks back towards the others from her forward position. She is kneeling, her fingers running ever so gently over the flagstones in front of her. Grey eyes flick past Surayon and then settle on Xandir. There was a pressure plate in front of her, undoubtedly the trigger. Had Surayon moved forward a few more steps, she likely would have set off the trap. They could probably jump across, but if Xandir could disable it so much the better.

"Pressure plate, right here, extending across the hall."
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Unread 9th of June, 2005, 03:49
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Xandir takes a closer look at the spot that Shade outlines for him. Sure enough, that tile's not quite flush with the rest. Brushing his fingers across the back of her hand, he says, "Thanks. I got it from here."

Reaching back to his pack, he pulls a bundle off of it. Untying a pair of leather straps, he unrolls the bundle, revealing a collection of thin metal tools, some with bent or twisted ends. The kit also reveals small pry-bars, a pair of tiny glass vials, and sheets of metal. Reaching into one compartment, he pulls out a tube of metal, perhaps as wide across as a finger, and about four inches long. Peeling at one end, part of it separates from the rest, causing the tube to unroll into a metal sheet about two feet long. When it fully extends, the entire length warps, giving the whole a slight curve.

"Stay back, everyone." Working carefully, he slides the sheet into a gap next to the block Shade indicated. As it enters, it straightens again -- and, likely, bends somewhere beneath the surface; inch by inch, he slides most of its length into the gap. Standing up and brushing off his hands, he says, "That should keep the plate from descending properly." As if to illustrate, his cat proceeds to sit on the plate. "I'll retrieve my strip on the way out."

[[ I think a 17 + 6 = 23 should do for a temporary disabling, no? ]]
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Unread 10th of June, 2005, 01:30
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"Dwarves?" Nicos replied to Blarth in confusion. "What dwarves?"
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Unread 10th of June, 2005, 01:47
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"Why the dwarves who wrote the sign, of course," Blarth replies, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

A moment later, its almost as if Blarth is hearing himself for the first time and a look of confusion crosses his face.

"Wait,... uh... I mean.... er..."

Hopelessly lost, Blarth struggles to reconcile his knowledge that dwarves had written the sign with the fact that no one had ever mentioned that fact before.
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Unread 16th of June, 2005, 05:32
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She scoops up the coin Nicos had enchanted, using the light to inspect the door at the far end of the passage. It appears untrapped. Shade tugs on the handle and it swings inward, noiseless. The air beyond is stale and thick, motes of dust sparkling in the light leaking between her fingers.

Her hand sweeps in an arc, sending shadows like waves across the interior of the circular room. It was not large in diameter, but there was no ceiling in sight. Shelves were carved out of the naked rock walls, holding symetrical stone markers of varying heights and shapes. To the left of the door, a jumble of broken stone was all that remained of what looked like a large statue of a dwarf.

There, in the center of the room, was a small circular altar. Her eyes travel from the floor, upward along the intricately carved column of stone. There were runes, she guessed dwarvish based on Blarth's earlier assertation. Her eyes reach the flat, polished surface, searching expectantly.

Empty. There is a hollow depression in the exact center, about the size of her fist, but the altar is otherwise bare.

Her eyes immediately scan the ground and she creeps forward, looking for signs. The rock of the floor doesn't tell her much, although the dust has been disturbed. There is only one conclusion, and it isn't one that she likes.

"We're too late. It's gone."
  #32  
Unread 17th of June, 2005, 00:06
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"Hasty, Shade. That's not like you. You're the tracker, right? Look for clues." Xandir looks up, squinting at the oppressive darkness overhead. "You want me to go up there, see if there's anything interesting? I could scale that pretty quickly."
  #33  
Unread 18th of June, 2005, 04:57
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She casts an irritated glance at Xandir, wondering suddenly why he was so eager to get out of sight. Could it be that he knew something she didn't? Was he interested in the stone for himself?

Her eyes narrow.

"Why don't we just search down here first."

A statement, not a question.

"You can start over there. I'll take the north wall. Keep your eye out for any more traps."
  #34  
Unread 18th of June, 2005, 05:10
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Still royaly confused by his knowledge without knowledge, Blarth nevertheless follows the others into the next chamber, taking care to step over the area Shade indicated was the pressure plate trigger for a trap. Not that he didn't trust Xandir's disabling, but... well Xandir was much smaller than Blarth and he didn't think the smaller man had necessarily taken into account the weight diffrence.

As Shade and Xandir begin to search the apparently empty treasure room, Blarth turns his eyes ceiling wards, his darkvision naturally piercing the blackness that Nicos' glowing coin could not dispell.

"Looks like a natural cave ceiling," Blarth comments, "Just a bunch of pointy rocks." Moving closer to one to get a better look, Blarth is startled when the "pointy rock" suddenly falls on him, and trys to grab hold.
  #35  
Unread 22nd of June, 2005, 00:56
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Seeing something fall upon Blarth's head, Nicos stepped towards the half-orc drawing in a breath to shout a warning. However even as the step was completed something large and dark slammed into him from above.

The sudden weight addition and inertia from the fall knocked the bard to the floor even as the creature wrapped it's tentacles about his head. Feeling a blinding pressure building on his skull, the bard began beating his head against the stony floor in an attempt to dislodge the attacking creature.

Grasping his dagger from his belt Nicos lashed out at it, only to find his initial blow foiled by its leathery hide. Stabbing at it again the man felt the point of the blade dig in, causing the creature to spasm and then go limp. As the fresh oxygen rushed into his lungs, Nicos lay on the ground gasping.
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Unread 22nd of June, 2005, 02:33
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Caught within his own thoughts, Cadrius enters the room proper just in time to see a rock fall onto Blarth. Except, rocks don't shift and wrap themselves around one's head; yet this is precisely what this rock does. Nicos' light illuminates the membranes of the rock-like creature as it struggles to suffocate the half-orc. And then one falls upon Nicos as well.

"Beware!" He bellows, raising his shield above his head a moment before another one of the creatures collides with him. It wraps itself around the circular bit of steel, struggling to reach past to Cadrius' head. The creature is mighty, for a small thing, and the fallen paladin struggles to keep it back while his other hand reaches behind his head and finds the hilt of his sword.

The blade slides from its sheath smoothly. Cadrius knows nothing of ancient artifacts, dwarven rites, or rock-like monsters, but this much he knows: his sword is sharp and his arm is strong. The creature knows this too as it breaks off from him to seek a new target. It does so too late.

The bastard sword flashes in the dim light and cuts through the creature in mid-flight, sending it to the floor. It thrashes in its death-throes; Cadrius flicks the dark gray blood from his blade.
  #37  
Unread 22nd of June, 2005, 02:54
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Darkness. It suddenly enveloped her absolutely, completely. Without thought, she jerked to one side, bumping up against the security of the wall. Something brushed by her and Shade took a quick hop back, drawing her blades. A subtle rushing in the air was the only clue she had, and using that as a guide she struck out. Nothing. She circles warily, ears alert for friend and foe alike.

<OOC: Darkmantle casts Darkness 20' radius centered on Shade.>
  #38  
Unread 23rd of June, 2005, 01:05
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As if summoned by the half-orc's pointing, chaos erupts from the darkened ceiling as stalactites fall from above, then wrap themselves around their targets. Xandir sees Nicos fighting one wrapped around his head, and the ex-paladin fending one off with his shield.

Someone's dropping these on us, Xandir thinks. Not going beyond that, he grabs the wall nearby and starts to climb, letting instinct find hand- and foot-holds; right now, speed is better than care. And he's always got a spell for insurance, should he fall off--

His climb is interrupted as something large, thick-skinned, and heavy drops over his head. Before he can react, something sharp pierces his forehead. Pain shoots bright starflowers across his obscured vision, and his hands reflexively reach to grasp his assailant. The move costs him his grip on the wall, and he falls from about twice his own height, landing on the stone floor with a grunt of pain.

The... thing on his head extends a pseudopod, which starts to curl its way around his neck. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Xandir is aware of a feline form atop the creature, trying to find purchase for its claws.
  #39  
Unread 25th of June, 2005, 04:16
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"Wha," Ben shouted as he heard Cadrius' warning turning back to see the other warrior lift his shield in time to block a rock. He had been near Shade, looking over the pedestal where apparently what they were looking for had been. Now the roof was falling on their heads it seemed.

Just as he noticed that the rock was wrapping itself around Cadrius' shield, the world went dark. It was as if darkness had just fallen from the cieling on top of him. He couldn't see anything. He could still hear though. Someone gasping, gulping for air. The scraping sound of swords being drawn. A thump of something falling.

Ben whirled around, trying to find something, anything. And hoping that he didn't get hit in the head by these strange rocks.

"What in the nine hells is--," Ben's question was cut off as something hit him. Something slammed into his chest, then started wrapping its limbs around him. He thought, for a split second, that someone had run into him and was hugging him. But when the limbs started to reach up and pull the rest of the lump up to his head, Ben realized that whatever was on him was bad.

"Dammit," he swore, quickly getting pissed off at all these tricks and traps this place had set out for them. Fake rooms, crushing walls, weird inscriptions, and now some sort of death rocks. He reached down and grabbed his sword, finding reassurance in the darkness from its leather grip. Just as he drew it though, he remembered that he couldn't see what he was hitting. If he attacked this thing that was now clinging to his chest, he'd probably hit himself.

The alternative wasn't too appealing however. He didn't like the idea of this thing reaching his face and starting to eat it or whatever it was planning. Of course, he had armor on, so that might stop it. Maybe. Or maybe he'd slice an artery.

Instead he reached down with his free hand and grabbed the thing on his chest. It fealt leathery in his fingers, and he tried to pry it off instead, backing up as he did, hoping that maybe he'd find a light or something.
  #40  
Unread 29th of June, 2005, 02:23
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Surayon hangs back a little behind the rest of the group as they head into the chamber - the Runestone, whilst important to the others, was never why she came this far in the first place. Kneeling besides the man she recognised, she starts searching the remains, looking for clues, distinctive marks, anything. Pushing the decaying shirt to one side, she spots a cord around the corpse's neck - a pendant of some sort, but before she can get a closer look at the sigil the room behind erupts into shouts. Stuffing the pendant into a pouch, she curses loudly, spinning round and lunging into the room, swords blurring as she snatches them free. Again, she has let herself be distracted. Again, peopple are at risk becase of it.
Just as she enters the room, it becomes smothered in darkness, black and featureless. Not pausing for a second, Surayon launches forward into a dive, tucking herself up and rolling forward, coming up on her feet. Elven ears catch the soft thud of something landing where she had stood a moment before, and without conscious thought a longsword spears back and down, meeting resistance briefly as it punches through the hide of whatever tried to attack her.
No one is dying here today. No-one.
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Unread 29th of June, 2005, 02:34
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Grabbing frantically at the creature attempting to cover his head, Blarth rips at it as one might rip at a sack placed over your head. Immediately a high pitched noise, which can only be described as a shriek of agony, escapes from the creature as Blarth's efforts tear its webbing.

The damage, however, is not enough to kill it outright, and the creature counters by squeezing with its tentacles, causing Blarth's eyes to bulge and his breathing to become shallow as a result of the pressure.
  #42  
Unread 30th of June, 2005, 23:03
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The sounds of her companions struggle translate into a rough mental picture of the area. Cadrius is the easiest to pick out, the sound of his voice and the metallic slither of his armor are instantly recognizable. Further away, she can hear Ben cursing and the ragged breathing of two others. The rest was unrecognizable, but based on the sounds and her last mental picture before the lights went out, there was nobody nearby except whatever it was that had attacked them.

She hears a brief skittering of something leathery over stone and the sound is defintely not human. Shade launches into an attack, her footwork made somewhat clumsy by the oppressive dark. Her blades are as fluid as ever, arcing down in a perfect cross to cover as much area as possible. Her aim is slightly off, but she feels her left hand blade connect with a shock and sink deep into something living.

<OOC: Hit once for 7 damage and one dead darkmantle.>
  #43  
Unread 1st of July, 2005, 03:40
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Xandir struggles in leather-wrapped darkness, fighting to get fingers between a rough tentacle and his throat. Across the link to Kahlan, he gets impressions of pure fury. Drawing on it, he wrenches one finger underneath the thing wrapping around his neck.

Not good enough.

A bright flash of pain blooms in his vision as the tentacle tightens, painfully squeezing his finger and making it impossible to breathe. The flash of pain widens, spreading into a multitude of stars, fading into a haze of darkness.

[[OOC: Xandir's down to 0 hp.]]
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Unread 7th of July, 2005, 13:06
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Thud. Thud. Thud.

Laying on his back and gasping to return his breath, Nicos attempted to piece together the chaotic happenings of the scant handful of seconds leading up to and including the ambush.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Noting the oppressive darkness in passing, the bard idling concluded that something had happened to his magical light when during the attack. No doubt he would have to create another light source soon. A small magical trick, but one of the more useful one he had picked up.

Thud. Thud. Thud. meow

For some reason he was reminded of Cheroilo, the woman he had known back in Drefil. She had strong legs, and an inclination to use that strength in the most interesting ways.

Thud. meow Thud. Thud. meow meow

Meow? Puzzled by the discordant note sounding near to his head, Nicos rolled onto his knees and followed the furious sounding meows to its source. His hand stretched out in front of him in the total darkness was the first to discover the source. Warm fur quivering and next to it ... colder leathery hide.

Realising that it must be Xandir under the strange creature the bard strikes out with his dagger, being careful not to injure the man by mistake.
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Unread 7th of July, 2005, 22:56
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The confusion all around makes her head spin in the dizzying dark. For a moment she squeezes her eyes shut. The view remains unchanged, but her mind superimposes the last visual image of the chamber she remembers over the darkness. An inhuman shriek cuts through the gloom and muffled sounds of struggle. Dropping one of her blades, Shade draws a dagger and moves as quickly as the darkness will allow in that direction, her left hand held out in front of her, still clenched around the hilt of her adamantine sword.

Sounds of struggle are right in front of her now, and her questing fist touches the leathery surface of their attackers. She weighs the dagger, spinning it effortlessly into a traditional grip before lining up to strike. It had to be done carefully, lest she inadvertantly hit Blarth. At least, she thought it was Blarth. At the last minute, though, the combatants lurch sideways and her strike goes wide.

<OOC: Drop one sword (free action), draw dagger while moving, then attack (and miss) Blarth's darkmantle.>
  #46  
Unread 8th of July, 2005, 00:18
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Pulling one last time at the creature, that inhuman shriek builds again only to be cut off as the creature goes limp. Quickly untangling himself, the slow pulsing of the creatures breathing makes Blarth realize that the creature isn't dead, just unconcious from the pain. Unnaturally blind, Blarth does the first thing he can think of and grabs the creature by its tentacles before swinging it into the ground hard.

Breathing a sigh of releif when thats done, Blarth looks up to see what's going on.

Or rather, he tries to. A complete blackness cover's the room. Not even the normal white outlines and shadings of his darkvision impinge on his field of view. Unnerved by something that he only ever sees when his eyes are closed, Blarth instinctivly rubs his eyes, to see if that creature had left anything on them. Finding nothing, he calls out hesitantly.

"Umm... Hello? Where is everybody? What's going on?"
  #47  
Unread 8th of July, 2005, 06:32
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Come off damn you! The...thing attached to him wasn't coming off, and was actually pressing harder on his chest now. His breathing came with short pangs now, his ribs which had been bruised too recently were complaining quite loudly to him. As soon as he'd grabbed onto this leathery rock, this thing had stopped climbing up his body at leat.

But despite his strength, he could not pull the thriced-damned thing off of him. It stubbornly refused to release its tightening grip on his chest. And he was unwilling to risk impaling himself with his sword. He was starting to regret not carrying around a dagger.

Ben felt himself hit the wall. Or rather, he felt his elbow hit the wall. He took another step back, and fell backwards when his foot found the ground several inches lower than it had been. With a loud clang as his shield slammed to the ground and rattled the contents of his backpack, it took his a second to realize that the painful sensation in his eyes was light.

It took another second for him to realize the implications of there being lights. He looked down at the thing that was wrapped around his chest. A blob with tentacles it looked like to Ben, throbbing slightly in his hand in a manner Ben would have given to a leech. Sneering, he brought his sword up and released his hand from the blob, then promptly skewered the thing, meeting only slight resistance before his sword slid in the creature and out the other end.

The creature gave one last painful squeeze before it went slack and its throbbing stopped. Ben let his head drop back down to the floor, letting the pain from his breathing subside a bit. Then he reached back up and pulled the blob off his chest. He looked down at where he seemed to have fallen through, expecting the doorway that they all had entered the chamber through.

Instead he saw his his feet up to just above his knees absorbed by a wall of black. He immediatly pulled his legs out, without any resistance. He rose up, kicking the blob to it slid across the floor away from him. Then he looked around the room.

It was pretty much like the other room. Shelves carved into the walls, with odd stones, only these ones seemed to have some sort of metallic surface to them. And there, exactly as in the other room, was the altar, odd writings and all. Except this had the same metallic sheen as the odd stones all over it. Ben looked up at the ceiling, readying his sword in case more of the blobs fell down. But the clieling here was pretty much smooth, as if whoever built this had taken a sword and just cleaved through the top layer of stone.

There was the altar too, with those odd scribbles, probably runes of some sort, just like in the other room. It had the same metallic sheen that the rocks on the shelves had too. Ben almost turned away, wondering why there would be a duplicate room, when he looked back.

Yes. There, on the altar, where in the other room there had been empty space, was a cube.

"No way." he whispered to himself. It was just sitting there. The dust in the room suggested it hadn't been touched in a long while. Maybe Fiol is paying me back or something. "Um," he said, turning back to the darkness that was still present behind him. "Guys? You aren't going to believe this, but...I think I found what we were looking for."
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Unread 9th of July, 2005, 10:43
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"You found the secret harem that has lain hidden in these hills from near the beginning of time?" Nicos called back to Ben sarcastically. Pulling off the dead darkmantel, the bard attempted to assess Xandir's condition by touch alone.

"I don't suppose anyone has any idea how to get rid of this foul blackness," the man added after a few moments of silence. "Xandir seems to be hurt, but I can't do anything about it if I can't see him."
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Unread 9th of July, 2005, 10:51
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"Why not create another of those light rocks?" Blarth asks, groping around in the darkness around him in an attempt to get his bearings.
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Unread 13th of July, 2005, 23:12
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A current thrilled through her at Ben's words, followed by a pang of suspicion. Ysene had charged her with this mission and Cadogan had impressed upon her its importance. Did Ben have some ulterior motive?

Already moving toward the sound of Ben's voice, she starts speaking. Her words are flat, pragmatic.

"Forget making light in here. Bring Xandir into the chamber Ben is in and treat him there."

There is a sense of urgency in her, a restless energy that makes her glide forward as silently as possible. Her blade is still held ready, invisible in the dark. Her hand trails along the wall, the stone rough under her fingers until, suddenly, her hand is in empty space.

She moves forward, into the light. Ben is there, gawking. Shade does her own quick scan of the surroundings, not sure what she expected to find but not liking it anyway.

"Stand back. Gods know we don't need to run into another trap."
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