FOURTHCORE TEAM DEATHMATCH

April 23, 2012

LCTN: The Cold, Hard Road


THIS IS THE FIRST SCENE IN A PLAY-BY-POST D&D GAME

Many elements of it are unique and innovative, with several key twists that will catch the players by surprise. The adventure is deadly and devious, with victory going only to those clever enough to take it. Though it may not be a traditional Fourthcore deathtrap dungeon, I assure you, dear reader, that it holds many of the ideals of Fourthcore close to its heart.

I will keep these posts easily collapsible, so that readers may easily skip past them if they wish. Although, really, you'd be missing out.




Centuries ago, this land was ruled by a glorious empire. From coast to coast, the Dhakaani (called "Hobgoblins" in the Human tongue) ruled with an iron fist. During this time, the Dhakaani Empire created extravagant displays of wealth, power and magic. Like most grand empires, the Dhakaani fell, corrupted from within and tearing at each others’ throats. Masterful artifacts of power were left forgotten in the trample of countless civil wars. 


In modern times, the races of Humans, Dwarves, and Elves have found themselves as the dominant races. The Dhakaani are now reduced to a small fraction of their former size and power, struggling to stop their in‐fighting and to bring all of the lesser races as their slaves once again. You are playing a character either asked or forced to the mountainous lands of the Dwarves. Your journey has been ordered by Llesh-Hruuk, an aging Dhakaani warlord of Clan Sharaat. Llesh‐Hruuk believes the remains of a fallen hero lie there. Her name was Decia and was the last known owner of an ancient Dhakaani artifact: The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga.


You are sent off to the dangerous Dwarven lands as an assorted band which must travel together to ensure the success of this vital mission. You journey to a remote mountaintop locale known as “The Sanctuary of the Sacred Stone” where Decia's remains await to be found.


The players have chosen among seven dungoneers to play on this adventure, building their own character details, but adhering to basic archetypes and guidelines in design:
  • The mysterious stranger
  • The wise councilor
  • The brave warrior
  • The silver-tongued liar
  • The lurking wyrm
  • The proud drake
  • The dim-witted thug

Snow has been drifting down for the last two days of travel. You are surrounded by your motley band of creatures sent out to find the forgotten relic: The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga. A thick white blanket covers the landscape, piled high up to your knees. You are traveling uphill at a steep slope, when you round a bend in the hillside and spot a squat, stone building up ahead. Smoke rises out of a brick chimney. Squinting, you can see the tops of gray marker stones forming a straight path to the front door of this building. The sounds of heavy footfalls crunching packed snow stops as your travelling companions halt their march and look around; waiting, watching, listening.

By name, describe your character's appearance and what your actions are.


You may have noticed an interesting new condition type in the list, shackled. Shacked creatures are bound by strong iron manacles, typically used on slaves to limit the amount of damage they can do to their masters in any kind of revolt. A shackled creature is slowed and suffers a -5 penalty to all attack rolls and to all skill checks deemed appropriate by the Dungeon Master.

By the will of the Dhakaani masters, both Grimlock and Mavarothix have been deemed too dangerous and unpredictable for their liking. These dungeoneers start the game shackled.


The cold winds whip around you all, snow blowing off the drifts and into your faces. After many long hours of travel in this inhospitable landscape today, your thoughts begin to dwell on finding a shelter against the freezing winds. 

This adventure officially starts now! Each dungeoneer has one full week to find shelter against the freezing cold winds. Starting Monday April 30th at 4:00pm EST, if your character is still out in the open he or she will contract frostbite. For each 24 hours in real time thereafter that your character is open to the elements, the disease severity will worsen by one Stage.

74 comments:

  1. Ghaaldar stands proud among the strangely assorted group despite the blistering cold. His manner is stoic as he surveys the landscape, focusing on the smoke and the shelter before him. Ghaaldar appears in snow-capped scale with a broadsword at his hip and a shield tethered to his right arm.

    "Duurkala, old friend," Ghaaldar says in Goblin, "this shelter might be our only hope for surviving the cold night. We must tread carefully now so we may treat with the shack's inhabitants."

    Looking back at the rest of the party, Ghaaldar remembers the shackles on Grimlock and Mavarothix. "I think we can release those that are bound," he announces loudly in Goblin. "They have given us no trouble on our travels here. I can vouch for Grimlock, he is a fearsome warrior and one that I have crossed blades with in the sparring ring many times."

    Surveying the party, Ghaaldar loudly asks those shackled, "We can trust you not to start trouble, yes?"

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    1. with a humble bow, Mavarothix says in Goblin "Ghaaldar has always been a kind master to lowly Mavarothix, he will serve faithfully on pain of death preceded by horrible lashes across his back possible broken bones and many nasty mosquito bites as he bleeds to death."

      Delete
  2. Seemingly unheeding of the winter weather, Grimlock (an ogre) shuffles through the snow. Even shackled, he must take pains to keep his monstrous stride from outpacing his captors. His unfocused gaze and slow, heavy movements make him appear dull-witted and unaware or uninterested in his surroundings. However, from his belt comes the reek of raw meat where hangs the carcasses of careless vermin he has caught to supplement his rations.

    He does not respond to Ghaaldar's taunt. Instead, his eye's focus on the nearby undergrowth. The beastly ogre suddenly lurches over and pulls out small fox, whose neck was broken in Grimlock's mighty grasp. He splits the belly with a rough claw and roughly scoops out the guts, which he tosses casually aside--just missing one of his captors. Grinning stupidly, he tucks the animal in his belt for later.

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  3. Duurkala stays back, watching as Ghaaldar surveys the land ahead. The older Dhakaani takes a moment to pull his cloak tighter around him to stave off the cold. The cloak, light the chainmail beneath it, is clearly old and well worn but seems to keep the cold off well enough. Over the course of the journey, Duurkala has attributed its longevity to "Fine Dhakaani craftsmanship, not that crap the elves make in their trees that's hardly more than straps of leather held together with sap."

    Out of old habit, Duurkala draws his longsword a few inches out of its sheath before replacing it. A familiar sound of metal on metal that repeats several times each hour. More than once, Duurkala had glared at the others and growled "If your sword freezes in your scabbard, you deserve to get killed by a bandit."

    As Ghaaldar calls out to him, Duurkala gives a grunt of agreement. "Aye, you may be right at that. Anyone who lives out here alone should be approached cautiously."

    When Ghaaldar moves past him towards those shackled, Duurkala grasps his arm to halt the younger Dhakaani. "Trust your tribe. Trust your clan. No one else. Ever."

    Duurkala releases Ghaaldar's arm, and takes a moment to brush the snow off of Ghaaldar's shoulder. Duurkala glances over towards the animal entrails that the ogre threw at the feet of Drum-Haak. "And what of you?" The old Dhakaani calls out to Drum-Haak. "Do you think we can trust them if released?"

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    1. After announcing his query to the party and those bound, Ghaaldar locks eyes with Duurkala, and in low hushed tones of Goblin says, "Thank you for your council, old friend. I cannot help but think that if the occupant of the stone shack be hostile, we will need all of the help we can get despite the source, Ogre or Kobold alike."

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Kulimvorith stares a long while at Duurkala and Ghaaldar before he spits in their direction. Smoke bellows from his nostrils as he hisses, "If the Dhakaani deemed fit to fetter them, then they must be the most honest and trustworthy travelers ever to trek these parts. The Dhakaani judge character as well as they can hold an empire, break these chains and be done with it"

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  6. Drum-Haak glances about and pulls his robes tighter, doing his best not to let his growing concern show. Having seen the effects of frostbite before, he knows not to tempt the gods needlessly. Straightening his tired bones, he plants his staff in the snow and trudges ahead a few paces.

    "I'm sure we can come to an arrangement with the occupants of that cabin, one way or another."

    Glancing first at Duurkala, then Ghaaldar, he adds: "I believe we are all united in our need to survive. Working together, we are all stronger. Working alone, we will surely perish. Let the harsh winds be our judge."

    Looking back toward the cabin, he says. "Besides, we may need their strength should things turn hostile."

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  7. OOC : wow, a really strong start already! This is shaping up to be quite a good group. Mavarothix, Kulimvorith, Drum-Haak : please describe what your characters look like, in addition to your opinions regarding the situation which you've just provided.

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  8. Drum-Haak's wizened appearance belie his middle years, but the light in his eyes speak a wit not to be underestimated. A gnarled staff is his constant companion, and his twisted wand of is never far from his hand.

    Though slight of build, Drum-Haak's robed stature is hard to ignore as strolls back towards the prisoners, leading is mount, Velaarka, behind him.

    His voice carries a musical quality as he speaks. "Come, let us free these men and let their deeds speak for themselves. A warm fire awaits in yonder cabin."

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  9. Kulimvorith's scales seem almost iridescent, the red shifting as he moves towards the captives. As he gets closer, large patches of scarred flesh, where scales will no longer grow can be noticed on the back of his neck and forearms. "This is inane, we sit here in the cold debating whether to trust the 'wise' masters' decision to enslave my friends when we could be inside by the hearth. Either hand me the key or I will break the chains myself."

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  10. Small for a Dragon born, Mavarothix's taunt muscles belie his apparent weakness. ragged brown robes cover most of his hunched figure and dark blue scales cover the visible skin, marred only by the occasional lash mark that has left the odd furrow across the back of his neck leading down his back. shackled and weaponless, he looks almost pitiful compared to the larger, prouder members of his race.

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  11. "Very well, then. Let us free our companions," Drum-Haak says as he proceeds to unlock Mavarothix's manacles.

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    1. Producing the key, Drum-Haak quickly unshackles the manacles and places the iron bindings safely away.

      Delete
  12. Ghaaldar nods in agreement, and whispers to Duurkala, "Trust me friend, we need them despite them not being from our tribe."

    Striding easily through the ankle-deep snow Ghaaldar approaches Grimlock. "Hail, friend Grimlock, let me undo these bindings. I know not who bound you, but they were fools, you are a powerful warrior and we are blessed to have you on our side."

    Ghaaldar, after having freed Grimlock, glances over to Drum-Haak, then finally at Mavarothix, "I have no doubt of your loyalty, friend Kobold. Disloyalty is something to be punished and quickly," Ghaaldar says, glancing at Drum-Haak quickly before returning his eyes to Mavarothix, "and I know that no retribution will fall on you, or anyone, as long as their loyalties remain in check."

    Smiling a friendly smile, Ghaaldar places Grimlock's manacles in his bag before returning to stand by Duurkala. "Our tribe is but seven strong," Ghaaldar says in low tones, "and to survive we need help in all forms. A leader must always look out for the greater good of his people."

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    1. Without the associated key, removing the manacles will be difficult. How exactly does Ghaaldar accomplish this?

      Delete
    2. An evil hatred burns in Grimlock's eyes as he watches Drum-Haak unchained. Apparently anticipating violence, he flexes his hands in eager anticipation.

      Haak speaks to Grimlock in a rumbling, foreign tongue.
      The ogre snarls back a terse response.

      Grimlock watches suspiciously as Ghaaldar removes his shackles. Warily, he steps back when freed and sniff the air about him as if casting about for an ambush. The giantling stretches and limbers up for a fight, expanding his mighty thews and hideous reach in a threatening display of horrible strength. Ready for anything, at least so far as violence goes, he grins hideously at Ghaaldar and awaits his opportunity to act.

      ===
      Tech: Grim uses all of his senses to confirm that no-one is lurking nearby. Perception +7

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    3. OOC: Well, as Ghaaldar has no key...

      IC:

      Ghaaldar calls out to the group, "Who among us has abilities with the lock and key? Perhaps we can pick this lock as I have not the key to do so?"

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    4. Scanning around the open expanse of the snow-covered wastes, it is obvious to anyone with a modicum of hunter's instinct that there are is no one else around.

      However...

      Heavy footfalls, mostly obscured by the snow, in the direction of of the structure indicate a large number of Dwarves, a dozen-ish?, have traversed this way.

      [TECH]
      Perception Check (4)+7

      Delete
    5. Ghaaldar notices Grimlock's reaction as he glances in the direction of the cabin.

      "What is it, friend Ogre? Have you noticed something?"

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    6. Backing away from Grimlock, Drum-Haak says to the group. "I believe our friend here resents his imprisonment, and wisely so. I have tried to appease him with words, but I advise caution when breaking those chains."

      Glancing about, he attempts to find a small animal to give to Grimlock.

      Tech: Perception +6

      Delete
    7. Unfortunately for Drum-Haak, the snowy conditions here put him a little out of his league, and he is unable to deduce very much of the surroudings at all.

      [TECH]
      Perception or Nature Check: (1)+6

      Delete
  13. "Friends," Ghaaldar says loudly in Goblin so the whole group can hear him, "we must trek forth, that cabin is our only hope of survival through this cold night. We must remain vigilant and cautious, but also friendly. Our varied peoples have a reputation throughout the lands, and despite however false they may be, our traveling tribe may not be welcomed everywhere we go."

    Ghaaldar makes sure that while he is addressing his allies that he makes eye contact with each of them at least once. Smiling a reassuring smile, Ghaaldar continues, "it is for this reason that I nominate myself to speak for our tribe. Many times have I sat on councils of both peace and war. Many times have I negotiated for what is best for our people. I wish to serve this tribe to the best of my abilities."

    Ghaaldar places a mailed hand on Duurkala's shoulder. "This man is wise and respected throughout our tribe. He has seen the seasons change as well as the hearts of men. If he will not vouch for me, I ask him kindly and with much respect," Ghaaldar says, turning to look his friend in the eyes, "If you will not vouch for me, I ask you, old friend, to choose someone else to speak for us."

    "Either way," Ghaaldar continues, now addressing the group directly again, "we must not approach the cabin in mass lest we look like an army. We must be cautious. I think that two of us should approach to treat with the cabin's inhabitants while the others wait close by in case of trouble. What say you?"

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  14. "Sitting on councils is all you Dhakaani know. We don't need bureaucrats we need warriors." Growls Kulimvorith "If I need to learn how to rubber stamp some doctrine I will defer to your expertise and I doubt I could trust the advice. I will go as well to speak reason, but first." Muffling the chains around Mavorothix with a cloth Kulimvorith places the chain upon a rock and attempts to break the chain using a climbing hammer and a piton.

    (strength or athletics I assume)

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    1. "While your will to go and treat for our small tribe is admirable, friend Kobold, you do not represent the Dhakaani. It is true you may be a friend to my tribe, but you are no Hobgoblin." Ghaaldar laughs before he continues, "Dhakaani bureacracy, as you have put it, is just as likely to end with a sword in hand as with a stamp on parchment."

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  15. Duurkala looks at Ghaaldar. "This group of lesser races will be difficult to control" He glances at the prisoners. "But if you think you are ready, I approve."

    He turns his attention to the Kulimvorith. "I would be careful of your words, tiny lizard. You slander the culture of your betters, when you have no culture or heritage to speak of." The older Dhakaani pauses, and taps a gnarled finger on his chin thoughtfully. "Well...that's not entirely true. I could speak at great length of your heritage, but the rocks themselves would cry out in horror before I'd even finished discussing your parentage."

    Duurkala looks at Kulimvorith trying to break Mavorothix. "And seeing as how you are now attempting to break the chains of one who has already been set free from his shackles, I think we both know exactly how little to expect from you." Duurkala pulls out a key, and tosses it to the ground near Kulimvorith. "If you truly want to be useful, why don't you use that to go unlock the ogre?"

    OOC:
    Ok, just so I'm clear on who/what everyone is

    Ghaaldar - Hobgoblin (Sorcerer Blob)
    Kulimvorith - Kobold (Mogo)
    Duurkala - Hobgoblin (Jon Green)
    Drum-Haak - Hobgoblin (BFlat)
    Grimlock - Ogre (Hunter Rose)
    Mavorothix - Dragonborn(Kobold?) (Dosojin)
    Black Lotus - ? - ?

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    1. I fucking knew it! I was so damn confused as to where the Kobolds came from.

      Kulimvorith is a Dragonborn, too.

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    2. Heh, I blame Ross for using a kobold image on the thing up above.

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  16. Behind the group, a Black Lotus approaches.

    From a distance he appears to be using his cloak to hide his features, however, as he draws closer it becomes obvious that he is drawing his cloak as tightly as possible because he is so unaccustomed to the cold. He is shaking miserably, and seems to be almost unaware of the group as he approaches them, the cold distracting him and forcing him to take leave of his senses.

    The group sees the Hobgoblin beneath his cloak, though from a distance he looked too short to be really be one of the Dhakaani. The more observant members of the group note that despite his short stature, his arms and legs are rather long, giving him a lithe build, especially for a Hobgoblin. His arms and legs are bound in rope, a clear indicator of his martial training with the monks of the Dhakaani.

    Black Lotus draws close to the group, and stops as if noticing them for the first time. "Greetings, brothers." His eyes quickly notice the manacles at the feet of the two captives, and uneasily draws his cloak tighter still. "I heard your voices on the wind, I am curious as to why these matters need to be discussed here, in the COLD. Might I suggest we make our way to the cabin before discussing leadership and...the liberation of our travelling companions?"

    OOC: Black Lotus - Hobgoblin (Iamfivebears)

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    1. EDIT: Haha, that should be "Behind the group, Black Lotus approaches." It is his name.

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  17. Duurkala turns to look the newcomer up and down for a few moments. Recognizing the signs of his martial training, Duurkala nods respectfully. "Well said."

    He turns back to Ghaaldar. "None but the lizard seems to object to you acting as speaker. Lead on."

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  18. Ghaaldar nods in agreement and says aloud, "Come, let us march forward towards our potential shelter. When we near, I will ask you to halt as I approach. Be vigilant in case I need assistance."

    Ghaaldar waves his hand in the direction of the stone shelter and marches forward, the snow crunching beneath his boots loudly despite his effort to tread carefully.

    At about 100 meters away Ghaaldar holds up a hand to those who have followed him and in a whisper loud enough for the group to hear he says, "The rest of you must wait here until I give the sign that it is safe. Who will join me to treat with our potential hosts?"

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  19. After finding a sturdy tree to tie off his mount's reigns, Drum-Haak approaches Ghaaldar and says "I will join you, fearless Ghaaldar. Perhaps diplomacy will see us through this matter, but your martial prowess will surely be good insurance against any treachery."

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  20. OOC: I'll give everyone a bit of time to decide where they want to be here.

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  21. Black Lotus rubs his hands together, desperate for some warmth. He watches Ghaaldar and Drum-Haak amble closer towards the cabin, anxious to be indoors.

    He tries to distract himself by observing his companions, specifically the Kobold and the Ogre with the belt full of roadkill.

    Perception Check
    To determine who the hell is still in chains and who has the key, because I am incredibly confused on that front.

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    Replies
    1. OOC: Mavarothix is unchained, and Kulimvorith has been given the key to Grimlock.

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    2. No one is shackled any longer. Duurkala and Drum-Haak each have a set of manacles with associated keys.

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    3. Oh, I guess I'm jumping the gun slightly. With no one seeming to object, I just assumed Grimlock would be quickly freed.

      Delete
  22. mavarothix bows and quietly offers to assist in any way he is needed. "perhaps the presence of a servant behind the mighty Ghaaldar will add to his aura of authority, if he wishes to bring Mavarothix with him to the cabin."

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  23. Duurkala starts to step forward as well, but his eyes narrow as he glances towards Kulimvorith and Grimlock. "I shall remain behind, to make sure that no treacherous creatures attempt to ambush you." He looks pointedly towards Kulimvorith, and loosens the sword in his scabbard.

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  24. "Friend Mavarothix, I appreciate your eagerness to serve our cause. I would ask of you to remain here and provide council and aide to the wise and brave Duurkala."

    Turning, Ghaaldar locks eyes momentarily with Duurkala and gives him a knowing glance before turning to face Drum-Haak.

    "Every Dhakaani has their place, even you with your clever tongue. You are correct that diplomacy is the best route and for that I ask that you lead. As you said yourself, my martial prowess is but a back up."

    After having finished speaking with Drum-Haak, Ghaaldar walks over to Duurkala and whispers a few parting words with his friend. Turning towards Drum-Haak Ghaaldar announces, "let us proceed lest we freeze out here while talking."

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    1. "Indeed, wise Ghaaldar. There has been enough back and forth. Though if you fear treachery from me, why not have the others within sight of the door, off to the side?"

      Glancing back at the others as he says this, in Goblin, he proceeds forward without waiting for a reply.

      Delete
  25. Black Lotus appears spectacularly susceptible to the threat of freezing, and eyes the door of the cabin hungrily. He begins to move towards the cabin, though careful to stay off to the side, so as to be quickly able to enter, but non-threatening to the inhabitants.

    He uses his carefully chosen vantage point to...draw his cloak tighter and mumble into his chest, trying to regain warmth.

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    1. "Stay back mysterious brother. Drum-Haak and I will return shortly with news. Hopefully we all can sleep tonight in the cabin's warmth!" Ghaaldar says, noticing the Black Lotus' approach towards the cabin.

      Delete
  26. Duurkala speaks Dwarven, while Ghaaldar speaks Elven. Hence, all may now hear, from Ghaaldar to Duurkala:

    "Placing his hand on Duurkala's shoulder he whispers "I wish it was you going with me old friend. Be ever vigilant while you remain here. I am not so naive to think to trust Drum-Haak for a moment and will too remain on guard. If you do not hear from me in a reasonable time come looking for us. And if Drum-Haak returns without me, do not believe his lies."

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  27. Uninterested in the incessant talking, Grimlock idly scoops up a handful of snow from a drift and compresses it between his powerful palms. The ogre lets his improvised missile fly at a low-flying bird. He misses the artful avian and a loud crack echoes as the ice-ball strikes a tree. The ball explodes into splinters upon impact, causing the heavy limbs to shake loose the heavy snow collected there.

    OOC: Grim is just playing around but, if it's possible, he'll try to cause snow to fall upon what he heard trudging though the wood. Failing that, he'll pick of any small game foolish enough to cross his line of sight.

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  28. Ghaaldar marches off behind Drum-Haak and as he does so amidst the crunching of the snow with every footfall you can see Duurkala's influence on the Dhakaani warrior. Every so often Ghaaldar toys with the sword strapped to his right hip, finding purchase on the hilt and lifting it a few inches before deliberately placing it back within the scabbard. Ghaaldar recalls Duurkala's lessons when he was but a young boy, "a frozen sword is no good to anyone."

    Staying behind Drum-Haak only five feet or so, Ghaaldar marches towards the direction of the cabin with the hopes of keeping his people from freezing tonight.

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    1. Ghaaldar, Mavarothix, Drum-Haak, and Black Lotus walk closer to the structure to get a closer look, while Duurkala, Grimlock, and Kulimvorith hand back a ways to keep an eye out for trouble.

      Walking up the path in the snow outlined by paving stones, Ghaaldar finds a squat stone building. The building is a single story, its thatched roof covered in snow and and a chimney poking above the white blanket of frost to let forth drifting smoke. This close you can smell the air to take in the scent of wood burning from within. The building is 75 ft. wide. In depth, the first 40 ft. of the building peaks out from the mountainside as the stonework blends smoothly with the mountain's slope, concealing the true size of the building.

      You can see a single wooden door on the exposed face of the structure, near the left-hand corner. There are also three tall (3 ft.), narrow (1 ft.) windows on that side of the edifice, spilling warm light out onto the snow.

      Delete
  29. "Brother Drum-Haak, if you would through the window I will ready myself at the door. Caution is wise. If it seems safe I will knock to make our presence known" Ghaaldar moves towards the door and awaits the cue from Drum-Haak.

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  30. Agreeing with a slight incline of his head, Drum-Haak sneaks cautiously around the side of the building to cautiously peer inside.

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  31. Correction: if the windows are on the same side as the door, I'll move to either the left or right one provided I don't have to cross them to look inside.

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    1. Sneaking around in the snow, Drum-Haak attempts to listen in with some reconnaissance. The cunning Dhakaani listens closely and discovers that there are many Dwarves in the building, just on the other side of the door. He knows not how many, but Drum-Haak informs his travelling companions that the creatures within the stone hut are engaged in a long and monotonous religious ceremony. He has studied little of hokey religions and ancient superstitions, so it is all "amen, hallelujah" to him.

      [TECH]
      Stealth Check (20)+9
      Perception Check (5)+6

      Delete
    2. OOC: I actually have a +8 in Religion, if that helps. Also, is it possible to stealthily look inside? Stealth requires maintaining cover or concealment, correct?

      Delete
    3. Untrained! Your minimum result will, though, at least grant you that the Dwarves' prayers are a blessing to the stone, from which they have been born, and to which they shall return again to rest.

      Delete
  32. Mav whispers to those closest to him "I have a bad feeling about this. We should not have split up, even if the distance is so short."

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  33. Lotus lets a slight smirk cross his lips.

    "You're going to hate this, then," he whispers back. He then draws up to full height, shrugs off his cloak, looks to the roof, and jumps silently onto it, with the intention of listening in on this religious ceremony.

    Crane's Wings (Movement)
    Perception Check

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  34. Black Lotus deftly jumps up to grab a hold of the edge of the roof, fingers dug into the thatch, parkour'ing himself to the top. He scans his surroundings while crouched low, spying the top of the lazily smoking chimney.

    [TECH]
    Athletics Check (12)+11
    Stealth Check (18)+11
    No Perception, it's a solid roof that muffles sound very well.

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  35. A little disappointed in his findings, Black Lotus lowers his body and jealously eyes his cloak, which he suddenly regrets leaving on the ground.

    Looking at the only discernible landmark on the small, stable roof, he attempts to listen-in from the chimney, hoping that some words will echo up its length.

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    1. Pressing his ear close to the chimney, Black Lotus can hear the Dwarves' voices echoing through the flue. Though he knows not the words, he can discern the sounds of many men and woman, about a dozen of them.

      [TECH]
      Perception Check (13)+8

      Delete
  36. From a distance, Duurkala watches as the others examine the hut. When Black Lotus jumps to the roof, a the old Dhakaani gives an amused snort. "There's such a fine line between brilliance and stupidity. I wonder which one this is..."

    Pausing, and noticing the pair he was speaking to, Duurkala scowls and resumes his vigil, looking behind and around them for any signs of trouble

    [TECH]
    Perception +6

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  37. Duurkala gazes across the hard landscape, reveling in the immensity and beauty of the mountainous crags. "These were once our lands."

    He sees no movement in the surroundings, but something does catch his eye. Among the trampling, heavy footprints in the snow there is the pitter-patter of light and delicate prints, making barely any impression. Whatever creatures caused these has slender, delicate feet and moves in a pack of only a few, less than five individuals. The prints were made less than 8 hours ago, during the dark of night.

    [TECH]
    Perception Check (15)+6

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  38. Ghaaldar looks to Drum-Haak and after hearing the news of his recon, he gives pause. Watching with wonder as the mysterious Black Lotus jumps deftly to the roof, Ghaaldar thinks to himself that this could have the potential to be disaster. Shaking his head he looks towards Drum-Haak and says in low tones, "Ours is not the kind to wait. Even if these... Dwarves.. are practicing their 'religion' we need shelter. The others are counting on us."

    With a mailed glove raised, Ghaaldar takes a moment to steady himself, right hand rested on his sword's hilt. Taking in a deep breath and muttering a few words to himself in Goblin, he knocks firmly on the door.

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    1. With a few good raps, Ghaaldar waits patiently. The Dwarves, however, are enraptured by their services and do not take heed to your knocking.

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  39. Drum-Haak approaches Ghaaldar and says, quietly, "If we are to open that door, we should do so with the entire party at the ready, lest the Dwarves take offense to our interruption. Wouldn't you agree?"

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    1. "I see your point, Brother Drum-Haak. My only concern," Ghaaldar replies in hushed whispers, "is that we appear as an army and not those seeking refuge. If we gather the others, it should be on the understanding the weapons remain sheathed unless needed."

      Ghaaldar steps back and picks up Black Lotus' fallen cloak and dusts off the snow before calling up to the mysterious Dhakaani, "Come, take your cloak and be warm. I would ask of you, Brother, to go and fetch the rest of the party while Drum-Haak and I wait here. Duurkala will know what to do."

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    2. Black Lotus appears at the edge of the roof, and gives a curt knod. "You can entrust this delicate task to me."

      "HEY GUYS, WE'RE GOING IN, COME HERE."

      Lotus jumps down next to Ghaaldar and thanks him for his cloak. He wraps it around himself and returns to the task of trying to gather some heat.

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    3. Ghaaldar stands there in stunned silence for a moment. "Next time when you are asked to *go* to the others, I would ask that you actually go. This task is too delicate for such heavy-handed maneuvers."

      Ghaaldar steps away from Black Lotus but remains near the door, looking out for Duurkala's appearance.

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    4. Lotus grips his cloak tighter, then shrugs. "If they didn't hear you knocking or me on their roof, they're unlikely to tell a little yelp from a gust of wind." Black Lotus tries to punctuate his statement with a steely gaze, but has to close his eyes for fear they will freeze. "Besides, what are a few dwarves to the strength of the Dhakaani?"

      Lotus chuckles at his own joke, then mumbles "I would praise ANY God for a seat next to that fire."

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    5. Kulimvorith who had been observing the events unfold walks causally up and says with an obvious grin on his face, "So it seems Dhakaani diplomacy is just as effective as always. Thank you stranger for calling me over. Since the inhabitants did not seem to here us, they won't mind if we just let ourselves in."

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  40. Sensing that he is unobserved, a childish and cruel grin spreads across Grimlock's face. He digs a little deeper into the drift and fashions a few more ice-balls. These, however, contain stone and other sharp detritus from beneath the snow.

    Grim takes aim at the door of the hut, knowing full well that he will probably hit Drum-Haak or another of the hated Dhakaani instead. His stupid smile nearly splits his face as he winds up and releases the deadly missile.

    *CRACK*

    TECH

    I'm just guessing, but +4 Vs Reflex to randomly hit the door or Drum. Grim really doesn't care which.

    OOC

    I expect to be walking a fine line with my portrayal of Grimlock. I am playing a chaotic evil enslaved ogre with a primitive mindset and a mad-on for his captors. You *will* have to be careful around him as you would around any dangerous NPC.

    This is a challenge for me to RP and I intend to rise to meet it with all the skill that I can muster--but I don't want you to think I an asshole for doing it! So if there is any question regarding the appropriateness of my choices please let me know. I'm happy to discuss it and will dial back as necessary

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  41. Duurkala steps up. "Sometimes, you must make yourselves heard."

    The old dhakaani walks up to the door, and pounds with his full force, shaking the entire hut. As he slams into the door,he calls out in Dwarven to "OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!"

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  42. Though the tendrils of solidarity had begun to take hold among you, Grimlock was far too impatient and playfully through a rock-filled snowball out across the snowy field. Oh, Grimlock, you're so silly!

    The massive projectile finds a mark and crashes through one of the few windows lining the stone building, sending shards of shattered glass spraying inside. The Dwarves' chanting stops! Clearly, they now know of your invasive presence, but how will they react?

    We are now going into initiative order to determine who among you will have the opportunity to greet the Dwarves first.

    Ghaaldar: (14)+2 = 16

    Dwarves: 14

    Black Lotus: (7)+6 = 13
    Mavarothix: (6)+5 = 11
    Drum-Haak: (8)+3 = 11
    Grimlock: (7)+3 = 10
    Kulimvorith: (4)+1 = 5
    Duurkala: (2)+2 = 4

    Looks like Ghaaldar does indeed get the opportunity to be the envoy of peace and understanding.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN CHAPTER 2: SANCTUARY!

    http://dmg42.blogspot.com/2012/04/lctn-sanctuary.html

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