He begins to brief Lisabelle and Gurin on their basic findings so far. First, mentioning the peg on the wall in this room and the gearwork they had noticed to the south. Next, he also warns of the presence of Grimlock in the Vaults. And finally, recounts the brief exploits which covered him with gore in the map room.
"Anyone else with you? Ah, a couple more behind you then. Glad to have you." Ptolmek presents them with a wide mercenary salute, a gesture he would issue toward any other freeman.
Miranda Chalix gathered with the others inside the room. To think this place once housed guards on duty, actively monitoring the small entrance they'd breached moments before. The little Halfling keeps her hood firmly over her head. Wisely clad in leather from head to toe, her whip and dagger at the ready, Miranda was well protected against the elements on their journey here. In spite of a pair of leather pouches bulging with equipment she moves very quietly with natural grace.
"Well met, to all of you!" Piker's eyes the new arrivals. He takes a bow and remembers the days he used to play in front of the crowds of people the songs of his home in Palladia Glades. Most of the arrivals were taller than him, save a feral looking Gnome accompanied by a creature with a striped face. "Ptolmek is correct. This room has a dowel we ought to check. Your assistance examining the other rooms for additional passages would also be appreciated."
Lisabelle Hexfidget studies the group of adventurers before her. The taller warriors of the group are covered in gore and viscera from some past conflict, while the smaller Gnome directly in front of her smiles, as if thinking they could be allies since they share the same race. It has been many years since Lisabelle was stuck in such close proximity with a group of total strangers. As if picking up on her anxiety, Lockjaw bares his teeth at her side and growls softly. "Tell me where these rooms are or lead the way. We will follow you."
Upon seeing the new arrivals Morcant was overwhelmed by a completely new sensation with one of them. There was something unique about Gurin Firebeard. For one - Morcant immediately knew his name! As they exchanged greetings Gurin said: "Why hello I am ... " and Morcant cut him off with his own precise thoughts "... the ever cheerful Gurin Firebeard."
Morcant knew that he had never had this level of intimacy with a stranger. But could the dwarf read his thoughts as well? Morcant tried to concentrate on the dowel in the room that they had gathered in, to test this connection.
(OOC: Successful Action Morcant, you are able to penetrate the mind of Gurin Firebeard and relay a message to him. Please add 0:05 min to your Detect Thoughts Spell and Wisdom Ability Focus Times.)
As Gurin cheerfully greeted the rather gory looking crew, he noticed how Morcant seemed to speak very softly without moving his mouth. Gurin hardly heard Morcant saying something about a dowel. A dowel... this was an odd sensation indeed! Gurin confidently glanced around the room. From his time designing complicated locking systems he immediately recognized portions of a Halfendish's Gambit on one wall. Gurin Firebeard walked over to the dowel, fiddled with it in just the right way, and with a shift in his body weight used a bit of force to jam the dowel into the up position.
(OOC: Successful Action Gurin Firebeard, you successfully Disabled the Device which unlocked several Mechanical Portcullis throughout the Vaults. Please add 0:05 min to your Disable Device Skill and Intelligence Ability Focus Times.)
A familiar sound echoed throughout the halls of the Vaults. Gurin smiled, placing beefy hands on his hips, he leaned backward in satisfaction. The sounds of ancient gears turning and mechanical portcullis sliding into waiting sleeves finally came to an end. 'This will be interesting,' he thought to himself!
Blackbird followed the others into the Gatehouse, then slunk to the back of the pack. He was uneasy about the University sending another party of adventurers. Certainly they were on a commissioned venture to locate the Solid Quicksilver Miner's Pick of Legendary Dwarf Mason Glorgrim Morgyth. And certainly the University had to protect it's investment. But give their party a chance to delve into this mountain's side before sending reinforcements. What an embarrassment this would be at Drad Silor's Saloon... He decided to brood in the corner, apart from the group. Perhaps his methods - silence and observation - will gain him more insight than gregarious insincerity.
Moving swiftly to catch up with Gurin Firebeard, Marlit Garkasten rounded the corner just in time to see the hood draped face of the ranger she was sent to accompany. Had he seen her? Had he recognized her face? Well, it wouldn't matter soon. In a few moments they would all be greeting one another and exchanging equipment, she was certain. Still, it made her uneasy.
The entire escapade had better be worth it, she thought silently. Pursing her lips, and tilting her head to drop her hood lower around her face, Marlit sighed heavily. Had her pursuit of arcana really come to this? Running petty errands for small University departments in a bid to win favor of the Archmage of her order. It certainly seemed below the station she'd begun in life. But ever since... Well, she would do anything for her sister. Marlit just hoped this step was one closer to resolution, rather than the familiar two steps back.
Marlit Garkasten stepped forward as the last of the gear had been redistributed and spoke clearly. "I was instructed to present this sealed parchment once we had located your party - what there is left of it. Only when our small band had entered the Vaults and secured a position of safety with your group was I to even reveal the existence of this document." She pulled a small hardened leather map case from the folds of her thick cloak. The cap was coated with a thick red sealing wax which consumed the end of the tube like a great hungry wurm. Marlit pressed the edge of a dagger to this hardened shell, and with a quick jerk of her torso popped the case open.
"As you know, four guards originally investigated the carved stone doorway we all passed through on the face of this granite slab in which we are now standing. They pried the stone entry open just enough to slip through. And during their preliminary search, found a map. This map. I do not know how much the University shared with your company. But, I was pulled aside the night before our group left, and given special instructions.
"I was told... 'Deliver this parchment. By whatever means necessary - ensure the success of the expedition. Whether it be the party, or you alone, it is imperative that you locate and return the Solid Quicksilver Miner's Pick from The Secret Vaults of Kas the Betrayer.' The Commons were busy that night, and we were soon interrupted by revelry. Before I could question our patron with further details, he was gone."
Having delivered the map to the fully assembled party, Marlit withdrew into her hood, and stepped back to the side. She had little more to offer, and was ready to get underway. If any of the lore she studied before embarking were true, then she was deathly eager to complete this errand sooner rather than later.
(OOC: Along with the introduction of a complete map, there are a few rule changes being introduced to Realms of Adventures this turn. These changes are an attempt to streamline game mechanics, and enhance roleplay activity. In essence, Realms of Adventures is story driven gaming. Anything that can be done to facilitate that goal will be evaluated and implemented!
1) Movement Only Counts During Combat Encounters
Otherwise, freely move by stating which 'exit' your Character wishes to move through. 'Head North' - 'Leaves through the stone archway' - 'Dashes into the second open door to the south'. Unless hindered by locks, traps, enchantments, the environment, and so on - your Character will move to the next room you indicate.
2) Players See The Whole Map
While a whole map of known rooms and hallways can be seen, the adventure may include hidden passageways, doors, traps, or rooms which are not shown on your map. Players should direct their Character's actions in the immediate room in order to play out scenes, encounters, puzzles, and environmental hurdles. The larger map is a reference to help keep the story moving along.
3) Increase Number of Actions (from 2 to 5)
Characters may now state up to five (5) actions each turn. Stated actions can include searching, disable device, and so on. MOVE is no longer an action that will be counted in this total, outside of combat encounters. You may use as few, or as many, of the five actions as you desire. Upon entering a room, in Exploration, actions might be fewer as players scope out what's around. Once the description is known, those items, creatures, and environment can be acted upon.
In Combat Encounters - these actions may result in the following: Cast a certain spell, Attack creature, Defend against counter attack, Quaff a potion, Move away by four spaces
In Exploration - perhaps the actions result in: Perceive Room, Disable traps on southern door, Unlock a single chest if found, Take weapons if found, Rest for healing
4) Actions CAN FAIL or BE INTERRUPTED
If the Action Score fails against the Difficulty Score of the item acted upon. Success or Failure will result in an outcome presented by the Game Master in the next post. These outcomes could benefit Characters - or injure, hinder, and complicate life a bit more for them. Players will earn Attribute and Skill Focus Time when using Actions listed in the Character Skills area of the Resources.
Please, offer any feedback you may have to these modifications. It is the hope of the Game Master to improve the story driven aspects of the game without bogging down the action with mechanics.)