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Subject: Basic D&D - Threats of the Past CH 2: Old Fortresses (IC) rss

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Peter
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Blane waits patiently at the back of the group. He notices Visya tensing slightly.

Though at times like this one may want to rush things in order to 'get though' the tense moment, Blane understands that care must be used and allows his friends up front to take their time.
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The door opens with a creaking sound, but moves smoothly enough on the hinges that it doesn't have to be forced. The musty smell is the first thing you notice as it wafts out and hits you in the face. It smells of old air, dust, and mildew... like a damp basement closed up for years and now finally opened.

It is pitch black beyond the door, and as Eklin's torch lights up, you see a long hallway in front of you. It looks to be about 10 feet (3 meters) wide and also at least 10 feet in height:


You are all basically standing in the doorway at this point. The yellow circle indicates approximately how much Eklin's torch illuminates. That doesn't necessarily mean that you can see all places on the map. For example, since no one has traveled down the hall to where the left and right passages connect to the main hall, you don't know if those are alcoves or hallways. You also can't tell if there is anything in those areas or written on the walls.

I will re-post an updated map at appropriate times throughout.





The air inside the hall is heavy and wet and the torch burns smokily, having sputtered at first, but now flaming steadily.

Approximately 10 feet down the hall, there are two passages, one running off of each side, and the hall also continues forward at least 10 or 15 feet, as far as your vision takes you.



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Visya will motion to the others to keep quiet with exaggerated shushing motions and then slip forward to peer into the two crossing corridors, her bow held ready for a snap shot. She will take care to keep to the shadows as well as possible.

I know the torch will reveal our presence, but might as well do what scouting she can....
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Teancum will slide up the passage alongside Visya. While she looks down one corridor, Teancum will look down the other - aiming to provide an extra set of eyes in case anything comes towards them.
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As the others slowly begin to enter through the doorway, Blane wonders if there will be anything inside. Sure he's heard of all the dangers that dark dungeons might hold, but actually being here about to enter he thinks maybe its just abandoned.

Part of him wouldn't be surprised to find the fortress empty, certainly someone has come before this group and searched for treasures. They can't be the first can they? Either way, he is determined to remain wary and ready to assist his friends should they encounter danger.
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Eklin wrinkles his nose. "The air smells foul in here. Maybe we should just let the dead and dispossessed lie."
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Yevgeni mutters a quiet prayer to Petra, whilst waiting for the scouts to report back.
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Visya and Teancum quietly sneak up to the passageways and look around the corners. They each find a dead end after approximately 10 feet of hallway. The rock here is of the same dark rock that you witnessed outside in daylight.

On the floor in a position in the center of each alcove are strange scratch marks and a circular indent. It seems as though there were probably statuary or some other decorative pieces in these alcoves, but they have long since been removed. There is a thick layer of dust on the floor here, but you can still see the circular pattern made by the base of whatever was there previously.

From a position at the northern edge of the alcoves, about 20 feet from the door, both Visya and Teancum have a hard time seeing further than 10 or 20 more feet down the main passage. It is very dark in here and Eklin's torch seems to only illuminate a measly 30 or so feet before the light becomes muted enough to offer nothing to your eyes.

When the two scouting ahead signal to the group that it is safe to move forward, everyone moves up to the level of the alcoves. Visya and Teancum can now see down the hall further. Up ahead, the passage seems to branch again, to the left and right in the same approximate position as the two initial alcoves.




The smell is getting stronger and a gust of wind rushes under the outside outcropping, causing the door to move slightly on its hinges, changing the tenor of the light that spews in from the outside and making the shadows and corners seem even more ominous.
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Anrad will continue to examine the rock (especially the ceiling and floor for signs of instability), and will also move forward with Teancum and Visya, trying to use his infravision to see beyond the boundaries of the lamp.
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Visya eyes the indentations with a knowing smile. "Golems. Wandering around, probably looking for some pretty elves to snack on. Everybody look sharp," she whispers, giving Anrad a wink as she slips forward to scout at the next set of alcoves.

Same drill as before.
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Just to be sure, Teancum uses his staff to push on the circular indentation to see if anything happens. If nothing does, then he slips forward as well, ready to check the next alcove. As he moves, he'll use his quarterstaff to test and probe the ground before him.

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Blane moves up as everyone enters the tunnel. His nose involuntarily crinkles at the smell of the old air. Though the chill mountain air and outdoor elements offered danger to the group, Blane somehow felt as if he were leaving the security of the outdoors when entering the tunnel. He'd never really felt this emotion before.

Speaking softly Blane says, "I wonder if this is one of the secret entrances into the Fortress. It doesn't appear to be a main entrance." Blane looks at the inside of the entry doors to see if they were designed to be secured against hostiles from the outside.
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bigfluffylemon wrote:
Anrad will continue to examine the rock (especially the ceiling and floor for signs of instability), and will also move forward with Teancum and Visya, trying to use his infravision to see beyond the boundaries of the lamp.
Anrad notices that the floor is still slightly sloping up, though it feels as though it is leveling off a bit in the 30 or so feet that he has traversed.

The walls and floor are the same dark granite and there are a couple of streaks of silver in the walls. They appear to be decorative, and consist of pure silver. The structure seems to be extremely well built, sturdy, and dry.
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Unknown Ediology wrote:
Just to be sure, Teancum uses his staff to push on the circular indentation to see if anything happens. If nothing does, then he slips forward as well, ready to check the next alcove. As he moves, he'll use his quarterstaff to test and probe the ground before him.

The indents in the floor seem to be solid - nothing moves and no sound is heard.

The ground seems solid under the pointy probing of the staff.
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Astinex wrote:
Blane looks at the inside of the entry doors to see if they were designed to be secured against hostiles from the outside.
The huge wooden door appears to have been reinforced from the inside, but not by much. It doesn't appear to be made to withstand a true siege. The wood is thick and was chosen fro strength, reinforced with iron on the edges, and nice sturdy hinges, but it looks as ornate as it is reinforced.
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Current Map:



Yellow Circle: the radius of light produced by the torch held by Eklin
Grey Dot: Anrad
Green Dot: Visya and Teancum
Red Dot: Everyone else


Visya and Teancum scout forward and see that the second set of alcoves is similar to the first. The only difference is that there are no indentations in the floor as there were in the first set of alcoves.

Anrad walks forward, out of the range of the torchlight. He lets his eyes settle for a moment and takes advantage of his special vision. He sees a set of three steps leading into the darkness to the north. The room seems to open up beyond the steps.

The smell up here is even worse than what it was near the beginning of the hallway.
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Intrigued by the scratch marks, Eklin inspected each of the alcoves, searching for any sort of hidden doorway or other explanation for the strange markings.
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Anrad moves back into formation within the light, and whispers to the others 'Stairs down ahead. I think there may be something down there. Caution.'
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This being Blane's first ever delve into a dungeon type environment, he is not sure what he should be doing. He occupies himself just keeping an eye on the area of darkness behind the group as they travel deeper into the mountain.

"So have any of your ever done this before?" A split second pause and Blane continues, "Search ruins I mean."
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Once the light allows it, Visya peers carefully at the last set of alcoves and then (assuming nothing assaults her), lets the rest of the group catch up, slipping into her usual spot at the rear. Her eyes dart to Blane after he speaks, and she smiles brightly.

"Ruins? No. But I've...explored...my share of Specularum's buildings. Ninety percent of your time is spent in nervous anticipation of nothing, but the other ten percent makes up for it. Just be ready with that weapon of yours!"
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Raises a finger in the air and waggles it around for a few moments before he realizes no one can probably see him in the poor lighting. "Ladies and gentleman, I think I have found a hidden passageway." Points at the shape of a door he's outlined with chalk in one of the alcoves.
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Teancum walks back to where Elkin stands, giving the elf a friendly pat on the shoulder.

Good eyes, my friend! Good eyes! Let us open it!
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Visya gives Eklin a bright smile and then grabs Father Teancum's shoulder - surprising even herself at treating the wise man even slightly roughly.

"Hold, good sir. In my experience, if someone goes to the trouble of concealing a door, they might go to more trouble as well. Please, allow me."

Visya steps up to the door and searches carefully for traps. She then listens at the door.
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Anrad grumbles to himself. Something about elves spotting secret doors underground where a Dwarf did not. He stands on the edge of the light, watching the corridor ahead for signs of movement.
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"No worries Anrad. We elves have superior eyes and ears, particularly for spotting imperfection. You should see my mother critiquing a performance, she's ruthless."

Steps back to give the experts a chance to look at the fancy door.
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