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Author Topic: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)  (Read 40957 times)

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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #150 on: December 06, 2006, 03:27:13 AM »
"Ey, 'tis a grave or prison, and they say 'enter not'... but when was that anything else but an invitation? Heh, saying 'enter not this subterranean chamber' to a dwarf! What a load of bull!"
Running across the runes with his hand, Glordren added: "Some smith-prince be here, so be on your best behaviour, human... and help me find a way inside. The prince will sure be glad to find some fresh air!"
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #151 on: December 06, 2006, 06:28:38 AM »
The morning of departure from Ganse, Moruz woke as a glint of sunlight struck his closed eyelids. As soon as he opened them, he was stricken with the thought that he was back in the desert: everywhere around him the sun glared, reflecting against the whiteness of the ground. Moruz's eyes slowly came into focus, and he realised that he was so cold he thought his body may shut down if he didn't keep moving. This was not sand, and he was not in the desert! Moruz spent ten minutes studying the strange substance blanketing the ground before the Aerex showed up and explained that it was snow, and had fallen from the skies like rain. Still, Moruz never ceased to be amazed about it until they had long left Ganse.
Before leaving the town, however, Moruz made a final stop - Ganse was a place with all kinds of strange substances, and the encounter from last night had given the Ouzquin Dremorix a few ideas. It didn't take him long to find what he needed; a pair of sturdy metal tongs, a small glass bowl and a glass stirring rod (bought from the glass dealer he had conversed with just the other day), a small jar of silver nitrate, a bottle of distilled water, and a stoppered beaker of Ammonium hydroxide, bought with a portion of his share from the spoils of their first adventure.
___

Survival is adaptation, and Moruz knew this. His Ouzala was resting beside him ridge side up, and all barbs were removed and placed to his side. The firelight flickered gently before him, and the Ouzquin Dremorix took a moment to glance at the members of the group. Most were sleeping. Jjuldae was standing just outside the circle of light given by the flames, and Vee and the dwarf were mystifyingly peering at rocks.

To the outside world, the Ouzquin Dremorix were largely regarded as unintelligent savages, however the intense, ritualistic study of glass and the workings of it has given them an innate sense of chemistry and elements. Next to the fire, Moruz mixed a small amount of the Silver Nitrate with distilled water inside the glass bowl - taking care not to make contact with the chemical. Slowly, a bit at a time, the glass shifter added the ammonia, stirring at all times. Satisfied with his cloudy mixture, Moruz plucked one of the glass barbs beside him up with the metal tongs, and held it in the flames of the fire next to him, heating the glass barb until even the base of the tongs were nearly too hot to handle, and then dipping the barb in the mixture before him, submerging it fully before bringing it out, and with a leather gloved hand, clipping the barb back into the Ouzala rod. Beads of silvered precipitation glinted off the barb in the firelight. Cross-legged and waiting patiently, Moruz closed his eyes in silent reverence to Axtrami as he waited until the metal tongs had once again reached air-temperature. Fifteen minutes later, Moruz picked up the second barb.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #152 on: December 06, 2006, 09:37:05 AM »
The sound of bleating sheeps echoed through the night. Where these sounds were coming from was difficult to determine, but somewhere far in the distance, the bleating could be heard.


Meanwhile, Glordren and Vee ransacked a wide swathe of ground near and around the monolith, searching for clues to the Smith-Prince's tomb entrance. After an hour, they had still found nothing, and the dwarven priest's frustration grew, as his bushy, blonde brows furrowed. Glordren stared at the rock, waiting for it to give up its secrets, but the monolith was not cooperating.

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #153 on: December 06, 2006, 10:58:49 AM »
Nudged by one of the companions, Kadarin woke up from his sleep to take his shift at watch.

He noticed Moruz, the sturdy Ouzquin Dremorix perfoming some odd ritual with the glass barbs that studded his weapon.
Watching for few moments, he discerned what was being done Silvering! Probably not a bad idea..

Peering around further, he saw the Glordren staring at a large rock. Looking at the same spot revealed a runic inscription, but it's meaning escaped Kadarin.  An enchantment itched in the back of his brain cried to be released, but Kadarin reasoned that the Dwarf would have already translated it.  No matter.  Kadarin took out his notebook, turned past the pages inscribed with his notes about the recently studied artifacts and began to reproduce the runes on a fresh page.  The language of magic was a demanding one, which tolerated no mistakes in transcription, so Kadarin's reproduction of the runes was very close to the original, even replicating some deviations in the original script.

"So what exactly does this say?" asked Kadarin, hoping the distracted dwarf would hear him.

<ooc - Kadarin is obviously looking very intently at the rock. Hopefully this counts as an enhanced find secret doors check .... :)>





   
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #154 on: December 06, 2006, 09:51:55 PM »
Jjuldae grimaced, lifting himself from the ground. It was as if he were composed of a mass of blades, as if his bones were razor metal tearing him apart from the inside. The tingling flesh of his partially-healed wound shuddered and jumped.

He felt the mark of the White Wolf upon his chest, a swirling wordless tattoo which had grown on the skin of his chest. The Old Ones had marked him. He would not reveal this to the others.
He stepped forward into the light of the fire and settled slowly, like an old man, onto his haunches, putting a leather sack to his face to snort a cloud of shredded herbs. They were the Efficacious Herbs of Ni'ish, which helped to kill the pain, though Jjuldae knew that at times, members of the brotherhood had been left impaled upon trees, when they had come to depend on the Herbs, reducing them to shaking fits, unable to carry out the Old Ways. He would have to be careful with them.
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #155 on: December 06, 2006, 11:11:04 PM »
Peering closer at the ground some distance from the monolith, Glordren finally spotted something. No more than a patch of dirt, and some irregularly shaped rocks, but when Glordren looked back, towards the rearing monolith, he realized that the spot where he was now standing, was at more or less the exact spot, where the tip of the thirty foot, phallic boulder would “touch down” if it was tipped, and fell toward the south. And south, thought Glordren, was the cardinal direction of choice of ancient dwarven nobles, signifying the eventual, allegorical return to the earth.

Digging feverishly for a few moments, the dwarven priest finally found a thick, circular iron “door” the size of a medium shield in radius, with but a single glyph etched on one of its bars. Kadarin, who had come up behind Glordren first, recognized the single rune before the dwarf even spoke. It was a Glyph of Cold, a guardian magic employed by mages, or as Kadarin thought, by anyone with access to a mage, someone wanting to keep something in, or out. If someone simply opened the door and descended, the young sorcerer knew, they would be struck with a deadly blast of flesh-freezing frost.

Vee joined the pair, and eyed the round, iron gate.

Elsewhere by the fire, Moruz noticed that the druid had returned and was showing some signs of discomfort on his usually stoic, unreadable face. Moruz eyed Jjuldae evenly, as the warrior continued crafting his new (and improved) ouzala barbs.

Talia, Dujek, and now even Vorodon, (feeling suddenly hungry) woke, startled by the sound of bleating sheep. Countless sheep calls echoed in the night, and Talia now realized, they seemed to be getting closer. Finally, peering to the west, the Bladedancer could spy shapes…sheeps really, making their way in the direction of where the group was camping, an excruciatingly slow procession. The bright, swollen moon, and the myriad stars cast a certain nocturnal light from the sky this night, and the sheeps were able to see their way, as Talia had seen them.

Aerex was already up and scrutinizing the flock of several dozen sheep, but it was Vorodon and his night vision (Glordren was busy by the trap door) that spotted the shepherd. He was an old, robed man, carrying a crook, emaciated and fallow, but with bright, intelligent eyes, and a steady demeanor. The shepherd neared and finally noticed the companions, immediately blowing a whistle. The sheep flock slowly came to a halt and began to cease their bleating after a few moments.

Eh, strangers. Friends ye be? A humble shepherd I, and my flock as humble. You wonder why I steer them by night, eh?” he garbled, unaccustomed to speaking, due to his lonely profession.

Giants there be! A giant made of stone! I flee with my sheep to gain ground. I know he smells em’ and I c’nnot use my favorite pasture anymore. So, I head east, where he wont find us”, the shepherd warbled on, not waiting for responces. “I can share butter and tealeaves, but have naught else to barter. I can sell ye one beast only, for no less than a gold piece,” he concluded.

“Be ye friends?”
 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 11:34:18 PM by Murometz »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #156 on: December 07, 2006, 08:21:34 AM »
"Aye, sir, we are friends," Aerex said, surprised to hear the man's voice as he scratched the neck of one of the sheep.  "Come, rest with us for a while, if you may.  And tell us about this stone giant."

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #157 on: December 07, 2006, 05:58:11 PM »
Jjuldae looked up, silent. The herdsman's simple, beaten face showed a strange (and the druid thought, quintessentially civilized) mixture of guileless openness and sly distrust. Something in the sheepman's eyes glinted like marbles or chips of flint in the flickering firelight.
With a glance at Aerex, and then back at the herdsman, the Crimson Throat intoned: "In the wilderness, all men are friends, less to be said of the stinking towns. You and the creatures are welcome."
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #158 on: December 07, 2006, 06:01:06 PM »
Talia stood up and stretched, then looked curiously at the old man.  Odd sort of fellow.  She hadn't come this way before, and so this stone giant the shepherd mentioned was new to her.  Well, at least such a thing wouldn't be hard to see coming.  She sat down again, crosslegged on the ground, waiting to see if the shepherd would elaborate.
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #159 on: December 08, 2006, 03:46:04 AM »
Eyeing the shepherd, Glordren whispered to Vee, both of them anxious to see what the metal trapdoor concealed from them: "Try to think of a way to open the door - but if all fails, I can still risk it and pry it open. Until then, I'm gonna watch the strange fellow. Sure don't like him, no I don't, looking like a bumpkin, yet talking the philosopher! Something's foul, I tell ye."

But whatever foul was, it wasn't going to escape Glordren's eyes.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #160 on: December 08, 2006, 05:54:58 AM »
*Click* The thirteenth barb clipped into place along the furrow in the Ouzala. Moruz glanced up to see Jjuldae step into the light, bury his head in a leather satchel and inhale sharply. This night, the druid appeared to be uneasy - when he thought nobody was looking, he limped slightly, and Moruz had seen his hand raise more than once to rest on his midsection. Moruz continued to work on his weapon, however his gaze now rarely left the Druid. In the darkness a whistle blew. The sound of bleating animals surrounded the campsite, and a simple man spoke a greeting which Moruz barely listened to. After Jjuldae replied to the shepherd, Moruz spoke to the tattooed man, "Wild one. You seem... disturbed." It was a comment more than a question, and while to a normal person 'disturbed' would seem insignificant, Jjuldae had always seemed focused and stoic.
Now, Moruz's gaze left the druid and shifted to one of the animals which had strayed near the light. One gold piece, hm? Well, he was hungry!
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #161 on: December 08, 2006, 07:40:30 AM »
Kadarin noted the newcomer with interest - things never seemed what they were with this group. After the false Tristan, Kadarin had difficulty completely trusting his eyes.

The dwarven priest seemed to be doing a good job of keeping an eye on the shepard, so Kadarin bent his thoughts towards the gylph.

"Generally, those gylphs can fire only once, but can be enhanced at great expense to be repeatable." Kadarin said, echoing the words of one of his teachers.  Poor Professor Oriph.  He specilized in magical defences and abjurations, but those failed to help him against the petty intrigues of the college.  His fall from favour was hard, and fatal...

One of Dujek's repulsive Gut zombies would be useful right now, though I imagine the shepard would have a problem with that, Kadarin smiled at the thought.

   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #162 on: December 08, 2006, 08:01:48 AM »
"You know what? Can one of these bleating furballs trigger the glyph, anyway? 'Cause if it is so, I think they may be worth a gold, perhaps even more."

Musing to himself, Glordren added:
"Farm animals are useful. Food. Clothing. Trap springers. That's why the elves keep so many critters around!"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #163 on: December 08, 2006, 10:30:54 AM »
"It's definately worth a try, but we really need two sheep, assuming that they can even trigger the trap. One to set it off the first time, the second to see if it resets..."

Though Kadarin wondered how to get a sheep to pull a handle....

   
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #164 on: December 08, 2006, 01:46:23 PM »
"We'll tie them to it and scare them" Glordren laughed: "Boo, sheep, I am a scary dwarf, so run, run fer yer life!"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #165 on: December 08, 2006, 06:07:41 PM »
"Okay, but I'm not trying that rope" Kadarin smiled.

   
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #166 on: December 08, 2006, 06:24:56 PM »
Jjuldae turned his attention to the glassman. Such an interesting people... far different from most of the settle folk.
"Uneasy.. Perhaps. I am not used to traveling with companions." The lie came thickly out of his mouth. "And there is some pain left over."
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #167 on: December 08, 2006, 08:52:48 PM »
(OOC:  After an ominous discussion with Muro:)

Vorodon sat on one of the numerous weathered rocks that littered the rough countryside and stared out into the darkness.  He couldn’t remember when he’d had a worse night’s sleep; all through the night, terrible visions had haunted him.  In his dreams, he had repeatedly found himself in tunnels and tombs, relentlessly pursued by undead terrors.  Although he was still tired, sitting and shivering near their banked campfire had been far better than trying to sleep after the ordeal of his nightmares. 

As he sat, some of the sheep had slowly meandered up, bleating unhappily.  As the sheep wandered, they listlessly cropped at the sparse, wiry grass that poked up through the remnant of the previous day’s snowfall.  Vorodon wondered what they were doing out at night.  Shouldn’t sheep be tucked away in barn or sheepcote, safe from the nocturnal predators of the wild?  Perhaps the shepherds of this barren land were different from the little farms he’d known in his native hill country. 

The sheep certainly seemed a different breed from those he had seen before:  Their coats were shaggy and unkempt, with unusual specks of brown mixed among the oily grayish wool.  As he watched, one of the larger sheep stared at him with strange ungulate malevolence.  As it slowly chewed a mouthful of the frozen grass, it snorted, its breath visible in the frigid morning air.  Something about the movement caused Vorodon to instinctively grasp at the darts in his quiver.  Could it be possible that this land has dangerous sheep?  He wondered, as he watched the unusual flock that surrounded their camp.

Something about the shepherd caught his attention.  Slovenly and unkempt, his beard a wiry rat’s nest, the man nervously spoke with Vorodon’s comrades.  The shepherd seemed friendly enough, with his tale of giants lurking in the more fertile lowland meadows and his hopes of selling a sheep for the inflated sum of a gold piece.  Nonetheless, something preyed on Vorodon’s mind. 

He watched the man’s nervous eyes as the shepherd assessed the armed venturers of the camp, his glance flickering from one to the next, focusing on weapons and armor.  He seemed unusually nervous and uncomfortable, and then he reached into his battered satchel and drew forth a bizarre object.  Blackened by years of fire, it was a small pot or flask with a bent handle and a tube projecting from it, perhaps some sort of unusual musical instrument.  Vorodon could barely make out the strange symbols that circled it under the layers of grime and soot.  The warrior’s meaty hand rested on the shaft of one of his darts, in case the strange shepherd should try anything.

The shepherd’s eyes rolled wildly.  “Wannerin’ the wilderness, a man gets a hankerin’ for vittles he cain’t raise nor buy.  I seen this book once, back when I was a young ‘un; it showed me pictures o’ things I never seen before nor since.  That’s why, when I saw one in the bazaar, I got meself this!” he said, triumphantly holding up the strange flask. 

Placing himself near the fire, the man began taking out other items, obviously preparing for some strange ritual.  “Since yew folk seem friendly-like, Ah’m gonna make myself free with yer fire.  Ye’ll like this!”  he said, instantly arousing further unease from the Half-Ogre.  The man began muttering some sort of incantation under his breath as he readied his flask for the ritual.  Apparently, he needed to wash the inside with herbs and water, warmed over the fire.   The flask sat peacefully on the fire while the strange man chuckled ominously and continued to tell them about the treat in store for them. 

Apparently undisturbed by this eldritch behaviour, the sheep continued to graze around them.  They seemed to be congregating closer, their baleful eyes staring at Vorodon when he looked at them.

Suddenly, the bizarre instrument began to utter an unearthly wailing ululation!  Its unnatural whistling grew louder as Vorodon leapt from his rocky seat and drew forth a dart, ready for whatever dire threat might appear from the eldritch thing’s strange summons.  Apparently oblivious to Vorodon’s warlike reaction, the shepherd fearlessly grabbed the flask and held it aloft in triumph.  His wild eyes now held a look of unholy expectation.

“Yew all want’n some tea?” the strange man offered, madness in his socially-deprived gaze.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 08:58:41 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #168 on: December 08, 2006, 11:04:47 PM »
D**m wind, down off that mountains.  Why's it gotta be so cold? Dujek and Koschei thought to eachother.  Waking up to the sound of sheep.  Looking around into the night Dujek saw a lot of the blighters, and none of them seemed to be to happy either, though they did look warmer.

Looking around he saw Voro sitting on a rock, watching the herd, with distrust growing in his eyes.  Deciding that it'd probably be safer over by the half-orge, who could at least see in the dark, Dujek grabbed up his gear and jogged over, leaning on the leeside of Voro's rock, and watching the man cook tea on the fire.
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #169 on: December 09, 2006, 04:31:17 AM »
"Then it's mee who's trying, apparently" Glordren patted Kadarin on the back, adding a loving "pissypants" half a second later.

Leisurely approaching the shepherd, the dwarf produced a gold coin from his beard, and showed it to him: "My coin's as round as yer sheep, mister - care to trade one for one?"
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #170 on: December 09, 2006, 11:10:39 AM »
“North be the Great Escarpment, west of here, the Endless Meadows, east, the odd village of Sepil, one ye be wise to avoid, further north and east from the village lie the Crag Lands of the Hidden Baron, and south be where ye came from,” the shepherd croaked on, addressing the gathered adventurers, while pouring tea, and offering nearly rancid chunks of butter. Moments ago, Vee had asked the wild-man for a brief geography lesson, and shepherd complied.

“What a mighty behemoth ye be!” the wire-haired codger now glanced at Vorodon. The half-ogre had finally made piece with the fact that the screaming kettle was in no way malevolent. A throaty sound, one that might have passed for a chuckle many years ago, escaped the shepherd’s cracked lips.

"Glass?", I dont be knowin' about no glass. Wait, I do!," he intoned, a wild-eyed look on his face. "The merchant-monks of Cazulun are nearby, they be west and north, a monastery carved from rock! But ye will be crushed to paste by the stone giant, if ye go that way", the shepherd grinned, as he addressed Moruz, who had just inquired as to the whereabouts of a glassblowers guild.

“Eh?” Mosli the shepherd suddenly exclaimed at the dwarven priest’s approach and offer.

Mosli eyed the gold coin as a child would a sugar pie, and immediately cast his eyes about, examining his herd. “Aye, Aye, bearded brother, two gold pieces for two sheep. Canna’ see them?” he asked, a man unaccustomed to seeing gold. Once shown the coin, Mosli gestured toward two, shaggy beasts grazing near him. “Take them”, he announced proudly, reaching his bony hand out for the coin.


It was nearly morning now, and after bidding the group farewell, the shepherd rose, gathered his flock with whistles and gestures, and began to move out again, heading East, toward the soon to be rising sun. As he did so, he issued a warning, in that broken, halting voice of his, "Ware' the stone giant, ware' the village of Sepil, and ware' the Nucklevee!", he chortled.

Glordren eyed his purchased sheep. The foul-smelling creatures eyed him back.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2006, 11:16:37 AM by Murometz »
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #171 on: December 09, 2006, 02:41:51 PM »
The iron portal now lay exposed, beckoning Glordren, while Kadarin eyed the Glyph as if it was a living being. There were ways to dispel them, these deadly runes, but he had not the means, the young mage thought in frustration as he eyed the looping swirl.

A frigid wind picked up, moaning, as if in mockery of the earlier whistling from Mosli's burning tea kettle. The sheep began to disappear into the gloom, all except for the wretched pair which Glordren was now leading toward the cylindrical trap door in the earth, the one barring the priest from entering Onruldt's Oubliette.



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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #172 on: December 09, 2006, 04:25:24 PM »
"So, what if we use a rope to open the portal?" Vee asked Kadarin, eyeing the top of the stone plinth and back to the portal. It wouldn't take a very long piece of rope and if they had a pair of iron spikes they could set a guide in the top of that stone. A bit of leverage, he eyed Voro, and the dorr would swing open. Vee hadn't had much experience with magical traps, but he had a notion that the coldy stuff would happen at the door, and the spell wouldn't go hunting around for the person who opened the door if they were at the other end of 50 feet of stout rope.


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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #173 on: December 09, 2006, 06:34:40 PM »
"Sometimes just coming close to the gylphs will set them off, but it might work.  There probably is a ritual Dwarven phrase to disarm it, but which one? Unless there is a clue in that inscription."

   
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #174 on: December 10, 2006, 03:15:52 AM »
"Hm. Might us save the sheep, right? Will think about it. No sense in carrying a dead sheep if it can just follow you., right?"
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