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The Leavings of the City

Started by Eclecticon, Jan 30, 2022, 11:15 PM

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Eclecticon

As the men bend their backs and begin the heavy and tedious work of moving stones, Esgalwen finds a seat on a mostly-crumbled wall that nonetheless stands clear of the surrounding thistles.  Her eye wanders over hill and dell and the fleet flowing waters of the Langwell, but though she sees birds circling in the cloud-swept sky and goats grazing on nearby hills, naught but her companions disturb the perfect desolation of the hill of the city. 

Essylt, her newly-bare skin pricking in the cold wind that blows unceasing from the mountain slopes, comes to sit uncomfortably by her.  "What is it," she asks, "that you hope to gain from venturing below?  Surely all precious things that might have been left here will have long been carried off, and now abide in filth in some orc-hole?" 

Esgalwen, herself not entirely convinced otherwise, gives a single shrug.  "A wise friend of ours seems to think that something may have been overlooked.  A chest or urn of treasure, buried perhaps in a collapsed cellar before the orcs even arrived.  Enough of value to warrant the journey here." 

The Hill-woman spits.  "Bah.  They will have descended on this place like carrion-crows as soon as the builders left.  Your wise friend has sent you on a fool's errand."  She stays where she is, though, and watches the men at work. 

After more than an hour, enough stones have been shifted to permit Grimbeorn's broad shoulders to pass through the hole and into a broad and irregular tunnel beyond.  Though the day is hardly bright, and the tunnel bends leftwards enough that only a few yards can be seen, it seems readily traversable.  Arbogast threads his arms through his shield-straps, for the tunnel slopes steeply downward, and few protrusions appear that would serve as hand- or footholds. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

tomcat

:ooc: Can I also say that while the men moved stones, Esgalwen and Essylt attempted to make torches? I can't find anything in the book for rules on aiding with a task (except prolonged tasks), but can I take an additional d6 to the roll for Essylt's assist? If so, here is the roll. If not, just remove the second d6 result. I put in a TN 12, as this isn't hard work, but it might be difficult to gather materials. If I am wrong, feel free to correct for that, too.

TN 12 craft 2d
:00: 1d12 : 3, total 3
Rolled 2d6 : 2, 5, total 7

Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

tomcat

Feb 09, 2022, 11:46 AM #17 Last Edit: Feb 09, 2022, 11:53 AM by tomcat
:ooc: Well that won't make the muster. I am not spending a :vv: for success on this trivial action, so I will leave the failure to your interpretation. Maybe the torches fall apart; sputter with weak light; or we only craft a small amount that might not see us through the task.

Women...  :\
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Eclecticon

Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

Gathering a bundle of torches beneath her arm, Esgalwen stands with a sigh.  They are crude things, for the most part merely bundles of dry thistles bound together with a little twine and given a splash of what oil there is left to the company, much of it having been lost during the night-time flight from the wolf pack.  When she and Essylt share them among the others, they are met with doubtful expressions, especially as the first to be lit gutters and smokes for some time before any appreciable flame can be coaxed from it. 

Any light, though, is better than none in the dark corners of Middle-Earth, and Arbogast takes the first in his hand as he half climbs, half slides down the slope into whatever hollows lie beneath the hill.  Moments later, he calls up that all is clear and the Fellowship proceeds down with him into a roughly hewn space that might once have been the cellar of a thegn of the Éothéod of old, before the house above fell into ruin and the entrance was choked by growth of thorn-bushes.  Here and there, the same foul markings on the packed earth walls and floor speak to occupation by goblin-kind, but no hand of orc was it that carved the tunnel that delves yet deeper into the gloom, its entrance yawning across from the companions in the ruddy light.  Its sides are too regular and too well-rounded for the brutal stone-cunning of orcs (if the long musings of Rorin and Anar in days gone by are to be believed) for those that creep and scuttle beneath the Misty Mountains simply hack away at earth and stone until a wide enough passage is made, and care nothing for the shape that it takes so long as it will not collapse and bury them. 

The thistle-torches, their light already darkening as they burn down, shed their unwholesome smoke into the still air before it slowly seeps away, into the sunlit world above. 


:ooc: I'm taking this bit by bit to give you all time to react and make any plans for your approach.  I'll keep updating the thread regularly on the basis of your actions. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

GandalfOfBorg

"Do you think the builders, nay last defenders, of this burg lay traps deeper in?  If any were of goblin-make, we'd have encountered them by now.  Even if not, we should be all the more wary lest further in we disturb a thing to cause stone and earth to fall and engulf us," remarked Grimbeorn.

Eclecticon

Essylt, huddling close to the wall of the tunnel as the companions spread out in the relative space of the cellar, hisses suddenly and points toward the darkness ahead.  "What's that?" she asks. 

As the Fellowship share blank looks at each other, she creeps gingerly forward, a thistle-torch in her hand, until that which she sees is clear: a thin tendril, so pale as to be almost translucent, rises several inches from the dirt floor of the downward tunnel.  Still it stands, like a seedling growing somehow in the near-total darkness.  Arbogast crouches by it, examining it closely this way and that.  Finally, he whispers "I know many things that grow from the soil, both in the darkness and in the light, but I know not what this might be.  Let us not touch it." 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

"Are we here for root and herb for the Brown Wizard's collection? Let us not tarry over root and branch. This tunnel was made by men for a mannish purpose. Let us see where it goes and what we find."

Hathcyn waved his torch at the growth watching it curl by the heat of the fire. "Now, may we proceed?"

 
:ooc: Sometimes....the characters write themselves....
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Eclecticon

Feb 12, 2022, 07:22 AM #23 Last Edit: Feb 12, 2022, 07:37 AM by Eclecticon
Buoyed by Hathcyn's brash words, the companions advance down the tunnel.  The thistle-torches gutter in the close air, and the smoke stings their eyes and seems almost eager to gather in their noses and mouths, but their light is enough, and though progress is slow, it is steady.  The path of the tunnel spirals ever downward, digressing only marginally to break forth into another mannish cellar and several holes that bear the marks of inhabitation by orcs and trolls: a lingering scent of blood and wretchedness.  Here and there, drag marks show where heavy and solid things have been moved lower, and the thoughts of the company turn naturally to long-forsaken coffers of the Northmen, holding riches unknown. 

Behind them, unheeded, the shriveled growth recedes silently into the soil. 

Further and further they plunge, following the tunnel that now twists and writhes like a wounded serpent around croppings of hard stone.  More and more of the pale growths do they pass, but pay them little heed beyond scorning to brush against them.  Some considerable time later, the tunnel breaches once more a larger space, some cavernous hollow deep beneath the surface.   The air is still, and all is silent but for the sizzling of the torches.  Before the Fellowship lies a field of bones, cracked and gnawed so far that it is difficult to tell what size or shape they may once have been, let alone what manner of creature may once have borne them.  Here and there, the feeble torchlight causes some bright thing to shine.  Here are, perhaps, the leavings of the Northmen who built the city above, plundered and picked over by orcs until they were at last left to languish here. 

All throughout the floor of the hollow, the pale growths protrude, here greater, here slighter, but all seeming to quest blindly for the ceiling above, and the sunlit lands unreckonably far beyond it. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

"This is troublesome. Why is there a field of bones concentrated here? A rubbish pit of goblins or the leavings of some beast. Firewatcher, what is it we are looking for?"
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Eclecticon

"A gem," Arbogast answers, his gaze not leaving the sight before them, "or several, if there are such to be found here.  Large and bright, for such the spiders of Mirkwood love to devour." 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

"Then surely if it remains there is a guardian. We must push deeper to find this for doubtful indeed it have been left behind idly."
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

tomcat

Feb 16, 2022, 01:56 PM #27 Last Edit: Feb 16, 2022, 02:01 PM by tomcat
The spacing within the chambers was small, and Esgalwen moved Nimronyn so that it hung across her back. Her quiver and bow were there, too, but they seemed useless in such confines. The torch sputtered in her hand and she wondered at the simplicity of the underground passages. Simple holes cut deep and reinforced with wooden supports, but for the most part dirt walls, floors, and ceilings. The stairs had simple paver stones, but that was the extent of the engineering done here.

It was nothing like the cities of her homeland - large and strong; built into the very bedrock of the land, as if by giants. Ornate, too, were the crenels and spires of Minas Tirith and ancient Osgiliath worked by the skilled artisans of the Dunédain. Even Minas Morgul, which she had seen once from afar, still reflected the beauty of its creators, even though it lay draped in shadow and evil.

None of these thoughts made the Ranger think any less of the people whom she now lived amongst, only that their ways were simpler... maybe better. For even in its grand scale and beauty, the towers Osgiliath had plunged into the Anduin and only the rubble marked its place in time. These tunnels were still here, too, and she was certain that ghosts walked here, as they did in the south.

"I will light your way, Hathcyn, but you go first so as to use that spear in need."
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Telcontar

"The Spear is long and though I'm no dwarf will serve us well in this tight space."

THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Eclecticon

Feb 17, 2022, 12:28 AM #29 Last Edit: Feb 17, 2022, 12:31 AM by Eclecticon
:ooc: GM-break here.  I'm not sure how I've given this impression, but the tunnel the Fellowship just came down is not something built for human passage - no stairs, no support beams, nothing but a round-ish hole bored out of the earth (the cellars have those things, but not the tunnel).  Coming down from the top of the hill into that first cellar was difficult because the steep slope was hard to get down while carrying torches, war gear etc. 

Apologies if I've inadvertently misled you - work has been picking up its pace, so I've only been able to dash out posts in between other things, with inevitable consequences for the quality. 

Also, while my mind is on areas where I may have given the wrong impression, you're not hunting for a particular gem, just a nice, big, pretty one. 

Anyway, I'll press on with the scene, but bear in mind that (a) the first significant-sized gem you find will probably do, and (b) getting out of this hole will require a bit of effort. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet