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Stormwall: Searching the Rubble (Part 2)

The Society of Explorers has gained permission from Duke Asger and Duchesss Ann to travel to Stormwall to look through the rubble and find any heirlooms or treasure that might have survived the fires at Stormwall. This is the second sojourn into Stormwall for this purpose. This is a PRP plot open to members of the Society of Explorers and/or members of House Crovane. It is open up for up to 6 players and is scheduled based on who can make it based on the following link: http://whenisgood.net/sc57ew4/ At present, there are 3 spots open, to give different players an opportunity to join in on the plot fun.

First dibs will be given to those who responded to the link - and they have been sent invitations to join. Please @mail Lou to confirm your spot. If you wish to be considered as a player for one of the 3 open slots or as an alternate player, in case someone cannot make it, feel free to @mail Lou to get on the list. Players will be admitted to the plot in the order of the @mail received and online avaiability at the time the plot starts.

Date

May 11, 2018, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Lou

GM'd By

Lou

Participants

Derovai Niklas Barric Jeffeth Joslyn Valarian Oriana

Organizations

Location

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


The Pathfinder, Lou Grayson, has offered the Explorers to House Crovane to go through the ruins of Stormwall to find any heirlooms or objects d'art or treasure repositories that have somehow escaped the flames of the Great Fire from the war with the Gyre. She's sent a group of explorers forth, along with any other interested parties, to the city to start the next round of exploration. Everyone in the trip is under strict orders to search the city only, and to stay away from the tar pits created by the fall of the demon. Lou has made it very clear there's no need for anyone to be in that general area; also, it is likely being guarded by House Crovane members to keep people away. The first group of Explorers encountered a young girl, who goes by the name of Jessa, who was found looting in the crafting district. They reported back that they were able to fully explore this particular district. This leaves the commoner district, the noble vassals district, and the ruling House Crovane district to explore. The previous explorers have given those present a safe path to travel from the commoner's district to the crafter's district, but do not know how bad the damage is beyond the rest of the urban sprawl. They do know know that the party will need to travel through the noble vassals district to get to House Crovane's personal district. The Explorers are camped not too away from the city itself, and can either walk or ride their horses in. The day is somewhat overcast, with tidbits of sunshine popping through here and there.

Jeffeth checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

The bright ebullient Jeffeth that is usually always on display didn't show up for this trip. Instead, Jeffeth looks on the desolate city he had left behind with a set jaw and a tight expression. The behemoth sits atop his huge draft horse, named Friend, looking on Stormwall, his eyes flitting up to the mountain pass where he and many others fought against the demon and its horde of undead. Where many died. Glancing down away from the mountain pass, the big man leads his Friend over to where Niklas is, jaw set once more. "Riding or walking in?" The big man asks of no one in particular.

Barric goes about getting things packed up to make sure they can move quickly if they need to. The city itself brings back memories, even this far away from it, and so the Grayson Prince is somewhat subdued. Still he smiles when Joslyn is nearby and they are packing up their gear for their tent. "It was a nasty fight." He tells Joslyn, looking back towards where is, was, or what remains after the war and the fire are. Still he is otherwise in good spirits other than seemingly subdued. "Who knows what we'll find, but my thinking is that any artifacts that would be most important to House Crovane, would likely be in the Crovane House District." He opines to the others. He checks all his leathers to make sure that everything is good before he asks, "Are we walking, or riding?"

Oriana has been silent, mulling over what she'd heard of the city's devestation. A junior member of the Society she spends most of her time following the lead of those more seasoned, Lou and Derovai in particular. She is dismounted at the moment, afoot, checking the cinch strap on her mount. Dressed in simple trousers, boots and a leather, many-pocketed vest, she ponders retrieving her cloak from saddlebags, "Think it'll rain?" She grunts, tightening the strap. Her mount, flicks its ears back, annoyed she'd seen through his ruse of inflating his belly when she saddled him ealier. Clearly she has a preference as to walking vs riding.

Derovai isn't the best on a horse. He made it, though, if through stubbornness on his part -- and perhaps that of the horse as well. At the moment, he's looking ready to dismount at the very /second/ someone else suggests it. "So where are we headed?" he remarks to the rest, reaching for a flask. It's either water or very weak alcohol, given the way he's stayed upright on the horse the whole way there. A long slug later, he adds, "I'd rather walk. Give the horses a chance to breathe." And, perhaps, himself as well, from the sound of it.

Joslyn flashes that smile back in return to Barric as they pack away their things, before she gives a little look around the the surrounding remains of the battle. "I wasn't there," she admits. "Was keeping watch elsewhere, in case they came around but..." she quirks her lips. "I'd rather walk," she adds. "If we run into any trouble, I'm useless from horseback." Hairpins don't exactly have reach.

Having trouble controlling his horse already, he glances over at Oriana with a nod. "I'd rather walk. I can barely control this beast as it is, I'd probably get trampled in the ruins." Dismounting with a sigh of relief, Valarian checks the buckles and straps on his crimson leathers, weapons sheathed and a little pull from his flask. "Right, let's crawl through that. Sounds much better, and an easier time of spotting anything we might need to grab." Cracking his neck and rolling his shoulders, he eyes the horse suspiciously. "Yeah, screw that. Walk it is."

Just as the always friendly Jeffeth didn't show, the Niklas Kennex who is always ready with a quip or a jape is also missing. In his place is a grim faced man in unscuffed leather armor and a sword that hasn't seen use beyond cutting up a very bad bird training guide. If it wasn't for the beard, shot through with silver, one might think they were looking at an untested boy. And even then, they might not be wrong. Still, the question makes him laugh, though it's a small laugh for such a grim place. "Walk. I've had enough of horses for a while."

"Hope we don't have to leave in a hurry, running just generally makes you die tired. Horses... might have a chance but ok." Barric says with a shrug and then goes about getting some sacks and bags out of a saddlebag for the storing of any artifacts they might find. He puts all the bags in the biggest bag and then slings that bag over his shoulder. He looks at Joslyn, "You're lucky. It was in a way worse than Brand's war, much faster, but much much more brutal."

Dismounting easily enough, Jeffeth goes about tending to horses. Helping anyone dismount should they need it, looking at you Niklas. Jeffeth oversees the tying up the horses effort, leading anyone's steed off to tie off as they prepare to set off.

Derovai notes dryly to Niklas, "Thank you for being quiet. Will wonders never cease." He seems to mean it, though, and then gives the surroundings a long look, telling Barric, "Speak for yourself," about running. "If nothing else, Sir Bayweather can just pick us up and carry us the rest of the way back to the horses." He nods to where the buildings once likely started to become a little more refined, towards what remains of the nobles' quarter. "Seems to be that way. If my report of the battle's correct, anyway." He taps his jack, as if it very well contains some sort of report.

Niklas dismounts from an unmoving horse easily enough! Well. It's only somewhat comedic. But given the environment it just adds to the impression that he probably doesn't belong here. When he's on the ground and pats Jeffeth's shoulder. "Save your concern for when I walk off because I saw something shiny, Sir Bayweather." Derovai gets a tight smile. "I do tend to chatter when I get nervous or uncertain. So there is that." Still, he just waits for someone to decide which way they're going and he heads that way as well, keeping well away from any menacing walls.

"I've been practicing." Being quiet. She grins at Valarian, but grows somber again at the prospect and the place. Sentiment seems to be to stay afoot and Oriana nods, transferring items from her saddlebags to her satchel. Lifting the reins over her horse's head, she hands them to Jeffeth when he offers, murmuring her thanks. She's settled herself, cloak folded into her satchel strap. Looking towards the ruined city she gives a nod, mostly to herself. "Ready." She blinks at Valarian, puzzled and looks skyward.

"Still," Joslyn shrugs towards Barric. "Hearing about what was going on our here. I feel like I should have been here, beside my friends," she givs a little sigh but she nods. "Well, there's no guarantee the horses might not slow us down in a ruined city. I'm with you," she says to the rest of the group, smoothing the skirts of her steelsilk, those alaricite hairpins poking dangerously out the back of her hair.

Pulling his gear out of the saddlebags, Valarian saunters over to Oriana with a vulpine grin, leaning in to whisper something before stretching and yawning. "Alright. Let's get to looking. Whoever we're following. I have no idea what is where in this blasted abyss hole of a ruin." Kicking his boots against a stone idly, a hand rests on the hilt of his warblade, the other messing around with the hem of his cloak.

{As the Explorers follow path marked safe from the commoner district into the crafter district, they see the devastation that was wrought by the fires set to stave off the marinite forces. The commoner's district, while not completely burned down, is by far the most destroyed. The bits and pieces of wood and metal that survived only because the fire shifted to another section are charred and flimsy. Traveling further into the crafter's district, one can see the damage is even more significant, in other ways. Charred remains of bodies can be see, and in some cases sharp white edges of what might have been bones. The buildings are indeed more refined in the crafter's section, some made of wood, some made of stone and wood, and some made of just stone, but the heat of the fires have likely made the mortar of those just stone buildings brittle and easy to crack. And, in fact, the tailor's building that Sabella might have mentioned from when she was here has now completely toppled over. Many of pieces of the large buildings are blocking roadways, making travel difficult. If the Explorers want to pass, they'll need to climb over some very, very unsteady rubble.

As the Explorers follow path marked safe from the commoner district into the crafter district, they see the devastation that was wrought by the fires set to stave off the marinite forces. The commoner's district, while not completely burned down, is by far the most destroyed. The bits and pieces of wood and metal that survived only because the fire shifted to another section are charred and flimsy. Traveling further into the crafter's district, one can see the damage is even more significant, in other ways. Charred remains of bodies can be see, and in some cases sharp white edges of what might have been bones. The buildings are indeed more refined in the crafter's section, some made of wood, some made of stone and wood, and some made of just stone, but the heat of the fires have likely made the mortar of those just stone buildings brittle and easy to crack. And, in fact, the tailor's building that Sabella might have mentioned from when she was here has now completely toppled over. Many of pieces of the large buildings are blocking roadways, making travel difficult. If the Explorers want to pass, they'll need to climb over some very, very unsteady rubble.

Derovai checked intellect + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 47 higher.

Oriana checked intellect + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 27 higher.

With the decision made Barric nods to everyone, "Alright, we're walking then." He smiles wryly and the starts in with everyone else. He keeps an eye out, staying as alert as he can be, "Watch your footing. If they had underground water or sewer systems the fire may have damage the street underfoot enough to collapse when you put all your weight on it." He has the bags over one shoulder still, his free hand near the pommels of his blades, ready to draw one or the other if need be... depending on the circumstance.

Valarian checked intellect + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

As Jeffeth finishes tending to the horses, his attention is dragged by Valarian. His words spark a sharp look from the big man. But Jeffeth doesn't say anything just yet. The Knight of Solace watches Valarian for a long moment with darkened features before he moves a little quicker to catch up with Niklas. Jeffeth stands just off the Kennex lord's shoulder, looking over to Derovai and his little joke. The big man forces up a smile at it, but it doesn't meet his eyes and doesn't last long. At least he's trying.

Joslyn taking a deep breath by the devestation wrought, Joslyn looks around and looks to the others as they try to plot a path. She looks to be ready to follow their lead, but nods to Barric's words. "Well, I'm pretty light..." she says, her eyes wandering to her footing.

Derovai gazes at Jeffeth for a long moment. "You all right?" he wonders in passing. But then he squints between the blacksmith and the artist's shop. "If we can move that rubble there, we'll be able to cross through without as much trouble as it would be out in the main street. That sounds like a job for someone not-me, though." He motions the stronger folks on ahead, with a wave of a gloved hand, content to hold back until the path is slightly clearer.

Niklas gives Derovai a sharp frown at the man's question to Jeffeth. "He was here, man. Give him his mood." Still, he glances back to Jeffeth and grimaces. "Sabella told you to watch my back, didn't she?"

Lurking behind Derovai, Valarian's amber eyes fall upon the debris between the smithy and the artist's shop with a nod of agreement to the gloved man. "Yeah, that looks like the way to go alright." At the idea of actually clearing the rubble though, he frowns. "That doesn't sound like any fun at all. I mean, I'm a big guy and all, but Jeffeth...he's huge. Looks like he's used to lifting rubble and such, you know?"

At the whisper, Oriana cocks her head at Valarian, birdlike. She murmurs something with a shake of her head. The warning about subterranean treachery gets a lifted brow and a nod. At Josyln's quip, she looks to Jeffeth and Valarian, big men, heavy gear, "You two might want to mind yourselves especially." She looks to where Derovai points. She nods and strides that direction, eyes sharp.

Barric checked strength at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.

Staring at the pile of rubble after Oriana speaks, Valarian seems determined to clear this rubble out and starts pulling and yanking at debris like the red giant he is.

Valarian checked strength at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.

Joslyn checked strength at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 42 higher.

Derovai checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

At Derovai's question Jeffeth starts to look over, his mouth opening. But Niklas answers for him and he falls silent, nodding. He looks to Niklas, "Yes." Jeffeth rumbles simply. Then the big man frowns at the rubble. "Might disturb something and set it off center." But then Barric, Joslyn, and Valarian are going to clear it. Jeffeth may be huge, but apparently he's also light on his feet, because the big man as the others start to lift, goes to quickly climb over it. Quickly as so he's not on top of something anyone else is trying to pick up. He scrambles up high, looking back down behind him. "I can help anyone up, if they need it." Jeffeth bellows down.

\\Barric, Valarian, and Joslyn start to clear the rubble away. Everything looks like it's going fine and dandy, but then something happens. A piece of rock is selected that was likely holding all the others in place, and that causes the pile to roll all about and become all the more unsteady.

Barric, Valarian, and Joslyn start to clear the rubble away. Everything looks like it's going fine and dandy, but then something happens. A piece of rock is selected that was likely holding all the others in place, and that causes the pile to roll all about and become all the more unsteady.

Valarian checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 11 higher.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 49 higher.

Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.

Niklas checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 14 lower.

Derovai checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

Joslyn takes minor damage.

Oriana was going to pitch in alongside the men moving rubble, but as rock slips and tumbles she steps back. People are scrambling, slipping. Rubble is shifting. "Wait. Just - stop. Let's take a minute. Jeffeth - you stay there." On the top.

Well, Joslyn thought that she was helping! But that little chunk off to the side certainly threw her off. A shreik of surprise as she tries to get her feet out of the way, hobbling a little off to the side before she winces. "Sorry!" she shouts.

Jeffeth checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.

Joslyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 26 higher.

Going to move rubble, Barric starts shifting rocks carefully to help make it easier to climb, or that is the hope. When Valarian and Joslyn come over to help he says, "Slow and steady, don't try and move to much to fast. Make sure what you're using isn't supporting a rock or rubble above it." And then there is the tumbling rocks, of which creates a bit of a chaotic scene. Barric curses softly under his breath and jumps over falling rocks, scrambling up to the top of the pile near to where Jeffeth is when Oriana tells them to stop... and he stops. Looking back down the rubble pile he checks his footing and then offers a hand down to anyone who might need assistance, or such is his goal. "Try not to shift the rocks anymore before it brings us all down."

Clearing away rubble with efficiency, Valarian hums under his breath as debris is stacked neatly to the side. It's going great, until it isn't. "Joslyn, hey...no, not that one! Gods, no!" And then it quakes and rumbles, partially squashing her. "Well. That's...unfortunate." Shrugging, the sellsword then clambers over the rubble with the sort of agility that comes with the experience of one who probably has skittered over a ruined building or two in his time.

Niklas attempts to climb over the rubble, carefully choosing the places to put his feet. It just turns out that he is not very good at judging what is good or not and the rocks shift under his feet sending him tumbling with rocks bouncing off his armor. "...when I recount this tale I am going to leave this part out. Nobody tell anyone you saw that." he mutters, picking himself back up.

Oriana checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 16 higher.

It is tumbling on the other side, at least! "Ow." adds Niklas, hopping on one foot.

After her little mishap, Joslyn manages to clear what rubble there is easily enough, the damage to her feet seemingly minor. She looks over at Valarian, giving him a bit of a look, squinting in his direction before she moves to join the rest. "It looked loose to me..."

"Niklas!" Jeffeth is looking down the rubble when Niklas is making his way up. When Niklas starts to make a step, the big man frowns deeply. "My Lord-- No!" Niklas does the 'no!' thing and tumbles, Jeffeth leaps forward to try and grab Niklas' wrist to wrench him out of the way of danger but comes up short. The big man is quick to follow Niklas with a deep frown. Jeffeth clambers down to stand next to the Kennex Lord with a deep frown. "Sorry, I'll make sure to climb the next one with you."

Derovai manages to make it over the rubble, if without quite as much agility as the others. He's a bit winded as he clambers over, landing a bit hard at some stopping point. "It would be worse out on the main road," he remarks, balancing as best he can. "Don't worry, I'll tell everyone," he assures Niklas. Then, with a look to Joslyn, "Next time, you let them clear the rubble." It's firmer thn his stance on the rubble is, at least, but he scrabbles down to join the others. "So we'd best get a move on or else it'll be dark before we even get anywhere."

"My selective memory is costly, Lord Kennex." Oriana, keeping away from the clambering and slipping. She grunts hoisting her self up, choosing carefully the next handhold or place to step. She feels alarm at Jeffeth's concern and his own near tumble but makes it over with the others. Dusting hands on her trousers she looks at Joslyn, she'd seen the wince and hobble. "You okay?"

Joslyn nods over towards Oriana at her question. "It's nothing," she assures her. She looks over to Derovai then. "I can handle it," she says with a bit of a firm stare back towards him.

Once they get over the rubble fall, Barric makes sure everyone is ready to go and nods towards Joslyn's mention of being alright. "We should get a move on." He agrees with Derovai, looking towards the others to pick the path through to their destination for the time being.

Everyone eventually gets ove the rubble barrier, and they finally emerge into the noble vassals section. Here most things are made of a combination of wood and stone, or just stone. The lesser vassal's homes were made of mixed media, while those who held marches were likely of made of complete stone outer sections, with wooden floors and the like on the inside. It's hard to say what thinks look like inside the buildings though, without actually going inside. Like in the crafting section, there is rubble everywhere in the vassals's section. Some paths are clearer than the others, if the Explorers wish to continue, if but carefully. Some of the buildings look very much like they could fall over if the breeze changes. There is a road that goes to House Blackwood, House Ravenseye, and the wider street goes toward the ruling section of House Crovane. All provide opportunities for exploration.

Derovai waves a hand back at the pile of collapsed rubble in mute indication towards Joslyn, raising his brows, before he turns to take stock of whatever might lie ahead. As they approach the nobles' quarter, he gives House Blackwood a long, pensive look before shaking his head as if to clear it. "Crovane House, we said?"

Overhead a dark osprey circles, Oriana squints up. She falls in as they go, eyes trained on their surroundings, matching strides (ha) with Jeffeth. She looks sidelong at the man, mouth twisted in sympathy but finding no words to offer save walking beside him. At Derovai's pause looking at the nearer house she flicks a glance around the group. And when he suggests they move on, she nods, "Lead on."

Peering through the ruins and then down the road, Valarian sucks on his teeth for a moment. "Crovane would be best first, I think. We can always hit the others later if we have time and we're not dead or near it." Opining this to Derovai, the giant sellsword cracks his knuckles and then glances up at the dark osprey circling with a nod of approval.

Barric checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.

Derovai checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Jeffeth checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.

Valarian checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Niklas checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Joslyn checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.

Oriana checked perception at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

With a little roll of her eyes towards Derovai and a shrug of her shoulders, she looks back to the rest of them and gives a little nod. "Yeah, that sounds like a good move," Joslyn says. "I'm sure there's something there that's worth saving."

Oriana checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.

Squinting down the road towards House Raveneye, Valarian shakes his head. "There's like...eight feral dogs down there, and they look extremely hungry. So, unless we want to fight some starving dogs that would like to take a bite out of us, I'm think Ravenseye is a no go."

Something draws Barrics attention down the road away from where they are headed and he frowns, hand going to the pommel of Fidelis, "We are not alone here. Chances are we are being hunted by something like wolves or wild dogs." He looks around though to see if they are already surrounded by other packs or the like. "If they've already got our scent, or heard our passage, we need to find defensible terrain."

Jeffeth turns to face the road down to Ravenseye. Only now does one large mitt climb up to rest on the pommel of his blade. Looking to Valarian, he gives a nod. "If we take them out, it's safer for future teams coming in. The next team may not have the fortune of getting the drop on them." He looks around slowly. "We could try to find a bottleneck for a few of us to stand so they can only come in one at a time."

Niklas pats down his armor after it absorbed most of the worst of his fall. It even has a nice new scuff on it he can show people when he tells people about how he faced down some bandits looting in Stormwall. "Master Voss, did I ever tell you about the time my sister and I ruined a brand new set of armor my father had purchased for my birthday? We-" Niklas stops when he hears the growls and nods once when the others mention dogs. So no talking right now.

Oriana squints down the road, "They don't seem to have noticed us yet." That, in response to Barric's notice. "I say we press on looking for that bottleneck and use it if we need it." She looks to Derovai.

"Ravenseye is out," Joslyn agrees, eyeing the path ahead and considering, she eyes Jeffeth. "Is that a good idea?" Joslyn wonders. "There's about eight of them right here, but who knows how many others there are throughout the city. We should press on to Crovane, and just try to keep ears and eyes on the dogs."

Barric nods in agreement with Jeffeth, "Kinder to put them down anyways." He shrugs at Joslyn, "They're just dogs... regular dogs. It shouldn't be that difficult for us but I agree we need to find a bottle neck or a wall to put our backs to so they can't surround us and try to pick us off one by one."

Derovai gives Niklas a flat look, nodding slowly at the mention of dogs. "Spoken like someone who's used to killing dogs, you two," he tells Jeffeth and Barric. "Speaking for myself and these two -- " a gloved hand jabs at Niklas and Oriana, " -- we won't be much help there."

Jeffeth gives a nod. "I'll stay at our back and keep an ear out, then. Crovane it is."

"We could kill just one." The implications are grim, "If they're not starving..." She shrugs. She looks at Valarian and his bow, but nods and presses on with the others.

"Just as a warning, I'm not nearly as good with my bow as my sword, if that's what you're thinking. Don't rely on that for taking them out. I would rather avoid them entirely and head to Crovane, frankly," Valarian murmurs quietly in response with a shake of his head.

Barric nods, "I'll take the lead then just in case." he looks over towards Joslyn and smiles, "Either way, we may have to deal with them on the way out. At least it's light now." He says with a shrug and then looks over towards Derovai and the others for directions to lead them to the Crovane House buildings.

Oriana shakes her head, falling in, staying ahead of Jeffeth and behind Barric. "Just one. And you wouldn't need to drop it." Oriana's expression shutters, "They'll take care of it after that." She glances at the sky, trying gauge the time.

The dogs that were spotted are being left alone for now. The party travels the path to House Crovane itself. As they get further into Crovine, things seem finer and nicer, and appear to be sturdier, but it's hard to say. The roads are certainly steadier than those traveled before, but it's no less wracked with damage than any other place. The stables are completely gone, except for the stone base of the building. The forge seems to be the only thing left of the private smithy for the family. The cellar doors are gone, and there's no telling what condition the cellar itself is in. There's a stone storage shed that's lost its roof, but it otherwise seems in tact. Then there's the house itself for Crovane, which seems to have various bits of damage done to it. There's no telling for certain how steady any of the structures are from the outside.

"The army was walled up in here." Jeffeth says quietly as they approach. "We cleared a pass from the mountain side down to them before they lit the fires and we all rode out for the mountains." The man speaks softly as he moves at the back of the group, murmuring quietly about what happened before. "Dead everywhere. Ours, theirs." He closes his mouth and goes silent as he looks on the house.

"Save time. Each of us hits a particular place. One person good with weapons and salvage with a person or two who's not, so that if we get in a tight spot..." Derovai points to Joslyn, Jeffeth, Barric, and Valarian to indicate the former, waving his hands at the rest of them in indication of the 'not,' including himself in the latter. "We've got the forge, the cellar, the storage shed, and the house itself, right? So that's four." His voice turns a bit crisp, as if to shake Jeffeth slightly from his fugue. It's pretty dispassionate, all told.

"Well if we run into anything worse than dogs," Joslyn says to Barric. "I'd rather not have to do so tired," she shrugs, following them down the road, looking around and she frowns a little bit as things seem rather quiet. "Do you want to check out the cellar?" Joslyn suggests, pointing over towards the opening, absent of any doors. She eyes Derovai and gives a faint nod. "Well, I'll go to the cellar, if anybody wants to join me," she says simply.

"I'll go check out the forge," Valarian states with a little shrug, amber eyes falling on that particular ruin. "And I'll take Oriana with, she seems pretty clever." Looking back at Oriana, he nods. "Sound good? Or do you wanna to to the house instead? I'm up for either?"

"The Cavalry really helped save our ass." Barric says softly, "The ones that survived the beach, and the mountain pass. They road around the walls riding down any of the Gyre's forces that escaped the flames so they couldn't cut off our retreat from the flames." He shakes his head afterwards then grins wryly at Joslyn, "Fair enough. We'll just have to fight the dogs tired then." He looks over towards Derovai, "Only three groups, we can't pair off and someone going solo is not advised." He looks at Valarian, then Oriana, then shakes his head before he starts towards the Cellar too. "Three of us should go to the Cellar, if that's a collapse we'll need all the hands we can get."

The young woman's gray eyes are somber at Jeffeth's and Barric's recounting. She murmurs a prayer, quietly. Oriana looks to the cellar, it had drawn her attention and she was on the verge of accepting Josyln's offer but closes her mouth and follows Valarian towards the forge. "/Seems/ clever?" Hmmh.

Niklas looks over to Jeffeth. "I assume you're with me whatever we do. I hope this is because you and I are friends rather than because Sabella is paying you." He looks back to their options and says, "Let's check out the shed. Maybe that's where they kept their rare banjos."

"Cellar it is," Derovai responds, moving to catch up with Barric and Joslyn. "Looks like you're stuck with me. Let's /not/ find banjos. I guess we all go into the house afterwards."

Gives a little nod towards Barric. "Could use all the hands we can get if there is debris to move," Joslyn agrees with him, and shooting a glance towards Derovai and giving him a small nod. "Well, I'll take whatever I can find that's not nailed down," she says simply. "If it looks interesting at any rate. That's why we're here, right?" she says, moving beside Barric as they come to the Cellar.

The group splits up. Joslyn, Derovai, and Barric go to the cellar and discover that they are in a bit of a tricky situation. Some clever maneuvering will be required to complete their task.



Oriana and Valarian go over to the forge and start looking around.



Jeffeth and Niklas start over to the shed to check things out.

The group splits up. Joslyn, Derovai, and Barric go to the cellar and discover that they are in a bit of a tricky situation. Some clever maneuvering will be required to complete their task.



Oriana and Valarian go over to the forge and start looking around.



Jeffeth and Niklas start over to the shed to check things out.

Oriana's eyes narrow as she scans the forge, furnace ventilation, and then - there. She points at an oilcloth wrapped parcel tucked in low stone shelves. Crouching she tugs at the bundle, grunting, "Heavy."

Searching the forge carefully, and then the two stone shelves, he then notices Oriana attempting to pull out that package. Leaning over, he takes hold of another part of it and starts yanking as well. "What have we here...." Valarian mumbles.

Derovai glances down -- and further down, into the darkness. "Why don't you jump?" he drawls to Barric. It's not a serious suggestion, even if it is dry.

Looking down into the cellar Barric wrinkles his nose, "We're going to need light, lanterns or torches at the very least." He notes and goes about looking for something to make torches out of, sacrificing one of his canvas bags if he needs to if nobody brought any torches or lanterns. "Either of you good with rope? Can secure us a way down and a way back out?" He looks over towards Derovai and Joslyn curiously then goes back to seeing if he can find anything else to make a torch out of. Fortunately there is always tinder and flint if one is used to making camp fires and the like. So lighting his makeshift torch shouldn't be that difficult. He looks over at Derovai, "I could, but I'd like to get back out too."

Flinging one hand out, Jeffeth throws his palm in Niklas' direction. The signal for STOP. "Niklas!" Jeffeth exclaims rather quickly, pointing down at the ground where Niklas was just about to walk into a big old hole.

Joslyn eyes the cellar from her position and removes a pack from her shoulder, pulling out a length of rope. "We're going to need some lanterns," she agrees with Barric. "And find something sturdy for me to tie this to as an anchor," she suggests. "Or else somebody stays behind and just holds the rope."

Niklas approaches the shed with Jeffeth and looks the building over. "It seems solid enough. Though I have a hard time imagining that anything called a 'shed' survives a fire like this and is particularly sturdy." Niklas glances back to Jeffeth and then doesn't fall into a big old hole. Staring down with big eyes he says, "Ah. So. The moral of the story is keep your eyes to the everywhere." He takes a deep breath and says, "Thank you, Sir Bayweather."

Barric says to Joslyn, "Find a big chunk of rubble to tie it too." He nods towards her rope.

Derovai laughs sharply at Joslyn's suggestion. "Not it," he remarks, holding out his arms. "You're lucky if I can hold the rope, especially with a person attached to it." Although he does nod to Barric's suggestion, waiting.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 55 higher.

Jeffeth tips his head down. "I care about you Lord Niklas." The big man rumbles as Niklas avoids falling into a hole "That's why I'm watching out for you." The big man steps forward, trying to get Niklas to stand back. "I'll check the other side." He murmurs, preparing to leap. "Also Princess Sabella said she would give me two bottles of bubbly sparkling wine if I protected you." The large man starts running and goes to jump over the big ol' hole.

Niklas checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Joslyn nods to Barric. "Good idea, I just hope it holds," she says, looking for a piece of rubble to tie to rope off to.

Jeffeth checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 57 higher.

But before Jeffeth does leap, as he's running he goes to grab Niklas and HEFT him across the hole, before leaping himself.

Oriana and Valardin are able to get the oil-clothed parcel from between the two shelves. But, now, what are they going to do with it?

Glancing down at Oriana, "Let's open this thing up. I've got gloves on in case there's some concentrated evil inside or whatever," he murmurs, the giant redhead peering at the parcel rather curiously. Valarian waits for his partner's input on it, though, as it's not just his well-being at risk.

Jeffeth manages to stop Niklas before he walks into a 4-5 foot gaping hole that's just beyond the doors of the shed. Then leaps into the other room. In the room they find that it's largely been untouched, except for the fact that the roof has caved in, and there's a nasty, nasty smell coming from the gaping hole in the ground. There are a few tables that seem to have survived, and shelves too.

"I rather hope the Crovane's aren't in the habit of stockpiling coagulated demon essence." She isn't afraid of anything in that oilskin and sets to. "You get that end, I'll get this." Curiosity has a thrill tingling in her neck.

"Well, that's very nice to hear. I care about you too, Sir Bayweather. Why just the other day I was saying t- what are you d- FUUUCK!" Nik lands in a heap on the other side of the hole and lays there for a minute. "Ah, the quiet dignity of the noble class."

Derovai checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Crossing the distance, Jeffeth lands on the other side of the hole, Niklas going down to the ground. He wasn't exactly prepared. Lowering down to grab Niklas by the arm, Jeffeth tries to yank Niklas up to his feet, giving the smaller man a bright smile. "I'm very good at jumping." He points out with a bright smile.



"Not so good at /finding/." Jeffeth also points out, gesturing to the shelves and tables. "Your turn, Lord Niklas." The big man rumbles lowly as they move into the next room.

"Let's have at it, then!" Grinning enthusiastically - and perhaps with a bit of avarice - Valarian helps Oriana yank that oilskin open with a slight laugh. "I know, right? Who knows what's in there, but I want to know! That's the important thing..."

Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 49 higher.

Barric checked strength + athletics at difficulty 10, rolling 44 higher.

The explorers working around the cellar manage to tie off a rope someplace, and Barric is the first to go down. He's able to make it all the way down without incident, and the rope appears to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of everyone who needs to use it. Further, holding the rope for the others to climb down makes it easier for them to do so.

Derovai checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Niklas is hefted to his feet and takes a moment to pat himself down, as if perhaps he tucked his self-respect into a pocket somewhere and then forgot about it. "Of course," mutters Nik before he takes a moment to look around the room. "Pretty grim."

After Oriana and Valarian open the oilcloth, a broadaxe is revealed, with storm clouds and lightning decorated along the blackwood handle, and silver trim along the high quality steel axe.

Lou drops Stormcleaver, a broad axe.

Derovai checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Shrugging at Oriana, "I may as well carry it so we don't forget it. It's pretty neat looking, I imagine Crovanes like their axes."

It's a little trip down as she follows Barric and Derovai into the cellar, wiggling her way down the rope. She moves to join them and gives a little nod towards Barric as she starts to try to peer into the wreckage.

When her corner of the cloth comes free it's all of a sudden and she thumbs back onto her behind with a grunt. Collecting herself she sits forward and whistles low, fingers tracing the bolts of lightining. "They're called 'Axes,' what gave you that idea?" She looks at Valarian, gauging the bulk of the gear he's porting. "I'll take that bow off of you. I'm a decent shot." She pushes to her feet, dusting hands on her trousers. Again. Dusty work, this.

[EDIT] ...she thumps back...

Going down is easy enough for Barric, he rappels down into the Cellar like there was nothing to it the reaches for one of the light sources they have available to them and sets it where it will provide some illumination on the way down. Wrapping the bottom of the rope around his waist he secures the rope with a simple twist and then holds steady for Joslyn and Derovai to make their ways down. Once done he lets go of the rope and reaches for a light as his other hand goes to the pommel of his swords just in case.

Valarian picks up Stormcleaver, a broad axe.

Barric checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Joslyn checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 7 higher.

"Deal. I'm definitely not a great shot, so I'l lug around this axe. And I know, right? Axes? Who knew?" Shifting his eyes around a bit, he grins at Oriana. "I wonder if they'll find anything or just die. Or get maimed. Kind of wondering, you know." Pulling his bow from off his broad back, Valarian hands it to Oriana, then picks up the axes. "Nice, very nice."

Jeffeth checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.

Oriana takes the bow from Valarian and inspects it. "You know these shoot things. Long. Pointy... what're they called?" Oriana taps her lip, thinking. She looks beyond the enclosure they're in and offers a faintly concerned, "I did hear a shout. Though I think it was Niklas." What 'though' means here is any guess.

Derovai makes his way down, if with a bit more difficulty, landing a bit hard. He takes a long look around, staring into the illuminations the lantern brings, and then nods towards the back of the cellar. "There's something over there, you two. Shining. Someone wanted to keep it hidden; it's got a cloth over it."

Joslyn suddenly, as she's looking through the Cellar, she jumps and shines the lantern to shine down on her feet.

There's several snakes that seem to have taken refuge in the cellar.

Snakes. It had to be snakes.

"Oh right, yeah, kind of important," Valarian notes as he pulls the quiver off of his shoulder next and hands it to Oriana. "Right, the shooty things. Arrows." Grinning, he gives the axes a swing with a nod of satisfaction.

Jeffeth glances over by Niklas, he seems to have found something on the ground. The big man makes his way over to bend over and pick something up off the ground.

Eyes wide and frozen in place, she looks around, stepping back away from the snakes as best she can to try to avoid setting them off. "This is going to be fun," she murmurs, a nervous laugh given before she carefully decides to press forward anyway.

Said Joslyn.

Niklas nods when Jeffeth comes over. "Found this. Figured I'd wait to see if you saw it was actually a hole or perhaps filled with wild dogs."

"Suits you," Oriana opines of the broadaxe in Valarian's hands. "Let's go see how the others are doing. It's been quiet...

Barric has rolled a critical success!
Barric checked wits + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 77 higher.

Joslyn checked wits + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Derovai checked wits + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

"Yeah, we can go look, it might be amusing. Which ones are we checking on, again? I'll follow you, You've got the bow. Makes you look all leader-like," Valarian tells Oriana with a nod.

"Ignore them. They're not poisonous." Barric says as he looks at the snakes, naming them off, "Those are garter snakes, those are blacksnakes, and the others are milk snakes. They might bight if you step on them but that's why we wear boots and leathers. It might sting but..." He shrugs, starting to look around and shuffle his feet through the snakes to gently push them aside to see if they are laying on anything that has fallen to the floor. At the sound of a shout from outside he goes still and listens, "Well, either someone's done, or it was nothing." He chuckles softly.

Niklas squats down and puts his hands on a small metal box. He taps each side before picking it up and trying to open it, like some kind of suicidal adventurer.

The big man leans down and picks up a metal tube. With his back to Niklas, opening up a metal box, Jeffeth mirrors the action, opening his metal tube.

Oriana shoulders the quiver, checking the pull of arrows over her shoulder. She tests the bow's draw and it's /stout/. She lifts brows at Valarian and as they step outside she aims down back the way they'd come, pulling the string back in one smooth, steady motion. Definitely not her first time. She sights and takes a breath, one, two, then eases tension and lowers the bow, fitting the arrow back in the quiver. They had headed to the forge first, "I don't even-" She cocks her head, listening for the others.

The box Niklas holds comes easily open. Inside, is a very carefully wrapped object. Likewise, Jeffeth's tube easily comes opened as well. There's something rolled up within the tube.

Derovai nods in silent agreement with Barric. He starts to head towards the glint of whatever he'd spotted under cloth, picking his way carefully around the snakes. They might not be poisonous, but he's not some sort of anguicidal maniac, out to kill them all. "This better be something," he murmurs, more to himself than the others.

Joslyn nods simply and with careful steps she presses further into the cellar. "Not venemous... Good," Joslyn nods, looking back over her shoulder to Barric before pressing forward, lifting her lantern once again to try to get a good look around, and see if there's anything worth taking. "Just smells like old food," Joslyn says. "I'm not sure they stored anything valuable in here."

"Painting." Jeffeth rumbles sliding the canvas halfway out of the tube, sticking his eyeball in the circular fold of the canvas to eye the painting. "Pretty one." Before he's sliding the painting back into the tube and going to cap it. Then the Knight Lieutenant is turning to look at Niklas. "You?"

Derovai reaches the shiny object, and removes the cloth. He reveals a small metal chest. It's a common chest, with no markings or anything, but it does appear to be locked. Shaking it would reveal there's lots of little objects within it.

Lou drops Snow-Capped Mountains of Stormwall.

"People always store stuff in the cellar, it's where they hide their valuables. Under the food. In alcoves behind barrels. In secret compartments or behind loose bricks." Barric tells Joslyn with a smile, "Look for any color differences, or where the mortar in the stone looks crumbled or cracked more than others."

Jeffeth picks up Snow-Capped Mountains of Stormwall.

Derovai checked luck + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Niklas removes the little bundle and carefully unwraps it, revealing an ornate drinking horn with battle imagery carved into either side. "Huh. Nice." He holds it up so Jeffeth can have a look while he leans over to peer at Jeffeth's find.

Lou drops Ornate Drinking Horn.

Derovai, meanwhile, doesn't shake the chest too loudly. He sets it down, starting to work on it -- and cleverness and persistence pays off. As he opens the chest, there's more glinting inside, and he just sort of /stares/ for a moment, before shaking his head, shutting the chest. "Fifteen thousand silver and fifty military writs," he remarks slowly, before closing the chest securely -- not locking it again -- and starting to head back to Barric and Joslyn. "Find anything?"

Niklas picks up Ornate Drinking Horn.

Joslyn nods to Barric. "All right, we'll just have to see if we find anything," her eyes keep casting back down to the snake infested floors, making sure she doesn't step on any of their new friends. She glances over her shoulder to Derovai. "Oh... nothing yet. Just snakes. Lots of snakes," she sighs, looking then for where the mortar might give way to something, ora discoloration as Barric had suggested.

"Nice." Jeffeth rumbles as he looks over at the horn. "Alright My Lord. Brace yourself, we need to go back over the hole." Jeffeth murmurs, tucking the tube into his belt. The hulking man goes to get a running start, looking over Niklas. "Alright, here, we, go!" Dashing at Niklas the big man goes to jump-tackle Niklas across the hole once more. Jeffeth is trying not to throw Niklas on the ground this time, at least.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

Jeffeth checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 34 higher.

There is a nice little whistle from Barric as he hears Derovai's finds, "That's probably all we're going to find down here. I don't see anything else." He walks over towards the place where the stairs used to be and sets the lantern down, "Come over here and I will boost you both up and out." He lances his fingers together to provide a step for the other two.

Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

All the groups find things in their various locations. They also make it back to each other without further harm or mishap. However, the day is waning and it's moving into early evening - though it is not quite dusk. They can decide to head back, or decide to forge forth and try to explore House Crovane.

Niklas lands on his feet this time, but that's really the only good part about the whole thing. "I would appreciate it if no one ever heard about the throwing, Sir Bayweather. Including Sabella. And especially Master Voss."

With a smile towards Barric, she lets him boost Derovai back up, and she climbs up the rope herself, moving with a quite easy grace of a toned fighter. Gazing all around the rest of them as she nods to the other groups, she suggests. "Nobody checked the house proper yet, have they?" Joslyn asks. "Think we have enough time? I'd hate to leave something behind."

Niklas adds, "I would appreciate it to the tune of a bottle of rosewater vodka."

Derovai has a small metal chest he's holding onto as he emerges from the cellar, thanks to Barric's help. "Money," he tells the others, before glancing at the house itself. "All in?" And he just smiles at Niklas, motioning as if he's buttoning his lips. "We'll talk about it later, Your Lordship," he tells Niklas.

In the space between their various destination, Valarian, bearing a handsome broadaxe and Oriana, bearing Valarian's bow, stand watch, keeping an eye out for the dogs. "Unless we're coming back tomorrow... let's head in."

Strike my last pose. - Dero

"Not sure what you're talking about My Lord." Jeffeth rumbles, "You were the one who told me how to cross the chasm. I couldn't have figured it out without you showing me the way." Then they're nearing the group. Jeffeth gives a broad smile down to Niklas as they hook back up with everyone else. "More adventures or are we turning in?"

Barric scrambles up out of the cellar as well after hooking the lantern to his belt and once he is up and out of the cellar he starts untying the rope. Not that he didn't enjoy the sight of Joslyn clambering up out of the cellar ahead of him so, there's always a win somewhere. Coiling the rope up after he gets it untied he nods, "Let's do it."

"Alright. Let's head into the house and see what's inside. Might be more things to find in there yet....besides, likely that's where the more valuable things would be left, I'd imagine." Valarian admits with a laugh.

Derovai has a small metal chest he's holding onto as he emerges from the cellar, checking to make sure everyone else makes their way back. "All in?" He starts to make his way for the door, telling Valerian, "You'd think that, wouldn't you?" Now he /does/ shake the chest. There's the sound of money inside.

The Explorers head into House Crovane proper, or rather the Keep of House Crovane. They enter inside a large foyer, that was once a vibrant room to behold. Now, it's full of char and cinder. Midway, there was once a beautiful staircase that went up to a second floor. Now, the staircase is missing halfway up, burned through. There seems to be a partial family room to the left, and partial dining room to the right.

"Prince Barric?" Joslyn asks. "Think you can boost me up those stairs?" she wonders. "I can tie a rope off up top to help everybody else," is her suggestion. "Or we could keep to the first floor," she looks to the rest of the group. "Whichever, but I think the truly interesting things should be upstairs."

Niklas is using a shirt tail to clean out his new ornate drinking horn. When everyone decides to head into the house he gamely follows.

Jeffeth moves at the back, looking up at the stairs with a light frown. "Maybe we should try to find a different way up." The large man rumbles, before turning to go into the family room on the left.

"We should check the ground floors first I think." Barric says with a wry smile at Joslyn, "I'm sure we can get you up there but there might be a better way and we can check the ceilings from down below for weak spots."

Derovai turns for the dining room. "If I steal the silver, nobody saw it," he remarks dryly as he heads to the right, still carrying that money chest alongside him as he goes.

Oriana nods agreement with Joslyn, but Barric brings up a good point. "Why don't you two work out the rope. And we'll check the ground floor here." Whether they agree or not, she pads towards cautiously towards the family room.

Oriana's made the decision for him as far as Valarian is concerned, and follows her into the family room with a cautious look about.

Derovai has second thoughts, turning for the family room instead alongside the others!

Derovai checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Jeffeth checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 12 lower.

Oriana checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.

Barric checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Valarian checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.

Joslyn checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Niklas checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

The room is devoid of anything one might naturally find in a family room. Anything that was made of wood or cloth was burned away. But, the room is only partially burned, and the light of one of the lanterns might be glinting just right for Derovai sees something else shining in the room, along one of the edges of the wall.

Derovai jabs a finger over to the edge, where he's spotted. "Over there," he remarks shortly. "Can't be money just lying around, unless they /really/ liked to show off as silks." He leans back, waiting, making a little go-ahead gesture to one of the others.

Oriana pads into the room, eyes scanning carefully, the scent of burning still lingers on blackened wood. It's hard to look at and not imagine how it once looked. She's perusing and, when he points it out, squints at the bit of gleam that light reveals. She's still 'on watch' keeping an ear and an eye out for those dogs and so she keeps near the doorway, nearest where they entered.

"If Lou doesn't get the 15 thousand silver..." Joslyn squints towards him. "It should go towards reconstruction efforts. Or wherever else she decides," Joslyn sighs and looks back around the room, lifting her lantern high to see if she can spot anything else of value.

If nobody else is going for the point that Derovai gestured to, Barric will go check out what can be found there. "I agree. All of this needs to go back to Crovane or to the Guild Master to let her decide what to do with it." He echoes Joslyn.

Something strikes Valarian as incredibly amusing, looking over at Derovai with a snicker. "Can you imagine? If some silks just left piles of silver out just to be ostentatious as fuck? Here, come sit in the family room and behold this pile of silver, guests."

Niklas looks around the bare room and nods. "This definitely fits the Duchess' style." When Derovai motions for someone who isn't him to go check up on something Niklas stays well back. Rushing in hasn't exactly done him much good so far. So instead he hangs back near the Mirrormask and waits to hear the results. "I got into the Society by charming Master Voss with a song. So far that hasn't been a useful skill in the field."

Derovai gives Barric and Joslyn a flat look at their remarks, but he keeps quiet, before looking back to Valarian. "It's been done. Try the Mazettis, for one. Rubino's not far behind." And then he lances over at Niklas. "You didn't charm /me/. You charmed the hypothetical Nox'alfar. Count your blessings you weren't playing it for me. Barred from entry for life." But he half-smiles at Niklas as he says that, not entirely serious.

Something definitely catches Barric's eye where Derovai had pointed and there is another low whistle as he examines what it is. Reaching out to pick up the bit of shiny thing Barric picks up a necklace and brushes it off gently with the silks of his shirt. "Not quite a pile of silver but..." He shows the necklace he has found to everyone before offering it to Joslyn to hold.

Lou drops an iridescite mantle of tree branches with a ruby blood moon.

Barric picks up an iridescite mantle of tree branches with a ruby blood moon.

Oriana laughs at Derovai's rejoinder, but furthers conversation with Niklas, "Do you know her?" Oriana shakes her head to indicate that she doesn't. When Barric prises the necklace from its cubby, Oriana whistles low. "How'd that get wedged there?" Huh. She gives the room another look, though by now it's full of people who are primarily good at being opaque.

Joslyn keeps looking around, though Barric's motion catches her eye and she looks to the necklace that he's offered her, and she picks it up with a curious look. "This is beautiful," Joslyn says. "I wonder if they might let me pay them to keep it... I'm assuming otherwise it has a rightful owner," she muses. She looks like she might put it on for a moment before she stows it away instead.

Niklas watches as Barric produces the particularly nice necklace. "Huh. That looks well valued. It may be worthwhile to see if a Crovane recognizes it. Or maybe it's worthwhile just to shove it in our collective pockets. I'm not here to judge." Niklas gives Oriana a nod. "She tried to pull Kennex house into a very strange argument she was having with the Redrains. It was bizarre but other than that she was perfectly lovely."

Jeffeth already moved back in the hallway. He looked around the room and was pretty sure it was empty. So when he gets out in the hallway and hers people still talking in there about something, Jeffeth frowns lightly and moves back into the family room. Whatareyouguysdoing we're wasting time!

Barric chuckles at Jeffeth and then starts to make his way out to the rest of the house after one last look around.

Derovai studies the necklace too, looking a little taken aback by it for some reason before he looks back towards the door as Jeffeth reenters. "There's more in here, Sir Bayweather. We're still all right, right? No dogs on our scent?"

There's a mix-maxed serenade of howling dogs coming from the outside. It's gotten darker by now and it seems they are on the hunt. The howling is distant - but not so distant it can't be heard in the half-burned down keep of Crovane.

At the lift of howling, Oriana's head comes up, "That's me." She eases from the entrance to the doorway to stand sentinel watching the way they came in. She draws an arrow and sets it to the bow, eyes trained outward on the shambles of the grounds.

Joslyn moves with Barric to see the rest of the house, a glance given to Oriana, Joslyn says "We really need to move a bit faster," she says. "It'll be pitch dark soon."

"We could camp up in here. We have doorways, and we can get to the second floor." Barric suggests, "That way they can't reach us... otherwise... we really need to get a move on."

Niklas puts his hand on the pommel of his sword and watches the door. He's not very useful with it, but if dogs swarm the place they'll probably need every blade out. As an aside to Oriana he mutters, "Don't listen to Master Voss. I charmed the shit out of him."

Valarian wastes no time and heads for the ruins of the dining room to search. "Let's get this searched and then get upstairs. Quickly. Wasn't someone working on making a rope or somesuch so we could get up there faster?"

Derovai stares at Niklas for a long moment. "No." And he keeps his distance from the dogs, offering a shrug. "I'll go with you, Master Harrow. Like as not I can spot something."

Oriana keeps it so she can see and call out to the searchers, but can't search herself. Or, she can, but out - to where those chilling snarls and howls issued from. They haven't revealed themselves yet. And with any luck - they won't.

Oriana checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Barric checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Derovai has rolled a critical success!
Derovai checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 88 higher.

Niklas checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.

Joslyn checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Valarian checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.

Jeffeth checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

"Incoming!" Barric calls out and draws his diamondplate sword, moving to block the doorway as best he can, "Get behind me." He tells Oriana, "Jeffeth! Check the walls see if they have another way in!"

Derovai emerges from the search a few moments later with a small puzzle box chest in hand. He moves to hand it to Valarian. "All right, Harrow. Give it a shot." He motions to the lock, letting the taller man prove his worth, his gaze a little assessing all the same. And then he hears Barric's call, grimacing. "Oh, /shit/."

With Barric's call, Joslyn reaches behind her head to pluck the hairpins from their holding place. A strange choice, to be sure, but the alaricite tips were designed to be effective, and they hold in her fingers like they were made for her grip. "Is it all of them?" Joslyn wonders. "Eight like beofore? More? The same ones?"

"Dah! Highness! You're in my line!" This to Barric's back. A bloody lot of good the bow will do with Barric in the way. She sidesteps, heading for a window or other way to see what's coming. "Damn this twilight."

Just as Barric yells incoming, there's another sound of mixed howling. It sounds like triumph, like a party of dogs that have found their prey. The round the bend and start for the house, clearly having found the trail of people - or in their eyes, fresh meat. Sometimes, that's what happens when Explorers stay too long. They encounter a ravaged pack of animals, starving for something nice to eat. It becomes all to clear that the house is in no condition for a battlegrounds, as the environment on the first floor is the only steady thing about it, and it is close quarters at best. The stairs themselves are questionable at best, and they don't even get a person all the way to the second floor.

The color drains out of Niklas' face when he hears Prince Barric's shout. He backs up further and slowly draws his useless sword. "Aaah, Sir Bayweather?" He looks around, just to make sure that the person being paid to make sure he doesn't die is nearby. Voice rather hollow he says, "Prince Barric will be my cousin soon. I don't know why that strikes me as interesting right now."

"I see four, maybe more." Jeffeth rumbles, drawing his blade as he parks himself in front of the doorway. He holds his blade out in front of himself, and motions for Niklas to go behind him. Jeffeth tries to take as much room of the entrance as possible, now that Oriana's shot is already blocked. He will offer his big ol' body as the meat, holding his blade up ready to chop-chop at any approaching dogs.

Valarian draws his rubicund warblade, but instead of waiting for the onslaught, starts to study the stairs carefully, looking for any potential weak spots and how difficult they'd be to climb.

Oriana checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 44 higher.

Barric checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 43 higher.

"Because 'soon' means it's happening. It's-" she grunts trying to get line of sight on a dog, lift, aim, release, "-life affirming."

Joslyn checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 59 higher.

Oriana wields High Quality Practice Bow.

Valarian wields Crimson Wake, a slender rubicund warblade.

Joslyn wields Ruby and Rose, a pair of alaricite hairpins.

Niklas wields Inspiration Strikes, a steel sabre.

Lou has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 4

Joslyn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 23 higher.

Four dogs just seems like the first wave of dogs. There were eight that were spotted of course and as Barric, Jeffeth, and even Joslyn get into position to do some fighting, four more are coming into the line of sight to help with the rest of their pack. Before the pack knows it, three of its members are slain. The fourth of the original four attempts to go after Joslyn!

Joslyn squeezes past Barric as the dogs approach, her weapon has much shorter reach after all. She prepares herself with a squint as the dogs approach. "Here they come..." Joslyn murmers before that first wave washes over them, stabbing her pins expertly into the first dog she sees, she very nearly doesn't get out of the way as the fourth snarls his way towards her. "Get off, damn mutt!"

Though, the dog that Oriana hit does appear wounded.

Barric steps into the rush to make room for Jeffeth and Joslyn, and arrows to fly past which thankfully don't hit him! His diamondplate blade, Fidelis, arcs through the air in a beautiful cut that takes out both of the front legs as the animal rushes towards him and in the finishing arc he sends the animal tumbling to the ground in pieces. Flesh and bone is no match for Diamondplate, not when wielded by the Sword of Bastion. He looks for the others and then slashes his sword to the side, flinging blood and worse off of it before he goes to ready himself for the next engagement. When Joslyn gets attacked though by the wounded dog he frowns, but trusts her to deal with it without trying to intervene.

Unleashing his blade, Jeffeth dispatches the poor mutt in front of him. Blood flying as his blade arcs through the air, and cleaves through the best easily. He does not turn to look at Joslyn when a dog goes after her. "Call out your name if you need help!" The big man shouts, keeping his gaze instead on the approaching hounds, blade raised once more and prepared to cleave again.

Everyone on the front lines seems to have this nightmare well in hand, so Niklas steps back and opens up his flask, sets the top to the side and fills it with brandy. Then he digs through his pack until he finds some bread and a lump of smoked sausage and has some repast while others murder dogs. But not murderdogs.

Her shot was true, just not killing. That poor mongrel slips the wall of Barric and Jeffeth, Trusting the others to dispatch the dog she didn't quite kill, Oriana attempts to spy more dogs pacing the darkness.

Barric checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 42 higher.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 27 higher.

Valarian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 12 higher.

Oriana checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Oriana checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.

Lou has rolled 1 5-sided dice: 3

Valarian checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 25, rolling 44 higher.

In spite of its fellows being down, it seems like the wounded dog has some tenacity. He's found his prey and he's not giving up! Particularly not after she just "bit" him with her hairpins. The final dog attempts to go after Valarian. He's a bigger breed, but certainly not a murderdog!

As the remaining dogs come in Barric twists to the side and slashes in a diagonal arc, holding his sword in an reverse grip that is more like a giant knife than a sword. It works, even if unorthadox. Fur and blood and bone fly into the air as he bisects the animal, sending two large pieces tumbling to the ground in a spray of not so pleasant things. And the smell. Ugh.

She's going to keep trying to bite that dog with her hairpins, snarling out in response to his own sounds, the alaricite flashes through the air, both hands wielding the still deftly, and the skirt of her steelsilk flaring out as she spins away, distracting the dog and allowing her to slip away once more, before she moves to retaliate once again. "No help needed," she grunts. "I got this damn thing."

Finding her target, shutting out the yelps, Oriana focuses, breathes, draws, aims, releases. "There is fighting happening, Lord Kennex, sing a song or something!"

Twirling his light, curved warblade in one hand with a bit of panache, Valarian then takes a sideways stance and stabs the sword violently between Jeffeth and Barric, skewering a dog through the neck in a spray of gore before yanking it out - and finding a big pooch in his face. But thankfully, it misses taking off his face...this time!

Jeffeth brings up his blade again. He's not as quick this time. The dog leaps up, and Jeffeth swings his blade out, completely missing as the hound leaps up to pounce at the big man. Sharp rabies ridden teeth probably dig into the dangling length of his duster. Jeffeth instinctively pulls his leg away, but the dog only follows. Grimacing, Jeffeth is too thrown off balance for a clean cut. So instead, he commits. Throwing himself forward, the big man sends his knee flying down at the hounds head.



Ending up the the dogs head crushed on the ground under his knee, the Knight brings Silverfall up in one hand and thrusts it down into the writhing, struggling creature's torso, it gives a horrific yelping sound that totally will not haunt Jeffeth for the rest of his life before bringing himself up, bringing his blade up, looking over to Joslyn. He just gives a nod.

Derovai reclaims the box from Valarian, leaving the other man to fight, joining Niklas in watching. Unlike the other man, though, he keeps his dagger at the ready and his body slightly angled defensively. He's the playwright's last line of defense! And fortunately, probably unnecessary.

Niklas spreads some stinky Ostrian cheese on the bread and then tops it with a fig and a little honey. He uses his handy knife to slice the sausage up and sips his brandy while enjoying his finger foods. "I should have brought some dates. I think that would be better than figs." He holds out a slice to Derovai. "Snack?"

Jeffeth checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 38 higher.

Oriana checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 29 higher.

Barric checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

Valarian checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.

Through the combined hacking and slashing effort of everyone, all the dogs are now dead. It's a bloody mess. Yay! Or, maybe not yay. It's a sad sight really, at least for the one that Joslyn killed. It was a beautiful golden, with ribs bare and showing. But, if they were left to live, assuredly it would be human snacks they'd be feasting on. The explorers find that there's nothing left to explore in the house and the stairs are too unsteady for anyone to really climb them. This leaves them to return back to camp, in relative safety, with the exception that they are now traveling through the rubble strewn city in the dark.

Barric has rolled a critical success!
Barric checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 49 higher.



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