Grand Duchy 42

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 42
December 21-30, 2014

Exploring the Tower

Nytdain 22nd of Flaurmont

Recovering From the Battle

The aftermath of the battle

The battle is over, at least for the time being. The Hobgoblins have fallen back through the doorway and down the short hallway. The door has been closed and blocked as best it could be. After quickly checking the room, the Grey Company tries to catch it’s breath. One stone door leads to the south while three other doors lead to a small chamber in the northwest corner which contains a spiral of stone steps leading upward into the tower. The other door, to the east, which leads back down to the empty library has also been closed just in case any more jelly creatures ooze their way along. A handful of Hobgoblin crossbows have been recovered and piled up near the wall and two of their swords have also been claimed, though both of them are being used to spike the door closed. Little other loot has been recovered from the chamber. Draven has done what he can to patch up his wounded companions, but he fears that he has overstepped the boundaries of his Patrons’ grace.

Remar tries his hand at some minor healing magics as well, managing to patch Akaios’s serious wounds up a little bit more and getting Ree healed up completely. He tries the spell on himself, but the magic fails and he slumps to the ground, exhausted from his effort. The young mage shrugs his shoulders and then pops his magical fairy necklace into his mouth.

Marcel is nonchalantly lying on the floor between the two closed doors.

“Our luck is running thin.”, he whispers while the others are scouring the place. “If these hobos are breaking in back here, we’ll have a tough time.” He runs the various options. Back? Nah, all this way just to get back in the much with the goblin dogs.

“Why don’t we send the fresh young’un up the stairs while the other are resting?”

Griffin shakes his head. “No, we need to catch our breath, and stick together. We’ll move on when we’re ready.” Griffin looks around the room. “Everyone, take a few. We’re not through this yet, and we want to be at our best if we can.  Mages, especially - make sure you’re ready for anything. We’ll not leave until you’re ready.”

He moves around the room, checking for anything else that could be used to improve their odds. He frequently stops near the door the hobgoblins fled through to listen in case they were thinking of returning.  He unstrings the extra crossbows and throws the strings in his pack. He has Ree rest near one of the doors leading to the stairs up to listen for anyone approaching from above.

After which he realizes that he has been fussing about for maybe twenty minutes. The mages are still quietly resting. And what harm could it be to take a look upstairs, right?

“Okay, then, why don’t Ree and I check things out up the stairs while you old folk rest your bones. C’mon, Ree.” He gives a nod to Draven as he passes the base of the stairs, then stealthily makes his way up the steps.

From pretty much the time the battle ended until now, Draven has been in quiet prayer, trying to figure out how to atone for his mistakes. His craven use of the divine gifts to protect himself, his failure to come to the aid of his friends because the strokes of his mace and the sound of cracking bones in the wolves was too enticing. Not for the first time he wondered how he could best serve so many immortals and wished, wistfully, for a god whose domain was ‘a little of this and a little of that.’

After 20 minutes of quiet meditation, Draven finally feels a bit more relaxed. Though he still feels distant from the divine touch of his patrons, he believes that he understands more clearly. He reminds himself that while his actions are meant to honor his Patrons, they too, work through him, shaping and molding his life as they see fit. If he has overstepped his bounds and has lost the gifts granted to him, then surely this must be for a righteous purpose. The Patrons were asking him to show his worth without their aid. Truly, this was a blessing handed down to him.

Then the young priest shuddered at a thought. Maybe they were just mad at him.

Going Up

There have been no sounds from the direction the Hobgoblins retreated, the door is still securely held. Griffin and Ree move to the stairs. She looks at him with mixture of excitement, weariness and fear. Griffin thinks he sees a slight smile on her blood and dirt covered face as she draws her knife and pads toward the stairs.
Griffin and Ree head up the spiral stairs

The stone stairway is very dark and Griffin’s glowing necklace sheds very little light to see by, fortunately his eyes are very accustomed to the dark, and he knows that Ree’s eyes are even better than his. Griffin takes note that the worn stairs are only dusty on the outside edges, indicating recent or frequent traffic. One full turn around the stairs and they end up on a landing in a small room, similar to the one below, but with just one stone door leading to the southeast. The stairs do not go up any further.

Down below, Burik paces nervously about the room while the others rest. He checks the spiked door several times to make sure it is secure. Noticing the Hobgoblin’s swords, he laughs weakly and comments, “Those damn Goblins have better swords than I do!” He then yanks one of them out, the metal grating loudly against the stone, and wedges his own, cheap broadsword into its place. He checks to make sure it fits into his scabbard and swings the blade around a few times. He shrugs, “Spoils of war.”

Griffin looks down at Ree’s knife. “Do you have a coin?” he whispers. She looks at him quizzically, but searches in her pouch and pulls out a single kopec. He snatches it from her fingers and then pulls out the knife he took from Wyrtung, holds it out to her, hilt first. “Magic knife. I may want to buy it back from you some day.”

She looks at the offered blade, sheaths her own, and takes the large knife from Griffin. “Okay, cool, but why did I have to ‘buy’ it?”

Griffin smiles at her. “Something I learned from my dad. ‘Never gift a knife. It cuts the friendship.’” He switches to his crossbow, realizes that there might be better ones downstairs, curses to himself, then cocks it and adds a bolt. “Ready?” he whispers to Ree. She nods. Griffin very quietly cracks the door and peeks through.

The door slides open fairly easily despite its weight. The room beyond is pitch dark and a small arc of light from Griffin’s glowing necklace spreads across the stone floor. Listening intently for any sounds, none are heard and it appears that this chamber is empty. Stepping into the room reveals a pair of immense statues on either side of the room, both similar to the ones down below. Across the room another stone door sits closed. In each “corner” corner of the room are alcoves. Two of the alcoves have what appears to be single beds while the other two alcoves have several cots set up. Two more cots are set up, one in front of each of the statues. The beds are all relatively well made and do not appear to have been slept in recently. A small chest sits next to each of the two actual beds. Above each of the 10 sleeping spaces hangs a clean and polished set of iron manacles.

Checking out the next level

The Hutaakan statues creep Griffin out

Griffin sweeps the room with his crossbow, looking for anything that moves. The statues creep him out, and make him more than a little nervous. He points to the far door and whispers, “Take up position over there and listen for anyone coming from that direction. I’m guessing that’s the stairs up. And if those statues start to move or anything, sprint back down the stairs as fast as you can.”

Once Ree starts crossing to the other door, Griffin methodically checks the room. The manacles bother him - he doesn’t like how they keep showing up. They’re significant, and he doesn’t like that he doesn’t know why.

Once he’s done his first sweep, he’ll turn his attention to the chests.

Both chests appear to be locked with heavy padlocks. They are sturdy and functional boxes made of cloth wrapped wood and banded with metal.

Opening the Chests

Griffin backs to the door through which they entered, then gets Ree’s attention and points to one of the chests. He whispers “Ladies first,” and gives a polite bow in her direction. While she tackles the padlock, he’ll watch the room for anything untoward.

Ree sets to work, checking the first chest for traps before starting in on the lock. After just a few minutes of working, Griffin hears her let out a sigh of relief as she safely opens the chest. Ree smiles as she begins rummaging through what appears to be clothes and gear. “Ahh,” she calls out and holds up a full pouch and shakes it. Griffin can hear the quiet jingle of a full pouch of coins. She loosens the drawstring and peeks inside, “GOLD!” she whispers loudly across the room. She sets it down and then fishes out what looks to be a dark belt decorated with silver. She hefts it and smiles before setting it down as well. She digs back into the chest and comes out with what looks to be a suit of leather armor of some type. “Magic,” she calls out as she sets it on the floor next to the bed. “Arrows. Some of them are magic too,” she says as she removes a small quiver and places it on the ground.

Next she pulls out a long bundle that looks as if it could have only just fit in the chest at an angle. She unwraps it carefully revealing a sword and a short bow. “The sword is magic too! This is quite a haul, Griff, and we haven’t even opened the other chest!”

She gathers up the loot and quickly places it near the door that leads back downstairs before moving to the other chest. She goes about checking for traps then starts poking at the lock. Again, within a few minutes, she has the chest open. Griffin catches her smiling big and looking in his direction for a brief moment. She starts going through the chest and then sighs. “Nothing interesting in this one, just some ratty blankets, a few hand towels and a basin.”

Sharing the Wealth

Griffin grins back at her. “Nice job! Let’s head back down and show the others!” He and Ree collect the booty and make their way back down to their comrades.

“Hey Burik! I think we may have something for you here.” He holds up the leather armor. “Unless you want to keep wandering around in battle half-naked. Get over here and let’s see if this fits.” Griffin shares with the rest what he and Ree had discovered one flight up. “It looks like a bunk room - too tidy for gobbos. We may be facing human mercs further upstairs. And they had more of those manacles - these ones polished and shiny.  Weird.” He looks around. “How are you all feeling? Do you need more time?”

Everyone back downstairs seems much more refreshed and alert after a short rest period. Burik grabs the armor offered by Ree and starts sizing it up. “I think it’s a little big,” he says, blushing a bit as he tries the armor on. It hangs loosely on him and looks a bit funny. Akaios helps him cinch it up a bit. It doesn’t hang as awkwardly, but it will still need to be fitted to him better if he hopes to get the best use out of it. Some weak smiles and half-hearted comments of congratulations are given as the loot is quickly looked over by the others. It is clear that, in this case, the loot is not what is important anymore. Finding Stephan and getting out alive are the only real things to be concerned with.

After everyone has finished looking at what Griffin and Ree had gathered up, he reports that he has heard no sounds from behind the door the Hobgoblins retreated behind. He reports no sounds from the other door in the south wall either.

“Well,” says Draven, finally rising to the occasion, new determination to prove himself worthy evident in the set of his face, “any chance of surprise we may have had is likely lost, but they can’t know for sure why we’re here. I say that it’s time to trade stealth for boldness moving forward - time is our enemy now.”

“Okay, sounds fair. Burik, once you’re suited up, I think we can get going again. Ree and I have swept the next floor up, so let’s move on through and up to the next level.  Standard order. Sound good?” Griffin says.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Varda, a Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli  

and +Jason Woollard as The DM

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