Post by Ravna Reiersgaard on Jul 31, 2015 14:26:33 GMT -8
As her companions descend one by one into the hole, Ravna glances longingly at the mural. Leaf shadow appears to bring the figures to life for a moment. With visible straightening of her spine, she turns away and climbs down into darkness.
The light from orbiting Ioun torches causes a faint strobe effect in the hallway. The murals down here seem to be portraits. The likenesses are rough, and age has faded them. Worse still, each in turn is covered in fresh graffiti. which further obscures the ancient artwork.
Scrawled in ink across most of the portraits are somewhat nonsensical phrases and insults. The most common word plastered across the walls translates as 'pudding brain'. A common insult among gnomes, particularly for non-gnomes. Other insults include 'fool' 'weak' 'deserved to die' 'Death is impotent'.
On the floor, neatly placed below each of the portraits, are small leather bound books. The books appear to be ancient, most are falling apart, but still seem to have been placed on the floor with care. Most are propped against the walls, perhaps to prevent them from getting stepped on.
Examination of the books. Books are written in Draconian, examination would take several minutes.
A cursory inspection of a few of the books indicates that they are biographies or personal histories. They seem to list acomplishments, discoveries, accolades, crimes and personal philosophies. The names of the books match the names of the portraits on the walls. Intense and careful study might reveal more information, but a few minutes of reading reveals that most (if not all) of the biographies are of powerful mages, necromancers. They appear to be members of a singular society, cult, or perhaps a kingdom. Several contain passages detailing the subject's devotion and service to 'Bezranix'.
There is a dried blood trail, seemingly leading from a the eastern alcove down the western end of the hall.
The blood trail was most likely made by dragging a fresh kill. The pattern is similar to those made by large predatory cats, like panthers or leopards, who drag their kills into trees or dens to protect them from scavengers.
For speed and clarity, while the party is exploring I think it best if Rothgar speaks for the party. That way we only need to wait on one person, rather than five. Since Rothgar takes point and he looks for traps, he seems to most logical choice. If anyone has anything to add, please do. I won't wait for input from the party, but input would still be welcome. Likewise, if anyone disagrees with Rothgar's choice of action, please speak up.
Post by Tessa Rothaldi on Aug 1, 2015 17:30:00 GMT -8
Tessa looks around at the paintings and books, but since she doesn't understand the languages they are in, loses interest after only a little while. She turns her attention to the blood trail...
Knowledge Nature: HPSdSjpc1d20+7
This is fresh. She eyes the trail, then her companions. This might be a feeding ground for something. Big cats hiding their prey from scavengers leave trails like this. I don't know if this is a big cat, but the trail is similar. 1d20+7
Rothgar sees no obvious signs of danger, apart from the trail of blood. Near the alcove the blood was much thicker, further away the dried stains get lighter. The hallway turns sharply twice. As Rothgar moves down the hallway, he carefully checks the seams in the stonework of the walls, floor and ceiling. The hallway turns. The stench of decomposition is still very strong. Rothgar continues down the hallway, which ends in a closed door. The door itself appears to be ancient wood, bound with iron.
On the other side of the door, you can hear movement. It is difficult to make it out, it is certainly not heavy footfalls. It sounds more like an animal, like a pig snuffling through slop pale. Occasionally, there is a sharp crack. No words can be made out, just an occasional hiss or grunt.
The murals and ancient books continue down this hallway as well.
If anyone is unhappy with the marching order, let me know. That order makes sense to me.
Post by Ravna Reiersgaard on Aug 4, 2015 3:57:16 GMT -8
Ravna exclaims softly as she sees that the mouldering books are written in Draconic. She longs to examine them further, but instead readies herself for whatever might lay the door as Rothgar whispers his warning to the party.
Rothgar gently places his shield against the door and glances down the line at the party. One by one they nod, grimly. Rothgar throws his weight into the door, which nearly falls apart with the force. His light floods into the room revealing the horrors within. This room bears a resemblance to a library, shelves line every wall, rotted books and scrolls piled upon them. Near the center of the room, there are 6 corpses piled in a heap. Most are bloated, or burst. Blood and entrails spread in a sickening pool from the pile.
Strangely, the two corpses on top of the pile are not bloated, but appear to be severely emaciated. Both are nude, save some tattered rags, and are covered in blood and viscera. It takes Rothgar a moment to realize, the two emaciated corpses are squinting against his light. While they are covered in blood, their mouths look saturated, with bits falling from their open jaws. Both hiss and and raise bloody claws and crawl off the pile toward Rothgar.
These creatures are Ghouls. Undead creatures, more powerful than most skeletons or zombies. They feast on dead flesh. They can paralyze foes, and often their victims rise again as ghouls. They typically slash with their claws, and bite with razor sharp teeth.
Ghouls paralyze with a touch. The paralysis does not last long, though it often only wears off after the death of the victim. Elves, or those with elven blood, are immune to the effect. It is unknown why, but there is speculation that the first ghouls were an elven creation.
Ghouls typically reproduce by infecting their victims with Ghoul Fever. The Fever is spread through a bite, and takes days to kill. While it is not always fatal, anyone who is killed rises with a shattered mind and an insatiable hunger for humanoid flesh.