[DW] The Vault of Stars [All 1.3]

edited February 2013 in In-Game


  • Well now, to recap: either too worn down or too cautious, you hunker down without exploring your immediate environs. Your torches throw out fingers of light, only slightly illuminating the walls and roof of this large cave; as your eyes adjust, you begin to make out vague forms at the edge of vision, signs that the natural cave has at some time been roughly worked and carved.

    The remnants of the ghouls' camp lies scattered about as well, and this is where you have made your own camp. The cauldron must have been theirs, and many, many bones litter the ground around. There are also a few half-rotted crates, a bronze-bound chest, and a handful of filthy rags. Also, the corpse of a goblin that seems to have been burnt up in an intense fire, much like the goblins you fought nearer the entrance to this dungeon.

    You rest, but only for a few hours, snatching some food and sleep. For that short a time, the easiest thing to do is let Castor stand guard (aided, perhaps, by Gaston), while the rest of you sleep. However, if you want to post a full set of watches, that's only your business.

    In any case, you one-by-one awaken from a light sleep, and everything is much as you left it.

    What now?
  • I gather up my belongings, try my legs and then grab a torch. Waiting for the others to get ready, I take a look at the chest. Is it locked? If it is, I try to gauge how hard a blow it would take to smash it open. Otherwise I just open it, obviously.
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    I wake quietly and the cold and wet here reminds me of nights spent sleeping in the sewers. It's comforting, in an odd way. Because I'm here with friends, not all along licking wounds or waking with a headache and cotton in my mouth. I reach into the bag I stole from the goblins and fetch out a small hardtack biscuit, then push myself up into a sitting position. I see Brandon is up and if he sees me i the firelight, I'm smiling up at him. I watch him look over the chest with interest, how he looks about for a weak spot. It's rather amusing, really. Brandon smash chest!

    I chuckle softly, then take my last bite, wash it down with some... wait, whose skin is this? It tastes rather fresh. Perhaps Bucan's? Maybe he blessed it. Oh, I hope not, if it were important. For fighting undead. Or perhaps it's just tasty. Best I slip it back near Bucan's pack. I'm rather sure it was Bucan, or was it Castor? Nevermind, I shall lay it somewhere near Bucan, then rise up and stand near Brandon, my good friend.

    I say low for him to hear without waking the others, "Methinks I can work at that lock." I'm going to do just that, because, why else would they want me here? I'm rubbish in a fight, but I'm good at this kind of thing.
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    Picking the lock on the chest:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    Oh, checking for traps as well (if that is a separate thing, here is the roll):
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • The chest is solid wood and bound in bronze - breaking it open would take some work. It has a flat top, and on the front right corner there you can see the letters CRADDOCK branded into the wood. It is, in fact, locked.

    Traditionally, Bug, we would check for traps before starting to poke at the locks ... I'll assume that's the order you've chosen. And, yup, there is a trap. It looks like it's one of those jobs where you have a funny key that fits the lock just so, and you twiddle it just so, and that's how you open the thing without tripping the trap. Otherwise, it'll trigger when the thing opens. As stands, though, you're not sure exactly what happens when the trap goes off.

    So, sure, you're looking at the lock, and it's familiar to you - you're sure you can open it, no problem. But there's the trap.
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    I look up at Brandon and say, "It's trapped. Thing'll go off when it opens. If we had a key for the lock, we could avoid it." I look over at the waking party, "Did anyone pick up a key among the spoils?"
  • I step back from the chest. "Nope. Oh hell, maybe the big nasty ghoul had it? Then it's on the bottom of the pool by now."
  • [Tiernon]

    Thinking that the key might just be hidden under something in the room, I start ambling around, kicking at protrusion in the floor, looking for niches in the wall, kicking through rags.

    Discern realities #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • Oh, sorry, Tiernon. I assume your first question is what is valuable to you, but I'm afraid I'll have to answer that later this evening. You do have two other questions you can ask, as well. Do you know what they are?
  • Of course...

    What here is useful or valuable to me?
    What here is not what it appears to be?
    What should I be on the lookout for?
  • So you're poking in all the corners, Tiernon. Well, it's a big cave, like I said. You'll want to take a torch, unless you want to go for the magic light, so you can shine it in all the cavities and crevices.

    It's not really a cave, though. It's more of a ... church? That's the impression you have. There's a large central area, stairs up to a dais (that's where the ghouls and you have made camp), galleries off to the sides, that kind of thing. Very church-like in organization, carved from a natural cave. It's partially collapsed, with the end of the cavern opposite the dais choked with rubble. There might have been another entrance at that end once, but now it must be hopelessly buried.

    There are many shadowed cavities and galleries off the sides, but you only find two actual exits. One is the way you came in, down a sinkhole into the strix nests. The other way is up. There are handholds cut into the rock wall, forming a stone ladder up to a dark opening in the roof of the cave.

    Oh, and you're increasingly certain that this is a place of power. The church-like layout made you think, and now that you're looking for it you can feel the trickle of power in the stones, all about darkness and stone and waiting and warding. You could do ritual magic here, if it were attuned to the place's power.

    The place seems pretty secure, too. You know that the galeb duhr came through here at some point, though, so it's always possible that they could return. Also, you know that one of the ghouls fled the fight, and it might also return at some point. You've seen neither hide nor hair of either of them, though.

    Kicking around in the rags and rotted crates doesn't come to much. You do find some coin scattered about, coming to #DiceRoller( 3d8 ) coin. One of them, a steel Imperial coin, is in miserable shape ... it appears to have been used to scratch the word NORTH into the stone floor of the cave, about a dozen times that you can see. You also find a few mining tools, picks and hammers and so forth, none of particularly excellent quality.

    But no key, you're sure there's no key laying about the camp. You put the question to the NPCs then. Castor hasn't seen one, neither has Bucan. Bucan opines that, yes, Brandon is most likely correct and one of the ghouls was carrying it.

    Gaston nods and looks quite relieved to have a plausible explanation for the mysterious absence of any useful keys. He says, "Here, maybe we should leave it be? Dangerous trap, right, and we might always come up with a key later. We can always come back, crack it open then. Weren't you all in a hurry?"

    You're suspicious of Gaston, Tiernon. In fact, now that you recall, he did go poking around the camp a little while the rest of you were settling in for a little shut-eye.
  • Oh, hey. Pretty decent roll for the miscellaneous coinage.
  • edited February 2013

    Then I shift over to one side, torn by my thoughts about Gaston. What should I do? I stare at him while thinking it over, lost in my thoughts and missing the fact that he's aware of my gaze and shifting uncomfortably. Then I shake out of my reverie and amble over to Castor.

    "Some coin to add to our loot," I say and hand 22 coin to Castor. "Anyone else find anything?"
  • "Nope. You're right, we should get going. When we've come this far there's no use turning back until we have to."
    What feels natural would be to keep going forward, meaning up the cut-out ladder. The trolls did come this way, and I'd actually rather stumble into their hideout than wake a whole war camp of goblins (which I guess we'd risk if we headed another way). However, I (as a player) must admit that I've lost track a bit of what would actually be the best way. Let's keep going here, following the galeb duhr.

    Is that lantern still around? If Bug wants to keep it to himself I say he climbs first, otherwise I can take it and climb first. Since carrying a torch while climbing and staying alert seems a bit tricky.
  • Castor's counting the coin over to Bucan. You know, priest of civilization and trade, all that - he's a good accountant.

    The solider tells you, Tiernon, "Nothing you."

    Bug, you might be able to open the lock and disarm the trap pretty quickly, if everything goes smoothly. If it doesn't go smoothly ... well, it could take a while, or perhaps a very, very short time, depending on how badly.
  • [Tiernon]

    I go over to Bug. "Do you have that piece of blade? I think it is much more than it seems. May I have it for a moment?"
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    I look at Tiernon. "But, but... this thingie I have here is MINE!" I give him a wild-eyed look for a moment and freeze. I wait a beat, then crack a smile, "Make sure and give it back. I hate it when people steal my stuff." I fish it out of my pack and hand it over.

    After I hand that off, I look to my friend and then the chest, "Brandon, this chest is trapped, we cannot find a key. If I try to open it, it could very well explode. That sounds terribly foolish. So... stand back."

    I'm totally going to open this chest!
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    Tricks of the Trade
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )

    (anyone wanna help, that's fine)
  • Huh, so I give you a choice here. Well, you can take your time here, Bug, or not. If you take your time, cool, but it'll be about another hour before you all can get moving again. If you hurry, well, the fast way to do this is, you think you can trigger the trap without actually opening the chest? But there's a good chance doing it that way would damage the contents.
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    Might as well announce this and get a group vote, "Hrm well. It will take me about an hour to fiddle with this lock. Down here in this cave with monsters about. Or, I can just rush job it, but the trap will go off and might ruin what's within. What say you, friends? Defend me for a bit for the loot or we grab what we can and get a move on to find those men from the wagon?" Yes, I expect they'll want me to rush, which is my preference.
  • "We don't even know what's inside – even if you do ruin it that's better than having it inside a locked chest while we should get moving." Brandon's looking impatient.
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    I look to Tiernon with a raised eyebrow. What's he think?
  • Tiernon purses his lips. "I do hate to leave a job half done. We've already spent hours here and been safe, what's another one?"

    He turns back to the shard and unwraps it with careful fingertips, turning it over while held by the cloth. He examines it for markings, and for the nature of the forge lines. The process may have involved some magic.

    Discern realities(WIS) #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • [Bug the halfling thief]

    I shrug, Tiernon's got a point. I'll turn back to the chest and get to the hour-long careful thing. If Brandon or Castor object, then I'll spring it on purpose like I know I can, and we can pick out the remnants.
  • I cast about the room impatiently. After a while (say half an hour) I go down the corridor we came from to see what the situation is down in the shaft. I do keep an eye out for striges, and if they seem to be stirring too much I go back again. If it seems I can get past them I want to peer out and see if there's anything out there.

    If I get that far, here's a Discern realities roll:
  • If the roll applies: What should I be on the lookout for?
  • edited March 2013
    Brandon, it's been a few hours, so the striges are largely settled into their nesting holes. However, if you poke your nose too far in, they sense your body heat and that does rouse them again, so the tunnel down to the shaft is still very dangerous. So ... I guess you could be on the lookout for that, but they seem disinclined to follow anyone far into the cave you're camping in.

    And not much else is going to be able to easily come up the tunnel at you, either. The rock trolls' hides must be enough to make them immune to the striges' blood-drinking, but anything else warm-blooded is in for a good deal of trouble. The caveat is that they're nocturnal hunters, and once they swarm out in the evening they'll no longer be guarding your rear. With the secret door into the shaft still hanging open, those pack-goblins could easily find their way up here, at that point.
  • Tiernon, you'd need to ask me some questions for discerning realities ... but I wonder if you might not be spouting lore, instead. I think I could see either way, so you pick.
  • edited March 2013
    And Bug, okay. Well, you're picking the lock, taking apart the hinges, and then slipping little splints in between the lid of the chest and the body, just enough so you can get some thin tools in there to carefully feel out and jam the mechanism. You take your time, and it turns out to be a pretty simple setup, so after a while you've got it set and you can carefully lift the lid off, enlisting Castor's help, right?

    You get a first look at the contents, and Castor chuckles, "Ha! That's worth the wait."

    It's filled with silver because, well, this was a silver mine, wasn't it? Not cruddy silver ore either - actual smelted silver ingots. Bucan will step in here in a moment and appraise the lot of it, he'll eventually deem the chest's contents to be worth 2000 coin and 20 weight. So heavy as heaven, too.

    The lid has a couple interesting points, too:

    • First, the trap mechanism is mostly crap, just a cheap bronze blade and a bit of spring steel. But it also includes a flask of an alchemical fluid you recognize ... it's transparent and colorless, but it discolors most metals (not gold) and it stains skin cherry red. Reputable merchants know to recognize the signs, since the stuff is occasionally used in traps like this in order to mark the thieves.

    • Second, there's a leather pocket attached to the inside of the lid. Within is a deed to the mine, written out to Craddock and signed over by the goblin king, himself.
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