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Thread: [IC 1] The Tor at Hightower

  1. #1
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    Default [IC 1] The Tor at Hightower

    You're in a small town. The kind of town where adventurers get their start. You've just finished your first quest - dealing with the rats in the tavern's basement - and you're ready for something else. You check the tavern's notice board, where jobs and bits of news that may lead to a job can be found, and you see a piece of news that several unsolved murders recently took place in the village of Torvaldshire.

    'That's only a few days travel from here,' you think. It sounds like the perfect job for a brand new adventurer like you: sniff out and apprehend a killer. You stock up for the journey, making sure to pack more than you need in case a surprise frost blows in (it's the cusp of winter and snows could start falling any day now), and then you set out on foot.

    After about a day and a half of travel, you start to notice that the wilderness around you has grown rather quiet, like the animals can tell that something's coming. The sky has been slowly darkening all day, and the wind is picking up. The smell of rain has been thick in the air for the last couple of hours. Now it finally begins to fall, gently sprinkling and accompanied by soft rolling thunder in the distance.

    You pick up the pace. The storm is rising in intensity pretty quickly and you know that this area is kind of famous for its terrible electrical storms. Within ten minutes, the rain has grown to a steady downpour, and loud peals of thunder are now ringing out that seem to roll across the landscape. The sun is completely hidden behind a blanket of massive stormclouds. It practically looks like night out here now. A cold wind blows from the north. As bolts of lightning begin to slam from cloud to ground and pieces of hail begin to strike the earth, the need for shelter becomes obvious. You start to look around in concern for anything that will do.

    Ahead in the distance, a large tor rises from the ground, its form illuminated in silhouette by the occasional lightning bolt striking behind it. It seems rocky and solid, and though climbing it in this weather would be folly, it might have an outcropping or something that would provide safety from the storm. The only other option is to try to just endure this weather, which could be extremely dangerous. You immediately turn in the direction of the tor and start running that way.

  2. #2
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    But while you're running toward it, you realize you already know about this place. You're local, after all. You've heard the stories. Long ago, a small but mighty humanoid kingdom existed in what is now this empty wilderness. Bugbear and ogre warriors fought brutal wars of expansion, earning great fame and amassing considerable fortunes from their predations. Those who died in battle were buried in large tomb complexes dug into hillsides and honored as patrons of the living. Among these tombs was the large tor known as Hightower. Though it was neither the largest nor the most famous of the kingdom’s tombs, Hightower did represent a typical example of this kind of structure. As happens to all such nations, the cruel humanoid kingdom eventually fell to more powerful human forces that razed all its cities and outlying fortifications. Of the tombs, only Hightower escaped destruction, largely because it was an unimportant monument in a remote location. A few tribes of humanoids that survived the devastation tried to use it as a fortress, but the humans with whom they clashed defeated them soundly and the entrance was sealed long ago with a huge, round stone to ensure that the tor could no longer be used as a base. Since then, Hightower has basically just served as a landmark for travelers and has otherwise been largely forgotten.

    While sprinting toward the tor through the rain that is soaking you and the lightning that is striking the ground frighteningly close to you, you glance around and are surprised to see the outlines of several other humanoids in the distance, all running at full speed toward the tor just like you are. There are three silhouettes that look like they are each traveling alone just like you, and then one clump of three that appear to be traveling together as a group. They're all making it their top priority to reach the tor.

    The massive tor towers above the surrounding country. A few narrow ledges offer scant protection from the elements, but a closer inspection reveals a massive, arched entryway at least 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, set into the side of the hill. The ground just outside it slopes away from the doorway, directing the falling water out and away. Given this fact and the sturdy nature of the hill, whatever space lies beyond the door should be both dry and safe from lightning and hail. The construction seems quite sturdy, so the likelihood of collapse, even in severe conditions such as these, is probably remote. The others seem to see all this around the same time that you do, and they all appear to draw the same conclusions, because everyone course-corrects just a little bit and heads right for that arched entryway.

    Everyone reaches the entryway at about the same time, and one of the individuals from the group of three - a human male with a thick beard - speaks up right away.
    "Storm-peace?!" he loudly asks over the din of the storm.


  3. #3

    Default The Tor at Hightower

    Howling winds, blowing rain horizontal noticeable only due to blinding flashes of lightning, turn what should be a protective cloak into an unintentional sail preventing Rolen from keeping his path true.

    Noting the others from the sides, it’s plain everyone had the same idea. Now strangers on the road can cause trouble, but his waterlogged bones tell him he’s already there.

    - Here’s the point in the old legends and epic poems where adventures meet around a common fire driven by circumstances beyond there control to find out that the very strangers they happen upon are fated to be the key to solve some great puzzle!

    Focus! You fool. The human spoke to you, what did he say!? Naturally Rolen has let his mind wander - perhaps to help distract from the storm. Storm-Peace. Storm-Peace? ... STORM-PEACE!
    By the gods this is just like the beginning of Slycer Swordfist and the Red Bearded Boar. When the grizzled dwarf Stoneheart granted shelter to Slycer from the hurricane. And as soon as Slycer heard the offering of peace he knew the exact words to speak. They were so AWESOME!! What were they ... oh burn me! I need to answer this human - he’s just looking at me... the story springs to Rolens head in a heartbeat. How often he’d heard it retold. How long he’d tried to put music to it. His mind racing again, he realizes it’s been seconds of silence besides nature screaming.

    ”Storm-Peace, indeed. Peace to you and yours, until peace comes to the storm.” Rolen thrusts his arm out to seal their pact. Nice Rolen, that’s almost exactly how Swordfist would do it... I think.

    If the human accepts Rolens arm, he grips it and goes inside to introduce himself out of the molesting reach of the storm.

  4. Default

    The moment Gallant reaches the entrance, his hand is on his sword. After all, you never know around which corner evil may lurk. However, the question of "Storm-peace?", a promise in its own right, eases his mind. A man bound by tradition and, more specifically, duty, is one he can trust. At least for the moment. He allows his hand to drop off of the hilt of his sword and fall to his side.

    Gallant nods in agreement to the storm-peace, but stays silent, hoping the motion won't be lost in the darkness of the storm. The darkness isn't all bad, though. Tieflings are never really trusted, at least on the first impression, and the longer the darkness can obscure the red tint of his skin and the horns that curl out of his skull the better, storm-peace or no.

  5. #5
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    As he had gotten closer to the archway and the people gathering there, Damian had unconsciously slid a hand to grasp the dagger sheathed at the small of his back. But upon hearing the words of Storm-Peace, he relaxed enough to bring both hands back into sight, holding them open palmed and slightly away from his body.

    "Aye ... Let us have the Storm-Peace and get out of this foul weather".

    As another flash of lightning streaks nearby, he moves to enter the archway once the way is clear.
    Corn can’t expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  6. #6

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    First things first: Yeunni Goldmoon wasn't an adventurer.

    True, she'd helped with the rats...but then again, what decent person wouldn't? And yes, she carried a mace for emergencies and wore armor for protection, but that was pragmatism, nothing more. The minions of the evil gods were always active and no sane person, devout or not, would ignore the daily perils of life in hopes that they would somehow pass one by.

    But Yuenni wasn't seeking gold or glory, like so many others who set their feet on the paths of adventure. Instead, she was simply heading to the next town over, asking what she'd been asking everywhere for the last four years of wandering: is anyone sick, hurt or in need of aid? As a cleric of Diancecht, goddess of medicine and healing, Yuenni had chosen to dedicate her life to the art of healing others and that was enough for her.

    At five, she'd been sent away; at ten, she'd been Found; at sixteen, she'd set off with a mace, some hand-me-down armor and an ability to heal wounds. What more did one need?

    Well, sometimes it seemed, one needed a group of strangers and a cave-like thing to ward off the rain and lightning. So be it. Who knows, the cleric thought, perhaps one of them will need some healing before this night is through?

    "Storm-peace to you all," the twenty year old, yellow-haired, blue-eyed, plain-faced young woman murmurs as she steps out of the howling storm and into the strangers' company. "My name is Yuenni Goldmoon. May Diancecht bless you all."



  7. #7
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    The big, bearded fellow seems very happy with everyone's response. He nods and smiles.

    "And Lathander's blessings upon you, my lady!" a blonde man with a goatee shouts back above the roar of the storm. "Upon you all!"

    Everyone huddles up under the stone overhang, grateful to finally be out of the rain. It's a little late for everyone, though. Everyone is literally dripping wet, soaked to the bone. The wind blowing through the area is so very cold.

    "Captain, this won't do!" shouts a clean-shaven, long-haired man. "We need to find something better or we won't last the night!"

    The man with the thick beard - their "Captain" - nods in agreement and starts looking around, though not much can be seen through the blanket of rain. You start looking around, too.

    Anyone who can make a DC 15 Perception check (or who has a Passive score of 15 or higher) notices that the small rubble that can be found on the ground in this area does not look like it was formed naturally over a long time. It has the flat sides and rough edges of rocks that have been forcibly cracked and broken. Your eyes wander up to the massive round stone that covers up the entrance to the tomb itself and you realize that there is a big chunk missing at the very top-center of the stone. There's also a huge crack in the stone running from the hole at the top all the way down to the ground. Something hit this stone hard enough to blow a big hole in it and crack it clean in half.

    Staring at it for longer, you start to notice faint scorch marks around the affected area. It's starting to look like it was a particularly nasty bolt of lightning that hit this stone. Uh-oh. That means you aren't as safe here in this spot as you previously thought you were.

  8. #8

    Default The Tor at Hightower

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollperception - ( d20+4 ) (20) [24]

    ”I would really like to get acquainted with everyone, but perhaps we could get inside first?” Rolen yells to the captain. At these words and the puzzled look (I’m assuming they didn’t notice the crack) Rolen gestures up to the crack at the top of the rock.

    With this motion you notice 4 glowing red orbs materialize, creating a gently lit path up the rock to the top.

    Last edited by ninjafar; 04-10-2019 at 04:59 PM.

  9. Default

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollGallant Perception - (1d20+2) (11) [13]

    Gallant wraps his arms around himself, shivering slightly from the cold rain and biting wind. He keeps a watchful eye on his new companions, but his focus causes him to miss the cracked stone and scorch marks.
    Last edited by HorseyFatback; 04-10-2019 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Edited to add actions based on roll

  10. #10

    Default

    Yuenni, a particularly perceptive person in general, nods at Rolan's words.

    "He is right. Lightning has struck here before, and recently; it may well do so again. Inside is the only logical choice for us all at the moment."



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