Nada for the Dungeoneering check; characters can also try Knowledge (Nature) or Survival.
Re: Areas #3 and #4, the tunnel on the eastern wall of #4 DOES require squeezing. #3 is borderline but opens up right away once you get past the entryway.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
Can I cast Guidance on a Knowledge roll? If so, I do.
I realize that Guidance spell is hugely important here. Let me know!
Well, then Dalvar favors trying #4. Whichever one is less likely to make it so that one of us gets munched while he's possibly not even wearing armor. :P
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
No, because you didn't know you would need t make a Knowledge check before you made it. However, I was looking for a 30, so you succeeded!
The moss is not natural (obviously). It isn't even moss. There are local legends in Haranshire about men and women who disappear during particularly violent thunderstorms this time of year (not necessarily the kind that produced the monster tornado a few nights ago, but similarly shitty weather).
Sometimes, they're just gone; no trace of where they were or what they were doing when they vanished. Sometimes, after a later, different storm, they miraculously reappear and are seemingly none the worse ror wear (or at least, not physically. Their demeanor, personality and even some memories are markedly different when they come back, to the effect that interpersonal relationships and the ability to maintain steady work and hobbies are often impaired).
But once in a blue moon, those who come back from wherever they were all that time do not survive the trip. Their bodies are recovered in roughly the vicinity of their last known whereabouts covered in a fungal substance not unlike what Raph sees here.
One writer of note, a Biglygill Shimmyshins of the Granheim School of the Arcanum in Torag's Pact, speculates that the longer the remains go without being discovered, the more robust the fungus appears and eventually it would entirely consume the corpse and spread out into the local environs. He led a zoological and botanical expedition to Haranshire out of one of the enclaves of his kin nestled in the Red Hills. They came for an entirely different reason, but stayed long enough for one of their number to A. Unfortunately disappear under such mysterious circumstances within the meteorological parameters described above, and B. For her remains to be discovered after a subsequent weather system rolled through two weeks later.
Shimmyshins posits that if left unchecked, the strange flora would likely overwhelm any ecosystem into which it was introduced. That didn't happen, however, because the local squirrel population descended on it like a pack of hyenas. When the gnomes first found their kinswoman, they feared these specimens had actually devoured HER, and that explained %the dismal state of her corpse. But it was determined that although outside their normal diet, the rodents were eating the moss itself (or whatever it is).
Their strange behavior only got worse from there. Some were observed stacking piles of acorns into piles that looked suspiciously like step pyramids. One of their kind fell ill and died, and the others attempted to dig a small hole and bury it. And finally, they became increasingly aggressive, to the extent that the expedition had to be cut short. They were only squirrels, after all, but their violent behavior was so disruptive some of the supplies the gnomes brought with them were destroyed and one of them was even physically swarmed before the psychotic animals could be driven away.
From all of this, Raphael has reason to believe that somehow, some way, the fungus originates from a different plane of existence or maybe even another Material Plane out in the void. This may or may not be where the Departed, as they are sometimes referred to in Haranshire, disappear to (and subsequently return from); if they leave at all. Their means of transit remains a mystery.
If the centipedes are always hungry, as Dalvar suggested earlier, they may have attempted to eat it just like the squirrels in Hardlow Woods (where Issha and her brothers and sisters of the Order of the Phoenix went in search of a vampire, as an aside for the rest of the party). If so, that would explain why it isn't everywhere down here. It may also explain their behavior if it is identified as erratic (Raph doesn't know anything about them so he can't attest to that).
It's from Skyrim.
It's survivalin' time!
Jugg has some limited second hand knowledge of patches of fungus in the Night Below that glow in the dark and produce bizarre side effects for anyone or anything desperate enough to eat them. If Raphael relates his anecdote from The Shimmyshins Chronicles, the psychological symptoms presented by the squirrels from Hardlow Woods sound pretty par for the course. So does the centipedes' glowing green ichor. He doesn't know any more about people vanishing during thunderstorms (a phenomenon dismissed by the inquisitor Issha over dinner at Kuiper’s as, "fools who got stranded somewhere because they didn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain"), though it sounds very much like what may have transpired aboard the barge that ran aground when the party met Cattea.
Nor does he know anything about the fungus possibly having extraplanar or even extraplanetary origins. The word "unnatural" doesn't mean much to Jugg. After all, here you are in a nest burrowed out by centipedes bigger than dwarves, and yet they appear to be totally normal in this climate. And that's only a few dozen feet underground. The deeper you go, the weirder stuff gets, and it may SEEM unnatural to surface dwellers (even academics). But it's pretty par for the course in places where civilized folk are born, live their whole lives and die without ever seeing a tree or the Sun.
Admittedly, none of that explains where it comes from. But that's not really Jugg's realm of experience. His area of expertise is more along the lines of, "No matter how hungry we get, this is not food."
Did . . . didn't Thunk sort of take a shower in the blood of that last centipede? Like, laughing and swishing it around in his mouth?
Yeah. When the light from the sunrod or lantern isn't shining directly on his face, it's still glowing green everywhere (including some in his mouth).
If the water in the little underground lake isn't fetid or stagnant, Feruq isn't entirely opposed to acting as a forward scount to see if that direction proves to be the way we want to go. He's demonstrated himself to be a comfortable swimmer, he's not wearing armor and he's got a sunrod, which won't go out if he takes it under the water.
I'm guessing Feruq might not see anything wrong with eating the moss. :/
Don't worry. Jugg won't let him eat too much.
Jugg recognizes the name, for sure. They don't exactly move in the same circles; Jugg spent his formative years outside the city proper and once he did assume a role within one of the "civilized" clans, he worked in security, mostly. Shimmyshins is a lecturer at a wizarding school and a published author as a naturalist, as well as being a gnome, which sets him apart from almost the entire population. I need a Knowledge (local) check from him to see how much he knows about this guy, and if you don't have any ranks you can use it untrained and just roll Intelligence.
Dalvar knows a bit about mundane rituals used during exorcism, if there were reason to believe Thunk had fallen prey to a malevolent entity (either fiendish in origin or your average, dang ol' ghost). If that is not the case (and nothing Raph said so far suggests it is) then the effect is probably more like a symptom from a disease or poison. That would be more the forte of someone with ranks in Heal, but administering care might prove challenging if the patient is uncooperative. He shudders to think of what could happen if Thunk had contracted an illness that made him "aggressive."
Re: the Departed, Dalvar knows the following about this specific area.
RUMOR: Strange lights can be seen over the Halfcut Hills on dark, moonless nights. The green and blue twinkling motes might be mistaken for stars except that they seem far too close, since they are only visible to those in the immediate vicinity of the Keep. When the moon is full, however, shimmering pink and yellow ribbons appear and are sometimes close enough to the ground to actually illuminate the hilltops in the area. If Lord Parlfray knows what they mean, he isn’t saying.
FACT: The nomads who dwell on the Ocean of Fire; particularly the clans that claim occupancy among the ruins that dot the Sands which predate human history and were likely constructed even before the cataclysmic war between giants and wyrms; tell a story about Those Who Came From Beyond The Veil. In the final days of the war, the Elder Races who served the dragons and giants as slaves (as well as the humans, savages at that time barely capable of speech) were liberated, finally, by beings who looked and sounded like them, but obviously came to this realm from some other place. They had arms and armor to rival even the slaves' titanic overlords and, after freeing them from bondage, remained long enough to grant the gift of literacy.
There is a presumption that this incident is actually the first recorded (albeit orally) incident of Outsiders acting on the Material Plane. It is also theorized by religious authorities it is the origin of the deities commonly worshipped in Damark, but not necessarily that those beings were among the retinue who visited this world (more likely, the Outsiders shared stories about these figures with the former slaves and the myths and legends that make up the scriptures now used in their worship started there).
The tale of this first visitation on the Prime Material Plane has some salient details that were steeped in ritualism and hocus pocus, or so one is inclined to believe. Full moons are significant in many stories and legends, of course, and the moon was supposedly full the night Those Who Came From Beyond first arrived. But perhaps it is not so far-fetched. The detail that stands out most in Dalvar's mind, and which he only just now remembered given the party's current activities, are references to the pink and yellow ribbons of light that reach down from the sky close enough to touch the tops of the fortresses and keeps of old (or, in this case, hilltops in the vicinity of Parlfray Keep).
The next full moon is in eight days.
Dalvar's using detect magic. He's primarily interested in identifying those potions, so here are some Spellcraft checks for that. If the shield Thunk found is magical, he'll look at it, too. And he'll have a peek at Thunk, just in case there's anything squirrelly happening.
The shield Thunk found is not only not magical, it was never masterworked and in fact has the broken condition. This means, among other things, its bonus to AC is reduced to +1 and its armor check penalty jumps to -4. However, it is still serviceable in a pinch, and would be more than adequate for, say, wedging into a crawlspace to obstruct creepy crawlies.
The potions are of glide and stabilize. The latter is really only useful if someone is unconscious and you administer it to them to prevent them from bleeding out, unless the person using it had an ability like orcish ferocity where they remain conscious while in negative HP but continue taking damage each round (unlike characters with the Diehard feat, who auto-stabilize every round). Of course, if you lack healing potions, it is absolutely perfect for that, even if it's all it does.
Oh, and I need an Appraise check.
Oops, I guess that should have been a secret roll. Well, Dalvar doesn't know he fucked up. He knows the shield has seen better days, of course, and he thinks the vials containing the potions are pretty par for the course. Nothing to see here.
K:Local untrained check
Gnomes are born with herpes. Actually, a baby gnome is just a gigantic herp with a face. Jugg knows this to be true, deep down in his bones, and will never be convinced otherwise.
So gnomes are all from Indiana, then. Got it.
Jugg has a sporran?
I mean, he has an armored kilt. And he does have a "pouch." I'm not exactly reaching.
Things have just been slow lately, I think.
Let's speed them shits up.
Sorry for the delay, folks. There are good and bad weeks, but I have been working on the game in my absence. Specifically, although I mentioned it in passing a few times before, we are now closer than we had been in quite some time to bringing in a seventh and eighth player to round out the party roster. We aren't quite locked and loaded yet but it's definitely happening now, barring some unforeseen incident. I'll keep you posted.
One last time
One more, I promise.
OK. I need initiative checks for Dalvar and Jugg, please.
Nice. Jugg should just stay here, he's really in his element.
Interested parties can identify the seal on the scroll of shield of faith with a successful Knowledge (nobility) or (religion) check.
For when Thunk get go
Gotta know who we're dealing with.
Is Dalvar ready to magic the shit out of this swarm inside skellington knight's armor?
MI, yeah, dude, this is Jugg's place. Just to clarify, you had written that he was leading the party with his waraxe - but he still has the falchion out. That thing is a beast.
Would Jugg be willing to hold onto his falchion even while traversing tunnels so narrow he has to squeeze to get through, thus making attacking with a two handed weapon technically impossible?
Nope. I see what you did there.
It's not clear to me that it is, in fact, a swarm. Or even vermin. It could just be your basic, garden-variety skeleton, although I will admit that this seems rather unlikely.
Anyway, if Jugg's weaponry proves ineffective, Dalvar has a variety of countermeasures he can attempt, ranging from "kill it with fire" to "scream like a little girl and run away while the monster finishes killing the dwarf."
Jugg is within his rights to delay until after Dalvar acts, but if he keeps his current initiative he will almost certainly act first again in the first full round. Currently, only Dalvar and Jugg are aware of the threat, whatever it is.
Jugg won't delay. Instead, he will charge in without thinking of consequences because that's for panzy asses and get his kill on. I think I have a couple options, right?
1) Charge attack, giving me a +2 to hit. If I do this, does it count as a move action or a full round action? If it is a move action, I would like to equip my shield mid charge like a baller.
2) Knock it on its ass. Would this be an overrun or a bull rush?