[WotD] Chapter Two - Down the Rabbit Hole

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Cronono
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Round Two

Able moves forward to stand directly behind Prythurkan. With the noise and his paranoia he expected to find trouble. Reaching past the Dragonborn, Able summons a blast of eldritch power toward the nearest...creature. His spear is clutched in his hand so he is ready for when they draw near.

Meanwhile, one of the creatures releases a cloud of pollen into the golden mist. The pollen moves unnaturally through the air, ignoring the currents in the mist and travelling toward the other monsters. As it does so it also launches a volley of razor sharp needles at Eryndir. The Wood Elf dodges the coniferous assault, but barely. The creature rushes toward Eryndir only to be caught by the Wood Elf's riposte. Its body becomes motionless after the blade is removed.

Cor'val, heartened by his distant cousin's success, plants an arrow in the skull of one of the creatures. Similarly, the monster becomes completely immobile. Bird, unfortunately, doesn't get a good look at Cor'val's success. His beak opens and emits a sound reminiscent of a roaring bonfire. As he does so, he lifts up a curious glass jar that emits enough light to partially illuminate the cavern - and some of the now paralyzed monsters. They are a horrid combination of man and plant, covered in bark and leaves but walking upright like a citizen of The Empire.

One monster takes advantage of the illumination to attempt to puncture Brianna's defenses but the dwarf is too nimble. Charn gets his shield and sword ready as he advances, ready to protect Eryndir with his shield in case any of the plant critters try to avenge their recently stiff comrade. The dragonborn is immediately met with a hail of needles which tear their way through his scales. Bloodied, he raises his shield for the next assault.

Caleb shouts, "War is the health of the State!" The cleric's invective cows some of the monsters and they appear uncertain by the priest's enthusiasm for the battle. Just beyond the visible light, however, a massive rustling and shaking can be heard. Some of the demihumans with darkvision gasp as they watch more of the monsters descend from the bough of a tree growing in the remains of the ship.

The tielfing Kairon yells "Wood burns!" as an arc of arcane punishment conjured from hell blasts one of the monsters. In response, a torrent of needles attempts to find its way into both of the Dragonborn. The Paladin of Monarchy is unscathed, but Charn is brought down under the assault. Enraged, the Paladin advances and flanks one of the monsters. He brings his Crown-headed Axe across his chest and into the creature. Brianna seizes the moment and crashes her giant sword against the top of the monstrosity before it is still.

The kobold, seeing this, yells "Blights! The aurichalcum animates that which should not be animated! Burn them! Burn them out!"

Status

Squares with green growth are difficult terrain.
Squares with brown growth are difficult terrain and provide partial cover.
There are two sources of light on the map, Bird's jar and Prythurkan's axe. Characters with darkvision function as if in dim light for interactions within 60 feet.

Charn has zero hit points and is bleeding out.
Monster Purple 1 is inanimate. There are 9 more turns of Caleb's BANE spell.
Monster Pink 3 is inanimate. There are 9 more turns of Caleb's BANE spell.
Eryndir is currently hiding in the growth.
Darusthanav is currently hiding behind Kairon.

Initiative

24 Darusthanav
21 Brianna
20 Able
17 Purple
16 Eryndir
13 Cor'val
11 Bird
11 Blue
8 Charn
7 Pink
7 Caleb
5 Grumpy
4 Kairon
4 Green
2 Orange
2 Prythurkan

It is now Able's turn.

Cronono
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Round Three

Seeing Charn drop, Able moves over, dropping to his knees and raising his cloak like a shield. Hopefully hidden from sight will prevent him from being attacked again. Able looks for any way to help save the dying warrior. He manages to prevent the blood from spreading further at the same time that Caleb utters a brief benediction that restores the health to the fallen dragonborn. Charn is alive.

Eryndir plunges an arrow through another blight, inspiring Cor'val to turn to thaumgineering skills to bring down the creatures. While Cor'val cannot get his arrow to find purchase, he can still hear the arcane energy in his keen wood elf ears.

Bird advances into the fray, mimicing the sounds of a crackling campfire. The Kenku reaches into a bag at his waist and pulls out several vials - the bird brought alchemist's fire and has more than enough for everybody. Kairon takes one of the vials from the alchemist and hurls it at the ground in front of an inanimate blight. The monster is quickly overcome and turns to ash.

A torrent of needles erupts from the darkness of the cavern, several plunging into Prythurkan. Battered and bloodied, the Paladin places one holy hand on his skull. A brief corona circles his head, reminiscent of a crown. He heals his own wounds and is barely scratched after his prayer.

Darusthanav hides behind Caleb at the same time that Brianna charges into the fray with the rest of the blights.

Status

Squares with green growth are difficult terrain.
Squares with brown growth are difficult terrain and provide partial cover.
There are two sources of light on the map, Bird's jar and Prythurkan's axe. Characters with darkvision function as if in dim light for interactions within 60 feet.

Charn has ten hit points and is prone.
Monster Pink 3 is inanimate. There are 9 more turns of Caleb's BANE spell.
Eryndir is currently hiding in the growth.
Darusthanav is currently hiding behind Caleb.

Initiative

24 Darusthanav
21 Brianna
20 Able
17 Purple
16 Eryndir
13 Cor'val
11 Bird
11 Blue
8 Charn
7 Pink
7 Caleb
5 Grumpy
4 Kairon
4 Green
2 Orange
2 Prythurkan

It is now Able's turn.

Cronono
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After another flurry of blows, the plants are no longer ambulatory.

Dafyd
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With the giant plant monster dead, Charn grabs a kerchief and wipes down his blade of any sap. Though a little banged up, he appears in good spirits. "That was well-fought. How are there such things down here, I wonder?"

Cronono
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Darusthanav moves forward to inspect the remnants of the blights and the animated tree. As he pokes through the splinters, the tiefling Kairon speaks up. "That battle bodes poorly. We should have used more of Bird's fire. Plants burn."

Prythurkan catches his breath to voice his disagreement. "That battle was exactly what we needed after our last encounter, witch. We're alive and they're dead." He kicks at the tree stump. "No casualties."

Kairon frowns. "We still need to actually enter this ship, Prythurkan. We should be thoughtful in our battles rather than just throwing ourselves at every stick and twig that has decided to kill us today." Bird opens his beak and emits the sound of crackling wood at a campfire.

Darusthanav pipes in. "We were lucky. No traps. There will be traps ahead, I am sure of it." The little kobold waves his hands at the much taller adventurers. "You will need to fight smart while I deal with the traps. Figure out your plans now so you don't need to figure it out during the fighting."

Trigger
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Eryndir looks to Kairon. "Plants and trees burn, yes. So do things made from plants and trees." He glances to the wooden planks buried in the earth. "I think we should be cautious about throwing fire bombs while inside the hull of a ship deep below ground."

Cronono
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"Not so cautious we get killed. We've had enough of that lately." The tiefling's eyes dart toward Prythurkan.

The dwarf, Brianna, pipes up. "Charnobog, Prythercan, and me can get in there. You lot should just stay back and keeping shooting your magic."

Trigger
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Eryndir nods.

"I can take point with Darusthanav. While he disarms traps, I can scout for enemies. I can either double back when we encounter them or signal if we're in trouble. Though, not too far ahead of our warriors, I imagine. If there are other creatures in here, they will be aware of our presence. One of the plants escaped deeper into the ship."

Obsidian_Spoon
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Cor'val chimes in and speaks to Eryndir. "I can go with you as well. The terrain won't slow me down, should mobility be an issue."

deadDMwalking
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"Good that we saved some of the fire flasks - we may yet encounter enemies that can only be defeated by it. Better not to run out on enemies that can be overcome with arrows and blasts of arcane energy." Able looks over the plants. "I don't suppose any of them carry treasure?"

Cronono
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Darusthanav the kobold looks up to Able as he pokes and prods the ashen remains. "I do not value this wood." The kobold kicks at a small number of splinters and twigs. "This ship is most unusual, though. What is it doing in this rock? Where is all of this aurichalcum mist coming from? What other animated things could we find on a boat?"

The kobold continues asking questions as he begins peering into the hallway that Eryndir and Charn entered. As he mutters, Prythurkan turns to the assembled.

"We need to think about light, we need to think about healing, and we need to think about noise. The bark elves can take point," the paladin extends a finger toward Cor'val and Eryndir, even if he uses a dismissive term for their race, "and Stumpy shouldn't be too far behind or she'll never catch up." Brianna kicks at Prythurkan's shin playfully. "Can we trust the tieflings in our rearguard, I wonder?" the dragonborn asks Charn.

Interrupting, Kairon replies. "I ate three babies for breakfast, so I'm full. Did you get a chance to dine on any virgin flesh, Able?" the tiefling asks her counterpart playfully.

deadDMwalking
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"Hard to find virgins with this lot."

Cronono
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Kairon laughs. Prythurkan interjects. "Okay, trust her unless you're a baby, trust him unless you're a babe. Let's get in and out of this rock ship with some gold to bring back to Elder Moot."

The Paladin gestures toward Eryndir and Cor'val.

Trigger
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Eryndir returns the Paladin's nod and the looks to Darusthanav.

"Are you ready?"

Dafyd
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A rumble of amusement escapes Charn's throat at both Brianna's butchery of his name and Prythurkan's question. "I find that I can always trust what Able will do," he replies cryptically, "and he has always covered for me in a tussle."

Cronono
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The wooden hallways of the ship are in remarkably good condition. The wood is strong and doesn't creek underfoot, even under the weight of the heavily armored mercenaries such as Prythurkan. The ship is also exceptionally well crafted, with the various boards perfectly flush with each other and forming precise right angles where the floor meets the walls meets the ceiling. Cor'val gets lost in the craftsmanship - elves could spend their whole lives in carpentry and maybe attain this level of quality.

Eryndir, however, notices something that Cor'val doesn't see. Eryndir finds one plank that is ever-so-slightly raised compared to the nearby craftsmanship. Inspecting it thoroughly, Eryndir slightly determines that this one plank, maybe 10 inches wide by five feet long, was pulled up from the floor at one point and replaced. Darusthanav runs his claws over the wood.

"Yes, yes, I didn't notice this. I think something must be hidden underneath or inside."

The kobold turns to the rest of the explorers to determine whether or not he should attempt to dislodge the plank.

Trigger
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Eryndir kneels next to Darusthanav and examines the plank carefully. He offers a glance to the others, his expression one of curiosity.

deadDMwalking
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"I always think everything is a trap until proven otherwise, which is why I'm still alive."

Trigger
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Ernydir runs his fingers lightly over the plank and brings his face close to the floor. Sitting back on his knees, he nods to Darusthanav.

"Pull it up."

Cronono
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The kobold holds his breath and quietly, ever so quietly, pulls up the plank. The keen-eyed can watch as the aurichalcum mist which suffuses everything actually sinks into the opening below, indicating that the chamber under the board had previously been so well-crafted that the very air itself had not disturbed the contents that lay within.

And what curious contents the chamber had indeed! Six leather-bound journals with rich white paper, a small bag of the right shape and size to be a coin-pouch but made of an odd material, four sheets of glass with very faint etchings on each - etchings that appear vaguely arcane but are not immediately decipherable, and a corked bottle of a dark liquor are stored within.

deadDMwalking
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As the scouts leaf through the pages, Able fixates on the reference to rum. "Perhaps I can ascertain how long ago this all happened by judging the quality of his grog."

Trigger
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Ernydir nods and hands over the corked bottle.

Cronono
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Even a cursory inspection of the bottle will reveal a very tight seal. Breaking the seal immediately identifies the contents of the bottle as rum. Unfortunately (or fortunately), rum in an airtight and sealed glass bottle doesn't change flavor much within a few decades. Consequently, Able is likely to need to spend a great deal of time inspecting the rum over the next several years to utilize this method of dating.

Only another 15 feet beyond the floorboard is a door in the southern wall. There is a sign next to the door with a partial inscription. The word starts with "Lazar" but the rest of the inscription appears to be splintered and fragmented.

deadDMwalking
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Able doesn't let the difficulty of the task bother him at all and he takes a healthy dose. "It's been sealed well - no sign of age. Even within this environment, I don't think it could be older than 500 years." The resealed bottle disappears into his robes.

Trigger
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Ernydir places the remaining items into the Bag of Holding, to be dealt with once they're back on more certain footing. And looks to Darusthanav.

"Shall we continue?"

Dafyd
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Charn's eyes narrow a moment as he seems to be remembering something. "This was used for processing sailors at some point, perhaps. A lazar..." He grimaces. "Lazaretto?" The word is largely foreign to him.

Trigger
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Eryndir grimaces. "Processing . . . is it a direction to go in, or a direction to avoid. The path leads both to it and away from it."

deadDMwalking
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"We might as well fully explore the wreck. Leave no...board?...unturned."

Trigger
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Eryndir nods. "To the Lazaroni, then...let us hope no sailors remain to greet us."

He nods to Darusthanav to lead the way.

Cronono
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The kobold is careful with the door, unsure about what lay beyond. The craftsmanship of the boat is subtly demonstrated yet again when not a single moan or complaint results from the swinging wood. The room beyond is extremely large but mostly dark. Something is stacked in the darkness but everyone's eyes are drawn to a dimly lit figure at the far side of the cavernous space. It appears to be a man sitting in the lotus position and floating a few feet off the floor. His distance makes it hard to make out details - the room is more than 50 feet long and he is barely illuminated by some light source with flickering red and white lights below on the floor.

Trigger
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Eryndir moves quickly to take a covered position behind a stack. After a few moments of observation, he moves back to the party. The elf's voice is a hushed whisper.

"No aurichalcum in this room, and no mist drifting in. There are signs of a struggle. The individual floating seems to be in meditation or prayer, but I cannot discern the tongue. Light would be helpful, if no one objects to making our presence known."

deadDMwalking
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"Might as well. It's some trick he's got if he's anything more than an illusion. I'd like to know what he thinks he's up to."

Trigger
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Eryndir kneels and removes a torch from his pack, striking the flint to light it. He stands and cautiously advances forward.

Cronono
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As Eryndir enters the room, he is followed by a flood of golden mist. The room, previously devoid of the aerated aurichalcum, positively thrums with the introduction of the animating magical essence.

From the far side of the room, the floating monk breaks his meditation. He speaks with a croaking voice from a mouth that has not been opened in quite some time.

"I must not be disturbed." His voice cracks. "Please defend me."

Cronono
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Round One

As the monk's voice cracks, the golden mist plunges into the room and suffuses various inanimate objects contained therein. Cor'val, Brianna, Prythurkan, Darusthanav, and Charn, are all surprised as two swords simply float into view and begin hacking at the air. From the darkness, a sound like stone scraping on wood can be heard.

Status

Coffins are slightly elevated and provide half cover.
Moving into a square with a coffin costs two squares of movement.
Brianna is currently bloodied as denoted by her red indicator.

Initiative

21 - Cor'val
21 - Enemy 5
20 - Caleb
20 - Bird
20 - Enemy 4
17 - Enemy 7
10 - Kairon
09 - Eryndir
07 - Brianna
07 - Enemy 8
07 - Prythurkan
06 - Darusthanav
06 - Charn
05 - Enemy 0
03 - Able

It is now Caleb's turn.

Cronono
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Round Two

A flurry of blades approaches the explorers, but deft maneuvers shatter the animated weapons into nothing but shards.

Status
Coffins are slightly elevated and provide half cover.
Moving into a square with a coffin costs two squares of movement.
Brianna is currently bloodied as denoted by her red indicator.

Initiative
21 - Cor'val
21 - Enemy 5
20 - Caleb
20 - Bird
20 - Enemy 4
17 - Enemy 7
10 - Kairon
09 - Eryndir
07 - Brianna
07 - Enemy 8
07 - Prythurkan
06 - Darusthanav
06 - Charn
05 - Enemy 0

It is now Caleb's turn.

Cronono
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Round Three

A few swords attack the explorers but are quickly dealt with. Unfortunately, more of the blades have animated and are spinning up to attack. Additionally, a suit of armor charges Brianna and knocks her down.

Status

Coffins are slightly elevated and provide half cover.
Moving into a square with a coffin costs two squares of movement.
Brianna is currently bleeding out as denoted by her red tint.
The heart with a chain around it denotes the duration of Caleb's Bless spell.
The intertwined symbol on Prythurkan indicates that he is dodging.
Darusthanav is hidden.

Initiative

21 - Cor'val
21 - Enemy 5
20 - Caleb
20 - Bird
20 - Enemy 4
17 - Enemy 7
17 - Enemy 1
15 - Enemy 2
13 - Enemy 3
10 - Kairon
09 - Eryndir
07 - Brianna
07 - Enemy 8
07 - Prythurkan
06 - Darusthanav
06 - Charn
05 - Enemy 0
05 - Enemy 6

It is now Cor'val's turn.

Cronono
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For the better part of a minute, blood, steel, and anguished cries flood the lazaretto of the ship. The violence is catastrophic and severely debilitating. With Cor'val, Able, Brianna, and Prythurkan stabilized by Caleb's healing magics, Bird, Kairon, Eryndir, Charn, and Darusthanav manage to bring stillness and an eerie quiet into the subterranean ship.

The meditating monk punctuates the silence by breathing in sharply through his nose.

Dafyd
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Bleeding whatever it is Dragonborn bleed and puffing a bit, Charn clears his throat a bit and calls to the monk, "Hallo there. I say, shall we make parley in a few minutes?"

Cronono
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"Of course. I am not going anywhere." The monk's eyes do not fixate on Charn as he responds. He simply seems inwardly focused, as if in pain.

Trigger
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Eryndir makes a quick scan of the room, as if skeptical that all threats have been accounted for. After a moment, confident that no more enemies are animating, he moves to the door, closes it, and -- with great effort, as he is not very strong -- pushes a stone casket in front of the door.

"If we are to rest in here, and we should rest in here, we should ensure that we will not be interrupted, as we seem to have interrupted our new friend."

He glaces at the chest to the north of the monk and unceremoniously opens it with his foot. "This ship is trying to kill us. Hopefully, there's something in here that will help us survive."

MinusInnocence
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Caleb leaves Eryndir to the important task of rummaging for whatever valuables he can find that aren't bolted down, and instead slings his shield over his shoulder and stows his mace. The cleric rests his pack on the floor somewhere nearby but out of the way and begins the laborious task of going through the belongings of the unconscious adventurers to look for blankets and bedrolls, laying something out for each one to rest on until they come to.

As he works, he offers, "how much of the loot we've acquired since meeting at the Outpost do we still have? If we have any of those scrolls, they may come in handy now. I don't think I ever took a look at them."

Trigger
Trigger's picture

As had been his habit, Ernydir sets the coins into nine piles of equal amounts and a tenth of slightly less that he claims as his own. The nine equal piles each have 35 gold, 13 silver, and 146 copper.

Cronono
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Darusthanav shakes his head at Eryndir. "It may seem like some time has passed since we last saw the sun, my friend, but I shall remind you of our agreement regarding the proceeds of our misadventure here. You will receive one third of the proceeds from the recovered aurichalcum and two thirds of the proceeds from the non-magical materials we find here."

The kobold looks around at the battered and bloodied individuals.

"May I suggest that we simply collate all of the money for distribution at the end of our excursion into this unusual journey? We can worry about the long-term division of the magical and mundane equipment at the conclusion of our time here. At the moment, I suggest we simply survive."

Ironically and punctually, the kobold spreads his bedroll down on a coffin lid.

Trigger
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The wood elf nods, clearly having forgotten their arrangement. He looks to his carefully laid piles, sighs, and shoves the coins unceremoniously into his pack to divide later.

After glancing at the meditating monk and deciding to wait until he finishes of his own accord, Eryndir finds a casket located near the door and settles onto it in a comfortable yet alert position.

"I will take first watch."

Dafyd
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Having recuperated from the recent skirmish, Charn murmurs to his fellows, "We should probably agree upon a plan before we engage this fellow, lest one of our number say something...needlessly indelicate."

deadDMwalking
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After regaining consciousness Able first checks himself and his meager possessions. Finding himself whole and generally well, he turns to check on the party members that had fallen. "Well, that whole adventure didn't go as planned, but it looks like we all made it. I don't understand how the mist could have animated those items when it didn't have any effect on anything else. I mistrust that which defies easy explanation." Able doesn't say anything about the monk as if he would prefer not to admit that a nigh immortal being could be calmly meditating a stone's throw away. That's one mystery too many for an already strange day.

Obsidian_Spoon
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Before Charn spoke, Cor'val was wondering how close he could get to the monk before he'd get a reaction, but he'll just sit and admire his new bracers and fiddle with bits of the broken flying swords instead.

Cronono
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In a scene that reminds Cor'val of an encounter with a Manticore or two, Prythurkan wakes up angrily. The dragonborn paladin surveys the scene and notes the conspicuous absence of the dead which immediately ameliorates some of his fury. He leans against one of the coffins and breathes deeply.

"We've talked about this, you two." The Monarchist's voice is laden with disappointment. "It does us no good if stumpy," he gestures toward Brianna with a bloody hand, "simply throws herself into danger. If you want to draw their attention you bring a shield. Just the same, fiend," he gestures to Kairon, "we need to rely on you to bring down anyone on our flanks."

The dragonborn begins to gesture toward the room as he recounts the battle. His criticism of Kairon and Brianna is firm and unrelenting. "Kairon, your value in this troupe comes from your versatility and your firepower. If you're not applying that eldritch death beam against whatever is killing Brianna, she's going to die and you'll be next. It doesn't help that Brianna fights like a greenskin, throwing herself into organized opponents like a half-priced whore at a newly arrived barge of sailors."

Brianna fights back. "You weren't exactly able to withstand the assaults there, scaley. Our speartip crumpled."

This angers Prythurkan. "The speartip is followed by the rest of the spearhead, stumpy."

Darusthanav watches the discussion about strategy with interest. There is very little focus on the treasure or the monk at the moment.

deadDMwalking
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"I think you're all idiots to throw yourself into a fight before you knew who your enemy was. Usually, animated objects are controlled by some force. Maybe not here, but it was worth taking time to suss out the true threat."

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