Exploring Thunderspire

Characters: Chiria (Doppelganger Sorcerer), Gwendolyn (Human Fighter)
Adventure: Thunderspire Labyrinth
GM: David

It's been perhaps three days after you arrived in the Hall of Seven Pillars and the Halfmoon Inn. In this time, you've been waiting for the sage to arrive… and he hasn't as yet. The food's been very good, and the ale— the /ale/— but nevertheless. Things are getting /boring/. When asked, Erra says that the fellow could be in the Underdark tunnels for weeks yet, for all she knows. So. What do you do? Or do you go into the Bloodreavers without your bardic companion? That could be… very, very dangerous.

Idleness is not a natural state for Chiria, so she's spent those three days exploring the Hall, chattering to people - more often children than grownups - and climbing into places not naturally suited to bipeds. She's nibbling on a snack on the Halfmoon's veranda, her staff nestled against the interior of her shoulder. "We're clearly going to have to go drag him back," she says to Gwen.

Gwen looks a touch bored, as well, "Who, the bard or the sage?" She has a half-empty flagon of ale in front of her, sitting at a table with a tired expression. On the other hand, she at least managed to score a bath, so she's no longer smelling of elf wine.

At the moment, the inn is quiet. Erra is bustling around, getting things ready for the evening rush. Otherwise, the inn is still for the moment. Outside, people are passing to and fro within the cavern, the 'day' of the cavern represented by a glowing sphere of light the Mages of Saruun cast each 'morning'.

"Both." Chiria is small as ever, but this time her hair is a super-short fringe of fire-red. "Although …" She tips her head to one side. "We can use more force on the sage." It's only the too-big eyes that give away she's joking. She polishes off her treat, licking her fingers … though it's such a fastidious gesture it's hard to think of it as rude.

The warrior looks amused at the thought, "Oh, I don't know… I'm rather annoyed at him for being so late." She then nods and rises to her feet, "Let's find ourselves a sage, then. If nothing else, it'll be a good diversion."

They leave the inn and head down through the small market-town. They pass various places such as Rothar's Taproom, Dreskin the Provisioner's, and more before reaching the Deep Stair, the stairway-tunnel leading deeper into the mountain caverns of the Thunderspire and start their way down.

Chiria scuttle-skips down the first few steps, sometimes behind, sometimes darting in front … though never too far, and always ready to drive behind Gwen at sound or sight of trouble.

Gwen moves steadily along, glancing back and forth with a cautious expression as she seems content to take her time. Not really wanting a second encounter with those Bloodreavers… at least, not before she's ready to take them on!

They take the tunnels. Trying to maneuver your way through these tunnels is folly. There's no maps that you know of. You mark the way you go with chalk or some other method, regardless. As they walk, Gwendolyn will notice odd-looking spikes to either side of the tunnel…not actual spikes, but something similar. A closer look as they near will reveal odd marks on the spikes… Poor Chiria notices nothing, so let's hope Gwen points them out.

Gwen blinks a bit, "Hey, whoa, slow down 'Ria." She grabs at the smaller woman's shoulder, then points up at the spike-like obtrusions, "Think we got a trap here."

Chiria squeaks as Gwen catches her shoulder, her reaction to the announcement of the traps being a backwards flip. She lands three paces back with the staff in the other hand. Looking sheepish, she inches forward, stopping at a safe distance to study the markings. Her nose twitches rapidly as she's examining. "Runes," she says. "Floods with lightning when something enters the area. After it cracks, there's a brief moment of clear space. So you could throw something at it and then run through." A pause, and she adds hopefully, "Or I could blast the spikes to bits. It only maybe might explode."

Gwen frowns a little, "Okay, that wasn't quite what I was expecting." She hrms, "I think it might be best if we trigger it, then go through quickly. I don't think there's more than just the one…" Yes, the thought of sprinting through the first only to get zapped by a second did cross her mind.

Chiria exhales a small sigh, but nods somberly. "All right," she says, then considers. "If our companion were here, we could throw him for being so late." She hefts a rock and prepares to throw. "On five?" Assuming a nod, she counts down to a throw.

Gwen nods and chuckles, "I might throw him anyway when he bothers coming up. Can't believe this business is taking so long for him." She then waits for the countdown.

And so something is thrown through the field, and lightning erupts from the spikes, flickering between them and filling the whole area with thunder. Then it drops and you both rush forward to try to get to the other side. Gwen gets through easily. Poor Chiria is not so quick--probably due to her small legs, and part of the lightning arcs through her, though she's only caught by the edges of it, so all it does is hurt like a son of a bitch--there's no permanent damage. Just, well, pain and lots of black singe-marks.

That's the good news. The bad news is that when you get to the other side, the corridor curves and you see it split into two — one a large hall, one a small hole as if something tore open the wall into a smaller, natural cavern. And out of that cavern, glowing ice-blue eyes can be seen. And then, out of that cavern comes a huge minotaur. Well, a huge, /dead/ minotaur, its skin mottled red-gray and very, very dead. Behind it comes a lot of smaller ones, though each one still larger than a man, their skin mottled gray. Minotaur. Zombies.

Chiria hisses, shaking herself off. Her hair would be standing on end, but it's already standing on end, with that particular haircut. "Hello, hello!" she hails, waving the staff at the minotaurs in the passing but quite genuine hope that they will turn out to be friendly. There's no call to be prejudiced against the dead. Some of her best friends back home were … well, all right. One of her best friends was dead. Quickly discerning they are up to no good, however, she wastes no time getting away from the lightning trap, shimmying back first - "Ow!" - along a pillar and weaving the staff in front of her in its own solo dance.

She joins it with a turn … and on her second revolution, she has a fiery partner. On her third, a third … it's a dancing hall's worth, dragging the unwilling minotaurs into their grip. Two of them fall; the icy leader's flank is briefly coated in flame, but he beats it out, bellowing. The rest of Chiria's partners still flicker, the girl grinning as she glances back to Gwen.

The zombies come charging forward, led by the huge minotaur covered with ice-blue skin. It lashes out, and its fist slams into Gwen. Gwen finds herself flying backward, pain in her ribs from where the minotaur struck her. And … she enters the field, at least its edges, and lightning arcs around her and she staggers forward again, black char covering her clothing where the electrical discharges grounded into her. That … really … hurt! The other zombies charge forward. The three who charge Chiria erupt into flame and fall twitching to the ground. The others attack Gwen as well, and two manage to hit her, though they're glancing blows! The scariest part? The minotaurs are trying to roar. But dead, with dessicated vocal cords, it comes out more like wind blowing through a sieve.

Gwen looks… mad. Very mad. Not quite as mad as fighting slaving hobgoblins. But she is mad regardless. Then, most frightfully, she smiles, "Here, you like this electricity so much?" She slashes out, her blades igniting into fire that sizzles and burns as one edge hooks the minotaur, "YOU TRY IT!" She then quickly pivots, stepping out of the field and twisting the blade so that the ice minotaur zombie of DOOM stumbles in. Nothing like the crispy smell of burning electrocuted ice zombies to… well, okay, maybe not. But the warrior looks pretty satisfied nonetheless, as she looks at the zombies, "'Ria, you alright over there?"

"I'm having fun!" Which is Chiria's way of saying she's perfectly fine. She regards the lead minotaur with a tsk. "Oh, are you having fun swimming in the lightning?" Even as she speaks, the last of her flame companions begins to dissolve into nothing … she beckons it back with a rather more sultry dance, spinning it about. The outline changes subtly, from true flame to illusory. She sends the spectre free to catch up the minotaur for another dance, right back into the flashing lightning … and never to come back out again.

The remaining zombie minotaurs charge forward. Gwendolyn avoids their attacks with ease. Two of them manage to land blows on Chiria, hissing 'bellows' coming from their throats. That stung, though not as much as certain other things!

Gwen spins her fiery blades around, looking at the trio of zombies near her, "'Ria! Hang on, I'm coming!" She slices effortlessly with the burning blades, two of the minotaur zombies falling from the elegant cuts, their corpses smouldering from the fire that killed them.

Chiria yelps and dances backwards - but once a slight distance away, she waggles the staff at the minotaurs who attacked her. "You may not dance with me," she informs them severely. She twists, putting her back to them with a mocking little wave of the staff … but her feet are busier than her (big) mouth, and a back half-twist of the staff launches silver light. The bolt hits one minotaur square in the chest. She turns the staff then and beckons to Gwen. "Come over! Bring perfume." One presumes the zombies smell.

The two remaining zombies near Chiria lash out, one striking her for yet more damage. The other near Gwendolyn also lashes out, but again misses her entirely, the zombies continuing their hissing 'roars'.

Gwen slices through the last zombie on her, no real artistry involved as the burning blades just glide easily through necrotic flesh. She does give Chiria a concerned look, finally breaking free to head over that way.

Chiria might be singed and stinging, but she's still in high spirits, dancing back out of range again and skipping through a high-voltage country dance. At its end, she casts free another bolt, this one teal - splashing home - and then roiling outwards in a surge of shadow to hit her other assailant. Panting, she leans against the staff. "You give dead people a bad name," she says severely.

And in the aftermath, all is silent. Bodies from various zombies litter the area. There's the crevice-cavern they were in…it doesn't look very big, though it does look dark, and the hall continues further down. Something /might/ be in the zombie lair, though.

Gwen shakes her head, "You can say /that/ again." She twirls her blades and the flames stop for the time being. "Are you alright? Let's take a bit of a breather here." She looks like she definitely wouldn't mind a bit of a break, just to recover (some encounter powers and burn a few surges, anyway!)

"You give dead people a bad name." Sometimes, it's impossible to tell where Chiria is trying to be humorous and where she's just ill-socialized. Her mistress made few efforts in that regard. "I'll be fine after a little break." She dusts some char off her outfit.

You search the area as you rest, idly. Inside the zombie den, you find a mound of bodies. Well. More like /skeletons/ at this point. The remains of dashing people who came this way, their bones charred in places, probably from the electrical ward. Interspersed in them are a few small rubies, which from Chiria's eye will net you a few hundred gold. Also found within are a pair of sleek black boots, totally pristine. Chiria will detect magic from them, and can elucidate further herself.

Gwen looks around, "Looks like a pretty standard trick… dash through the lightning field, and then run smack into an ambush from zombies." She shakes her head, "Man, I hate zombies, 'Ria."

Chiria's first reaction upon finding a pair of boots? She sniffs the interior. "They smell." The zombies, not the boots. "Speed boots," she observes. "They used to belong to a famous fencing master with a gold nose." Name? Of course she can't remember the name. But gold noses, yes. "… from being not fast enough as a student."

Gwen perks up a bit, "Well, they /can/ be cleaned… a fencing master?" She pauses, moving over to take a closer look at the boots, "Are they magical? That might be something I could really use."

"Good footwork is always magic," Chiria says brightly.