Some Oathlandish Ruins: The Finale
OOC: This is the finale of the Oathlandish Ruins mini story I was running for the Society of Explorers. I apologize for the late finish to it.
Aug. 9, 2023, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Oathlands near The Telmarch - Ruins In The Oathlands
Comments and Log
Ian checks wits and survival at normal. Ian is successful.
Pasquale checks wits and survival at normal. Pasquale fails.
Jan checks wits and survival at normal. Jan is successful.
Besides the arrival of an unexpected dinner, there is no other weirdness that accosts the group as their rabbits cook and they share each others company. The area around them is quiet and there are no sounds of aggressive growls or anything. There is the occassional sound of a deer or other things, but nothing big and scary.
They can choose to sleep in shifts or as a whole, but in the end the night passes into the Autumn sun starting to peek over the mountains and warming the world again.
Ready for them to continue on with their journey.
The sun comes up in a wash of pinks, oranges and purplish hues, cascading over the mountains and lighting the way towards where they had heard the stone scraping against stone. The rays make the landscape appear soft and might give some the feeling of seeing a painting. After some time walking they start to figure out the way that is needed.
Filshiar checks wits and survival at normal. Filshiar is successful.
Ian is pretty insistent on there being a watch, at least one person awake at all times. He offers to take the last watch of the night, effectively having him wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning. By the time everyone else is awake, he's got the fire going again, and is boiling more water for tea or coffee or porridge or just water with no living bugs in it.
Titania sleep but didn't its never a restful thing for her, she remains wrapped in her cloak and blanket for as long as she can even if it means she lays there awake listening to the world coming alive around her.
Jan likewise insists on watch and takes the first shift and slept curled up beneath the down sleeping bag which unlaced turned it into a heavy down comforter to share with someone else. By now is somehow packed ridiculously tight and strapped to her rucksack.
Filshiar is a bit late for the expedition, having planned to meet the group before nightfall and camp with them before continuing on the journey. He did so on top of his mare, Farstride, and joins Ian in his suggestion of a watch. He'll take the mid shift, which breaks up his dozing some, though by the time they set off he has stirred himself to wakefulness with food, conversation, and the gorgeous landscape.
Out here in the wilds, with so much exercise going on, Pasquale tends to be quiet and withdrawn. Quiet in terms of conversation that is - The irregular bouts of coughing are anything but. He only eats a few bites of the rabbit before he's done and then turns in to bed without even bothering to offer to sit watch. Despite going to bed early he sleeps late, only dragging himself out of bed and preparing for the new days walk once it is essential. Tea he accepts but nothing else except for a few swigs from the flask provided by his man Alberico. As those precious drops of medicine warm their way to his stomach he takes a moment to ask "What do you think we will find today?"
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Titania before departing.
Whatever they might find at least they'll be facing it in the daylight! Soon they are climbing higher, the wind getting a bit more chill as they go. There is a trail that is found by a few keen eyes being able to make it out and clear some of the rocks that had tumbled down over the years to block it. Thankfully there are no boulders to move.
The group can continue on their way, delving deeper into the side of the mountain that they have decided to go up and explore.
"Hopefully no weird, bloody statues like last night," Ian comments to Pasquale, as they set off. The more the ground slopes up, the less he has to say. He'd be falling behind, probably, except Pasquale's in the group, so they can lag behind together. Every now and then he stops and lifts his head from intently watching his own footsteps to sweep his gaze around the area.
Titania is silent she is always normally quiet except when she isn't, she follows the group up pulling her cloak about her as it starts to get chili. She stops now and then to look back to make sure both Ian and Pasquale are not to far behind. She looks ahead of them watching the path and the things around them, just incase, the statue was partly hidden so who knows what else maybe.
Jan makes a face "That Statue was super creepy. Not even going to ask why it was bloody." with Ian taking the rear she takes the front, gate on the path before her but occasionally sweeping along the periphery for any other hazards/
Filshiar helps to scout the way, his interest keen should anyone bring up the wolves from the previous night. After clearing some of the rocks and continuing down the path, he keeps his eyes and ears open as they move into and up the side of the mountain. "It sounds like you all have had quite the experience so far," he tells them. "What about bloody statues, then?"
Pasquale would probably deny it if asked but he's grateful for Ian's slower pace. This way he can pretend he's only looking after Ian and Ian can pretend he's only looking after him. Win win. He might even stop Ian from faceplanting at some point. He's gotten good at that over years of training together in the Gauntlet. "It is lovely out here." he admits in a voice made uneven by the effort of climbing. "Beautiful even." His eyes go to Filshiar as he asks on the statues and then back to the Kennex three. "Yes. Tell us about the statue."
"Statue with dried blood on it." Ian is not very helpful in his descriptions. "I think Lady Eirene took it back to Arx yesterday evening."
Jan blinks and looks back "She WHAT?! The ONE rule there should be about creepy blood-statues is you don't move them!"
Titania laughs at something as she keeps walking, what could go wrong with creepy bloody statues that look like things were sacrificed to it! "I think Lady Eirene knows what she is doing."
Pasquale says "I thought the one rule was that Lady Eirene will always collect any creepy blood-statues she comes across."
"Not like it'd be the first messed up artifact the Explorers took back to the guildhall," Ian sighs.
Filshiar narrows his eyes at the description and clicks his tongue. He can't say whether it was a good move or not, but it's not what he would have done in the situation. Then again, what does he know? "I suppose we should worry more about where the blood came from," he suggests, though that may have been far from here.
The group ventures through the path until they come to a large round hole in the side of the mountain. Like some door into the side of it. But the stone has rolled back away from it. Honestly who made doors like this anyways? It wasn't something that happened a lot given how much that stone weighed.
But it did explain the scraping noise that they heard when Eirene pressed all the star points at one point. Now the statue was also gone.
And the black abyss of whatever is in that cave awaits them!
Jan looks up "Sir Filshiar and I will go first and advise of hazards. IF you don't hear screams or warnings the rest follow?" She suggests looking to Filshiar for his feelings on this plan before she examines the mouth of the cave.
Pasquale asks "Before you go. in Would someone knowledgeable check for spoor?" he pauses a moment and then says "That is the right word for prints and bits of fur and feces and the like, yes? I would hate to be left out here only for a bear to come home."
Ian looks at Pasquale and then raises his eyebrows and, pointedly, makes a sweeping gesture to the ground while looking at Jan.
Titania breaths deeply looking to the door and then looking to the group, "well." she says as she moves to pull her bout out from under her cape that was attacked to her back. She is not going into the black whole of doom with out her weapon drawn. She looks back to Ian then Pasquale as Jan talks and looks over to Filshiar then Jan.
Jan tilts her head "IT's fall and the sun's up. the bear is out foraging to fatten up for winter if a bear calls this home."
Pasquale gives a soft, long suffering sigh. "Wolves then. Packs of Giant weavel weasels. Angry birds. Whatever might call a cave like this home."
Filshiar glances to Jan and offers a swift nod. "Of course," he says, before turning to Pasquale and glancing at the ground around him. "If this is a bear den, there will certainly be signs inside. I will let you know as much, either way," he says, turning to approach the dark entrance to the cave.
Pasquale says "Thank you Filshiar."
Ian shakes his head and leans against the side of the mountain, next to the cave entrance, projecting a sense that he has absolutely no intent on going in after Jan and Filshiar.
Titania waits at the entrance and lets the Knight and Jan go in and plays look out for those remaining outside.
Tesha drops The Thief Bones.
Pasquale walks in a semi circle around the entrance, poking around at the dirt and generally keeping his hands busy and his mind occupied.
Ian stays leaning against the wall, still and silent, clearly content to wait.
Jan and Filshiar are the brave souls who enter. The light from their torch illuminating what is...just a small cave that doesn't go very deep. Because whoever was carving it out of the stone didn't need that many things. The torch light shows what might have once been a very sparse burial chamber. One that had long been cleared out.
What greets the pair is the pile of old scraps of cloth, bone and various metals and gems that used to be part of the unfortunate soul who died in here. Because his body is strewn over the floor with his skeletal hand outstretched towards the round door and holds five rings on it.
They have been dead for a long time. Not even a scrap of skin remains.
There is a little pile that is close to one of the empty stone slabs that glimmers in the torchlight as well. Like something silvery.
Titania looks at Pasquale as he moves around, her blue eyes watch his movements then look away to look at Ian. She breaths in deeply and looks to the entrance. "Everything okay guys?"
Jan frowns and looks around "Just a scavanged skeleton, looks like a burial chamber with a corpse and some rings. No bears."
Filshiar enters the cave with the torch held aloft, his serious expression made moreso when illuminated only by firelight. Though he moves cautiously, it becomes clear quickly that there won't be too much space to explore. "I don't think you need to fear a bear," he says, loud enough for his voice to carry outside, before squatting next to the corpse to take a closer look.
"Well." Ian un-leans from the side of the mountain, and waits near the entrance, giving Titania and Pasquale time to go in ahead of him. "As long as you cleared all of the hazards for us."
Pasquale slips into the cave when its been declared safe. His eyes touching on the corpse for only a half moment before he turns his attention to the surroundings. "If its a burial chamber." he says after several long moments. "Why does he look like he was trying to escape."
Jan gestures "His Whole body isn't even here, I figure something came in and had a bit of a nibble."
Titania frowns as she hears Jan's words, she looks around to see if there is any other entrances other then the doors to come in.
"Came in how?" Ian asks, while inspecting whatever had previously been blocking the entryway.
Jan shrugs "I've seen rats get through holes that could get plugged with a cork, so probably rats. If he just died here-where's the rest of him?"
"Whatever happened here, happened a long time ago," Filshiar mutters as he slips off one of the rings and holds it up to the light. After a moment, he stands again and casts the light along the walls to more carefully check them for any carvings and the like.
"I don't know." Pasquale says slowly as he looks back to the bones. "I wouldn't expect any part to still be so intact if an animal had gotten in here and eaten him." he moves again but not towards the body. He's curious about that silver glint near the stone slabs. "And surely if they were buried in here he would have been wrapped in some sort of cloth. To keep it all together."
Jan checks perception and medicine at normal. Jan is successful.
Ian checks perception and medicine at normal. Ian is successful.
Titania checks perception and medicine at normal. Titania is successful.
Jan pauses and tilts her head "Nah, you're right. I'm not seeing any teeth marks or droppings, you're right cousin."
Ian sighs as he looks the body over. "If this guy left a journal somewhere, someone else has to read it," he says dryly.
Titania looks around kneeling down to look at the skeleton, "He has been here so long part of him has turned to dust." she looks to Ian then looks around to see if maybe there was one.
There is not much else in this cave, except for a lone cotton bag that is under the bones of the man. It's decaying strands used to hold a generous amount of silver coins. They lay under him in a scattered pile. But the torch shows the secret when people move the right way. The adventurers are free to gather up the bones, coins and rings if they choose to do so!
Jan says, "We don't know who he is, how in Petrichor's untamed bush are we supposed to find his fucking journal?" She looks at the rings "Any signet rings?"
Ian wrinkles his nose. "I'm just saying that if there is one, I don't need another first person account of someone wasting away underground with no hope of rescue."
Filshiar does a lap of the room and finds no carvings, messages, paintings or the like in even the most tucked away of corners. "Well, we may never know exactly what happened here, but this jewelry will ensure someone remembers this person, if only for the role they played in our stories." Some people take blood-stained statues, others...
Pasquale gives Ian a thoughtful look. "Sounds like awful reading." he nods to Filshiar. "Perhaps you can work out who he was."
Jan looks at Ian and shakes her head "Gods that's a morbid thought. Some bones are dust if there were a journal it's surely dust now too. For good or for ill."
It seems like an open and shut case. Some poor soul got double crossed while robbing a crypt of some kind. Or the Explorers could make up another grand tale if they liked. The bones, rings and the silver can be collected and taken back to the Society of Explorers as they wish. Sadly there is no morbid journal to display along with the skeletal remains but if there were anything to remember...
Don't rob graves.
Pasquale says "We should see that he's buried." He might even do it himself if it didnt involve a shovel and a ton of hard work.
Jan frowns gently "I can do it. I need something to put the bones in." she looks pained "I really don't want to use my sleeping bag for this."
Titania takes her cloak off and hands it to Jan, "Wrap the bones up in this."
"You dont need to wrap them in fine silk." Pasquale tells them both. "Just make sure they wont easily be dug up."
"I can help with the digging," Filshiar says, turning to wait for the others to gather the bones and leave the cave, where softer earth might be found for this sort of thing.
Jan gives Titania a grateful smile "Thank you, Titania." She lays down the cloak and carefully gathers the bones up and places them on the cloak before rolling it up tightly and setting them on the cloak "The wrapping is to gather them up to be carried. I don't plan on burying the cloak."
Titania smiles at Pasquale, "That is my adventuring cloak, it can be replaces." she says softly.
Pasquale nods after they get to the task of the bone burial. "I saw a spot outside." he tells them. "It should work well enough." And so he goes out to show them.
Ian seems a little bit less enthusiastic about giving the bones that have already partially crumbled to dust a proper burial, but doesn't openly object, following the group out. Before leaving, he removes the spike he used to secure the door.
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