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PRP: Castle in the Crownlands

The stalwart party who found the missing Explorers in the PRP: Missing in the Crownlands go back to explore the castle where their fellow explorers were discovered, to see what they can find. This party consists primarily for Miranda, Caspian, Merek, Lisebet, Sparte, and Kaia, however a list of names is being accepted for those that wish to attend as an alternate for one of the 6 players returning; please @mail Lou if you are interested.


Oct. 19, 2019, 1 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Miranda Caspian Merek Lisebet Sparte Kaia Pharamond Lucita



Outside Arx - Bastion - Castle Ruins

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Lisebet gets a pair of long reinforced fingerless gloves of dark blue leather from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Lisebet gets a pair of tall midnight blue boots with silver accents from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Lisebet gets a thick hood of midnight blue leather with silver accents from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Lisebet gets a thick dark blue leather cloak with silver accents from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Lisebet gets a long dark blue fitted leather vest with reinforced panels from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Lisebet gets padded dark blue leather pauldrons with silver accents from a brown doeskin belt with dark blue fabric trimmed in glinting silver threads.

Sparte and Caspian are unable to make the return trip to the castle where Harison Edridge and his team wandered inside only to become trapped. Some lives were lost that day, others gravely injured, but at least half of the six person team was spared. However, what was left behind was the mystery of the additional floor beneath the castle where the explorers fell through in the first place. Clearly, they didn't have time to explore the area, or even the resources since their gear was trapped upstairs when they fell. And, additionally, the rescuers were in a bit of a time crunch due to the critical condition of those explorers who survived, so they vowed to come back. No clear way, other than the hole those missing explorers created, seemed to exist in the short period of time they had to go over everything. Today is the day, after a long trek back toward Bastian to finish gearing up, they finally arrive back at the site of the castle. Pharamond and Lucita were selected by Lou to attend in the place of Sparte and Caspian. For those that were not here before, the grounds are relatively simple, set up as any castle structure might be. This particular spot seems to have been a small outpost of some sort. There's evidence of a smithy, stables, barracks, and several sheds throughout the outer territory, and then the castle ruins themselves. Some buildings fare better than others, broken down by weather and time. Wooden beams and other material exposed to the weather has broken down and is either gone or in its last throes of rotting away. Some walls are propped up by metal beams or by well mortared stones that have stood the test of time. The remnants of a grand garden, likely seeded with secret pathways, still exists, but is grossly overgrown. Those that were here before can explain just how badly things were deteriorated inside, and caution that care is required to move about the building. Now all that's needed is for them to determine how they wish to proceed.

Pharamond is in good spirits but that's pretty much akin to saying that he's awake, really. And look, he's managed not to tie the Duchess up and make her stay behind! Pharamond is expanding his horizons it seems. "Well...this looks like I'm going to be glad that I brought my sense of balance with me." He gives a look around to the group. "This may be the prettiest Society of Explorers expedition I've been on." And then for humor, he looks at Merek, "Especially that guy." Otherwise, he seems content to follow the lead of whoever is...well...leading, being helpful where he can while being ready to lend his sword to keeping people safe.

Merek has pulled his longcoat about his form, and placed up mostly the back of his hair into a nice ponytail, while most flows back to his shoulders. He has most of his gear placed upon his belt as well as his pack, while he moves with the others to come back to the castle in these lands.

Miranda has returned to help as protection or tracker or whatever she might be able to do. Her long hair is pulled back into a long braid that is tucked under her diamondplate vest. She is a quiet traveler, for the most part, though will have engaged in conversation here or there. The addition of Pharamond and Lucita are welcome - she especially enjoys teasing the Ashford Sword. As they arrive at the castle, she looks about, letting her gaze lose focus - for those who notice such things - as if remembering something or looking through something. It's a faraway look. When that is done, she says, "We need to be careful. Don't know what else might be unstable here. Ropes tied to strong, sturdy things and possibly each other might not be a bad idea."

Lucita may not be the most likely person one would expect to be one of the explorers, but she has an inquisitive nature that any who talk with her beyond the standard social chit-chat discover. She moves along with the group, a trail pack on her shoulders. A little grin briefly shows at Pharamond's comment. "We all have our moments, don't we? At least this time I'm better prepared than the first trek I wound up accidentally going on. " She stops and looks around for a long moment, her amber gaze sliding here and there. A wink is given Miranda. "At least we are not likely to encounter giant crabs here."

This time Lisebet has brought armour. It may be a mistake. It is however leather armour that fits her well and is comfortable by now. She has brought some gear with her, despite not being truly a member of the Explorers. She's cautious about what she carries, making sure she can carry it, so there isn't too much she's got, but a couple things. Rope. A lantern. Those two things definitely need to be around. She smirks at Pharamond, and then nods to Miranda. "I do recall that falling through unexpected holes is a real risk," she says softly. She glances around and then says, "It's the hidden floor they fell into that we're most interested in?" She turns to Lucita to say, "I'd be quite pleased to not run into giant anything, I think."

Kaia moves about along with the others - dressed in a lightweight leather garment; a short sword fastened by her hip and a bow and a backpack - with ropes and other useful expedition equipment- hung on over her shoulders. How the tiny woman can carry all these things with ease - seems a bit of a mystery. "Watch your step...the floors are somewhat moldy and quite fragile - Caspian almost fell last time we were here." She states, a reminder, as they continue to move around.

Miranda makes a face at Lucita, grimacing. "Ew. That... " She points to the Baroness. "That is not funny. I was so traumatized I totally removed that from my mind, but now it's back to haunt me, my Lady." She bows to her, "Thank you." She winks. Teasing her friend. Maybe. To the others, "It might also be a good idea to stick together this time."

"That may be the most Lycene thing you've ever said. Tying ropes to sturdy things...and each other. We have a mission. Focus," and yes, he's teasing. But for those who are quiet travelers, Pharamond has never had such an affliction. He does put his hand to his swords and pull sthem loose some in their sheath, the chill of the season making him want to ensure that there is not an issue drawing them whenn and if needed. He is rarely one to take the lead though on the expeditions, as he will go where directed unless something specific catches his eye. "By the way...because it's still a thing, I claim the first flask we find, if we find one." He may have been on two expeditions so far and had two flasks found, neither for him. The stings.

Lucita says, "Have the outer buildings been explored? Sometimes a castle lower level will have a passage or tunnel to something like the stable or one of the outlaying buildings. Those are often in better condition than buildings subject to wind and weather. If it is not collapsed, it might be safer than fragile floors."

"There's a set of stairs to the lower levels we found as well, but we'd need to go in the castle," Merek offers, with a nod while he shifts the longcoat about him.

"I don't believe they were." Kaia says to Lucita. "Last time our focus was to find the missing party. Like Merek said - that was all we found..." she adds.

"No, we didn't have a lot of time to spend last time, trying to rescue those poor lost souls. It might not be a bad idea," Lisebet observes, nodding to Lucita. She's not exactly a noisy traveller, but not quiet. She nods to Merek, and adds, "But it goes only to the level where the other party fell through, we still had to go through the hole in the floor. That hallway was somewhat more stable than the main floor, wasn't it?" A nod to Kaia.

Kaia nods to Lisebet. "It was...but there were no stairs leading down to the lower floor - what Lucita suggests may be worth a try, I believe." she comments, after some consideration.

Indeed, peeking into the hallway from the door does reveal just how bad those floors are. There is a large person sized gaping hole just in front of the door, where Caspian caused some of the planks to fall through last time. Getting across the threshold is a bit of a challenge, though there looks to be sturdier floorboards not far away. But the rest of the room is a mass of sturdy floorboards, likely where the beams are underneath the floor, versus holes dotted about here and there in the room. For those who were not here, there's a corridor to the north that seems partially cleared away, but it's as though someone quickly abandoned that task. There's a corridor to the right which Lisebet may recall was a bedroom, and then a corridor to the left that to stairs that went both up and down, and were in good working order. Upstairs was additional living quarters, where down was the room where they found the large gaping hole where the Harison Edridge's explorers got themselves trapped. Caspian had climbed down the hole in the front of the room that he created, along with Kaia and Sparte, and found themselves in a room below that had shelving units and other things, and one way out. That one way out lead to the opposite side of the gaping hole from the stairs that Lisebet found going down. The lay out was likely very well explained in a pre-meeting at the Explorer's Hall prior to taking off. These are all still very much the hazards faced, and it'll take either someone who's very athletic, a capable performer, or someone who can dodge well to maneuver the place to take the stairs, OR - someone who's willing to lower people down through the hole in the front via rope or some other means. (CHOICES: @check dexterity + athletics, performance, or dodge at 30 to try and walk across the room to the stairs OR @check strength + survival or athletics to lower someone down through the hole when you make your IC choice. If you fail, @check Luck at 15.)

Merek checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.

Pharamond checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 61 higher. Pharamond rolled a critical!

Lisebet checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Lucita checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.

Merek walks along the floors to find a way to the stairs, with a nod to the others, then he shifts his longcoat to take a bit of rope from it, tying that about his waist while he loops a few lengths about the waist. When he comes to the stairs, he makes his way to a lower level so he can begin looking for ways to check even lower also.

Miranda checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.

Kaia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 62 higher. Kaia rolled a critical!

Pharamond has little problem navigating the way down once Merek more or less deonstrates a safe path. He hops nimbly where needed, avoiding any of the weaker steps or the issues with the stone of the castle, nimbly hopping his way down and looking about once on the lower floor. His smile is broad, cheeks a bit flushed from the chill and of course, the enthusiasm of being on a mission once again.

Lisebet looks at Kaia and just shrugs, not commenting there, though a little bemused. She turns to see what everyone else is doing, and follows Merek, since the stairs will get them right to that big gaping hole down to the apparently hidden secret level the stairs don't go to. "I think if we want to go to that lower level where the explorers were trapped, we should go to the stairs and go down. The big hole to get to the lower level is right there."

Miranda smirks at Pharamond, "You've not been around me much, my Lord Sword. You have no idea the Lycene things I say... or do." Yes. Teasing him while able to be serious with others. As they all proceed in, she makes her way easily enough across the floor to the stairs. She manages to make it look easy while others, apparently, make it look like child's play! Still, the point is to get across safely and she does so. "Just follow where we go, careful and take your time."

Lucita does not try to assume leadership of the group but follows along. She extends her arms and pads lightly along what she guesses to be the stronger areas of the floor, right over the support beams and between the various holes. Her steps resemble those of a formal dance... step step, bow, sway, step step stepping along till she reaches what seems a stable spot. "Duchess Lisebet, how have you been? Seems we hardly have seen each other since the war." A little laugh is given at Miranda's teasing.

Although last time Kaia seemed to have a hard time regarding all involving climbing down and the sort - it was clear now that she had undergone some training. The Bisland dexterously and effortlessly made her way down the taken path - right after Merek, Pharamond and the others. This time her landing was wow almost graceful and feather-like. No clumsy slipping this time!

"The only issue with all of us dancing our way down is that now we have to do the same thing on the way up and none of us tied a rope from the top. Mighta wanna rethink that next time," he says with a little shake of his head, realizing the folly of that but they are down now and he looks over to Miranda with a wide grin. "Fair enough, Lady Voice-Sword," he teases, bringing up a long held address for her before watching the others and seeing them get down easily enough.

Lisebet pauses at the bottom of the stairs to make sure that everyone gets there safely, bemused again as there are some folks who make it look so easy. She smiles at Pharamond's teasing and Miranda's return teasing, before her attention is taken by Lucita's greeting. A smile to the Baroness. "Baroness Lucita, a pleasure to see you again. It has been quite a while since then. I am doing quite well, thank you. And you? I hope you are also doing well?" She flashes a grin at Kaia's landing, having witnessed some of the previous attempts. "Wonderful, my Lady," she says to her lightly, impressed and glad to see it.

The party makes it across the floor! And, without destabilizing the floor anymore than the floor already is. Poor floor! Weather and time has eaten away at it, on top of people stomping across it - like Harison Edridge's group foolishly did in their fateful expedition. They find their way to the stairs, and going down is easy enough. However, when they enter the room just below the first floor of the building, they see the wreckage Harison's group did right away. The hole is large enough that jumping across it, while /potentially/ doable, is no easy task, and there's no way to edge around the room to get to the other side that Kaia, Sparte and Caspian explored. They know through the door on the otherside are some trunks that weren't fully explored. However, it's the floor directly blow them, where Harison's team fell through, that's a good twenty or so feet down, is what has piqued their interest. At the moment, the only way down seems to be through this hole, or trying to cross it to see if there's any hidden staircases on that side. (CHOICES: @check strength + survival or athletics at 30 to lower someone down OR: @check dexterity + athletics or dexterity at 40 to jump across the hole and search on the other side. If you fail, @check Luck at 15.)

Merek checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.

Lucita says, "Might I have a rope around me if I try to leap across to join Sir Merik, so if I fall, it will not be too far, or shall I just ... jump?" She asks as she cautiously looks over the situation and glances up at the others."

Merek looks to the other side of the hole, then he waits a moment, while he considers. "You know what, I'm going to, someone take this rope," he unweaves a bit from his length about his waist then places that on the side. He measures enough for a distance, "Tie that and use it to cross, I'll find something to tie my side on." He then takes a moment to run forward before he steps a foot for balance onto the floor, then to a side of the wall, then he does a pirouette while he leaps to the other side, landing. He waves then!

Pharamond can be seen starting to find a place to secure some rope - he's not going to take that jump even as he lets out a whistle at Merek clearing it cleanly. "I can probably lower most people down with this secured. No reason to risk injury if you're not sure you're going ot make it." He looks at Merek and takes the rope offered then and finds a place to secure it as the man leaps cleanly across.

Miranda frowns at the crowd. "Ok. Everyone, listen up. We need to be careful here. If you want to leap long distances in a single bound, you need to think that while you may make it, it's still quite a drop if you don't. I don't want this to turn into a rescue mission. I can't heal anyone. I think it'd be better for folks to be lowered or to have some sort of option in play." She looks to Lucita, "I can probably hold you. Tie yourself to me and if you fall, I'll keep you, hopefully, from landing below."

"I think it's a good idea to have a rope across the hole, as well as one down. And while we only found our explorers down there last time, probably best to have someone who is capable with weapons go down first. Also a lantern." She makes the suggestion, quietly, but let's folks do their thing, Lisebet does. She glances over as Miranda takes charge, and nods. No argument here.

Lucita looks toward Pharamond and Miranda with a bit of relief. "But we need to be careful not to leave Sir Merek alone over there on the other side if we wind up being lowered.... and to make sure we can get back across or have a way out.

Miranda nods to Lisebet, "So let's tie some ropes, make sure they will hold." She looks to Merek, "Hang out over there a moment, won't you?" Then to Pharamond, "Pharamond. Get some rope. Let's find some sturdy beams or stones and make this -safe-."

Lucita gets a coil of rope made from silk from a subtly textured sturdy yet lightweight trail pack.

Pharamond checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.

"Thanks Lisebet, I had Mister Wild teach me a few tricks after last time's fall." she says. Her eyes on Miranda as she speaks - but then Merek is taking the risky leap and... he makes it! "Uh...too late - he already did." she says, both impressed and somewhat amused. "Last time I found some pretty jewelry on the other room!" she shouts to Merek. Then to the group. "I think I'll opt to explore the lower floor this time." She proceeds to secure some rope to a steady column just like Pharamond. "Hmm...I'm going to put my training to the test...but just in case I fail - someone keep an eye for it?" she says, in regards to her rope.

Pharamond does as he is told, and sans smart ass comment even. Rope is collected and he sets about to tying knots. This is one place where anyone who knew him before joining the Society of Explorers can see that he's definitely improved. His knowledge of wilderness survival, a-la rope tying, tracking, things of that nature have all improved quite a bit in the time he's been a part of things. He gives a tug on the ropes though and notes to Kaia, still content after tying it off to hold onto the rope while she lowers herself down, especially as he has the right gloves to make sure as the rope runs through it that his palms don't get rope burn.

Lucita has a coil of rope with her and makes it available to add to the rope that others have with them so there is something to help secure the group. "Here, this is good rope I am told, lighter and stronger than some and it does not abrade as easily. I can carry it along if we will need it later.

Merek offers a light wave across from where he is, then he ties the material upon a safe support. Then he takes a moment to check his belt for his alchemy vials, while he pours that upon a few pieces of fabric for his wrists which he ties upon them. He takes a belt then to tie upon the wrist which he uses as a whip for testing it. He then holds up a finger, "If you guys can wait a fast moment before you come down, I'll see if I can get down there if there's stairs here, and support it from the bottom," he offers.

Pharamond checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.

Kaia checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Miranda helps Pharamond tie ropes into place, securing things. Finally, she says to everyone, "Okay, ropes are good. If you want to go down, we should have someone down there with a weapon, just in case. That can be me. Pharamond can lower folks down. Or we can reverse it." SHe looks about, "I'm just assuming we're the strongest, if you think you can help, then grab a section of rope and help."

Pharamond nods to Mirada and playfully flexes, "I'll lower people. Besides, we know you're the better Swordswoman anyway." They don't know...for sure...but Pharamond is content to acquiesce and make sure the Rubino-Zaffria noble is down quickly enough. He will continue to lower down those who need it, which will likely also include Lisebet and Miranda!

Lisebet checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 8 higher.

Miranda checked strength + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.

Lucita takes hold the rope that Miranda and Pharamond have secured and steps over to the edge of the hole. She slides one leg around it and anchors her hands as she works her way down cautiously. The lantern in her pack is lit and removed to help visualize the area more clearly and she has a dagger in hand. She steps back from the rope area so if others wish to come down, there is room for them to land beside her.

Kaia nods to Miranda, pausing by the edge of the hole, secured rope in hand. "I'll go after you Miranda - I can cover for you and keep watch with my bow while you and Pharamond continue to help others get lowered." she offers. Then, once Miranda goes down, she proceeds to follow.

Lisebet looks across at Merek, and she waits a moment. "I think we can go down, but someone has to stay up here until we know for sure that Merek is okay." She actually stays right there with Pharamond, just in case.

Miranda will take her turn to climb down the rope, with Pharamond helping to lower her and keep her steady. It's short work to get down. She makes sure Lucita is secured on the ground before waiting for Kaia. Her attention is on the room around her as well. "Thank you," she offers to Kaia for the back up. Over-hearing Lisebet, Miranda offers up to Pharamond, "We should stay here until Merek is ready to come down. We'll wait for you."

Merek comes back after going into the storage room, and he's carrying what looks like ten rubicund ingots, smoking a cigarillo with used lockpicks upon his belt, "Wait, what? I'm doing fine guys," he says.

Pharamond nods to Miranda. "Whatever works. It's harder climbing up than down. I can cover the rear guard as it were while you all check things out. Not that I've seen any footprints int he snow taht I noticed, never know if someone will have heard us and decide to come exploring." He draws his sword and plays at attacking the air, while watching indeed to make sure that those who have gonein further don't have to worry about something coming up on them from behind.

Hearing Lisebet's concerns she shout up. "I don't think there's much to worry Lisebet - if Merek is heading over to the room Caspian, Sparte and I found last time, there's not much to it but a steady floor and plenty of moldy crates. We didn't find stairs nor any dangers up there - except the terrible stench of mold. Do tell him to cover his face before going in - that's what we had to do last time!" Then, she's taking her bow from her shoulders and readying it just in case. Her eyes scanning the surroundings while she awaits further instructions.

Kaia wields Heartpiercer a black locust wood and rubicund recurve bow.

Merek checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.

Merek unsheaths the belt which he ties upon both the wrist fabrics, then he packs up his rubicund, while he rides the rope with his belt back to the side of the main team, then he takes a moment to wrap his material back up, offers a smile, and begins to climb back down, "Alright, I'll follow with the others, there's still some more to find in the storage room," he mentions.

One by one people start climbing down the ropes. There's no missing the dried blood of Harison Edridge's group that covers the floor from where they fell, lantern light glinting off of it. This particular space is cramped, and there's no obvious ways of moving around, yet the area is clearly man made and dug out. Four walls of stone surround them, and it's definitely not a well. So there must be some way to open out from this room into another that the others did not find. (CHOICES: @check intellect OR perception + riddlers OR investigation at 35)

Merek checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 9 higher.

Lisebet checked perception + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 0 higher.

Miranda checked perception + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 5 lower.

Lucita looks carefully around to see what might be discernible now that she has a lit lantern down with her. She does not wander off on her own but stays near the rope and others but alert and wary of her surroundings. "Maybe when we climb back up after checking down here.. or something. Finding things is usually interesting...unless it is something bad.

Lucita checked perception + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 5 higher.

Miranda is very focused on the room, keeping everyone safe. She can't find any secret doors...

Lisebet, once Merek is back over, glances across and smiles. "I agree with Lucita. Let's see what we find, and then maybe cross over and see what's left beside mold." She climbs down, requiring surprisingly little help from Pharamond, and also takes a look around.

Kaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 46 higher.

Volkov Woods

The noble family of House Volkov had returned to their castle at Volkov Woods to hold a meeting that supposedly had something to do with the death of Lord Syd Volkov, but weeks stretch on with no sign of House Volkov returning to Arx. Eventually word reaches the city from merchants traveling on the Great Road that Volkov Wood has been completely destroyed, with the noble family massacred. None of the noble family survived, and it's unclear at present who is responsible, but rumors spread among the prodigal populace that House Volkov's former vassals have broken fealty with the Compact and returned to being Abandoned once more. There are whispers that the attack on Volkov Wood was from some powerful Abandoned clan wishing to make a point about bending the knee to the Compact, and wanting to make an example of them.

Alarmingly, no Fidante or Tessere riders on patrols near Tor or Fortezza di Iriscal have seen any significant military forces near their lands, nor has there been any noticeable movements on roads near Artshall, causing arguments among military minds about just how the attack was possible.

Lucita says, "Lady Lisebet!" She gives a soft laugh as both women seem to stare at a spot at the same time. One of Lucita's finger extends and she brushes at a spot on one of the stones on the wall, a little indentation. "What do you think this is? Something might fit in there, it is too low to be a hole on which a tapestry or a painting might have hung and I don't see another one nearby it like it may have had something to support a little shelf. A key or lever hole or something? Do you see anything around looks like it might have fit?"

There's a door. Kaia doesn't understand how no one else sees it, but there's clearly a door, with a place where a key could go. She can even go so far as to outline the exact spaces of the door. The catch? The rubble is in the way of where she thinks the door should be swinging, which is into the room.

While everyone else seems oblivious to it, Kaia steps forward to touch the wall and looks back at the group. "There's a door here..." She states, and proceeds to outline it. "See?" she asks, giving them a moment to examine it themselves if they wish. "But it seems to be blocked by this rubble..." she notes, looking about.

Merek nods a bit to Kaia when she speaks, then he shifts his longcoat about him while he follows with the team.

Pharamond continues to stand watch up top. His gaze flicking here or there, his feet occasionally drawing random patterns on the floor, and of course he's looking down at times to the gruop but for the most part he continues to watch the stair well for changes in light or signs of shadows moving up above where it may indicate someone coming.

Lisebet glances up, and then down, and then she says, "Pharamond, if you come down, do you think you can climb back up?" Hey, no reason for him to miss out on all the fun. She turns back and nods to Lucita. "I - " And there's Kaia, bright eyed and perceptive like nobody's business. "Right, a door. Blocked by rubble. I suppose that means we should clear the rubble, and look for a key?" She's willing to put herself to work, and see if she can help.

Miranda offers, "let's clear the rubble. BUT before we open that door, we need everyone to get out of it's direct line. In case of traps and crazy nasties coming our way. We can have weapons and the like ready. Just in case." She also helps with the rubble.

Merek moves forward to assist with the rubble while the others do as well.

There is a little soft, mostly-muffled half snort, half wry laugh from Lucita as Kaia points out the obvious. "Lady Lisbet and I were just too focused on the little detail to see the bigger picture I guess." She reaches down to get some of the broken floor from where it lays, a piece light enough for her to lift, and moves it over to the side.

Most work together to clear off the rubble. It takes a good twenty minutes to have a space large enough for the door to swing into the room. However, even when clearing things out, there doesn't seem to be a key within the room, even as they search through everything. Perhaps someone can pick some locks? (CHECK: @check dexterity + legerdemain at 30 - Fails from 2 different people will jam the lock.)

Merek checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Snick. The lock seems to open, and when it does a small handle emerges from the stone.

Kaia says, "Woah! Nicely done, Merek! Impressive."

Merek looks to the door, while he looks to the lockpicks upon his belt, then he moves to tap on the door with a little hammer, while he begins to take a knife, working away at the special mechanisms. Then he places a hand upon it, maneuvering the mechanism. A nod.

Lucita spends her time looking for keys and in a soft aside. "The only keys I am good with are musical ones. So I am very glad you are skilled with the other kind, Sir Merek."

Miranda repeats, "Alright, everyone stand clear. Kaia, get your bow ready." Her sword is ready. She is NOT in front of the door. She'll make sure no one is, but everyone should be ready for.... something.

Kaia moves away from the door and readies her bow. "On it, Miranda."

Miranda will wait for everyone to be ready, then nods to Merek. "Open the door."

Pharamond looks down and watches Merek ,the athlete and apparently excellent door-unlocker. "If we go much further in I'll hope down, Lisebet. Otherwise, I like making sure that if we need to get out in a hurry that the ropes are right where we want them to be." He gives a smile though down to Lisebet, clearly not upset at the task he's been given at the moment

Merek unsheaths his longbow, then he opens up the door while he moves up to the wall beside it. He maneuvers then to take a place where he can aim for whatever might be within. The diamondplate of the bow glitters in any lightning.

Lucita has knives, several of them within her pack and one in her hand at the ready. She moves in a position where none of the others are blocking her should she need to slash or throw a knife and she is out of the way of the opening door and the direct path leading to it.

Miranda checked intellect at difficulty 10, rolling 4 lower.

Merek checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 24 higher.

Lisebet simply finds a good corner to stand in, out of the door way and out of everyone's way. "Well done, Sir Merek!" And then she watches to see what happens next.

There is a bit of resistance from the door at first; resistance from a long time without being used. It creaks and groans, and then eventually gives way. Hopefully, no one was looking to have a quiet opening of the door, as the pebbles of rubble scrape loudly against the floor once the door passes over it. There are no traps. There is a long wooosh of stale air, and then a dark, dank stench. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Merek seems to recognize that stench from the last time they were there. However, that time they were on the first floor, clearing rubble. Rats. LOTS OF RATS! They come scurrying out of the room, disturbed from their nesting. They probably are more frightened than anyone in the room. Possibly, maybe, and are in a bit of confused chaos.

Merek squeals and looks around to lower his bow, then he's finding his torch which he alights so he can wave it at the rats, "Ahh!"

Miranda grimaces at the stale stench then ughs at the dank stench that follows. Thank goodness for recent nightmares because rats are a welcome change to that! Whatever it is. SHe stands her ground as the swarm of rats come out. Instead of freaking out or squealing, she shakes them off her boots if any run over her feet. "Rats. Well.. they're alive, so air goes through and they've had enough to eat." Bright side! "Must be a way out from here or something inside?"

Lucita draws in a sharp breath and lets it out in a wordless note that carries as she does a quick step back toward the wall then steps forward as if to stamp on the closest rat... or at least to try to scare them away from her.

Miranda walks forward, over and on the rats. Squish. One down, hundreds to go. It's kinda... creepy. She moves to the doorjamb to peer inside and see if she can see... anything.

Lisebet is glad she missed the rats last time, honestly. "How are they still here?" she asks, sounding rueful. She at least is in a corner, though that may not be good for long. "Also they smell bad. I've seen one or two as pets, but this is - I don't like it." This part of adventuring is /not/ Lisebet-approved. Definitely not.

Kaia's makes a disgusted face when the stench reaches her, and then at the sight of a hoarde of rats heading their way her eyes go wide with even more disgust. "Oh, gods no! You stay away from my boots, you nasty little parasites!" she shouts, and next thing you know she's skewering rats with her arrows.

Miranda is overheard praising Merek: For skills unmatched - an interesting variety of talents

Pharamond looks down at the commotion and can't help it. He starts laughing, just a little bit. "Oh that is terrible..." he says with a smirk. He can't help the laugh but he does try least...eventually stifle it. "Look out..." he says quietly. "There's another one. Oohhh, and another..." he teases.

Kaia shouts from nearby, "Shut it Pharamond! You're not helping!"

Light from the room the are in, from the lanterns they carry, spills into the room and starts to show an outline of a much larger manmade structure. There are vaulted ceilings here, as well as several shelves. It seems the rats had been nesting in some of the shelves closest to the door. The room is dusty and dirty, and doesn't seem to have seen any sort of light for a long, long time. However, there are several sturdy chests, made of metal, that seem to be well sealed against the destruction time can render on things. Some have locks, some do not. As they move further into the room, they can see that at one point there was a staircase that lead down into the area, but most of the stairs seem to be crumbling away, and have rubble going down them. This also suggests that there's probably another part of the castle in general that could be explored, if only they could get to that particular section; that's a journey for another time. But for now, they are here, and this is where they have to explore.

Lucita continues to stomp, the distaste for the rats showing in her expression, highlighted by the lantern's glow. Stomp, kick, stab, slash. "Oh, ick. ICK." She closes her mouth and shakes her head but continues to try to fend off the rats. She reaches for the lantern and makes her way over to where others are peering into the room. "Here's some light so you can see in there. I just don't want to leave LOrd Pharamond in darkness." She tries to angle the light as best she can.

Miranda enters the enormous chamber slowly, carefully. Occassionally, her sword flicks down to swat/kill a rat or five. But mostly, she just walks around and over them. She stares about and whistles. "Ok, well.. let's secure the room and then see what there is to find, hmm?" She mmms, "Kaia, would you mind...?" She motions with her head one way, "I will go this way." She points with her sword in the other direction. Secure - make sure the room isn't trapped and safe-ish for others to enter and explore. "Let's get Pharamond down here. He has rat duty."

Lisebet glances up at Pharamond, and then at Miranda, before she calls, "These things are nearly bigger than I am, Pharamond. Do come help." Since it seems they are moving forward. She hasn't a weapon, so she moves oddly, stepping where there are no rats, and mostly just following the efficient rat killers.

Merek keeps with that torch, while he nods a bit to the others, then he looks about a bit within the place, "Interesting!"

Pharamond checked strength + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.

Pharamond makes his way down the ropes quickly enough when he's summoned and he sets to work on rat duty, trying to stamp or stab or guide towards those with torches or for the rats to find other ways out. Swarms are and can be nasty things. He seems to have no problem though with the dirty work, and does grin at Kaia and what she yelled back up to him.

The rat skewering only works for a while, long enough to allow her to rush into the newly discovered room. Her own backpack has a small lit lantern hanging up from it that helps her, and perhaps even those close enough to her, find their way around more easily. "Woah...look at this..." she says, a bit in awe as she makes it further into the room - her bow still in hand. She nods to Miranda's instructions and begins to move about in the pointed direction. Her eyes setting on some nearby crates without locks. "Hmm...I wonder if there's something in these..." she mumbles before poking one with her boots.

Lucita checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 6 higher.

Lisebet checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 11 lower.

Miranda checked perception + survival at difficulty 40, rolling 16 lower.

Kaia checked perception + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Pharamond checked perception + survival at difficulty 40, rolling 3 higher.

Miranda is clearly more interested in the safety of the team than in the loot. Apparently, she can look right at something all shiny and new and not see it at all... but at least they're safe!

Lucita moves through the room cautiously and pokes at some of the crates then ever so carefully uses her knife to prise up a corner in an attempt to make sure no nesting rats or other nasties await her before finally tipping the lids fully off.

Merek checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 40, rolling 14 lower.

Most of the stuff here seems to be just stuff, but there is one subsection that Lucita finds that seems to pique her interest. A door, that leads to a room, that has bars. Opening it, there is a chest there. Someone clearly didn't lock the door like they should have, for the chest had one of those simple locks that Merek is able to easily get through with his picks. Inside, there's a bundle of cloth; umbra, and lots of it. But digging into it there are also three gemstones; a dawnstone, a duskstone, and tucked deep within the umbra, a very rare, and very precious dragonweep.

Pharamond has a fairly casual way of searching around as he uses his sword to lift a box lid or to gently move things on shelves so that they don't end up tearing or breakin gfrom the pressure of him trying to grip them. It's possible that mucking up the dust or such might reveal soemthing he would not have otherwise found.

Miranda just ends up watching everyone loot, making sure the ceiling's not caving in. Killing the occasional rat. Lots of nobles present that need to get back home. Pharamond isn't doing it. Look at him... She wanders by him, "Looking for something for your wife? Just make sure to wipe your boots first."

Lucita looks at the chest of things found and says simply. "hmmm, numbers are not my strength and figuring value of things. But I could not have gotten here by myself for most certain. Lets split this up as evenly as we can.

Lisebet looks around as well. She's checking here and there, though as she moves by one chest, she pauses to reach a hand out, pulling back quickly as there's a squeak and then a couple small rats come tumbling out. "Oh, you're not a treasure, I am sorry to tell you," Lisebet grouches at the little rodents, her voice starting with her own squeak and returning to normal by the end of it. And then she hears someone else has found something, and heads over to see what Lucita has found. "Good for you! I only found more rats."

Lucita says, "Lady Miranda is getting married. The dragonweep might make a nice gem for her wedding jewelry. Do you have anything with dragonweep in it?"

Merek looks about, finding little, but he found a few things. Will probably bring that back to Explorer's Guild, while he will also probably check on the other thing he found in the way back.

Miranda blinks and looks over at Lucita, "I'm sorry, what?" Who? What? "Dragonweep? I... have nothing with dragonweep, no. I.. " She pauses, "I don't even know..." Wedding talk. See how she pales? Look at the wide-eyed horrified look of your trust and most faithful protector!!

Pharamond chuckles quietly. "I'm not that worried about finding things. I am happy whe y'all make it back alive. Whatever you all decide," he intones, grinning pleasantly enough as he continues to look about though it seems the chest is by far the best of the things that were to be found.

Lucita glances at all the others. "What say we give the dragonweep to Lady Miranda and tell her Happy Wedding. Lady Kaia is also getting married and should have the choice of the next gem.

"Whoever wants the dragonweep is welcome to it. I'm not at all sure I like that stone, to be honest." She doesn't wear it, anyway, not ever. "So if Lady Miranda would like it, that's acceptable. You found it, Baroness Lucita. So if you wish to keep it or share it, it's up to you." She glances at Pharamond, and then steps back over by him.

"Why not take it in half, each keeps piece?" Merek asks amusedly, then he shifts his longcoat back, his belt chained up with a waistchain that has a dragonweep as well as a pendant upon it, "I have my own in any case, so I don't need it."

Lucita gives a soft laugh. "I share, of course! We work as a team to get here safely and explore, we share! It would please me if you all would find somethign amid the gems and fabrics and such that would make you happy. I have a dragonweep I was keeping to be made into something that had not yet used till Mistress Josephine assured me it was safe to do so.

Kaia nods. "That's thoughtful of you Baroness. But, I agree with the Duchess. It feels right for you to make the call on who gets what." it's all she says.

Pharamond says, perhaps embarassedly, "I already have one dragonweep I've not done anything with. I am sure I don't need two. Giving it to Miranda would be the best, I think. Whatever there is to split is fine. But indeed it would likely make a fine wedding piece. I am not picky," he says genuinely.

Miranda just blushes a bit. Too. Much. Wedding. Talk. Miranda looks to Lucita, "I would be glad to accept it." Her tone is soft and shy. "Thank you." She looks rather... stunned really, "You are far too kind to me, Lucita."

Miranda is overheard praising Lucita: Always thinking of others before herself. She is too kind and I'm honored to know her.

Lucita looks over toward Lisbeth and says. "With two brides, thought they might like something special for weddings.. and a memory of here. You are alright with the third stone aren't you? And the rest of us can just have the fabric?

Lisebet rather blinks, and then she says, "Certainly, if you are sure, Baroness? I mean, you did find it, you're welcome to one of the stones."

Kaia says, "Thank you Baroness, you are most kind."

Lucita gives a soft laugh. You are most welcome. I'm glad we found something for everyone to have other than memories of rats, rubble and mold.

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