BK
01
CH
Pr
SC
03a

Prelude
The Empty Mansion

…continues from Book #01, Prelude, Scene #02b

Synopsis

The 30th Day of Alturiak in the Year of the Sudden Journey

Zero and Tradden have successfully infiltrated an old mansion overrun by bandits. Discovering a trapdoor in the floor of the house they have gone underground and found a restrained dwarf, Khalin, in one of the basement rooms. After surviving a swarm of bats, the new found party continue to explore the tunnels.

Scene Length

This scene started on Sunday 18th July 2010 and completed on Tuesday 20th July 2010.

JUL
18

Article Notice
Originally in Google Wave

!

This scene was originally written within Google Wave. The scene has been transcribed here for completeness, and has been edited where required.

The original Wave was first used as a test bed to allow the players to get to grips with the mechanisms of Google Wave, including any usage of maps, as well as getting used to the rules for the game. Goblins and a Guard Drake were used as simple enemies, with no real plot ot storyline surrounding them. However, we quickly decided to use this as a launching pad for the rest of the story and in our minds changed the goblins to bandits and the drake to a guard dog. The transcription here takes quite an artistic licence in re-representing this Wave, using the same actions, but with different enemies.

This scene has been split into two, with the storyline transcribed here. The subsequent combat, albeit short, is in the next scene.

The original Wave is now lost with the demise of Google Wave, but the PDF extract of that original scene is provided here.

JUL
18

Storyline
Empty Mansion

01

Tradden looked like he had thoroughly enjoyed repulsing the bat swarm.

‘Well, that went better than the last time we had a scrap, eh, Zero?’ He turned to the dwarven warlord. ‘Your presence was gladly appreciated, sir. I only wish you had been there when a dog was taking chunks out of myself and Mr Uhlit here,’ he continued. ‘Although, how did you arrive at your previous predicament of being tied up in a cellar?’ he asked the dwarf.

JUL
18

Storyline
Empty Mansion

02

‘Er… yes… well, seems a couple of bandits caught me napping, er… not sure how that happened…’ Khalin quickly regained his composure and changed the subject. ‘And your presence is greatly appreciated also, friends! Now, a dog you say? I saw no hounds before.’

JUL
18

Storyline
Empty Mansion

03

Zero brushed himself down madly. When he realised there were no more little vampires on him, he examined his shredded shirt. He looked like he was going to cry.

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18

Storyline
Empty Mansion

04

Tradden noted the obvious grief on Zero’s face as he held up shred after shred of shirt, ‘Not to worry my friend - I am a keen follower of fashion and clothes and if I am not mistaken that is a Hebbleweaver Brothers’ Twenty-Five Bronze special. Easily replaceable!’ he said cheerfully, his youth and inexperience blinding him to the horrific lack of tact in the comment, be it true or not.

JUL
19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

05

The sound of the bats had disappeared into the darkness and judging by the time it had taken them to go, they must have flown through an exit nearby.

[Khalin Perception Check: 1d20: 2] - failure!

[Tradden Perception Check: 1d20+2: 8] - failure!

[Zero Perception Check: 1d20+6: 12] - success!

The party dusted themselves down, picked up their scattered gear, and headed back into the passageway.

‘I think they went north,’ stated Zero, still picking bits of singed leather out of his hair.

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19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

06

‘Well,’ reasoned Tradden, ‘the bats must have their own way in and out which is not the trapdoor. Seems to make sense to follow them. May I suggest you and your trusty shield lead on, Master Dwarf? I shall gladly follow and no doubt my nimble friend Zero will protect our rear?’

Tradden moved to one side to let Khalin take point.

JUL
19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

07

Zero slipped into the lead before the dwarf could move.

‘I know I’m going to regret this,’ he said, ‘but this is kind of my forte.’

Keeping his eyes open, he crept northwards.

‘Just get ready to wallop anything that isn’t me, would you?’

[Stealth Check: 1d20+11: 20] - success!

The passageway kept straight and as Zero headed away from Tradden and Khalin and the torchlight dimmed his eyes slowly became adjusted to the dark.

It was hard to keep quiet on the mounds of slush underfoot, but Zero tried his best. He noticed that the ground was becoming more and more watery, as though something was leaking and running slowly down the passageway.

About sixty yards on, with the torchlight well behind him, Zero noticed a change in the draught and could tell that the passageway opened up into a larger chamber. A steady drip drip echoed around.

JUL
19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

08

‘Fair enough’, said Tradden as Zero headed past. ‘In which case, I shall take the rear!’ he laughed to himself as he held the torch up, ready to follow Zero and Khalin whilst keeping a keen eye and ear for anything that might be following them.

JUL
19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

09

Khalin raised a curious eyebrow in Tradden’s direction, shrugged, and followed Zero.

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19

Storyline
Empty Mansion

10

Zero halted. ‘Larger chamber up ahead,’ he whispered to his companions. ‘Watch your footing, it’s getting wetter.’

He crept forward very cautiously, testing with his toes before committing each foot to the ground. He didn’t want to plunge into a well or worse, a pit trap.

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

11

As Tradden and Khalin came up behind they shed torchlight on the passageway ahead. As Zero had predicted, the passageway opened up into a larger chamber, roughly square, and about sixty feet across. In the centre of the chamber was a round pit, about ten feet in diameter, with running water seeping down the walls and dripping into its depths.

Directly across at the other side of the chamber was a set of shallow stairs, leading up.

Zero’s caution was well founded, however, as just before the entrance to the chamber, the last ten feet or so were missing - with a drop of about twenty feet to sludge and slime below.

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20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

12

‘Hmm,’ said Tradden after taking a quick view over his shoulder away from the passage behind them. ‘Too big to jump and I don’t fancy a down-and-up. Any thoughts?’

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

13

Zero appraised the athletic Tradden.

‘You can’t make a ten foot jump?’ he queried. ‘Why, I’ve seen you move like a gazelle.’

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

14

‘Really, you think?’ replied Tradden to Zero. Never one to usually lack confidence, the compliment was all the young fighter needed to impel him into action. ‘In which case…’ he continued, jogging back three or four yards to get a running start, ‘watch this!’

The run up was quickly taken and Tradden leapt like, well, like a gazelle, through the air, even managing to twist once for good effect at the pinnacle of the arc, the flickering light of the torch playing up and down the length of the sword occupying his other hand, illuminating the dank walls of the passageway with a gleaming, elongated, rainbow ‘S’ shape throughout his aerial crossing.

[Athletics Check: 1d20+8: 13] - success!

[Tradden leaps 13 feet (3 squares)]

Resisting the urge to land in a roll given the filth on the floor, Tradden nevertheless landed safely and lightly on the other side. ‘Easy. Next!’ he laughed.

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

15

As Tradden looked back towards his colleagues, beckoning them over the pit, Zero noticed a pair of yellow eyes some way behind the young fighter, flickering malevolently in the torchlight. The pair were joined by another, and another, and another. Then two pairs of red eyes moved forwards out of the gloom.

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

16

Tradden picked up wholly the wrong end of the metaphorical stick, taking the widening of Zero’s eyes to be tacit appreciation of his athletic traversal of the pit. ‘Thank you, thank you…’ he exclaimed as he took a flourishing bow, his back still to the oncoming owners of the various pairs of eyes.

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

17

‘Aha! The game’s afoot!’ grinned Khalin as he spotted the eyes coming into view. ‘Stand by, Master Tradden! And don’t worry, Mister Nothing, you won’t have to toss me!’

Backing up for a clear run-up, the stocky dwarf galloped up to the gap and leapt!

‘Geronimo!’ he yelled with gusto as he arced into the void…

[Athletics Check: 1d20+8: 27] - success!

[Khalin leaps 27 feet (5 squares)]

Showing remarkable grace for …well, a dwarf …Khalin executed a perfect landing and quickly brought his hammer and shield up for the impending attack.

JUL
20

Storyline
Empty Mansion

18

Standing aside for the dwarf, who soared past with a leap which belied his diminutive stature and the amount of steel about his person, Tradden suddenly realised that something was indeed afoot as Khalin adopted a combat stance behind him.

A wall sconce on the left hand side at the end of the passageway was perfect for Tradden’s torch. He slid it in and then drew his other blade.

JUL
20

End of Scene

[…continued in Book #01, Prelude, Scene #03b…]