CHAPTER 4.07 - ENTERING THE TUNNEL

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Upon Wulfram seeing the underground city

Post  vampyre on Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:46 am

This...he was not expecting.
And searching this place could take some time, given just how vast the city seems to be.
And just how did this city get here.

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CHAPTER 4.07 - ENTERING THE TUNNEL

Post  Admin on Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:00 pm

The following day is overcast and slightly colder but calm. The Gerhadts provide Wulfram with rations (three day supply) and he consumes two doses of wolvenwort before he departs across the lake on the raft. Friedheim Aranbergh takes him with Jurgen standing by on lookout. The trip across the lake proceeds smoothly. There is nothing untoward. The journey takes half a day, so it is just after midday when Wulfram is delivered to the far shoreline. An agreement is made to light a signal fire to indicate readiness to return, to which the Aranberghs promise they will respond.

Wulfram gets an ominous chilling sensation as he stands alone after the Aranberghs have departed. PERCEPTION 28. He thinks he is being watched, but he is uncertain. He pulls out his warhammer and holds it ready for combat.

He follows the shoreline and the sandy ground soon gives way to rocks. Wulfram clambers over them sure-footedly and after about an hour of traversing the hard terrain he reaches the mouth of the cave, exactly where he expects to find, according to the parchment notes that Crosstenmarch gave him. It is 20' wide and descends steeply into a mossy rock tunnel. At the entrance are wooden posts (old tree branches) that have driven into the ground at angles and mounted on them are human skulls. The skulls look very old and some show signs of blunt weapon trauma (cracks and caved in). There are no obvious signs of activity at the mouth of the cave. A path from the forest leads here.

Wulfram strides in. REFLEX saving throw 26. He does not stumble on the steep ground (5' drop in elevation) as he enters and he finds himself inside a small mossy after dscending and follow a natural tunnel for approximately 20'. Inside the cave are four burning torches and several human skulls sitting in carved out niches near a small tunnel that exits and goes further down.

On entering the smaller tunnel Wulfram notes that it is unlit and very dark. There are also many vines and creepers that extend long the tunnel, growing out of the natural rock walls. He lights a torch to provide some illumination. PERCEPTION 21. He hears a distant scraping sound that is getting closer. It echoes but he knows that is definitely coming from deeper down. He proceeds for 100' and comes to another small cavern. He rounds the corner and illuminated in the torch light is a single emaciated human figure dressed in dirty brown robes. The figure is evil and is holding a Kama (like an ice pick) in its hands. It has seen Wulfram and screeches, and Wulfram charges and attempts to strike the enemy. He delivers a critical blow ... 47 hp. The man is struck down with a crushing blow to the head and he falls silent. The hood has fallen down, revealing a face that is very pale and unhuman-like. the eyes are black, the teeth pointed. He also shows sign of ritualistic scarring on his forehead and cheeks. Rune-like symbols, only they are not symbols Wulfram recognises.

PERCEPTION 27. The scraping sound grows closer, it sounds like it is coming from the rock itself all around him. Wulfram burns the body of his enemy and while the body burns he retires back to entrance of the cavern to see what happens.

The scraping sounds stop and Wulfram sees three more of these robed men emerge from the walls themselves and into the cavern. They are enraged when they see the body of their comrade burning and they screech when they see Wulfram.

Noting the floor of the cavern is wet, Wulfram hurls the warhammer at the ground they're touching to deliver an electric shock with Thor's power. "Take this," he says. The hammer strikes the ground and a defening thunderclap echoes as an electric burst is delivered. 28 hp electrical damage. All three creatures are knocked off their feet and thrown against the cavern walls. None remain moving afterward. The warhammer returns to Wulfram's hand and he holsters it, pulling his longaxe out ... he enters hurriedly and cuts them up to prevent any regeneration. It is a grisly task but he completes it quickly. He burns the remains. Then it is silent.

A natural tunnel continues downward and a gentle decline into darkness. Wulfram follows it. It twists and turns some 500' before reaching a 20' wide gap with the tunnel continuing on the other side. Wulfram, undaunted, sucks in his breath and jumps with all his strength and he clear the gap. He lands on his feet without issue.

Continuing, the tunnel twists and turns another 400' then Wulfram reaches another cavern entrance. He again hears the scraping sound within the rock. This cavern has a ledge running around it at a height of 15'. The ceiling is 30' . Wulfram readies the hammer again. He waits. He hears sounds like those made when the creatures emerged from the walls in the previous cavern. And then he hears hissing voices. "The Son of Fenris ... he confronts us ... he has ventured into our domain ... Master says he must be stopped ... he cannot find what lies below ..."

The voices are echoing inside the cavern. They sound like like they are at an elevation and they suddenly stop. Wulfram walks in boldly. He doesn't surprise them but reacts the most swiftly. He senses four evil presences, spread around the ledge in this cavern. He throws the warhammer at the ceiling, illuminating it in a flash of lightning and delivers a mighty thunderclap. Two of the enemy are stunned and all of them are temporarily blinded or disorientated. Wulfram receives the hammer on its return to his hand and exits out the tunnel on the other side. He hears the enemy hissing with rage far behnd him.

The tunnel widens to about 30' width and continues for another 100' and reaches a fork that (INTUIT DIRECTION 24) leads E and SE ... Wulfram can see that the E direction leads down a short (50') tunnel to another cavern entrance. He follows that and reaches a massive cavern. It is silent here. The cavern extends into darkness beyond the illumination of his torchlight. There is a pool of water in front with darkness extending beyond that.

Perhaps deciding that the darkness beyond the pool of water is too omnious, Wulfram returns to the fork in the tunnel and follows the SE branch into a narrower tunnel (10'). It extends about 100' and reaches another fork in natural tunnels. SEE or SW both downward at a gentle decline.

Wulfram heads SW - the tunnel widen to 15' and it is very dark. It is silent. The tunnel twists and turns for 500' and then widens into a large natural cavern. Darkness extends beyond the torchlight on all sides. LISTEN 24. There is water dripping and splashing some distance ahead (estimate 300'). The water sounds like it is at a lower level than the ground he stands on. No evil is detected. Wulfram cautiously enters and advances into the cavern, meandering to see if anything is caught in the torchlight. He soon finds an old path and the ground here is as though he was outdoors, but the vegetation has died away with time. The path is very worn and following it takes him to a waist-heght stone wall with wooden spikes hammered into the ground at haphazard angles, facing him. A defensive line for holding and slowing enemies, perhaps. Wulfram's torchlight illuminates beyond the low wall and he can see the ruins of a stone building. He moves past the wall and inspects the building.

INTELLIGENCE CHECK 17. Wulfram gets a momentary sense of deja-vu ... this ruined stone building is very reminiscent of the ruined buildings he found at Rosenrot and remarkably similar in construction to the stone cottages in Haastenmoord. He quickly discovers that two other ruined buildings are located close by. Separating the ruined buildings is the worn path and a quick check beyond that reveals the remains of what could be a ruined stables. The buildings show signs of former human habitation. There are the remnants of old farming implements and pottery. The design of the pottery is familiar to Wulfram. It is a blend of norse mythology and artwork similar to that made by the good folk of Haastenmoord. The similarity is uncanny.

"Why is this is underground?" Wulfram is confused. He looks around. There are no graves. There are no remains of clothing. There are signs massive damage and caveins at the edges of the cavern (500-600' width). Near the three ruined buildings he reaches the edge of a massive chasm that drops down into darkness. That is where Wulfram hears the dripping and splashing of water. He determines the chasm runs the full width of the cavern. He can hear water far below.

"Did these people live underground?" Wulfram wonders. "What is this place?"

He a wide rope suspension bridge extending out across the chasm into darkness. He checks its sturdiness. It looks and feels solid enough so he crosses it. It is very long (200') near the centre it sways and Wulfram momentarily needs to catch his balance. REFLEX 19. He is safe and crosses to the other side. He searches and discover the remnants of a further eight cottage sized buildings and a large ruined bulding that would match the appearance and style of Haastenmoord's great hall.

Wulfram enters the great hall. He again experiences deja-vu. The layout of this building (wooden beams, etc) is identical. Save for the fact that he's underground and the place is compleetly ruined he'd swear he was actually in Haastenmoord.

There are some broken weapons lying in a corner of the great hall. On closer inspection two of the weapons appear to bear an inscribed symbol on them. The symbol is very reminiscent of Lord Crosstenmarch's. The problem is that their designer must have had a bad day because the crosses, for want of a better term are reversed. Wulfram senses a faint trace of evil from the sundered weapons, evidently they were broken in battle. "But with whom?" Wulfram wonders.

Wulfram then discovers there is another tunnel that leads SE from the end of the cavern. He follows it 100' and forks SW and SE. Both directions go downwards. The SW fork is a steeper angle and looks more treacherous. Wulfram follows that.

REFLEX checks, all successful.

The tunnel twists and turns 2000' through darkness and it breaks out into a massive cavern. Wulfram is standing on a ledge overlooking a dimly illuminated underground city. The city is ruined and stretches for as far as the eye can see. The buildings below look very unusual. they are not of a design that Wulfram is familiar with. They are made of stone.
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