Whatever Happened to Zartyr, Ashianna, Thanabo, Tempest and Franklin?
Zartyr woke with a start. Gods! His head was pounding. He could not remember where he was or how he got there. He was in a gigantic cavern. In front of him was a black shaft dropping to who knows where. Beyond that was an immense rough-hewn statue vaguely in the shape of a dragonman.

The paladin tried to move his arms, which were roughly shackled behind him. Both his arms and legs were chained. A heavy metal collar wrapped his neck and was attached to the floor with another heavy black chain, which was spiked into the stone. The length of chain was long enough to allow him to crouch, but not stand upright. A leather gag prevented him from speaking.

He was dressed in a ragged loin cloth and his equipment was missing.

To his left and right were his companions, similarly bound. Thanabo, Ashianna, Franklin and Tempest were also imprisoned. Zartyr could not tell if they were breathing, they were eerily still. Of the party's animal companions, there was no sign.

Zartyr tested the strength of his bonds, using his leg muscles to pull against the spike attaching him to the rocks. Nothing. Zartyr started to twist around in a tight circle, hoping to loosen the spike in that manner, when he noticed figures in the dark. The creatures were dressed in dark robes covering them from head to toe. They kneeled 10' behind each of the captives absolutely motionlessly.

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"Ha!" dreams Thanabo, "exactly what I was hoping for, it's all exactly to plan..."
Though perhaps, should he wake, he may need to reassess that plan.
Zartyr has been cosplaying 50 Shades of Gray.
Black Shaft?! That's one bad motha...
Shut your mouth
He was just talking about the shaft.
I'm getting excited to get back to these knuckleheads. I already thought of a really cool scene, if a certain person thinks to use one of their abilities.
Before much longer, the rest of the party became conscious. They were all bruised, battered, and bedraggled, but alive. All were bound in a fashion identical to that which Zartyr found himself.

Each hero was trussed up like a holiday goose and had a silent, still figure kneeling behind them.


The internet had my back.
I'm oddly aroused.
Anyone have any actions or ideas?
Zartyr would keep testing his bonds in any way he could think of, Pulling, twisting, Jerking. Also silently giving prayers to his diety and patron for guidance and strength.
Unfortunately, these bonds are unable to be overcome through physical means. You just aren't able to get the leverage you need to break the chains.
Going to slump and see if by feigning exhaustion I can manage to meditate and get my spells. Going for Liberating Command and Thorn Javelin, though of course at this stage of capture "Negate Aroma" might be attractive.
Ashianna looked around taking stock of her companions. She struggled against her own bonds briefly before giving up as she noticed not even Zartyr was having any luck in that department. After a few moments more of thought, she closed her eyes and began to prepare a spell. Because of her curse, she didn't need to speak a spell to cast it, something her captures hadn't realized. A moment later, her body transformed into a ethereal body of pure life energy. ((Energy Body))

With any luck, she'd be able to escape her bonds and help her companions.
Thanabo: As a divine caster, you are able to pray/meditate to get your spells back. You'd be hard pressed to cast any that require speech or precise movements of your fingers or hands, but if you are freed, your spells will be available.

Ashianna: You are able to transform your body into one of pure life energy. The chains that bound you drop to the ground in a heap and you are free! As that happens, the figures kneeling behind the captured party slowly stand. Their movements are jerky, like those of great marionettes being controlled from above by an unseen puppet master.

The creatures immediately draw weapons, most of which you recognize as the very weapons you and your companions once wielded. They sway towards you with their faltering gate, shuffling and jerking. The weapons raise, ready to attack.

You realize that unless these creatures are especially weak, there is very little chance you will be able to overcome them alone. Do you attempt to fight or would you flee?
"Run" shouts Thanabo, then remembers that she couldn't hear very well even when she was corporeal. He mimes running away as best he can while chained.
Thanabo shouts "MRUUUM!" through his gag. Then makes elaborate running away motions, though chained head to foot. He ends by tripping and falling in a heap.

"Message sent" he thinks to himself.
I pat myself on the back and nearly dislocate a shoulder.
Too bad savage maw has a verbal component, it'd be cool to gain savage fangs and bite through the gag.
Pointer-left Dark_fairy3_thumb
Jen
(( Wouldn't have heard either shout anyway :p ))

She hesitated for a brief moment before doing what Thanabo showed her, not wanting to leave her friends. Glancing about the room, she saw her options where to move deeper into the cave behind where the creatures had been, or a pit. She remembered feeling a breeze coming from behind her while she was shackled. Not trusting her ability to jump over the pit she charged at the creatures, making sure to avoid impaling herself on their weapons as she passed through them, searching for that current of air hoping to find an exit.
Ashianna in her energy form lights up the cavern with her glow. She charges toward the robed creatures, trying to use her superior speed and maneuverability to avoid the monsters.

The oracle feinted to the left, then bolted to the right, directly towards two of the robed figures. The warm golden glow of her energy form revealed the rotting visage of a troglodyte zombie wrapped in the dark robes. The undead horror swung Tempest's voidglass scimitar at Ashianna's head ( d20 => [8] = 8 )

Ashi was able to duck under the swing and sprint past the monster. Only one more robed figure threatened her. The rotting creature drew Zartyr's glowing longsword and stabbed at the fleeing elf ( d20 => [10] = 10 ).

Another miss!

Ashianna passed through the creature, causing it to burst into blue flame and searing portions of the creatures slogging flesh off its bones. Then with a burst of speed, she was clear of the creatures and running unopposed. Was she running towards freedom for her and her friends, or into even greater danger?

Dice Rolls => Results = Total
d20 => [8] = 8
d20 => [10] = 10
Going to try the bonds, see if there's any way out. If only I could remember the safe word...
And end scene.
I say a prayer for Ashianna, and enjoy the taste of the leather gag. Yummm.... skin of dead cow (or some underground lizard)...
Lizard. Definitely lizard.
That's good news, was concerned it was made from the last party in our predicament.
Slowly, drifting, the pain returns to my body. I try to remember what happened, where I am, and most of all, I struggle to remain silent, motionless. I carefully open my eyes, just the tiniest of tiny slits to see the grey receding.

Tentatively, I mentally reach out to Cinders. "Are you there?" I feel a tear slide down my cheek when I think of the last time I saw her.

Carefully, slowly, I try to morph into something small and unnoticeable. Surely a rat would not be easy to spot once I change. I struggle, but can't seem to force myself to become a form so small.

I think, hard. What else could I try? Something not quite so small... perhaps, a badger? They were common enough back home.

I concentrate, focusing on the form, hoping I can hide, run or dig my way to safety before the ones who chased after Ashianna return.
I'm not sure if it will work, but I'd like to immediately cast reduce animal, and run/dig like crazy to get away. Reduce animal doesn't stack with other size reducing spells, and I'm not sure if animal shape counts, since it does technically reduce my size, but as an ability not a spell.

DM call. Tempest just wants to run / hide / get to safety so she can take a moment to think.
Tempest slowly regains consciousness. Every square inch of her body aches. The druid reaches out mentally to her beloved Cinders. Silence. A salty tear forms when she realizes she will likely never feel Cinder's calming presence again.

Tempest realizes she cannot cast even the simplest of spells the way she's bound. She can, however, use her Wildshape ability. Concentrating, she wills her body to change into the form of a badger.

The chains that bound her fall into a heap on the cavern floor. Tempest the badger is free!

The robed undead creatures are busy chasing after Ashianna, which means Tempest has a choice. She can climb into the pit in front of her; move around the pit and head further into the large cavern; move to follow Ashianna at top badger speed (though she would likely run into the undead creatures if they come back); or creep off to the to the side of the cavern and wait for the monsters to come back before heading after Ashi. Or possibly something else that I haven't thought of.
DM Talk: I don't have your full sheet in front of me, so I wasn't sure if Tempest can cast spells in her animal form, so if you can, you can have the Reduce Animal on you.

Just FYI: It should be very easy for you to hide/avoid the undead. This is a HUGE cavern, at least 70' x 110' with a 30' ceiling.
Undead are my favouritest favourite enemy. (You gain a +4 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks when using these skills against undead. Likewise, you get a +4 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against such creatures. You may make Knowledge Skill checks untrained to identify such creatures.)

My keen favourite enemy sense is tingling, who are these dusty fools in bathrobes? What do I know about them? Wait until I get my hands on them...
d20 => [12] = 12 Knowledge check undead.

Going from their movements, smell, and bits you could see from Ashianna charging through them, you would guess some form of advanced zombie.
Dice Rolls => Results = Total
d20 => [12] = 12
So they should be easy to bluff.
(Player note: Tempest does have the feat that allows her to cast in beast form)

As I feel my form stretch, warp and shrink, I slip free of my chains and they fall to the ground beside me. "The smaller the better" I think, and cast Reduce Animal to further shrink myself.

"Right, next step" I think as I cautiously look around, ready to run and hide at any signs of movement other than my friends. I truck on over, full badger waddle, to Zartyr. Climbing up using the post, chains, and his legs and back, I reach his shoulder and bite and tug at the gag until it falls free. I touch my nose to his ear and cast Cure Light Wounds. I continue on to Thanabo, then Franklin, doing the same thing, all the while looking for signs that I should free.

Thumping back down to the ground, I go to hide and remember - I've learned some things! Thinking hard about hiding, sneaking and being unseen, I manage to focus enough to cast Pass Without Trace on us. At least if my friends get free, they will have a better chance to hide.

With that, I scurry off into the darkness, staying as close as I dare as I find a place to settle in, unseen.
The robed figures eventually come back and resume their silent vigil behind the adventurers. Tempest feels secure enough in her small size and form to stay somewhat close to the "action" and see what happens.

While she was able to remove her friends gags and cure them a bit, she was unable to free them. The chains and bonds were just too strong and complicated.

After a time, she felt comfortable enough to search the rest of the cavern to get a lay of the land. To the NE, she discovered a tunnel leading into another cave. Her animal senses detected a dry, musty odor, like something long dead. A sticky goo covered the floor a short distance into the new chamber. Some sort of webbing perhaps? Tempest decided to avoid that room.

On the West side of the great chamber was another tunnel. This one leaked a bit of light. Creeping careful ahead, Tempest found another large chamber. Moving in cautiously, she saw a shallow pit filled with a dark viscous liquid and what looked like eggs the size of softballs. Further back in the room was a gigantic iron cage containing a great winged serpent, it's scales shining a deep red in the dim light. At regular intervals, the monster would breath a gout of fire towards the egg pit, causing the stone to heat up, and glow cherry red.

As Tempest turned to leave, she dislodged a small stone with her tail. This drew the dragon's attention. The monster smiled at her and growled, "A visitor? Come closer. I would have words with you."

Tempest declined the invitation and quickly ran back to the main chamber.

The final exit from the cavern, the one which Ashianna had chosen, led down a long tunnel into another great chamber filled with dozens of troglodyte females and younglings.

The druidess returned to her vigil, watching over her companions from the darkness.

Hours passed.

Tempest is jarred from her meditations by the sounds of a large armored creature stomping into her view. It was reptilian, like a troglodyte, but had a more draconic appearance, as well as great wings sprouting from the creature's back. When the monster advanced to where he could see the captives, he shrieked with anger.

"No! No! No! No! Two have escaped!"

The creature charged forward to examine the bonds.

"Sssspellcasterssss. Cursssed ssspellcastersss! There are barely enough left for the ritual."

The monster checks the bonds of the remaining captives, replacing their gags and cruelly applying various kicks, cuffs, punches, and smacks to vent his frustration.

He pauses a moment, seeming to fiercely concentrate on something. Moments pass, then two more monsters appear from the darkness. The creatures are skeletal dragons, each the size of a large bull.

"Guard them! Kill anything that comes near them except me and the Tabernacle."

With that, the dragonman turned and strode off. Leaving the new horrors behind.
Once I get my gag bitten off, going to try Liberating Command on myself

CASTING
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Components V

EFFECT
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)


DESCRIPTION
If the target is bound, grappled, or otherwise restrained, he may make an Escape Artist check to escape as an immediate action. He gains a competence bonus on this check equal to twice your caster level (maximum +20). This spell has no effect if the target could not get free by using the Escape Artist skill (for example, if he were under the effects of a hold person spell or paralyzed by Strength damage).

If that works, then escape.

If not, then Thorn Javelin, see if I can use that as a clumsy lockpick. It has a somatic component, so may not get the spell off:
CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S

EFFECT

Range 0 ft.
Effect javelin-like thorn
Duration 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


DESCRIPTION

A wooden thorn the size of a javelin (appropriate for your size) appears in your open hand. You can wield this thorn as a javelin, and you are proficient in its use. Any creature struck by the javelin must succeed at a Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 round. If you throw the javelin, another one appears in your hand. Any javelin that leaves your grasp disappears at the end of your turn. Each javelin attack you make reduces the spell’s remaining duration by 1 minute. If an attack reduces the remaining duration to 0 minutes or less, the spell ends after that attack resolves.

We can resolve this on Saturday. The DC on the Escape Artist check is 35. If this gives you a +10 bonus, you need at least 5 levels in EA to even have a chance. Then you need a 20. Not easy.
Don't think I can get there. +3 for dex, +2 ranks, and spell gives me +4 (Caster level 2), so only +9.
I'm sure it'll all work out happily on Saturday.