posted Aug 10, 2020, 3:15 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Aug 10, 2020, 6:56 PM ]

Decitina 4th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Fennimore and Perri are busy over the next several days. Fennimore puts his plans into motion to deal with his task for The Lord High Inquisitor and Perri continuing her training with High King Ran.
Perri Elastime: Hey, Fennimore. I think I have found an entrance to a secret passage in the kitchens.
Fennimore: I told you there would be secret passages in the castle. Let's check it out.
Perri Elastime: Do you want to help me open it and see?
Fennimore: Absolutely.
In the meantime, Perri has continued to try to get into the secret passage in the kitchens but has been interrupted each time she has tried over the last several days.
Perri Elastime: We need to avoid the kitchen staff, though.
Fennimore: Well, then that probably means we need to wait until they have gone to bed.
Perri Elastime: Okay. Do you think our party clothes are ready yet?
Fennimore: The kitchen will be busy from before the start of most folks' day until well after the final meal.
Perri Elastime: Yes, every time I go in there, they are doing something.
Perri Elastime: At least I am always hungry, so that makes a good excuse.
Fennimore: Haha, I swear you are part halfling.
Perri Elastime: At least the stomach part.
Fennimore: You are a little tall.
Fennimore: Maybe you're part Took.
Perri Elastime: I'm an overachiever.
Fennimore: I almost forgot about the clothes we bought in all this commotion.
A couple of days into this, packages arrive at your rooms in the castle. They contain the clothes that were purchased. The handwriting on the packages is Rael's, and each has a note from him.
Perri Elastime reads the note.
Rael's note explains that he took the liberty of having your purchases delivered to the castle for you. The least he could do.
Perri Elastime: Maybe we can be tasters for the kitchen?
Fennimore: There's a problem with that. The tasters aren't supposed to eat the entire meal.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if the castle food bill has gone up?
Fennimore: The benefit of feudal society is those at the top don't have to pay for their excesses.
Perri Elastime: How do your new clothes fit?
Fennimore: A little snugger than I recall. Castle life is much more comfortable than when I was living on the streets.
Perri Elastime: I haven't tried mine on yet.
Fennimore: You should. You don't want any surprises before you are called to an official event.
Perri Elastime: When do you think the kitchen staff goes to bed?
Fennimore: Hmm, we'll have to stake them out. I've had a few midnight snacks, and they still seem to be cleaning up from late dinners.
Perri Elastime: Shall we try about twoish?
Fennimore gets the impression that it will take a bit of luck to pull this off while Perri is frustrated that she has been interrupted every time she has tried.
Fennimore: Maybe what we need is a distraction. Something to get the cooks out of the kitchen for a few minutes. Any ideas?
Fennimore: Can you make any illusions that would scare them off?
Perri Elastime: I can make scary illusions, but scaring the staff would not be nice.
The thought occurs to Perri that she could drop a sleep spell on pretty much the whole kitchen area they need to access and put them all to sleep.
Perri Elastime: And they feed me! I could try to put them to sleep.
Fennimore: That's a great idea!
Fennimore: If we do it at night, they'll already be tired and who could blame them for nodding off for a few minutes.
Perri Elastime: I just don't want to hurt them. They could nod off into a fire.
Fennimore: We'll be close enough to rescue them.
Perri Elastime: Okay. Sounds like a plan.
Fennimore: Tonight then?
Perri Elastime: Yeah.
Perri Elastime: I'll go try on my party clothes then take a wee nap.
Since this conversation occurs near the end of their own day of activity, it isn't a long stretch before the can get to the kitchen when there are only a few folks cleaning up for the day.
Perri Elastime nap for a bit after trying on her perfect new clothes, and then puts her armor back on.
Fennimore takes a brief nap as well but lets his hunger wake him for a midnight snack.
Perri Elastime goes to find Fennimore.
Fennimore is waiting in his room for Perri.
Prepared for some exploring, Fennimore and Perri arrive at the kitchens when almost the entire castle seems to be asleep. A few folks are finishing up in the kitchen when they arrive.
Fennimore: Hey Perri. Let's do this.
Perri Elastime: Let's go.
Fennimore: You put the staff to sleep, I'll make sure they are safe, then show me the secret door.
The four kitchen workers slump to the floor in the kitchen as Perri's spell fills the room.
Fennimore rushes to each of them, in turn, to make sure they are resting comfortably.
One is directly in front of the cabinet that Perri is sure is the secret door. The others are around the perimeter of the room.
Fennimore: Nice job.
Perri Elastime: See this cabinet? I think it moves. There are some loose boards here that are the catch somehow.
Fennimore: I think we need this guy out of the way. Can you help me, so we don't wake him?
Perri Elastime: Yeah.
Perri Elastime helps Fennimore move man.
Fennimore: As gently as he can, Fennimore drags the cook.
The pair manage to move the worker without waking him.
Fennimore: Now show me what you found again?
Perri Elastime: This stool might help with the trigger. See its legs.
Perri is pointing out a stool with an odd configuration of legs at a counter in the middle of the room.
Fennimore: That is a strange stool.
Fennimore investigates the stool.
Perri Elastime: She shows Fennimore the scratches on the floor, the clicky boards.
Fennimore notices that the legs are spaced in such a way as to be able to center on each of five floorboards.
Perri figures that setting the stool on the floor there in just the right way and putting weight on it will open the secret door.
Fennimore moves the stool onto the floorboards and sits on it.
Perri Elastime grabs a snack.
Fennimore wobbles a bit, and the motion on the legs seems to trigger something behind the wall. The cabinet slowly begins to slide toward the stool, pushing it out of the way. A passageway is revealed beyond.
Fennimore: Hey, look at this.
Perri Elastime: You did it.
Fennimore peeks inside the passage for light or a latch.
The passageway is not quite three feet wide and dark. It's faced with the same stone as the kitchen walls for about five feet before becoming rough stone.
Fennimore lights his lantern from a piece of kindling at the kitchen fire.
Fennimore: Let's get in and look around before our friends wake up.
Perri Elastime goes inside.
Fennimore follows and tries to slide the cabinet shut behind him.
Perri Elastime looks for a catch to close passage.
While Perri is looking about the walls for a release, she steps on a stone in the floor that depresses. The cabinet begins to slide back over the passage.
Fennimore: Good, you found it.
Perri Elastime: Let's see where this goes.
Fennimore shines the lantern down the passage.
Fennimore: Lead the way. I'm right behind you.
Fennimore: A little cramped in here. I hope you're not afraid of tight spaces.
Perri Elastime leads the way, looking for tripwires and loose stones.
Perri Elastime: We better whisper here. No telling how far sound will travel.
The passage goes straight for about twenty feet before entering a steep spiral staircase leading up and down.
Fennimore follows Perri slowly using all his investigative skills to look for secret doors, spy holes, and booby traps.
Peering at the stairs, they seem equally worn in both directions.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Up or down?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: I was just going to ask you the same thing.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Down, I guess.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Down it is.
Perri Elastime quietly heads down the stairs.
Fennimore is right behind her.
The pair begin to descend the stairs, which reveal a passageway heading what would have been a continuation of the passage from which they entered the staircase about twenty feet down. The spiral stairs also continue down.
Fennimore: Let's check this out before we go deeper.
Perri Elastime: Okay.
Perri Elastime heads into the passageway.
The passage leads another twenty feet ending in a thick iron-bound wooden door.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Can you hear anything?
Perri Elastime is pretty sure there is nothing that would make noise beyond this door.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I don't hear anything.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Is it locked?
Perri Elastime tests the door handle.j
The door seems to be locked or possibly stuck. The latch handle doesn't move.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Locked or stuck. Hard to tell.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: May I try? Let's switch places.
Perri Elastime switches places with Fennimore.
Fennimore squeezes past Perri, then hands her the lantern.
Fennimore listens at the door.
Perri Elastime looks at the lantern and sees that it be shielded.
Fennimore is certain, as well, that nothing is making any noise beyond the door.
Fennimore tries to jimmy the lock with his thieves tools.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I'm going to shield the lantern and look for other light.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Hold a second. It's hard enough to pick a lock when I have some light.
Fennimore fusses with the lock a bit. It has a strange, jagged keyhole the like of which he has not seen before. After a while, it feels like his pick is grabbed onto from inside the lock.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Oh, something grabbed my pick. Douse the light.
Perri Elastime shields lantern and waits.
Fennimore: I let the rake go slack in my hand, gently touching it to see if it moves.
The rake seems to be being slowly pulled into the lock.
Fennimore peers into the darkness for any sense of light, but it is pitch dark with the lantern covered.
Fennimore tries to pull the rake back.
Fennimore manages to get a good grip on the rake and manages to remove it from the lock. A couple of its points are blunted.
Perri Elastime lifts the hood of the lantern a little.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: I think there is something on the other side of that door. I barely got my rake out of the lock. Let's try another door.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Weird.
Fennimore holds up the mangled pick to the light.
Perri Elastime: Did you see any other passages or doors?
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Just the stairs. Up or down?
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Down.
Perri Elastime heads to the stairs.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Lead the way, I'll keep searching for doors.
Fennimore follows slowly, searching again for secret doors.
Perri Elastime stops before the stairs and again covers the lantern to look for light up and down. If not for her elven vision, she would not see anything at all.
Perri Elastime lifts the hood a bit and heads down.
The pair follow the passageway back to the spiral staircase and descend again. As they descend, they begin to hear the trickling of water and catch the distinct odor of sewage. The stairs open out into a sewer about thirty feet further down the stairs.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Yuck, sewer.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Agreed. We're likely to run into more Deep Bend Rakes or Knives down here.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: How about up.
Fennimore leads the way up.
Perri Elastime starts to follow.
As the pair turn to head back up the stairs, something leaps at them from the darkness.
A rat-like humanoid snarls and snaps at Perri. It also takes a swing at her with a shortsword.
The creature continues to attack Perri with its bite and sword.
The creature sinks a bite in deeply on Perri's arm after previous successes with its attacks. The second sword strike misses. Perri's shield spell only blocks the sword strike.
Perri launches a trio of magic missiles into the creature and then has her rapier begin to sing.
Perri moves out of the stairway and into the sewer, circling the creature.
Fennimore uses his insightful fighting to look for a weakness in the rat's defenses and finds one.
Fennimore steps up to the rat and stabs with his rapier.
Fennimore strikes the creature with a solid thrust, but its deep wound immediately heals up as the blade is withdrawn.
Fennimore: Um, Perri, we're in trouble here. I'm not sure I can hurt this thing.
The creature keeps its focus on Perri and attacks her again. Perri throws up another shield, which is only partially effective.
Fennimore: Hey, you rat face. Pick on someone your own size.
The ratman bites Perri again and misses with the sword. It licks its lips and smiles.
Fennimore: Perri, disengage and get behind me. We need to retreat up the stairs.
Perri Elastime disengages.
Perri Elastime retreats up the stairs.
Perri retreats nearly up to the next floor by way of the stairs.
Fennimore: Go! I'll hold the rear.
Perri Elastime continues up the stairs.
With a burst of speed fueled by magic, Perri ascends the stairs to the passageway leading to the kitchens.
Fennimore pokes at it again with his rapier.
Perri Elastime: Retreat, Fenn!
Fennimore skewers the rat again, but the wound just closes back up.
Fennimore: I'm coming.j
Fennimore retreats up the stairs to just about the level above.
Fennimore moves up the stairs, trying to block the way for the rat with his rapier.
The ratman chases after this quarry catching up with the halfling on the stairs and attacks him.
Fennimore: You're going to wish you had stayed in the sewers.
The ratman sinks a bite in on Fennimore's leg and misses with the sword.
Fennimore: Perri, get to the kitchen, I'm right behind you.
Fennimore: Be ready to close the cabinet when I get there.
Perri Elastime opens the cabinet.
Perri Elastime drinks a potion of healing.
Perri rushes down the passageway and steps on the stone. The cabinet begins to slide out of the way, but it is like in slow motion.
Perri Elastime: Hurry!
Fennimore uses his cunning action again to disengage.
Fennimore dashes up the stairs and down the hall towards the kitchen.
Fennimore makes it to the passage to the kitchen.
The pair can hear the creature scrambling up the stairs after them, but then there is an abrupt, loud crackling sound and a short yelp.
The passageway into the kitchen is now about halfway open.
Perri Elastime squeezes through and readies a firebolt for rat boy if she sees him.
Fennimore watches as Perri squeezes through the narrow opening then puts his finger to his mouth, sshing her.
Fennimore uses a cunning action to hide in the hallway and sneaks back to the top of the stairs.
Fennimore peers around the corner and down the stairs. He is greeted only by the scent of burning hair.
By the time Fennimore arrives at the kitchen, the cabinet has slid out of the way.
Fennimore: Not much ouch, but those bites sting.
Fennimore: Let's close this up and go find Rael.
Perri Elastime closes the cabinet.
Perri Elastime: What will we tell him?
Fennimore: We found a rat-man in the sewer, and it bit us.
Perri Elastime: True.
Perri Elastime: Why were we in the sewer?
The kitchen is empty when you turn around to leave. The workers must have awoken and departed in the time Fennimore and Perri were exploring.
You both realize that you have not seen Rael in a couple of days.
Fennimore: If he asks, tell him we were exploring. We don't have to tell him everything.
Fennimore: Let's check his room. He's probably sleeping.
Perri Elastime: Okay. Rael is our brother, after all.
Fennimore: But that doesn't mean we have to tell him everything.
Perri Elastime: He doesn't want the details anyway.
Perri Elastime: You know I haven't seen him lately.
Fennimore: Me, either. If he's not here, maybe we'll have to try him at his estate after we have a rest.
Fennimore: Maybe his parents returned from their trip.
Perri Elastime: Man, I'm hungry. I wonder if there is cheese.
Fennimore: Funny, I have a hankering for cheese too.
Perri Elastime: Maybe they have. It will be understandable if he is with them.
Fennimore: There's got to be some Gouda around here somewhere.
Fennimore: Come on, Limburger. You can't hide from me forever.
Perri Elastime: Or some nice Brie.