[15:22] <```> Shards ala wolfhound sits there panting in the heat.
[15:23] * ^ Matthew was opening the Gate. York the horse is standing and waiting.
[15:23] * ||| Matthew is opening the gate to the first destination. "So long as someone tells me where we're goin' I can take us there."
[15:23] * ||| Jason is also waiting.
[15:24] <Mobeen> WHat was that triangulation idea?
[15:25] * x_x Myrin attaches her pack to York's saddle and listens. She's never heard of... whatever it was Mobeen said.
[15:26] <|||> <Jason> "Basically, we go one place and have the octopus point the direction we need to go and draw a line on a map. Then to another area and have him point again. Then another. We'll see where the spots converge on the map, or at the very least, have a smaller area to look in."
[15:27] <```> <Shards> ~Walk to a point, have your octopus point at the target. Walk further, have the octopus point again.. Ah, the young sire has beaten me to the punch.~
[15:29] <Mobeen> Well I think you give the poor fish more credit for his skills than he posesses but we can but try
[15:30] * ||| Jason blushes prettily. "I only thought it would... save us some time." He ducks his head a bit.
[15:30] <x_x> <Myrin> Can he do that? I thought Mano could track him... like following a scent if he could catch it? She sounds intrigued rather than doubtful.
[15:30] <Mobeen> It would...but it's a grieving octopus not a compass
[15:31] * ||| Matthew gets the gate open. "Well, let's move if we're movin'."
[15:31] * Mobeen is irritated by matthew
[15:32] <```> Shards can't believe she just heard the words "Grieving octopus"..
[15:32] * x_x Myrin mounts up. And if nobody is putting an illusion on Charlie, she'll have him stay behind.
[15:32] * ^ York the horse walks thorugh the gate.
[15:32] <```> Shards the Wolfhound follows.
[15:32] * ^ thought the illusion was put on charlie already
[15:33] * ||| Jason will if no one else has. He's supposed to look like a regular dog.
[15:33] * x_x saw discussion on it, but doesn't remember any illusions placed...))
[15:33] * ||| Matthew just waits for everyone to go through. And Jason looks back briefly and whispers something under his breath... and then through he goes as well.
[15:34] * Mobeen exchanges a glance with Rollo and walks through the gate. His last thought is hoping that the opportunity of punching Matthew's smug little face in, will arise
[15:35] * ||| Matthew does look like a smug little bastard. Once everyone else is through, he goes through as well.
[15:35] * ^ thought htey made charlie look like rollo.
[15:38] * ||| Jason would have, since they are going where wolves would not be welcome.
[15:39] * x_x Charlie stays with the other 'dogs' then. ^_^
[15:39] <```> Shards is a wolfhound, don'
[15:39] <```> Shards is a wolfhound, don't fuck with her, wolfy.
[15:40] * ^ rollo is meaner than both of them so puppy it up.
[15:42] * x_x Charlie's easy-going, unless Myrin's attacked. He's been a druid companion long enough to know not to fight with the locals.
[15:43] * ^ they are in the mountains. its cold and dry - and ruined. for those who know the technique, part of this mountain range has been heavily mined, and no care whatsoever was taken not to ruin the land.
[15:44] <|||> <Matt> "... strip mine." He shakes his head a little.
[15:45] <|||> <Jason> "This is the mainland?"
[15:45] * x_x Myrin shivers. Abuse of the land that way... ugh.
[15:46] <^> <York-pony> Dwarves and humans mine the land here heavily.
[15:46] * Mobeen kneels with Rollo
[15:46] * ^ Rollo sniffs and looks around, ears twisting. strange place, strange smells.
[15:46] * Mobeen whispers to Rollo and takes the lid off the hatbox
[15:47] <|||> <Matthew> "Seen pictures, never up close." He looks around warily, making certain they aren't being watched.
[15:47] * ^ a few scraggly pines remain... some scrub struggling in hte piles of rocks.
[15:47] * ^ a tentacle flops out and pulls the octopus up out of the water in the hatbox.
[15:48] * Mobeen coos at the creature
[15:48] <```> Shards just stands there, "This is the way things are here.. Some of the counties are still rather wild, if their rulers choose to protect them from this. My father has, but we're not humans or dwarves.."
[15:48] * ^ Rollo looks at mobeen and wuffs.
[15:49] * ||| Jason folds crosses his arms and shivers a little, but he's keeping watch as well.
[15:49] * ^ there is a skittering in the rocks uphill.
[15:49] * Mobeen acknowledges Rollo
[15:49] * x_x Charlie sniffs the air and eyes the skittering area
[15:50] <Mobeen> South and es
[15:50] <Mobeen> east...
[15:50] <Mobeen> not sure if he means southeast
[15:51] * ^ charlie is nervous
[15:51] <```> Shards barks at the sound, ~Oops.. Sorry~
[15:51] <|||> <Jason> "Ah. We might want to go now.... whatever that is, it's hungry."
[15:51] <Mobeen> Let's keep moving
[15:52] * ||| Matthew stops eyeing the skittering and nods. "Alright. York, gimme another spot to go to. You guys know this place."
[15:52] * ^ some of the rocks roll down towards you... and a scorpion, grey and red, rises out of the rubble as if its sand. it is about 40 feet long.
[15:53] <^> <York> make it fast. That isn't a natural scorpion, its a golem.
[15:53] * x_x Charlie's ears go down and he snarls.
[15:53] <```> <Shards> ~May I change back to fight?~
[15:54] <|||> <Matthew> "South and east it is then." He starts drawing power to open a gate and doesn't seem to be in the least bit afraid or disturbed by the fact that there is a giant scorpion.
[15:54] <Mobeen> Get a move on...run
[15:54] * ||| Jason is just staring at it, and whispering.
[15:54] * x_x Myrin pulls out a sling and some blue stones.
[15:54] <^> <York> i can't open a gate in this form, just get us a gate south and east of here. wecan't fight that, lady.
[15:55] <```> <Shards> ~We cannot run and cast..~
[15:56] * ^ the thing suddenly snaps its tail up and focuses its attention on jason
[15:57] <|||> <Jason> "It's fine....Matt doesn't take too long with this."
[15:57] * ||| Jason's voice sounds a bit far away.
[15:57] <^> <York> it is a golem - it will tell the council wizards we were here - better if they don't see anyone they know of.
[15:58] * ^ its stinger and clawtips start to glow.
[15:58] <^> <York> ...that doesn't look good.
[15:58] * ||| Matthew takes out a thin knife and draws a symbol in the air and reality peels away, like a curtain drawn back. Everyone can see whatevers a mile away to the southeast through the opening.
[15:59] <|||> <Matthew> "Let's book it baby."
[15:59] * ^ Mobeen's horse is starting to roll its eyes and get panicy. that thing is scaring the crap out of it.
[16:00] <Mobeen> come on...lets go...
[16:00] * Mobeen ateemps to control the horse, but in the end lets it have its head and fly
[16:01] <|||> <Matthew> "You heard the man. Haul ass." He still doesn't seem all that worried.
[16:01] * ^ the horse bolts - fortunatly through the gate.
[16:02] * ||| Now we just all have to hope that there isn't a cliff or an army of gnolls a mile southeast of here.
[16:03] * ^ York doesnt' wait for the others, he charges after the horse.
[16:03] * x_x Myrin's mounted on York, so she leaves when he does. Charlie brings up the rear
[16:03] * ^ Rollo barks at Shards
[16:04] * ||| Jason's not going to run until Shards goes through, mostly because that thing is focused on him and he doesn't want it to turn its attention elsewhere.
[16:04] * ^ and for sake of time, in 2 minutes i will assume she goes through.
[16:05] <```> Shards seems to be waiting for the others to go through. She is very fast in this form, built almost like a grey hound, she would like to see the slow two-legged individuals off first.
[16:05] * ^ Rollo starts nipping at her then.
[16:06] <|||> <Matthew> "Move it. Jay can't go til you're gone and I can't go til he is."
[16:06] <^> <York> the boy is holding it, *RUN* shards!
[16:07] <```> Meh, she trots through.
[16:08] * x_x Charlie darts after.
[16:08] * ||| Jason backs up slowly, and once he's right at the gate, he breaks contact and slips through.
[16:09] * ||| Matthew, once they're all through, hops through as well and closes the portal, like pulling a curtain closed backstage.
[16:09] * ^ 1 mile south and east - a dreary looking gravel road down the mountain.
[16:10] * Mobeen attempts to calm skittish Norman
[16:10] <```> Shards sniffs the air..
[16:10] * ||| Jason shudders a little and looks around yet again.
[16:10] * Mobeen checks on Mano
[16:10] * ||| Matthew is scanning the area as well.
[16:10] * Mobeen calls Rollo over
[16:11] * x_x Charlie trots a circle around the group, ears still down and sniffing warily. Myrin's doing a visual check of the area.
[16:12] * ^ Norman is hard to control but the lack of giant scorpions is a releif.
[16:14] <Mobeen> Right, lets keep going
[16:14] <```> What does shards smell?
[16:14] * Mobeen heels Norman and heads off
[16:14] * ^ rocks. goblins. place is rotten with them.
[16:15] <```> <Shards> ~On guard. Goblins in the area... Lots of them."
[16:15] <|||> <Matthew> "Is that octopus still pointing the same way? I can always keep gating us along this way til it says different."
[16:15] <^> <York> I don't speak octopus
[16:15] <Mobeen> yes, same way
[16:16] <^> <York> perhaps a much larger jump?
[16:16] <Mobeen> though Im not sure its such a good idea to slice open reality on a whim
[16:16] <Mobeen> fair enough if something is chasing us...
[16:16] <|||> <Matthew> "Yeah. Gonna try for 10 miles this time. But since I've never been here before, the best I can do is get us some place safe. And I'm not going to open the gate the same way this time, damn. That was a rush job."
[16:17] <|||> <Matthew> "And by safe, I mean I won't port us in over a pit or a lava stream. Got no idea bout locals though."
[16:18] <x_x> <Myrin> Not that any of this is a whim in any case.
[16:19] <^> <York> there is a standing stone by the sea - its usually deserted and it is a gatepoint.
[16:19] <^> <York> can you find it?
[16:20] <```> Shards yawns.
[16:21] <|||> <Matthew> "Yeah." He takes the knife he used before and slices a line from his forearm to his middle finger. Blood drips down and writhes, then sprouts leaves and thorns like twining red vines. Matthew has his head tilted to the side, like he's listening.
[16:21] * ^ the gatepoints in teh world ring like chimes to him
[16:22] <|||> <Matthew> "I hear it." He nods in the direction of the standing stone. "Everybody huddle up."
[16:22] * ^ York gets as close as his big horse body will let him.
[16:23] <```> Shards sits next to matthew.
[16:23] * Mobeen attempts to dance Norman closer to the group
[16:23] * x_x Charlie comes back in from circling, trying to avoid horse hooves.
[16:23] * ^ Norman does not like adventures, no sir.
[16:24] * ^ he still has fantasies of being a hobbit farmer's horse
[16:25] * ||| Matthew is still bleeding, but it's like watching vines grow. It spreads from his arm and wrist to the ground and outwards, underneath the group before making a ring around the party and then up like a cage of vines. There's a hiss, a flicker of shadow, and when the vines recede, they should be at the standing stone. And Matt should be all healed up.
[16:25] * ^ York tries not to stare.
[16:26] <```> Shards bats her eyes at him.
[16:26] <x_x> <Myrin> ...that is impressive spellwork.
[16:28] <|||> <Matthew> "Thanks." He grins a little. "Where we headed now, boss man?" To Mobeen.
[16:28] * Mobeen is freshly irritated by it all again
[16:28] * ^ they are at a more or less ruined standing stone. there may have been more, now there is one somewhat teetering monolith looking like someone used it for catapult practice
[16:29] * ^ the sea is near - and smells just a little ... nasty.
[16:29] * Mobeen checks Mano
[16:29] * ||| Jason does his usual scan again. He feels like a checker piece.
[16:30] <Mobeen> north, 2 miles. We're close
[16:30] * ^ this place gives jason a headache when he tries scanning. like feedback
[16:31] * ||| Jason stops that right away then.
[16:31] * x_x Charlie and Myrin both give the area a once-over
[16:31] <|||> <Matthew> "We wanna walk it, or you want me to port everybody thataway?"
[16:32] <```> Shards has shielded her mind from this place, she doesn't like it.
[16:36] <Mobeen> We walk
[16:36] <Mobeen> Rather...*You* walk...
[16:37] * ||| Matthew grins. "Walkin' ridin', it's all the same to me, boss man."
[16:37] <```> Shards waits for them to start off, still paying close attention to the scents on the air.
[16:38] * ||| Matthew just starts walking north. Bodyguards go ahead and all that.
[16:38] * Mobeen heels Norman and ignores the impertinence
[16:39] * ||| Jason will walk alongside Mobeen's horse, unless he has the horse going very fast.
[16:40] * ^ York ambles towards the north
[16:40] * x_x Myrin will let York choose where they are in relation to Mobeen. This intelligent-mount situation is pretty nifty - she can trust him to guide himself and keep an eye on their surroundings.
[16:41] <```> Shards stays close to York.
[16:42] * ^ Shards smells...burning human flesh.
[16:43] * ^ just a whif now and then, the wind is behind them
[16:44] <```> Shards snorts, ~Death.. Burning bodies, behind us..~
[16:45] <|||> <Matt> "Probably ahead of us. The wind's just keepin' the smell back."
[16:45] * ^ sorry, the wind is behind you. that is why you just get a wiff now and then.
[16:45] <```> <Shards> ~Ah.. I'm knew to this sniffing things.~
[16:46] * Mobeen begins to regret all the dogs and their noses
[16:46] * ||| Matthew keeps an eye out ahead, and Jason periodically tries briefly to see if he can pick up anything without feedback.
[16:50] * ^ they come upon the source of the smell. there is a pyre - the remains of a human, no telling male or female, has been hung above it and roasted to death. whomever did it left hours ago. nailed firmly to a nearby somewhat seared tree is a slightly scorched paper. 'By order of William Ironfist and the Council of Wizards, no inhuman nor female shall practice magic on pain of death by fire.'
[16:50] <```> Shards winces at the note..
[16:50] <x_x> <Myrin> ...now that's encouraging.
[16:51] <^> <York> and why they've been at war with the elves for the last 2000 years.
[16:51] * ||| Matthew stands there, looking at the pyre with a considering expression.
[16:54] <|||> <Jason> "I suppose we don't have time for a proper burial..." He's trying not to look at it.
[16:54] <^> <York> later. if we get caught at it, they'll burn us as well if they can manage it.
[16:55] <^> <York> whomever it was was tryign to get to the gatepoint, poor bastard.
[16:55] * ^ Rollo barks.
[16:55] <x_x> <Myrin> May your soul find the peace your life was denied, stranger.
[16:55] * ||| Jason nods. "Alright."
[16:55] * ||| Matthew looks to see what Rollo's barking about.
[16:56] * x_x Charlie's ears come forward and he goes to check what Rollo's barking at too
[16:56] * ^ Rollo is barking at mobeen.
[16:56] * Mobeen stops
[16:56] <Mobeen> Mano can hear Paul...
[16:56] <Mobeen> We need to go west slightly..
[16:57] <|||> <Matthew> "Good deal." He nods and starts off in a slightly more westerly direction.
[16:58] <```> Shards shakes her head, ~Murdered for being a woman with magic.. No wonder my father never allowed me to come here. I am a woman, magical, and inhuman.~
[16:58] <|||> <Matthew> Bet Ironfist would shit a brickhouse if he ever runs across an inhuman mage that don't burn."
[16:59] <^> <York> they drown those.
[16:59] <Mobeen> Let's stay focused
[16:59] * ^ the octopus thrashes in his hatbox a bit. he wants pauuuullll!!!
[16:59] * ||| Matthew laughs, but it doesn't sound particularly mirthful.
[16:59] * Mobeen coos at the grieving creature
[17:02] * ||| Matt keeps going in the indicated direction, looking out for anything that might attack.
[17:02] * ^ the humans in the party hear some kind of chopping noise ahead. the elvish sensed types hear heavy workboots and armor jingling. those with better than elvish senses also smell dwarves if they are familiar at all with the scent, and human. and something nasty, not either, that might have a demonic twist to it.
[17:03] * ||| Jason goes along with the group and looks mildly pained.
[17:03] <x_x> <Myrin> Company ahead. Armored. ::voice soft::
[17:03] <```> Shards looks for cover.
[17:07] * ||| Matthew pauses. "Jason, can you tell how many of them their are?"
[17:07] * ||| there are*
[17:07] * ^ 12
[17:08] * ||| Jason pauses and looks blank for a moment. ".... Twelve." He blink-blinks as if being shaken out of a daydream.
[17:08] <Mobeen> Dwarves
[17:09] <Mobeen> and something el.se
[17:10] <|||> <Matthew> "We wanna try to go around?"
[17:10] <Mobeen> Thant is where we need to be
[17:11] <x_x> <Myrin> Paul's with them?
[17:11] <Mobeen> Mano seems to think so
[17:12] <x_x> <Myrin> Do we go with the farce, then?
[17:13] <```> <Shards> ~Going around is going to make us look suspicious. We're all hidden to look inconspicuous, maybe we should just walk by?~
[17:13] <|||> <Jason> "They're... cranky."
[17:13] <```> <Shards> ~Arn't dwarves always?~