"Vashie, do you need me to cure that?" Vesra asked in common, producing a flame in the hand her twin wasn't currently holding. She looked at the gash across her sister's chest with concern. Seeing Vasha in pain had always hurt more to the druid than getting injured herself.
"Are you sure this is the right way to get out of her?" The druid asked, stumbling a little over some debris as they ran.
Vesra had noticed the human touch her sister, but seeing as they were in the heat of battle she hadn't gotten to say anything. Vasha had always had a thing for humans, so her response was unsurprising. The monk didn't need anyone to play big sister and threaten potential mates, but that didn't mean Vesra wasn't going to have a little fun when they were safe again.
The goblin looks towards the south and sighs, following after the two Kor. He doesn't mention they're going the wrong way, but instead says, almost to himself, "Arenas love traps. They make it fun for watchers..."
If the Kor lovers wish to take the first trap head on, he had no objections.
Deciding to head west, the group takes one last look at the situation in the main cavern. Both of the kor are nearly to the top of the cavern, and ready to try and scale the ceiling. The elf, stuck in his position, pulls out a shortsword while grabbing the cavern wall with the other hand, bracing himself for the inevitable fight with the null heading up the wall towards him. "Lero", having dispatched the null he was fighting, has disappeared.
Moving into the western tunnel, the group finds themselves in another cave, with at multiple tunnels either leading into it or leading away. Kayn's bat headed south, scouting out the tunnels in that direction, and found a group of nulls feasting on the corpses of deceased applicants [though such information has yet to be passed on to the group].
Once in the cavern, Vasha scanned around, hoping to find a clue as to which way was out. But Vesra's flame only produced a little bit of light. Taking a deep breath, Vasha dropped her sister's hand, ignoring her offer of healing, and closed her eyes, pushing out the world. Not completely, just a little. She filtered out the sounds of the breathing of those around her. She could hear the water lapping against stone to the south. There was mostly silence around them. Then, she heard it. Breathing. Labored breathing, coming from the north. She motioned for the others to be quiet, and slid quietly into the shadows, moving ahead of the group into the north tunnel.
(Perception check to see (9), Perception check to hear(24), stealth (15), moved 30 ft north)
Kayn nods a few dozen times to Vasha when she indicates she's scouting ahead and, as sneaky as possible, drops his torch and follows after her. He echoes her request to the others with the same motions she made and disappears into the darkness. How can Kor see in darkness? This lady is not too smart. She needs my help, silly lady.
Vasha sensed someone following her, and reached out in the darkness to feel... a goblin's scaly hide. Oh good, just what she needed. Wait... maybe this was good. She could tell the tunnel branched off in two directions, one northeast, the other northwest. But she couldn't hear the breathing any longer, so she didn't know where to go. Hoping she was right about goblins, she motioned to him that she didn't know which way to go.
"Wait, do you want me to extinguish my light too?" Vesra called out after her sister loudly, clearly not the best at being stealthy. She was making an effort, but her footfalls were definitely not light. The druid, whose feet seemed to be a magnet for such trouble, smashed her toe against a small rock.
"Oh daisies," she cursed, after letting out a small yelp of pain. Stubbed toes were the worst. Despite her pain, however, she didn't want to be rude, so she stopped everything to lean down an apologize to the pebble in question. "I'm sorry for cursing at you, little one. And for disturbing your peace. I'll try to be more considerate next time."
No matter the circumstances, there was always time to be kind.
Kayn nods in the direction ahead. When she doesn't respond, he nudges her forward. She moves slowly and cautiously, but too slow for the goblin's liking so he takes her hand in his and guides her that way. It seems counter-productive to staying stealthy, but there's nowhere to hide in a tunnel anyways. They're just trying to remain silent. Somehow Kayn has prevented his long, sharp toenails from clacking on the cavern floor. It takes effort to keep his toes pointed up as they walk forward.
Not sure what she heard, he keeps watch down each of the tunnels as he guides her to the one furthest North.
Ellangil took note of the remaining applicants around the water’s cavern walls and felt a slight bit of pity for them. They had only dreamed of joining a house and adventuring; not die at the hands of the vampire creating this gathering in the first place. It would not stop him from achieving his objective, but these were the kinds of moments he would never forget. He especially took note of the fellow barbarian who had been watching him before the ground gave way. Though he’d never know the true reason why, it was easy to ascertain the reason he was being watched. Alaric still wanted him dead.
With the nulls dispatched and before the party could make their final decision on which way to go, Vasha shoved him into a wall. He knew why and decided not to resist. The barbarian was waiting for this moment but unsure of when it was going to take place. Apparently now would have been the correct answer.
"The next time you grab my ass, you'd better plan on doing something with it."
He said nothing and continued to have his mischievous smile on his face. He knew what he did and he owned it. That’s what mean do. Cowering was not something he would do, especially since he did it on purpose just to see what kind of rise he’d get out of her. She revealed and he was satisfied. He did not believe Vasha was the mind to admit it, she was far too proud and stubborn (just like him) to admit it, but she liked it. She had even told him that she could possibly accept further advances if he chose to. She did not tell him to stop, or not do it. She told him to do something with it. He’d tuck that bit of information away for a later time. They had bigger things to deal with.
The group headed west which he had no specific objection against. Underground, he did not feel good with directions. “Is this the way to the Tekentlar Expedition House? Vielara did not say kill everything down here, though I do think that scenario would please her. She said for us to get to the house. I am directionally challenged down here, so is this the right way?”
Once the replies were done, they moved further and Vasha brought them to a halt. She went off into the shadows and the goblin dropped his torch and followed her. A glimpse of humor came to the party when Vesra stubbed her toe when thinking of following along. That actually wasn’t the funny part. It was when she bent down to apologize to the rock that he wanted to laugh. In order to break his desire to laugh, the barbarian sheathed his handaxe, bent down, and picked up the torch that the goblin had dropped. Then he waited patiently for them to return. His tribe had scouts and understood what was taking place.
As Kayn guides Vasha north, they come upon a goblin cowering in a dead-end of the caverns. He's wearing rags and has the look of a slave. Kayn didn't recognize the goblin and he wasn't one of the applicants from the arena. A thrall. Not worth our time. Unless...
He whispers to Vasha, "Goblin... not from arena. A slave."
Kayn moves past Vasha, touching her slightly to indicate to her that it is him moving around her. "Slave, I am Booyahg of Grotag," he says quietly in goblin. "Tell us why you are here. And if you know where the exit is, tell us now. Speak the language of the Soft-Flesh if you can, or this Sky Person's hooks will find your throat and we will leave you to the Faceless. Speak low as I do."
This slave is a sad sight. Goblins should not be cowering in fear of a cavern. They need to own the cavern. He's earned his place through his cowardice.
The goblin coughs, a small spatter of blood shooting from his mouth, just barely missing Kayn in the face. He winces, clutching his side, and you see bright red blood slowly oozing out from a rake across the side of his abdomen. In Common, he says, "Me... sorry, master shaman goblin. Made you almost wet. Me slave here in Pits. Me getting tunnels ready for new battle, but got lost must have, and been down too long here too. Now, I stuck, and hiding from nasty nulls who claw at me and want to kiss me. Dying, I think I am. But no worry. Soon, be free."
His right hand trembles and shakes, but he points it down the tunnel, where it ends at a smooth wall, seeming to form from its surroundings. "Exit was that way. Now a stone wall is there. Me not sure how. Boo... booyagh did it. Maybe you swim out? Ocean fills place here with water. Wet water. Me don't like it, so I run away."
Vasha listened to the goblin, but it was dark enough, she couldn't see him, let alone which direction supposedly the exit. Or former exit. She grunted at Kayn, and turned back to the group. Once she stepped back into the light, she motioned for everyone to follow.
When Vasha led the group deeper into the tunnels to the west, Ato was glad to see the goblin follow without argument. With the noise to the south, that hadn't seemed smart at all. Perhaps it had an ulterior motive, devious as they could be. He let the others move ahead, and hung back far enough to listen for signs of pursuit as he followed, keeping the light just in sight.
In the next cavern he watched as Vasha, followed by the goblin, moved off into the dark northern tunnel to scout ahead. He was adept at stealthily moving about under cover of reasonable darkness, but here in the pitch black underground he was out of his element. When the other kor sister, Vesta was it? cried out about flowers and then began speaking to something on the floor, he was confused. Was she god-touched perhaps? That would explain her sisters care for her.
While Ato waited he cleaned the null bloid from his weapon and sheathed it, drawing a second dagger instead. Better in these tight quarters, he thought. Silently, he awaited the kor and goblin's return.
"Sorry, I held everyone up," Vesra frowned when her sister came back into the light. "There was a rock." She didn't need to say more; her sister had seen the same scene a thousand times before.
Of course, there had been something a little different about this particular encounter. There was so much going on, she didn't want to bother Vasha. But, as soon as they got out of here, she would have to talk through it with her twin. Never one to really hide her emotions, the notes of panic we're very evident on the Kor's face
The druid followed Vasha down the corridor, audibly gasping when her eyes caught sight of the poor goblin on the ground. "You poor thing," she said as she knelt down to inspect the injured creature. The gash on his side didn't look good, but she had to at least try to patch him up. Vesra took out some herbs and bandages from her pack and placed them over the wound. "I'm just trying to help you heal," she murmured soothingly. "Can you tell me what happened, friend?" The goblin's rasping breath evened out as her efforts seemed to have stabilized him. Oddly enough, he didn't look too happy about it.
If what the goblin said was true, perhaps there was more to the wall then met the eye. "Lets take a closer look the, shall we?" Ato moved closer to examine the wall as well, critically inspecting it for any crack or imperfection that may give a clue.
Kayn assisted in the search, but the smell of the salt-man was distracting. It was like a hot day on a beach. He hated the beach... aside from the sand. The sand was always warm and fine and always got in all the right places. He wondered about the salt-man. How could one stray so far from water and not miss it? It was odd. If he joined in expeditions, would he need to be watered? He gets a bit distracted and glances over at Vesra. Ah, yes. She can water him.
With muttered comments from the goblin (they do know thier stonework after all) Ato quickly guessed what had occurred. "Someone, Vielara or another at her bidding we must assume, used some form of stone magic here. It seems to have grown up from the floor to block wherever this tunnel used to lead. You can see where it just smashed up against the ceiling - no care to the work at all. Unless one of you has some trick to get us through, I'm afraid we need to find another way out."
Vasha watched as her sister patched up the goblin. She caught a glimpse of Vesra's face, and what she saw there worried her. Vasha put a hand on Vesra's shoulder to get her attention then began to sign to her. "What? I see your face," she signed. "Something is wrong." She gave her sister a look that said she wasn't going to let this go.
Despite the goblin's verbal dismay at Vesra's bandaging, Vesra bandaged the poor slave goblin up well, stopping the bleeding and providing some healing ointments to give him an immediate boost of energy and strength. The goblin sighed, "Me live. Still slave. Nothing change except cool wound. Maybe other goblins respect me now?" Kayn's kicking him was a quick reminder of the little respect he deserved.
"I still live, so Kreggo must like me, so that good!" [Kreggo is only one of dozens of goblin "gods". The goblins make them up, but for some reason treat them very seriously, fully believing that because they want their gods to be real, they must be real. Kreggo is the goblin god of good fortune, and is especially revered by goblins due to their hazardous and risk-taking/idiotic nature.]
"Me Gerbur." he says, introducing himself to Vesra. "Maybe me be your slave now? Vampire not nice, but you make me live. Which not nice either, but you do it becoooooo..." You think he might've forgotten how to say because. "... you like Kreggo too, and he like you!"