As the result of Regulus' lab experimentation, something unexpected happens during the season.
1206 Spring - Something Unexpected
Regulus wakes up from a confusing nighmare – a ship at night, a tempest with tall waves, an attack by a monstrous snake, then being pursued through undergroung tunnels and caves.
What wakes him up is pain – pain of his bare left foot hitting something hard, which makes him stumble and fall on a rough and uneven stony floor. His confusion is almost complete, and he is in complete darkness. Dressed only in his night clothes.
Regulus takes a few deep breathes, more used to pain in his missing left arm than his left foot.
He rises up and blinks a few times before feeling around himself — looking for his bed. He should have a candle on top of his bedside table... But from the look of it, it doesn't seem like he is in his tower at the moment.
"I should treat myself to that Ignem summa next..."
Failing to find a candle (or any object, actually) he will spont a small flame at his fingertip (R:Touch, D:Conc, T:Ind, highest baseline he can manage to create light).
(CrIg 3 + Sta 1 + Aura ? + roll 4)/2 = 4 + ?/2
Assuming Aura 5 this amounts to 6.5 (managing Palm of Fire). Aura 0, at least he gets candlelight.
He gets both dizzy and fatigued from casting, taking a few moments to recover before looking around.
This stony ground certainly doesn't feel like the floor of his bedroom or lab. Despite the throbing pain from his foot, he casts his spell and a flame appears in his palm. Fatigue hits him harder than he expected -- probably because his night's sleep was interrupted by whatever brought him here, wherever here is. (OOC He starts with a long-term fatigue level, so casting the spell adds a short-term one and brings him down to Weary and a -1 penalty.)
The flame reveals to him where here is, at least in part. This looks like a small cave, perhaps five paces across but irregularly shaped. The ground is far from flat, sloping down sharply towards one end and with a tunnel leading out at the other end, but has several rock scattered through it.
Feeling the pain from his foot, it appears that he hit his foot on one of those rocks when he walked into the cave.
Regulus examines himself and checks his foot to make sure if there is any serious injury. He will also look for anything that could constitute an AC to his tower, or to a known place in the covenant (in case the tunnel branches and he needs to Intellego his way out).
Afterwards he will look around the cave in search of anything unusual. Given his dream, his assumption is that he walked in his sleep and entered the caves below the covenant... but why to this place?
If he finds nothing he will slowly go back through the way he came (at least as far as he can tell which path he took to arrive here).
In case something triggers his Second Sight: Per 3 + SS 1 + roll 3 = 7
So 7 + Aura (or 8 + Aura for hermetic effects), minus any applicable wound or fatigue (-1 for now, but in case it increases...).
Feel free to roll whatever else is necessary instead of requesting me to do it, if needed.
Much to his relief, Regulus finds no serious injury on himself. His foot is slightly bruised, the sharp pain which woke him up already subsiding. He also has a few scratches, presumably obtained while getting here or when he fell down after banging his foot on a stone.
Unfortunately, his night clothes are the only things he has on him at the moment. The only arcane connection they could provide him would be to himself.
Examining the cave under his light of his palm of flame, there doesn't seem to be anything exceptional about it. It looks fairly much like all the other small caves and tunnels that form the maze under the covenant. Opposite the tunnel leading out of it, and a bit to the right, the ground slopes down sharply. Perhaps the tunnel continues down there, but from his current position it's hard to be sure.
Just as he was considering leaving, he hears a faint voice. It's hard to tell where it's coming from, and he can't make the words out.
His first intention was to leave, but upon realizing an yet unexplored corner of the cave he decided to approach and look... Until hearing something. He drops the concentration on Palm of Fire while mentally cursing and casts Wizard's Sidestep (11+5 -1 (fatigue) + Aura, success).
Then, he repeats his casting of Palm of Fire (CrIg 3 + Sta 1 + Aura ? + roll 7 - Fatigue 1)/2 = 5+Aura/2 (not sure if Wizard's Sidestep would displace the flame's image. If not, it appears to float 1 pace distant from his hand).
Tired from all the casting and disoriented he sits on the floor. When the world stops spinning he gets up again.
"Hello? Is there someone here? I'm sorry for my poor display just now."
He approaches the dark end of the cave just enough to see if there is someone there, his hand up to the ceiling so that the light reaches further.
(OOC The image of the flame is displaced with that of Regulus, but the source of light isn't. So someone who notices this may be able to target him. BTW, recasting Palm of Flame makes him lose another Fatigue level. He is now Tired and suffers a -3.)
Whatever the voice was, Regulus isn't hearing it anymore. Could it have been his imagination?
Regulus waits for a few moments.
He will take a final look around, making sure to see every corner in the cave, moving towards the slope if necessary (as long as it doesn’t compromise his safety). Finding nothing he will leave, but will first take a small rock from the ground (or something else that could be used as an AC to the cave).
Approaching the slope does indeed reveal that there is another tunnel down that way. The ground is quite uneven there.
And as he looks down, he is startled to hear the voice again, still faint. This time he can make out the words: "Help me!", in Latin.
A few lose rocks slide down the slope under his foot...
(Make an Athletics + Dex roll to avoid slipping down or stumbling as Regulus approaches the edge. Ease Factor of 3. Failure means he slips but is able to catches himself. On a botch he probably slides all the way down into the tunnel.)
Athletics 2 + Dex -2 + roll 5 +Penalty( -3 from Tired) = 2.
EDIT: if it is still possible, strike that.
Startled by the cry for help and already tired, Regulus looses his footing and slides down, doing his best to avoid hurting himself (once he starts sliding he has a -3 penalty to climbing due to his missing hand, which could possibly make him slide all the way down anyway).
As soon as everything is settled (he will try to stop his fall, if he can) he will try to assess his situation, his priorities being: where is he, where is the source of the voice, is he capable of climbing back to where he was. All the while thinking "eschew the Ignem summa, next up in the line is Eyes of the Treacherous Terrain".
Startled by the cry for help and already tired, Regulus almost looses his footing, but stabilizes himself at the last moment (I use 1 point of Confidence to boost the result).
Regulus tries to identify the source of the voice and assess how safe would it be to climb down/up the slope while thinking "eschew the Ignem summa, next up in the line is Eyes of the Treacherous Terrain".
OOC Since you almost slipped down and had to recover quickly, I tink that warrants a Concentration roll in order to maintain Palm of Flame. Ease Factor of 9.)
The climb down appears possible, although not easy. Climbing back up may be just as difficult. Regulus really misses his arm in those situations.
And resting a bit before attempting the climb, or any further spellcasting, would probably be a good idea. Which, of course, doesn't preclude trying to talk to whoever's down there.
True. Part of the reason I decided to boost the result in the end, but I forgot to mention it previously. I'm probably going to fail anyway.
Annnd... rolled a 7. Plus 1 Stamina, still not enough. The flame fizzles out, leaving Regulus in the dark. He takes a couple of steps back towards a more safe area.
"Is there someone down there?" he asks, in Latin.
Unless there are more clear signs of imediate danger he is indeed going to rest before casting spontaneous spells again, while trying to elicit a response from whoever (whatever?) is down there.
Not sure if he saw something in the short moments of light he had close to the edge while trying to not fall. Rolled a 0 for Awareness, and I think a few extra botch dice are also appropriate due to the conditions... so I rolled 3 just to make sure (none was a 0 in the end). So unless you judge this as worthy more than 3 botch dice, his Awareness for that specific moment is probably 5 (Awareness 2 + Per 3 + roll 0).
After a long moment, a faint voice answers, in a strangely accented Latin, "Yes! Please help me! I am down there. I fell and broke a leg. I can't get up. Don't go away! Don't leave me down here to die!"
Regulus didn't see anything special before his light flickered out.
"I won't leave you behind, but I need to get some help to get you out of there. I need to rest for some time before going, so why don't we talk for a bit?"
"You can call me Pietro. Are you injured in other ways, besides your leg? Are you bleeding?"
"Can you tell me more about yourself? How did you end up down there?"
"Please don't leave me alone! I've been here for hours," the voice breaks a little here, the man obviously weak and trying to catch his breath.
"I was afraid I would die alone here, from blood loss. I have tried tending my leg, but it is still bleeding though. I must have passed out for a while. When I woke up and heard you, I called out."
"I have a scratches and bruises, but nothing too bad but my leg."
Regulus will try to rest at least half an hour (getting back to Weary) before trying to rescue the man. In the mean time he will try to obtain as much information as possible and assure the man that everything is going to be fine (but he will avoid making any promisses he may not be able to keep. He won't, for example, say that the man is surely going to live (albeit he will do as much as he can to help)). Things he will ask:
- your name?
- where are you from?
- how did you get here?
- is there someone else with you?
Besides that, he will try to keep the man talking. If, from his voice, it seems like we is getting too weak/about to pass out, Regulus will reevaluate his options.
There is an exhalation of pain and a pause before the next answer, "I'm Varius, from Padria."
"We were on a ship, heading west, and there was a storm. We were attacked by something. It came from below, grabbed the ship. The priests must have called upon the gods, to fight it off."
"I felt a crash, the ship was breached. I was thrown violently. I expected to drown then, in the sea, but landed on stone. The creature was trashing around, I felt it. Its screams were deafening."
"I ran blindly, bouncing off the walls around me. Then I feel into this hole, broke my leg."
Sometimes during the story, the man started to cry. "Help me, please! I don't want to die here alone, far from the lares of my ancestors!"