Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On to Memel, the First Day

September 19, 1650, morning Friday
Weather: With brisk temperatures and an intermittent drizzle, with a light breeze.

Thursday, the temperature never did prove better than cool, and come Friday morning the intermittent drizzle has been going on since late afternoon the day before.  There are distinct signs winter is coming to this land.  There's hardly a green tree left, and the light breeze from the sea is a bit sharper than comfortable.  To remind the party, 'brisk' would be in the 40s ... so all in all, you're not all that anxious to get on the road without coats and perhaps thin gloves.

The road to Memel is well-worn, as you make your way through the land of Samogitia.  You quickly make your way back to the Ferry again, which you saw when you first emerged from the woods Wednesday.  By mid-afternoon, you take note that the hills on the right fall behind you, as you start across a wide, peaty flat.  Although you are moving along the river (the road skirts a hundred yards from it), beyond the river you can see the gray water of a bay of some sort ... there's no sign the river is debouching into it.  The far bank of the river shows a natural levy of silt and sand.  This side of the river is marshy, filled with algae ponds and occasional high points where there are willow trees.
The landscape by early afternoon.

You see a few people coming from Memel, but you overtake no one on your journey and no one overtakes you.  Those travelling opposite are pilgrims or sailors, who will tell you they are coming home for the first time in a year or more ... you meet a cleric returning to his church in a village called Tauroggen.

The afternoon turns pleasant, with clouds in the sky.  In the evening, there's nowhere to camp except along the road, which extends perhaps a dozen feet before the ground becomes spongy and damp.  You finish setting up camp and the drizzle returns.

All day, there have been signs that Kushi, the dwarf, is distinctly unhappy.  This is particularly evident as you are setting up camp ... but Kushi does not say why.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vilikovsky House in Silute

September 17, 1650, late afternoon Wednesday
Weather: With cool temperatures and a quickly passing storm, with a strong breeze.

Making your way along the road, the clouds spatter rain for ten or twenty minutes, forcing you to take shelter under the trees for a bit ... but it is soon over and the amount of rain does not even wet the ground.

Silute is drawn back quite a way from the river - which as it happens, is in many places bounded on both sides by an extensive flat, three times as wide as the river (a bit of firm ground made a good place for the ferry you've left behind).  This flat is marshy, filled with small frogs and bright green with algae.  The distant river, as far as you can see, flows very slowly.  It is flat and fairly low, this being September.

Silute is little more than a village, with about forty buildings, no wall or battlements at all, and no military presence.  It is extraordinarily peaceful, with only one Inn & Tavern, "The House Vilikovsky."  Available prices are as below:

The sun hasn't set yet.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Emerging From the Woods

It takes very little time, a mere two hundred paces, before the party stumbles across a stony clay path that originates next to five huts on the edge of the wood.  There are a few old women who look up from their dough-making when four humans, a half-orc and four dwarves emerge from the trees.  They seem undisturbed by this, and go on working.  They appear to be in eastern European dress - colorful patterns, bright reds and yellows, wearing Hollar caps, apron-petticoats and slightly pointed shoes.

The path leads directly towards the edge of a mighty river, 250 yards distant.  The river is hundreds of yards wide - the ship mast that was seen earlier belongs to a ship that seems to be floating peacefully down the river, with men aboard busily working at making her ship-shape.  Across the river, the forest seems pretty much the same ... low, gentle hills, quite a sylvan woodland filled with the colors of autumn, and breathtaking despite the overcast sky.  There are some signs that the clouds are brighter and thinner towards the southwest, as you understand the perceived southwest to be.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Behind the Curtain

At last I am free to speak of some things behind the curtain; I can say without equivocation that the crossdimensional door is gone, and the players will not be able to change any of the things I'm going to say now.

I hope you will forgive me for any railroading with the door; I'd like to assure the party that there was a non-door option, but it almost certainly would not have been seen as the desireable one.

My plan, if the party did not take the door, but were instead ready to fight the six marines assaulting the tower, was to have the following occur:

1) To have Nachnamen, the officer left outside the caverns, to make his first appearance on the scene - he would have started, with his men, upon the Worgs below, making it possible for the party to return to the interior of the castle.

2) Once the party had been fighting the men on the tower's crown for six full rounds, on the seventh round I intended to introduce a 7th level fighter, teleported into the tower by one of the mages below on the party's side, who had ALSO realized the Stinger was not functioning.  Determining that a fight was going on there (augury), the fighter Wainscomb was going to be there to back off the men.  All things going well, the party would have lived and Nachnamen's party would have helped heal them, to keep the battle going.

This was, of course, not revealed to the party in the slightest.  It was my intention that the party would need to commit to a moment of possible death - such things are dramatic, after all.

As surmised, yes, the location of the room was entirely random.  It was jumping to those areas where I had mapped, and for which I had area data (updated from the wiki posting), a possible 13,500 hexes (661 of which are in Germany).  For interest's sake, the locations the party appeared (barring this last one) were the Muyun Kum desert, 100 miles north by northwest of Taraz in eastern Kazakhstan; central Moscovy, 40 miles West by southwest of Peroslavl-Ryazan (about a hundred miles from Moskva; the coast of Sivash, 15 miles due east from where the Crimean Peninsula meets the mainland; and finally the Sam-al-Katub desert, about 30 miles from the western shore of the Aral Sea.

If the party feels that they've been treated unfairly, please tell me.  As it happens, its quite a comfortable way for a DM to wrap up a rather difficult battle endgame ... and after all, you did live through it.

The 5th Opening

Ahmet once again opens the door.

Once again, the party finds themselves some 18 feet in the air, above the top of a hill.  The vegetation is somewhat similar to the 2nd Opening ... but where before oak dominated, now it is chestnut trees and maples; there are still a great many aspen.  Where before there were firs, now there are fat spruce, with the occasional cedar.  The forest is thinner, too, and there is more water visible than there was before.  The hill is no more than 50 to 75 feet in height, and the party can see fens with hay at the bottom of the slope.

The landscape is yet lush, and in the full colors of autumn.  The aforementioned hay is brown, as is most of the undergrowth you can see ... this seems somewhat further into the autumn than Germany, or the forest scene before.  But that could be a matter of being further north.

Once again, it is full day, but for the first time, it is overcast.  There's the hint that it might rain.  Janos tells you that he can smell the sea - the salt is blowing in upon the wind, which comes from the left of the doorway.  Janos can also attest to quite a great deal of humanoid traffic - marks upon trees, places where they've been cut from the forest, and even a broken cart he points out, nearly hidden by the trees across from the deluged hay meadow.

No one can be certain where you are - none have any experience with it.

It takes Ermeth to point out that something has changed about the walls of the room.  If you look intently at one place, you begin to believe you can actually see through the wall into the world outside - you cannot gain any detail of that world, but you are quite convinced the room has gained a certain "translucent" quality.

The 4th Opening

As Ahmet swings open the door ...

The door's entrance is 8 feet above the ground.  There is a blast of hot, still air, for the temperature outside is positively sweaty (above 90).

All you can see, in every direction, is a relentless flat, rocky plain that reaches to the horizon.  The stones are fist-sized, black or dark grey in color, resembling broken flint - there is not a single round stone that you can see.  The sun is hot; the sky is azure and harsh to look at.  There's no wind that you can feel.  Where you can feel the sun, standing at the door's edge, the heat falls on your skin like a hammer on an anvil.

No one finds this the least familiar.

The lavender walls of the cross-dimensional room have lightened quite a lot; so that now they are pale in color.

The 3rd Opening

As you swing open the door ...

Now you find the door's entrance some 20 feet above the ground.

You see a shore comprised of tufted grass, white grainy sand mixed with outcroppings of salt and pale blue sloughs, about a dozen of them, tightly grouped along the rim of a larger body of water which does not quite reach to the horizon.  You can just barely see the hazy edge of land about three or four miles away.  The sloughs are clear from your vantage point above them, with brown algae balls rolling on the bottoms, occasionally obscured by the little waves caused by wind rippling over the water surface.

More than anything, however, you notice the stench.  It is profound - a mix of sulphur and something akin to manure, rising from the ponds and filling the air.  The temperature is still warm, much the same as the forest, but here the atmosphere is cloying and thick from the smell.

Andrej is stunned.  He knows where this is.  It's the Sivash Sea, also known as the Rotten Sea, between the Crimea and Kherson.  With the sun behind you, as it was before, you're certainly looking at it from the Crimean side.  Andrej has never been here, but he has heard it described a hundred times; it is at the west end of the Azov Sea, which Andrej crossed when he first went to Europe from Cumana.  Cumana would be some 250 miles from here, perhaps even closer.

It does not appear, however, that 'thinking' has anything to do with the door opening here.

The walls of the room have changed in color; they have shifted from umber, which they were before, to a dark lavender.  You do not know what this means.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 2nd Opening

As you open the handle ...

The door's entrance, once it looks out at the world, appears to be 11 feet above the ground.

You find yourself looking out at a lush, rich forest filled with mixed conifers - mostly firs - and deciduous trees, a mostly aspen and oak.  It appears to be autumn, as it should be, as the date you remember was September 12.  There is a warm sun, somewhat cooler than the desert was, but it glistens upon the leaves and the firm, grass-and-shrub covered ground.  The forest is not dense, but spacious, as a forest would be if woodcutters were gleaning trees regularly from the growth.  The ranger will note that he can see places where this was done.  Everyone in the party can see the trail below, of packed dry earth, a rich black in color - a color that would suggest very fertile earth.

The forest trees do not allow the party to see more than a hundred yards, and then only in some directions, enabled by the fact that you are high enough above the ground to see past the fatter parts of the fir trees.  The time, you would guess, would still be full day - but once again you cannot see the sun, just as before, from inside the cross-dimensional room.

Ermeth will push to the edge of the door - "This is like the forest on the way to Smolensk," he says.  "We went there once when I was a young boy."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Opening the Door

The first thing that happens, as Andrej pulls on the door, the iron balls and the crowbars in the room vanish.  There's no evidence they were ever there.

The second thing, as the door opens it lets in a blast of hot air - nothing to worry about, but the temperature outside the door is about 30 degrees hotter.  Where before it was about 8 p.m. in the evening, the temperature cool, it is bright day outside and the temperature is balmy (around 80 degrees).

You're looking at a very desolate landscape.

What you can see are dunes with thing, scrub-growth on them, arresting them in place (unlike barchans, which move).  The dunes are greyish-green in color, very pale, but flat and non-reflective in the bright sunlight.  You can see nothing but this desert for as far as the eye can see, which is about a mile and a half before the last dune blocks your line-of-sight.

The sky is hazy blue.  The air is very dry, and a rather gritty wind blows across the opening of the door.  The scrub, which is composed of twisted, wooden branches, does not rise more than a few feet above the ground, and is scattered widely between the caked, hard soil.  In the lowest places, between the dunes, clay has hardened into a rock-like pan.

There is no sign of water.

It does not look in the least familiar to you - even the Turk has not seen a desert similar to this.  Certainly the lack of any sort of grass is unlike any place seen by the Half-orc.  Naturally, the Ranger and the Mage are unfamiliar in the extreme.

And yet the Ranger senses more life than the other members of the party; he would profess to possibly a few giant insects; the visible spoor and prints of some hoofed animal, one he has not seen before.  Water, if there is any, is certain to be downwind, to the left of the door, but just as certainly some miles away.

The knowledge is not encouraging.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Tarn

As the party begins to move towards Klaas' side of the tower, they see a large eagle-like bird, some 50 feet away, beat its way up through the air even with the tower's crown.  Mounted on the bird is a man in leather armor, helmeted, with shield; he has a short bow strung over his back.

"AROUSE YOURSELVES YOU BASTARDS!" he shouts, just as he hoves into view.  "THERE'S A BATTLE ON, OR HAVEN'T YOU BEEN -"

At this point he will seem to notice that something is amiss; he doesn't recognize the party, or the livery their wearing.  At once he draws back on the reins of the bird, and begins to pull up and away from the tower.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Cross Dimensional Room

As Lukas climbs up to the door, he can stand on the machine and look inside.  There is a room, about 15 feet square, clearly inhabiting cross-dimensional space.  There are about a dozen round metal balls, like the kind that was rolled into the machine.  There are four metal rods which the men inside before were using as crowbars to roll the ball.  There is a slight upslope, perhaps of 1 degree, between the back of the room (where the balls are) and the lip of the doorway itself.  There's no door jamb, or frame - the floor is unnaturally smooth right to the lip of the door.

There is a door inside; it does not seem fixed by hinges of any sort, but it is attached to the doorway.  This door is set on the left side, from the perspective of being outside the door.  Lukas cannot put a finger under it to see if it swings - there appears to be no space between the bottom of the door and the smooth floor.

The room is umber-colored inside; the walls seem less the solid in appearance ... and although Lukas can put his hand flat on the floor and feel its concreteness; his eyes tell him the floor is - for lack of a better word - oozing.  There is a slight shift in the coloration that causes this effect.  When Lukas' eyes are level with the floor, he can see the plane of the floor clearly; but when he lifts his eyes and looks down, that clarity evaporates.  The perspective is thus disconcerting - and causes a slight illness in the belly.

Knowledge further than that will require climbing into the room.

First Modifiers to Conflict

Some basic situational modifiers to conflict.  I want to keep this simple, and not make an exhaustive list at this time.  Most of all, I'd like to go at this slowly, and learn from my mistakes.

All of these are applied to the resistance of those being influenced or intimidated:

+1 to defenders engaged in an extended battle, that being any battle in which others are fighting upon a conjoined battlefield or fortification.

+1 vs. requests to reveal information which would cause death or damage to associates

+2 vs. requests to reveal information which would cause death or damage to friends or extended family.

+3 vs. requests to reveal information which would cause death or damage to immediate family or liege.

+2 vs. requests to give aid which would cause death or damage to associates

+3 vs. requests to give aid which would cause death or damage to friends or extended family.

+4 vs. requests to give aid which would cause death or damage to immediate family or liege.

Thus, if the party were to ask to have others actively help in using the Stinger, say (which is bound to come up), and given that the location of family, friends or liege (the bishop) and other such is not actually known, the modifier against giving information would be +3 (the worst possible) and the modifier against actually physically helping would be +4.

Please register your complaints here, and we can work out the kinks.

The View From The Tower

The view from the Tower is spectacular.

You would guess that you are at the Castle's northeast corner.  I will remind the party that there are three levels to the fortification of the Castle: these are laid out below you (see image on this post).  The High Bailey is about 120 feet directly below you; the Middle Bailey is some thirty yards from the base of the Tower & Castle's North Wall, and about 160 feet below you.  The Lower Bailey is at least 240 - 300 feet below you and about 80 yards from the base of the tower.

If we can recall the position of Lower Gate of the Lower Bailey, where the party nearly attempted to take on the guard there, I can extrapolate the scene by defining that direction as 12 o'clock.  It is, as I say, 300 feet below you and perhaps a third of a mile away.  Counter-clockwise, the town of Arnsberg is beyond the Lower Gate, extending outwards from about 12 o'clock to 2 o'clock.  The slope below the castle, along the far side of the baileys, forms a ridge that hides all that is behind it (including the stream the party travelled up a few days ago) runs from about 10 o'clock down to the gate.  The Northwest Tower is at 10 o'clock.  The principle Castle extends from 10 o'clock around to 6 o'clock.  The Arnsbergerwald (forest), containing the Font-en-Breitenbruch and entrance to the secret cave, extends from about 5 o'clock to 2 o'clock.  The slope from the Castle down to the forest would be from 6 to 5 o'clock.

Reversing then, to clockwise, beginning with the castle.

At 6 o'clock there is the South Tower.  A central Keep in the castle sits against the mountain at 7 o'clock, and stands 80 feet (or equal with your own point of view) about 30 yards away.  Between the base of the Tower you're on, and the base of the Keep inside the castle walls, there is a massive courtyard with stables and pens (6:30), fountain (7:30), workshops and storehouses (8:00) and armory (8:30).  If there are kitchens, they must be inside the main keep.  There is almost no activity on the castle grounds themselves.  The windows of the keep are dark.  The West Wall extends from the NW Tower to the West Tower, which is lower, fatter, has a number of seige engines upon it and is clearly being assaulted.  You cannot see any of your Compatriots (as I will refer to the army friendly to the party throughout).

The NW Tower is connected to the NE Tower (where you are) by a 40 foot high, 15 foot wide wall, where you presume the dwarves are now fighting.  This wall is built along the cliff which drops to the High Bailey, the same cliff upon which both NW and NE Towers rest.  The NW Tower also overlooks the ridge that extends down to the Lower Gate; it is fatter than the NE Tower, and has numerous manned arrow slits.  It is under a light amount of attack at the moment; the main body of Compatriots is fighting its way from the Lower Bailey to the Middle, though it's clear the far side of the ridge (where again you can't see) is also assaulting the NW Tower.  This Tower also has a Stinger.

The assault on the Middle Bailey is moving at a run.  Large parts of the Middle Bailey wall have collapsed, making places where Compatriots are scrambling upwards to join the open melee on the Middle Bailey's central fields.  The Middle Bailey extends from 9 o'clock (below the NW Tower) to about 1 o'clock (far below the party).  At least a hundred Compatriots are surrrounded by globes of magic Light - which makes them vulnerable to arrows, but helps hide those rushing up behind.  Everywhere there are pyrotechnics, dancing lights and balls of fire (as the druid spell) ... the castle defenders have cast webs, globes of darkness and everywhere there are puffs of clouds that form, precipitate rain to soak the crumbled surfaces, and blow away again.  There are patterns of hypnotic lights floating in the air, and obscuring clouds everywhere.  Much more rare is the occasional lightning strike, or a flash as a fireball consumes either defenders or Compatriots.  For a moment there is an ice storm.  A green gas forms flows out from a lower arrowslit on the NW Tower, spreads outwards, flowing down along the ground, clearly heavier than the air.  Scores who cannot escape it die what appears to be horrible deaths.

There are, of course, screams and shouts, and clangs, and the general roar of thousands of men flowing up from the valley below.  And while the party watches and listens to this, the Stinger in the Northwest Tower fires, striking the boundary between the Middle and Low Baileys between 12 and 1 o'clock.

The blast lights up a path of ground some 20 feet wide and 60 feet long, as the ground itself rushes into flame; the fire curls into a mushroom some 40 feet high before dissipating; perhaps a hundred men die at once.  And when the fire disappears, the ground glows red for five minutes afterwards.  Men all around back away from the heat, and are forced to find another path onto the Middle Bailey.  The artillerists on the NW Tower begin loading again.

Below the Middle Bailey, covering the arc from 10 to 1 o'clock, the Lower Bailey is a scene of horror.  Though the light is dim, the sight is aided by giant bonfires where the bodies of humans, ghasts and a mix of both are burning in great numbers.  While the original number of ghasts may have been only hundreds, they no doubt transformed more than a thousand to their number in the fighting.  The white bodies beneath the flames are visible even from the Tower.  There are ghasts that yet remain; they populate much of the High Bailey, in the quarter directly below the party ... there are possibly sixty of them.  They are watching and waiting, taking no action, letting the defenders around them throw rocks with mangonels, or fire from the High Bailey walls.

The town of Arnsberg is fully lit.  There are thousands of lights, lanterns and torches, and much magical light.  Between 11 and 12 o'clock, far away, there is the straggle of the army's camp, alive with light, stretched across the valley below Arnsberg.

In the Arnsbergerwald, there's hardly any evident fighting.  There are signs of torches, some moving very fast, as if to suggest mounted riders chasing one another amongst the trees.  At 2 o'clock, on the east edge of the town, there can be seen the left flank of the Compatriot's army, defending the town, ready if any force should try to escape down the valley.  Only the way through the forest is free of armed men - and yet the forest seems darker, more forbidding that normal senses can tell.  Both Janos the ranger and Lukas the mage seem to sense there is something about the forest (for entirely different reasons) that is not quite right.

This, then, is what the party sees.  I'm going to be putting up some modifiers for interacting with the prisoners as soon as I am able.  Be warned that these modifiers will be applied to any attempt to coerce or gain information from the prisoners.  The modifiers will be reasonable; I don't think there will be many objections.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tower Crown Round 13 - It Grinds On

While Mr. Orange and Pinkhand take the worst of it this round, we're not done yet.

Yellowhand moves to 0306, grabs his weapon and attacks Andrej.  Again he rolls a 19 ... but the damage done is only 1 hit point, and Andrej isn't stunned.

Mr. Green delivers a smackdown against Ahmet.  Hah.  No, not really.  He rolls a 6 and misses.

The party is free to take action.

Tower Crown Round 12 - And the Enemy's Backlash ... Fails

Mr. Green is stunned, and Greenhand is clearly out of it.  On the left flank:

Mr. Orange advances on Janos.  Thankfully, he rolls a 7 and misses.

Pinkhand and Yellowhand again advance upon Andrej - but the party's luck holds and the DM screws up again.  Both miss, and Yellowhand drops his weapon under Pinkhand's feet (not shown).

This ends the enemy's attack.

All members of the party may now clean house.

Tower Crown Round 11 - A Bit 'o Thumpin'

To begin, Greenhand rushes from 0803 to 0704 to attack Klaas, even as he is lifting his crossbow to fire.  Greenhand misses, enabling Klaas to fire at him point blank in the party's turn.

Mr. Green was stunned and takes no action.

Mr. Orange was not stunned; he attacks Janos, hits AC 4 and causes 7 damage.  Janos had been hit before (and should be at 17 hit points), so this stuns Janos for this round.  Janos will fall back to 0505 (shadow indicates present location).

Pinkhand and Yellowhand also recover from the Push and move to attack Andrej from 0205 and 0206.  Yellowhand rolls a 19, hitting AC 1, and rolls to cause 5 damage.  Andrej is at 14, and he is stunned also, falling back to 0406 (shadow indicates present location).

The party's move:

Klaas can fire.  Ahmet and Lukas may take action.

(OOC: If this map system is not working for the party, or you need me to put up more maps, please let me know.  I'm trying to keep the graphics work to a minimum, and I don't want that to confuse people)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tower Crown Round 10 - The Enemy's Incompetence

It really is easier letting the enemy go first on each post.

Please note that I've a red arrow to indicate Mr. Orange's move, and red/black exes to indicate where attacks have taken place.  The above image is the position of the party AFTER the enemy attacks.

Note also that a 7 appears next to the two held persons; this is the number of rounds the spell yet remains in effect.

Greenhand attempts to wake up Mr. Red, fails, and moves between the two stunned persons, attempting to flank Ahmet.

Mr. Orange, for his own reasons, chooses to attack Janos instead of Lukas.  He rolls a '2' and misses.

Bluehand attacks Andrej.  He rolls a '1' and drops his weapon, which does not break and ends up in hex 0206 (not shown on map).

Mr. Green attacks Ahmet, rolls a '3' and misses completely.

And that has to be about the worst rolling I have done in a decade.  Truly spectacular in its badness.

Pinkhand and Yellowhand will cease to be stunned.

Klaas is in his third round of loading.  The crossbow can be fired next round.  Apart from that, I have no notes for the party.

Your actions please, gentlemen.

Tower Crown Round 9 - The Left Flank Threatens

Andrej finds himself facing four foes on the left; Ahmet has two on the right.  And there's Mr. Pink to consider.  Klaas is in the second round of loading his crossbow.  And Janos seems to have his pommel-strap caught in his fly.

It's the party's action first; remember, Andrej, that after your move Mr. Orange will no longer be stunned.

At this point, Klaas might be better used elsewhere.

Ahmet is free to swing and Lukas may take what action he deems appropriate.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tower Crown Round 8 - Help for the Enemy

The party can see that there is one fellow, the leader (Mr. Orange) who has leapt onto the rear of the machine; the others, who are all colored brown, can be told apart by their hands - these are Yellowhand, Pinkhand, Bluehand and Greenhand, for future reference.

At this time, Andrej's spell and Lukas's spell are both cast, and can be discharged any time.  Ahmet is in melee with Mr. Yellow; Janos may take whatever action he wishes ... but he will need to wait until Andrej or Lukas discharge their spells before entering the same hex as them (chance of ruining the spell otherwise, as neither caster would expect Janos to be there) - so Janos would lose one movement by waiting, presuming Andrej and Lukas do NOT wait before discharging (takes them each one move to do so).

Please make your move.

Tower Crown Round 7 - After the Blast

There are actually three rounds that pass since round "6" - but due to the phenomenal effect of the weapon, for two of them no one can take any action except to recover.  The last round enables the enemy to back away; they give the initiative to the party (for their own reasons), expecting the party to have to come on and fight them.  It's clear they're weakened to some degree.  In turn, they don't expect Klaas to appear at the top of the stairs with a crossbow.

It is the party's move.  Ahmet can decide if he's upright or under the machine; if under the machine, he's probably in hex 0504 (if so, start from there), not in 0605 ... but I need to give him the option.  If not lying down, Ahmet, start from 0605.

Everyone can act; the stunning effect from the damage is well past.