Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road.   Posted by the Creator.Group: 0
the Creator
 GM, 91 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Wed 21 Sep 2016
at 20:07
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
The party descends deeper through the caves. No matter which path they select, every cave leads progressively deeper. The hoped-for signs of a Khazak caravan road are not seen. Instead, they find only noxious gases, sharp rocks, and many small bugs which scurry away from their approach. Several tunnels change into pits or gorges with a simple twist and must be climbed down on rope to continue. What looks to be a vein of silver is passed up as the need to escape before provisions and oil run out takes precedent over wealth. A glimmer hope emerges when then a single small bat flies past them towards the darkness ahead.

Their tunnel opens up to a large wide carved cavern. This marks the beginning (or the end) or an underground road which partially collapsed at some point in the past. The road, however, vanishes into a raging river which cuts perpendicular across the road. On the opposite bank, what looks like an underground city wall stands erect. The tall walls are covered with reliefs of unfamiliar symbols. No clear way of crossing the river is visible.

Four large statues stand on the top of the wall keeping silent vigil. They are a rabbit, a pig, a snake and a dragon hatchling. Some smaller but similar statues lay in the sand of the river bank on the PC's side. The toppled statues in the sand are carved in a similar artistic style, but they depict different animals. Dozens of such statues are in the sand: a wolf, a horse, a crab, a cat, a mouse, a bat et cetera. Also in the sand, eight flat round stone slabs poke out from the river waters. The granite slabs look like the right size and shape for the round bases of the animal statues. Moving a statue and placing it on one of the slabs would require a success Strength Save.

Do the PCs try to solve the puzzle of the animal idols, or do they figure out some other way to cross the inky black river of unknown dangers?
the Creator
 GM, 92 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 00:53
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
By the way, I am expecting to throw in a classic old random encounter in the next scene. The random encounter tables are actually rather involved. We can start rolling for those now. Somebody please roll me a d100 to start things off.
Chen Zen
 PC, 22 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 02:19
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen Zen studies the statues and the bases, looking carefully to see if there are any markings on the bases that match the statues or if the sizes of the bases coorespond to the statues.


22:11, Today: Chen Zen rolled 34 using 1d100.  random.
Herleifr
 PC, 11 posts
 Akir, Gladiator
 Karma Saved: 8
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 02:32
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Herleifr joins Chen Zen in looking at the statues. After a bit he tries to get the statues standing in a row. He isn't putting them on the slabs, just standing up and lined up for easier examination.

18:31, Today: Herleifr rolled 11 using 1d20.  Strength Save (just in case).
18:32, Today: Herleifr rolled 79 using 1d100.  Random roll (in case another is needed).

the Creator
 GM, 93 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 05:52
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Herleifr's labor of pulling the statues free from the sandbank and standing them upright helps considerably with the examination. Some of the animals which were not previously identifiable can now be identified. They include a beetle, a rooster, a fish, a horse, a monkey, a cow, a tiger, a bear, and a venom squirrel. Chen finds no markings which might indicate which statues go where, but he does confirm that these statues are old. They probably date back to some early year during the First Age.

The random encounter in Scene 4 will be a NPCs in a group of 1D6. Someone please give me a D6 roll and someone else give me another D100 roll to determine the Codes of these NPCs.
Raven
 PC, 9 posts
 Vyshe
 Warrior
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 08:37
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
08:36, Today: Raven rolled 4 using 1d6.  foo?

Raven takes a while looking at the pedestals, trying to see if there's another clue as to what statues belong there. The waters don't seem inviting in the least.
Luca
 PC, 14 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror
Thu 22 Sep 2016
at 13:45
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Luca grows immediately interested at the sight of ruins, even moreso when the statues are unearthed.  "Fascinating... fascinating... these look like they date back to the First Age!  Weathered, but still remarkably intact."

She sights along between the large status and the slabs, trying to see if there's any correlation in placement between the large status and the smaller pedestals.

"Sure, we are meant to place the statues on the slabs to somehow open a path through the river.  The large statues are the clues, but they aren't exact... Hmm... We have a rabbit, a pig, a snake, and a dragon hatchling to guide us.  Our menagerie is a wolf, a horse, a crab, a cat, a mouse, a beetle, a rooster, a fish, a horse, a monkey, a cow, a tiger, a bear, and a venom squirrel.  We only need eight of those, so... what are the common points?"

She examines each for a moment.  "The rabbit is prey for larger animals.  The same can be said for the mouse and, depending on how you term it, the fish or the beetle.  The pig is a domestic beast, used for food, which seems to also be the role of the rooster and the cow.  The snake is a predator that feasts upon the rabbit and the mouse... as would the wolf, tiger, and bear.  The dragon... is outside the natural order, or possibly above it?  That could be the tiger or the bear, or maybe it's the fact that it has wings?  That could be the rooster?"

At this point, she seems to have fallen into muttering to herself quite handily.

OOC: Would Luca's Legend or Nature lore provide any useful deductions?

09:45, Today: Luca rolled 19 using 1d20+2.  Lore (Legend) 4+ (+2 bonus from Sage).
09:45, Today: Luca rolled 13 using 1d20+2.  Lore (Nature) 4+ (+2 bonus from Sage).

the Creator
 GM, 94 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sat 24 Sep 2016
at 18:03
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Raven discovers another statue almost completely buried in the sand and upside down. If he digs it out, he finds that it is a goat with a broken horn.

Legend Lore does in fact help. Luca remembers reading that some of the more paganistic tribes in remote parts of the world have their own zodiac based upon animals. The empire of Mao Yen is reported to be such a place, but no contact has been had with those people since the end of the First Age.

The animal zodiac...

Luca
 PC, 15 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror
Sat 24 Sep 2016
at 21:32
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Luca's eyes light up.  "Ah!  Or, mayhap, it is the old calendar.  If I recall, the years would each get an animal assigned, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse... then... goat, monkey, rooster, and dog.  Oh, then pig, rat, ox, and tiger!  Yes, there were twelve, and we have four overlooking and eight places for more!"

She is quite excited by this point, looking over the statues.  "The only question is whether there is an order to them or not.  We have a rabbit, a snake, a dragon, and a pig overlooking us... but they don't seem to be in an obvious order...  So maybe it's just a matter of finding the right statues?"
the Creator
 GM, 97 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sat 1 Oct 2016
at 06:11
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
The lanterns grow dim as the oil supply becomes less than it was.
Chen Zen
 PC, 23 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Sat 1 Oct 2016
at 16:37
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen looks at Luca, "Do you remember the order... that would seem appropriate now, no?"
Luca
 PC, 16 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror
Mon 3 Oct 2016
at 12:52
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
"That is the problem.  The order is normally rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, and then tiger.  That doesn't seem to mesh with the four statues that we can see being rabbit, snake, dragon, and pig."

Luca does some sighting from the pedestals to the statues, looking for an hint as to order.  Failing that, she shrugs.  "Unless someone has a better idea, we might as well just place the correct statues and hope for the best."
Chen Zen
 PC, 24 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Mon 3 Oct 2016
at 16:14
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen nods, "Seems logical." he will then help move the statues to the proper locations based on Luca's information.
the Creator
 GM, 98 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 06:24
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
With Chen leading the effort of moving the statues, the heavy pieces of rock are placed on pedestals one at a time. The initial order of the statues is somewhat random. Whether the order was unimportant or the characters were just lucky, a reaction occurs as soon as the last statue thuds down on its granite pedestal.

The high wall across the river lurches forward. The sounds of sliding stone and metal gears fill the cavern. The entire wall folds over to form a steeped bridge over the river. The image past the wall reveals itself. A small ruined city lays out before the characters with collapsed roofs and crumbled walls. The central structure which dominates the cavern appears to have once been a great cathedral or palace. Roads branch out from the city leading upward and away through the bedrock like a spokes from a wagon wheel. Bats flutter about, and guano covers the floor. A pit rat, munching on guano, holds its ground until the characters approach and then scurries away into a ruble pile.
Chen Zen
 PC, 25 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 12:34
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen keeps his staff ready, "Eyes up everyone, we do not know what to expect, therefore we should expect everything."



08:34, Today: Chen Zen rolled 15 using 1d20 ((15)).
Luca
 PC, 17 posts
 Sidhe
 Sorceror
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 13:32
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
"Fascinating," Luca said in a soft voice as she looked over the ruins from a distance.  "We may be the first people to see this in an entire Age."
Raven
 PC, 10 posts
 Vyshe
 Warrior
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 18:09
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Raven nods, and steps ahead as well, blade held on one shoulder and ready to be swung at a target of opportunity. He particularly takes care to watch the waters as the group passes over water.

"Huh. Rat munching on guano? That's... eww. Just eww. Here little fella." He digs a small chunk of cheese from his ration and tosses it to the pit rat.
the Creator
 GM, 99 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Thu 6 Oct 2016
at 04:59
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
The rodent hesitates as it puzzles what the gift might be. After realizing that it is food, the small monster passes by the offered scrap and leaps ferociously at the source in Raven's hand. Raven pulls back and barely saves his hand from being bitten half-off. Pleased with its prize, the greedy beast carries its bread away to its hovel under a pile of rubble.

"Hush" comes a warning from nearby.

Everyone soon finds the source of the word. A small group of four humans are huddled nearby. They have the build and scars of warriors, but they are dirty, lean, and unarmed. In fact, their only chainmail is the chain which holds them together by their ankles. A woman among them says something in an unfamiliar tongue and with a stern look. Then, she repeats her warning and covers her own mouth.
Chen Zen
 PC, 26 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Thu 6 Oct 2016
at 12:48
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen holds his hand up, a closed fist indicating his group to stop, then holds a finger over his mouth. His voice, reaching out to the minds of all present, "I am Chen Zen, we mean no harm to you." he will also introduce the others with him, and indicate the boot print to them. Still speaking telepathically, "Is there more than one of those giants down here? Do you know where they are? How long have you been here? If you think the answers, I will hear you."
the Creator
 GM, 102 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Wed 12 Oct 2016
at 04:43
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
The thoughts of the humans are a disorganized noise. Language is also a barrier. Through the clutter, Chen is able to pick up the theme of "one". The second question is answered by pointing towards one of the stone staircases which lead upward.
Chen Zen
 PC, 27 posts
 Nazar Ethan
 Zen Master
Wed 12 Oct 2016
at 12:55
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Chen whispers to his friends, "One big monster up the stairs." He turns to the people huddled again, his thoughts sending out a sense of calm to them. "We need to go up to get out of here, so let us go see what we are dealing with."

Chen will start up the stairs.
Herleifr
 PC, 12 posts
 Akir, Gladiator
 Karma Saved: 8
Thu 13 Oct 2016
at 02:07
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Without a word, Herleifr climbs the stairs along side Chen Zen.
Raven
 PC, 11 posts
 Vyshe
 Warrior
Thu 13 Oct 2016
at 05:07
Act I, Scene 3: The Puzzle Road
Raven cocks his head to one side, listening to the disorganized thoughts. Scant thought is given to the state these poor people are in. After all, they could have left if they wanted to, right? Not like that poor rodent. He stays close to Chen Zen, looking out for the probable surprise.