Sailors on the Starless Sea.   Posted by Autarch.Group: 0
Udly
 player, 43 posts
Thu 8 Aug 2013
at 05:32
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Pointing a stubby finger toward the northern passageway, "Well, it seems clear to me, only one thing to do. C'mon, let's delve deeper..."

Hopefully the trio of pool-gazers had concluded their admiration of the skull-filled pool by now. If not, Nyll will attempt to jar each out of their reverie. "Snap out of it already. Work to be done!"
Dourdoff
 player, 64 posts
Thu 8 Aug 2013
at 10:31
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
In reply to Udly (msg # 191):

Bill shakes his head again and clears the fog once more..
Dourdoff nods his approval at leaving and gets in line again so they can all move on out..
Autarch
 GM, 2539 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 03:01
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Even without a clear manner of sticking the skull to the shovel, Sidd grinds the shaft against the pate regardless. And the skull sticks, its eyes aglow. As he and the others descend the five flights of stone stairs, two to the right beyond the ritual chamber, and the three more after another right turn, the skull emits waves of anticipatory heat.

At the bottom of the last flight of stairs, people realize why they've been enjoying cool, moist air beneath the ruined walls of Chaos Keep:

The wide stone steps run down to the dark-sand beach of a vast underground sea. Far out across the water, you can make out a golden glow through the gloom. An enormous menhir stands at the water’s edge, dark waves lapping at its intricately carved faces.

Past the towering standing stone, a dragon-prowed longship emerges from the darkness, its hull scrawled with forbidding sigils and runes that glow a sickly green in the dim light. The ship draws to a stop some 50 feet offshore.

The beat of distant drums and far-off wails of terror mixes with the quiet lapping of the waves.


What wonders has life bestowed upon the stalwarts of a Thousand Sands. An underground sea! A dragon-prowed longship! A menhir. Well, nobody really knows what to call the monolithic monument, the party lacking a junior geographer in its composition.
Levkojen
 player, 370 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 08:45
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Zar suspiciously eyes his friend of long years past. ''Sidd. You are carrying a glowing chaos skull on your shovel.''

''Right, Zar. I think I do.''

''You know, that will spell doom for your immortal soul and maybe the whole of us, too, yes?''

''Aaw, now you are just paranoid. I'm sure it's mostly harmless.''

Zar coughs and chokes, but then they have reached the bottom of the stairs. The enormity of the view is sinking in.

''What the...''
''I'll be damned...''

''True enough, that!''
Dourdoff
 player, 65 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 11:06
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Bill mutters to his companions "How interesting as I've never seen the likes of an underground sea, yet the addition of drums and screams off in the distance does little to keep the hairs on the back of my neck from performing a show at market for us. I think our time here on the beach should be short at best. The ship does seem to pull at my curiosity though."

Dourdoff on the other hand scoffs at the notion of having to cross at least 50 feet of water to reach the ship...
Josh
 player, 48 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 13:51
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
From his position in back, Dave says Just who d'you reckon is on that ship?  Felix responds I don't know, but ten silvers says we're not gonna like it when we find out.  Dave nods at this and draws an arrow to be ready.

Arnie, having a flash of insight no one would have expected from him, asks the group at large That stone there - do you think that might be the same as the spike from the mosaic?  The one by the water, with the sorcerer and the tentacle beast nearby?
Dourdoff
 player, 66 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 14:05
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Dourdoff nods in agreement to Arnie and his observation and says " Hmm, me thinks the fellow here has a good head on his shoulders and me thinks the same. May be we should not stay here long ."
Levkojen
 player, 371 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 14:30
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
''A ship just waiting on us to stumble down here?'' Zar spits out. ''Has to be enchanted. Probably not a living soul on it. Wouldn't be at all surprised if it isn't here for us, but for certain potential chaos worshippers carrying glowing skulls around on their shovels. Just saying.''

''You might be right there. I'd better go and take a closer look. Sailing on that boat is kind of a committment though I'm not sure I want to make.''

''If you don skulls, you can as well go and take a look what's glowing over there beyond the gloom. 'Posed the ship goes there. In for a penny in for a pound, my granma always said. Of course she'd come to a bad end, there's that.''
Gethin Ballider
 player, 1295 posts
 +15, d10+7; Ins26, Per19
 AC26, F20, R19, W21
Fri 9 Aug 2013
at 20:40
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
As far as Virgil and Milton can tell, their choice is simple: ride the boat or go home.  Yes, a seven-tentacled devourer of virgins might dwell in this dark glass lake, its surface untroubled by wave or wind but its deep roiling with monsters.

"Maybe it only eats virgins," Virgil offers without conviction.

Milton blushes.

"Oh.  Well..."

"We've come too far to go back now," Milton says, and before his courage can fail him he strides into the chilly water, making for the boat.  He recites as he goes, his voice rising in intensity as the water rises up his leg and torso:

"...So eagerly the fiend
Ore bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare,
With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way,
And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes:
At length a universal hubbub wilde
Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd
Borne through the hollow dark assaults his eare
With loudest vehemence: thither he plyes,
Undaunted to meet there what ever power
Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
Which way the neerest coast of darkness lyes"


"Wait up, Milton!"  Virgil rushes after him, weapon at the ready, eyes scanning for sea monsters.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:45, Fri 09 Aug 2013.

Levkojen
 player, 372 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 10 Aug 2013
at 13:18
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
''He, wait!'' Calls Sidd out, and splashes into the waters after Milton and Virgil, holding his shovel high.

''Oh damn it.'' Mumbles Zar, and wades in after them.
Dourdoff
 player, 67 posts
Sat 10 Aug 2013
at 13:37
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Bill and Dourdoff pause for a minute as some of the others wade into the water..
Not so much in fear as there is no need in that cause whatever is here is here, but in maybe a chance to offer help from shore if the need arises..
Udly
 player, 46 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 01:14
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
A thought rattles around inside Finn's head: a moment of clarity really. The tax collector had often heard tales of the wondrous utility of a ten foot pole. Now was just one of those occasions.

"Maybe the lake isn't too deep and we could walk to that ship, yonder?" Lacking a ten-foot pole, Finn approaches the lake and breaks its surface with his long sword. The tax-collector gives it a few exploratory probes to assess its depth, at least near shore.
Dourdoff
 player, 68 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 01:21
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Bill steps forward and says "Here, I have a 10 foot pole, allow me to check the depth."
Bill then steps out a bit and starts probing with his pole with his left hand
Udly
 player, 47 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 01:23
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Finn marvels at the appearance of a ten-foot pole. How had he missed such an implement, it was, ten feet tall after all!

Perhaps it was a telescoping affair?

"Handy thing to have, that," Finn comments while watching Bill probe the shore to assess its depth.
Autarch
 GM, 2541 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 19:10
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
A narrow series of steps winding up the surface of the menhir and a mess of spiral-shaped carvings upon it confirms Arnie's suspicion. Curious climbers could ascend.

The cool water soaks through Bill's boots, a frisson spoiled by the drums of sacrifice, villager more like than virgin. Still grinning (so much water!), he splashes forward a few steps and then sounds the lake's depths.

Deep.

Milton and Virgil join him at the shelf where the water reaches their waists and chills them from toe to trunk. Having waded this far, they would have to swim to the boat, with no manner of creeping or flying apparent. They are more, truthfully it must be said, than a little daunted as they are not fiends.

The sands show signs of much disruption with the passage of many malformed and finely feet.
Josh
 player, 49 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 19:20
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
I've got another, Arnie offers.  Maybe we could tie them together.
Dourdoff
 player, 69 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 19:36
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
In reply to Josh (msg # 206):

Bill says to his companions "As can be seen, if we proceed any further from here, we are swimming. I am already wet so its no water off my scales to do so. What do we do as a group?"
Udly
 player, 48 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2013
at 19:52
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
"Swim it must be," grumbles Nyll in response to Bill.

Nyll was was not thrilled with the prospect, but what what else was there to do?

Then, a thought occurs to the dwarf, "Wait-a-minute...that mosaic we saw a little while back. That obelisk. There!" he says while stabbing a finger in the air toward the menhir.

The thought may have already occurred to his companions. He wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

"Those tentacles...you think they might lie in wait somewhere in that muck?" he asks aloud, to the group in general.

Finn then proffers that it might be a better idea to flush out any potential sea creatures before committing to swimming the short channel. "We could stand here on the shore and throw rocks in the water to see what comes of it?" he reasons aloud.
Josh
 player, 50 posts
Mon 12 Aug 2013
at 15:43
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Seems a reasonable idea, Dave says to the rock-throwing suggestion.  Though if anyone has food to spare, that might work even better.
Levkojen
 player, 373 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Mon 12 Aug 2013
at 16:14
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
''Seems to me like a perfect waste of good food,'' mumbles Zar. He decides to go looking up the menhir. It might sport some more illegible runes, or preferable recognizable pictures.

Given that people ought to stand on its top, he looks for a way up and climbs atop the menhir.

''Hey, Sidd! Come up here and wave your unholy shovel! Might also evoke a reaction!'' He calls down.

''Yeah, sure. First damn me and my skull, and then put me to use. That's downright utilitarian, I'd say. Where are your principles?'' Sidd replies grumpliy, but then also climbs on top of the menhir, to give his glowing skull a good waving.
Udly
 player, 50 posts
Wed 14 Aug 2013
at 05:44
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Finn surveys the narrow steps leading up the ancient menhir. If he finds no obvious traps, the tax-collector will carefully ascend the device to determine what lies at its top.
Josh
 player, 51 posts
Wed 14 Aug 2013
at 13:21
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
All three of the Red Dwarves stand back and wait to see what happens to the climbers (while also keeping an eye on the ship).  No need to put everyone in the line of danger, if indeed there is danger there.
Autarch
 GM, 2544 posts
Sat 17 Aug 2013
at 02:41
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
And the beach party commences in earnest as the beating of the drums promises relaxation and delivers good vibes.

Dave and a buddy toss some bread crumbs into the sea, tempting tidbits for tentacles of the deep, at least in theory. More robustly, Finn and his mate hurl stones into the night where they disappear before splashing out of sight.

Other beach goers bob happily in the water. Vigorous activity is good for the body and the soul! Upon this, Milton and Virgil agree.

On the sands themselves, some make sport hunting shells but discover moons instead.

Sidd and Zar, inseparable after the spearing of Del, propose a hike "to see what can be seen" and further "to make merry atop the menhir." With sure steps, they reach the summit and fill their lungs with the finest of subterranean alpine airs.

The top of the stone has been fashioned into a platform with a shallow bowl having been cut into its center. The bowl is partially filled with hardened wax, and the stub of a red candle sits atop the mounds of wax.
Udly
 player, 51 posts
Sat 17 Aug 2013
at 09:00
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Finn bristles as Sidd an Zar muscle their way past him to reach the top of the menhir first. Had he brought anything to take notes with, he would most certainly take a note to scrutinize their earnings a little closer next year. Perhaps it would never come to be. He could become rich beyond his wildest dreams and never have to do that job again...or, well, he didn't want to think about that right now.

"Hey, wait for me!" he calls out while hurrying along behind them. Once atop, he will suggest lighting the candle. "Perhaps a beacon to call the ship?"

Finn will readily light the candle barring any major objections.
Levkojen
 player, 376 posts
 Nearer, My God, to Thee!
Sat 17 Aug 2013
at 19:24
Re: Sailors on the Starless Sea
''Yeah, we might do that,'' says Sidd. ''Let's try it this way first...''

He puts his heat-emanating skull next to the candle stump and looks wether there's any reaction. If not he simply sighs and uses flint and steel to light the thing the normal way.