Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle.   Posted by teslas.Group: archive 0
 GM, 848 posts
Thu 24 Feb 2011
at 21:43
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
All of JACK's things are with him, including the party's items. His staff was still gripped in his hand, even. It looks like the spider bound it all up with him.

The party leaves the forest, two chocobos in tow. Hours pass, and they eventually make it to the edge of the forest, and the great plains stretch on in front of them. In the distance, a large group of mounted soldiers flying the Cornelian flag can be seen riding up the road towards you.

Sara says, "Looks like we might have an escort home."
 player, 614 posts
Thu 24 Feb 2011
at 23:36
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
DAI lets out a sigh as he puts away his dagger.

"Would have been some help yesterday..."
 player, 599 posts
 White Mage
Fri 25 Feb 2011
at 03:28
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
"Or even when we left for that matter."

Zeig hails the approaching soldiers vigorously.

"Hey there!  We have people that need clinical attention!"

This message was last edited by the player at 04:18, Fri 25 Feb 2011.

 GM, 849 posts
Sat 26 Feb 2011
at 04:11
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
The mounted regiment and the party make contact on the road a couple of hundred yards away from the forest. They identify themselves as a cavalry detachment sent to patrol the northern plains for unknown reasons. They seem shocked to see Sara with three random people, a dried husk of a corpse, and two bound up royal guards.

After quick exchanges of information are made, the whole group rides off. Sara was extremely brief in her description, and does not mention Garland, nor many, many other details. Two riders are sent ahead to relay that Sara has apparently been found, even though they weren't aware she was lost to begin with.

A soldier dismounts to allow Sara to ride home. When DAI's chocobo disappears, a couple more do the same for JACK's body and the two guards.

Around nightfall, two carriages and 32 royal palace guards in full battle regalia arrive to meet the party, riding atop armored chocobos. Weston is one of them. The party, except JACK, is put inside of a covered, royal carriage. Weston and Sara enter another.

"Let us save any stories for ourselves until we speak with the king," Weston says as he's helping the princess into the carriage. He turns and thinks for a moment, looking at VIL, DAI, and ZEIG, "Despite the condition JACK is in, I'm tempted to say 'well done'." He pauses for a moment, staring at you all, and then turns and climbs into the carriage after Sara.

Exhausted, ZEIG, VIL, and DAI drift in and out of sleep as they make their way the rest of the way to the palace. Food and water are provided at your request.

It is dawn, Lightsday, as you arrive through the southern gate. The carriage is pulled directly to the palace. You can see Weston leading a chocobo behind the carriage with a covered mass draped over its back, about the size of JACK.

Short pause.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:13, Sat 26 Feb 2011.

 GM, 852 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 18:28
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
Your carriage stops. Sara herself comes to open the door for you. JACK's body is removed by four royal guards. They place him on his back on an ornate stretcher and carry him towards the royal clinic. Weston is one of the guards following behind.

Sara turns her head away from the sight to the party. "It sounds like the chances are pretty good he'll be able to come back, being so young." She turns and looks at the castle. "Father is waiting. Let's not keep him waiting."

VIL, DAI, and ZEIG watch JACK's body until it disappears around the palace walls.

The interior of the castle is warm and welcoming. Sara, the three of you, and two guards make their way to the king's bunker beyond the armory. The door opens from the inside, and everyone enters.

Sara immediately runs to her father, holding him for a long time. The king's face is weary and older than even a week ago. There is a large table with several chairs inside of the room, and he motions the three of you to sit down.
 player, 616 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 18:44
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
DAI moves to sit, not having anything to add but a welcome nod at the reunion of Sara and her father.
 player, 603 posts
 White Mage
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 18:49
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
As Zeig also takes a seat at the table memories of the last night he and his friends spent in the castle begin to resurface.  He waits patiently for a time as Sara and her father embrace.
 GM, 853 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 19:16
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
"Weston and Bartholomew will return after they see JACK", the king says. "It seems it is going to take almost an entire day for them to return him to full vitality."

"Let me start by privately thanking you. I do not know what Garland was attempting to do, but at best it was unsafe for Sara. Hrm...", the king's glances drift off for a second, "The group of you left on Darksday, and return to us early Lightsday. I attempt to keep a rather logical outlook on all of this as much as possible, but some subtleties of the prophecy are a little hard to ignore."

About an hour passes. The king informs the three of you of the events of fifteen years ago. Sara looks deeply interested as if this is the first she's heard her father speak of it.

This following is mostly paraphrased, and is spoken entirely by the king.

Your parents knew also, loosely, of the prophecies. Four of them were descendants of the original light warriors. The age predicted was upon them. The circumstances seemed nearly right for the light warriors obligation to come to be. They all decided that they, themselves were going to begin their quest of bringing balance to the world. It was never directly addressed, of course, but another concern was to save their children from this burden. This, of course, was not to be. They never returned after disembarking from Melmond, a large walled city just outside of the western passage. Shortly after, pirates collapsed the western passage and effectively cut off our sea from the rest of the world.

With them went five other people: two royal scholars and three of them had their spouses leave with them. (The king seems to avoid ZEIG's eyes during this statement.)

So, you see, they left for you. In hindsight this was most likely a mistake on all of our parts, but even now, if it were possible to speak to your parents I doubt they could be convinced otherwise.

End paraphrasing.

Batholomew and Weston enter the room and take a seat. Bartholomew looks confident as he says, "The damage is severe. Most of what was JACK is now inside the spider that did this to him, fueling it before its next meal. I think we'll be able to, spirit willing, get him back on his feet within the day, though. I should return as soon as we are done here."

JACK, you will be told all of this by both your three friends, Sara, and probably Weston and/or the king later on. As such, assume you know all of this information within a day after you're alive once again.

"Let's make this brief, then", says the king. "The world is in decline. What you saw at the temple is, from our best knowledge and assumptions, a very accurate depiction of the history of our world. It seems as if the four elements are again in jeopardy. The air crystal went silent hundreds of years ago, with it passing any sign of the once great Lufeinians. The earth crystal to our direct west is apparently also shrouded as well. The lands rot all the way out to Melmond. There are rumors of the volcanoes to the southeast behaving in strange ways. Even the temperament of the waters of the northern seas has begun to run foul."

"Prophecies exist which tell of four light warriors restoring the elements of the planet. Lukan was the keeper of the oldest known renditions of these, but has sense left the court. He was a mysterious man. Our only lead is that he may have gone to watch for the signs of the fire crystal falling silent. Without him, though, we know well enough that sending you four, much like your parents before you, is the only hope we are likely to have for the world if any of it is true.

It's that... simple, for lack of a better word.

I direct you to leave for Melmond, and pick up where your parents left off. Unfortunately, the only timely way to go about doing that is by sea. The pass has been blocked for over a decade, but I believe we can remedy that.

Weston shifts uncomfortably in his chair at this remark.

The king continues, not noticing, "Go to Elfheim. Tell them that you are royal emissaries sent to reclaim the royal Cornelian key. Their king will know of what you speak. We've not heard much from the elven kingdom in many, many decades. I don't know quite what might await you there.

As you may or may not know, this lack in communication has had pirates and the sahuagin horde to blame directly. Only now is our navy nearly finished after its near complete destruction along with that of Elfheim's in our attempt to purge our sea.

So first, young light warriors, I suggest you make your way to Provoka. Charter a ship from their merchants and make your way to Elfheim. Royal Cornelian sailing vessels would make you far too large of a target.

You will come see me again before you leave once JACK, gods willing, is able to join you. Talk to you in a day's time, light warriors.
", the king says, as he stands. The king then motions to Weston. Weston walks over and takes a large parchment from him. Bartholomew is has already gotten up and is making his way, rather quickly, for the door.

Weston, reading the top of the parchment, states in a cool manner, "Follow me, if you will, children." Weston once again assumes his position in the doorway, seemingly waiting for you to stop costing him time.

[Private to JACK: Your hazy world of dry heat and flame is being disturbed. Small tendrils of coolness are lapping at you in some unknown place. It is incredibly uncomfortable. You want nothing more than for it to stop.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:14, Thu 03 Mar 2011.

 player, 617 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 19:27
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
DAI is speechless(like that''s a surprise), he listens intently to the King's words but...says nothing. As he finishes and they are ushered out of the room, he merely follows their instructions wordlessly. Once they are out of the room, and merely amongst themselves, DAI slowly removes his large obscuring hat, revealing his lightly tanned face that the others hadn't seen in years, and wipes his eyes with his massive sleeve as his scraggly black hair falls over his arm.


After this short gesture, DAI replaces his hat, only giving a short glance around with his piercing yellow eyes, before clearing his throat and moving toward the exit.
 player, 604 posts
 White Mage
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 19:36
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
Zeig gives Weston an icy stare as he walks past.  He manages to maintain a simple cool demeanor and avoids eye contact with anyone after passing Weston.  His anger fades for a brief moment as Dai removes his hat, but upon seeing his expression it blazes into a renewed fury.  Zeig struggles to keep himself in check as they traverse the palace halls.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:38, Sun 27 Feb 2011.

 GM, 855 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 20:49
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
The three of you are lead to another room down a different hallway not connected to the hall with the bunker and armory. None of you have ever been down this hall, either, as it's always had a large, metal portcullis closed and locked at the front of it.

The portcullis is not there at the moment, although four armed palace guards are. "The king has appropriated funding for you to go to Provoka and charter a ship", Weston says.

He opens another heavy wooden door with a key. Inside is room not unlike the armory. A large, sturdy table stands in the center with four doors facing each other in pairs on either side. These doors, however, are made of bolted steel.

"The amount is 10,000 gold pieces, enough to pay a high, high price for a one-way trip to Elfheim. Carrying any more than this may not be the wisest idea, the king feels." Weston says all of this as he goes to a metal door and pulls it open. It is exceptionally dark beyond. Yelling from inside of the room now, "In addition to keeping the royal line safe and protecting the palace grounds from assault, the palace guard also oversees any investigations on royal grounds." He exits from the darkness with another large chest.

"As I said, the amount of royal money appropriated was 10,000 gold pieces, but you've already taken it upon yourselves to obtain some of that." He begins removing bags of coins and places them on the table. "Please remember that you are envoys of your king and country now. I trust you'll conduct yourselves with honor and honesty in your travels. Neither the king nor Sara would enjoy hearing otherwise."

He opens a bag, removes most of the coins from within, and closes it again. He then picks up the chest and locks it in the room behind him. "Good luck, children, and I'll see you tomorrow at the clinic around 10am when they finish reviving JACK." He turns and begins making his way out of the room.

Five large, leather bags lay on the table. Four of which contain 2,000 gold pieces. The fifth contains only 400. Remember, this is basically weightless since you obtained it "in town".

[Private to JACK: The painful coolness licking at your extremeties turns to lashes of frigid torture wracking your body. You try to fight it off, but cannot. The level of discomfort is magnitudes beyond anything you've ever experienced.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:56, Sun 27 Feb 2011.

 player, 608 posts
 White Mage
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 22:11
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
Zeig lets out a sigh as he takes the lighter bag and divides it evenly amongst the other four, then takes two of the bags.

"I'll hold onto this one for Jack.  I need to clear my head for a bit, the castle has become stifling.  Could we divy up the gold we collected on this past trip?  I'm going to market to make preparations for our journey, it looks like it could be a long one."

With that, Zeig takes leave of his companions and heads into town.

OOC: If you want us to check IC then I'll go to the shop and look around, if not then there are a few things I want to take care of before heading home.

I currently have 2108.9 gil/GP (before splitting adventure spoils), more if we divy stuff up first

Heavy Crossbow (base price 50 gil, w/e I can get for it)
40 bolts (base price 4 gil, w/e I can get for it)

total: ? gil, -12 lbs.

6 days worth of rations (3 gil, 6 lbs.)
Flint and Steel (1 gil)
Warhammer (12 gil, 5 lbs.)
3 vials of ink (24 gil)
10 inkpens (1 gil)
20 sheets of parchment (4 gil)
Signet Ring with a tapir as the engraving (5 gil, also only if the engraving can be finished by the next morning)
Empty flask (.06 gil >.< ha, 3 lbs.)
2 bottles of wine (4 gil)

total: 54.06 gil, lets say I left the change in the leave a gil/take a gil and call it 55 (+14 lbs.)

Bucket at home (-2 lbs.)

17:25, Today: ZEIG rolled 13 using 1d20+2. gather information.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:27, Sun 27 Feb 2011.

 player, 619 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 22:22
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
DAI nods as ZEIG heads out, he leaves as well to contemplate what exactly had happened..before going to prepare.

OOC: Also selling heavy crossbow for whatever I can get(50 gil base) (8 pounds)
selling 40 bolts for whatever I can get(4 gil) (4 pounds)

Longbow(composite +1)(200 gil) or regular if unavailable(75 gil) (3 pounds)
20 arrows(1 gil) (1 pound)
4 days rations(2 gil)(4 pounds)

Before buying/selling I have 2140 gil, plus waht is divvied from what JACK and VIL had been carrying

 GM, 857 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 22:23
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle

The royal heavy crossbows aren't sellable at normal vendors. Gather Information to find out who might buy something like that.

You can both sell any bolts for 1/2 of their value. The goblin bolts if you have any, however, are crude, and although they function fine, nobody is willing to buy them.

you can successfully purchase all of those things quite easily.

The engraver at the jewelry store can rush the engraving by that afternoon for an extra gold piece (changing your gold spent to 56gp).

Make sure you keep note that the bottles of wine are from Cornelia.

ZEIG is unable to uncover what kind of establishment or entity might buy royal items for the day, but might have some leads for for tomorrow. Doing so may draw attention to yourself, as you believe these would not be "wholesome" customers.

The royal guards at the gate of the castle willingly accept your crossbow as you return it to them. They mention that they are fairly expensive, being magical.

Composite bows are available, as are masterwork ones of course. When you're at the bowyer and fletcher, you see there are more exotic arrows for sale (Check the vendor list later tonight).

DAI is unable to uncover what kind of establishment or entity might buy royal items. You cannot try again without drawing attention until you put a rank into Gather Information.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:34, Sun 27 Feb 2011.

 player, 620 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 22:27
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
14:26, Today: DAI rolled 9 using 1d20-1. gather the info >.>.

DAI will purchase a masterwork composite +1 strength longbow, as well as 40 arrows for a total 502 gil(assuming regular price) along with the other goods mentioned, and a tent. This brings his gil(before divvied up JACK/VIL money) to: 1486 gil.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:46, Sun 27 Feb 2011.

 player, 613 posts
 White Mage
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 22:59
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
One last update,
Buying a scroll of Protect and reading it (level 2 slot) for 200 gil
another tent for 150 gil
cleric's vestments for 5 gil (6 lbs.)
an additional 30 sheets of parchment for 6 gil
and a signal whistle (.8 gil, make it .9 and I can be even again).

Also leaving my lamp and oil at home now. -3 lbs.

1693 gil after buy/sell adventure time, before party loot split.

Zeig returns to his home and begins to write a description of the mural at the Temple of Fiends in detail.  About halfway through he becomes quite distracted as the events of the day push to the fore of his mind.

"I am no one's tool to be casually used and thrown away." he says aloud to himself.  "When I leave with my friends it will be for my own reasons..."

He continues writing and mulling over events of the past week.  How could so much happen in such a short time?  He promises himself that he will see Sara again before he leaves the city.

The description also contains a barebones drawn depiction of each of the major sections.  It could be recognized, but it is definitely not art.

Later that evening, Zeig goes and picks up his signet ring.  After returning home he dips the ring in ink and presses the seal to the upper left corner of the three pages he wrote (one for each major time period).  He then cleans the ring and places it on his right index finger before retiring for the night.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:38, Mon 28 Feb 2011.

 player, 623 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 23:07
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
After finishing his purchases, DAI will return to his realizing exactly what was ahead of them, he was to leave the city...for the second real time in well...ever. He spend his time pacing, thinking, and reading...but in the end, would fall to sleep so he could be up in time to meet up with everyone, including JACK.
 GM, 864 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 06:20
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle

DAI/ZEIG: Everything you've done looks good.

JACK/VIL: If you've got any business in town, please take it. Pretty much anything within reason can happen "retroactively" before you get too far out of town.
 player, 623 posts
 White Mage
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 06:44
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
OOC: If we're gonna throw some stuff together retroactively so we can get moving again then assume I give you your gold Jack.

2100 in a bag, and we still haven't calculated in w/e you and Vil were carrying in money/sellables.

 GM, 866 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 07:11
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle

I am sort of waiting for them to post their divvying up the gold and anything else before we continue too awfully far.


Actually, we'll do it this way. JACK and VIL are carrying, respectfully, these amounts:

"Party Coffers:
Until redistribution, Jack is carrying 144 Gil to split among the party."

"317 gp in a heavy leather pouch."

JACK/VIL, please remove these from your inventory.

Everyone in the party obtains 115 gold and 25 copper from divvying up extra money. This is "weightless" as normal for obtaining currency in town.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:20, Thu 03 Mar 2011.

 GM, 867 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 07:31
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
[Private to JACK: The pain is unbearable. Your body, although you could not quite place such a corporeal thing previously, is now something you're very aware of as pangs of freezing torment surround you. The pureness and comfort of the flames is now far in the distance. You feel one last tug away from it as the realization that you have a choice becomes apparent: you could go back to your timeless sleep or be torn into pain and chaos away from this place forever.

As you near the boundary between where you were and where you are being pulled, you become aware that you are dead. This does not surprise or shock you, and indeed you quickly move on to realize you are being summoned back into the world you once occupied. Memories flood into your mind of mortal toils and struggles, of love and hatred, and of evil and righteousness.

The thought of remaining here, one with this realm of warmth, is something you are completely at peace with. Staying or leaving is as simple as a thought.

The three of you meet up outside of your homes in the morning and make your way to the clinic. At the end of a street are two royal mages. They bow and tell you they were to see to any needs you may have. If asked, they are unsure of the condition of your friend. The mood is solemn.

It is 9:30am, Darksday, exactly one week since your lives were much, much simpler.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:06, Thu 03 Mar 2011.

 player, 633 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 12:47
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
DAI shifts restlessly in the silence, before moving toward the clinic.

"We shold see...JACK."
 player, 314 posts
 Red Mage
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 15:46
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
Vil will purchase the following list of items:
Chain Shirt
GM EDIT:Basuna scroll
Aero scroll
Fast scroll
Lock scroll
5 Potions of Cure I

Vil nods wordlessly and follows Dai.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:30, Thu 03 Mar 2011.

 player, 624 posts
 White Mage
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 17:29
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
Zeig also follows, apparently lost in thought.
 GM, 868 posts
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 20:42
Re: Chapter 2: The Ancient Cycle
[Private to JACK: The icy path back towards your old life begins to shrink, first very slowly, and then at a perceivable rate. The comfort and purity of the flames around you begin to warm and disperse your body again. The time for a decision is now.][Private to DAI; VIL; ZEIG: The three of you walk into the clinic. You are escorted to one of the four rooms on either side of the main hall. ZEIG knows these to be the ritual chambers for bringing someone back from near, or at times, total death.

Sara, Weston, Bartholomew, and three clinicians are around a high, solid-looking marble platform. JACK's body lays on top of it. Bartholomew's and the clinicians' eyes are closed. Their hands are held up, palms down over JACK body and they are chanting Spellcraft check. Zeig, you get a +2 Circumstance bonus. It appears as some of the wounds JACK had suffered are at least partially mended.