Volume 1: Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion.   Posted by Azurak the Blue.Group: 0
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 181 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Fri 30 Jun 2017
at 12:29
Into the Drift
Borun stepped forwards to inspect the image of the birds more closely. Were all of the birds identical? Were they all in the pose of flight? Were all eighteen wings visible, or were some hidden due to the pose of the bird?
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 458 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 2 Jul 2017
at 18:47
Into the Drift
Anira soon realizes that the birds aren't all identical, but there doesn't appear to be enough detail to say what breed of bird was being represented. It doesn't look like they were supposed to be identical, but it just might be a lack of consistency from the carver.

She notices that all 18 wings are visible. The birds are facing/flying to the left, so there's one wing in front/below each bird, and one wing behind/above each bird. The birds actually overlap each other such that only the last bird on the right is completely depicted. It also means that the wings are staggered, so that you can count one up, two down, three up, four down, etc. Thus you could count 9 wings across the top, 9 wings across the bottom, or make it about halfway counting both to 9.

As Borun examines the birds more closely, both he and Anira see that the 5th upper wing has a slight difference in it. There has apparently been some weather over the centuries, particularly wind and sun, but precipitation may have been scarce. In any case, dust has accumulated over the carving, further helping obscure the details, but on the middle bird, there is an extra line demarking the wing from the body that has filled with dust.

Up close, Borun can further see that there is more dust around the whole wing than on any of the other wings. Not much, and it'd be hard for anyone who wasn't familiar with stone carving to notice the distinction. But Anira also noticed the 'difference'.

That seems to indicate that the wing is a separate piece, probably some sort of pressure plate/switch, since that is precisely what they are looking for. Borun might be able to depress it hard enough to make it work, but it might work more easily if the dust is scraped away.

He has no problem pulling out his kama and scraping away some of the dust of centuries, revealing the cracks in more detail.

It looks like he's thus been elected to do the pressing.

He presses the button, and still has to exert some effort to make it go in.

He's almost caught by surprise as the ground beneath his feet begins to shift! He manages to jump aside as a slab of stone slides back under the wall. The dirt and debris on top of it is scraped off and tumbles into the hole now revealed. A set of stone stairs leads downward under the wall.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:57, Mon 03 July 2017.

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 182 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 12:57
Into the Drift
"Aha!" Borun exclaimed. "A secret passage!"

Borun glanced at his companions and began to lead the way in.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 265 posts
 Messenger Girl
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 18:05
Into the Drift
Still not knowing why they were walking this path of foolishness Tilaleria waiting for the others to go in. She'd wait at the back one of the more dangerous places.
Anira
 Fellowship, 77 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Mon 3 Jul 2017
at 18:44
Into the Drift
If Saxon wished to store his wagon in the shelter, Anira would then dispell the barn-like structure and retrieve the pebble she'd focused the spell upon before turning back to the stairs.  Then she cast Light upon her sword and followed Borun down the stairs.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 176 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 00:09
Into the Drift
She was a bit surprised to see a hidden passageway let alone she couldn't discover it being the Elf that she was.  Honing in that skill would surely be her next task.

"Good job Borun.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 23 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Tue 4 Jul 2017
at 08:02
Into the Drift
Grimfast, too, chose to bring up the rear, along with Tilaleria. He couldn't help notice the expression on her face, which was clearly less than happy.

"You could very well be right," he commented to her. "Just because he is Istari doesn't mean he never makes a mistake."

"On the other hand, they often see things that the rest of us can't. Your path and my path might be clear and straightforward, but I doubt that the Istari path is ever either of those things."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 145 posts
Fri 14 Jul 2017
at 02:47
Into the Drift
Saxon was directly interested, this whole thing went to show that a person who is learned in books is not always the most clever. He was, however, already walking down the steps. He left no trace of his passage as he wasn't really applying his weight to the steps so much as he was just a fraction of an inch above them. But that would take another elf to know he was being cheeky with his abilities.

The dead smith seemed to be alight with the fact that they walked forward to old knowledge and lore. His bread and butter.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 460 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:04
Into the Drift
The stairs drop down about 20 feet, though barely enough to get under the wall. There's only about a 6 foot clearance of the ceiling, once you've descended about halfway down the stairs. As you can see once you start down the stairs, the obscuring slab was a good 4 feet thick.

At the bottom of the stairs, there is flat landing, and the passage under the wall opens up to the right. However, the passage only goes 5 feet before it appears to turn into a maze, turning right, left, left, right, right... but then straightens out and appears to continue under the wall, which was 30-feet thick.

Only Borun realizes that the passage isn't going straight under the wall but has sufficient angle to it that after about 50 feet, it'll actually be inside the city wall.

Along this straight passage, every other five feet staggered on both sides, is an alcove with a skeleton standing in it, back against the wall, arms crossed against the chest, one skeletal hand clutching a sawtooth sword while the other has a rusted, dented buckler.

It definitely gives the impression of a gauntlet that you have to pass through... but none of the skeletons move.

At the other end, the passage makes another left turn, goes 10 feet and ends in a door. Standing in front of the door is a figure, clearly looking like some undead type. It's dressed in faded and tattered blue robes with a thin gold crown set cockeyed atop its head. The red eyes are clearly watching you.


[OOC: Grumble. I wrote this post two days ago, but just as I went to post it, I lost my internet connection. I think the local server's been having trouble in the neighborhood. We seem to get that from time to time.]
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 266 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:17
Into the Drift
Tilaleria concentrated on the undead figure to see whether her training said she could kill it. Her mind flickered through all the things she knew about undead, the ways to kill them if needed. Not all undead were evil she knew, but many were: the long years driving them insane and into the hands of Morgoth


Knowledge Religion: 31
Detect evil. If it's evil I will be smiting it and doing an acrobatic charge.

Anira
 Fellowship, 78 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 16:31
Into the Drift
Anira followed along behind Borun, alert and ready to act if necessary.  When they reached the end and the figure was watching them, she quietly studied it and tried to dredge up as much as possible in her mind while trying to perceive any threats.  She made no threatening moves.



Detect Magic cantrip going while moving along and upon the figure.
11:26, Today: Anira rolled 22 using 1d20+10 with rolls of 12.  Knowledge (history).
11:26, Today: Anira rolled 31 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 12.  Knowledge (arcana).
11:27, Today: Anira rolled 41 using 1d20+27 with rolls of 14.  Perception.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 177 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 17:18
Into the Drift
Lady Isile was very interested in the maze and she did her best to remember how to recreate it when she returns back to her own estate.  Being the race that she was she was very good at underground caverns and this was something she liked.

As the party moved onward it was good to not be attacked while traveling to where this maze was taking them but at the end was another interesting figure.

She wanted to know what type of Undead they were facing so that she would best know how to communicate with it.  They were here on a mission of peace not war and if they were able to save any of the lives that were trapped here then she would do whatever she could to aid it.


13:17, Today: Lady Isile rolled 31 using 1d20+18 with rolls of 13.  Know: Religion: Undead.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 461 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 18:54
Into the Drift
While Tilaleria can get a reading on the figure ahead, she can't quite grasp what that reading is. The best she can tell is that it is neutral but has a taint of evil to it; she just can't tell where or why that taint is.

And that in itself is strange, because she's pretty sure the figure is a lich.


Anira also identifies the figure as a lich, but less from the undead/religious point of view as from the arcane practices necessary to become a lich.

She also recognizes the clothing as being Khandish in design, and thinks the crown bears the crest of the Variag kings. She can't be sure, though, as so little has ever been learned of these peoples and lands.


Although Lady Isile recognizes the maze-like nature of the corridor, it turns out not to be a true maze at all, though she realizes it serves to functions--it is a better support for the roof above, and it limits the number of men that could attack the front at one time.

She, too, recognizes the lich, but she also knows that not all liches are inherently evil, even if the practice of becoming a lich is generally viewed as evil, and such beings tend to do evil to preserve their existence. Once having embarked upon that path, the probable corrupting influence of such an existence is likely to keep them from ever willing 'die'.

In the current context, however, the lich's existence is highly speculative.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 268 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 19:12
Into the Drift
"Great it's tainted by the work of Morgoth" Tilaleria said "and subtly too. We're talking top notch deception and corruption. Not a word it says can be trusted. Just what you need at a time like this. Are you sure we can't do this after we've actually accomplished our task instead of wasting time talking to thinks who... Best case... Knew something several thousand years ago?" It was clear she absolutely did not support this activity and was only going along because she wasn't going to abandon the group. This discovery that any information they did receive would be tainted did not exactly endear her to this task
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 74 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 16 Jul 2017
at 21:25
Into the Drift
Perhaps you are right, Tilaleria," Radagast responded, "Trusting what this lich says would not be wise, but I've always been told not to judge a book by its cover."

"He may not quite be what he appears to be, just as this whole city is not what it appears to be."


No one else seemed inclined to step forward to speak with the lich, assuming it was even capable of speech, so Radagast did so.

"Greetings," he addressed the lich. "I am Radagast, often called the Brown. We are following the clues left by the Dwarves on the stairs up the cliff."

"To whom am I speaking?"

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 462 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 18 Jul 2017
at 22:24
Into the Drift
"I am Pergomar, the Last King of Naethrul," the lich replies.

"You could not have got here any other way. You have not come to end the curse, though, have you?"

"You have come for... The Secret."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 146 posts
Wed 19 Jul 2017
at 02:42
Into the Drift
Saxon raised his hand, "I did, come to fix the curse. Saxon the Black, smith of the dead. I dont think that I could fix you at this very moment but I am sure that if I am given enough time I can work around the curse and restore you to the correct condition of undeath. A state that allows you to rest and return as you so need to aid future generations."

"That is what this whole curse is meant to be, a way for the dead to foster future generations."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 178 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Thu 20 Jul 2017
at 17:09
Into the Drift
Looking at the King she raced in her mind for any lost knowledge of his league.

"King Pergomar, he speaks the truth and so do you.  There is more than one mission here and we plan on completing them both.

Will you allow us your blessing on both?




13:08, Today: Lady Isile rolled 31 using 1d20+22 with rolls of 9.  know: History.
Anira
 Fellowship, 79 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 21 Jul 2017
at 15:53
Into the Drift
Tilaleria's negativity was getting more and more annoying, especially when she continued to harp that they were wasting time.  It all boiled down to trusting Radagast, which was something Anira had for as long as she could remember.  Even if he could be flighty or odd, he'd never steered her wrong before and the continual pecking at him by the exotic elf was grating to say the least.

Rather than be confrontational to her though, she focused on the task at hand instead of the one who had a darker cloud of doom over her than even the lich.  As others had already voiced their intention to help as well as obtain secrets, she simply nodded though gave the lich a respectful bow.  He was a king after all, even in death and she felt it prudent to offer respect.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 463 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 22 Jul 2017
at 23:22
Into the Drift
Lady Isile has heard tales... more like history lessons... of King Pergomar. He was a king of Rhovanion some several hundred years ago. Oddly, what or where he was king of wasn't mentioned... or possibly known.

Although he wasn't lost to history, his deeds seem to have been.



"You have made it farther than any others have, so perhaps our plight will now become known to others. It is a non-existence for us. Emotions have been purged from our consciousness... for the most part... our memories fade a little with each passing year."

"The secret that you seek is in the Tower of the Sky in the center of the city. None of us have been in it since the... Event."

"If you find it, and continue on to Forsten, there is a black crystal in their central tower. Destroying the crystal will break the curse that lies upon Naethrul."


He turns then and opens the door behind him and steps through. It leads outside, somewhere in the city. The Tower of the Sky is clearly visible in the background.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 179 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 00:14
Into the Drift
Lady Isile was impressed that her knowledge of King Pergomar was better than expected, but she did hope to remember or know more.  Listening to him speak again and then watching as he steps through the doors and leads the party to the hidden city.

Her eyes looked around as best as she could and seeing the Tower of the Sky she only had one question for the king.

"Does magic work normal here or will it fail?

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 464 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 05:46
Into the Drift
"That is an interesting question," the lich-king answers Lady Isile. "If you mean, does it work in the city, yes, it does, though  there is little that can be done. I used to mend things that got broken, but after awhile, there didn't seem to be much point."

"Perhaps now I shall resume that task."

"I believe magic works in the tower, but I cannot say for sure. There is a powerful ward on it that keeps undead from entering. As you can probably guess, divination is not in my repertoire."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 180 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 30 Jul 2017
at 13:22
Into the Drift
That was very good to hear so she would be able to teleport up there if needed or even fly to make things a bit simpler.

"Thank you King Pergomar. she bows her head.

"I will do all within my power to aid you and your people.  There is too much history and knowledge that you have that should be shared.  So that this may never happen again.

Then she looked at her companions and wondered if they wanted to fly there quickly or teleport.

"Which do you choose? she asked them.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 147 posts
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 02:15
Into the Drift
Saxon rubbed the back of his head, "Sir, would you be opposed to allowing me to take a few samples? The alchemy of things is part of my own training. One of the things I can do is extract certain properties. If I find some way to extract any alterations to the ongoing immortality you have, thus causing your current state, I would be happy to do so."

"It will take a bit of research but if there is anything outside of just removing the magic that keeps you all going, such as mending it so you all can come and go to rest as you see fit... well that is the better option."


Lady Isile got a smile from Saxon. "We should save the teleports as much as we can."
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 75 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 18:18
Into the Drift
"I know Tilaleria would not wish to make the climb and waste yet more of what she feels is precious time," Radagast responds, "but as I've said before, the journey is often as important as the destination."

"I would walk the path and climb the stairs to the top, but I will bow to the wishes of the group. If you wish to fly up to the top of the tower, so be it."