Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones.   Posted by Raellus.Group: 0
Raellus
 GM, 429 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 7 May 2016
at 23:18
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

The party arrives at a door presumably granting access to Master Control. It is shut. There appears to be a keyhole of some sort, in size and shape similar to the cross section of a blade, to the right of the door.

-
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 348 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Sun 8 May 2016
at 03:33
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
Nicolai eyes the door skeptically.  "Hm.  The sword Padin gave our predecessors... does it look like it fits this?"  He gestures to the oddly-shaped keyhole.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:33, Sun 08 May 2016.

Gronk
 Party NPC, 85 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Sun 8 May 2016
at 03:50
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Gronk scratches his head. "The black knight's sword is way too big." He'd just put the massive thing into the bag of holding. "But that short sword we found after the rock monster... it might fit."

-

This message was last edited by the player at 03:53, Sun 08 May 2016.

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 238 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Mon 9 May 2016
at 00:40
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

"Seems like it's worth a try then,"  Corros says to Gronk's comment about the short sword.  Tricks, locks, and secrets.  This place is maddening, but at least it's not impossible.  Wishing he had time to recover his spells isn't going to make it happen and standing in the hallway for another hour to make it happen would only expose the five to a world of unknown threats.  Instead of backing away, Corros leans forward and listens with his ear against the door for a moment then withdraws.

"You know," he muses with a shrug, "none of this answers the multiple sets of footprints.  I still don't like that.  At all."
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 349 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Mon 9 May 2016
at 01:49
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
"Trying not to think about that," Nicolai answers tensely.  "This place is broken."
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 289 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Mon 9 May 2016
at 07:51
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
Her rage of a few moments ago having apparently dissipated, Jenna takes up a position close to the door, ready to do battle with either spell or hammer. So far everything that they had encountered in this place had tried to kill them, either sooner or later, so the Priestess anticipated that anything that lay on the other side was unlikely to be friendly.
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 225 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Mon 9 May 2016
at 19:23
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
"Is that in here?" Ulfgar asked, rummaging through the Bag of Holding, trying to find the short sword in question.  His visage was that of a resting bitch as he fumbled about in the virtual space of the bag.  "Need an index or maybe some shelves to better organize all of this," he added.
Raellus
 GM, 432 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Tue 10 May 2016
at 02:05
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Gronk steps forward, believing that he's volunteered by way of mentioning the short sword. He takes the blade from Ulfgar, its fuller shimmering electric blue, and gently slides it into the beside the door. There's a brief flash of blue light, and then nothing...

After a pregnant pause, the door unsticks itself and, after a bit of groaning, slides smoothly upward into its bay in the high ceiling above the doorway.

Now revealed is a large, rectangular room, with multiple nooks recessed into the walls along both sides, and a twin roll-down door in the far wall. The floor is littered with small bits of debris, only a few any larger than a finger. These are heaps of some sort of yellowish fabric, resembling very old shed reptile skins, lying along the wings in solitary heaps like islands protruding above the flat, slate sea.

Upon entry, it becomes apparent that the two opposing nooks furthest back are actually doorways, each opening on an ascending stair. These must lead up to the room with the long windows overlooking the shattered plinth in the tunnel outside.

Arbitrarily, the party chooses the right flight, ascending cautiously lest the stair be trapped somehow. The stair switches back once, then emerges into a chamber similar in size and shape to the large foyer below. This room, by appearance, is almost certainly Master Control. There is an open door at the back of the room, revealing a vertical shaft, choked with rubble.

In the middle of the room is a large stone table, littered with scraps of brittle paper and an assortment of loose, variegated crystals. Close to the horizontal windows overlooking the tunnel is a plinth, topped by a perfectly round, melon-sized, cracked, dark crystal ball set at waist height. It looks like a small-scale facsimile of the shattered structure on the floor of the tunnel just outside. Beneath the windows, which appear to be made from thick slabs of glass or translucent crystal, is a slanted shelf, like a shop counter or elongated drawing table, truncated in the middle to create space for the plinth. The surface of this flat face is pierced by dozens of trapezoidal slots, several of which are filled by upright crystals, each of which protrudes, to some degree, above the surface of the panel.

Curious, Gronk gently touches one of the protruding crystals. It sinks smoothly into the slot and, suddenly, the room is filled with about a dozen glimmering, ghostly white figures- humanoids, elf-like, composed entirely of soft-white light, robed and seemingly hard at work. They shuffle silently around the room, studying documents on the massive table-top, placing and adjusting crystals in the panel, passing notes from hand to spectral hand. They seem completely unaware of the Five. In fact, several of the ephemera pass right through the rapt watchers. Then, almost as one, the flickering images stop what they're doing and move towards the tunnel-facing windows, full of anticipation. All don insect-eyed, full face masks. One of the figures steps forward and places his/her hands on either side of the dark crystal sphere, which subsequently begins to glow. Seconds pass, then the captain's limbs grow rigid and he/she throws his/her head back in a silent scream. The others hesitate for a moment, and then turn and begin running soundlessly away from the windows, towards the door at the back of the room or the stairwells on either side. Intense white light enters the chamber through the windows and the orb operator, still screaming silently, seems to explode. Abruptly, the room descends back into lantern-lit dimness. As quickly as they appeared, the ghostly figures are gone; no sign of the spectral host remains.


Your Turn.

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This message was last edited by the GM at 01:49, Wed 11 May 2016.

Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 350 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Wed 11 May 2016
at 00:59
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
Nicolai bites down on his unease once more, focusing on details and minutiae to avoid contemplating the entire situation.  "That did not go as they expected, I think."  He scrabbles for a frame of understanding, comes up with alchemy as the closest equivalent he can parse.  "Was it an experiment or did they get complacent with a dangerous process they thought they'd mastered?"

He leans over the stone table and peers at the paper scraps.  "Corros, can you make any sense of these?"
Ulfgar Frostbeard
 Adventurer, 226 posts
 Hill Dwarf Druid
 Spartan-117
Wed 11 May 2016
at 11:58
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
"DEMONS!" Ulfgar proclaimed at seeing the images.  He calmed down after it became clear that they could cause no harm.  After the images were complete, he thought about them for a moment, but soon realized that he could make neither heads nor tails of what they meant.

"Seems like a stupid place to protect," Frostbeard said after a moment.  "No gold, no silver.  Not even strong ale is stored here.  Maybe that collector will pay for such crystals, maybe not," he said with a shrug.
Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 290 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Wed 11 May 2016
at 16:36
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
"Gronk! Be caref..." Jenna's warning cry died away in her throat as the half orc touched the crystal, setting in motion the bizarre tableau that began to unfold before their eyes. The Priestess immediately hefted her warhammer, fully expecting the apparitions to attack them, as everything else that they had encountered in this strange place had done. Instead they simply seemed to ignore the Five however, one of them passing right through her, causing her skin to tingle in a way that was not unpleasant.

And then they were gone in a flash of light that left Jenna blinking to try and clear the spots that had appeared in front of her eyes. "I suggest we pause before we touch anything else." The blonde haired young woman said quietly, a serious tone in her voice as she walked across the floor, coming to a halt in the spot that had been occupied by the figure that had appeared to explode. "I agree Nicolai, it did not go as they expected. The question then becomes what exactly were they expecting?"
Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 239 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Wed 11 May 2016
at 19:53
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Corros approaches the table top with caution tinged curiosity.  The idea that moments could be echoed, copied and stored in a crystal almost distracts him from what they are really trying to do here.  "Maybe I can figure something out," he tells the others.  With one of his thin, long lock picks he gently probes at the remains left on the table, looking at everything before he touches it and fully expecting all of it to crumble to dust.

"It seems like maybe they were trying to channel some sort of power.  The leader here, the one with the crystal ball, were they trying to control whatever was in the tunnel with this ball, or channel the power into their leader?  Maybe different crystals lead to different commands?  Different arrangements?"  It is all just guesses.  "Let's not touch anything else for a few minutes, yeah? Till we get this a little more sorted out."
Gronk
 Party NPC, 87 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Thu 12 May 2016
at 00:26
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Gronk holds his hands up in mock surrender, his normally greyish cheeks flushing pomegranate red. "Sorry guys, I, eh, didn't mean to do that."

He steps carefully away from the panel and moves to the back of the room, giving the large stone table and its bevy of loose crystals a wide berth. He'll pull guard duty near the stairwells and let the educated folks work out what this weird place is/was.

-

This message was last edited by the player at 00:10, Fri 13 May 2016.

Raellus
 GM, 433 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Thu 12 May 2016
at 01:16
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Corros studies the papers strewn about atop the massive stone table. They're very old and very brittle, some of them starting to crumble at the slightest touch.

The young warlock is immediately sucked in. Numerous fragmentary references, written in several different hands, apparently across a considerable span of time, are laid out in front of him. It's essentially a puzzle, intriguing and utterly befuddling. As he pours over the pages, certain patterns begin to emerge. He picks out several mentions of The Planes among a sea of numbers and figures- calculations too advanced to make much sense of. There are also numerous references to something called The Weapon- theoretical treatises on how to create it, unleash it, control it. Exactly what this 'Weapon' is, however, is unclear. Most of the various processes described are beyond Corros' current level of comprehension. Someone with more experience in the arcane arts and sciences might be able to make more sense out of the documents.

Likewise, the crystals- Gronk has already demonstrated that they have power to make things happen; precisely what or how is not clear. Corros studies the materials for what seems like hours but, when he finally forces himself to look away from the papers, his companions haven't moved much from where they were standing when he began his investigation. In fact, everyone in the chamber is experiencing a somewhat distorted sense of time. There are physical manifestations of this phenomenon as well- all of the men notice that their beards are coming in noticeably faster than normal. It's very odd and fairly unnerving. So to is the deepening understanding that something truly terrible happened here, perhaps even the awful genesis of the event which levelled the city above the explorers' heads.

Would the wealthy, reclusive collector, Lovad Padin appreciate any of this jumble of esoteric academia? He expressed interest in the lives and fate of The Forgotten Ones (a title he claimed to have coined), so it's likely that he would. What of the crystals? They are presently coated in dust, but with some cleaning they'd probably be quite lovely. And, they serve some purpose here, more than simply decorative. How one might safely transport any of these items out of the underground complex and back to Balefyre is another difficult question that will need answering soon.


Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:21, Fri 13 May 2016.

Corros Graelor
 Adventurer, 241 posts
 Half-Elf Warlock
 keys138
Thu 12 May 2016
at 23:16
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

"They say it's a weapon," Corros says as his eyes come back to his present reality.  "Although who, what, or why they were fighting, or how they expected it to work is beyond me.  Maybe someone else could understand it, but not me."  He swallows, rubbing his cheeks, surprised by the unusual friction he feels there, shaving not something he has to do more than once a week or so.  Maybe the time slip isn't quite so figurative as he thought.

"I think we need to go and we should take some of this with us.  Maybe not to Padin, but somewhere we can study it a little closer.  I'm going to try a couple cantrips, mend some of these documents, then maybe try to pick one of these crystals on the table up.  I think maybe you guys should back out of here first, in case it goes boom.  Or maybe I go explody."



Corros
Cast Mending on some of the documents, Mage Hand to pick up the crystal

Jenna Drax
 Adventurer, 292 posts
 Human Cleric
 Dave Ross
Fri 13 May 2016
at 11:17
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
Jenna has walked over to where Corros is standing, peers over his shoulder at the various scraps of paper, which might as well be written in orcish for all the sense they make to her. The word 'weapon' is a source of concern to the Priestess though. "We don't know how powerful it is either." she says quietly. "I think we need to seriously consider the wisdom of handing any of this over to anyone." The slim blonde glances at the Warlock's cheek, the stubble that adorns it clearly visible. "Something isn't right here."

"Be careful" Her right hand rests on Corros' forearm for a moment before she withdraws, retracing her steps and walking back towards the stairs that they had used to enter this place.
Nicolai Romanelli
 Adventurer, 351 posts
 Human Rogue
 Tegyrius
Fri 13 May 2016
at 18:54
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones
"Agreed.  There's too much ancient destruction floating around this area and precious few people in Balefyre who I'd trust with a butter knife."  Nicolai frowns.  "A weapon.  A weapon.  Hm.  Might they have been trying to bind or summon the Sleeper?  This whole complex is a ring.  Are we standing at the invoker's position in a giant summoning circle?"
Gronk
 Party NPC, 88 posts
 Half-Orc Fighter
 Raellus
Fri 13 May 2016
at 23:47
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Gronk listens as his learned companions discuss their surroundings and the team's likely next steps. He wants to get the hells out of the obviously accursed Master Control, but he can see that his companions are in rough shape. Truth be told, he's not feeling too good himself.

-
Raellus
 GM, 436 posts
 Sage
 Raconteur
Sat 14 May 2016
at 16:29
Chapter 4: The City of the Forgotten Ones

Corros cleverly mends several of the more brittle documents with his magic and then carefully places them, along with several of the crystals, in his scroll case and pouches (?). To his great relief,  neither he nor the room explodes. The others look on, each experiencing a strange but powerful pang of envy. Why should Corros be the one to hold on to all of that obviously powerful knowledge? He clearly means to cut the others out and keep the spoils all to himself.

With black thoughts crowding into their minds, the Five descend the staircase to the large foyer. The sense of temporal dislocation is fainter here, as is the pervading taint of darkness. The wave of jealousy that came on so powerfully in the chamber above slowly recedes back into the depths of the subconscious. Exhausted by the physical and psychological toll of the last hour or so, the party rests for an hour or two, regaining a bit of health and vitality (consider all features restored by a short rest fully recharged; you may also spend hit dice to recover hit points if you wish to).

Today: Raellus, on behalf of Gronk, rolled 12 using 1d10+3 ((9)).

Feeling a little fresher, the party leaves the foyer and reenters the main shaft. Looking back to where they defeated what they suspect was Lovad Padin's originally expeditionary force, they notice that the bodies of the nothic and its two arachnoid minions are gone.

The Five push on into the unexplored half of the massive tunnel. Sure enough, it continues its gentle curve to the left, almost certainly confirming suspicions that the entire structure is laid out in a huge circle. About a quarter of an hour after leaving Master Control, the Five note a large fissure in the outer wall of the tunnel. It's taller than it is wide, but it looks like all five adventurers could fit inside quite comfortably. Hoping that the opening might serve as shelter for a longer, more restorative rest, the adventurers cautiously approach. At about thirty paces, Nic detects danger lurking in the inky darkness within the crevasse. He smells it rather than sees it- a sickening stench of decay and corruption. His warning comes just in time.

The creature lumbers forward, its attack lacking craft or subtlety. Three stout legs propel a bulky body, the color of sunburnt flesh, dominated by a huge, gaping mouth front and center. Three waving limbs stalks protrude from its back, two grasping tentacle-like appendages and one terminating in three glistening black orbs that are probably eyes. The monster makes directly for the party's point person (presumably Nic).


Your Turn.

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This message was last edited by the GM at 02:16, Sun 15 May 2016.