1.2 - Baobab.   Posted by The Herald.Group: 0
The Herald
 GM, 54 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Fri 2 Sep 2016
at 16:18
1.2 - Baobab
Your sleep continues without interruption, but calling it restful would be generous. Willian, as before, assumes the final watch and has taken on the task of burying your firepit and making preparations for the day ahead.

Between Bali's intuitions of the regional geology and an improvised dowsing tool which Reginard attunes to the exposed pipe, you make easy progress along the line. The trees around you bear the same faint marks of ancient cultivation. Their spacing becomes more regular, and despite ages of undergrowth and tree cycles the general make-up of an ancient forest city is unmistakable.

After hours of trekking, you reckon that you have entered the heart of the city. Concentric circles of outlying districts have been constricting upon this point, and you can trace the outline of what may have been a plaza so many years ago. Your imaginations run wild to think how it may have looked back then. Were the trees edifices or merely decoration? How many have been lost or grown together? Why are there no signs of stone buildings like the slab on the road?

At the center of it all is a titanic tree. It is not much taller than its surrounding brethren, but its girth is unlike anything you have ever conceived. Roots the size of elephants jut from its base by the dozens. A walk of the tree's full circumference alone takes over half an hour. From the ground, its top looks like a separate forest rooted in the canopy; seeing it from another distant treetop would give virtually no indication of the colossal woody bulk beneath.

The dowsing rod lost its use once the circles became obvious to the eye; innumerable lines must run through the grounds here ubiquitously. This place was the center of everything. Now, the question that faces you is how to proceed. Could you possibly climb such an impossible tree? Where in the world would you start excavating if you were to dig?

Most importantly, are you alone here?
Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 24 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Thu 8 Sep 2016
at 13:32
1.2 - Baobab
Reginard emits a controlled excitement as they follow the dowsing rod, pointing out interesting Elven archaeological facts to any who listen. The group's arrival in what must be the ancient city's centre heralds a long period of silent inspection by the noble, who instructs Willian to look for Elven signs while Reginard examines the central tree.

His disinterest in securing the site against potential attackers seems to be a mark of respect to his entourage, leaving them to ensure that Reginard's work will not be disturbed.

13:31, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 8 using 1d20+1.  Tree inspection.

OOC: Did Reginard use up the dowsing rod cypher?
Blackstone
 A Monster, 40 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Fri 9 Sep 2016
at 14:43
1.2 - Baobab
"Are we pitching camp here, or are you hoping to find some way into this tree? This tree is the ruins right?" Blackstone drops the groups kit, and extricates the shovel from the pack. He looks around for anymore of the lines that are near the surface that could be uncovered more.


09:41, Today: Blackstone rolled 8 using 1d20 ((8)) to find the pipes or a particular pattern in what is peaking through the surface.
The Herald
 GM, 58 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Mon 12 Sep 2016
at 19:47
1.2 - Baobab
Sorry to use a cypher without your consent, but you'll get a new one very shortly.

The ground beneath your feet is more plumbing than earth, if the dowsing rod was any indication before it splintered from trying to point at a hundred pipes at once. Any place that you dig is likely to yield something, though they may be significantly deeper here, or hidden under other layers of debris.

The tree itself is so knotted and overgrown that it defies typical botany. Magic is plainly part of the tree's history, but beyond that you can only speculate. As big as the roots are, you may have better luck exploring from the upper canopy. The heart of your map is, as best you can guess, inside the tree, or maybe below it. 

Exits are Under, Over, or Through, if you can tell me how you'll pursue those options.
Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 35 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Thu 15 Sep 2016
at 00:26
1.2 - Baobab
The low cleric wastes no time complaining yet again about how everything seems to be a  NO message from the gods writ large. The ground is marked by their touch, something that rarely bodes fair. Still, all the buried plumbing speaks of builders, and builders build on stone. Unless the elves managed to make mortar for wood, that is. Which could very well be: there is no trusting them. No offense meant to our companion, thinks Bali, right before reflecting that Lothi cannot really hear her.
Anyway, the methodic effort of the search goes on. She can feel something very, very near, below her. A hall, perhaps? But how to get there? Perhaps that fold in the trunk?

Bali Balsdottir rolled 14 using 1d20.  Searching for foundations. Asset?: stone sensing.
Lothi
 An Elf, 40 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Sun 18 Sep 2016
at 04:23
1.2 - Baobab
Despite a restless and emotional night, and a surly morning, Lothi seems energized this morning. Perhaps it's the trees - a living ancestral heritage? It's unclear.

What is clear is that trees go up. So Lothi goes up too. She starts to look for handholds, and makes whatever progress she can up the huge tree. Maybe from above she can find an entrance. The tree proves more difficult than it first appeared, however...

Rolled a 13 on my nightly recovery roll, so I'm back to max. Rolled a 4 on my Climbing check, with a level of effort and training. Rolled a 6 on my Perception check, with training.

M:13/15. S:18/18. I:11/11

This message was last edited by the player at 17:02, Sun 18 Sept 2016.

Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 26 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Sun 18 Sep 2016
at 18:03
1.2 - Baobab
Reginard takes a few minutes to recover from the exertions of travel, watching his companions busy themselves with exploring the immense tree. A thought occurs to him, and he shares it with the group. "Elves are mountain-dwelling tribal people in the present day. However, the presence of elven artifacts here - magic woven into the very fabric of the jungle - suggests a great geological shift or a massive cultural change that caused the elves to abandon the trees. What kind of calamity must have passed to change the way in which the elves lived? Perhaps this is tied to the jewelled staff we need to find."

The lycanthropic elf's awkward attempts to climb the tree seem to underline what Reginard was saying earlier about elves abandoning trees. He sighs and pulls out a scroll, handing it to Lothi. "This spell should carry you up into the boughs. Once there, tie some rope to a branch and help up the others. Take a look around once that is done - we need to identify a defensible camp site and I want to make sure we get a good night's rest given our recent endeavours." He casts his gaze around, suddenly uneasy with the feeling that they are being observed. "I have a feeling the young shape-changing elf may have been the first of several we will encounter.

OOC: Recovery roll - 1 action.
17:37, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 6 using 1d6+3.
17:59, Today: Reginard Wrane the IV rolled 8 using 1d20+1.  Perception.

Lothi can use the following to scout out the canopy, as Reginard's perception and general adventuring skills are pathetic:
| Favor of the Wind |^ n/a | The wind owes you a favor, and will let you leap up to 30 feet into the air and land safely, at which point its debt is paid.  |

The Herald
 GM, 60 posts
 Gigantic Melancholies &
 Gigantic Mirth
Mon 19 Sep 2016
at 15:14
1.2 - Baobab
Bali examines the ground for a good distance around the base of the tree. While there is significant amount of topsoil and humus obscuring the underlying geology, she concludes with some confidence that the tree is enveloping something immense. Short of monstrous badgers, digging a way in from below seems unlikely. Lothi attempts to climb, but finds the surface of the tree uncooperatively smooth, and the giant knots too far apart to use as handholds.

As Reginard reads the scroll, the air replies, and a powerful gale tosses Lothi into the air. The canopy isn't exactly flat, but she finds herself deposited on a stout branch. She walks along it with the unerring balance of the elves, and drops a rope down to the rest. Blackstone is the first to ascend, and takes over the labor of hauling up the remaining supplies and people.

You turn to look inside the great wooden wall, and are astonished to see a labyrinth of trees. Large walls of bark have grown between the trees, forming a true labyrinth where were only singular trees. Causeways and shelters protrude from the sides of trees at varying elevations, as if grown over centuries by tending and molding the growth of the trees. Many of them are bulging nodules, overgrown over unmeasured time without their curators, but a surprising majority of them look to have been kept pristine. Some of them sport trellises thick with vines which bear hundreds of shiny orange berries.

You have secure footing, and the walkways are navigable without need for balance or athletics rolls unless you want to rappel to the forest floor. It's early afternoon, so you have many hours of daylight left to explore the canopy, walk the mid-level outcroppings, or search for a way to explore the labyrinth at ground level.
Lothi
 An Elf, 42 posts
 Doomed Adventurer Who
 Howls at the Moon
Mon 19 Sep 2016
at 15:39
1.2 - Baobab
Lothi moves across the branches with disgusting ease, even casually drawing her bow from her back mid-step and without slowing. She places a pair of arrows in her bow hand as well - she is ready if it proves necessary.

Since her feet are sure, her eyes are free to search. She watches for any signs of predators, and for any way to reach the labyrinth.

I rolled an 8 on Perception. I am trained and spent 1 level of Effort on the task. I am not rolling great today.

M:13/15. S:18/18. I:8/11

Blackstone
 A Monster, 42 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Mon 19 Sep 2016
at 16:32
1.2 - Baobab
Being back in a city, even one built of living wood and not stone, gives Blackstone a bit of comfort deserted as it may be. He hoists the supplies back on his shoulders and sets out following Lothi, with almost as much ease just not nearly as much grace.

He keeps his eyes open for a place to set up camp. Somewhere out of the way, but easy to see any who approach. Somewhere easily fortified, but with a means of escape. His memory flashes back to all the times the royal guard made their raids of the squatter dens through out every city he's stayed in.

"Do we want high ground, so we can see anything that might approach us, or somewhere on the ground where we can get solid walls at our backs. If this place is truly abandoned we could probably just claim one of these homes as our own.



Blackstone rolled a 17 on a perception looking for a new campsite.
Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 36 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 17:30
1.2 - Baobab
 It hurts more when you fall from great heights. Don't climb where you have no business being, my da used to say. I don't like great heights. I like depths. What we seek is under this giant, not up here. I'd say we try for a way into the depths. I like Blackstone's suggestion of a solid wall at our backs.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:10, Wed 21 Sept 2016.

Reginard Wrane the IV
 A Noble, 27 posts
 Noble Human Speaker
 Who Siphons Power
Wed 21 Sep 2016
at 06:23
1.2 - Baobab
"We have several hours until dark, and we have not yet identified a good spot to camp in these lofty boughs," Reginard muses. "And if Bali believes there is an edifice below us, we should see if there is any way to access it from here. Let us explore in this general vicinity, then. We are looking for a potential secure camp site and any way down into the roots of this tree. Do not venture out of earshot of the others, or too far into the labyrinth. We return with our findings in an hour." Reginard and Willian make their way to examine the mid-level outcroppings.
Bali Balsdottir
 A Dwarf, 37 posts
 Dwarf Warrior Who
 Channels Divine Blessings
Wed 21 Sep 2016
at 13:15
1.2 - Baobab
Wait up, sire. The proper minimum number of people in a group exploring the dark should be at least three. Let me go with you.
The "...and I trust Lothi and Blackstone to handle themselves in battle more than you two" is implied. Bali starts descending slowly after them.
Blackstone
 A Monster, 43 posts
 Hideous Explorer Who
 Needs No Weapon
Wed 21 Sep 2016
at 13:40
1.2 - Baobab
Tunnels and sewers are good for hiding, and rooftops are good for watching. Be cautious, in every major city there's nearly as much happening in the tunnels and sewers beneath the streets as above it, and those down there tend to be far more territorial. If anyone is still living in this city that makes US the invaders. Let's wait for Miss Lothi to get back from her search for traces of life before we trespass any further.

Blackstone rests his pack at his feet while he sits on a bench, grown and shaped from the heavy tree branches making up the walkway beneath it. He squints in the sun, and pulls the hood of his tattered traveling cloak over his head. The sun isn't THAT oppressive, surely if someone were to remain they would be out and about during the day.