[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid.   Posted by The Strange.Group: 0
Tor the Younger
 player, 4 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Fri 4 Nov 2016
at 22:55
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
His smile fading a little at news of the Baron's absence, Tor nonetheless took an easy stance between the three remaining guardsmen. He folded his arms across his chest, studying them
Taelan Faswell
 player, 26 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Sat 5 Nov 2016
at 05:37
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Taelan nods softly to Kae'leon at his assessment of the mysteries surrounding the potential threats they face in the city before smiling softly, amused by the man's and Daesa's excitement regarding the newly identified Trinnet. He had no plans on getting over attached to the little moving fluff ball but was slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea of it being around. He wondered if there was any real purpose in bringing it into the city and whether they should instead ask to leave it here where it won't come to harm. He accepts the small bangle that is handed to him and looks it over before slipping it into one of his many coat pockets, not really investing much interest into the finer workings of the device. He is about to inquire what else they may have learned about this 'Fathers' connection when the guard enters the tent.

In a matter of seconds Taelan's expression rapidly shifts several times. At first he is immediately on the defensive, his right hand slipping back into his coat to rest upon the hilt of his weapon at the mention of Malevich and 'Castra's Town'. At the mention of 'Karsha's teacher' and 'Baron's son's road' his eyes go wide in shock and confusion, his mouth opening slightly as he stares at the guard in astonishment. He barely registers the captain's question before he shakes his head in disbelief and rushes past the guard almost shoving him out of his way, muttering to himself, "You have got to be kidding me..."

Once outside he looks around rapidly, trying to spot the man the guard had come to talk to them about. He finally spots him and freezes, one hand still tightly wrapped around the hilt. He stares for several silent, awkward seconds before he speaks in a shaky voice. "T-Tor? What... How?"
Tor the Younger
 player, 5 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sun 6 Nov 2016
at 21:45
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
"Justice and Mercy", mumbled the older man, unfolding his arms but not before a sharp-eyed observer might notice a faint glow from the inked letters upon his knuckles. One hand glowed a shade more than the other, 'JSTC'. He stood silently, observing his ex-student for a moment, before slowly grasping the boy's shoulders, "You carry a gift, taken from a man slain by bandits. You, too, are called Father and travel with others named so. All childless, seeking the Mother..."

He fell silent, removed his hands as he looked into the other's eyes

This message was last edited by the player at 21:45, Sun 06 Nov 2016.

Daesa Lightspire
 player, 20 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Tue 15 Nov 2016
at 01:59
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Daesa is confused, which is nothing new to say the least.  However she watches Taelan's reaction to this new arrival and that does not help to remove any confusion that she has.  Her eyes narrow for a moment as she tries to get a better look at his face from afar.  "Will he be joining us too?  I mean I am sure we have room, but I didn't buy an extra bedroll.  He might have to sleep on the ground."  She says with a slow nod.
Taelan Faswell
 player, 27 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Tue 15 Nov 2016
at 02:22
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Taelan flinched slightly at Tor's little phrase and clenched his left hand so hard the leather of his gloved creaked from the strain. His brow furrowed in instinctive annoyance as he looked to the glowing marks on the man's knuckles. Closing his eyes for a second he took a deep breath, obviously not as fond of the saying as Tor was. He looked at him confused as he spoke, taken aback. He opens his mouth to speak before he flinches again, taken off guard by something. He glances over his shoulder, giving Daesa a strange look. "I don't know a lot of people... that's why this is so strange..." He turned back and met Tor's look, he face stern and defensive. "What are you doing here? And how did you know I'd be here?"
Tor the Younger
 player, 6 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 15 Nov 2016
at 12:21
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Keeping his face impassive, Tor's own eyes narrow slightly at the young man's anger - though his expression is one of sympathetic resignation rather than anger of his own. He nodded, once, at Taelan's remarks to the young woman and waits for him to speak before speaking further himself

"Do you remember the trips I made into the Void Chasm, the teaching ones and the ones I made on my own for the thrill of it?", he began, though he continued on quickly enough that it was clear an answer was not expected.

"After ... After you left, I felt drawn to make another. North of Stirthal, close to the Baron's son's road. I found the source of the Gift there, found the one who it had been stolen from. It showed me this place. You five. It tasked me to come here, a missing part of the puzzle... And so I came"

Shrugging, the older man was clearly ill-at-ease himself, "It showed me other truths too, ones I would remedy if you wished to return home. Justice, true justice..." he trailed off uncertainly.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:42, Tue 15 Nov 2016.

Daesa Lightspire
 player, 21 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 05:08
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Daesa stares at the new arrival as he starts making absolutely no sense.  "Ehm.  That's great and all, but how is that going to fix our pyramid problem?"  Gesturing to the giant structure above them, she raises her brows.  "Because that's what we're getting paid for.  Pyramid problems."  She'll look back to Taelan when he answers her verbally and shakes her head at him.
Jaeda Swiftsteel
 player, 28 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 05:43
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Jaeda spends a moment rigging a sort of sling out of one of her shirts for the Trinnet to ride in. "Alright, Puffball, you just stay there and try not to get stabbed," she murmurs. Then she saunters out to see the commotion going on, coming up alongside Daesa.

"It might be good to get started on said pyramid problems," she points out. "I'm not one for mysticism, nor one for coincidences. However," and here she gives a smile in the hopes of taking any potential perceived sting out of her words. "Surely any answers we may all wish to seek lies, happily and fortuitously, in the task now at hand. They certainly aren't out here."
Taelan Faswell
 player, 28 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 06:57
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Taelan's eyes narrowed at Tor's words and he shook his head, obviously confused. "That was almost a decade ago. Have you been seeking me all that time?" He watches the older man for a second before asking a question. "You spoke with the Castro family? Are you here to find me on their behalf?" He shook his head again, obviously on edge as his companions spoke up though he never broke eye contact. With a heavy sigh he finally turned and looked towards the pyramid. Considering the giant structure for a moment he nodded and looked to Jaeda and Daesa. "Perhaps you're right. I for one am tired of all these damned coincidences and I think the answers are somewhere in there."

He turned and gave Tor one last look. "There is nothing for me at home and if you saw what happened you would know that. Our people commonly yammer on about Justice but always forget about Mercy." His left hand tensed again and he turned to look towards Kae'leon. "Let him come with us. He seems to know something of this Father business and may be of aid." His paranoia and obvious temper in this moment made it clear he wanted to cast Tor away but in a moment of clarity he realized there is much Taelan needed to know that Tor might have the answer for. Clearly still on edge he shot Daesa a sideways look.
Tor the Younger
 player, 7 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 07:43
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
"No-one in Stirthal knows I am here", answered the teacher, "Not the Baron nor any of the Castros". He hung his head for a moment, before looking up once more, "I put off the call I felt for many months, years. It was only two months back I found out these things..."

He makes no move to shift from his spot, clearly uncomfortable, though he stands with his back straight and his gaze steady
Daesa Lightspire
 player, 22 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 15:11
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Daesa widens her eyes at Taelan, and gives him one brief nod before she turns away from him. She moves inspect her gear and get it ready to go.  Once that is done she'll head to the map, doing her best to memorize it while they wait.
The Strange
 GM, 71 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 17 Nov 2016
at 00:46
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Following the others out, and motioning one of the soldiers to stay in the tent with those who either stay or return, Kae'leon watches the interchange with narrowed eyes. He specifically gives close attention to Taelan's reactions when the newcomer touches the younger man.

As Daesa heads back to the tent and table, he clears his throat. "The mention of mothers and fathers is enough in itself to show this man has at least some connection -- that's not information we've allowed to spread... although Children is a new wrinkle. If Taelan wishes to vouch for him, and take responsibility for his actions, I'll allow him to join. However, he is not on the Baron's payroll, and so your payment pool will not increase as a result of him joining you. It'll be up to you what, if anything, he walks away with."

A shake of the head later, and he turns about face, and heads back to the tent, calling back behind him, "You've got the tracers. We'll periodically retrieve those, and then use the tracker birds to get them back to you." Once the group reconvenes in the tent, he points to the map Daesa has been studying, "We have a base camp in the center intersection, which is where you can rest at need if you do not feel safe resting within the ruins on your own. You can start the search of your quadrant from the north or western entrance, your choice.  That, or you need to restock on light sources. It is... preternaturally dark in the city... once you're a few hundred yards in, no light makes it in from the outside."

He then pauses, looking about, "Do not be caught without a light source. Getting lost here would likely be a death sentence. If you have any further questions, please let me know, or we can proceed to the City."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:52, Fri 18 Nov 2016.

Tor the Younger
 player, 8 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Sat 19 Nov 2016
at 22:40
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
"Do you", asked Tor softly, as Kae'leon walked back into the tent
Dexil Guilan
 player, 23 posts
 Jack
 School of Hard Knocks
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 09:36
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Dexil was puzzled;

"Why is being caught in the dark a death sentence? If there's no inhabitants and nothing residing there what is in the dark to worry about? I take it that there is something? Spirits, numenera guardians or something?"

Dexil hadn't been a child who'd ever been afraid of the dark, the absence of light wasn't something he'd ever witnessed as causing concern amongst the beings he'd grown up with - what does an automaton fear from darkness itself?
Taelan Faswell
 player, 29 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 17:23
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Taelan watches Daesa for a second before frowning, shaking his head with a heavy sigh. Without looking back at Tor Taelan went back into the tent, appearing impatient. He nodded towards Kae'lon, "If that is what is required, yes I will vouch for him. For now... We shall see if that continues as we travel through."

As Dexil asks his question he turns to look at him, raising an eyebrow. "I'm assuming it's more a worry that if we lose our light source it will become impossible to navigate in the pitch darkness, effectively leaving us trapped."
The Strange
 GM, 74 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 17:53
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
As the remainder of the team convene back in the tent, Kae'leon looks around, tilting his head slightly at Dexil's question, "You must be new to adventuring. Taelan has the right of it. This is not just darkness. This is a pure lack of light -- you'll find even your own light sources will be muted. The pyramid seems to mute any and all sources of light near it. We are talking here about an aging, decrepit, crumbling ruin, littered with evidences of an ancient civilization, broken automata, and the like. Already there has been some report of hostiles, living and machine, who do not need to see to navigate the relative maze of the city within. If you lose your light source, you will be lost. We cannot guarantee we'll be able, or willing, to expend the resources to come find you until another team can finish clearing out your quadrant."


He lets that sink in, another reminder of the 'throwaway' nature of the team. "Now, do you have any additional questions?"
Tor the Younger
 player, 9 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 22:50
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Sparing but a glance for the guards to ensure he wasn't presuming too much, Tor followed the others back into the tent with a weary pace. He paused at the entrance flap, taking in the maps and other accoutrements of the place. Satisfied and seemingly unconcerned he took a further moment to study those he imagined to be companions on the road.

Dressed simply and of average appearance, it is only his eyes that mark him apart from those not found on that same road: penetrating and full of determination, they sparkled with a barely concealed excitement. Upon one hip the traditional weapon of his people - a sisk - hung, and on the other coiled a hide whip. All of his worldly possessions sat in a pack upon his back.

With a slightly forced smile, he ventured towards the rest of them and - once Kae'leon's warning had been delivered, offered a hand to those he had not yet spoken too: "Tor, called the Younger on account of my father, once Taelan's teacher.. though it was a Child who sent me here..."

He paused, hesitating before saying any more with a look at those not named Father who yet stood in the tent

This message was last edited by the player at 06:27, Wed 23 Nov 2016.

Daesa Lightspire
 player, 23 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Wed 23 Nov 2016
at 00:17
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Daesa watches as the rest of the party joins the tent.  "He's vouched for, as for his payment we will wait to see how useful he will be in the pyramid."  Her tone is a little more serious than it has been on this trip.  Perhaps it is the realization that they are disposable, or perhaps it is something else.  Either way she looks back to Kae'leon and nods her head.  "I have secured several light sources for the group, so long as we don't spend more than a month down there, I believe we should be safe.  I say we move in from the north, than work our way south."  She does not at all look at Taelan as he enters, instead she focuses on getting her pack set and ready to go.
The Strange
 GM, 75 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 13 Dec 2016
at 22:29
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
The air hangs heavy with silence after the Captain's question goes unanswered, finally broken first by Tor, and then by Daesa's statements, "North it'll be then." He smiles as Daesa, nodding to her slightly as she takes the more decisive stance. Turning then toward Tor, "There's too much information to provide you, but since you say a 'Child' sent you here, and we know the Baron did not, know that this city was not here even a season ago... this was once grazeland. We don't know its purpose, and your fellow 'fathers' were hired to explore the city itself, with incentive to find and entrance to the pyramid. We're not asking for you to enter the structure itself -- we'll likely hire more seasoned adventurers to do that."

The man lets out a slow release of air before continuing, "Of course, any evidence as to what the Mother is, why you are called 'Fathers', and... if your statement is true, what the Children are... will be appreciated and compensated for as well. Your fellows are also charged with gathering together any minutia you find for our collectors to gather after the fact, for which they will be compensated." Another armband is grabbed, and tossed to the newcomer. "Just place one of the beacons with a collection of your finds, and our collectors will gather them in time while mapping the areas you've cleared. Between the six of you, you should have plenty of beacons. Our tracker birds will return them to you at length."

"Now come... we'll get you to the camp, let you rest the night, provision up, and then you can get to work."

And with that, he heads out of the tent once more, walking toward the city proper.

----

The weight of the darkness is immediate, once the group passes the threshold of the city entrance. The inky black is immediate, even pressing in on those sources of light being used both by your escort, and those working along the edges of the unnatural walkway you find yourselves walking down, as if it wants to suppress and extinguish them.

The walkway is built of a broken sort of cobblestone, well-worn and dirt-strewn with ages of disuse only recently disturbed. Piles of rubble line the outer edges, clearly sorted through and stacked according to type. Metal, stone, earth, and other ancient rubble is all here. Occasionally you pass a group of researchers around an odd hunk of metal; measuring, documenting, recording their findings.

The walls on either side go up fully into impenetrable blackness, as if resting against the massive structure above. What you can see of them suggests a purposefully-built city. Doorways, windows, and the like dot them at irregular intervals, long-since destroyed, at times clearly caved in, but suggesting this may have once been a place of both residence and commerce. No signage remains, nor even evidence that it was once offered.

The Captain is silent as you walk, intent to get the lot of you to the center.

Within Jaeda's arms, Puffball's eyes are larger than even before, a slight shiver that comes from something other than cold taking hold of him, before he does his best to burrow into a bit of protective cloth.

About halfway through the walk to the center, two arches can be seen to the east and west, leading a short way into more darkness. As you pass, three small spider-like automatons about the size of a human fist, with large bowls on their back walk out of the archway, speeding past you toward the center, their bowls filled with odd errata... very clearly various collected cyphers. Behind them is a two-foot-tall bipedal automaton, interacting with two of the small, mechanical 'birds' that originally summoned the initial five of this group. To the birds it passes each two of the beacons you each have been given, before they go flying back through the archway, into the darkness beyond.

Ahead, slowly, the lights of the center encampment can be seen as you continue.

OOC:
Any conversation you folks want to have, conversation with each other, etc, before we reach the central encampment for the night, feel free to have it here. This Episode is effectively closing, and the next will start with our foray into your quarter of the maze. General rations will be gathered in the encampment at no cost to you, meaning we will not worry about you folks being able to eat during the next episode. However if there is anything you might want to purchase, let me know. Understand it will be at a premium, of course. You will have a chance to take a full rest (and recover all pool points) before the next episode begins.

Also, you may be asked to make a roll here -- please use the in-game dice roller, and mark it as private if you do.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:44, Thu 09 Feb 2017.

Daesa Lightspire
 player, 24 posts
 Nano
 Psionic
Mon 19 Dec 2016
at 17:34
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Daesa is very quiet as they walk to the pyramid.  While she was warned that it would be dark, she didn't expect it to be as dark as it is.  Even the expensive light source does little to push it away.  The heaviness of the situation presses down on her, but she still does her best to take in what surrounding they can see.  Unless interrupted, she'll remain in what appears to be a quiet contemplation.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:54, Mon 19 Dec 2016.

Tor the Younger
 player, 10 posts
 Seeker
 A Unique Attitude
Wed 28 Dec 2016
at 22:02
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Catching the armband easily, Tor took a moment to study it before fastening it to his upper arm as they walked up to the camp. He kept his silence as they walked, studying the site and the flotsam and jetsam and other discards. With the welcome shown him thus far he kept his own counsel, for now.
Taelan Faswell
 player, 30 posts
 Jack
 Fugitive
Wed 28 Dec 2016
at 22:32
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
To say Taelan was distracted in the moment would be a monumental understatement. The weapon attached to his belt that had been tucked under his coat up until this point had been shifted and brought to rest still sheathed on the side of his hip. A gloved hand gripped its pommel at all times, showcasing the man's general sense of unease and tension about the situation he now found himself in. He started to wonder whether all this was worth the rewards they had been promised, but the questions that had been raised in his mind and the potential answers that hid in this city kept him marching forward, silent and cross looking.
Jaeda Swiftsteel
 player, 29 posts
 Glaive
 Intense Training
Thu 5 Jan 2017
at 05:13
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Hearing this about the darkness, Jaeda resolved to grab a couple more light sources at the central encampment. She was not new to adventuring, but she privately admitted she hadn't given that any thought...most of her "adventures" had hithertofor taken place in vastly different circumstances, where basics like light had, indeed, not been much of a concern.

She scritched Puffball's head gently, appreciative of his efforts as she made her way inside. Her brow was furrowed in thought. She did spare him a moment to silently tell him he could stay at the camp if he wished; she'd leave him with food and warmth...he didn't have to go all the way to the dark and dangerous place she intended to go poke around in. He was welcome to stay as well, but...she didn't know how safe he'd be.

She'd indeed stayed silent through all the back and forth, and she actually had little to say now...the area did not lend itself to small talk. But she remained alert, feeling as though even the walk to the camp was rife with certain dangers...

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:29, Thu 05 Jan 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 77 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Mon 9 Jan 2017
at 04:49
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
The walk is relatively quiet, although as you get closer to the center of the city, and the sounds of the outdoors slowly ebb away, an underlying hum develops that is less audible, and more felt. It seems to reverberate throughout the cobbled streets below you, and resonate in the fading walls around you.

The group of you are led to a large tent, which has been set aside for you. With the addition or Tor to the group, it's a bit of a smaller fit that likely was originally intended, but as long as no one needs immediate privacy, you should be fine.

Upon meeting the quartermaster, he begrudgingly advises Jaeda that he can offer additional torches for a shin apiece. He apologizes when asked about glow-globes; apparently the last team cleaned him out... and the trader they had scheduled to bring him more supplies had unfortunately never come.

The night itself goes entirely without incident, and after several nights on the road, is remarkably restful, even with the cramped spaces. Everyone seems relatively quiet, however, considering the unknown of the day ahead, especially considering Taelan's clear discomfit at the presence of Tor, and whatever the connection to the past is there.

Puffball clearly has developed a connection to Jaeda, although it makes a point to slip out its legs, and greet each member of the party, nuzzling a foot first, and licking out at a hand second if the party member allows it. During the night, it seems to "patrol" the tent, checking each member with the occasional touch of soft fur against skin, before moving on the next person. It is only several hours into the night before it finally settles into a light sleep, perched atop Jaeda's hip.

As there is no natural light, time passes slowly, without any real means to actually track its passage. Through the night, the general hum you've all felt slowly becomes more clear in source. Several different sources seemed to send out discordant pulse... some hidden machinery hidden deep within the city itself... for any who have explored ruins before, a very familiar thing -- but also a promise of the unknown to come.

OOC:
You all get a full rest's worth of sleep. All spent/damaged pool points are restored. I've updated all your character sheets.

Any talk you want to have before bed, have here. After waking will be a new thread.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:45, Thu 09 Feb 2017.

The Strange
 GM, 78 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 24 Jan 2017
at 17:22
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
OOC:
As there have been no replies to my last post, I will presume the night went quietly, without conversation. Closing this thread.

XP Awards: 1 XP to all characters (with the exception of Lofwyr, who has been exceedingly quiet this entire time due to his player's absence)

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:47, Thu 09 Feb 2017.