[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid.   Posted by The Strange.Group: 0
The Strange
 GM, 66 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 23:30
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
The remainder of the trip was thankfully quite uneventful -- no more scenes of gore or trauma, no further interruptions, although the tone was decidedly more somber going forward. Even your new, small companion, as yet not named by Jaida has remained relatively subdued outside of a few frantic minutes exploring the inside of the vehicle. For the most part, it was content to curl into Jaida's lap, issuing soft cooing noises.

The pyramid itself comes into view nearly half a day before you actually arrive at the city -- the geometrically perfect, triangular shape a scar of unnatural onyx against the sky. It is disturbing to look at -- it literally absorbs all light; where normally at least some light reflects, there is simply an absence, and the mind fights to reject what it doesn't expect to see.

As the day progresses, and the light begins to fade with the approaching dusk, you finally come to the city walls, on the northern side of the city. The walls are heavily weathered, practically crumbling, but reach up just below the lip of the floating pyramid above it, nearly flush with it. The walls show the remnants of once-glorious architectural design, with sweeping curves, overhangs, stylized windows... much now obscured by centuries of disuse. It's almost impossible to believe that this place has only been here for a few weeks.

As you approach the north entrance, you truly begin to get a feeling for the scale of this city-fortress -- for indeed there can be no doubt that this place was once just as designed for heavy fortification and defence as Labaryth. The squared city of stone stretches as far as the eye can see in either direction from the entrance, staggering in size, and nearly overwhelming if you look up at the pyramid above with its light-absorbing visage.

The details on the outer walls become even more clear now, every inch of it not already obscured by the clear degradation of time. There clearly was once a story there, and indeed you can already see priests of the Order outside, documenting what they can form the rubble. Faces, some human, some otherwise, some massive, and other beasts and creatures unimagined on display.

The Baron's forces are there, as well, a small group setting up a base camp near the open entrance itself. Stepping out of a large tent, a mountain of a man, easily seven feet in his impossibly-clean armor in the Baron's colors, approaches the group, grabbing a torch as he does. He calls out as your vehicle finally comes to a stop, encouraging you all to exit, "Come! Come! You're a few hours later than we were told to expect. Were you harried on the way here?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:50, Tue 04 Oct 2016.

Jaeda Swiftsteel
 player, 27 posts
 Intense Training
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 01:57
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
In reply to The Strange (msg # 1):

Jaeda is still at a loss for what to name the thing, though she's been spending a long time trying to puzzle out its species so that she can come up with something even marginally appropriate.

"Someone else was harried. We just ran into the remnants," Jaeda explains, rolling her neck around and stretching her legs as she swung her way out of the carriage.
Dexil Guilan
 player, 21 posts
 School of Hard Knocks
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 08:20
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Dexil followed, keen to get going and into the city and Pyramid even though he tried to not look at it directly too much. Despite himself he couldn't help but gaze at it occasionally; a fact that likely accounted for the headache and eyestrain.

"A family, probably traders, were attacked by hunters. Possibly automatons or with one in tow. They were long dead."

Rubbing the bridge of his nose he couldn't help another glance at the Pyramid; "So when can we get going?"
The Strange
 GM, 67 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Fri 7 Oct 2016
at 17:10
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
"Soon enough, I assure you," the armored man responses, shaking his head, "An attack, you say? I'll follow up on the details with your driver then, unless you have specifics you want to impart. I presume you left the scene untouched... the Baron's patrols likely won't be far behind you, so they'll be sure to find it."

Clapping his hands, he gets in closer to the cart, helping the last few passengers out. "You'll be able to get to your mission soon enough. Let me first introduce myself. Kae'leon the White. I lead this contingent, as well as the troops stationed at the center of the city, and each of the cardinal entrances. We are here to prevent any further incursions into the city by outside forces while you explore. We have basic rations available for you, as well as additional supplies as you might need then -- although anything aside from food and water, such as ammunition, lights, or the like we'll ask you to recur the costs for."

He looks back at the city, "For now, we call this beast The City in Shadow, as none of your fellow teams have reported finding a name for the blasted thing, yet." Once everyone is out of the vehicle, Kae'leon motions for everyone to follow him to the tent he previously exited. Inside, you find a small table, covered in maps, papers, and a random assortment of objects.

There is one specific map that he leads you all to come view, "This is a rough approximation of what we've been able to get back from the teams already at work. We're currently stationed at the northermost entrance... here. Our primary encampment has been set up in the central junction between the four quarters. This is where you can also resupply at need. Your assigned area of focus and exploration will be the southeastern quadrant, which we do not have an active team reviewing yet." He notes the other quadrants, which already have some information filled in. "This is a crude representation of the actual mapping that's been done -- the Order Scholars are handling the more fine-tuned maps. As you can see, though the layouts of each quadrant are somewhat... haphazard. We're not certain if there is a reason for this or not... but do not expect orderly, logical construction here."

He then looks to the group again, head tilted to the side, as if awaiting a response.

A base graphical representation of the map he shows you is here: http://i66.tinypic.com/28j9qv6.png -- it is also in the maps section of the wiki.

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

Taelan Faswell
 player, 25 posts
Sat 8 Oct 2016
at 22:54
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Taelan stayed silent as he climbed out of the carriage, tipping his hat down to protect his face, both from prying eyes and from the sun. He finds himself idly running the musical cloth through his fingers, enjoying the soft musical tones that occasionally come from it. Reaching the table with the maps he leans in, taking in the mostly uncharted area that they were being assigned. He sighed softly and looked to Kae'leon, a quizzical look on his face. "So, do we have any idea on what kind of unpleasantness might be waiting for us in there?"
The Strange
 GM, 68 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Fri 14 Oct 2016
at 23:59
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
For the main team.

Kae'leon looks over to Taelan, shaking his head slightly, "Not entirely, although the teams currently there have reported very few specifically human encounters. Looks like there may have been a greater human presence at one time, it was quite a long time ago. The occasional automaton or beast has been found, so you will certainly need to be on your guard, and expect to use violence if a peaceful resolution fails to be possible -- especially with the more predatory beasts."

At this point, he finally sees the little 'beast' in Jaeda's arms... and his eyes narrow. "Is that a Trinnet? Where in the Beyond did you find a green one?" His tone evidences a bit of shock that it's here... but he eventually dismisses it with a shake of the head. After a moment, he continues, "Just keep in mind your purpose here is not to answer every mystery of this place. We have a bevy of scholars ready to pour over every inch of this place once your and your teams of 'Fathers' or whatever they called you clean it out."

At this he leans down, grabbing a largish box made of synth. From the inside, he starts pulling out small bangles, segmented links that he hands out to each of you. Upon a closer look, there are five conical elements attached to the links, that appear easy to attach and remove from it. "These will help us follow you. We have the devices that connect to these... that will seek them out and map the area. Once you've cleared a corridor or room, place these and any of the errata you find that you think we'll pay for, and they come by, scan the room, and deliver those items back to us..."

For Tor the Younger

It's been nearly three months since the vision... since you began to follow the clues to find the city with a pyramid floating above it. You've followed several false leads, but two weeks ago, as you crossed the border of Ancuan, you learned of the City in Shadow, and of the efforts there. You've traveled from the upper northeast corner of the country, and perhaps only a day ago, the city finally came into view. It has been daunting to look at, to say the least.

Wisely, once you find the road toward the north entrance, you openly stride down it, watching as a large carriage pulled by an Aneen, a small group of indistinct strangers inside it that passes you, clearly approaching the city as well.

As you approach the city proper, you see the others depart the carriage, speak to an armored man, and enter a tent. There is a moment of dizziness, as you see the scene from your vision directly through your own eyes, these people are the ones you seek.

You, however, find yourself intercepted a moment later by four guards, "State your business! This area is under protection of the Baron of Labaryth, under the authority of the crown of Ancuan. All parties not approved are not allowed to approach..."

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:46, Thu 09 Feb 2017.

Daesa Lightspire
 player, 18 posts
Sat 15 Oct 2016
at 06:11
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
While Daesa might have been quiet for the rest of the ride, it doesn't mean that she wasn't paying attention.  She's watching the scenery as they pass it, memorizing their journey in cast they need the information later.  She was awed by the size of the pyramid, not having even imagined that it was this huge.

"Oh?  That's a Trinnet?  I'll have to make a note of that?  Are green ones really that rare?"  Leave it to Daesa to get excited about the green kitteny thing.

Though she hears a commotion over her shoulder and turns to look at it.  "Were were expecting someone else?"
Tor the Younger
 player, 2 posts
 A Unique Attitude
Sun 16 Oct 2016
at 19:46
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Focused as he was on the carriage and it's occupants, Tor is forced to stop rather abruptly by the four guardsmen in his path. He twitched, close to imperceptibly, and kept his hand away from coiled whip by his side. It would have been useless against four men anyway. Instead he twisted his face into something approaching a smile, "Although I am unexpected, I will not be unwelcome. Please inform the Baron I am here to venture below - an explorer of some small repute out of Stirthal who seeks to aid his expedition."

His smile gained a measure of honesty in it, "If you grant me but a moment with the young man from Castra's Town then he will vouch for me; it has been many years, but if you tell me that it is 'Karsha's teacher, who has seen what happened upon the Baron's Son's road' he may recall me..."
The Strange
 GM, 70 posts
 Many faces
 all the same.
Thu 3 Nov 2016
at 23:29
[IC] Episode 003: Beneath the Pyramid
Inside the Tent

Kae'leon tilts his head slightly, giving Daesa a long look, "Well... anything's possible, but I've never seen one. Then again, they're typically a rather dull race... usually fit for palace pets for the more docile types of owners rather than adventurers. Why anyone would bring one along is beyond me... but as long as you all earn your keep, it's no problem of..." He pauses, then, as there is some commotion outside.

Outside the Tent

The guards facing Tor shake their head, while one speaks, "Why would the Baron be here? He's safe away in Labaryth... it'll be his captain you'll speak to, if at all. Only those he has personally called out to are welcome within, per his word -- and you do not approach carrying his seal." Another turns, once Tor completes his request, walking quickly toward the open entrance to the tent.

"SIr!" He offers with a quick salute to Kae'leon, "We have a visitor. Claims to be from Stirthal, Malevich. Claims he's come for a man from 'Castra's Town' who will vouch for him, and that he is 'Karsha's teacher, who has seen what happened on the Baron's son's road', whatever that means. Do we dispatch him, sir? He seems intent on getting within the City proper."

Kael'leon shakes his head, "Not yet, but order your men to have their weapons at the ready." The captain turns his gaze back to the group, "This mean anything to any of you? A friend who didn't bother to meet the Baron?"

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