Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«8 »
  • Locked thread
StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0->30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

"If we're only chosen by virtue of being the last few standing, then, well, I'll try my best to be equal to the task."

I feel like I'm striking flint and the sparks aren't catching, but ~magically~. "And, um, sort of, I think. I am untrained, and lack the vocabulary to properly discuss things ethereal. I don't even know if we perceive it the same way. Can you feel that there's sort of a, um, medium, that can feel in some ways like water, and wind, and fire all at once? I feel like I'm trying to hold up a sail that Alarai has given me, but it's floppy and deflated in the turbulence of this place. Do you think you could help me by, like... holding it steady? Either my artifice, or the medium around it. I, at least, feel like I can sort of reach out and swirl the ether around."

I glance to the several non-wizards assembled, and say, "Sorry, I can't think of a way to phrase any of it that sounds more sane."

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


Venner
HP: 20/20 Armor: 1 Luck: 14/14 Poison 3/3 Throwing Knives: 3/3 Flask: 5/5 Hanging Rope: 2/2 Souls: 0

"Well, picked by the gods or not, here we are; nowhere to go but forward I suppose. I'll leave the big questions to the priests and philosophers." Venner occupies himself with the scorpion tail as Odessa is lowered into the well, pausing only to touch his fingers to his head in a small salute to the dead thief.

When he figures out how he might theoretically put the gland to use Venner smiles and stands up, satisfied with himself. He turns to Agieros, "Well, big man, it's not venom at all, so your honor will go unblemished if I can make something out of it." Venner brushes the dust from his pants, "and I think I can, it's all a matter of not getting burnt. Normally I'd say a thick pair of forge gloves, but given the way it melted through Dominick's armor, I don't think those will do the trick." He glances over to Ysolde, "maybe the wizard knows a spell?"

Venner trails off as he tries to focus and remember more about the alchemists' procedures, hoping to uncover the precise properties of the ashy substance they used to protect their hands and whether or not he could make it for himself.

Discern Reality: 2d6: 5 Science is hard!

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 24/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 0 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

"I wish I did," Ysolde replies to Venner, even as she's still clearly considering Odessa's problem. "I know how to conjure a sort of... well, 'Unseen Servant,' they call it? An extra pair of hands to carry things, mostly, but it can't do anything more than carry what you give it. Can't even pick things up on its own, let alone do anything complicated with them. It could haul your stuff, but it can't do the dirty work."

She falls silent for a few moments, evidently considering Odessa's statement. "... A little sense. It's not the same, but... powers that have to be made to work, yes. I think I see. Let me try something?" She closes her eyes and tries to force her own magic to align with the field of what Odessa's trying to accomplish. The power... really isn't quite the same, almost to her surprise -- she assumed that magic was magic, and whether it came from a god or study or blood was just cosmetic, but there really is an unusual tinge to the weave of Odessa's spell, something reminiscent of the one brief night that Ysolde saw stars. Yet nonetheless...

A tiny push of power, there, like a piece of tinder into the fire, and perhaps Odessa's spell might yet catch.

Aid Odessa: 2d6+1 11
That should knock the Cast a Spell to 7. Maybe a little much for a rote, but JOLLY CO-OPERATION!

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3/3 Souls: 7 Luck: 5/7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Shears: 2/2

I reply to Venner: "That's a relief. The philosophers frowned upon using poison. I'm unsure what they would have thought about lava glands. Fire arrows are acceptable, if you absolutely must strike from afar, so I think this is okay, too?"

When I see Ysolde and Odessa work their magic together, I curiously peek over Ysolde's shoulder. "Remarkable," I say. "I hadn't given it a thought when we were in combat, but such arcane feats are reserved for Goldborn. Perhaps you two are unwittingly touched by the gods?" A hint of inadequacy flares up somewhere in the back of my mind, but I suppress it immediately. If fate brought me here, then a Bronzeborn like myself has a part to play in the coming events.

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2016 around 11:43

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Venner, you have nothing to work with: no tools, no ingredients, and crucially no recipe. The only place you can imagine finding all of those is Port Hope, but the alchemists there are wary enough to encrypt all their manuals and loyal enough to their clients to be willing to take their supplies and methods to the grave. Worse, they have reasons not to trust you, tell us what it is?

Odessa and Ysolde, together you are able to create a magical light to help you illuminate the well far better than the dim torches, fixed fast in their sconces anyway, but this Light is born of two magics, and unusual to both of you. Tell us how so.

You see that before the ladder runs out of length, the wall of the well is pitted by the the spikes that were wrenched out by the descent of the circular stone. The gashes are deep enough to serve as foot and hand holds and go all the way to the bottom, where you can see the iron grate and the opening of a horizontal tunnel leading in the direction of the Pestilential Gulch.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


slydingdoor posted:

Venner, you have nothing to work with: no tools, no ingredients, and crucially no recipe. The only place you can imagine finding all of those is Port Hope, but the alchemists there are wary enough to encrypt all their manuals and loyal enough to their clients to be willing to take their supplies and methods to the grave. Worse, they have reasons not to trust you, tell us what it is?
Soul Bank: 220

I double sold a shipment once, breaking a thieves' contract with Darius, the vice-master of the poisoners' guild. Quiet Whisper is a powerful narcotic in high demand with alchemists for use in sleeping potions and poisons. It also has more recreational uses. It comes from a plant that grows in a land far from Port Hope and when the mists came shipments stopped coming. The remaining supply was jealously guarded by the merchant princes, who had little interest in selling it to unsavory characters like the poisoners. Darius hired me to steal some. The theft went off without a hitch, but I got greedy and sold it to an opium den which offered me a higher price. Darius was furious when he found out and had me black listed. Times were desperate, so I could still purchase basic ingredients for the right price, but no alchemist of any skill really trusted me after that, especially not with their secrets.

Venner frowns and drops the scorpion tail, disappointed. "Nope, can't be done under these circumstances. The only way would be to take it back home and convince an alchemist to take a look. They're no great friends of mine, though. I'll take the tail with me just in case." Using his knife, Venner cuts off the stinger, leaving generous space between his cut and the lava gland.

After he finishes, he joins the rest of the party at the well. "Well, it looks like that other thief left enough hand holds for us to climb down if we're so inclined. I'm not eager to share her fate, though."

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 0->30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

My hand bursts into bright, warmthless light. Beaming, I say, "Thank you!" and start to have a look around. Unlike magicks I've brought into being in the past, this light is quite a lot more fickle. It keeps getting dimmer, and then brightening back up just when I worry it'll go out. After a minute of this, I realize that it's tied to my attention span - I need to keep concentrating on the light to make it brighter. Usually, once magic is in the world, I can trust it to stay there, by Alarai's grace, stable and firm. This is raw, airy, closer, and needs constant attention. And yet... when I grit my teeth and will it to be so, I can make it bright enough to sting my eyes, or dim enough to illuminate nothing but itself, without losing the enchantment. More flexible - interesting.

I explain what I see about wall indentations and the tunnel beyond, adding that, "Even I can climb this without difficulty."

Venner mentions some misgivings, and I say, "I don't think we're at risk of triggering the same trap that befell the thief. A stone once blocked the well, and slid down to crush her. It's no longer here. I'm sure something else horrifying is down there, though."

I climb back up, and brush some of the well muck off my hands. I say, "Another interesting path we could take. While we're still here, I'm of a mind that we should try to get past the temple's lightning trap, before exploring further lands. In terms of findings things interesting or profitable, I would also rather examine a temple than a plagued gulch. Ysolde, you mentioned you could disarm it by force, but it would be dangerous. I think we can mitigate much of the danger by staying down here. I will also do everything in my power to assist, as you just have."

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 24/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 0 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

Ysolde stands back and focuses for a moment on the light that her and Odessa's magics have willed into life. There's an unusual feeling of reality there, something she isn't used to -- as if this light is a fragment of a star, distant but very much real. The magic she knows can readily conjure such things, but they're simple constructs of the magic, not much more than phantoms. This has the strength of something true behind it. That's a touch frightening, but it's also very, very interesting.

"If we're worried about the trap, we can have a look -- it might be a little safer. Venner, you can check for these things, can you? If it was just a slab of rock, it's probably safe to say it's gone now, but it couldn't hurt to be careful. As for the lightning trap... well, we can try. You've got some remarkable magic; maybe it might make it less dangerous. It's still going to be very risky, though. Do you think we can deal with it from the sewer route?"

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


Venner
HP: 20/20 Armor: 1 Luck: 14/14 Poison 3/3 Throwing Knives: 3/3 Flask: 5/5 Hanging Rope: 2/2 Souls: 0

"It'd be my pleasure. You know, just in case; a cautious thief is an alive thief. As for the lightning steps, I can try and take it apart maybe? It seems magical to me, but maybe there's a more mundane way to disable it."

Venner peers into the well. He looks for confirmation that the stone block has moved its last or if some unpleasant surprise awaits the party in the well.

Trap Expert: 2d6+2: 9

Hold 1:

Is there a trap here and if so, what activates it?
What does the trap do when activated?
What else is hidden here?

I'd like to spend the hold on the well.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Venner, you find that the circular stone that used to block the well and descend the shaft--which you now notice has grooves to allow that movement--is nowhere to be found. The horizontal pipe that intersects with the well is too narrow to accommodate the disc, and if it were somehow below the rusty gridiron on the waterline, the grill would have to have been installed after the disc sank below the water, which would be impossible due to the water pressure unless it were extremely heavy or had a ton of weight atop it. No, you are sure the disc must have been removed from atop the well.

The other question is by what mechanism could the disc descend--and ascend, to reset the trap. There is no evidence of any pulleys, chains, levers, counterweights or anything else in the room or on the smooth ceiling above the well, but when you circle the well to change your vantage point you do spy a button tile on the wall of the pipe. That must be the trigger to raise or lower the missing disc. However, by your description, Odessa, the Temple thief was alone. No one pressed the button tile from below him. There is no other trigger nearby that you can see, it must be elsewhere--likely above, in the Temple-keep proper...

The bonfire flickers in the torch lit tunnel. The stone door with the broken handles that you had turned and let roll down the hill into the tree has returned to block the entrance since you rested. The Chimaeraberus lies nearby, chained to the spiral sword that marks the bonfire. The well in the center of the room has a rope ladder that reaches halfway down and hand- and footholds down the remainder. At its bottom you see an iron grate, dark water, and a pipe leading in the direction of the Pestilential Gulch, its terminus as yet unknown. The way to the Nexus is back beyond the respawned Tree Guardians, Harpies, Pig-Iron Cauldrons, and Dire Gadflies outside. The way up to the Temple-keep is around the hill via the hidden path then up the lightning-trapped steps.

What do you do?

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

I affect a haughty laugh, and say, "I have been killed twice today. Let us proceed with your risky means of dis-charging the lightning steps - unless someone has a smarter idea for bypassing it."

I walk to the stone door, and shine our magical light around to look for a handle, lever, or any means of opening it besides ripping it off and sending it down the hill again. There was a crushed mechanism of some sort, earlier. I say, "We'll get only as close to the exit as we must, for your ritual to work, and everybody without a direct hand in it can stay further back, near that friendly doom-hound. Especially you, Agerios - our Most Solid. I don't claim any particular expertise about lightning, but I'm fairly sure it cannot strike underground."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Odessa, when you shine your light upon the door, you instantly recognize it from your vision. The inside of the door is exactly the same the bottom of the circular stone that crushed the Temple thief, who shone their own light upon it.

What do you do?

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

Oh my. That's interesting.

I pause, turn around to face the group, bite my lip, turn back to the door to make sure, then turn back to the group again, and say, "This door is identical to the stone that crushed the thief. In her last memories, it was blocking the top of the well. So, if you're looking for a sliding stone death trap... it will probably look much like this. It might even be the same stone, dragged back up and cleaned off."

Unless this door moves of its own accord or makes any other menacing gestures, I will continue searching for a means to open it. It can't roll inwards and crush me... right?

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

"The lightning mechanism has some solution to do with that poem that we do not know the answer to," I say, sighing. "I would much rather press on in a new direction until we know more. If we can find a piece that the harpies would accept to take us to the trap-maker, for instance, we would not have to risk a third death in one day." I give Odessa a meaningful look.

I turn to Agerios. "I'm for the well, myself, but this is your land, ser. I will follow your lead."

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


Venner
HP: 20/20 Armor: 1 Luck: 14/14 Poison 3/3 Throwing Knives: 3/3 Flask: 5/5 Hanging Rope: 2/2 Souls: 0

Venner finishes his inspection. He nods in agreement with Odessa. "If that's the same door you saw in your vision, they must be the same; I can't see any sight of where the stone that crushed the other thief went." He beckons anyone interested over to the lip of the well. "That tile there seems to be some kind of trigger, but our friend the late thief didn't push it, so there must be another somewhere else, probably in the keep."

Venner frowns as he rubs his hands together. "The thing is, I'm not sure how the door reset. I don't see any machinery to raise it back up. But in any case, if someone did trigger it elsewhere, there's no saying for sure they won't do it again."

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 24/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 20 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

"I agree with Ser Dominik -- I'd rather explore a bit more before we investigate things we've seen before. There may be a simpler solution to the lightning trap... don't get me wrong, I'm happy to try and 'solve' it myself, but it may take time, and that adds more mess. Better to see what we haven't seen, which would be the well."

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

I shrug, and say, "I doubt we'll find a 'key' to it lying around in the muck down there, but very well, let's explore some more."

I'll give up on the door, having been out-voted, and then take point on climbing down the ladder, and then the hand-holds, because I am holding the brightest object.

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3/3 Souls: 27 Luck: 5/7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Shears: 2/2

"Hold on," I say. "Odessa is right. I doubt we'll find much of use in the sewers. Dom, can you give me a hand? If somebody rolled this stone disc into the tunnel, I bet we can roll it out again."

I try to get a good hold of the slab and see if nudging it any way makes it move. If so, we've found our ticket.

Bending bars, lifting stone discs with a 10!

It seems to work! I might need help and maybe a rope to combine everyone's strength, but I have some hope we can jank it free.

*It doesn’t take a very long time
*Nothing of value is damaged
*You can fix the thing again without a lot of effort

Deltasquid fucked around with this message at Mar 16, 2016 around 09:29

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Agerios, from the inside of the door you see where the recess handles that broke off before were sabotaged--this piece of iron holding the handle in place was filed away--and how they could be fixed with just some proper reinforcement. The door grinds against the grooves in the ground and as you roll it and lean it on the hill instead of letting it wheel down the hill. Lain it on its side in the light, it does look like a proper well cover, and must have been rolled out of the tunnel rather than up the hill or around it via the hidden path. When you look from it to the well and match the periodic scratches in the floor to the small, cog-like edge of the stone disc to confirm this, you see the beast is highly alert and staring at you at the end of the tunnel.

You all are back at the Temple-keep steps.

What do you do?

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 24/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 0 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

Ysolde is roundly if suddenly outvoted, but feats of great strength do tend to swing the vote. She's not entirely disappointed, though; as much as she's fairly sure any ritual trap discharge is going to be a very dangerous undertaking, it's still potentially going to be very interesting. Still, safety first.

"Venner, can you remind me how this thing works? Or have another look? I can help if you need it, but I'd rather be a little bit careful with this. And you don't remember anything new about this, Agerios?"

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


Venner
HP: 20/20 Armor: 1 Luck: 14/14 Poison 3/3 Throwing Knives: 3/3 Flask: 5/5 Hanging Rope: 2/2 Souls: 0

I assume that the information from my previous successful Trap Expert roll on the steps stands even though time reset. If not I can roll it again

"There's some kind of mechanism on the steps which causes an electrical charge to build until lightning strikes. I think it's triggered by proximity; maybe body heat? If you hover a hand over the step you can feel the charge building. The charges seem to build more quickly the higher up the steps you go, so I think running for it would be a bad idea." Venner points to the far end of the first step, "Seems like the charge decreases over there, though, so that might be our way to shut it down or go around it."

Venner turns to Ysolde, "Now, where your help would be grand is in figuring out if there's a magical component to the trap. If it's simply a machine I might be able to dismantle it, but if it's sorcery, I'm not sure how to proceed. I know the writing is in Agieros' language, so he might be able to tell you what it means."

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

You all stand before the imposing staircase, refreshed from you rest. Each step looks too high to hurdle, but above one word of the first step there is no threat of being struck by lightning, and rather than gathering electrical charge there it instead fades to nothing in the following seconds. It is as if the stairway encourages those who would climb it to turn back now and come to no harm. It is obviously of a magical nature, and the passage engraved upon it might convey a sense of haughtiness.

quote:

Imagine that the keeper of a huge, strong beast notices what makes it angry, what it desires, how it has
to be approached and handled, the circumstances and the conditions under which it becomes particularly
fierce or calm, what provokes its typical cries, and what tones of voice make it gentle or wild. Once
he's spent enough time in the creature's company to acquire all this information, he calls it knowledge,
forms it into a systematic branch of expertise, and starts to teach it, despite total ignorance, in fact,
about which of the creature's attitudes and desires is commendable or deplorable, good or bad, moral
or immoral. His usage of all these terms simply conforms to the great beast's attitudes, and he describes
things as good or bad according to its likes and dislikes, and can't justify his usage of the terms any
further, but describes as right and good the things which are merely indispensable, since he hasn't
realised and can't explain to anyone else how vast a gulf there is between necessity and goodness.


What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 23, 2016 around 16:46

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

I cradle my mouth in my hand, thinking for several minutes. I eventually say, "I think this is some sort of electrocution riddle. However, I don't get it. Furthermore, I feel as if whoever had these words engraved in giant script upon giant steps that were dragged to the top of a hill may have been profoundly arrogant, and to play along with their little death-trap-riddle rubs me the wrong way on principle. I still think we should take cover and break the drat thing. With sorcery."

Spout Lore: On Sorcerous Lightning Mechanisms:

"Back in my homeland, I spent years combing over what remained of the great library of Rajayat. Granted, much of the books were damaged in the great fire, and then the great flood, and then the second great fire, and quite a lot were used as toiled paper by the illiterate cannibal fucks who made it their lair..." I clear my throat, and get back on subject, "But I read a great deal about sorcery. The theory of spellcraft, and the art of weaving enchantments into objects. I practiced it thoroughly enough to learn that I had no natural talent, until Alarai selected me - and now some of that knowledge is coming in handy after all. Er, I'm getting off track - I recall one tome dedicated to the construction of white-fire cannons, which blended a launching mechanism with raw elemental fire magicks. If this is a mechanism that channels elemental lightning, I then I believe I have an idea that can help your ritual, Ysolde;"

2d6+1 5

And then I said something which, scant minutes later, I would regret.

StringOfLetters fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2016 around 04:46

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Odessa, the thing that could help you harness the power of lightning is volume II of the tome on ancient white-fire cannons that you read. You know exactly where it is in the library or Rajayat, in your land, but you do not know its contents, something kept you from reading it. Tell us what.

Otherwise, you know these steps have the same security measure as the fire cannons. According to the author of the tome you read, they backfired on whoever did not know the safety code until that thief or forgetful engineer was not only killed, but utterly destroyed. Those combinations resisted being cracked by requiring greater speeds of input for each step, such that it would take a thousand people willing to die to crack one.

Of course, that did not deter an enemy nation, where many crimes suddenly had the death penalty, to turn three of them they captured. After that, later white-fire cannons had a new security measure--they changed their passwords after enough missed inputs, then would self destruct at the next touch unless they were instead reset by one of two things: a unique keys given to the nearest high ranking officer sworn to die before turning theirs over to the enemy, or the creator of the cannon, the safety mechanism, and the keys themselves--all the same person.

Agerios, you know the name of this person, they were famous. Tell us who they are.

Eventually, all the white-fire cannons were destroyed by the invention of a third, neutral nation: an incredibly loud musical instrument whose resonance tricked the cannons into acting as though their safety mechanisms were being engaged until they just shut down, harmlessly venting the elemental forces within back into the natural cycle of balance, obviously considered nonsense by the author and likely misrepresented.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

The Tome on Lightning was on too high of a shelf for me to reach. A third-floor section of floor, and walls, had collapsed. There was one accessible way to climb up to it, but when I tried that, a moldy and rotted section of wall peeled off in my hands. I was lucky to only break my tail bone on landing. Being hobbled or unable to run would be a delayed, but inevitable, death, and not worth the risk.

I will recite every word that comes to mind from the above post, for the benefit of everybody present. Let all benefit from my wisdom. As I reach a proud conclusion, the looks on my companions' faces remind me that I haven't actually helped. I feel quite upset.

With a stab towards levity, I add with a flourish, "So, we need only be willing to die a thousand deaths to bypass this code! In our new states, no problem at all!"

Having (presumably) no takers, I will start to feel desperate, and climb up onto the safe 'IMAGINE' step myself. Then I will beg Alarai to deliver me from this embarrassment.

Cast rote: Guidance: 2d6+2 11

StringOfLetters fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2016 around 09:21

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

As you near the word "to" in front of you, the charge begins to build. Alarai manifests as a lighthouse, indicating rocky shoals one should not approach, and their beam of light turns you around, bidding you back to the forest or to the hidden path. These deadly steps likely have the advanced security measure, and would take pure luck to crack before it changed its password. Finding the code, the key, the creator, or some way to bypass the stairway altogether would be the favored path of the North Star merciful shepherd of the lost. A lethal obstacle would be anathema.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

"Odessa!" I shout as she climbs up onto the step. "Surely there is a better way! I refuse to be part of some macabre suicide pact." Even though she may dislike it, I pick her up off the stair and set her down on the ground beside me. "If backtracking is the course we've chosen then let's see it through. The harpies may have answers for us if we can find something to tempt them, right? Or perhaps there is something else in that direction, we saw a graveyard and a river at least, and both of those seem far better than risking this without the key."

I offer her my hand and start to walk back towards the grove, and those damnable trees. "I really would have rather risked the well," I say with a small sigh.

--

For clarity, Dom's heading back regardless of if anyone comes with him, he doesn't want anything to do with these drat stairs yet.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik, the Tree Guardians part for you and any who follow you without hostility. The Harpies similarly maintain a safe distance, but hiss and caw at you, the biggest of them even flap their wings menacingly from their perches if you approach them before finally flying away once you approach their tree.

The insects of the Pestilential Grove seem to show you no such deference. The swarming Dire Gadflies and lumbering Pig-Iron Cauldrons do not alter their paths toward you, and block your path to the spiral sword. It will be a fight.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

I sigh - again, all votes cast against me - and accept Ser Dominik's help down from the step. This is a good reminder, probably, that I should not get cocky for having been a 'chosen one,' and always endeavor to live up to Alarai's best ideal, rather than delude myself into thinking I define it.

I say, "You're right. Of course. I was maybe over-eager to tackle an obstacle, just because it's there. I've rather come around on the idea of climbing down the well, too. Shall we all go there, next? Instead of facing those bowl-beetle-demon things again?" I gently tug Dom's hand.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Odessa, once you start pulling Dominik back in the direction of the Temple Keep, the previously docile Tree Guardians and Harpies turn more bold, the former crossing their branches and brandishing them at you, the latter crowing at you and taking flight. Either way you go, it will be a fight, but a fight you have already won in another time. You could use the Backtrack move to expend the same resources as you did the last time, chances are. But, if you choose, you could try the fight again--the tactics you learned in the first battle, or pure luck, may find you a way to expend fewer resources this time around, which would then form the baseline for future Backtracks.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

Given we have more friends and how badly the last attempt to get through here went I think redoing this fight would be better than Backtracking it.

"I wonder if the trees and harpies are guardians for the steps, given that they only seem eager to harm us when we go in that direction..." I say out loud. "Of course these rancid insects are no such thing, but- as I recall if we upend one of the beetles, the flies will be too busy devouring it to chase us again. It was very heavy though, does anyone have an idea before we rush in and try to flip it by mean strength?"

slyding says I should Spout Lore on this so here goes: 2d6-1 = 11!

mistaya fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2016 around 17:47

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik, the Pig-Iron Cauldrons' carapaces, like a ladybug's, split along the middle via a hidden seam. A lever could be placed there to make upturning them laterally require less force. They also turn rather quickly in place to orient themselves toward what they consider living prey fallen upon the ground. They would have to raise all three of their suction cup feet on either side back and forth to make such a turn, and would fall if kicked laterally before they began their charge.

As for the Dire Gadflies, they detect prey by scent and their poor vision, thus, they only descend on the beetles when their sap-drenched bellies are upturned and their round silhouettes become that of a cup. Otherwise they ignore them. Holding your breath and staying low to the ground would fool them for a short time--long enough to reach the exit back to the Nexus. Mimicking the size and shape of the beetles would fool them as long as you wore them. There were hollowed out shells in the Glade that could be used for this purpose. Alternatively, the Gadflies disperse from the gong that sounds when metal strikes the hollow top of the Pig-Iron Cauldron's carapaces. Closing your ears would protect you from being dazed by the sound yourselves.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

Deltasquid
Apr 10, 2013


Agerios Lapheusix
HP: 30/30 Armor: 3/3 Souls: 27 Luck: 5/7 Bag of Obols: 5/5 Shears: 2/2

slydingdoor posted:

a unique keys given to the nearest high ranking officer sworn to die before turning theirs over to the enemy, or the creator of the cannon, the safety mechanism, and the keys themselves--all the same person.

Agerios, you know the name of this person, they were famous. Tell us who they are.
Soul Bank: 220

The highest ranking officer? That's a long shot. It could have been literally any goldborn defending the temple at the time.

The creator of the cannon, though? There are a few names that come to mind. Heromedes, for one. I remember he invented some sort of massive glass spiral, not dissimilar to a lighthouse, but on land, that evaporated an entire province at noon before shattering from the heat itself and flinging molten glass all over the countryside. (The experiment was a success.)

Euclarchid, could be another possibility? He attempted to harness the power of lightning, but to my knowledge, he never succeeded.

And then, another, less familiar name hits me. I rest my forehead on my fist in thought, and whisper: "Oena... No, that's not- Oenopermedes? Could Oenopermedes have created the defence mechanism of the temple?"

"Oenopermedes was a military engineer, a rather unremarkable one at that. He was famous, not because of his inventions (though experimenting with different kinds of wood and composite bows and applying the same theories to ballistas was innovative) but because of his mysterious disappearance. He was one of the first to disappear when the mist approached the land, about a month or two before I myself was sent in. One day, his family found a letter he left at home, stating he had a duty to protect the Polis and that he had gone to the valley to 'arm it'. He never returned. The word on the street was that he had gone to gather wood for siege engines, or mercenaries of some sorts. Perhaps he wanted to arm the temple? Did he think it could stop the mist or the creatures held within?"

And weeks later, when the mist was about to swallow the Polis and I was one of the few sent in to fight it, crows permanently gathered around Oenopermedes' house. "Do you think the harpies have him now?" I blurt out.

--
After Dominik speaks his mind, I say: "I am ready to throw myself into the fight, rather than backtrack."

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

"They don't seem the type to keep many prisoners, but I suppose it's possible? He might also be that king who the dead harpy mentioned, if she had an imperfect grasp of your peoples' hierarchy."

I say, "My best and only idea is to not rush blindly onward this time. If you feel ready to rush and try to flip a beetle, I would be honored to flail about and serve as bait."

mistaya
Oct 18, 2006

Cat of Wealth and Taste


Dom
HP: 32/32 Armor: 3 Souls: 0 LCK: 11/11 Beads: 5/5 Salts: 2/2

Odessa helpfully flops, which is a little bit scary since it's how she died the last time, but it should attract the beetle's notice. I stand before her with my shield in both hands, planning to ram the beetle as it turns, hopefully knocking it over...

Defy Danger STR, 2d6+1 = 6. I need an adult assist!

It's just a bit too heavy for me to do alone! "Someone help with this!" I yell, bracing myself. Just a little farther!

mistaya fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2016 around 00:07

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 24/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 0 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

Ysolde has mostly been lost in thought, still trying to puzzle out the elaborate defense mechanisms that the others have described. Trap-making of this form was largely regarded as a rather gauche, outmoded magical science in the Thousand Happy Kingdoms; surely building anything so elaborate suggested that you, and not your neighbors, were the suspicious ones? But that knowledge doesn't help her now. She just can't quite figure out what can be done, besides moving in other directions or finding the builder of this device. If they do, she's got a lot of questions to ask.

This isn't the tower or the lab, though -- this is still a battlefield, and Dom is taking the initiative on fighting through the insects, not entirely successfully. "Hold on!" The magic that comes to hand isn't so much a spell as it is a half-considered act of will and force, Ysolde rushing forward to deliver the spontaneous burst of power that will hopefully send the bug onto its back and open to a killing blow. Of course, rushing forward has a tendency to draw the attention that Odessa should be drawing...

Aid Ser Dom: 2d6 7
+1 to Dom's DD Str, which should bump it up to success, but Ysolde is open to danger/retribution/cost. Welp.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Dominik and Ysolde, together you are able to tilt the beetle backwards, but not before it has built up enough inertia to continue its charge, albeit while sliding upside-down on its back. It skids over both of you, knocking you supine and embedding you in what you find out is about a knee-deep layer of fouled olives between the earth and the air. You both take 6 damage, subtract your armor but not from your shield. The beetle skids to a halt and everyone hears the swarm of Dire Gadflies buzz louder as they approach, smelling their vulnerable prey, which desperately tries to rock itself back and forth and right itself. The other beetle senses its favored prey, and charges forward greedily to crush the both of you, starting with the unlucky Ysolde.

What do you do?
Soul Bank: 220

StringOfLetters
Apr 2, 2007
What?

Odessa
HP: 22/22 Luck 10/11 Armor: 1 Souls: 30 Flask: 5/5 Spice: 2/2 | Rotes, Cause Fear, Charm Person

I growl, "No you don't!" and step forward to strike at the second beetle's knees on its way to Ysolde. I don't expect that I can really hurt it, but they seem to respond to impacts, and maybe if I can slow it down with a good drubbing.

Defend: man against bug: 2d6 6
If someone aids me, I will spend that hold to halve the attack's effect or damage. If nobody aids me, I will likely end up redirecting it upon myself, and then some.

deadking
Apr 13, 2006

Hello? Charlemagne?!


Venner
HP: 20/20 Armor: 1 Luck: 14/14 Poison 3/3 Throwing Knives: 3/3 Flask: 5/5 Hanging Rope: 2/2 Souls: 0

When the beetle charges and lashes out at its knees, Venner circles to the animal's other side. He whistles loudly in an attempt to further distract it. At the same time, he slams into the beetle's carapace with his shoulder, hoping to throw it off balance and further reduce its momentum.

Aid Odessa 2d6: 10

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.



Ysolde Stormcrow
HP: 18/24 Luck: 8/8 Armor: 0 Souls: 20 Jar: 5/5 Ring: 2/2 | Cantrips, Invisibility, Magic Missile

This isn't good. There's nothing Ysolde can really do to these beasts that close -- at least, nothing that she couldn't do better at some range -- and this is a very sticky situation to be in, to put it mildly. That said, the olives give her what may be an idea for escape, and what does she really have to lose at this point?

Ysolde lays still for another moment, readying her strength and waiting for her timing, and then she kippups to her feet and kicks out, trying to send a spray of sticky, dingy olive-matter into the Pig-Iron Cauldron's eyes and away from herself and Dom. No sooner is it done then she starts scrambling back, trying to get the moment of time she'll need to cast a spell and evade the creature's sight entirely. Of course, this is assuming the thing's eyes even work like Ysolde desperately hopes they do...

Defy Danger (Int) to get distance from the pig-iron cauldron: 2d6+2 8
Going to follow it up with Cast a Spell, but given that it's a 7-9, I figure I'd better let the GM tell me how screwed I am first.

EDIT: I have been informed in IRC that this is more a DD Dex, and as such the 8 becomes a 6. Oops?

Antivehicular fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2016 around 01:59

  • Locked thread
«8 »