Chapter 07:

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Session Number: 163
Date: Sunday 17 February 2013
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor12 (Fergus) (kills: 1 multi-legged metal statue)
Calico Drd12 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA5 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal12 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz12 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd12 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

in the shard-covered room, poisoned and kinda stuck. talk about options while tr's injuries heal. charge down door? looks pretty sturdy, iron-bound wood. summon har? it didn't work in the room above. door covered in lots of metal and spiky bits. Could it be mechanical as was the other side? ro come and help me look at this door. it kinda does. round bits that look like they could move. nothing in their centres that looks like you could use to turn it (no obvious mechanism to open the door.) ro looks at creature in case it has weird, key-shaped protrusions. no. she asks someone to look where it came from. ro looks at walls ro Hey I think it came from right there, 15' to the right of the door and 7'-8' up. missing a bit of metal, blank. ro points it out ro are there any other holes that might indicate a missing piece? be on your guard, there could be others on the walls still. search cal 20 he looks on the opposite side of the door, thinking there may be two guards flanking the door. that looks a bit the same. reach up and shake a piece and it moves out of his way. cal There's one here! ro Back off! ro goes over. ro Point it out to me. no red eyes. ro It moved at your touch? cal Yes. ro Perhaps it wasn't activated. cal But if it wasn't activated, what did it do? ari Did the other one speak? ro No all it did was shut the door and attack us. ari Anyone see any others? all look, ro esp either side of the other door.

no one sees any others. ro tr what do you think about talking to this thing? Maybe resaying your identify speech to it. It hasn't worked yet, but I don't know what else to do.

tr stands before the creature. My name is Étella Roulae. My parents were Ankella Roulae and Triella Roulae. I am the Keeper of the towers Elondel and Abbey. My charge is to oppose the arachtria and I have come here to claim this tower as Keeper so that it might be again a force against the arachtria. at the word 'arachtria' he sees a head with little red eyes on it pop out from the wall. looks like the head of the other one. looks at tr. tr The arachtria have returned to this time and I need the help of all the towers on this world to oppose them and to rid this world of their existence. I require you to acknowledge my right as the Keeper of this tower.

hear a whirring sound about 10' away. ro Battle stations people just in case. tr, behind me!

init
lio 21
MON 21
ari 20
ro 18
tr xx
cal 3

pyramid_03.jpg

tor1
lio delays until after the creature. creature's arm whips out towards tr and a bunch of discs shoot out at him. he takes most of his hp in damage. lio reacts: ignores partial cover and attacks with bow 3x: ac36 hits ac27 hits ac25 misses. 2 hits for 24 dmg (20 phys and 4 cold). stays where he is. ari casts Disintegrate, taking care not to hit ro. Her care means the shot misses. ro fullatt ac29 hits for 16 dmg. ac26 hits for 11 dmg. ac22 misses. she then steps between tr and the creature, ducking down to indicate that she doesn't mind tr shooting through her. tr Acid Splatter touch acyes for 19 dmg. cal casts Baleful Polymorph on the creature but the spell fails. probably because the target wasn't a living creature.

tor2
ari This tower has been taken over by someone who shouldn't be in charge of it. They are responding to tr's rightful requests like this because they don't want to lose control. ro possible, but it's also possible that Saju just isn't awake and that this place is on automated defences. creature disengages from wall and starts moving up. ro aoo ac32 hits for 12 dmg. it ignores, moves up 10'. ari Good, I can cone of cold it now. hear whirring and a bunch of discs fly out at tr. the discs thud into the ground all around tr. he dodges and some spark off a magical protection. ari It's targetting tr! ro Is it because tr mentioned the word arachtria? ro shouts Arachtria! Arachtria! I'm a stinking arachtria! at the word arachtria from ro, its head swivels towards ro and it drops to the ground (ari Dammit!) on top of ro. ro loses her opposed str check. she and tr are pushed back. ro Everybody shout arachtria! Give it as many targets as possible, not just tr! Arachtria! cal Arachtria! ari What the fuck are arachtria? head swivels in various directions. 2 hits on ro for 7 (4) and 12 (9) damage. lio fullatt acnat1 misses ac22 misses ac32 hits for 21 (max) damage. it looks quite damaged. ro Once it's dead, get in the Rope Trick to avoid the blast! ari casts Lightning Bolt for 39 dmg. creature falls over. ari moves to base of rope. ro moves beside, looks around for any movement. cannot see anything. ro I'm going to wait here until the rest of you are up! tr climbs up, then cal.

tor3
the creature explodes into shrapnel: 6 dmg (rfl half) ro saves and takes no dmg. lio takes dmg.

ro Are you hurt, tr? tr A little but I will heal quickly. all go up Rope Trick. ro waits, looking to see if anything more is disturbed by the words 'arachtria.' ro goes up. ro So it seems the only word that it reacted to was 'arachtria' (whispered). It didn't seem to respond to anything else. cal Anyone need healing? I have a cure critical. ro save it. cal What about trying the open corridor? ro What about the red lights? Everything we have set off so far has been bad. I cannot imagine that it would be any good. cal So how do we get out? ro Maybe we should just wait? tr, do you have another Rope Trick? tr No. ro It might be safer to wait and do nothing rather than trigger something else. We could try the door… It's probably as risky waiting in the room after the Rope Trick expires as it is to try the door.

talk about it for 19 minutes and tr is now all better. decide to try the door. ari tr, see if you can move any of these bits. tr OK, don't think it'll be too hard. HEAVE! Nothing. ari So tr, how about you tell ro which bits to move? tr Lift this up and push this down. ro I'll pull up and one of the other fighters push down - lio. They take 20. push and pull. see a thing in the middle start to turn. tr gets in there and helps it along. it gets easier and the round bit and lots of others start spinning and the door opens. cal I can blink us out as a Blink Dog. It's my last Wild Shape for the day.

Ferry out to the first chamber. ari and tr Teleport everyone to the tent.

ari It could have been better to go back to the temple with the stone blocks. Didn't some of you want to consult with someone about something? tr Yes. ari By the way, what's arachtria? ro takes tr aside. ro I think maybe ari deserves to know. especially because of the risks she is taking on our behalf and the help she has freely given. We should at least tell her what we might be up against. Not your involvement of course. tr OK. go back. tr There is a race of beings called arachtria who are attempting to destroy all life in this world. We are trying to stop that. They don't like elves, especially, and seem to be starting with them. ari You said that you are the keeper of Elondel and Abbey - what's that? tr Just a couple of towers in my family. Magically defended towers. ro We would have to walk there. ari I have three Teleports left and I memorised that area. ro Before we do that, I wonder whether we might get rid of this poison first. Just in case your nature-bound friend tr cannot help in a timely fashion. tr Having said that, if we don't go back with the poison, she cannot identify it or tell us anything about it.

ro We can always hold one spell back. If she can't get rid of it then we can keep cal's spell in reserve. I'll stay poisoned. I don't want tr to remain poisoned. Maybe we will see if vio can get rid of it on the other three of us.

visit vio. when leave tent, notice that guards aren't there. ro Have they been paid? they have. spot checks: notice that there is no one around. lio Maybe the oracle died and they're all at the funeral. ro Let's head up to the oracle's tents because if they're not there then they're somewhere and that's where we need to be. ro (to cal) do you have a collar? I just don't want you to be mistaken for a wild animal and killed. We'll get you a collar. cal shakes his head. ro ok, go ahead and die, it's your neck. cal gives her a look: as if.

head up to the oracle's tent. looking very carefully for signs that our actions have killed everyone. see a guy come out of a tent, see the group and run away. ro tongues? ari casts the spell. ari Excuse me we mean you no harm. he runs down an alley. lio (to cal) Fetch? ari casts Tongues on ro. ro Any chance of catching him? ari I suspect that if someone is running away from us, then running after them may not help. ro Ignore him. keep going. all the places the group pass are closed up. oracle's tent is also. no guard outside. about 2/3 up. stop listen. ro checks if the pyramid is still cold: it is. ro Let's go as high as we can. They can't be far, they could all be on one side of the pyramid. Let's do a circumnavigation. see a face peeking out from behind a curtain, then the curtain closes. lio Everyone is hiding from us. ari I was too stern with that guy… go to house. ro Hello inside there. May we speak? hear some whispering from the other side but cannot make out words. ari Come out right now or we are coming in! ro OK, I suppose that did work last time… nothing. ro Maybe we'll hold that in reserve. ari Yes, I didn't really want to just barge in. It's not very polite, you know. lio Let's find vio. ro But there was nobody in the tent. lio Did we go in? ro Let's talk to the person here first. Excuse me sir, we mean you no harm we just wish to know where everyone has gone. whispers. ro We know you are there… she thinks, looks at ari. ro I'm going to cast a spell on you that makes you more persuasive, is that alright? ari That might be terribly useful. ro casts Eagle's Splendour on ari. ari We mean you no harm but we must have answers please. A few questions and we will leave you in peace. otherwise I shall be standing out here, drawing attention to you and your household for some time. no response. ari raises voice What an uncooperative family you are! she goes on. still nothing. ro cal or lio, those of you that know weather, is there a storm coming? Is there a reason for people to be shut up indoors? ro looks out towards the horizon, as does lio. lio The weather is clement and I expect it to remain so. ro No, they're scared. They're not just sheltering from an imminent storm. lio They think someone is coming to do something and they think it is us and it probably isn't. I'm just saying random stuff that could be true. ari The 'gods' are against us, because whoever is in charge of the pyramid doesn't want us around. ro Let's keep moving. walk around at this level. ari Let's find the oracles and see if we can find vio. cal points himself at the oracle tent. go there. ari vio? ro Excuse me we wish to speak to Violetdimple, or the Oracle. the curtain is pulled back and there is a guard inside. He indicates that they should enter. they do. ari What's going on? Why is everyone hiding? guard Sad day. The gods are at war. ro The gods are at war? guard I have said too much. lio let's ask Violet, she should know. ro is Violet here? guard She is that way. ro May we see her? guard sorry, I will get someone, sorry I am not myself at the moment. I shall get someone to see to you, please have a seat. sit and wait. servant arrives and serves chilled water and fruit. ari doesn't eat it. ro keeps an ear out for vio or any other sounds. servant says that the oracle will see them in a short time, is there anything you would like? ari Someone mentioned the gods are at war. servant Shhhh. The gods are at war. ari What does that mean? serv The gods are at war. The ancient ones have returned. ro The ancient ones? Who are they? serv The ancient gods have returned. There is a war in the heavens. I didn't say anything. ari Of course nothing you say will leave us. How does anyone know… serv I must go. Is there anything you need? I must go. ari Thank you for your service, there is nothing else we need. servant leaves. lio OK new theory: they saw tr's fireballs on top of the pyramid where no one should have been.

a short while later an oracle comes in, the same one that summoned vio. ora Yes, your friend is this way, come with me. ro Thank you. follow. ari People are saying that the gods are at war? ora Of a fashion. ari In what fashion? ora In the fashion that many war. ari Is Saju the name of one of the gods? ora Sort of. ro What are the names of the ancient gods? ora We… It is hard to tell. There are many. ro What do you know of the word 'Roulae'? ora It has often had many meanings. ari What do you know of arachtria? Are the arachtria some of the ancient gods? ora They are sometimes enemies, sometimes peacekeepers, sometimes overlords. They are difficult to understand. ari But possible? ora Sometimes. ro What evidence do you have of this war? ora You should see. he takes group through a curtain and they see vio, kneeling down between two beds. On the beds are two figures. One is tall, the other is much shorter and deformed, the female oracle they first met. she was healthy then. vio looks up with tears in her eyes. she continues her ministering. ari in dwarven How many of these things have we killed? three now, isn't it? (common) vio how are you? vio i am good thank you. ari I see there is another oracle taken sick. ora Another two. The first one passed away. ari dwarven Three oracles have fallen sick and we have killed three constructs. The first oracle fell sick after we killed the first one. ro's face blanches. vio The injuries were different. This one (the tall man) has lots of internal injuries as if he has been pummelled from the inside. This one (the woman) appears to have frostbite of some kind. ora It is the way. I suspect you understand the difficulty of doing the work of your god. It is our lot and we do it. ari Are the oracles responsive? vio Somewhat, but it is difficult for them. ro Is this the reason everybody is inside? They are mourning? ora Rumour has it that the gods are at war. there are ancient legends that there are evil gods and good gods. and the good gods vanquished the evil gods but the evil gods have returned and are fighting with the good gods and there are casualties in any war. The oracles because we are linked to the gods as the gods are hurt obviously those wounds are coming down to the oracles and so the people are afraid. ro One metal statue, four stone statues and two insectlike statues. that's all seven.

the oracle that they met the first time looks up and reaches out a hand. ro approaches. ora It is good to see you survived this time. lols over. ari Perhaps they are bound unwillingly to these things. ro Perhaps willingly.

cal gets ro's attention, wanting her to leave. ro Would you excuse me for a moment? leaves with the big blink dog. ari follows. cal turns into a human out of sight of anyone. cal I have questions about what's going on here. ro Come in and I will relay them. enter. cal Are the oracles receiving any indication from their gods that resembles what we have done? ro to female sick ora ora I have some question for you. Have the gods spoken to you in the last few hours? Have they been asking for a command? Has something been requested of you? ora The gods have spoken to me forever. But we do not instruct anyone. We only pass on messages. ro Have you passed a message on recently, or passed a message to the gods? ora The gods give the messages. We pass them on to the people, if we can understand them. cal Have you noticed a change in the gods in the past couple of hours? ora No. ro There is a creature and it looks like blah eight bladed legs, glowing red eyes. Does this mean anything to you? ora I have seen such things many times in my dreams. Many of us have. They are beautiful, are they not, the minions of the gods? ro Are the minions of the gods the way by which they communicate to you? ora No, the gods speak to us all. Some choose to listen. ari Do they mainly speak to you when you sleep, or when you are awake? ora They speak to me all of the time. ro checks the oracles for evil. no.

cal vio, did anything happen with the oracles before they fell ill? vio No. This one here was just brought in on a stretcher. She was freezing. Then a couple of hours later this one here turned up. ro So the most recent happened very recently? vio Yep. ro And the one before, that was a couple of hours earlier? vio Yes. ro It's all adding up. I wonder if there is a way of severing whatever connection they have so we can at least save their existence, if not their existence as an oracle. cal btw I speak dwarven and how would we find that link? tr I am sick of these bastards from other races speaking dwarven! cal Any spells that would detect that link? True sight? ro Probably not that, but possibly a divination. ari (dwarven) We basically have three choices: kill all the things on the way down and kill all the oracles, evade all the things, or not go. We have a way of evading, assuming that the four remaining statues linked to the oracles are the four stone statues we already know about. ro Something we have never tried is have har try and go through from the surface. I am a little reticent to do that given that the stone is freezing cold. I could always summon her and ask. ari I think the best course from here is to go back to your other sources of information. ro I think so too. (dw) vio, are you tied up here? would we be able to ask you to depoison some of us? vio I can do that. I am going to continue ministering to these two oracles. ro In the same way as you ministered to the first? vio Yes. Keep them comfortable until they are called. ari How many of us can you help? vio Three. ro That is enough. Leave me poisoned. done. ro vio, is there anything we can do for you, any supplies that you need? vio No I have everything I shall need. ro How long did it take between the first oracle succumbing to when they died? vio About a day. ro Were these two oracles to die, would the populace still believe the gods to be at war, would they still be hiding in their tents? vio It's all religious mumbo jumbo as far as I'm concerned. ro But it is the parting of the oracles that is the evidence of this war? vio Yes. The oracles speak to the gods and the oracles are dying. What would that say to you? ro Let's move quickly I don't know but we might be able to save these two. ari There were bits of the first statue left, weren't there? can we collect some of that? ro har can get us up. ro Moradin, a current god, be with you, oracle. leave.

go to tent, summon har. ro takes her to side of pyramid ro har this is generating cold. I have heard that touching it for too long, you start freezing to it. Are you going to be able to enter that stone? Is that going to be hazardous to you? har I can do it for a bit but cold is cold is cold. ro You will suffer? har Yes. ro I will leave that for now. Would you be able to take myself and tr to the top please? har Yes mistress.

har takes them inside. they recover two chunks of metal statue. tr See if she can enter the stone in here. ro It isn't cold here… but I won't get her to try, I don't want to risk both yourself and har, the two who are the only ones that can get everybody home. go back.

ro asks ari to Teleport all to the first temple with the stone blocks. har and tr ferry everyone to tri. cal hugs a tree and marvels at the feeling of grass on his bare feet. taken into abb's tent. tr introduces eth to ari as his wife. ari does not recognise eth. tr asks for tri and she appears. ari is surprised. tr tells tri that ro is afflicted with some kind of poison. can she verify that? tri It is an ancient poison, one that no longer exists. It is strange that you have it. ari How old? (tr relays) tri Thousands of years. ro What does it do? tri It causes sickness in the inside of the body. It causes the organs to start shutting down. It causes blood to become poisonous. ari Is it a poison that comes from living things? tri No. ari Do you know what it comes from? tri No. It used to exist a long time ago but it was wiped out. ro We received this poison from what appeared to be an animated statue with red glowing eyes. It released the poison on its death. It appeared to be working in the defence of a pyramid known as Saju. tri I have heard of Saju. ari Is it within your capability to nullify this poison? tri I can hold it off, but I cannot affect it because it is not a living thing. ro How long before it starts affecting me? tri It has probably started affecting you now, it's just that the effects are very minor. But they will grow over time. It will take a long time to die from it. Months. But you will die if you are not healed. ro Is there anything else you can tell us about it tri? Is it associated with the Roulae or the Roielles? tri Not that I know of. It is from a time when magic was different than it is today. It is a type of magic that no longer exists. ro here is a part of that statue. tri I can tell very little from that piece as it is not living. What I can tell you is that the type of magic that this poison is associated with was used by another race, not elves or humans. ro tr, is it the same magic that you have been reading about in your family's library? tr talks to tr before he says no. tri The other race from what little I know they never visited here they were unable to be transported through any of the branches. They often wore armour, a lot of it, and it was magical - their type of magic.

visit abb. she appears, startling ari again. Expletives. abb Such harsh words from a lady! ari Sorry, you are so amazing! abb Thank you. ro abb? abb Aye? ro Saju. We think we've been there. abb Oooh. How is he? ro A pyramid. abb Yeah that'd be right, yeah. ro We have not actually seen the representation of Saju yet. We think that he is asleep but we have encountered some of the pyramid's defences… Animated statues. They don't appear to recognise tr or anything he says in particular. The only word they seem to have positively reacted to so far is 'arachtria.' abb That doesn't sound like anything Saju would normally throw up. ro Hmmm. ari Do you know about Saju? abb Very small amounts. Never spoken to him myself. ari Who are you? abb I'm Abbey. Who are you? ari I'm Ariel. abb Nice to meet you Ariel. Would you like a cup of tea? ari I'd love a cup of tea, actually. abb Have a seat, I'll get you one. Anyway, you were saying? ro This is a piece of one of the statues. When we disabled it, it exploded shortly after, poisoning us all. tri has confirmed that I am still poisoned and that it is ancient in origin. What can you tell me of it, and of the metal chunk? abb The poison is a bit beyond me, doesn't make sense. Why wouldn't you just stab somebody? It's a lot quicker. But the metal? Interesting. That's arachtria-type metal. ro The same stuff that the arachtria are made of? abb Yep. ari What are you? are you human? (she looks human.) abb No dearie don't be ridiculous. Do humans go popping around the place like I do? I don't think so. ari That tri they were talking about, it sounded like she was thousands of years old. How old are you? abb Oh, I'm nowhere near that old. Why, how old do you think I look? ari You look about 21. ro From what I can piece together it sounds like Saju has been taken over by arachtria. Has this ever happened before? abb That's unlikely to happen. We're all pretty good at beating the little blighters off. So unless Saju is not actually there any more, I doubt that very much. ro Are you able to be moved from the tower that you normally reside? abb I doubt that very much. ro So when you say, 'If Saju was still there…' abb Yeah in the same way that if we moved your head, would it still be there? No, but… what's the outcome? ari You think Saju might have been killed? abb Well, it's possible. I don't ever remember him ever partaking in any of the… y'know… (punch punch) ro fisticuff stuff? He was book smart rather than street smart? abb That's a good way of putting it. From what I understood he was always a bit airy fairy anyway. ari So there's three of you? abb No, there's only me. ari Towers, you talked about towers. abb Oh you don't know about the towers? They're just towers. There're towers all over the place. You lived in a castle, didn't you? There were towers there? ari Yes. abb Same thing. ari Oh. Mine didn't… abb Did they have housekeepers? ari Yes. abb There you go. I just look after the tower. ari My housekeeper generally couldn't disappear and reappear places. abb Probably just didn't put her mind to it really. I find that people just do not apply themselves these days, not like they used to in the olden days. ro abb what would be a reliable way for the Keeper to identify themself to a tower? abb They're all different, for security purposes. We're all different, made at different times. Elondel is different from me for specific reasons. ari when was Saju made - before or after you? abb Actually, I'm not really sure. Like I said, I've spoken to Elondel, but never Saju. ro When you were all active, I understand that there were 50 of you. abb Yes. ari 50? ro You were not in communication with Saju as part of that network? abb No in fact we only talked when we needed to, a bit like yelling. Hello, are you over there? Yes I am. But Saju never really yelled out and never really answered the call either. ro Unlike the relationship between you and Elondel? abb Yeah, well, it wasn't always this amiable, but when you're the last couple left… you tend to be a bit closer.

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