When last we saw out party, most of them were standing atop a broken tower. Jamshid had just been boosted up where he could examine an interesting carving(?), while Vari mother-hens Malaina in the courtyard below.
- Vari is not ashamed in any way
- Jessaila does something.
Dragonhawk: (Thurirl, I believe, is with Malaina, everyone else is on the tower)
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((what does Jamshid see?))
Jamshid sees a heavy stone door bearing an odd carving where a door handle would be more expected; it appears to be a rayed sun done in deep grooves on the top half, shallower ones on the bottom, and flaking paint in the middle.
There is no actual handle in sight.
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/sunchasers-dh/wikis/log-17
Seiankornai: “It’s a puzzle door, Grok. Don’t bash it down… yet.”
Grok: “Why not?”
Jessaila: “It’s a door that’s like a riddle. You don’t punch riddles in the face, you solve them.”
Jessaila: ((Oh wait, forgot I don’t understand Grok.))
- Isabis ignores the conversation in a language she still hasn’t learned, craning her neck to see what Jamshid is examining
Isabis: “Do you see a way to open it, Jamshid?”
Seiankornai: W “Sometimes bad things can happen in a place like this if you try to bypass a riddle with such crude methods.”
Seiankornai: W “Plus riddles are fun to solve properly.”
Grok: W “What door say on it?”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: There is not actual writing on the door, just the oddity in the handle position and some flaking paint…it might have been something astronomy themed, but much of the paint is gone, so it’s hard to be sure.
- Seiankornai snakes his head by Jamshid to get a better look at the door
You whisper to Seiankornai: There is not actual writing on the door, just the oddity in the handle position and some flaking paint…it might have been something astronomy themed, but much of the paint is gone, so it’s hard to be sure.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Anyone know much ancient astronomy?”
Seiankornai: “Not particularly, no.”
Isabis: “Well…I know some /current/ astronomy, and I know what that Kamil for the heavenly bodies is…”
Isabis: “Mostly the names haven’t changed too much. Some use different titles.”
Jessaila: “I don’t know much ancient astronomy besides what you need for stellar navigation.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “I see two suns here, one brighter than the other”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur looks more closely to determine whether the shallower grooves are due to erosion or whethery they were deliberately carved that way"
You whisper to Jessaila: You know that the stars are all supposed to be persons like Avva and Moru, and that they are variously reported to serve one or the other or, more rarely, to have rejected such service.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((Crafting 25 if that helps))
Dragonhawk: ((what crafting foci do you have?))
Jessaila: “Well, perhaps the stars are meant to be in symbolic representation.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((metalworking, tailoring, and cooking))
Jessaila: “I know that they’re supposed to represent people such as Avva and Moru, for instance.”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: what you can tell on basic principles is that the shallow grooves are perfectly radial to the circle, so probably not eroded in by the elements.
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: Their depth matches other carvings you have seen; the deep grooves are much deeper.
Jamshid par-Bahadur whispers: actually what I was wondering is whether the surface had been eroded down so that one sun was shallower than the other
Jamshid par-Bahadur whispers: or whether it was designed to have one set of grooves deeper than the other
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: No, the center circle is perfectly flat and still has some of its paint, so it’s not like that. It’s more as though the upper half of the design was, oh, carved with a different type of tool or something.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Or perhaps one of these is a device of some sort, an unusual lock for which we need an unusual key”
Seiankornai: “That’s possible.”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: You can poke the bottom of the shallow grooves with your finger nail. The deep ones run deeply into the door; you can’t tell how deep what with darkness and thinness and dust.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “I saw a secret door in an elven ruin out in the Anvil once that had a floor carving, you had to pour water in it to open the door … this is vertical though, so I don’t think pouring water will help”
- Jessaila climbs up to have a look.
- Jamshid par-Bahadur pokes his elven stiletto into one of the upper cracks in an attempt to see how deep it is
You whisper to Seiankornai: Make a general knowledge check vs 12 for me please
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Does anyone have a light?”
Seiankornai whispers: « 1d20+5 = 19 + 5 = 24 »
Seiankornai whispers: WOOT!
Jamshid’s blade goes into the arc to the point where the curvature blocks it, and into the ray to the point where it becomes too thick…at least 3/4 of an inch, anyway.
Grok: ((set him on fire, Seian))
You whisper to Seiankornai: Drakes don’t use mechanical locks all that much (that’s what TEETH are for ) but when they do, the key looks like a tube with the teeth sticking out radially. That kind of key would /almost/ be right here, although if those grooves are for teeth, then it’s not quite the same thing you’re used to seeing.
Seiankornai: “I’ve a light, but I don’t think you’d appreciate its use right now.”
Isabis: “I can give you a mage-light. What do you want it attached to?”
Seiankornai: “Hmm, those groves might be a kind of keyhole. We drakes use large keys that go into groves of a similar nature, when we need to use keys at all. I don’t know that the elves would use one like that though.”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur steps away from the door and tries to think about what might be intended to open it (Decipher 17) and whether it could be jimmied open in some way (Disable 20)
Malaina is disconnected.
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: If it’s a drakish-style keyhole, then the lock can be picked, although not easily. Then there’s always looking for the key, of course. The hinges, if any, are on the far side of the door. You are unable to determine if there’s magic involved, I think.
Seiankornai: “Has anyone seen such a device?”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “It seems to be a lock with some sort of odd key — has anyone seen a device that might fit into these cracks?”
- Jessaila wonders if that funny object Mala found would be a key.
- Seiankornai shouts down to the others, “Hey, have either of you found an oddly shaped thing that could be a key?”
Malaina has connected.
- Seiankornai makes a few puffs of smoke in odd shapes as he waits for an answer
Malaina: ((I am not sure what with all the stuff we found))
Dragonhawk: ((that’s a legitimate answer ))
- Seiankornai describes that shape that we’re looking for
- Malaina looks through the things she found and the things Thurirl found
Malaina: “Oh, Thurirl did find something just a few minutes ago!!”
Player “The” is not connected.
You whisper to Malaina: The tubes Thurirl found might fit. They’re the right general shape, anyhow, round with radial bits.
- Malaina takes the tubes from Thurirl and convinces Vari to let her fly on him so she could take them up to the others
- Seiankornai scooches back from the edge to leave room for Vari to land
Thurirl’s find proves to be a pair of odd tubes joined together by a short length of chain. Each tube of thin metal has been cut in several places on the non-chain end, and the metal bent up sideways in irregular flaps.
- Vari grumbles, but slowly lifts up into the air, Mala in the saddle and easily makes his way up to where the others are, landing in a spot big enough for him
- Jamshid par-Bahadur examines the tubes and chain and tries to figure out if they can be fit into the grooves in a particular way (Investigate: Decipher 20)
- Malaina slides off the saddle when Vari lowered himself down and hands over the tubes
Vari perches only somewhat precariously on the outer edge of the remaining tower roof where it is supported by teh walls of the stairwell below.
Jamshid thinks both tubes are the right diameter to fit, and all the flaps are short enough to fit into the grooves with room to spare, if they’re at the right spacing.
Seiankornai: W “I think we’ve solved the riddle, Grok.”
Isabis: “Why two of them? Are they the same?”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: They are similar but not identical; mainly the flaps are different heights and widths.
Seiankornai: “Sun and moon?”
Seiankornai: “But what are you waiting for? Stick them in!”
Dragonhawk: ((I’m wondering that too…))
Seiankornai: ((( “Open the door now, minion, or I shall eat you!” :P )))
- Jessaila pokes.
- Seiankornai takes the keys in his mouth and tries to stick them in as best he can
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “They don’t quite seem correct, but try anyway”
The first tube goes in a good 4"
It does not, however, turn.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Now the other one in the other groove”
Grok: ((push harder?))
The other groove is just the lower section of the upper one… you’ll have to remove the first tube-key to put the second one in.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((and by “other groove” I mean oriented differently in the same carving))
Dragonhawk: ((ah. In that case…)
The second tube goes in, and the position of the rays leaves no doubt about the orientation – only one position will allow it to go in at all.
This time you can feel it turn fractionally to the right when it is all the way in.
- Malaina watchs everything, staying close to Vari
- Isabis leans back and tries to see better.
Isabis: “Can you turn this one? What are you doing up there?”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “It seems to be turning, but the door hasn’t opened — try giving it a shove now”
- Jessaila pushes.
Seian joins in, shoving the door, then hauling the key to see if it will turn further, and when it grinds around another 90º pushing again.
The second time, the door inches ponderously open.
- Seiankornai looks in
Jessaila: “Heave ho.”
- Seiankornai pushes a shoulder against the door
- Jamshid par-Bahadur steps in cautiously, looking about
Jamshid par-Bahadur: (Notice 13, Search 12)
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0003.html))
This floor of the tower is divided into small rooms. Unlike the rest of the tower these were not burned – at least, not as much. The walls of the two rooms nearest the door show signs of years of intersting spell failures, as well as the workbenches and cabinets.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Looks like a magician’s research area”
Seiankornai: “Ooh, lovely.”
- Jessaila searches. « 1d20+8 = 4 + 8 = 12 »
Jamshid par-Bahadur: W" “Grok, don’t touch anything”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: *W “Thinks in here look like they could explode in your face, or disintegrate you and turn you into a zombie”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: Things
Seiankornai: *W “And a zombie ogre would be bad.”
The rooms also show signs of hasty packing; half-open but empty drawers, loose quills in the corners, that sort of thing.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0037.html))
- Isabis slowly and carefully climbs the broken stairs
- Grok pouts in a corner
- Seiankornai pushes the humans and elf in, since they have the more dextreous bodies
Dragonhawk: ((he’s free to make the climb))
Isabis: “All right, all right, I’ll search the research rooms of the abandoned and maybe haunted ruin…there’s no need to shove.”
- Isabis looks for writing « 1d20+10 = 18 + 10 = 28 »
Isabis: “Whoo! This guy carved his formulas into his blackboard!”
Seiankornai: “Sure there is, you weren’t going as fast as I wished.”
- Isabis begins taking rubbings
Isabis: “I wonder if he did it on purpose…?”
Seiankornai: ((now that isn’t ominous :P ))
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Either that or his chalk eats blackboard”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “I found a potion once in a mad wizards research area that could eat tempered steel”
- Isabis tries to read the formulas.
Isabis: "Oh! Hah, I think I see. He was trying to be poetic with the verbal component and said something about “this spell” and it took a reference to the written spell."
Isabis: “Um… so nobody read this aloud, OK? The paper definitely can’t take it.”
Jamshid tries another door and finds it locked, with an ordinary rusty lock this time.
- Jamshid par-Bahadur picks it with his dagger (Disable 20)
- Seiankornai squeezes his way in
- Jessaila searches for items of interest.
Jamshid removes the lock from the rotten wood of the door, allowing it to swing open on a storage room.
- Jessaila searches. « 1d20+10 = 10 + 10 = 20 »
- Jamshid par-Bahadur searches the storage closet 11
Jessaila finds several pages of parchment that fell behind a desk
Jamshid observes a roomfull of empty shelves and, oddly, sand – overseen by a “bird” formed of inky black runes and magic, perching on a fallen decanter.
The decanter is of cut glass, cloudy and translucent rather than clear, with a glass stopper lying next to it on the shelf, and appears to be full of sand.
- Jessaila puts them in a spot for safekeeping.
You whisper to Jessaila: Some mage was sorry to lose those research notes; you and Isabis and Thurirl will have fun deciphering them later.
- Korret whispers in Kamil
- Isabis looks up from her rubbing. “Say what?”
Korret: ((Most of you should know what a Korret is – a ruin-haunt that forms around hidden libraries and that sort of thing. Not always hostile, they don’t like to be alone. The giant one that forms in the Janno capital is famous for bonding to a human and helping lead the territory.))
- Korret mantles his runeish wings
Seiankornai: “Oh, one of those. What’s it saying?”
- Korret whispers in Kamil
- Jamshid par-Bahadur removes the stopper from the decanter and pours a little sand out into his hand
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((nvm, just noticed the stopper was already out, just pouring sand))
- Voice says something startled-sounding in Kamil; the Korret whispers, seeminly in reply
Jamshid recognized the word for “sand” in both statements, if only from the riddle below.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: K “Sand?”
Voice: " something something SAND something! something! Something-something!"
Jamshid par-Bahadur: K “what mean you ‘sand’”?
Voice: ((oh, did you pick up Kamil at the level? I thought you didn’t speak it.))
Seiankornai: ((well, don’t Jessaila and Isabis know it? can’t they hear it?))
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((yeah just picked it up, but for realism’s sake I’m assuming that I’m still learning the vocabulary at this point, and not great with the grammar))
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((since I definitely didn’t know it before gaining the level))
- Voice pauses, then speaks slowly, clearly, and loudly: “Pour. It. OUT!”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: ((probably been learning it from Jessailia and Isabis as we travel))
- Isabis looks into the room
Jessaila: “What in the world…”
Isabis: “Is that the Korret talking?”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur obediently dumps the sand onto the floor, knowing that it is wise not to offend disembodied voices speaking ancient languages in magical laboratories
Korret whispers: “Many visitors…”
Voice: “Yeah, you said. Get them to clear out this stinking sand, will you?”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur even taps the decanter a few times to get the last grains of sand out before righting the decanter and reaching for the stopper
- Seiankornai winds his way further in
Korret: “Blockages….prison walls…”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Isabis, what does K ‘prison’ mean?”
Before Jamshid can stopper the bottle, a cloud of thick smoke boils out and begins condensing on the floor before him.
- Jamshid par-Bahadur steps back, stifling an oath
- Jessaila draws her sword – though she doesn’t see much point to the exercise.
Isabis: “It means a place of confinement…oh. In this case, apparently it means that bottle.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Now you tell me”
- Genie solidifies and shakes sand out of his ears.
- Jamshid par-Bahadur blinks
- Genie bows elaborately
- Jamshid par-Bahadur bows deeply in return
Genie: K “A thousand thanks noble el- human – for removing that accursed sand from my abode.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: K “Welcome”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: K “I Jamshid, your name?”
- Genie cocks his head at Jamshid
Jamshid par-Bahadur: W “Speak Woanish?”
Genie: W “Yes, I speak the language of the clever folk, though your accent is strange to me.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: M “How about Melios?”
Seiankornai: V “Vidoss?”
Genie: M “If you prefer. From where do you hail, oh Jamshid of the strange tongue?”
- Korret whispers “Times pass…tonges turn with years…”
- Jessaila decides this Whatever doesn’t need killing, and sheathes her sabre again.
- Korret flutters up to a new perch, something squareish on a different shelf.
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “I am Jamshid par-Bahadur of the Broken Rocks Clan of the Ruwil tribe of the Janno who travel Avva’s Anvil”
Axhar: “I, Axhar, hail from the great land of the Djinni, though I have long been resident in this, ah…‘fine place of learning,’ and that without even an occasion to participate in the learning these many long decades.”
Jessaila: “What a surprise, as there’s been nobody here to learn.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “That … would be frustrating …”
Axhar: “The Anvil of Avva? Do you refer to the Desert of the Disaster? I was told I would be made useful in determining the cause of it. I had not heard that any yet dwelt there.”
- Korret whispers “Empty, empty…smokes and winds…”
Jessaila: “Do… you recall the Cataclysm happening?”
Axhar: “Yes, yes, so you’ve said. Really, Fragment, I would speak with you more if you repeated yourself less.”
- Jessaila is immediately interested.
Axhar: “No, I was summoned shortly afterward, or so I was given to understand.”
Jessaila: “SHORTLY afterward?”
Seiankornai: “Ah, but you probably know more about it than we do.”
- Axhar shrugs
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “My people travel across it in winter to trade and to explore the ancient ruins, but we make our summer camp in the Pass of the Moon”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: "Axhar, do you know this bird creature? This “Fragment” as you call it?"
Axhar: “I was perhaps a bit unhappy about my summoning, and did not offer, perhaps, quite the level of service that was hoped for…they filled my bottle a long time ago so I could not come out unbidden, and left me to go mad.”
Axhar: “Fragment…Scrap…it’s just a nickname. He came long ago and began speaking to me. I’ve never beheld him before now.”
Fragment: “Lonliness…emptyness…abandonment and fires…”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “Ah, well as you have introduced me to your companion I must needs introduce mine”
Axhar: “Truth be told, he hasn’t fared so well himself. He used to speak in actual sentences once upon a time.”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur introduces the rest of the party giving their full names, tribes, and homelands (where he knows them)
- Jessaila greets Axhar.
- Jessaila looks over sharply at the Fragment.
- Isabis greets both of the new folk, eyeing Fragment’s perch interestedly
- Fragment blinks it’s i’s at Jessaila
- Jessaila glances over at Axhar. “Did that make more sense to you?”
Axhar: “I believe it was considering the meaning of your varying title.”
Fragment: “…god followers, god seekers…old prayers and new prayers…”
- Axhar gives Fragment a dubious glance
Seiankornai: “I beleive it is refering to me.”
Axhar: “Or perhaps he’s just being cryptic for the fun of it.”
Isabis: “What has he been living on?? We haven’t found enough books around here to support a…a korret egg much less a full-grown – well, half-grown?…”
- Fragment is much smaller than most Korrets you’ve heard of.
- Fragment whispers “Gone away…gone away…smokes and winds.”
Axhar: “I gather there was more here when we first, ah, met. He claims to nest two shelves above me.”
Fragment: “Masterwork…Moru’s choices…”
Isabis: “May I see this masterwork?”
- Fragment looks at Isabis, and at Jessaila, then flaps into the air in a cloud of dust. This clears off his perch, confirming that it is in fact a book.
- Fragment suddenly begins a long stream of mage jargon in ancient Kamil. It’s hard to follow, but probably represents something from a book on spellcasting.
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: You can take over Axhar if you want.
- Isabis carefully lifts down the large book, and gently opens it to the first pages. It is in remarkably good condition.
- Isabis whistles
- Malaina idly waiting outside
Isabis: “Jessaila, look at this… It says it’s a textbook in advanced spellcraft!”
Fragment: ((Those outside can hear most of this, except for what Fragment’s saying – Fragment almost never speaks above a whisper))
Seiankornai: “That is quite useful.”
Seiankornai: “Would the korret come with us if we take it though?”
((it is in fact so useful that a week of downtime spent studying it will grant a magic user up to four bonus spells))
Fragment: “Travelers…visitors…knowledge moving to knowledge…”
Isabis: “That sounds like a yes to me. I’m amazed he’s in here; he must have stayed this long just to keep Axhar company.”
Isabis: “Korrets usually won’t stay places that have been abandoned by the scholars AND stripped of the books.”
- Jessaila whispers to Isabis “What’s a Korret?”
- Isabis points at Fragment
Jamshid par-Bahadur whispers: thanks, I think I will
Jessaila: “Well yes. WHAT is it?”
- Jamshid par-Bahadur tries to keep the smile off his face
- Isabis whispers “Bird-shaped writing-spirit-elemental creature. Exact nature debated. Forms around library ruins and hidden caches of knowledge generally, usually bigger than this. Likes company, doesn’t mind humans usually.”
- Fragment gives a sort of airy laugh
Fragment: “Knowledge seekers…knowledge makers…knowledge speakers…worthy friends.”
Seiankornai: “Would you like to go to a university?”
- Fragment flutters off the shelf, this time without throwing up a cloud of dust, and lands on Axhar’s head.
Fragment: “New places…new knowledge…”
- Fragment leans to one side, trying to see around the door jamb.
Isabis: “Well, we’re going there next, assuming nothing disasterous happens. We want to share the knowledge we just found here with them.”
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: if you have his token made, you can paste it into the token holder too.
Seiankornai: "Hmm, tell me, Axhar, have you ever heard of a being called “The Crone”?"
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: He’s heard of her; the person who last shelved him was planning to move to a safer site to get away from ‘the Crone’s undead monster knights’
Jamshid par-Bahadur whispers: haven’t found a good token image yet, if you see a good genie pic, let me know
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: OK, I’ll keep it in mind
Isabis: “Speaking of the Crone, let’s have this conversation while moving, shall we? If this place is prone to haunting, I don’t want to be in it at night – and if the gaunt know we’re here, I don’t want to be in it any longer than I have to at all.”
Isabis: “We’ve searched it bottom to top now, our new acquaintances can tell us all about their pasts while we find a safer camping site.”
Jamshid par-Bahadur: “I’ll second that motion”
- Isabis holds up the book to Fragment
Jessaila: “I know a cave near here that will probably be safe for the night.”
- Fragment turns his head, examining the situation with his right i and then his left, and finally perches on the book.
- Fragment whispers “Travelling…geography…cartography…”
- Seiankornai flys on to the cave
Player “Want” is not connected.
You whisper to Jamshid par-Bahadur: Want to discuss travel with Axhar at all?
Fragment: ((Seiankornai causes a temporal distortion and suddenly finds himself back over the ruined tower, with a headache ))
- Jamshid par-Bahadur asks Axhar what he knows of the surrounding area
Seiankornai: (( :P ))
- Axhar has rather outdated knowledge, but eventually you work out that he and Jessaila are thinking of the same cave
The party troops down the various stairs, collecting members as they go. Everyone gets assembled in the courtyard. Axhar carries his decanter, and Fragment rides the book he has been calling his nest.
Just when you’ve finally located Thurirl, when you hear the sound of running and panting
- Grok pokes Fragment
Jessaila: ((Did we clear out the entire tower?))
- Malaina blinks at the side, wondering who else was in this place
Fragment: w “Ogres…proverbs…”
Fragment: w “He who pokes his spear into the cave with teeth finds his hand bitten off.”
Seiankornai: “Hey, a complete sentance.”
In moments, the runner comes panting into the courtyard. It’s Emelgard, the gaunt elf sorcerrer
You whisper to Grok: That is, in fact, an old Ogrish proverb.
Seiankornai: ((uh oh))
Jessaila: “Uh oh.”
Grok: W “Smart one. Knows good proverb.”
Malaina: “Oh dear…”
- Emelgard gasps “Jessaila, they’re coming! EVERYONE is coming!”