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Karthan 04 - Searching the past, facing the present
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vampyre



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 268
Location: Upper Hutt

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Karthan 04 - Searching the past, facing the present Reply with quote

Mak begins searching the past
Kam faces the present from his domain in Lasgalen
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vampyre



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Posts: 268
Location: Upper Hutt

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: k400 Falcon Gambit 4 Reply with quote

K400: 1Guiaranor22: Falcon Gambit 4: the fifth Abyss

“And you believe what lies beyond may aid you in what is to come.”
“Yes I do.”
“Enter within.” The door opens before him. Mak enters and the door closes behind him.

Mak is in a corridor, the walls of stone and it is dark. Mak casts a light cantrip spell and looking behind sees a wall, Bali has not followed him through.

On the other side, Bali watched the door closed in front of him. “You should return to your realm Bali Foehammer.”
“Where has Mak gone?” Bali asked. He was aware that before the door opened that he would not be permitted through and he could not question that decision.
“To a place where he may find answers to satisfy his inquiring mind.”
“You know he does not come from this world.”
“He is one that is now two. That is why he was permitted to enter and pass as he has done. Now he faces either what he seeks or what he does not. All is not what it appears to be Bali Foehammer.”
“A set up…there is no evidence these Falconers were ever here.”
“They were in times past and they passed on. This location like others….were ploys to deceive those who were pursuing them. Once built by an older race in more ancient times. This is one such location that we have adopted when the occasion arises.”
We…Sulthalion no doubt…a ploy to deceive. Leading the pursuers to where? Bali knew he would not get the answers from the guardian. “And is the High King aware of this…situation that has now come to pass?” he asked instead.
“You are privileged to know the High King, our father Bali Foehammer. What has come to pass is that which he has desired. Now return to your people Bali Foehammer and remember to keep an invitation that was offered to you for the end of this month. Both matters are connected.”

On the other side of the door, the light spell emits down the corridor and it extends beyond the 40ft range of the spell. The walls are covered in slime and the air is cold…due to moisture. Mak proceeds down the corridor and it opens out in to 40 ft x 40ft room with 5 corridors extending from the room. The walls are wet and covered in slime and luminescent growth. Mak tries to determine whether this is of Falconer origin but is unable to do so. There is no airflow coming from the corridors…the air still cold and moist. Mak does begin to realize breathing is difficult…laboured. The room is empty. Three corridors are to Mak’s left and 2 are to Maks right at different angles.

Quote:
Mak follows the first corridor on his left.
It angles back to black rock spiral stairway going down.
The black rock glitters.

Mak goes down the stairs carefully.

Knowledge(Dungeoneering) 22:
this place is old. Mak can sense its age.

Mak reaches a new level landing 60' down. Another corridor is here.
The stairs continue down the stairs.

Mak continues down the stairs. Another landing 60' down. More stairs.

Mak continues down the stairs. Another landing 60' down. More stairs.

Mak continues down the stairs. Another landing 60' down. More stairs.

Mak continues down the stairs. Another landing 60' down. More stairs.

Mak continues down the stairs. He reaches the bottom. A warm dry aired corridor is here. It smells of sulphur. Wet cloth cover mouth and proceed down this corridor. It extends 50' and joins another corridor (T junction) - this is main corridor. Mak notices other similar angled corridors join it.

He turns left and follows he main corridor. 60-70'. solid metal door. holes along wall (12).

Mak listens at the door. Hears nothing. There is a latch. Mak lightly touches the door. It's slightly warm. He opens the latch. The door opens and Mak enters a room that is 15' wide 30' long. Raised platform with pedestals on which there are repeater crossbows mounted. The crossbows point through the holes in the wall. Mak steps over to exaine the platforms and can see they would be used by human-sized people. The view from them is downward and they have clear field of vision into corridor and it is possible to see other holes on the opposite side of hallway.

(Similar defensive measure to "murder holes" in a castle)

Mak will look around the rest of the room. SEARCH 15.
Just bedding and beds. Exit the room and go to the next door.

Listen. Undo the latch. Enter. Same.
SEARCH 25. A bedpost on a collapsed bed has decayed over time.
Removeable. Remove to discover a wooden scroll case. Plain with
no markings. Mak tries to open the scroll case. He tries twisting it.
Fails. He taps it on the bedpost. Nothing happens. He gives up and simply take it with him.

LISTEN 20.

Mak exits the room into the corridor. He follows it further 120' and reaches mines. Rails and cars, etc. Retrace his steps and follow the main corridor back the other way. Recast light spell.

The corridor 500' - light visible ahead, heat is felt. SPOT 22.
There are indentations on the floor, possibly for mining wagons.

Continue. Heat and sulphur smell increases. Corridor opens to a narrow bridge over a sea of molten lava. Huge natural cavern. lava spilling out like a waterfall from side and flowing through an opening on the other side. Heat is bearable here and Mak elects to cross the bridge.

WILL Save (Cool Choking on fumes REFLEX (1) Falls, rolls toward edge
STRENGTH check (19) to hold on
STRENGTH check (19) to hold on
Drop wet cloth - eyes stinging - STRENGTH check (16) to climb up
Can't do it ... STRENGTH check (12) slipping ... STRENGTH check (1) fail and fall ... suddenly stop (9hp damage as something digs into ribs)

Mak is 50' above lava pool. Can't see. Eyes stinging. Something has hold of Mak around his chest. There is something thin holding him.

Mak tries to figure out what is holding him. It feels like a taught thread. He will try to swing and get momentum on the thread to become a pendulum to reach the bridge.

Mak reaches into his haversack and retrieves his clay mug. He then pushes the claymug hard against the thin thread to create a spool type arrangement to gradually wind himself back up to the top. the clay mug shatters.

He stops swinging. Then something lifts him. WILL 23.
No losing concsiousness, etc. Finds himself at the bridge.
Mystery. String is still there. No-one else is. The string loosens itself.
I step out of the string and away from it.

Mak hurriedly crosses the bridge. REFLEX 13. WILL 24.
Mak reaches the other side and moves through the opening into another corridor.

100' to a landing. Pentagram-shaped. The landing looks out over another pit of lava hundreds of feet down. A bridge extends out into a pentagram-shaped landing in the centre and there are four other bridges at other points of the pentragram.

In the central platform there is a black rock pentagram-shaped pillar. It extends up and up with corridors connecting to it. Mak crosses over to it. No entrances. It is smooth black and shiny.

LISTEN 11. Mak will move to the apex corridor. Follows it.
Reaches a cave opening on the right after travelling 100'.
LISTEN 13. Nothing. Enter the cave. It is twisty and opens out into a craggy cavern which is lit by white luminescence. There are the remains of large egg shells at the bottom of the cavern. No idea if recently hatched. 7-8' diameter. Very large. Quite a number here.

Leave cavern to avoid being food for hatched creatures. Follow corridors. 160' another cave opening. LISTEN 24. Nothing.

Enter cave. It is wider. 30' wide and turns left then right. Eggshell cavern. LISTEN 8. Nothing. Retrace steps.

Return to corridor. Four openings to empty 30'40' rooms. Debris on floor (barrels, crates, etc). How old is the debris?
Dust covered.

Proceed down corridor. 40' then rockfall. LISTEN 17. Mak can sense magical power and voices beyond. INT check 10. Cannot understand. Gutteral. Steel. Laughter. Grunts. Smell food. The food smells spicy. Good.


Mak calls out "Hello?"

No reaction. INT check (1).

"Hello?" Mak calls out louder. The sounds, etc continue.
INT check 20. Mak suddenly recalls the dialect is Ozgeyr.
He stops trying to get attention. Retrace steps to pillar on platform.

LISTEN 14. LISTEN 26.

Approaching the pentragram-shaped platform/pillar. Movement is heard ahead. Can't see anything. Wait until light spell fades. Move silently (1). LISTEN (1). Cross to landing. SPOT 18. Nothing.

Move from apex corridor to the next in sequence. 140' to another lake of lava.

Backtrack and try the next corridor in sequence. 120' to another lake of lava (narrow 10' and twists). Follow it. Approach a series of solid metal doors on left and right. Examine the first metal door. Same as before. Open latch and look in the room. Cast light spell.

Well furnished suite that has seen better days. Definitely was for humans, not Tordagh. Ensuite and office connected. Cabinet for scroll-cases (now empty). SEARCH 19. Drawer of writing desk contains a piece of parchment ... diagram of an astrolobe for astronomical studies with writing in unknown language. Also find a secret entrance in the office corner. Examine that closely - SEARCH 15 reveals mechanical trap. Disable Device 30 ... trap disabled. Open entrance ,,, cubicle revealed holding 2 small blue stones and a small 10' tall astrolobe, which is identical to that of the diagram.

All evidence suggests the place was emptied methodically. It feels like the inhabitants were able to move themselves. i.e the place has not been trashed.

Check another room (there is another cave entrance). Furnished suite. Armoury rack. No weapons. Scroll case cabinet (empty). SEARCH (1).

Search 16 rooms total. Nothing else found.
Light spell fails.

Activate a sun rod (4HRS 20' ILLUMINATION)

follow corridor to cavern 200' long 100' high with forges below.
No manual starting obvious, so assumed to be magical. 20 forges.

Mak thinks these would be a great asset to the people of Karthan if they need to manufacture weapons and armour for war in secret.

The forging tools have not rusted over time and have been stored neatly. Two corridors from cavern, both have rails for mining wagons.
Each leads into darkness.

Retrace steps to pentagram-shaped platform and pillar. Follow last corridor. It leads 15' and opens out to wide corridor that heads towards the last corridor Mak examined. Follow it to a wall that runs diagonally. There is a small opening. Examine it. It leads to a 10' x 10' pentagonal shaped room. Design is opposite the main avenue.

It appears to be a shaft, without hand rails or anything. Mak will enter and stand at the centre, looking up. Nothing happens. "Hello?" Mak calls out to listen to the echo. Airflow from above is here. Breathing is easier here. Mak will search around walls. SEARCH 31. Nothing.

Mak sets up the small astrolobe in the center of this room. He pulls out the parchment he found that described or represented the astrolobe. Nothing happens. Mak puts it all away.

Mak returns to the corridor and follows it further. 60' and opens out into a mining pit. Huge. Rails, carts, bridge, etc. Cross the bridge. Corridor extends. SPOT 22.

A secret entrance on right side is found. SEARCH for traps 20.
It is trapped mechanically. Disable Device 11. fails.

Mak struck by a dart. WILL SAVE 24. Woozy but effect resisted.
Disable device (1). Struck by a second dart in wrist. WILL SAVE 13.
Woozy and disorientated. Disable Device ... unable to do so ...

Sit, rest and recover. Eat some dry rations.
Undisturbed.
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:39 am    Post subject: k401 Reply with quote

K401: 1Guiaranor22: Losan-Stravin

Three operators had worked the last few minutes trying to find the 2nd marker once it disappeared from its position within the Tarascon Mountains. “I have found it.” One of them said excitedly. “It is in the Garthang Ranges…why is he there?”
“Garthang Ranges…that is where Darkness Claw presides, correct?” another asked as he passed the information to the commander, presently off duty.
“Apparently.” The first operator replied. “The mountain range is ringed by shield fortresses…says a lot about what they are there for.”
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject: k402 Reply with quote

K402: 1Guiaranor23: the fifth abyss: helix of fire

Mak awakens refreshed. His eyes no longer irritate him from the stinging caused by the sulphur. He is still in the corridor and it is dark.
Mak turns to try and disable the trap after activating a sun rod.

Quote:
Disable device 21. Succeeds.

The wall slides open to reveal another corridor at a right angle. Unpleasant and acrid odours. Wait 15 minutes to see if the odours dissipate. The air becomes more tolerable. enter and follow the secret corridor. smell gets stronger. proceed. putrid smell. cover my mouth and nose with a wet cloth. smells like death. keep going to see what died.

Bottom of a shaft. Pile of dead bodies. Very old. Thick gooey stuff at bottom of shaft. Bodies are skeletal, armour, weapons, etc. Looks like they were thrown. Another corridor on other side. SPOT 25.

Step in with intent of going around. Its like walking in tar. Difficult. Smell is awful. WILL SAVE 23. Mak is disgusted but not physically sick.
Traverses room. No obvious falcon symbols. The symbol observed is silvery black, quite startling, on a gold/white background, of a lys (flower symbol).

Mak's tracks are not dissolving back into the muck, they could be followed. Boots are now covered in stuff.

Reach the other corridor and follow it - 320' to a wall.
There is a sense of power from this wall. SEARCH (1) - a ward is activated (16hp from lightning) - Mak is now determined to bypass this. SEARCH 25. There is a mechanism that can open the door and three other runes have been avoided. The wall/door opens into a 16' x 20' room shaped like a half circle. Long table surrounded by chairs with 'windows' in the walls.

Mak does not believe the window are real (we are underground). Mak enters the room. SEARCH 31. SEARCH 13.

Some kind of observation room? Sees fireballs arcing across the windows. Mak will move close to oneof those windows. Very solid thick windows. Sees a huge cavern of fire below. Huge helix of spiralling intertwined fire in its centre. SPOT (1).

Mak touches the glass. It is cool. He taps the glass. It sounds like glass. No other exits from this room.

Mak sits in chair at head of table. Observes flying fire which stops and comes to glass (with humanoid form) looks at him and then goes away.

Mak remains sitting there. Waits. The figure returns to the window.
'Elvish' looking. Mak waves and calls out "Hello?"
It smiles and then disappears into the river of fire.
Mak will stand and go to the glass. SPOT (1)
Nothing.

Mak turns to leave and the fire elemental is in the room.
"Hello - I am a friend - how are you?"
It flies around and Mak can feel its heat.
"Can you talk?" Mak asks, curiously.
It looks at Mak.
Mak smiles back.
Mak shows it the astrolobe he found earlier ... he senses it knows what that is.
Mak puts the astrolobe on the table and gestures for the creature to use it.
It just looks back, apparently more intrigued by the sun rod from Zanarkand.
"Oh this? It is just magic from my home in a desert. Is this place your home?"
A voice from behind says "it is ours now."
Mak turns around to see who is speaking. A taller, more adult fire being is standing there.
"Forgive me for intruding, I have found this amazing place and am exploring its ancient paths and passageways. You are the first living beings I have encountered directly. I was hoping to find -"
"- so you have not seen the other?"
"- what do you mean?"
"There is another who travels this place."
"Is the other a small person with a lot of hair sprouting out of his face?"
It laughs. "No."
"then what does the other look like?"
"when you meet the person you'll find out."
"where is the person?"
"we do not know, it was here 37 hours ago and still is."
"OK ... are they looking for something?"
"I do not know."
"Have they spoken to you?"
"No. It observed and left."
"Is it human?"
"I think so."
"I have heard some other creatures in this place and avoided them. They were Ozgeyr. Does the other traveller have anything to do with them?"
"We think not."
"Are you troubled by my being here?"
"I am here to ensure that you do leave."
"Then I shall do so ... I'll just gather my things."

The two fire beings disappear. They are not elementals; Mak senses they are living creatures.
Mak gathers his possessions and backtracks to the secret door and re-enter the main corridor.



Fresh air!

Follow the main corridor ... 400' ... on the left there are three cave openings into mines (ignore) ... proceed ... it ends at a sequence of square blocks 10' by 10' that form a spiralling twisted pattern.

SEARCH 16 ... nothing found. Move forward.

Step into the first 10' x 10' block. It sinks and the wall above starts coming down slowly. Mak jumps forward but falls down a ravine into foul water. Stones fall down from above and Mak sees skeletal remains all over the place as things crash down, spraying water everywhere.

100' distance to cross the water. Insects buzzing, etc. Mak reaches the other side. Clothes are filthy too. CLIMB 16.

Mak climbs up and reaches bottom block on other side. climb above block. get on top of block. jump through the opening as the block sinks. REFLEX 26 - success.

Corridor goes 60' into what looks like a 600' long partitioned barracks. SEARCH ... couple of pieces of jewellry ... nothing else.

There are angled rooms of the main corridor ... mak just goes forward and reaches two massive doors. Beside the doors are levels on which constructed weapons (ballistae) are mounted. Mak inspects the massive doors. 30' high, 30' wide and no human could open them. No pulley system. No idea how to open them.

Mak inspects the two avenues that angle off left and right from the doors.

In the left avenue ... on the right wall there are defensive positions hewn into the rock ... Mak looks out through one of these. He sees a huge cavern lit by luminecense and glowing stalactites. In the cavern there is a very large creature lying on the floor - a Zhan! It is black and seems to be sleeping. Mak is astonished and is alarmed at this discovery, even though it is too big to fit into the fortress. He can sense the creature is evil.

Following the other avenue Mak sees doors and when he opens these he can see offices. SEARCH 21, 23.

The rooms are well furnished and very old. Magical rune paper found in a drawer. Couple of faded letters in envelopes. Mak does find a plan of the area. Symbology bears no resemblence to falcons ... again the flower symbol.

Mak thinks the place has been abandoned in the past. In one of the rooms Mak finds a uniform with the flower and star symbol. He takes this, wrapping it up in his haversack.

Mak goes back to the weird floating tunnel. It is straight this time.
Dash across - 20' short fall (16hp) as block fall and crash.
Climb up to top of block, wait for it to sink and dive roll forward into tunnel (3hp) and get up with slight sprain.

Return to pentagram-shaped platform with pillar. Rest.
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Enigma



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As he rests, Mak grows more curious about who the "Other" might be ... who else might be either exploring or wandering, trapped, in this long abandoned place? Could it be someone who is expecting him? Unlikely. Mak himself did not expect to find himself here.

He had stepped through a door. An unusual door. A door that had taunted him and tested his confidence to enter.

Mak realised he had entered into more mystery. This place must surely be one of those "Shades of Gray" he had been informed about; it is certainly ancient and most probably older than the Falconer items he has found and carried with him.

While the Falconers may have known this place or perhaps been familiar with it, it was becoming clear to Mak that an older people had been responsible for its construction. He had already discovered evidence of the ancients' existence and tragic demise; they had fallen victim to some great calamity in the past for so many to have died and been consigned to an undignified 'burial' in the hidden shaft that connected to the observation room. And, he wondered, what happened to the others that fell beneath the unusual floating, dropping passageway that connected to the main underground entranceway?

He thought about the new unusual symbol he found on the remains of the those ancient soldiers. He wondered at its significance. Who were they?

Mak resolved to look for further clues to find out.
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: k403 Garthang Ranges Reply with quote

K403: 1Guiaranor23: Garthang Ranges

It was the early morning and the Commander rubbed his eyes before turning back to the psi screens before him. He had been called in 9 hours ago when the second marker was located and now a drone was approaching a region of the empire that had not been mapped before. Due to the Garthang Ranges been the acknowledged home of Darkness Claw…a “demi god” who served the “god” of chaos, required a decision on just how this region was to be observed. Usually low tech drones were used for mapping and observation, but for this situation a decision had come to deploy a latest high tech drone using technology developed for observation of the Black Moon, employing a psionic shield. Though not successful against the Black Moon…the shield had been successful on other worlds shielding detection by sentient beings that used powers of the mind. Its use was primarily because of the proximity of this “demi god” and the general use of mind magic from the indigenous races of this world.

The drone had descended through the atmosphere and was 17,000m above the surface, dominated by a jagged mountain range, the Garthang Ranges. To the north and south were plain lands, provinces of the empire. As the drone descended towards the mountains readouts appeared of where the marker was in association to the mountain, located in the heart of the range…height 22,540m, base 2,540m above sea level. The marker was 860m below sea level and moving…but within what environment could not be determined as no permission had been given to deep scan the mountain interior. But given the movement, monitored the past hour…straight tunnels or corridors arcing out from a central point, pentagram in shape. Not a natural environment.

And what was appearing on the screens was not natural either. The top of the mountain was a carved spire 800m high surrounded by large towers built upon a wide outcrop that encircled the spire at its base. The structure was immense, the towers jutting out like jagged teeth, each 400m high. The drone now 9000m above the summit continued it descent as operators brought up more psi screens showing more live imagery being recorded and transmitted. “We are reading 18,000 life signs and increasing.” One of the operators informed. “The structure descends down the mountain a further…600m and there is signs of another structure 3,000m further down the mountain…life signs present there too, reading 85,000 at present and increasing.”
“Surely we have found Darkness Claw’s domain, what other entity is known to exist here? Are the life signs Azgeyr and Osgeyr?”
“Yes sir…and other creatures….checking….the Mesk race and others…unidentified.”
Mesk, trolls….giants, depending on the world where these races existed…seemingly worlds where magic was prevalent.
“Sir, this is an idea opportunity to map the interior of this fortress.” One of the operators said, turning to face the Commander. “Especially if your conclusion is correct and this is Darkness Claw’s domain.”
“I would like nothing more than to do so, Lieutenant but I have my orders. We cannot initiate topographic sensor scanning.”

The drone continued its descent and below the summit fortress were indeed two other fortresses, one 3,000m further down and the second at the base of the mountain, large terraced platforms and jagged towers jutting out from the mountain side. The base of the mountain was surrounded by massive walls and towers rose 200m spaced every 1000m “Lifesigns, 733,876 of which 37,435 are unidentified.”
“Where is the marker and what is his status?” The Commander asked.
“844m below the base…a rest state.”
“Position the drone.” The commander ordered as he contacted OP32. “Have your team ready, Lieutenant.” he informed, verifying the status of the marker. “Proceed Lieutenant.”
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: k404 Reply with quote

K404: 1Guiaranor23: Position: Geo grid K04-80074-883

Two people appeared on the landing that surrounded the 5 sided black basalt pillar. One looked around amazed at what he saw, seeing five bridges crossing a chasm into dark openings beyond. Looking up he could see more landings and bridges arcing out from the basalt pillar. Joining his companion they approached the sleeping form of S68723894. The second placed a micro scanner against the pillar while the first took from a clear thin vial a small thin steel needle.
“7 seconds.” The second informed checking a small psi screen in his hand.
The first nodded and kneeling down proceeded to his task. The needle penetrated the shirt and skin…the anesthetic taking immediate effect as the blood sample was obtained. Rising to his feet he placed the need into the container. As his companion joined him, he was struck by 4 thin daggers that appeared out of nowhere and “whistled” through the air to the target striking him on the right shoulder. “What the…”

Both then disappeared.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: k405 Reply with quote

K405: 1Guiaranor23: Fifth Abyss

Mak is suddenly awoken by noise. Rubbing his eyes he looks around he sees small droplets of blood beside the pillar, just two feet away from him. His left arm is throbbing slightly and looking down he sees a drop of blood on the shirt on his upper arm.

Quote:

Mak wakes up and quickly scans his immediate surroundings.
PERCEPTION 22.

There are no obvious tracks.

INT check 25.
Mak knows that his blood is a different shade of blood to that which is on the floor. Mak also knows that the inhabitants of Karthan have a copper red shade of blood, which is also different to the blood he can see on the floor.

Mak looks up and around the pillar. Is something else injured around here? Nothing found. He gathers his belongings and head across towards the large cavern that contains the bridge spanning the lava. Mak realises that the suplhurous fumes will be a problem so he returns to the central pillar and then takes one of the other paths to reach a set of stairs that can take him up to the next level (passes barracks).

Climb 60 '. Stop and listen. No sound. Move from the stairwell into the corridor. Mak approaches a branching set of corridors (those lead to other stairs).

Thinking about needing light, Mak considers that he has already cast his limit of magical spells (0th level osirons) for the Eberron day. This is when he discovers that his magic has changed ... his familiar Light spell has changed from standard D&D3.5 ed to Karthan (Rolemaster) stats - 10' radius, 3rd level, 10mins per total character level duration. This surprises him as he feels a change of energy as the spell flows through him. He observes a silvery haze as 'essence' is used to produce the light effect.

Shining the light around he moves forward. The corridor extends 120' and it opens into a room that is 60' x 40' and contains five archways on each side. The archways have been carved with beasts and various creatures around them. At the top of each archway is a carved fleur de lys symbol, like those found on the remains of the ancient soldiers.

Mak shines his light into the entrance of each archway to see how far the light reaches into each of them. He sees small rooms containing bedding for two people inside each of them.

Mak notes all of the rooms are like this. There is no sign of destruction here. Mak finds nothing (PERCEPTION 19, 13). There is no sign of anything at all - insects, spiders, etc.

But everything is well preserved, functional and faded due to age. Dry. No mould. The air is warm here and does not contain the smell of sulphur. Not musty at all, seems fresh.

Mak is starting to feel overly warm with the cold protective coat he is wearing. He elects to remove it, stowing it on his person for safekeeping. Each of the small rooms has a connected bathroom.

Mak moves away from the room containing the archways. He enters a kitchen and dining hall area. No signs of destruction. Fully furnished. The tables (five of them with eight chairs for each) hold magnificent gold candleabras, each shaped in the design of the fluer de lys. He is amazed at the quality. The chairs are not neatly positioned, with some of them remaining slightly out of place. Not particularly unusual.

The kitchen is fully equipped (utensils, pots, etc) and definitely designed for cooking for groups of people. There is a solid closed door at one end. It has a latch for opening it.

A pantry contains a number of glass vials and bottles containing herbs or similar things. The label writing is old and unfamiliar, unable to decipher. The containers are sealed.

Mak opens the closed door in the kitchen. He receives a sudden blast of cold (3hp damage) from the old meat locker that he has opened. PERCEPTION 10. He sees very old solid meat carcasses suspended on rows of hooks in here. The ancients clearly had superior preservation techniques for preserving their food!

Leaving the freezer, Mak continues to look around. PERCEPTION 15.
Nothing.

Going back outside, he moves to another room that contains tables and chairs. On the walls are three huge tapestries. Each shows a ship arriving at shore (the perspective from the shore) with writing beneath that describes the scene. But the writing is undecipherable. The ships are huge, magnificent and made of silver wood. They are constructed with many decks (seven) and are three-masted. People are illustrated on the
decks. The people apear to be fine featured and well dressed elves, as Mak would identify them in Karthan. This unusual because Mak recalls that elves are not native inhabitants in Karthan as has been described to him recently when he arrived. But this is the first physical depiction he has seen of them in Karthan so these tapestries must be very special. Are these the "ancients" who built this underground fortress? Is this their true
form? Could these be the "World Ships" that Bali described? Behind the ships in each tapestry there is a field of stars. Mak is quite enamoured by each scene. Each ship is different. Mak studies the detail and he can sense that each tapestry is magical. They are special. He looks for anything indicative of the ships names. There is some writing on the sides but he cannot read it.

The stars represented behind the ships is the same constellation. Fascinating. This must be how "elves" arrived in Karthan.

Mak realises that he would not be believed if he tried to describe this to Karthan's scholars.

Mak notes that the chairs, arranged in this room, are facing the tapestries. Perhaps this room and the tapestries held some special religious significance. There is no evidence of the fleur de lys symbol in the tapestries.

Mak moves on 20' down the connected corridor. He comes to a crossroads. There is light ahead, like that surrounding the central pillar on the lower level. PERCEPTION 13.

Mak elects to move left. Along the corridor there is a single metal door on the left.

LISTEN 14. Nothing.



Enamoured by the 3 large tapestries, Mak is unaware that behind him at the archway, a figure draped in shadow watches...silhouetted slightly by the light emitting from Mak's light spell. As he leaves the room and continues to the metal door on the left, he did not see the figure, nor sensed it's presence. Listening at the door he hears nothing....but for a moment, was that movement in the light. Looking he sees nothing...must be a trick of the light. Am I beginning to see things?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: k406 Reply with quote

K406: 1Guiaranor23: Fourth Abyss

The metal door is not what he has encountered before…sealed around the edging and no latch or handle. Mak remembered that he had seen a similar door before…the ship at site 41 (iris). The corridor continues on and there are 4 other doors at the end, 2 on the left, two on the right.

Quote:
Mak examines the iron door and finds it is very smooth. His hand tingles when he does so. This reminds him of the talking door. He stops and examines the fitting around it. There are no hinges. It fits seamlessly into the wall. It reminds him of something similar he saw at site 41.

He shrugs and moves down the hall to another four doors. These are also made of solid metal. He examines those. They have handles and engravings of an animal (different animal for each door) at it centre.

The animals are:

Bear (left)
Tiger (left)
Bird - possibly an eagle (right)
Fish - a flying fish (right)

Mak considers the engraved animals are significant.
He wonders if they represent factions of this mysterious fleur de lys order, or if they are perhaps the key to some kind of puzzle or sequence of the doors' opening.

Mak shrugs again and checks the Bear engraved door for traps. PERCEPTION 23. There is an inactive trap that he locates. Possibly magical, but he's not sure. Certainly wasn't a mechanical/poison effect. It's been discharged already, so Mak considers the door is safe to open. He attempts to do so.

The door opens inwards easily as it is not locked. Mak enters into what looks like a very nice lounge. Lavishly decorated. Couches, chairs all soft, made of leather , padded. No signs of deterioration. Some dust. Reds and browns are predominant colours. Drapes over the walls and a hearth for a fire. Intenal doors lead off into a small kitchen area. There is also a corridor that leads to two bedrooms and bathrooms. Everything is intact. This is essentially an apartment complex. It's pantry contains sealed unused glass containers of herbs and spices. There is a sealed freezer with iced over, brittle meat inside. Mak takes a couple of containers of herbs for later inspection. One of the bedrooms is a master bedroom, while the other is a children's bedroom containing two small beds, many toys and books. Mak looks at the books. Picture books with big writing that is unfamiliar. Pictures in the books are of animals, trees, people, plants, stars, etc. There are different subjects. Mak figures this would help him learn the ancient language so he takes a selection of what he finds. The people depicted are listed by their apparent professions and look either human or elvish, in Mak's opinion.

There is no evidence that the place has been ransacked or anything. Simply left a long time ago and then forgotten.

The master bedroom contains clothing for a male and a female. Some ceremonial robes are made from bearskins, with the head-dress made from the original animal's head. There is a magical set of chain armour here, with a magic long sword and scabbard and two spears. All neatly stacked beside the armour.

Mak examines the armour and weapons. The armour is a reddish-brown colour with a fleur de lys symbol of the breastplate. The weapons are a golden-bronze colour.

The armour and weapons are not actually made of metal - they are made of glass-like material. Mak recalls what Bali had told him of enchanted glass. It was called 'Laen'. It requires expert craftsmanship to shape it and Bali had said humans could not forge Laen, only Tordagh had the skill to do so.

The armour is man sized. Mak decides to try on the Laen chain armour. It fits fine, over standard clothing and his existing soft leather armour. He tests his movement and he does not feel restrained at all. Very nice. He keeps it on.

PERCEPTION 26. Mak sees a small oval shaped object with coloured indentations on its top (2 rows of three, each of different colour).

top colours - red, blue, green,
bottom colours - white, black and yellow

Mak finds a jewellery case with nice jewellry inside it. Precious gems, amythests, diamonds, etc - he will take those. 3 necklaces, 2 gems, 4 sets of rings. WILL 23. He puts them in his pack.

Mak picks up the small object and realises it is designed to be held in a hand. He holds it. Nothing happens. He places his other hand over the top softly. Nothing happens. He squeezes.

PERCEPTION 22. The white and blue indentations are reacting with a slight glow. Mak squeezes harder. Nothing happens. He removes his top hand and looks at the object. The colours are still glowing. Mak touches the colours at the same time (white and blue) and stands there puzzled, wondering what the object is for.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: K407 Reply with quote

K407: 1Guiaranor23: Third Abyss

Suddenly Mak finds he his choking…and about him is darkness, his eyes stinging from painful irritation. It is like the air was suddenly sucked out of the room and he was breathing in foul acrid smelling air. Then the light returns and the room he is in is bare…nothing save for filth and rubble on the floor. The room was warmed and the smell of sulphur was in the air.

Quote:
He realises he does not have the Laen armour, the jewellery or the small object in his hand any more. He does have all of his other normal possessions. Where is he? He looks around. Are there any exits? Yes - this is the same room (apparently), a bedroom, so he exits back out to where the lounge should be. It is also is a state of decay. This is strange. He goes out into the main corridor.

PERCEPTION 26. The corridor shows signs of decay, with staining, etc. The air is murky and filthy to breathe also. Mak will follow the corridor back to the staircase. He finds he must climb over rubble occasionally, which wasn't there before.

He chooses to climb up, seeking fresher air. He climbs 60' to the next landing and a corridor entrance. He goes in and shines his light around. More decay and partial roof collapse noted. Rubble on the ground. The air is unpleasant but breathable. He goes in further and investigates.

After 100' he comes to a branch in the tunnel that leads left or right. There were doors here once, but all that now remains are rusted hinges. He goes left. He follows the corridor 60' to a location where there were once four doors mounted. But only empty entrance holes remain. He goes inside the first entrance and enters a large open room (20'x60') strewn with rubbish on the floor. He searches the refuse. PERCEPTION 25.

Mak finds a metal hook with a hole at the opposite end of the hook, which is rusty. He discards it and exits the room. He shines his light inside the other three openings to see what lies beyond. Same. He ignores the rooms and proceeds down the corridor to see where it takes him.

He finds two 20' x 30' open areas (left and right) in the rock. PERCEPTION 26. Around the edge of floor Mak sees a small gaps between the wall and the floor (on all four sides of each open area). Looking up, Mak observes a similar gap in the ceiling of each. Curious, he collects a small mound of rubble and then throws the rubble onto one of the open areas to see what happens. The rubble lands on the floor and nothing happens.

Mak will search each open area for traps. PERCEPTION 28 (left) 29 (right). He does not find any traps. He stands firmly on the left open area. Nothing happens. He examines the wall surrounding the left area for any unusual symbols or protrusions or recesses. PERCEPTION 14. Nothing. His light spell fails. PERCEPTION 31. Mak suddenly wonders if he is alone, he gets the sense that he isn't, momentarily. Then he reactivates his light spell, glad for the light again.

He leaves the open area and continues along the main corridor. It opens out into the central platform 50' later, where the central black five-sided pillar is located. Mak looks down from the central platform and is satisfied to see the lake of larva swirling far below, with two other central platforms also visible down there.

Mak moves around the platform and follows the corridor on the far side. It is a mirror image of the other side he has already explored. It seems to be a storage complex, generally. Only now it is also decayed and empty. Mak passes through to the far side and goes to where another staircase should lead up. He climbs 60' to the next pltform and listens at the corridor entrance. PERCEPTION 31.

Nothing heard. Mak enters and reaches another corridor that goes left or right. He takes the right path. The air is musty here, but breathable, just more difficult than usual. The corridor opens out into two corridors that angle away in the shape of a 'Y'. Mak takes the left branch and follows it. It leads 120' before it turns right 40' then right 80' and opens into a room. The room contains an opening opposite and three openings to the right. The three doors for the right openings have clearly disappeared over time. Mak goes over and shines light through each of the three openings. The rooms beyond each vary in size and shape. The middle one is a diamond-shaped room and is largest. It's empty. The others look like small kitchens, giving the impression that the middle room was a mess hall. But there is only rubble to be found here.

Mak moves on through the main opening and continues past this room. The opening leads to a series of doorless rooms, containing small living quarters. He searches briefly and finds nothing except for the fact that there are about 58 small rooms in total, all empty. He ignores them and finds the corridor through all these living areas rejoins the main corridor. He backtrack to the first junction of this level and take the left branch instead.

After 200' he finds it reaches the central black pentagonal pillar. He circles around to take the direct opposite path from the pillar. There are two openings on each side, evidently guard rooms. They are empty. Ignores them and continues. 100' further he reaches a T junction. Mak takes the left path. Straight 40' then left and with a corridor on the right, which he follows.

The corridor goes straight 40' then left 100' then right 40' and stops at a solid metal door. He checks the door for traps. PERCEPTION 19. No traps located. It has a handle, so he tries it. STRENGTH CHECK 23. The door seems stuck, but Mak pushes and frees it from its hinges. It the process its rusted state causes it to crumble apart. Mak shines his light through to observe the room beyond. The air is foul. WILL 23. He sees a narrow spiral staircase inside that ascends upward. Mak waits a few minutes for the air to "even itself out" or circulate, if possible, and then he enters the room to investigate and climb the stairs. These stairs are much smaller (one man width) than the main starways he has been following. He goes up 15' and finds a small room. There is nothing inside.

PERCEPTION 26. In the walls there might have been openings at one stage, but they have since been sealed up with mortar, or something similar. There is only some rubble here. No other exits.

Mak leaves and goes back down the long windy corridor. He then takes the right path from the T junction. After 30' it rejoins the main corridor and there is a corridor opening opposite. Mak enters the opposite corridor. He follows it and it mirror-images what he just found. i.e. a narrow starwell leading to a room that contains seal up openings. He returns to the main corridor and follows that instead.

He reaches stairwells. He climbs up 60' to a new landing. Shines his light around and then listens. PERCEPTION 14. No sounds. The air is still foul-smelling. He enters the corridor and follows it to the central pillar where there are four other junctions. Mak circles, crosses to the other side to see where it takes him. There is a lot of rubble and debris in this particular corridor, which leads to a large 300' long pentagonal chamber. Mak realises he is standing at the pointed end. At the far end is a raised dais on which there are two thrones, or large ornate chairs, that have not aged or decayed over time. There are also two rows of pillars stretching out before him. The floor is absolutely clean and is made of white marble. The walls are blue marble and the ceiling is red.

Mak stands a while to observe and absorb what he is seeing. PERCEPTION 12. Nothing.

Mak then proceeds to cross the length of the room to reach the foot of the raised dais. The marble flagstones are so clean, they are reflective. Mak climbs the steps to reach the two thrones. He studies them. The thrones are made of Laen, one is white and the other is Blue. The exact same colours as those I pressed on that strange device ... Mak recalls.

The white throne has carvings of leaves and an animal that resembles a deer. The blue throne has carvings of birds on is sides but with eagles at the top (over where a seated person's shoulders would be). Mak sits for a moment on the white throne. 24HP damage are sustained as a bolt of electricity hits him, surging out from within the chair itself and it throws him away. Mak picks himself up and shakes himself and looks surprised. PERCEPTION 22.

Mak thinks he hears laughter, for a moment, then discounts it. He ignores the laughter and studies the white chair more closely, taking care not to disturb it. From all angles it is amazingly decorated. Mak feels that the nature of the carvings suggest it is more feminine and delicate, whereas the Blue chair is more masculine. Mak search the blue chair for traps. PERCEPTION 13. Nothing identified. He sits on it.

Again, Mak is thrown clear and receives a massive electric shock. 19 HP. Stunned and dazed, momentarily, Mak decides that simply being the right gender is not the trick involved or required to sit on these chairs!

As he collects his thoughts and waits a while, for his injuries and pride to heal, and remains quiet and listens to the environment as he does so. PERCEPTION 22.

He gets the sense he is not alone. Once healed, Mak decides to challenge the person (or creature) that might be trailing him.

Mak stands and boldly calls out "Who is there? I know you are following me! Show yourself ... I am tired of your game!"
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: k408 Reply with quote

K408: 1Guiaranor23: Third/Second Abyss

“You took long enough.” A voice says.
“So…so…you admit your presence and you admit you follow me. Now show your courage and show your identify. Or are you too scared that you must trail me as a coward.”
A figure emerges from behind one of the pillars. A woman tall and slender…that looks like Dana but is not, this woman’s features more refined…but there was something familiar about her. She is attired in black leathers, a black cloak and cowl. .
“Who are you?” Mak demands.
“A friend.” The woman replies.
“A friend who stays hidden.”
“Until you began to see through the illusion.”
“Is that what happened when I picked up that device. Everything changed.”
“What everything changed from was the illusion.”
“I see…so the armour, the jewelry, things I picked up and carried weren’t real.”
“They were real once, at another time, far in the past.”
“So all of this damage…that is real.”
“Yes.”
“Did the device I touch stop the illusion.”
“Yes.”
“So why don’t I have the device in my hand.”
“For it decayed over time as all things here.”
“So how come you are Here?”
“Following on with my task Marerandas Krysilryn.”
“How do you know my full name. No one from this world does.”
“Correct. Remember Site 41?”
Mak nods. “Yes? What has that got to do with you. Do you work for Lazar?”
“No Mak…I am Lazar.”
“Ok…yeah…right…sure.”
“Yes…so Khios found out…but you see me…gender wise, as I truly am. I had to assume a male personification for my task with Khios…as he considers women…weak of mind and body and does not accept them in his order.”

“How have you come to be here…how could you find me.”
“Similar to the way the people of Losan-Stravin found you." "Lazar" replies. "The High King is aware of your presence even in Shades of Grey, for he is far older than any such shade on this world. And I am here to well…follow you and observe.“
“So that does not explain how you found me here and got here. For me it was by accidental discovery.”
“Knowing where you were was not a problem…getting me here was also not a problem. Have you ever asked where “here” is?”
“No I haven’t. What is this place?”
"Lazar" looks around for a moment. “This place is not one I am proud of admitting too…but it was the scene of a great slaughter in times past and my race was responsible.”
“So all the bodies I have been finding. Your people did that?”
“Yes.”
“And were the people I found dead…were they innocent?”
“Not in my people’s eyes. They were guilty of simply possessing our blood…half breeds...one might call them.”
“So when are you going to kill me?” I am one of these half breeds as she called them too.
“A rather silly question Mak. I could have done so the moment you arrived. This happened long ago…when other humans lived on this world before the coming of the Therim…before the coming of Kharagh. We don’t hate the half breeds or humans as much as we did so long ago…we have learned to tolerate them.”
“So what is this place? Apart from…evidence of your people’s past actions? Can it help Karthan…is that why I am here?”
The woman shrugged. “You can go to places that few can…the answer must lie in such a place. I would say you were directed here…and for a reason. But that is something you must determine for yourself.”
“So you are just going to keep following me around…that sort of thing. Or now that you have shown yourself, are you going to be more helpful.”
“Hmm, I think I have already been very helpful. You obviously just have not noticed it.”
“That might be true. I have only just detected you.”
“Yes and I always planned to show myself when you learned of my presence.”
“Were you the one who saved me at the bridge with the thin thread?"
“Yes and I was at the landing when someone tried to stick a needle into your arm.”
“Did they…I don’t remember that?”
“No…you woke up afterwards.”
“Well then, I guess I should be grateful. You must be the other that the fire creatures spoke of.”
“Yes, I observed them briefly. A fascinating race.”
“Yes, they did not know much about you.”
“You might find we will be formalizing contact with them soon. They were created by the humans who lived here.”
“They did not seem hostile. So tell me, these thrones…why are they so dangerous. Who are they for?”
“For the intended rulers, of which you are not one.”
“That is a fair thing to say.”
“The throne protects those of the royal bloodline. They of course died along with all their people.”
“How much further does this complex extend above us. Was it always mean’t be entered from far below…where the zhan sleeps.”
“That I believe used to be above ground. Great changes have occurred in these ranges over time. This mountain has been shaped by Darkness Claw and his Fortress of the Wind lies at its summit.”
“Are you telling me we are located beneath this worlds worst enemy.”
“Yes and about 700,000 of his minions. But do not fear…they are affected by the Shades of Grey for this place is far older than Darkness Claw. Though I think you have noticed a Azgeyr outpost nearby.”
“Yes that’s when I heard their voices through a rock fall.”
“Yes, the post is one of 4 that watches over the zhan. They know of its presence, but not where it's lair is located. The Shade of Grey prevents them from knowing.”
“When I am done in this place how can I leave. I was transported here by some strange door.”
“When you are done…I think you will find yourself returning to Khadazar.”
“And this will happen automatically.”
“When you decide upon it.”
“And where is Khadazar.”
“Mountain Home.”
Where Bali Foehammer resides. “So you say I have the power to decide to go back and it will happen.”
“No. The High King has the power to do so. Remember I hired you Mak to serve the empire and be the wild card for my High King and you accepted. Another reason why to ask why I have not killed you is rather defeating the purpose of your purpose here.”
“Have you been transporting me all along. It has not been the compass markers.”
“No. I have just returned. On in this place did the High King send you. The Compass Markers are devices that we are simply observing the use of. We have given you the way and means to see the Shades of Grey…but you are the one who walks these places and directs your own actions, well intentioned or otherwise. You are here to learn.”
“Then there must be more to find here.”
“Perhaps, we can only continue and see what lies before us. The High King would not have sent you here out of a mere whim. His wisdom exceeds that of any other sentient being on this world. But he too is confined by the balance of the Powers of Dominion on this world. You might find that you are not, as your journeys prove. The road you are taking is not over by any means Mak. And yes...there is a reason for the road you journey...where it would lead, is an answer many would like to know.”
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:03 am    Post subject: k409 Reply with quote

K409: 1Guiaranor23: Losan-Stravin

“The physician died within seconds of returning. Initial scans indicate that Lt Diassin died of heart failure caused by the fluid entering his heart from the four daggers.”
The Commander breathed deeply. “Poison?”
“Possibly…the daggers would not have killed him, though two came within 4cm of the heart. The daggers have been taken for analysis along with the blood and fluid samples. Do you wish to proceed with the second?”
The Commander looked at the psi screen of Lasgalen…the second marker was not alone. “No…he has company….6 others. Plus we will need to know just what exactly happened to Lt Diassin…where did those daggers come from.”
“I will stand the physicians down until further ordered.” The doctor replied the psi screen switching off and replaced by another, suspended in mid air before the Commander.

“So…for 1.4 seconds a second life form appeared.” He said looking at the scans on another screen, played back from the time.
“Yes sir, 27metres from the platform and on the other side of the right angular bridge.”
The commander nodded. The scan to him resembled a humanoid gray shadow…nothing distinctive about it, meaning it did not match any life form presently on the scandex.
“For a moment sir, the life form did show a near matching scandex to Perintherim…before changing to something that lies outside the scandex. It could be a changeling of some kind sir,”
Changeling. “Continue monitoring, as also with Lasgalen. We still need a blood sample from the second marker”
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: k410 Reply with quote

K410: 1Guiaranor23: Ascent

Looking around Mak sees the throne room has not changed had not deteriorated over the age.
“Do you think the throne room will be used by its rightful owners ever again?” he asks.
“They were all slaughtered Mak…none survived.” Lazar replied.
“So there are no possible descendants that could still exist from that race?”
“Not that I know of.” She replies in an off handed way.
“Does it sadden you been here, knowing what your people did in this place.”
“No. I have found been among humans tends to put such an event into its perspective.”
“So if I were to re examine the levels in the complex and find items that belong to those people, would you stop me from claiming ownership of those?”
“I enjoy taking ownership of other persons precious items. It is what a thief does.” Lazar returned with a smile.
“I see. Right, then knowing this place has returned to a normal appearance. I would like to recheck the levels. I think I would like to start in finding where the bodies fell…to see if they still exist.”
“Then lead the way.” Lazar replies.

Quote:
We move through the complex (now in its real damaged appearance) and discover that three main stairwells are choked and blocked with rubble.

WILL save 20 - sulphurous fumes cause Mak to cough and splutter when he nears the lower levels. His eyes water and sting.

We proceed down an unblocked stairwell to locate the secret doorway that led into the tunnel Mak found. His intention is to find what remains of the bodies of the original inhabitants, but is forced to return to the highest level to escape the fumes which have affected his ability to breathe downstairs.

Returning to the same level as the throne room, Mak notes that the stairs do continue upwards where they didn't before. He chooses to climb those. They ascend 60' to a new landing with a connected corridor. The stairs stop at this point.

Mak listens. PERCEPTION 25. He does not hear anything. Lazar is following and Mak notes she is exceptionally quiet. He enters the corridor. It goes 40' to a stairway that ascends. He climbs it 140' and is wide enough for four people. He takes his time to do this. It opens into a large pentagonal shaped room which has openings at four of its points. The room is 500' wide at its widest point and 550' in length to its apex. In the middle of the room is the black pentagonal shaped pillar with an opening around it that reveals the red glow of larva far beneath. Another hole in the ceiling around the pillar also reveals that another two levels are located above this one, with the pillar appearing to disappear into solid rock high above, in the uppermost level.

Mak investigates the lower left corridor. He enters it and finds it arcs around in a half circle to meet with the second corridor on that same side. He also discovers two other connected corridors that curve around too. The walls are damaged but there is nothing else to see. He follows the corridors and reappears in the main chamber from each of them. He tries the other side. The effect is the same. This place was symmetrically designed. The corridors are wide enough for two or three people. There are some designs and motives of people that have fallen or collapsed over time, but enough remains to see that some evidence of the former inhabitants has survived the ravages of time.

Mak stands back in the main chamber, then retraces his steps in the right side tunnel to locate a side tunnel that he found there. It arcs around and connects to a domed chamber (100' wide) with its wall surface entirely covered in mossy green rock. Sound is heavilly amplified in here. On the other side is a another tunnel. Following this he quickly finds it reconnects to the original tunnels and the main chamber.Looking up, suspended from the ceiling, are metal wires (gold, silver and copper) of different lengths and guages that hang down. They are quite sensitive and react to even the most minor movement, sounding musical notes, like chimes.

Mak remarks to Lazar that "this room is amazing. It appears to have been constructed to make music from movement and spoken words." As he speaks there are other sounds amongst the chimes, almost like whispers. "Can you hear that?" he asks Lazar. "It sounds like faint voices in the music. This is truly special. I wish I had my note papers to document this properly." WILL save 10. The music and whispering voices sound like a symphony. Mak thinks he is being 'reached out to' and he believes the sound is imploring him to learn more, hear more, to become more engrossed in the music. Then a sharp pain in the back of his head knocks him out.

He wakes up in the main pentagonal chamber. He looks around. He has a sore head and he sees that Lazar is there. "What happened?" he asks her.

"You were being influenced," she tells him.

"What do you mean?"

"The room is where the dead have a voice and they lament over their death."

"It didn't sound horrible but rather beautiful," Mak says. "I did not feel worried about the voices at all. They were quite pleasant and inviting. I was hoping they'd give me some ancient knowledge. Why did you interfere?"

"Because they were going to fill your mind with their deaths."

"You mean ... they were going to show me the truth of what happened in this place?"

"Yes. But they would have made you experience it as a way of them getting a release from this world. They want to impart their pain and anguish on another."

"I understand," and nods approvingly. "You were trying to prevent harm coming to me from restless spirits. Similar events can happen where I come from. I thank you for that, even though my head still hurts. What did you hit me with?"

Lazar smiles and puts the knuckleduster in hand away. She says nothing about that.

Mak decides to explore the upper corridors, starting with the one on the left. He finds it arcs around, and it enters another domed room (100' wide). The walls of this one are silver and mirrored. All of the surfaces including the floor are like this.

Mak eyes the room warily and looks at Lazar. "If the other domed room is any example to go by then its likely that this one must be equally special. I'm expecting that you'd probably tell me that looking into the mirrored surfaces would be unsafe. I'd hate to have my soul captured, or something."

"The room is not magical," she says.

"Was the other?" he asks.

"Yes." she says.

There is a corridor on the opposite side. Warily, Mak enters the room, taking are not to look too closely at the surfaces and he crosses to the other side. The corridor connects to another domed chamber (100' wide) that is glass. Things are moving outside the glass dome. Nearing the edge of the dome Mak discovers it is surrounded by water containing many different varieties of fish and the effect is that he and Lazar are inside, protected by the dome from the water while these fish swim outside it. He looks around and sees another exit on the other side. Mak follows it.

The corridor arcs around and joins a stairway going up. He climbs it 60' and enters a new pentagonal shaped room. About 150' at its widest point. On each side is an opening and the pentagonal black pillar stands in the centre (with a 30' clearance gap surrounding it).

Mak stops and listens. PERCEPTION 27. He hears nothing new. It is quiet. He chooses to enter the first opening on the left. A room measuring 150' by 100' lies immediately through the opening. The floor is covered in fine white grayish coloured sand. PERCEPTION 18. Mak finds he has stepped on a bone when he entered. He picks it up to examine it and is surprised to find it simply crumbles away (but with a different appearance to the sand). He searches briefly for more bones. He finds a large tooth, 9" long and curved. He taps it on the ground. It is solid. He puts it in his pack. He asks Lazar if she thinks the tooth he found might belong to a young Zhan.

"Yes, it's possible," she says.

There are no other exits from this chamber. The floor is smooth and nothing is on the walls. Mak exits the room and investigates the next opening (clock-wise direction). He finds a very similar looking chamber. Same appearance (sand, etc). Mak exits and looks at the next one. PERCEPTION 26. Mak observes that there is another opening he hadn't seen before, at the apex point of the chamber. He stops to investigate that more closely. It is an opening that leads into a 120' long tunnel and Mak feels a wind, a strong breeze against his face. Refreshing and no odour. Mak listens. PERCEPTION 25. He can hear the wind and the occasional flapping of wings from further ahead. He tells Lazar and then he pulls out the Falconer sword. He advances to see what lies ahead.

The corridor emerges from a large opening and Mak can see his light can't extend far enough into the darkness that surrounds him. The flapping sound is identified as bats, which flap chaotically and scramble away from the light. Mak recovers his composure and sheathes the sword and looks at the ground. It is rock and partially covered by sand. Satisfied that footing is secure he strides forward and looks around. It is a rocky chamber. Roughly hewed with no discernable shape but it does smooth out ahead and then angles in to a point. At that point is some kind of massive opening. Very dark and Mak realises he is effectively standing on some kind of landing. He quickly decides to retire back into the main chamber (having probably got something's attention with the light spell).

Resuming his search of the other rooms, Mak finds they are all very similar and probably the holding rooms of young Zhan. Lazar confirms that the tooth Mak found does indeed come from such a creature.

There is definitely another level above but no obvious stairway up. Mak moves to the edge of the 30' gap that surrounds the pillar and looks up. Thinks for a moment and then he goes to one of the side rooms and gathers some sand. He returns to the 30' gap and throws a handful sand out to see if it might reveal some invisible stairs. The sand falls, revealing nothing.

He looks at Lazar and asks if she has anything available that we could climb with up and over the edge through the ceiling. "Yes," she says. "I have. Do you think you could climb that?"

Mak insists he is perfectly capable of climbing up through the gap. At least he is willing to try it. Lazar produces a rope with a grappling hook and throws it up at an angle, succeeding in catching it in place. She anchors the line with another spike and climbs up. Mak follows. CLIMB 13. He strugges briefly. CLIMB 23. Mak makes it up and over the edge easily.
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vampyre



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Location: Upper Hutt

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: k411 Reply with quote

K411: 1Guiaranor23: Skull

As Mak reaches the top Lazar assists him climbing over the edge. Standing on his feet he could not see anything around him, just the reddish glow of the lava flow below.

Quote:
On reaching the top Mak's light spell is suddenly extinguished. He attempts to recast it. It fails. Something is preventing magic here.
"My magic is blocked here," he tells Lazar. She does not reply and Mak's voice echoes.

It is pitch black.
Mak stays still and listens to the environment. PERCEPTION 29. He hears movement ahead and muttering, gutteral sounds. Mak remains quiet and keeps listening.

The mutterings get louder and he hears footfalls. PERCEPTION 21. There might be three or four creatures approaching. They sound like Azgeyr, the more intelligent of the species. The azgeyr move around to the side and then their voices fade away. They may have moved into a side tunnel. Mak waits until all sound has vanished and then whispers to Lazar. "Is it wise to stay in this place as we're potentially surrounded in the dark by enemies. I can't see anything here. We should go back."

"Oh, can't you see?" she says. Mak suddenly finds he can see about 100' into the darkness.

"What magic is this?" Mak asks her.

"Mentalism."

"I see. Is that what people in Karthan use to counter such magical effects?"

"People like you? Yes."

"I admit it's rather effective and it's a trick I'd like to learn myself when that is possible."

The voices of the azgeyr are coming back. Mak realises he is standing in an open area and all of it has been made of bone. That is, he realises they are standing inside a gigantic bone. Creepy. He sees side crevices, like open chambers in the bone, and they are all symetrical. He hides with Lazar in one of those until the voices fade away again.

"What is this place?" Mak asks her. "Did your people know of it, when you attacked long ago?"

"I don't know as I was not born then." she tells him.

"Well its strange. It's made of bone. Let's go the opposite direction to where those voices have gone. I don't really want to run into any trouble just yet. So lets see what lies that way."

MOVE SILENTLY 28. Mak discovers a 'central corridor' and follows it to a a large raised bone that leads to two holes. He elects to enter the left one. It leads to an opening that he looks down over and he can feel cold air and hear wings flapping again. With his new darksight he can see, after adjusting to the effect that they are inside the eye socket of the skull of a gigantic creature! He considers this and then tells Lazar to go back.

MOVE SILENTLY 27. They return to a point in the 'central corridor' and then go the other direction to see where it leads. There are several small 'rooms' and one, where the 'nasal cavity' would be, has a tunnel that leads from it. A rope hangs down through the opening above. It appears to be an obvious way forward.

Mak tells Lazar that he's curious enough to follow where the rope will lead them. He tries to climb it. CLIMB 23. Mak climbs up into a large cavern and sees that the rope continues upward through the roof of the cavern above him. He keeps climbing. CLIMB 22. Mak reaches the roof of the cavern and sees the hole above him. He listens. PERCEPTION 27. He hears faint clanging sounds. He climbs up through the opening. At this point he sees the rope is tied off and sees an opening into a cave. He waits for Lazar to catch up to him and tugs on the rope to get her attention. No response. He drops the Zhan tooth down to get her attention. It clatters and bounces and rolls. He hears distant clanging and mining sounds. There are cracking sounds, followed by screams. Mak waits.

Mak decides to return to Lazar and report what he's found and can hear above. He descends the rope carefully. CLIMB 23. He re-enters the original opening that he followed the rope from. He finds Lazar waiting for him with four dead azgeyr.

Mak is understandably surprised. "What happened?" he asks her.

She shows Mak the dragon tooth he dropped. "Some idiot dropped this and it got their attention."

"Oh, sorry." Mak says sheepishly. "It was only meant to get yours. There are probably loads of those creatures up there. I followed the rope through a cavern and above that there are mining sounds and the occasional screams of other creatures. I came back down because I didn't want to be discovered by them. "

Lazar hands the tooth back. "They had these on them," she points to two boxes, two gemstones and a sword. Mak looks more closely at them. "Have you checked for magic?" he asks her.

"Yes."

"Are they?" he says.

"Yes, and not evil."

Mak looks more closely at the sword. The blade is covered in runes and the hilt is covered in gems. It is a broadsword. Very ornate. Decorative, like a ceremonial blade. The runes are unfamiliar. Nothing like anything he has seen in Karthan previously. Mak asks Lazar if recognises their language. She doesn't. The sword has no scabbard. Mak takes some loose cloth from his pack and wraps it around the blade of the sword, then he binds it and stows/straps/attaches it to the side of his pack.

He turns his attention to the boxes. "Are they locked or trapped?" he asks Lazar, before he touches them. "Neither," she says. Mak examines each box in turn and opens them. Each is slightly larger than a shoebox. The first contains a sextant, inlaid with gold and silver and bears markings that depict degrees of seconds and angles of arc. The second contains a visor that fits over the front of one's head to cover ones nose and eyes. There are no eye slits, but in the forehead there is a single receptacle. There are five 'lenses' of different colours, each of which is designed to fit into the receptacle. It is a standalone visor, attached to a headband. Mak decides to humour the item and puts it on to see what happens. Nothing happens. He gets one of the coloured lenses.

Blue
Red
Yellow
Black
Smoky

He selects the blue one and inserts it. His normal vision disappears. He can then see 'presences', even through walls and barriers. He sees Lazar, the four dead azgeyr and some bats flying around. He removes the lens and his normal vision is restored.

He tries the red lens. His normal vision disappears. He sees that Lazar, the other lenses and the sextant are giving off 'light' in different colours. Also varying intensities. He glances at his own equipment. It also illuminates (magical items). Mak nods appreciatively and removes the lens and swaps to the next one.

Mak tries the yellow lens. His normal vision disappears. He senses there is another secret entrance he hasn't yet found within 200'. Mak goes to that location to check it out. Its near the left eye socket. He tries to open the secret location. It is part of the bone structure in the wall. Mak searches for some way of opening it. PERCEPTION 19. He locates the mechanism and then realises (PERCEPTION 29) it is mechanically trapped. He attempts to disable it. DISABLE DEVICE 30. He succeeds and then opens the panel. He discovers a reddish piece of linen covering something quite small. He removes the linen to reveal a thin needle of reddish silvery substance. It looks like a compass marker needle. He then examines the reddish coloured cloth that wrapped it. There are no markings on it. There are no markings on the wall where he found this either. Mak returns to the point where the rope dangles down, only to find it is no longer dangling down. He asks Lazar if she has moved it.

"Yes, I have sealed the entrance." she tells him.

"That's good - while you were doing that I found this by using the visor and he shows her the needle."

"So you were brought here for a reason after all Mak, to find this." she says. "Which does present you with a bit of a problem."

"How do you mean?"

"What colour are your compass markers?"

"Red now and silver previously."

"And what colour were the needles?"

"They had to match."

"So this would not match any of those."

"I guess not ... "

"So, there is a third compass marker to be found."

"... yes, that's probably right. Maybe this visor will help me locate that."

Mak swaps the yellow lens for the black one. He sees the room he is in as if it were daylight. Obviously a darksight effect, only even better.

Mak then swaps the black lens for the smoky one. Nothing happens. He removes the smoky lens and reinserts the yellow one. And then he puts the visor back into the box for safekeeping (and puts the box inside his pack). He also takes the sextant.

Mak examines the two two gemstones. Both blue. APPRAISE 25. Back home he could probably get 10,000gp for each of them. He keeps one and offers the other to Lazar. She refuses it (won't say why) so Mak keeps it too.

"Shall we go back down to the lower level?" Mak asks Lazar. "This way does not seem to lead out but, rather, seems to lead towards danger. You've blocked that path already and it seems pointless to wait around inside the skull of a dead dragon anyway. I'm keen to use the visor on the other levels to locate any secret places I may have missed."

Lazar readily agrees. CLIMB 18. Both climb down successfully and Lazar gathers her rope, grapple. Mak produces he visor and puts it on again with the yellow lens in place. He scans for secret doors or panels. Nothing in range. He moves throughout the entire level, being particularly careful near the domed room with the hanging metal threads.

He finds a secret entrance to one side of the tunnel near that domed room. He examines it for an opening mechanism PERCEPTION 25 and searches it for traps PERCEPTION 23. It is mechanically trapped. DISABLE DEVICE 21. He disables the trap successfully and opens the door to hear rushing wind and feels intense cold due to a vacuum effect beyond. Mak waits for the vacuum effect to subside before attempting to enter. He puts on his warm cloak to counter the cold effect. He enters a narrow corridor that arcs around 150' to a triangular chamber (another opening on the other side) with a pedestal holding a red glowing lump of flesh that is 'thumping' on it. It is like a heart. He moves closer to observe this. "Look at this Lazar, does it seem real to you?"

"It is real but it should not be." she says.

"What do you mean - is it an old illusion?" Mak asks.

"It should not be alive." she tells him. The room is starting to warm up.

Mak is fascinated and examines the heart more closely. PERCEPTION 18. He tries all of the different lenses. There is concentrated magic radiating from the heart and the blue lens indicates it is a living entity. Mak shrugs and turns to Lazar. "It is fascinating to see this," he says. "But what does it mean? I don't think running it through with the falconer sword would produce a good result. It is quite a morbid curiosity. I think I'll leave it in peace."

Mak points to the opposite tunnel and follows it, to find it leads to the main corridor again but on the opposite side of the domed chamber with threads.

Mak returns to the pentagonal main chamber with Lazar and says "I think we should explore the level beneath us again, using the yellow visor."


Once Mak had decided to check the lower levels of the complex with the visor Lazar communicated this telepathically to her High King. “He has found a needle to a third compass marker.”

“So, Stormwing was correct. She surmised there were three.”
“Speaking of Stormwing…the top level of the structure is the skull of one of her children.”

“Stormwing knows that two of 8th generation were resting in their lairs when the mountain was first reshaped by Darkness Claw. Both of their lairs collapsed and her children did not survive.”

Lazar also reported the living heart discovered and mentioned it may have been activated as the air filled the vacuum in the chamber.

“One of our representatives visiting the fire children will investigate the find. I require you Loryien to continue your task with our guest.”
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vampyre



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Location: Upper Hutt

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: 412 Falconer Hold Reply with quote

K412: 1Guiaranor23: Falconer Hold

Mak descends the stairs to the next level and half way down he notices that with the illusion removed, part of this stairwell has collapsed revealing an opening partially covered by a rock fall. Rocks litter the stairwell below him and with his light spell he could see the opening is a man made corridor that extends deeper into the mountain. The corridor extends 80ft and opens out into a chamber with two doors, one right and left. The chamber is dominated by two raised platforms on which are mounted ballista, aimed at the corridor Mak had entered from. Each door opens into what could be considered guard rooms, the floor scattered with debris.

Quote:
SEARCH 21. Mak finds four coins - silver, 2 bronze and 1 copper. They are dust-covered and obviously very old.

Examine the ballistae - completely metal, still loaded. Technology.? Mak notes that these devices haven't rusted.

He then follows the corridor beyond the ballistae.


A single corridor beyond extends another 60ft and opens into a pentagonal shaped chamber, the walls of black basalt and in the centre rises a natural spire of glowing orange stone that disappears into the roof 15ft above.
“Eraldalt.” Lianna comments. “A gemstone that is created by volcanic activity, yet it is highly resistant to heat.”
The spire is not hot and seems to be a vein around which the chamber was mined.

Quote:
Mak marvels at the gemstone spire and considers it would be rare and very valuable on Eberron.


Behind the spire is another corridor that Mak follows, 20 ft and ends with a large grey metal door.

Quote:
PERCEPTION 14. Nothing. DETECT TRAPS 14. Nothing, but Mak feels uneasy by the door. Mak puts on the visor with the yellow lens and observes the door and the immediate surroundings. This reveals the door is trapped with darts and that a room lies beyond, containing two magical doors. Mak warns Lhianna and says he will attempt to disable the trap. DISABLE DEVICE 35. Trap disarmed and door unsealed. We enter cautiously.


The doors open into a large chamber with a vaulted roof. At the far wall is a carving that Mak recognizes. The falcon symbol, seemingly imbued with a golden sheen. The chamber has 16 circles carved out of the floor in 4 rows of 4.

“Teleportation chamber.” Lianna informs. Detectable through the visor are 4 magical doors, two on the left and two on the right and removing the visor he sees only the rock wall where the doors were detected.

Quote:
It would seem that this Falconer race found this place and used it also."

INT CHECK 12. Mak can't quite grasp his memory regarding the Falconers, the original race who built this place and related matters. He knows Lianna keeps hinting, as did Bali.

Mak keeps wearing the lens and examines the door closest to him, on the left. He detects a magical trap (ward) and realises this is the case for each of them. Calls Lianna over and offers her the visor and lens to see what type of magical effect she might think be triggered. "See these doors? They're trapped. Magical traps. I don't know what effect it is, but maybe you do."

Lianna says "These are essence runes. The language is unfamiliar but I do know what the rune does. If you attempt to open the door withour unsealing it correctly, you will unleash an elemental guardian. All four doors have them. This door is a light elemental, the door opposite is fire, the next door on this side is darkness and the last is water."

There is also a secret doorway/entrance up behind the falcon symbol on the wall. The falcon symbol lies 20' up and is 6' in diameter. The wall is too smooth to be climbed.

Other than the rings in the floor and the magical doors, the room is totally empty.

Mak steps onto the nearest carved ring in the stone floor. Nothing happens. He rubs the falcon ring. Nothing happens.

"Don't do that again."

"Why?"

"Because you may indeed activate next time."

"Isn't that the point? I don't really want to mess with elementals again."

"Then make sure you don't activate the ward when you open the door."
(Mak gets the sense that she thinks he should know how to open the door). INT CHECK 14.

Mak produces the new compass and marker that he found (reddish-silver). He stands by the light elemental door. He holds the marker up to it. Nothing happens. He walks back over to the ring in the floor and stands on it, holding the compass and marker. Nothing happens. He rubs the falcon ring again. Nothing happens.

Lianna says "we're going to have a visitor, a friend of yours."

"What do you mean?" Maks asks her. (He is preparing to cast a light spell at the light door).

"Knowing you as I do, from Eberron, you intimated to me that you wish to learn. Correct?"

"Yes."

"Since you have been here, you have not had that chance. To understand the past you must also know about the present."

There is a flash of reddish-orange glowing light from one of the teleport chambers. Bali is standing there. Mak is surprised.

"Once you are finished here, Bali will return you his realm and there you will learn."

Bali says "Well, I said I was going to meet you. Where are we?" He looks at Lianna. "Your High King was short on details."

"It is best if you hear it from Mak as he is the instrument here."
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