Post by monstermike on Dec 13, 2010 22:23:16 GMT -5
[Posting for kwll during his absence]
Ozmenton turns to his compatriots and whispers, "Why don't we three magic users lead the way with the doughty warriors following close behind? We could never pass ourselves off as part of their coalition, but we might be better received as magicians than the rest of you."
Then turning to the door, he reaches out to try the latch.
Clud just about opens his mouth to reply when he realises his hand is where it is, and moves it away, forcibly. "It itches though. That's what bears do. It's a necessity of life for us." he grumbles, putting a face on.
The door opens easily and the three wizards step through the open doorway followed by the warriors and rogue.
Inside you see a large, square chamber. The north and west walls are covered by a large tapestry showing the major constellations of the desert sky. A door stands in the eastern portion of the southern wall. In the northwestern corner of the room is a large stone altar in the shape of a star. Standing in front of the altar are thirteen robed and masked figures all looking in your direction. The masks match the face of the statue of the child you saw on top of the pyramid and appear to be made of silver. The figure in the center of the group also wears a silver crown.
The Elf maiden rolls her eyes at Falcnor, but finds it hard to supress a smile. She takes a step forward, hands at her side and expression respectful. "Greetings. We are travellers, and would converse with you. We have no desire to be anything other than a friend to your cause, or at worst, neutral. I am Elethiran, and my companions are Ozemnton" she gestures, "And Falcnor. Pray tell, if you would, whom are you, and what do you here? Perhaps we can be of service in some way?"
Ozmenton was about to introduce himself, but as he opened his mouth and was searching his words, Elethiran started to talk. A mildly discountenanced, he shrugs and looks sideways at her, then starts to show his best smile at their host, waiting for their answer expectantly.
Elethiran nudges Falcnor aside and steps forward to speaks to the robed figures (SR on CHR-32, rolled 7, level 3 success, 21 AP).
The figure with the silver crown takes two steps forward.
"Greetings. I am Auriga Sirkinos, Chief Wizard of this sect of Usamigaras," he states in a booming voice. "We do not often see outsiders here; yet here is a whole host. Most unusual."
Auriga takes a few steps closer to the group. The other twelve robed figures remain still.
"We have detected the presence of magic in the temple not of our own making. Opening the door to this chamber proves that you have some power in the Arts. Perhaps you can be a friend to us. I see that you have a retinue of warriors traveling with you. They could be of use as well."
Auriga pauses and looks over the warriors standing behind the three wizards.
"Tell me, have you encountered the followers of Gorm and Madarua?"
Elethiran ponders for a moment, decides against lying, then speaks. "Yes we have. One group wanted us to attack another, and the other tried to kill us. With all due respect, we're not easy to kill, but we never came here looking for a fight in the first place. Please though, tell me - why are the three factions here so hell bent on killing one another? What great strife occurred that cannot be mended with time, words, and patience?"
Ozmenton, seeing the reaction of their host is not immediately hostile, feels suddenly a lot more confident to talk and complement what his elven companion said. "I see at first sight that you are a lot wiser than the other factions here: you will probably notice that we have obviously nothing to do with all this hostility. I am sure you can show us and our retinue how to leave this city of yours at the earliest?" All said with a great smile, and wavering his hand at the other party members when talking about the retinue.
"Yes, they are both warrior sects and have little on their mind these days except for fighting. They see steel as the best way to defeat our enemies with little time for thought or reason. Has either group asked you to attack us?"
"But you asked what strife could have started this fighting. Well, let me see. Our ancestors released a demon that decimated our population, most of the survivors surrendered to and were enslaved by that demon, our mighty city crumbled and was swallowed by the desert, and then we were forced to live our lives in this pyramid surrounded by evil and corruption. Does any of that sound like it would foster reason and patience? Our brothers and sisters are misguided, perhaps some of them are a bit mad, but then this is not a place that encourages sanity."
"We are the followers of Usamigaras, the protectors of knowledge and the secret Arts. We are perhaps the last hope for our once great people."
Auriga then turns to Ozmenton.
"You can leave this city whenever you wish. You simply need to go back up and out the way you came in. What you do from there is the question. The desert surrounding this city is vast and filled with the bones of travelers."
Auriga stops and turns toward his followers behind him. After a few minutes of silence he turns back toward you.
"You could be of great service here, however, and you would be richly rewarded for your help. There may be a way to unite the sects of the three gods against Zargon if you are willing to help."
A little disappointed by the answer of Auriga, Ozmenton ponders what he said for a while, then answers: "Forgive my inquisition, but we somehow heard that line before. You promise riches, now what use would we have for them if we cannot leave this place without starving and drying to death? What treasure would be worth this trial? And most importantly, what could our small company do that a whole host of powerful wizards like yours could not achieve?"
"Ae'll level wi' ye sir. We've been asked ta fight fer one side an' t'other an' haue no interest in it. But if'n we kin help you defeat yer common enemy, why Ae'd like ta hear yer proposal.
If Ae could state our objectives plainly, they would be ta kill sommat that needs killin' which ain't you nice folks, ain't th' Gormites, an' ain't th' Madaruans. If we could get richer by doin' so, so much th' better. An' finally, we want ta get out o' this here desert alive an' go home. If we could do all that and bring peace an' unity among your peoples, Ae'd call it a successful day."
"Yes, excellent concerns,"Auriga replies with a chuckle. "I'm sure both Kanadius and Pandora asked you to help wipe each other out in return for similar promises. I'm not going to ask you to do that. Instead I'm going to ask you to journey deeper into the pyramid and recover some artifacts. With these artifacts I may be able to end the infighting and unite our three sects."
"But you ask excellent questions Ozmenton. Recovering these artifacts will require more than magic. Strength and steel will also be needed. It will also be extremely dangerous. Some of you may die. I cannot afford to lose any more of our sect on such a task or we will be overrun and all will be lost."
"If we are able to unite the three sects we can pool our resources and knowledge to help you escape the desert and return to your homes."
Still a bit wary of his hosts, Ozmenton replies: "You speak the language of reason, Auriga, but you need to tell us more. What would we have to recover for you, if we accept? And what will you use it for?"