Post by monstermike on Feb 7, 2011 10:11:23 GMT -5
'Nasan, invisible, walks quietly up the decline shaft between the double row of ore carts. He sees his companions recovering from the short, bloody melee with the orcs, and Herman, the idiot hireling busily grubbing after whatever small change the disgusting animals carried in their greasy pouches.
He continues about 300 meters up the sloped tunnel, lanterns lighting his path every 30 meters or so. Ahead, he can see another intersection, identical to the previous two. There are two orc guards inspecting the ore carts, and a large bronze gong just north of the intersection.
Knowing that his spell of invisibility will only last for a few more minutes, 'Nasan must choose whether to go past the orc guards, continuing further up the decline shaft, or to slip past them into one of the passageways going north or south.
[Bookkeeping: 'Nasan uses 1 WIZ for Hidey Hole, but also regains 1 WIZ.]
Game time 4/4 15:10
Please post your next move by noon Wednesday, Feb 9
Aonghasan holds his breath and clings to the shadows as he moves invisibly past the orks, listening to their conversation as he passes, and continues up the decline shaft as quickly as he is able once he is safely beyond the guards.
Post by monstermike on Feb 11, 2011 9:19:54 GMT -5
'Nasan creeps past the orc guards at level 1 of the mines and continues up the decline shaft. As 'Nasan passes, one of the guards sniffs at the air.
First orc: "You smell that?" Second orc: "Smell what?" First orc: "I thought I smelled peaches just now." Second orc: "All I smell is the rotten stink comin' outta you."
The first orc shrugs his shoulders and goes back to inspecting carts. A hundred meters or so up the sloped tunnel, the invisibility spell wears off. After another hundred meters, 'Nasan is able to see light ahead and hear a great din - an endless sound of crushing ore mixed with the sound of splashing water. In the circle of light at the top of the tunnel, he sees another giant bronze gong and a single orc guard stationed next to it.
[Bookeeping: 'Nasan regains 1 WIZ and takes 5 AP LUK]
Aonghasan quietly fits a bolt into his crossbow and cocks it, moving quietly up the decline shaft. As soon as he is close enough, he raises his staff and utters a curse of death upon the ork guarding the gong.
[Level 2 TTYF: 4+4 (DARO) +5+3 +20(IQ) = 36]
The guard's guts collapse into a curdled black pudding as Aonghasan strides forward with the cocked crossbow aimed squarely on it, ready to fire if the ork shows any signs of stirring.
[Edit: The cuss filter doesn't recognize the legitimate use of "cock" as a verb, and it substituted a word that didn't make any sense. The edit is meant to restore meaning.]
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2011 11:58:45 GMT -5 by gaptooth
His stomach turned by the squelching mass of bubbling ooze that digests the ork's remains, 'Nasan peeks into the circle of light ahead before retreating down the decline shaft a-ways to collect himself somewhere beyond the reek of the gurgling black pudding.
Pressing his lean back against a wall in a pool of shadows between flickering torches, so as not to cast a silhouette against the circle of light, he sits in a lotus position to meditate, taking out his brush, mirror, and the peach-scented hair product to calm himself.
[OOC: 'Nasan is stalling to recover more mana before entering a new area.]
Post by monstermike on Feb 11, 2011 14:15:45 GMT -5
Aonghasan comes up the tunnel far enough to get a peek out into the area beyond. The tunnel comes out onto a large work area that appears to be on the top level of the fortress. Dwarves are unhitching the orecarts and dumping them down two chutes. The nearer chute for gold ore, and the farther chute for coal. After they empty the carts, they hitch them to the west-bound cable. Beyond the dwarves, 'Nasan can see four trolls walking around an enormous capstan - presumably the twin of the capstan in the coal-pits. Beyond the trolls, the wizard sees a stone wall with a door in it, and a down staircase to the right.
The sound of rushing water seems to be coming from the right of the tunnel entrance, and the ear-splitting crushing sound comes from below the elevated platform that the dwarves and trolls are on.
After making note of the layout in his keen, but possibly deranged mind, 'Nasan retreats to the shadows of the decline shaft to rest and meditate.
[GM comment: You can rest and meditate for the remainder of this turn (until 15:30) gaining back your normal WIZ plus additional WIZ from meditation. And you can keep doing this for as many turns as you care to - doing the SR for each turn though.]
As Aonghasan slips into meditation, her face floats before his mind suddenly: Jevanna, the high Ajimar and mistress of the desert of Adûn. Jevanna, in serene repose, opening her inner eye to gaze upon a sea of light.
Jevanna was the one who told you that you were gifted. You were her favorite student. You were a prodigy, and you shined in her sight.
Until he came: the Dark Elf.
Then Jevanna loved him more than she loved you. He was younger, brighter, and his lying tongue was more deft with flattery: He was ever so obedient and attentive to her lessons, so obsessively servile.
And you could not hide your disdain for him. He kept vigil while she meditated for a hundred years, subsisting on a single drop of water a day while the sun and sand whirled around him blasting the parched landscape of her cloistered citadel. You, she did not honor with such a charge. You, she sent away to the mortal kingdoms to learn their ways.
If it weren’t for Narshnaga, that vile goblin witch, Jevanna would have awarded the Second Degree to him instead of you.
Narshnaga promised you secrets. Then she made you search brackish waters for nonexistent “Bog Mandrakes” and “Fire Snakes”, while you ignored the droning botflies who laid unseen eggs all over your unblemished skin—eggs that burrowed inside you. Eggs that grew into fat yellow squirming grubs.
Eight weeks later she pulled the larvae out with her her dirty hooked fingernails, and made you bite their heads off and grind all but the largest of them into paste. She kept the big one as her pet and whispered fell names to it when she thought you weren’t listening.
Into the paste, she mixed potent herbs and dyes until the mixture became a thick lather. This she applied to your clothes, rinsing out the noxious smells of foetid mud, and giving them all the appearance of magnificent finery. This was the first gift she gave you.
Another portion of the paste she steeped in a tincture, creating a deadly and undetectable poison, which she gave you in a flask. This you were to take into the tent of the Urook warlord Niall Dushb’agh, gain his favor as an advisor, and find a way to lace his food with the tincture. Once Dushb’agh was dead, Narshnaga would give you the secrets you sought.
You infiltrated Dushb’agh’s inner circle by the skin of your teeth, relying too much on the enchantment Narshnaga placed in your clothes, while repeatedly stuttering and faltering in speech. Finally, the aged warlord came to trust in you, relying more and more on your guidance as he slipped deeper into the infirmities brought on by the witch’s tincture. No one suspected, except for his daughter Una. By the time you found out about Una, she knew too much, and she blackmailed you into teaching her secrets of the First Degree of Wizardry.
But soon her father was dead and she took his place, dismissing you from her court, with her war dogs on your heels.
Narshnaga found you before you found her. She came to you by night, bearing her third and final gift, and it’s memory brings you chills. You awoke, but you could not move. She was holding a candle made from the hand of a hanged man dipped in wax, and the curse of paralysis was upon you for as long as its fingers burned.
In the flickering darkness, she set to work. First she cut out your tongue with a bone knife. Unable to resist, or even to scream, you watched as she opened a jar and took out the wiggling botfly grub, now seven inches long, and glistening pearly white. With surgical precision, she stretched the skin of your tongue over it and sewed it back into your palate, speaking enchantments over her grisly work: The new tongue would utter words of wonder, inspiration, stirring visions of greatness in its hearers. But it would never yield up understanding or enlightenment; instead it would kindle confusion, strife, and betrayal.
Oh, but it would utter mighty spells! Deep magic, old magic, magic great and horrible!
You passed out from the blinding pain, and when you awoke Narshnaga was gone. Was it a nightmare?
Four generations had passed since you left Jevanna’s citidel in Adûn, and the time had come for you to return. When Jevanna came out of her meditation, she welcomed you, and you wasted no time exposing him as a disciple of Narshnaga. The calumny rolled off your tongue so easily that you were shocked, but Jevanna expelled him from Adûn and rewarded you with the Second Degree.
Nasan meditates for about forty minutes, but the disturbing images that flood his memory rattle him too much to continue.
OOC: All the meditation SRs attempted are level 2. * Log 223 failed, bringing on an onslaught of images from 'Nasan's unquiet past (+1 WIZ). * Log 224 DAROed, pushing it up to level 3 [log 225], but I only attempted a level 2 (+3 WIZ), and I leave it to you to narrate any DARO consequences, if any. * Log 226 succeeded (+3 WIZ)... * But log 227 fumbled, signaling a negative consequence. I figure an abrupt end of the exercise seemed appropriate-- feel free to elaborate (+1 WIZ). * Total mana gained: 8 WIZ, bringing him up to 16.
Post by monstermike on Feb 12, 2011 23:06:17 GMT -5
Aonghasan breaks out of his meditation with a start. He is clammy with cold sweat and his eyes are bloodshot from staring into nothingness. Could it be? It's elusive - possibly imaginary. It made no impression on him at the moment, but 'Nasan could swear he heard a fragmentary scrap of conversation today referring to Effington, that nasty Dark Elf. Did he overhear it in a goblin guard's bored conversation? Was it an aside from one of the dwarves? As he tries to grasp at the specific memory, it slips away like mist. Yet still, Aonghasan is certain from the events of today that Effington is a Dark Elf. But is he the Dark Elf? Names can be changed as easily as clothes. Is this the cause of the unease he has been feeling? Is this the source of the disquiet in his soul? The sense of foreboding?
[Bookkeeping: 'Nasan gains 8 WIZ, and however many LUK AP for the meditation SR's. I haven't looked at the dice logs yet.]
Game time 4/4 16:00
[GM Comment: You're now rather out of step time-wise with the rest of the party. For the time being, this doesn't create a problem, but I may have to have you hold off on posting at some point in the future to let the others catch up if it looks like you are going to converge with everyone else again.]
Post by monstermike on Feb 14, 2011 16:15:13 GMT -5
Aonghasan steps out on to the rough plank floor. Overhead, the giant cables run, drawing the ore-carts east and west. Three dwarves are working furiously to keep up with unhooking the ore-carts, dumping them, turning them, and hooking them back up to the cable for their journey back into the mine. Stepping to the north of this frenzied activity, 'Nasan can see that the work floor he is standing on is an elevated platform. To his right, he can see a giant water-wheel turning, powered by a natural spring which enters near the top of the eastern wall of the fortress. Below he can hear the tremendous din of ore being crushed. As he walks eastwards past the trolls working the capstan, he sees a giant smokestack rising from the ground floor of the fortress. The air is hot. Three more dwarves work on an elevated catwalk to his east operating a gantry - presumably feeding a crucible into a furnace somewhere below.
'Nasan reaches the eastern end of the platform without incident. To his south is a stairway descending to the second level of the fortress, and also access to a catwalk that goes around the east and south sides of the open area. Directly before him is a large wooden door in a stone wall.