Terrified by the sudden show of power of the dragon, his hair raised on his head and his eyes wide open in panic, Owynn does not move a muscle. He hesitantly answers his host: "Ehhhh... Well... Errr... Believe me, I wouldn't know, really... After all, I'm not aware of all his secrets, I'm just friend passing by. We should probably have a look at the staff first, to make sure..."
Then he takes the option to approach his party mates and try to make sense of the strange riddle presented to them. "What a good idea I had to bring along a satyr and a venal hireling in this place..." he mumbles.
"How many copper coins do you have?" he asks Herman aloud.
Post by monstermike on May 28, 2011 9:04:21 GMT -5
Herman lifts up the flap of his pouch to reveal to Owynn a huge mass of copper, silver, and gold coins. "Hundreds," he replies. Then in a whisper, "I've been looting the bodies as we go, and coppers is mostly what they had."
Herman and Pan both consider the inscription a little longer and begin to debate the finer points of this logical conundrum. Finally, Pan turns to Owynn and says, "Look. It doesn't do any good to ask him if he's lying right now. He will always say no. And it doesn't do any good to ask him if he lied on his last question or will lie on his next question. He'll always say yes. And of course, it doesn't do any good to ask him if the staff is behind the red door until you know whether he is lying or telling the truth."
"But that's what I was trying to explain," Herman says. "If there was a way to ask him both things at the same time somehow, then you would know."
Herman waves his hands around and stutters incoherently for a bit, unable to form the vague idea in his head into words that would make sense to others.
Herman hits the deck when the dragon raises it's mighty din, just barely holding the contents of his bladder. Feeling more like an insect than a human, he totally forgets about the puzzle and the staff. Crawling to the bust, he drops in a copper coin and asks in a panicked whisper:
Herman hit the deck when the dragon raised it's mighty din, just barely holding the contents of his bladder. Baffled by the stock tip and feeling more like an insect than a man, he totally forgets about the puzzle and the staff. Turning again to the bust, he drops in a copper coin and asks in a panicked whisper:
"Where is 'Nasan?! Is he still on the premises?!"
[Edit: Somehow I misread this post and thought that Herman's musings about the puzzle ended after the dragon's outburst, and I posted this thinking that this was Herman's first reaction. Hopefully, this edit fixes the continuity problem rather than exacerbating it.]
Last Edit: Jun 3, 2011 11:38:17 GMT -5 by gaptooth
Post by monstermike on Jun 3, 2011 12:27:39 GMT -5
Unseen clockwork springs to life and the Oracle's face once again shows human expressivity. The Oracle raises his eyebrows at Herman's unconventional question and replies quite kindly, "No."
[GM comment: I'm going to neatly sidestep the problem of player knowledge vs. PC knowledge by acting for Herman here...]
Herman says, "Well, let's see if we can figure out if that's true or not."
He fishes in his knapsack for a bit and pulls out a small crystal orb, roughly the size of a billiard ball. It seemed ages ago since Smythe's visage appeared in the orb to tell them about Tallinoor's history. Not sure how to gain Smythe's attention through the device, he taps on it, shouts "Hey!" into it, and finally rubs it. The orb begins to glow warmly, mist swirls within it, and again Smythe's face appears.
Herman says, "Is 'Nasan still on the premises or did he abandon us? Have you been able to see him?" Smythe nods. "Yes, he's in the fortress. He was a prisoner for a while, but now it seems that he is back to making trouble. Don't worry, Herman. You guys are doing great, and Rooster and I have been greatly entertained just watching you. Good luck."
The orb again goes dark. Herman turns to face the Oracle, who shoots him a dirty look. "That was totally cheating," the Oracle says to him just before his face de-animates back into a marble bust.
The dragon looks on, bemused. "Well, heh. That's a new one. He won't answer questions whose answer you already know, but he must answer questions whose answer you would be able to find out. You could flip a coin with your eyes closed and step on top of it with your foot, then ask him if it is heads and it would work the same way. At the time you ask, it's not a question whose answer you surmise, but you could easily find out whether he was lying or not."
The dragon chortles for a bit. "The traditional solution to this type of puzzle would be to ask him a conditional question such as If I were to ask you on the next question whether the staff were behind the red door, would you say yes? You have to think about it for a bit, but regardless of whether he is lying or telling the truth, he is bound to give the same answer. Ahh, adventurers. They never cease to amuse me."
Herman's brow knits, trying and failing to follow the logic. Shaking off his confusion, he goes back to the issue at hand. "Okay, the last question was answered with a lie, so the next one should be answered with truth." He reaches into his pouch for another copper coin.
Game time 4/4 20:20+
Please post your next move by noon Monday, June 6.
Hearing the long winded development of the dragon's speech, Owynn frowns a little his eyebrows. Nobody really told him that adventuring could lead you toward such abstract concepts. Seeing Hermann bring out another coin, he grabs it from his hand, whispering: "Well done Hermann. Clever trick." Then he drops the coins, and asks plainly: "Is the staff behind the red door?"
Post by monstermike on Jun 7, 2011 17:04:04 GMT -5
Everyone watches breathlessly as Owynn pulls open the red door. Does an item of great power lie behind it, or instant death for our hero? Herman closes his eyes and Pan crosses his fingers.
Behind it is a small closet. Leaning casually in the corner of the closet is a black staff with jewels set in a pattern near the top. Inlaid silver filagree forms a dazzling pattern of spirals and diamonds down the length of the staff that seems to move and swirl as you look at it. For a moment, Owynn sees the patterns converge to form the word "Kremmsuck," but as he squints at it to examine it more closely, the pattern dissolves.
"I suppose that settles that question." says the dragon.
Game time 4/4 20:30
Please post your next move by noon Wednesday, Jun 8.
Owynn feels his eyes open wildly when seeing the glittering staff, impressed as he is by its magnificence. Feeling the look of everybody around him, though, he recollects quickly and whispers (again, not too low): "Oh! That staff..." Then he turns toward the assembled troop and adds with a resolute tone: "Yep, you're right, that settles it." The warrior is in no time moving at a fast pace in the direction of the entrance to the dragon's room, all the while showing him an obviously sympathizing face. "Thanks for your hospitality! I guess we should be on our way now..."
Owynn begins to walk toward the door. Just before he reaches it, the dragon's tail flops down across the doorway barring Owynn's exit. "Wait." Owynn turns to see the dragons face uncomfortable inches from his own. "What do you mean exactly by Oh that staff? Are you saying that the staff in the closet beyond is anything less than Salazar's most potent weapon?"
"A moment, if you please. There is a significant matter of honor at stake here, and my race does not take such matters lightly. Please answer my question and by all means be on your way. Does Salazar possess another weapon more potent than that staff?"
"Ah! Well, I guess I cannot deceive a dragon as powerful as you are... How foolish I was to even try!" ... Owynn takes a deep breath ... "Again, I am just a guest here, but the only thing I know is that a few weeks back -- the last time I got to meet Salazar -- he happened to have just discovered a very rare magic orb. He was so excited about it that he could not help to tell me about it. He explicitly explained that it was the most powerful magic item he ever found." ... He makes few steps back in the direction of the uncovered staff ... "This staff, on the other hand, I have already seen. It is the old man's favorite Deluxe staff! Magnificent, for sure, but of little power if not used by a competent wizard. So it leads me to think that..." ... going back to face the dragon, and putting his right hand on his chin ... "... the orb might be a way to subdue a very powerful creature. In a sense Salazar might have told you the truth if his most dreadful weapon is... YOU!!!"
His open widely, as if he suddenly understood something.
Post by monstermike on Jun 9, 2011 10:32:24 GMT -5
Comprehension dawns in the dragon's yellow eyes. He turns away from Owynn.
You have abused my hospitality, Adventurer. You are too glib for your own good. NO ONE can control a DRAGON!! It is clear to me now that you are here simply to steal the staff and all of your stories are nothing more than a ruse. Prepare to REAP THE WHIRLWIND!!!"
The dragon seems to mean what he says. He draws himself up into a fighting stance and allows Owynn, Pan, Herman, and Kweiraye a moment to ready their weapons.
As a child, Herman bottle-fed a pigling and raised it into a hog that outweighed every single competitor in the county fair. But there comes a time in the life of every butcher's son when he must look upon a beast not as a friend, but as meat to be carved by the edge of his blade.
Quaking violently all over, Herman's pack falls off and his hand moves toward the hilt of his weapon. When it takes grip, the shaking stops and he finds himself surprisingly calm. His ears are deaf with ringing, but as his gaze meets the dragon, he is no longer deceived by the appearance of ferocity and explosive power:
"How dare you talk to the Heir of Tallinoor?! You're just an overgrown piece of meat that the butcher's son was too soft to slaughter before, but I'm in the mood for sirloin!"
Unable to check himself, Herman charges recklessly toward the dragon, swinging wildly.