Post by scottenkainen on Oct 29, 2015 21:46:19 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 4a for Joaquim:
Joaquim felt sure something, like fire springing to life in the fireplace, would happen when he guessed the riddle out loud, but the only thing that happened was that two large (alarmingly, but not dangerously large) bats swooped out of the fireplace and started flying around him. They were distracting, and made it hard for Joaquim to figure out what he should do next.
Post by Ronny Serio on Oct 31, 2015 10:54:13 GMT -6
Joaquim was still sure he had the riddle correct, he just didn't know what to do with the answer. Regardless, he wasn't going to figure it out with these bats all over him. He waited for a pause in the flames in the doorway then dashed back out into the hall.
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 31, 2015 10:57:03 GMT -6
Day 12, turn 4 for Eder:
With rope, spikes, and pitons, Eder carefully and meticulously scaled the wall and roof of the building, and even then he almost slipped halfway up the wall. But he persevered -- until he reached the flag! He rappelled down the side and handed the flag to Frar.
"Very good," Frar said, "but if the Harvesters decide to, 'dey will be askink' you to pay for 'de damage to 'deir buildink', ya? Now, only one test remains. Are you wishink' to face 'de test of bravery as well?"
Post by scottenkainen on Oct 31, 2015 11:34:32 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 4b for Joaquim:
Joaquim escaped the bats by hitting the timing just right and leaping through the doorway between flames. That put him back in the corridor that led to the 9' deep pit trap blocking the corridor. Or he could return to his room where he had slept. It seemed there were no other ways to go.
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 2, 2015 15:17:01 GMT -6
Joaquim returned to the room he woke up in. He started by searching under the straw mat and the rifling through the bed. If he found nothing, he dragged the bed into the pit, then tried to take the shelf off the wall and do the same with it. He'd lower himself into the pit next and try to use the assembled items to get himself up the other side.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 3, 2015 9:36:47 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 5 for Joaquim:
Joaquim found nothing else in or under the pallet. There was a simple wooden frame around the straw pallet that Joaquim could remove. The shelf could be removed too. Joaquim threw them all down into the pit and then carefully lowered himself down. Using the shelf, he was able to prop up the frame into a crude ramp. It took a few tries, but Joaquim was able to run up the frame until he could grab the opposite edge and pull himself up.
He dusted himself off, started to walk away towards the corner -- and stepped on a pressure plate in the floor. Nothing happened immediately...but the flame-door at the opposite end of the corridor did not come back, leaving the corridor plunged into darkness once more.
Joaquim took the corner very slowly and cautiously, feeling his way along. Ten feet further, he felt the floor disappear under his lead foot and managed to catch his balance. Getting down on his hands and knees, he felt around and found he had reached what appeared to be a second pit reaching from wall to wall, only this one had a crude wooden bridge, three planks wide, spanning it down the center.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 3, 2015 12:11:39 GMT -6
Day 12, turn 5 for Eder:
"Look at you, not even wantink' a break!" Frar said to Eder. "You take ten minutes, da? Den you come into Harvester's Hall by front door. I will be waitink' for you inside."
Eder did as he was told, then tried the door handle. The front door opened freely, revealing a large foyer, 10' wide, 15' long, and 8' high. There were three others doors in this foyer, so there was a way to go on each wall.
Frar was dragging a chest through the door on the left. "Leave the front door open," Frar ordered. "Den, for your test -- open 'dis chest and look inside."
Eder opened the chest, and found what appeared at first to be a severed head inside, its eyes closed as if only asleep. But the head was translucent, like a ghost's head. And then it opened its eyes and looked right up at Eder!
Eder had wanted to be brave -- but his courage failed him. Minutes later, he found himself on the other side of the Business Quarter, having run all this way.
When Eder returned, the front door was closed and Frar, all smiles, was waiting outside. "Not too bad!" Frar called out. "Two out of dree, da? I will tell you 'dat most do not get 'dat far. So! I will talk to 'de Harvesters tomorrow about 'de results. Come back here tomorrow night and you will be told if you are in or no!"
It was about noon, with over 24 hours to kill before finding out...
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 4, 2015 10:35:32 GMT -6
Joaquim wished he'd been able to bring his candle with him, but there was no way he could have scrambled up to the other side of the pit with it in hand. He'd have to make do. He got down onto his butt and started to slowly scoot his way across the pit. He hoped the mages were as good as their word and there was nothing truly dangerous down here.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 4, 2015 10:50:46 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 5a for Joaquim:
Scooting on his butt seemed awful undignified and Joaquim was glad to be doing this in the dark where no one could see him. He was halfway across the second pit when the middle plank snapped under his hand. Thrown off-balance, Joaquim started to fall and found himself hanging by just one of the two remaining planks. The two halves of the middle plank fell into the pit, and Joaquim heard them splash into water.
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 6, 2015 10:32:46 GMT -6
Joaquim unleashed a flurry of curses, then swung his legs up, wrapping them around the remaining plank. He was certain the worst that would happen to him if he fell was to get wet, but he wasn't ready to endure that embarrassment if he could help it. As quickly as he could safely manage, he began to move his way along the plank and toward the other side.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 6, 2015 11:06:02 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 5b for Joaquim:
It should have been easy to swing his legs over the plank, but Joaquim's hand slipped and he found himself falling. A moment later, he was submerged in cold water! He touched bottom -- it must have been just 5' deep -- and rose to the surface to get air; unharmed, but soaked and embarrassed.
At least, for a moment, that seemed to be the worst it could possibly get. Then Joaquim realized he was not alone in the water! Something was swimming around him -- and suddenly breached the surface beside him! It made no sound, Joaquim could not see it in the dark, and he had no idea what it was and if its intentions were hostile.
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 9, 2015 10:16:52 GMT -6
With one hand Joaquim drew out his dagger and made ready to defend himself if whatever was there in the darkness made any moves toward him. With his other hand he reached up, to see if he could feel either the board or the lip of the pit.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 9, 2015 22:06:30 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 5, rds. 3-4 for Joaquim:
Joaquim had his dagger in hand now, but struggled to land a good blow against the thing -- no, things! -- that tried to coil around him. They seemed like snakes at first, but when they brushed on his bare skin they felt fibrous and plant-like. And when they started constricting him -- they constricted hard!
Joaquim was worried about his ribs breaking when he heard a heavy door open somewhere up above and light flooded into the pit. He was indeed fighting some kind of purple tentacle plant! He could see now why he had not been able able to feel the lip of the pit, as there was about 8' of pit between the lip and the water.
Feet were racing down stairs towards him, but Joaquim still had to survive long enough to be rescued. He could barely hold his dagger now and the plant was squeezing the life out of him.
"Who left the tentacle plant in there?" a familiar voice shouted above him. Glowing arrows rained down on the plant monster, killing it.
A rope ladder fell down the side of the pit and hung suspended near Joaquim. Ekaitz was at the top, encouraging Joaquim to climb out. Alfred Jemmy, the non-traitorous gnome in the guild, was there too.
((rd. 3: Joaquim's to hit: 8, to hit Joaquim: 16 - 5 dmg; rd. 4: Joaquim's to hit: 2, to hit Joaquim: 13 - 4 dmg - Joaquim is at 1 hp!))
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 10, 2015 15:05:08 GMT -6
Day 14, turns 4-5 for Ximo:
Admittance past the gargoyle was becoming routine already. Koldobeka, the clerk Ximo knew best, was seated inside the front entrance at his desk (a high desk, slanted writing surface, with a stool in front of it).
"Ah, Ximo, good to see you're back. Is there anyone in particular you need to see today? About training? Hmm, let me see..." Koldobeka pulled out a thick book with lots of scraps of paper in it from a shelf inside the desk and sat it on top. Opening it up to the back, the clerk flipped through it until he reached X and Ximo's page. "Oh, you have an instructor reserved for you already. Emmanuel Thomas is listed here. I'll send someone to let her know you're here..."
Ximo was shown upstairs to the classroom where he had learned the "web" spell and he waited there until Emmanuel joined him.
"Well, that didn't take long, did it?" she said upon entering. "I'm referring of course for your need to train. I figured it wouldn't be long now by how quickly you picked up on that spell I taught you. I will need at least four days of your time and, of course, you will have to make arrangements with the Consortium to pay 100 gold in training costs and fees. Depending on what spells you have memorized today, we could start training immediately after you've signed the appropriate paperwork."
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 10, 2015 16:20:52 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 4 for Marcel:
Not long after Ximo left him, Marcel got Old Ben excited and Old Ben started moving. Marcel was hopeful that this would still pan out to be productive...but Old Ben only led him to the Molten Spigot Tavern in the Business Quarter.
Ximo was glad to be treated so efficiently by the Consortium. Of course the Consortium was effective when it came to taking his gold - less so when it came to dealing with the Cult. He smiled when he met Emmanuel again, something about her made him think she had once been something of a beauty and perhaps even a daring one. But now she was very much something else.
"Today I have memorized detect magic, charm person, and the only second order spell I know, the one you taught me," Ximo answered. He continued, "Payment should be no problem, I still have 100 gold on my credit with the Consortium."
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 11, 2015 8:56:55 GMT -6
Joaquim climbed his way out of the pit, then collapsed on his back. His breathing was ragged and shallow as he stared up at the ceiling. "You almost killed me," he croaked out, directed at no one in particular. "Why did you do that? Your silly test almost killed me." He was quite for a moment, then resumed, almost delirious. "Fire. The answer to the other riddle was fire. But nothing happened."
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 11, 2015 14:12:36 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 6 for Joaquim:
Joaquim had trouble getting up, even with help, and both men had to help carry him up the stairs and into the next room. Here, Joaquim found the warmth of a lantern next to a wide bench he could lie down on.
Another magic-user came into the room through a far door and talked with Ekaitz and Alfred over him.
"What went wrong?"
"The tentacle plant was still in the water pit! That's a level five training challenge!"
"But...it was removed just last night!" the new guy said defensively. "I supervised the whole thing!"
"Then someone put it back," Alfred said. "Maybe someone who was allies with Jaggers."
"Something else we'll have to worry about," Ekaitz said. "But, for now, there is the matter of Joaquim's interrupted training. How do we evaluate him now?"
"That seems simple enough," Alfred said. "Revise the last trap to a survival trap and he did survive it."
"With intervention," Ekaitz countered.
"Here, drink this," the new guy said, offering Joaquim a potion bottle.
"It's a healing potion," Ekaitz explained, talking to Joaquim for the first time since entering the room. "Reserved for when something goes wrong in the training dungeon."
"Maybe we can resolve this quickly with an interview," Alfred suggested. "Joaquim -- besides speaking the answer to the riddle out loud, what else could you have done after figuring out it was fire?"
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 12, 2015 22:52:06 GMT -6
Day 14, turns 6 for Ximo:
It was true -- Ximo had credit enough left with the Consortium to cover his entire training. Emmannuelle sent him to office of Chavarria the Admissions Clerk, who had the paperwork that said so and had Ximo sign to use it for his training.
On his way back upstairs to the classroom, Ximo was thinking about what he had learned from Jaggers' correspondence over the last five days. Jaggers' collection consisted largely of letters from his extensive family in the Kron Hills. Jaggers was eighth cousin of the gnome prince, and his family considered this made them very important. Jaggers was also an assumed name; his real name was Yoskas of the Bilmorn Clan. Apparently the assumed name was nothing his family was ashamed of; it was just considered a normal thing.
The really meaty correspondence was from some unnamed person playing on Jaggers' sense of self-worth, proclaiming him a "very important illusionist" and wanting to meet with him to ask him questions about illusion magic. The letter writer was extremely polite, sending thank you letters after each visit, and promising to repay Jaggers for his helpfulness. Then there came a shift when the writer referred to "new possibilities" and the chance for "advancement, outside the Consortium". Jaggers had to be invited to several meetings with this mystery writer's colleagues before Jaggers came to see them. After that, there was a shift in tone, from polite to commanding. Jaggers was told who to spy on in the Consortium, starting with Alfred Jemmy, and then told to find out what defenses would keep summoned creatures out of the guildhall.
Now outside the classroom, he heard Saturnino, one of the elder wizards, talking with Emmannuelle inside the classroom.
"--just need to verify from everyone who had access to the training dungeon. You were nowhere near there last night?"
"No, I wasn't."
"Can anyone verify that?"
"No, I'm afraid they can't. I was alone all evening. And night. Oh, hello Ximo. I'm afraid there's a slight delay here before we get to your studies. It seems a fellow student, Joaquim, was seriously injured during his training this morning."
Post by Ronny Serio on Nov 13, 2015 9:31:59 GMT -6
Joaquim had to work hard to keep himself from strangling everyone in the room, but after several long moments he mastered himself enough to answer.
"I could have actually built a fire. I took the flint and the stick. There was straw in the bedding I could have used as kindling. It was something I was going to do if the way past the pit turned out to be a dead end."
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 13, 2015 9:44:31 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 5 for Marcel:
Marcel had just recently been to the Molten Spigot and knew it as a raucous place in the evening. In the afternoon, it was a quiet place, with an entirely different clientele of simple, rustic-looking folk. A cranky old woman who must have been family to the tavernkeeper served as the doorman here during the day. What seemed weird was how quickly her demeanor changed when Old Ben came in.
"Ben!" she cried, and she got up with her cane and came over to give him a big hug. "Come in, you old rascal. How are the streets?"
"Drying out nicely from the last rain," Ben replied. He came in and sat at a table, inviting Marcel to sit by him. "Can we get something to drink?"
"Of course you can. So can your friend. What will you both have?" asked a younger woman, probably the old woman's daughter by their familial resemblance.
Marcel could only watch in amazement as he was summarily ignored and the beggar man was fawned over. Finally, when they had a free moment, Marcel asked him what was up with that.
"I...sometimes steal from those who deserve it, and give it to those who need it more," Ben said quietly, in his slow way. "I've helped out this family... when they needed to pay off the mortgage on this place."
Had he ever stolen for the Coachman?
"No, he doesn't need it! He's rich. He just asks me to find out things for him."