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5E [IC] THE CURSE OF AMBERSTAR

Archon Basileus

First Post
EVERYONE

The sheer conflagration that takes place during a simple gear exchange is enough to freeze the Teraphim in place. Their expressions are nearly unreadable, and the very last ones still masked literally take off their helmets. Their faces glance at the heroes in awe and fear, unable to understand what just happened.

It is Ulisses that paces slowly back into conversation, answering Thulwar with a weak, muffled voice.

"I... I.... I think it'd be great... Emissary."

He approaches the gnome, studying him, top to bottom.

"What would you call... this?" - he points towards the weapon's transformation.

"So... That's why we don't give them semiomantic stuff!" - Sisyphus manifests openly, a smile of surprise and tension upon his face. He seems fascinated.

Ajax simply stares at the trio that just a moment ago was electrocuted.

"Forget that! The name of seven hells happened to you three?"

The Captain grunts an incomprehensible answer and, mumbling, starts to make sense. "I... I think I've heard your thoughts! I've... I've seen the outside! The pits, the fortresses, the crops... And golden sands, and... dragons..." - he shakes his head, clearly overwhelmed by the experience. "I... I am fairly confident these weapons are yours for the taking, Harfik...." - the Captain finishes. "Boy, this is going to be a nightmare to explain!"

Ajax seems to be the only one keeping a leveled head.

"There's nothing to explain, Solon. Sisyphus, get one of the terraforming units working. We gotta move." - with ease, he assumes leadership as the others try to gather their thoughts.

"Yes, I.... I'd call that a bit dangerous." - he motions towards Thulwar. "I think this was one of the possible effects of magic as it crosses divine semiotics..." - he seems frightened, awed and curious at the same time.

The Captain glances at Harfik and the prince, laughing nervously.

"I... Guess I get your point in so many ways, now... That lord of yours... He's more of a prisoner of his own position. And your awareness makes you.... Free." - something seems to change within the Captain. the words seem to resonate within his being, as if they somehow transformed him.


[Ok, [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION], take your time, and when you're ready I'll add your item description and scene! Remember, everyone, the effects are still unstable... Things might change even further in the future, all of you can sense it! You have tapped into the unknown this time!]


Slowly, the Teraphim resume their work. In time, with a vibrant shout of success, both Sisyphus and Hermes manage to put one of the terraforming suits back online. The thing roars with noise and life. Both smile, waving at the seat.

"Volunteers?"

The plan is simple: the group must find a way down, or open a way down with the suit. The Teraphim recommend using the location devices placed on the available armors or on the terraforming suit to find an ideal location. Considering the potential presence of unknown lifeforms - or very well known locations - noise is not very welcome, unless necessary. They leave the details in the heroes' capable hands. Meanwhile, they'll monitor the operation, protect the camp and try to activate the rest of the suits. Comm devices can be used at this distance, but might fail as the heroes go trough the caves.
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=23298]industrygothica[/MENTION] [MENTION=6776182]JustinCase[/MENTION] [MENTION=6855102]Greenmtn[/MENTION]
 

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Shayuri

First Post
(OOC - Yar actually...I can give you my old Barbie level, since I still haven't worked out specifically what to take instead of that, lol...)

Icosa holds his arm up quickly to inspect the reconfiguration taking place, then pauses as information begins filtering into his consciousness. There is a brief, almost musical chime that sounds then.

"I am detecting a new device," he reports bemusedly. "Please wait a moment while I load the necessary drivers." After a few seconds Icosa adds, "This process can take a few minutes."
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
OOC: You get the item that specifically dislikes you :) and complains about robot not using him to full potential
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Aanzu stands still, taken aback more than expected. The lightning having such an effect on him was unexpected, which must mean the Great Blue Dragon had its Claw in the matter.

The weapon - he now realizes he was a fool to give it away, but the prince trusts Harfik enough to keep it safe - has somehow granted Aanzu a sliver of the Dragon's power. In its great wisdom, it has given the dragonborn some insight in the mind of the Teraphim captain, and for a few moments Aanzu explores the alien memories and thoughts.

Until his attention is drawn to a silent but powerful mind, that of Harfik's. The depth of the man's thoughts and memories surprise Aanzu, and for a few more moments explores these in quiet admiration.

But that means his own thoughts and memories are accessible to Harfik and the captain, as well. Instinctively Aanzu thinks of the most important event in his life so far, his seduction and betrayal by the woman called Ella Ravenblade, who then attempted to assassinate his father, the King. Being banished by his own father, branded Oathbreaker and finding his way here to regain his honor - and make the assassin pay.

"This one is..." he starts, then falters. What is there to say after the intimate mental exchange? Spoken words are clumsy compared to the subtle communications of the mind, and the dragonborn holds his tongue.

Then, when Ajax calls out, ""Forget that! The name of seven hells happened to you three?" he turns to the hotheaded Teraphim and says simply, "The Great Blue Dragon."
 

Greenmtn

Explorer
Harfik Human Monk

Harfiks amazement at the interaction with the weapons is clear on his face.

Confusion takes over as a flood foreign emotions and thoughts enters his usually calm mind. He looks around at first almost in a panic trying to find out where the voices are coming from. Gradually calming as he pin points the two voices in his mind.

Harfik tries to "think" to Aanzu. Prince Aanzu, Hunt your pray with caution. Remember the Wisdom of the dragon until the time is right to use it's fury. Chasing the snake with too much zeal will only drive it deeper into the bushes.

"Ajax is right, there is nothing to explain as of yet. AND even if there was, we don't have anyone to explain it to. We have time to figure it out. BUT we do not have time to rest longer. It is time to press on."

OOC:
Intelligence: [roll0] to try to establish a base knowledge of these weapons and what just happened, if it is "normal" or not, also to get an idea of how to get down

On a side note you mention something about charges for the Baton and Sword but I'm confused about number and what they are used for. I'm guessing the base stats are short sword and club or quarterstaff thus making them monk weapons for me?
 
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Archon Basileus

First Post
ICOSA

As the gun merges with the Warforged's arm, Icosa feels a distinct force struggling against him. The weapon finds rest within the Warforged, and as it does, strange lines of command, strange thoughts, pervade his mind. Something communicates with him through codes - a form of communication quite distinct than the one employed by Jocasta. As the merging ends, the arm seems to obey Icosa's commands normally, but it responds to the gestures as if intent on learning how to perform them. The codes swirl, and a small line of communication appears upon Icosa's eyes.

"Waiting for droid unit ID...
...
...
Unit identified. Installation complete."

"Unit ICOSA. I am the Combat and Exploration Semiomantic Module... Alias. COSIMO.
Asserting the situation... now."

The thing begins to load an immense line of commands. Soon, it spills out a general evaluation of the group's position, as well as a list of available actions. It seems to be making a lot of decisions on its own, though...

@Shayuri, Icosa just gained an intelligent lasgun. The lasgun has a will of its own and is capable of communication. It delivers 3d6+3 points of damage, allowing for a +5 aim. It also allows for the analysis of materials and enemies, delivering a +1 damage bonus for every three levels Icosa has. The gun can also employ a location spell three times a day, choosing between Detect Good or Evil. It DOES, however, have a mind of its own, and it might fight you to do certain things you're not willing to do or refuse to do things you want to do. Icosa also feels that the lasgun's hiding info from him deliberately. HE might be able to pull it out of it, but it might be risky....]


EVERYONE

After the shock, the Captain just falls silent. Ajax, though, rises a surprised eyebrow at the prince's observation.

"Have you come across the myth of the Seven Hells?" - he delivers the question with a grimacing face. "I believe some truths are universal, after all, even in shape! What do your people remember of it? I keep telling these idiots here that they should keep watch, but they don't believe me." - he himself mounts the bestial armor for now. "Maybe you'll have better luck. Maybe they'll take it for real before they themselves face a demon..." - a brief debate ensues. Clearly, Sisyphus and Hermes do not share Ajax' concerns. Ulisses and the Captain refrain from speaking.

Meanwhile, Harfik struggles with memories not his own to uncover the mysteries behind the weapons. Clearly, the effects spurred from Semiomancy, the closest thing Teraphim scientists have to a religion - or magic. Semiomancy reveals te hidden qualities of an item and its craftsman, linking it to the very soul of the user. Teraphim seem quite jealous of such weapons, and it is an honor to receive a set of these. The Captain, as it goes, seems to be far more pragmatic. Semiomancy is a means to an end as far as his mind understands. As for the languages themselves, they seem to have been taught to the semiomancers long ago by beings with the power of gods - if not gods themselves. The conflagration certainly happened because of the crossing of Semiomancy and magic, turning the forces in place less stable. The details of the transition still elude Harfik, though.

As the forces prepare to leave, they are taken through the many rooms, separated from each other by glass walls. At the front, an even larger room stores deactivated suits. After an improvised access, what seems to be a fortress door - among many others, is opened with no small amount of noise, red lights and warnings. Beyond, a great stone hall, gleaming in blue light, houses many edged stones - some of them the size of ten humans. They shed their strange light through the caves and even beyond, through observation glasses placed at the front walls of the Sanctum. The air holds a strange, sour smell to it, as well as the waters that form a mirror on the cave's floor. Amidst the stones and the accumulated water, many machines - probably mining equipment - lay abandoned. The heroes were entering the caves, in order to find their way down.


[Ok... This is how it goes. The one with the highest dungeoneering/survival/cartography level rolls a D20. The others can go for a group effort. Anyone with location equipment gains advantage at the rolls. You have to reach a certain limit before finding the right spot. The rooms you'll traverse will be an answer to your roll levels. This should enhance the labyrinthine sensation you'll get from it. Brace yourselves. Things are about to heat up... :p

EDIT: taking a look at your sheets, I'd be between Lyllie or Thulwar. Since [MENTION=23298]industrygothica[/MENTION] will be on the road, [MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION], please, have Thulwar roll for Investigation - DC's a secret! Those willing to help can roll, and I'll turn it into a group test automatically. Also, forgive the Pathfinder lingo... Some passions are hard to leave behind. :p]


@Neurotic @Shayuri @industrygothica @JustinCase @Greenmtn
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
[roll0]
[roll1] If advantage
Add +2 if item bonus applies to this use, I will write everything down once I return from the trip
 

Greenmtn

Explorer
OOC: Rolling intelligence to see if I can assist who ever is leading us by tapping into Teraphim knowledge. [roll0] Survival isn't the best so I shouldn't be the lead on this one.
Or maybe a Survival check to assist who ever is the lead on this one? [roll1]
 

Archon Basileus

First Post
EVERYONE

[Ok, I'm splitting the rolls for distinct purposes!]

The group moves forward, covering ground with ease. The area seems to have been softened, so navigation wouldn't become a problem. Beyond the small pond and the glittering stones, a long corridor twists slightly to the right, certainly excavated by suits in a long, distant past. As it follows, it also opens up, profiting from a huge opening on the rock. The place is drenched in darkness, making it hard to see far away even through the use of torches and other light sources. The flashlights can only do so much, and vision is reduced to a few feet beyond the groups position.

A few more steps forward, and the heroes see an old room. Barely illuminated by their own efforts, the pavement drops down some ten feet. The place's divided in two by the presence of a huge natural column right in the center of a tall and ample hall. Four huge shapes are sprung around as well, vaguely suggesting ancient statues. The entire area is covered in moss and mushrooms, making it look quite alive - at least, as far as the heroes can see. A great deal of the room remains thrown in the dark.

Something feels off, everyone can tell... An unnatural silence falls upon the area. Except for certain noises, unusual and rhythmic, as both Icosa and Aanzu identify. The sounds are like brief clicks and cracks. Probably some kind of insect, judging by the looks of the area...

Crossing this room should bring the group closer to a way down, Thulwar is sure of that. Harfik, on the other hand, can see that most of the things growing around probably won't pose any immediate danger, but that also means that they might be food, inviting to other creatures. Any further conclusions would demand a closer look - down in the hall.

[To continue, the group must drop down first. An automatic success for a longer, careful climb. For a direct one, a DC 10 roll will do. Vision is restricted to 10 feet. Those with dark vision can see up to 20 feet in here. Something strange lingers in the air, as a dark cloud of sorts, impairing vision.]

@Neurotic @Shayuri @JustinCase @Greenmtn @industrygothica
 
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Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Guards, keep the miners and the giantess away and safe. Tink, forward. Prepare lights everyone, Tink and I will draw them out."
Thulwar takes the point, dark tunnels holding no fear to him. Still, he keeps his machine close until this point, not used to having his vision impaired. Quaffing an elixir, he scrambles down half-hanging from Tink, half moving on his own. Incredibly (but something the group has already seen), great predator lands quietly and unnoticed, while little alchemist makes attention grabbing noise as he rolls with some pebbles dislodged while going down and slight grunt as he hits the ground. Not as bad as when they entered the complex, but still, loud enough to be easily noticed.

[sblock=Actions]
Tink Athletics: 1D20+4 = [11]+4 = 15
Tink Stealth: 1D20+6 = [20]+6 = 26
Thulwar Acrobatics: 1D20+5 = [12]+5 = 17
Thulwar Stealth: 1D20+8 = [5]+8 = 13

Tinks aided perception: 2D20.HIGH(1)+3 = [6, 19]+3 = 22
[/sblock]

OOC:
The idea is to draw whatevers waiting onto Tink - it can take some beating and, being a machine, should be uninteresting to normal bugs and critters.
Elixir = Swift Step Draught - increase speed by 20' for 1 minute
[MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION], Icosa can use:
Repelling Shield (Complex Property). Over the course of a short rest, you inscribe this rune onto a normal sized shield or buckler as you expend a spell slot. The air around the shield takes on a distorted appearance. If someone defending with the shield is attacked and missed in combat, they may spend their reaction to block. This will deal 1d6 force damage per level of the spell slot to the attacker, and they must make a Strength saving throw (DC 12 + the level of the expended spell slot) or be knocked prone
2nd level, 2d6 damage, DC 14
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Aanzu stands perfectly still. His intuition tells him there is something in here; his senses have not detected it yet, but the warrior knows better than to ignore his instincts.

He closes his eyes and instead focuses on his other senses - his nostrils filling with the air and shifting through the now familiar scents of his companions, his ears alert for the smallest of noises, his scaly skin aware of every subtle shift of air, his feet connecting to the floor to sense tremors if anything moves. In this state, the prince is aware of Thulwar and Tink moving forwards and down, trying to draw out the hidden.

Remembering the lessons of the Great Blue Dragon, Aanzu waits in motionless silence. The thieves always come when they think the dragon is asleep, and Aanzu will allow them to come very close before he catches them.

OOC: Full round Perception: [roll0]
Does that grant advantage? If so: [roll1]
 

Shayuri

First Post
Icosa observes the preparations, but realizes that even if anything hostile takes Tink's bait, he'll have trouble targeting them from this far away. He begins climbing carefully down, intending to back Tink up should an attack begin.
 

Greenmtn

Explorer
Harfik Human Monk

Harfik steps up to the ledge, crouching down and holding the sword Aanzu gave him in one hand. Waiting with patience to see what happens.
He thinks for a moment about about warning of creatures in this area, but is confident that his allies are already prepared.
 

Archon Basileus

First Post
THULWAR

As Thulwar and Tink descend, the noises become even more vague, as if somehow the heroes' presence had been noticed. The darkness is intense and unnatural, but Thulwar's sight grant him some advantage, even here. The gnome knows it is magical, for no other force could limit his sight in such a way.

Under closer inspection, the area shows a most peculiar composition. Thulwar can see the outlines of a nearby statue, rustic and covered in spiral lines, as well as several distinct patterns. The same engravings cover the floor as well, as if placed there to build a trail of sorts. Thulwar can feel the distinct textures under his feet, beneath the thick soles of his shoes. The trails, marked on the floor, might serve as guiding lines through the darkness, at least for anyone familiarized with the traces carved into the stone.

As the duo contemplates the situation, a small shard of shining material becomes apparent, some ten feet beyond. It seems to be a piece of blade, left there after some confrontation - recent, by the looks of it. Some sort of fight has happened in here, but the signs left behind suggest ambushes and silent strikes instead of open attacks. No blood, no traces of a bigger charge, only that blade shard, nothing more...

AANZU

Above, Aanzu focuses his senses. He feels distant vibrations as the floor rumbles - they seem to come from beyond this room, though, emanating from an unknown location, beyond the darkness. There, something seems to hum, like a dragon in its slumber.

Within the hall, though, the prince overhears the sound of metal dragging around, as if the pieces of an armor were being dragged against the stone. the sound comes predominantly from the left area in front of him and beyond the darkness. He also hears the sound of clattering bones - or maybe carapaces. The sounds are coordinated, and even though the pattern is hard to discern, he uncovers a rudimentary form of communication beneath the short strikes. One side brings up a small code, trying to disguise it as a natural sound, and the other answers in the same way as it goes. It also seems that the sources are constantly shifting positions, as if they refused to remain in the same place for too long.

On the right side, Aanzu overhears slow, calculated hisses. Sometime guttural, sometimes snake-like, these signs behave mostly on the same way that the drags and clatters do. They emulate a natural, irregular pattern, with moving sources. All the same, they seem to be communicating with each other.

Every sound is so low that only by focusing he can capture these small patterns. He can, however, pinpoint the general areas from which each of these sound groups emanate. They seem to occupy opposite sides of the room, always thrown in darkness.

Two other things are caught by Aanzu's attention: first, the size of these creatures. Judging by the intensity of the noises, they are bigger than bugs. Certainly, they're at least human-sized. The other thing is the smell: the place seems to hold something old and rancid, past the point of rotting, almost as something mummified within the room...

HARFIK

The monk studies the area as his companions advance. The darkness is dense. No doubt, magical in nature. The textures on the floor and on the outlined statues have been placed there later on, clearly as means for someone to move around without having to resort to sight. The smell of decay fills the nostrils, suggesting the presence of long dead things within this room. Going forward is a certain way of springing an ambush. Maybe this is how the creatures within hunt, nothing more, but the darkness is so thick that it renders any sort of action difficult.

ICOSA


Seeing the same signs as the others, Icosa seems to realize a simple truth: whatever lies within is by no means a united collective. If these are bugs, they struggle against each other. If they are something else, surely they have been fighting among each other, perhaps for food, perhaps for something else. The trails on the floor suggest awareness, a nature that transcends that of a mere beast. Perhaps the creatures are smart enough to adapt to the shadows, or perhaps they're simply using this area for a hinting ground, ignoring the marks on the floor for the most part. It certainly doesn't look like it, though.

LYLLIE

As the gnome observes the darkness conjured within the room, a familiar sensation pervades her. Her body responds to the presence of the dead. They are here, no doubt, and she can sense spirits observing beyond darkness. Suddenly, a face form just by her side, intangible and emanating a faint glow... The vague figure roams around, moaning and complaining about "mongrels" and how it was forced to relinquish immortality for what it calls a "silent war". It shivers for a bit, floating just above the floor, not far from the edge of the darkness, and there it remains, lingering before the gnome's vision.

EVERYONE

Suddenly, the small hisses and clatters more pronounced. Not far from the party, it seems that something moves, trying to reach the group's flank!

Turning towards the area, the heroes catch a glimpse of green smoke and luminosity at the edges of darkness, as if a pair of obscured eyes burned green fires behind empty bone sockets. The things seem to provoke them at first, taunting them to reach into the darkness to grab them... That lasts for only a second though. They realize the heroes' awareness and leap back, the strange mixture of fire and smoke still shining vaguely within the darkness as a pair of eyes... A whispering voice comes from the fading lights, strange and inviting. It crosses paths with the lingering spirit - something that only Lyllie notices, since she's the only one that sees the moaning spirit - and continues trailing at the edge of darkness.

"Coooome..." - the voice says. "We shall guiiiide... You can't traverse the darknessss and live.... But we are willinnng..." - the entity continues. "Come... All you gotta do is step inside... Come..." - the strange lights keep floating around, as if disembodied and unimpeded by any sorts of obstacles. "We are the emissaries of the Lost City of Amberilan. We can grant you passage. You, and the Teraphim, can cross the dead city.... No harm... No harm... Come with usss... We shall bring you to your home... That we promise..."

Around, the clattering and tattering goes on, strange, irregular and vague...

[Now, will you follow? ;)

Sorry, I had to edit the post... I was grading papers by the time I wrote and I dropped lines that I had to re-write later on. :) Also, I made a few mechanical decisions that I think will help with pacing. I'm ditching initiative in order to work over your actions - responding to your own action orders and using their content in a more intense way. Go ahead and push things as far as you want. :)]

MAP UPDATED

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P-H9BO8-IYX6lSE2e9bttaM0U2XZlSQpYQgkZeWX3JQ/edit


@Neurotic @JustinCase @Shayuri @industrygothica @Greenmtn
 
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Shayuri

First Post
Icosa brings up his shield arm, and a softly glowing blade of force manifests from his right arm, casting his armored features into relief in the artificial gloom of the pit.

"Previous entities of this taxonomy have been hostile," he reminds the party. "I recommend caution."

Even so, he does not initiate hostilities, instead of preparing himself to repel an attack, if any were incoming.

(Full Defense!)
 

industrygothica

Adventurer
"So," Lyllie says. "There's something dead in here. A spirit. I see one, just there," she points. "But there may be more."


OOC: Sorry for the long delay, but I'm back at home now.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
THULWAR

Under closer inspection, the area shows a most peculiar composition. Thulwar can see the outlines of a nearby statue, rustic and covered in spiral lines, as well as several distinct patterns. The same engravings cover the floor as well, as if placed there to build a trail of sorts. Thulwar can feel the distinct textures under his feet, beneath the thick soles of his shoes. The trails, marked on the floor, might serve as guiding lines through the darkness, at least for anyone familiarized with the traces carved into the stone.

As the duo contemplates the situation, a small shard of shining material becomes apparent, some ten feet beyond. It seems to be a piece of blade, left there after some confrontation - recent, by the looks of it. Some sort of fight has happened in here, but the signs left behind suggest ambushes and silent strikes instead of open attacks. No blood, no traces of a bigger charge, only that blade shard, nothing more...

Thulwar pays attention to the runes first and foremost. Confirming that they for a path, he checks in his natural tendency to go and inspect the item in shining in the dark. Instead he calls out to the others "There is a path here, marked by runes. Possibly, the only safe path is to follow the way. If you can come down on the path instead on the side, that would be great! I will just do some testing before you do. Keep an eye out."

Thulwar calls upon his new toy, scribing rune of force in the air. Magical force stretches away from him and touches the shining item before snapping back like streched spring coil.

OOC: Using simple property of the rune - if the item is 10lbs or less it should move toward Thulwar 30 feet
 

Greenmtn

Explorer
Harfik Human Monk

OOC: Intelligence [roll0] to "remember" this area or something about it.
Ready attack action for the first thing that attacks us.


"This is a hunting ground for sure. Ajax do you know anything about it from your missions? Is there a way around it?" Harfik continues to scan the darkness, sword in one hand and spear in the other. He reverses his grip on the sear and brings it up ready to launch it.
 

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