Kulan: Knightfall's Crisis in Bluffside Game [IC]

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
World of Kulan: Crisis in Bluffside Game
Old City Campaign Map.jpg

Big Tim stands, once again, waiting. This time, however, the man he's come to know as Relgar Aspergim waits with him — not that drafter-wizard appears put out by waiting. He has a book to scribble in and formulas rolling around in his head. The time likely will pass quicker for him than Tim. Relgar sits at the same table in Oakfirst Manor where Tim first met Relgar and his other previous allies — Custodio Vecchi, a member of the Bluffside Elite; Elkgrar Ashhand the dwarf cleric of the Builder; Terger Alela, a member of the Dark Lanterns; Thersean Stormdancer, a mysterious elf attache; and the ex-convict named Demetrios Zinon Aris Rhodes, aka Rhodey.

Besides, Relgar, only Custodio remains alongside Tim. The young soldier is tasked to the pursuit of Phelix Del Cannitha, a renegade sorcerer who seems hell bent on ruining the lives of the people of Bluffside. Custodio sits across from Relgar and keeps an eye on the wizard. The young guard has become fond of the eccentric arcanist much like a younger brother watching out for his older, awkwardly-innate sibling. Lord Commander Reginald Oakfirst is in the room, as well, waiting. As are several new faces that Tim has only met in the last 24 hours since Terger and Rhodey were pulled away from the group during a meeting in Stormgrove Manor.

Lady Samantha Pomander, one of The Five, had come to see them in the morning after arriving there, and Tim had assumed it meant she had a lead. Instead, she tasked Terger to come with her immediately for a mission she couldn't tell Tim and the others about. Surprisingly, she had Terger take Rhodey with the young Lantern, and told the rest of you that the mission to find Phelix would have to wait a day. “The Wizard Council needs time to look at the markings on the inside of Growers' Gate, anyway,” she had said. All had been free to stay in Stormgrove, but without Terger there, you all had felt like you were trespassing in his old home. It was weird.

Twelve hours in, Tim soon found himself back in Oakfirst Manor where the High Priestess of Mirella had yanked him from his world to this new one, which he now knew was called Kulan. The lands around him were a jumble of city-states and old decadent empires, but here an now, he was in the city known as Bluffside, which many of the locals referred to as the City on the Edge. It was a good an honorific as any other would have been. Bluffside itself wasn't a kingdom but a free city ruled by a group known as The Five. That was the simple way of looking at it. In truth, there is also the Wizard Council and their isolated district, the Adamantine Security Council that controls the Mining District, and the entrenched pantheon of gods that control much of the Temple District.

Add to that half-a-dozen powerful guilds spread throughout the city, the guards/soldiers known as the Bluffside Regulars and the more renowned Elites, as well as their leaders who run the Military District and, right now, have New City under a stat of martial law due to the machinations of the renegade sorcerer. Rumors abound that while a group of heroes were trying to capture him, the sorcerer set off a series of magical explosions that destroyed over half of New City. Hundreds of people were killed and that district has been under martial law ever since. Every time it's believed that The Five will lift it, another incident takes place somewhere in the city. Most of those incidents have been here, in Old City. The oldest part of Bluffside that isn't the ruins of Sem La Vah that stands in the center of the six districts, seperated by walls, open fields, and gorges.

And so you wait for Lady Pomander to arrive once more with news of Terger and Rhodey. But this time, she doesn't come herself. She sends a messenger with a note for Oakfirst. He reads it, shakes his head, and sighs.

“I knew it. Terger won't be back. His mission has been extended indefinitely. And it seems he let Rhodes go! Gods, I knew letting that man out of the city was a bad idea. We'll never see him again.”

“And what of Elkgrar and Thersean?” Custodio asks.

“I assume Thersean has been called back by the dragori, but there is no mention of him. Perhaps the dragori aren't as interested in the renegade as we first feared. But, Elkgrar, he's been assigned to a temple of the Builder in the Granite Kingdom to the south. It's a posh position, and I'm sure his father got it for him.”

“A reward for Elkgrar nominating his father for the vacent seat among The Five,” Custodio muses.

“More than likely,” the lord commander agrees.

“So, we're on our on,” Custodio looks at Big Tim, Relgar, and the newcomers in the in the room who are trying to fill in the gaps with what they already have learned.

“There should be more than enough of you, even without them,” Oakfirst says plainly. “Now that the planar key to Phelix's enclave has been identified by young Relgar.” All eyes turn to look at the crystalline flower that was harvested from the ruins overnight. Relgar had found the truth in one of Lady Stormgrove's books in the library of Terger's home. It was very delicate and now sat in a glass case on the table.

“And you're sure about the location of the portal?” Custodio asks again. The man likes to talk, a bit too much.

“The Wizard Council is sure. The portal is on the inner side of Old City's exterior wall near the Gardens and Growers' Gate. There just not sure how to activate it.” The guard commander looks at the newcomers. That's why we have some new experts here. He waits for them all to introduce themselves and speak up on the matter.

OOC: Heading right into it! Make any Knowledge or other skill checks you want for more details about what your PCs know of the current situation. (And don't forget some backstory, if you like.) If you don't want your PC present right from the start, your character should already be in Old City and heading to Oakfirst Manor.
 
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Neurotic

Adventurer
Loremaster Akos heard about the events. It was hard not to even for someone as self-absorbed as he was. But his flock was less focused on his sermons when something big was happening. And besides, one of the events interrupted his own oratory. How rude!

When there was a call (all quiet like) for someone to help resolve the issue and especially when planar portals and runes were mentioned he was all over it. Imagine: hero of the hour, priest of some locally unknown goddess comes through! How it would help her efforts here.

Thus, Akos found himself bored out of his mind waiting forever with a thug not worthy a word and a wizard so absorbed with his book that he couldn't be bothered with basic courtesy.

When called for, Akos steps forward resplendent in his immaculate robes, holding the ornate walking staff and smiling warmly.
"Hello everyone. My name is Akos, Loremaster Akos. You may call me Loremaster or Akos as you prefer. I am ajoined brother at The Great Teachers library and have extensive knowledge of many topics. I am also a negotiator, peace maker and I would prefer if we solve our encounters with words rather than s-words."

He pauses after the s in swords and adds ever so subtly "w" sound - not that he expects any appreciation of this lot.

"The world is a place of wonder and we don't have to choose fight among ourselves. We can choose to enjoy the world and its wonders. And let others enjoy it in their way. If we just treat the sorcerers as bards - I don't expect wizards to accept anyone without book learning - we could avoid lots of this unnecessary anguish."

He pauses just long enough to gauge the reaction, mostly of Master Custodio and continues just as he opens his mouth to comment.
"However, this renegade caused suffering and destruction of valuable history. He doesn't let others enjoy life as they want. And as such, he needs to be brought to justice. While I don't condone street justice, I will abide by the councils decision should we be instructed to kill him."

Arcana: 1D20+13 = [20]+13 = 33 <-- EVERYTHING :)
Local: 1D20+11 = [10]+11 = 21 <-- local gossip, history, area details
Planar: 1D20+11 = [3]+11 = 14 <-- it doesn't go to Feywild
Gather Info: 1D20+8 = [6]+8 = 14 <-- whatever he found out from the mobs
History: 1D20+13 = [2]+13 = 15 <-- what happened last time the portal opened

Bardic Lore: 1D20+11 = [10]+11 = 21 <-- secrets of this particular portal or grove

OOC: Crit on the arcana and yet rolls under average :) Good start! ;)
 
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Neurotic

Adventurer
You know pretty much every use for the prismatic crystalline flower, which is a rare mineral bloom called an Iridescent Zunsum.
However, it's beauty rarely leads to peace. It is indeed used as a planar key and can be used to help strengthen a weak portal or create a new one from scratch if enough of the Zunsum is collected and gathered together to form a catalyst. Since you found no historical evidence that a portal ever existed in this spot before (see below), it's very likely that this Phelix person used the bloom to create this portal. It would have taken some time to perform the rituals, and the effects on him would have been painful without the aid of a supernatural being.

the portal is on the district's outer wall that connects it to the Gardens.

the walls of Old City are specifically warded to not allow portals or gates to be created on them or even near them.
Mortal magic did not create the portal alone.
"Now for the problem at hand. This portal...it really shouldn't exist and I surmise that without this flower it couldn't be opened at all. The other problem is that a mortal, however twisted and powerful, couldn't open it by himself, he had to have some power, supernatural power behind him."

The main information you're learned about the Gardens is that the dragori-fehr servant of the Great Mother, Sylemis, who helps tend the Grove of Peace and Harmony has come down with an ailment that even he can't cure. Normally, he can brew almost any potion for any need, but he's able to cure himself. It is whispered that he may be cursed due to his past failings in the Dragori Empire.

you were quite surprised by maddening, runic writing in the tower and the planar map that existed on the bottom level of the tower's interior. Those writings are not normal; it's as if the person who wrote the markings at the top of the tower's interior wasn't the same person who wrote the insane markings at the bottom of the tower.

The latest rumor about Old City's serial killer is that he's an assassin working for a foreign power and is trying to disrupt Bluffside's trade and security.

Someone saw a weird creature in the street near the Tribunal. It looked like it had tentacles and it was horrific to behold.

A drunkard who was stumbling through the Sublime Bazaar late last night, ran screaming from what he believed was the ghost
"Now, markings on the tower are...insane...for the lack of better words. And given the portals improbability and that the portal is still open, I will hypothesize that something is keeping it open. And if the rumors about Sylemis are correct...I'm afraid it leads to the conclusion that something came from beyond and possessed him. That would explain several things at once. His continuous ill-health despite his reputation for alchemy, the string of murders within well-guarded walls, sights of horrifying creatures and ghosts...assume that thing is like a ghost, it can possess mortals, move through the walls...but it needs sustenance...more than single mortal shell can provide. And maybe it needs the original host alive because it is bound somehow to the portal."

Akos takes a deep breath as he considers his hypothesis.
"This could be easily proven. Get the dragori under Protection from evil spell, get a good priest to do an exorcism and several mages to prepare for whatever comes out. You could simply ask him out of the gardens and away from the portal. If there is a connection, he wouldn't want to be too far or too long out of reach. And a diviner could maybe see a thread between them. And paladin could detect evil. Whatever it takes except killing it. The power of such an act could make the portal permanent."

while a handful of young adventurers recently visited it and came out very excited. Perhaps there is some new type of exotic entertainment? If so, Glamor Glitterod of the Black Boudoir won't be happy.
"One could assume there are more than one. If yes, one could check the patrons of The Shady Dragon Inn. Just in case. It may just be a succubus or an erynies. But one never knows."


OOC: Sorry everyone, I'll no longer take the spotlight. But Akos is all about coming forward and being in the center so get used to this talks :) Next introduction please
 

Envisioner

Explorer
(No time for an IC response, I'm just bookmarking the thread for now. By the way, do I still have the Eclipse book?)
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
A small figure stands up, and from underneath a ragged faded red hood comes a tiny reptilian head - a kobold. Like his kin, the creature looks around nervously, almost never without motion, as if constantly alert for danger in a world made for bigger folk. His voice, however, is steady and confident despite its low volume.

”I am Tuck, and I do condone street justice,” he says deliberately, referring to the Loremaster’s speech. ”Some never get any other. And I am here because I want to help the city that is my home, and to help those in the city. And because us little folk can stand to get some respect. And,” a sparkle shows in his reptilian eyes while something resembling a smile appears on the scales around his mouth, ”And I suppose there are coins for those who help.”

The kobold looks at the others, one by one, locking eyes with each before nodding a greeting. Then, before he can start talking again, he is interrupted by a big brown dog, more than twice his size and wagging its tail furiously as it runs up to Tuck apparently out of nowhere and with its sheer weight dropping the kobold to the floor. The riding dog proceeds to lick the kobold’s face for a full minute before Tuck finally manages to get the dog off him and sit somewhat calmly, still panting and wagging its tail.

”Ahem,” Tuck continues at last. ”This is Mutt. Seems to think I’m a dog. Fierce, that one. Anyway, I know some people, and I know the word out on the streets. That may help.”

OOC: Tuck Gather Information and Knowledge local:
1D20+14 = [10]+14 = 24
1D20+6 = [6]+6 = 12


I don’t think Favored Enemy helps, but who knows: +2 on Royalists and +4 on Rising Swords.

Btw, I finished my character. Only need to make the stats for the riding dog animal companion.
 
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Envisioner

Explorer
(You might want to rewrite the second sentence of the OP to say that I don't appear put out; it's got a rather different meaning going on without that one word....)
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
The handsome, well-dressed Half-Ogre standing beside Relgar is an impressive 7 feet 9 inches in height, and is wearing a white, silk surcoat which bears a standard that you are unfamiliar with. The shirt has a white, ruffled collar whose radius is about 3 inches, all the way around the neck. Being sleeveless, the surcoat reveals that the big brute is wearing a finely-made shirt of mail underneath it. He also sports a black, wide-brimmed leather hat with a red feather, and a broad, black leather girdle. His breeches are red-dyed leather, and his black, leather boots are adorned with shiny, brass buckles. In short, he is dressed like a nobleman, and comports himself in that manner.

His facial features are smooth and fair, not ruddy and weathered as is typical of Ogre-kin. His black hair is perfectly groomed, and he smells of strong cologne.

On his back, you can see the pommel of a Greatsword peeking out above his left shoulder, although on his frame, it looks more like a Longsword. Additionally, he is casually wearing what looks to be a finely-made, Darkwood DOOR SHIELD, strapped to one arm; to him, it is little more than a regular shield. He does not appear to be encumbered by it in the least.

59B6790B-5DBE-461D-8756-F6742AB9968F.jpeg

This is Cyrano DeBergerac, the fearless and unstoppable poet-swordsman from Edmond Rostand's famous play. The picture above is from the 1950 film adaptation starring Jose Ferrer (pictured.)

Although Tim's surcoat is different, and his feather is red instead of white, the collar and hat worn in this picture are identical to what Tim is wearing. And of course, while Cyrano carried a Rapier, Big TIm carries a Greatsword and Door Shield.

Also, despite being dressed in a manner that one might label as "dandy," nothing in Tim's demeanor agrees with such a supposition; the big knight exudes strength of limb, and conviction of purpose, and something tells you that he is no sufferer of fools. He does not have the comportment of a poser or a pretender; He is the quintessential nobleman-warrior, a man of honor and action.

Big Tim eyes Tuck with curiosity, and then speaks, in a regal, formal tone: "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Tuck. I cannot say that I agree with your desire to seek justice outside the law, as I am sworn to uphold it and defend it, no matter the cost. However, I can, at the very least, state that I sympathize with you, and understand completely whereof you speak, having myself been the target of prejudice and intolerance many times, despite the fact that I serve with honor, and hold the title of Knight. We are kindred spirits, you and I, therefore, do not hesitate to ask for my help, or my guidance, as I will gladly offer you either."

Big Tim pauses, then continues, "The arcane matters, I leave to you, my good sirs, I merely ask that when the time comes, you will use your arcane skills to bless my aim, and strengthen my armor, so that I might better perform my duty upon the bodies of mine enemies."
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"My name is Custodio Vecchi. I'm a cleric of the Purifier and a member of the Elite until someone tells me otherwise," he glances at the lord commander. (Oakfirst just nods back.) "I've been hunting this renegade for a while now, and while I have a duty to perform, I won't hesitate to put him down if the man won't surrender. I have no problem with sorcerers, but I do have a problem with evil magicians running around the city causing harm to the people."

He looks at Loremaster Akos. "Peace is always better, but this man, this evil arcanist, doesn't seem to have peace in his soul. He kills without remorse and has others do it for him when he can't do it himself. I've seen that first hand both in New City and here in Old City. his magical trap in the Golden Lantern could have killed anyone who spoke his name."

"You assume that was the case," the lord commander notes. "He might have left it there for Terger and the others, specifically. Magical foresight, perhaps."

"Perhaps," Custodio replies. He looks at Big Tim and then Relgar. "I've known these men for a bit of time, and I trust their skills both martial and magical, respectively." He pauses. "I don't know if Waldo will feel more secure now that Terger and the others are gone, but we should test him as soon as possible. Of course, I'm not a wizard, so like Tim here, I'll leave the matter of how to open the portal to the rest of you. But you can count on my healing and bastard sword when we face him and his minions."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
When called for, Akos steps forward resplendent in his immaculate robes, holding the ornate walking staff and smiling warmly.
"Hello everyone. My name is Akos, Loremaster Akos. You may call me Loremaster or Akos as you prefer. I am ajoined brother at The Great Teachers library and have extensive knowledge of many topics. I am also a negotiator, peace maker and I would prefer if we solve our encounters with words rather than s-words."

He pauses after the s in swords and adds ever so subtly "w" sound - not that he expects and appreciation of this lot.

"The world is a place of wonder and we don't have to choose fight among ourselves. We can choose to enjoy the world and its wonders. And let others enjoy it in their way. If we just treat the sorcerers as bards, I don't expect wizards to accept anyone without book learning, we could avoid lots of this unnecessary anguish."

He pauses just long enough to gauge the reaction, mostly of Master Custodio and continues just as he opens his mouth to comment.
"However, this renegade caused suffering and destruction of valuable history. He doesn't let others enjoy life as they want. And as such, he needs to be brought to justice. While I don't condone street justice, I will abide by the councils decision should we be instructed to kill him."
”I am Tuck, and I do condone street justice,” he says deliberately, referring to the Loremaster’s speech. ”Some never get any other. And I am here because I want to help the city that is my home, and to help those in the city. And because us little folk can stand to get some respect. And,” a sparkle shows in his reptilian eyes while something resembling a smile appears on the scales around his mouth, ”And I suppose there are coins for those who help.”

The kobold looks at the others, one by one, locking eyes with each before nodding a greeting. Then, before he can start talking again, he is interrupted by a big brown dog, more than twice his size and wagging its tail furiously as it runs up to Tuck apparently out of nowhere and with its sheer weight dropping the kobold to the floor. The riding dog proceeds to lick the kobold’s face for a full minute before Tuck finally manages to get the dog off him and sit somewhat calmly, still panting and wagging its tail.

”Ahem,” Tuck continues at last. ”This is Mutt. Seems to think I’m a dog. Fierce, that one. Anyway, I know some people, and I know the word out on the streets. That may help.”
Big Tim eyes Tuck with curiosity, and then speaks, in a regal, formal tone: "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Tuck. I cannot say that I agree with your desire to seek justice outside the law, as I am sworn to uphold it and defend it, no matter the cost. However, I can, at the very least, state that I sympathize with you, and understand completely whereof you speak, having myself been the target of prejudice and intolerance many times, despite the fact that I serve with honor, and hold the title of Knight. We are kindred spirits, you and I, therefore, do not hesitate to ask for my help, or my guidance, as I will gladly offer you either."

Big Tim pauses, then continues, "The arcane matters, I leave to you, my good sirs, I merely ask that when the time comes, you will use your arcane skills to bless my aim, and strengthen my armor, so that I might better perform my duty upon the bodies of mine enemies."
The lord commander rolls up the message from Lady Pomander and then takes a seat at the table. He listens intently to you all before speaking.

"There are some in Bluffside who think Del Cannitha should be put to the sword the moment he is found, and I doubt he'll surrender to you." He pauses for effect. "However, I will not condone street justice if he or his Loyalists choose to surrender."

"Unlikely," Custodio notes quietly.

"Yes, when it comes to these Loyalists of his, I doubt they will drop their weapons and surrender. But they should be given the chance, at first. Once it becomes clear that they won't surrender, you are free to defend yourselves."

"Also, his enclave isn't actually in Bluffside," Custodio says. "If I understand my planar lore, his lair stands apart from the world."

"That's true," Oakfirst agrees. "Once you go through the portal, you won't be beholden to Bluffside laws, but you will still be acting as agents of the city. I expect you to act accordingly." He looks at Tuck. "You will be paid for your work, and your first largess is the use of this manor, my old childhood home. While I don't live here anymore, it has been used by adventurers I knew in the past — relatives and old friends who are gone now. Some retired, some lost in the field."

He looks around the room with some nostalgia before continuing. "You are free to stay here and use anything that isn't bolted to the floors or the walls. The one exception is my father's old room. I insist you not disturb it, as I was quite fond of him and lost him very young. Sir Tymbeck has already graciously accepted my invitation to stay in my old room, and I believe Relgar has set up in one of the guest rooms. I believe he chose not to sleep in Ayden's old room due to the wards placed there, but he did borrow some of my dead cousin's mundane clothes and gear from storage."

He looks at Relgar who is busy writing in an old ledger. The lord commander smiles and nods to the others. "You can claim any other room in the house. There are lots of options, but try not to break anything. This is still an Oakfirst residence, after all. Carter, Lavia, and Olhouser are all at your disposal. Carter is an old friend and one of the best smiths I know. Lavia runs the house and the two maids answer to her alone. Don't forget that. Olhouser was my father's steward, so he's not as spry as he once was, so go easy on him."

He pauses again and digs out a small pouch from his breast pocket. "That reminds me Tim, Terger wanted you to look after this for him, if you feel up to it." He hands Tim the pouch, which feels quite light in the big man's hand. "If you don't want the responsibility, I'll make sure it gets to someone else in his family."

He sighs and drums his fingers on the table. "Of course, I would like you to go through the portal and deal with the renegade as quickly as possible, but I doubt it will be as simple as walking up to it with the bloom and passing through without some sort of price to be paid. The one incentive I can give you, besides payment, is that anything magical you find on the other side is yours to keep, within reason, of course. Any coins, gems, and art you gather will be taxes by The Five after you return, but they will only take 1% of the value. The main except will be anything of archaeological value. Those you may have to surrender."
 
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Neurotic

Adventurer
Akos rejoins at the last part "I can think of several phrases that could help. But. Some are probably harmless, some could mean some pain. But several will kill if said wrongly. This would require several castings of various divinations, simple augury would do, but it would require several castings. Analyzing the portal would help, with the flower in the vicinity. If we can work with the wizards guild and temple district, I am sure we can find the right one. In the meantime, while you organize city casters, I'd like to look into the gardeners case."
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim opens the bag, and peers inside, curious as to what he has just been given...

Tim muses silently to himself, ~Responsibility? Responsibility for what? What is this...?~
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Akos rejoins at the last part "I can think of several phrases that could help. But. Some are probably harmless, some could mean some pain. But several will kill if said wrongly. This would require several castings of various divinations, simple augury would do, but it would require several castings. Analyzing the portal would help, with the flower in the vicinity. If we can work with the wizards guild and temple district, I am sure we can find the right one. In the meantime, while you organize city casters, I'd like to look into the gardeners case."
"The Wizard Council already has the Sectarian Guard watching over the Growers' Tower and the portal. The priests of Asokar have also taken an interest in the portal, but we're trying to keep them from claiming it as a new holy site to their god. Master Pennant Hassenforth has provided several skilled hieratic sages and historians of the Great Teacher to examine the magical runes in the tower. I could try to bring in more clerics from the temple district, but I'd rather not. The site is already in danger of turning into a sideshow."

Oakfirst pauses to lock eyes with Akos. "As for Sylemis, if you want to look into his illness, I have no objections. Personally I don't think his condition is related to Del Cannitha in any way, but if you think you can help him, it would be looked upon favorably by the citizens. He's quite admired."

Tim opens the bag, and peers inside, curious as to what he has just been given...

Tim muses silently to himself, ~Responsibility? Responsibility for what? What is this...?~
The bag contains three items and a short hand-written note. The first item is a key with the noble crest of the Stormgrove family on it. The second is a signet ring with the same symbol. The third is a map of immediate area outside of Bluffside with an 'X' on it.

The note reads, 'Please look after my old home. I entrust its contents to you. Use the manor as a safe house if things go badly. There is also a small country house outside of Bluffside where you can find shelter, if the city becomes entrenched in war. We are hoping to stop a plot that doesn't involve 'Waldo'. Good luck and hopefully we'll meet again. Tell Relgar he can use the library at Stormgrove if he wants. -T'.
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Akos shakes his head.
"They are watching. I'm assuming they looked it over. They gained knowledge. But did they apply that knowledge? Did they gain wisdom from it?"
Looking around and focusing on the wizard in the room. The one that still didn't introduce himself.
"What say you, master Relgar, should we apply some logic to the knowledge we have and distill some wisdom? As they say 'Knowledge is power. And knowledge unused is useless. I know, I've been there."
He positions himself so that he can see everyone clearly.
"Between all of us, we should be able to narrow down the phrases that could potentially unlock the portal. With castings of augury, we get simple, but unequivocal answers. The trick is to ask different questions each time. For example, if we pair the phrases and ask which is better we eliminate half of them. If we put together pairs of dangerous ones we eliminate those and we can simply try simpler ones. And we're not sure which one is better of two of the equally supported between us, we put those two together. I'm sure with some optimization we could cut the number of castings even more."

OOC: Here Relgar could invent a binary tree in which we search through a group of solutions with only log2 N tries instead of N/2 - pure math, right in his ballpark
 
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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck nods respectfully as two people object to his condonement of street justice.

"Of course we should always strive for legal justice," the kobold says carefully in his odd yapping way. "I merely meant to point out that sometimes it is impossible, and.. other ways.. will have to do. Those Loyalists are unlikely to surrender, but I will give them that opportunity if I can."

Stroking his dog, Tuck listens to some of the talk about magical portals and how to open them.

"Unfortunately I have no talent with the Art, so I'm not sure how to help with that. We could ask one of those Loyalists; they must know something about opening the portal. Have you tried asking?"

The urban ranger seems sincere; perhaps his seeming harmlessness makes it a viable tactic for the small reptilian to just ask questions like that.

He seems a bit uneasy about exploring the mansion, feeling exposed without the traps that Tuck has riddled his own lair with, and he does not feel free to place his own boobytraps around this place. So Tuck stays close to the others and stays alert, not sleeping here for the time being.

OOC: There is a lot of information Tuck knows, and that is being communicated among the party. Tuck is a bit overwhelmed, and so am I. :)
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
"I'm afraid I do not have much experience with querying extradimensional beings," Relgar says noncommittally.
"You don't need any. I know the questions, I'd like to reduce number of needed castings, the gods and supreme beings don't like mortals asking the same questions again and again. But if you can't, we'll do what we can."

Ooc: @Envisioner, even if you don't know such math, Relgar could
Short version: you don't take 15 questions and ask for the pairs which is better or safest or which contains the correct phrase (7 castings, then 4, 2 and 1). Instead you take two groups half and half and ask that. You get 7 or 8. Repeat and get 3 or 4. Then you ask for the best (5 castings total plus some to find out if the discarded group contains the best over all).
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Akos shakes his head.
"They are watching. I'm assuming they looked it over. They gained knowledge. But did they apply that knowledge? Did they gain wisdom from it."
"The Sectarian Guard are about containment more than anything else," Oakfirst replies. "Master Hassenforth sages are delving as deep as they can into the tower without succumbing to the wards placed there. They suspect that Del Cannitha placed the wards himself, but I think it's more likely he summoned a being more powerful than himself to do it. If it was another being, they were unable to divine any sort of name for it, and they scoffed at the idea. They did divine that the renegade chose to have the wards placed there and that he wrote the scribblings and runes on the walls."

"We were already certain that he had," Custodio adds.

"No one was 100% certain," the lord commander notes. "But its been confirmed. The writings in the Growers' Tower are his work. He was using it as a lair, or least a workshop."

Tuck nods respectfully as two people object to his condonement of street justice.

"Of course we should always strive for legal justice," the kobold says carefully in his odd yapping way. "I merely meant to point out that sometimes it is impossible, and.. other ways.. will have to do. Those Loyalists are unlikely to surrender, but I will give them that opportunity if I can."
"We'll give them a chance," Custodio agrees. "It is what any honorable foe deserves. We'll see how honorable they act when confronted."

JustinCase said:
Stroking his dog, Tuck listens to some of the talk about magical portals and how to open them.

"Unfortunately I have no talent with the Art, so I'm not sure how to help with that. We could ask one of those Loyalists; they must know something about opening the portal. Have you tried asking?"

The urban ranger seems sincere; perhaps his seeming harmlessness makes it a viable tactic for the small reptilian to just ask questions like that.
"All of them I've faced have fought to the death. They are his Loyalists after all," Custodio replies. "We did capture a few members of the Rising Swords who were acting as mercenaries for," he pauses and takes breath. "Del Cannitha. The Five had them questioned before they were put on trial. One of the leaders was executed for his part in the New City disaster. One was banished from the city with only the clothes on his back; he was quite young and naive about the Swords, so the Tribunal gave him a pass. Another man, who helped lead some old friends of mine to a Rising Swords hideout in the Undercity, was given a five year sentence instead of execution."

"Yes, he's in the Dungeon in New City, I believe," Oakfirst adds. "He's sworn all along that he has no idea how to open the portal or even its location. We tried to trick him up on that, but he passed. Discern lies was used on him and the others. We don't condone torture in Bluffside, so no one was stretched or beaten. Torture rarely works; magic is more reliable." He pauses, "Well, most of the time."
 
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