3.5 THE HEROES OF DYVERS CHAPTER 7: CLARE'S ERRAND

Aust Thale

Explorer
Respen:
Assuming that Val is referring to him, Respen moves toward the Criosphinx, waving the lot of them back and drawing his staff magically into his hands. It was change to a bow if he needed it too, but range wouldn't protect them from the monsters in this place. Deciphering the script was considerably easier than guessing the riddle this time. He speaks the answer to the riddle to the criosphinx as if sharing it in a conversation. He speaks in Draconic. "Balance."

And waits for the response.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: The following information was learned at the same time as my previous post, I simply forgot to convey it. Sylvar had already made the necessary Bardic Knowledge and Knowledge (Arcana) checks. I am combining Sylvar's checks with Dewydd's, so all of what follows takes that into account. Since it was learned simultaneously with the other info, no further time passes.


Sylvar says, "Look here, at these tiny symbols, on the paws of all of the Sphinxes! It's an ancient code, separate and apart from the mystical language of the Sphinxes. I think I can summarize it: The former Sphinx Empire was vast, and the Sphinxes themselves were direct servants of the gods, created by the gods to guide, protect, and instruct the 'lesser races' (read: all non-Sphinx races); ...how else, the symbols say, can one explain their power, wisdom, and beauty? This is why they now test travelers with riddles, and devour those who cannot answer, as a last remnant of their ancient duty to ensure that only the wise and strong survive. Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that...

The former empire, now known by some as 'the vanished realm,' was ruled by a great queen named Ankharet The Blessed, gifted with immortality and power beyond all others. Under her aegis, the Sphinx Empire grew and prospered for millennia, and all was as it should be... blah blah blah. Man, these Sphinxes like to go on and on about themselves, don't they? Hmmm... let me see....

No mention of the statues, just something about the Hieracosphinxes being the 'fearless claws' of enforcement, defenders of the realm... uhh.. let's see... Criosphinxes were Ankharet's messengers, carrying her directives to her subjects, and overseeing the building of great monuments... blah blah blah... Androsphinxes gathered knowledge and interpreted law... blah blah... Gynosphinxes were her daughters, she was proud of them, blah blah, they ruled under her as regional governors, blah blah blah...Oh wait, look at this:

Ankharet was corrupted when the gods of the underworld gave her a gift, a crown of great power called The Shadowcrown, which she used to kill her consort, the great Golden Wyrm named Kozuragen. Wow, she killed him because she didn't want to share her power, according to this. And then she blamed his assassination on the Naga Council, who were longtime rivals of the Sphinx Empire. It says here that Kozu's daughter, Meraph The Golden, teamed up with Ankharet to wage a crusade of conquest and vengeance against the Nagas.

Oh wait, LOOK AT THIS: I will read it directly, instead of summarizing. It says, '...Enraged by what she thought was the treachery of the Nagas, Meraph and her army came close to wiping the Nagas out completely. But Khubsheth, Meraph's consort, had been granted prophetic powers by the gods, and in a vision he discovered the truth of her father's death, and her mother's corruption. He revealed it to both her and the rest of her army on the morning of the final battle. Stricken with guilt and grief, Meraph fled, leaving her army in disarray.'

Wow, that's some heavy stuff. It says here that Khubsheth begged Meraph to return and to confront her mother. It says that Khubsheth ceased making war against the Nagas, and turned Meraph's amy against the queen, declaring war upon Ankharet, citing her betrayal of her people as just cause; but despite being a prophet, Khubsheth was not suited to be a general; by the time Meraph returned, her rebel army had suffered many key losses under Khubsheth's leadership. Years of guerrilla-style civil war followed, and although Meraph's army finally triumphed over the queen, they spent the very life blood of the empire doing it. When the war ended, the Sphinx Empire was shattered and broken, all of its once splendid cities in ruins, and all of the lesser races had fled to other lands. Man, what a bummer.

And look at this part: '...Ankharet still enjoyed the blessings of the gods, one of which was the power never to be harmed by one of her own kind. It was prophesied by Khubsheth, after having another vision, that those fated to destroy Ankharet The Cursed, as she was now called, had not yet been born. Indeed, they would not be born for thousands of years to come, and they would be born to the lesser races. With this knowledge, Meraph and Khubsheth set upon the only path open to them. What they could not destroy, they would imprison, to wait out the long millennia until the prophesied heroes were born.'

Oh, man. This Ankharet must be really bad news. And listen to this last part: '...Meraph was filled with guilt for her failure to prevent the catastrophe and brokenhearted over her part in the downfall of her both hated and beloved mother. In the end, she bound herself in the tomb as penance, to await her final release with the death of Ankharet.'


Sylvar ponders the implications of the symbols; as do the other party members as they absorb what has just been explained to them.

Dewydd and Sylvar, each of whom have been pondering the matter, both suddenly remember key details at the same exact time!

Dewydd says, "Wait, aren't these things called Stone Kith Sphinxes? And don't they have breath weapons?"

Sylvar nods, "Yes, if I remember correctly, I think the Heiracosphinxes breathe fire, the Androsphinxes have a deafening scream like an explosion of sound, the Gynosphinxes breath noxious fumes that are rumored to cause insanity, and the Criosphinxes... uhhh...I think they..."

Dewydd snaps his fingers, "They breath petrifying gas. And all of these things are tough as nails, moreso than even a Stone Golem. Let's hope we can figure out these riddles."

At this point, Respen answers the riddle, and apparently, his answer is correct. The door in front of the Criosphinx opens, as the stone guardian speaks!

Criosphinx Kith says, "Behold, the first test of doom! Beyond door number two lies the River of Darkness! Your reward, should you succeed, is Anshek, the second key!"

EVERYONE: What do you do?
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM:
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

Judging only by what you can see RIGHT NOW:

1) The door is open.

2) It opens into a hallway, which is 10 ft. wide, and 20 ft. tall.

3) The hallway is completely dark.

4) There is a faint, "briney" smell coming from the hallway. Like the strong odor of onions.
 

Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar begins to sing.

Shadows fade away
Not long for to stay
When the will-o'-the-wisps
Come a calling

Darkness turns to light
When the air is alight
When the will-o'-the-wisps
Come a calling

OOC: Sylvar conjures Dancing Lights making them the shapes of Will-o'-the-wisps. He commands them to float around the entrance to the hallway.


He looks at Tam... "There you are friend, some light to reveal any hidden traps."
 

redraider629

Explorer
Thallok slowly makes his way to the doorway carefully watching each step he makes watching out for any traps that may be around. He stops directly in front of the opening. He looks down the hallway to see what if anything he can see.

OOC: GM, can you roll any checks that might be needed.
 

Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar will have the lights immediately above the person leading the party into the hallway. They will spread out to ten feet in front of them. ( Max possible range according to PHB)
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Sylvar's light source does not hamper Thallok's inherent Nightvision; Thallok can see 60 feet down the hallway. The floors, walls, and ceiling are carved straight and smooth. Past Thallok's range of vision, the darkness is impenetrable, although apparently non-magical.
 

Waynan

Explorer
Tam, as before, carefully examines all of the floors, walls and ceilings (up to 60 feet in) to make note of anything that could be a trigger. Since everything is so smooth, he looks for subtle cuts that would denote a pressure player, push trigger or opening to release valve or door/trapdoor opener.

He also looks for the too ordinary. In such a plain hallway, something seeming overtly "normal" would strike Tam as "abnormal". In his guild training, Tam learned to look out for the too elaborate and the too normal. These were usually triggers for any myriad of trap, or traps.
 

Sylvar B.

Explorer
As Tam goes looking for traps Sylvar redirects the dancing light to follow him to provide illumination. Sylvar trails within range of the lights to direct them at whatever Tam appears to be inspecting closely. He is careful not to let them touch the walls.
 
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Diarmadhim

Explorer
Dewydd

Taking out my old spellbook, a quill, and ink, I begin to jot down the story of the sphinx's told by the hieroglyphs. "Might as well make myself useful while traps are checked for. Why do people use traps? Whatever happened to just confronting your enemies, face-to-face? I definitely prefer open battle to skulking about in forgotten tombs and ruins," I think aloud while scribbling quickly.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM:
SUPPLEMENTAL INFO:
It takes 4 rounds (24 seconds) to search a typical 10 x 10 dungeon square.

That means that in 40 rounds (240 seconds, or 4 minutes) you can progress 10 squares (100 ft.) down a given hallway.

The information that I need from Tam, IN THIS ORDER, is as follows:

1) If you check a square for traps, find none, and then set off a trap, will that discourage you from proceeding? (Simple YES / NO will suffice.)

2) Against an unknown DC, make as many checks as squares that you wish to search. (4 checks = needed to search one 10 x 10 square; to check 100 feet (10 squares on dungeon map) will require 40 rolls. All rolls will be using the SEARCH skill.)
 
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Damionte

Explorer
:: Duncan & Company ::

Listening to the story Duncan comments, while he waits for their little friend to clear the path ahead. "That sort of drama is why you should learn to stay on your own path. Taking on missions and responsibilities for greater powers can only lead to folly. Even their blessings will be turned against y....." He notes Travis breathing heavily. "Hey , Trav, you ok man what's wrong."

Travis responds to him sounding far braver than normal. "Ankharet must die!"
Duncan holds his hands up, "Whoa whoa, where's all this coming from."

Travis interupts him. "She dared slay a holy dragon, and bring all of this death on the world. Ankharet must die!"

Ebony pats Travis on the his other shoulder. "Hey Trav I rather enjoyed the story too but come on it was just...."

Lenny joins in with his brother. "Ankeret must die! It is written!"

Duncan.... "Okay not you too. Really, now now sure. Someone is probably destined to kill that thing but when did you two get filled with delusions of grandeur."

Ebony chimes in. "Yeah, you've had dragon powers for all of like... a fortnight now you're the defenders of dragon kind. You two couldn't even guard a pie a month ago."

Lenny & Trav in unison. "Ankharet must die!"
Ebony and Duncan look at each other, then the rest of the party. and Ebony sighs. "That's going to get old.." Duncan replies. "That's going to get us all killed before too long."

The twins start chest bumping and pumping themselves up for a fight that's not yet here.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: Rolled 2 more times for Tam, to make it an even twenty feet (Two 10 x 10 dungeon squares.) Results: 32, 17. So total array = 30,15,25,23,14,21,32,17.


Tam, you spend 8 rounds (48 seconds) searching the first twenty feet worth of hallway for traps. So far, so good. You don't see any traps as you advance down the hallway, nor do you set off any. How much father would you like to go on your second attempt?

GM: DM HOUSEKEEPING: -8 rounds to all previous spell durations.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
As the party is standing around, watching Tam's progress, the axe decides to speak up.

Val says, "Are all of you Pidgeons daft?!? Why doesn't someone throw a lit coin down the hallway, to at least get an idea of how long it is?"

Vale says nothing, although he appears deep in thought. ~Hmmm. The loudmouth has a point. A lit coin might reveal something. And I doubt something so small would set off any traps.~
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tam, you have now made it a total of 40 feet down the hallway. Above your head, Sylvar's spell winks out of existence, having reached its one minute duration.

GM: The lights must stay within a 10' radius of EACH OTHER, but they can extend up to 230 ft. away from Sylvar. Thus, Sylvar can simply stay in the room, unless he actually WANTS to follow Tam down the hallway. The light illuminates a 20 ft. area around Tam very brightly, and an additional radius of 20 ft. very dimly. The downside to this spell, of course, is that (being only 1st level) its duration is only 1 minute.


Tam, you still haven't found any traps at this point, nor have you set any off.

GM: DM HOUSEKEEPING: -16 rounds to all previous spell durations. The Haste spell has now ended.



TAM: What next?
 

Diarmadhim

Explorer
Dewydd

Hearing the predicament, I start to prepare myself to cast a Dancing Lights of my own. Thinking better, I fly down the hall to just behind Tam. Unclasping my cloak, I place it on his shoulders. It turns into a sparkling mantle of tiny cascading stars, shedding light as a torch. "This should protect you from most non-magical traps and also potentially reduce any damage you take should you trigger a magical trap. Let me know when you need me. I'm going to finish writing the story from the hieroglyphs down," I finish with a smile before flying back to the room with the currently dormant guardians.
 
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