Dave, Fist of Odin
Wow. Okay - Aid on Marivhon (for 6 hp) as we approach, and another one on Moth (for 5 hp). +1 to hit, +1 vs. Fear. Jack in, chummers.
Hey - I'm casting Ain on those two, because they're in combat and their HP suck. Can I get a hit point check to verify that?
Then I bring in a bear. I mean, it's kinda what I do.
Then I pause. I have these Gloves of the Mime, so if anyone tries anything they've got it coming back in their face. If no bad spells come, and no heaing needs doing, I'll bring in a bobcat, and then a badger. One round of meat-based distractions!
King Tut, Lord of the Phoenix
Wow this looks bad.
I'll throw RUYLOPEZ somewhere far away so that he's safe while granting us his bonuses. Since no one has taken Brogg's old +1 shield, I'll use it, leaving me with AC 1.
I'll have ZOMG attack Vrill. IQ check 8 =made, d% = 19. Go get 'em ZOMG.
I'll attack Vrill also. I don't know what the hell blue flames are, but I hope they are just for show!
BR 16 hits for 13 pts of dmg.
Is Ron Ball undead also? I have absolutely no clue who Ron Ball is.
I'm also referring to myself as Lord of the Phoenix now because I can come back from the dead (rise from the ashes). Caw, caw.
The Garden Of Thorns
The Oracle wishes you well. "I really shouldn't play favorites, but being fellow priests of great Grisbane, let me just help you out. Hang on a sec." The Oracle casts a spell, granting the half-breeds among you- Brogg, Marivhon, and Moth I believe- +2 to hit, +2 dmg, +2 saves, and +2 AC.
"I don't know about special weaknesses or anything, but I'd say whatever he's done hasn't left him in the greatest shape. Just be careful out there."
You take your leave, perhaps never to see him again. Walk in silence the hot hour back to the mirror hall. Wipe the sweat off your brows, step back through the portal, and head to the large, ivy-engraved door at the end. Tut touches the wand to the door, and it opens...
You step into a fanciful garden of wonders. All manner of flora can be seen, either growing naturally, or in pots, hangers, and around marble pillars. You stand in a gigantic opening, with the portal door free-standing in the center. Surrounding you and all these things is a enormous hedge maze.
The walls of the maze easily loom 50 feet overhead. You stare, stunned. The last thing you wanted to do here was solve a fucking maze
Before you can vocalize your opinions, ZOM-G looks around and saysHAY GUYSTHIS IS IT HUH?..THS IS GONNA BE NUTS..I RMEMBER THS PLACE U KNO?WANNA KNO A SHORT CUT?
Zom revvs up the chainsaw, turns around, and saws open a big hole in the shrubbery. He clears a wide swath, eventually opening up an eight foot passage. You follow him through and into the next opening beyond. This is it, the garden you saw on the Oracle's TV.
This is it.
You enter another beautiful garden. Before the walls of the hedges, and lining a few paths that lead off, are thick tangles of rose bushes. In the center, about thirty feet away, stands the gazebo.
Next to the gazebo is a little tea party. Seated is Ron Ball, looking just awful. Standing next to him, huge, is the metal giant, carrying a big pitchfork and a drill.
At the stairs of the gazebo are the corpses of Croatius and the girl, in a large pool of dried blood.
And in the gazebo, seated on a white wicker chair, is Gregory Vrill. Once just the master of the Grito Potion Guild, this Vrill is a changed man. His skin wrapped around his bones, his hands black with rot, and his eyes gone... he grins. Looking bored when you enter, he looks happier and stands up. "You guys again. Sigh. Well, time to die." Vrill casts and is sheathed in wispy blue flames.
Your move. Ron and Vrill mean to cast again. The giant fires up the drill.
Here we go, this is it.
I'll grab the rod/key and head towards the door that he motioned to.
"Does Vrill have any special weaknesses now that he's a lich or something? Is there anything else we can do to prepare for him?" Other than get everyone to post once the fight starts.
The Oracle says: "Well if you've got a job to do, don't let me keep you. Croatius' garden is beyond the last door. It can be pretty tricky to get through, so you might just want to take the key." He motions to a pale red glass rod sitting on the kitchen counter. "You might want to hurry though, before Mr. Vrill gets any more dumb ideas. I'd prefer not to have my cabin blown up."
Hmm... so Vrill has become some kind of uberlich or something. That doesn't exactly bode well for us.
I say we go back and try some of those doors. Clearly, we've got to solve the mystery of exactly what's going on, i.e. who that girl was, waste Abby, and get through the rose door and waste Vrill.
I'm open to suggestions on what door we should take...
I can't be too much help here, I'm not really sure what's going on. It doesn't look like there's much that we can do...GVrill is already a lich or whatever, and we don't really know where he is.
Schmektor asks the Oracle about a connection between Abbey and the dead girl with Vrill.
"That's a good question young man. I haven't been following all the twists and turns of this soap opera you see, but that's exactly the sort of thing that might work... if you weren't trapped here. And if that girl Abby, or Abbey is it now? And more importantly, if that girl could harm her father, which she seems unable to do. What a mess."
"I ain't the leader of this outfit, but uh... well, we might sorta kinda have access to a Zelba-undead-zombified-daughter of the guy who just killed Cretaceous - er- Crustacous - er Croatia... Damn it. That guy... uh.. oh yeah... Coratius. So, the dude, Vrill, who just got all dark and creepy, well he has this daughter Abby... well now, Abbey... anyway, these guys have a little history with her. In fact we ran into her a couple of days ago, not that time means a whole hell of a lot here. ANYWAY, in your expert/oracle opinion, do you suppose she could help given the current situation?"
The Oracle nods, frowning at Schmektor's question. "Well. Excuse me for a second, I'm going to sit down." He sits down. In parallel, still on TV, the camera pans out from Vrill and returns to a general survey of the garden scene. Dark Vrill himself sits down, not looking so well. He convulses a few times and collapses into the chair. Shaking a bit, he looks back at the camera, and the TV fries, leaving only the hiss of static and white noise.
"Sorry son, that girl was one of a kind. Miss Sarah. The moth girl. Death. Lady Zelba. Sort of. That's complicated. Anyway, looks like Mr. Vrill found a way to do her in. Sigh, dust to dust, death to death and all that, she was dead for a while before, now I guess she's dead again. It's going around. Just this time, less lights and flowers, more blood. The stuff that's on TV these days, dang."
I just stand here with my mouth hanging open. Not sure what to say. In awe of the Oracle. In awe of what he has to say. In awe of his KICK ASS sweat pants.
"I ain't needin' a prophesy or nuttin'. But, uh, could you tell us where to git one of them girls who can kill vrill just by touchin him? Somethin' tells me I won't be gettin' very far without one."
A Small Aside
ZOM-G enters the cabin.HAY..CAN ROBOTS GET PROPHECY??
"Sure. Let's see. 'You will someday rust into oblivion.'"??!!1
.THAT SUX DUDE
Dave FoO, you ask the Oracle some questions. "Did your prophecy come true? I dunno, I would've thought you'd be the first to know. I gave you two prophecies, one of which might be true
, the other one might be false
. Something about serving gods, meeting apes, stuff like that. I suppose you should ask yourself if you've been serving the right gods, and how, and if meeting that ape went well."
"Yeah, well, this cabin is sort of the only place around. There's nothing else, far as I can tell, in this Glass world. Not sure why it's an hour off the exit ramp, so to speak, I agree that it's pretty inconvenient. But it's one reason why I like it. Oracles can't be hanging out in places that are too convenient. There'd be people coming over all the time, asking if the signs are right to brush their teeth, have a baby, go to war, is this color in season next year, that kind of stuff. Here's the real truth about prophecies: they're mostly wrong. Too many people come by, I give out too many prophecies, eventually no one's gonna buy it. Prophecies are definitely a high-end luxury item. Why's a Rolls-Royce so hot? Because not everyone has one. Same for prophecies. Kings have 'em, big wizards, end of the world. Otherwise, just read the gol-darn horoscope."
"Sorry, didn't mean to go off like that. It's a sensitive issue for me. Why I left the church. By the way, new guy, yeah you, I'm sort of hiding out here. The Church I'm sure wants me back downstairs, but screw it. I like it out here in the alien desert. So just say you ain't seen me if they ask. I'm an Oracle, it's okay to lie about it to the High Priest."
"Anyway, uh no, prophecies aren't like fortune cookie fortunes. I gave you two, good luck with those."
Dave, Fist of Odin
Wo. That's just not right.
Hey Oracle - I have a question for you. Did my prophecy come true?
And if you've another prophecy in there for me, I'd hear it. Thanks for the tea, by the way. Why's your house so far from that door? That's a long way to walk in a suit made out of metal.
I got no particular problem with the undead - my god (whoever it really is...) is cool with 'living' half-way between death and life. But it looks like Vrill didn't stop the bad things, so much as become them himself. Something here about looking into the abyss, maybe, and where it looks when you do that?
I think we let Vrill do what he had to do. I'm cool with the ganking, now.
"Uh yeah, I'm the Oracle of Gryss, the Oracle of Grisbane. That's less confusing than it sounds. Every god has an Oracle. So I'm him, the Oracle of Grisbane. That's my job. My name is the Oracle of Gryss. With a 'WHY' and 'DOUBLE S' so you don't get confused with Gryss and Grisbane."
Sip. The Oracle considers the flavor and adds another packet of Splenda to his iced tea.
"A prophecy huh? Well okay. I mean you've come all this way, might as well get something besides some iced tea. Ordinarily I'd ask you a question, and based off how and what you answer that's how I get my prophecy. I think procedure and ritual is an important part of religion, so I'll ask you a question anyway, but I'll go ahead and give you a prophecy now too."
"So here's your question: What is the opposite of a thing?"
"And here's your prophecy:The Ace of Clubs encased in ice-Your eyes transfixed on this device,Behind your head they throw the diceA man shall die not once but twice.
"Well there's some interesting symbolism there. And death comes up a lot. That's to be expected you know, given your line of work and where you are, where we are today. This place is Death, didn't you know? This is the Land of the Dead. Of Dreams of Death, is probably the more accurate way to put it. Zelba hasn't been herself in quite some time. But that's the kind of thing I wouldn't expect you to know or understand, it's tough to get your head around."
"Vrill? You're talking about that magician and his friend who came by a while back. Yes, he's gone off to see Croatius. To dethrone, or replace, or become, or destroy, or undo Croatius and his machines. I'm not sure what the exact expression would be. Besides, Croatius made this place and maintains it. Not real clear on what that Vrill chap expects. If you're in someone's dream and you kill them, or wake them up, or what-have-you, well, ta ta. So long and thanks for all the Fresca."
"I gave him a prophecy like I do for everyone who comes by, and helped him get through the door."
"Who is Croatius? Well that's a good question, given where you are. Actually a better question is: what is Croatius? An even better question would be: who am I? I meaning you of course. I know who I am, and I've already told you who I am, so you asking that question would simply be redundant at this point."
"Anyway, Croatius is the wizard who made this place. All of this." He gestures around. "Uh, I don't mean he's the carpenter who built my little bungalow. He's the guy who made, and keeps re-making, or was supposed to anyway, this whole dimension. So you could say he's a god. Or a lich. Or an arch-mage. Older than most things. Completely nuts as you might expect. Here, if you want, maybe I can just show you."
The Oracle takes another sip, and casually heads over to the TV. It's kind of a crappy black and white set, with a bit of static and imperfect v-hold. Looks like he was watching Wheel of Fortune.
The Oracle bangs on the side of the set, adjusts the antenna, and changes the channel a few times. Finally, a different kind of show appears.
It's in color- odd, washed out technicolor. It's an outdoor scene; it looks like an outlandish garden, something out of Versailles, Louis XIV France. Huge hedges surround the perimeter, but in the middle is a cute little gazebo covered in ivy. Large, strange flowers are here and there.
Sitting in the middle of the gazebo, in enormous dark velvet robes, is a decrepit old man. Dressed as a stereotypic 'wizard', in conical hat even. His eyes are gone- completely burned out. Mouth hangs open, drooling a bit. You hear the soft buzz of insects through the audio monitor.
"Yeah, there he is. Old Croatius. Not much to look at these days."
Nothing much is happening, but then a few figures enter from stage left. It's Vrill. And an awful-looking Ron Ball. And a gigantic, spindly metal man, like a scarecrow made of rebar about ten feet tall. The metal giant is carrying what looks like a rolled-up carpet.
"Well that's interesting," says the Oracle.
Vrill strides up to Croatius and says something. Croatius seems to strain to hear him. The Oracle tries turning up the volume, but all you hear is the hiss and pop of static.
Vrill unwraps the 'carpet', which is actually a body covered in thick cloth. The cloth turns to smoke and disappears. Croatius begins to stir and you see thick magic runes begin to drift up off his body.
The uncovered body is that of an attractive young woman. Vrill gives her an injection of something and she begins to wake up. The automaton sets her gently on the ground. Croatius seems clearly alarmed or excited and begins to cast, but he's not fast enough... the woman stands up, stretches, looks around and smiles, and then touches Croatius gently on the hand.
"Well that was a long time coming," says the Oracle.
Vrill is keeping busy though... he goes over to Croatius' seat in the gazebo and finds something. It... well, it looks like he eats something, or puts something in his mouth. Meanwhile, the girl is cradling Croatius' body, and seems saddened by his death. Ron Ball's head lolls to one side, and he twitches. His spasm opens a wound and a piece of his large intestine bursts out from his stomach. Ron looks down slowly and tries to stuff it back in.
The girl looks up as Vrill finishes, and she looks surprised. Vrill smiles as the eyes burn out of his head, and the flesh rots off his hands. She stands to go to him, when from behind, the metal giant thrusts an enormous pitchfork through her body, impaling her all the way through. The pitchfork and girl fall to the ground, on top Croatius, as thin, watery blood leaks everywhere.
"Oh no," says the Oracle.
Vrill looks right at the TV, which zooms in on his now-disfigured face. The skin seems to have dessicated and shrunken right around the bone. His thin, pale lips grin, and he speaks right at the TV.
"Hi there. Looks like you're a day late and a gp short, assholes."
I introduce myself to the oracle, real respectful-like.
"So you're the Oracle of Gryss? Like, of Grisbane, god of halfbreeds like me an' Brogg and Marivhon? That's awesome. Can I get a prophecy, or a prediction or anything? Do you know anything about where Vrill went, or is going? Who is "Croatius"?
I help myself to some iced tea. What game show is on?
Schmektor, you examine the paintings in more detail. Each has an unusally wide gilt wood frame. Aside from their content, there isn't much else to say about the paintings.
You head to the glass door and pull it open.
You gaze out on a desolate landscape in violet hues. The first thing you notice is the oppressive sun. You are standing in the middle of a vast, empty plain. The land is completely, unnaturally flat and stretches towards the horizon in all directions. Faintly, all around can be seen what look like mountain peaks at the edge of vision. There is nothing here, save an empty doorframe leading back to the hall.
Fine particulate dust covers the land, and occasionally blows lazily into little twisters across the face of the plains. The ground itself seems oddly artificial, like one single stretch of pink marble. Everything here is cast in shades of soft violet. The land itself seems to glow a pale pink or purple. The light from the blinding sky, the sky itself, is shaded hues of violet. High overhead is a massive sun. You can make out, halfway down the sky towards the earth, a pair of pale crescent moons, barely visible.
It is uncomfortably hot here. You spy, far off, something. It's unclear just what it is, but it's a bump on the otherwise completely level horizon. You walk for what is probably an hour, maybe two, in the heat. You get close enough to distinguish forms ahead. Buildings. Or the remains of buildings, and perhaps other things. Now just chunks of glass, most white or transparent, others shades of violet or soft blues and reds. Nothing higher than a foot or two off the ground. Broken glass litters what may have once been a village. Even further ahead, you make out what seem like larger, still standing structures. You keep walking.
The sun does not abate, and does not move in the sky. After another twenty or thirty minutes you come to the remains of several buildings; a large cluster of small cabins to your right, and two larger buildings to your left. The buildings are all constructed of thick opaque glass or crystal. In fact, all material here is glass. All is silent, with no sign or habitation or disturbance.
The two buildings on the left each have signs out front. On one, a flower is sketched. On the other, a gauntlet clutching three arrows or bolts of lightning. Each gives the appearance of a small office or store, but the doors are shut and you cannot see inside. One of the buildings to the right seems larger and different than the others, and is marked with a placard depicting a simple cot. Perhaps this is, or was, an inn. There is no front door, just an opening, and looking inside reveals a counter with a large book on top of it, with a quill nearby. These objects are not of glass, but actually a book and golden quill. Another open door in the back opens back outside to where the smaller buildings are; these appear to be guest cabins, and there are five of them.
The book is open, and, assuming you investigate the inn, you can make out signatures scrawled onto the open page. At the top is printed letterhead, which reads simply:Sign our guestbook.
The top line contains two signatures in two different hands:Charles XavierYng Furious Lotus
The next eight lines are taken up by an elaborate golden scrawl; it appears to be an intricate rune of some kind, but you can make out a couple capital letters, such as C and G.
The line below has another signature:Oracle of Gryss, The
Finally, below that, in large even letters:Vrill, Gregory, MPG...
There is nothing to be seen in the two buildings, so you head over to the five cabins. You hear the faint sound of voices from one of the cabins, and knock on the door.
The Oracle of Gryss, a half-orc dressed in sweatpants, opens the door. "Oh yeah, it's you again. Uh come on in. Sorry there's no more Fresca, but I just made a jug of iced tea, so help yourself."
The Oracle returns to a large reclining chair across from a TV. Looks like a gameshow is on. He sits back down, slurps some iced tea, and resumes watching the show.
Glass door sounds great. That is exactly the kind of informed objection I was talking about.
I follow Brogg to the glass door.
Thanks for the Juice, Marivhon.
Hey Schmektor, if you don't mind, I'd like to go through the glass door. If I remember correctly, that's where the Oracle of Gryss was chilling.
Barring an imediate confrontation, maybe he could help us out.
Hey BTW, Marivhon, that's a good idea for Locate Object. Ha! I told you
it's awesome! Just a sec, though.
What are these glowing lumps you spoke of?
Just for fun, I pull the tart up by the ivy door and put the tart riders' hands on the door just to watch their hair stand up... that's always fun for a laugh, and I would expect nothing less if I were in the tart. (ok rob, I'm not trying to hurt anyone, so before you do damage or kill someone because of my prank... I put my hand on it first to make sure it's safe)
I closely examine the paintings. Are there any subtle details that don't jump out at first glance? Is there anything on the wall behind them? How about on the back of the paintings themselves? Anything of interest on the frames?
I'm down with kicking a jester's ass. Can some one bust an Aid on me just in case melee ensues? Who's with me? I approach the Iron Door and if no one in the party objects, I enter.
In sum, there are four doors here. One you've been through and leads back to the house. One you can't seem to open. Of the other two, one is steel and one is glass.
Okay Brogg, Marivhon gives you a Speed Potion. That's a solid first part of a strategy.
The doors appear to be untrapped. Indeed, they are all partially open, except for the elaborate ivy-carved door at the end of the hall. Just touching this door, however, makes your hair stand up on end. It feels charged with magical energy. It does not budge to a simple test.
Dave FoO examines the six paintings. They are all done in a realistic style.
The first painting is an extreme close-up of a grinning, feminine mouth. Teeth are bared.
The second painting is of a young woman and two men, one dressed as a stereotypical wizard, one as a court jester. They are sitting around a small table in a cabin playing cards.
The third painting is a close-up of a hand. Male, somewhat veiny and wrinkled. It's clutching a knife by the blade, so that the edge has cut into two of the fingertips and two lines of blood run down the canvas.
The fourth painting depicts the same three figures, but on a stage in a dark theatre. Apparently a magic trick is about to be performed, as there is a large gaudy cabinet in the middle of the stage. The girl is watching in delight as the jester is being shackled into the cabinet by the older magician.
The fifth painting seems to be the aftermath of the fourth painting. The girl has opened the cabinet prematurely, and has a look of shock and horror on her face. Gore pores out of the re-arranged cabinet. The magician holds his head in his hands.
The sixth painting is a huge close-up of a dark, bloodshot eye, wide and staring.
You examine the folio. It too seems familiar to some of you:
The folio consists of four gilt plates. Each pair of pages is laid out in the same manner: an elaborate color drawing on the left, and some illuminated text on the right. The first three pages of text are quatrains, the last page is a sonnet.
The iron door here in the hall. Standing next to the door is a jester or juggler, a man in an outrageous outfit. Tasseled hat, holding three knives of different sizes, apparently ready to juggle them. Long thin face, long nose, beady eyes, and a somewhat menacing, intense gaze. In script above the picture, it reads: "Bartleby Ravenous IV
The text:When avarice has failed, when the object lesson’s lostWhen time’s past long for pretty givings, for-getting pentecostWhen all around is ashes fading, crumbled into RustThat’s when I’ll take the final piece, purloin away your trust.
The glass door. Next to the door is a young woman in a simple, unadorned peasant dress. Long blond hair, mostly uncombed. Her gaze is directed upwards towards three large moths or butterflies fluttering just above her head. In script above the picture, it reads: "Sarah DeVaunet
The text:I trusted you to take my heart, to take me by the handTo show me things before unseen and things grotesque and grandBut these images refracted and these panes now shards of GlassMy hand and heart retracted and my love has come to pass.
The wooden door. Standing tall next to it is a older man, perhaps in his 40s or 50s, clearly dressed as a wizard. Rune-covered robes and pointy hat, spectacles. A stage magician's cabinet can be seen off to one side, on it rests a skull and one of the wizard's hands. The script reads: "Rovertius Merelius Croatius
The text:No love within these quiet walls, nor home nor hearth do beatNo child’s song has chill’d for long; for stillness we entreatFrom silence, violence, passions high and now only to SleepNot home nor hearth, greed’s masquerade; not cottage but a keep.
The door at the end of the hall, fine wood covered in ivy, roses, and thorns. No figure, but through the door, splintering it, is the tip of a sword. Around the edge of the sword can be seen a chain.
The text:Greetings to one so brave or foolish to come into this spaceAround you, calm and nothingness, or maybe waste and desolationRuined dreams of what once was in another time and placeDepicting much but meaning little as begets my fascination."Enough!" You cry. "And show yourself! Your coward's hands and face!""None of this transparent! None of this my destination!"Oblivious your cries to me. Your dreams and nightmares base.For this is naught but just a tomb, my final abrogation.Though something more, alas, unwell, that escaped this cold demesneHewed of steel and hope and hate, created for a muse Or perhaps not, perhaps I knew, just death my lady friend.Rain, then; and rain again, and rain and rot and rainNo longer mine, nor his, nor hers- "Enough!" you cry "Of clues!"So it's come to this, it always does, from beginning to The End....
Dave FoO, yes, ZOM-G came with you through the mirror. Zom's always up for a fight, provided you can get that damn controller to work out. He offers a bit of helpful information.YEA THIS PLACE IS BAD NEWZIM FROM HEREI RMEMBER THS PLACEITS A WORLD U MAY NOT UNDERSTANDU GOTTA B CAREFULL U KNO?.THERES DANGER..............THERES STINGRAYS IN HERE
Dave, Fist of Odin
We've been here before, too - but apparently I was blocking it out. Dudes - this place sucks a serious amount of Night-Hag dong.
Hey - is Zom-G still with us? We could use his help if we go up against some of the . . . some of the . . .
Well fuck me if I'm not out of curses. Yeah, there's some bad confusing shit down here. Be prepared for the Rap Battle of your life, everyone. And maybe some actual melee combat, too.
I clear my throat, stretch my clobbering muscles, and then I'm good to go. I'll glance at the book, and pull the cloths off of the paintings. At least we can see what we're getting into here - or start something. Either way, I'm feeling antsy.
Do you know what Fists of Odin do when we feel antsy? We Fuck Shit Up.
I'm feeling both antsy and down. Up? Why, you're shit's getting all fucked. You hear me up? Yeah, you hear me. Up is going down. Going down so hard that after I'm done with it, down will be the new up, and we'll need a new kind of CO-ORDINATE system - that's how far down up will be.
I give Brogg a potion of speed.
hear noise missed
move silent missed hide in shadows made.
find traps 29 on the pedastal with the folio
chesty door 78 find traps
steel made with a 38
glassy missed 70
dark wood door made with 32
hey brogg....could locate object help find Vrill's guild ring? Or say his spell book....or the gold key he had to Greyhelm Castle? blah blah...
Brogg, mallet taken. Schmektor, you help get the undead Hook Horrors to the down house.
Moth, you collect the remainder of the glass and say a small prayer.
Tut, you are as careful as you can be. However, your alchemy skills only tell you so much about what this stuff is, and how close it approximates the other mirror oil sample. There is only one real way to find out, and that is to try it.
You pass through the mirror gate.
Applying the oil to the mirror causes it to transform, to shimmer and pulsate. It requires the entire vial, as there is not much oil to begin with. You each quickly step through the mirror with the last of your energy as the heaviness of this place descends upon you.
You are somewhere else. Not Greyhelm, nor Grito, nor anyplace else you hoped to return to. Instead, it seems that you have simply moved laterally within this strange space.
You find yourselves collapsed on the tiled marble floor of a large hall. The realization of how cold and tired you were sinks in- here, you are not cold, and the fatigue you feel is somehow more natural. You still have your torch, but do not need it, as there is light within this place.
You are on the ground before a large chestnut door. The frame of the door is engraved in a similar manner to the mirror you just passed through. A cool, dry wind can be felt just outside.
Across the hall is another door. This door, however, is made of solid steel. Around the door are engravings of weapons and scenes of battle. Steam leaks from the doorframe, and sounds of machines can be heard behind it.
To your left on the third wall is yet another door. This door is made apparently of glass or crystal, shiny and opaque. Hermetic or astronomical symbols flank it. An ominous blue glow can faintly be seen at the cracks.
Oddly, each door is cracked open the smallest amount. Beside each door is a pair of lamps, shining softly. The hall extends down to your right, in alternating white and black tiles, each about a foot square. Lining the hall are what seems to be six paintings, each covered with a black cloth. At the end is a final fourth door, of fine dark wood, engraved with vines and roses. At the beginning of this hall to the right is a pedestal or lectern on which sits a folio, open to a gold leaf page. This door, however, is shut.
As you take this in, you have a sinking feeling that, rather than having escaped from somewhere, your visit to this place has just begun anew.
There is dried blood in pools on the floor here.
Alchemy check made very easily with BR 7. I want to be extra careful about this oil though, I want to be absolutely sure it's correct. I've made 2 alchemy checks now, which should be plenty, but I'd like to spend a little extra time just to be positive I've recreated the oil correctly...also, would we need a "different" kind of oil to travel in the other house? I.e. maybe simply recreating this oil is wrong?
I say we take the 11 shards of the uphouse with us, just to be sure. I'm ready to go whenever everyone else is.
Maybe we should work out some spell combos or something? We're going to be fighting Vrill and possibly Croatius, whoever that is, and Grisbane knows what else.
I offer up a small prayer to whatever gods may be listening in this void.
I love it when a plan comes together. I make sure to use my excellent knot tying skills (see NWP's) to bring along Brogg's recently animated friends.
Let's activate this mirror and go elsewhere...
I guess we are going to Elsewhere.
Hey tut, I have 3 vials of oil if you need it. Can I get Pelvis and Femur to the other house?
I take the Big Mallet. I am specialized in hammer, and I've been waiting a long time for one to come along. -Grisbane provides.
C'mon Tut, let's get this oil on this mirror and get to Elsewhere. I am sooooo sleepy.
Tut, if you actually have some demon ichor, it would probably work fine. Roll Alchemy if you want to make some mirror oil with the reagents on hand... of course, you'll have to specify what you're using.
It's unlikely that the mallet is somehow directly involved. Your fellow PCs could tell you that the last time they were here, they had some mirror oil and applied it directly to the mirror, causing it to open into a portal.
Marivhon, you cannot understand any of Renwick's spellbook.
Dave, Fist of Odin
As soon as Shmecktor reports back, I start getting a team going with ropes and shit to get to the other house.
First to go is Tut, because it seems like he knows something about the oil we'll need. Next is whoever is good at searching - Marivhon? Moth? Not me! - to look for some of that oil in the other house.
Last time we were here, if memory serves, we spread some oil on the mirror and went through once it activated.
Would a summoned radiant leopard be considered a being capable of interdimensional travel? 'Cuz, you know, it travels interdimensionally to get here. What about me? I appear to be 'capable of interdimensional travel', because I have travelled interdimensionally. Or is there more to it than that?
Do we have machine oil?
It might be moot - I think we found some oil that we needed the last time we were here.
The last thing I do is tag the house. There's bricks, and someone's got a knife or (if nothing else) some broken mirror pieces or something - I want to write the following:
"Dave, Fist of Odin was here. Twice. Hopefully we'll make it out of here and away.
Good luck to you."
Once everyone's travelled to the other house, I swing myself off and get there myself. Woo hoo, I guess, but this kind of thing is neutral to us Followers of Odin. Sure, look at the pretty stars and shit. That's great. And I'm floating in the timeless void. Yup, pretty good. Not part of my core competencies, though. Maybe someday I'll write an ode.
Anyway. I have Something To Do. That something might be to talk to Vrill; that something might be to get Odin's new followers out of the tower; that something might be to rescue the Valkyrie - it's always been in the back of my head to do that; and that something might be to establish some church of Odin somewhere that:
a) the Monks of Progress are far away from,
b) the Knights of Armek aren't fucking with
c) people like to drink and tell stories.
Yup. And there's this Zelba thing, too, which seems to me like when the bosses are arguing about which department my timesheets should go to. You know? I'm Odin's Fist, and I've got stuff to do, and I still get spells so - whatever. Y'all work it out, and let me know if I should do anything different.
But, anyway. NONE of those things can be done from this FUCKING WEIRD ROCK WITH TWO HOUSES.
I'm not the thinker of the party, but I'm starting to get pissed, and I've generally only gotten pissed at the guy whose face I'm about to jack.
There's no-one's face I'm about to Jack. This is some Fucked Up Shit, is what I'm saying, and it's time to GO.
I meditate, and I read some of Renwicks spellbook.
Can I re-create it with some of Glabrezou's ichor? Also, are there traces of the oil on the hammer?
I'm wondering if these items are the key to "mirror traveling," and if so, how it works. Did the person make the oil, spread it on the mallet, and then smash the mirror? Or smash the mirror, make the oil, and then do something else? That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Inside And Outside
Schmektor, you ask your friends about Hello Airport. They describe it. This is not Hello. In many ways, this is better, in some ways, worse.
Reading the words at the top of the mirror breaks the oppressive silence, but has no other effect.
You assemble the mirror as best you can, but alas, it seems destroyed beyond repair.
Schmektor, you carefully tie a rope around yourself, and step out into nothingness.
It's an odd feeling, being suspended in empty space. You expore the perimeter of the small house.
The house is intact, with tiled roof and chimney from the kitchen. There is nothing of interest on the top or around the sides.
The bottom of the house, however, seems cut from rough rock. As if the house emerges from a gigantic geode or asteroid. On the other side, strangely enough, is another house, exactly the same, pointing 'down' instead of 'up'.
You enter the other house. It takes a second to 'right' yourself, to be able to walk here and explore this building on the other side of the first house.
It is quiet and empty inside as the first.
The cellar here is not bricked up. The kitchen is well-stocked with utensils but no food. There is no mallet or empty vial, but there is an intact, standing gray mirror.
Unlike the other, broken mirror, this mirror is engraved with three figures: a malicious looking jester on the right, a commanding magician at the top, and a beautiful young woman dancing on the left. Above the magician's head is the word 'ELSEWHERE
Tut, you think that the residue of crystal oil is simple in composition: it is machine oil, with specks of treated glass similar to the broken mirror before you. The third and final ingredient is demon ichor, although you suspect that the blood of any creature capable of extradimensional travel would do as well. Hmm.
Alchemy check on the oily residue...booyakasha BR 10 = success.
So we have a big shattered mirror, a small whole mirror, an oily vial, and a big wooden mallet, all inside a small cottage floating in a void with a (previously) bricked up cellar below.
I use the small mirror to make an "endless mirror" with the bigger, reconstructed one. I'll also move the larger mirror aside and see if there's anything else there.
Anyone have any clue what is going on?
I try several things.
First, I help Dave FoO try to re-assemble the mirror as best I can. Can we even come close to getting the pieces puzzled back together? If we can get the mirror shards in some sort of fashion in the frame, I read the words on the frame aloud.
Secondly, is the vial we found anything like the crystal vial Brogg has?
Thirdly, if nothing happens with the mirror or the vial... I tie my rope onto something sturdy and then securly tie myself on the other end. I go outside and inspect the outside of the structure - a spacewalk.
Is the void like space, like we can see distant stars? or is it just a black void of absolute nothingness?
What did Hello Airport look like?
Schmektor and Dave FoO, you throw debris into the void. It floats off endlessly into space. You watch, transfixed, for several minutes, the box and brick becoming progressively more distant from the house and each other, until you lose sight of them in the darkness.
Schmektor, there is no food to be found. The cabinets and pantry in the kitchen are bare. Dustless and free of cobwebs as well.
Marivhon, searching the house reveals an empty crystal vial, tossed under the bed of the room with the broken mirror. A bit of oily residue remains at the lip of the vial.
You also find a large workman's mallet placed on the desk in the same bedroom.
Dave FoO examines the pieces of mirror. Once elegant, it has been completely demolished. You assemble the wooden frame, delicately carved with miniatures of a small knight defeating many beasts. The top bar is intact and engraved with three words: ERE HE SLEW
You find all the pieces of the mirror. There are eleven in total. Each piece is a dull, nonreflective gray.
You also find another, smaller mirror under a dustcloth in the sitting room. You see yourself, and are somewhat surprised how weary and exhausted- how old- you appear.
I wake up and start rummaging around for some food. I am always hungry when I wake up.
I take one of the lid-less boxes from the cellar and throw it out into the void... If I were Indiana Jones, I would simply walk out there in faith... but I'm not that brave.
What happens to the box?
I search. d6 got a 5. Wis check failed. %59, and find traps failed.
I do try to look around thoroughly, albeit failingly.
Dave, Fist of Odin
Yeah, I remember this place. If I remember correctly, we went through a mirror to escape. Probably the smashed mirror.
How smashed is it? Are any of the pieces salvageable? Any other reflective surfaces in this place?
I take one of the smashed bits of brick and throw it outside, too.
So, that's it. I'm tapped out for now.
You smash down the new wall. Your light reveals a small hallway beyond.
You climb the stairs and step through the hole in the wall, into what appears to be someone's house. A kitchen is off to one side, and the hall leads towards a sitting room. The front door is before you, and another steep wooden staircase climbs to a bedroom above.
The house is empty, and quiet. It isn't as cold as in the cellar, but the heavy tiredness still weighs you down. There is a feeling of decay, as if this house hasn't been inhabited in some time.
Upstairs are three simple bedrooms. An examination reveals what seems to be a broken mirror in the largest of the three rooms.
The front door opens with some force to reveal nothing. Just a black void, outside this house.
Wha, huh? Hey, this place looks familar! Remember that mirror world where we kept getting sleepy?!
Smash that Brick, Dave, Fist of Odin!
I've got a locket and a crystal vial from that place. I can't recall much about them, though... Are Pelvis and Femur sleeping? How would I know?
Dave, Fist of Odin
Excuse me for a minute there, Moth - did you say it sounded hollow behind the bricks? Okay. I believe this is in my area of core competencies.
I smash the bricks with my regular +1 mace. Clobber!
The crates are empty. Four of them have no lid. The fifth you open, revealing nothing.
Moth, Schmektor, Tut, and Renwick have not been here before... the feeling of familiarity is for Brogg, Dave FoO, and Marivhon.
Moth pulls himself from sleep and examines the stonework at the top of the door. It sounds hollow beyond, as though there is a space there. The brickwork there is newer. In the rest of the room, the stone walls are old and solid.
An overwhelming exhaustion threatens to drag you back down into darkness.
I wake up and hop out the tart. Hmm... do I have a feeling I've been here before, or is this someplace the group went prior to Schmek, Moth & Tut?
I try to pry open one of those crates and take a look inside. Anyone got a crowbar?
Thanks Dave, Grue(s) are scary as shit.
I examine the bricked over door. Any chance it looks weak? We could use a dwarf. Stonecunning and such. Can I retroactively take that as an NWP?
Dave FoO wakes from sleep. He retrieves a lightstone, illuminating the room. You are in a small stone chamber. The walls were painted white, once; the paint now has faded and cracked. It appears to be a cellar, with a few empty crates and boxes. A small staircase leads up, to what was once a door, but it has now been bricked over.
A faint memory- you've been here before, once.
Dave, Fist of Odin
If it's dark, I feel that we might be likely to be eaten by a grue.
I make a light.
You rise from a restless slumber, careful not to disturb the comatose figures of the others. You move around what seems to be a small stone room. There are a few large cube-shaped objects, perhaps boxes or crates. They seem empty to the touch.
At the far side of the chamber, you feel a small wooden staircase rise up. You climb it quietly, one step at a time. It seems to end abruptly in another stone wall.
There are no exits to be found. There is no light. There is nothing at all useful in this space, save possibly yourself.