Last turn the party decided to try and use the pedestal they found in the center of the spire chamber. The discovered the entire contents of the chamber, including themselves of course, had been moved to a different location. Let's see what happens next.
themselves in a wildly different place than they anticipated has not
deterred the party. After a brief conference inside the Spire, they
decide to take a quick look around the immediate area before returning
to the pedestal and its mysteries. Leaving Raúguey and Ohwatoo with the
hirelings inside, the others fan out around the spire, looking for clues
as to their location.
Rawon pokes around the base of the spire
and discovers that, like the original, this one extends below the earth,
at least as far as he's willing to dig in the brief time allotted.
Durego and Maro examine the bones and determine that while the majority
are humanoid, they are probably not human. The bones are too heavy and
the teeth are almost fang-like. Scattered among the bones are rusted and
corroded remnants of weapons and armor, some iron, some bronze. The few
bits that are identifiable are crude work, and one features a demonic
face as a decorative element.
After his digging proves the tower
did not suddenly appear here, Rawon joins Mordikarr and Locky, who have
been circling the small, barren hilltop, peering into the ravines and
valleys that surround it, Suren sniffing along behind and around them.
It's obvious to all three that this terrain does not match the place they
left. The hills are steep and stony, unlike the rounded slopes they've
seen in the areas they've explored; furthermore, the exposed stone they
see is darker and coarser. "Definitely not the same place, though as
Ohwatoo says, the sun does look right. We should take note of that when
we try this again," says Locky. "Speaking of which, let's get going."
at the doorway, they find Durego and Maro have stacked loose rocks into
a small cairn. Durego flips over the top stone, showing a hastily
scratched X on the stone. "At least we'll be able to tell if we've been
here before," says the cleric.
"Good thinking," says Ohwatoo,
peering out of the doorway. "You know if we were doing this at night, we
might use the stars to approximate our position. Something to think
about if this takes a while."
"Let's get inside and try the next sequence," says Raúguey, anxious to move on. "What colors next?"
"Use the same slots, green sphere, red cube in the south, blue pyramid in the southeast," says Maro, consulting his notes.
let's do it." Rawon places the pieces in the appropriate slots, and
Locky twists the key. Once again, the door snaps shut, but there is no
other sensation. No movement or strangeness.
happening, it's beyond any magic I've ever heard of," mutters Ohwatoo,
"and I've read many tomes of lore and history."
The group moves
to the door in standard formation (by now the mules have been shuffled
to the far side of the chamber, where they appear to be sleeping,
mostly). Locky swaps the key around and opens the door, then blinks in
surprise. "Huh, what's that?" The entire doorway is filled with a
shimmering bluish-black... something.
Raúguey reaches out a
curious hand. "Careful!" calls Ohwatoo, "You don't know what that is. It
could be molecular acid or something. Use a stick. Raúguey
nods, pulls out a bit of kindling from his tinderbox, and touches the
surface with it. The twig goes in and comes out without resistance.
Raúguey peers at the end, sniffs it, then touches it.
"Water!" He touches the twig to the tip of his tongue. "Salt water."
"We're under the ocean?" asks Maro, worried expression on his face.
so," says Rawon pulling out his glowing arrow and sticking it through
the watery plane filling the door. The glow reveals a flat silt-covered
floor dotted by slimy rocks. Here and there clumps of some sort of
plant, black in the dim light, rise from the bottom, waving and shifting
in some faint current. "When we can, we should grab some sticks so we
can mark places we've been. Until then..."
He puts away the glowing arrow and draws another, but Gorvil stops him. "Use this," he says, tossing Rawon a torch.
idea." He notches the torch shaft with his dagger, then reaches out
again and sticks the torch into the silty ground, just outside the door.
He gives Locky a nod, and the halfling closes the door.
"Next!" says Ohwatoo.
to our original try, green, red south, brown southeast," says Maro.
Rawon arranges the shapes, Locky twists the key. The group opens the
door. Steep, rocky hills and misty valleys. A small pile of stones near
"At least it's consistent," says Ohwatoo. "Let's try again. What's next Maro?"
"Green, red south, white southeast." Snap-snap-snap. Twist-click. Shuffle-shuffle. Twist-click.
covered with shoulder-high grass as far as the eye can see, illuminated
by the morning sun. In the distance Mordikarr can just make out a herd
of something four-legged and big. When he describes what he sees, Durego
says "At least we can hunt if we need to."
"Maybe so priest man, but beasts hunt beasts too. Mordikarr does not wish to be hunted by beasts that hunt such large prey."
too early to be talking of hunting," says Locky. "Mark this spot, and
let's move on." Raúguey and Mordikarr step outside and hack and beat
down an open area in the grass, then tie several clumps into a crude
bundle. With a nod the troupe heads back in.
"Green, blue south,
white southeast," calls out Maro. Rawon and Locky repeat their process.
This time the door opens onto a smooth slab of gray-black rock. Ohwatoo
peers at the surface closely while Raúguey fetches a hammer from the
mules. "This appears to be volcanic stone. Perhaps the solidified
remains of some lava flow, though it is cool to the touch now. Hmmm.
There are volcanoes far to the southeast of Auslaug, well beyond East
Gorsebonn. I wonder if we might be inside one now."
"Let me see how solid it is," says Raúguey, hefting the hammer.
"Very well, but Locky, be ready with the key, just in case he strikes molten rock."
"Uhhh <gulp> OK."
few solid whacks with the hammer shows the rock is thick and solid, but
leaves an identifiable mark. With no place to go, the party tries the
next combination, green, blue south, blue southeast. This time the door
opens to a rancid, humid smell. "Ugh, that's rotten," says Durego,
peering over Raúguey's shoulder.
"Swamp. Bad one looks like."
Raúguey pokes his head out and peers about, then catches sight of
several large log-like shapes in the slimy water. "I think those are
alive," he says, pointing.
Mordikarr looks at the sky, which is
overcast, but a bright spot betrays the sun's location. He points westward.
"Light in sky there. It moved."
Ohwatoo shakes his head. "We have
moved my good Mordikarr. If the sun is west, then we are east, far to
the east." The mage peers between the two warriors studying the 'logs'
in the water. "And I should think those are crocodiles. Huge aquatic
lizards common in the southern regions. I would be very careful
venturing out, the big ones are quite dangerous."
"Let's just mark this and move on," says Rawon, nodding to Jonquil for another torch.
blue south, white southeast." Snapity-snap. Clickity-click. Water
again, though this time it is fresh. The lake-bottom is covered with
rocks and stones and the occasional trout swims past. Peering
upward, Mordikarr can see a faint glimmer from far above, but no one seems
anxious to go for a swim. Durego and Maro pile another cairn of stones
outside the door and mark the top one with a circle.
time green, red north, brown northwest. The door opens to patchy
woodland between pools of standing greenish water. Here and there piles
of worked stone rise above the squishy ground or the still waters. The
sun is high overhead, somewhere past noon, and the air is warm, stirred
by an occasional breeze. Mordikarr sniffs the air. "Smell good, smell
End Date: August 14, Year of the Badger, past noon (or is it?)
End Status: Still lost?
End Location: The Spire, in a swamp.