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  #286  
Old 10-21-2018, 09:12 PM
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"In my defense most of the doors I forced open didn't talk back." Pavel defended his attempts to pick the magical lock. Judging from the doors, whoever created them hated monkeys as much as they loved riddles. At least that obstacle was out of the way.

Whoever made this clock had more than a little money to create something so strange. Taking in the room as a whole he couldn't understand what to make of it. "I'll take a look at the clock and try to figure what it is telling time against. Maybe why someone went to the trouble of keeping people from looking at it." Pavel moved towards the clock and began counting the different divisions. "If there were months one of the larger hands would still be twelve..." Pavel muttered to himself as he read the clock face. "Is it even keeping the right time?"
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  #287  
Old 10-22-2018, 07:39 AM
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The group stood in front of the door for a decent amount of time trying different stories and riddles. Brom was thankful for the rest as the battle in the courtyard left him a bit winded. He was about to fabricate some kind of story about winged griffons and saddle riding monkeys when the door swung open. The protests of the monkey didn't seem to have any impact on the opening of the door which the dwarf was thankful for. Maybe Pavel's introspection and honesty served us well.

The room beyond was truly magnificent. Brom had travelled through various areas in his life but had never seen something this grand, certainly nothing came close from his home in Hayfield. The plates on the floor radiated attention and the ticking clock in the back of the room was overpowering. Red, with her arcane knowledge and background, seemed keen on studying the runes to verify what she may be able to understand. Pavel was maybe seeking to get away from the group for a moment as he volunteered that he would seek information on the clock. Brom knew that opening up his soul to the group must have been tough. Maybe he deserves to be by himself for some time. I should help calm him maybe.

Brom walked over to the human rogue and laid a hand on his shoulder as the group stood, taking in the room. "May the will of Muamman help us in our next steps in this great room." The cleric finished with a sign of a circle across his chest and a pat on Pavel's shoulder. Brom tried to instill any Guidance cantrip, addiional d4 to an ability checkadditional help he could into the young man for being so honest back in the hallway. It was at least a little something to give back.


OOCPavel, please add a d4 to your ability check

 

 
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  #288  
Old 10-22-2018, 09:20 PM
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Pavel heard the footsteps moving up behind him. Looking down at his hand he didn't remember grabbing his dagger. Easing the grip Pavel hoped Brom didn't notice his reaction. This oversized room and the strange clock were getting to him. He tried to play of his nervousness as just jitters. "Have you ever seen anything like this before. Do Dwarves keep clocks like this, is there a special way to tell time when you are underground most of the time?" The question just occurred to him but if there was no sunrise and no sunset how did people that lived underground track time? Maybe it wasn't a clock to measure days but measured something more meaningful if you never saw the sun. This forced Pavel to think about the problem from a different perspective.
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  #289  
Old 10-23-2018, 01:28 PM
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The investigation began with Max looking at the large metal plates embedded in the floor. Looking at the runes, Max was not able to decipher the runes completely. They seemed to tell a story on one hand, but had some unrelated arcane components interwoven between the others that were unrelated. Those components did have something she could kind of grasp. The plates were used to store arcane energy. One side held positive energy, the other negative. The auras around them were weak, however. The amount of energy stored in the plates now must have been very low.

Pavel, with the aid of some dwarven perspective, understood the clock a little more. Rather, it wasn't so much a clock as a timer. The hands did depict divisions of time. The largest one was years, and had the most ticks around the circle. The second largest was months and followed the 12 marks around the clock that one would normally expect for hours. The last two depicted weeks and days. The week hand had one tick left to reach the top. The Day hand had 3 ticks left to reach the same position. This massive network was designed to count down a millennium. Just now, perhaps for the first time since its creation, the clock was being observed after its initial creation. And all that remained left on its counter was 3 days.
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  #290  
Old 10-29-2018, 08:48 AM
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Alahk was the last to enter the giant room, but a feeling of relief washed over the warrior the moment he did. With an uncharacteristically excited cry, he spread his wings wide and flapped up to the epicenter of the room. Like Brom, he was focused more on the clockwork than the arcane-infused plates.

The aarakorca clacked his beak in thought. The mechanics of the contraption were far beyond him, but his clan had lived nearby for many centuries. Maybe there was something in their lore that explained what the clock was leading up to. If only he had paid attention to the legendtellers!

Dropping back into the group, he wondered allowed, "If the clock is counting down to something... Maybe the centaurs know more?"


 
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  #291  
Old 10-29-2018, 08:31 PM
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"Maybe Alahk, but... do you think the centaurs even know about this place?" ponders Red, not looking up from the metal plates. She meant it in the sense that the centaurs likely never knew this room existed, although it might not be entirely inaccurate to guess that what lay before her might be completely outside of the centaurs' sphere of arcane knowledge.

However, she doesn't say this. Instead, she mumbles pieces of her thoughts, enough for the others to pick up what little she can understand. "Magic components... These plates? Ah! They store the arcane energy. Though, I should be able to feel it if so... Oh, no, I do, barely. It's weak, very weak. ...Which makes sense."

But Red's speculation leaves her no less puzzled, and she drops her bag to the ground to express the futility she's experiencing. "Alahk, what we really need is an elf. One that can read Silvery Sprouce, because I can't make this out. I think I can make it what it is, but what we really need to know is how it works, and why it's here. I can't interpret those things from the formulas; I'd need to read the runes."

Her eyes linger on her bag, lying on the dusty stone, for just a moment. "Although... maybe I can do that." Once again, the spellbook her own is pulled from its leather resting place. She turns a few pages at a time, knowing right where to find what she's looking for. "Yes! I think I may actually be able to read this after all! So long as... I mean, these runes must be a true language, right? It's surely worth a try." She shuffles her deck of cards and begins to arrange them in patterns on the floor. "What do you think Pavel, can we spare a couple minutes?"


 
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  #292  
Old 10-29-2018, 10:06 PM
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"Max, I would say we have exactly three days." Pavel responded to Max's comment about a few spare minutes. Having three days to perform a small task should have been easy. The fact that this clock was counting down for a century was disheartening. Long cons were really bad for those on the receiving end, and this con was going on before El-Stow was even a city.

"I read a story in the Mage Academy Library. I thought it was an exaggeration but I am going to say the time line was pretty accurate. One thousand years ago, or nine hundred years three hundred sixty two days if you go by this clock, a group of elves made a pact with a powerful white dragon to drive away the snake people. Why they did that and what they ended up doing I am not sure. I am sure that in three days a large White Dragon called the Master is going to wake up or do something. I am sure snake people exist. I am sure we killed a child or grandchild of "The Master". I am sure we have to stop this clock from reaching zero."
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  #293  
Old 10-30-2018, 07:51 AM
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Brom listens to the others discussing possible reasons for this place even existing. The clock was certainly ominous and the count down sent chills down Brom's spine. They were working against father time... he who conquers all. Pavel spoke about white dragons, elves and children of the snakes. All of this seemed very ancient but Brom tried to Sage Background (attempt to recall lore), rolled 18+2[/DICE]recall any stories about any of the items mentioned by the human. If he recalls some of this then certainly the grate orators of dwarven history knew about it as well!


 

 
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  #294  
Old 11-01-2018, 03:52 PM
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Max got to work reading the runes on the plates, with a magical aid to be able to read them. Those runes she had previously pulled out as arcane in nature held no new meaning. The plates were holding arcane energy but were nearly drained. The rest of the runes now told another story. They told of a snake-like humanoid race that was bent on genocide of all other races. The Yuan-ti sacrificed the living of other races on the altar in their temple, which gave them power.

The elves battled the Yuan-ti but were loosing. Some of the details wrapped around the plot Pavel spoke of, with the Elves striking a deal with a Dragon to help rid them from the mountains. Their temple was to be sealed underground, which would stop the sacrifices from being successful offerings to Dendar. For whatever reason, they feared to destroy the structure. It wasn't mentioned why. But, it was clear that to keep the temple sealed in the earth it would have to be locked with powerful magic. The runes were used to seal the earth above the temple, keeping it from rising again out of the ground. The arcane energy in these plates, far away from where the temple was sealed, were being drained to recharge the rune's magic. When the plates were completely devoid of Arcane energy, it was predicted that the temple would rise again. The giant mechanical clock in the room was used to sense the energy reserve in the plates and count down until they would be empty. Somehow, the Yuan-ti knew the time must be coming close.

Brom's recollection of pieces of stories he had heard didn't go back far enough to recall any events about elves or Yuan-ti. He knew the Black Gold Clan had had dealings with the Dragon. At some point, a peace offering was made, and they left each other alone after that. Usually, though, these points were only footnotes in speculation about why the clan had been cursed.
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  #295  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:43 PM
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"...It's not the dragon..." Red whispers, barely audible, as the Jack of Spades settles firmly on top of the Seven of Hearts. "It's not the dragon!" she repeats, now breaking the silence that, for the past few minutes, had only been occupied by the sounds of ticking clockwork and shuffling cards. "Pavel got it wrong! Well, no, that's not true, he's mostly right. Here, come look!"

The wizard points at the King of Diamonds, as though it's supposed to mean anything to the others. "See, the dragon wasn't the problem. The Yuan-Ti, the snake people, they were... war, murder, sacrifice, genocide " she points to an abundance of Spades surrounding one of each of the other suits " and their god drew power from it. From their temple. And we were there, that was what we found in the tunnels! It used to be above ground, at one point... right in the middle of Alvyn's forest, I'll bet!"

"And the elves did make a pact with the dragon, because they couldn't bring themselves to destroy the temple, for... some reason... I can't quite make out what the Eight of Diamonds means in this position... so they bargained to have the temple relocated underground, where the power from their sacrifices couldn't transfer... And the runes we saw there were keeping it from rising again, and those drew magic from these plates."

"Which means, when the magic runs out..." she pauses, and concludes, "the temple will rise again. Probably, anyway."

"But this explains so much!" she switches the topic in all likelihood, to avoid imagining the numbers of Yuan-Ti that would seek to reclaim their temple. "The elves' half of the pact, whatever it was, must have had something to do with their disappearance. Hells, maybe your people too, Brom! If that elf Ilythwen, the one Magrak had fallen in love with, had been from Silvery Sprouce... I mean, it's not very implausible, is it..." A pause amidst her excited ramblings as she considers the plates once more, but it doesn't last long. "And the mines suddenly drying up? Maybe the metal didn't disappear, maybe it just relocated! Do you think you would you be able to tell?"

"So, at least we know why all this happened, and maybe even how," she says, finally beginning to collect her scattered cards from the ground. "But as for how to fix it... well, any ideas? I'm even willing to accept crazy ones at this time."
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  #296  
Old 11-12-2018, 07:33 AM
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Brom was fairly certain that the cards that Red had spread out meant nothing to his untrained eyes. However, Red was emphatic that the appearance of the Yuan-Ti creatures was not just happenstance. The cards told of deals between dragons and the elves and the yuan-ti knowing of the arcane magic disappearing. It certainly fit alongside what the party had witnessed thus far. Leave it to the elves to conjure up some wicked agreement that expires...

Brom turned to face the others not sure of what the next steps were. He didn't want to face the snake creatures again. The centaurs certainly had their hands full but Brom wasn't sure if they could win a battle against more of the creatures. The elves were probably tied to this agreement if the cards read true... possibly a discussion with them would ease the situation a bit. It seemed like the most direct path may be with the dragon who started this mess. "If the blasted dragon started this it would make sense that it could end it as well, right??" Brom let the last words fall from his mouth a bit as he couldn't believe he was trying to advocate for talking to this dragon creature.


 

 
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  #297  
Old 11-12-2018, 08:39 AM
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Alahk peered over Brom's head at the whiz of cards that made up the bulk of Red's fortune telling. Though they were about as structurally different a cloud and a mountain, the aarakocra imagined he and the dwarf shared a common visage. Alahk had absolutely no idea what Red was doing.

"Will we be able to find the dragon in three days," the monk asked tentatively. "We can't leave the temple undefended, especially knowing how close the yuan-ti have already gotten."


 
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  #298  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:41 AM
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"Worse than a dragon?!" Pavel said in disbelief, after Max's more accurate rendition of the fairy tail that he had read. What was so bad that dragons, eleves and dwarves had to make an alliance. Whatever it was it was so bad that Pavel wasn't particularly interested in learning what it was.

"It took us four days to get here. That means the temple is going to rise before we can get back." Pavel looked at Alhak appraising his wings and lighter frame. "Four days ride, but it might faster as the Aarakocra flies. Alhak, if you left now could you get a message to Rythey. They need to know about the temple rising from the ground and the Yuan-Ti army making its way to them. The centaurs said that they were more numerous than before and I bet this is why." Pavel gestured to the large clock counting down the seconds before the temple would rise again.

"We might be able to buy a little more time. Someone filled this thing with magic before to prevent the temple from rising. Maybe we can try to fill it up again, gain a few more hours or days." Pavel looked at the gears, wondering how the mages of old managed to fill the mechanism that kept the temple below ground. "Can you figure this out Max?"

"We'll try to bring the Centaurs on our way back. Alhak, try to marshal the Aarakocra forces as well. If the elves, dwarves and dragons made an aliance we'll need to make allies of our own."
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:35 PM
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"Pavel," Red whispers, suddenly forlorn, "Rythey might not even exist anymore. We have no idea how they fared against the ogres' siege, and even if the fortress is still standing... well, there won't be as many soldiers ready for battle as there used to be. And whatever strength we can get from the aarakocra and centaurs... it just doesn't seem like it's going to be enough, does it? Not that it matters. We'd still be late anyway."

Anxiety creeps into her being as she speaks, crawls through her skin and tugs at her heart. The part of her that was Maxine is returning, bringing along all the indecisiveness and uncertainty that used to plague her and now, to greater effect.

"To make matters worse, the amount of magic that would be necessary to refuel these plates... astronomical. Think about how much energy would be needed to keep a temple buried underground. I couldn't pump it out fast enough. The elves couldn't pump it out fast enough. An arcane storm might only buy us a few minutes."

Keep going, says Max. You haven't criticized every option yet.

"Only the dragon could pull that kind of magical weight. I would say that's our best bet, but... trying to find it in three days? If it's even alive? Impossible. Even if we did, the price last time looks to have been the demise of one, maybe even two entire civilizations. What could we offer? And if, somehow, all that worked out in our favor... it might still be a touch miffed at us for slaying its offspring."

See, THIS is who you are, Maxine. You really thought a haircut would turn you into a hero?

...Hey. Shut up. You know, Max might have listened to you at one point. Thing is... I go by 'Red' now.

"Well, since every option sounds horrible, we should try them all. Hedge our bets and split up. One can go back and rally Rythey and Alahk's people, one
can search for the dragon, one can attempt to refuel this well, and one can maybe work with the centaurs to slow the yuan-ti advance. Something's bound to go our way for once."


"...On the other hand... there could be something to be said for doing what the elves couldn't bring themselves to do, and destroying the temple ourselves. End this once and for all."
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  #300  
Old 11-14-2018, 09:17 AM
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Alahk tried to follow the planning, his head flitting birdlike back and forth between Red and Pavel. "I can fly to the mountain," the monk confirmed tentatively. "They should help... You."

Plzen had given him a second chance, but that didn't mean the new leader of the Aarakocra tribe trusted him yet. That was what he was here to prove. If the two most senior soldiers of Rythey needed the help of the sky people, maybe they would come.

At the thought, a knot wound its way deep inside of Alahk's feathered breast. He was a warrior, not a diplomat. Most of his tribe didn't even like him! Could he really convince them to fly to the aid of the people they had flown into battle against so recently?

The birdman looked at Red. He could practically see the steely determination forming like a shell over her moment of panic. One claw went to the haft of his family's ax, where it tightened over it in a white-taloned grip. He would try - no, he would do it if that's what they asked of him.

As for where to find the dragon, as much as he History: 10wracked his brain, he couldn't think of a single time a dragon had made its way into Aarakocra legend.


 
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