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  #61  
Old May 18th, 2023, 08:24 AM
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Fela, a screaming coming across the sea
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It's disconcerting, walking on the water. Fela was comfortable with the endless blue above her, around her -- that was Saliber's domain. But the endless blue beneath her -- her stomach twirls, like coming in to land in Glotten on that griffon not so long ago, and she can't help letting out the occasional yawp of fearful joy, joyful fear, as she did on that descent. What would she find when she 'landed' this time?

She quickly adapts to the water-ground shifting beneath her, though. Following it to some degree, as if it were her partner in a ballroom dance (ugh, why did men get to lead?), but fighting it just enough, like certain drills where Watchers tried to push each other back, over. Falco and Tempest belong on the water, Fela's sure they'll be fine, somehow, so she hovers close to the gnomes -- staying close enough to help them if they fall, to keep them in that delicate sphere of warmth that radiates off her since that dark noon in the cave, but not so close that it appears she's trying to weasel in on their conversation. Fela would rather not know the details of all the Warlock stuff. They could switch into gnomish anyway.

Falco's and Tempest's poems sound ominous. Grey ones? Darkness? Hunting Frogs? "Could it be a hag of some kind? We've only killed two; there's bound to be a third around somewhere..." but she ventures it as conjecture, uncertainly -- still smarting from her Cinderrabbit mistake.

Tempest's worry about darkness worries her, too. "Saliber hasn't granted me the ability for light, oddly enough -- though stay close and some of Her warmth should comfort you. But I'll have the lantern ready, should it get dark -- I don't want to ready it before we need it, more likely it gets wet and ruined."

She urges them to stay close to her as they descend, putting herself in the middle so her aura can envelope as many of them as possible.

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24 on Water Athletics Check
Keep close to Bingle and Banx to rescue if they get in trouble, have Aura on them.

Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 
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  #62  
Old May 18th, 2023, 08:55 PM
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Whirlpool
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Falco, the movement is the same as the movement of a ship under your feet, only 100 times more. You understand it, and you could skip across, you could dance. Going at an angle is slower and more difficult, but smart. If you tried to walk with it, you think, the speed would zoom you along so fast---well, hell, maybe you could do it, given how lightly and perfectly you manage this! You go first, and soon you are at the landing.

You call praise and encouragement, and check your star chart. Now it has calmed and points in the original direction, across the center of the whirlpool from you, angling South.

From where you are, you can see that this hole is deep. So very deep, you do not see a bottom. It spirals down into an absolute darkness.

Bingle, Banx kind of kills it, the wave-walking, if one must be honest. This is Durid siht. On his arm, Halran pertly perting on your shoulder, you do okay. He is concentrating on keeping you up, but you talk. He shakes his head at you once, not in negation but---you see he doesn't need for you to say these hard things. Banx doesn't question his own value, not in the world, and certainly not in your eyes. He knows. The only thing he negates is when you tell him he saved the day. Then he pauses, and says softly in fierce gnomish, I wish I had done bteter. I wish you had lsot. Then I would have been---

His words stop and his brows knit. You are at the edge of the whirlpool, and the water pulls and zooms. Now it is hard going for him, too, and it becomes nearly impossible for you. You ask if he should take the contract, and he is surprised. It had not occurred to him. He says quietly, in gnomish. If I pcat, it makes things smipel. But we have time to thnik and nivesitgate the Luz Tife---

He stumbles, staggers forward, catches, and corrects. If you didn't have his arm, you would be washed away. The wave part he got. The whirlpool? No. This is not natural, he says loudly in common. Not just the stairs, the water is wrong, too fast, too---tight. A whirlpool this fast should be much, much wider.

Tempest, once he says it, you know it. It is not correct, this whirlpool. You have found one before, only once, for they are rare, but you know it is a thing causes by the tides---the moon's pull and the currents. This is not natural and ignores the tidal pull and currents entirely to whirl and suck at its own pace with a perimeter that nature did not set. This feature, then, is as deliberate and manufactured as the stairs.

You have cast Water Walk on everyone, yourself included, but you know it is an ability, not a condition. Any moment you choose, you could submerge, swim, dive. Now, if you had cast it on a person already submerged (you have done this before with drowning sailors that you wished to save) the spell would carry the target to the surface relatively quickly. Ten feet per second. But once at the surface, the person could then choose to water walk or submerge.

Fela as unruly as the ocean seems, once you are out on it, you understand that it has rules. Luminar may wish to make it seem like pure blue chaos, hauling it about in swells and eddies with her gravity, but you know the moon itself revolves around the plane which in turn revolves around Saliber. So. Who's zooming who?

Not to mention, you are a natural athlete. Do you look back to see if Briony is noticing you kill it? Because she is. She is 100% noticing you kill it. Unlike Banx and the Siren, you do not feel it as abnormal when you step onto the whirling part. If anything, this is better. So uniform and controlled and orderly! You could, if you were not shepherding the party to the landing, turn and go with it, so fast, you think, and be just fine. Part of you wants to try. It would be faster than riding the griffon.

But you don't, and this is good, because you and the siren are both right there when Bingle loses her footing just a few steps from the landing. Here, the whirl is at its strongest and tightest. She is caught in it immediately and ripped away from you, past Falco, toward the center. Banx snatches at her, loses his balance, and down he goes, too, zooming along in her wake.


OOCIf you like, you can use your action this round to try to stop Bingle or Banx. This is a DC15 Athletics check, and if you make it, you can get the one you catch to the landing. Banx tried to catch her and rolled a three, so he went down, too, but this won't happen to you. He rolled a 13 on water walk and everyone else rolled over a 20, so you can all try with no consequences on a fail except you miss. If Bingle is not caught before Banx, roll to catch him with disadvantage, please, as he will be fighting you and trying to get to her.
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  #63  
Old May 19th, 2023, 11:06 PM
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What goes around
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Falco saw th' pull o' th' swirl pull an' sweep away 'is friends Bingle an' Banx. They were all three o' 'em th' entire previously-but-not-presently dead club an' it were hard enough t' find members, couldn't do t' be losin' any so soon. But th' Sea moves in a rhythm, does she not? There always be an ebb an' flow; a give 'n' take. Th' wave what races away from th' shore always crashes back t' do it over again.

He watched as th' current took th' gnomes around an' took a few steps down th' stairs. Falco counted silently an' lowered 'is stance as they came whooshin' around th' curved wall o' Sea. Then, he quickly reached 'is hand down like a bird divin' fer a fish an' grabbed Bingle's wrist. "That way might be faster," he said as he helped pull her up on th' stairs, "but I think th' stairs'll be easier."

Did he jus' see Banx nod at 'im as th' current took 'im past Falco's reach again? "Yer next, ye know," he called after 'im, "it ain't a race!" It still moves in cycles, She's still th' Sea. She'll bring Banx back 'round again an' they'd all walk down 'nto th' Deep Dark t'gether.

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  #64  
Old May 20th, 2023, 12:52 AM
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...comes around.
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"The sea is not moving naturally here. There is an outside force at work." Tempest said with a touch of irritation (if not a hint of jealousy) in her voice, wondering who or what would dare spiral the ocean's waters with such daring and strength. Of course, if such a power existed, she would wish it upon herself.

As Bingle and Banx were swept away, the Siren's hunting instincts seemed to kick in. Her pupils almost eclipsed the green-gold irises as she hunkered in low, almost reaching for her trident but remembered that she was going to try to catch someone, not spear them. Nor could she assume either Gnome could grab onto her long weapon since the water looked intent on its quickness of waves before them. When Falco snatched Bingle, Tempest's lips parted for a slight display of pearly white teeth as though she were going to catch herself a sleek, darting silver-scaled fish for family dinner - so tasty but if not caught quickly, could become quite a fun chase.

As Banx moved with the swift rotation of waves passed by the trio again, Tempest shot forward from her hunched, hunting stance and tried to gather up Banx, giving him two silk-clad arms to grab onto easily if he so wished to take the initiative. Being precise in calculation, the Siren would do her best to ensure the loyal, Wild Gnome made it to the landing steady and safe. "What fun that must have been, friend Banx Waterfeet. We must tread lightly down the steps. Let us use the rope to hold onto just in case they are not all as solid as we desire. I will go first once my shield is fastened. Anyone object?"
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  #65  
Old May 20th, 2023, 02:53 AM
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Fela, floundering
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Fela's waiting for Bingle to slip, watching and waiting, but when she does she still misses her. Is she enjoying the feeling of the water beneath her feet a little too much, having actual space to move under her own power instead of endless pacing on the small ship? Is she wondering whether Briony is still watching her, can still see her out this far? Worrying about what's at the bottom of the whirlpool before they even make it to the top?

All of these thoughts flash before her as she reaches down, just too late, for Bingle's arm, watches Banx get swept along just after her. They spiral around in her head as fast and unstoppably as the whirlpool itself. This was predictable, she was a Watcher, why didn't she stop it? Why wasn't she ready? Saliber must clearly be mistaken, vesting so much power into her. Who did she think she was?

While she's drowning and being pulled under by these thoughts Falco and Tempest calmly wait, reaching down and grabbing the gnomes out of the water as this whiz back around the whirlpool beneath them, not faster and stronger but smarter. There's relief that Bingle and Banx are saved, but also more shame. A blunt instrument. Hopefully Briony can't see all this.

"Sounds good." A bit clipped, with a nod -- feeling like this if Fela said anymore she'd be downright surly. She positions herself again close to the gnomes, focuses on a breath or two, rededicates herself to looking out for trouble, and joins the descent into the deep wet darkness.

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Failed the athletics check to catch Bingle

Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 
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  #66  
Old May 21st, 2023, 08:12 AM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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What Bingle has learned in her short strange life so far is that sometimes the worst possible thing that could happen is what actually happens. Defend your village? You're the one that gets shot by a basilisk and ends up petrified for 100 years. Sail on a boat? You're the one that gets shot by a sahuagin priestess and ends up in a hell dagger. Walk over water toward a mysterious whirplool? Why should you not get pulled off your feet, shot over the edge, and plummeted into the mouth of whatever nightmare creature is drawing in prey with this irresistible lure?

It almost feels too normal and fine to even fight. And as her legs get swept out from under her, and Banx lunges for her and misses, getting swept along too, she has time to regret that she didn't bring a wider variety of stuff in her pack, for surviving whatever pile of decades they were about to spend in the stone stomach of some angry water god. At least Banx will have more books. They can work on--

WHAM! Falco's hand slams down on her wrist. It's a callused hand and strong, from working with ropes and sailor stuff. The water continues to rush away but Bingle is a fast fish, stuck to Falco and secure. Banx is a loose fish, but not for long, as Tempest scoops him up before Bingle even has time to wonder. She hugs Falco hard, who is making cute jokes, like it is nothing to worry about. "Thank you," she says. "I don't want to leave again." She also does not want to water walk again. Not on swirly bits, not on water stairs, not down walls of water. No.

She wobbles over to Fela, and asks if Banx can climb up on her back. This leaves Fela's front for Bingle, and she climbs up quick and hangs around Fela's neck, her legs wrapped around the paladin's waist, and about a centimeter of space between their faces. As they descend the stairs, Bingle uses this space to shout nervous theories about what the whirplool is and it feels good to be yelling and making normal words, to be safe on Fela and not in the water. She can feel Banx's head with her hands and although the water rushing all around them is deep and loud, Bingle is louder. Harlan flies around wetly.

"MAYBE IT'S A MOUTH," says Bingle into Fela's nostril. "A MOUTH OF A HORRIBLE HUGE MONSTER. OR MAYBE IT'S A SPELL. CALLED CREATE WHIRLPOOL STAIRS OR SOMETHING. MAYBE SOMETHING IS USING IT ALREADY, COMING UP RIGHT NOW. MAYBE IT HAS A DURATION OF ONE HOUR AND THE THING ALREADY USED IT AND LEFT."

She adds, "MAYBE WE SHOULD STEALTH," at the top of her lungs.



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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  #67  
Old May 21st, 2023, 12:09 PM
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DOWN AND DIRTY
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Falco, you know the sea, so you are pretty chill as you reach out a casual hand and drag Bingle to the relative safety of the spray-soaked landing. But this is not how the sea should behave. You feel the strength and know this whirlpool would not have brought her back around again, but taken her right down.

As you descend, your star chart spins, catching in little hiccups on the center of the vortex and then the original heading. The deeper you go, the more it settles.

Tempest, you leap forward and snatch Banx, then tote him to the landing. You grasp the rope Falco is trailing, so you can help each other if one slips.

The wrongful whirlpool is tight, and gets tighter and more controlled as you go down, so that spray no longer hits you once you are a full circle down. The water looks like a curved wall on the outside. It is strange to put a finger against it and feel that finger sink, and then the force of it shoves your hand back and out. The stairs are wide and a little slick with seawater, so you all have to step careful. You and Falco, barefoot, probably feel this less than the others in their silly boots.

Bingle, no to rope! You and Banx swarm up the strong Paladin and hang like a tabard made of gnomes. You yell into her face over the LOUD. OH AND IT IS LOUD! It has a whooshy, cosmically huge swirl and gurgle, like you are in The Toilet of the Gods. As you go deeper, you both hear and feel a pulsing thump-thump-lub-dub, like a horrible heartbeat in 4/4 time.

You examine it, trying to sense the Weave at work. You are both warlock and wizard, and your father wanted you to be a weak-arse village cleric who can squeeze out a cantrip and roll a bandage, like Bongle is now. Hrm. You can't imagine magic is not involved but---this doesn’t feel like a spell.

Well, it isn’t natural, Banx says, definite. Okay, Banx, well, it isn’t a SPELL either. He nods agreement.

right-aligned image
Fela, the stairs descend in their seemingly endless spiral. Banx slides down after a little and walks behind you. Bingle is small, but having her on your chest will hamper your sword, should it be needed. The tube itself is also spiraling, so within ten loops down, you have lost sight of the sun. Another ten loops and you are in such darkness that all of you, but you and Falco most of all, will be in serious danger of slipping without a light source. Ten more loops, and the blackness is absolute. You travel for what must be hours. Three? Five? Deeper and darker, the water a roar. THUMP THUMP LUB DUB!

Party, The air thickens, and there is a solid hour when your ears pop and it almost feels as though you have top push through it. The water noise changes, less echoing, much more contained. But this passes, and immediately after, your lights begin to show silvery cables, so thick only Fela can grasp them in a fist and have her thumb touch her fingers. They run from one side of the stairs to the other, angling across the center. The center is much more than 60 feet across, more like 200, but you can see the angle, and find the other end of each cable as you wind down.

They are not tied, but simply attach to the stairs, as if they have been glued or soldered. They look metallic, but are both softer and lighter than gold and can be dented with a fingernail. A strange alloy, indeed. They are coated with some kind of sticky resin, too, so grabbing them is easier than letting them go. Your hand comes away tacky and only with an effort. You see more and more of them, the deeper you go, crisscrossing and thickening.

Banx says, We could zipline down these and be much faster, if they weren’t so sticky. Or, since they are so sticky, hand over hand across? Risky, but a lot faster.

Fela, six or seven hours into the descent, you feel something brush your cheek and flutter down and push its damp self into your hand. A paper bird, wet with salt and spray. Your father! At last! He gets right to business in his blunt way.

King deployed Watchers to war, even cadets. Academy closed. Arnolde and Vissir mercenaries now protect the trade route. They plot to disband us. Keep heart! I go to Vallos to plead our case. You’re exempt, your service offered to Saltmarsh Council. DO NOT RETURN TO TEMPLETOME. STAY! THAT’S AN ORDER!

Fela, your brother has done as you asked and fled the assassins. With Kasja. His engagement is off, and Clareen, whose mother is a Vissir and whose father is an Arnolde (two families who are in deep with King Bryce and have his ear) have retaliated with an attack on the order itself...

OOCOkay friends, tell me the order you are going in, and if anyone is still being carried, and how, and what you are using for light. Fela will not be penalized with a gnome on her back, but more gnomes or front gnomes interfere with her shield and sword or lantern. The stairs are wide enough for two to go abreast as long as at least one of the two is SIZE SMALL, but single file lets you be centered in the stairs.

I made a couple of assumptions here, first that you would use a light source and that Fela would read the bird immediately, to save us a round of “We light a lantern” and “She reads the bird” but if I overstepped here, let me know and I will be more careful.
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Old May 22nd, 2023, 11:13 PM
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Deeper in dark
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Falco kept checkin' 'is star chart, ever' other loop 'round or so, as they wound their way down, down, down below th' waves. He also kept th' rope handy, though wound up so nobody'd go trippin' over it, jus' in case. It were slippery after all, an' gettin' darker with ever' curve o' th' spiral. After th' first half hour it were clear they wouldn't be popin' in t' have a quick look, then right back out.

When it were clear t' Falco that in a few more steps 'round th' loop he'd no longer be able t' see th' steps under 'is feet without a torch, he said th' words an', with a tap on th' forehead, casting Darkvision twiceimbued a bit o' starlight int' th' eyes o' Fela an' 'imself. Now they wouldn't have t' worry about torches, at least. He settled int' place second in th' procession down.

Falco loved th' Sea an' were comfortable on it. The gentle sayin' expanse felt like home. But this, bein' under its thrummin' power an' weight in an' unnatural whirlpool with stairs, it made 'im nervous. Th' pressure in th' very air as the wound their way down reminded 'em that they weren't meant t' be here. But now he had t' know. Where did it go, an' why? How deep will th' stairs lead? All th' way t' a Starless Sea?

Even in th' shades o' grey it were impossible t' miss th' weird strands. Th' thick cables runnin' betwixt th' stairs weren't nothin' he'd ever seen before. Th' only thing he could think t' compare it to were spider's silk. Soft an' lightweight whilst still strong an' oddly sticky. How were anythin' sticky under so much salt water?

"I don't so much like th' idea o' climbin' 'cross 'em," Falco said o' th' cables. "Seems like they're there t' maybe catch things what fall. But who or what put 'em there? An' how? I've no idea what it even is. Spiders can feel th' vibrations in their web whenever anythin' touches a strand. Now, I'm not suggestin' that's what this is, that'd be silly, but it is what it looks like."

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  #69  
Old May 23rd, 2023, 02:06 AM
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Tempest
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Tempest did not like this situation in the least. In air, under the water, and under UNDER the sea in a place that wasn't only not natural but dangerous. But she's brave, mind you. Show her a foe, and the Siren would be hissing and gnashing her teeth in a hot second. But this enemy is different; the fear that veins up the back of her neck isn't normal. "We are far deeper than any Siren, Sea Elf, or Mermaid would ever swim. The sea wall is not…I am concerned that it cannot be easily penetrated to escape." To escape if one could breathe underwater, of course, and swim like an underwater creature. The water here, the tightness of the swirl could rip her apart, she secretly feared. The ocean is trapping her in an air-filled chamber. This is…disturbing to say the least. Grinding her teeth, the Siren thought to herself about shredding something apart like whatever may be down here.

"Water does not fall down here. I see no broken ships, or fish, or sailors. If this is so, Falco Starsinger, whatever put these …cords…here will travel up to where we are and no further upwards. This would mean we may be watched or sensed. The darkness of the deepest deep never welcomes light. Maybe they wait for vibrations; there is nothing silly of what you speak. We of the ocean hear the thick songs of what swims down here. The tip-taps of crabs. The scent of …warning, of green of food and fighting." The Siren tried to explain her world, and slowed down on the steps, stopping for a moment as she eyed one of the thick, sticky strands before turning her focus to the wall of water next to them. "If someone could, can you light up the inside of the ocean beyond this wall? Do it fast and sudden to see if we're being followed. To see if there is .. life. We are so beyond my world right now it is…uncomfortable. Can anyone see the bottom? I can drop something that smells strong and we can quietly watch to see if something….retrieves it." Tempest was chatty due to the strain of being in such a place. The tension could be felt between how she spoke quicker and the light lisp that popped up now and again as she tried to not be instinctively defensive like a trapped …being.

The Siren, squinted into the darkness below, trying to see a bottom or movement along the web-like strands. "Gray ones…exist in mud holes, water holes, and deep caves? It is difficult to believe we are so far away from the sky. Perhaps we ought to stealth as Bingle Curiosa had advised. Light…if we can use light then we may see what they are. Gray creatures may camouflage themselves like octopi being still."
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Old May 23rd, 2023, 12:50 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Bingle hops down off of Fela. Even Bingle the forest gnome cannot sustain nervous apprehension for seven hours. All the rushing of water becomes deadened in her ears. All the salt spray is crusted around her eyelashes. She wants to get down and do the steps, and look over the edge, and see if there are water carcks to snooch into, and inspect the ropes. Of course Banx already inspected them and they are sticky and light and metal and whatever. But Falco's theory about the ropes being like spider webs is interesting.

"That's not silly. That's smart. What if we hide behind the... uh... what if we hide, and then shake the ropes with our Mage Hands? We could even put some lights out in the water, to see how thick the walls are."


She and Banx put their heads together for a minute, muttering in gnomish and exuding little puffs of smoke and sparks and small illusory fish and one accidental large mushroom.

"Okay, we're ready," she reports to the party. "For two epxerimnets."
1. She sends glowing fireflies out into the water, as far as she can. How thick is the water? Can they see anything behind the wall of swirling liquid? Is this whirplool more of a cone than a hole at this point? She noticed when they seemed to be going through something solid. Maybe that was the ocean floor. Maybe this is a cavern beyond and under. Maybe this whirplool is! a! stopper!

2. She and Banx raise illusory water walls five feet high and five feet wide, for the party to crouch behind, on the steps. They are smooshed in as best they can, as close to the wall as they safely can, when the illusions splash into being, and in the next moment they cast out their magic hands, as far down the hole as they can still reach, and they bonk and rattle on the strings. Bonk bonk bonk! Shake! Bonk bonk! Shake! Bonk! Shake! Bonk bonk! Shake! Bonk bonk bonk! Shake! Bingle bonks and Banx shakes, for the full minute they have their hands, and then they wait, re-casting the water walls as necessary.
She imagines some merciless mechanical creature, climbing up those massive strings like branches of a tree, eight legs and a million eyes, peering into the shadows and swirling waters, gnashing its terrible teeth. In a beautiful glass bowl back home, with bubbles in the glass in little perfect strings, Aunt Dot had pretty golden fish. Sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes with a reedy plant or little stones. "Don't tap on the bowl!" she would hiss at Bingle. But Bingle always wanted to, so bad. Now she shudders and crouches behind the illusion, as close to Fela as possible, and gets ready to send out a blast of evil magic, to shoot it right in the face if she sees it coming at them!



ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


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Last edited by lostcheerio; May 23rd, 2023 at 12:52 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2023, 11:07 AM
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Fela, in the deep and dark
left-aligned image

As the hours spin round faster than the water around and still they're descending, Fela's We won't be long to Briony starts to seem like a mistake. "How long will they wait for us? You can't, uh, let them know somehow..."

Deeper and darker and Fela's starting to put her shield away to draw out her lantern when Falco touches her head and -- "Whoa." It feels wrong, somehow. Seeing without Saliber's light, without any light at all. The colors and warmth leeched away, everything cold and grey. It makes her feel cold, grey. It wasn't her way, seeing in the dark, sneaking around without a light --better to announce yourself, spread the light -- but Saliber had sent her this way, and she couldn't help but think she'd need her blade and shield before they made it to the bottom. "Do you see like this all the time, Bingle? Or just in the dark..."

The bird breaks the monotony of the stairs, Fela tenses it open it, and her shoulders relax as soon as she sees its from it. "Dad's ok! But the Vissirs are working with my brother's crazy fiancee's family to...try to end the Watchers?! But...Dad's ok. He'll fix it. King Bryce will see..." She rereads the note, folds it up carefully and puts it away, and continues down the stairs with more certainty.

The cables..."First a spider-lizard...now a... spider-fish?!"

Fela hides as best she can (not very), chainmail clattering as she tried to hold still, and then shrugging and deciding to help Bingle, tossing a few crossbow bolts down the center of the whirlpool before crouching down again behind the illusion.


Actions, etc.
Dice Stealth with disadvantage from her armor:
d20kl1 18

Dice whoops, disadvantage:
d20 10


Aura of Protection: +4 to saves for Fela and any friendlies within 10'

 

Last edited by ptwiddle; May 27th, 2023 at 11:07 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2023, 02:13 PM
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Water, Wall, Web
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Falco, you push down and down and down. Duskmaiden or bust. You are relentless. But even you begin to flag.

It happened (or began) during that part of the journey when you you were having to push through the air. Very weird. Your darkvision spell is still on, but you feel as if you have been travelling all night and all day. Maybe longer. Even more strange, after the thick-air part and the muffled sound part, the taste of the air changed. It feels oddly flat in your mouth, even with all the spray---and the water itself is less salty. Almost brackish.

You look around and the whole party seems to be feeling it. Banx, especially, is pale and winded.

Tempest you want to do tests with lights and objects, and normally, perhaps you would simply drop the items over yourself. Where is your boldness? You feel more hesitant than normal...

Bingle's little fireflies press valiantly into the fiercely moving wall of water, and as they have no mass, they are not whirled away. You can see from the movement of bubbles and flotsam that the water is in fierce, circular motion that pulls sharply around and down. It seems to slow and lose force as the fireflies go farther and father into it. Fifty or sixty feet in, there is a color shift, and it speeds up again, and then a pair of pale, gellid fish go tumbling through the lights, both of them flailing, helplessly caught in the current, their lantern-eyes panicked. You don't know these fish, but your mother has told you to swim up if you ever see pallid fish with light up eyes, as they live in the deepest of deeps, down in trenches where the Goblin Sharks and the Giant Squids rule. Not Siren territory.

Worse, these fish are being tugged----up? Up. The outer half of this whirlpool is lifting against gravity even as the inner part pushes down. This is two whirlpools, one wrongfully spinning up while also wrongfully encasing a second whirlpool spinning down. Bingle says she thinks you passed through something solid, and this may be correct because the weirdest thing of all happens just before the lights hit their max distance and wink out. All swirl and bubbles and bits of seaweed stop existing, and you think what is beyond this wide, wide whirlpool is air. Not water. Air.

Falco, you have never seen fish anything like these in your whole life, and you have seen a lot of fish.

Fela, how long will Briony wait? She is a steadfast thing, and the boat is well stocked. She could sit there for weeks, if the weather doesn't drive them inland. Perhaps she will. If not? Well. If not, you will simply have to trust that Falco can retrieve the Duskmaiden, and then try to meet up with her somewhere.

right-aligned image
You put your father's note away. He will fix it. Right? Right! The siren is asking everyone to try various science-ing tasks, and as Bingle recasts her lights and chains them down into the dark, you drop some bolts in. They fall. Gravity is still a thing, in that hole. You can see, though, watching them, that the cables begin to multiply just one more loop of stairs downward. In fact, just where the lights end you see what looks like an actual web forming, the thick cables spiraling in a circular pattern with cross-ties. It's huge, though, this web. If you jumped with good aim you could go right through one of the holes. The gnomes and the Hin would have a hard time getting caught in it at all.

Bingle you lower the fireflies in a chain down down toward the big web. Then you and Banx illusion up a wall of water. It...isn't great. The roraring wall behidn you is scary. You have to leave room enough between the illusion and the wall to hid in, so it kind juts out and doesn't blend. It's also not fully wide enough, especially considering the stairs, and random bits of people stick out of both ends. OH! WELL!

Out go the mage hands. SHAKE TUG BOTHER PULL TWANG. BONKBONKBONK. Most of the minute passes before some merciless mechanical creature, sure enough, exactly, comes climbing up those massive strings like branches of a tree. It only has two red eyes that throw their own light, though, and only seven legs, but also four big arms with spinners on them, each putting out thread it tugs and manipulates with its feet and some weird fishing pole appendages. All this cable comes spooling wetly out of the bulb at the top. It quickly checks the shaken-bonked rope for needed repairs and finds nothing. Steam comes out the top. The jointed metal legs click. The spinners whir and it lays fresh cable by the one you shook.

You are ready to face-blast it, and you can, but it is not large. Or huge. It is Gargantuan, as big as any two huges. Also? FAST! As it attaches the end of the new cable to the stairs near you, the lamp-like eyes pass right over you with zero reaction. If it sees you, it doesn't care. All this takes about fifteen seconds, tops, and then it begins to head back down.


OOCEVERYONE give me a DC 12 con save OR take a level of exhaustion. You all have +4 from Fela's Aura. Banx failed.

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Last edited by Fillyjonk; May 27th, 2023 at 02:19 PM.
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  #73  
Old May 29th, 2023, 10:53 PM
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Bingle Curiosa Wildwander, Forest Gnome Wizard/Warlock
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Epxerimnet successful! The massive mechanical thing comes hulking near, and Bingle can't even stay behind her water wall because she has to see it, really close. It's beautiful! The clutching grippy hands, the spinny bits, the little doors and the weird knobby brain part, the red eyes, all of it. It reminds Bingle of Tumble's mechanical bird, and sixteen broken things in Uncle Pucker's library, and the few items, absolutely treasured and beloved, that did work and that sat on the mantle and were not! to be! touched!

Oh, Tumble, if you were here! What an experience this is. Surely no monk in Narngeldem would have found this passe? Those fish. This whirplool!? Surely Tumble would not have let fifteen whole seconds go by, frozen behind a flimsy illusion, shuddering. No. Tumble would need to know. And looking at Banx, she sees him practically savliating with curiosity. Well okay. "I'm going," she says. "I'll um--" Then she drops the illusion of the water, and with a wild gasp, she leaps.

She leaps off the stairs, and onto the thing, trying to land just under the platform level with the doors and cabinets. She wants to get herself under that level and tangled in the ropes, gathering them up to her body with a big sweeping motion of her arms, trying to wrap her legs in there too, and get properly stuck, so that whether it goes sideways or upside down, she will be knotted in, like a little wooden bead in a knitted scarf. Harlan flies too, but doesn't want to get sticky. He's looking for a little place to snooch into.


ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
 


ۜ\(ಠ_ಠ)/ۜ
 
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Old May 29th, 2023, 11:11 PM
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Tempest
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The swirling amber-eyed, panic-stricken fish that look as though they are part gummy-fish and part pale moonlight travel upwards against their will. Tempest caught herself in a yawn, or a snarl as her lips curled into an unpleasant expression as she said. "Down and Up, and then gone, and there is no bottom." The Siren is clearly frustrated now with time becoming lost, and enemies that can destroy her territory, her home, gaining ground.

As disgruntled as the blue woman was becoming, Tempest crouched behind the illusional watery wall best she could, shield and trident poking out. The awe that was seen in her widened eyes when the metallic monstrosity, something she could never have imagined, kept her silent for a moment as its red glow passed over them as though they were nothing more than ...unimportant. "How is that moving? It is not like the fleshy sailors. Is it real with magic, or is it like a wind-up toy for a giant?" She whispered in Fela's direction, over Bingle's head, "We are deep, too deep in a trench. The Eye will rise from a trench. Peisinóē is from the deep. I like none of this walking when our enemies are further away from us - or right under us. Tell me when to demand it to bring us to a more fitting place." The Siren began to hiss again with her whiskey-honey toned words as she stood up, knowing she was getting weary, and possibly hungry. As it metallically tapped-tipped away, Tempest reached into her colorful bag and fished around until she started to pull clothes out of it. A grunt passed her throat as she pulled out something Creativity would have loved, probably did love; the paisley silken velvet would be perfect with the poofy shirt of his she was already wearing. Quickly, she shoved it back in and pulled out her old shirt that had quite the scent of the sea upon it. A knot was tied with the arms before a quick second knot was made.

The flying blouse, knotted firmly twice, was thrown with the Siren's strength and giant snail throwing abilities behind it. Tempest was quite the thrower of cannon balls as well, not that they ever went far, but she tried to show off her superior skills especially in her younger days. Giant snail throwing contests were always a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon on the island. Now she's throwing a regular ol' shirt that she wanted to get stuck on a webby-cable directly in front of them. If it gave pause, they could watch its movements close-up. Was the metal monster of all monsters going to eat it? Set it on fire? Push it into the UP water spiral? Then she wondered one more time aloud with a slow grin creeping over her lips as she whispered. "Are its eyes made out of giant rubies?" To her, this was a very good question wondering about the riches that must be down here amongst enemies that may be waiting for them. But what a better question was, was that Bingle flying through the air, jumping off of the stairs to land on the colossal spidery construct with pure bravery in her heart?

Tempest blinked in surprise, and said confidently. "We'll see if we can keep it in this area by throwing things onto the strings so everyone can get onboard."
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Last edited by PlaidPeregrine; May 30th, 2023 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Banx Stuff
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Old May 29th, 2023, 11:44 PM
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Deep curiosities
right-aligned image

Spiralin' down an' down inside th' unnatural whirlpool time started t' feel slippery. Falco could still see without a torch so he knew about how long they'd been at it. It felt longer though. Especially after passin' through th' weird denseness. Th' air had weight down here. Ever'thing started t' feel different after that. Well, stranger than th' already odd journey downstairs out in th' open sea.

He weren't even sure they were still under th' sea. Maybe not even in th' Prime anymore. Not with th' weird metallic webs what somehow weren't covered in rust. Not with th' ghostly pale fish jus' beyond th' wall o' water with glowin' eyes. Falco'd never seen such a fish in all 'is travels an' he'd seen plenty oddities. Mechanical wonders even, like Tumble's little bird with its clockwork wings an' mirror eyes or sailors who ain't never lived like Biffers an' 'em.

None o' that prepared 'im fer th' massive mechanical animal what skittered outta th' dark below an' climbed th' webs. Hells, it were th' one what made th' webs. "Oh, it's some kinda magic," Falco whispered, "I think it's more like House though, both magic an' livin'." He remembered bein' nearly crushed under House's foot after they killed Shellycoat, before th' whistle. Th' web tender didn't seem t' care 'bout anythin' besides th' ropes. It even made a shiny new one before Bingle jumped on it.

Falco nodded slowly as if this were a normal thing people did with their afternoons as he watched. Luckily, if anyone were t' miss or slide offa th' great web maker they'd be able t' find a strand t' grab. He couldn't be an animal with flight yet t' follow but he could become somethin' else what walks webs if'n he needed t' climb. But, if this thing were truly ambivalent, maybe they could all jus' ride it down t' wherever th' stairs lead?

Before he jumped, Falco watched as Tempest threw some clothing out onto th' web. He wanted t' see what it would do with what it found. If it collected things... Well, it was certainly big enough t' fit a few folk inside.

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