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  #136  
Old Jan 10th, 2022, 03:24 PM
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Rolen, speechless about what was going on began to regain some composure over himself, getting used to the feeling was hard, but with some time he was able to overcome it and began to act normal, he found the others as they were talking with Mayuri about what really happened. He joined in with the group.

"I find it strange that you are not allowing Alma into this state, why aren't you allowing him to be here, so that he can hear about it himself?" He asked.


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  #137  
Old Jan 10th, 2022, 03:51 PM
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Derek Draven
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I listened to Mayuriís explanation and instantly didnít believe it. there were just to many problems with her explanation. One, it was too anticlimactic. Her husband just botched the spell? Too convenient an explanation. And if it were true and she was aware of it, why not tell her husband herself? Why did she freeze him and keep him unaware of her presence in his mind? Why try to get rid of us? Just because Aurora assaulted some dream people? The damage that was caused when she tried to kill us was far greater. If all she wanted us to do was behave, this would have been her first resort rather than trying to kill us. I maintained my theory that she was trying to talk us into leaving because forcing us to had not worked, and thatís when I came upon an idea. this place wasnít real, it was a mind space, so maybe I could alter it with my mind. I had been told it was next to impossible, but Mayuri seemed able to do it.

I knew I didnít have the most focused of minds, but I concentrated on making the darkness around d us go away. I thought of a bright light shining that pushed away the blackness.



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d20+4 (4)+4 Total = 8


Stat BlockAC:12(16) HP:6/6 STR:7 DEX:14 CON:11 INT:16 WILL:14 CHA:16
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  #138  
Old Jan 14th, 2022, 06:20 AM
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Baka sat and listened to the questions of his comrades, and though no one could see him, he nodded as if giving them his approval. They were sound questions, solid questions, ones he would have asked himself if they had not. The explanation of this apparition wearing Mayuri's face was one that seemed designed to neatly wrap this thing up in a bow, and send them on their way with pats on backs all round for a job well done.

He drew back on his pipe, and instantly felt a quickening of his heartrate, and could almost physically feel the constriction of his pupils into pinpoints.

"Ahhh, must be a blue one..." He muttered, holding the pipe up to his face as if to examine the burning contents, despite the fact he could not see it.

Nodding, he feels his mind ruminating over everything that had happened thus far. To be honest, he felt he'd ambled his way through most of this understanding little. It was always a flip of the coin in that regard, his way of life. The power of the pipe kept the demons at bay, but often robbed him of much of what went on around him.

In this particular instance however, he'd lucked out. A clarity of mind and purpose descended on him, and he felt the gears in his mind that often moved with a slow and methodical grind suddenly crank up to a great, whirling speed. Facts and information whirled about his head so fast that he felt dizzy for a moment, though there was every chance that was just the pipe again.

Taking a moment for the whirling to ease off, he clears his throat.

"Apologies, I've been listening and thinking on what you said, and all my friend's questions here are quite valid.
Splendid even. I do only have one question to add. Some of us..." his eyes glanced in the direction from whence Aurora's voice had come, though could not be sure he stared at her or if anyone would see the glance, "... have tested the physical interactions of this world. Our results have been, middling at best, harumph."


He paused a moment, almost as if he were considering the very point he was making, just as he was making it, as if simply voicing thoughts out loud rather than asking a direct question. "And we have seen the subjects of our employer's dream state go about their days as if following the script. Our ability to impact on our environs, or to change the course of the inhabitants of this dreamstate have proven to be barely effective. That little scuffle in the streets earlier notwithstanding, of course. So, I suppose I am wondering, that if you have the ability to not only interact with Almavalesh' dream in a more potent way than the rest of us, and indeed actively exert your will over Almavalesh himself, in his own dream construct, then it stands to reason that whilst you've managed to pull off an exceptional likeness to the lovely wife of our employer, you are not Mayuri, but infact another presence within this place. And I am guessing, if you have kept Almavalesh out of here, that it is not entirely true that you are here by invitation. So who are you, and why are you here?"

The rush of words, seemingly at odds with everything the Tortle had displayed behaviourally until now, suddenly halted. A slight harumph could be heard, almost serving as a period to his diatribe. A second of silence is heard before he offers something of an explanation, unsolicited though it might be.

"Sorry about that, I always get a bit chatty when I smoke the blue ones..."


 


 
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  #139  
Old Jan 16th, 2022, 07:13 PM
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Parley in the Dark
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As Aurora peered past the annoying silhouette that Geghard had put in front of her, she and all the other adventurers found Mayuri unreadable as she had made her assertions about the past events. There was an oddly detached feeling coming from the noblewoman's mannerism, and being of noble origins herself Aurora realized that behind the smile and the confident words stood the practiced methodology of one who knew how to veil their intent. If anything, Mayuri was certainly someone that kept their cards close to their chest. So leaving room for the possibility that the woman behind the other side of the door was not trying to deceive them, the eternal bride proposed that confirming this version of events from this Lee's home would complete the picture. And while Aurora used her saber to feel her way towards a wall in the north of the room, just as she knocked into a few waist-high wooden objects Mayuri answered her last previous question about the fallibility of Almavalesh's art. But not before allowing herself an exasperated sigh. "Hah... I suppose it's a given that my word is not enough to deter you from your little games. Be that as it may, the answer to your question is 'no'. If there was a realistic chance to incur himself memory loss, then Alma would have never risked the fruits of his magnificent research as easily as he keeps doing."

Turning away from Aurora, although Geghard could only assume that it was the mischievous young lady that Mayuri had looked at before, as he asked his own inquiries to the noblewoman behind the door he could clearly see her eyes resting on him. She wasn't ridiculing him now and her expression was quite different from when he had seen Mayuri glance back at him in the streets. "Are you finished? I honestly appreciate your inquisitiveness, Geghard Van, but you are lucky if I don't find myself insulted over your presentation of what transpired." She slightly raised her small nose as if trying to look down on the spear master who was quite a bit taller than her after having come up the stairs. "Not only is it outside my purview to do anything to my husband, if there was anybody put into any danger by anybody's actions, then I would direct you to debate the matter with your companions." Mayuri entered a brief pause to give her words weight, before continuing in a calm manner. She showed her displeasure through her words, but her expression stayed closed off. "Alma is probably recuperating in the reaches of his mind. I'm certainly not withholding him from you. If anything, I'm encouraging this conversation because all of this has already put quite the strain on my husband. You may view me as quite in control, but you also don't understand much of what is happening. If anything, you may better view me as the benevolent force in this dream that's keeping the abuse of power at bay." She gently shook her head before looking back into the room at the next person raising their voice.

While trying to make his way around the supposed room in a clockwise manner, Oguun also bumped into a wooden structure, possibly a table or maybe a workbench. Following up on what Aurora had already inquired, the githzerai cleric proposed that the adventurer Lee's condition must have been exceptional, which led him to demand of Mayuri that she not only show the group memories of Lee, but also to let it be her own memories. The noblewoman's fake laugh that followed was brief, but also bereft of much amusement. "You adventurers. Crude and quite possibly entitled to your obliviousness." The woman paused a few breaths before continuing a bit gentler. "It must have been quite the exceptional condition, foreign being Oguun. If we'll decide that you'll make your way out of here, I'm sure you'll look upon my husband and Lee and still see nothing more than what I've told you about. But to relieve you of at least one misconception, this dream is not made of my or your own memories, so what you're asking of me is impossible." As Mayuri finished her small fit of dismissiveness, Oguun had in the meantime been tugging at the bricks that he could still feel to his current left. Finding some difficulty to find purchase on the wall, the follower of Zerthimon got the feeling that after breaking the mortar he'd probably be able to take out some bricks.

At the same time as Oguun had been doubting the realism of the stone wall next to him, the young necromancer Derek had also just remembered that there was quite a lot of precedence and conjectured reasons that he should doubt anything about this dream's reality. To the point that there had been talks about altering the dream's projected reality, and even if Mayuri seemed to suggest that the amount of control that the adventurers attributed her to have about this realm was not quite accurate, if there were ways to alter the dream by his force of will alone then Derek's solution to the unnerving darkness that was veiling this room from their senses was possibly merely letting his mind remember a shining bright light to cut through the darkness. As he stood there alone, assuming from the sounds of movement around him he was most likely right in the middle of the room, Derek tried to focus his mind on a bright light as he had encountered it in the past. But at the same time as he was trying to envision the light, the conversation with Mayuri was still going strong, and as the young wizard's observant nature bid him to listen to the exchange of words with half an ear, with the limited amount that he was able to focus on his own thoughts nothing around him suggested that his mental efforts were bearing any fruits. Still only darkness. Maybe Aurora's claims had been more signs of her obvious confusion, but before Derek could come to his own judgment Mayuri answered Rolen's reconfirmation of why Almavalesh was missing from this conversation. "For the wizarding mind that requires explicitness, I'm not my husband's keeper. If he's not here, then in all likelihood it's because he's trusting you to come to your own conclusions. It's the task you have been hired for, though personally I'm more in favour of arguing that Alma got excited about this newest application of his oneiromancy. I've already talked with him about the things he had forgotten the next day after, and pulling you into his mind to look at the pictures together with him is now only proving more of a detriment to him than any merit."

As Mayuri repeatedly kept discouraging the notion that she had an active involvement in exerting power over Almavalesh and rejected the adventurers painting her as malevolent, Baka's latest addition to his pipe put him into a state of expedited thinking, if not at the least for his own standard. The blue kind of mushroom gifted him the clarity that he so commonly lacked, and after ruminating the day's events so far he arrived at the same conclusion that Mayuri had debated with his adventuring comrades already. Still, the tortle presented quite poignantly that Mayuri's influence inside the dream had so far appeared to surpass Almavalesh's despite what she was saying, and in Baka's mind there was no mistake that assuming the identity of Mayuri must have been a charade. Which posed the question why she would go to such lengths for such an inscrutable purpose. And so the druid plainly asked her to disclose her reasons, if not also her identity. And until after a few seconds in which Baka apologized for his wordiness, Mayuri stood silently behind her barred window as she looked into the room where the smoking tortle was most likely seated. When the noblewoman finally answered, she was no more expressive and just the same amount of calm as before. "In the end, it is your assumptions that are leading you to come to the wrong conclusions, druid. You're describing my involvement with shaping the dream as potent when the only thing that I've done is draw you out of the line of fire and to placate you into no longer causing yourself any further self-harm. Alma knew that his waking self had no grasp on the memories that were lost to him, so wandering into the events that he could no longer remember was bound to incur instability. Instabilities that your party kept fanning like the flames that you enjoy so much. In this theory that your pipe has put together for you, you are confusing cause and effect. And while I'm able to take a more active approach in explaining these misconceptions to you, explaining the reasons behind myself to one as unfamiliar with my husband's theory as your party is quite difficult. Suffice to say that I'm taking care of preventing further strife within my husband's mind. Consider me as the intrinsic spirit that everybody has inside themselves and that means for oneself to stay safe and unharmed. The part of you that doesn't talk to you, but that you can hear even if you don't listen. And in this dream, if you merely listen to me and stop fighting and meddling, then it will be what's best for my husband's health. No offense, but I would know better than an adventuring group that's come together to witness advanced arcana after having a drink at the bar of your favourite inn tavern. I'm sure you'll agree." Mayuri peered out into the lightless room and let her gaze roll over each of the adventurers with an expression of sublime confidence that challenged her audience to step up to disagree with her words.
 
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  #140  
Old Jan 16th, 2022, 09:56 PM
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Aurora
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"Hey, guys!" Aurora shouted to her companions. "Aren't you all getting tired of this darkness? Like... I know and even told you that bending the dream is hard... but maybe if we all try to do it at the same time and with the same idea?" The eternal bride completely ignored the fact, that Mayuri could hear and see all of this. Out of nowhere but not really surprising anyone, Aurora begun bumping things around her with the backs of her sabres, trying to concentrate on the sounds the stuff made, to better imagine, how it looked. The floor was obviously stone, probably all of it. There were steps leading up, so maybe it was a basement? She bumped into something made of wood... maybe it was a table, maybe a chair, maybe both? When entering the dream, she could see her own body, so she decided to also think about it. "Feel your surroundings, feel yourselves and try to fill the darkness with what you are certain of." She encouraged others to follow, what she was trying.

"That conversation is so far leading nowhere, as we are seen far from equals. Offence taken. You are punishing our whole group, for the deeds of one person. You keep us prisoners, while telling that it's for our own good. You assume that all of our minds are dim like this room. Wizards are often full of themselves, but I doubt Alma would risk bringing a whole bunch of adventurers, risking his health, just to amuse himself." Aurora said, her head tilted back, as if she wanted to ask Mayuri, if there was something up her nose. After she finished, she returned to focusing on the room.


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  #141  
Old Jan 16th, 2022, 11:56 PM
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Oguun
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Oguun listened and thought on the Mayuri-thing's responses, testing the walls even as he stumbled into something that felt much like furniture, something that there was no need for in a place of confinement. The walls themselves felt not invulnerable. Uncertainty remained, but some conclusions could be tentatively reached. Aurora called out and Oguun felt she was reaching some of the same conclusions.

He looked up to the dimly seen window. "I believe you are not Mayuri, and not only for the simple reason that Almavalesh did not take Mayuri into this dream with us. Nor are you Almavalesh's waking mind, for Almavalesh brought us here of his own will and wished us to investigate. But you control this place of Almavalesh's and confine us. Almavalesh felt we posed no danger. You seem to think we do."

"Not-Mayuri, you decline to explain Almavalesh's theories of mind. I would hear them. I myself have conjectures about your nature. Would you like to hear them? Some things are better discussed face to face."

Oguun unslung his mace and drew back to strike the wall, then hung it back on his belt and reached instead for his amulet of the Circles. He pressed it against the wall and WIS save 23Knew that there was no mortar between the stones, that there were no stones, that there was no darkness, and above all that no gith could be contained.



 


 
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  #142  
Old Jan 17th, 2022, 06:32 AM
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Geghard Van, Human FighterSheet | AC: 19 | HP: 12/12 | Status: Normal
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"So," Geghard sums up, "we have at least three powers here, three aspects of Almavalesh's mind: his conscious self, who brought us here; you, his conscience, or some cautionary drive; and third, the memory itself, which acts defensively to preserve its integrity. Do I have that right? And you have imprisoned us here in order to talk to us?

"What do you have to say, then? What exactly do you want from us besides our non-interference, which you seem to have already secured?

"I have to tell you, though, that you're asking us to accept a lot on your word. We agreed to help Almavalesh - eh, 'Almavalesh one,' let's say. I'd rather hear from him as well. Besides, it seems like maybe the two of you should talk. I heard you when you said you don't know exactly where he is, but maybe you could bring at least some of us back to the rest of the memory, if we promise not to break anything."

 

 
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  #143  
Old Jan 18th, 2022, 06:35 PM
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At this time the, since the group is just standing there and talking, he figured that he should try to take it easy for the time being, possibly taking the time to regain one of his important spell slots.

"So the dark rider was a response to us meddling with his dream? Interesting, and that's why we are in this space now, I can't say that I wouldn't agree that they did this, he looked very disturbed and uncomfortable in the real world. I do not wish to do the man harm, I would say that it would be better to leave than cause any real damage to his mind and I am not afraid to wake back up this instant and stop this all from continuing. So keep that in mind everyone, his safety is always going to be top priority."


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  #144  
Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 12:24 PM
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I listened to Mayuri’s explanation, but there were still holes in it. as Aurora said I was growing tired of this darkness, so I cast my light cantrip on the end of my staff to see if that would help before speaking up. “I don’t see how it’s possible for you to know all this when Almavalesh doesn’t. He is an expert in this field, yet when we described the earlier events, he claimed they were impossible. How can you know things he does not? That doesn’t make sense. Also, if your worried about us doing harm to his memory, I would point out that Aurora was the one doing harm. The rest of us simply acted in self-defense so there is no need to keep all of us contained.”





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  #145  
Old Jan 25th, 2022, 09:50 PM
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At an Impasse
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The conversation with Mayuri seemed to be moving peacefully in an ebb and flow of exchanged words, but for most of the adventurers, it didn't seem to move where they wanted it to go. They had been dropped into a dark chamber and although they didn't step on each other's toes, there was still something unnerving about the situation as Mayuri stood behind her door and the adventurers were left to guess how long they would be kept here. Both Aurora and Oguun shared very much the same opinion that they were not treated in good faith and so they grew restless to find a way out of this room, or at least out of the darkness. Derek also very much felt the same and as he tried to light his staff with his reliable magic and found that unfortunately it didn't affect his sight in any measure, at the same time Aurora began banging her sabers in various places to make it easier to imagine what this room actually was. And while to her own distracted ears, it only appeared that she was standing next to a row of crates and barrels, standing on solid stone, to Derek there was revealed slightly more. As the sensory deprivation of the surrounding darkness actually heightened his hearing slightly, it appeared to him that only the middle of the room was open and to the north, west and south there seemed to sit various furnishings or at least objects. And even more interesting, from the noises that Aurora's blade made against the floor, it actually didn't sound like stone. Derek could feel under his feet that the ground was hard and smooth, but the echoes from the eternal bride's actions kept sounding softer than they should.

Meanwhile, on the opposite of the room stood Oguun as he was quite literally trying to imagine to break his way through the wall. After his mace had served its task, now the cleric relied on the force of his will. And as he placed his Amulet of the Circles against the wall, after a few seconds of no apparent reaction a single brick seemed to loosen and fall right out of the wall. Since the githzerai still could not see, he reached up to trace where the brick had sat, but as he felt around inside the newly created hole, he realized that there was still quite a lot of mortar around and it could have been mere chance that this brick had come loose. And when he felt further into the gap, the gith's fingers immediately grasped earth or dirt, bringing Oguun to the realization that their current chamber was most likely sitting underground.

Before those observations had been made however, there had been various accusations made and although none of the adventurers could see how either of them looked and gestured, Mayuri at least was suspected to see the defiant or at least uncooperative behaviors. But instead of commenting on them, she seemed much more interested to address the adventurers' words that had been thrown at her. Aurora's petulance was the first thing to draw her comments. "Child. After everything so far, we are all very clear that you do not know yourself what you are even talking about." Despite her chiding words, Mayuri's smile was neither arrogant nor evil as she looked through the bars, but with her tone and expression she presented herself as exaggeratedly patient when she rejected the younger noblewoman's argumentation in a single sentence. Then, equally patient she turned to look at Oguun. "I've been meaning to keep things simple for the sake of allowing you to grasp things more quickly. And now, you are really just stating the obvious. We are all aware that I'm not truly Mayuri, but figuratively, or if you want to say metaphorically, you can very well see me as her. And no, I'm also not Alma, and as such I'll not be drawn into a debate of arcane theories. Nor will I lead one. I am already tormented enough by them by the grace of my dear husband." Overlooking the githzerai's offer to share his theories about her own person, Mayuri then swiftly turned over to Derek. Her smile seemed a little less forced, but still very patient. "And now, dear Derek, you're committing the same logical fallacies as your overzealous companions. I do not presume to be the alpha nor the omega on matters of the dreamscape, nor on any subjects that concern themselves with the mindpalace. But for Alma to grasp less than me, one who naturally resides in this place; it is quite consequential that I'm at least one step ahead. This is logic. As well as it would be illogical to presume that your group's assessment of your danger to yourself or Alma would have any bearing on how justified I am to have brought us here. These are things that I know better, so for now, we are here."

When then Rolen shared his impression of how Almavalesh had struggled in the waking world and that from his perspective leaving the man's memories alone would have priority if the adventurers were threatening the debonnaire mage's well-being, Mayuri turned to face him and her smile became a little more pleasant as she gave the high elf an affirmative nod. But before the female noble could elaborate why she could agree with this perspective at least, Geghard who still stood as a shadow at the top of the stairs drew her attention as he also made a case for his analysis and conclusions so far. Mayuri's face fell back to a more neutral mien as she listened, and now her expression particularly didn't give away what had caused that reaction. "More acute." She concluded after Geghard had finished giving his impressions, but with the dispassionate way that the beauty had said it, she hadn't made clear if this was her assessment of the investigator or if it had been a demand for him to improve. Again she didn't choose to elaborate, but instead she opted to address Geghard's questions. "Nothing you've said is entirely false, but let's see..." With the bars between the two of them she scrutinized Geghard for a few more seconds with a relaxed expression before she finally reached a conclusion. When she elected to speak again her expression had the merest hint of complacency within her otherwise neutral features. "There are a few ways that we can end this debacle, Geghard Van. You may only have my word to go on... But as long as you cannot oppose me, that is all that you need, isn't it?"

The human woman's eyes held that of the male adventurers and although now she didn't smile, there was a certain regality behind her countenance which made it possible to interpret her gaze as a challenge. "I quite frankly don't see what you can say or do to convince me to let you out. If there is a case you can make for yourself beyond things that I already know, go ahead." Mayuri intentionally kept any signs of judgment out of her expression as she went on to conclude her train of thought for the group to hear, all the while facing Geghard. "I understand naturally that as hirelings you lot have a modicum of interest to do the task that you've been promised remuneration for, but Alma's premise was misguided and your quest will be solved once you've recounted the events to my husband as I've told them to you true. Alma, as great as he is, will not be able to magically relive any sensory information and recollections that he in fact has already forgotten, and your loyalty to such a cause may be noble in nature, but faced with the impossibility of what Alma is asking to happen your mission has been futile from the start. As my momentary guests, we can spend as much time as you need to talk this through until you either wake up out of your own free will or because my husband's spell has run out. As things stand, I worry that his waking self has already lost its way inside the dream, so I would not count on him to counsel you on this decision any time soon." And following that, Mayuri gave the slightest upward dip with her chin when she had held herself perfectly still before. "But that's why I am here now, willing and able to give you the right counsel to heed. I would be glad if your companions would understand this as well..." Now Mayuri was wearing a soft smile again, partially directed at Geghard but now back at the group as well. As the adventurers were still taking in all that had been said, only Derek heard a rustling and a whisper as in the darkness Grimly Packer had silently made a move and after approaching bowed down to barely audibly speak into Baka's ear. "I think I have a shot on her! The angle next to Geghard isn't easy, but I have good aim. D-do I take it?!"
 
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  #146  
Old Jan 26th, 2022, 01:18 PM
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"Okay, then," responded Geghard with casual resignation. "If the only reason you can give us for taking your word is our powerlessness, I suppose I'll just have to investigate that premise." Geghard removed his crowbar from his pack and went to work on the bars, first by attempting to simply pry or bend them, then by working at the mortar as necessary.

OOCI'll leave the (ADV) STR and maybe WIS rolls to you, MS. I'll also note that someone with better scores in both may want to borrow the tool afterwards.

 

 

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  #147  
Old Jan 27th, 2022, 07:48 PM
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Only a single stone came loose and Oguun was not at all sure that had been due to his efforts, but he was at least satisfied that a way out could be forced if needed. Geghard seemed prepared to test a more physical avenue, whatever physical might mean in this place, so there seemed to be no immediate need to begin bashing the wall down under not-Mayuri's eyes. Other ways remained to be tried, though one didn't seem promising given the lack of ability to see, and the other even less due to not-Mayuri's obtuse meanderings.

Like everything else in the mind palace, the incongruous furnishings must be memories of Almavalesh's. He Investigation 19began running his hands over and around the desk-like object, searching for any hint to its significance and purpose. He searched for cracks in the false mate's arguments while he worked. "So you are neither Mayuri nor Almavalesh, but you claim to be natural to this place and to act in Almavalesh's best interest. Suppose this is true, and suppose you are also correct in your contention that his lost memories cannot be recovered."

"Given his interest in matters of the mind, and given that he already went so far as to retain us to investigate the matter, how can you possibly believe he will be satisfied if we return to him with news that some entity posing as his mate took control of his mind palace and ushered us out carrying word that it knows what is good for him better than he himself does? I suggest that he will not give up his lost day, and will also turn every bit of power and lore at his disposal to the task of hounding you down and driving you out. Would that be in his best interest?"

"And are your actions in his best interest? He has lost knowing of himself and does not know how or why. Without that knowing, he cannot defend himself from such loss happening again. How would you appear to us, false mate, should Almavalesh lose his knowing of the true Mayuri? How would you act in his best interests if he were to lose all the memories that make up this place? Would there even be an Almavalesh, or a mind palace for you to reside in, should he lose more than a day?"

"Open the door, false mate. Let us work together. In seeking to protect him from some small dissatisfaction, you may endanger him in much more substantial ways." All the while, Oguun didn't look up toward the window, still feeling his his way along the desk. There remained a chance that the not-Mayuri construct was open to influence, but he held out little hope of doing more than holding its attention until a way was opened. It would either see flaws in its reasoning or continue to make statements of no value. Perhaps Aurora would set it on fire.



 


 
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 09:21 AM
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For the moment, Rolen continues his little rest as the others continue to do what they need to do. Getting back a spell slot would be helpful to him and the group, so he continued to wait, keeping an eye out for hostile figures.


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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 06:07 PM
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The group kept talking with the being, who wasn't willing to really negotiate, or do anything other, than keep them, where they are. With nothing better to do, Aurora casually Investigation 18checked the contents of what felt like some crates and barrels.



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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 08:36 PM
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A wave of resignation washed over the adventurers as a majority of them came to the shared conclusion that negotiation was impossible. Either they had failed to convince Mayuri that their stance was worth considering or the being that was talking to them had been arguing in bad faith since the beginning. However, at least for Geghard, Aurora and Oguun, compliance was far out of the question. And so each on their own, they tried to do what they could to find a way forward. Aurora had fallen silent after the other noblewoman had disregarded her with cutting words, so instead of retorting she began exploring the supplies that were in close vicinity to her. But already after the first few containers that she addressed in her search, as Aurora had managed to slowly assimilate to the darkness her deft hands and tactile senses merely discovered that this was nothing more but apples, flour and similar stored goods. The young woman realized that this was a thorough stockpile of various commodities and initially she wasn't sure how it would help her in this situation. At the same time, Geghard had resigned himself in another way, because while Mayuri spoke of standing unopposed, the reality of her claims on his helplessness was so far unproven. Pulling out the crowbar that had failed him before, now the spear wielder went to work on the barred window and thusly stepped into Earlamar's line of fire that he had admitted to Baka under his cover identity as Grimly. Mayuri didn't react at all as Geghard shoved the crowbar into the visible gap, and she regarded the adventurer with another prolonged stare. "A pity."

Meanwhile, Oguun was facing a similar impression that Mayuri's obtuseness might have been intentional or maybe that her opinion was outside of his sphere of influence. But such assumptions were not enough to force the stoic githzerai to give up on the interaction, at the worst he could still be able to distract her. And Mayuri did indeed turn away from Geghard's work to listen to the cleric's assertions, silently watching and without commenting on what Oguun was doing with his hands. The desk that the gith had found seemed in fact to be some kind of elongated workbench and for the most part a pretty tidy one. Still, merely following his sense of touch the githzerai was still able to discern that there were various tools either used for fashioning scriptures or scrolls, but also some seemed more recognizable in relation to medicinal work. Nothing was lying around that had been currently worked on, but while he was feeling his way around, Oguun realized that there was also a locked compartment located on the underside of the tabletop. But while he grew aware that it was not something he could open that easily, Mayuri gave her reply to the cleric's well-considered points of debate. And although she had maintained an impassive expression throughout Oguun's elaboration, now at the end her face turned back to a smile. But this time her smile was neither refined nor dismissive, the expression with which she was looking past Geghard was almost gleeful, which somehow looked wrong on Mayuri's noble features. "I'll let you have that one, traveler. Not even I know what to say against such sound logic." At the end of the sentence she started dragging the last words, giving her reply a sarcastic undertone of mockery that hadn't been in her demeanor before. "Suffice to say that he won't be driving me out. And that for you, testing your powerlessness is not in your best interest." Her gaze coursed back over each adventurer and her lips were twisted in a cruel smirk. "You'll fail to help Alma and do right by him. Don't say that I haven't warned you..."
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And just as Mayuri had finally lost her composure after having been driven into a corner by githzerai logic, Geghard found a burst of strength as he had been hanging his full weight into the crowbar for a few seconds now. And with an ugly crunching noise, several things happened at once as he violently dislodged the first bar. First, obviously the bar popped out of the door's wood and Geghard had to find his bearings not to stumble down the steps behind him. In sync with that timing, just like an enchantment or curse had been lifted from the room, the darkness was extinguished with the reverse of a torch when it was blown out. With glaring colours that contrasted all the black which the adventurers had been seeing around them for a while, the vision of this chamber returned to the adventurers all at once. And although the sensory overload forced the party to blink a few times before things came properly back into focus, they saw that at the same time as the darkness relinquished its presence, like she had been a mirage, Mayuri also whisped out of existence. One moment she had been there, beautiful and with half-lidded eyes of amusement, and in the next moment she was merely gone.

But the adventurers had little time to wonder about her disappearance because now they could see the oubliette in its entirety. And while on their initial glance the room looked just like the combination of a common cellar room and an improvised researcher's workshop, everybody was shocked as they realized that the whole middle of the room was dominated by an intricate pentagram which had been glazed and anointed into a waxed and polished earthen floor. Grimly Packer was half-kneeling next to Baka with his bow in hand, but when he realized that he, Baka and the two wizards had been sitting still in its midst, completely unaware of the effigy, the half-elf jumped up with a frightened yelp and quickly scrambled to the backend of the room where he crashed into a row of stacked shelves that housed a variety of unassuming items. Aurora, Geghard and Oguun had maneuvred themselves out of the pentagram in their efforts to explore the orientally furnished cellar, but now their eyes were also opened to what the darkness had been keeping hidden from them all along. The air was still, and aside from Grimly's distress, there didn't seem to be any unwelcome presences. At least none that the adventurers were aware of...
 
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