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[D&D 4E IC/OOC]: The Mirrors Of Tizun Thane

BogartBogart Mr. Lady AnimeRegistered User regular
edited September 2010 in Critical Failures
THE MIRRORS OF TIZUN THANE

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An adventure for six third level adventurers.
Spoiler:

You stand before the mirror, and take a deep breath. Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good idea.

Now that your ranks have been bolstered by two new comrades, Reed, Alexander, Ilmarinen and Jonathan felt able to leave two days ago to track down this 'Curwen' fellow, whose attempts to extort money from Cahli started your adventures so many days ago. Ilmarinen still bears an unhealthy cough, but his recovery was complete. The rest of you, sure that whatever this Curwen was, your comrades would be more than enough to deal with him, decided to investigate the magical mirrors you found in the sanctum of Tizun Thane. Where would they lead? Would monsters as terrifying as the Nighttide Dancers lie in ambush on the other side? Would they lead to a firey pit on a plane far beyond this one? Would they have beer? These and many more questions echo round you skull as you contemplate the short step that will carry you over the threshold of the mirror.

The halls seem quieter and less troubled now, the evil that once stalked its corridors banished by your bravery, and you could hear birdsong from the gardens to the south as you filed into the last resting place of Tizun Thane. The body is gone now, but you remember its caved in empty skull well enough.

Lucan and Anwar have finished their muttered incantations and the shimmering surface of the mirror has settled into a constant image, obeying their words and the power of the rings they wear. They discovered that they could manipulate the gateway somewhat, though altering it's general destination was impossible. The image you look upon is that of a land subtly different from your own. Perhaps these are the lands far to the east, tales of which are little more than vague rumour to your ears. Or perhaps this land is on a different world entirely?

The vista before you seems innocuous enough. A rolling grassy plain stretches out before you. A forest filled with trees whose type you do not recognise crowds the left hand edge of the living picture, and far away on the horizon you can make out mountains, and perhaps a city? Adventure surely awaits on the other side.

So, what are you waiting for? "I shall lead the way, and I pray to Kord you two haven't messed up the spell," says Makar, gingerly moving forwards. He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes and then, grimacing slightly with anticipated pain, steps through.

And disappears.

Wait. He didn't disappear. He fell, rapidly and so suddenly that it seemed he vanished. You hear a irritable voice echo from the mirror.

"Next time, make the gateway appear on the ground."

Anwar and Lucan look at each other and each raises an eyebrow that signifies a impressive amount of buck-passing in one tiny gesture. The two mages mutter more strange words, and the image in the mirror seems to rise slighty. A distinctly annoyed Makar hoves into view.

"Coming?"

Bogart on
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Posts

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    The elderly gnome, Melf, slips through the group and readily follows Makar through the mirrored gateway, leaving the considerations of imminent danger and threat to those young enough to feel that they have the most to protect.

    After dropping lightly to the ground and taking a deep breath, Melf circles around a little, getting a feel for this new land. Its been fifty three years since he's bothered to visit a land that he hasn't seen previously, and feeling the old thrill of the unknown once again is a welcome reminder of times past. He claps his hands together to draw a little attention, no doubt a practiced move for one of such diminutive stature, and addresses the group.

    "OK lads, I'm going to assume that you all know Quennin's Five Rules of Exploration, so I'll just remind you not to eat anything that you haven't seen something else eat. If you get sick, I have some kill-or-cure remedies on hand, and they are exactly what I called them, so don't get sick. Any questions?"

    Spoiler:

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dain hops through. "I like you already, old man. Makar, I think we'll keep this one."
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dain and Melf notice that after they step through the mirror on to the grassy plain a large, shimmering rectangle the same shape and size as the mirror emits a low hum behind them. You can make out the dim figures of your companions through the haze. It seems the gateway remains open, at least for now.

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:


  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf peers back through the portal, a little doubt about its integrity starting to creep up on him.

    "Far be it from me to question your technical knowledge," he says casually, "but do you lads do know what you're doing with that mirror? It looks a little odd from this side."

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf tilts his head and considers the portal, trying to recall similar situations he's encountered in the past.
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Melf slowly pushes his hand through the shimmering rectangle, starting for a moment as a tingle works its way up his arm in line with the glittery barrier. Feeling more adventurous, the gnome sticks his head through and is comforted by the sight of the room he stood in not two minutes ago.

    The portal certainly seems stable enough, and Lucan and Anwar assured him beforehand that the gateway would remain open as long as they wished it. The rings they took from the bodies of the Thane brothers gave them theoretical mastery over the mirrors, though they admitted privately to 'not having worked out all the kinks yet'.

    Your own extensive knowledge of magical items leads you to believe that the portal will remain open until commanded to close by someone who bears one of the rings your spellcasting friends bear.

    You back away ten yards, and note that the portal seems to vanish. Moving closer again, the shimmering gateway becomes tangible once more. Interesting. It seems that only someone passing within a few feet of it from this side can see it.

    Melf taps his chin thoughtfully, making a mental note to remember the portal's precise location.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dain sticks a marker in the ground with a climbing spike--using his knowledge of scouting, he'll be marking the path they take with a torch's flame.
    Spoiler:

    "I don't trust magic any more than you, Gnome, but I trust those two. Well, the wizard, at least. The sorceror doesn't drink." He raises his eyebrows significantly.

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    "You should be grateful. Nobody survived the last time I drank," Anwar says through the portal. The smirk on his face has more than a little bloodlust to it. "Anyway, there's bound to be some useful things out there, magic to consume, and all that other fun stuff."

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    "Consuming magic sounds like it would give you problems," Duragon observed with dry humor. Stepping forward, he squinted at the world veiled beyond the portal.

    There were plenty of reasons that he could think of to not go through with it. It could be a trap, an illusion, and the people on the other side might be nothing but clever simulacra. The portal might collapse once he was through, trapping him there - wherever there was. The people on the other side might not be friendly, and would want to cut his head off and ram it on a pike. The mirror might fail when he was halfway through, leaving half of him stuck on either end. The act of passage could infect them with a magical disease that would rot them from the inside out.

    "I didn't expect you to be so eager to accept," the young human, Alexander, had said to him just before his departure.

    Duragon had looked at him as if he were daft. "Exploring an unknown land, fighting for my life against the whims and creations of a psychotic sorcerer?" He'd paused and chuckled. "How could I refuse?"

    His bastard sword was chipped and well worn; Duragon felt its bite as he shouldered the thick blade. He saw in the pool the faint reflection of his own visage: six and a half feet of hard, black scales covered with scars. Crimson eyes with black, vertical slits squinted back at him. Turning to those remaining, he grunted and jerked his head, beckoning them to follow as he stepped into the pool.

    And emerged, whole and intact, in the middle of a grassy meadow.

    Permitting himself an inner sigh of relief, he tilted his head. The song of unfamiliar birds reached his ears before fading away. The smell, though different, was still unmistakably that of nature. "Humph," he observed, striding heavily away from the portal so as not to get in anyone's way. "Looks like a city at the foot of that mountain. If you all want to find your answers, I suggest you start there."


  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

    Eventually, you gather together on the other side of the mirror, taking in your new surroundings. The sun seems the same as it shines it's noontime light down on you all, though you suspect that once it sets the stars may be different.

    The forest to your right seems deep and thick, and no trail makes itself evident. Off in the distance the city waits, clearly a day or so away, at least.

    As you consider your options and make vague plans for a campsite somewhere between you and the city, you hear a branch snapping at the edge of the woods.
    Spoiler:

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The quick dwarf takes a look over in the direction of the trees.
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dain stares hard at the treeline 50 yards away, and manages to pick out the shape of a crouching human-sized shape nestled deep behind one of the bushes that litter the forest floor. No other figures seem to be present.

  • AnarchyAnarchy Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Lucan looked wearily at the newcomers,

    "I can assure you that the portal is stable enough." He replied grimly to Melf. "And as you can see, Makar hasn't sustained any...lasting...damage." He smirked at the the image of the paladin falling through the portal.

    He took one last look at the world behind him. There was nothing he was going to miss if they got stuck there and no one who was going to miss him. He closed his eyes and walked through the portal.

    ...Nothing had changed...

    Lucan opened one eye and cautiously looked around, expecting the flames of some hell plane. The refreshing plains of the other side greeted him instead. Opening the other eye and uncurling himself from the defensive position he had assumed, he brushed the stray sparks of raw magic that had clung to his cloak during his trip.

    "You see...the portal works fine"
    Spoiler:

    Lucan darted his head towards the sound, seeking out any familiar shapes in the dense foliage.
    Spoiler:

    steam_sig.png
    "Oh, well, this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence."
  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf looks around, mostly because everyone else seems to be. "What? Whats going on, what is it?"
    Spoiler:

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

    "Human figure ahead--in the trees. Let's conversation it." Dain says, before yelling out,

    "Hail! We are explorers from far away. Pray tell where we have landed, friend?"

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:


  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

    The stone Lucan sends spinning into the wood blazes sudden light over the area. You hear a scream of alarm and a scrawny figure tumbles out into the open, crawling away from the magical glow in abject terror.

    Eventually realising the light has not harmed it, the figure turns towards you. It's a young boy, no more than thirteen summers old, dressed in rags and dirty enough for you to be unsure what race the boy hails from. He's obviously terrified, and the broken shackles around his legs give a clue as to the reasons why. His eyes flick rapidly back and forth between you, waiting for one of you to say something.

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf scratches his head as he considers the stray humanoid. His snap assessment made, Melf addresses his thoughts to the group at large.

    "Well now, those shackles are interesting, wouldn't you say?", he comments, pointing at the boy and turning to the group to see that they are following his thoughts.

    "I'd wager that this particular fellow is a slave, or at least one that escaped. Only two types of men end up in shackles; criminals and slaves. Now, when you put a criminal in shackles, you make damn sure that they are of good make, for fear of what the criminal may do withouth them. Slaves though, well, what is an escaped slave going to do? Particularly one that has no criminal tendencies."

    Melf gestures broadly with an arm, taking in the field surrounding. "Now this place, it makes me wonder where the slaves have come from. With the city on the hill over there, this would seem to me to be a likely battleground, wouldn't you say? It meets the standard requirements as laid out in the Fightway Almanac, so perhaps our lad over there represents the fallen; the losers in this great battle that may well have happened."

    Rubbing his chin and looking vaguely around the surrounding landscape, Melf rubs his chin, falling deep into thought; the idea of what the boy represents is clearly of far more interest to the old gnome than the mere fact of him.

    "Very interesting."
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The grassy plain seem far too undisturbed and calm to have been a battlefield. No bodies litter the field, no bones stick up at awkward angles and the land itself is not scarred by fire, stone or blood. If it is the site of a battlefield, it was a very long time ago.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    "Child! Do you speak common? We mean no harm," Dain calls out, in what he hopes is his reassuring voice. "Do ye want out of those shackles?" He pulls a trail ration out of one of the many bags hanging from his belt. "Some food?"

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The child looks towards you with fear plainly written across his face. He reaches out for the proffered food and snatches it out of your hand, retreating back to the edge of the woods immediately. He stuffs it into his mouth and swallows with barely time for chewing.

    "You're not with Shakor, then? You haven't come to take me back?" he asks, obviously hoping this is the case.

    You notice that his speech, though plainly in the common tongue, has a strange accent, and that he uses inflections that sound somewhat archaic to your ears.

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Rummaging through the dirt and seeing no signs of battle occuring within his lifetime, Melf is almost ready to give up on his notion of a fantastic battlefield, but perks up when the boy makes use of the common tongue. "Oh, you speak our language, fantastic!"

    "Is there any reason why we should take you back to Shakor? Are you the slave of this being, forced into hereditary servitude by riight of conquest, perhaps caused by the tragic defeat of your ancestors on this very field?", he prompts the boy hopefully.

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    He eyes the gnome suspiciously. "What are an-ces-tors?" His vocabulary is plainly not quite as enlightened as yours.

    "If you take me back to Shakor he'll kill me. Maybe make you work in the mines as well." He finishes eating the trail rations you offered and looks up hopefully for more.

  • AnarchyAnarchy Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Sighing in dismay at the kids vocabulary, Lucan gestured towards the stone, which rose off the ground and floating back towards him, coming to rest in his outstretched hand. With an ounce of will, the light promptly vanished and the stone was placed in a convenient pocket in his cloak. He looked back towards Melf, who was attempting to gather some information from the kid.

    "Clearly communication is going to be an issue," he thought.

    He listened to the conversation with disinterest, although he attempted to identify the inflections in the child's speech, which he did purely as an intellectual challenge, as opposed to any perceived interest he had in the child's plight. If anything, identifying the tongue the kid spoke could help bring the conversation to a quicker conclusion.
    Spoiler:

    steam_sig.png
    "Oh, well, this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence."
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Anwar watches the conversation, and then politely joins in with a question of his own.

    "Who is this... Shakor?"

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf laughs cynically at the boy's suggestion of being forced to work in the mines. "Could be, could be."

    When Anwar asks the obvious question, Melf chips in with a loud sigh before the boy can respond. "Shakor is probably some trivial local bully that wants to make some money. Even odds say that we're not on some fantastical new world at all, just another country with the usual peasant struggles."

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Dain offers him a little more food. "No chance of that, and you eat as much as you like. Look, we're from far away--perhaps you could tell us what the general area here is like?" He indicates the city on the horizon. "Starting with that city. A little bit about Shakor wouldn't hurt either."

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Anwar looks over and down towards Dain. "Yes. The more we know, the better."

    As he speaks, a tiny winged figurine crawls from the inside of his coat and sits on his shoulder. It crosses its legs and looks attentively at the child.
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Makar squat down to match the child's eye level, wincing slightly at his ground impact bruises, and added some general words of encouragement.

    "We've certainly no intention of taking you anywhere you don't want to go child, and no-one's going to hurt you while we're here. In fact if you could help us out by answering our questions there could be a reward in it for you."

    At this he removes a gold coin from his purse and flicks it in the air.
    Spoiler:

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior
  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Lucan doesn't recognise the accent as being from any country he's visited or met an inhabitant of.

    The boy takes in your questions and answers them in a tumble of words.

    "Shakor is the master of the mines. The mines in the forest." He jerks his head back towards the forest behind him. "He has us digging there for something, but we don't know what. He took all the able-bodied folk from our village and set us to digging there. We've been there for many days."

    He looks over to the city. "That's Khare. I think it's where Shakor hails from, but I've never been there myself. If everyone who lives there is like Shakor I don't ever want to visit.""
    Spoiler:

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:
    "So then, that be the city of Khare, and the mines be there--" he points to the forest, "and your village is in which direction?"

    Looking to the others, "I'm no friend of slavery--but I also don't want to end up fighting the local army. Killing misguided folks isn't any more right. Let's visit that city and see what we can figure out. What's your name child? We may be able to dress you a little more appropriately & take you with us. I'm not eager to leave you out here, where you may be recaptured--or worse."
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The boy looks miserable. "I don't want to go back to my village. The slavers will be looking for me there. Shakor sends his creatures out to find escaped slaves, but they don't bring them back to the mines. They just say that they found them and then they laugh."

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Melf nods in agreement with Dain's supposition; six men against an army never ends well for the six men, and the old gnome has 150 years of fighting on the side of nominally oppressive forces to back that up. Additionally, what would villagers pay with? Bones and beads?

    He opens his mouth to voice his agreement with the dwarf, until the boy's words reach the old gnome's brain. "Creatures, you say? What make of creatures would these be, boy?"

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    "The creatures? They're nasty bird-faced things that walk on two legs and talk like men, but in horrible cawing voices."
    Spoiler:

  • HayasaHayasa Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Spoiler:

  • BogartBogart Mr. Lady Anime Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    One of the advantages of being old, thinks Melf, is that if you hang around for long enough you hear about everything. These bird-like things that walk on two legs, for instance.

    Krebain, they're called. Or were, when they were still relatively commonplace. None have been seen in any land you've set foot in for at least a hundred years. Sly, cunning fighters, often involved in some sort of illegal skullduggery and only too willing to stab you in the back in there was a brass coin in it for them.

    Perhaps they migrated to these lands, as their smaller cousins are wont to do, when they left your own. What other explanation could there be, after all?

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