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[D&D 5E] The Crown of Charon - The Gauntlet of Bestial Monoliths

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  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    Naxtori

    "Good job us, we found them!" She gives the air a high five (an astute observer would note that it doesn't seem like she hit anything unseen, just a "normal" high five in the air with oneself). As she does, her form shifts back to a tiefling. It looks similar to the tiefling form of Naxtori that everyone saw at the feast, albeit a few inches shorter and with hair much longer, down to below the waist. "Looks like some of us made it, at least!"

    She looks around. "I uhhh... I don't really remember how many of us there were. And did they give you any directions?"

    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
    3DS Friend Code: 3110-5393-4113
    Steam profile
    Endless_Serpents
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Dang's ball bearing plummets into the moat. The water churns as if a turbine was turned on, going still after a minute or so of activity.

    The pyramid of salt looks ridiculous in the face of the cthonian inverted pyramid that rises infinitely behind it. The 16-foot high structure is capped with a lengthy metal spike, which appears to have a wire running off of it into the pyramid's interior. You see at the foot of the pyramid, there is a round hole cut into it, leading inside. Even your largest companion should be able to squeeze in, but you will all need to crawl.

    The pilgrims who are crowded around the pyramid are dressed in all sorts. Some are warriors, some scholars, others merely those too poor or unloved to be given final rites before being returned to the gods. Some do pay you heed, given you attire is such as when you died in the Ashen Cloister, but the vast, vast majority are busy attempting to beseech Charon for succor.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    "Six." Sy replies confidently. "There were six of us. Three are standing here, one flying up there," he points up at the broom riding Dwarf above. "That leaves two more to join us. We should try to stand out a little bit more from this crowd to make sure they join us. And then maybe our flying friend will come down as well."

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Big Fat Dang

    He hovers up well above the spike. The monk takes a swing from one of his waterskins and spits a fine spray of sake over the spike and its connecting wire, just to see how it reacts to liquid. He grips his broom tightly with the other hand, ready to bank hard and dive should need be.

    I’d like to know more about this wire. Comms? Power? Fishing? Who knows?

    Geth roll 1d20+1 for Investigation

    Investigation:
    1d20+1 14 [1d20=13]

  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Based on your knowledge, large metal spikes on buildings can do several things: Strike a wonderful figure on a tower, display the architect's latent penis envy concerns, serve as a focus for a powerful spell, or catch the dickens out of lightning in a storm. The spike does not react when sprayed with the alcohol, suggesting it is currently inert.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    kimeAustinP0027
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Big Fat Dang

    Big Fat Dang takes another swig.

    “Ehh?”, he says, “Could a spell carrier…”

    He was used to magic getting stored as much as cast in the moment. Inked ofuda talismans on the southern islands. Blessed paper lanterns. Pendulums on long, thin silver chains that lead back to a magi’s tattooed palm, enabling them to cast well out of traditional ranges…

    He flies down and settles above the crowd.

    “You there.”, he points to a pilgrim with his waterskin, “What is this salty abode for?”

    As yet, Dang (His Holiness, Abbot of the Five Divine Beasts, regional darts champion) hasn’t made much move to introduce himself to the crew. He wrongly assumes you’re all on the same page. Besides, you followed him over here, right?

    Matev
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    By my reckoning, we have Dang directly by the salty stack, with Azara somewhere nearby watching. Brygos, Sy, and Nax have found one another and can certainly amble over there. Thane is currently having a hard time waking up and has yet to make himself known.


    Seeing Dang's aerobatics over the smaller pyramid, Brygos checks the bindings on his possessions and approaches.

    "I see you too have had your interest piqued, Venerable One," he says, his habitual subservience to old holy men coming out. "It looks out of place next to the majesty of Charon's home."


    And if this is the home of the entity that is basically the doorman of the underworld, what must the actual homes of the gods be like?


    Brygos tries to remember: Is Charon someone you would pray to, or does he generally keep his head down and do his job here?

    Geth roll 1d20+4 for Religion

    Religion:
    1d20+4 12 [1d20=8]

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
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    kime
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    The pilgrim takes a few minutes to notice Big Fat Dang, but when they do, they regard him, then look towards the pyramid of salt.

    "It serves the Boatman's designs to have it here. Otherwise, I know not. The people you find here will tell you of the wonders you may find in Charon's halls. Do not tempted, for to trespass in his domain is to gamble with your very essence! No..... better to stay out here, and wait until he takes pity on us poor souls. I hear his fleet sails the moat once every century, taking those lost who can fit to another part of the underworld that they may search for eternal rest, or find their loved ones who have passed on. Who do you search for, o flying one?"

    ***

    Brygos wracked his mind, trying to remember the teachings of the temple. Revered by not just those who ply the rivers and lakes of the World as their chief, it is sometimes hard to think of humble Charon as a god in his own right, but god he is, and thus as likely to attract faithful of many lands in this world beyond, particularly among those who feel called to help people find their way from one place to another.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy leaves Brygos and Nax and approaches the salt pyramid. He stares at the hole for a moment, taps his gloved fingers on his cheek for a moment, then shrugs, bends down, and peeks inside. "All this standing around is boooring." He says to himself, half his body inside the hole of the salt pyramid.

    Taking a peek inside.

    Geth, roll 1d20+12 for Perception

    Perception:
    1d20+12 21 [1d20=9]

    Endless_Serpents
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    The interior of the pyramid is dry, the floor is covered with dirty salt. The wire pokes through the wall and wraps around a grouping of chains, from which hangs a small iron basin.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    His interest peaked, Sy approaches the basin, careful to avoid touching any metal wire. He had seen Dang inspecting the spike before but hadn't gotten any report of what it was so best to avoid touching whatever these wires might be connecting to.

  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    You peek inside the basin. Perched therein is a single solitary coin.

    fb9lueiqrd0e.png

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    kime
  • fadingathedgesfadingathedges Registered User regular
    Thane Arghenchor shakes off the initial lethargy clinging to him after rising and joins the others, listening in as the monk questions members of the throng.

    Thane has traveled across the planes - the Feywild, the Shadowfell, the Astral Sea - and lived to tell the tale. This jaunt was different, but he had begun the same way: with weeks of preparation. He had read everything he could find about the mysterious boatman and his realm. There had not been much - scraps of accounts of those resserected from Charon's care, references in old stories and in scriptures speaking of what lies Beyond. Thane had sifted these scattered accounts for clues of what might lie before the group, He recalls back to his research as he approaches the gathering of his fellow bequested. "So. What's in the moat?"


    Can I recall anything about gaining entry to the pyramid, and/or if this salt structure plays a part in that or serves another notable function?

    Geth roll 1d20+6 for History

    If Stonecunning applies to salt structures, another +6 is aplied.

    History:
    1d20+6 24 [1d20=18]

    kimeBursarEndless_Serpents
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    edited April 22
    Sy

    Sy knows he should turn and leave. A Single coin isn't the massive treasure that they came for. But even then, he could be the first one to steal from Charon. The rest couldn't claim that, no matter what they took from this point on.

    And so, in his internal battle of ego vs logic, much as it always did, ego prevailed. Tongue tip pressed against his upper lip, Sy reaches in and grabs the coin.

    AustinP0027 on
    kimefadingathedgesEndless_Serpents
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    edited April 22
    All prior knowledge of the pyramid and it's innards are gained/verified via prior delves and the rumors you have received

    As far as Thane can see, the great gate with the demon's skull appears to be a method of ingress to the pyramid. There is another bridge over the moat that leads around to the far shore so you may further explore the perimeter. The salt pyramid appears as an affectation, a whimsy to suit Charon's fancy.

    ***

    Sy snatches up the coin, it is weighty like the earth and cold as if plucked from a dead man's mouth. You notice other scattered piles of coppers and bits of colored glass around the interior of the salt pyramid as well.

    You have obtained 1 Obolus Coin, a key item!

    Matev on
    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    kime
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    I'll be honest, I was worried that Sy just got us all involved in an early fight haha. Much relieved!

    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
    3DS Friend Code: 3110-5393-4113
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    Matev
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Hah, you've all barely wetted the tips of your toes!

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    Endless_Serpents
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Brygos nonchalantly leans against the salt pyramid, waiting for Sy to either scream or come out on his own.

    And if he idly taps his maul against the palm of his hand, that's just your basic guardsman's idle pose when there's a wall to lean up on and nothing else to do. And if that maul accidentally taps against the rock next to him, that's normal. And if a small chip of salt should break off from the impact, it's only to be expected. And if that chip should somehow end up in Brygos's mouth, no one could blame him.

    Before long there is a noticeable fresh divot in the wall and a white ring around Brygos's chapped lips. It's not clear if he's even aware he's doing it.
    salt-lick-on-water-barrel-260nw-1357069274.jpg

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
    Endless_SerpentskimeMatev
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    The salt, unfortunately, tastes not of salt as it passes Brygos' lips, but instead like the crisp light of spring morning. Even the texture fails description excepting that it is seemingly absent immediately after it is swallowed. Mayhaps the veil between Cosmos and Chaos is thinner in this Otherworld.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    “Thank you for words, pilgrim.”, the monk says, bowing his head.

    “I am but a humble monk. I do not search a who, but a what. What is my what? Ah, that is a good question. My what is nothing. I have yet to find it. All I find is treasure and glories. Perhaps I am not as bright as I appear...”

    He draws out the silence that follows, looking wistfully into the middle distance, then winks at the ragged pilgrims.

    “Ehhh.”, he’s spotted Brygos, “Don’t eat so much from another world! That’s how you get trapped! What we eat becomes us over time, if your body ends up of this place, there is no return for you.”

    Big Fat Dang goes on to explain a number of semi-accurate food facts, replacing ‘germs’ with ‘tiny demons’ and ‘vitamins’ with various forms of ‘life energies’. By the end of it he is only 5 feet above him, stood one legged on his broom as he crosses the other over to use as a table for a little book he’s flicking through.

  • The BraysterThe Brayster UKRegistered User regular
    When Azara finally managed to catch up to the group, her eyes darted straight to the coin in the palm of Sy's hand.

    She let out a brief yet audible sigh before continuing.

    "So, my friend. What curse have you already brought upon us?"

    As she asks the question, her eyes dart back and forth between the coin and the structures in the distance.

    Steam: TheBrayster
    PSN: TheBrayster_92
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy pulls the coin in close and examines it. He can tell it's something unique, but he mostly is focused on the rush of taking something that seems important. Bending down, he crawls back out of the pyramid. Standing back up, a smile crosses his lips as he looks at the rest of the group. He flips the coin in the air, catching it deftly. His eyes connect with Azara, who hadn't been there when he had entered the pyramid.

    "Curse? My dear friend, you worry too much. Remember why we're here. I was just getting things started a little early is all." Sy smiles broadly, shrugging lightly. "Besides, nothing else in the pyramid other than wires, so now we know."

    "Now, what's next? I think I saw some sort of building over there. Might be worth exploring. Or, are you all itching to find a way inside right now?"

    I'll be honest, I kind of expected to have to roll up a new rogue from reaching in the thing. The wires just screamed "Gonna get zapped by lighting"

  • fadingathedgesfadingathedges Registered User regular
    "We could approach the front gate," Thane proposes, "Or circle around there, and seek another entry." The old Dwarf considers the massive structure.

    "The gate, I think. This is no simple fortress with a secret egress for princelings to slip out for dalliances, no sewer to slog through. It is the purpose-made vault of a grim God. If we cannot penetrate the gate, we have no business here." He looks to the others. "What do you think?"

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Big Fat Dang

    Same. Instead it’s probably a scale and somewhere inside the lack of coin will have shut something. That’s what I’d do.

    Dang smiles warmly, “Fortune has blessed you. It is your choice to make. May your karma be just as kind to you.”

    Sy has acquired one monk. Fools are very close to enlightenment, after all.


    @AustinP0027 go and I’ll follow, we’re on the clock baby!

  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy
    Sy gives Dang a half smile, even as Thane responds. "The gate feels like a trap, though I may be over thinking it."

    Sy's eyes look back at the crumbling enclosure that he had noticed earlier before following over to the Salt Pyramid. "Don't like leaving stones unturned though...." he says almost to himself. He flicks the coin around in his hand absentmindedly, then with a small flourish, slides it into his bag. "Yes. Not ready to go in just quite yet. I'm going to go look into this other structure, anyone care to join?"

    Even as he says it, Sy starts walking over towards the entrance of the crumbling building.



    Someone is going to have to stop me from just exploring every single thing mentioned if we want to keep moving. I'm very bad about not wanting to skip anything at all (usually accompanied by bad decisions).

    kimeMatevJPants
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Every party needs an instigator.

    As a reminder, other than the gate and perimeter bridge, there is also the large enclosed Shrine you can investigate, should you believe it worth the while.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • The BraysterThe Brayster UKRegistered User regular
    Azara

    "I concur" Azara mutters, giving Sy a sidewards glance.

    "The gate likely is a trap, or at least has some form of mechanism in place to stop anybody from simply strolling in"

    Azara could be seen to be squinting in the direction of the gate, clearly demonstrating a mixture of uncertainty and concern.

    "However, we do not have the luxury of time, so we must certainly not-"

    She notices Sy attempting to stroll off in a different direction and attempts to place a hand on his shoulder to gain his attention.

    "We must certainly not spend any more time out here than we absolutely must. I hardly imagine the greatest treasures are being kept on the Outside".

    Steam: TheBrayster
    PSN: TheBrayster_92
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy pauses as Azara's hand touches his shoulder. She has a point, heading towards the Shrine (Using Matev's description instead of the crumbling building I was using before) could be a giant waste of time. They had a limited amount, so it was foolish to be wasting it here right at the beginning. But, at the same time, everyone else had been standing around when he went into the Salt Pyramid, and because of that, he found himself a fancy new coin and they didn't. His eyes are still on the shrine as he shrugs his shoulder away from Azara, calling out, "We'll never know unless we look."

    Picking up the pace, he heads to the entrance.

    Ok, I really want to speak the logic here of something inside might open up the gate (I'm having a hard time thinking it's just open and waiting for us). But....that's also not Sy's personality, so his impulsiveness is going to have him follow what he thinks makes sense, especially here at the beginning when they haven't all worked together that long.

    Mostly, I just feel personally guilty ignoring Azara's suggestion, but Sy doesn't. If that makes sense.


  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    Naxtori

    "Aren't we on a quest? Stop getting sidetracked!" she yells at the retreating back of Sy. "Ugggggh."

    Naxtori grabs Thane's hand and tries to pull him to the gate. "Let's at least get a good look at this while some people" (she rolls her eyes) "are wasting time."

    She'll also cast a quick Detect Magic on the way. Presumably her companions are glowing all sorts, but she's more interested in the salt pyramid, the surrounding other people, and anything near the bridge/gate.

    Battle.net ID: kime#1822
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  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Brygos guiltily wipes his mouth at Big Fat Dang's admonishment. The taste is already slipping from his mind, but it has a pleasantness that he definitely didn't expect considering the rest of the surroundings.

    He turns to Thane and bows in agreement. "The main gate can give us an idea of how Charon plans his defenses. It may be locked by a mechanism, or guarded. Or perhaps the mere threat of earning Charon's ire for eternity keeps people away."

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Big Fat— look I just like writing it

    Dang trails Sy, after all, he has a flying speed of 50 feet per 6 seconds, so he can catch up with the rest in a moment.

    At the Shrine, Dang circles it, looking for unorthodox entry points and any potential threats.

    Geth roll 1d20+3 for Perception

    Perception:
    1d20+3 10 [1d20=7]

    kime
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular


    The Maw of Erebus

    068k838t2sz1.jpg

    As you close to the gate, you see the bridge is made of wands and cracked gems that emit faint wailing noises, plastered over with cooled molten residuum. The bridge arcs over the sludgy moat towards a great Iron Balor Skull the size of an inn, held to the side of the pyramid by rivets the size of battering rams, it's jaws widely gaping with a dark maw seeming to swallow any light that comes too close.

    The sides of the bridge have no railings, but the edges are marked with bold black and yellow stripes. At intervals along the bridge, statues of whip-scarred humans crouch bearing miniature black suns and violet moons on their shoulders, with many small glass baubles orbiting each sphere lazily.


    ***

    Dang find no threats on the Shrine's perimeter. A staircase leads up into the building, no door barring the path.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    kimeEndless_Serpents
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy should have noticed that the rest of the group other than he and Dang were moving, but he had his sites set on the Shrine, so his focus was as well. He saw Dang flying around it above, so he paused at the bottom of the stairs for a moment. But, impatient after getting a bit of a lecture about wasting time, he heads up the steps and walks inside the Shrine entrance.

    A+ response Kime. Absolutely love it!

    kime
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    hmm, and no magic detected from the bridge?

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Big Fat Dang

    The monk lands and slings his broom. He heads inside the shrine.

  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    edited April 22



    Pauper's Shrine

    rl94pkghy3bm.png


    The shrine's dripping domed ceiling is held up by over 2 dozen pillars, the air humid and reeking of a slaughterhouse. Dead, decaying bodies are propped up against the pillars, hands outstretched or supporting bowls. The center of the room is dominated by a water wheel, convoluted with gears and pulleys and half submerged in a pool of murky liquid you hope isn't water.

    On the sides of the shrine are 2 threadbare tapestries that dangle over rectangular pools of the same murky substance. One depicts a crowned skull leering over crossed oars, while the other is of a serpent coiled around a downward pointing trident. On the far side of the room is a large granite monolith with a double iron door setting into it. Something appears to be etched on the surface.

    All is silent except a loud ticking noise.


    ***
    kime wrote: »
    hmm, and no magic detected from the bridge?

    Oh heavens, a lot of magic. Turns out building a bridge from depleted magic wands, cracked soul gems, and using arcane dust to cement it all together is very magical, but not in a way that really does anything. And of course enchantments to make the trinkets float.

    Matev on
    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    kime
  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy's face scrunches up with disgust at the smell that he steps into. This might not have been a good idea after all.

    Still, there are quite a few different things happening in this room, all of which drew his attention. The dead bodies held bowls, there was some sort of contraption in the middle, and on the far side, a door. The door was obviously the end state of investigation, this place didn't seem connect to the larger fortress, so there might be something valuable behind it.

    Sy started across the room, but paused as he reached the bodies. His thoughts were on the coin that he had found inside the Salt Pyramid, still an unknown, but something of interest that might be laying around here as well. Perhaps two of them together allowed entrance through the gate, like the stories they told of paying Charon's fare? He turned towards the bodies, looking them over, attempting to peer without touching and determine if coin might be hiding, either in the bowls or maybe around the bodies themselves.

    Going to do an investigation roll here, I guess. Similar to the basin, looking around but not touching anything yet.

    Geth, roll 1d20+6 for Investigation

    Investigation:
    1d20+6 23 [1d20=17]

    Endless_Serpents
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    You look around. Coins are not in supply here, instead other worn knick-knacks and tchotchkes festoon the corpses and litter the floor.
    What kinds of trinkets do you find? Anyone can add in their input for this

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    B.F.D

    Masonry he could do. Land vehicles? Check. Calligraphy, naturally. He really ought to have learned lock picking at some point.

    Dang stares at the door intently. Surely it must be so old as to have acquired a soul by now.

    “O Tsukumogami door, your purpose is true and you do it most finely. But your other task is to open. Would you please?”

    Costs nothing to ask.

  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    Sy

    Sy is disappointed, but not overly so. The bodies don't have one of the odd looking coins he found, only other small trinkets. A handmade doll, created out of string and leather. A necklace with a single string that looks like fishing line strung through a cheap looking locket. Things that meant something to someone, but to Sy they were worthless. Still, the locket keeps his attention even if only for a moment, he wasn't heartless, and it was likely someone's dead family that was so carelessly laid out here. He fished out a gold coin he had on him, and dropped it into the bowl that this body was holding. Probably wouldn't be something they could use, they seemed far past some ability to come alive again even in this place, but it also helped him to feel like he might have evened his Karma out from the coin he found earlier. Give a coin, leave a coin. They'd need what luck they might find, could be that Karma tips the scale.

    His search exhausted, and feeling slightly less confident in his "find two coins" theory, he joins Dang at the Iron door.

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