FOURTHCORE TEAM DEATHMATCH

March 7, 2008

Machinery

PLAY-BY-POST THE LOST CROWN OF TESH-NAGA (Part 7)

The owl returns from its flight, relaying the following information on the east path:
  • The next room is very large, inlaid with a ceramic tile plating on the floor, ceiling, and walls. Stout column rise up to a dizzyingly high ceiling (about 30 ft. tall). Clouds of black smoke accumulate and drift at the highest parts of the ceiling.
  • Through the thick smoke, Bert can see an elaborate pulley system of shining platinum chains. Attached to the rat's nest of chains is a huge, sharp, steel claw with three prongs, each prong the height of a man.
  • Every so often, the claw descends down, moving with no obvious source of power or direction, to grab a few scraps of rusted iron lying in the north wets corner (OOC: north is up). There is just a smattering of iron bits, not even enough to fill the inside of a helmet. The iron bits then get dropped onto ...
  • An elaborate maze of moving conveyors dominates the room. Steel gears turn flat, flexible silvery bands in endless loops. The iron bits are propelled through to the end. Along the way, several small, black cauldrons of boiling magma drip onto the raw material, increasing size and distorting its shape with every blast.
  • The iron bits, after being doused with fiery hot liquid metal, are send to a final, gigantic cauldron at the end of the conveyor run. There, a man-shaped machine (at square O-29) directs floating hammers, anvils, and sparks of lightning to mold and shape raw material into expertly crafted tools and weapons. Once finished, the tools are dropped to the side in an enormous pile. There are three such piles of master worked implements (OOC: implements as a general term, not as the mechanic for spellcasters).
  • Standing in the room with a dominating presence is an enormous iron construct towering 15 ft. tall. On one massive hand a hammer, on the other a giant blade. It's body is crafted from multiple smooth interlocking steel plates, edged in gold. The construction is flawless, seamless, and not a single rivet to be found. It's thick head surveys the room, sweeping its gaze back and forth. The bulk of the whole machine heaves as it stands watch, steam billowing out from the gaps between its metal plates like warm breath in cold winter's air.

The owl returns from its flight next, relaying the following information on the west path:
  • The chamber is tiered, with two lower plateau at 10 ft. below where you are standing and 10 ft. below that. The ceiling remains flat, creating a space that yawns opens as you look north.
  • Rubble and rocky debris lies scattered throughout this area.
  • A mass grave has been haphazardly made here. Dozens of rotting bodies lie strewn about on the floor. You can clearly see sharp rubble and rocks scattered about them. All of the bodies have portions which have been crushed and pulverized. The bodies are all badly decomposed, making any kind of identification impossible on just a cursory glance, However, the body at square D-8 is clearly a much larger creature than the others.
  • Near the bodies (at square K-7, not shown on map) is a wooden table. The table's four legs are cracked and pulling at the slapshot nails bolted into them. On top of the table is a book; closed, bound in a snakeskin blue leather, and with a clay inkpot and quill next to it.
  • A scaffolded contraption has been built in the far west passage. It consists of rusted steel supports, a wooden platform, a level, gears, pulleys, ropes and chains.

Please ignore the image watermarks!

37 comments:

  1. As his owl settles back on his arm and his eyes return to their normal clarity, Duurkala shakes his head as if waving out the fog and smiles a toothy grin at his allies. "Aye lads, there's work to be done. It appears we've found a workshop."

    He then goes on to describe the industrial complex and the machinations beyond, grossly exaggerating the size of the automaton and the splendor of the manufactured weaponry, his owl dutifully punctuating his story with hoots, and with a flourish as he finishes his tale he pauses and says, "So shall we test our mettle this way lads, or shall we press on? I can scout the next direction if you like, though the wards protecting the spirits of the dwarven dead worry me. If those wards are disrupted that may mean we face those without the pale of life. What say you lads?"

    'Bert hops up and down at his perch at Duurkala's side as if eager to serve. The old bard waves his free hand at the bird and sits him on his shoulder.

    "Wait, friend, wait."

    OOC: I'm fine heading out to see what the complex has to offer, but also fine exploring more to the left. I'm inclined to first gather as much intel as possible before committing to a course of action.

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  2. OOC: As we don't know the purpose of that room or whether the construct will react to us as we cross the chasm, I am all for exploring more to the west.
    Ross, I assume the corners around the "bridge" are hard, and we can't try to edge ourselves around it?

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    Replies
    1. Correct, the "bridge" area is a big ass hole in the ground with shear walls.

      Delete
  3. "Sounds good to me, hit is 'Bert!" With a wave of his arm, the owl takes off in the opposite direction and again with glazed eyes, the Dhaakani sees through the eyes of his winged beast companion this time to the west.

    OOC: I'll move up to just behind Drum-Haak and launch my bird around the corner, looking through his eyes.

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    Replies
    1. Another long description, map, images, etc. updated in this main post.

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  4. "Best we travel through area that isn't hole in ground! Not afraid of dead bodies, are we? Hm?" Mavarothix says with a slight tone of amusement in his voice.

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  5. [Ghaaldar]
    Ghaaldar ignores Marathovix.

    Proceeding carefully towards the scaffold contraption, he tries to see if he can make it go to lower him down (and whoever wants to go with him) to this lower level. There is a morbid curiosity about him, and he wants a closer look.

    "If the dwarves were good for what they are known for, this contraption should be functioning," he says aloud, to nobody in particular.

    Tech: Thievery/Dungeoneering +1 to make the elevator go.

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    1. OOC: ON top of it like always!

      Ghaaldar cautiously steps onto the wooden platform and pulls at the various chains. Something gives, and the mechanism begins a slow descent. After a few second (two full rounds), the machinery hits the bottom level, 20 ft. below where it previously stood. Ghaaldar can now see that the end of this long passage banks to his right.

      [TECH]
      (19)+1 Thievery Check

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    2. Duurkala moves to edge and begins waving his arms frantically, beckoning Ghaaldar to come back up! He says nothing for while he does not fear the dead (which he is near certain will spring to horrific unlife as soon as they come near), he would like for them to stick together. He points at himself and back at Ghaaldar and gives an entirely unsuggestive wink. He turns back to the rest and spits a quick phrase out in dwarven.

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  6. [Ghaaldar]
    Ghaaldar brings the elevator back to the top. "All aboard."

    Love in an elevator
    Livin' it up when I'm going down....

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  7. Duurkala settles in and puts a hand on Ghaaldar's shoulder. He turns back, raising an eyebrow at the rest. "Well, brethren? Shall we." A mad grin crosses the the elder Dhaakani's face and his owl pipes in with a single mournful hoot and Duurkala whirls the the bird on his shoulder and gives a confused grin at the owl. "Well of course you can come too!" As he his gaze back on his allies, you can see the gleam of battle lust cross his eyes. "That would be silly to leave him behind, eh?"

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  8. [Drum-Haak]

    Raising his eyebrow, Drum-haak gives Duurkala a side-long glance. He cautiously boards the contraption and mutters something in dwarven.

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  9. [Ghaaldar]
    Ghaaldar suggests, "Perhaps a few at a time on this contraption. It was made for puny dwarves, not overgrown ogres."

    Ghaaldar operates the machinery if he can, doing a few trips to get whomever want it down to the bottom of this unusual cavern. Once there, he begins searching. Visual only. He doesn't want to touch the bodies, but works his way to the larger corpse.

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  10. [Ghaaldar]
    Seeing that there's a wall at the bottom of the elevator ride, Ghaaldar searches it for secret doors.

    OOC: Oops, I thought it was open, but was corrected by the DM.

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  11. OOC: Oh, I see the source of the confusion now, my bad. The line between Columns 3 and 4 is solid. I'll see if I can revise the map to be more clear.

    Everyone in the group van safely get down to the passageway where Ghaaldar is leading the way, although Grimlock would spend a few tense moments wedged into that little gap. I'll assume everyone does just that, and I'll leave it to you guys to correct me if you want different.

    Ghaaldar feels around on the solid stone wall, but does not find any hidden compartments or ancient Dwarven devices. He does, however, hear the sound of someone breathing into his ear.

    Heavy. Panting. Half an inch away.

    In a cold sweat, he spins around searching for the source ... but finds no one. The breathing stops.

    [TECH]
    (5)+1 Perception or Dungeoneering check

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  12. Mavarothix sees Ghaaldar examining the wall and quietly sighs.

    "Pay attention..." he says softly as he looks around. "Keep eyes open."

    [TECH]
    Use Careful Advice (Encounter power) to give Ghaaldar a re-roll on either his Perception check.
    In any event, I'll make my own Perception/Dungeoneering check at +6. I would do this first, but I don't know if you'll allow using Careful Advice after my own check (I can't use it on myself).

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, it's "Crucial Advice", not "Careful Advice"...
      Trigger: An ally within 5 squares makes a skill check using a skill I am trained in.
      Effect: Grant the ally the ability to re-roll the check. I have no Wisdom bonus (+0), so it's just a straight reroll.

      Delete
    2. Ghaaldar 'n Mavarothix
      work together as brothers
      efforts come to naught.

      [TECH]
      (2)+1 Perception/Dungeoneering Check
      (12)+6 Perception/Dungeoneering Check

      Delete
  13. [Ghaaldar]
    Ghaaldar, hearing the strange panting... calls out (moderate volume), "Who goes there?"

    He repeats the same in Draconic.

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  14. [Drum-Haak]

    Drum-Haak scans the hallway intently for magic. Arcana +12.

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    Replies
    1. Drum-Haak detects no magic in the hallway, although the table and book in the larger cavern (what with all those bodies) has a psionic augmentation placed upon it.

      [TECH]
      Trained; Auto-success

      Delete
  15. [Ghaaldar]
    Hearing no response, Ghaaldar heads back up to the top, either climbing the frame of the elevator or using the elevator if the others don't mind.

    At the top, he commands, "Who is good at scouting? Lead the way, check out where this hallway takes us."

    If nobody steps up, Ghaaldar will start down the hallway carefully (going toward A1), looking for traps and secrets along the way.

    Tech: Perception +1

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    1. Seeing no one else step up, Ghaaldar takes command, raises his shield, and leads the way.

      Carefully stepping down the dark corridor, his ears twitch at the sounds of dripping water against the stone floor. But that is the only sound he hears in the still cavern air. The passageway yawns before him, hundred of feet long.

      Map updated.

      [TECH]
      Passive Perception 11

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  16. Grimlock follows apprehensively.

    OOC: Sorry, I missed the 'subscribe by email' button. I'm paying attention now. :^)

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  17. Duurkala follows as well and stands close to the mighty ogre if he can.

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  18. [Drum-Haak]

    Drum-Haak moves up behind Ghaaldar and once again scans the hallway in front of them for magic. Arcana +12.

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    1. Drum-Haak detects latent psionic power and necromantic spells in the long long hallway in front of him, residue from previously cast magic.

      Delete
    2. Kulimvorith follows the rest of the group while treading carefully, wouldn't want anything to pop out around us as we advance..

      OOC: Just wanted to chime in, as we've slowed bit here. Are you all thinking to abandon the book? I am ready to reign fire down on those dead bodies if they spring to life while we investigate...

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    3. OOC: I'd love to grab the book, but I don't think we have the means of grabbing it from a distance. My owl can't really manipulate stuff (he's just a familiar), but I'm game to try it out. I think it's probably important.

      Delete
    4. OOC: Drum-Haak can cast mage hand to try and retreive the book, although it has a range of 5. I'd rather risk undead horror than leave a potential clue/treasure behind.

      Delete
  19. OOC: I have something which can manipulate up to 20 pounds and carry it 10 sq. But do the warriors want in on this? All my attacks are ranged, I can stay up here and bombard the area as need be if the bodies rise...

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    Replies
    1. "Duurkala stands with you mage dragon man....thing." Duurkala then maneuvers next to the dragonborn and readies himself for the inevitable.

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  20. "You go ahead!" Mavarothix readies his bow. "Stand far and shoot things I will!"

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  21. Kulimvorith removes a small black vial from his pouch, opens the stopper, beginning to pour out the viscous shadowstuff while speaking the command word softly: "Rosebud". The shadowstuff floats forward, forming a barely visible figure in the distance. He then commands the figure to approach and lift the book all else fear.

    OOC: So the last map made it appear like we could see down into the mass grave from the lower side, thats where I would like to be, angled to see the book on its table.
    Summoning Salzacas is a minor action (in K8), so is commanding it to pick up the book. Weight limit is 20 pounds.

    Anything happen after that? Leaves me with a Standard action in case of emergency.

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  22. Black Lotus stands ready to attack should something come after the party.

    (OOC: Sorry. I've been traveling/in a completely horrible mental place where I haven't been able to think straight lately. I'm still here, I just haven't had anything useful to contribute. ._.; )

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  23. Okie dokie! Sounds like everyone is on board and in position. Kulimvorith unveils an item near and dear to my heart, something that has played a very prominent role in my long-running home campaign: The Prison of Salzacas. We always imagined it as a tiny metal box, wherein lived an even tinier man wearing a tricorner hat. Naturally he was deaf-mute, but he found creative ways of expressing his displeasure at the foul locations the group would send him. Oh, Salzacas!

    But I digress...

    Kulimvorith's black slime crawls across the floor and gently lifts up the book, carting it back to the farthest corner of the cave wherein the mystic Drake waits. The book floats upon a sickly black blanket of thick oil.

    The rest of the adventuring party takes up defensive positions, arranged as best I can per you guys' descriptions. Lurking previously just out of view, a horrible monster appears! Humanoid in shape, this thing can hardly be described as a creature, more like a thing. Where it's hands should be there is naught but three bony prongs, where its face should be there is naught but a lamprey-like sucker.

    The voice, that voice that Ghaaldar remembers from a few moments ago, it is back. Harried and struggling breathing pounds in the ears of BLACK LOTUS! Delusional, hallucinating, his mind not his own, Black Lotus stabs furtively into thin air, attacking unseen enemies as a panic sweat breaks across his brow. He panics and accidentally swings at Drum-Haak with the blade of his rapier, the clang of steel on cavern wall shocking the Hobgoblin magic-user into readiness. In a moment of lucidity, Black Lotus sees the blood on his hands, feels the horrors assaulting his mind, and flees.

    And lastly, the hideous creature garbles a horrible sound from its maw, awakening The Dwarven Dead from their eternal stone-slumber.

    SURPRISE!
    Combat begins here: http://dmg42.blogspot.com/2008/03/dwarven-dead.html

    [TECH]

    HIDEOUS MONSTROSITY MIND-RAPE: (13)+9 =2 [combat advantage] vs. Will 16; HIT!!!
    for (2)+(3)+10= 15 psychic damage, basic attack of my choice, slide 5 squares, and dazed (save ends; fear)!

    SNEAK ATTACK: (1) LUCKED OUT!

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