FOURTHCORE TEAM DEATHMATCH

October 23, 2012

SND-02: DOME OF INTERROGATION

The following is intended for the play-by-post delve of SND-02: Fane of the Heresiarch.

A few candles scattered across the floor are the only illumination in this room. The space itself is a large circular room topped with a low-hanging dome. The dungeoneers are appear instantly here, in the center of the chamber.

An enormous stone face 8 ft. in diameter is set into one curved stone wall. It has been hewn into the likeness of three conjoined tiefling skulls, its disfigured, fanged mouth wide open. There is only blank stone wall in the gap between its crooked teeth.

Twelve smaller faces, each appearing as an emaciated crowned man, ring the dome at regular intervals. They are fixed into the wall at shoulder height, their mouths opened far too wide, like that of a serpent. These stone faces are 3 ft. in diameter.

Seen through the glass eyes of the twelve stone faces are tiny porcelain dioramas, each depicting a different scene:

  1. A family painting eggs in a newly-bloomed field of tulips.
  2. Youth with trident tattoos on their foreheads swimming in a pond beneath a bright midday sun.
  3. Several women picking apples in an orchard of trees whose leaves have turned.
  4. A congregation bowing in prayer inside a church with grotesque stained-glass windows. Thick frost clings to the glass, and a fireplace roars near the lectern.
  5. A tribe of primal elves stalking bison through a windswept prairie.
  6. Men in thick leather coveralls harvesting corn and other crops beneath a twilit sky.
  7. A single widow mourning at a grave covered in snow.
  8. Ten maidens with black flowers in their hair dancing around a maypole. A cluster of adolescent boys are standing nearby, waiting to be asked to dance.
  9. A man shrouded in robes struggling to climb a snow drift toward a home with a single lit candle in each window.
  10. A feasting crowd watching a joust. Several are fanning themselves in the heat. In the distance, a troupe of halflings is fleeing from a fireworks display gone awry.
  11. Knights walking through a city square dripping with ice melted by the morning sun. Tiny green sprouts poke through the cobblestone street.
  12. Hooded figures walk through a pumpkin patch, scythes and baskets in their hands.
Kaddim places his head inside the mouth of one of the stone kings and is asked, "What was nailed to the archway atop the watchtower?" He responds with a muffled cry. The jaws of the stone king's face crunch shut, decapitating Kaddim in a fountain of blood. Forevermore, Kaddim's spirit will haunt this chamber, whispering from beyond.

The Guardian's questions are answered and the Dome of Interrogation is defeated. A swirling crimson portal appears in the place of Cerebus. The final confrontation with the Heresiarch is at hand!

Tordek burns the Veil of Scrying, gaining portents about what lies ahead.


  • The ceiling of this vast chapel has fallen away, revealing a city-sized glass dome above. Monstrous iron bands reinforce the dome, each straining to hold back an endless ocean of churning black water.
  • A pair of ruddy moons float in the water, moving in and out of view and casting long shadows that drip into the recesses of the grotesque idols that stand along the walls.
  • A brimstone tier rises in the center of the chapel (Squares I9-J12; blocking terrain), atop which stands a vertical mass grave enclosed by a wall of force. It looms nearly three stories above the bloodstained floor.
  • An altar in the south wall is barred by a portcullis constructed from petrified vipers.



61 comments:

  1. Ready for battle and expecting to greet the terrible form of the heresiarch on e thru the portal, Kaddim is stunned momentarily to see this triskull in front of them. He quickly scans for magic, needing to know more of the object and its purpose here.

    OOC: arcana/religion +13, perception +4 after I take a step forward, seeing if the skulls activate in response to our presence.

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  2. OOC: I'm tingling with anticipation. This is so monumental. You guys did a great job, I hope you take it all the way!

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  3. Assuming nothing threatening happens upon arriving in the strange, ominous place, Nettle will draw out the spyglass and examine as much of the room as he can see.

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  4. Nelson smirks and says,

    "Once more into the fray.
    Into the last good fight I'll ever know.
    Live and die on this day, live and die on this day."

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  5. [NETTLE]
    There are no hidden, invisible, or illusory objects in the room.


    [KADDIM]
    Kaddim & Cackle approach, tenatively, eyes open and darting about looking for any clues to save them before danger strikes yet again. The conjoined skulls' jaws crack and grate, working open and closed. Its' eyes hiss to life with odorous black flame. A voice speaks from within:

    "GREETINGS, MORTALS. ARE YOU READY TO DIE?

    I am called Cerebus, Guardian of the Sanctum. Answer my questions correctly, and you may yet live.

    Then again, may be not. Hahaha!

    PROSTRATE THYSELF!"

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  6. Oros enters the room adrenaline pumping and ready for battle.

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  7. "Guardian, we are not yet ready to die. Our reckoning lies beyond your sanctum, with the Heresiarch himself. Ask us your questions, and we will answer! Kaddim bows quickly after declaring the groups intentions.


    OOC: I'm going to assume there's no point in chatting up Cerebus...

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    1. Cerebus makes no response. When Kaddim bows low, his line of sight maturally dips a little and he sees directly down the gullet of one of the twelves gaping wide mouths. Inside, he sees a long chute, about 1ft. in diameter, descending far down into the nether.

      Delete
  8. With a scowl on his face, Brand drops to his knees before the massive demonic statue face. Laying his sword next to him within arms reach and bowing down, he answers:

    "We would not have come this far if we were afraid of death. Each trial in these halls has tested our level of commitment. We've each made our own preparations, knowing well our end may be near. My comrades can answer for themselves, but I am prepared to meet whatever awaits me on this path."

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    Replies
    1. The three-faced edifice remains motionless and silent.

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  9. Lord Xann steps into the room, head held high, ready to meet whatever horrors may await him.

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    Replies
    1. Seeing his companions kneeling in deference, Xann annoyedly joins them.

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  10. Nettle kneels in deference to the great Cerebus, then draws out the orb marked with the rune of winter and dropping it into the open mouth noticed by Kaddim.

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    1. [NETTLE]
      The orb rolls down the chute, clanging and banging against the stone sides for several moments before its echoes are lost to the extreme distance. While there, thou see a glint of something in the eyes of the smaller face. Thou peers in to see a small diorama hidden behind eyes of glass. It depicts a family painting eggs in a newly-bloomed field of tulips.

      Delete
  11. Curious, Nettle will follow Kaddim's lead and scan the room for magical auras. If he finds nothing, he will move counterclockwise along the wall to the next mouth and look into its eyes.

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    Replies
    1. [NETTLE]
      There are no magical auras here. Seen through the glass eyes of the twelve stone faces are tiny porcelain dioramas, each depicting a different scene (see descriptions above).

      Delete
  12. Nelson approaches (number 8) the mouth with the diorama of the girl around the maypole, and the boys waiting for a dance. He remembers a rumor about a maypole, and this room. He looks for any mechanisms (+8 Perception, +12 Thievery) in the mouth, a tongue to pull to open? If nothing is apparent, he will take out the diorama.

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    1. [NELSON]
      After inspecting the stone face carefully, thou finds that the porcelain dioramas can be seen past the glass eyes, but the scenes themselves are inaccessible; a reflection from some other hidden chamber.

      The jaws of the faces are on a hinge that allows the mouth to close with great force. The mechanism is a series springs and counterweights and is extremely sensitive; however, it could possibly be undone.

      In addition, dagger blades have been set in the tongue and roof of the mouth, facing towards the chute in a sadistic form of a finger trap.

      Though the mouths are wide open and Nelson a small man, even he could not get his shoulders through any chutes to recover the lost orb thrown by Nettle.

      [TECH]
      Perception (16)+8

      Delete
  13. After the other crusaders examine the dome, Kaddim, waiting patiently for an answer, not getting any. Cackle spends the time whispering taunts in kaddims ear, "Your trapped here master, and your punishment will be starvation, or Xann will eat the heart from your chest...you better do something before that happens..." Worried the golden-toothed skull is speaking a kernel of truth, Kaddim steps forward closer to Cerebus, demanding the test to begin: "Cerebus, we are ready, when will this test begin?!?"


    OOC: Kaddim moves within 10ft of the triskull, then 5ft if there is no response. I'll go so far as to get real close, but not touch Cerebus.

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    Replies
    1. Cerebus speaks again:

      "PROSTRATE THYSELF, MORTAL!

      You know what must be done."

      Delete
  14. Like the impertinent pupil, Kaddim moves backwards slowly and kneels behind Brand.


    OOC: Graham, your my meatshield in case I angered the guardian too much... :)

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  15. Nettle will prostrate himself alongside the others.

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    Replies
    1. Cerebus chuckles at all of your prancing around:

      "Oh, hahahaha, no. It is not I who demands your attention."

      Delete
  16. Nettle will rise again, move to face #4, and prostrate himself below it, 10 feet away.

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    Replies
    1. To no effect. The gaping maw stares back at thee.

      Delete
  17. He will do the same before #7 and #9 in turn.

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  18. Seeing nettles attempts fail, Kaddim boldly strides to the head at position #4, then slowly places his head into its mouth. If nothing happens within 2seconds, he withdraws it quickly....whiplash quickly.


    OOC: if not this, then I just don't know...

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    1. OOC: You pretty damn good at this. REMEMBER! Absolutely NO peeking at previous chambers.


      [KADDIM]
      Thine head snugly slips into the darkness of the maw, daggers poised to prevent escape, thy senses now cut off from the world. The voice of Cerebrus echoes up from from the long chute in front of thee.

      "What was nailed to the archway atop the watchtower?"


      [TECH]
      You have 24 hours real-time to answer. Other dungeoneers may shout answers at you, but the Dungeon Master awaits Kaddim's response.


      Delete
    2. Kaddim, cut off from the rest of his allies, thinks frantically, the magic burning through his head. He remembers the brimstone hallway, and flapping skin nailed to the walls. Was there bodies, skulls?! Damn him for focusing all his attentions on the mystery of the constellations! What was at the top?! What could have been on the top?! Was there anything?! He panics, strains and caws, his neck bleeding from a cut on the restraint. He knows silence is a 100% death. He calls out to his allies, hearing nothing, as he can only imagine them kneeling there waiting for his body to slump away from the maw. Finally, He speaks "the heads of the forsaken crowned the archway in the watchtower..."

      OOC: After many OOC emails, I'm just trying to put some of the vague memories together...Man, I hope this isn't the easiest question of the interrogation...not that Kaddim will probably be around to see it.

      Delete
  19. Nettle will look up to examine the roof of the dome.

    Perception +9

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  20. [KADDIM]
    The jaws of the stone king's face crunch shut and Kaddim's lifeless body slumps away, the black maw now shut. Blood spurts out of the gaping open neck in an ever-slowing rhythm, in tune with a failing heart, creating a pool of deep crimson. Kaddim's disembodied head rumbles and rolls down the long chute to some unknown hellscape oubliette. Cerebus animates and speaks:

    "MORE, MORE, I DEMAND MORE! AH HAHAHAHAHA!!!"

    Forevermore, Kaddim's spirit will haunt this chamber, whispering from beyond (see new image above). This is a 1/Encounter immediate interrupt.


    OOC: Kaddim is instantly killed, imposing a -50 point penalty. Deuce can now select a new dungeoneer from his two remaining and have him instantly appear in this room, as the new character serendipitously knows to jump through the archway portal in the Watchtower. Once selected, the Dungeon Master will reveal the new Crusader Card.

    In the meanwhile, the group has the following items to loot from Kaddim's corpse: censer of communion, jar of vampiric locusts, wand of eldritch blast (3), spirit guardian, flameskull familiar, amulet of deflection, krater of might, veil of scrying.

    Unfortunately the crown of domination was attached to Kaddim's head and the mark of the serpent rider is a non-removable tattoo.

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  21. Seeing the head of his ally taken from his body, Brand takes a moment to remember Kaddim's heroic deeds thus far.

    Afterward, he will drag the remainder of Kaddim's body out of the way, and peer in to the Diorama of the now closed head again to see if anything has changed.

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    Replies
    1. [BRAND]
      All of the porcelain dioramas remain unchanged.

      Delete
    2. OOC: C'mon ya big baby, stick your head in the deathtrap. Now is your chance to break out your Captain America character!

      Delete
  22. After analyzing the dioramas, Brand will kneel down and stick his head in #9, and await the question

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    1. [BRAND]
      As before, thine head locks into place in this infernal contraption and Cerebus asks the question:

      "The keyhole in the ashen ambulatory was shaped like what object?"

      Delete
    2. Brand responds: "In the shape of an hourglass"

      Delete
  23. Just before Brand places his head into the maw, a dark robed dwarf drops out of the sky, almost hitting him. He picks up his large two-handed axe, then goes about looting the headless corpse in the corner. He tosses the staff to the pixie, then looks around to see what happens.

    OOC: Brother Tordek in the house! I will claim all of Kaddim's remaining items except the staff of the serpent rider. It goes to Nettle.

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  24. [BRAND]

    "Ho ho ho ho!"

    Cerebus chuckles, a bell tolls in the distance, and the stone face swallowing Brand's head retracts, slowly, safely; the mouth forever closed.

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  25. The new dwarf doesn't wait, after seeing Brand shove his face into a maw, the follows suit. "Good thing I took a stroll around this hellhole before entering that portal. And did anyone see the tits on that medusa? SSSSSEXY., ahahahahaa!"

    OOC: tordek walks his 5'5" frame (dwarf who?) to maw #7 and leans in. LETS DO THIS.

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    1. [KADDIM]
      The words of Guardian of the Sanctum echo one more time:

      "Who was depicted by the brazier in the bleak seminary?"

      Delete
    2. OOC: who is the Kaddim the maw speaks of? I am tordek, kicking ass and taking names. And I already know your name!

      Delete
    3. OOC: Oof! My bad. I'm just so used to the guy. He was like a friend. A friend that has now been brutally murdered.

      Delete
    4. "Ack, that bitch be Anat, I'd recognize that ass anywhere, it might as well been carved outta stone! She was a hot lass, met her once in a demonic brothel. She put on quite the show..."

      OOC: answer: Anat.

      Delete
    5. OOC: I feel the same way. And tordek is the asshole who came late to the party and ruins everyone's fun. Kaddims as a good death though, he took a risk and lost. What more could I have wanted in a fourthcore game?

      Delete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. [TORDEK THE DEATHLESS]
    Somewhere in the distance a bell tolls. Tordek removes his head from the stone face, his beard catching little snags on the dagger points. The face closes shut. A scream is heard from the Guardian:

    "NO! That's not true! That's impossible! NOOOO!!!!

    Cerberus disappears into the wall, swirling away as if he were being sucked down into a watery bog. A blood-red portal topped with a brimstone trident appears in his place.


    This is the exit to the final battle with the Heresiarch.

    OOC: This is it, dungeoneers. You fucking made it. Starting at 12pm Noon EST tomorrow, all current dungeoneers jump through that thing and start the final struggle to determine the fate of the galaxy. You have from now until then to post any preparations you would like to make.

    In addition, please post here at least one unique ritual, prayer, or memory of your character's past that is said or done during these final moments, knowing that they will certainly be your last.

    Vitals and Crusader Cards updated.


    YOUR LIVES ARE FORFEIT. EMBRACE YOUR EXTINCTION.

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    Replies
    1. This is wicked. I'm so excited and terrified!

      Delete
    2. Your team is kicking my team's ass. I am going to watch this battle with great interest...

      Delete
  28. Nelson takes out an everblinking eye from his pack, and his favorite round, smooth, sling stone. He touches the bloodshot eye to the stone and the eye shrivels up and is sucked inside. Then he downs a clear yellow carbonated potion with a loud and satisfying gulp. "The last drink I may ever taste - and it tasted like rat's ass." He laughs, looks around at his companions and says, "It's time boys."

    [OOC]

    Nelson uses his eye of accuracy to give a +4 to his next ranged attack roll and damage roll with his sling.

    Can I use the Elixir of Will here? If I can, that's what he did.

    And see, my last words were posted upon entering this room, thinking it was the Heresiarch. Nelson repeats the poem from The Grey with Liam Neeson.

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    Replies
    1. The eye of accuracy will help you out, but I'm ruling on the side of RAW and saying that Elixir of Will must be used after initiative is rolled.

      Delete
  29. Though the gravity weighs down on the tiny bard-turned-warrior, a lightness long-forgotten lifts him up. He laughs, in celebration of their achievement, in defiance of the end of times, in the face of heresy and terror and despair.

    As his allies prepare themselves for what is to come, Nettle will circuit the dome, chanting a song to inspire his brothers.

    The north wind sighs a cold and mournful breath
    For allies lost and doomed to death,
    For ravaged lands forever corrupted,
    For hope and dreams shattered, disrupted.

    But for the sacrifice of a chosen few,
    With unshaken courage, faith in hope anew
    The hordes of heresy would ravage all,
    The leaves of summer to winter would fall.

    Lo, the south wind breathes a warm embrace,
    A gentle nudge, their fate to face,
    For one final chance to send
    The Heresiarch to his final, deserved end.

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  30. His oration complete, Nettle will turn to Tordek. "Well met, immortal one. Your legends and infamy precede you, but happy we are to have you in our company for what awaits us.

    "What sayest thou about using the Veil carried by our departed Kaddim to scry upon the Sanctum of the Heresiarch? It may yield nothing, but I have a feeling this would be our last chance to use such an item."

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  31. [DUNGEONEERS]
    While you wait, please help decide the destiny of all Creation, and your place in it should you succeed.

    Time to get sacred.

    http://dmg42.blogspot.com/2012/10/snd-02-divinity-choice.html

    ReplyDelete
  32. The seriousness of the situation now steeds Tordeks jaw, and he summons his armor to him. He is immediately enveloped in the blackened and ancient armor of his clan, ever reminding him of the sins he has stained his soul with. He raises a gauntleted hand caked in the blood of 10,000 blasphemies, and digs the veil of scrying from his pack. He moves close to the portal, and casts the veil to the floor, commanding: "show me the inner sanctum of the heresiarch, so we may at last see the face of our enemy!"

    Before they step into the portal, Tordeks last words on this mortal plan are "I found the world in stone, I leave it in ashes".

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    Replies
    1. OOC: Close enough ;)


      [TORDEK]
      The veil ignites in flame, leaving behind a sooty black stain on the floor. (See revealed information above)

      Delete
  33. After the despicable dwarf is finished looting, Lord Xann Stormbringer II slowly and respectfully approaches the headless body of the late Kaddim. The genasi general feels a keen sense of loss as he kneels over the corpse of his fallen comrade. Sure, the warlord had happily sent scores of men to their deaths before -- but this was different. It had been comforting to have a fellow genasi at his side in the dark halls of this hellish place. Kaddim was a scholar and a warrior of the highest order, but even rarer, he was Xann's equal. To have such a man cut down in this manner, rather than in the glory of combat was a travesty.

    "It is a pity, I've lost your precious sweet meats, friend. I could certainly use your cunning in the battle to come. At least I shall feast of your heart, that I may glean your unfailing courage."

    Xann takes out a large curved blade and proceeds to carve into Kaddim's chest and remove the wizard's heart. As he messily consumes the organ, a tear comes to Xann's eye.

    "I shall carry you with me always."

    Wiping his mouth and drawing his greatbow, Lord Xann looks deeply into the crimson portal.

    "You will pay for this loss, Heresiarch! I will have my vengeance! I will drink your blood!"

    Lord Xann Stormbringer II, the Cannibal of the Bloodstorm Isles, lunges into the portal in a violent frenzy, hungry for carnage.

    [tech]

    Consume Kaddim's corpse to gain a healing surge


    OOC: Fuck. Yes. Let's do this!

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  34. Oros stares at the blood red portal and thinks about his family and friends all slain by his own hand while under the sway of the faceless priests. Grief, sorrow and shame begin to overwhelm him but through his trials in the fane he has learned to control those emotions with rage. Rage at how the Heresiarch has destroyed this peaceful world and rage at his own hand in the destruction of his village. He lets the rage roll over him until it becomes a white hot inferno then focuses it into a cutting edge ready to unleash upon the Heresiarch.

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  35. OOC: hey guys, Im stuck in hours-long early voting, but my Blogger app pulled through and I was able to post my draft if the final encounter!!! Its a little rough now, but please feel free to start wrecking house!

    Oros wins initiative and can post a full turn, Tordek can post his actions made via his Crusader Card.

    ReplyDelete
  36. OOC: hey guys, Im stuck in hours-long early voting, but my Blogger app pulled through and I was able to post my draft if the final encounter!!! Its a little rough now, but please feel free to start wrecking house!

    Oros wins initiative and can post a full turn, Tordek can post his actions made via his Crusader Card.

    ReplyDelete