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Old 05-30-2020, 11:08 AM   #140
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 34 (2020-05-24)

Thoughts on June 27th

Half a day further west, we discovered a ruined city. Va値yndra waited for us to catch up, and saw no sign of habitation before we arrived. Leopold brought out Walter, and according to him, this city was called Firban. Va値yndra apologized for her earlier behavior. I asked Ilzo if we should go exploring while the others talked, and we dismounted and made our way stealthily among the ruins, finding a fort and what we believed to be a temple. On the other side of the city was a lake, with a river flowing through it from the north to the south.

After a while, we ran into Leopold and Va値yndra. That meant that Olivia was alone! I called over my shoulder that we should meet up at the temple, as I dashed off to make sure she was safe. The city was uninhabited, but I was less sure about the wilderness surrounding it.

The temple was a single, large dome, somewhat flattened, but seemingly untouched by age, unlike other buildings here. The entrance was carved like a guardian, complete with a full helmet and a cloak, but where the legs and lower body should be, was a tunnel beckoning us inside. Olivia herded the horses to an overgrown temple garden and began setting up camp.

Va値yndra had already checked the entrance for magic when Olivia and I arrived, but Walter was making a fuss. Swearing like a sailor, he refused to come inside, but encouraged us to break whatever we found there. He also warned us not to perform any rituals in the temple. Leopold left him with Olivia, and then we entered.

In the center of the temple was a large chamber, with entrances from a circular hallway that went all the way around. Along the outer wall lay a series of rooms, all with altars except for the last one. Leopold claimed it used to be a guard room, and it had a staircase leading down. Ilzo found a metal lever that he wanted to investigate. It was attached to a wire that eventually disappeared into the wall, near peeping holes through which we could see the tunnel we had used to enter the temple. Ilzo asked the rest of us to go back to the tunnel to observe what happened when he pulled the lever.

We heard the rusted metal grind, but nothing happened. The wire was rusted through, so that wasn稚 a big surprise. After a minute, Ilzo shouted that he had found the trigger, and suddenly the floor started vibrating, and we heard a whirring noise under us. I flipped back to my feet, and we retreated from the tunnel before two rusty portcullises rose from the floor. Leopold called Ilzo over and asked how we were supposed to get out now. Luckily, nobody was trapped between the portcullises, but the only way out was blocked. The space between the iron bars was too small for me to slip through, but there was a small gap between the top of the portcullises and the ceiling, where I thought I might get out. Not the others, though. However, Ilzo had a pickaxe in his belt, and entered the first altar chamber and started to make a hole in the outer wall. Leopold grimaced, and told Ilzo not to destroy this intact archeological find; there had to be a mechanism for opening the portcullises. They walked off to find it.

Suddenly, the portcullises fell back down. Va値yndra had heard splashing, and figured out that it was water that lifted the portcullises. When she used her magic to remove the water, there was nothing holding the portcullises up, so they dropped. The spell left her exhausted, so we thought this was a good time to grab something to eat, back in camp. Leopold wasn稚 hungry he just eats rocks, anyway and remained to study the altar chambers.

The dome seemed solid, so I climbed up to its top, once I finished eating. The view was great from there. With the peak at fifteen meters above ground, I was standing on one of the highest places in the entire city. Far to the west, I could see a mountain range stretching to the north and south, and in the north-west was the great canyon we had circumnavigated on our previous expedition. I did an acrobatic routine while I was up there, and practiced some of the dance moves I would incorporate in Olivia痴 birthday present.

Olivia scalded me when I got back down. She didn稚 think it was safe to climb the dome. It was pretty steep, at least the lowest part, but I reminded her that I知 a fair bit more skilled than most people. There was never any danger that I would fall. 典hat痴 true, Olivia conceded, 屠ust like there痴 no chance you値l slip and fall in the mud when you dismount from Marvin. I hid my tomato face in her bosom until the redness abated.

Calm and collected, I entered the large, central chamber with Va値yndra, Ilzo and Leopold. We found nothing of interest there, so we descended the stairs from the guard room. The first room off the corridor held a pool and mechanical contraptions for lifting the portcullises that were also there. I thought it looked very complicated, and not even Leopold understood how it worked, at first, so he decided he wanted to study it, while the rest of us proceeded.

Va値yndra, Ilzo and I continued along the corridor, and found dozens upon dozens of burial chambers. We didn稚 enter them, we just got the lay of the land, and the underground passages spread beyond the temple dome.

Leopold had figured out the mechanism by the time we returned, and went to flip a switch that would prevent the portcullises from rising when enough water pressure had built up. The switch was too heavy for the small gnome, so Ilzo had to step in. Then we went to search the burial chambers.

There were inscriptions at the entrances and on the sarcophagi. Ilzo popped the lids, and we found bone fragments and dust inside. Ilzo poked around in the dust, and Leopold told him off, saying something about positioning that I didn稚 understand. We took the time to check out all the burial chambers, and Ilzo found an amulet in one of them. It was magical, Va値yndra told him, unlike the ring he had taken from the boogeyman, yesterday.

I was nearly asleep by the time we finished in the temple. Va値yndra wanted to analyze the amulet before turning in, but I wanted nothing more than to lie down with Olivia.


Thoughts on June 28th

We slept late this morning. Va値yndra reported at breakfast that the amulet protected from an unfamiliar type of magic, and she and Leopold discussed it at length. I got bored and lured Olivia around a corner. We just kissed, for we expected the others to call to us any minute that we were striking camp. Ilzo came and interrupted, to our great annoyance, but when he said we were going to check out the fortress, I came along.

The fortress was huge, practically a district of its own. We searched all over, particularly in the main keep, but found nothing of value. When I got hungry, I returned to Olivia, but the others seemed to have brought food, for they didn稚 return to camp until evening. Olivia and I were beaming, having had the time of our lives. Leopold reported that they had found a magic circle, but had no idea about what it had been used for.
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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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