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Old 05-05-2022, 08:48 AM   #671
ericthered
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The two messengers of the villa are escorted by six immortals back to the Chamber of the Otherworld: the large room with the murals and the bell that Vassarious arrived in. They are left there for three hours.

Will they give up the communication pen?


After the three hours, a force of four immortals and four of each species of soldier open the door, bow to them, and one of the immortals says: "Champions of the Otherworld, the Great Maximus is most indebted for your service, and wishes to thank you personally. We will escort you."


Maximus is standing, with a great number of priests buzzing around him. Their ranks are very haphazard, but none of the top layer seem to be present.



Maximus raises his hands, and the noise stops.
Maximus: "I would like to thank the champions of the otherworld for saving me from imprisonment. Many changes will have to have been made, and much wrong has been done, but due to these, we have reversed our awful situation."


"I have some small understanding of Corco's policies: we will not exalt your role in our histories, but you shall live forever in our immortal memory. I do not know how much time you have to stay here: I would wish to have you at feasts, and to heal your injuries, but I do not know if that is within Corco's time-table"


"I have released the priest Cyraelian for you. I am still crafting the official story, but he may fill some of your place in the history. As may the wounded soldier who helped my backup speak to you."


"The Spying on Fericus has been most helpful in identifying the traitors. They have betrayed their God, and thought they could best me. Indeed, they did, but they did not know of my allies, and that was their downfall. They shall reap what they have planted."



"I now know of two of my backup locations. At least one was altered. I'm not sure about the other. Kunifax has analyzed the historical record for me, and may attitude now seems at least closer to history. The search for the backups continues. I do not know if one remains, or as many as three. I will need to make new precautions against such treachery, as the backup shrines are now known to the priesthood. I am still unraveling the story, but it appears that a priest found the backup, disobeyed the warnings, and from it learned how to corrupt my architecture. From there, he altered me, and took control of the priesthood"


"The war with the rebels has been stopped. It will be months before I sort out traitors from patriots. Perhaps I will never be able to do so. There are many on each side, with complex motives. The generals you enlisted will be remembered as heroes, perhaps most prominently in the history"


"And Finally, Retifurus wishes to pay his respects."


Retifurus approaches V, and bows. "It appears that you had a better mastery of the situation and a less changeable devotion to my emperor than I. Thank You for saving us from the conspiracy. I hope you are not injured permanently?"
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Old 05-05-2022, 12:27 PM   #672
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Will they give up the communication pen?
Well they are going to find the other pen in the back-up. So yes, I guess.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"I have some small understanding of Corco's policies: we will not exalt your role in our histories, but you shall live forever in our immortal memory. I do not know how much time you have to stay here: I would wish to have you at feasts, and to heal your injuries, but I do not know if that is within Corco's time-table"
"I'd be honoured to attend, but on Corco's schedules we'd be saving three worlds before breakfast! I could check to see if we can make the time."

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"I have released the priest Cyraelian for you. I am still crafting the official story, but he may fill some of your place in the history. As may the wounded soldier who helped my backup speak to you."
"Be sure to include the big foam wall in the official version. That's the best part of the story."

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"The war with the rebels has been stopped. It will be months before I sort out traitors from patriots. Perhaps I will never be able to do so. There are many on each side, with complex motives. The generals you enlisted will be remembered as heroes, perhaps most prominently in the history"
"Well, don't be to hard on them; a lot of them thought they were doing the right thing, maybe a few saw a shortcut to power. And in either case, a century from now most of them are going to be dead and you should be just fine."
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Old 05-05-2022, 03:31 PM   #673
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Will they give up the communication pen?
I think not, but I believe Halycone has it and will have to decide.
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Thank You for saving us from the conspiracy. I hope you are not injured permanently?"
"I believe I will recover but thank you for your concern. "

Vassarious is happy to rest, recover and participate in any revelries as time allows...
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:45 AM   #674
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Maximus assures them that the rebels probably have more patriots among them that those who followed the priests.

"Old age will eventually take them all, but a century is a long time, and we got into this mess because I was altered to ignore the affairs of the short-lived."

"I'll try to work in industrial foam somehow. I was down during that part of everything."

You give up the pen, and so are not quite sure of Corco's schedule for you. You are presented it back.

When you call, Corco's uncle Gurdo is on the other end. You hear the low rumble of the old fat soldier's voice:

"Good work. The rebellion is over? There was something wrong with Maximus? Figured. Once he's back everything should fall into place. He runs a tight ship. It's good to be the one helping him out for once."

"Go ahead and get the Dragon healed up. Maximus is good at that. Feel free to celebrate, eat, heal, and get some sleep until 0720 local time. Try not to draw too much attention to yourselves. We'll pick you up from the antechamber they have for us in the temple. Then we've got work for you in the wastes of Ogol. No sense of self-preservation, that one. Or maybe a little too much of a sense of self-preservation. See you at 0720."

Vassarious is taken to a healing temple, and her wounds are gone within two hours.

Maximus throws a feast celebrating his return and successful coup. He will be throwing another in a few days, after the rebel generals come... some of them are reluctant to negotiate a peace so quickly, fearing a trap... or maybe they're actually no longer loyal to the emperor.

Do you have anything you want to do before 7:20 AM the next day?
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Old 05-06-2022, 01:21 PM   #675
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Do you have anything you want to do before 7:20 AM the next day?
Send an edible arrangement to Thelodox to apologize for vanishing on him.

Try to shake off the giddy nervousness heading to a new world and get some sleep. Or at the very least try not to overfocus on researching about it.

Last edited by TGLS; 05-07-2022 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05-09-2022, 10:54 AM   #676
ericthered
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The food is good, and though it appears everyone will have lots of work to do after you leave, they know in which direction they will work. You are not sure if you will see these people or this world again. Its possible you will, but quite likely you will not.



At 7:20 am, a portal opens up in the chamber of the otherworld, back into Corco's library, coming through holographic double doors projected by the book on the floor that let them enter the maximus skerry in the first place.



"Thank you, both of you!" Corco slaps your backs, each in turn, "We have Maximus back! I thought something might be wrong!"


"I have a new job for you. Pang Zhen says the barbarians on Ogol are about to try and knock down their civilization again. Of course, she calls almost everyone barbarians... including me... but I digress. She estimates that if nothing is done the key moment starting the carnage will occur in 72 hours. The Fulcrum point is in Tuguk, of course. I'll give you two until lunch to find out what you need to know."


"Here's the section on Ogol... and on Tuguk. You want just the Tuguk information. Ogol is an old world with a lot of history that doesn't matter anymore."


The section on Ogol is full of thick tomes of hand-written books... or at least they seem that way. Some of the hand-writing is far too regular to be the work of a regular human: perhaps it was written by magic, or an automoton. Some of the books are written on metal or leather rather than paper. After a point, the books are all stamped on thin sheets of metal.



A current map of Ogol outlines where the glaciers are, where the deserts are, and the small and are areas that are neither. The weather patterns don't seem to be natural, looking more like a patchwork quilt than a geography shaped by water-cycles and rain shadows. A quick guide to the inhabitants of Ogol notes while elves, dwarves, gnomes, hawkfolk, and others lived on it once, all are extinct except for Orcs, Lizardfolk, and some magic artificial creations.


Tuguk is one of the few places on Ogol where crops are grown. It is mostly inhabited by Orcs, with some lizardfolk. The political system is only about 25 years old: before then, it was controlled by magical constructs created by the dwarves. Wild Lizardfolk and Orc shaman-knights defeated the "Stone Melders" and freed the orc slaves.


Pang Zhen's prophecy is that as the sun sets on the seventeenth day of the new year, Tuguk will release a scourge upon Ogol that will scour it of people, unleashing blood, death, and servitude.
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Old 05-09-2022, 01:30 PM   #677
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
You are not sure if you will see these people or this world again. Its possible you will, but quite likely you will not.
Well hopefully Maximus can keep things from going to pot for at least a little while.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"Thank you, both of you!" Corco slaps your backs, each in turn, "We have Maximus back! I thought something might be wrong!"
"It took a little longer than I liked too."

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"I have a new job for you. Pang Zhen says the barbarians on Ogol are about to try and knock down their civilization again."
"I suppose that's something they do rather often. How do they usually do it?"

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"Of course, she calls almost everyone barbarians... including me... but I digress."
"How about other Chinese people?"

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The section on Ogol is full of thick tomes of hand-written books... or at least they seem that way. Some of the hand-writing is far too regular to be the work of a regular human: perhaps it was written by magic, or an automaton. Some of the books are written on metal or leather rather than paper. After a point, the books are all stamped on thin sheets of metal.
I test their weights to see how much heavier these books are. I smile at the thought that someone weaker might need a turner, and grimace at how awful paper cuts must be.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
A current map of Ogol outlines where the glaciers are, where the deserts are, and the small and are areas that are neither. The weather patterns don't seem to be natural, looking more like a patchwork quilt than a geography shaped by water-cycles and rain shadows. A quick guide to the inhabitants of Ogol notes while elves, dwarves, gnomes, hawkfolk, and others lived on it once, all are extinct except for Orcs, Lizardfolk, and some magic artificial creations.
I'll turn to V: "Know anything about weather magic? Maybe they screw up really, really badly."

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Tuguk is one of the few places on Ogol where crops are grown. It is mostly inhabited by Orcs, with some lizardfolk. The political system is only about 25 years old: before then, it was controlled by magical constructs created by the dwarves. Wild Lizardfolk and Orc shaman-knights defeated the "Stone Melders" and freed the orc slaves.
Well let's go read about these Stone Melders. What were they all about? What happened to them? Could they be out to do something catastrophic?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Pang Zhen's prophecy is that as the sun sets on the seventeenth day of the new year, Tuguk will release a scourge upon Ogol that will scour it of people, unleashing blood, death, and servitude.
"Maybe something happens every 17th. Or every 17th, 17th."

I'll look into see if anything significant is scheduled this 17th, or if there's any numerological significance to the 17th.

Call that four lines of inquiry:
1) How is the unusual climate maintained?
2) Who are the stone melders
3) What's happening on the 17th?
4) Does the 17th mean anything in Ogol culture?

Quote:
[422] 22-05-09 19:29:53 BST
Research x3
3d6 <= 15
1: 6 + 4 + 2 = 12 ... success
2: 6 + 2 + 6 = 14 ... success
3: 2 + 1 + 3 = 6 ... success

[421] 22-05-09 19:29:40 BST
Research
3d6 <= 15
2 + 1 + 1 = 4 ... success
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Old 05-10-2022, 10:00 AM   #678
ericthered
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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
"How about other Chinese people?"
"She usually calls them barbarians too."

Quote:
"I suppose that's something they do rather often. How do they usually do it?"
"Usually, with runaway magic. Ogol's native magic often lasts a long time and can compound itself. They've rewritten their climate, swarmed the world in undead, built self-replicating armies of bloodthirsty automatons, Cursed massive areas of land with spells that drain life, and sent hurricane-sized fire-storms at each other.

Quote:
I test their weights to see how much heavier these books are. I smile at the thought that someone weaker might need a turner, and grimace at how awful paper cuts must be.
The books are about twice the weight: the workmanship is pretty good. So far the edges seem to be fairly dull.

Quote:
Well let's go read about these Stone Melders. What were they all about? What happened to them? Could they be out to do something catastrophic?
The stone Melders were created by a dwarven nation as a military weapon before the dwarves went extinct in the third cataclysm. They are the intelligent controllers of legions of otherwise innanimate stone soldiers. They can possess any statue of a certain stone carved with their face as long as they are in contact via unbroken stone, and can meld their bodies into stone and travel that way as well. Right now they are all trapped in solid blocks of ice. They are obsessed with bringing back their dwarven nation, dwarves and all.

Quote:
"Maybe something happens every 17th. Or every 17th, 17th."
You can find no record of any reoccurring spell tied to the 17th.

Quote:
I'll look into see if anything significant is scheduled this 17th, or if there's any numerological significance to the 17th.
The anniversary of Tuguk's freedom is the next day.

Quote:
1) How is the unusual climate maintained?
A series of ancient magical spells that reinforce each other and feed off of the ambient magic. They date from the second cataclysm. Not that the locals know that.
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Old 05-10-2022, 04:55 PM   #679
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"Usually, with runaway magic. Ogol's native magic often lasts a long time and can compound itself. They've rewritten their climate, swarmed the world in undead, built self-replicating armies of bloodthirsty automatons, Cursed massive areas of land with spells that drain life, and sent hurricane-sized fire-storms at each other.
1) Let's check out what the mages of Tuguk have been working on. Maybe something they've been doing gets out of hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The anniversary of Tuguk's freedom is the next day.
Hm. Sounds like prime time to for dissident groups to make a statement.
2) What are the main dissident groups in Tuguk?
3) Which are likely to be playing with dangerous magic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The stone Melders were created by a dwarven nation as a military weapon before the dwarves went extinct in the third cataclysm. They are the intelligent controllers of legions of otherwise innanimate stone soldiers. They can possess any statue of a certain stone carved with their face as long as they are in contact via unbroken stone, and can meld their bodies into stone and travel that way as well. Right now they are all trapped in solid blocks of ice. They are obsessed with bringing back their dwarven nation, dwarves and all.
OK, so they're probably a non-factor unless somebody picked the wrong place to get ice for party on the 17th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
A series of ancient magical spells that reinforce each other and feed off of the ambient magic. They date from the second cataclysm. Not that the locals know that.
This too is probably a non-factor unless a mage has been futzing with the ancient magical spells.

Quote:
[423] 22-05-10 22:55:11 BST
Research x3
3d6 <= 15
1: 4 + 2 + 6 = 12 ... success
2: 3 + 5 + 4 = 12 ... success
3: 6 + 6 + 4 = 16 ... failure
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Old 05-10-2022, 11:25 PM   #680
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Do you have anything you want to do before 7:20 AM the next day?
Vassarious socializes and enjoys the parties and feasts. When in private, they reach out to the underworld contact and if they are willing to pay the funds from the first job, arrange for them to go to a war orphan's charity or the like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post

"I have a new job for you. Pang Zhen says the barbarians on Ogol are about to try and knock down their civilization again. Of course, she calls almost everyone barbarians... including me... but I digress. She estimates that if nothing is done the key moment starting the carnage will occur in 72 hours. The Fulcrum point is in Tuguk, of course. I'll give you two until lunch to find out what you need to know."
Vassarious will study the materials as time allows, with a focus on the political situation and players.

"I don't know enough of weather magic to say... but with forces these great woven so precisely I can see how a small shift could cause a catastrophic change... not so very different from what happened to our friend Maximus..."
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