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Posted: Jan 21 2007, 02:00 AM
Member No.: 4
Joined: 23-February 06
As the Black Falcon approaches the temple, a voice echoes through the heads of everyone in the group, “Will the key make her presence known?”
Lyrissa speaks up, “Yes.”
She steps out into the airy water bubble that surrounds the Falcon. She can actually step on the bubble. The flaming wizard watches, it doesn’t seem to be about to attack.
Lyrissa stays in the bubble, and gestures for the Falcon to move forward. As the Falcon moves toward the temple, the wizard seems to be gathering energy.
Lyrissa asks, “Are you a guardian?”
“I am the key.”
“Defeat me. Just you.”
Hendrix figures out that the ‘wizard’ is an embodiment of the Elemental Plane of Fire. He’s an embodiment of where the Elemental Plane of Fire meets the Prime Material. There may be other Mega Elementals that might fight this thing – maybe the one of water.
Lyrissa casts quickened Animus Blizzard. The Mega Elemental survives.
It casts flame lance at the ship. Yukiko manages to pilot the plane away, and Lyrissa manages to dodge as well.
Lyrissa casts maximized Polar Ray. The Mega Elemental dissolves.
The group sees a place where the plane can be landed. There is a place where the plane can be moved outside of the water.
Inside the temple, there is not much. Just some places to sit, and an altar that looks like it’s been shattered. No discernible runes. On the other side, there is a set of double doors, made of bronze.
On the doors, there is an outline of a person. It’s sculpted in, not charred.
Lyrissa steps up to the outline, and touches it. It’s cold, even though the area is nice and hot. She pushes against the outline, the doors swing open easily. The other side of the room has gold doors, and there is a throne attached to the door. There is a seam behind the throne, where the doors would open. The throne doesn’t look like it splits, so, there must be some way to open the doors that is linked to the throne, in theory.
Inspect the area around the throne – the throne is made of gold, there are pretty designs. It is right up against the doors, there doesn’t seem to be a way to open them without moving the throne, and it seems attached.
Hendrix changes into his Half Dragon form. Yukiko changes as well.
Raif casts Mage Armor, but, it ends up more like Flame Shield, this close to the fire nexus.
Lyrissa sits in the throne. The doors behind her swing open. The throne is still there, and Lyrissa cannot move. She is now gold.
Hendrix checks to see if he can pick her up. It’s not possible, she seems to be fused with the throne – it looks like one big statue. (DM comment: “You are the key, meet the lock.”)
Hendrix tries spell craft, but can’t figure out what just happened.
Through the open doors, the group can see another room, where there are open doors. Through those doors, there is another room, where there’s a giant stone statue. The statue bears a huge sword.
Raif casts True Strike, on himself.
Sorrow casts Status, and gets no reading from Lyrissa. She’s not dead or injured, she just doesn’t exist anymore.
The group can’t contact the Jack of Tears, since Lyrissa was holding the item from Jack that was to be used to call him.
When the doors opened behind the throne, the doors into the room closed and fused.
Sorrow casts Prying Eyes, and sends it into the rooms she can see. She doesn’t see anything of interest besides the statue.
In the room with the statue, there is another door, but it is shut. There is a keyhole in the door. Sorrow sends one of her Prying Eyes to look in the keyhole, but, her whole Prying Eyes spell gets dispelled.
The statue is stone.
Sorrow casts Bark Skin on herself and Bear’s Endurance on Raif.
The group arrays themselves in a diamond formation. Yukiko in front, Raif and Sorrow in the middle, and Hendrix in the back. As they move into the room, the doors shut behind.
The statue raises its sword and hurls it across the room. Sorrow ducks as the sword flies. It goes into the wall next to the door and settles. The statue approaches the group. It is huge – 15 foot by 15 foot.
Yukiko launches to close the distance and tries to bite the statue. She manages to bite it, but the statue doesn’t seem to notice.
Sorrow casts mass bull strength.
Hendrix quick casts Haste on Raif, then does a maximized and empowered Flame Arrow on Raif’s arrows.
Raif takes off to get around the statue and get a flanking bonus. Raif shoots, and adds mana to charge up the arrow. True strike is used on that first shot, which does hit. He shoots again, and hits.
The statue hits Yukiko twice.
Yukiko bites the statue again. She tries to hit with her rapiers, but misses with one, and hits with the other. Once again, she tries with both rapiers, and both miss.
Hendrix summoned celestial puppy that futilely attacks golem. H also hastes himself.
Raif backs off clearing the way for potential breath attacks. Then fires. His first shot misses, second shot hits.
The giant golem hits Yukiko again.
Lyrissa opens her eyes and is standing in the room. She steps up and smacks the Golem with her spell blade.
Yukiko uses her breath weapon.
Sorrow casts maximized cure critical on Yukiko through her bat
Hendrix flies up to Lyrissa, casts haste on her, then flies back
Raif shoots and hits with both shots.
The Golem hits Lyrissa.
Lyrissa hits, six times
Yukiko tries to hit with both swords, misses with one. She tries again, and hits with one. She bites and misses.
Sorrow casts maximized cure critical on Yukiko
Hendrix quickens spectral hand and uses it to cast haste on Yukiko
Raif shoots again and misses both shots.
The Golem hits Yukiko and Lyrissa
Lyrissa hits the Golem five times.
The Golem’s joints become loose, and it falls.
The door is still shut. The group looks at Lyrissa.
Raif asks, “What happened?”
Sorrow pokes Lyrissa to make sure she’s alive.
Lyrissa answers Raif, “I sat down, and then I was in here.”
The group discusses whether they should call Jack of Tears now or after the obstacles.
They search the Golem, and Sorrow notices it has a seam down its chest.
Lyrissa tries to pry apart the Golem at the seams. The seam is very small. Raif offers his crow bar, but, it is too wide. The seem looks like the pieces may open.
Raif tries hammering with his dagger.
The rest search for something to press to open it. Lyrissa notices that the jaw is hinged. She opens it. Where a tongue would normally be, there is a little jewel encrusted button. When she presses it, there is a loud, high beeping, then the chest opens.
Inside the chest, there is a large crystal in the shape of a heart, and in it appears to be a stone key. The lock on the door and the key don’t seem to be the same size at all.
The key hole in the door is the size of a person. They can’t see through it, though. The key in the heart is much smaller.
Raif checks for traps. He tries hitting the crystal to break it for the key, but it doesn’t break. Lyrissa suggests picking up the whole thing.
Raif picks it up, it’s about the size of a grape fruit. It seems to be solid crystal.
Lyrissa takes the key and goes to the key hole. She can’t get to the key hole, there seems to a wall of force. There does not seem to be a hole in it.
The group go check out the sword. It’s huge, it was a bastard sword size to the Golem, so, it’s as big as a person. There does seem to be a key hole on the sword.
Smacking the crystal on the big sword doesn’t break it. It does look like the key that’s inside the crystal will fit the key hole on the sword.
Lyrissa’s rune sword won’t break the crystal.
Raif casts dispel magic, Lyrissa tries with the rune sword again. No luck.
Hendrix casts shatter. The heart starts to vibrate, looks like it’s pulsing and beating, then just splits open. And there’s the key.
Raif takes the key, puts it in the sword and turns it. There is a noise, and the doors are open.
Through the doors, there is a table in the middle of a room. There are four chairs around the table. There are items on the table.
There is a parchment that says, “Select a champion.”
Lines on the table on, either side of the parchment, there is a triangle and a square. Below the parchment is a gem, much like the one that was in the Golem’s mouth.
There is a door, no keyhole.
Lyrissa comments that this is likely a puzzle, she does not necessarily have to be the champion.
Raif comments, “We do not necessarily know that.”
The group draws straws, Hendrix will be the champion. He takes the chair that faces the right way for the parchment to be read upright. The lines glow, and Hendrix can no longer see or hear anything besides the table and its glowing blue lines. The parchment changes and pieces appear in front of him. The group can still see him, and can read the new directions.
“Puzzle one. Arrange the pieces below into a pyramid. Once finished, place it in the triangle and touch the red circle.”
Hendrix solves the puzzle and hits the button. He gets his senses back. The text changes back to “Select a champion.”
Sorrow gets the short straw the next time. The table does the same trick. “Arrange the pieces below into a three dimensional cube. Once the cube is done, place it in the square and press the circle.”
Sorrow is unable to complete the puzzle. She can see and hear again, but, it’s from the perspective of the puzzle. Her body slumps, but doesn’t seem to be harmed. It’s still warm and breathing.
The parchment says “Select a Champion.” The puzzle disappears back into the table.
Lyrissa comments, “Her soul is in the puzzle.”
Raif sits down and the table does its trick again. Raif solves the puzzle and Sorrow wakes up.
The parchment changes and now reads “Select a Champion.”
Larissa sits down. The parchment reads, “How many wooden pieces were in the pyramid puzzle?”
“4,” answers Larissa. The parchment reverts—“select a champion”.
Raif takes a seat. “How many pieces were there in the cube puzzle? Say your answer aloud.”
Raif says, “Seven.”
The doors open.
In the middle of the room there is a small table with some items on it. There are double doors.
On the table is a stack of tokens. There are X’s and I’s on the tokens.
Between the doors, there are 9 receptacles. There are no markings. Just places to put tokens in. The group manages to put the puzzle in place. The doors open.
There is an octagonal room with a dais. When the group walks up onto the dais, they teleport to another room. It is also octagonal. There is a raised area. Further back, there are stairs going down to a path way. There are no walls, so, the ball can’t be blocked that way. There is also a large pillar a good ways away. There’s a large ball behind the group. As the group looks around, a person shows up. It’s an unassuming man in plain clothes. The man takes off running down the hallway, and there’s a rumbling behind the group. The man casts fly on himself and starts flying down the path way.
There is a pair of glowing eyes in front of the ball.
The group follows after the man. Raif runs 30 feet, but hits grease and falls. He doesn’t fall off the edge, though. Hendrix and Yukiko both take off flying. Sorrow hits the grease and falls as well. She teleports before Lyrissa can reach her to cast fly.
Raif rolls off the edge and tries to stick to the side of the chasm with his spider climb.
The ball seems to stop and kind of look over the side, winks, then rolls on.
At the end of the hallway, Sorrow appears right next to Hendrix, who flew to the end with haste cast on himself.
Lyrissa flies over to look where Raif rolled off.
Sorrow casts protection from spells on herself and Hendrix.
The non-descript man casts quickened spectral hand and temporal stasis. But, Hendrix shakes the spell off.
Once the ball passes Raif, he casts fly on himself, then follows the ball down the path to see what’s going on.
A Greater Dispel Magic goes off, radiating from the ball centered on Lyrissa, but has no effect.
The man continues flying.
Hendrix quick casts Righteous Might, picks Sorrow up, and continues flying.
Lyrissa falls to the ground, affected by an artifact level anti magic field.
Hendrix and Sorrow have rounded a corner, and see a series of pendulums. The man is close behind them.
Lyrissa gets to her feet, and tries to run.
Raif casts lightening at the ball, but, it doesn’t affect it.
Lyrissa starts running, Raif flies after her to try to help, but loses his spell and his mana when he hits the anti magic field.
Hendrix casts Prismatic Wall between himself and the man.
Both Hendrix and the man decide to cast Greater Teleport at the same time. So, all three of them (Sorrow, Hendrix and the man) show up at the end of the path, past the pendulums.
Raif grabs Lyrissa and rolls them both off the edge, catching them with his grapple and silk rope.
The ball rolls off to a different path to get to where it will get to a place where it can stop the three that got ahead.
Raif and Lyrissa get back onto the path and move along to get out of the anti magic field. However, it’s soon apparent that the field is on Lyrissa, so, there’s no walking out of it.
At the prismatic wall, Raif spider walks on the side of the path, with Lyrissa hanging on his back, and get around the prismatic wall there. They continue on, using the same method to get past the pendulums.
Meanwhile, at the other end, the man, Sorrow and Hendrix all get to act at the same time.
Sorrow casts temporal stasis.
The man tries to grapple Hendrix.
Hendrix combat casts maximized, empowered ray of enervation, defensively.
Sorrow succeeds in her spell. The man is held by a temporal stasis. Hendrix misses with his ray spell.
Hendrix casts the enervation spell again, this time he hits.
Lyrissa realizes that, if she catches up with the rest of the group, her anti-magic field will mess them up. So, she hangs back, and Raif sticks with her.
After going down a long slide Hendrix and Sorrow get past an area that’s a balancing act, since they are flying. There are spots where they have to avoid the ball. There are pits, tilting platforms, more pits, a mana pool. Eventually, they get to a room where there’s a red gelatinous cube. Attacks don’t harm it. Slice, it comes back. Burn, it comes back. It has to be eaten – tastes like cherries.
There is a single skeleton in the next section, holding a short sword and a shield. It stands there motionless. The party walks right around it.
In front of a giant pillar, which is carved with unrecognized runes, there is a chest.
Raif can’t open it, but, Hendrix is able to. There is ice and two large bottles. Hendrix picks them up and says, “Come on.”
The man shows up, and Hendrix hands him a bottle. As they drink, a voice sounds, “Okterash wins the game.”
Hendrix grins and says it was a wonderful game. It was very fun. “Lyrissa, you had a tough time of it, but, you hung in.”
Raith’s death bead he got from Jothira is gone. It was the man.
Hendrix reveals that he is Okterash. He and the man start jabbering about how great the game is. He changes form, he’s about 10 feet tall, dashing. He’s wearing very nice tunic and trousers, bears a large blade on his hip and a set of scales as well.
“Man, I was afraid that Kuras was going to give the game away a couple of times. .”
Raif declares, “This is not a game.”
“Yes, it was.”
“I’m not amused.”
Lyrissa and Sorrow both agree.
Raif draws his swords, Okterash makes them disappear. Raif casts lightning; it doesn’t seem to phase Okterash.
They keep talking lightly, while Raif keeps trying to hit Okterash.
Okterash mentions how he thought the game would be over when the Oracle – who is the man who’d opposed the group in the gauntlet – got the ‘chumps’ to work together to take Lyrissa’s runes.
Raif summons Jack of Tears, who takes off, disappointed, when he learns the Game is over.
Lyrissa tries to hit Okterash, he lets her, then asks if she feels better. She does not, and comments that people aren’t pawns.
“Oh, calm down, you volunteered for this.”
“Volunteered for this crap?”
“Oh, I guess we can tell you about the Game, though you don’t deserve it.”
Raif throws the dagger Kuras gave him at Okterash. The hit isn’t as good as Raif would have liked, but, it does hit.
Okterash pulls the knife out of the wall. “That’s not nice. Sit. And don’t move.”
“Now, as I was trying to explain before I was so rudely interrupted, we’ve been doing this longer than I can remember. How long had death been around?”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, Jothira would probably know. Jojo would tell us.”
Sorrow interrupts, “Wait, you’re telling us Jothira was in on this too?”
“No, well, not really in on it. But, we need her to do her thing for us to do ours. But, this is the afterlife. Your souls volunteered… well, not really volunteered, it was this or what ever else was in line for you.”
Okterash goes off on how he’d had his key ready 10,000 years ago until the Oracle got his people together.
“It’s easier to work with less idealistic people.”
This was the thirteenth run of the game.
They reset by touching the pillar.
The bodies of the group never really existed. Their spirits now remember what was going on. These are the two gods of the underworld, they weigh souls and take them on to paradise or where ever. Many choose to play again.
Lyrissa’s soul has played many many times.
The Game is watched by thousands of souls in the afterlife.
The world collapses in, some souls move on, some remain as the whole world is reset. The two gods move off to their places to await for the board to be reset.
Okterash, “Woo-hoo! I’m number 1! I’m number 1! Seven to six! I’m number 1!”
Some questions answered and other information:
On the giant world, one of the giants found a nexus, tried to tap it and blew up the world. Neither of the gods were watching right there at that point.
The portal behind Jothira's throne is a portal through which souls enter the underworld. She is Death on many worlds, but not this one, as it is not really a world, and its inhabitants are already dead.