Geometric Archipelago:The Longest Five-Pointed Night/Chapter 04
Chapter Four: How to tell if your neighbors are raptors
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<mainstreet> So, you'd better do something about this dead halfling -- if someone else comes across this scene you may get charged with murder by physical force. The penalty for this crime on FPSI is death by blunt instrument.
Kanzel goes back and tells the others.
<Ascii> "Oh. Well, crap."
<Ascii> Ascii marches in to examine the mini-corpse himself.
<Brellius> "I don't want to be framed for a murder again..."
Brellius tags along
Ashling follows "It's a regular occurance?"
<Brellius> "Even once is one too many times."
Ascii prods the halfling with the haft of his mace. "...yep. He's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead."
<Ascii> "So...uh." He glances at the wormhole in the back wall. "I wonder what that's all about."
<Ascii> "Somebody search the little guy, see if he's got anything that might tell us what happened here." Ascii himself goes to examine the mystery vortex.
Kanzel searches him
Ashling helps Ascii in alayzing it
<mainstreet> Kanzel: Hmmm, this is odd... you notice he has some sort of pendant around his neck you can't get off... and that's it. You search everything else... it's just ordinary clothes. No identification, no money, no weapons, armor, or other items. Just clothing and that pendant. The pendant seems to be made of silver, with a green clover-shaped charm. It gives off a faint iridescent light.
Kanzel points at the pendant. "Ashling, see what this is when you're done there."
<mainstreet> Ashling: Yep, this is definitely a dimensional portal of some sort. But there's more than that... there would seem to be a... time component as well. And it's *really* strong. At least it seems to be stable, so theoretically, if you went through it, you should be able to come right back through if you so chose. Assuming the time component combined with your actions doesn't cause a temporal paradox.
<mainstreet> Ascii: It's a dimensional portal. Stable one, too.
Ashling turns "It appears to be a time-based teleportation portal." She comes over and inspects the pendant, her eyes turning blue.
<Ascii> "So, someone's torn the space-time continuoum a new one?
<Brellius> "Meh, I do that every time I summon my halberd."
<Ascii> "Yes, but yours don't hang there gaping wide-open afterward."
<mainstreet> Ashling: You blink. What the... the magic in this thing is off the scale! You don't immediately really understand what it is. It appears to be a strange device using both Necromantic and Abjuration magics.
<Brellius> "Usually, yeah."
<mainstreet> Ashling: What you can say is that this is something you've never before experienced.
<Ascii> "So, what's the verdict?"
<Ashling> "It's powerful. We could try to take it with us, but it's stuck to him. you could try pulling it off..
<Ascii> "Hmm." He looks at it. "...Brell, try pulling it off."
Brellius walks over to the ex-halfling and carefully attempts to pry the necklace off.
<mainstreet> Brellius: The pendant doesn't want to come off the skin. You pull a bit... and he starts to bleed just above the necklace in a nice ring. Seems like it's somehow easier to pull his head off than it is to get that pendant off his neck.
<Brellius> "Eugh. Glad I'm wearing gloves."
<Ascii> Ascii picks up the halfling and sets him on top of the desk, taking a look at said desk in the process.
<mainstreet> Ascii: There is now a halfling sitting on a desk. Maybe you will put him in a car next?
<mainstreet> Ascii: You notice a pair of drawers on each side of the desk, with a hole in the middle (as you would expect, for feet)
Ascii opens them, and peers inside!
<mainstreet> Right Top: You see an assortment of pens, quills, and similar writing implements. Also a small box that says "PAPER CLAWS".
<mainstreet> There are also a pair of ink bottles.
Ashling goes through the writing implements, taking the ink bottles and a few pens.
<mainstreet> Right bottom: It appears to be a filing cabinet-type drawer. You see a bunch of files. The labels are incomprehensible. You don't recognize the script offhand. It's definitely not any language you know, though.
<Ascii> "Huh? What's this gobbledeygook?"
Ashling takes a look over his shoulder
<Ascii> "Can any of you read this?"
<mainstreet> Ashling: Well, the script is clearly Draconic in nature, but the language isn't quite... you think that it would be an ancient form of Draconic, possibly something approximating the original language of Draconic-script languages. You can, with effort, sort of understand what it's saying... kinda. You start to get a miniature headache trying to make sense of it.
Ashling goes back to the drawer opening the box of paper claws, looking inside "It's ancient draconic, I might be able to understand it with some studying."
<mainstreet> Ashling: The "PAPER CLAWS" are in fact... paper *clips*. Darn. Nothing that exciting.
<mainstreet> Top left: You've found the blank parchment and paper supply!
<mainstreet> Bottom left: You see a large orb. It's glowing the exact same color as the portal. That can't be a coincedence.
Ashling takes the paper and leans in to study the orb.
<Ascii> "Huh. That orb looks awfully...orby."
Ascii occupies himself by examining the halfling to determine how long he's been dead, and possibly how he died.
<mainstreet> Ashling: Hmmm. If you had to guess, you'd guess that this orb is what was anchoring that portal to its current location. Not knowing the command phrases (or whatever else might be used to do so), you find it highly unwise to touch or otherwise disturb that orb unless you don't care what happens to that portal.
<mainstreet> Ascii: Chronitron radiation is so high in this room that it's very difficult to determine exactly when he died. But that's not really the problem. You at first don't believe your result, but... you are Ascii the Awesome, this reading can't possibly be wrong! He's been dead 302 years, 8 months, 4 days, 2 hours, 13 minutes, 11.242315 seconds at the time of reading.
Ascii blinks. ".....uh."
<mainstreet> In addition, you realize that that's how long he's been dead... but *not* how long he's been animated. He was animated... yet still dead... somehow... within the last 12 hours.
<mainstreet> You get the sense that solving this apparent contradiction might be the answer to a lot here.
<Ascii> "Okay, so." Ascii goes into House mode. "Our friend here died just over 300 years ago. But apparantly, someone recently had him up and running about despite that."
<Ashling> "Well that's one way to do it."
<Ascii> "Maybe that pendant is some sort of Animate Dead...thingy. Although if Mike was to be believed, he wasn't just some zombie."
<Ascii> "Sounded like he was moving around and acting like a normal person, at least."
Ascii picks up the chair the fellow was sitting on, and advances on the portal. "As for this..."
Ascii holds the chair up by the legs, and prods the upper half through the portal to see what happens.
<mainstreet> The upper half of the chair vanishes from sight.
<Ashling> "The spell in that amulet was necromancy. We should take it with us.."
Ascii waits a few moments, then pulls the chair back.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You are now holding a chair...
<mainstreet> Ascii: Huh. You notice, very subtly, the wood of the parts of the chair you sent in is *juuuuust* a bit heavier with moisture. You quickly reach the conclusion that the portal reaches to an outdoor location, and a humid one, at that.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You also spot Kanzel reaching into your pocket...
<mainstreet> Nah. Just kidding.
Ascii gives Kanzel a suspicious glare >.> then sets the chair down. "Well, it seems safe. Relatively speaking. I'm going to have a look." He leans over and sticks his head through...
Kanzel is busy staring at a wall.
<mainstreet> Ascii: Hmmm. You look through, and see... a misty rainforest, very wild land as far as you can see. You look up and down, and think that this end of the portal is embedded into a cliff face. It's very hot and humid out here. There's not a sign of anything you'd consider to be civilization from this vantage point.
<Ascii> "Huh." He pulls his head back out. "Dude, there's like, a whole jungle in there!"
<Ascii> "Okay, I'm going through. Hopefully the portal will hold steady. Do *NOT* touch that orb until I get back!"
<Ascii> Ascii sighs with resignation, then steps through the portal fully.
<mainstreet> Ascii: Going completely through, you quickly confirm your observations. What you can see now that you couldn't quite see before was a phrase written in the cliff face in the same script as the paperwork you found back in that room.
<mainstreet> It's directly over the portal.
<Ascii> "Oh. Huh." He sticks his head back through. "Hey, Ash! There's more of that writing in here. Come take a look, will ya?"
Ashling blinks. "Yeah, okay." She hops through
<mainstreet> Ashling: You see everything Ascii sees. You look at the writing. It's that strange Draconic again. You think it says "TWO-LEGS AREA OF TIME" or something like that.
<Ashling> "Two-Legs area of time..."
<Ashling> "Humanoid perhaps?"
<Kanzel> "Brellius, let's keep trying to get that necklace."
<Brellius> "That seems a little disrespectful."
<Ascii> "Which would imply that whoever wrote this isn't humanoid. That's a bad sign."
<Kanzel> "Still. she said it was important."
<Ashling> "Well, it is written in draconic."
<Ascii> Ascii looks around at the nearby ground, searching for signs of passage. "Pretty sure this portal hasn't been standing open for long, or else someone would have noticed it. Let's see who's been through here recently..."
Ashling nods, looking around.
<Kanzel> "Try pulling it off again. I'll help."
<mainstreet> Ascii: Hmmm. You don't see anything resembling a humanoid foot. You do see quite a few tracks of three-toed patterns. Looks like Small, three-toed creatures made the tracks. Reptilian, or perhaps avian. Hmmm.
<Brellius> "If it really is that important..." Brellius gives the necklace another go
<Ascii> Ascii studies the tracks to see if they were coming, or going, or both.
<mainstreet> Ascii: Both. Most definitely both. And in two directions: one off to the left into the jungle, and one right along the cliff wall
<mainstreet> Brellius: Nope. A little more blood, that's all.
<Kanzel> "Hm. Didn't someone suggest cutting the head off? Let's just do that."
<Ascii> "We should try following these once the others catch up."
<Brellius> "Do you have anything sharp? I don't want to waste the energy to summon my halberd for this."
Kanzel takes out her sword "Yeah, I got it." and aims a blow to the neck below the necklace
<mainstreet> Kanzel: You slice the head clean off, and the necklace slides off the head bit. Your quick reflexes enable to grab the pendant before it lands back onto the body. You're careful not to let it actually wrap around any part of your body.
Kanzel tosses it a sack and puts it in her bag.
<Kanzel> "I guess they're not dead. think we should follow them?"
<Brellius> "Yeah, they're probably about to get themselves in trouble."
Kanzel nods and jumps through
<Ascii> "Oh, there you are. What kept you?"
<Brellius> "We were busy desecrating a corpse."
<Kanzel> "We got the necklace."
<Ascii> "Really? I thought it wouldn't come off?"
<Kanzel> "We kinda forced the issue. So what's with this place?"
Kanzel watches Brellius tag along.
<Ascii> "No idea. I think maybe it's the past? Or...some sort of alternate plane or something."
<Ascii> "There's some tracks here. We were going to follow them and see where they go. Although, uh...first, can you fetch the halfling and bring him through? We don't want to leave that body lying around where it'll get us in trouble.
Kanzel hands Brellius another sack. "Don't forget the head."
<Ashling> "That's a sentence you don't hear often."
<Brellius> "Obviously we've led very different lives."
Brellius trudges back through the portal to retrieve the halfling pieces
Ascii blinks. "I'm not even going to ask. Just get...whatever's left and bring him along."
Brellius returns with a sack full of halfling. "I am SO glad I am wearing gloves."
<Ascii> "I hope that sack is leak-proof..."
<Ascii> "Okay, guys, let's go." Ascii decides to follow the tracks long the cliff first.
Brellius tags along
Ashling follows as well
<mainstreet> Ascii: The cliff is very... cliffy. You notice that the path eventually starts to ascend, a sort of natural ramp access to the high ground over the cliff. It seems like you can follow this path and eventually reach the area that would be the top of the cliff. The cliff was only a hundred feet high or so, so it's not that unreasonable.
Ascii follows the cliff path!
<Ascii> "And upward!"
<mainstreet> Ascii: You find yourself on a flat and rather barren mesa. The mesa has a large structure, of the same material that the room in the warehouse was made. It's much larger, looks like something of a grass mansion. Rather boxy, but... you would suspect it's a wealthy individual home or some sort of large commercial-use building. Or perhaps a base for nefarious deeds.
<Ascii> "Ah-hah! It's...a building."
Ascii heads on up to what passes for the front door, and takes a look.
<mainstreet> Ascii: As with the room in the warehouse, no doors here, just doorways. The front room seems rather utilitarian, nothing of note in here, just three more doorways leading to other parts of the building. You do see a crude wooden sign on the side of one doorway with some more ancient Draconic.
<Ascii> "Ash. Translate."
Ashling looks up from her drawing and studies it.
<mainstreet> Ashling: "KITO'S ROOM"
Ashling compares her drawing to the building "Kito's room"
<Ascii> "Kito, eh?" Ascii peeks inside.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You peek inside and see... a desk, and a strange device that seems to be a really awkward version of a chair... and a strange creature lying/sleeping on the bed. It's a bright green, three-toed lizard... or more accurately, a three-*clawed* lizard... those look lethally sharp and deadly.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You've never seen such a strange creature before, but are pretty confident that the historical record says these guys are nice, fuzzy friends.
Ashling leans closer "I.. I saw him in a museum once. Or at least something that looks a lot like that. Velociraptor I think it was..."
Ashling shrugs. "Something like that. So what now?"
<Ascii> "Is it sentient?" He looks thoughtful. "...Is it *friendly*?"
Ashling shrugs again. "It was able to make a sign or have a sign made for it. So it's clearly sentient -or- someone's pet
<Ascii> "Makes sense. Well, I guess I should try to establish contact..."
<Ascii> Ascii knocks on the wall next to the doorway. "Er, hello?"
<mainstreet> The raptor begins to stir...
Kanzel suddenly vanishes.
Ashling suddenly vanishes as well.
Brellius crosses his arms and does not vanish.
<mainstreet> The raptor opens a large yellow eye. It stares at Ascii and Brellius.
<mainstreet> The raptor begins to hiss something. You can't really understand what he's saying, but he is saying something, it seems.
Ascii smiles sheepishly. "...hi?"
<mainstreet> The raptor hisses again, getting off his makeshift bed-like structure. He turns his head in puzzlement.
<Ascii> "I guess it can't understand us..."
Ashling quietly casts comprehend languages to see if it's actually speaking a language.
<mainstreet> Ashling: You've cast the spell... "...foe? I don't have all day. Talk something other than gibberish. Or maybe you're mindless animals? Not likely, given your clear ability to use tools."
Ashling pokes Ascii in the arm and casts tongues on him.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You realize your party member just gave you the ability to speak to Kito.
<Ascii> "Ow! ...hey, what now?" Ascii realizes he understood that last part. "W-wait! We're friendly!"
<mainstreet> "Oh? You can speak, I see. Hmmm... I'm guessing a magical effect of some sort? Meh, never understood that stuff much. What do you want?"
<Ascii> "Right now, mostly just the answers to a few questions. Such as...who are you? And, where *are* we?*
<mainstreet> "I'm Kito. And we're... sort of on the border between Velociraptor territory and Tyrannosaurus territory. Go into the brush up past the mesa, that's Tyrannos. Go down the cliff, that's Raptor. Not sure I can really explain any better than that. You guys look like meat... I bet most Raptors you encounter will try to eat you. Might be too small for Tyrannos to care unless you do something stupid like invade their homes... but that seems to be your thing, doesn't it?"
<Ascii> "Oh. Heh." He grins sheepishly. "Sorry about that. We were...um, looking for something, and found this place, and didn't know if anyone was here. Do you often have humans around these parts?"
Kanzel listens to the random hissing hand hopes Ascii hasn't lost his mind
<mainstreet> "Humans? Is that what you guys call yourselves? Uh... I've never ever seen anything like you before, or even close." Kito groans suddenly. "You're with those morons that think time travel is a good idea, aren't you?"
<Ascii> "Time travel? Wait, what morons?"
<mainstreet> "That pack of Raptors that decided that setting up a time portal in the cliff face, right next to Tyranno territory at that, to travel a hundred million years in the future was not the most stupid idea in the history of stupid. At least they had the sense not to make the damn thing big enough for Tyrannos to get through."
<Ascii> "Interesting." Ascii looks thoughtful. "Why would they want to travel that far into the future?"
<mainstreet> "How should I know? I just know that nothing good can come of this. So I watch over those fools and try to limit the damage they can do. Mainly by making damn sure no Tyranno finds the place and starting a war over the damn thing."
<mainstreet> "But you're part of that team, right? Otherwise how'd you get to look like that?"
<mainstreet> Kito puts a clawed hand to his face. "No... no... you're not. You're from the future, aren't you? You came through that damn portal from the other side."
<Ascii> "Look like that?" Gears turn in Ascii's head. "...they're disguising themselves to look like humans, aren't they?"
<mainstreet> "I don't even want to think of what temporal paradoxes are going to be caused by the creatures of a hundred million years of future time coming back here. If you kill anything, it could be your ridiculous-greats-grandfather and you wipe yourself out of existence!"
<Ascii> "Oh, relax. You're the only person we've even met since we got here." Pause. "...er...velociraptor."
<mainstreet> "If you mean, look like that... eh, I've only seen the one guy, calls himself Jack, looking like a human. But it's really a crude glamer effect. Shouldn't fool anyone. I heard they dug up some dead two-leg thing... er, Human, to act as their avatar for anything they actually do, until that Jack idiot can perfect his glamer. Not really sure what their goal is with all this though. I'm just listening in, I'm not a part of their idiocy."
<Ascii> "Huh." Ascii glances at the sack full of 'avatar'. "Where does this Jack hang out?"
<mainstreet> "Camp down in the jungle. Crude thing really. Not a proper Velociraptor dwelling," Kito sniffed.
<Ascii> "Which direction?"
<mainstreet> "Couple kiloleaps, off that way," Kito waves his hand in the general direction of where the other sets of tracks led.
<Ascii> "Ah. I think I know how to get there from here."
Kanzel is now convinced Ascii has lost his mind.
Ashling continues sketching the Velociraptor
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---