Geometric Archipelago:The Longest Five-Pointed Night/Chapter 14
Chapter Fourteen: An Elemental Expiriment
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<mainstreet> You find yourselves in the Library! Let's all have fun in the Star City Library! Whatever shall we do next?
Ascii is overwhelmed by magic! The magic...of reading.
Ascii then shakes it off. "Okay, guys, I think it's time we report in."
Ascii pulls out the mirror and attempts to contact the queen.
<mainstreet> *bzzt* Hmmm, it seems you have somewhat crappy reception in here. Might be better to not carry a phone conversation in a library.
<Brellius> "Let's step outside."
<Ascii> "Oh, of course." Ascii only now spots the "No Cell Phones Or Magic Mirrors" sign on the library wall.
Ascii leads the others outside, and into the nearest semi-secluded alleyway.
Ascii then attempts the call again.
<mainstreet> A few seconds, then... "Yes? What is it. You've interrupted dinner, and I can't exactly take this call in public... this had better be important."
<Ascii> "Oh. Oops. Pardon us, Your Majesty, but we've come across some information that we believe might better explain the nature of that...er, problem we were looking into. Probably not something we should be speaking about in public, though..."
<mainstreet> You can hear a very audible sigh. "You might as well come here to discuss the matter, then. If this isn't going to be a quick conversation, and it's not an emergency, then there's no reason to do this over the mirror."
<mainstreet> "I'll see you after dinner. If you haven't eaten, please do."
<Ascii> "Yes, ma'am."
Ascii hangs up. Or at least, whatever passes for hanging up on a mirror?
<mainstreet> You wipe the mirror off.
<Ascii> "Okay, guys. Let's head back to the bar for a quick bite, then we're going to talk to the queen."
<Ascii> "And possibly Jasmine, if she shows up. Which she might, knowing what happened last time."
<mainstreet> --------------SCREEEEEEEEEEE---FAST FORWARD---FAST FORWARD---SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-------------------
<mainstreet> After a meal of Hot Wings(tm), ale, and other foodstuffs, the four of you end up in the same meeting hall you started this adventure in. A pair of guards are standing at the door behind you.
Ashling continues skimming the book she totally checked out from the library while people were stuffing their faces with hotwings.
<mainstreet> You find yourselves waiting a good twenty minutes further before Kelsey walks in behind you. "Start talking," she commands as she takes her seat, grabbing writing materials.
Ascii clears his throat. "Your Majesty...how much do you know about dragons? Those in the archepelligo, specifically."
<mainstreet> "I know we tend to keep them well away from here. Wizards and sorcerers are very good at fighting dragons. I know where they are within the archipelago. Some are relatively friendly... such as your own brass dragons on Triangle. Others less so. I'm not sure why you're asking."
<Ascii> "Your Majesty, we've come across information that suggests that one of our targets - Professor Gozano - may be colluding with an individual known as Kilmath. According to what we know, Kilmath is the leader of a black dragon clan that has historically had designs on this island."
<mainstreet> "Kilmath... there's a name I haven't heard in a very long time..." she pulls out a mirror. "Adrian, I want everything you have on Kilmath, on my desk, immediately." She wipes the mirror off. "He'll probably take a few minutes to collect the data. In the meantime, present your evidence as to this connection."
<Ascii> "We don't actually have much in the way of concrete evidence - at least, not yet. Mostly just underworld rumblings, and some suspicious behavior on his part - he's been spying on us using elementals. We were actually hoping to request your permission to investigate Gozano somewhat more...aggressively." He looks thoughtful. "The sort of...investigation that mar or may not be entirely...legal, should we be caught in the act of doing so." He makes gestures
<Ascii> with his hands that mean something along the lines of 'burglarize'.
<mainstreet> "I see," Kelsey replied slowly. "Have you considered using your own elementals to return the favor?"
Ascii blinks, then looks at Ash. "We have elementals?"
Ashling looks up from her book. "Some variant of them. I'm researching a special power that would let me summon minor elementals more often, beyond that, I'm not sure what you're talking about, Mistriss."
<mainstreet> Kelsey frowns. "I wasn't necessarily suggesting that you had the ability to summon them yourself. I don't. At least, not... inherently. Although..." she sighs. She opens her mouth, then closes it again as she notices Adrian step in with a thin folder. Kelsey grabs it and starts flipping through it. "Hmmm... this isn't good. The wards must already have some issues in them, if Kilmath's wandering around. And his presence is confirmed, with what you're telling me."
<mainstreet> "I recommend you find Kilmath, and bring him in for questioning. Or terminate him. That will solve your problems much better than dealing with the Professor directly. That said, he shouldn't be able to use elementals at you either... if you can find a way to have proof the elementals are connected to him, I will authorize any actions you need to take on him."
<Ascii> "We did a little research in the library; according to what we read, the wards somehow keep the dragons at bay. If Gozano is in league with Kilmath, it would be the perfect reason for him to want to sabotage the wards."
<mainstreet> Kelsey nods in agreement as well. "Yes, that would be my conclusion as well. The fact remains that Kilmath is the vulnerable link in the organization; dragons are not protected at all by Island law. You can do whatever you want to them."
Ascii raises an eyebrow. "Although with dragons, it's less about the law and more about pragmatism. How exactly do we take on a dragon without getting spit-roasted?" He looks thoughtful. "Also, what do you mean about the elementals? Is Gozano violating a law with them, or is he somehow not supposed to have that ability at all?"
<Ashling> "And what did you mean about our own elementals?"
<mainstreet> "It's sort of a mix of both. The wards are supposed to keep out a wide variety of creatures. Elementals are on that list just as surely as dragons. There's no law specifically against elementals, but... in general, powerful 'summon' creatures are not as effective here as they might be other places. As for your own... while elementals aren't supposed to work well in theory, since they clearly are, you should be able to make your own summonings work. As to how... after our meeting here, I'll ask you to..." she drops her voice. "follow me to the basement, I'll have an object for you with regards to this. I won't allow the object to leave the room it's in, but... you can use it while it's there."
<Ascii> "Ah, I see."
Ascii hmms. "So the fact that they're being used against us indicated the wards are already failing?"
<mainstreet> Kelsey nods grimly. "I don't like this. I don't know how this could have happened, frankly," she mutters softly, to where you can barely hear her. "The wardroom is supposed to be completely imprenetrable by all except the Island's rightful ruler, meaning me until this Needfest concludes."
Ascii blinks. "Eh? The wards are *here*?"
<Ascii> "I always thought they were like...force fields around the island, or something."
<mainstreet> "Well... ohhhhhh... hmmm. The wards aren't actual physical objects. What I do in the wardroom... is control their activation, and radious, but... they exist more or less as ethereal energy fields, don't they? I've never had to think of them that way, because in practice, until now, it's been, whatever's... ahem, set up however it's set up, is what actually happens for the Island."
<mainstreet> "But yes, you're technically correct. I wonder if they're being attacked at the ethereal level, then? But how could that happen?" Kelsey mused.
<mainstreet> "This, if anything, gives me more reason for my retirement. I will place myself at the disposal of the new ruler and devote myself fully to investigating this. That does not solve our current problem however. I... will tell you now, that you may investigate the Professor, since he's using elementals freely, and is apparently in league with Kilmath. Unless you can prove an association *first*, however, DO NOT get caught. If you are caught, and cannot prove justification, I will have to deport or imprison you all, or risk losing the confidence of the people. And frankly, you're my only shot. If you fail... this Island could fall. Please be discrete."
<Ascii> "We understand, Your Highness."
<mainstreet> Kelsey nods. "So anything else, or should we head downstairs?"
<Ascii> "That's all, for now. Yes, let's go."
<mainstreet> You all head out, walking in a roundabout way... until you find the small basement stairs. You walk down into it, go down blank corridors, until you find a room labeled "55". Kelsey pulls out a key and places it in the lock. It opens, and she gestures for you to precede her inside.
Ascii does so.
Brellius tags along.
<mainstreet> You walk in, and find, on a pedestal, a strange contraption. It seems to be largely made of metal... a twirling mass of red, white, brown, and blue wavy rod-like objects, all twisting around each other in a sphereoid shape.
Ascii doesn't know aht it is, but feels an immediate urge to blindly fiddle with it. He fights back the urge, however.
<mainstreet> "This is one of the great treasures of our Island," Kelsey breathes, closing the door behind her as she enters. "I haven't set foot in this room in over twenty years... since my detailed exploration of my new home a few months after my ascension. It is capable of summoning elementals... any kind you wish. You see the colors representing the four types, and if you look closely, the rods aren't all the same size. To my knowledge, this is the only one of its kind ever created. It has sat here, I believe, for well over a thousand years. Or at least somewhere in the palace. It is part of the secret knowledge typically known only to the Island's rulers. Though unlike the wardroom's details, it is not forbidden for me to reveal its existence, or how to use it. I have the power... at my discretion. For the first time during my reign, I am exercising this discretion. I do hold you to absolute secrecy on this matter: YOU do not have the right to share the information of this object's existence, not even to your own rulers. If you don't agree to my terms, I'll ask you to leave, and wipe your memories of seeing it right now."
Ascii blinks. "You can do that?" A pause. "Er. I mean, of course, we won't say a word, we swear." He glares meaningfully at the others. "Isn't that right?"
Ashling nods as well "Yes, of course."
Brellius shrugs and nods.
Ascii continues glaring to drive the point home. "...okay, then."
<mainstreet> Kelsey grins. "And of course, this room has a magical compulsion in it. Anything you agree to, even nonverbally, is sufficient to hold you to it."
Ascii looks vaguely offended. "I assure you, ma'am, I do not break solemn vows." He glances at the others. "...them, I can't vouch for. So, yeah, probably not a bad idea."
<mainstreet> "Now, activating the device is actually quite simple. You can summon an elemental simply by grabbing hold of the rod representing the elemental you want to summon, then tapping the sphere -- just picking it up and pounding it on the pedestal will do -- in a sequence of two quick pulses, then three pulses, then two more quick pulses."
<mainstreet> "The idea, I believe, was to make it so anyone competent could activate it on purpose, but that it could not be activated accidentally. This is, of course, assuming the information I have is correct. I have not tested the device myself."
<Ascii> "How can we be sure the elementals brought over are...well, friendly? Or even cooperative?"
<mainstreet> Kelsey blinks. "Elementals are always neutral, aren't they?"
<Ascii> "Usually neutral. Besides, if you haven't tested this thing, for all we know it might summon Gozer or something."
<Brellius> "I'll be here if something goes wrong."
<Ascii> "You usually *are* there when something goes wrong, Brell."
<mainstreet> Kelsey frowns. "I've only have records of a few summonings, but there were never any issues with it. As far as I know, it's just a convenient summoning tool. The reason it's so secret and considered powerful is because you can use it as often as you want. But if you don't want to use it... we can leave, if you want."
<Ascii> "Well...no, that's fine. Just posing the possibility. Usually when I see obviously powerful artifacts floating there like that, something bad happens when you mess with 'em." He approaches the device. "Mind if I give it a quick test run?"
<mainstreet> "I would not have brought you here if I was not okay with you using it," Kelsey gives you an irritated growl.
<Ascii> "Alright." He examines the rods. "What sorts of elementals do we have here, I wonder?" He touches the white rod, and proceeds to activate by tapping it like Kelsey indicated.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You notice six different thicknesses of white rod (and indeed, of each of the colors). Which size are you touching?
Ascii grabs the smallest one to start with.
<mainstreet> You perform the tapping sequence, and... out comes a small Air Elemental! It appears a few feet in front of you, looking for an enemy to attack. It finds none, so just stares at you.
Brellius stares back
<mainstreet> After a few seconds of staring, it says something in Auran.
<Ascii> "I'm sorry, I don't...what the hell is it speaking?"
Ashling points at Ascii again.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You recieve Ashling's Tongues spell, and now understand what it said: "Why am I here?"
<Ascii> "Oh! Oh, uh, hello there. Actually, we were just testing this here...um, elemental summoner. To see if it works. Which it does."
Ashling, foreseeing a pattern, points at everyone else in the room in turn
<mainstreet> "Duh. Of course it does. What are you, a moron?"
<mainstreet> Apparently this elemental doesn't think much of you and your 'test'
<Ascii> "No, just overly paranoid about unknown magical doohickies. Actually, we do have a task we were curious about. There's a human here in the city we'd like to spy on without him knowing; is that something you can accomplish?"
<mainstreet> The air elemental shakes its head. "Can't teleport while summoned"
<Ascii> "Just you, or all elementals?"
<mainstreet> The air elemental gives off a shrug "I only know others from Plane of Air. Can't teleport on this plane."
<Ashling> "Now that I think about it, I think earth elementals have some sort of stone walking ability...."
Ascii blinks. "...hey, yeah, there's a thought. Wasn't that an earth elemental back in the bar?" He looks at the air elemental. "You're, uh...dismissed, I guess."
<mainstreet> The air elemental vanishes.
<Ascii> "Okay, so..." He does the tap routine again, this time with a medium-sized brown rod.
<mainstreet> An Earth elemental appears in the middle of the room, it's quite Large, and stretches well down into the ground, his head barely under the ceiling.
<Ascii> "Whoa. Uh. You're...bigger than I was expecting."
<mainstreet> The Earth elemental grunts.
<Brellius> "I could be bigger than that if I wanted..."
<Ascii> "...yeah, we need a smaller one. Sorry, you can go now."
<mainstreet> The Earth elemental gives a louder grunt, then vanishes.
Ascii tries the smallest brown rod.
<mainstreet> This time, a Small Earth elemental appears. It's about 4 feet high. That's more like it! It grunts at you.
<Ascii> "Uh...hi. We need to spy on someone. Can you use your earth-burrowing abilities to sneak around and watch him without him noticing you?"
<mainstreet> The earth elemental swings his head around a bit, then nods. "Who?"
<Ascii> "Nathan Gozano. Professor at the magic academy."
<mainstreet> The earth elemental swings his head around some more. "Don't know names. Need identification by association."
<Ascii> "Uh." Ascii tries to think of a better way to specify. "...if we give you his location and description, can you figure it out?"
<mainstreet> Earth elemental grunts. "Maybe someone bigger smart enough to. I can go to coordinates and observe though?"
<Ascii> "Yeah, that works. Your Majesty?"
<mainstreet> Kelsey raises an eyebrow. "Hmmm... I'm guessing you want his office?"
<Ascii> "If you would, please."
<mainstreet> Kelsey sits down on the floor and starts tracing numbers in the dirt... after a minute, she stands up and rattles off a long string of numbers. You translate it to Terran for the elemental. It grunts. "Report details?" it asks.
<Ascii> "Go to that location, and wait for a human male to show up. Eavesdrop on him, and report back to us every few hours. We're especially interested in any attempts he might make to contact someone named Kilmath; if he does, make sure you remember everything they say to each other."
<mainstreet> The elemental gives a nod and wanders off, sinking into the ground.
<mainstreet> Kelsey laughs. "You do realize he's going to be reporting to you in your sleep now, right?"
<Kanzel> "We don't sleep much."
<Ascii> "Better than risk missing something important until it's too late"
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---