Trinsic Tales:Afterlife in the Fast Lane/Chapter 02
Chapter Two: Dead Reckoning
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our (dead) heroes, we find them having made their way through Afterlife Reception, and are now cliiimbing...
<Capn_Ascii> ...a staiiirway...
<Capn_Ascii> ...to Heeeaven."
<Capn_Ascii> *guitar twangs*
Eralia climbs... and climbs... and climbs.
<Capn_Ascii> The stairs seem to go on forever. On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and *thwack!*
<Capn_Ascii> As Eralia's head pushes up through a cloud bank, it unexpectedly impacts something solid.
<Eralia> "Okay, who's idea was it to make a solid cloud? It's support to be WATER, you idiots!"
<Dkort> "What if it's frozen?"
<Eralia> "Well, if it's frozen, that shouldn't be a problem," Eralia comments, pulling out her swords again.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Looking up, you realize that it's not the cloud that's solid - there's a wooden trap door above you, forming the end of the staircase.
<Capn_Ascii> A small sign on the trap door reads "HEAVEN - SERVICE ACCESS"
<Eralia> "Well, it may not be the cloud..." Eralia contemplates the door, searching for a way to open it.
<Rika> "...The main way to get us into heaven takes us to the service access? what kind of crackpot operation is this...?"
<Eralia> "Better this way. Won't attract attention."
<Rika> "I guess.."
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: The door looks like it's supposed to open upward, but it won't move - it's either locked, or stuck.
Rika looks for a place to try to unlock it.
Eralia wonders how vulnerable the door would be to blasting open
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: There's a small, simple-looking keyhole next to a pull ring.
Rika leans in to work on it.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: It's made of wood, so...probably rather vulnerable.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: It's made of wood, so...probably rather vulnerable.
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: After taking a close look at the keyhole, you wriggle your fingers, crack your knuckles, and then proceed to jam your pinky finger as far into the lock as it will go. You shake it around a little to deploy the tool heads, and there's a soft *click!* as the latch opens.
<Eralia> "Nice work."
<Capn_Ascii> Having had Rika give it the finger, the door opens for Eralia without further protest.
<Eralia> Eralia walks into the room ahead with a slight swagger.
Dkort tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you march up the final few steps, collapsing into a tired heap at the top. After a few moments to catch your breath, you look around to get your bearings. You appear to be in a small maintainence room of some sort - there are shelves of janitorial supplies nearby, and a large metal boiler in one corner. A door nearby is the only visible means of egress.
Eralia searches the shelves for anything potentially useful
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: Pawing through the bottles on the shelf, you find a rather interesting container: "St. CLEAN SOUL SCRUBBER - make tainted souls shine like new! Warning - caustic chemicals. Do not inhale, ingest, or apply to living flesh."
Eralia contemplates the substance and decides to confiscate.
<Dkort> "We should save it and see what it does to a demon."
<Eralia> Having completed her search, Eralia attempts to open the door.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: This door is locked as well, but for once, the lock is on the *other* side of the door. You flip the latch on this side, swing the door open, and amble on through (why amble, instead of walk? People don't amble often enough, that's why.)
Eralia does the amble! Amble, amble, mamble!
Rika ambles as well.
Eralia looks around
Dkort prefers to tag along, thank you very much
<Capn_Ascii> As you open the door, you're greeted by an incredible sight - Paradise itself spreads out before you. The landscape is beautiful in and of itself - rolling hills of clouds and shimmering fields of...uh, more clouds. There's a lot of clouds around here, in fact; the only solid structures seem to be the handful of buildings nearby, arranged in a circle around a central plaza (complete with a sparkling fountain).
<Eralia> "Off to the buildings?"
<Capn_Ascii> There are at least a dozen buildings in the immediate vicinity, all made of polished white marble with gold trim - there are even more beyond the plaza, seemingly stretching off into infinity. Most of them look like housing, though the buildings next to the plaza have a more 'public' feel to them.
<Capn_Ascii> The plaza area is bustling with dozens of people - and by "people", I mean creatures of every concievable shape and size. A gnome and a troll are having a conversation nearby; a pack of beholders float past, laughing about some joke; a blue dragon stomps across the far end of the plaza before turning a corner and disappearing from sight. There are several stone-paved roads leading away from the plaza in various directions.
<Eralia> "Well, I really don't know what I could possibly do here. I'm sure you two have ideas of what you could do though."
Rika shrugs. "Just the Magic place.."
<Rika> "The Registrar of Magic at the Celestial Archives, I mean"
<Dkort> "We should go there first."
<Dkort> "Right now."
<Eralia> "Alright. Then we'll go. And I guess I'll watch your back. 'cause I can."
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you nod in agreement, then stand around looking at each other expectantly until you realize that none of you has any idea where to find the place.
Rika wanders off in a random direction looking for it and potentially reading signs in windows if there are any.
Dkort glances around for a map
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: You take a quick look around, getting a feel for the place. All of the buildings here in the plaza seem to be large, grand affairs - various public hot spots. One building looks like the entrance to some sort of club; another has theatrical flyers plastered on the front, leading you to believe it's a theater. A third building looks to be an inn, while a fourth looks like some sort of government office.
<Capn_Ascii> Off to one side, there's an impressive-looking building with several statues out front; next to that is what looks like a library.
Rika attempts go inside the government building and look around.
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: The building, at first glance, looks rather like a courthouse, with imposing marble pillars out front. Just inside the door is an impressively large lobby; scrolls and legal documents sit in display cases lining the walls, while a huge statue of Justice occupies the middle of the floor, towering overhead. There are several corridors leading off in various directions; individuals in business suits stride purposefully.
<Capn_Ascii> Near the door, a human male sits behind a desk, acting as receptionist.
<Capn_Ascii> ... purposefully between them.
Rika walks up the Receptionist "Hi. I need a Magic Liscense. Could you tell me where to go for that?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Magic license?" He looks confused, but then brightens. "You must be looking for the Registrar of Magic." He points at the door. "You'll find him at the Celestial Archives. It's that library-looking building across the square."
Rika smiles. "Thank you so much."
Rika walks to the door.
Rika walks across the street-thing.
Rika goes into the library-type-building.
<Capn_Ascii> As the three of you enter the Archives, you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of *books* inside. The interior is easily the size of a warehouse; dozens upon dozens of massive white shelves tower overhead, running off into the distance as far as you can see, each brimming with tomes of every concievable shape and size. It looks like every book in the known universe could be in here!
<Capn_Ascii> There are also stacks and piles of unshelved books tucked away in every visible corner.
Rika looks at some of the titles "I might have to stay dead.."
<Capn_Ascii> Off to one side is a large oaken desk, which has so many books piled up on it that you can't see the person sitting behind it; only a pair of stocking-clad, stiletto-heel-wearing female legs are visible beneath it. A nameplate on the front reads "Ms. Information".
Rika walks up to the desk "..Uhm.. Hello?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Hello?" One of the books in the stack on the desk slides back and falls away; a pair of brown eyes framed with glasses peeks through the resultant peephole at you. "May I help you?"
Rika nods "Yes, I need a Magic Liscense."
Rika indicates Dkort "Or rahter, -we- need magic liscenses."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, I see." She steps out from behind the desk, revealing a pretty human woman with her hair in a classic librarian's bun. "You'll want to speak to the Registrar of Magic. Just go down this aisle, then take a left, then keep going straight until you pass the turnpike, then bear right and take the next off-ramp, then turn 270 degrees in a circle before crossing the rope bridge - mind the Rancor - then just hop on one leg until you reach the end of the spike traps.
<Capn_Ascii> "Or..." She points at a nearby door. "...you could take the shortcut."
Rika blinks. "Shortcut sounds good."
<Eralia> "Indeed. Shortcut."
<Dkort> "Yes, a shortcut would be nice."
Rika goes through the indicated door.
<Capn_Ascii> The door opens, and as you step through, you find yourselves in a tiny, bland, generic office, like the sort you'd find some middle-management type occupying space in. Fluorescent lights flicker overhead, illuminating the eggshell-white paint.
<Capn_Ascii> A small, cheap desk sits in the middle of the room, with a few chairs in front of it. Sitting behind the desk is an old, white-haired, beareded fellow who looks like he could be a mighty wizard - if he weren't wearing a dress shirt, slacks, and suspenders.
<Capn_Ascii> He glances at you over a handful of paperwork. "Yes, yes, come in. Please, have a seat." He motions to the chairs.
Eralia takes a stance leaning against the wall
Dkort stares at the chairs
<Rika> "Uhm.. I prefer to stand if that's allright."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hey, it's your ass...not in a chair." He puts down the paperwork, and assumes a posture of alright-let's-do-this. "So, I take it you folks are former spellcasters?"
<Eralia> "Those two are. I'm just here 'cause I can be."
<Dkort> "I still don't like being called 'former'..."
<Rika> "Me neither..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, it's true. You're former spellcasters. Fortunately, you can be *current* spellcasters again relatively simply."
<Dkort> "That would be good."
<Capn_Ascii> "You see..." He launches into expositionmode. "When you die, any and all aspects of your physical being are left behind with your body back in the physical world. That includes equipment, magical items, and spell energy. You can't cast your spells here because you no longer have access to your body's magical conduits."
<Eralia> "I still have my items with me," Eralia pointed out, swinging her longsword idly.
Dkort clutches his holy symbol
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, you do, do you?" He raises an eyebrow. "Have you actually tried to *use* any of them?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Here." He reaches beneath his desk, and pulls out a pointy wizard's hat.
<Dkort> "One of my spells didn't work earlier...but I haven't tried my items yet."
<Capn_Ascii> Reaching into the hat, he pulls out an adorable white rabbit, which he then places on the desk. It sits there, wriggling its nose at Eralia. "Try to kill it with your swords."
<Eralia> "I'm slicing air, I'm using it."
<Eralia> "I see." Eralia takes careful aim and swings with her longsword. "FLAMING DEATH!!!!!!!!!!"
<Capn_Ascii> The sword bursts into flames, cutting a screaming arc through the air, slicing deep into the bunny's neck!
Rika covers her eyes, trying not to watch the poor rabbit's death.
<Capn_Ascii> ...and passing clean through, as if it wasn't there. The bunny sits there, unharmed, still looking at you with a curious expression.
<Eralia> Eralia grumbles and puts her sword back in her bag.
<Capn_Ascii> The wizard explains. "The items you have with you now aren't real - they're phantasms." He waves his arm at Eralia, who watches it pass through one of her swords as if it was a cheap hologram. "Ghosts of your equipment, just like you are ghosts of your original forms."
<Capn_Ascii> 'Your *actual* gear is still with your corpses. That is, unless someone has looted your bodies."
<Eralia> "Oh great."
<Dkort> "Grah! I had to go through a lot of trouble to get a custom silver holy symbol..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Your spell energy is with them as well. The only things you're allowed to keep when you make the transition to post-life are your physical attributes and the clothes on your back." He grins. "They used to disallow even the clothes, but a few sexual harassment lawsuits put a stop to that."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, you *can* get your stuff back, assuming you can return to the land of the living somehow. But that's a rarity."
<Eralia> "How would that be accomplished?"
<Capn_Ascii> "In the meantime, I can set you up with permits to give you access to your spells here, although there are some limitations and regulations."
<Capn_Ascii> "What, returning to life? There are a couple of ways."
<Eralia> "Keep talking."
<Capn_Ascii> "There's the Wheel of Reincarnation - if your karma's good enough, you can give it a spin and get back to the material plane in a new body."
<Capn_Ascii> "If you want your *old* bodies back, you'd have to speak with the clerk of court over at the courthouse, and file a wrongful death suit to get your lives back."
<Capn_Ascii> He leans over, and whispers conspiratorily. "If you're not too picky, you could go talk to the guys Down Under..." He motions toward the floor. "...in the Department of Undeath. Get yourself re-animated. It's not the same as being alive, but it'll get you back home in a hurry. I'm not supposed to encourage that, though; too many corpses shambling around down there already, especially with the war."
<Eralia> "That's another thing, I seem to be lacking in memories of the living world. At least, my last moments."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, yes. That's a normal side effect of dying; the shock tends to damage your short-term memory. You need to head to the Memory Bank down the street and talk to the tellers there; they can help you."
<Eralia> "Will do as soon as we're done here."
<Rika> "So, we still need liscenses..?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Speaking of which..." He hands some forms to Dkort and Rika. "Fill these out, and we'll get you set up. Though like I said, there are some restrictions."
<Capn_Ascii> "All residents of the afterlife are free to move between Heaven and Hell as they wish. You can do what you like, but you're expected to be civil about it. Don't go casting harmful spells on other souls, or you might get in trouble with the Powers That Be." He glances upward. "You *really* don't want that to happen."
<Rika> "Ah. Okay."
Rika fills out her form.
<Capn_Ascii> "That also goes for starting fights, or anything else disruptive to the peace."
Dkort begrudgingly fills out his own form
Rika hands it back. "So, will my wands work?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No. This is only good for spells you actually cast yourself; your wands are still back with your body."
<Dkort> "Would spells I cast on my items still work?"
<Rika> "Is there a place we can go for replacement items?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You mean...casting a spell from here, on your stuff?"
<Dkort> "On the stuff I have here."
<Capn_Ascii> "You don't *have* any stuff here - those items in your pack are illusions. They won't react to spells. If you bought some new stuff at the store and then cast on *that*, it would probably work. Speaking of which..."
<Capn_Ascii> He looks at Rika. "There's a general store on the other side of the square that sells supplies, although there's not much you'll probably need here. You'll need money, though; your earthly currency is no good here, so you might want to ask about a part-time jeorb. Jarb. Er, job." He clears his throat.
<Eralia> "Meh. I don't wanna spend time here. I just want to get back to whatever I was doing."
<Capn_Ascii> "Anywho." He scribbles down some notes, fills out a few forms himself, then reaches into the hat again. This time, he pulls out a pair of plastic ID cards. "Here you go. Two permits to practice the use of magic."
Rika takes hers. "Thank you."
<Capn_Ascii> "You won't need your spellbooks or holy symbols here; we're so close to the sources of magic that you should be able to recall any of your spells without them."
<Eralia> "Okay. Now let's go see about getting our memories back..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Here, take my card. Let me know if you have any more questions." He hands each of you a copy of his business card. "Name's Kevin; Kevin Gnose."
<Eralia> "Thanks, Kevin."
Rika nods, looking at the buisness card.
Dkort also takes a look at the cards
<Capn_Ascii> They're simple posterboard business cards, decorated with little yellow magic stars and a picture of Kevin pulling his rabbit out of a hat. "Kevin Gnose, Registrar of Magic." Instead of a phone number, there's simply a little picture of what looks like a button, with the words "PRESS HERE" written on it.
Dkort fights the urge to press the button
Eralia simply slips the card into her pocket
Rika puts it in her pocket as well.
<Capn_Ascii> Kevin nods to you all, as he puts his pet rabbit back into the hat. "Alright, folks, move along. I've got other dead people to see."
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---