Trinsic Tales:Hell's Bells/Chapter 01
Chapter One: The Descent
<Capn_Ascii> THE KINGDOM OF BELCADAR
<Capn_Ascii> EARLY MORNING
<Capn_Ascii> The city of La Mesa, home of the kingdom's seat of power. Inside the throne room of the royal castle, a covert meeting is taking place...
<Capn_Ascii> Five adventurers stand gathered before the throne. ...wait, is that five, or four? It's hard to tell, what with one of them having two heads and all.
<Capn_Ascii> They speak amongst themselves while waiting for...ah, there he is. The Count enters and takes his seat, preparing to speak...
(Lucas) "I have a little adventure I need handled... about 20 miles in the woodlands to the northeast, there's an old dungeon that in theory, is empty. Nonetheless... there were some recent rumors of some sort of powerful artifact there or something, and a few days ago, my eldest daughter Meredith took off in search of it. Her Highness has not returned to us... Her Majesty and I are concerned, and we would like you to go in and retrieve her."
<Rodrigo> "I'm in," Rodrigo replies immediately. "When do we start?"
<JuroBoza> "Of course I'll help!" Boza says
<JuroBoza> "I'm sure there'll be complications later, but it sounds like I'm getting dragged along," Juro mumbles
<Capn_Ascii> As the Count holds your collective attention, an aide enters the room, accompanied by a hideous grinding, screeching noise.
<Capn_Ascii> The noise turns out to be the sound of a huge, iron trunk being roughly dragged across the floor. The aide hauls it close to the throne, then drops it with a loud *WHAM*.
Luna's ravens caw loudly at the noise.
<Capn_Ascii> The Count nods, and the aide unlocks the trunk and open the li--OHGODYOUREYES!
<Capn_Ascii> You're briefly blinded by the brilliant glow of more treasure than your poor eyes can stand. The trunk is full to bursting with gold, silver, gems, and assorted other valuables. It's like a mini dragon's hoard.
Ember stares longingly
<Capn_Ascii> "His Highness has authorized this amount as payment for your services, should you return with Meredith intact and unharmed."
(Lucas) "I believe I am making an impression as to the seriousness of the situation. Succeed, and I have this here... Fail, and... well, Her Majesty does not appreciate having to deal with matters herself, no?"
<JuroBoza> Juro rubs his chin. "This is a persuasive amount of treasure."
<Ember> "Seems like a fair price."
Luna mutters. "More than fair. All this for a retreival?"
Rodrigo looks at Lucas. "You know I'd go anyway. You also know there's something else I want... well, perhaps we can talk about that later?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yes, on the assumption that you find her, return her in one piece, alive and well, and that no word of this mission ever leaves this room." The aide passes out some parchments. "These are maps to the exact location of the old ruins."
Rodrigo blinks. "This mission is classified? Why?"
<Luna> "I see."
(Lucas) "That's not your concern. Your concern is finding her."
Ember looks over the parchment. "What did you say about these ruins?"
<Capn_Ascii> "It's an old dungeon in the forest. It used to be full of traps, treasure, and monsters - you know, the usual stuff - but the place has been mostly cleaned out over the years."
<Capn_Ascii> "Shouldn't be too dangerous, but you never know."
<Rodrigo> "If it wasn't dangerous, we wouldn't be here."
Ember hmms, still staring at the parchment. "Alright. I'm in."
<Capn_Ascii> "Good. Now get going." The aide rather abruptly shoos you all out of the royal chambers.
<Rodrigo> "Well, guess we're off to this dungeon thing."
<Capn_Ascii> You waste little time in preparing for the mission. La Mesa has everything you need to supply yourself, and you're on your way out of the city by noon. It's quite a ways to go, but fortunately, you've been given horses from the royal stables.
<Capn_Ascii> About a day later, you've reached your objective. Your horses weave between thickly-clustered trees under a dark forest canopy, until you come across the first signs of the ruins. Numerous half-collapsed stone walls and broken archways mark the site of what used to be some sort of above-ground fortress, long since collapsed due to exposure to the elements. Accorsing to the maps, the entrance to the underground sections of the ruins should be around here somewhere...
Ember gets off her horse and looks around. "This seems to be the place"
<Rodrigo> "Indeed. Let's not waste time."
Ember looks around for said entrance.
Rodrigo helps Ember look
<Capn_Ascii> Ember: With a bit of help from Rodrigo, you poke around the rubble and soon find what you're looking for - a large, steel door set against an inside wall, not unlike the door to a farmhouse cellar.
Ember tries lifting a door. "You get that one."
Rodrigo tries the other half of the door.
<Capn_Ascii> The doors slowly yawn wide open as you pull on them. Soon, the passage beyond is revealed - a stone staircase, decending down into the darkness below.
Ember decends, using a small ball of light to light the way.
Rodrigo follows, gripping his axe tightly
Luna forces her ravens to land on her again, which they do begrudingly and follows as well.
JuroBoza follows in the back, holding up an everburning torch
<Capn_Ascii> You proceed forward through the darkness. The hallway seems more or less straight, making it easy to follow despite the near-total lack of light.
<Capn_Ascii> Eventually, you come to a larger room at the end. It's about 40 feet square, and apart from the hallway you entered through (from the south), has only two doors. One is a large, heavy steel door directly opposite the hallway on the north wall, while the other is a smaller, wooden door in east wall.
<Rodrigo> "Let's see... which door do we want first?"
<JuroBoza> "Obviously, the big steel door!" Boza says
Ember shrugs. "Lighter one first?"
<JuroBoza> "We should try the wooden one, yes," Juro says
<Rodrigo> "Wooden it is," Rodrigo comments.
<JuroBoza> Boza frowns. "Fine."
Rodrigo attempts to open the door, first normally, then if necessary, with his axe.
<Capn_Ascii> The door...opens.
Rodrigo looks inside
<Capn_Ascii> Hey, there's another room in here! Fancy that. This one's illuminated, at least...there's torches on the walls. It looks like a barracks...there are several beds lined up along the walls.
<Capn_Ascii> There's also another door in there, in the far corner of the northern wall.
Rodrigo pulls out a liquid sunlight to see, then looks around to see if any of the beds are occupied
<Capn_Ascii> No, they all look empty. There's little on them but small pillows and thin, ragged blankets, and the beds themselves have narrow metal frames.
<Rodrigo> "Another door this way. Try it or the other door next?"
<Ember> "Let's try this one."
Rodrigo sees Ember point at the door he just found. Rodrigo nods and tries to open it.
<Capn_Ascii> The door...doesn't open. It seems to be locked.
Rodrigo raises his axe and attempts to bash the door in!
<Capn_Ascii> The axe buries itself in the door, cracking it (the door, not the axe), but it otherwise holds together.
Rodrigo pulls the axe out.
<Capn_Ascii> The door stands there, looking back at you. Taunting you with its solidity.
Rodrigo goes for another attack!
<Capn_Ascii> This time, the door splinters apart.
<Capn_Ascii> Beyond the door is a narrow hallway. The door seems to be positioned right at a corner - there's one passage running off to the north, and another leading off to the east.
<Rodrigo> "The passages, they're spiraling!"
<Ember> "Now I'm starting to be curious what was behind that steel door."
<JuroBoza> "It's not too late to go back..." Boza says
<Rodrigo> "Indeed. I think we should check to make sure."
Ember thinks about it. "We may as well, before we go too deep."
<Capn_Ascii> You turn around and make the quick jaunt back to the steel door.
Rodrigo tries to open the steel door.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a large, heavy metal handle on the large, heavy metal door, although it's just that - a handle. No latch or anything. You give it a tug, but the door doesn't budge.
Rodrigo tries a bigger tug
<JuroBoza> "We might need a bigger axe," Boza says
JuroBoza joins in
Luna shrugs and helps as well
<Capn_Ascii> You all grab on, and tug with all your might!
<Capn_Ascii> The door spectacularly fails to move at all.
<Ember> "Oookay, that was a waste of time. Let's go back down the other way."
<Capn_Ascii> JuroBoza: Curious, you take a closer look at the door. Soon, the answer becomes clear - there's a thin stream of molten metal in the seams around the door. Someone has welded it shut!
<JuroBoza> "Ah! It's sealed shut!" Juro announces
<Rodrigo> "...You know, it occurs to me that a sealed shut door makes for a real good cell, and thus, a reason Her Highness might be stuck..."
Ember inspects the welds "Doesn't seem to be much we can do from this side."
<JuroBoza> "We could hit it REALLY hard!" Boza raises a fist
Ember holds out her ball of light and talks to it. "Go see." and pushes her towards it. the ball of light turns invisible as it floats to the door and then through it.
<Capn_Ascii> The little glowy...thingy, floats up to the door and phases through it. There's another dark hallway beyond the door.
<Capn_Ascii> The hallway seems to go on for quite a ways through the darkness, gradually sloping upward.
<Capn_Ascii> Eventually, it comes to what looks like the inside of a basement door, similar to the one you opened to go underground in the first place.
<Capn_Ascii> Deciding that it shouldn't go any farther on its own, the little guy turns around and returns to you, telling you what it saw.
Ember nods. "Thanks Ariel. Let's just go beck through that hallway." she points to the other door.
Ember heads that way.
Rodrigo nods and leads the way back to the fork in the paths. "Which way from here?"
Ember thinks "through that hall to the east."
Rodrigo proceeds in an easterly direction.
JuroBoza tags along
<Capn_Ascii> After only a few steps, you find another hallway leading off to the south. There's also a small arrow drawn on the wall, pointing in that direction.
<Rodrigo> "That's either really good... or really bad."
Ember inspects the arrow.
<Capn_Ascii> It looks like someone drew it on the brick wall using chalk. It points south.
<Ember> "Chalk. Fresh, by the look of it. Does tthis loook like the Princess's handwriting?"
<Rodrigo> "How the **** should I know? It's a ****ing arrow!"
Ember mutters "not that well aquanted then."
Ember coughs and resumes in a normal speaking tone. "What do we have to lose, let's follow it."
Rodrigo nods and begins to proceed down the hall.
<JuroBoza> Juro shrugs. "It could be leading us into a trap where we get horribly killed, but very well."
<Rodrigo> "Not following the arrow could also do so."
<Capn_Ascii> As you begin to follow the corridor to the south, you happen to notice an odd slot around the outer edge of the opening where this new hallway meets the original one.
Rodrigo examines the slot carefully
<Capn_Ascii> It looks as though a large, door-sized panel has retracted from where it was covering this hallway.
<Capn_Ascii> Ember: You recognize the configuration - it's a secret passage. That is, this hallway is a secret passage, opening off of the original hallway - the retracted panel is normally designed to close flush with the outer wall and conceal its presence. Someone's opened this side passage before you arrived, and marked it as well.
<Ember> "It's a secret hallway... Well, we definately have to explore it now."
<CapnAscii> You proceed a short ways down the passage. As it turns off to the east, you see the backside of a second secret panel in the western wall of the turn. This one is closed.
<Rodrigo> "Another secret panel. Worth checking out?"
<Ember> "Maybe. but let's see what's at the end of this passage first."
Rodrigo nods in agreement and continues.
<Capn_Ascii> You continue, but soon find the corridor blocked. It looks like the ceiling has collapsed here - the entire passage is full of broken rubble.
<Ember> "Another waste of time. Let's check that room then."
Rodrigo goes back and looks for a way to open the passage.
<Capn_Ascii> Rodrigo: There's no obvious button or switch to open the panel. Oh, no - you're trapped!
<Capn_Ascii> ...oh, no, wait. Here it is.
<Rodrigo> "Not much of a secret panel, clearly." Rodrigo notes, looking inside
<Capn_Ascii> The panel silently slides open...and as it does, you spot a rather Marilyn-esque woman on the other side...
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---