Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 14
Chapter #14:The Coor of Donfusion
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, Cade is apparantly a freakin' expert in inter-dimensional physics or something. I don't even know anymore."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: For reasons you can't adequately explain, you know *exactly* what these cryptic illustrations are. They're crude representations of planar alignment and the resulting points of dimensional intersect. Whoever this guy is, he's apparantly been trying to chart the gradual encroachment of this fantasy reality into your own world.
- Cade looks at the walls with awe. "Err... so you're really smart then, Mr.? Would it help if I told you I know where the two worlds first started overlapping at?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: There's no response. Your 'friend' seems to be doing his best to stay quiet. Perhaps you should try to establish first contact before discussing the finer points of dimensional cartography.
- Cade walks a little further down the tunnel. "Hey you! My name's Cade. Can we talk? Maybe work on this planar thing together?"
- Miranor follows Cade. "Maybe go all the way?"
- Cade keeps walking further down the tunnel until his darkvision registers something new.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: More silence. You get the distinct feeling you're being snubbed. ...or, maybe he's just scared. You make a note to maybe punch him later, or not.
<Capn_Ascii> You keep walking, and soon find the tunnel terminates at a stone wall. A walkway crosses over the water, and in the middle of it is a large steel door, with a multitude of chains, planks, and old iron rods criss-crossing it, each nailed or bolted into place. The water runs beneath the walkway and presumably into a room beyond, though there's thick iron bars blocking the waterway just beyond the opening. Presumably the voice carried through this opening.
<Nenni> "It's possible," Nenni thinks to the group, "that it has retreated out a back passage and is free in the tunnels, no longer within earshot, knowing we're stumbling forward into its trap."
<Miranor> "Unlikely," Miranor thinks back. "It didn't feel hostile."
<Nenni> "It seemed paranoid though."
- Cade walks up to the multi-bolted door and knocks. "Mr. Smart Planar Guy? Can we talk?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: As you bang on the door, one of the wooden planks stretched across it suddenly whips around towards you! You nimbly...stand there and do nothing at it swings over your head and slams into the brick wall. Looks like it was designed for a human-sized enemy.
<Capn_Ascii> The tip of the plank has a multitude of nasty-looking rusty nails driven through it, turning it into a crude spike trap.
<Capn_Ascii> Sheona: You (somewhat belatedly) notice that the door is festooned with a multitude of (admittedly crude) traps and tripwires. You also notice that there's water flowing through the tunnel here, even though the improvised dam farther back should have dried up the tunnel floor. Hmm...
- Cade blinks and takes two steps back away from the door. "Right, right. Dumb dwarf, check for traps BEFORE you knock on the paranoid guy's door," he mutters softly to himself.
- Miranor carefully checks for how to disable the traps in question
<Nenni> "I guess we stumbled forward into its trap." Nenni summarises.
<Sheona> "Shouldn't that improvised dam be blocking water from getting here?"
<Nenni> "I still think it's paranoid, even if not exactly hostile to us specifically."
- Cade looks at the water to see which way it's flowing, the source and the drain.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Ah, here's the problem. The door is criss-crossed with a fine array of fishing line that's being used for trip cords for the traps. They're almost invisible in the dim light. It wouldn't take more than a pair of scissors to disarm all of this.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You follow the water with your eyes, and see it's emerging from a similar grate in the sidewall of the canal about seventy feet away from the door. This seems like a decidedly odd way for the water to be routed.
<Nenni> Just to be sure though, Nenni manifests http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/detectHostileIntent.htm
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You sense intense hostility nearby! ...oh, wait, that's just Sheona. She hasn't killed anything today, she must be antsy. You can't sense much of anything else in the area.
- Miranor pulls out his sword and slices through the lines.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You follow the threads until you find one in particular, then give it a gentle poke with your sword from an arm's length away.
<Capn_Ascii> *SNAP!* *KRNG!* *WHAP!* *CRASH*
<Capn_Ascii> Every trap on the door springs at once, multiple spike arms and length of razor wire lashing across the doorway. Eventually the din dies down.
- Cade picks up dirt from the tunnel floor and drops it in the water to see if it flows under the door.
<Nenni> "Maybe the water flow here is as arbitrary and unintuitive as the conveyor belts in the factory."
<Cade> "I wonder if it's just a circle," Cade speculates. "But what would be the point of that?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You scatter the dust over the water, and watch as it disappears beneath the surface. No, literally, it just vanishes when it hits the water. No floating or surface tension or anything.
<Nenni> "It could drive a Perpetual Motion machine..."
<Cade> "Err... guys... don't touch the water, ok?"
- Miranor looks at Cade's actions. "Understood"
- Cade looks at the writing on the walls. "Maybe the water transports things to a different plane?"
<Cade> "Like back to the full DnD world?"
- Miranor looks again at the network of traps
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: They're all sprung now. ...sprang? Whatever. They're all gone now. Just the chains and some of the planks bar access to the door.
- Miranor looks at how one might clear the remainder of the path to the door.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: With a hacksaw, most likely. The chains and boards are nailed and bolted into place, nary a lock in sight. It feels more like a barricade than an attempt at locking. Indeed, the door would be unopenable from both sides.
- Cade pulls a hammer and a miner's pick out of his backpack. He begins using the hammer to pry nails out. He leaves the miner's pick for whoever wants to attack the boards.
<Nenni> "Cade, if you take one of those trap swingarms and plunge it into the water, does it come out wet? Disturb the water flow? Come out at all? And if you run it down the length of the bars in the grate, do *they* continue under the water? Are they even tangible at all?"
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: It occurs to you that, with the door barriCADEd like this, it can't possibly be used to get in and out of the room beyond on a regular basis. Which begs the obvious question - how *does* one get through?
- Miranor checks for an alternative opening
- Cade replaces the hammer and pick in his backpack and tries to see if any part of the door can be stretched down to reach the water.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You don't see anything out of the ordinary up here. The door itself is nice and solid.
- Miranor looks around for other walkways
<Miranor> "This can't be the only way in. There has to be another one somewhere."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: That's physically impossible without detatching the revelant parts. There's plenty of sprung spike-planks to work with if you just want to go jamming something into the water, though.
<Nenni> "Let's go back to the fork in the tunnels and check out the other passages that *weren't* blocked off"
- Cade takes one of the spike-planks and dips it in the water.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You grab a spike-plank (spank?) and prod at the water with it. You're met with a complete and total lack of fluid resistance as the spiked end disappears into the water, leaving no visible wake.
- Cade jams the plank at the iron bars under the place the water disappears into the next room, feeling for how solid those bars are.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You spank the bars with all your might, and nearly topple over into the water when you meet with no resistance. It's like swinging at thin air.
- Cade looks to see if there's any way to get through without touching the water.
<Nenni> "Are the bars *above* the water level tangible?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Not unless you're the size of a chihuahua and can cling to ceilings.
- Nenni is and can.
- Cade sighs and looks around for any other possible entrances.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: A thorough search of the dead-end reveals nothing. The wall's only openings are the barri--er, the blocked door and the drainage grate.
<Nenni> "Let's go back to the fork in the tunnels and check out the other passages that *weren't* blocked off"
- Cade looks at Nenni like he's crazy. "We've put way too much effort into this part to go back to searching without figuring this out."
<Miranor> "I'm not entirely sure this guy won't reset all the traps if we leave, either."
- Cade tries pushing and pulling on the big door, just in case it secretly swings open.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: A quick peek reveals the door hinges outward, towards you. With those chains in the way it won't budge.
<Miranor> "Force method or find another route? We looked around... but I'm willing to force, at this point. If you think it's worth the risk of making him more scared..."
- Nenni_ uses Scent and Tracking feat to follow the trail of any being that isn't a member of the familiar party to find out where the tracks lead to/from.
- Cade calls out in the direction of the water grate, "Hey, Smart Planar Dude, do you happen to be a spider that climbs on walls?" Then he pulls his hammer and pick back out and goes back to yanking nails out of the door...starting with the ones that keep the hinges on.
- Miranor starts working on the chains
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: As the others take up their tools, you start sniffing around, literally. Thankfully the water around here seems to be rain runoff rather than the more, erm, unsavory sorts of sewer fluids.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Hmm...very curious. You can smell an odor that's definitely not one of the party - it smells musty and dank, yet not terribly offensive. Definitely a creature of some sort. The scent trail comes down the side walkway, then right in front of the door it dips down into the water and runs through the grate. ...wait, what?
<Capn_Ascii> You give an experimental whiff. Yes, you're definitely smelling the odor coming from below the waterline. That seems...odd.
<Nenni_> "Maybe the first water we encountered is real water and /this/ water is an illusion. I smell a creature has gone through this grate..." Nenni tells the group.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor, Cade: You begin chipping away at the door, making a point to be as quiet as you reasonably can. Fortunately, it's not a hard task - the planks pry off easily, and the bolts holding the chains in place only require a bit of elbow grease to begin turning lefty-loosey.
<Cade> Still working, Cade says, "I could try summoning something and see if it survives contact with the water."
<Nenni_> "I'll do it." Nenni suumons a http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/astralConstruct.htm and then sees through its eyes with http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/senseLinkForced.htm then sends it forward down the small drain with the grate for 6 rounds.
<Nenni_> It looks like an obviously out of place shimmering translucent catoonish Construct with a definite Cat motif.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: The thing you create ends up looking disturbingly like a Furby with cat ears and a tail. You decide to send it on its way before your instinctive revulsion causes you to lose focus.
- Nenni_ does so forthwith!
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: It waddles up to the edge, then hops off into the water, disappearing beneath the surface with no splash or wake. Viewing through the creature's eyes, you can see that it's standing on the bottom of the channel, the surface of the water lapping above its head. It's the right murky color down here for what you'd expect while underwater in a storm sewer, but your pet isn't buoying at all - it just stands there
<Capn_Ascii> on the bottom, before marching off down the channel and up to the grate bars. Moments later, it passes right through the grate as if it wasn't there, and continues on its way.
<Capn_Ascii> After only a few seconds, it reaches another, identical grate, which it also passes through effortlessly. It now seems to be standing on the upper edge of a large water resivoir, which slopes down and away towards the center of what you can only assume is a large room centered around the aforementioned feature.
<Nenni_> If there are no side walkways or extra passageways, Nenni mentally commands the Construct to keep walking and following the passage / slope / whatever.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: The slope quickly becomes too steep to follow without risk of falling. Besides, if this is what you think it is - a water basin - all that's down there is the drain that's flushing all this 'water' off somewhere. There's a walkway up above, though, just like the ones you're standing on now.
<Nenni_> Nenni mentally tells Furby to get on up to the walkway.
- Cade puts hammer and pick back in the backpack as Nenni relates his findings. "So, who wants to jump in first?" he asks.
<Capn_Ascii> NotFurby does so, and finds himself looking at the backside of the door. This side is clear of obstructions, though you do notice someone has propped a chair up against the door handle.
<Nenni> Nenni asks NotFurby to move the chair out of the way, and tap on the door randomly.
<Capn_Ascii> NotFurby does so dragging the chair away before proceeding to rap its adorable knuckles on the door.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You hear a gentle knocking on the door. Maybe someone wants to come in?
<Nenni> Nenni mentally directs NotFurby to the point of the walkway nearest the water basin's edge and prepares to wurble "Geronimo" before diving off / in... unless anything more productive occurs to Nenni.
- Cade looks back and forth between the door and the water... door or water... door or water... Eventually, he takes a deep breath and steps into the water.
<Cade> When he doesn't disappear, he crawls/walks through the tunnel.
- Miranor follows Cade
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Your pet takes a flying leap off into the cold, dark abyss, bonking its head before sliding down the slope and down into the drain at the bottom. ...say, is that Jimmy Hoffa's body? Unfortunately, it vanishes out of existence moments later, preventing you from confirming.
<Capn_Ascii> The pet vanishes, that is. Not the body. That would be weird.
<Nenni> Nenni rubs his eyes and steadies himself as his vision returns to his real body.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You hop down into the trench and find that, much to your lack of surprise, the water isn't wet at all. Or even there at all. You crawl through the tunnel, followed by the rest of your compatriots.
- Cade looks around for Smart Planar Creature.
- Nenni follows with a sense of deja-vu. Well, mostly - the passageway didn't have a party member's bum in it last time he saw.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Dat ass.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You crawl out into the room that Nenni saw, and climb up onto the walkway to get a better look. It's a huge, circular room with what looks like a large water basin taking up most of the space, though of course now you know the water is fake. There's a wide walkway of stone going around the entire edge, and placed along it at various intervals are bits of furniture that give the place an almost homey look - there's an old ratty bed in one corner, for example, and in another there's a desk covered in books and papers. More of the bizzare dimensional drawings occupy much of the wall space in here, and you count at least two doors like the one you just circumvented.
<Capn_Ascii> Looking higher up on the walls, you can see what look like large wooden shelves sticking out of the walls, propped up by wooden struts. Each is stacked with at least a few wooden barrels. The only obvious means of reaching them at that height is a ladder against a nearby wall - it has wheels on its feet and sides, the sort of thing you'd see in library stacks for reaching high bookshelves.
<Capn_Ascii> Glancing upward, you happen to notice one such shelf almost directly above the entrance, as well as what looks like a barrel that's floating in mid-air. Someone must have cast an enlarge spell on it, because it's rapidly getting bigger. Huh.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade, glancing upward, notices the falling barrel. Turning to face the door, he suddenly leaps up and executes a backwards somersault kick, his foot striking the barrel and spiking it off into the basin like an errant soccer ball. It smashes open on the angled surface, leaving a thick, oily substance to dribble down the slope.
<Capn_Ascii> Moments later, a single candle in a candleholder falls down in your midst, clattering to a stop on the floor between you. Without the flammable barrel substance, it doesn't do much besides look kind of sad.
<Capn_Ascii> "Uh." You look up and see a face looking down at you from the shelf. It looks rather fish-like, with green scaly skin and large eyes. ".....that could have gone better..."
<Cade> "Oh, I think it went very well indeed," Cade says, a gleam in his eye.
<Nenni> "Hey!" thinks Nenni, "How come my 70 minutes of http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/detectHostileIntent.htm didn't warn me of its location and hostile intentions?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I wasn't hostile! I was just going to push that barrel of oil off of here, and then light it on fire, and maybe you happened to be standing in it, or maybe not." The fish-man blinks. "...uh. Actually, now that I say it, it does sound awfully hostile..."
<Miranor> Miranor sighs. "Look, we're all in the same boat here, can we try working together please, instead of against each other?"
- Cade waves. "Hey, Mr. Smart Planar FishGuy, should we introduce ourselves?"
<Capn_Ascii> "That depends. Do the introductions involve your fists meeting my face?"
- Nenni licks his lips at the tasty fish.
<Cade> "I'll keep my fists off your face, if you keep your ... err fins? ... off my face." After a brief pause, Cade adds, "And your barrels."
<Miranor> "It would not be my preference. I would hope it would involve a fair exchange of information so we don't all die when reality explodes. Or implodes. Or someting."
<Nenni> Nenni asks the Cavefish, "Did YOU kill Jimmy Hoffa with a burning barrel too? At least, it looked like his remains."
- Cade nods in agreement with Miranor. "Yeah, gotta save the world. Worlds. With us in it."
<Capn_Ascii> The fish-man's eyes go wide. "Reality? Wait, you've seen it too, haven't you? The worlds colliding!?"
<Cade> "Saw it, yeah. Up close and personal."
- Cade looks down at his body. "Up VERY close and VERY personal."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yes, yes, we should definitely speak. Let me come down."
- Nenni heads over to the desk of documents, hops up and looks for his Character Sheet.
<Capn_Ascii> He grabs a rope that's hanging from a high spot on the wall, and swings out away from the shelf like Tarzan, dropping down to the floor-level walkway.
<Capn_Ascii> "Please, this way."
- Cade follows.
- Nenni peers through the books and papers.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---