Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 05
Chapter Five: Idol Hands
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find a rare sight - Marilyn actually admitting fault for something! And apologizing!"
Marilyn looks more carefully this time.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Yep, it's trapped! On closer inspection, you can glimpse the inner workings of the keyhole, and the trap mechanism connected to it. A clockwise turn of the key should activate the lock without setting off the blades.
Marilyn carefully inserts the key and turns it clockwise.
<Capn_Ascii> You take the key you found earlier, insert it into the lock, and give it a turn.
<Capn_Ascii> For a moment, nothing happens. Then, the wall panel begins to shudder.
Marilyn backs away, in case she messed up again somehow.
Vathgani continues looking unimpressed
<Capn_Ascii> After a bit of ominous rumbling, the wall panel begins to slide back, pulling away from the rest of the wall. As it withdraws, it creates an opening into a large cavity behind the wall.
Marilyn leads the way into the room, carefully searching for traps.
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Nope, no traps in here! ...you think.
Marilyn bravely continues forward, looking around the room in general.
<Capn_Ascii> As you edge into the opening, the first thing you notice is the innards of the blade trap from before. They're sitting out in the open here, to either side of the opening you just came through - including the body impaled on one set.
<Marilyn> "There. You can loot your body, Vathgani," Marilyn points out.
Vathgani checks the body for loots
<Capn_Ascii> As you continue farther into the room, you can see that it's actually fairly small - no bigger than 30 feet on each side. Besides the trap mechanism, there only seems to be one item of interest - a pedestal about four feet high, sitting out in the middle of the nearby floor. The pedestal itself looks fairly unremarkable, aside from the idol sitting on it.
Marilyn carefully examines the pedestal and idol.
<Capn_Ascii> Vathgani: You do your best to rifle through the guy's pockets. He has quite a lot of them, in fact...he's dressed in what looks like safari gear. You can't really find much without trying to thread your fingers between the blades, but as you attemt to do that, the mechanism trembles ominously. You wisely decide to stop before you set something off.
<Vathgani> "Need more skilled hands to loot this body."
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: The pedestal is mundane-looking, made out of simple stone, decorated with more native art. The idol, however, is FABULOUS - it's shaped like a stylized tarrasque, as big as a football, and appears to be made of solid jade.
Marilyn looks carefully for traps surrounding the idol or pedestal if disturbed.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Oh, yeah. There it is - the pressure plate sitting beneath the idol. You've got a good idea where this dog-and-pony show is headed...
<Marilyn> "Alright, this will activate when I pull this... but let's loot that body now, just in case," Marilyn comments, going over to the body and attempting to acquire material.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Being veeeeeery careful, you thread your fingers around the deadly, deadly blades and pick through the man's pockets. You find a pocketwatch, some beef jerky, and two folded-up pieces of paper.
Marilyn looks at the paper and reads
<Vathgani> "Can Vathgani have that jerky?"
Marilyn tosses the jerky to Vathgani without comment.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: The papers appear to be part of an informational packet. One of them is a map; the other, a written note. It says:
<Capn_Ascii> "Silas P. Whifflebottom - Explorer's journal, Day 7: After forging a path through the jungle and sneaking past the tarrasque, we've made our way to the spire and successfully climbed up to the temple entrance. After figuring out the entry mechanism, we've found ourselves in the inner sanctum. Unfortunately, the vault is locked.
Marilyn looks further down the page
<Capn_Ascii> The lock has proven virtually undefeatable, at least to the skills of my party. One of the safecrackers I brought with us attempted to open it, but triggered a trap and got himself killed. I don't believe the lock can be opened at all without the key, so I've decided to set out for the other temples instead. Perhaps one of them contains the key to access the vault and the idol rumored to be stored here..."
Marilyn frowns. Isn't the idol right there?
<Capn_Ascii> The body itself looks fairly fresh - it's only slightly decomposey.
<Capn_Ascii> Having finished the letter, you take a look at the map. It looks like one of the islands nearby, though you're not sure which one. It's not this one, and not Frostbite Island either. Perhaps one of the others?
<Capn_Ascii> There's a dotted line leading from the beach to a point in the middle of the jungle, with a big X mark at the end.
Marilyn grins at the clue, but realizes that it's not something that can be checked right now. She stows the map, journal, and watch.
Marilyn carefully goes over to the idol. "I'm about to attempt something highly dangerous. Everyone brace yourselves," Marilyn comments, going to the idol and carefully twisting it to one side, leaving an edge still on the plate, watching to see what happens.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You gently lift part of the idol off the plate, being careful not to pull it off completely. The plate rises up a bit, but nothing seems to happen. Perhaps it only triggers if the plate rises all the way?
Marilyn sighs, realizing that's not going to work. She puts the idol back to normal, then pulls all of it up a fraction of an ich.
<Capn_Ascii> Again, the plate rises, but not all the way. Whatever trap is set here, it seems to be designed to only trigger when the plate is lifted up all the way.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Hey, maybe if you lift the idol off really fast, the mechanism won't notice it's gone! :D
Marilyn shakes her head at her own silliness and continues lifting the idol carefully.
<Capn_Ascii> Ashling: It occurs to you that Marilyn has only tested the plate's *upward* motion. Perhaps she should try pushing down on it instead?
Ashling mentions this.
Marilyn raises an eyebrow and attempts exactly this.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You return the idol to rest, then push down on the plate. It doesn't move at all.
Marilyn tries the entrance method: standing on the pedestal/plate
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You clamber up onto the pedestal and jump up and down on the plate a few times, being careful to not kick the idol off.
<Capn_Ascii> Again, nothing happens.
<Marilyn> "Shall we try all four of us again?"
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: It occurs to you that, while the plate is designed to trigger if the weight on it is removed...it doesn't actually have any way to tell *what* that weight is, or how much of it, since the plate won't go down beyond its base point. You could dump anything sufficiently heavy on it and keep it pinned down...
Marilyn looks around for stray rocks or other things to pile on the pedestal
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You don't see much in the vault, besides your teammates and that dead body on the blades.
Marilyn sighs, hops off the pedestal, and looks for a way to peel that dead body off the blades.
Marilyn also goes back to the entrance room to look for rocks or something to put on the pedestal.
<Capn_Ascii> Hey, there's one - a nice, big, fat rock sitting in one corner, just begging to be sacrificed to the pedestal gods.
<Marilyn> "Vathgani, grab that rock and move to the pedestal," Marilyn commands.
Vathgani grabs the rock and hauls it over to the pedastal
<Capn_Ascii> Vathgani: You haul the rock over and heft it up, ready to place it on the pedestal. Someone's going to have to move the idol first, though. Better make the switch quickly...
Marilyn grabs hold of the idol, eyeing Vathgani. "Let's do this on three. One... two..."
Vathgani puts the rock down on the pedestal as soon as the idol is clear
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn snatches the idol away; at the same time, Vath shoves the rock onto the pedestal.
<Capn_Ascii> ...nothing happens.
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, wait, that's a good thing.
<Capn_Ascii> <IDOL GET!>
Marilyn smiles and shoves the idol into her haversack.
<Marilyn> "Alright, we got idol, we got clues... anything else here? If not, let's move out."
Marilyn checks the room and idol for clues/writing first, though
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: As you're about to leave the vault, you take one last look around for anything you might have missed. You don't see anything, at least not at first...but as you're about to give up, you spot a tiny, *tiny* set of markings near the base of the pedestal.
<Capn_Ascii> More of the native's writing.
Marilyn points at the writing. "Analyze, Ashling."
<Capn_Ascii> Ashling: The words say: "SPARE KEY". There's also a tiny arrow pointing to an otherwise nondescript brick near the base of the pedestal.
Ashling tries digging out said brick
<Capn_Ascii> You chip away at the brick; it's fairly loose, as if designed to be removed. You pull it out, and behind it, you discover...a key!
<Capn_Ascii> It looks a lot like the one you opened the vault with. It even has similar writing on it.
<Marilyn> "An extra key? Might as well take it with us. No point in leaving resources for potential enemies."
Ashling tries reading it.
<Capn_Ascii> Fortunately, the writing on this one is partially familiar: "SAVANAH TEMPLE - INNER VAULT"
Ashling relays that, handing it to Marilyn.
Marilyn nods and adds the key to her haversack. "Alright, let's move out." Marilyn retrieves her key after everyone is out of the vault.
<Capn_Ascii> *SOME TIME LATER*
<Capn_Ascii> After a half-hour or so, you make your egress from the temple, riding the elevator back up and then climbing back down the ropes and ladders.
<Capn_Ascii> You soon find yourself standing back at the base of the spire, idol in hand and no giant boulders in sight.
<Marilyn> "Return to formation, and let's head down the Path."
Vathgani takes the lead and heads down the path
<Capn_Ascii> You begin your journey down the path. It's more or less the same as the trip there, only backwards.
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, you can see the jungle ahead of you parting, making way for the chasm you crossed earlier. As you get closer, however, you can hear a rather loud sound...
<Marilyn> "Halt," Marilyn orders. "At this point, it's probably best to simply teleport to the beach. We do have teleport spell, correct?"
<Capn_Ascii> The loud klonking sound is accompanied by heavy footfalls. It sounds like the tarrasque is moving around nearby, although with all these trees, it's hard to see where he might be...
<Marilyn> "I'd rather not face a Tarrasque. Let's just get back."
Ashling starts casting.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani is curious."
<Marilyn> "Curiousity killed the panther, Vathgani."
Marilyn grabs onto Ashling.
Vathgani reluctantly joins in the grabbing
<Capn_Ascii> Whats-her-name grabs on too. Black, was it? Whatever.
<Capn_Ascii> The longboat is where you left it. White is lounging on the sand nearby, hands behind his head, looking up at the clouds as they pass by.
Marilyn walks up to White. "Mission... successful. I think. Let's get back to the ship."
Marilyn loads herself into the longboat
<Capn_Ascii> "Yes, ma'am." He hops up and takes up position in the longboat, ready to row.
Vathgani also gets into the boat
- Ashling get's in the boat
<Capn_Ascii> *row row row*
<Capn_Ascii> You're back on the ship, ready to RAWK!
Marilyn hands the map to her navigator. "Which island is this?"
<Capn_Ascii> Bob turns the map around, looking at it and comparing it to his own charts. "Hmm. It looks like the northeastern island. The ones the natives call..." He looks at his list. "...the Island of Excruciatingly Painful Death. Charming."
<Capn_Ascii> "Shall I set a course?"
<Marilyn> "Does this island have a savannah on it?"
<Vathgani> "Very charming."
<Capn_Ascii> "It looks like it. Mostly open grasslands, with some jungle on the far side."
<Marilyn> "Alright, then yes, set a course."
<Capn_Ascii> Bob suddenly yells out at the top of his lungs. "SET A COOOOUUUURSE!"
<Capn_Ascii> The other sailors scramble for positions as they begin to set sail.
<Capn_Ascii> *sail, sail, sail*
<Capn_Ascii> Before long, the island comes into view. It's rather nice looking, actually, at least compared to the other ones you've seen. No towering rock spires, no hostile-looking crags, just a lot of open grasslands.
<Vathgani> "Nothing for climbing or jumping? Boring."
<Capn_Ascii> Well, there's some random rocks scattered about the grasslands, at least.
<Marilyn> "Same party as last island, let's go."
Marilyn loads herself into the boat
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> Black hops into the boat.
<Capn_Ascii> White hops into the boat also, too.
<Capn_Ascii> The boat is lowered.
<Capn_Ascii> *row, row, row*
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, the beach is in sight. There's a wooden dock running from the beach out into the water; White pulls the boat up alongside it.
<Marilyn> "Secure and mind, Mr. White. Let's move out in formation. We're heading..." Marilyn says, looking at her map... "for the X."
<Capn_Ascii> --END SESSION--