Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 06
Chapter Six: Kraken Lite(TM)
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them pulling up to the dock on Excruciatingly Painful Death Island. What sort of fate awaits them there? Excruciatingly painful death, perhaps...?"
<Capn_Ascii> Then again, perhaps not. This place is actually rather nice - you can see from here a huge, wide-open grassland, extending out into the distance almost as far as you can see. The sun is shining warmly, there's a cool breeze blowing, and you can even see a variety of wild animals grazing in the open fields.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a few scattered trees here and there, but off in the far distance you can see the edge of a thick forest that extends to the far ends of the island.
<Capn_Ascii> The boat pulls up to the dock, and you all climb out, ready for ACTION!
<Capn_Ascii> ...which is a shame, since things seem to be nice and calm here.
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, and you can see a small collection of huts not too far from here.
<Marilyn> "Alright, let's go meet those people. Mr. White, mind the boat, and apply The Club," Marilyn commands, smirking as she steps onto the dock.
<Capn_Ascii> Black hops out with the rest of you, as White moors the boat.
<Marilyn> "Don't worry about the formation, we're in open space and near a sign of civilization, let's just go."*
Marilyn starts walking towards the huts
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> You set off without worrying about marching order, which results in several of you walking backwards, zig-zagging, bumping into each other, and otherwise making your rather chaotic way towards thenearby outpost.
<Capn_Ascii> There aren't more than a half-dozen huts here, though there are quite a few people. They look like more villagers; several of them are carrying baskets or various farming impliments.
<Marilyn> "Hello over there!" Marilyn calls cheerfully, intending to make sure she doesn't get accused of sneaking up on anyone.
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm?" One woman holding a hoe turns to look at you. "Oh, hello there. You must be the new folks, yes?"
<Marilyn> "That'd be us, yes," Marilyn admits. "I was hoping we could talk and I could... well, learn anything I can here, then proceed to investigate in the fields beyond."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, certainly." She seems relatively well-spoken. "My name is Belinda, and this is our farming outpost. We grow most of the main village's food stores here in the fields."
<Vathgani> "Is there eponymous excruciatingly painful death here?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, that? Well...no, not really. Our ancestral naming traditions are a bit...esoteric."
<Vathgani> "Vathgani understands completely."
<Capn_Ascii> "Honestly, it's quite peaceful here, at least during the day. We try not to go out at night, though...there are dangerous animals that prowl the grasslands at night."
<Marilyn> "No activity that might be related to kraken controller out there in the sea?" Marilyn asks.
<Capn_Ascii> "There are also rumors of strange creatures in the forest that didn't used to be there. Nobody seems to be sure of the details, though..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm...no, not really. Well, except maybe for that baby kraken in the lagoon."
<Marilyn> "A baby kraken? In the lagoon?" Marilyn asks, blinking. She looks around for a 'lagoon' that would qualify.
<Capn_Ascii> "There's a lagoon in the middle of the forest. It used to be nice and peaceful, but apparantly, there's a small kraken living in the water now. Every time we go near it, tentacles come out and try to grab us." She frowns. "It's making it a pain to get drinking water."
<Marilyn> "Well, now that is interesting indeed. I believe that is worth an investigation." Marilyn looks around. "Anything else?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Not really, unless you like farm produce. We know *all* about that. My favorite is corn. Ah, I could talk about corn for *hours*..." Her tone of voice indicates that she may well be winding up to do so...
<Marilyn> "No, no, that's fine," Marilyn cuts her off. "We'll be going now."
Marilyn wanders in the general direction of the forest, expecting her group to follow.
Vathgani tags along in generally the same direction
<Capn_Ascii> You quickly bow out of the oncoming agricultural talk and head off in the other direction. There's a lot of grasslands between you and there...this might take a while.
Marilyn pulls out her blades and enters a defensive posture, just in case.
Vathgani keeps one hand on his guisarme
Ashling just looks around tentatively
<Capn_Ascii> *march, march, march*
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, the edge of the forest is in sight.
<Capn_Ascii> Vathgani: As you and your companions walk along, you suddenly experience a strange vision. It's almost like an out-of-body experience...you can see you and the other party members, as if you were looking at them through someone else's eyes. The...person?...is hunkered low to the ground, snaking through the tall, dry grass...slowly moving closer, from behind. It's almost as if they're stalking you...
Vathgani looks behind himself. "Someone there?"
Marilyn looks behind as well. "Something wrong, Vathgani?" she questions.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a rustling in the grass behind you. And then...
<Capn_Ascii> It's...a cat?
Marilyn looks at the cat suspiciously.
<Capn_Ascii> You turn, and look behind you. Yep, it's a cat.
<Capn_Ascii> A 12-foot-long, red-and-black-striped cat.
<Capn_Ascii> The 'cat' stops in its tracks, realizing it's been spotted. "Mrowr." Huh...it does *meow* like a cat, at least, but you're still pretty sure that's a tiger. A *big* one.
<Marilyn> "Defensive formation," Marilyn commands. "I'd rather not kill an animal if I can help it. If it attacks, though, do *not* let yourselves get killed."
Marilyn pulls herself into a defensive position, ready to block any feline strike.
<Vathgani> "Just a kitty."
<Capn_Ascii> The cat just stands there, staring at you. Is it scared, or is it waiting for an opening...?
<Vathgani> "Maybe kitty wants to be fed?"
<Marilyn> "We're not going to attack first," Marilyn informs the cat, in case it can understand human speech. "But we're not going to leave ourselves open either. If you can communicate... please state your intentions."
<Marilyn> "Hmm, that's possible. If you can get to some food without risking your defensive posture, it's worth a try."
Vathgani pulls out the beef jerky and cautiously places it on the ground between the group and the tiger
<Capn_Ascii> The tiger continues to stare. It seems...tense.
<Capn_Ascii> The tiger's eyes lock onto the piece of jerky.
<Marilyn> "Alright, let's back away carefully," Marilyn orders, slowly backing away.
Vathgani tags along backwards
Ashling does as well
<Capn_Ascii> You all sloooowly, carefully, back away from the tiger. After you've moved far enough away, it slowly advances, sniffing at the jerky.
<Capn_Ascii> As it stoops to take the jerky in its mouth, a second tiger, and then a third, silently appear from out of the tall grass. They too move in, wanting their share, but the first tiger is already gnawing on his prize.
Marilyn keeps backing away carefully
Vathgani continues tagging along backwardsly
<Capn_Ascii> The first tiger seems content, but the second and third are starting to look at you...
<Marilyn> "You may want to send more jerky out, Vathgani," Marilyn hisses.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani would have to use traveler's cloak for more..."
<Marilyn> "You gave that tiger the whole pack?" Marilyn asks, surprised. "Well, up to you then."
<Vathgani> "It was big kitty, and not big beef jerky..." Vathgani shrugs
Vathgani reaches into his cloak, pulls out some rations, places the meat portions on the ground and continues backing away
Marilyn continues backing away as well
<Capn_Ascii> The other tigers prowl closer, sniffing at the food. They, too, grab it up and begin gnawing on it.
<Capn_Ascii> The tigers take their prizes and slink back off into the grass, disappearing from sight. It seems you've successfully avoided a cat-astrophe.
<Marilyn> "Alright, let's move on," Marilyn mutters.
Marilyn returns to a normal walking mode, but remains defensive in her stance.
Vathgani tags along, still ready to draw his guisarme
<Capn_Ascii> You proceed, free of tigers. No sign of any ladies, sadly.
<Capn_Ascii> You soon reach the edge of the forest. It's a lot like the jungle from Deathspire Island, though less...jungle-y. More like a traditional forest, though a bit drier.
Marilyn looks to see if there are any clear paths through the forest
<Capn_Ascii> There doesn't seem to be any visible path, but the trees are thin enough for you to walk through the forest as you please anyway.
<Capn_Ascii> It shouldn't be hard to follow the map, though you'd need a way to track your direction...it's hard to see the sun from under the canopy overhead.
Marilyn shrugs. "Alright, no need for a single-file formation, but let's be smart about it, stay close, and... Lieutenant, I want you to mark every tree we go past. Use a dagger. Make it something we'll recognize, different for each tree, but don't hurt the tree too badly if possible."
<Capn_Ascii> Black nods. "Yes, ma'am."
<Capn_Ascii> You do your best to follow the route on the map, with Black marking the trees as you go. Fortunately, this makes it relatively easy to maintain a straight line.
<Capn_Ascii> After walking for about a half-hour, you find yourselves approaching a low point in the woods. As you get closer, you realize that the low area is actually a large lagoon - a wide pool of water, about 200 feet in diameter. This must be the one Belinda was talking about.
<Capn_Ascii> To your chagrin, you realize that the X on the map leads directly here...
<Marilyn> "Ah, time to investigate," Marilyn comments ruefully. "Well, I guess we have a kraken to talk to."
<Capn_Ascii> The water of the lagoon is bright and clear, sparkling in the sunlight. This causes you to realize that, yes, there *is* sunlight here - the lack of trees over the water means there's a large opening in the canopy overhead.
Marilyn kneels at the water's edge and lightly splashes at it. "Hello down there! Want to come up and talk to me?"
<Capn_Ascii> Hmm...no response.
Marilyn splashes a little more noticeably. "Pretty please?"
<Capn_Ascii> Nothing. Then...
<Capn_Ascii> A huge tentacle snaps up and out of the water, lashing out at you!
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You react quickly, leaping back and out of reach of the tentacle. It slams down into the shore where you were standing. *WHUMP!*
<Capn_Ascii> The tentacle pulls back up, hovering above the spot it just struck - it waves around, as if searching for you, but doesn't seem to be able to see you. Which makes sense, given that it has no eyes. The baby kraken doesn't seem to be willing to raise up its head to manually look for you.
Marilyn stands up, putting on a 'scolding mother' attitude. "Now, that wasn't nice, little kraken!"
<Capn_Ascii> The tentacle turns to 'look' at you, at least somewhat. It seems to be barely able to hear you, but not clearly enough to try for another strike.
<Marilyn> "I'm not here to hurt you, I promise. Can we talk like two intelligent individuals, please?"
<Capn_Ascii> The tentacle swavers around semi-randomly, then withdraws back into the water.
<Marilyn> "Well? Are you coming up?" Marilyn asks, splashing the water a bit, similar to her second try, then quickly moving a few steps away.
<Capn_Ascii> Nothing happens. Perhaps it's on guard?
Marilyn looks around the rim of the lagoon, trying to see if there's a better access point.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Looking around, you see a protrution of stone extending from the far edge of the lagoon, out into the water a short ways.
Marilyn heads out to the small jetty and tries the same splash-and-miss tactic, saying "Maybe you'd rather talk over here?"
<Capn_Ascii> Nothing happens. Then...
<Capn_Ascii> *SPLOOSH!* The tentacle snaps back up for another strike!
<Capn_Ascii> You jump out of the way just in time. Again.
<Capn_Ascii> The tentacle smacks into the stone, then begins to withdraw into the water.
<Marilyn> "Alright, Lieutenant, I need you to go and try to get, and keep, that kraken out of the lagoon and into the ocean. However, you do NOT have permission to get yourself killed. Understood?"
<Capn_Ascii> Black blinks. "...excuse me, ma'am? You want me to *bait* that thing out towards the sea?"
<Marilyn> "If you can, yes. I recommend not risking yourself much. You saw what I was doing."
<Capn_Ascii> "...oh." A sigh. "Okay. Yes, ma'am." Black moves off towards the far side of the lagoon, where a relatively wide 'stream' leads off through the trees and towards the nearby ocean. "Hey, hey! Tentacle-brain!" *slap*
<Capn_Ascii> Several slaps later, and a series of large bubbles form in the center of the lagoon...they begin to move off towards Black, following the sound of the noise.
Marilyn facepalms. "Yeah, because insulting the kraken is a good way to not get killed..." she mutters. "Okay, let's move in now. Try to find this temple thing down there," she orders, putting on her Auran mask.
Marilyn carefully walks into the water, trying to disturb as little as possible.
Vathgani cautiously tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The sounds of lame insults and tentacles slapping on dirt fade off into the distance.
<Capn_Ascii> You slip on your masks, and wade into the water...
<Capn_Ascii> Black seems to be doing a good job, as there's no sign of the baby kraken as you descend beneath the surface.
<Capn_Ascii> As you descend unda da sea, you find your vision clouded somewhat. The water is rather murky; it'll be hard to see very far like this. Fortunately, it's a small lagoon.
Marilyn begins her search
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you spread out, sifting through the bottom of the lagoon. You immediately notice that there are a lot of stone blocks and crumbled bits of ruins sticking out of the sand down here - it seems there used to be a structure here before the water flooded the low area.
<Capn_Ascii> Most of them look uninteresting, but Marilyn soon finds what you're looking for - a large stone disk, about three feet in diameter, sitting in the middle of a stone depression in the sand. There's a small hole in it not unlike a keyhole.
<Capn_Ascii> Ashling does even better - she finds a metal key hidden underneath an ancient native doormat in one corner of a ruined structure.
Ashling checks it for writing.
<Capn_Ascii> Yep, there's writing on it.
<Capn_Ascii> Ashling: It's hard to read it in this dark water, but it says something along the lines of "SAVANAH TEMPLE DOOR".
Ashling passes it over to Marilyn, telling her this.
Marilyn nods and prepares to insert the key, directing Vathgani and Ashling to be close and prepare to enter similar to that of the last temple.
<Marilyn> Once they get in position, Marilyn inserts and turns the key.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You take up position over the hole, reach down, and shove the key into the hole. Then, you give it a turn...
<Capn_Ascii> There's an audible sound...the stone disk begins to slide off to one side, like a trap door opening.
<Marilyn> "Prepare to enter"
Vathgani readies his guisarme
<Capn_Ascii> As the plate moves, it reveals a tunnel beneath it - full of water, leading down into the ground below. As the tunnel opens wider, a strong current begins to flow upward from the hole, powerful enough to push all of you back a bit.
<Marilyn> "Alright, this may be a challenging descent. Let's go," Marilyn says firmly, carefully and sure-footedly entering the Temple.
<Capn_Ascii> The tunnel is fully open now, with the powerful current still going strong. Where's all that water coming from...?
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You take a step forward, and drop down into the hole like a plumber entering into a comically-oversized pipe...
<Capn_Ascii> --END SESSION--