Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 17
Chapter Seventeen: Chain Gang
Marilyn snoozes peacefully
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes, we find them sailing for the central island in this crazy little archepelago, getting some sleep and preparing themselves for what shall surely be an epic finale to their quest. The question is, what awaits them here? Only time (and RP) will tell...
Vathgani snoozes loudly. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a loud knocking on Marilyn's door. "We're within sight of the island, ma'am."
Marilyn stretches, slowly waking up. "Is that critical somehow?" Marilyn asks the door, irritated.
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, you were going to...um...land there, and do some stuff...?" The random crewman sounds worried. "Just thought you'd want to know when we got there, so you could plan...something...?"
<Marilyn> "My first PLAN was a decent night's sleep, but nooooooooo..." Marilyn grumbles, still stumbling around her room a bit. "It's not like there's a hurry, unless there's information I'm unaware of." Marilyn sighs. "Fine, fine, I'm up, I'll be out in a few."
Marilyn redresses herself, makes sure the room is secure, grabs her bag, and opens the door. She proceeds onto deck. "I assume we have breakfast ready, at least?" Marilyn asks the watch officer.
<Capn_Ascii> The lot of you collect your wits and climb out onto the deck. The sun is just barely peeking over the horizon; you can see the shoreline of the island ahead of you in the semi-darkness. There's a large rock mesa sitting in the middle of the island, surrounded by jungle, which in turn is ringed by beach.
<Vathgani> "For once, island does not remind Vathgani of home."
<Capn_Ascii> The crew are already lined up at the continental breakfast buffet that's been laid out as usual every morning.
<Marilyn> "Ah, right, there we go. Guess I'm still tired," Marilyn grabs some food and eats, not really paying attention. She looks at the shore apprehensively.
Ashling eats as well
<Capn_Ascii> After some collective slurping and chewing and belching, everyone is well-fed and ready to rock and roll. Mr. Tristan is looking out over the railing. "I would assume the island will be crawling with cult members, but in the pre-dawn light you might still be able to sneak around a bit. Do you know where you're going?"
<Marilyn> "Temple should be at the mesa. We'll take all four idols, should be able to get inside. Presumably, they can't do anything to stop us, short of physical means, if we use the idols, or they can't get in at all without them."
<Vathgani> "Vathgani comes in handy if they use physical means."
<Marilyn> "I'm going to go grab the idols," Marilyn comments, then goes belowdecks and does so. On her way out, she ditches a tent into her quarters.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn re-emerges, carrying an armload of idols.
Marilyn carefully puts the idols into her pack. "The away team will be myself, Ashling, Vathgani, White, and Blue. Ashling, remember that you're on report for that stunt last night."
<Ashling> "Oh don't tell me you weren't wishing you could do that too"
<Capn_Ascii> Blue stands at attention, as White readies the boat.
<Marilyn> "You have a responsibility to this team. Abandoning your team like that without orders could be seen as a sign of cowardice. Understood?"
Marilyn loads herself into the boat.
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> White hums a sea shanty as he lowers the boat into the water, and begins to row.
<Capn_Ascii> --SOME ROWING LATER--
<Capn_Ascii> The boat ramps up onto the beach. It's...an awful lot like the other beaches you've seen so far. You'd almost be tempted to accuse the designers of re-using scenery assets if this wasn't a text-based game...
<Capn_Ascii> There's no visible path into the jungle from here, but given the circumstances, that's probably a good thing. Any actual paths would likely be guarded.
<Marilyn> "Let's get into defensive formation and proceed with caution," Marilyn commands, pulling out her blades.
Ashling does so
Marilyn carefully enters the jungle
Vathgani cautiously tags along, ready to draw his glaive
<Capn_Ascii> Your party begins to trek into the jungle, wading through the thick underbrush. It's rough going picking a path through all this, especially with the myriad of predators lurking in the shadows. At least, you assume they're there...you can't actually see them, what with the aforementioned shadows and all.
<Capn_Ascii> It takes some time, and quite a bit of arguing between Ash and Vath (who seem to know what they're doing) and Marilyn (who, as usual, is more prideful than knowledgeable), but eventually you ford your way through the thick foliage.
<Capn_Ascii> The jungle abruptly ends at the bottom of the mesa, which slopes upward. Fortunately, it's not nearly as bad as the (now active...I wonder how the natives will like that?) volcano you climbed earlier. You begin to pick your way up the slope.
<Capn_Ascii> Soon enough, you reach the upper edge of the cliff. You poke your heads up, and take a look...
<Capn_Ascii> The top of the mesa is huge - easily a half-mile across. Though the surface is flat, it's dotted with dozens of rocky outcroppings that jut up and out of the stone beneath your feet, forming something not unlike a forest of stone. They're not thick enough, however, to obscure the very obvious temple-like structure in the center of the field - it looks just like the one atop the volcano.
<Capn_Ascii> Even from this distance, you can make out activity around it. There are several robed people, and - oh, crap. There's a rather familiar-looking tarrasque standing near the temple as well - standing just as tall as the building. The robed guys are gathered around it, though it doesn't seem to be attacking them.
Marilyn quickly gets down to make herself hard to see, and carefully looks over, trying to listen in.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: They're like...a quarter of a mile away. You're not listening in on anyone unless you're Superman. Or maybe Daredevil.
Marilyn shakes herself back up, sighs, and comments, "Okay, we need to get over there. I want to have us go in invisible and conduct reconnisance. We'll either attack, return here, or attempt to simply enter, though if I do that, we'll probably get a fight anyway. What happens, happens. If I don't do anything, then obviously, return here."
<Vathgani> "Doubt big one can fight us inside."
<Marilyn> "True. But we'll still have robed enemies."
<Vathgani> "They are not big mean things."
Marilyn suppresses the urge to laugh. "Prepare for invis," she orders, pulling out her wand. She then loops the wand 4 times, casting 4 invisibility spells. She then returns to her normal defensive posture and advances.
<Capn_Ascii> Now wrapped in the MIGHTY POWERS OF INVISIBILITY, you stealthily advance through the buttes, trying your best to not make any noise.
<Capn_Ascii> As you draw closer, you can make out some more details. The tarrasque, oddly enough, is wearing a large chain, linked to the collar you saw on him earlier - the other end is connected to a huge metal ring on the roof of the temple, effectively tethering him to it like a dog to a doghouse.
<Capn_Ascii> The robed guys are waving their arms at him and saying something - it sounds like they're barking orders.
<Capn_Ascii> "Okay, Klonk. Stay here. Guard temple. Staaaaay."
<Capn_Ascii> The tarrasque tilts it head quizzically, like a confused dog.
<Capn_Ascii> The robed guy sighs, then waves at the others to follow him. They all file up the stairs and into the antechamber at the top of the temple (presumably where the elevator is hidden).
<Capn_Ascii> Soon they're out of sight, leaving Klonk to pad around in that idle manner than a chained dog is wont to do.
Marilyn gets a big grin on her face
Marilyn examines Klonk's chain, looking for a potential weak point.
<Capn_Ascii> The chain is...huge. It's the sort of chain you'd usually see on a ship's anchorline...massive metal links almost as big as a person.
<Capn_Ascii> It's hard to see from down here, but there might be a potential weak point on the roof of the temple. The only other option would be to somehow cut the beast's collar off...it looks considerably less durable than the chains themselves.
Vathgani walks up to the chain and examines it for a moment. "You here? Vathgani try breaking chain, make invisible again soon," he whispers.
Marilyn gives a murmur of assent, trying to be as subtle as possible but still have Vathgani hear it.
Marilyn pulls out her invisibility wand
Vathgani invisibly charges himself with incredible, invisible power. Then he strikes at the chain with his love, his anger, and all of his sorrow, becoming visible in an unnecessarily flashy display!
<Capn_Ascii> Vath slams his blade downward with a variety of conflicting emotions!
<Capn_Ascii> The blade neatly severs one-half of the link of chain that he was aiming at. Sadly, it doesn't quite cleave through the other, but at least the link is cut open now.
Marilyn reacts quickly, recasting Invisibility!
Marilyn then switches back to dual-wielding blades
<Capn_Ascii> Thanks to Marilyn's good sense of timing, Vath blinks back out of existence in the very moment that the sparks from his blow fly outward. The tarrasque hears the sound and turns to look, but by then Vath is already unseeable again.
<Capn_Ascii> The creature stares blankly at the spot where Vath stands, then turns its head back around and resumes what it was doing. Which is staring blankly at a different nearby patch of ground. Guard dog duty is not terribly exciting.
Ashling casts legion of sentinals in front of the terrasque, all of which immediately yell and run away
<Capn_Ascii> Needless to say, Klonk is quite surprised when a couple dozen humans unexpectedly materialize out of the aether right in front of him. They proceed to jump up and down and waves their arms while shouting loudly at him.
<Capn_Ascii> Predictably, he lunges out at them, yanking hard on the chain as he struggles to reach them. They stand just out of reach, taunting him like a cocky rooster mocking a helpless dog.
<Capn_Ascii> Furious, Klonk snatches *hard* at the chain - and to his surprise, feels it give a little. He does it again, and again...
Marilyn quickly moves out of the way, ready to go straight past Klonk and into the temple.
<Capn_Ascii> With a sound like thunder, the chain snaps clean open. The legion suddenly turn white as ghosts, and begin fleeing for their lives as the now-freed tarrasque bears down on them like a rampaging T-Rex. With deadlier arms.
<Capn_Ascii> The legionaires run off like Keystone Kops, their new best friend hot on their heels. Soon, the area is silent, except for the sounds of heavy footsteps out near the edge of the mesa.
Marilyn quickly makes for the temple
Vathgani tags along invisibly
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you quickly clamber up the temple stairs.
<Capn_Ascii> At the peak of the temple is a room not unlike the one in the volcano temple. There's another elevator disc here, along with another painfully-obvious lever. There's also a large dias at the far end of the chamber, with four circular slots on it...
Marilyn carefully examines the lever, disc, dais, and everything else, for traps.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: The lever is, of course, booby-trapped. It's linked to what you believe to be a magical alarm system - pulling it signals someone on the inside that the elevator's being used. The dias, on the other hand, is not trapped. Indeed, you can see no obvious mechanism by which the idols are supposed to interact with it...
Marilyn sighs, and starts pulling out idols, setting them onto the dias in the slots.
<Capn_Ascii> The idols snap into place, one...
<Capn_Ascii> ...oh, right. One more.
<Capn_Ascii> There, all four.
<Capn_Ascii> At first, nothing happens. Then, the idols begin to glow - dimly at first, but then much brighter.
<Capn_Ascii> Suddenly, glowing beams of energy shoot out between the idols, linking them all together in a row. Then, another beam fires out - and strikes a nearby expanse of empty wall.
Marilyn raises an eyebrow
<Capn_Ascii> The beams stop just as suddenly as they began. After all the noise dies down, the segment of wall glows dimly, then noiselessly glides open, revealing...a secret staircase!
Marilyn smiles, and begins to head her way down the staircase, still ready for anything, checking for traps.
<Capn_Ascii> As you turn away, the idols *click* and disengage from the altar.
Ashling grabs them before they hit the floor.
Marilyn gently takes the idols from Ashling and puts them in her pack.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---