Trinsic Tales:The Tower/Chapter 01
Chapter One: Floor One: Reception
<Cap_Ascii> There it is. You've journied far and wide, traversed the width and breadth of Lazrysort, conquered monsters, obstacles, and your own personal demons to come this far. But now, finally, the time has come - you stand before your objective. Finally...you...are...HERE.
<Cap_Ascii> At least, that's what the conveniently-placed map on the billboard says.
<Cap_Ascii> Here, at the farthest edge of the continent, stands one of the greatest - and most mysterious - landmarks in all the...uh, land...The Tower.
Lak stares up at The Tower in awe.
<Lak> "It's a...tower. A... huge tower. Awesome."
<Drem> "It's the second biggest tower I've ever seen!"
<Cap_Ascii> One of the most infamous dungeons known to exist, The Tower is a proverbial gauntlet of adventurer-devouring monsters, brain-bending puzzles, reflex-testing quicktime events, and pointless fetch quests known to man.
<Cap_Ascii> Although many would-be heroes have partially scaled its heights, and some of them have returned with heaping mounds of treasure and loose women and/or men (according to taste), to this day, no one has yet reached the top floor.
<Cap_Ascii> And now, it's your turn. Each of you has your own reasons for being here (although they all ultimately boil down to 'I'd rather risk my neck for treasure than work for a living'). Can you do what no one else before you has done? Can you survive the sheer verticality of what lies before you?
<Zephi> "Long billboard.."
Lak looks around for a door
Lak is eager to get inside. There's bound to be lots of treasure inside.
Zephi stares up to see if she can even see the top.
<Drem> "Anyone gonna volunteer, or should I throw my mind through the door first?"
<Cap_Ascii> The Tower itself is massive; nearly a hundred feet across, and reaching up so high that the top is lost amongst the clouds. The tower exterior is made of ivory columns arranged artfully, not unlike the Roman colesseum, the only obvious break in the pattern is the large, heavy door that serves as the only visible entrance.
<Cap_Ascii> Zephi, Drem: Off to one side of the tower, you notice something interesting - what looks like a rope is dangling alongside the tower. A reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally *long* rope; it stretches as high up the tower as you can see. There's also a broken heap on the ground beneath it that looks suspiciously like a dead body.
<Cap_Ascii> Lak: The door stares at you. There's a small button next to it that looks like a doorbell, along with a sign - "RING BELL FOR SERVICE"
Lak shrugs and rings the bell
Zephi walks over and checks to see if the dead body is really a dead body.
Drem twiddles his thumbs
<Cap_Ascii> Zephi: Yep, he's dead, Jim. It's a human, dressed in thieving clothes. He's lying in such a way that makes it clear that he fell from quite a great height, and broke pretty much every bone in his body upon landing. He's also got horrible bloody rope burn marks on his hands.
Zephi checks his pockets.
<Cap_Ascii> You rifle through the dead man's pockets. Sadly, it seems that other treasure seekers before you have cleaned him out recently; all you manage to find is a small silver key tucked away in his boot.
Zephi pockets it.
Zephi goes back to her party.
Lak starts ringing the bell incessantly out of sheer boredom.
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring*
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring*
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring*
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring*
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring*
<Cap_Ascii> *ring ring* "ALRIGHT, I'M COMING!"
<Cap_Ascii> You hear the sound of a bolt being un-barred. "Alright, come on in."
Lak opens the door and goes inside
Lak looks around
Drem quickly walks over to the rope and lets the psicrystal start scampering up the tower alongside it
<Drem> "Okay, wait up for me!"
<Cap_Ascii> The door opens, and you step inside. Compared to the exterior of the tower, the inside of this room is much darker, lit only by those torches on the wall that always seem to be present and lit in ancient ruins despite the fact that there isn't supposed to be anybody around to maintain them.
<Cap_Ascii> Besides a second door in the back of the room, the only items of interest here are a reception desk, and a receptionist behind it - a young (and rather buxom) human woman with glasses and her hair done up in a librarian's bun. She looks up at you with a friendly, if formal, expression. <MORE>
Lak presses the <MORE> button
<Cap_Ascii> "Hello there, and welcome to...The Tower." She reaches over and presses a small button on a little black box sitting on the desk; as she does, a dramatic music sting is heard. Dun dun DUUUUUN! "What can we do for you today?"
<Lak> "Well, uh, I heard there's treasure to be had in here."
<Drem> "Can you play any other music stings?"
<Cap_Ascii> "No, it only comes with the one." She shrugs. "And, I see. So you're here to challenge the tower, then?"
<Lak> "Indeed we are. Well, I am. I don't know these people, but I assume they're here for the same thing... might as well challenge together."
<Drem> "Less work for me? Sounds good."
<Cap_Ascii> "Well, yes, that is the regulations." She shuffles through some paperwork. "This office was established to regulate attempts at climbing The Tower, in order to minimize personal injuries and the resultant lawsuits aimed at Lazrysort's government."
<Cap_Ascii> *those are
<Cap_Ascii> "There are rules to be followed, or else your claim to any treasure within The Tower is forfeit."
<Lak> "...rules? No one said anything about rules!"
<Cap_Ascii> "Rule #1: All adventuring parties must consist of at least 2 adventurers. No single climbers; you must have at least one Tower Buddy with you at all times."
<Drem> "Do familiars and the like count as tower buddies?"
<Cap_Ascii> "No. Rule #2: Before you may enter The Tower, you must sign these waivers that release the government and all associated persons from legal liability for any and all accidents, personal injuries, and/or deaths that may occur while climbing The Tower."
<Cap_Ascii> "Rule #3: You may keep anything you find within The Tower, with the exception of anything belonging to Tower employees."
<Lak> "Okay... so do you have the papers or not?"
<Lak> "I'm getting bored here waiting."
<Cap_Ascii> "Rule #4: You may avail yourself of any services in the Service Court, as long as you follow the other rules."
<Cap_Ascii> She places some paperwork on the table.
<Cap_Ascii> "Sign here, and here, and initial here."
Zephi signs, signs and initials.
Lak examines the paper in minute detail to make sure that there's nothing suspicious or other then advertised.
Drem also examines his copy of the paperwork
<Cap_Ascii> The papers seem to outline exactly what the receptionist described - they're waivers, absolving The Tower employees of liability should you go and get yourself hurt or killed. Or arrested. Or publically humiliated on YouTube.
Drem signs the paperwork
Lak does all the other sign-like stuff required of him too
<Cap_Ascii> "And, there we go." She takes the papers and smiles, turning towards the door behind her. "Thank you, and enjoy your stay here in...The Tower." She presses the button again...dun dun DUUUUUN! At the same time, the door opens into the room beyond.
Lak nods and heads inside carefully
Drem tags along
Lak looks around
Drem and Wheatley also look around
<Cap_Ascii> The 'room' beyond the door is actually more like an indoor bazzar. The space is as wide as the tower itself; several tents and crude wooden structures are scattered around the floor like the midway at a carnival. Each one has a sign on it; there's someone standing inside the closest booth, looking expectantly at you.
Lak walks up to the person looking at him. "Hello"
<Cap_Ascii> The middle-aged man smiles wide as you approach. "Ah, customers! Yes, welcome!" He bows to you. "Welcome to Stephen McGregor's House of Wares! I am Stephen McGregor, purveyor of sundries."
<Cap_Ascii> The booth behind the man is stocked with various general-purpose items and equipment - all the things you'd expect to find in a general store.
Lak nods. "Well, I don't think I need anything right now per se. Except information. What can I expect as I go up?"
<Cap_Ascii> The man's grin breaks, and he suddenly stares at you in a horrified wide-eyed manner. "Wonders beyond your wildest imagination...and terrors to freeze your soul."
<Lak> "Very nice. I meant something more concrete and useful, rather then vague obvious generalities."
<Drem> "Sounds cool!"
Zephi walks up to the booth opposite and looks inside.
<Cap_Ascii> "Oh. Well, I don't know, really, I've never been up there. The other employees maintain the lower floors, and none of us is allowed to venture beyond the 10th floor."
<Lak> "Why's that?"
<Cap_Ascii> Zephi: This booth is full of various weapons and armor, along with what looks like a blacksmith's forge. There doesn't seem to be anybody here at the moment, however - there's a little sign on the counter that says "CLOSED".
Zephi checks the adjacent booth.
<Cap_Ascii> Zephi: This one is a white tent, with a large red cross painted on the front. The tent flaps are closed, with a "CLOSED" sign hanging from them.
<Cap_Ascii> Stephen shrugs. "Because it's dangerous! Even the lower floors can kill you if you aren't careful. Although, you'd have to be really *really* braindead."
Zephi checks the last tent.
<Lak> "I see. Figures, vague response again. One more time to try to get a real answer: How many floors *are* there, exactly?"
<Cap_Ascii> "The 10th floor is considered the watershed - 90% of adventurers don't make it past that point, so the staff has to clean up those floors the most."
<Drem> "What prevents the more dangerous occupants from wandering into the lower levels?"
<Cap_Ascii> "Floors? Uh." He counts on his fingers. "By our last survey team, at least...70. Probably more than that, but nobody's made it past that floor alive and come back to tell about it."
<Drem> "Well, if you take the average height of each floor and the height of the tower...how tall is the tower, exactly?"
<Cap_Ascii> "Oh, and that's what the elevators are for." He points across the floor to a booth-like structure against the far wall. "They're the only way to move up and down. They can't carry more than a few people, so they make it easy to chokepoint any monsters who come wandering downstairs."
<Lak> "...wait a sec, couldn't you count the number of buttons on the elevator to know the number of floors?"
<Drem> "They might only have 'up' and 'down' buttons."
<Cap_Ascii> "Well, see, there's multiple elevators. The ones down here go up to about the 30th floor or so. There are more shafts upstairs that lead higher up."
<Cap_Ascii> "There's the red and blue shafts here, and a yellow and green set that start on Floor 20 and go up to 50."
<Cap_Ascii> "And then some others higher than that, but I forget the details."
<Lak> "So we can go straight to floor 20, change elevators, then go to 50? Assuming we make it through 20?"
<Drem> "We could miss out on a lot of loot that way."
<Zephi> "Wouldn't want that."
<Cap_Ascii> "Well, sort of. The elevators are locked; you need keys. That's what the tower seems to be for."
<Cap_Ascii> "The rooms have keys in them. If you can find the right ones, you can open the elevators and go higher."
<Cap_Ascii> "It's like a test, sort of. We're not sure who made the tower, but that's how it seems to work from what we've seen."
<Lak> "I see."
<Cap_Ascii> The tower staff have some, but as per the rules you're not allowed to use them. You have to find some yourself."
<Drem> "Do you sell any guides about the monsters and hazards in the tower?"
<Cap_Ascii> Zephi: The last tent is rather large, and is filled with rows of cots and a few beds. There's also an unlit stove, quite a few barrels and cabinets, and a bar-like countertop. You'd guess it's supposed to be an inn of some sort.
<Cap_Ascii> The tent-flaps are open, but there's a CLOSED sign on the counter, indicating the bartender isn't open for service yet.
<Cap_Ascii> The beds and cots are open to reach, however.
Zephi wanders back to the first tent. "Do you happen to sell keyrings, or something of the sort?"
<Cap_Ascii> The man hears the word 'sell' and immediately perks up. "Sure I do!" He produces a box full of keyrings. "5 copper apiece."
Zephi grabs one and hands over the copper.
Zephi puts the key she found earlier on it, and puts it in her pocket.
<Cap_Ascii> "Anyone else want some?"
<Lak> "Alright... you mentioned 'red' and 'blue' shafts. Are the colors just for looks, or is there a distinct difference?"
<Cap_Ascii> "I've also got provisions, supplies, and various other useful items..."
<Lak> "And sure, I'll get a keyring," Lak notes, handing over 5 copper.
<Cap_Ascii> "Oh, no, we just color-code them to keep them straight." He points. "The red shaft runs up the west side of the tower, and the blue one runs up the east side."
<Drem> "What about guides or other books on the tower and its hazards?"
<Cap_Ascii> "They both open into the same floors."
<Zephi> "So, does the first floor elevator need a key?"
<Cap_Ascii> "Nah, everything you can reach with those two is open. Well, most everything. Some floors are locked."
<Cap_Ascii> "And, as a matter of fact..."
<Cap_Ascii> "...no. Sorry."
<Zephi> "What is it?"
<Cap_Ascii> "No guidebooks. There was this one guy who tried to write one as he went up the tower, but nobody's seen him in ages."
<Lak> "Alright, I guess let's go," Lak said, grabbing his keyring. "Red or blue?"
<Zephi> "Red maybe?"
<Cap_Ascii> "Alright, well, come on back if you need anything! I've got to go on break now." He disappears into the booth, putting up a CLOSED sign as he does.
Lak nods. "Works for me," Lak nods, walking towards the Red elevator.
Drem tags along
Lak opens it, assuming it opens easily.
<Cap_Ascii> There's a small button outside the door. You press it, and hear the sound of a motor whirring.
<Cap_Ascii> After several moments, the door slides open, revealing a spartan, but clean, elevator car. As you're about to enter it, you hear movement behind you; someone has stepped into the blacksmith's booth, and is taking down the CLOSED sign.
Lak shrugs and walks into the elevator
Zephi does the same.
Drem also gets in the elevator
Lak examines the control panel
<Cap_Ascii> As you enter the small, confining box, soft muzak assaults your ears. There's a large panel of buttons next to the door, running from 1-30 (with a button for LOBBY as well). Beneath the panel is an access hatch for getting at the elevator's emergency controls.
<Lak> "Shall we go to 20, and the next set of elevators?"
<Lak> "If we can?"
<Drem> "There's loot on every other floor. Why miss out?"
<Zephi> "I'd rather start closer to the bottom. so we can see what we're getting ourselves into."
<Lak> "It's not like we can't come back later, but okay."
<Lak> "What floor shall it be?"
<Zephi> "Five, maybe?"
<Lak> "Alright. 5 it is..." Lak presses the 5 button.
<Cap_Ascii> The button lights up, the doors close - and you're all violently shoved downward as the elevator car launches upward with the force of a space rocket. Lak and Drem remain standing, but Zephi ends up violently falling onto her rear.
<Cap_Ascii> After no more than 2 seconds of acceleration, the elevator suddenly slams to a halt. *ding!* The doors open.
Lak carefully walks out
Zephi stands up slowly and limps out. "Ow.."
Drem calmly walks out
<Cap_Ascii> Emerging from the elevator, you find yourself in a large, cavernous room, as big as the 'bazzar' downstairs. Oddly enough, most of the room is completely empty, aside from a structure in the middle of the floor.
<Cap_Ascii> There's a tall pedestal, about 12 feet tall, protruding up from the floor. Immediately surrounding it appears to be a moat, of sorts - a dry channel cut into the floor, some 8 feet deep and about 6 feet across, encircling it entirely.
Lak approaches the channel and examines it carefully
Zephi walks up next to Lak and examines the top of the spire.
Drem stands behind the others
<Cap_Ascii> The trench appears to be completely empty - the walls are smooth stonework, as is the pedestal. Sitting atop the pedestal is - gasp - a small treasure chest!
Lak pulls out his grappling hook and hemp rope, contemplating a lasso'ing.
<Lak> "Any objections to me trying to lasso that down to us?"
<Lak> "Or even to the trench so I can get the ladder out?"
<Drem> "It might break if you lasso it down."
<Lak> "And the treasure will still spill out..."
<Zephi> "Will it float?"
<Lak> "Of course it won't. Unless it does on its own."
<Drem> "I could forge an ectoplasmic construct up there and have it bring the chest down, if you guys can't think of another way."
<Lak> "I don't think you should waste power if you don't have to..."
<Drem> "I won't make a big one. It'll only be a small fraction of my energy."
<Lak> "And a lasso uses none."
<Zephi> "I think I have an idea, if I can reach."
<Lak> "Which is?"
Zephi pulls a grasping hook and silk rope out of her bag. She attaches the hook to the rope and throws it towards the chest speaking the command word midair.
<Lak> "Oh, nice, grasping hook."
<Lak> "I wish I could afford one of those."
<Cap_Ascii> The hook flies outward, but misses by a foot or so. You reel the rope back in to try again.
Zephi tries again.
<Cap_Ascii> *clink!* The hook seems to magically latch onto the treasure box.
Zephi tugs on the rope.
Lak helps Zephi tug on the rope
<Cap_Ascii> *yoink* The box comes flying across the gap with ease, right into your waiting hands.
Zephi attempts to open it.
<Cap_Ascii> A strange, yet oddly familiar, tune echos through the room as you slowly, dramatically open the lid of the box.
<Cap_Ascii> You found...a bronze key! *Dah-nah-nah-NAAAAAAH!*
<Lak> "...that's it? A bronze key?"
Zephi pulls the ring out of her pocket and put the key on it. Unhooks the grasping hook, puts it back in her bag, and puts the chest on the ground.
Zephi looks around for anything else in the room.
<Cap_Ascii> Nope, that's it. The only other thing in here is the counterpart elevator on the far side of the room.
<Zephi> "Okay. So what floor next?"
<Drem> "Hrm, not as much loot as I had hoped."
<Lak> "Maybe... count by fives, go for 10? I don't know, just a thought. They said that was the tough challenge, might as well see what we're up against?"
<Zephi> "I agree. Back to the red elevator?"
<Lak> "Sounds good."
Zephi wanders back to the elevator
Lak heads back to the elevator and presses the "up" button (assuming there is one)
Drem tags along