Trinsic Tales:The Tower/Chapter 05
Chapter Five: Fifth Floor: Pies, Carnies, and Bad Puns
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes, we find them bracing themselves for the unrivaled joy and mind-blowing awesomeness of...Floor 38!
<Capn_Ascii> *garglegargle* *SPIT!*
<Capn_Ascii> Oops, wrong sound effects.
Zephi peeks out of the elevator
<Capn_Ascii> And for what it's worth, it *is* pretty damned awesome. The entire room is decorated like a carnival - the walls are painted with bright red and yellow vertical stripes, streamers criss-cross the ceiling in a festive manner, and there are flashing midway lights on every edge and corner.
<Lak> "Oh, great."
<Capn_Ascii> The main attraction (so to speak) is a trio of large tents set up in the middle of the room. There's a large sign labeled "GAMES!" hanging over the group as a whole, with each tent bearing its own individual sign.
<Lak> "Well, as long as this isn't Quillan, we should be all right..." Lak hesitantly walks towards the tents, looking to see what the "games" are.
<Drem> "It could be a trap."
<Capn_Ascii> A man dressed like a carnival barker, complete with hat and cane, is standing near the tents. The moment he sees you, he waves excitedly at you. "Welcome, friends! Welcome to Bob the Barker's Carni-val Extrordinare!"
<Lak> "Um, hi there."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hello, hello, and welcome! Care to try your hand at one of our fabulous carnival games?" He motions at the tents. "We've got everyone's perrenial favorites!"
Zephi hesitently follows Lak over "Like what?"
<Lak> "What... She said."
<Capn_Ascii> He sweeps his arms in a grand gesture. "There's the Test of Strength, the Guess Your Weight station, and of course, everyone's favorite, the dunking booth!"
<Lak> "So the key is... where?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Key?" He blinks. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're referring to, son. But, I *can* offer you these FABULOUS PRIZES!" He sweeps his arms again, this time gesturing at a smaller booth. There are stuffed animals, toys, and various other carnival-style prizes hanging from string loops throughout the booth...and right there in the front, hanging from the awning, is what looks like a bronze key. Or, rather, two halves of a bronze key.
<Lak> "Ah. Fair enough," Lak nodded. "So what do we need to try these?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Need? Why, all you need is the sheer drive to WIN! Oh, and also one gold per try."
Zephi pulls out her wallet and mutters "Came to get heaps of gold. Looks like we're going to have to spend it...."
Zephi pulls out a gold and palms it. "What's with this Test of Strength game?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, it's quite simple." He leads you into one of the tents, where the Test of Strength machine is set up - a tall pole with a bell at the top, and a see-saw poised and ready to catapault a heavy weight. "Just hit the lever with this hammer, and try to ring the bell." He hands you a comically-oversized mallet.
Zephi takes it from him and hands him the gold.
Zephi swings it and tries to hit the raised end of the see-saw
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You strike the lever as hard as you can! ...and watch with mortal embarassment as the weight barely jumps a foot, not quite reaching the "COMPLETE AND TOTAL WUSS" mark.
Lak bangs his head.
<Lak> "So how close do you have to be in the guess your weight game?"
Zephi pulls another gold out of her pocket, flips it to Bob and tries again.
<Capn_Ascii> "Close? Why, my boy, close only counts in horseshoes! You've got to be right on the money."
<Lak> "Do we get to see the answer if we're wrong?"
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi tries again...this time, the weight pops up a couple of notches, just passing "PANSY" before falling back down. "Of course not! If I did that, I'd have to get a new demon for every customer!"
Zephi growls and tosses another coin at Bob before trying again.
<Drem> "May I have a turn?"
<Capn_Ascii> This time, the weight stops just *under* the "PANSY" line.
Zephi hands the mallet over before she breaks it.
<Capn_Ascii> "Aww. Anyone else care to take a shot?"
Lak sighs. "Okay, so how does this dunk tank thing work?"
Drem digs out and hands over a piece of gold, and then puts everything into lifting the oversized mallet
<Capn_Ascii> The weight doesn't even clear the first line. "My goodness! It's not *that* tough, is it?"
<Drem> "Bah. May I bring in a guest for a try?"
<Capn_Ascii> "What sort of guest?"
<Drem> "An ectoplasmic construct."
Lak goes over and takes a look at *both* of the remaining games.
<Lak> "Look, I'm not going to play any of your games unless they're explained, Mr. Barker. So start talking."
<Capn_Ascii> "An ecto...what-now?" He pulls out a handbook and leafs through it for a few moments. "...well, it says that anyone who wants to play and pays up can have a go, so sure, I guess."
<Capn_Ascii> The barker then leans over and whispers to Lak in a voice dripping with venom. "Look, kid, you're wreckin' my sales pitch here. They're *carnival games*, haven't you ever played 'em before? You throw balls at a target over at the dunk tank, and Guess Your Weight involves guessing someone's weight. It's not rocket science."
<Lak> Lak resists the urge to beat Barker into a pulp. "Fine, fine."
Drem places his hands on his temples, and in front of him a miniature giant winged gorilla appears out of nowhere.
<Lak> Lak lines up to attempt the dunk tank game, but will first wait for the winged gorilla.
Drem places a gold coin in its hand, and has it give the coin to Bob. It then picks up the mallet and takes a swing
<Capn_Ascii> Bob looks up at the giant gorilla. ".....uh. That's a new one."
<Drem> "Not really. I've done this sort of thing before."
<Capn_Ascii> The gorilla (who for some reason is wearing a red necktie) takes up the hammer, hauls it back, and smashes the lever with everything it's got. The weight goes flying up effortlessly before crashing into the bell with a satisfying *CLANNNG!*.
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, we have a winner!" The barker leads the gorilla over to the prize booth. "Pick your prize, good sir!"
<Drem> The gorilla takes one of the halves of the bronze key
<Capn_Ascii> "Alright, who wants to play one of our other fine games!"
Lak holds out a gold coin. "I'll try the dunk tank thing here."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah, perfect! So, so you want to be the thrower, or the dunkee?"
<Lak> "I propose you be the dunkee, and I'll be the thrower!"
<Capn_Ascii> He leads you all over to the appropriate tent. Inside is a large dunking booth - a pool several feet wide and deep, with a platform above it for someone to sit on. Next to the platform is a metal bulls-eye connected to a lever.
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, no, sir, I'm afraid I can't participate in the games. One of your friends will have to do the honors. That's what makes it so much fun!" He winks.
<Lak> "Ugh. Fine... uh, I think I'm the lightest, and you guys have better aims... so I'll get dunked."
Lak sets all his stuff down, gets out of his armor, and walks up to sit down on top of the platform.
Zephi nods. "I'll try."
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You strip down to your skivvies and plop down onto the plank.
<Lak> "Bring it on, girl!"
Zephi smiles. "Let's see you get wet. Where are the balls?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Right here!" He pulls a previously-unseen lever...a track extends from the booth, and a trio of wooden pitching balls roll out.
Zephi grabs one, picking it up and testing its weight before throwing it like a pitcher at the bulls-eye.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi winds up, and throws the ball hard! It misses, strikes the wall of the dunk tank, and then ricochets off with such force that it smacks square into Zephi's forehead on the return flight. *THWACK!*
Zephi grabs her forehead before screaming out in pain "OWW... WHAT is with these GAMES here?!"
Zephi, in a fit of anger, tries again with another ball.
<Capn_Ascii> With dizzy start still circling around her head, Zephi snatches up another ball and lets fly. This one strikes home, bouncing off the center of the bulls-eye...Lak has just enough time to feel the floor dropping out from under him before he's underwater.
<Capn_Ascii> "We have a winnar!"
<Lak> Lak comes up sputtering. "Water... is AWESOME!"
<Zephi> "Should have worn your helmet. For no other reason than it would have been awesome."
Lak looks for a ladder or something to climb out.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You climb out of the booth, cold, shivering, and half-naked. Fun.
Lak looks for a towel
Zephi hands him his blanket. "So what do I win?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Why, one of our fabulous prizes! Take your pick!" He leads you back to the prize booth.
Lak sighs and wipes himself down with his blanket, then puts on his clothes.
Zephi takes the other half of the key.
Zephi grabs the first half from ... whereever it is now and reconnects the pieces.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You stick the two pieces of the key together, but without anything to hold them that way, they simply come apart when you let go. Hmm.
Lak stares at the key halves and frowns. He then looks at the prize board.
<Capn_Ascii> "What's wrong, son? You don't like your prizes?"
<Zephi> "How do these pieces go back together?"
Zephi keeps trying.
Lak looks hard, wondering if either there's a) a missing piece or b) something else that looks like it's needed to mend the two halves
<Drem> "Is there anything like that among the available prizes?"
<Capn_Ascii> "'Fraid not. If you want some, though, the store in the lobby probably has some."
<Lak> "...wait a second, if the Tower organization people aren't allowed above floor 10... how are you even aware of them, being on floor 38?"
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: The key is broken into two pieces - one end has the loop-shaped head, the other has the teeth. They fit together just fine, but without something to actually bind them together, they're just two random pieces of junk. Some glue would work, or maybe some duct tape.
Zephi pockets the pieces "We'll figure out something."
<Lak> "Glue or Duct Tape would work. I suspect a Mending spell would also do the trick, but why waste a spell we don't have to?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Wow, what a good-looking question. Did I mention we still have one game left to try? Anyone want to give it a shot?"
Zephi looks at the board for anything worth trying the third game for.
<Capn_Ascii> Unless you want your very own stuffed tarrasque doll, a cheap wooden replica of Excalipoor, or a pair of "I <3 Pelor" boxer shorts, there's nothing else of interest in the prize tent.
Zephi turns back to Bob. "Thanks, but we really aught to be going. we have quite a few more floors to finish."
<Lak> "Eh, I don't see anything. Now... all I can do is repeat my question, since I don't care if I get kicked out: If the Tower organization people aren't allowed above floor 10... how are you even aware of them, being on floor 38?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Uh...uh..." Bob glances around nervously. "...I have no idea what you're talking about."
<Zephi> "Come on. Let's try a new floor. Thanks again, Bob."
Zephi heads towards the elevator
<Lak> Lak says a word not suitable for this family RP that roughly translates to a general statement of disbelief, then heads for the elevator.
Drem glances back suspiciously at Bob, and then follows
<Capn_Ascii> Bob waits for everyone to turn away, then sighs a sigh of relief.
Zephi hits the button for floor 41
<Capn_Ascii> You press the button. Quick, now the the perfect time for a last-minute gesture!
Lak does "The Thumb", which is a lot like "The Finger", only it's a thumb, which is bigger, which is worse, right?
Zephi sees Lak do this, and mimics his movement.
Lak waits for floor 41 to arrive
Drem covers his innocent eyes
Zephi peeks outside
<Capn_Ascii> This room is mostly empty, except for a long wooden table in the middle. There are a pair of lit candelabras sitting on it, providing light - and alongside them are what appear to be a sextet of pies.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a small piece of paper sitting on the table as well.
Lak walks up towards the table.
Drem tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The table sits there, as if waiting for you. As you draw closer, you can smell the pies - oven-fresh. Mmm, delicious!
Lak looks at the paper
Lak reads it, assuming it's readable
<Capn_Ascii> There's a note written on it - "E-Flat." Turning it over, you find a message written there: "Help yourself to some pie, folks! The key's in one of the pie pans. But, there's a catch - no using your hands! You've got to eat 'em the old-fashioned contest way...or else."
Zephi read it over Lak's shoulder. "Well, that sounds fun." She counts the pies.
<Lak> "Hmmm. So I guess we start eating. We'll each eat 2, stopping when we find the key?"
<Drem> "The pies are possibly traps. Or fictitious."
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: One, two, three, four, five...six! Six pies! Ah ah ah! *lightning flashes*
<Lak> "Hmmm..." Lak pulls out a wand. "Detecto!"
<Capn_Ascii> As the spell kicks in, all six pies begin to glow with a noticable magical aura.
<Lak> "Pretty lights!"
Zephi examines one of the pies.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: Oh my god, they're *nuclear* pies! Why else would they glow like that!?
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: It looks like a freshly-baked fruit pie, with a layer of crust concealing the filling. This one smells like blueberry!
Zephi leans over and sniffs it.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: Now it smells even more like blueberry.
Zephi shoves her face into it and begins eating it, using her tounge to look for a potential key within the pie.
Lak shrugs and prepares to dig into a different pie with his face.
Lak will wait for Zephi to finish that pie first though
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: Using your surprisingly skilled lips and tongue (I'm not going to ask how said skills came to be), you quickly root around in the pie and, before long, find something. You clamp it between your teeth and pull it up out of the delicious blueberry pie filling - it's a small plastic disk that says "Sorry, Try Again."
Zephi spits it out. "Pies are good."
Zephi sets the pie down and picks up another pie, sniffing this one.
Lak launches himself into another pie
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You pick a pie at random, and dig in. Mmm, apple cinnamon!
Zephi turns to a different pie, sniffing this one.*
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: Mmm, banana creme!
Zephi stuffs her face into this pie, looking again for the key.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You dig through the pie with surprising skill, enjoying the pie along the way. Before long, you feel your teeth chomp down on another plastic disk.
Lak spits the disk out
Drem tentatively picks out a pie and digs in without his hands
Lak wipes his face off a bit, then examines one of the remaining pies, preparing to dig in.
Lak digs in
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi and Drem: You chow down into your respective pies, but luck doesn't seem to be with you this time. Even after eating half of your respective pies, there's no sign of anything inside them.
Zephi looks up, licking stuff off of her face, looks over at Lak to see if he found anything.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak, on the other hand, dives into his pie like a halfling possessed - chomping and slurping until the pan is completely clean. He stands up with a funny look on his face...then punches himself in the stomach, causing him to belch loudly. A bronze key is expelled from his mouth and lands on the table.
Zephi wipes pie filling off her face, liking her fingers. "That was a tasty break. Next floor then?"
<Lak> "Sounds good," Lak returns to the elevator, wiping his face off as he goes.
<Drem> "Maybe it'll be more of a challenge." Drem tags along.
Zephi grabs the key, following Lak
<Lak> "Where to next?"
<Lak> "Works for me," Lak says, pressing the button.
Zephi keeps licking pie off her face. "Blueberry and banana. Weird, but I like it."
Lak waits for floor 44 to arrive.
Zephi looks out of the elevator
<Drem> "It's more pies, isn't it?"
<Lak> "I think it would be more likely to be cake."
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You stick your head out of the elevator door, and are almost immediately buffeted by a blast of hot, moist, stinky air, accompanied by an ear-splitting, earth-shaking roar. Looking up, you notice that there's an absolutely tremendous, hulking monster towering in front of you, leaning down to stare you in the face, its own horrible visage mere inches from your own.
<Lak> "Whoa. Wrong floor, I think."
Zephi, stunned, freezes then waves slightly.
Zephi whispers "hitthebuttonhitthebutton"
Lak presses the "45" button
<Drem> "Ah, I bet it's a lot less dangerous than it looks!"
<Lak> "I'm not taking a chance."
<Capn_Ascii> The doors open.
<Capn_Ascii> The room beyond them looks fairly normal, as far as tower rooms go. There's something that looks like an altar in the center of the room.
Lak walks up towards the altar, carefully checking for traps along the way.
Zephi follows cautiously.
<Capn_Ascii> As you approach, you can see that the altar is mostly plain, although it does have a few bits of gold trim adorning it. Sitting squarely in the middle of the altar is, of all things, a wigstand - sporting a large, black afro wig.
Lak examines the wig closely, as well as the altar in general, looking for any sort of inscription to indicate what to do
<Drem> "If one of us has to put on the wig...not it."
<Zephi> "not it"
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: After a bit of searching, you find a small plaque on the side of the altar. It reads:
<Lak> "USS ENTERPRISE, CONSTITUTION CLASS, NCC-1701... wait, wrong plaque. Sorry."
<Capn_Ascii> "IF THOU SEEKEST THE KEY, CLAIMEST THE HAIRPIECE OF DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS. BUT BE FORWARNED - THOU MUST CONFRONT THE POWERS IT REPRESENTS."
<Lak> "Oh, that's much clearer."
<Lak> "I somehow am thinking this should be worn by someone 'Good'. Which I am, I guess."
<Lak> "Here goes nothing, people!"
<Lak> "Cover me." Lak grabs the hairpiece.
Zephi grabs a blanket "Oh sorry."
<Lak> "Not like that, silly. Like, make sure I don't go insane."
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You remove the wig from the stand, as soon as you do...
<Capn_Ascii> ...nothing happens. Then, after a suitably dramatic pause, there's a gentle rumble throughout the room.
Lak looks around nervously
<Capn_Ascii> The rumbling seems to move through the floor, until it concentrates into a single spot several meters behind you. Suddenly, the stones and dirt of the floor begin to move upward, climbing up each other, twisting and shaping themselves until they take on the unmistakable form of a humanoid creature. It's an Earth Elemental!
<Capn_Ascii> Before you have time to properly react to the creature's presence, you feel a stinging wind blowing through the chamber. The air in the room swirls around and coalesces into a solid shape on the other side of the room - an Air Elemental!
<Lak> "Great. Now I bet here come a Water Elemental and a Fire Elemental."
<Drem> "And then they'll combine?"
<Lak> "I'm hoping they'd cancel... just like I hope this pair cancels itself out. How about we just get out of their way?"
<Capn_Ascii> And then, as if to round out the trifecta, you hear the sound of crackling flames. A spark ignites above the altar, which bursts into a blazing flame - which in turn resolves into the shape of a Fire Elemental.
Lak backs away fast.
<Lak> "Or not. Dammit."
<Lak> "Since the Water Elemental is apparently not coming.'"
Zephi jumps back as well.
<Capn_Ascii> The three elementals stand there meneacingly, glaring at you...or, they would, if they had eyes. Then, they slowly move forward...
<Drem> "Wait, are they about to sing at us?"
<Lak> "It's the Twisted Rancor Trio! Er, the Twisted Elemental Trio, I guess."
Zephi pulls out her sword, it hums quietly, ready to fight something. "I hope so. Or something's wrong."
Lak pulls out his falchion. "Yeah."