Trinsic Tales:The Tower/Chapter 08
Chapter Eight: Eighth Floor: Chests, Booty, and Other Fun Body Parts
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes, we find them ascending up the Cliffs of Logi--er, the Tower of Something-or-other. Next stop: Level 50. No, Zan, *tower* level.
<Zephi> "The announcer is talking crazy. Crazy I say."
Lak waits for the elevator to open
Zephi peeks out
<Capn_Ascii> The door opens once again onto the 50th floor.
<Capn_Ascii> It looks pretty much like it did last time.
Zephi heads over to the brownish elevator and puts the keys in.
<Lak> "No, no, no."
<Lak> "This elevator is awful. Look at it!"
<Lak> "The purple one looks much nicer."
<Drem> "So what?"
<Lak> "Do you want to spend our adventures INSIDE this thing?"
<Zephi> "We've been using the west and south elevators somewhat consistantly. I'm just following the pattern."
<Lak> "Oh fine, but don't blame me if it starts to smell or something."
<Lak> "Turn 'em."
Zephi turns the keys
<Drem> "I would think an adventurer would be used to bad smells. I can't imagine there's many places to bathe in an inexplicably large dungeon."
<Capn_Ascii> "FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT."
<Lak> "I don't do many inexplicably large dungeons. I prefer clean and normal-sized palaces. They're just as ripe for acquisition as anything else."
<Lak> "Oh yay, what now?"
<Capn_Ascii> Glancing around, you all notice that the decor in the room has taken on that strange "deserted ruins" look as in the previous key room. You turn around, and realize that the sphinx from before is sitting there, watching you all non-chalantly.
<Lak> "Wait, how did get from floor 20 to floor 50 like that?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I'M A MYSTICAL GUARDIAN WHO CAN DRAG YOU ALL INTO A POCKET DIMENSION. IS MY ABILITY TO MOVE AROUND REALLY YOUR MOST PRESSING QUESTION?"
<Lak> "Well, you answered it. That's how you moved."
<Lak> "Okay. So, what do you want us to do for this key?"
<Capn_Ascii> "AS BEFORE, THERE IS A TRIAL INVOLVED. PASS IT, AND THE KEY IS YOURS."
<Zephi> "Well? spit it out."
<Capn_Ascii> "FAIL, AND...WELL, THERE'S A HORRIBLE UNPLEASANT DEATH INVOLVED. YOU KNOW, THE USUAL."
<Drem> "Must there always be a trial? Can't we just get it for being good sports?"
<Capn_Ascii> The sphinx ignores Drem. Without standing up, it somehow glides backward along the floor, waving an arm as it does so. A thin line appears in the ground in front of you, which quickly pulls apart, forming a very large regtangular opening that takes up most of the floor.
<Capn_Ascii> The pit appears to be full of very dirty, very dark, very cold water.
<Zephi> "No hints? Just jumping straight to drowning us?"
<Lak> "So what, are we supposed to get to you?"
<Capn_Ascii> "THERE'S A TREASURE DOWN THERE, SOMEWHERE...BRING IT TO ME. THAT'S ALL THE INFO YOU GET. NOW HOP TO IT."
Lak sighs and goes through his pack for his water-breathing helm
<Lak> "Can anyone swim? I have the water-breathing helm thing... someone who swims better then me can."
<Zephi> "I can swim."
<Drem> "Wheatley can help you search," Drem says as he holds up his crystal.
Lak hands the helm to Zephi. "Go for it."
Zephi takes off her armor, puts on the helm and, speaking the command word, jumps in the water.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: As you splash down into the pool, the helm allows you to breathe in the water. It also allows you to *smell* the water, and you immediately regret this latter ability - it's like low tide at the pier! Ugh!
Zephi starts looking for something that could be considered treasure.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You start to tread water, pushing forward into the pool to look for treashah! ...but there's not much to see from up here, especially through the muddy water. At least the water is still, making it easy to swim through.
Zephi pulls out her sword, still folded, hoping to use the light to see something.
<Lak> "Pretty sure you're going to have to go under," Lak points out.
Zephi goes under the water and does all of the above things over again
<Capn_Ascii> Unsheathing your sword, you poke your head under the water and start to dive down. The light helps cut through the darkness, and before long you find yourself prowling slowly along the bottom of the pool in a vague search pattern, like a police diver looking for a body.
<Capn_Ascii> After swimming around like Flipper for several minutes, you eventually find something. Buried in a layer of silt on the bottom of the pool, you spy a large wooden treasure chest that looks straight out of a pirate movie (or perhaps a fish tank). It's closed, and badly rusted.
<Capn_Ascii> As you approach the tank, you briefly sense movement out of the corner of your eye...there, then gone. It's hard to tell if there was actually something there, or if it was just a trick of the dim light.
Zephi swims straight up to see where she's at.
Zephi yells over to her party "I just found a chest, but I think I saw something else. Going back down to check it out."
<Capn_Ascii> *sploosh!* You breach back up through the water and re-orient yourself. You're about 3/4 of the way across the pool from where you started. The Sphinx is nearby, watching you with interest.
<Lak> "Don't take unnecessary risks!"
<Drem> "Wait, take my psicrystal! You'll need another pair of eyes if there's something else in there."
<Zephi> "Uh. Okay."
Zephi swims closer to the party. "Can you toss it?"
Drem tosses Wheatley over to Zephi. "Catch me catch me catch me!" the crystal pleads telepathically
Zephi catches it and swims back over to where the chest is.
Zephi swims back down to the chest, keeping an eye open for movement.
Zephi examines said chest.
<Capn_Ascii> You stare at the chest for a while, glad the owner isn't here to shoot you a dirty look. The wood is blackened from water exposure, the metal hinges and clasp are rusted significantly, and the box itself is half-buried in the silt that covers the bottom of the pool. It's hard to tell just from looking at it, but it looks heavy. The clasp is closed with a heavy padlock, also rusted.
Zephi looks at the crystal breifly before shoving it into her pocket, and taking her sword in both hands, unfolds it and attempts to use it to break the rusted padlock.
<Capn_Ascii> You insert your mighty weapon, brace yourself, and give a mighty heave! The lock creaks, but doesn't quite yield...instead, you find yourself pushing your own body upwards through the water a little bit. It's hard to get leverage down here.
Zephi sighs, reaching into her bag with one hand to grab her crowbar while refolding her weapon with the other.
Zephi tries again with the crowbar.
<Capn_Ascii> Channeling the spirit of the One Free Man, you dig the crowbar into the lock and twist with all your might. The metal groans, the wood creaks, and finally, the lock snaps off with a loud *CRACK!*, disintegrating into powder.
Zephi uses the crowbar to lift the lid from a relative distance.
<Capn_Ascii> You gently push the lid open. Suddenly, you're startled by a loud fanfare - "Dah nah nah NAAAAAAH!" - as a brief burst of light shines out of the box. Fortunately, both end quickly.
<Capn_Ascii> You glance into the box once the special effects stop. Inside is...
<Capn_Ascii> Treasure...SO much treasure...the box is crammed full of every form of material wealth imaginable. Gold coins and bars, precious gemstones and jewelry, bejeweled weapons, bearer bonds...
<Zephi> "Bonds? In Water? Huh?"
<Capn_Ascii> (They're laminated.)
<Capn_Ascii> There's even an antique oil lamp sitting half-buried in the pile.
Zephi closes the lid and swims back up. She then explains the situation to her paty while swimming back to them. When she finishes, she says "I think a construct would be the best idea. It would be better it you could create it as close as possible. Can you walk around the edge of the water to the other side?"
<Drem> "I think I can make it right next to the chest."
<Zephi> "Making it above the chest would be good, if you can swim that far. You don't need to go underwater though"
<Drem> "An astral construct could swim faster than it could fly."
<Zephi> "Oh. I misunderstood. I keep forgetting you can project it to appear elsewhere."
Zephi swims back to where the chest is.
<Capn_Ascii> Yep, it's still there. SO much treasure...
Drem focuses for a few moments, and then appearifies a gorilla with a big shark fin on its back above the treasure chest.
<Drem> The sharkarilla then swims down and grabs onto the chest and tries swimming towards the shore
Zephi pulls her grapling hook out of her bag, ready to impliment plan B, looking at her rope sadly. "This thing it going to fall apart, I just know it."
<Capn_Ascii> The gorilla grunts and pulls with all of its might, but the chest won't budge.
Zephi grabs the other side and helps the gorilla lift.
<Capn_Ascii> Both you and the gorill-il-il-il-ila grab hold of the box and lift...between the two of you, you get just enough lift to get it up out of the silt. The two of you struggle mightily with the chest, slowly carrying it to the far wall of the pool.
<Capn_Ascii> It takes a while, but soon you reach the wall at the end of the water. It stares at you, as if mocking you with gravity's cruelness.
Zephi drops the chest on the ground. "Help me with this." She begins carrying pieces of the treasure up to the edge of the water and chucking them up to where the sphynx is.
<Drem> The gorilla uses what time it has left to help haul up pieces of the treasure
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi and her new sidekick start scooping up pieces of the treasure (damn, there's a lot of it!) and carrying it up to the surface of the water. Slowly but surely, a pile of gold, jewels and fabulous riches begins to grow next to the sphinx, Drem and Lak's eyes going wide as they finally lay eyes on the haul.
<Capn_Ascii> The gorilla vanishes long before the task is done, leaving Zephi to finish it herself. But finish it she does...there, in all its glory, is enough booty to make Sir Mix-A-Lot drool.
Zephi finishes this by bringing up the empty rusted chest and putting it beside the treasure. "Is this good enough for you, or do you want it back in the box?"
<Capn_Ascii> The sphinx looks over the pile, as if adding numbers in his head. Finally he smiles. "NO, THIS IS FINE. I'M NOT KEEPING IT ALL ANYWAY."
<Lak> Lak frowns, noticing a distinct lack of key, and turns around to look at the elevator. Is there actually a platinum keyhole *there* this time?
<Capn_Ascii> Using his oversized paws, the sphinx (somehow) scoops up most of the treasure and puts it back into the box. A small portion of the loot, however, he rakes over to the side, and gestures to you. "YOU MAY KEEP THIS PORTION AS A REWARD FOR YOUR DILLIGENCE."
Zephi nods. "Thank you."
<Capn_Ascii> He then glances over and notices Lak checking out the elevator panel. "OH, RIGHT, AND THIS." He half-heartedly tosses a platinum key onto the pile.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: Sure there is. It's been there this whole time. It certainly wasn't forgotten when the DM was descing things, no sir.
Drem rubs his hands together and grins at the sight of all the loot
<Lak> "So can the water go away now please?"
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you and the Sphinx sit there, staring at each other for a rather awkward amount of time. Finally, he seems to take the hint. "...WHA? OH, ER, RIGHT. SORRY. I'LL BE GOING NOW." He and the ruins and pool fade out of sight, leaving you once again in the tower room.
Zephi picks up the key and puts it into her pocket before examining the pile.
<Capn_Ascii> There's gold in them thar hills! And some gemstones, and a pearl necklace or two, and a few bearer bonds for the Last National Bank of Trinsic.
<Capn_Ascii> All together worth a grand total of...*drumroll*...50,000 gold!
Zephi toses the treasure into a sack and tosses it into her bag muttering "finally, some damn treasure."
<Drem> "How are we going to divide this between three people?"
Zephi rejoins her party. "Well that was interesting. Thanks for your help, Drem." She hands him back the psicrystal, and hands Lak back the helm.
Lak pockets the helm
<Lak> "Let's worry about that after we get out of here."
<Zephi> "I'm sure we can figure that out later. We need to divide everything we've gotten here, not just this."
Zephi walks up to the elevator and slides the platinum key home in the keyhole.
Zephi turns the key.
<Capn_Ascii> You turn the key, sealing the door to darkness for this world. Oops, wait, wrong game.
<Capn_Ascii> You turn the key. There's a flash of light, and the elevator hums to life, doors opening.
Zephi gets in and examines the buttons.
Drem tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The elevator looks a lot like the other ones, aside from the godawful color. The panel of buttons in here runs from '61' through '99'.
Zephi thinks about it for a second before hitting the button for floor 99.
<Drem> "Uh oh..."
Zephi peeks out.
<Capn_Ascii> This room is...different. It's the same size and shape as the others, but this one is decorated much like a palace antechamber - there are wide decorative columns in the middle of the floor, the walls are carved and covered with hanging curtains made of royal red-and-gold fabric, and there are lit torches in holders around the outer edge.
<Lak> "Wow. Nice place."
<Capn_Ascii> There, against the far wall of the chamber, is a single, huge door - covered with etchings and metal decorations.
Zephi walks up and inspects it.
<Drem> "I suspect we're going to be out of our league this high up."
<Capn_Ascii> A pair of massive heavy chains are stretched across the door in an X-pattern, with a single oversized padlock holding them together near the center. The lock itself has three keyholes in it - one bronze, one silver, and one gold.
<Lak> "We have a bronze key still... just need a silver and a gold..."
<Lak> "I think this might be the top. So it's basically pick two levels."
Zephi checks her keyring "We have a bronze key?"
<Lak> "Oh. Miscounted. Meh. Three keys. So pick three levels."
<Lak> "Whatever, close enough."
Zephi heads back to the elevator and hits the button for floor 65
<Lak> "Why 65? Just curious."
<Zephi> "Close enough to the bottom to be relatively, potentially easier While still letting us stay in this section. Woud you rather we do floors ninety-six through ninety-eight?"
<Lak> "Fifty-one to fifty-three? I dunno, heh."
<Lak> "It doesn't matter. I was just curious, as I said."
<Capn_Ascii> You poke your heads out and look around.
<Capn_Ascii> This floor looks more like a normal tower room, aside from two things. First, the floor of this room seems to be made of polished, square-shaped onyx tiles, rather than the stonework you've seen elsewhere. Second, there are three people sitting behind a long table on one side of the room.
Lak walks into the room and heads towards the people
Drem tags along
<Capn_Ascii> There are three of them, all sitting patiently behind the table in folding metal chairs. The first is a male human with short hair and a friendly look on his face; the second is a blonde, busty, and rather ditzy-looking half-elf wearing a vacant smile; and the third is a gruff-looking dwarf with a tightly-trimmed beard who's sitting with his arms crossed, glaring at you.
<Capn_Ascii> The man waves you over as you approach. "Ah, hello there! Are you here for the competition?"
<Lak> "Maybe. That depends what the competition is."
<Drem> "I hope it's not another eating contest."
<Capn_Ascii> "Eating? Oh, no, no, we're here for something much more important."
<Lak> "Which is?"
<Capn_Ascii> He stands up and strikes a wide-armed, jazz-hands pose that couldn't possibly be more theatrical. "Dance!"
<Lak> "Oh damn... does anyone here know how to dance?" Lak asks Drem and Zephi.
<Capn_Ascii> He then glances around, sits down, and clears his throat. "Er. I mean, uh...dance."
<Capn_Ascii> "If you can impress our panel of judges and beat our reigning champion, you'll win a prize."
<Lak> "Seems like we might as well all give it a try."
<Drem> "I have just the thing..."
<Zephi> "me glances anxiously over at the elevator."
<Lak> "...what, are you going to make a dancing orangutang?"
Zephi glances anxiously over at the elevator.
Drem pulls out the exceptionally funky wig
<Lak> "Oh, yeah, cool."
<Lak> "That should help."
Lak glances at Zephi. "Something wrong?"
<Zephi> "Oh, nothing. I just... Don't dance."
<Lak> "Eh, I think Drem's wig should work well enough to make a win anyway."
<Lak> "So, I think Drem is going to be entering."
Zephi nods, eyeing the wig Drem is holding. "Works for me."
<Capn_Ascii> The man gestures to the floor in front of the table. "Whenever you're ready, please take your position."
<Lak> "Put it on, and dance away, dude."
Drem puts on the wig and steps up
Zephi backs away
Lak does too
<Capn_Ascii> Drem: As you place with wig on your head, you can feel a surge of power blast through you. You feel energized, alert, dexterous, and above all...funky. Dayum.
<Capn_Ascii> Upon seeing Drem take position, the dwarf reaches under the table and flicks a switch.
Drem breaks out whatever moves his newfound grooviness has granted him
<Capn_Ascii> Suddenly, the floor of black tiles beneath him lights up in a rainbow display of discoteque gaudiness. At the same time, club music starts blaring from unseen speakers.
Zephi looks for a disco ball on the celing
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: Hey, there it is! It spins around, flashing bits of light all over the walls and floor.
<Zephi> "Called it."
<Capn_Ascii> Drem strikes a pose, and then proceeds to bust a move like no one has ever busted a move before in the history of move-busting. He dances so fast and so powerfully that he soon sweeps himself up into a whirling tornado of funk!
<Capn_Ascii> Bursts of light and power rocket out from the dance whirlwind as Drem almost explodes with talent. A howling wind kicks up, blowing around the room in a veritable storm of awe.
<Capn_Ascii> The judges stare in awe, eyes wide, mouths gaping, as the sheer awesome of Drem's dancing assaults them. Their heads shake, their bodies quiver, as the power of funk overwhelms them. "My god, his moves are so original!" "So creative!" "He's a maniac, a MANIAC on the floor!"
<Capn_Ascii> Finally, the display hits critical mass. Drem finishes his routine, and strikes a final, ultra-stylish pose - there's a flash of light, a boom of thunder, and the three judges' heads simultaniously explode in a shower of gore.
<Lak> "...does that mean we lost our key?"
Zephi screams and jumps back to avoid the splatter.
Lak jumps back a bit too
Zephi, having avoided the splatter walks over and rifles through the judges' pockets.
Lak stays a safe distance away
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You carefully weave your way through the strands of stray brain matter decorating the corpses, and search them. You end up with a bronze key, a small leather pouch with some gold in it (500g), and what's left of the dwarf's beard, which fell off of its previous owner surprisingly intact.
Zephi pockets the key and the gold and stares at the beard. "What use is this?"
<Lak> "You never know. Might be a decent disguise."
Zephi takes it to Drem "Figure out what this does later. Maybe it turns you into a lumberjack."
<Drem> "I'm not sure if it'd go with the wig."
<Lak> "Well... in any case. Next Floor!"
Lak heads into the elevator
Zephi scurries over.
Drem puts away the beard and wig and tags along
<Lak> "Next floor... 70?"