Trinsic Tales:The Tower/Chapter 09
Chapter Nine: Ninth Floor: Porcines, Trials, and Face Time
<CapAscii> As we join our heroes, we find them...you know what? You all know how this starts. Exiting from the elevator, blah blah blah. Let's jump right to the action, shall we?
<Lak> (Yes! Let's!)
<Drem> "Maybe there'll be TWO of those gigantic, scary things this time!"
Zephi looks around.
<CapAscii> Let's not tempt fate, shall we, hmm?
<CapAscii> The room immediately catches your eye, mostly because the entire floor surface is covered in...mud! Thick, wet, sloggy, ankle-deep mud. It reminds you of the Trinsic Dirt Flats after a heavy rain.
Lak looks out to see if there's anything that might indicate the presence of the key.
Drem looks around expectantly
<Drem> "Any monsters this time around?"
<CapAscii> Drem: Looking carefully through the muddy floor ahead of you, you soon spot what appears to be a shallow lump, a few feet wide. Something is apparantly buried beneath the surface of the mud.
<CapAscii> Before you can investigate, the elevator door behind you suddenly closes. You hear the sound of the car moving down.
Drem points at the lump. "There's something."
<Lak> "Then go get it."
<Lak> "I don't see anything."
<Drem> "We're getting pretty high up in the tower. I'm going to assume it's a trap."
<Lak> "Well, I can't see it, so unless you want to point it out to me, I can't do anything about it."
Lak scratches out his last two lines
<Lak> "Fine, okay, I'll get it," Lak mutters, walking carefully in the mud.
<CapAscii> You hear the sound of the car returning. The door opens, and Beri emerges.
Zephi turns and waves.
Beriadanwen steps out of the elevator, looking around.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You carefully step through the mud. You can feel the stone floor beneath the mess, so at least there's solid footing. As you edge your way out to the lump and draw closer to it, you realize that it's moving slightly - gently rising up and down.
Lak raises and eyebrow and gently and carefully tries to pull it out
<Capn_Ascii> You reach your hand down, prodding the lump experimentally. Suddenly, it starts to move.
<Capn_Ascii> The...thing, whatever it is, stands up...apparantly, it's a creature. It's only a couple of feet tall and quadrupedal, although you can't tell much else since it's almost totally covered with mud. This is solved shortly, however, as it begins shaking itself to sling the mud off, spattering some on Lak's legs in the process.
<Capn_Ascii> It looks at you with its cute little flat nose, and oinks. Piggy! :D Well, a full-grown one, at least.
<Lak> "Oink to you too."
<Capn_Ascii> The pig, quickly growing disinterested in you, starts to wander off. As it does, you catch a glimpse of silver from the bottom of the collar that it's wearing...
<Lak> "I see a silver key! It looks like this is a pig rodeo!"
<Drem> "I'd rather not have a long chase through the mud. Try not to startle it."
<Drem> "Did anyone bring any food that's not trail rations?"
<Lak> "I'm afraid not."
<Beriadanwen> "Anyone wanna try playing with it? It should come right up to you if you roll around in the mud with it."
<Lak> "Oh, I'm already muddy. It's worth a try."
Lak gets down and rolls around a bit
<Drem> "If this does end with a chase, I've got something that could help."
<Capn_Ascii> The pig stops trotting away and turns to look at you, raising its little piggy eyebrow.
Lak slaps around, trying to make more noise
<Capn_Ascii> The pig saunters a little closer, though still not close enough to make a grab for. It stands there, eyeing you and tilting its head in that way that dogs do when they see you making out on the couch.
Lak does a mud-slapping dance, tossing himself around as he goes. In the midst of this he pulls out a dagger.
<Capn_Ascii> The pig is watching you carefully. He seems fairly focused on you, but at the same time, it doesn't seem as if he wants to approach you while you're thrashing around.
Lak settles down, but keeps a playful attitude
<Capn_Ascii> The pig hesitates for a few moments, then starts to trot over when it sees that you're no longer having a seizure, or whatever was going on here. It shoves its snout right up against your face and snorts a greeting.
Lak gets up and snorts back at the pig, using one hand to wave at it and distract it while grabbing the key with the other.
<Lak> wave at and then pet*
<Capn_Ascii> Slowly, you reach up a hand and start rubbing the pig on top of its head. It responds by oinking happily and waggling its curly little tail. It hardly even seems to care as you reach down and pull the key off.
Lak nods politely and backs away, holding the key tightly in his fist kept pointed downwards, hoping to not seem threatening or have the pig notice something shiny.
<Zephi> "Good job."
Lak nods. "Next floor."
Lak gets in the elevator
<Lak> "Oh, and can someone help me clean all this mud off?"
<Capn_Ascii> As you enter the elevator car, you turn around to find the pig standing just outside of the car. It looks expectantly at Lak, tail still wiggling.
Beriadanwen follows after Lak and Zephi, "Do we even have enough water or anything to clean you off with?"
Drem tags along. "I didn't bring a towel."
<Beriadanwen> "Drem how can you have forgotten a towel? Never forget your towel."
Lak sighs. "Blanket's in my bag. Use it please. Oh and let's feed the pig before we leave."
<Drem> "Can we keep it?"
<Capn_Ascii> The pig looks sad. :<
<Lak> "Can you toss it some rations, please, Drem?"
Beriadanwen grabs the blanket out of Lak's bag, and starts to help him clean off. At Drem's question her head snaps to him, "Why would you want to keep a random pig that we know nothing about?"
<Zephi> "Because it looks sad"
<Drem> "And lonely!"
<Zephi> "And muddy."
<Drem> "So...should I just put the rations in the mud, or do we have something to put it on?"
<Lak> "Just hold your hand out, and let the pig eat. Sheesh."
Zephi takes the key fromlak and wipes it off in Lak's blanket.
Drem takes out a handful of trail rations and holds it out towards the pig
<Capn_Ascii> The pig squeals with delight and trots over, shoving its snout into Drem's hand and greedily munching on the proffered food.
<Lak> "Alright. Now we can move on. Floor 75?"
<Drem> "And just leave the pig behind?"
<Lak> "Yes, Drem, we're not taking it with us."
<Zephi> "I'm sure someone will com along and give him another key to guard at some point..
<Lak> "Indeed. So let's just move on, k?"
Drem waits for the pig to finish eating and takes his hand back. "All right, then. Bye pig."
<Capn_Ascii> Finishing its snack, the pig nuzzles Drem's hand, then turns around and trots back out into the mud, where it flops back down to take a nap.
Lak presses the "75" button.
<Capn_Ascii> The car door closes, and the elevator moves.
Lak listens to the (probably bad) music, waiting for the elevator to open again.
Beriadanwen hoped it would be a music free ride
Zephi thinks Beri should have known better
Zephi peeks out
Lak does too
Drem goes with the flow
<Capn_Ascii> Oh boy, *this* looks like fun. The room has been turned into a military-style obstacle course; there are several stations arranged around the outside of the room in order, with a white line painted on the floor to indicate a starting position.
<Capn_Ascii> In the center of the room are a pair of circular disks flush with the floor, each about five feet wide.
Beriadanwen sighs, and follows the line to the first 'station'.
Zephi hestitates and then follows.
Lak does too
<Drem> "Uhhh...I'm not the athletic sort. Good luck, everyone!"
<Lak> "You might as well try it, damn you! You got little to lose!"
<Lak> "You can do it!"
<Capn_Ascii> Around the outside edge of the room, in order, are: a tire run, a climbing wall, a tall balance beam nearly 10 feet off the floor (with a ladder to reach it), a large sandy pit some 50 feet in diameter, and, strangely enough, a crystal pyramid sitting on top of a pedestal (which bears a sign).
Lak looks closer at the sign
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: You step over and read the sign. It says "MENTAL CHALLENGE - move the pyramid with the power of your mind!"
Zephi looks over at Drem.
<Drem> "I'm clairvoyant, not telekinetic."
Drem takes off his Hand of the Mage. "I've got this, though."
<Lak> "Eh, let's worry about that when we get to it. For now, let's just do this."
<Drem> "Ummm...you want me to try that pyramid one, or are you guys up for it?"
<Lak> "I think this is set up like an obstacle course for a reason... I doubt we can go out of order."
<Lak> "But yes, please join us."
Drem puts his Hand of the Mage back on and walks over to the others
Zephi attempts the tire run.
Lak prepares to follow
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi takes off from the starting line at full tilt. He lifts his legs high and starts trying to quick-step his way through the tires, but on the very first one he snags his foot and falls forward, face-planting on the ground.
Zephi picks herself up and gets back in line behind Lak
Lak tries it
Zephi picks herself up and gets back in line behind Beri*
<Capn_Ascii> Lak attempts the same run, but falls just as quickly. Beri then steps up and shows them how its done, stepping through the tires with little effort.
Zephi tries the tire run again
<Capn_Ascii> As Beri reaches the end of the tires, there's an audible *ding!* and a small green light (not unlike a lightning bug) appears hovering over her head.
Lak tries again too
<Capn_Ascii> Lak and Zephi dust themselves off and try again, following Beri's example and making it through. They also get the little green light over their heads.
Zephi tries climbing up the wall.
Drem moves up and tries to get through the tires
Lak follows Zephi
<Capn_Ascii> Drem: You carefully pick your way through the tires, just barely avoiding tripping over your own feet.
Beriadanwen steps up to the climbing wall and atempts to climb it
<Capn_Ascii> Beri: You get a handhold on the wall and start climbing. However, about halfway up, your foot slips, causing you to tumble back down to the floor. Fortunately, someone has been thoughtful enough to leave a padded mat at the base of the wall for just such a reason.
Beriadanwen inhales deeply, and starts to climb the wall again
<Capn_Ascii> Lak tries to climb the wall, but he can't seem to get a good enough grip to make any progress off the ground. Zephi, meanwhile, grows impatient...grumbling, she hops up, plants a foot on Lak's head, and uses him as a step-stool to spring halfway up the wall before clambering up and over like a spider.
Zephi climbs up the balance beam ladder and attempts to get to the other side.
<Capn_Ascii> Beri treis again, getting a little farther this time, but again loses her footing and falls, nearly landing on Lak.
Beriadanwen growls softly at the wall, starting up it again
<Capn_Ascii> Beri growls like a grizzly bear, grabs the wall with both arms, and half-climbs, half- claws her way up and over.
Lak tries the wall again
Beriadanwen grins, and walks calmly over to the balance beam, waiting for Zephi to finish or fall before atempting it herself
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: The wall mocks your feeble attempts to scale it. Ha!
Lak tries two more times
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You start across the beam, and almost immediately slip and fall. Fortunately, you're a female, so the universe takes pity on you and has you fall to the side instead of spread-eagled onto the bar.
Zephi picks herself up and goes back behind Beri
Beriadanwen climbs up the ladder and onto the balance beam
Drem takes a peek into the future before trying to scramble up the wall after the others
Zephi starts up the ladder when Beri climbs it.
<Capn_Ascii> Just as Beri is climbing the ladder to make her attempt, Lak, in a fit of furious rage, lets out a yell of anger and charges at the wall like a raging rhino. He leaps at it, grabs on, snatches himself up to the top with a single pull, then makes a flying leap off the top of the wall, foaming at the mouth and howling like Tarzan.
<Capn_Ascii> He ends up landing square on the closest end of the balance beam, where he quickly loses his footing; tripping over his own feet and wildly flailing his arms, he ends up stumbling all the way to the end of the beam before falling forward and over the other end. Two green lights pop into existence over his head.
<Lak> "OH YEAH, BABY!"
<Capn_Ascii> Beri is so distracted by Lak's awesomeness that she doesn't pay attention and quickly falls off the beam again.
<Capn_Ascii> Drem, meanwhile, walks up to the climbing wall, then bumps into it with his chest. Then, a second time, then a third. Hmm, funny, it doesn't seem to be moving out of the way.
<Drem> "Hmm...I may need a different strategy..."
Zephi attempts to go down the beam again
Beriadanwen giggles at Drem.
Drem tries to move vertically instead
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi tries to cross again, but as before, she slips and falls. Beri snickers, then mounts the beam and strides across easily to join Lak on the other side.
Zephi goes and tries again.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi fails.
Zephi goes and tries again.
Beriadanwen strides over to the sand pit, wondering what they could possibly be expected to do here
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi, tired of looking foolish, decides to really try this time, and makes it across without too much difficulty.
Zephi jumps down and joins Beri in trying to figure out the sand pit.
<Capn_Ascii> Drem, meanwhile, tries to actually *climb* the wall this time, but soon finds that Lak's rage-flavored sweat has made the handholds difficult to grab; he falls quickly.
Lak also tries to figure out the sand pit
Drem attempts to climb the wall one more time
<Lak> "Hmmm.... that's not good."
<Zephi> "Is it sand?"
<Lak> "Mostly. But there's also some very dangerous landmines in there."
<Zephi> "Oh. That complicates things."
<Beriadanwen> "Lak, how do you know that?"
<Lak> "I can see them. Small metal things half-buried in the sand. They look like bottlecaps... they aren't. I know a trap when I see one."
<Capn_Ascii> Drem attempts to climb the wall one more time but gravity seems determined to thwart his efforts.
Zephi pulls out her bow. "You think we can hit them?"
<Lak> "Sure, but let's back away if we're gonna try that."
Lak takes a few steps back
Zephi climbs back up on the balance wall.
Zephi pulls out an arrow and pulls her bow back, aiming it at one of the bottlecap-shaped land mines.
Beriadanwen moves back and away from the sand pit
Zephi fires the arrow, ready to duck behind the wall if it hits.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: You draw back your bowstring, and fire. The arrow hits home, *thunk!*ing into one of the small metal knobs protruding up through the sand. For a moment, nothing happens. Then...
<Lak> "As soon as it clears, run across it," Lak suggests.
<Capn_Ascii> There's a huge, room-shaking explosion! Sand and shrapnel are thrown skyward as the mine detonates, raining down across the room. The blast is shortly followed by a second, identical explosion...then a third, and fourth.
Beriadanwen drops to the floor
Lak follows Beri's example
<Capn_Ascii> *BOOM BOOM BOOM!*
<Capn_Ascii> More explosions, as every mine in the box gets set off. After several tense, loud moments, the noise finally dies down.
Zephi unplugs her ears and peeks over the wall.
<Capn_Ascii> As the smoke clears, you can see the sand box - or rather, the spot where the sand box used to be. There's nothing left there now but multiple scorch marks and shattered wood timbers that used to make up the box walls.
<Lak> "Let's go across. Quickly."
Zephi looks over to the climbing wall "You okay over there, Drem?"
Lak heads out across the wooden floor
Zephi jumps over the wall and follows Lak
<Drem> "I can't get over this wall. Think I should just level it?"
<Capn_Ascii> Lak, Zephi: You cross the spot where the box used to be, lights appearing over your heads as you go. The pyramid stands before you, glowing ominously. Wait, did I say ominously? I meant, mostly harmlessly.
<Beriadanwen> Um.. I wouldn't trust a woodden floor
<Zephi> "Don't bother. we're almost done. Come run across this and see if you get credit.
Beriadanwen crosses the box where the sand pit used to be
Zephi walks up to the pyramid and tries pushing on it.
Lak focuses his mental energy on the pyramid
Drem walks over to the pyramid and focuses on it
Zephi gives up and tries to use her mind as well.
<Capn_Ascii> Zephi: The pyramid resists all attempts to move it physically. The crystal flashes an angry red when you touch it, as if displeased.
Zephi gives up and tries to use her mind as well.
<Capn_Ascii> Lak and Zephi step up and focus their mental energies on the pyramid, willing it to move. It glows green and shakes ever so slightly, but doesn't quite lift off the ground.
<Capn_Ascii> Drem then gives it a go. However, the pyramid completely fails to react to him at all. Snubbed...ouch.
Beriadanwen follows the others over to the pyramid, and focoses on it
<Capn_Ascii> The pyramid glows green, a little brighter this time; slowly it starts to lift off, hovering about two feet over the floor.
Zephi looks under it
Lak scans under the pyramid for a key or something else of quality
<Capn_Ascii> You both get down on your hands and knees and peek under the pyramid. There, right in the center, is a gold key, sitting under a tiny depression in the underside of the structure.
Lak carefully goes in to grab it
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: Veeeeery carefully, you edge your way under the floating structure and start inching your way over to the key.
Drem hands over the Hand of the Mage. "Just use this."
<Zephi> "I thought that only worked on things wighing less than 5 punds."
<Lak> "I don't know how to use that."
Zephi scratches her line out
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: After a bit, you reach the center, and grab the key. Score!
Lak quickly gets out from under the pyramid
<Capn_Ascii> Lak: Prize in hand, you roll out from beneath the pyramid just as Beri's mental grip begins to falter. The pyramid slowly sinks back down.
Lak smiles and hands the key to Zephi. "Alright, we're done here. Let's go."
<Lak> "Floor 99."
Zephi pockets it. "Alright."
Zephi heads to the elevator
Drem tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The doors open, and you find youself back in the room with...The Door.
Zephi walks up to the door, puts the keys in, and turns them
<Capn_Ascii> The keys click in the lock...
<Capn_Ascii> The locks turn...
<Capn_Ascii> The chains snap open and fall away, the locks falls off the door, and the door opens...
<Capn_Ascii> And beyond it is...a single, small, round, simple room, nore more than 30 feet in diameter and made of white marble.
Zephi walks in
<Capn_Ascii> The room is completely empty, except for two things: first, there's a bare countertop about 10 feet wide in the middle of the floor. And second...
<Capn_Ascii> ...there's a human face protruding from the farthest wall of the chamber.
<Capn_Ascii> The face is that of a bald human male with ordinary features. It looks almost as if someone built the entire wall around him, with a hole for his face to poke through. As you approach, his eyes open, and he speaks in a groggy manner.
Zephi walks over and pokes the human face.
<Capn_Ascii> "Buh...? OW!" The face winces as Zephi pokes it in the eye. "Geez! What the hell was THAT for?"
<Capn_Ascii> ---END GAME---