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 Underground Fireworks

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Number of posts : 773
Registration date : 2007-04-26

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PostSubject: Underground Fireworks   Underground Fireworks EmptyMon 7 Nov - 17:33:24

Underground Fireworks
Stepping through to begin our trials we were blinded by a white light and a slight queasiness indicated our likely transition to some other plane of existence. A plane that looked very like a comfortable bedroom that had been ransacked by an uncharitable visitor. To our left a giant four poster bed immediately attracted Egbert’s attention and he climbed into bed and promptly fell asleep, or at least so it seemed.

To our right an armchair grabbed the attention of our dwarven mage who began to check it for the traditional stray coins that tend to populate such furniture. In the middle of the floor, a crumpled rug diverted Varis’s interest, whilst I made my way to a fallen bookcase in the far corner. Betty moved right to examine the fireplace, which lit spontaneously at her approach.

With a gasp of triumph Eldrakyn pulled a golden coin from down the side of the chair cushion, his gasp turning to horror as he began to flip the coin continually between his knuckled fingers. His attempts to drop the coin or palm it off to others including the dozing Egbert proved futile: A curse!

Meanwhile having failed to discover anything noteworthy either about the rug or under it, our cleric moved to the bedside table where a lamp illuminated. Taking the magically glowing orb from its stand it began to orbit his head furiously, so Varis now has his very own orbiting satellite which provides his own personal illumination. Another curse!

Betty meanwhile examined the mirror in the other corner. The room was reflected in every detail, with one difference – the image of the room showed a pristine unransacked chamber. I was having trouble with the bookcase, having found little of interest I got Varis and Zeus to help me lift it, and discovered… more books. Zeus had discovered some highly kinky looking black leather armour in a chest of drawers which Betty declined to Don despite Zeus’s comment that he felt it had power. Another cursed item perhaps? Still no exit though. I began to search for secret doors after helping check under the mattress which revealed nothing of interest.

Varis then noted a critical difference in the reflected room; A lion’s head design on the beds headboard was clear in the mirror, but not in reality, if indeed that’s where we were. I examined the headboard and it was easily discernible where the lion’s head should be. Still stumped, but we were universally against Egbert’s proposed burning of the mattress and instead Zeus, prodding in the fireplace discovered the missing lion’s head and we clamped it into position to mirror the mirror image. The mirror vanished, revealing a passageway beyond. The first trial it seemed, was over.

Another blinding white light marked our transition to another trial area: We found ourselves in what seemed to be the base of a tower with daylight far above. Opposite us a short flight of steps clung to the curved wall leading to a landing with an exit. Between us, a floor with several large jumbles of rock and patched of dense vegetation. In the centre a stone plinth with a sword shaped depression carved in to the top a couple of broken sword shards also rested there.

There proved to be some awkwardness manoeuvring in this room: Setting off in one direction some mysterious force diverted the walker in another. We eventually realised that the vegetation was responsible, however by trial and error, or perhaps more accurately, error and error, Varis eventually made it to the stone plinth in the centre. This was proving to be a trial of our patience.

I levitated and walked myself round the wall to the exit but there seemed no way to open the door there. With rope we managed to get Betty across and we realised that the rocks were free of interference. We also at last glimpsed some more shards and parts of swords in amongst the vegetation which proved equally tough when hacked or burnt, but eventually and with the use of misty step, mage hands, the dwarf’s grapple hook (sadly lost), the dwarf’s axe (nearly lost) but mainly extreme violence,* we managed to salvage all the shards from the bushes and the sword reconstituted itself when Varis laid the pieces in the mould and the door opened. Varis took the very shiny sword for good measure.

*Vegetarians look away now

The next room will surely take the TOSSA category of ‘Room that surprised nobody’ award should one be instituted for 2017. The room was damp, had a drainage grille in the centre and a pipe at each corner, each large enough to pump a substantial amount of liquid into the room. To our left deceptively and tantalisingly close, an exit. On advancing into the room we quickly discovered walls of force criss-crossed the chamber, forming an invisible maze.

Slipping naturally into the role of lab rats with worrying ease, we advanced into the room marking the unseen walls with chalk as we did so. I somewhat embarrassingly tried Misty Step to reach the exit but the spell failed to penetrate the walls of force knocking me flat, sadly, not the most embarrassing incident I would suffer this fateful day.

I churlishly mocked Egbert as he stuffed the closest pipe with our blankets and the next with his shield, but as the water began to pour in his countermeasures did buy us valuable time and we escaped the room in good time, those of us exceeding five feet in height even kept our nethers dry. In the end possibly the worst we had to suffer in this room (unnecessarily too) was the trial of having to see Eldrakyn naked as he stripped off his armour to assist in his scheme to avoid drowning.

We emerged into an impressive chamber containing a large table on which sat a huge gem. Around the room, six plinths with giant gems of various colours complemented the first. Also on the table, a small book. Unlike the previous rooms there were double doors behind us which on checking opened into the room where we had slain the two suits of armour. Ahead of us, a golden door beckoned. But the gems were closer and shinier and more portable, and they beckoned more strongly and we spread out to steal, sorry examine them.

I took the sapphire on the right, each gem was a different type and colour. Varis on the left had a black tinged gem for example. I asked Zeus about this room and he indicated that this was the room he had been seeking. He picked up the book, his journal apparently, and began reading it to refresh his memory. The golden door was ringed by the same sort of runes on the floor that we had learned to associate with Manuel, but the gems turned out to be illusory, mere impressions perhaps of a former reality.

Now through Varis’s gem we were granted a vision of our mysterious enemy from the pool room, engaged in some sort of ceremony to break through six gates that were somehow associated with/ accessed using/ represented by the different crystal gems. Varis reading some inscriptions in Manuel’s book realised that he was able to read celestial language (not another god amongst us surely?). Whatever he read it did not seem awfully encouraging.

Zeus meanwhile triggered the golden gate and before you can say ‘Don’t forget to put your armour back on Eldrakyn’ we were off again. We descended a shaft into a cavern where a jumble of rocks barred our way. Looking through, Varis could see a group of jackal like creatures in the large cavern beyond. I slept the nearest three and Egbert broke through the rocks allowing entry for our intrepid heroes to boldly cut the sleeping enemy throats.

Sadly for intrepid read inept, Eldrakyn failed his attempt, as did Varis, only sneaky Betty* with her practised cunning dealt a deadly blow. The remaining jackals poured forward and I disguised myself as the enemy leader reasoning that dog like creatures would fear/ respect/ obey him and I could save us some time or even get us some temporary allies.** My commands were ignored however by the stupid creatures. Well, not all the stupid creatures…

*Intrepid heroine and cousin to ugly Betty of course
**As plans go, worthy of Baldrick I feel

Egbert happened to be standing close to me when I emerged from the tunnel and tried my brilliantly conceived, stunningly executed but ultimately totally unsuccessful plan. He was somewhat surprised when he looked to his right to find his hated arch nemesis standing a swords length distant. His choices were clear: Stop and think, applying his intellectual powers to the situation, or he could react unthinkingly, trusting to instinct. No contest there then. My efforts and dog training were brought to a sudden halt as the excited Egbert delivered two crushing, nay killing blows against me as I stood there defenceless.

When I came round the fight was still underway and I killed one of the remaining three creatures with a flurry of magic missiles that I with great restraint managed to focus on the enemy rather than Egbert. The other two were quickly finished off and as I hobbled slowly and painfully towards the far side of the cavern, Betty and others carried out searches. Eldrakyn at this point had withdrawn to the entrance tunnel to re-don his armour.

Varis with his orbiting beacon working overtime found a tunnel entrance and attracted a second horde of jackals with his impression of the Bishop Rock lighthouse. Betty discovered that the exit was boarded up and she could hear what sounded like mining operations in progress beyond. Manuel was enjoying his famous light climbing and falling off ledges workout, expect the video release in time for Christmas. It fell to Egbert, Varis and I to face this new onslaught.

I toyed with trying out my new wand but figured that this was not the time to risk experimentation, so killed one with a firebolt and Egbert, who had become a frenzied killing machine whilst no one was looking, killed virtually all the rest, leaving Eldrakyn to arrive late with nothing to worry about other than slipping on a diced corpse and falling into one of the many pools of blood, only no doubt to drown, weighted down as he now was with his challenger tank chobham armour back on. The lesson to draw from today? Don’t confuse/mess with/ stand near/ talk to/upset /have anything to do with Egbert – or there will be fireworks – I certainly was on the receiving end of a rocket and saw plenty of pretty stars as a result.


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