PRP: Illuminating the City of Light Part 2
Session full. Thank you for your interest!
June 13, 2020, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Lenosia - Jungle-choked Stone Ruins
Comments and Log
Bibacious Assistants and Teetotalling Gardeners from the Defense Lab arrives, delivering a message to Cadern before departing.
Once the shav tribe determined that your group had not arrived with the intention of bringing harm or trying to convince them to bend the knee, they became gracious and accommodating hosts. They shared what was for them an extravagant meal in honor of their guests, with intricately carved fruits and alligator tail prepared in three different ways. As dinner went on they told your party of the path through the jungle to the ruins, offering to keep your horses as it would be too treacherous for the beasts, as well as offering a guide to lead you there.
When you return the next morning, Ashina yells a word that the linguists of the party would translate to ‘boy’. The one who comes when called though is a man in his early 20s, dark in his features but bright in his smile, and missing three fingers on his right hand.
“This is my son. He will guide you to the ruins and back,” Ashina explains. “You will call him Shino.”
The next morning has Aiden wearing some exotic leathers meshed in with his silks, keeping to the Lycene tradition of course. Today he had brought with him his alarcite bow, in case of any hazards along the route through the jungle. A bow won't be much use in tight spaces, but one could sort of fool themselves with false securities nevertheless! He did have a small dagger on his side as wel - still peace bound. The Rubino Duke regards Shino's bright smile with a fetching one of his own, "Good morning, Ashina. And well met, Shino. I'm Aiden." He approaches with a gesture of friendliness, "Thank you for being our guide today."
Mirk joins the group today, dressed in steelsilk and fireweave. Between that and Aegis, the russet red bloodhound at his heel, he's well protected, at least. He offers a dip of his head to Ashina and her boy, deeper and more formal than a nod, not nearly so formal as a bow. "It'll be an honor to have Shino as our guide," he says in a low, rumbling voice. "How far is it to the ruins?"
Mikani wears her usual leathers and adventuring gear. For her it is just second nature. She smiles at Ashina and Shino, "I will be honored for whatever guidance you can give us." Mika assures the boy with a bow of her head. She keeps her weapons peace bound.
Cadern is content to chat with their guide seeming odd and jovial as always. He watches the group rising and preparing. He glancez to the others , "Everyone rested? got your puzzle solving muscles ready?"
Shino lifts his left hand, the whole one, in greeting to the party. "Well met, Aiden," he replies in the same slow, deliberate Arvani his mother speaks. He returns the nod to Mirk in kind before answering, "If you can move like I can, we will be there before the sun is half-high," he answers. Mikani and Cadern get nods as well, and Cadern gets a laugh. Shino holds up his right hand, of which only thumb and forefinger retail. "I wish you better luck than I had."
With that, he guides you from the village along a dirt road into the jungle. Today is hotter than even yesterday was, and as the trees begin to envelope your party it grows more humid and sticky as well. It is obvious now why Ashina advised against bringing the horses, as the vines and roots that crawl across the ground swallow the path and threaten to grab your feet as you walk.
Mikani checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.
Cadern checked wits + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
Aiden checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.
Mirk checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 50 higher. Mirk rolled a critical!
The heat starts getting to Aiden, because of the leathers. He stops at some point in their trip to do the best he can to put his wavy curly hair into a club behind his head, wrapping it up with a knot of leather. Still the sides of his face bead with sweat, although he doesn't complain. He falls in line behind the guide, keeping up with the others and managing not to squish any amphibious creature under foot and thankfully avoiding the slithering kinds. "Ooo.. did you see that blue and black frog? I think those are wildy poisonous, if I can recall the species from the Menagerie. Be sure not to touch it, okay?"
Why be skilled when you can be lucky? This is more or less Cadern's motto in life which is in more or less on display. He doesn't so much notice what he needs to avoid as the path he picks a path that takes him past the most troublesome of the plants and creatures. Cadern focusing on making his way through he continually mutters scowls and complains as they move. Cadern is NOT the wilderness-y adventure-y type. But he manages to get through it seems more by just letting his gut guide him than any familiarity with the local flora or fauna.
"Move like you can? That sounds like a challenge," Mirk says with an easy chuckle, and then he falls into step with the rest of the group. He glances to his feet from time to time, watching the vines and the roots and planting his feet firmly away from them; Aegis is more sure footed than he is, of course, sniffing along the ground occasionally as they pass. The rest of the time he's looking around, studying the unfamiliar foliage. From his garb and his background, clearly his life hasn't brought him to many jungles, and the fascination shows on his face. Something up in a tree catches his gaze, and he reaches out to tap Shino on the shoulder. He indicates the animal - the large cat - in the tree. "Dangerous?" He keeps his question to that one word, but his hand inches towards the bow slung over his shoulder, just in case.
Mikani doesn't know animals more plants well but does does know beauty and how to survive around some of them. Her dark eyes continuously move over the forest taking it all in as she moves. As Cadern mutters she laughs softly and moves to help him through the foliage. "Hard to get a good view with your eyes down all the time."
Cadern points out to Mikani, "This amongst other reasons is why I typically leave the adventuring to you lot and suffice with reading the accounts." He says gesturing at the rest of the group particularliy Lou and Mirk. "But in this case, it seemed to interesting to pass up."
Shino glances up at the trees when Mirk points out the cat. He watches for a moment, then shakes his head. "Not now, but in the dark? Or if alone? Yes, very," he answers Mirk. Aiden gets another smile and a nod. "Yes, very poisonous. The birds do not eat them, so neither do we."
Just as Shino promised, the canopy opens and the jungle reveals the promised destination while the sun is still a couple of hours from rolling up to its zenith. A stone path appears at your feet, the vines and roots seemingly less inclined to climb this way. Toppled stone structures that appear to be where the shavs collected their own building materials from stand, or rather lay, on either side of it as it leads toward taller buildings toward the middle of the settlement. Perhaps the oddest thing about these ruins though are holes in the paving stones along either side, which to not appear to have served as any sort of planter, but are too regular in size and interval to have ended up their by accident.
Aiden considers where Mirk and Shino were looking, not quite spotting the cat they were speaking of, thankfully. However, when the frog is confirmed to be poisonous, he nods at Shino, "We haven't figured out what it's purpose is at the Menagerie either. But then, I don't know anyone that can talk to frogs..." He thinks of it, "But yes, Archibald agrees that the frog would hurt his belly."
Once they arrive at their destination, Aiden asks to Shino, "Can you tell us anything about this place? What your people use it for, other than building their homes with the old stone?"
Cadern seems curious about the holes meandering near and peeking as he tries to gauge their purpose with interest, "What do you think Mirk? Druid traps?" He says playfully.
"Even Dame Leola can't?" Mirk asks Aiden aside, though he watches the cat for a moment more as he moves on. Even if he's assured it's not dangerous to a group, that doesn't mean he's comfortable with it. Of course, then he has fresh new distractions, eyeing the toppled stone structures with avid interest. "I don't know about that, but they could certainly use more study, someday."
Mikani shakes her head. "The real thing is always better than the story. Always." She assures Cadern before they enter the clearing. She grins at the ruins and moves to check out the stones she can.
"Once, we tried to live here," Shino tells Aiden. "When the neighbors left the buildings were strong and there was gold and plenty, but the jungle started to creep in at night, and we could not stop it. We had to leave before it swallowed us too." His expression becomes more grave as the explanation goes on. "We return when there is want, but not more than once or twice a season."
Aiden checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.
Aiden shrugs his shoulders at Mirk, "You'd have to ask her." He stands behind and next to the guide, listening to the conversation about the stone being traps, brows lifting. He turns his gaze upon Shino as the man answers, "How did the jungle creep in?" He looks more worriedly at the plants, as if expecting them to come alive, "Did the vines try to eat you? Flowers?" He nods a bit at the answers to his question, "I see."
Mikani checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.
Cadern seems content to study the holes for a time. He perks up when Shino mentions they tried to live there, "Interesting does the gold your people have now come more from here or mines?" He asks with interest as he studies the stones and looks intrigued, "Can you imagine what it must have looked like before? Lit up?" He murmurs softly with fascination standing before the path and then closing his eyes a moment rapidly opening and closing his eyes.
Aiden looks over toward Cadern, "What do you mean, lit up?" Aiden looks at the holes and clearly cannot put the pieces together, diverted then to the matter of gold.
Shino shrugs. "It was my grandfather’s story. None alive today ever lived here."
Mirk gestures to the odd holes in the paving stones, and says to Aiden, "I think that once they held the crystals that lit Uanna's roads. Those crystals absorbed sunlight during the day, and emitted a pure light during the night so that travelers always had their path bright and clear. Though that's if any of them were brought to Arvum..." He trails off, and shrugs a shoulder. "I understand," he says to Shino. "So much is lost with the passage of time."
"That sounds... fantastical," Aiden quietly expresses once Mirk fills in some of those holes, "Thank you for sharing that. I imagine, that was from some sort of research you were able to gather on the matter?" He looks curious before he looks toward the path, "Well. I guess, should we go in? Maybe there will still be a crystal or two .. left over somewhere inside? Going inside, is why we've come, yes?" He nods to Shino's answer as well, "I would love to hear the whole story."
Mikani agrees with Aiden. "I think we should check it out."
Nods in agreement with Mirk’s sentiment. "We should go," he tells the group. "We will want to get through the…" He gestures to the tallest building at the center of town, seemingly the only one with no pieces missing, and scrunches his face. "Through that one before the light is low. We want to be out of the jungle at dark."
Cadern glances back to Aiden and Mirk and he smiles, "What was once, may be again. That's why we're here." He says and he glances to Shino, "Sounds like a plan to me. I'm familiar with many types of places Jungle's not so much." He admits ruefully and scurries along but he seems delighted and studying the holes. He does pauuse at one point picking up a couple rocks testing their size against the hole before finally pocketing on that's the right size.
Cadern checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.
Aiden checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Mirk checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Mikani checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Cadern checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.
Mirk checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 7 lower.
Aiden checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 11 lower.
"Yes, let's not get caught in the jungle at night..." Aiden motions their guide forward, "After you Shino."
"I personally don't expect to rediscover that any time soon," Mirk says in a dry tone to Cadern. "Research," he agrees with Aiden. "There's always more to do, but that came up more than once." But when Shino indicates a particular building, he starts towards it, looking around the town as he goes, as if trying to take in everything all at once. His face doesn't show much, but his eyes certainly show interest.
Mikani checked luck at difficulty 20, rolling 15 lower.
Shino leads you to the central building, easily three times the hight of the humbler structures that surround it. he leads you up a path of stone steps to a grand entrance in the middle floor, and once inside he guides you to what he calls the first room. As you walk through the halls, you notice that the stone walls are completely lacking in sconces or torch holders, and soot stains are rare. It seems fair to assume that that they must have used the crystals in here too.
Shino stops to the side as the group goes in ahead of him, and he lights a torch for Cadern as he passes. After the first three enter though, there is a groan, then a roar, and vibrations can be felt in the wall as a stone slab falls and seals the entrance, separating Cadern, Mirk, and Aiden from the rest.
"This happens sometimes!" Shino shouts apologetically from the other side of the stone door. "Start down the path and be careful. We can take another route and will meet you later. Just wait at the room with the wheels!"
The groan and roar have Aiden immediately alarmed to the potential for a cave in - or towers crumbling, whatever the case may be. By the time he's pivoting to spin around the way they had come, to retreat back, that slab of stone has effectively sealed them apart from the rest of the group. Aiden is quick to race over toward the stone slab and put his hands on it, as if he could possibly get it to move. "Wait. Wait... What?! Can't we open it?" He doesn't like his chances being seperated from the group in their ruin raiding, gulping as he looks toward their only source of light, which is held by Cadern, "Gods... Why did I come. Because I'm curious about Uanna.. fft.. leave it to the experts next time Aiden.." Yes he's chiding himself. He huffs a little bit, "I can only assume there are things in here that will kill us? Might as well enjoy the sights before we step on a spike trap or something..." His voice quivars a bit.
Mirk has his eyes forward, not behind. So when the groaning of a stone slab starts, he's caught off guard. He reaches for a weapon, but only winds up standing there watching as their entrance is cut off. "The room with the wheels..." He calls back to Shino. "How do we reach that from here?" He casts glances around, searching his immediate environment. Exits, entrances, interesting features - He'll know it when he sees it, perhaps. "We'll be fine, my lord," he assures Aiden. "This is hardly the worst situation I've ever been in, and I have no doubt that we will return from it whole, if not necessarily unscathed."
Cadern sniffs at Mirk, "This is why you're a pessimist. I on the other hand am a delightful optimist and expect us to recover it any day now." He says assuredly and he makes his way in. He takes up the torch with a nod to Shino in thanks. He blinks though and he freezes as the trembling goes and he blinks, "Well... that's not convenient." He glances back at the two, "A druid, a duke, and a gambler walk into a ruin... wonder how this joke ends." He says glancing adown and then blinks, "This happens sometimes!? That would have been good information to know EARLIER." He complains back to Shino but he begins moving again. He glances to Aiden and then offers reassuringly, "Don't worry. Mirk will protect you... oooh wheels? He said wheel? They had wheels! I wnat to see wheels." He says excitedly.
"Follow the walls and they will tell you," Shino responds. "Make sure to take the middle door first. Be careful!"
Sure enough, there are three doors in the first room, each appearing to lead down a different corridor. Other than that, there is nothing remarkable about the room.
"Archibald will be very upset if I don't come home..." he says toward the other two, "I know how to use a bow, but I somehow doubt that fighting will be an issue. More like pressure plates, booby traps with flying axes, or rock traps that release boulders upon us..." Someone's been reading a lot of adventure books lately, "I mean, maybe even fire traps or false floors..." he runs throught he possibilities of exciting things they could die by, "Or even worse, one of the first children could be guarding this, or maybe a demon, ... shit.. are we going into a Shard haven?!" He reaches out and basically cling grabs one of Cadern's arms, "Usually I'm brave. Today. I can't. Being in the sky.. fine... underground, not so much.. . There was this one time, I nearly died in some tunnels.. some factal or demonic thing chased us." He looks over his shoulder, where shadows flicker with the bouncing of the torch light, "I know it's not the worst. So far, it's just we can't go the way we came in. Not the worst, but, I've never been in here and our guide is back there. Let's just take the direction he said so we don't get lost in some maze and like... I don't know, run into some half man half bull creature ... please?"
Then as an aside to Cadern, "What's so special about wheels?"
"Middle door," Mirk repeats, as if verifying it for himself. "This way, my lords." He heads towards the middle door, stepping into the lead more or less by instinct, though he glances over his shoulder and hesitates at the doorway, nonverbally offering the opportunity to take that position for themselves if anyone had a need and a desire. "I get along with the First Children," he comments to Aiden in a wry tone. "Usually." A pause. "Depending on the First Child." He shrugs a shoulder, still nonchalant, and continues onwards. Despite the outwards confidence, he is, in fact, mindful of any traps that might be ahead.
Cadern takes a moment and then whispers conspiratorialy, "What's so special? They turn!" He says delightedly and then he chuckles before nodding as he glances to the two and then shrugs as he glances between the two and he heads towards the middle door along with Mirk. "Mirk... don't challenge Fate with introducing you to a First Children you don't get along with. At least not while I'm here. I'm very delicate and sensitive." He says as he walks along not complaining about the graspy Aiden.
"Oh sure, until it is a Basilisk..." Aiden retorts to Mirk, "or a cockatrice. Though maybe those aren't so bad, until they peck your body apart..." Apparently dark spooky places are the best spot to tell stories in! "Or a manticore..." He slips in tighter to Cadern, peering over at Cadern, "Have you never seen a cart's wheel before?" He looks on ahead toward the doors, "Middle please. Yes. Before I imagine that the shadows are moving against the flickering of the torch, hmm?"
The corridor is a relatively short one, sloping gently downward and curving to the right as it goes. Cadern's torch is bright enough to illuminate Mirk's path, and thankfully there is little debris in the way to endanger their steps. When the corridor widens into a room, the light is reflected by polished marble walls. Four pedestals stand in the middle of the room, each inlaid with semiprecious stones in red, yellow, green, or black. A plaque on the far wall appears to have some sort of instructions.
Aiden checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 25, rolling 22 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.
The plaque on the wall appears to be written in a dialect similar to what the people in the shave village speak, and all three of the lords present are able to translate it. It instructs the reader to press the top of whichever pedestal is indicated by the riddle written below. The riddle itself speaks of wild animals, and how they are most dangerous in their element. It describes one animal in particular rather obscurely, and bids the reader to guess whether is lives in the sand, the jungle, the sea, or the night.
Aiden checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 25, rolling 3 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.
Cadern sniffs at Aiden, "Sure. I haven't however seen a wheel that's been turning or operating for a few hundred years." He points out as he lifts the light higher as they enter the room and he blinks at the colored stones his hand lifts almost drifting to touch but lifting off and away but looking thoughtful before looking to the instructions. He considers that for a time, "I mean night seems dangerous don't like the jungle in the night you know."
Mirk stares at the plaque for a long time, his lips moving silently as he reasons through the riddle for himself. "Some kind of reptile that warms itself in the sun. That eliminates sea and night," he indicates the two pedestals that correspond to those options, "and leaves sand and jungle. Hrm. The jungle's dense canopy catches most of the light, so this animal would be best suited for...Sand. That is the answer I have arrived at." However, rather than go immediately to press a button, he looks to Aiden. "What do you think, my lord?"
"You really think there'd be something like that here?" Then again he remembers, "But Lou did find that griffon toy... and that walkway thing... So I suspect there are such possibilities that exist." He looks at the riddle that's apparently left for them to resolve, considering the pillars with the stones upon their tops. He shakes his head at Mirk, "It doesn't eliminate the sea, not immediately, because reptiles can be both aquatic and land based - but it would eliminate the jungle because the canopy, as you saw when we walked through, didn't allow much sunlight to descend upon it." He considers the riddle, then the stones, "If this creature is under the sun all day, such as would be found in a desert, would the reptile have to sun? Sunning indicates that it would have to warm itself, for some reason." He squints between them, "It's unfortunate that there's not more clues or hints..."
Cadern smiles at Aiden, "I'm open to possibilities." He says playfully and then he glances to Mirk, "Well... I mean I suppose that makes sense. But I mean I like my theory as well." He points out then again Cadern is not unused to throwing out blatantly wrong theories and having Mirk poke the holes in them. He then glances between the two and shrugs, "So let's pick one? I mean what's the worst that can happen."
"What's the worst that can happen..." Aiden scowls at Cadern, "Weren't you listening to me back there? Because I'm pretty sure I did outline a number of things that could happen in places like this, to us." He gestures to Mirk, "This is supposed to be a riddle isn't it? To keep those who don't know about them out? Would it be so easy as the sand option? I mean, it does seem like an easy choice. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe I would've made it difficult and tricked the people who don't know about reptiles. Not that I know much more about them than what we have at the menagerie." He shrugs, "Maybe we go with the easy answer."
"You make a good point," Mirk concedes with a dip of his head to Aiden. "However, without more to go on, I still think that sand is likelier." He stresses the last word. "It's not certainty, but if you'd like, I'll take the risk of pushing a button, and let the consequences fall on me. Unless you would rather go with sea?"
Aiden gestures, "Go for it." He decides to stand behind Cadern, for a meat shield though.
Cadern looks like he might just push a button but luckily Mirk is there and so Cadern just watches with fascination. He waves a hand to Aiden, "I'm sure it'll be fine." He says easily with the confidence of knowing nothing.
Mirk nods his head to Aiden and goes to push the button, having settled on the answer of 'Sand.' What's the worst that could happen?
\As Mirk's hand depresses the button on the red pedestal, there is another rumble in the walls and one of them starts to move. Like a clockwork mechanism one part of the wall with the plaque on it recedes into the floor to reveal a passage while the plaque itself rotates in place to reveal a different clue. After a moment the room grows silent once more.
Aiden glances toward the passage that is revealed, brows lifting, "Well... we didn't die, but... Cadern, shine the light down there... Wait, did the plaque rotate?" He blinks further, maybe it was the dark. "Do you see another clue? Is that a good sign?"
Mirk lets out a slow breath, as the mechanisms reveal a passage. "That could have gone much worse," he admits with a low chuckle. He heads over to the plaque to study it, when Aiden points it out. "I believe that it did. Whoever built this place had rather interesting tastes in navigation, don't you think?"
Cadern watches the mechanism go and he ooohs, "I wonder if Brass was here." He says delightedly and he watches the plaque recede and he oohs peering at the clue with interest. He leans forward with the torch. He beams at Mirk, "I'm sure we can find out how much worse it can get."
Aiden checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.
Mirk checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 25, rolling 42 higher.
"This is quite beyond me this time.. What does it say?" He inquires with the other two, hoping one of them can better read in the dancing light of the torch flame. Maybe he was looking at it in the wrong direction. He keeps checking over his shoulder though, muttering, "Why does it have to be so quiet."
"Another riddle," Mirk says, thinking aloud. "And fortunately, we don't have to solve this one." He gestures towards the passage in the floor. "At least not until we establish whether or not this leads to a dead end. We follow the wall, remember."
Cadern considers that, "Well... that's something new... definitely seems different." He tilts his head, "I wonder if..." He considers that and he nods, "Well at least we probably need more information to deal with it." He says wrinkling his brow, "Such trickery I wonder." He says bringing the light closer, "I wonder if it will require more understanding of light to get through these." He says as they move closer.
Aiden's brows flex, "And you're going to leave me in the dark about it?" He sounds testy. He was testy. He was locked in a dark place and now had no idea what was ahead of them or what they were walking into.
The passage is much like the one that led them to this room, sloping down and turning to the right. It seems harmless enough.
"I haven't solved it," Mirk admits with a shrug of a shoulder at Aiden. "Well. Onwards, shall we?" He asks, gesturing Cadern to bring the light closer so he can head into the passage. "Come along, my lord," he says to Aiden. "Let's see what lies ahead."
Cadern moves along forward he admits to Aiden, "I don't think... we know enough but I think we're learning a little about how they approach things." HE admits as he moves along with the other two.
"What does it say? I couldn't read it. This is like pulling teeth from a dragon!" He mutters, then stops, "Or you know, you could both go on ahead without me while I go back there and try to decipher what it reads. /That/ could take a while." He's actually slowing, fiesty now, tail feathers ruffled.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mirk before departing.
"It's a riddle about four ships with different colored flags, asking us to solve which one reaches the finished line first. We've already done the game with the colored stones, so it simply isn't very relevant to us now," Mirk explains to Aiden, and then raises an eyebrow at him. "Content?"
And just like that, Aiden's feathers, if he had any, go back to normal. "Yes, thank you," he says in a less sulky tone than he used moments ago, catching up to them with a quick little step, looking along the walls to see if there were any clues about the ships.
Cadern smiles at that, "Well... it looks like it has to do with a ship... four ships and which colored flag makes it there first." He offers.
Before reaching the end of this new passage, there is a change in the air and a quite literal light at the end of the tunnel. The room they find themselves in is a cylinder, through which the sun shines down through a sequence of prisms and mirrors until it lands at a focused point on the floor. Other prisms and mirrors stand around the room at fixed locations, but on apparatuses that allow for the manipulation of angles. Going up the walls though is a dozen different of doors that one can potentially climb to, but currently no indication as to which one is the way out.
Mirk stops for a moment, his breath caught at the sight of the room. He continues a little further, making way for anyone behind him, and then turns in a slow circle. "Remarkable," he murmurs, half to himself. "This is Uannan craftsmanship. The Nation of Light, indeed. Now how to reveal the path forwards with the tools we are given..."
Cadern blinks at the area, "Aha! This is what I was expecting to see." He says in excited fascination as he waves the light curious to see what it might do with all the mirrors and prisms. HE studies the angles and he smiles, "Their fascination...it's almost obsessive." He says in delight he does consider nudging things poking a little.
Mirk checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.
"You... were expecting this?" Aiden asks quietly to Cadern as his awe follows along with their own, canting his head this way and that to inspect the angles of the mirrors. He smiles though, because of Cadern's enthusiasm, "Is this how I am, when I talk about griffins?" He idly wonders, while he investigates a mirror not too far from the others.
Aiden checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 4 lower.
Aiden is able to discern by looking at them what the correct arrangement of mirrors and prisms should be, and when he is finished the light lands on a door across the room... and eight feet up. There appear to be shallow handholds carved into the walls, but no proper ladders to climb or platforms on which to stand.
Aiden dusts his hands off, hands on hips, looking up at where the shaft of light lands, "That looks to be the way up. Did anyone bring a rope?" He clearly, did not. Why didn't he bring a rope!?! Everyone brings a rope into caves of certain doom! Except this was a building, not a cave. He looks between the three of them, "And why didn't we get stuck with one of those hulking strong types." Squint.
Cadern shrugs at Aiden, "I was expecting something..." He blinks as he nudges and then Aiden fixes it properly, "Hey I was to..Oh...Ohhhhhhh." He says blinking as Aiden maneuvers them. He blinks at that and he smiles, "We're climbing.. .come on I thought you like the sky?"
Mirk tinkers with the mirrors and prisms for a moment, before stepping aside to allow Aiden to do his work. For this work, the Duke is clearly better suited. "I think I have some," he says, consulting his belongings for confirmation. "But it's only about eight feet up. One of us will have to go first. If no one else is volunteering, I will?" He glances up at the sun again. "Though, truth be told, it'll be a tragedy to leave this room. I didn't think I'd see something like this still surviving."
"Mirk," Aiden looks at the spirit walker with his hands still on his hips, "I'm pretty sure you can come back here. Once the stone slab door resets. But, if you want to make drawings or notes about it, you could. We did come here to discover this afterall." He looks up at the door, then back to his companions, "I'm not sure of the time outside, but we might have to camp inside the wheel room. It feels like hours have passed, hasn't it?" He considers the way up, scratching his head, "Do you need a boost up? When you're ready to leave, the room, that is." A curiosity, "I wonder what the other two doors held behind them... and what would've happened if we picked a different stone... and what's behind all those other doors..."
Mirk checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Aiden checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.
Cadern checked strength + athletics at difficulty 25, rolling 11 lower.
With a little effort Aiden is able to climb the wall, and when he pushes on the door indicated by the light it gives way with a click so that he can step into the the next passage.
"I'm the lightest..." Aiden suddenly reassures and changes his mind, "Send me up there first? I could use a boost." He gestures Mirk and Cadern should lock hands to help give him a step up. He does labour to get up, regardless, having just enough strength to pull his own body weight up to reach the door, pushing on it so it swings in and gives him a ledge to haul his body onto - legs flailing to squirm further into the passage. He quickly pivots around, anchors his feet with his stomach going flat, and reaches his arm down and over to grab whoever is next. "When you're ready-" he indicates to which ever one was going to join him at the doorway next.
"I suppose I can. Still. It's a refreshing change of pace from my research, which always seems to have another wonder reduced to ash," Mirk says in a wistful tone. But once they're in motion, he focuses his attention on the task at hand: He offers a boost to Aiden, and then attempts to follow him up to the door, reaching for the offered hand. Only eight feet up, or so, but still he avoids looking down in case of unforeseen accidents.
Aiden does struggle not to get sucked back down, yet with himself properly anchored into the door frame, he uses the edges to keep him planted firmly to accept Mirk's weight and help yank him up. "Do you think this place is one big labyrinth?" He asks openly of both of them, "I'm tempted to try the other doors. I mean, if you trust that I got the riddle right, we should be on the correct path? Have the walls indicated anything?" He hasn't been paying attention to the walls, at least not closely, "Come on up Cadern, your turn."
Cadern chuckles soflty at Aiden's comment. "Well if you insist." He says and he helps the duke up. He smiles and he grins, "Maybe we'll get to come back and check out the other rooms and doors. I bet each one has their own view. The same iage viewed fromd iferent ways but coming back to a single source." He nods and he reaches up hopping and reaching for help and pushing up on the door trying to get his way up and help in turn.
"I'm wary of becoming lost somewhere down here. If we have a path forwards that seems correct, it's better to follow it and see where we wind up," Mirk suggests once he's reached the passage, backing off to give Aiden and Cadern a little more breathing room. "But nothing on the walls, at least not that I've seen."
Once all three of the lords make it through the door, it becomes apparent what Shino meant by 'the room with the wheels.' The passageway is relatively short, and at the end is a room with a wall of enormous wooden gears and three levers. Above each lever is a label in the same language as the riddle from before.
Aiden does the same for Cadern, hauling him up with what strength he has. It might be a tight squeeze, but with everyone up in the passage, he looks back at the mirror room, "A sight to remember, for sure. It's a good safety measure." He compliments the room, "Which begs the question of what they are protecting..." The torch passed between them, he looks down the hall. When they arrive at the wheel room, Aiden's breath sucks in, "They're still running... as you said they would be, Cadern..." He peers at the other Lord, "How'd you know they'd be running?" "Is this where we're supposed to meet Shino? Or do we press a lever...?"
Cadern smiles at that, "Well I'm sure you could find your way out. I'm sure I'd be lucky enough." He declares as he wanders out and he surveys the area, "Hnmmm more." He smiles, "I wonder how long it'll take the others." He looks to the plaques and smiles, "Well if we've got the right lever....Well they are magic?"
"Pulling the right lever might be necessary to open the door so that Shino can even reach us," Mirk suggests, his head canted in thought. "It couldn't hurt to examine them, at least." He squints in Cadern's direction. "I don't know about that. But let's take a look at these writings?" He stops close to a lever, peering at the writing above it.
Aiden checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
Cadern checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 25, rolling 14 higher.
Aiden checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 2 lower.
"That one... we should pull that one-" Aiden notes of the one labelled 'library'... but then he sighs softly, "But I suspect we should open the this one first... let Shino in, with the others, as much as I want to claim the glory of finding the library first... we're certainly stronger together." The front one of course, he puts his hand on. "Hopefully we can pull more than one?" And then he goes ahead and pulls the 'front' lever.
Cadern nods, "Let's try to let them in. The library I'm sure will have more puzzles. Knowledge didn't reside here unmolested just behind a few riddles." He offers quietly but he smiles, "But... they clearly had a fascinating culture and I wonder how much Brass was involved or they had others."
Mirk stops in front of the one labeled library, clearly tempted, and then sighs and nods to Aiden's logic. "Hopefully," he says. "We'll let our guide find us and then..." He trails off, gesturing towards the label of library. "That's what I'm here for, though." He cants his head at Cadern's comments. "Who knows?" He sounds a little sour at the mentions of Brass.
There is a groan as the wooden wheel starts to spin, pulling on a chain as it does so, and the distant rumble that they may reasonably assume is the surprise slab door being pulled back up and out of the way.
"Oh..." Aiden laughs quietly, "I guess... we stay here, or well.. we have our way out again? Back the way we came..." He sighs quietly, "We should wait. Because yes, the library is what we all came here for..."
Thanks to the fact that they did not reset the room with the light puzzle, it takes less than half an hour for the remainder of the party to catch up. They file into the room from the way they came, with Shino arriving last. He grins at the three who made it ahead of the rest of them and declares, "My friends, I am pleased you are not dead!"
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