PRP: Illuminating the City of Light Part 3
Session full. Thank you for your interest!
June 20, 2020, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Lenosia - Jungle-choked Stone Ruins
Comments and Log
The story so far...
Our party travelled to a remote village in the Lyceum, seeking speakers of the variant of Lycene shav known to have linguistic similarities to the lost language of Uanna. What they learned upon befriending the villagers though caught them by surprise: the ruins of a settlement stand in the jungle, and they were inhabited by speakers of the tongue.
After trekking through the jungle and finding the ruins, the party was divided when a stone door trapped Aiden, Cadern, and Mirk. Putting their heads together the managed to navigate through two rooms of puzzles before reaching a room full of mechanisms to help reset the puzzles and traps. This is where our party reunites.
Shino, the light-hearted, brightly smiling son of Ashina and your guide, grins at the three who made it ahead of the rest of them and declares, "My friends, I am pleased you are not dead!"
Cadern eyes Shino, "We really need to talk about the warnings..." He says sourly, "But... library! Come on everyone hurry up WE HAVE TO SEE THE LIBRARY." He says firmly. It's very clear that the trio are antsy and excited to show the rest what they've found.
Aiden chuckles softly at Cadern's enthusiasm, not far behind in noting the lever in the room they're in, "We decided to go together, but we're all pretty excited to pull this lever and get to the library. I can't imagine what sort of stories are locked away in such a protected place. We should tell you about our journey through - at some point."
Mikani grins at Cadern and it gets even bigger at the word library. "Yes ... Library ... must see." She almost lunges forward and takes Cadern by the arm as if that will get her to the library quicker.
The room is a relatively small one at the end of a short corridor, and on the walls are large wooden wheels that turn when any of the three levers are pulled. There are two doors, one going left at the other going right, though the only thing labeled 'library' is the third lever.
Mirk turns to Shino, a slight smirk on his lips at the man's comments. "And more than that, we're intact," he says in a wry tone. "Who would like to do the honors of pulling the lever and opening our path to the library? Even if none of the texts that once resided there survive, it will be an interesting experience." He raises an eyebrow at Shino. "Unless our guide has other suggestions?"
Lisebet simply stays out of trouble. Well so far. The petite duchess at least mostly manages to make her way along without getting herself or anyone else hurt. She listens to the excitement and the discussion quietly.
When Mirk addresses him, Shino takes a moment to look at one door, then the other. "Library?" he asks. "Not coins? Coins are easier. Library..." He holds up his hand, the one missing the middle, ring, and pinky fingers.
Aiden looks to Shino, "So... the library one has the swinging axes ... See Cadern, I told you there's traps meant to hurt and harm the trespasser." He elbows the other man for a moment before he asks Shino, "We are here for the Library. What warnings do you have for us?"
Cadern glances to Shino and he winces, "Coins are easier... but we're not hear for coins. Coins are for you. We're here for what is protected." He admits growing more serious but excited. He glances to Mikani and grins, "It'll be dangerous... but this is it isn't it? What we've all been looking for... protected and hidden knowledge." He says and he smiles, "I bet it's not books though lights or crystals or something." He says excitedly and he glances to Aiden and nods at the discussion of traps.
Lou has been among the group, pitching in where she could. For now, she's quiet, assessing the situation, and maybe keeping an eye on their guide. She has her backpack of many things with her which includes her typical adventuring gear.
Lisebet slowly looks over at Shino, her head tilting a bit, and then she looks back to the others. "Still I think we do wish the library. OUr riches are of knowledge, not necessarily ocins." She sort of shrugs delicately, realizing she's repeating what Cadern and Aiden already said. "We could definitely use your advice, especially since it seems you have first hand experience."
"We can handle traps," Mirk says with a low chuckle at Aiden. But it's a touch forced, as he glances at Shino again, eyeing the missing fingers. "We'll be cautious. And we'll lead, if you'd like. I'll not have our guide hurt on our behalf. But since no one else is rushing to do it..." He reaches for the lever and attempts to pull it down to open the path to the library. Coins are barely even acknowledged.
Mikani leans and whispers something to Cadern before nodding in agreement with the others. "Aye, keeping our eyes peeled for traps is a good idea."
Cadern blinks at Lisebet's comment. He bites his lip and seems to be trying to keep back a comment but he shakes his head ruefully. He glances to Mikani and he glances to Mirk, "Sounds like Mirk is in charge of the traps." He says and he seems to decide to move to the back of the group grinning at Mikani, "Well we have some people for that."
"I can help a bit with the traps if needed," Lou says from the background. She didn't get stuck with Cadern, Mirk or Aiden when they got separated, so her skills were not needed previously. She seems somewhat confident she could be of some use.
Shino sighs heavily. "Library is left," he says, pointing toward the door. "Keep your hands up, eyes open, and read the walls as you follow. Every trap has a puzzle, but a wrong answer will spring it."
As Mirk pulls the lever, one of the wooden wheels, draped with cobwebs, begins to turn. The door does not budge though. Whatever that lever did, it did it out of sight.
"Last few rooms we went through there was something to read... I'm assuming as the door didn't budge, we need to find something to give us a clue as to what to do now?" Aiden chips in.
Lou checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.
Mikani checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 37 higher.
Lou makes her way forward to check the door out when it doesn't seem to be budging. She frowns a bit and then notices something. She points it out to the others, a hole where a hand can fit. "I think this might be the key to moving forward, but there's some writing here if anyone wants to help with that before, you know, we go sticking our hands into things."
"Again!" Aiden smirks a bit, "I mean, if it's anything like in the last three rooms, let's see if we can read it." Aiden was going to try.
Mirk checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 7 higher.
Aiden checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 40, rolling 17 lower.
Lisebet checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 15 higher.
Lou checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
Mikani checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 25, rolling 30 higher.
"Nope... too difficult for me to read it," Aiden looks to Mirk, "Be sure to share what it says, hmm?"
Cadern checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.
Cadern nods his head as people comment, "Yep yep, perfect." He keeps moving farther back, "Great so Mirk, Princess Lou, etc. More people for traps. I'll handle carrying the treasure." He says brightly as he looks around with interest head tilting to listen to the controls working and seeming intrigued to see what they find next looking interesteted to see how they react he murmurs to himsself finger wiggling following the instructions and then looking to what Lou points out.
Mikani grins at Aiden. "Well it's directional ... up ... left ... down ... and pull. We just need to figure out order ...." Mika says after reading it.
Since the lever doesn't open anything that they can see, Lisebet starts looking around to see what might have opened. She's careful, not touching anything, but she's looking up, down, and all around. As much as she can. Maybe she can spot something. As Lou directs them to the door and the hole, she tilts her ehad a bit, slowly making out the writing on the wall. "Up - " she starts, slowly. And then she pauses, before she says, "You think it's not the order the words are in?"
Aiden looks to Shino, "Do you recall which way not... to use this door?" Considering the fellow had indicated his missing fingers.
Mirk blinks at the lever, then at the door, still seemingly surprised that alone wasn't enough. But he gamely peers at the writings, attempting to read them, before he recites for Aiden, "Up, Left, Down, Pull. Since I have on fireweave gloves, I'll volunteer..." He says, reaching a hand into the hole, groping around blindly and attempting to follow the directions as best he can.
Lou glances over at Aiden. "Did the other doors you had to go through have directions like this." She seems to look at Mirk and Cadern too, for inclusion, since they needed to find their own way here.
Mirk checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 25, rolling 19 lower.
Aiden's brows lift at Lou, "Well.. the door came down on us first, right? Trapped us apart from the rest of you. Then we had to go through... a room that asked us to pick a type of frog that lived in a place where it sunned... Cadern, did we press or pull that?" He spots what Mirk was doing and his eyes widen, "What are you--"
Aiden blurts out, "Try Down, Left, Up, PULL!"
As Mirk reaches into the hole and gropes around, there is a click, then a ping sound, and the feel of something pointed landing between his middle and ring fingers before retracting again. Thankfully his glove protected his hand, or else he might pull out less than reached in.' is not available. Type "help" for help.
Cadern watches Mirk put his fingers into the thing with fascination, "Oh... my. I'd offer to give a hand but... I like my hand." He glances towards Aiden, "It was pulling the levers and pushing the buttons wasn't it? But didn't you push and pull the mirrors to align them?" He suggests pursing his lips watching Mirk's hand go in to follow. "Maybe we should try shining some light into it. Everything about them is light." He pauses, "You know I wonder if it's like an obstacle course, and at the end there's going to be nothing but a message that we can fully read and they are going to say - aren't you glad that by going through this you learned you can survive reading...."
Mirk yanks his hand back quickly, when he feels the point, and checks his fingers with a touch of worry on his face. Seeing that they're all still present, he lets out a sigh of relief. "That could've cost me a finger," he says in a somewhat shaky tone. He tightens his hand into a fist. "But I felt something in there. There's a mechanism, if anyone else would care to take a try at it. It calls for a little more finesse, I think."
Lisebet watches, wide eyed, her breath catching with a bit of worry. She hasn't much to add at this point, though, instead just looking back over the words, and then at the door. Did it change?
Aiden walks over to Mirk to inspect his hand too, "If there's nothing indicating what direction to try, try Down, Left, Up, and Pull. Down, as the stone wall came down on us... or we pressed a button down. Left, I think we went left after the frog room. We climbed up out of the mirror room, and we 'pulled' the lever here. That can't be coincidental." He moves over toward Cadern, "If this is just a big prank... then at least we know that Uanna people went to elaborate lengths for a laugh..."
Mikani looks at Mirk, "If I can borrow your glove I will try it."
Lou frowns at the words, then the door, then the words again, then goes to check out the lever marked 'library' that they were told to try in the first place.
"It'll be easier without. The quarters are cramped enough that the gloves are an impediment. But the protection...I don't blame you," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Mikani, stripping the glove off his hand and offering it to her for the attempt. "You know, I hadn't considered that. We have been through three traps, now, haven't we?" He asks Aiden, his head canted. "You might be right. We'll see."
Cadern nods at Aiden slowly and considers, "Maybe I'm Uannan." He says in amusement. "Seems something worth considering a repeated pattern. Patterns can be interesting and useful things." He scoots a bit closer towards Lou to study the lever as well.
Mikani checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 25, rolling 10 higher.
"I don't see any patterns on the original lever that might give a hint of what to do." Lou says after she completes her inspection. She turns to see what's happening, furrowing her brow somewhat as she sees the exchange of the glove and yet another person putting their hand into the wall. She bites her lip somewhat, then shrugs, "But, sometimes, you just have to muddle through these things. It's kinda like when I went to that mountain where Brass had put a magical pedestal and we had to push a bunch of buttons to find his magical map to find the Dwarves of Everwinter."
Lou adds, "Though that's not why I explored that particular mountain."
Lisebet nods her head. "That's the key to many riddles as well as languages," she acknowledges. A glance over at Lou, and she grins a bit. "You have the most interesting adventures, Lou. I'm glad to be able to be on one." This one, she means.
Mikani reaches into the hole next, moving her fingers along a ledge cut inside near the top, and when she pulls there is a much louder clank noise. The door unlatches from the other side and swings away from the room. It looks like it can be easily pushed open the rest of the way. Shino, standing at the opposite side of the room, breathes an audible sigh of relief.
Mikani takes a deep breath as she pulls her hand back whole. She pulls off Mirk's glove and gives it back to him. "Thank you. It was good to know I had the protection just in case." She says before pushing the door open the rest of the way.
Mirk accepts the glove and quickly slips it over his hand, though there's a glimpse of the mark across his palm as he does: Dark blue interlocking loops and spirals. Once he has the glove secure, he nods his head to Mikani. "Of course, Lady Mikani," he says in a low tone.
"Well done," Lisebet says softly. She looks over at Shino ALLL the way over there, and then gives the door, and the little hole a second look. "I think I'm glad you were both as successful as you were," she murmurs drily. She then moves to peek in the door curiously.
"Lady Mikani... were the directions related at all to what you just did?" Aiden asks curiously, as the door opens.
Cadern lets out a low whistle and he smiles at Mikani, "Well done! AND you have your fingers." He says brightly clapping his hands and he grins, "I always thought you had deft and nimble fingers." He says with a wink.
Lou grins over at Lisebet. "Adventure is what I live for, Lisebet." She watches as the door pops open and gives a little nod of her head. Some might notice she's been extra cautious of late and not quite taking so many risks as she might have in the past. Though her expression is full of curiosity, she hangs back and waits to see how the others wish to proceed.
As Mikani pushes the door open, revealing a smooth, dark corridor that curves to the right while sloping slightly upward, Shino shakes his head and backs toward where they came from. "I go no further," he says. "It has a taste for me. It may want more"
Mikani nods to Aiden. "That's how I moved my fingers to open the door." She wiggles her fingers. "I have talented fingers?" She laughs at Cadern's comment. "Well I have had no complaints." She walks through the newly open door since she is the closest to it. "Hopefully we will find what we are looking for."
"The way it reads, or the way ... I suggested based off the other rooms?" Aiden prods curiously, as if he were mentally keeping tabs on this adventure - perhaps for a keepsake later made!
"A taste for you?" Lou turns to look over at Shino, then frowns a bit. She glances to the others a moment, then back to Shino. "This isn't a Shardhaven is it?" she asks, not certain if they know that word, but shardhavens are something Lou typically NOPES right out of.
Shino blinks. "What is shard haven?"
"I think he means the traps," Mirk says to Lou. "I felt a blade descend when I tried to get the door, the first time." He nods his head towards Shino's hand, indicating the missing finger. "Any last advice, before we start down this path, Shino?"
Lisebet pauses at the door, looking to hear any last advice from Shino, and that word sort of freezes her. Shardhaven? She's never been to one, but the very thought is - frightening. She takes a breath, and then glances back to Lou, trying to figure out how to descrive such a place. "Corrupted," she starts with. "Not just trapped but - alive, malevolent and terrible." She looks to Lou, for once her words feeling insufficient to her.
Mikani looks back at Aiden. "What you suggested." She says with a warm smile waiting for the others to be ready to go. As she waits she pulls out a flask and takes a draw before putting it back in her holster.
Lou glances back to Mirk and seems to be mollified by that answer. She gives a nod, but she does at least answer Shino's questions. "Places that once held magic, or could be magical, that got inhabited by demons. They might still hold wonders of the world, like treasured books from a long lost library or some item of magical value that could be of use, but you have to fight your way through demons and such to get to them. Nasty things, those." She shudders even thinking about it. "I have children now, and while I might have explored those at some point, I'm much more careful about where I walk into than I did before. Traps are much easier to go through than a horde of evil creatures." She nods to Lisebet, "That too."
"Huh!" Aiden says with a soft enlightenment, as if he was appreciating the last trap a little more, "So if we had picked the wrong ways before, we may have well been injured, but we'd certainly lose a finger or two here. It would make no sense." He considers, "They're keeping it secured from thieves. Perhaps we should take care to honour the effort they went through to keep us out and not take anything out?" Aiden suggests to the group.
Shino nods as he listens to the description, then answers, "No, none of that. Just puzzles and traps." He addresses the group as a whole then. "Hands up, eyes open, and soot --" He reaches up and swipes his fingers across the black residue left behind by past torches. "Soot is always safe. The neighbors did not use fire."
"Soot is safe, they didn't use fire. Hands up - watch where and what you touch, eyes open, read the walls, and mind the traps," Lisebet summarizes. She shrugs delicately, and then says, "I guess that's maybe as good information as we are going to get? Shall we?"
Mirk grimaces at the discussion of Shardhavens, but he turns his attention towards Shino's words. "Soot is always safe, hm?" He repeats, as if committing that phrase to memory. "Rather intricate in design, isn't it, my lord? So much care and attention put into protecting their secrets. I wonder what awaits..." He nods his head to Lisebet. "Let's go." With those words, he starts moving towards the open passage.
Cadern blinks at Shinos' comment, "Soot is always safe." He repeats and he looks thoughtful, "That's so fascinating to think. So much of our culture is around fire... keeping away predators... Lighting things. Seeing things." He looks thoughtful and distracted he follows the rest. He seems content to let Shino remain behind though he does grin, "See you in awhile... don't do anything I wouldn't." He says brightly.
Mikani starts walking up the ramp allowing those to stay behind stay behind. She was too excited about finding the library. "You know Cadern that pretty much lets him do anything but swim and what we're doing." She teases her friend before she murmurs the instructions to herself as a reminder.
Lou waits until a person or two goes down the passage and then falls into follow. She keeps watch out for anything unusual as she walks carefully along behind the others, keeping an eye out for anything untoward or vaguely traplike. She seems to respect Shino's desire not to go down the labyrinth. "Could be where they hid some of their treasures," she offers to Mirk. "We managed to get a translation for that etching on the wall found in Whitepeak. One of the Uanna managed to escape the destruction and walk away with a sword that would inspire a war with the Cardians called the Sword of Dusk and Dawn. Not quite sure how they escaped the destruction only to be killed by Lorwroth Kinsbane in Whitepeak, but. . . " she shrugs. "We have the translation now after almost just over two years." That doesn't make Lou want to know this language any less though.
The party moves on, traveling down the corridor by light of torch until it opens into another circular room like the one with the puzzle of mirrors. Sunlight shines in from an oculus at the top of the room, spotlighting a single crystal at its center. There is a plaque mounted there, and a pattern on the floor that appears inspired by more than mere geometry.
Lou checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.
Lisebet checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 15 higher.
Cadern assures Mikani, "I also don't like riding, or climbing, or hiking. I mean he's pretty safe as long as he stays indoors." He opines and then considers, "Sword of Dusk and Dawn. Well that sounds like a dangerous blade." He murmurs and then he stops as he looks around the room his eyes widening and delighting. He pulls out some paper and sits down at the edge of the corridor and he begins taking notes studying the area in delighted fascination. Cadern seems less concerned with 'solving' the puzzle as just documenting every part of it.
Cadern checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 35, rolling 3 higher.
Mirk checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Mikani checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Aiden checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Lou checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
Mikani checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 30, rolling 46 higher.
Lisebet checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
Lisebet listens to the conversation quietly, tilting her head. She comes to a halt, and stares. As Cadern starts documenting, she moves a bit, making sure everyone can see around her, if they want. She looks at the floor, gives up, and then goes back to trying to figure out the writing on the plaque. "Awaken - " a pause, "with - harmony." A blink. A stare, and then, appealingly, "Am I reading this right? Does this crazy thing want someone to - sing?"
Mikani nods to Lisebet. "Yes that's what it says ... the question is what does it want us to sing. And how many parts of harmony do you think we need?" She looks curiously back at the floor wondering what it's about.
Lou glances at the plaque, then down at the floor, then back to the plaque again, then over at the crystal. "Huh." She says after she puzzles a few things out. But then Lisebet is already pointing out what the plaque says. "The pattern on the floor seems to be a musical scale." She's still puzzling out the details of that scale.
"Sing or arrange the musical scale correctly... to coordinate with the crystal?" Aiden wonders, "Amazing. They knew musical scale even back then. I wonder how they would've played music." He crouches and inspects the floor further.
"Ahh, nevermind. It's displayed correctly," Aiden clarifies of the scales on the floor.
"Music, hm? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I wonder what the right notes would've done to all the crystals they used in their heydey," Mirk comments, reading the plaque a second time. "I don't suppose we have any gifted singers among us?" He eyes Lisebet and Mikani in particular, as if expecting one of them to step forwards on this one.
"The crystal is placed where the C above middle C would be placed," Lou wanders around the bits of the floor that would be considered "safe" as she regards it. "See how each section seems to connect?" So, maybe she can read the music stuff, even if she can't perform it. "But, you know, don't expect me to be able to sing it or anything," she says with a smirk.
Cadern is glancing up and studies the plaque writing down the cuneiform on it and then the 'translation' as well. He considers for a moment, "Hmm let's hope it's the same one. But it seems the most likely. Or... is the pattern on the floor musical?" He then considers Lisebet and then Mikani and then nods, "Mirk. You're the expert here, can you please produce a musical harmony?" Cadern says looking at Mirk expectantly with his writing utensil ready and waiting expectantly.
Aiden scrubs the back of his head, "I play the piano more so than sing, but I could try if no one else is up to the task."
Lisebet looks at the others, and then she says, "I can try to sing - but I'm not sure what you want me to sing," she says. "Do you want me to - sing the scale?"
Mikani takes Compact Ocean Colored Lute from Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.
"The pattern on the floor is a musical scale. That's the key, I should think," Mirk explains to Lisebet, gesturing to the floor. "Unless the Duke would prefer the opportunity?" He squints at Cadern for a moment, when he gets an expectant look, and comments, "I can sing, but I don't think anyone wants me to attempt it."
Mikani pulls out her travel lute. "Well if singing doesn't work ... I can play it." She says helpfully.
Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.
"A tenor," he notes, "like myself, might be singing an octave lower than.. the treble clef..." Aiden looks over toward Lisebet, "Perhaps she should try first." He headtilts, "Although both of us doing so... might harmonize better."
"It does say harmony," Lisebet throws in, still trying to work out the scale, as she listens to everyone. "I think we probably want to resonate the crystal? But I'm all in favour of accompaniment and teamwork." Will she try singing, of course. She might be petite, but this is where it turns out that she's had some training from Princess Sorrel, and actually Lisebet can sing. She can even hit the high notes on pitch and hold them.
Cadern glances over as Mikani and Lisebet step up to save Mirk. He looks disappointed and he sighs, "You know everyone talks about the gods telling stories of hope and melancholy. But no one truly appreciates that they're all stories of the comical. Enchanting performances from pretty noblewomen is far less entertaining than the idea of an old bearded man singing drinking songs to try and light up magical crystals." He rumbles, "I'm sure it's hitting right notes to light up the right crystals all together." Cadern appears to be...pouting as he looks up expectantly and waiting.
Aiden checked charm + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Mirk checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 49 higher.
Mikani checked charm + performance at difficulty 10, rolling 22 higher.
Lisebet’s sweet voice starts at the G above Middle C as she ascends the musical scale, and as she approaches the C the crystal begins to vibrate. It wavers as she starts to pass it, but as soon as she notices and goes back it is only a matter of seconds before the crystal is visibly shaking. Aiden joins in, and the shaking intensifies when his voice reaches a point between the C and Lisebet, and when Mirk reaches the C himself the wall begins to shake. Dust falls down one of the walls as a new passageway reveals itself.
Mikani puts Compact Ocean Colored Lute in Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.
Mirk squints at Cadern for a few seconds more, before at last he joins in the harmony with Lisebet, adding his voice to the performance. Despite his deferring the task to others, he seems to have no trouble reaching the correct note, though he lets that note fade away as soon as the passageway opens up in the wall. "Well done, my lady, my lord," he says with a dip of his head to Lisebet and Aiden. He turns towards the passageway, peering deeper into the ruin. He's all business now. "Now. Shall we continue?"
Mikani gives a wry grin at Mirk's words before she heads off down the next passage. "How far in do you think they needed to hide away the library? I mean I stash my liquor in mine as well."
Cadern makes notes at each action as the notes begin to fill the room, and then the shaking of the crystals. Cadern looks to each singer as they join writing. And when Mirk and the voice strikes Cadern blinks in surprise at the skill at which Mirk hits the note. He laughs, "That's unexpected." And then as they finish and the rumbling reveals the new room he claps his hands in delight, "I mean that's certainly one way to make your kids learn their musical notes... You can't leave until you can find and hold the right note." He gets up though dusting himself off and looking well pleased as if he'd helped.
Lou nods her head to Mirk. "Yes, please." She then falls into the same order she did the last time, and is looking out for things. She'll speak up when there's an issue, but otherwise fades into the background and follows along behind everyone.
Lisebet holds that note for a moment longer, waiting. And then she nods her head, cheeks a little flushed, "Well done indeed my lords," she says, including Mirk in that praise. "Maybe that's what they're trying to protect? Some really good mead?" she says, teasing. "I do hope whatever it is, it isn't all dust and cobwebs by now." She follows along with the others.
Aiden takes some time to consider the place, "What if we couldn't sing..." He marvels, "It's like every part of this test, requires a particular skill... They'd have come in here as a tribe? Or if it is as Lou stated, before, if it was one left hiding everything, do we then know, more about an individual? Or their community?"
Mikani looks at Aiden, "Or whomever was allowed access had to have those skills. As part of a coming of age ritual or some sort."
"That's an excellent theory..." he responds back to Mikani, "Though would they want their youngsters to go without fingers? For failing?" Aiden ponders outloud.
Mikani grins, "They may think some of our coming of age trials are just as ... callous."
Cadern considers, "It may also indicate what kind of knowledge they expected of the seekers. A culture that doesn't have knowledge with music... Might be worthy of what they will find." He offers as he moves to follow. He points out to Aiden, "Well if they could heal them... I bet you learn not to put your hands where they are meant to be if you lose a finger..." He then nods with Mikani, "Yeah they made me jump in a river. It was cruelty." He says solemnly.
"The only survivor that I know by name is a man called Enki Geshkidji, who came to Arvum on a trade mission. I suspect that would mean he brought sailors, merchants, diplomats - a team, in other words," Mirk comments idly as he continues down the passageway. "He was...deeply scarred by the experience. The Cardians had been his ally, who he held in deep respect, and they were responsible for the destruction of his home. Harsh defenses might have appealed to such a man - if, indeed, he had anything to do with this place. It could've been others. The fact that he's the only one I can name only reveals my own ignorance."
Aiden lifts a brow at Mikani, "Do enlighten me on that? I... was fortunate enough to only be looked down upon, or frowned at..." He smirks. Then considers Cadern, "If they healed them in ways ... right, in ways we no longer can remember how to. Magic..." He muses.
There is a problem with this new corridor. Almost immediately after a similar ascending curve to the right like the last one had, it splits into two separate tunnels gong left and right. The one going to the right has the telltale soot marks of torches having passed under it before, but the one to the left is almost entirely devoid of it.
Lisebet looks at the others, examines the tunnels, and she frowns briefly. "Soot is always safe," is all she murmurs, though she's still looking from one side to the other.
Mikani nods at Lisebet's words. "Did they say that they found the library ... I can't remember." She looks almost lovingly at the unseated hallway.
Cadern looks to Mirk at that curiously and then he nods to Lisebet, "Tht is what he said... Makes you wonder what's removing the soot on that side." Cadern looks...tempted.
"I believe that means it's unexplored," Mirk suggests to Cadern. "As no torch-bearing explorers have passed through it. That makes it tempting, but that's a target for another time entirely." He gestures with one hand, as if brushing something aside, and starts towards the right tunnel. "This way, I suppose."
Aiden catches up to look where the rest of the group is looking, "It's like all the doors we didn't take, all the paths we didn't travel, all the unknowns left far behind us.." He considers the way untravelled too, "It makes the adventurer itch to take the way less travelled, doesn't it?"
"I think we do have a choice to make," Lisebet says. "The library is harder than the coins, so maybe the way that fewer would go? But I am okay with the more travelled road?" She looks a little uncertain as she speaks.
Aiden grins over at Lisebet, "You're right. He did say that didn't he."
Mikani looks at them. "If the Library is harder than coins ... then won't it be down this way ....?" She motions to the less travelled path.
"I think we're already committed to the library," Mirk says, frowning. "After pulling that particular lever and following that particular door. I think the choice now is between known paths and dead ends filled with traps."
Lisebet checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 10 lower.
"We could ... meet back here? If there are just dead ends and more pitfalls... down the one way, ultimately we'll probably be routed back... maybe?" Aiden throws out there, "I would think the right is safe and goes with our guides warnings of 'soot is safe' ... although Lisebet has a point - Shino breatehed a sigh of relief when we got the door open, but refused to go in, suggesting that perhaps, this is the way to the library regardless. We failed to ask him if or when the path diverged to the coin."
Mikani checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Cadern checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.
Aiden checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Mirk checked charm + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.
Mikani looks at Aiden before looking back down the hall. "I don't think we should split up." She says with a sigh. "When we were separated it wasn't good. Maybe we can check out the other path later ...." Mika looks down the left path again.
Mirk raises an eyebrow at Aiden. "Shino told us, outright, that the library was through the door we followed," he points out. "He wanted us to go to the coins, and wouldn't follow down this door. Therefore, it follows that we're on the path to the library regardless. The fact that there's more paths now only tells us what we've seen at every step of this journey: There are many paths, and only one is correct. What lies down the others, I'd like to find out someday, though I think it foolish to disregard our guide's advice entirely."
Lisebet checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.
Cadern waves his hand, "No. We aren't separating." He says scowling at that and he considers the group, "Now now we can check it all out in time. Soot is safety. Let's just check it out we can always pop back." He assures them easily and he smiles, "Plus don't you want to see what trouble the others who came this way got into at least we can learn from them?"
Aiden does some more checking in and around the floor while the debate is going on behind him, crouching to look closely at the foot prints, on both sides of the tunnel. His eye however, turns toward something, down the right tunnel, "There. Do you see it, gold. On the floor." He smirks back at Mirk, "Has anything been straight forward this whole adventure? I'm still expecting a swinging ax trap." He starts moving toward the right, toward the point of what he saw, to pick it up.
"I like the idea of exploring the other tunnels later," Lisebet offers. She glances over at Mikani and nods her way. "I think we should definitely stay together. it's worked better for us so far, especially given the range of skills these traps seem to be needing to solve them. And my lords do have very good points, as well. Let's go this way first."
"I'm all for staying together," he quips, "You've all convinced me to journey the other paths later." Aiden stoops to grab for whatever it was he saw.
Aiden checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
There is a glint in the torchlight as Aiden picks up a gold coin from the floor of the right tunnel, and from his vantage point he can see sunlight further down this way as well.
Aiden looks at the gold coin, to see if it was special, or if it was something similar to what they had in this age. He has a souvenir regardless. "So there's ... a bright light, perhpas sunlight, further down this way. Maybe a good way to travel after all." He holds the coin up, "Lucky me!"
Mirk raises an eyebrow at Aiden. "Interesting. But we've lingered here for a while, shall we pick a path and be on?"
"Wait, is that a gold coin?" Lisebet asks, stopping to stare at the folks. "I suppose it could be on the way to the library."
Cadern considers, "Well people have gone and back both directions. So someone could have dropped it. Let's at least go check it out. If there's light I think it may be meaningful. Let's go look and we can always make our way back."
"Both tunnels indicate people came back and forth between the two. People left and came back. This coin I found? It has cuneiform ... well the same sort of thing we saw the villagers wearing, how the script is beaten into their jewelry? The coin replicates that. There's also another brighter light I can see from where I'm standing, which very well could be sunlight. Exposing books, overtime, to the open elements isn't a great idea, but it's possible they have a natural light or.. simulated light to study from?" He nods to Lisebet, "It is."
Mikani nods at all their words and just starts down the right hallway. They were all thinking it.
Lisebet sticks to the middle of the group, but heads down the right tunnel with everyone.
The party chooses the better-travelled path to the right, and what they find at the end is a final, nearly empty room. It is clear that there was treasure here once, but all that remains is empty shelves arranged in a circle, a small pile of coins, and short stone pyramid in the middle of the room.
Zoey gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings and a message from the past written in four languages from somewhere safe and close at hand.
Zoey drops a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings, a message from the past written in four languages.
Mirk gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Cadern gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Aiden gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Lisebet gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Cadern reaches for a coin and he considers that for a moment and he purses his lips, "See I don't know why you all told me to go right. We should have gone left the whole time." He says though he's flipping the coin and grinning in amusement while he tries to read the markings on the disk, "I think... I think I can read it. What does 'sucker' mean?"
Mikani takes a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Once the party arrives in the room, Mirk conceals his disappointment with a thoughtful expression. He walks in a slow circle of the room, inspecting the empty shelves, inspecting the coins. He lifts one close to his face to examine it, thoughtful, and then palms it as he moves into the center of the room to examine the stone pyramid. He crouches low, running his fingers over the cuneiform markings, and says, "This isn't all in cuneiform..."
Mikani takes a message from the past written in four languages.
"This doesn't appear to be the library..." Aiden remarks, pocketing his earlier found coin and leaving the others where they lie. "Or perhaps, it is..." he says as he gets closer to the pyramid, "Perhaps their library was contained in a different way than our modern day libraries... which are quite vulnerable to the flame." He reaches out to the pyramid, "Mind if I take a rubbing of this? Before anyone whisks it back to Arvum to be forever hid away by one organization or the next?" Clearly, he's had experience with that.
"Please do," Mirk says with a nod of his head. "I'd like to take the pyramid back entire, in fact, but more records of it are only for the better. Relics like this have a tendency to disappear, after all." He steps back, offering Aiden the space he needs to do his work. "Coins, perhaps. Or perhaps there's still a library elsewhere. Bah. I wish we had time to explore every room of this place thoroughly..."
Zoey gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Zoey gets a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings.
Mikani takes Braided Chain of Leather, Praseodymium and Neodymium from Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.
Mikani puts a hammered gold disk with cuneiform markings in Braided Chain of Leather, Praseodymium and Neodymium.
Mikani pulls out a chain of leather, praseodymium and neodymium and softly laces the disk to it before looping it around her neck. After everyone gets their rubbing Mika gets a copy for herself for her notes.
Everyone who cares to has time to take a rubbing of the pyramid, but as the sunlight starts to slant away they realize they must return to Shino if they do not want to be caught in the jungle after dark. He guides them back to the village just as the sun edges past the horizon, and after assurance that they will not be seeing anyone else from the Compact in the near future, Ashina wishes them well. The explorers return home with their prize, and a story.
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