Allons a la banque -Pt 4
(OOC: Part 4 and finale of Allons a la banque)
April 23, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Cassiopeia Ian Jan Lou Mikani Titania Vitalis Volcica
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Graypeak - A collection of forested hills
Comments and Log
A mysterious coin. A ring. A map. All of it leads to a bank carved out into a hillside, blocked by a cave-in. Skeletal bodies are laid out in a parlor.
RA door leads deeper into the bank, with a trapped floor narrowly being avoided. Before the explorers stands a life-size mosaic of Gild, laid with gold-leaf tile and gemstone eyes peering down at them as he makes a gesture of blessing.
Ian has found an 'unlocked' room with another pair of skeletons, one behind a desk with a ledger.
Ian came out of the 'unlocked' room with said ledger, and is just leaning against the doorjam while he reads with all of the speed of someone who really hates reading but feels compelled to be careful about it. It's slow. And every flipped page in the ledger turns his features more stony.
Looking very curiously at the mosaic of Gild, Cassiopeia cannot help but be impressed with the details and the gemstone eyes and everything they've uncovered here. A warm smile on her face, she's just so excited to be out exploring. It made the monotony of paperwork that saddles her on the day-to-day much more bearable. Looking at the others she has come here with, eyebrows lift upwards. Canting her head at Ian, she's curious what he might have found and then asks in general. "What do you think we should try now? Is there anything in that journal that might indicate where the vault is or what happened? I wonder if it was sudden or...," she chews on her lip. "I imagine it was...sudden at least and that is why we keep finding bodies," it's a horrible thought and she presses her lips together looking down.
Jan eeers and looks around, "Yeah, the bodies just left where they apparently fell does not exactly place me at ease."
"It wasn't sudden," Ian says after a moment, looking up. "They starved, the ones who didn't kill themselves or get buried trying to get out. They were entombed by an earthquake."
Titania moves to follow the rest as she is quiet for the moment, her eyes scanning about she blinks looking to Ian a look in her eyes as she swallows hard.
Titania checks perception and investigation at hard. Titania is successful.
The explanation has Cassiopeia cringe a little, shoulders tensing as she thinks about what an ordeal that might have been. "That's horrible," she murmurs quietly. There's not much one can say to that and then she breathes, "I wonder if we could...well arrange for a proper burial for those here, I can arrange that. I think it's only appropriate. At least their families can have some closure," she chews on her lip then.
Cassiopeia checks perception and investigation at hard. Cassiopeia marginally fails.
"I could help with that," Volcica offers to Cassiopeia. She doesn't offer more, though, simply.. taking it all in.
Volcica checks perception and investigation at hard. Volcica fails.
There's an appreciative nod to Volcica on the matter, indicating she would be happy to work with her on this, but she doesn't delve into more at the moment.
Jan eghs "Do we ever know who they are? It's a kind thought but the fact they're just left here makes me think maybe there's no one to miss them or it's been so long their family wouldn't know. Also means everyone died here, if they were companions that survived presumably they'd come back, right?"
Titania makes a sound, "Don't move." she makes a motion with her fingers and starts to point out the pressure plates, "This room is trapped."
"Of course it's trapped, why wouldn't it be?" Cassiopeia sighs, she's been in this situation before, every time she goes exploring by the look on her face. Then she leans in to look closer. "It looks like -maybe- there are some hinges on the mosaic. I can't really tell.," she says apologetically as she tries her best impression of a statue that doesn't move. "So..., maybe that means the vault is behind the mosaic, given the traps?," half glass full, Cassi.
"Yes." Ian's answer to Jan's question as to whether the names of the dead people are known is flat. "The bank manager writes that he wants his account of the ends of their lives delivered to the archives. Something that I intend to do. Is there anything else that you need from the office?" His features are still set and solemn, but his voice is crisp, a choice being made to lock the bad thoughts in a box with all the other ones and push on with whatever it is that he came here to do.
Jan tilts her head and studies Ian a looooooong moment but in the end she doesn't comment on whatever thought she was. "Sooo, evacuate the room and then one idiot tries to trigger it without dying to see exactly what we're working with unless anyone has any other more sensible ideas?"
Cassiopeia chews on her lip, "ideally we trigger it with no one in the room, like if we can some how fashion a long stick with a hook or something. I'd rather not risk anyone. That said, I can run -really- fast, but that doesn't help in all situations though."
Ian still leaning against the door frame, Ian says: "Whatever you do, be careful. The only way in and out of this place is the hole we came through. If something happens to that, we're going to be adding our own names to this book." With that, he disappears back into the office to look around or commune with the skeletons or something.
"Even if we can't find their families, it would be good to lay them to rest properly. I can see to it, once we're done." Volcica nods to Cass, naturally. "If you can find the families, you could tell them where they're buried. They seem to have found their way to the Queen of Endings, at least." Another pause, studying the mosaic and then looking at the others. "Could we tie something to it? Pull from afar?*
Titania did spot it so she makes the call to try and see if she can disarm it, "Guys, get back." she states as she moves to see what she can see.
Ian, in the office of the bank-president, finds another ring similar to the one found in the pawn shop on the skeleton's finger. He also discovers the desk drawer is locked.
Jan waves the ladies off, "Go join Ian, I'm going to see if I can trigger it so we can see what we're working with." She shoos them insistently before she does the predictable Jan thing. She frowns and stops, "You're going to get hurt..." She protests-holding off her plan for now to see if Titania can disarm it.
Ian checks dexterity and streetwise at normal. Ian is successful.
Looking over at Volcica she nods slowly, "that is a good plan. We can try to reach out, maybe let people know in general what's happened here and that might help some of the family come forward. But at any rate, they deserve something better than this. We can make that happen easy enough." Then looking at the others, "I am going to stay out of the way, despite my curiosity, I would to best to avoid any hazards if I can...," she says with 'if' being the key word there.
Titania checks dexterity and investigation at hard. Titania marginally fails.
Titania looks to Jan, "I can't hide all my life cousin." she says to her, she smiles and moves over to the plates looking them over. Why is the diplomat trying to break trap? Who knows but that's what she is doing, she finds what she things is what triggers them and slips her mall knife out to prey and cut.
Ian emerges from the office a little while later. He's twirling a large key around one gloved finger as he scans the area with an alert gaze, scanning the wall of the hallway that approaches the mosaic.
Jan anxiously stands back and watches Titania "Be careful, Ian. Titania's trying something..."
"Shit," Ian says. "Titania, I might have the -- " He's too late, of course.
As Titania gingerly inspects the pressure plate, her knife digs too deeply into the stone. There's a few ding-ding-dings of a bell coming from above. Loud. Crisp. It starts to shake loose some dust from the ceiling and there's a distant rumble. But it fades. Everything goes back to the silence of a tomb.
"Quick, Ian, maybe it can disable--" but then the rumbling is stopping? Volcica looks.. cautiously hopeful.
Cassiopeia jumps at the sound looking between the others as she seems ready to run if need be. But then everything goes silent and she lets out a slow breath. Ian and the key is promising, she looks in that direction to see what he does.
Ian has caught his breath and held it without even realizing he's done so, his gaze lifting to the ceiling. "There has to be an easy way to open the vault," he says after a moment, his voice level, careful. "I found another of these signet rings. My money's on that. Did anyone notice any kind of indentation on the way to the mosaic?" And then following that, he shoves a small velvet bag at Cassiopeia, not really giving her a choice as to whether or not she's going to take this. "Here. I don't want this."
Jan holds her breath and waits...and then finally exhales and strides forward, "Got to be like a Hidden keyhole, or latch, or lever..."
Cassiopeia checks perception and streetwise at normal. Cassiopeia is successful.
Jan checks perception and streetwise at normal. Jan fails.
Watching everything unfold, Cassiopeia takes the bag from Ian, unsure what it is. "Sure," she says, because holding something is something she can do. She holds that bag very well. Her attention drifts to the ceiling as Ian look up and then nods her head. "I would imagine so. I mean, they want to keep people out, but there's people that would need to access the vault regularly, no doubt.," she says thoughtfully.
Titania blinks and sighs as she hears the rumbling and looks to her cousins, she backs away and bites her bottom lip. She is just going to go over here and looks at things now.
Volcica checks wits and investigation at normal. Volcica is successful.
Titania checks perception and investigation at normal. Titania is successful.
Ian shows Cassiopeia the signet ring that he has theorized might match up with the way to disarm the trapped vault. "I'm guessing it'll match up with this." He's not mentioning, explaining, or looking at the velvet bag. Like he didn't just force her to take it from him.
"..Hmm. Maybe at the start? to disable the floor.." Volcica muses, but she's starting from her place nearish the mosaic, and working back towards the sliding panels. looking for a match.
Jan seeks, even quests around with calloused fingertips blindly-to no avail.
After some searching, with Ian's suggestion and knowing exactly what they're looking for, there's a small indentation the size of a signet, with a pair of entwined letter T's on it. Looks like just the right thing to insert a ring into, and perhaps turn...
Glancing from the ring to the corridor, she squints her eyes, nodding with Volcica, "it does look like there's something there.," she points at what looks like it might match up. "Hopefully it's not another trap though.," she points out. "Though, given we've the 'key' so to speak, I'd think it would be okay?" Curious about the bag now, she feels it, hoping it's not like a dead canary or something in there. It's hard not to take a look and so she opens it up and takes a better look and then closes it, looking relieved. Cassiopeia takes out a small stone and it looks familiar to her, though she remains apprehensive given the lack of words said by Ian.
Titania has touched enough things and see's that others have spotted the marking for the ring, she is quiet now, her eyes look to Jan then away as she waits to see what will be done.
Ian hands the ring over to Cassiopeia. Hands it to her, in a normal, polite way. None of the HERE TAKE THIS from before. "I can't promise opening the vault won't dislodge something in the ceiling. I don't know how stable this place is, after the earthquake. But I don't think you should risk triggering any traps this way."
"I can do it, if you'd rather not?" Volcica looks to Cassiopeia, since she is the one with the Ring? probably? "I wouldn't be surprised if there's more locks, along the way, that the ring might open."
Ian also still has the big key.
Jan remains on standby, giving a worried glance up at the ceiling "Well standing here longer won't change those odds. Good luck, don't anyone become a wet skidmark on the stone."
Putting the stone back in the bag, Cassiopeia cannot fathom why Ian wanted to get it out of his hands quickly, but everyone has their reasons and she's not one to prod people. Rather she tucks it away and takes the ring and looks at it with a small nod. "We can't be sure of anything, I'm sure things will be okay." There's a nod and a smile to Volcica, "thank you. Why don't I try this one and perhaps you can try to be a look out to see if it triggers anything? We can take turns if there's more, if people feel better that way. Share the risk." Then a nod to Jan, "I agree. Either way, this is not a safe place, so we can move and risk or stand still and risk. I vote we try it?" She looks over at Ian, "maybe have that key ready in case it...well can off set something else?" Cassi has no idea, but it's time to see.
Cassiopeia gently puts the ring into the indentation and feels it fit snugly, a perfect match. She presses and turns... there's the sound of hidden gears whirring and clanking from within the stone. There's the sound of sliding panels under the fall-away floor and there's a single ding from where they hear the bells which becomes muffled and fades away. The mosaic seems to dislodge and partially swings away from the wall. There's a vault door behind with a keyhole... and a numeric dial.
Eirene drops A torn page of an old journal.
Volcica nods, and shifts her attention from Cassiopeia and to the room at large. She's waiting for something to happen, and so her gaze snaps to the mosaic as it opens. "Oh! ..that journal said animals. We could try the numbers from their first letters in the alphabet?"
Jan says, "Duck, ant, spider? What the fuck does that mean?"
Ian hands over the key to whoever wants it; his own desire to get into the vault is clearly fairly limited; it's likely the only thing that motivated him to show up with the signet ring was worry that someone could get themselves killed trying to disarm the traps. He doesn't seem to know what to make of the dial or the animals.
As the ring turns, there's a moment where Cassiopeia's stomach muscles tense as she wonders what might happen. The bell causes her brows to lift and there's a rather relieved expression. The key has her looking at Ian, "I wonder if that's for the key you found?," and then the dial. Looking at Volcica and then Jan, she bites on her lip. "I'm not sure if it lines up with the letter, but I think you are on to something. Maybe it's the amount of letters in each word?"
The dial only has three slots on it, each which ranges from 1 through 9.
Jan says, "Sooo Four, three, six?"
"I think you're right, actually. Four, three, six." Volcica nods to Jan!
Cassiopeia looks at Jan and then at Volcica, "I have no idea what will happen if we are wrong, but...I think that would make sense."
They dial in 4 - 3 - 6. There's a pause but there's no indication if it's correct or not. No bells, no clicks. Nothing happens.
They insert the key and turn. Nothing. The combination may be wrong.
Jan says, "TRy two, six, eight."
Cassiopeia quirks her brow and looks at Jan, "Why two, six, eight?"
2 - 6 - 8. The key turns. CLICK... The door swings open on creaky hinges...
Volcica nods. "The legs."
Cassiopeia is about to get it when Volcica and then she blinks, "oh that's brilliant."
Jan nods to volcica "Just so." She grins at Ian "Playing stones has made me smarter."
Titania stands watching silently taking in how people work, how they do things. Its how she learns and by fuck ups as well, but mostly by watching and listening.
Volcica steps forward enough to swing the door open more fully! So everyone can get a peek inside.
The vault lies before them, with sacks and chests overspilling with silver coins bearing Aldric the 2nd. There's a wall vault with lockboxes. There are paintings, cracked and faded with time. And a rolled up tapestery which appears to still be in good condition. A collection of gemstones sits on a velvet pillow.
Eirene drops Ancient Pastoral Tapestry of the Crownlands.
Cassiopeia is tall enough that's it's easy to peek in anywhere, she blinks as she sees the vault. "My goodness. Can you imagine how many people will be so happy to have their things returned?," she says thoughtfully. "Not to mention the history here," she lets out a little breath and smiles at the others. "It's a horrible tragedy, but at least we can make some good out of it all."
Eirene gets A torn page of an old journal.
Jan eyes the gem "Ooooh, this is how a curse or horrific injury begins..."
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