Trinsic Tales:Ships Ahoy!/Chapter 15
Chapter Fifteen: Lava and Let Die
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroes, we find them sailing off to parts unknown. And by 'parts unknown', I mean they know exactly where they're going.
<Capn_Ascii> Bob steers the ship as expertly as ever, sailing on through the night as you all get a good's night's sleep. By the time you wake up the next morning and emerge onto the deck, you can see your destination - a vary large island, rimmed with jungle, with a towering mountain rising up in the middle.
<Marilyn> "Lay anchor when we're within range, and prepare to launch. Same away team as last time."
<Capn_Ascii> "Aya, Keptin!"
<Capn_Ascii> Bob pulls the boat around and drops anchor just offshore. You can see a wide, sandy beach, much like the one back on Deathspire Island, only this one seems to run the entire outer edge of the island.
Marilyn loads herself into the longboat, gesturing for her team to follow.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Blue hops in, along with those other two whose names escape you.
Vathgani and his name tag along
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, and that other one, too. Meh, minions all blur together after a while.
Ashling gets in too
<Capn_Ascii> White nods, and begins rowing the boat.
<Capn_Ascii> Before long, you've made landfall. Er...beachfall? The sand shifts beneath your feet as you climb out. "I'll stay with the boat again, ma'am."
<Marilyn> "Yes you will," Marilyn confirms. "Let's go idol-hunting. It's a safe bet the mountain's our goal, so let's head straight in."
Marilyn starts heading into the jungle, expecting her team to follow.
Vathgani continues tagging along, armored up and ready to draw his guisarme at the first sign of trouble
<Capn_Ascii> You begin to march on up the beach, headed into the thick, dark, humid, insect-riddled, unseen-predator-filled jungle. Fun!
<Capn_Ascii> You're reminded of the jungles on Deathspire Island, only these are even more suffocating. On the bright side, there's a constant upward incline as you approach the mountain, which...means you spend most of the trip constantly hiking uphill. Wait, how is that on the bright side?
<Capn_Ascii> As you keep going, the jungle begins to thin out. Instead, the hillside starts to become rocky and barren, the ground uneven and craggy. The ground starts to incline as a sharper angle as you reach the base of the mountain and begin a proper climb up the slope.
<Capn_Ascii> The ground looks really scarred here - jagged and half-melted, like a volcanic landscape. This mountain isn't an *active* volcano, is it?
<Marilyn> "Watch for lava flows and lahars as we go, you never know when one might trigger. The volcano looks active," Marilyn instructs.
<Vathgani> "Reminds Vathgani of home."
<Capn_Ascii> You keep going...and going...and guh...going...
<Capn_Ascii> ...hah, hah...oh, geez. This is one hell of a climb. The slope is getting steeper, and the footing more trecherous.
<Capn_Ascii> You can see the upper lip of the mountain looming above you, but the slope up to it is getting more vertical than horizontal. You'll have to be more careful about climbing up there.
Marilyn gets out rope and grappling hook for some additional safety as she prepares her climb up.
<Capn_Ascii> Vath, meanwhile, clambers around on the slope as effortlessly as a spider. Indeed, as he scrambles around you, a giant spider higher up on the slope suddenly loses its footing and tumbles down past you, smashing itself to bits on the rocky surface far below.
Marilyn ties her rope with Ashling's rope, then releases the hook towards the top. "That should do it," she affirms.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: The hook flies up and catches on something, but as you give it a tug, you can feel the rock starting to give beneath it. You doubt it would be safe to climb it like this...
Marilyn sighs. "Well, that's not going to work." Marilyn looks at Ashling and gets an idea. "Ashling, have your flying... companions... get the top of that hook more secure."
Ashling nods and looks at Ariel, who nods, flies up and tries to fix it.
<Capn_Ascii> Ariel floats upward, toting the hook, and snags it into the biggest, most solidest rocky outcropping it can find.
Marilyn begins her climb
<Capn_Ascii> Those of you who *don't* have natural rock-climbing superpowers grab onto the rope and clamber up. It's easy enough, and soon you find yourself 80 feet higher up the slope.
<Capn_Ascii> Only a few hundred more feet to go...
<Capn_Ascii> *SOME TIME LATER*
<Capn_Ascii> After an hour or two of climbing and finding safe purchase, you *finally* reach the top. The mountain slope suddenly ends at a rocky lip over your heads, just within reach.
Marilyn looks into the presumable crater.
<Capn_Ascii> You peek over the rim and see...
<Capn_Ascii> ...not a whole lot, actually. You were half-expecting to see a smoldering volcanic caldera, but instead, the crater is just that - a big, empty crater occupying the mountain peak. The lava has long since hardened, the volcano having apparantly not erupted for quite some time.
<Capn_Ascii> Right there in the center of the hardened volcanic rock, you can see a large stone island, hundreds of feet across. And in the middle of that sits a large temple - pyramid shaped, looking not unlike a Mayan temple.
<Marilyn> "We proceed."
Marilyn looks for a way down.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Oh, that's easy - jump!
<Capn_Ascii> Actually, the crater is fairly shallow in slope. Walking down into it would be relatively easy, especially after that epic climb.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani was looking forward to challenge..."
<Capn_Ascii> You do note that the rock is especially jagged and unfriendly here. A fall would probably hurt a lot...
Marilyn carefully begins her descent.
Vathgani tags along
<Capn_Ascii> The lot of you carefully clamber down into the crater, being careful to not trip and fall and tear yourselves to pieces on the way down.
<Capn_Ascii> Soon, you find yourselves standing at the base of the temple. Stairs...goody.
Vathgani continues tagging along up the stairs
<Capn_Ascii> As you ascend the stairs, you hear a loud, avian cry from somewhere off in the distance...
<Capn_Ascii> Glancing towards the source of the sound, you see a huge, bird-shaped shadow swoop across the temple face in front of you. Looking up, you spot the source of the shadow - a massive bird is flying almost directly overhead! It's gigantic - it must be a roc. The bird is swooping in for a landing on the far rim of the crater, gripping the rim like a parrot clutching a perch.
<Marilyn> "Oh, well that's just lovely. More robed enemies."
<Marilyn> "Let's see if we can get in, and get the idol, before they get down here. But be ready to fight regardless."
Marilyn pulls out her blades and goes into a defensive posture, while scanning the pyramid for an entrance and/or key
<Capn_Ascii> There's a large stone arch up near the top of the pyramid that seemingly leads inside.
<Capn_Ascii> It'll take you a couple of minutes to get up there from here, though.
Marilyn heads for the spot, not lowering her defenses, expecting the enemies to come after them
<Capn_Ascii> The lot of you begin the climb up the temple, ready to defend yourselves. Fortunately, the robed guys seem to be having trouble getting down the slope of the crater...they take quite a while, giving you plenty of time to reach the doorway and duck inside.
<Marilyn> "Ashling, do you have any spells to seal the entrance for a while?"
<Capn_Ascii> The inside of the temple top is a small, square room, with another of the large elevator platforms in the middle of it. There's a lever on the wall as well.
<Vathgani> "Vathgani starting to feel claustrophobic."
Marilyn checks the lever for traps
Ashling shakes her head at Marilyn's question.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: The lever isn't just booby-trapped...it's *mega* booby-trapped! Your intuition tells you that the whole temple is rigged to blow - pulling the lever will detonate a magical explosive charge buried beneath the temple, destroying it and causing the volcano to erupt! Wow, that seems a bit much...
<Capn_Ascii> Just beneath the lever is an almost-invisible button concealed among some decorative carvings. This seems like the actual elevator mechanism.
Marilyn wipes her brow and activates the real control.
<Capn_Ascii> The button clicks, and the elevator platform begins to descend. You quickly hop onto it before it vanishes out of sight.
<Capn_Ascii> The platform rumbles downward, downward...
<Capn_Ascii> The ride seems to last for several minutes - if you had to guess, you'd assume you're being taken all the way down into the base of the mountain.
<Capn_Ascii> Finally the platform grinds to a halt. Before you is a set of large, wooden double doors, with handles to pull them open.
Marilyn checks the handles for traps
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: Nope, no traps. Just big ol' love handles.
<Capn_Ascii> You open the doors, and...oooh. *There's* the traps.
<Capn_Ascii> Beyond the door is a long corridor, about 20 feet wide, leading off into the darkness. Lining the corridor is just about every type of trap you can think of - swinging guillotine blades, extending wall spikes, smashing ceiling panels, and wide lave pits, running most of the length of the corridor in alternating patches. There's even a pool of water near the end, with shark fins moving around within it.
Marilyn grins. Now this, she can respect. She carefully looks for a safe path and/or simple way to disable the traps.
<Vathgani> "Might be challenge now. Unless we teleport."
Marilyn tries to see the end of the corridor and the possibility of a Dimension Door through as well.
<Capn_Ascii> The corridor must be at least a couple of hundred feet long, and you can't even see the end of it through the darkness down here. You do see several openings in the ceiling with gears grinding through them, presumably the guts driving all the moving parts in here.
Marilyn sighs and starts carefully getting to work disabling the traps.
Marilyn frowns. "A flight spell, if you please, Ashling."
Ashling takes a second to cast fly on everyone
Marilyn looks to see if there is a safe path, now in 3 dimensions, before resigning herself to trap disabling.
<Capn_Ascii> Marilyn: You hover up and go to work on the gears, doing your best to shut down the innards. A few strategically-placed jams, and you manage to stop the various moving parts - the blades stop swinging, the smashers stop smashing, and the wall spikes stop extending.
<Capn_Ascii> You also find the controls to extend the covers over the shark tank and lava pit, but they're a bit more complex...as you try to disable them, you accidentally jam the mechanisms open. Oops...there's no closing them now, sadly.
<Marilyn> "Well, avoid the pits... fortunately we can all fly, so let's fly over them and get through this."
Marilyn flies carefully to the end of the corridor
Vathgani tags along in the air
<Capn_Ascii> With your newfound flight ability, you easily float over the acid pit. As you attemt to cross over the shark pit, however...
<Capn_Ascii> *PEW!* A bright red beam of light lances out of the water! It strikes the ceiling near your heads, leaving a large scorch mark.
Marilyn eyes carefully where the beam came from, and looks around to see if it's avoidable, possibly by hugging the walls.
<Capn_Ascii> You look down, and spot the source of the beam - you can see a shark's head poking out of the water, flashing a toothy grin at you. Well, not a grin, really, but just leaving its mouth gaping open, showing off all those teeth.
<Capn_Ascii> Anywho, it's got a little gun-looking thing strapped to its forehead.
<Capn_Ascii> Two more sharks poke their heads up, and they all aim their guns at you...
Marilyn grimaces. "Alright, let's speed our way across!" Marilyn makes to go as fast as she can, while staying in an evasive pattern, making it difficult (hopefully) for the gunsharks to get a lock.
<Capn_Ascii> The three of you quickly dart over the pool, dodging the incoming laser beams! Marilyn and Ash flit out of range, but Vath takes a glancing shot to the legs as he flies by. Smoke billows from his calf as he goes into a tailspin, flying out of control before crashing into the floor of the corridor some distance down the hall.
<Capn_Ascii> Blue comes flying by in a panic, lasers at his heels, before stumbling to a stop near Vath. "Oh geez...frikkin' laser beams..."
<Vathgani> "Hmm...Vathgani had worse and will be fine."
<Vathgani> "Or at least mostly fine."
<Marilyn> "Alright, come on, let's get that idol," Marilyn looks around this area.
Vathgani springs back to his feet and tags along.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---