Part 36: A Peculiar Place, Erika's Tower and The Barrier TowerUpdate 032 A Peculiar Place, Erika's Tower and the Barrier Tower
We've been sssaying the ssame thingzz for a few minutesss now.
Well, we do know some location codes for it. Why don't we try those first, in case something has gone wrong?
Calibrationsss. Yesss. Good idea.
Sure, but what do we try first?
I think we know the ones for Formello, the Castle, I think Silvar as well, Erika's Tower, and Pyrm's place, wherever that is.
We do the firssst three firzt.
Sure. As long as we don't get.. whatever the word is when a teleportation goes bad.
So, what are these words anyways?
The words for Formello are written on the outssside of the southern wall, accessssable thorugh a zecret passsszage.
Wait. When did you find out about those?
I have my waysss.
Relax. Here isz the keyword.
Alright, back to the Tower then.
So, where did we find out the passcode for Silvar?
... I do not recall.
Neither do I, so I looked up the master list of locations and their codes and discovered Silvar was an option. Which surprised me as it's half-way between the Tower and Formello anyways.
NEVER DO THAT AGAIN MY NOSE WAS RIGHT UP AGAINST THE WALL!
Our boat iz ssstill here.
Back to the Tower!
Ah, hello. We had heard that the Tower had reclaimed their teleporter and was checking it out. Welcome to the Castle.
We are not quite to the point of needing Benny Hill music for this.
You know, I wonder what happens if we give a bad password.
You mean, like just say that the password is something
It would ssseem like there iz a ssecurity feature in place.
After thinking thisss through, I have devized a new location code. We sssshall try that next.
What iz it?
Where are we?
I do not know.
I still feel a little sick.
Well, wherever we are, it's outdoors.
There is something... peculiar about this cavern.
Like it shouldn't exist?
It izz very quiet.
We'll skip that place until we're done with the cavern first. See if there's a way out.
Well, the map please?
You're not going to believe this.
It's accurate. Marianna didn't screw up.
This place is artificial.
So, how do we get out?
We check here.
What is this tile? It's not porcelain. If it is, it's smoother and more regular than anything I've ever seen.
And these walls... they're like wood, but not.
There iz little to hide here.
Someone's fighting in that room ahead.
Fall back! We'll let them sort this out, then deal with the rest.
In fact, let's make this more in our favour.
Who said that?
That came from the walls....
I do not know what they sspeak ov...
They're done, the rest seem friendly.
There iz a teleporter in the back.
But we cannot get at it.
What doezz this sssigil do?
It lowersss the walls.
Why are they attacking us?
The Golems are here to help you win if you're not capable of it yourself.
Well, that was surreal.
There are more glyphs in the small corridorsss.
I have no idea.
Does that day or time mean anything to anyone?
Let's just get out of here.
What do you mean?
There was a glitch in the portal. Apparently the passcode you entered caused an error and things went weird! We were nor sure if you'd be able to come back. And then you did! Right here!
Odd. Perhaps the destination code wasz too cloze to the Portal to properly connect...
I propose we get a good night's sleep to recover from that before anyone does anything else. Please?
Seconded! Motion passed! We all come back later!
To Erika's Tower, or Pryn?
Erika. I need to touch base.
Wow, that's pretty close.
You know the place?
I'm a... not unwelcome guest.
The name of the Redmark isz known even to the Slithzerikai for her capriciousss nature. We muzt be careful.
Eh, I'll just walk up and knock on the door.
Alright, long range scrying indicates that there are six groups encircling the tower. Each consists of two Empire Archers, two Blademasters or Dervishes, and a Wizard or a High Priest.
They are attempting to disrupt the protections around the tower, but they are failing. I detect to active defenses.
This place is under siege and we shouldn't be here?
Sounds like half the places we go.
Can we resscue?
It will be tough. We attack one group, the others will come to their rescue.
Can't we retreat to Exile?
We're west of the Abyss. We'd have to cross the river Lethe over there, a couple miles across at it's narrowest. Then sneak or fight our way through the highest concentration of Empire Soldiers down here.
I'm afraid not.
So our best bet is to fight through this siege and beseech Erika for help?
So, only one thing left to do then?
I shouldn't be here. Erika's Tower is protected by a ring of foes more powerful than the party, and my previous attempts resulted in a Party Wipe. Except the only way out of this region (that I have access too) is inside the Tower. So it's do-or-die.
Should have grabbed Demonslayer....
Hey! Learn to aim!
Kai-Lyss is down!
So is Dmurr!
But everyone else is dead.
Damn, I can't resurrect them here.
Oh, I suppose I could do that, you soulless primate.
Erika! Let us in you psychotic bitch!
No. Some rats got in, and I need someone to clean them out.
Grab your stuff guys, Art's trying to negotiate a way in.
Negotiations do not include hurling insults at each other!
Oh shut up!
Red, we're in no position to deal with that. Can you teleport us in so we can rest up first?
And get your dirty feet on my carpets? I think not, peon!
Get your head out of your ass you sanctimonious ass!
That's low, even by the standards of worms.
I'll show you worms!
There iz a portal over there...
Oh no! A portal! Wherever shall it lead?
Really? An automatic message?
Would you rather go looking for six pieces of mold?
... No thank you.
I did mention a rat infestation. Do be a dear and deal with it?
Screw it. We're in no position to deal with this. Come on, back to the portal. Hopefully she won't kill us on the way out?
If I did that, who would insult me all the time?
YOU INSULT THE MOST POWERFUL MAGE IN EXILE?
I've been doing it for five years. At this point I think she enjoys it.
If that's how you ask for things nicely...!
It sssemed normal. With no malisss.
I did get that impression.
We have got to stop appearing beside walls.
We have been here before.
Yes! This is the tower that we couldn't get into when we were going down the black waters!
Really? Wow. Of all the places to hide.
Oh, this doesn't look good.
You meet a wreck. The man before you is unkempt in the extreme, distracted, clearly has been without sleep for some time, and (as your nose indicates) has not bathed for some time. His wizard's robes are crumpled and stained. He notices you. Well, he turns somewhat in your direction, and his eyes focus on the wall behind you. "Pyrn," he says. Then, he says it again, and again. It's as if he forgot he told you.
What is going on here? Who is that in the pentagram?
His eyes continue to fail to focus on you. "Demon. Every hour. All time. Must focus."
"Demon will control. Strong. Must battle and battle."
"Should not talk. Must focus. Sometimes he controls me. Must focus. Must control it."His face suddenly started twitching, spasms racing back and forth across his face. Slowly, he regains control.
What about you?
A frail man is wizard's robes lies prone inside the pentagram. His robe is torn, and scratches and burns cover his body. He moans. He looks up at you, barely able to turn his head. "I am Pyrn. Must not talk."
"Must gain control. Must be free."
"Of my pentagram. Must slay demon." Suddenly a seizure grips him, spasms wrenching him back and forth inside the pentagram. Then, as suddenly as it began, the writhing ends.
And welcome to your first, as the thread as so aptly called it Dead Man Walking scenario. To put it simply, we can screw up here and make one of the major quest-lines unwinnable.
Remember, our job is to ask him about how to close a Teleporter or Portal. But we don't know which one of these guys is the real one! But before I show off that end, I'll show off the bad end. First, let's see which one is the demon, and which one isn't. There's a pentagram holding one of these guys in place, so let's see what happens when we break it!
The choice of how doesn't matter. Just that you do.
A Haakai, four Demons and three Pyrohydras! That`s a lot of hurt. But the most important part is that you've also killed the real Pyrn in the process! That's no good.
Maybe that tome in the back can help?
What about that book case to the south?
Damn. So what do we do? How can we help?
We can't. We can't save Pyrn. The best we can do is ask him about the teleporter.
He suddenly starts to struggle, trying to gain a few moments of lucidity. He looks at you. "Third bookshelf from west. Red book." Then his eyes glaze over. He groans and grips his head, then moans. It takes some time for him to regain control.
Is there nothing we can do?
No, the mutual possession iz too deep. Why would he sssumon a demon in the firssst place?
I don't think he knows anymore.
Here's that book.
There iz nothing more we can do here. Besst we return to the Tower and inform hizz masster.
Well, that was one long string of failures.
True. But we have more information about that portal.
And we still have nothing on the missing Crystal Souls. I don't think the Oglai would like us ignoring them.
Fine. We'll get some sleep, and start fresh later.