Part 15: Chapter 1 - 08 / Chapter 3 - 02
OK, I'm back, with a rebuilt and upgraded system, and all systems are go for continuing this LP. Sorry for the delay.
Chapter 1 - 08 / Chapter 3 - 02
The door to Dun Ailinne was made of rotting wood reinforced with rusting metal. It took the Bard several attempts to force it open. The air inside had a musty and foul odor, but was breathable.
The Bard shifted uneasily. There was yellowish light coming from ugly fixtures, although the Bard couldn't identify what was producing it. The place had an evil look about it.
The Bard plucked up his courage and boldly strode forward. That proved to be a mistake.
After taking a moment for the Crone to heal the wounds the Bard suffered from the spike trap, the Bard pressed on. Soon they came to an intersection. The hallway continued north, from which a strange, repetitive sound could he heard. To either side were large wooden doors, ornately carved with grotesque images that the Bard preferred to not study too closely. The Bard decided to take the western passage, the door on the left.
Immediately past the door, the Bard spotted another spike trap, but this time he was able to avoid it by hugging the wall and moving slowly. His bond-servants were not quite as nimble.
In an alcove along the wall, the Bard found a Metal Mouth, although its advice was less then encouraging.
The Heroine tapped the Bard on the shoulder. When the Bard turned to look, she put her finger to her lips to indicate silence. At first the Bard couldn't hear anything, but he listened intently, and soon he was able to pick something up. The sound of shuffling feet, slowly approaching.
The Bard's unease grew, but he wasn't terribly worried. Whatever was making the noise must still have been a good distance away, because if they were close, he would have been able to hear them breathing. Unless...
"Oh, no..." the Bard whispered under his breath.
The Bard anxiously peered towards the door from where he had come. He started to head for the door, but then he remembered something.
He had paid 4,000 pieces of silver for the map that had lead him here.
"No way I'm just throwing that money away. There's got to be somethin' here worth at least as much," the Bard muttered.
So he fought.
The battle was very long. The undead shrugged off the blows of the mighty claymore as if the Bard was trying to chop down a giant tree with a dagger, and retaliated by throwing noxious globules of toxin that stuck to the Bard. But eventually, they fell. The Bard went into the chamber to see what the creatures had been guarding.
It was nothing more then a few empty barrels and vases.
The Bard continued on, and came to another room. There were several zombies of a different type, and a chest, in the middle of a small pit filled with filthy liquid the color of blood.
These zombies were different. Instead f throwing poisonous blobs, tentacles emerged from their abdomens and grabbed the Bard, pulling the Zombie to the Bard quickly.
The battle nearly overwhelmed our hero. Several times, the Bard had to retreat to heal his wounds in safety. But finally, the room was clear, and the Bard claimed his reward.
Golden Chalice: 200
"Ah, now this is worthwhile," said the Bard with satisfaction, "considering that this is just one room."
The Bard returned to the intersection, and headed north, towards the strange rhythmic sound. He soon discovered the source of it. There was a pair of statues shooting streams of arrows.
: Now really, come on.
: I beg your pardon?
: Judging by the neglect and dust alone, this place looks like it must have been abandoned for at least 50 years. And yet, here we have just one statue shooting arrows at what looks to be a rate of - let's say thirty a minute. OK, so this statue is shooting arrows at the rate of 30 a minute. That's 180 arrows in an hour, and over 4,000 a day. A DAY! That's just for one statue, and there's two right here. Who, exactly, is makin' all these arrows?
The Bard looked around at the small piles of arrow shards.
: And there's another thing, who's cleanin' 'em all up? Just one week's worth would fill this room to me ankles.
: Yes, yes, this is fascinating to be sure. Can we just move along?
: Hey, you're the one who's always goin' on about how "this wouldn't 'appen", an' "that doesn't make sense."
The Bard took a breath, and carefully spent a minute studying the firing pattern.
"I think I've got the pattern down, all I have to do is step through, and -" the Bard said.
A stream of arrows rapidly smashed into the Bard's armor. The Bard fell over on the far side of the arrows.
"...right... well, I'm across now..." the Bard groaned as he got to his feet.
To his annoyance, the Heroine and Crone timed their passage perfectly and crossed without taking a hit.
Past the arrow trap, the hallway continued north. But something seemed odd about the light. The Bard concentrated, and figured out what it was. The hallway going north was filled with tiny purple particles swirling in the air.
The Bard turned to the Heroine and Crone and spoke, "Uh... I've an idea, why don't you go stand over there."
The Heroine and Crone obeyed and walked into the swirling purpleness. Nothing happened.
The Bard moved forward, and waved his hand at the purple particles. They passed right through his hand with just the tiniest tingling sensation. The Bard headed onward, but as soon as he passed into the field - or more accurately, as his magical harp passed through the field, his bond-servants cried out and vanished back into the ether.
: Shimmering particles of light danced in the air. Shining there in the darkness, they dampened and suppressed the Bard's magic.
: You could have warned me, you know.
: Knowing that he must now venture forth alone, without the help of his songs -
: What, down there? Alone? Are you serious?
: Knowing that he must now venture forth alone, without the help of his songs, our hero readied himself for action.
: Great, this is just great.
The Bard proceeded further down the hallway, moving much more cautiously then before.
The symbols on the walls and floor were if anything, even more sinister. Or perhaps it merely felt that way, now that the Bard was alone, except for Bitey.
The Bard encountered another arrow-shooter, just before a hallway that branched off towards the west, and he carefully timed his movements to get past it.
The Bard continued north past a fourth arrow-shooter, and emerged into the largest chamber yet.
Unfortunately for the Bard, it was full of the Undead.
The Bard, confronted by the advancing wall of the undead, and with an arrow trap at his back, did something most unwise. He ran forward, past the clustering hordes, with the hope of drawing them far enough from the entrance to let him concentrate on getting past the arrow trap again.
At the far end of the room, the Bard spotted a chest.
The zombies were closing in, but our hero, having come all this way, wasn't about to abandon some treasure. He opened the chest. There were only two things inside and the Bard scooped them up without more then a glance - what appeared to be a golden telescope, and a small bag that gave the sound of stones clicking together. The Bard raced for the way he came in, Bitey at his heels, and he did a rolling crouch underneath the arrow-shooter. The Bard paused to catch his breath, and was pleased to see that the zombies had no interest in following him.
Then the Bard poured the sack into his palm. Three gems, although high-quality ones.
The Bard examined the strange telescope.
The Bard experimentally put the scope to his eye and peered around the hallway. To his surprise, he spotted a discolored stone in the masonry. He tapped at it with his sword and discovered that it was loose. Carefully, the Bard pried the stone out of place and placed it carefully on the ground (so as to not alert the zombies).
Hidden in the hollow of the wall was a small bag containing 100 antique silver coins, a strange satchel, with odd runes stitched in the leather, and a small sack which contained a few gemstones. The Bard took all the items.
He tipped the antique silver coins into the satchel, but when he dropped the sack with the gemstones in, it shot back up. The Bard narrowed his eyes and tried again. Neither he gems nor the sack would go into the bag. "Oh no," the Bard said disgustedly, "A magic bag." He tipped up the satchel, expecting nothing to happen, but to his relief the antique silver coins poured out freely.
The Bard decided to keep the satchel, and headed down the western-leading hallway in an unusually cheerful mood. "Things are looking up," the Bard thought.
Unfortunately, thanks to the amulet the Mysterious Old Man had given the Bard, getting smashed by two giant lumps of stone was not fatal, so I have to keep reading this wretched waste of paper.
Nevertheless, the Bard was still badly wounded, and he crawled to safety further west down the hall when the walls parted. He carefully studied the offending wall, and noted that the stones were slightly lighter then the surrounding wall. With a rapidly sinking heart, the Bard carefully scanned the walls, and spotted another pair of secret crushers further ahead.
He was caught between a hard place and a hard place. He knew he didn't have the strength to take another hit.
The Bard racked his feeble brain, trying to find a way out of this predicament. As he felt the amulet that saved his life, he remembered something the Mysterious Old Man had told him - he could use multiple adder stones to give an even greater protective effect.
The Bard decided he had no other choice but to try using three stones.
Suddenly the Bard felt invigorated, better then he had ever felt before! His wounds were cured. He wasted no time and sprinted west down the hallway. The walls crushed in on him, but they caused no damage, merely pinning him in place for a second.
The Bard rushed forward. The hallway dead-ended in a small room full of zombies. The Bard spotted a chest at the far end and raced through the pack of zombies, ignoring their blows.
The Bard opened the chest, and scooped up the loot. He could already feel the burst of energy failing. He dashed back through the zombies and ran through the crushers, making it past the second one just as the invulnerability faded.
The Bard returned back to the intersection near the entrance, and rested for a short time, before tackling the eastern wing.
That area was also under the magical dampening field. There was a spike trap beyond the second door to the eastern part, but like the one in the western wing, it was easy to avoid.
This area too, was crawling with undead.
But in this case, retreat was an option, which the Bard exercised as often as possible, returning to the intersection so the Crone could heal him.
Eventually, the Bard was able to clear the undead out, and in the last chamber, he encountered something most surprising.
Pindiflax: Oh, thank ye! I came in here lookin' for treasure, and I got trapped in this magic-dampening field by those blasted undead.
: So you would say that I saved your life.
Pindiflax: Indeed I would, friend!
: And does your gratitude come with a reward, by any chance.
Pindiflax: *chuckles* Ye get right to the point, I see. I like that. Well, it just so happens that I know a spell or two that might be of some use to you.
: I'm listening.
Pindiflax: Oh, what's that? Let me see that satchel you've got.
: This? I found it behind a false stone.
Pindiflax: It is as I thought! This is a magic satchel!
: Yeah, I noticed I can't put nothin' but coins in it ... OK, what's it do?
Pindiflax: It was specially made by the powerful enchanter Bindelstur. He was paranoid, you see, about leaving his money at home, he feared being robed. So he made this bottomless satchel that could hold all his silver, so he'd never have to leave any at home.
: Wouldn't that get heavy?
Pindiflax: Aye, I can see yer a sharp one. Bindelstur enchanted the satchel to be as light as a feather, no matter how much was in it.
: So, what happened to this Bindlestur fellow, anyway?
Pindiflax: Oh, he was killed by highwaymen on his way to town
: I thought he was a powerful enchanter?
Pindiflax: Aye, he was. The hex Bindestur cast obliterated the highwayman where he stood.
: ... And it backfired?
Pindiflax: Not quite, but he was so preoccupied, he didn't see the highwayman's apprentice sneak up from behind with a crossbow.
: Uh huh... well, that's a fascinating tale, but can you get back to the story about my reward?
Pindiflax: I was getting to that. I've got this magical crystal here, it'll let you convert any piece of stuff you come across right into silver!
Pindiflax handed the Bard a greenish-yellow crystal.
: How does it work?
Pindiflax: Well, you hold the item you want to transform in one hand, and the crystal in the other, and touch the crystal to the item and say "Kirtor"!
: Really? No catch? There sounds like a catch.
Pindiflax: *chuckles* What's the matter, you don't trust me?
: I've dealt with Trow before.
Pindiflax: Well, I'm letting you have the crystal because you saved me life, and it just so happens that I've got a spare. Let me demonstrate - on some of me own stuff.
Pindiflax demonstrated the use of the crystal, and handed the Bard one of the silver coins produced as proof that it was real. The Bard accepted the crystal, and their business done, Pindiflax ran from the room. As he went he called out to the Bard
Pindiflax: Oh, and if you're ever interested in explorin' more ruins, come find me. I'll sell you some of me maps cheap!
: Hey! I saved your life!
But Pindiflax was gone.
With that, the Bard left Dun Ailinne behind, carrying everything of value, except for the special item hidden in the secret passage. The Bard had mixed feelings on the expedition. On one hand, the estimated value of the objects he collected was still slightly less then the four thousand silver he paid for the map. On the other hand, the magical artifacts he recovered bore the promise to more then make up the difference in the long run.
He made camp for the night nearby, keeping an eye on the coin Pindliflax had transformed. In the morning, he woke. It was still real. He traveled to Kirkwall, and checked the coin outside the games. Still real.
The Bard then turned to the matter of Bodb. It was finally time to seek him out.
Chapter 3 - 02
The Search for Bodb
: I'm looking for a man named Bodb. Have you seen him?
Villager: Bodb? You're looking for Bodb? Look everyone, it's another Chosen One!
: So do you know where he is or not?
The villager then strode off, without offering the Bard any helpful information. The Bard walked the streets... alright, street of Kirkwall, asking villagers for information.
In the pub, the Bard saw a dejected man.
: Are you Bodb, by any chance?
Connor: *sobbing* Who the hell are you, get out of here. Leave me alone to wallow in sorrow.
The Bard even asked a local Firlbog.
: Uh... hello there...
Firlbog: Some little kid just hit me with a stick. Said he was the chosen one and he was gonna slay me. Do I look like a monster to you?
: Uh... no?
Firlbog Thank you. You look like a nice person, someone who gets around.
: ... I guess so...
Firlbog: I have a cousin who's an explorer, last I heart he was looking for a tomb way up in the mountains. I hope he's alright. I'm a little worried about him.
: Uh... huh... well, since my idea of fun is to freeze my arse off while I'm hip-deep in snow, I'll be sure to look him up.
Firlbog: Oh, thank you!
The Bard shook his head and moved on. He saw a pair of men who he hadn't seen before... as far as he remembered, and called out to them, "Hey you! Either of you pair know a Bodb?"
Come to Finstown
Man: Look who it is Sean, it's the Bard!
Sean:The Bard? I don't know any... ohhh, the Bard.
: Do I know you two?
Sean: Do you know us? You don't remember Finstown?
: Finstown you say? Can't say that I've ever been there.
Sean: Never been there? Why you-
Man: You're the hero of Finstown, Bard!
: I am?
Sean: He is?
Man: Certainly! You remember Finstown, right? Why there's a big reward just waiting for you.
: Ohhhhh, you mean Fiiinstown! Of course, of course... sorry, I get that Hero bit a lot, you know.
Sean: You do?
Man: Please pardon my brother, he often lacks manners. Just head over to Finstown and they are bound to give you your reward.
Man: The good people have been dying to see you again.
: Of course, I'll head over there when I'm able.
Man: Very good. We'll ... notify them that you're on your way. Let's be on our way, brother...
The Bard, having no luck finding Bodb, decided to check to make sure that all the buildings were locked - so he could tell the owners, of course.
He found a storeroom was unlocked and he slipped inside, purely to make sure no lowlife was robbing the place blind.
: I can't see a thing! How am I supposed to rob the place blind like this?
The Bard slipped into the tavern, hoping to relieve the establishment of one of its torches, but as soon as he reached towards one, the owner growled "Hey you! Don't touch that!"
"Sorry, but uh, I have need of a torch," the Bard said, "You wouldn't happen to know if this town has any do you?"
"Aye, we've got hundreds of 'em," the bar owner said hesitatingly. Something in the way he said it made the Bard suspect the answer to his next question before he'd even asked it.
"So, uh, where are they, exactly," the Bard asked, going through the motions.
"Uh... you see... they're all... in... the storerooms."
There was a long pause.
"The pitch black storerooms?"
"So, how do you find them."
"Uh... we haven't figured that part out yet."
The Bard gave up, and left Kirkwall on a walk to think of his next move. He hadn't gone far when he was ambushed by a group of nasty-looking Trow.
"It's the Bard!" one roared "He's the one Fnarf wants dead!"
Strength increased to 12
Luck increased to 10
The Bard dispatched them all, but decided to retreat to Kirkwall before more trouble found him. And there, he finally spotted a new person, who had lost both legs at the knee
: Excuse me, do you know where I might find one Bodb?
Vote: Should we be Snarky or Nice to Bodb?
Magic Dampening Field
Come to Finstown