February 7, 2019 at 5:15 pm #15741
Cross-posted with Gilga.
So I then made some edits so that my post would match up.
Anyway, time to try again to get this thing to reduce our background count while also not letting it blow up right away.
Adding in the help from Ichante and pre-Edging, I’ll have 18 dice.
Whoa – the links button is gone…back in a tick.
adjusting the Orb: 18d6h5 5
I try not to be supestitious, but yet another statistically crap roll when dealing with the Evil Orb. Maybe it really is cursed.
But bad roll or not, hopefully it will be enough to do some good.February 8, 2019 at 1:18 am #15749TecumsehParticipant
I’m behind. I’m battling through a head cold that’s now sinusitis. Such is the life of having a toddler in preschool during the winter.
I’ll try to catch up on Friday, but we have a snowstorm bearing down on us.February 8, 2019 at 7:08 am #15750February 8, 2019 at 9:22 am #15752February 9, 2019 at 10:33 am #15763
Thinking maybe that last line should say “…the team could NOT see….”????
But wow, another big surprise! There she thought she had it all figured out (got a few dark guesses as to how….), and seems they were one step ahead of her….I’m guessing her daughter….but is it real or an illusion….?
Anyway, five hits on adjusting the Orb…how’s the BCG? How’s the Orb?February 9, 2019 at 10:41 am #15765
The BGC is reduced to the level you wanted, but the orb continues to grow warmer and warmer.
And yes, that was a typo – fixed it 😀February 9, 2019 at 10:49 am #15766
The level we wanted?
But sound like we’d better work fast!
Anyway, in terms of actions, Al wants to get right up there immediately.
Need four hits on a climbing test to clear the two meters in one action, but -5 for the surface and I’ll figure -4 for the stupid Orb hanging off of me.
So Al will Center that and then we’ll see what happens.
Short little guy climbing: 11d6t5 5February 9, 2019 at 7:40 pm #15779
Last IC post reflects info from PMs from Jack.February 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm #15780
Just me trying to review clues and talk myself to a solution.
Helps me if I write it out.
Read as much as you wish.
Serious puzzle – I have some ideas but none are sure at all.
Pretty sure we don’t have all the necessary data – or if we do we missed it or failed to put it together somewhere.
So I just want to think out loud a bit:
* TRUE FACT
Before the doctor came along, the Orb sat peacefully in the underground antechamber. It kept the portal closed. It did not overheat. Inside, the nine shedim kept this Sleeper thing from waking up.
It worked for thousands of years.
Now it’s broken.
So do we try to put things back the way they were?
Or do we have to come up with a completely new fix?
Seemed like Noir and/or whatever MIGHT be inside of her had the answer before being distracted by her amazing returning daughter.
So STEP ONE might be to snap Noir out of her grief/joy/shock and get her to talk to us (then decide if what she says is true).
Nine watchers was fine before. Apparently the number wasn’t random, because it’s not working now with six.
Well, we now have the six undead watchers plus Al, Becky, Noir, and Noir’s daughter (?) up there.
A useful test would be to get at least three of us joining the six shish kebabs watching and see if that does anything.
I kind of doubt it, but only takes a few seconds to try….
So do we need to replace the three shedim?
Quite a trick.
Been resisting the urge to read about them in the rules, so sorry if this all sounds ignorant.
But seems that if the goat dies, the spirit in it is free to roam around quite a bit before taking a new body.
And he sure as hell doesn’t want another ten thousand years on the stick. So no idea how to get him back on there.
UNLESS – we can just put him back onto a golden spear as a goat….
He can’t regenerate with the wood in him.
Is it the fact of the GOLD that allows them to not die but also not escape. Can they regenerate on the gold, but just physically can’t get off those nasty spiked stakes?
Honestly, I’m not even straight on what these things possess – is it living hosts, like a co-piloting thing? Or do they take on dead bodies? My impression is that the nine WATCHERS’ mortal bodies are long dead, and that the only life in them is the Shedim?
Is that wrong?
ANYWAY – even if we get one back on the stick, do we then have to fetch the one in the basement? And then the third one that may be in Noir, or may be somewhere else completely?
And then replace the Orb?
All that makes me think we might requre a NEW FIX
My assumption is that if Shrike (the guy that built this) could have somehow killed this Sleeper thing, he would have, instead of all this weirdness.
(But he hates them pretty bad – maybe he just wanted them to suffer.)
(Side note – the info we have says the pyramid imprisons TEN monsters – is that Sleeper + NINE Watchers = TEN or is it Nine Watchers keeping TEN MORE monsters in the pyramid? Hoping the former!)
But maybe Shrike didn’t have access to an artifact that was holding 10,000 years of stored ley line mana!
If the thing blows while in our world, goodbye Texas, and I think hello astral rift that lets Horrors in.
BUT, what if we could leave it in here, heating up, and we run out, and then somehow get the portal good and closed (how???)?
Would there be a giant blast destroying the Sleeper and Friends, but our world is safe on the other side of the closed Portal???
Just ideas – Jack’s put together an amazing puzzle, and he has peppered us generously with scattered clues – the answer is here somewhere.
Final question – one I’ve asked about before –
The goat is a big liar pants.
Sometimes he is happy the Sleeper is coming.
Other times, he seems to think that he’s going to get away, and the Sleeper stays (telling Becky she’ll replace him on a stick or something).
Who knows what is true and what is a lie!
But his first words to us:
“The key has come, the gate has opened, the Sleeper wakes. Lay down your arms and rejoice, the master has returned…”
Gate opened? Check.
Sleeper wakes? Check.
But how about ‘the key has come’.
Who or what is the key?February 9, 2019 at 8:45 pm #15781
A few more musings on Noir.
Even more convinced she’s got a shedim in her (again, I do not think that means she’s necessarily against us – it does not want to be here, or see its new world destroyed. Or even it IT is against us, SHE’s in there too…so maybe for us and against us???).
That would explain why she knows what to do here.
Her trip to the vampires fits – could have been her deal with the thing that it help her kill them – she hates vampires for killing her daughter.
And Jack OOC hinted at it – Maria was going to be in her position in the story….Great story device, really – Maria is possessed, which sucks, as we want to help her, but HOW?
AND – it provides an NPC that won’t be easy to deal with but that does maybe know how to fix the Thicket.
So what do we do with Noir now?
What the heck is her daughter doing here?
MUST somehow be the work of the Shedim – no no no no no – what was that business earlier about the Sleeper’s dreams can become reality?
We were wondering about that clue from the Goat earlier.
Could the Sleeper be picking up on Noir’s deepest desires and dreaming them into reality?
If the Sleeper knows she’s the one with the traitorous shedim and thus the knowledge of how to continue its imprisonment, it might offer to trade her a resurrected daughter in exchange for freeing him….(might have been a resurrected Doc Walton in the original version of the story with Maria).
That would explain how the daughter could be alive and – of all super unlikely and ultra coincidental places – HERE and NOW, and yet not be an illusion (I don’t KNOW, but I got at least five, maybe seven successes (depending on what mods applied) on a resist illusion try, and the answer was that Al thinks it’s not an illusion).February 9, 2019 at 9:07 pm #15782
tweaked my last IC to reflect my new thoughts on Noir – was going to have Al recollect the dreams/reality thing, but seems Becky is the only one that heard that, and not sure there’s been any downtime in which to assume she shared it.
Anyway, it occurs to me that this is the ultimate compliment to Jack’s GMing – he’s got me up half the night obsessing over it!February 9, 2019 at 10:00 pm #15783
I’m all for set the orb to quickly ovrrload, run through the gate, shut the gate, and pray that works.
Except that we have no idea of how to close the gate. Nor can we even force the shedim Spirit into one of the old bodies while the gate is open (if we kill the goat hard enough it will get ejected– but can then go through the gate to look for a new host. If the gate is closed then it would have nowhere to go but one of the a andoned bodies).
How is the gate controlled? Probably the orb, since as Adam reminded us the orb was part of the setup for millennia. But we can’t be setting it to explode and use it to close the gate.
Unless one of us stays inside, that is. Get the others out, close the gate (assuming we can figure out how), then bring the orb back to the pyramid and set it off.
But I’d really like a more palatable solution.February 10, 2019 at 6:02 am #15787
For all of you, here is what I sent adamu:
“here is what Al sees upon reaching the top plattform:
There is a small raised stone slab in the middle. Upon that lies a thing that hurts physically to look upon. It looks like a small boy of about 4 years with black hair and brown skin, fast asleep, but now and then twiching his little hands and sucking its thumb.
Noir is on her knees, tears streaming from her eyes. She is holding a beautiful girl in her arms that resembles her remarkably. The girl smiles warmly and hugs Noir back.
The orb grows hotter and hotter and Al can feel how it sucks away the mana emanating from the sleeping child, with the stream getting more and more powerful.
Oh and the spears aren’t actually in a chaotic pattern: Someone made the effort to mark out a stretched middle finger in the stone and add the spears at the appropriate points along the line.”
As for the question of how to close the portal:
You know that this connection between the worlds is created by both the mana line in the mundane world as well as the mana pouring out of the Sleeper. Both are needed to actually keep the portal going.
Another thing I hadn’t had the chance to mention yet: Inside the thicket, the mana is completely neutral – only once it has flowed past the Shedim corpses it gets that unique black/dark magic flavor.
To astral sight, the girl in Noir’s arms looks absolutely normal and real.
The golden spears are not easy to move or tamper with: Under the gold they are made from steel and braced against each other with cross links low to the ground. They are intentionally designed to make it as hard as possible to tamper with the corpses upon them. So getting the goat spitted on one is not going to be trivial – and neither is moving it without killing it completely and accidentally setting the Shedim free.
Furthermore: Shedim only possess dead or abandoned vessels (i.e. bodies of mages who leave their bodies to go astral)
I’ll put up an IP post this afternoon.February 11, 2019 at 5:23 am #15803
* I noted your point above that getting the goat onto the stake would be difficult. But Becky got it up in her IC, and you had some IC mixed in there and didn’t go against it, so I just went with it (I think they have about 15 strength between them…)
* Since Al can see Noir’s kid, I assumed he can see Roger, too. If that’s wrong I can edit.
* My last roll for the Orb was five hits. Is that enough to sort of have “learned it”? Or do I need a new roll now to get it dialled down a bit to a new, optimal level for this situation?
Thanks!February 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm #15808
*Fog of pbp – it’s no big deal for me, but in doing so you killed the goat before you got it on – also cutting off eyelids with a regenerating body is not a permanent solution
*Yes, everyone can see the suddenly appearing people
*You learned something alright: You can only increase the suction, not decrease it anymore. You remember that mysterious REA+INT roll I let you all roll a while ago? That was due to the accident power the shedim in the goat used on you all when you staked it. It had six successes.February 11, 2019 at 5:40 pm #15817
As is almost usual, I cross posted with Adam. But nothing in his post would make much change in mine so I’m just going to leave it as it is (Preston probably should have responded to Al’s latest, but I need to head out so leaving it as is).February 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm #15818
Yeah, regenerating eyelids.
I had this guess that the golden spears put them into a sort of no-regeneration/no-die state, since if they could regenerate they’d be able to tear loose and get free, but if they couldn’t regenerate, they’d die.
But that was obviously just me guessing.
We are doing a whole lot of that.
So if the thing is jammed by an Accident (which takes four net hits to cause a “catastrophic” accident…), then maybe it can be fixed.
Yes, it’s a magical object, but the fact of a moving key means that by definition it has a mechanical component.
Which would mean Juryrigger applies.
So I’m going to apply my Juryrigger bonus to another Arcana roll, to “juryrig a destroyed device so that it will operate just one more time”.
And if I do get it to work, isn’t there a setting that will go in the opposite direction or something, so that I can create a mana void – Shrike’s void seems to have been a factor in his success here….
Of course you may rule that this is simply not possible – but it is in Al’s nature to try and keep trying (no matter how many ideas fail miserably!).
Juryrig the orb: 11d6t5 2
If it is a “possible” thing but that is not enough hits, let me know and I’ll Edge it.February 11, 2019 at 7:18 pm #15824
You know, if we have a bomb that can’t be defused, I’d be ok with rolling with the ‘blow it all up’ plan. I have no problem with crude.February 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm #15825
Yeah, definitely on the table. Ten millennia of stored mana – should vaporize anything, no matter how powerful.
But how do we close the portal?
And if we could, is that enough to save Texas and maintain our world’s astral integrity?
Anyway, if we go the bomb route, I’d rather it be on our terms rather than the story’s.
It’ll still be an option even if Al manages to regulate the flow for a few minutes (the Juryrig effect only lasts 1d6 minutes).February 12, 2019 at 1:57 am #15829TecumsehParticipant
Alright, I’m caught up. Still sick and still under a record snowfall, but caught up.
I don’t know if Ichante sees anything tempting or if she’s avoided attention so far, either due to IC or OOC reasons.
Ichante doesn’t have a good track record of accuracy so far, but her theory is that Noir’s daughter and Roger are distractions, things conjured up by the Sleeper to make the Watchers look away. If the Watchers look away, the Sleeper wakes.
The gold spikes suggest that we’re dealing with a different type of shedim here, different from the one in the goat. This type has gold as an allergy rather than wood.
Al has a good summary of the situation. What’s tricky is we don’t know how much of this place was built by the Sleeper vs. how much of it was created to imprison the Sleeper. How much of this environment serves him and how much of it imprisons him? For example, the pitch black sky suggests that the absence of sunlight is important, although for which party I don’t know. I’m tempted to buy the Sunbeam spell and start waving it around. I’m not really sure what it would accomplish, but it seems like it might be instructive.
@Jack Did Ichante’s guardian spirit make the trip? If so, I imagine he’s pissed about the background count. Ichante’s probably racking up Spirit Index as we speak. So be it. If he’s there, I’d like to get his take on things.
I’ll get an IC up.
Edit: I reread Jack’s post about what the boy on the altar looks like on the astral.
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