You find yourselves in a plain stone quadrangle courtyard but instead of being surround by a building of some sort it is instead edged by white stone walls with two gateless arches on each side leading to another similar looking stone courtyard. In the middle of the half of the courtyard opposite from yours stands a solid, thick looking stone door in its frame.
Light shines from the sky above in the strangest way. Though you can see no sun or source of light, it seems to shine from all directions, casting no shadows. You notice clouds or birds.
The only recognisable feature in the room was the circles in the stone at your feet. Everything else had changed but they hadn't and in fact there seemed to be another one, making 6 circles in total. Laying over the 6th was a skeleton with the barest tatters of clothing. That part of the ground had been damaged or worn away in the lost city leaving only 5 circles but here there was a 6th and someone long dead but no others.
There is also a large amount of sand throughout the space gathered in several piles. Near you you also see several primitive, spear-like instruments lying on the ground.
Janice observes that something surreal has happened to them, and that the ruins have somehow transported them to a similar but very different place. She, however, can't be distracted by that, and files it in the back of her mind under "things to try to cope with later."
Able to then focus on her surroundings, she moves over to the skeleton to see what information she can gather from it.
Knowledge: Nature: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Profession: M.D.: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Dizzy from the transport experience and blinking his eyes he asks out loud What just happened? As he regains his balance and considers his surroundings his alarm grows but so does his wonder. I think we..., maybe it..., those circles..., But he cannot at first combine all his thoughts into a rational statement. This was totally outside his experience base.
Finally able to pull thoughts together he uses his insight to jump to a conclusion.
Lore (Occult): 1d20 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (14) + 8 + (3) = 25 Using an insight point here. Seems like a good time to use it and it totally makes sense story wise. :)
I think we just triggered and went through some type of portal. I know it sounds crazy but when you consider facts and eliminate all the rational explanations only the irrational remain. He seems to be talking to himself as much as any other. He stoops and examines the spear of ancient design before picking it up to consider it further.
Knowledge Archeology: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (5) + 15 = 20
|Cooil MacCray, PhD, DDiv|
After the shock of the transition registers and Cooil realizes he is okay but that something remarkable has just happened, he pulls out his notepad and pencil and begins taking down details such as where everyone is standing, the time, and anything he can remember about the moment before the transition. He pulls a piece of chalk from his pocket and makes a mark in the circle he is standing in and as others vacate their circles, he marks theirs as well before finally saying, "Is everyone okay?"
His next actions are to start taking readings with whatever particle detectors he has to compare readings with what he may have been taking before the shift.
Finally he begins to look around with a sense of wonder and awe at whatever is going on. "Are we all still alive," he wonders half aloud.
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
In case he can make sense of this either from a physics perspective or an arcane knowledge perspective.
Is or was Dr. Diamond with us when this happened?
Jasper froze. In such stressful situation, Jasper did not think of the strange circumstances of their sudden teleportation. Instead, his awareness of his sorroundings became razor sharp, and he did a quick 360, taking in as much as possible.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
He heard Dr Alexander mutter something about a portal but payed it no mind, instead focusing on Dr MacCray's concerns.
I'm fine, he said quickly, and it appears everyone else is as well...
Noticing Dr Zeroux walking towards the skeleton, he cried out a warning to her.
Please be careful, Dr Zeroux! he called out. We've no idea if touching any of these things is safe, hazmat suit or no.
Something had happened but Father McKinley had no idea what. He felt as if somehow the whole world had been flipped inside out. The experience was disorienting to say the least and as soon as he could recollect himself, his first instinct was to grab the cross hanging around his neck and pray. Of course the hazmat suit prevents him from doing so, so he simply puts his hand over it, muttering "Our Father, who art in Heaven...
The comments of the others brings his attention to their presence, and he checks in "I.. I seem to be ok.
He takes a look around to see if he can make sense of their situation.
perception + piety: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 7 + 2 = 14
He utters "Can someone please tell me what just happened?"
I'm fine. We came here to study, and I am studying. I can panic later. You guys go ahead.
Unless of course I am not okay, but if I'm not dead, I say I'm fine.
Anyone who has worked with Doctor Z before knows that this is how she handles stress. She focuses in mor and adapts. She might fall apart later, after the crisis, but not during it. She learned this from working in an emergency room, before she moved into research full time.
To everyone else:
We're alive and functional, yes. Doctor Alexander seems to be correct. Let's find out about this place before the obvious next step, which is to attempt to return. We need information.
Gordon also replies, somewhat absently, his attention obviously somewhere else. Yes, yes, I am fine. Would you look at this... Fascinating. He holds up the spear. I am guessing that while primitive it is not old.
Father McKinley shakes off the rest of his daze as the rest of the party begins their investigations. Gordon's words finally reach him portal? The implications are almost too much to handle so he puts it to the back of his mind. He wanders over to Doctor Zeroux to take a look at the skeleton. Although he has no degree in biology or medicine, he has an inkling thought "Is it human?"
Kn. Nature: 1d20 ⇒ 4
He heeds Jasper's warnings and decides not to touch the corpse. His haz-mat suit is growing more and more uncomfortable as he breaks out in a sweat. He glances over at MacCray to see if it might be safe to take the blasted thing off.
So many implications begin to flood his mind that it is hard to sort them out. He calms himself and searches his memory for any indication as to what happened and where they might be.
Kn. Arcana: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Kn. History: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Kn. Planes: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Kn. Religion: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Dr Zeroux's attitude surprised him. On one hand, her ability to avoid panic in these strange circumstances was commendable, and he was impressed that she go could about this so rationally. On the other hand, her lack of caution was worrying: she was surprisingly brash for a scientist, and seemed unfazed by the possibility of danger.
In the corner of his eye, he spied Dr Alexander holding what appeared to be a spear as he examined it.
Well, Jasper thought to himself. If he's not worried about it...
Jasper decided to ere on the side of caution, but he admitted to himself that investigation was the only way to figure out what was going on. He moved to the wall on his left, then the one behind him, trying to piece together how this building was constructed, though he was still careful not to touch anything.
Lore (Giant Stone Structures): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
|Cooil MacCray, PhD, DDiv|
"Before it fades from memory, think of every detail you can of what you were doing just before this happened. Dictate it to me so we can have a record. It might prove important. Then dictate anything you can remember of the event itself."
Of people go along, he will patiently jot down in shorthand the things people say.
Not sure we need to role-play this in detail; but it's something Cooil would try to get on paper before memories fade.
kinda waiting on returns on all the checks done so far before McKinley takes any other action, maybe by focusing on the events it'd help piecing together clues
"Let's see... I was standing here making notes on these circles... Yes, we were all standing in a circle were'nt we? And then... Well I don't know how to explain it. Ineffable is the word we use to describe the undescribable, yes? Well I've heard plenty of accounts of near death experiences... and well this isn't that." He pauses to get back on track "But the circles, there were five... And now there are six here" He looks up into the featureless sky "Wherever 'here' is."
If any new info comes up as a result of a previous check I'll add it to his account
Mr. Diamond was not with you. There was only the five of you currently in the quarantined area.
Dr. Zeroux finds the skeleton to resemble very closely that of a human but there were some differences in the bones that didn't match up to her experience of homo sapiens.
Gordon examines the spear and finds it to be made of some kind of wood with a metal tip, still quite sharp. It has many marks and is at least as old as the skeleton, perhaps older. And the skeleton seems like it's been there for hundreds of years.
Cooil's instruments measure a much larger reading of the same strange radiation than was detected before. A much higher reading. You think that even an hour of this much radiation would be fatal. All other readings indicate a breathable and safe atmosphere at a steady 24 °C (75 °F). At this point the hazmat suits are worthless.
Father McKinley notices a warmth when he finishes his prayer, not that of temperature, almost that of the false warmth that alcohol brings, or a particularly strong spiritual feeling derived from worship or lengthy prayer. You have the ability to use the cantrip Guidance.
Jasper finds the the walls to be constructed of quarried white granite blocks placed together with perfect precision. A marvel of engineering and construction. As you look through the archway you see another courtyard with the exact dimensions of the one you are all in but there are no circles, skeletons, spears or doors and much less sand.
Gordon, Jasper... this isn't Homo Sapien. Close, but not the same. Tell me what you think. She stands up, dusts off, and allows the archaeological experts to take over.
She then turns her mind to the idea of replicating whatever brought them here, in order to get back, if that is possible.
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27 <--to notice anything in the room that would help her know whether reactivation is possible. Is the dust unusual in any way, are the circles any different (other than the number of them) from the ones they were examining at the original site? Is there any way to tell if they have just been transported to another underground area in the same ruins, or a different place entirely? Anything that catches her attention as she examines the room, and seems to demand more attention?
The sand in the room is the same colour as that of a desert, it seems to be spread throughout the room but be piled up thicker in several places, one noticeably a couple feet high around the door. There is also a layer of sand obscuring the stone circles from close examination. Upon wiping some of if off you notice slightly raised glyphs on each one and cannot remember there being the same on the original 5.
Is there anything but sand in the piles around the door?
She settles in to study the glyphs. are they in any script she recognizes? If not, she will invite others to take a look at well, explaining that these might be the key to reactivating whatever brought them here in the first place. She really wishes that she had some of her nanites here to clean and restore the surface for her.
|Cooil MacCray, PhD, DDiv|
"Don't get comfortable," Cooil states, after holding his particle detector up to get an ambient reading. "High levels of radiation, fatal levels if we stay here for an hour, I'd estimate. It's the same as we found ... before, but stronger. These suits won't protect us from it." He removes the hood of his hazmat suit, preferring to be exposed to the air of the room.
After writing down the statements of what the others remember of the transition and adding his own to the notes, he sets about with his particle detector to see if the radiation is coming from a local source or if the room just has a high level in general.
He checks the corpse, the spears, and then anything in the room.
What is the grey thing just north of where Cooil's counter is? What are the gaps in the borders of the room map? A door was mentioned; where is it?
Gordon cooperates with Father McKinley's request for information, showing that he has near perfect recall over the short term anyway.
You and MacCray would be the experts about the skeleton Janice. If you say its not human I am gonna believe you. Gordon holds up the spear and adds This thing is old. Maybe older than the skeletons. 100s of years old. he concludes. But still in good shape. Even still sharp. That means its not decaying at expected rates in this place. Wood just does not survive 100s of years in such a state. The dryness only explains so much. The energy from the light alone should have done for it in less than 100 years. So here are some initial thoughts. It may be that the radiation killed these "creatures". I can deduce little order to their placement. We activated the circles when for the first time one of us stood in each of the 5. Now there are 6 circles so to activate it again we may be one person short. And it may be this place is some sort of way point to other places. The potential if that is true is mind boggling. He pauses for a moment then adds I say we step out of the circles completely, do some very quick scouting which also would allow the circle thing to maybe reset, and then step back in into the circles in the same order we initially entered and into the same circles to see what happens.
He then removes his hood and for the fist time leaves his circle and goes to study the writing on all the circles, leaning on the spear as he bends down.
Linguistics: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
The revelations of Cooil and Janice are disturbing enough to induce panic in anyone, Not human? An hour to live?. His initial fears confirmed, Father McKinley feels himself on the verge. But something washes over him. Tucked away in his inner breast pocket is a flask of whiskey, he always keeps it on him. He could use a swig right about now, but in this moment, he feels suddenly at peace as the power of faith takes it's hold.
Perhaps he should be interested in the rune-like markings near the circles, but he steps away from the grouping, feeling pulled moreso to the strange stone door in the middle of the room. Perhaps he's just feeling a tad bit claustrophobic with the haz-mat suit on. Perhaps it's just that no one else has even mentioned the door being there.
Does anyone else feel... different? he asks softly. He reaches the stone door and begins inspecting it.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Interesting, a door to nowhere... I wonder if we can even open it.
As he inspects the door, being careful not to touch it, still heeding Jasper's warning from earlier, he continues to contemplate their situation outloud.
There was this one case, a young girl in Mexico City who suddenly fell into a coma. The doctors even pronounced her dead, but she came back. Her experience was much like many of the others, a tunnel of white light, a voice beckoning her forward, but most near death experiences end there. But she made it past the tunnel and found herself in what she called 'a waiting room', a room made of pure light. There appeared and angelic being who told her it wasn't her time and sent her back.
he glances around the room and toward his companions to see if he's just talking to himself, shrugs, and continues.
Perhaps we didn't end up here by accident. Perhaps we were brought here, for a reason. Perhaps all we need to do is wait, and our guide will come to us through this door.
Oh blast. Radiation, eh? Anyone feeling sick? An hour to live means we should already be feeling the effects. Okay, let's try to get back. No time to study at leisure. Let's try Gordon's suggestion first. If that doesn't work, perhaps scout the area and see if we can get someplace where the radiation is lower so we have more time to come up with Plan B.
Going over and picking up a spear, Janice adds Might want to prepare for danger as well, as Jasper suggested. This place could be empty, but if they needed spears, we might too.
You get the feeling that she doesn't think that Gordon's plan is going to work, but she definitely wants it to.
Jasper made a quiet choking noise at Dr MacCray's warning. Lethal radiation?! His instincts told him to run, but he fought back the urge.
I can't abandon these allies! Not now, not ever! he thought to himself. Instead, he called out his findings to the rest of the party.
These walls are masterfully constructed with precision down to the centimeter! he said. I'd almost compare them to ruins like those in Egypt or Peru.
He listened to both Dr Alexander's deductions and Father McKinley's theory. After a brief moment of thought, he spoke again.
Whatever choice we make, leave and explore or stay here and wait, I believe it is imperative we stick together. We've no idea just what we might find in a place like this, and if there's danger we should meet it as a group,
Desmond nods in agreement with Jasper. The spears and the skeleton do denote a danger, but 100s of years is a long time. From what he can tell, no one has visited this place since their deceased friend here met their fate.
He murmurs outloud Two spears... one body.. hmm.
He calls Jasper over to the door Mr. Rolla, what do you make of this door? It's... odd isn't it? Do you think we can open it?
Jasper, despite knowing that it wasn't much help to him, elected to leave his hazmat suit on. Claustrophobic and restricting as it is, it gave him a false sense of security. He didn't know how to feel about Dr Zeroux's suggestion of using the spears. Though it was a very pragmatic thing to do, he felt uncomfortable engaging in what is essentially grave robbing.
He looked to Father McKinley, then to the door.
Perhaps? he said quizzically. That is a rather large door. But who knows, perhaps it will behave as strangely as everything else here.
Thus, he moved to investigate the door, though MacCray's warning about radiation made him extra wary of touching it.
Lore (Giant Stone Structures): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17
If it fits here. Otherwise:
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Going to try to resist multiple posts between the DM's posts. We all want to push forward, but at least for me I need to know about the runes carved into the circle before I more to examine the door.
|Cooil MacCray, PhD, DDiv|
Dr. MacCray walks around the "door" to see it from both sides. Is it just a frame holding a door in the middle of the room? Is it an open door frame or a frame with a solid door closed in the frame?
As he takes readings with his Geiger counter, he muses, "I've had a few experiences with shaman taking hallucinogens, and my sense is we are not hallucinating. I've also had out of body experiences, like those described by the girl you describe in Mexico, father. This is not such an experience either. If my grandma were here, she'd say, 'I told you about crossing into the land o' the little people.' 'Twas said that one could cross over into the world of the fey for but a moment and 100 years could pass in our world. Or you could spend 100 years in their realm and only a moment might pass between the time you left and the time you returned. I never saw evidence of such transports, but it's the closest thing in folk-lore that we just experienced."
To the advice of Jasper, Cooil agrees, "We must of course stay together, for mutual defense. I suspect we may need all our expert learning to cipher this riddle out."
Outwardly, Cooil is keeping a calm demeanor, but his heart is racing and his mind is running at full speed.
Desmond lets Jasper take an expert look at the peculiar door to nowhere and moves back to study the array of circles. He finds that discussing the situation helps to ease the panic and focus his mind on solutions.
Well, I think we've successfully ruled out that this is the afterlife. So what are we talking about here? Ancient aliens? Atlantis? Anunaki? Eden? Or are we having a shared hallucination due to radiation poisoning?
He kneels beside Gordon and traces the runes with a finger, trying to recollect if he's seen anything like them in his years of studying confiscated texts and relics.
Kn. Arcana: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Amateur Investigator: 1d6 ⇒ 1
I'm a man of faith... I believe in many things. But I will be honest, I am finding it hard to believe what I see in front of me with my own eyes. What are our options? Try to activate these circles? Open that door? Explore this complex more? Or simply wait? I agree, whatever we decide, we should stick together.
Everyone keeps talking about sticking together, but the buddy system isn't going to do us any good if all it does is leave us here dead. I think Madame Curie was amazing, but I don't plan on sharing her fate.
I want to study all of this stuff just as much as you do, but the radiation changes things. Just because we don't die until the end of the hour doesn't mean we aren't already getting really, really sick just by being here. If our Hazmat suits aren't helping us, we can't wait around. We have to try to reactivate the rings or leave. In or out? I am not going to stand around here and slowly die just because you lot want to hold hands.
Is there anything but sand in the piles around the door? Do you want to sift through the sand to try and find anything buried? It could take some time.
I also said an hour of this level of radiation could be fatal. You wouldn't die instantly after one hour. Death from radiation can be nasty and take a long time.
The grey thing is indeed the large closed door and frame. The gaps are the arches leading to what look like identically shaped but empty courtyards.
Cooil removes his helmet and with the new air meeting his face he feels a warmth touch him. Different than the steady temperature of the room. You can use the cantrip Know Direction. The radiation does not appear to have a source here, it stays steady no matter where you point your detector or where in the courtyard you stand. Whatever material or particle that is causing causing this seems to be everywhere.
Gordon and Zeroux find the glyphs on each of the circles to be identical and part of the stone itself. They resemble runes but seem much more advanced almost like a type of predecessor to the rune based languages of the Germanic and Scandinavian people. As Gordon removes his hood he feels the new air touch his face and also a strange warm happiness, like something just out of your reach was moved close enough for you to touch it. Gordon has an Inspiration Pool equal to half his Intelligence bonus.
As Father Mckinley approaches the door he feels quite small. An elephant could easily pass through this door were it open. The design of the door seems like it is meant to be able to be opened from either side as there is no discernible jamb to cause its halt. The door and its frame seem smooth and reflective like marble and if solid, would make for one very heavy door. You don't seem to notice any hinge or mechanism for opening it from your cursory look over. When Jasper comes over he knows that there must be some mechanism for opening such a heavy door, whether an ancient pulley system which seems unlikely as such would be visible, or something internal or hidden underground which would be quite advanced but not impossible. Unfortunately he doesn't find any sort of trigger and there is still a lot of sand around the base of the door up to your knees that could be hiding some clue. Jasper does notice the door is not perfectly perpendicular to the frame, just as if it was left open a crack or unable to fully close.
Jasper cringed at Dr Zeroux's comments. He was beginning to find her gung-ho attitude a tad annoying. Still, she made a good point: standing around and staring would do nothing.
Well then. he said aloud, It seems as though we must make a choice as to what we do next. This door appears to be open a crack. It would be impossible to open it ourselves, as it must easily weigh one hundred tons or more. There might be an opening mechanism though. Under all this sand, perhaps?
Noticing that the others had removed their hoods, he realized he felt quite silly standing around wearing his. He briefly wondered if taking his hood off could make things worse, before pushing the thought away and removing his hood.
To hell with it. If I'm going to die I might as well at least die breathing fresh air.
As to my suggestion of staying together, Dr Zeroux, he said to her, the slightest hint of irritation in his voice. I was just hoping that one of us isn't alone in the case that they run into something that could kill them a might faster than this radiation.
Still, you have a point. What are we doing then? Attempting to reactivate the circles, or try to open this door to find someplace less radioactive?
I assumed my nat1 inspecting the door wouldn't result much info, tis why i moved back to inspect the glyphs on the circles. Was Desmond able to learn anything from them? Also, from where we are, can we get a sense of how expansive this complex is? Is it just the adjacent rooms or do there appear to be more rooms beyond that?
Something Dr. Alexander proposed earlier comes back to Father McKinley. He stares vacantly at the skeletal corpse as Janice and Jasper speak.
Six circles here. Five circles there. It took five of us to activate them there. It must have taken six to activate them here. But this poor sap didn't make it. There was no corresponding circle to... teleport?... to. Was it the failed attempt that killed them?
McKinley takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. He too removes his hood and takes a moment to feel the relief from the claustrophobic suit.
Well then... it would seem that if we came here through these circles, we can leave by them. That should be the first thing we try. But I have the feeling that Dr. Alexander is right, we may need a sixth. And by the looks of it, the trip may not fare well for whoever stands in that circle.
He gestures toward the circle at the top of the triangular formation, currently occupied by a hundreds years old skeleton.
A look of determination comes over his face and Gordon quickly strips off his suit. As he does so he says I have an idea, but I need everyone to help. There are more good ideas than time to try them right now, so please cooperate. If this does nothing then we can try someone else's idea. Janice, assist me in putting the skeleton into my hazmat suite. The rest of you, get rubbings and photos of the runes and that door. Then we will try to activate the circles again and go home. I am not sure if we need a 6th but if we do, this skeleton is going to be it.
Janice strips out of her suit as well, and starts helping Gordon. She thinks she gets what he is going for and adds the bulk of her suit to his to try to fill out the suit.
Maybe we should add sand? she says to him, after they have the skeleton in the suit. To weigh it down some more? She starts scooping sand up into the feet of the suit.
I can finish here. See if there is a specific sequence. You're thinking more Stargate than Star Trek... pattern rather than single activation?
Sand cannot hurt. he agrees. Not too much though. He helps make sure that skeletal arms go into suit arms and skeletal legs go into suit legs and then steps away and tries to recall how the group entered the 5 circles in the first place. Ok, we are about to do this. Everyone ready? He will direct as best he recalls for each person to step into a circle. if nothing happens he will place, or get someone else to place skeleton/suit man into the 6th circle.
Janice enters her circle as Gordon directs, and then does so again with the Skeleton Sandbag adjusted if necessary.
If one of the experiments works, then we're somewhere else, hopefully back home. If both of them fail (everyone participating), then:
Janice goes over and starts to dig out the door mechanism that Jasper believes might be under the sand.
Father McKinlely lets out a sigh of relief. He's glad that they have finally decided on a course of action. If there's one thing he excels at, it's acting dutifully. He tears a few sheets out of his notebook to make rubbings of the runes around the circles, quickly comparing them to the notes he took back on the other side.
The other side of what?
He puts the thought to the back of his mind and refocuses on the task at hand. However, he glances over at Doctors Zeroux and Alexander as they stuff the hazmat suit full of dust and bones. Desecrating corporeal remains does not sit well with him, but if it helps them get home, well, the least he can do is be grateful. He says a silent prayer of thanks to whatever poor soul made what must have been an unknowing sacrifice for their sake.
Still, Father McKinley feels pulled in several directions. They need to get somewhere, that's for certain, and sure, 'home' sounds like a great place to go. But a part of him keeps an eye of the strange stone door, half expecting it to 'open', and some glorious being stepping through, delivering to them a 'We've been expecting you' speech. Faith tells him their being here is no mere accident, and it feels their fate is intrinsically tied to whatever lies behind that door.
His mind begins to race again.
What will happen when we get back? This discovery will certainly send shockwaves throughout the world. Will we be allowed to return? How can I ensure that I will be allowed to return? What's happening on the other side? Will they be sending someone in after us? Troops?
He shakes his head.
No use thinking about that now. Task at hand. Task at hand.
He finishes making the rubbings and sticks the pages back in his notebook. He stands and looks around anxiously.
Ok. I'm ready.
|Cooil MacCray, PhD, DDiv|
While the skeleton is being placed in the suit, Cooil puts his camera on video mode and gets images of the circles, runes, and such and then he does a 360 view of the room from the circles and then shoots the door from all angles before stowing the camera. If the work is still ongoing on the skeleton, he begins to shift sand away from the door, hoping to uncover something or at least clear the area so the door might open.
As he does this, he offers another idea about their shift into a new world. "There might be a scientific explanation. When Schrödinger described his famous thought experiment with the cat linked to an unobserved quantum state, he thought he was proving the superposition of quantum states was irrational. But the idea that a subatomic particle's state is a superposition of all possible quantum states until it is observed and collapses into a single state has been proven correct. So maybe the Schrödinger's cat experiment could work, except instead of the cat being in the states of being alive and dead at the same time, it were in two different dimensions or worlds. What if our universe is just one possible state of many possible universes and our normal perception always insures it remains collapsed into what we know as 'our world'? And then what if standing in those positions canceled this effect and allowed us to be in two or more universes at once until something caused it to collapse but not into our universe? Perhaps in this world, this radiation is not harmful. It seems to be coming from everything, which doesn't make sense if it's gamma rays."
He pauses, looks at his compass and says, "I seem to have acquired an odd sense of direction, as if I know which way is north, if I concentrate on it."
I'm still curious if the radiation is gamma radiation or something exotic and/or unknown. Also does his cantrip for Know Direction agree with his compass and/or his sense of which direction was north in the previous dimension before the shift?
It is gamma rays but where it comes from you don't know.
Through the arches are 4 more courtyards, each with a door and arches but no circles. You can't see through those further arches. So far no one has tried to walk through I think.
As Jasper removes his hood to breathe the air he feels a little strange. The first breath fills his lungs with warmth and his fear of dying here seems to be washed away. He feels like something is trying to tell him to have no fear of this place. This is like a foreshadowing of Aura of Courage.
Doctor Zeroux feels a warmth as the room's air surrounds her and enters her lungs. As the oxygenation of her blood from this new air happens the warmth enters her bloodstream too. She can feel every vein, every heartbeat. No. She can see every vein filling with a colourless glow which also seems to be coming from every object in the room including the others except Jasper who's glow is faint right now like hers. The colourless glow resolves into a shade of orange when she focuses on the door and also when she looks at the circles at her feet. Janice is unknowingly using the detect magic cantrip
The skeleton-in-a-bag comes together nicely and with the legs at least filled with sand it stays upright without falling over and looks like someone trying to touch their toes. Doctor Zeroux senses a slight change in the orange aura as a circle is stepped on by a scientist but not when the skeleton is placed.
Cooil's test with his compass reveals that north actually points to the centre of the courtyard. He also feels this directional knowledge in his mind without looking at the compass as he walks around the room with the camera. When the camera is looking at the arches and through to another courtyard the picture of the other courtyard seems slightly distorted.
Something is happening to my vision. I don't think it is radiation sickness. Doesn't follow any of the symptoms. It is a little like being able to see nanites. I can see ... I guess you would call them auras... around certain things. The circles activate when we step on them, but the Haz-Mat Suit dummy isn't working. I can tell when they change color in my vision. The door also has a glow though. Since this isn't working, let's try Jasper's suggestion and dig for something that might activate the door.
She starts in doing what she has asked the others to do, hoping that her example will pull in some others to work together. She feels much less worried about the radiation though, so she loses her sense of urgency, and doesn't mind the disparate projects or examinations anymore, satisfied to just work with Jasper if no one joins them.
Perhaps radiation works differently in this place, somehow. She thinks. Her training seems to fly in the face of that conclusion, but the evidence... no negative symptoms, and only enhanced vision? It is changing us, certainly, but not in the same way, so all bets are off. Just have to wait and see.
A great part of Father McKinley is relieved when their attempt to return through the circles fails. The part of him that believes that their path lies through the strange stone door is growing at every moment. He makes a mental note out loud, Six living souls. Possibly fatal for the sixth.
He starts to wonder about the rest of the complex that they are in. It is 'alien', for sure, unlike anything he has ever experienced. A thought occurs to him that it could be even infinite, like something out of a Borges story. If they can't return home, for now, then explore they must. But any exploration should be systematic, and the impulse to keep the group together remains strong. Start with the immediate, the door.
The atmosphere of desperation settling, Desmond removes the rest of his hazmat suit and joins the others at the door. He gives MacCray a single polite nod, It's an interesting theory. I'm curious, which way does your sense of direction point us? His voice is soft and his face solemn with compassionate concern. The truth is, he feels different too, although he can't pinpoint how, only his sense of faith is stronger. He feels he already knows what Cooil's answer will be. He likewise casts a glance of concern at Janice. She seems significantly more calm, suddenly at peace with our situation. Seeing auras is not an uncommon phenomenon, but among long term practitioners of religious rites, meditation, ecstatic dance... not suddenly, not a rationally oriented doctor of nanotechnology
This place is... magical... he breathes out with a sense of wonder Wouldn't you agree Dr. MacCray?
Disappointed but not surprised that the circles did not activate Gordon moves up with Dr. Zeroux and tries using the butt of the spear to help dig. Can you still see ok Janice? And can you tell any sort of magnitude in those aura? You sense that Gordon is both concerned and intrigued. He also tries to clear the sand from the door sill by brushing with his hands and blowing with his breath. He then tries to wash and lubricate the door a little with water.
Eventually Gordon tries to move the partially open door. Jasper, give me a hand? He will try using the spear as a lever if he can find a point to pry.
Strength: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 + 2 = 16
Sorry I haven't been posting. I went hiking with some friends and the trail had no service.
Jasper was suddenly filled with a new sense of purpose, as though all of his fears had been calmed. Chalking it up to the fresh air, he readily assisted his allies in their experiment with the circles, and was disappointed when it failed.
Well, he thought himself. That was a bust.
As he began moving sand from the door, assisted by Dr Zeroux, he listened to them readily describe their new "abilities".
The ability to discern location, he said to himself. And the ability to see "auras"... What a strange place indeed!
Eventually Gordon tries to move the partially open door. Jasper, give me a hand? He will try using the spear as a lever if he can find a point to pry.
Just a minute earlier, Jasper might have roughly pulled Dr Alexander from the door, warning him to be more careful.
But for reasons he didn't quite understand, he got the strange feeling that neither he, nor anyone else, was in any real danger. And so he stepped to Dr Alexander's side, wrapping his large hands around the handle of the spear.
That door is unlikely to be moved by either of our efforts: it's far to large. But if you want my help, I'm happy to oblige!
And with a grunt of effort, pulled as hard as he could manage.
Strength Check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
If I was supposed to add the +2 to that:
Strength Check, with bonus: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 3 + 2 = 24