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ProfPotts' Legacy of Fire PBP

Game Master Alexander Scott


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Climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Aid another for Lavender if possible for her climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
If not he'll aid her instead and risk the waters and...
Swim 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
need to put ranks into that.

Yousef grabs Lavender and helps her up the rocks as he also attempts to find purchase on higher ground.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Man... It's like we've been climbing these mountains forever..." Lavender complains as she continues along with the others. "What tha-!" Lavender exclaims as she scrambles to get out of the rising waters!

Climb 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9

"Gah! Spider Climb, Spider Climb, Spider Climb! Please tell me I still got some more use out of you slippers today!" With the assistance of the slippers of spiderclimb, Lavender gets to higher ground, not without getting wet!

"...What in the heck was that?!"


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Rashid has enjoyed the last few days; true, there have been a couple of times he has held his breath, and kept an eye on a distant predator, and there is the ever-present evidence of Gnoll activity, but the relative lack of action gives him hope... for surely, if the Gnolls knew that the party was here, they would have made life... difficult...

Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14.

...Caught unawares by the suddenly rising waters, Rashid barely has time to scrabble out of the way, before he is swept away.

"Is everyone alright?"

Qadira

Haleen bounds up the small rocky peak with as much grace as usual, although she does cast a worried eye back towards the others as they scramble up after her... then laughs as she notes that not only has everyone has made it, but Lavender's managed to put the gentlemen to shame as she magically walks up the side of the outcrop as if it were level ground. Zaina lets out a gasp (sounding a little as if it's half suprise and half joyous wonder) as the waters rise, but simply rises above them herself (once she's checked to see if Bahram is alright, of course).

Quote:
"Strange waters around here. Is this natural?"

Bahram's question is directed to Keldar, but the dwarven druid has just finished transforming himself into an eagle as he takes to the skies to escape the sudden flood. I got a PM from Keldar that he's not available to come back, so I'll be running him for now.

... However, as the group gather on the roughly flattened top of their new little 'island' (an area around ten feet across, so a little cramped from a fighting space point of view) and glance around at the flood waters now surrounding them, the magician's question seems to answer itself. When the waters finally stop rising, it can be seen that they haven't flooded evenly, but have formed into a seemingly impossible squarish shape around three-hundred feet to a side, and maybe sixty feet high at the humped top in the middle, suspended as if held in place by some vast invisible upturned bowl. The hastily ascended peak is just a little off-centre from the middle of the strangely sculpted water, and only a foot or two higher than the water's surface. To the north and south the actual river can be seen happily feeding into the vast cushion of water on one side, and flowing out on the far side as if it hardly noticed the weird swelling it's passed through. A scattering of other rocky peaks are high enough to form a few more islands across the surface of the risen water, and below, in the clear mountain water, fish can be seen darting in between heights usually reserved for their avian counterparts...

Quote:
"...What in the heck was that?!"

Haleen gingerly dips the toe of her boot into the surface of the risen water and shrugs,

'No idea,' she replies, 'but I mostly just stab things... Bahram, Rashid: you read books and stuff, right?'

Quote:
"Is everyone alright?"

'Well, I hadn't planned to swim to the House of the Beast,' Haleen comments, 'but apart from that I'm fine...'

Zaina flits over to Bahram to quickly check him over, then turns to Rashid and bows,

'The Master and I appear uninjured also,' she confirms.

As if to add to the strangeness of the event (or, perhaps, explain it a little...) there's the sudden sound of giant wings beating as a large shadow swoops over the group. Moments later a creature lands on one of the other small 'islands', maybe fifty feet or so from where the group is perched. A full twelve feet tall, the creature has the body of a lion, white plumed wings, and the head of a man... a man decked in the regal headdress and long thin beard of an Osirian king...

Knowledge (arcana) DC 19:
You recognise the creature as a sphinx - in this case the variety scholars refer to as an 'androsphinx'... although it's said that the creatures themselves distain such classifications. Said to be the mightiest of the sphinx, the androsphinx is reported to be gruff and cantankerous, yet honorable and noble, with considerable knowledge and magical power. Highly territorial, they're said to prefer to barter information and good conversation for safe passage through their lands, rather than anything as base as treasure...

Knowledge (local) or (history) DC 18:
You've heard tell of a creature such as this - known as a 'sphinx' - prowling the old trade route between Katapesh and Osirion... but the stories you'd heard all told of a female creature, with the body of a majestic winged lion, and the head and torso of a beautiful human woman... but if this one is female, then it's the ugliest female you've ever seen... The tales suggested that the sphinx had a love for puzzles and riddles, and if travellers failed to answer her questions, or provide her with riddles she couldn't solve and enjoyed, she'd often end up making a meal of them...

... The creature also bears golden braclets around his leonine forelimbs, but perhaps strangest of all is the fact he appears to be carrying an oversized egg - tan with brown speckles and maybe a foot and a half across - between his forepaws. A moment after he lands, he places the egg carefully on the ground, his right forepaw resting protectively atop it...

Knowledge (arcana) DC 21:
Given the appearance of the egg and the strangely manipulated waters, you're positive the egg must be that of a ziz. Said to be the king of the creatures of the air as the behemoth is the mightiest of the creatures of the land and the leviathon is the greatest of sea creatures, it's written that the ziz eats sharks like other birds eat fish, and small dragons as other birds peck at worms... Scholars claim that the ziz only mate once every hundred years, and that only a single egg is laid at a time, taking a full six years to hatch. What's more - a also perhaps more relevant to your own situation - it's claimed that one in possession of a properly cared for ziz egg has paramount control over water. On the other hand, breaking a living ziz egg reputedly brings the culprit the lifelong enmity of all avian creatures...

... Looking up from the egg and across towards your group, the leonine creature lets slip an impressive roar, snarls, then booms out in a deep and commanding voice,

'You have witnessed my mighty powers! What tribute do you offer me?'


Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

Lavender does not look amused as she flicks off some of the water she was drenched with. "...And what would one normal offer for tribute for such a... show of power.

"Hold on, let me check my satchel, I might have some courage in here...Or maybe at least a medal...


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Rashid eyes the regal-looking creature warily.

"What my lovely companion means to say, is when presented with such a display of obvious power from so obviously regal a source as one such as yourself, we are at a loss to determine what ones such as ourselves could offer you. If you could but grant us an indication of what you would consider to be worthy tribute, we would do our best to live up to your expectations..."

I hope that it does not want anything... too... problematic.


Yousef laughs and places his hands on his hips. "A tribute you want, eh. Here's one, male-sphinx. Answer me this: A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid."

Qadira

Quote:
"...And what would one normal offer for tribute for such a... show of power.

The leonine creature begins to snarl...

Quote:
"What my lovely companion means to say, is when presented with such a display of obvious power from so obviously regal a source as one such as yourself, we are at a loss to determine what ones such as ourselves could offer you. If you could but grant us an indication of what you would consider to be worthy tribute, we would do our best to live up to your expectations..."

... then smile's at Rashid's diplomatic turn of phrase...

Quote:
"A tribute you want, eh. Here's one, male-sphinx. Answer me this: A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid."

... then growls and frowns as Yousef poses his riddle,

'Enough!' the sphinx (as Yousef called it) roars with obvious irritation; adding as a muttered after-thought, 'You're as bad as she is...'

Narrowing his eyes the sphinx stares at the various members of the group,

'You seem like wealthy travellers,' he observes, 'gold or jewels would suffice... but some interesting magical trinket would be better...' he seems lost in thought for a moment, before adding, '...something a female would appreciate...'


Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21

Bahram looks at the sphinx, his obvious gender and the egg in his paws and connects the dots. "Might we start pay paying homage to the mightiest of sphinxes, the wielder of the ziz's egg, master over air and water. Please allow us to introduce ourselves before we discuss something as base as treasures and tributes. I am Bahram Zarishu, air elementalist and this is my companion Zaina, a zhyen from the elemental plain of air..." Bahram talks in a loud clear voice as he addresses the sphinx, making grand gestures and bowing allot as he introduces everybody in turn.

"First let me apologize if we are trespassing on your territory but we are only passing through it on our way to the gnolls temple at the Brazen Peaks for you see, we together are dubbed the Knight Protectors of Kalmerane and are traveling through here upon hearing most troubling news from the stirrings of the gnoll..." Bahram pauses here, hoping to have piqued the sphinx's interest enough for him to want to talk more than to maul.


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Wordlessly, Rashid steps forward and places a hand on Bahram's shoulder as he addresses the mighty beast.

Have a Touch of Glory for +5 to that Diplomacy check ;-)


ProfPotts wrote:


'You seem like wealthy travellers,' he observes, 'gold or jewels would suffice... but some interesting magical trinket would be better...' he seems lost in thought for a moment, before adding, '...something a female would appreciate...'

Yousef reaches down to grab his crotch and start talking about things females appreciate, but as luck would have it, Bahram takes charge of the conversation, so instead, Yousef whispers into Haleen's ear how he is going to give her something to appreciate later this night.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

Lavender waits for the Sphinx to reply to Bahram.

Qadira

As Bahram begins his eloquant and informed speech, Rashid's hand briefly shimmers with divine radiance as he touches the magician's shoulder. It seems almost as if that radiance somehow transfers into Bahram, as he appears to stand a little taller, speak a little clearer, and generally seem a little more captivating than even his own usually charismatic self...

Zaina bows demurely as her Master introduces her, and seems almost entranced as she contemplates him in all his radiant glory, even letting slip a small, involuntary, appreciative sigh as she smiles under her gossamer veil...

Haleen seems a little surprised, her eyes widening as she stares at Bahram with a slight smile of her own playing at the corner of her mouth... but if she's also entranced by the magician then it's a spell which is quickly broken as Yousef whispers to her, and she erupts into barely smothered giggling instead, and whispers back to Yousef...

Yousef:
'You know I'm going to hold you to that, right? No matter if we end up captives in a sphinx's... lair? Nest? Where in the nine Hells do sphinx's live anyway?'

For his part, the sphinx's gruff expression softens as Bahram says his part. Once he's finished, the sphinx sighs and shakes his head,

'You... you seem like nice enough people. I'm sorry for ambushing you like this, it's just...' he sighs again, '... her... Ashia... I've tried everything, you know? I got this egg for her,' he glances down at the giant egg under his forepaw, 'and she just said she didn't have time to look after it. Do you know how hard it is to get hold of a genuine ziz egg? I mean people literally kill to get one of these things, and she just turns her nose up like I'm beneath her and an idiot for thinking she'd ever want a "stupid egg"! I've tried to make myself more attractive to her...' at that, the sphinx reaches up with his other forepaw and drags the regal headdress off his head... as he does so his appearance shimmers and changes until his head is that of a ram with sad, wise, eyes not a man at all (although the beard remains), and his wings turn from glorious white to dull brown, '... but she calls it "an obvious trick" and sniffs at me with disgust... honestly, I'm at my wit's end...'

Bahram:
In his new... or rather un-disguised... form you recognise the sphinx as the variety known as a 'criosphinx' - less powerful (and less noble) than the mighty androsphinx, although you do start fathom what's going on. It's written that there's only one variety of female sphinx (called a 'gynosphinx' by scholars - but again, not a classification to use when talking with an actual sphinx) and all the other varieties are male... and all breed with the female variety. However, it's also said that the gynosphinx is generally only interested in mating with the mighty androsphinx (who often consider themselves above such things), leaving the lowly criosphinx to try his best to woo a mate through bribery and other less than noble efforts...


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Why hide who you are from her? I think you should woo her with charm, not gifts and illusions. Show her that your serious and that you love her. Eventually she will come around! Why are you changing your appearance anyway?"


"Ah.. I see.." Bahram mutters hesitantly, a lot less sure of his relative safety now that the sphinx's true nature was revealed. Shrugging he looks around, gathering his wits...

Lavender wrote:
"Why hide who you are from her? I think you should woo her with charm, not gifts and illusions. Show her that your serious and that you love her. Eventually she will come around! Why are you changing your appearance anyway?"

Bahram cringes a little at Lavenders suggestion but nevertheless concedes that she has a point. "Have you tried wooing her intellect? Obviously she's not impressed with such simple displays of power as even the ziz's egg proved useless in your endevour. Maybe a good riddle, some choice piece of gossip or a discussion about some obscure book would help? With our collected intellect.." Bahram indicates the gathered group, "..I'm sure we can come up with something that would interest her, maybe a series of riddles shot through with choice tidbits of knowledge of magic or the planes would be what you need? Even topics such as religion and history is within the this groups grasp to aid you."


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Rashid nods.

"If changing who you are, and material gifts, have not proved sufficient to woo her, perhaps you could try more esoteric ones - does she enjoy riddles? What about stories?"

Qadira

The sphinx nods his ram's-head, a deep thoughtful furrow on his brow,

'Ashia is always talking in riddles... it's infuriating: they just make my head hurt. Like that box thing...' he glances towards Yousef, '... how does that make any sort of sense?'

He sighs again, staring at the ziz egg under his forepaw and making soft baby-ish clucking sounds under his breath for a few moments, before looking back up,

'I suppose...' he begins cautiously, '... if you "Knight Protectors" do know some clever riddles, and... what was it you said? "choice tidbits of knowledge"... and stories and the like, and I could memorise them...' he smiles as he obviously contemplates the proposal, then frowns and adds, '... although maybe you'd better write them down for me: it may take me some time to learn it all!'

There's a pause as the sphinx keeps staring expectantly at the group, then he blinks and looks at the unnaturally risen water,

'Oh, right, sorry,' he apologises, 'best I get rid of that lot so we can discuss it further.'

He glances at the oversized egg under his paw once more, and the swollen cushion of water 'pops', sloshing back to ground level before rapidly draining away (leave a few startled fish gulping for air on the riverbank or halfway up rocky outcroppings), the river resuming it's more natural course...


"Maybe you're bar...er, mooing up the wrong tree. I mean if she rebuffs you so much, then f!%~ her and find someone better. That's what I would do." Yousef says with an air of wisdom then he pats Haleens bottom.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"The only thing I have to write with is chalk. So who has a good riddle or story?"


'Oh right.' Bahram mutters and pats himself down when Lavender mentions writing material. 'A pen.'

"Wasn't there a spell for creating such things, minor creation or something like that?" he asks, looking hopefully at Rashid and Zaina.

Qadira

Quote:
"Maybe you're bar...er, mooing up the wrong tree. I mean if she rebuffs you so much, then f!&~ her and find someone better. That's what I would do."

'Oh please,' counters Haleen, rolling her eyes (with a smile), 'persistence is the only reason you got anywhere near me.' She nudges Lavender and adds with a whisper and a wink...

Lavender:
'...well that, and he's hung like a camel...'

Quote:
"Wasn't there a spell for creating such things, minor creation or something like that?"

'Sorry, my Master,' Zaina bows to Bahram, 'I don't carry as many books and scrolls as you...'

The sphinx sighs and shakes his head again, then briefly takes to the air (grasping the precious ziz egg carefully), before landing on the riverbank. He glances up at the group still perched on their rocky peak,

'Please, I think we'd all be more comfortable down here,' he suggests then, after a moment's thought, adds, 'Hmmm... Maybe it'd be better if you knowledgable travellers were to come with me to visit Ashia? If you could keep out of sight and whisper advice to me, then perhaps I could say the right things to win her over this time?'


"That's alright dear. My mistake." Bahram replies to Zaina.

"Ah, right. Hey Yousef, catch!" Bahram slips of the ring of feather falling and chucks it to Yousef. "You can carry Haleen, Lavander has got one too and I can cast feather falling at will. Father Rashid, may I assist you down?" Bahram offers to hold onto Rashid as he himself floats down to the sphinx.

Landing softly on the riverbank Bahram bows to the sphinx. "Might I inquire your name sphinx?" he begins.

"That might actually work my friend. I can cast a message spell from up to a hundred and fifty feet and can cast an invisibility spell that will last for five minutes at a time. Do you think that will suffice?"

"That egg really is a wonder. May I ask were you got it?"


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Lead the way Mr... Sphinx? What do you call yourself? "


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Rashid nods to Bahram.

"Thank-you. Your assistance would be appreciated."

Once safely down at a more respectable ground level, he bows to the Sphinx.

"Father Rashid al-Gahiji, at your service. I am sure that between all of us, we could come up with something to tempt your love. We should probably sort-out what we are going to say before we go, though."

He then turns to the others.

"Do you have ideas?"

The poor fellow seems to be at his wits' end; ah, the trials and tribulations of unrequited love!

Qadira

Quote:
"Might I inquire your name sphinx?"
Quote:
"Lead the way Mr... Sphinx? What do you call yourself? "

The sphinx puffs up his chest and juts out his bearded chin as he replies in an imperious tone,

'I am Sefu Zahur, seer of the mountains, master of the egg, great...'

... then seems to deflate a bit, and concludes a little pityfully,

'... actually, just "Sefu" will do...'

Quote:
"That might actually work my friend. I can cast a message spell from up to a hundred and fifty feet and can cast an invisibility spell that will last for five minutes at a time. Do you think that will suffice?"

'A man of magic?' Sefu nods his ram's head sagely, 'I thought as much...'

Quote:
"Father Rashid al-Gahiji, at your service. I am sure that between all of us, we could come up with something to tempt your love. We should probably sort-out what we are going to say before we go, though."

'...and a man of faith. Yes,' the sphinx smiles, 'with such learned counsel I'm sure I... I mean we... can prove stimulating to even Ashia's great intellect! But what of you, good sir,' Sefu glances over towards Yousef, 'you seem to know riddles: what sort of learning do you possess?'

'Oh, Yousef is a reknowned... urban philosopher...' offers Haleen with a grin as she takes a moment to hug her man's arm and lean her head on his shoulder.

Quote:
"That egg really is a wonder. May I ask were you got it?"

'A ziz nest...' Sefu begins, absent-mindedly, before frowning and clutching the egg close his his leonine chest as he quickly adds, '... I didn't steal it! I rescued it. The ziz was an old friend, but she flew away one day and never came back...' he bows his head and continues quietly, '... I later learned that she'd been slain and eaten by some of those hyena-men who live up on the great mountain... ghastly creatures... and blasphemous too - the flesh of the ziz is meant to be sacred, only to be served to the faithful at the end of time,' he glances at Rashid and shrugs, 'at least that's what the followers of the Dawnflower have told me... I guess the gnolls have a less patient god... I miss the way she used to sing so sweetly to the egg...'

Sefu remains sombre for some time, before turning back to Yousef,

'"A box without hinges, key, or lid; yet golden treasure inside is hid?"... Ashia's tormented me enough that I know it's probably not really a box... stupid riddles, just another name for lying really... the gold's probably not real gold either, is it?' his ram-like brow furrows as he drums the digits of his forepaw gently on the surface of the ziz egg, '... what could it be..?'


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Filthy beasts, they care for nothing sacred." Lavender mutters under her breath when Sefu mentions them. "I'm sorry to hear about your friend the Ziz bird. I would have loved to hear it sing..."


Bahram sighs at Yousef's riddle, though he wasn't sure he could make an educated guess as to it's answer and it wasn't likely to ease Sefu's way with Ahia.

Holdig up a hand to get the sphinx's attention back Bahram tries to think of something better to discuss but ends up agreeing with Lavander.

"Yes they are. We've had some less than pleasant encounters with them a year ago..." and that gives Bahram an idea for the sphinx, "Ashia likes to news right? She whants to be umm... up-to-speed so to say. Well, have you heard the details of Kelmarene's rise this past year? I'm asking because we have first hand reports of events, all events, leading to the fall of the gnolls in the area and the rise of the town for, you see, we were instrumental in those events. We personaly freed Kardswaan, a janni under a dominate spell, from the enslavement of a vile devil and then slew the devil itself, shaking the gnolls grip loose..." Bahram suggests hopefully.

Qadira

Sefu nods at Lavender's words,

'Her song was most soothing to hear... it made your hurts seem less, somehow...'

Listening to Bahram the ram-headed sphinx nods again,

'I'd heard... some of that. It was you who opened the way for traders to use the old route between Osirion and Katapesh then? Ashia might be interested in that - after all, she's now got more than the occassional badawi nomad to quiz with her infuriating riddles...'

Assuming everyone is okay to get going..?

Ziz egg carefully cradled by one forepaw, Sefu leads the way into the foothills of Pale Mountain, away from the river. An hour or so later (after some quite difficult climbing... for those who can't fly or magically walk up walls...) the group crest a steep rise to find a small plateau, maybe a hundred feet across, backed onto the massive base of Pale Mountain proper. From the vantage they've reached, the mountain itself appears as a sheer rock wall, seeming to stretch up and to either side as far as the eye can see.

Near the centre of where the plateau juts out from the mountain like a natural balcony is what appears to be the crack-like entrance to a cave. The crack extends vertically from the plateau for maybe twenty or so feet, but only the bottom ten feet are wide enough - six or seven feet - to pass through. This lower part of the cave entrance shows evidence of having once been worked by skilled hands, with ornate patterns carved into the stone, but now badly eroded. Fresher, shallow, carvings in neat and formal symbols - resembling ancient Osirion hieroglyphs - run down one side of the entrance...

'Don't get too close,' cautions Sefu, narrowing his eyes as he scrutinises the fresh glyphs (from across the plateau), 'Ashia places powerful magical wards in those writings... and keeps changing them too... These read, "There are four brothers in this world that were all born together. The first runs and never wearies. The second eats and is never full. The third drinks and is always thirsty. The fourth sings a song that is never good",' he snarls under his breath, 'wonderful... another riddle... Usually you have to say the answer out loud if you want to avoid triggering the ward...'


Bahram follows along with a bit of mirth, finding the prospect of helping the sphinx out a little with his love life somewhat exiting in th ecompany of friends and with the playful Zaina at his side. Seeing the glyphs Bahram squints in the sun, desperately whanting to move closer and examine them fully.

"Can't we just dispel them?" he asks at the warning.

Hearing the riddle Bahram mulls for a bit. "The four elements? Wind, fire, water and earth?" it is more a question than a statement.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"I don't know Sefu... If I were you I'd probably get fed up dealing with all of her riddles all of the time... Hey, Bahram! Good job! I bet that's it!"


Male Dwarf Cleric 5
Bahram Zarishu wrote:
"Can't we just dispel them?" he asks at the warning.

Rashid shakes his head.

"I am fairly certain that that would be considered poor form, and definitely a violation of the rules of the game. Playing along is probably our best bet, especially if we are trying to help Sefu's case."

Rashid, too, ponders the answer to the riddle.

"Classically, are the four elements not *Air* (rather than Wind), Fire, Water and Earth? It would be well in keeping with the spirit of 'passworded' runic traps for the exact wording to be necessary... Otherwise, I concur with your suggestions."

Qadira

An expression somewhere between confused and panicked briefly crosses Sefu's ram-like face as Bahram asks him about technical mystical concepts like 'dispelling'... but luckily Rashid takes up the conversational thread, sparing the poor sphinx too much embarrassment for being so far out of his academic depth...

... Instead he replies to Lavender,

'Ashia's certainly a...challenging... female, to say the least...'

'But if you love her,' pipes up Zaina, as Bahram and Rashid decypher the riddle, 'then you'll forgive such little... eccentricities.... yes?' She fails to hide her quick glance towards Bahram and the grin beneath her gossamer veil.

Meanwhile, Haleen stands balanced right at the edge of the plateau, leaning out and peering down the way the group has just climbed,

'Am I the only one with an urge to spit?' she asks nobody in particular then, with a brief glance over her shoulder to see what the rest of the group are doing, adds, 'feel free to call me when there's something that needs stabbing...'

Hearing Bahram and Rashid's solution to the riddle, Sefu shrugs his leonine shoulders,

'Sounds good to me... uh... you try first. The last ward Ashia put up really hurt...' he smiles weakly then, as an afterthought adds, '... Oh, you may want to say the answer in ancient Osirian as you approach. Ashia tends to favour that language... I think it's a little pretentious, but what do I know?'


"A.. ancient Osirian? Well.. Ah.." Bahram doesn't seem to relish the thought, he speaks Osirian but ancient Osirian? Now that was a different thing. "I'm a fair linguistic, I speak the languages of the four elemental plains fluently, draconic, elven and even Osirian but not ancient Osirian, Rashid?" Bahram looks to the priest hopefully.


Yousef walks up to Bahram and puts an arm around his shoulder. "Ancient Osiriani, huh? And you speak the current version? Its probably evolved from the ancient version, and I bet old concepts like water, fire, earth and air aren't all that disimilar."


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

Yeah Bahram. Just say it in current Osirian, maybe add a bit of an old timey accent to it. It should work. I trick magic items by doing stuff like this all the time, a riddle ward shouldn't be too much different. I think. If you want, I will test it!"

Once we believe that we said what we need to say, Lavender tries to enter...


Male Dwarf Cleric 5

Rashid places a fatherly hand on Bahram's shoulder.

"It is your choice whether you wish to take the risk, as Yousef suggests. I am afraid that the ancient tongue of Osirion is not familiar to me."


Linguistics: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28 plus any circumstance bonus Proff feels are appropriate for speaking Osisian ;P

Bahram waves off his companions concern and gathers himself and ponders for a bit the language before turning to Sefu. "Do you know the language? Can you coach me in saying the words?" he asks. 'I should get him to teach me the language while we're at it.' he ponders briefly

Listening to Sefu he then gives it a shot, speaking the passwords in what he believes is ancient osiriani and hoping for the best.

Qadira

Sefu nods at Yousef and Lavender's words,

'It's pretty much the same language when spoken,' he agrees, 'just, like I said, more pretentious... I think it's mostly the writing that's changed. Ashia would know...'

The sphinx listens to Bahram's pronunciation,

'That sounds fine to me...' he replies, obviously making an (unconvincing) effort to sound encouraging... but pads a few paces backwards, with a wary glance towards the cave entrance, before adding, '...you should try it...'

As Bahram steps forwards to make his attempt, Zaina reaches out towards his back, a concerned expression on her face, before seeming to force herself to let him go and floating quickly over to Rashid to hide her face in the priest's chest as Bahram speaks the words and...

... nothing seems to happen, as he crosses unmolested to the cave entrance!

After nervously waiting for several long moments, her tiny fists clutched tight in the fabric of Rashid's robes, Zaina first looks up at the dwarf's face then, finally, turns to see Bahram safe and well. Taking a few deep breaths to steady herself, the tiny genie grins, then claps excitedly,

'Ooh! Well done, my Master!' she exclaims, 'Well done!'

It doesn't take long for everyone to repeat Bahram's performance, crossing to the entrance without triggering the supposed 'ward' Sefu talked about. Inside the crack-like entrance the cave opens out into a chamber perhaps twenty to thirty feet across. Although it seems to have originally been a natural cave, the stone's been worked extensively, opening out and leveling the chamber, so the floor's smooth to walk on, and sections of inner walls where the rock once jutted inwards have been cut back, smoothed, and covered in carvings in the ancient Osiriani style. From the ceiling, perhaps a little over twenty feet high, hang stalactites which have also been cut, smoothed, and shaped, with hollows cut into them holding antique-looking brass lamps - none of which are currently lit. The rear third of the cave, furthest from the entrance, rises sharply six or seven feet, to give the chamber a two-level effect. At the back of this mazzanine a carved, arched, doorway-like opening can be seen, leading back into darkness where the sunight falling through the cave's entrance cannot reach...

A single powerful stroke of Sefu's wings stir up a cloud of dust and carry the sphinx to the higher level. For a moment he paces in a circle, cat-like, before carefully placing the ziz egg on the ground, his forepaw resting atop it, and peering into the gloom of the archway,

'This passage slopes upwards for a way,' he says quietly, 'before emerging into Ashia's chambers. She's got a...' he pauses, brow furrowed in thought for a few moments, before continuing, '... well I guess you'd call it an "audience chamber", up there. I think she likes to look all important when travellers come here seeking her wisdom... or something like that...' he glances over his shoulder to Bahram, and smiles a little, '... although the only other time I've been in here I'd just been through a rather painful magical ward, so I wasn't really being too observant...'

Quickly glancing around the cave as she took her turn to enter, Haleen removes her hand from the hilt of her sword,

'So, do you think we can get one of these olf lamps burning... or did someone remember to bring a torch?' she glances at the others, then frowns, adding, 'Or are you about to tell me I'm the only one here who can't see in the dark?'

'Oh, I can fix that!' exclaims Zaina from up near one of the carved stalactites where she's examining the craftsmanship, 'I know a spell!' Then, a flush coming to her pale green cheeks, she quickly floats down in front of Bahram and bows deeply, adding, 'Um... with my Master's permission, of course!'

'Yes,' Sefu agrees, keeping half an eye on the passageway further into the caves as he speaks, 'a light would certainly alert Ashia to your presence. Now... how exactly is this going to work? I imagine you'll need to be close enough to see and hear what passes between her and me, correct?' he glances back towards Bahram again, 'You said something about a spell?'


"Of course. Please, go ahead." he says to Zaina when she asks for permission to cast her spell. "And if you see any of us in need and you know you can help you don't need to ask Zaian, you have my full permission to aid all of us inthis group."

Turning to Sefu he repeats his offer of casting message and invisibility to help him charm Ashia if he can.

"We have several casting of the spell betwen us I believe so anyone who wishes can come along actually."


"I wouldn't miss this fer the werld. Count me in!"

Stealth 1d20 + 8 + 20 ⇒ (14) + 8 + 20 = 42 or 62 when standing still.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Well, invisibility only lasts 5 minutes, unless your spell is different then mine. I doubt that is going to last a conversation with a sphinx. A group of us appearing out of nowhere will probably lead us into trouble..."

Qadira

Quote:
"Of course. Please, go ahead... And if you see any of us in need and you know you can help you don't need to ask Zaina, you have my full permission to aid all of us in this group."

'Yes, my Master,' Zaina bows to Bahram again, before flitting over to place her tiny hand upon Haleen's forhead and breathing forth breeze-like mystic words in the auran tongue. Haleen blinks, taking a step backwards, then smiles,

'There's some nights I can think of when eyes like these would have come in very handy,' she murmurs, winking at Yousef. Zaina giggles quietly, then floats over to Bahram to cast the spell on him as well. That'd be Darkvision, of course.

Quote:
"Well, invisibility only lasts 5 minutes, unless your spell is different then mine. I doubt that is going to last a conversation with a sphinx. A group of us appearing out of nowhere will probably lead us into trouble..."

'Five minutes is more foreplay than some girls get...' comments Haleen, who then grins at Yousef, '... not refering to myself, of course, sweetie!'

'Well,' Sefu replies quietly, 'the passage does slope upwards. I suppose you could hide in it whilst I enter Ashia's audience chamber... That would still work with this... uh... "secret talking" spell you have, yes?' he looks to Bahram.

So... what's the plan? Zaina's got three Invisibility spells in her if needed. Oh, and in case anyone's wondering Keldar's still flying around in eagle form outside - most likely scouting and keeping an eye on the entrance.


Uhh.. It's a message spell, you need to stay within a hunded and fifty feet from me an within line of sight and I just point my finger at you and wisper into your ear from a distance. Err... Here's the thing, you need to step away from her when I whisper because otherwise she might overhear us and we don't want that now do we?"

"The plan is for me to follow you in an cast this spell and then whisper into your ear and, hopefully, we can impress her between us, or at least try."


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Yousef just stands around, grining. Oh this is so going to blow up in our faces.


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"Hmm, would it be so bad for us all to just go in and meet the sphinx? We can vouch for you, Mr. Sefu, tell her your a swell guy and all. Does Ms. Ashia like people? "

Qadira

Quote:
Uhh.. It's a message spell, you need to stay within a hunded and fifty feet from me an within line of sight and I just point my finger at you and wisper into your ear from a distance. Err... Here's the thing, you need to step away from her when I whisper because otherwise she might overhear us and we don't want that now do we?"

'She... she probably won't let me get that close anyway...' Sefu replies, a little crestfallen by the admission.

Quote:
"The plan is for me to follow you in an cast this spell and then whisper into your ear and, hopefully, we can impress her between us, or at least try."
Quote:
"Hmm, would it be so bad for us all to just go in and meet the sphinx? We can vouch for you, Mr. Sefu, tell her your a swell guy and all. Does Ms. Ashia like people? "

'Every now and then,' Sefu replies absent-mindedly as he seems to be mulling over all that has been said, 'but I doubt she could eat more than one in a sitting...' he pauses, blinks, then looks up at Lavender, 'Oh... you mean... right... sorry... I think she likes "clever" people - the ones that can challenge her knowledge and wit. Or, at least, I don't think she eats those sorts...'

Haleen steps close to Yousef to whisper in his ear...

Yousef:
'You know, with me being able to see in the dark and all, I think we'd have a shot at taking this "people-eating" monster out, if we're smart about it. She must have collected loads of treasure over the years... Although we'd be slaying her for... um... noble reasons... due to the whole "man-eater" thing, right?'

Sefu frowns a little,

'I... I'm not sure what the best thing to do here is... I've never been very successful when it comes to working out the best way to approach Ashia, after all. Friend Rashid,' he turns to the dwarven priest, 'what do you think would be my best chance?'


Yousef whispers back to Haleen, "I don't know. This could be entertaining. Besides, you're quite the man-eater. Shall I slaaayyy you?"


hp 35 | AC 12 | T 12 | FF 10 | CMD 12 | F +2 | R +3 | W +3 | Init +8 | Per +8 || LL 8 || Sp ~/8/2 ||| SpC 8min

"...Wait a minute. She eats people? You don't eat people too, do you Mr. Sefu?" Lavender says defensively.

Qadira

Yousef:
Haleen plays along, with a grin... 'Ooh, impale me with your mighty weapon, you brute!'

Quote:
"...Wait a minute. She eats people? You don't eat people too, do you Mr. Sefu?"

'I guess it depends on your definition of "person"...' Sefu begins, then pauses as he glances towards Lavender and instead concludes, '... ah... no.... no I don't...'

Cue innocent whistling? :)

Probably time for some actual actions guys. If Bahram's going to cast invisibility and go ahead with his plan, then Sefu will go along with it. If so you'll have to let me know who's getting an invisibility spell and who isn't, and what anyone who isn't going along is doing. Or if the group go with Lavender's more open confrontation plan then Sefu will follow that (the guy's already tried everything he can to woo his lady, so he's willing to try any plan which is presented as an option with a reasonable chance of working). Or if there's some other option, then just let me know what y'all are doing! ;)

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