"Crazzleboks!" Kyren utters slowly. "That is sort of a costly mistake. Let's not make that one again! That poor chap didn't stand a chance. This will teach me to study more in art class. So who do we use to test out our ideas on now? Too bad we don't have that crazy kobold hanging around with us!"
"So do you think the trap is now rearmed? What are we to do with these colored steps? Should we be trying to get a particular color or are we trying to get the colors to stop altogether. Crazzleboks! Nobody has gotten hurt on these stairs yet, but I'm hoping to keep it that way!"
Vaughn Elliot wrote:
Vaughn looks at the colored stairs, the levers, and the Halfling with confusion. I have no idea how you came to that, but whatever...
"All I am doing is simple color matching. I am pulling the lever that matches with the color of the stairs. The first lever goes with the silver, the second with blue, and so forth. If the colors change from black to green to blue, red, brown, yellow, purple and finally to silver, then I am using the 7th lever, the third and so forth."
Kyren pauses to make sure that he is understand and then comes up with a different idea, "Well maybe the order needs to be reversed. I mean people can go up and down stairs. What if I try 1, 4, 6, 5, 8, 2, 3, and then 7."
Help me if I am not understanding this correctly. Are the color patterns changing from black, green, blue, red, brown, yellow, purple and then to silver? Or are they changing from silver to blue, to green to purple to brown to yellow to black and finally to red? Do the levers have any connection such as a color or number that connects them to the 8 colors on the stairs?
"I would rather keep the priest with us to help us with any other encounters with cultists. Illen may be able to help us talk our way through some tricky situations. I also much prefer keeping him in my sights until he has proven his loyalties."
"I don't mind the cultists killing each other, by I do object to anyone laying a finger on any of our little goddesses! That needs to be our top priority, and you, Mr. Illen, are going to help us if you know what is wise! Now quit standing flumberstruck and answer our questions! How do we open the portal?!"
"I'm Illen and I didn't know about the cult's doings until recently and since then, only fear has kept me here!"
"Is this fear for your own life should you not do as the cult asks? Well if you want redemption for your misdeeds, you can start by opening this portal. You heard, Daggers. How do we open it? Hurry now, we do not have all day."
"What's your name, priest?! Before you sacrifice yourself to the Goddesses, are you aware that this whole cult is a sham and that the goddesses are just pretty girls that your precious cult has kidnapped?! Crazzleboks, I hope you wake up and come to realize the truth behind this foolish little sharade! Now, answer Daggers before he dispatches you. We are on a tight schedule here!"
"Crazzleboks! What is going on here? We were suppose to be sneaking amidst the chaos. This is far too quiet. In fact, it makes me very suspicious."
Kyren immediately begins moving his hands in graceful somatic gestures to cast detect magic. His arcane powers culminate with a catchy little rhyme that sounds like, "Presta ala ka zair, if there is magic out there, make me be aware!"
He then looks through the spectrum of magic to see what is causing the silence.
"Kyren, Berry--go quick. I'll cover the rear in case any deadites follow too closely. GOGOGO!"
"I don't like to be rushed, but in this case, Daggers, I will take your word. I'm comin. I'm comin. However, you should know that my legs are not as long as all of yours!"
"What are you looking at Tal? You seem to take a great interest in seeing undead destroyed. You don't seem that upset to see zombies being scorched."
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Does Kyren know what is happening with the zombies against the wall of the pyramid?
""A disappointing start"
"Well I can't say that I'm all upset to see the zombies burn, but crazzleboks, it does tell us that we are going to be up against some serious dudes!"
"Should we move on the next assault?"
"Well, I'm not eager to start the combat, but I really want to make this a successful rescue for the young goddesses. I certainly don't want to see them get hurt in the action. So I hope we can sneak in as soon as possible, but obviously not at the front of the line where we can get hit! I am still hoping that distraction would be one of our main defences against their guards."
Berry Peelyblossom wrote:
"Do try not to draw too much attention to us please Kyren. I like the part where we don't have to hurt people." BErry says chastizingly to the hyperactive halfling.
"Me?! What makes you think that I would draw attention to ourselves?! I mean, I'm not even planning to bring my Tzarek board and pieces. Are you kidding?! This will be a simple there and back journey. I promise, I will not tell my joke about the frog and the chicken. What else do I do that causes any disturbances?"
Kyren comes in with his map and says, "I've got a little map to help us find the girls dormitory. When they are not in their little pyramids, they are upstairs in this lower right room. Crazzleboks, I hope they don't scream when I enter their room to save them!"
Back to present
Kyren follows along at Vaughn's side ready for the rescue.
"Once the craziness of battle begins there will be so much confusion, I doubt they are going to wonder where one little inferior was." Kyren ponders a moment longer and then declares, "Kazam! I got it! You go in to the temple that morning and make your presence known, and then tell them that you must depart on an errand down town. You know, tell them a tale like you have to go pick up an extra pyramid repair kit, or that you need to go and purchase a few new collection boxes. Do you ever need to go bring the linens to the cleaners? Well, these may not be the best reasons, but even if you simply disappeared, I doubt they would keep track of your whereabouts. Would they? Don't you inferiors just go into a chamber and pray sometimes? I guess I just want to see you safe my friend. You have done so much to help us, and I don't want to see you get hurt."
Ok...one question remains though...what will I do once the fighting has started?
"Well, tell me my friend, how big a role do you want in the rescue of these lasses? The fighting is apt to be intense and if you are obviously one of the cultists, you could easy come to harm. If you felt a cold coming on, this might be a good day to call in sick and tell them that you won't be making it in. I suppose the decision is yours, but you've already done so much to help us, I see no reason why you should put yourself in further harm's way. Tell me, Laion, would they even notice if you didn't come in to work? I mean, I'm sure you're a good worker, but how close do they keep tabs on the inferiors?"
"Oh, you could...uh the girl you rescued...Albright? write a letter to the other girls that would surely persuade them to trust you!"
"Well, certainly Albright trusted us implicitly and now has found a much better life as a result. Certainly a letter from her would go a long ways. However, I am not sure that we have time for such measures. I think the easiest will be to treat them with simple human dignity and share with them some of my charm. Perhaps if we tell them stories of Albright and even suggest that we try to bring them to the same orphanage, then they may become very cooperative. I mean look at their alternatives! I cannot imagine that living in a tiny enclosed pyramid has a great deal of appeal!"
"I..uh...oriental food?...well, the number is fifteen...no, not oriental food number 15, I mean fifteen girls are in the dormitory. I can draw you a quick sketch of the second level...it looks like this...the lower right room is the dormitory."
"Hehe! Well, don't worry about the oriental food question, but your other answers sound very useful. I just hope the girls don't scream when a handsome young halfling such as myself enters their room! Do you think they will all be willing and eager to come with me if I assure them that I can help them escape their destiny in that pyramid forever?! Once we get them out, we are going to have to help them find a new home to live."
Zyren DM wrote:
"Kazam! This sound convenient! Can you tell me everything you know about this dormitory? Is it guarded or locked? Can it be found easy? How exactly do we get there? Can you show me a map of the first and second levels? Do you like oriental food? How many girls are we talking about?"
"I've expected you - did you talk to your friends?"
"Splendid! Splendid!" Kyren replies with a hearty handshake. "Indeed I have talked to my friends and there are plans afoot of challenging this cult and freeing the children. I do not believe they like my idea of posing as chefs, but I thought I would just talk to you about the Pyramid, the structure and what needs to be done to free all of the young ladies. Can you tell me where they can all be found?"
Zyren DM wrote:
"Crazzleboks! You said it! It seems worse than trying to get a word in edgewise when cousin Gooblek shows up. I guess they don't want Laion's help after all. Well I suppose these kittens are growing up and are able to take their own counsel. Let's just hope the all know what they're doing and we don't live up to our name and really blow it! Well, even if the others do not want to talk with him, I think I will go back for a visit with Albright's friend Laion anyway. It cannot hurt to run the plan by him and try to figure out what unforeseen problems we can avert.
Kyren will return to Laion's place with any who wish to accompany him.
"I have known all this for a long time now, it is just that we weren't in a position to use much of it and were stuck doing things not requiring any of it."
"You are full of surprises my friend! You have become one astonishing cat! Ok, then how do you suggest we proceed? We could take the front door and work our way up, but if the Foster Mother is in the top of the pyramid maybe we could go straight to the heart of the cult. What can you do if there are no windows in the pyramid?"
"Ok, my friends, let's talk about what I've learned and try to use it to put together a plan. Gather around and I will tell you what I know."
"The organisation of the cult is very strict. At the top is the Foster Mother...who has never been seen by any of the Inferiors, as far as I know...then there is the level of Superiors, there are eight of them, they form the Council that decides all important things. Then come the Inferiors - cult members like Laion. There are about one hundred of them. On occassion they hire additional mercenaries for special actions, but that sounds very rare."
"The pyramid itself is built like the cult organisation, there are several levels and the higher your rank is, the higher pyramid levels that are accessible to you. As a result, our friend Laion did know much more about the Foster Mother and the Superiors, except perhaps that the battle superior carries with him some kind of metallic rod that he uses to control the the iron golem. This would be a helpful trinket to get a hold of."
"As far as dress goes, the cultist do not wear hooded garments or anything unusual, but the superiors wear helmets that look like pyramids. From what Laion said, these helmets actually don't even have openings for mouth, eyes or nose - but they can still communicate and interact like they weren't hindered by these things."
"When I talked to Laion about sneaking in disguised, he thought that posing as Chefs was actually a good idea. He says the cult is quite lax when it comes to checking the minor serving staff. They don't expect any danger from them. We just need to bring the correct props. If we keep our weapons visible, they will certainly become quite suspicious. If you wish, we can bring Laion back to the Revive to talk to us. He says that he knows a cult member, who is an Inferior, who is responsible for hiring the kitchen personnel. If we were willing, he could put in a good word for us!"
"So my plan is to pose as kitchen help and become part of the serving staff at the pyramid. I could try my luck behind the line in the kitchen. I could put Daggers to work chopping vegetables. Kitchens always needs cats like Blaze to chase away the mice. Berry could be a waitress as she is so talented at that already. Tal, Alchy, and Kenta could possibly be sous chefs or possibly dishwashers. You see, this may give us a back door in that will help us move about with greater freedom before the actual assault begins. Tell me what you all think about my plan. Just remember, before you panic at the thought of wearing white chef hats and criticize the idea, please give me some warm feedback and let me know what you like about my plan."
"But we should come up with some sort of plan, shouldn't we? I mean, if we can actually be inside when the assault starts, we'll be that much better off to start freeing the children. Should we think about that cooking employee plan Kyren suggested before? "
"A plan is always a good thing to start with. Then we can exercise lots of flexibility as we begin to execute it. I mean plans rarely follow through right to the end. However, going in as a cooking team will be a great starat and may get us some access to some areas that they would not suspect. I mean how suspicious are you of the help? Usually they can be quite invisible, even when they are quite apparent."
"Kyren is probably the best to be the one to actually free the children--his magic can help overcome lots of pesky obstacles like locks. And he's a lot less, um, intimidating than any of us, so in the kerfuffle the kids will more likely follow him. The rest of us run interferance and keep the cultists and undead off them. And Kyren can still use his magic to aid us in battle, right?"
"You know me, Daggers! I will use everything I have and some of what I don't have. As long as we don't have too many, I can take care of nearly any lock. As for battle, I always like to pull out my secret weapon. You know, the one I call haste. This will give you all a boost of speed, but then I will leave it up to all of you to finish off the bad guys."
Kyren spends his time catching up on his rest and his harp practice and looks to see that things begin to return to normal around the Revive. When Alcheringa returns, he greets his friend with open arms. "Alchy! You are back! Am I ever excited to see you! Did you have a great trip? Did Albright find her way to a new home? Tell me how she's doing when you last saw her!"
"Well, naturally you have a fine talent, but with time and practice, you will become a great chef . . . I'm sorry cousin!" After Bobo departs, Kyren sighs and says "Family!" as if that explained it all. "Well how are we to proceed? Do we have any plans yet? What needs to be done before the attack upon the temple? Oh, and when can we expect Alcheringa to return. We will need his cunning skill and wit!"
"Hah! It was such a big adventure - picture this: I - great necromancer Bobo hah - led us right into the lion's den! We passed myriads of undead guards and at last reached the inner sanctum where we were greeted and treated like kings. Heh! Ilaktya didn't dare to make an attack plan without us, such a big reputation we have already."
Kyren gives his cousin a big embrace and says, "I am glad to see you safe, but I am not sure that it is a good idea to go around pretending to be a great necromancer. I would much prefer that you pretend to be a great chef! Wouldn't you prefer that?! I understand that the hats are much nicer when you are a chef."
"So what have we learned out of this little adventure? Are we all going to be attacking the Cult?"
When all of the Wee Bluets are safely back in the Revive for a better life, Kyren greets everyone, "Welcome home, my dear friends! I am so glad to see you all having arrived back here safely. Did you all have a successful adventure? Please tell me the tales."
Berry Peelyblossom wrote:
Berry looks up. "Oh yes. They made quite a mess. So I had to dissolve nearly everything that wasn't intact into a thick goo and squeegee it into the ditches outside. Oh I do hope we'll have enough tables and chairs for when we reopen. But at least the place doesn't look half as cluttered."
"Berry, Berry, my dear. Why do you do things so differently than anyone else I know? Did you really turn everything into goo and squeegee it outside? You certainly make an interesting house companion. So how about Alchy Cat, have you seen our great feline around?"
Nearly back to the Revive:
"I suggest we retire to the Respite to await their return."
"Hehe. Oh you mean, the Revive for a Better Life? Oh sure. That would be nice. I love that place, but it seems every time we return, there is always some drama unfolding. I hate to say it, but maybe with Bobo out of the house, it will feel a little less frantic. Maybe I can go and play my harp. Do you like harp, Tal? I know I am biased, but I think it is the best instrument they ever made. The vibrations that come out of the sound board are rather healing, if I do say so myself."
Kyren cheerfully strolls the streets of Kaer Maga with Tal'Zeneb back to the Revive.
"Your Boss sounds very powerful. Do you feel a great deal of pressure to do her bidding? I mean, I suspect you wouldn't want to make her mad in any way! Just think what she could do to you! So, my good friend, shall we return to the surface and check on the others? I am curious how Bobo is faring with the necromancers."
Once Brother Zonod departs, Kyren cheefully begins a flury of questions. "So did you learn everything you could about this cult? What does your friend Zonod do with that book? Does he carry that around wherever he goes? Is there anybody else around here who knows more information that could help us? So do you have a boss down here who you work for? It seems like you have some nice friends down here. I wonder how much they get out."