The stone altar appears plain and unadorned, roughly 6 feet long, 3 feet deep, and 4 feet high. As mentioned the black stone is dull and porous, slightly corroded, but not from use. It would seem the stone was already in such a state before it was worked into it's current shape.
The stone atop the altar is a dark black stone, speckled and streaked with violet, lightly glowing with a faint inner glow. It is 1' by 1' by another 1 foot.It is clear of any dirt, dust, or mold.
The statue is a rectangular block 9 feet high and 6 feet on a side. Each side has a distinct figure carved into it. The first depicts a tall, muscular man in full plate with unfamiliar flanges and fluting. He wears a cape and holds a wavy-bladed sword. The helmet has a jagged visor which resembles a bolt of lightning.
The second side is carved into a humanoid swathed in a flowing robe with long sleeves and a high collar. Covering the face is a curved featureless plain mask. A small compartment on this facing lays open near the base of the pillar. A velvet compartment holds a depression which resembles a jug or perhaps a pot.
The third side depicts a thin youth in high boots, a doublet, and gauntlets of twisting design. A hood drawn tight around the face covers its head. Another small compartment lays open below the feet as well. The silk compartment holds depressions which resemble a series of varying sized rods laid out in a row, all connected by a thinner perpendicular depression deep and narrow.
The fourth side is a statue of a elderly figure. It is clothed in a many-pleated robe with a sash covered in strange sigils impossible to decipher. Its head is cowled, protruding several inches from the surface. The shape cradles a scepter in its folded arms. An open compartment holds a cotton padded depression resembling the strange incense holder you found earlier, as well as seven small holes which might have held incense.
Musami seems distracted slightly by the thought [/b] Yes, Tomi. The lad is sure heading down a bad path. [/b]
Snapping ot of his deeper thoughts Musami looks at the dark stone.
Perception, Stonecunning: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 3 + 2 = 15
Zokama shakes herself and reassures everyone that she is okay... well, in need of healing, but not dead.
Just realized I am really low on HP from that damage we took earlier in the moldquake. Good thing I didn't scratch hitpoints off when I was scratching and biting myself.
Zokama pulls out one of their healing wands (This one is CLW with 24 charges left) and heals herself, then casts prestidigitation to clean off the dirt as well.
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Anyone else need some healing?
In looking at the block on the altar Zokama wonders if it is a puzzle of some sort where they have to find the items that fit in the depressions. But if it is, is solving it good or bad?
She searches the area carefully (without using magic this time), wondering if there is a secret panel or other hidden clue.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
Reflex Save DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Musami looks closer at the stone of the altar, attempting to determine what type of stone it consists. The surface would seem to be an odd form of pumice, one infused of deep black garnet. Where the volcanic nature of it's creation would typically create granular glass crystals this stone appears to be rather a gigantic whole crystal riddled with pockets, burrs, and eruptions of other gaseous or silicate materials.
Suddenly the ground around the cave shifts, tilting towards the center, and Musami stumbles against the stone, his gloved hand coming in contact with the altar itself.
Oh, so it all goes away with being healed once, right? Sorry for misunderstanding. I'll only take off one charge then.
Zokama is a little worried about using magic in here, but she casts detect magic again, making sure to look only at the orb she just found and not at the altar or column, one of which seemed to have triggered her recent attack.
If it sends me back to evil queen land, I know I deserve it... but I can't stand to play being afraid of what will happen. I'm going to be curious and try to figure things out, and if it gets me killed, oh well. I accept the consequences.
No, each lethal point of damage healed also heals one non-lethal point of damage as well. Since there was no lethal damage was taken I would allow the healing to apply both points to the non-lethal damage. IE a roll of 4 heals 8 points of non-lethal damage, in this rare circumstance. I more wanted to point out that the damage sustained thus far was not lethal.
It was the altar that sparked the "attack".
Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered, and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.
You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
The orb gives off a strong magical aura. Check roll please, Filnefillan assists to add a +2 to your roll.
To be clear everyone the pillar is near the center of this chamber, four sided, each side having a different carved surface. It is a mix of black and violet veined stone of an unknown substance. It has been searched and had 4 compartments, three of which the elementals looted. The fourth had Zokama's orb. It has not been checked for magic.
The altar is not connected to the pillar, but rather about three feet from it, towards the entrance. It is the pitted black stone that Musami investigated. It was when Zokama scanned the altar for magic that she had her episode, so the altar is indeed magical.
Atop the altar is a unattached 1' block of stone, of a different black and violet substance, unadorned, smooth, and the only surface free of dust, dirt, mold, or pollen. This was what Zokama touched which seemed to bring her back to reality during her episode. It has not been checked for magic.
Not sure if you mean a check to identify the aura (Knowledge Arcana), or to check it for magical properties (Spellcraft), so rolling both.
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 11 + 2 = 14
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 11 + 2 = 17
She has no idea what it is or what it does, but she knows it is magic, so she picks it up to take with them.
Then, since her Detect Magic is still up, she asks someone to bring over the one foot block of stone, so she doesn't have to look at the altar again. If someone is willing to do so, she examines that as well.
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 11 + 2 = 29
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 11 + 2 = 24
"That orb... the ghoul told me about it. The altar should also have something called 'His Guiding Eye'." Braggi scratches his beard. "Maybe it was a reference to the strange block?" At Zokama's petition, he goes to grab the block, though he makes sure to have a close look at the altar in case there is anything else hidden in it.
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14 Meh
"There seems to be nothing else here. Is the pillar also completely checked?" he goes, while attempting to remove the block from the altar.
Á la Indiana Jones xD
Strength Check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22 Braggi finds he cannot move the stone atop the altar, not budging it even an inch.
Will Save: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
when I stumbled against the altar I saw something inside it, briefly. Could that be the Eye, Braggi?
”Or is the orb Zokama has found the Eye?” asks Kaaro, somewhat mystified by the altar, pillar, statue etc.
”And these empty indentations - have you come across any of the matching objects? Even should we place them, what would they do - open the pillar? Open a portal of some kind?”
Perhaps. It could be a puzzle, but is it a puzzle we want to solve or not? It seems that there is some boy to save, but is solving the puzzle a step towards saving him, or freeing the evil? I truly wish we had a religious type to ask.
Zokama rummages in the pack, looking at the indentations and comparing them to what they are carrying, pulling out anything that looks even close. She then casts detect evil, looking at the orb and some of the other things they've collected that look like they might fit in the indentations. The altar is included within the cone she casts, but she looks at it dead last, going so far as to aim her eyes well above it and sweeping down so that she can see the 1 foot box *before* she sees the altar, just in case the aura is strong enough to stun her Which it says can happen in the spell.
The evil aura of the altar is OVERWHELMING, enough so that it blocks out what detection you might read from the stone atop it. Unlike the fading aura around the pillar drawers this aura is remaining steady and strong, likely to remain so for years to come. You gain a momentary glimpse into some kind of ritual conducted upon the altar, a petitioner sacrificing a kneeling victim before the stone, spraying it with their blood. A sudden surge of joy washes over you as you realize the stone grants the slayer their heart's desire.
Zokama scans the pillar, mumbling to herself about it as she considers her inventory. She then attempts to focus her gaze upon the stone over the altar, caught up in a sudden vision before crying out in pain and horror, then passing out from the strain.
Before Zokama passes out...
"Wowowow, wait a minute!" Braggi stumbles back from the altar, holding his head with his hand. He tries to recover, as if he had a huge migrain. "I certainly saw something there, Musami. Not sure if it's the eye, but it's powerful."
When Zokama passes out...
Braggi quickly grabs his friend before she suffers even more from hitting the ground with her head. "There we go!" He leaves Zokama's body on the ground, gently, so someone else who's more of a doctor than he is can give her proper care.
"That altar is certainly an issue, it seems."
Musami unslings the Earth Breaker from his back. His eyes look up the alter up and down. I swear I saw something inside. Should I smash it? What think you all? After that ghoul incident I am not going off half cocked again
You said this earlier: "An open compartment holds a cotton padded depression resembling the strange incense holder you found earlier" so I wanted to see if it had an aura as well, and just included that blanket statement so that if we had anything else similar we could take a look.
Also, are you saying there is zero way to know anything about the one foot cube? I expected the other aura to be overwhelming which is why I was trying to be very careful.
Zokama is passed out, so she doesn't answer Musami.
But out of character, I say go for it. I doubt it is that easy, but you never know. Just don't hurt the cube on top of it if you can help it... that is what helped me (I think) before. I suspect it is good. Also, expect possible magical consequences.
The one foot cube does not detect as anything, no magic, no alignment, no aura of any kind. Any spell you focus upon it, regardless of the aura pouring out of the altar, detects nothing at all from it. It is a void of aura rather than simple ordinariness.
Okay, makes sense. Thanks for the additional clarification. :) I love the less tentacles part. :)
Braggi: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Filnefillan: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Kaaro: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Musami: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Zokama: 1d20 + 12 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 12 - 2 = 21
As you move to help Zokama back to her feet, she glances at the altar, alerting you all to changes taking effect within the stone.
The dull black stone seems to shift in the light, its color transforming into a nearly clear, translucent amethyst with a black, amorphous center. That black mass grows larger, shifting and roiling like a cloud of smoke devouring itself, while swollen veins of purple lash in and out of it like the feelers on some great sea beast, surrounding what appears to be a heavy lidded eye of a dull red-orange hue. It appears as though the thing is tossing and turning, beginning to awaken.
The room begins to softly vibrate, gently creaking and cracking in eerie and unsettling, oddly discordant tones which common stones aught not be making.
Please tell me what each of you is doing, in spoilers. One round of actions only please.
Braggi witnesses how the eye forms from inside the stone it's the stone on the altar, right?. He takes a step up front, putting himself in the way of whatever could come out of it, and readies to cut whatever in half, just in case.
Zokama thinks that the cube saved her before,so she goes around to the other side of the altar (if possible to avoid the eye, and get out of the way of Braggi) and reaches out and touches the cube.
She will then cast ablative barrier on herself.
Sorry guys, my feed was not updated for some reason.
As Braggi steps up to ready himself for whatever emerges from the stone Musami, seemingly resigned, lowers his hammer to the ground. Kaaro casts a spell over herself as Filnefillan readies to cast a spell of his own at the stone. Zokama, shocking everyone, steps around the altar and reaches her hand up to the square stone atop it.
The great eye within the stone opens, the lids actually two great tentacles of dull and mottled grey, each darker grey spot opening with either a mouth, a forked tongue, or a smaller orange eye of their own. The eye stares at the four people arrayed before it, spins over once within itself, then seems to withdraw from the surface of the stone, back into whatever dimension from which it arose.
Zokama looks a little shocked for a second, and then says
Err, that was a close call...
Zokama is a little panicked that something evil is assuming she is on its side, and doesn't really want to tell the others. She doesn't know what the "token" spoken of is... any knowledge rolls in case she can rack her mind for some information, or understand what is going on here with at least three different people/entities having spoken to her in the very recent past? Can she gauge danger or relative evil in any way? Really, just want to know if there is absolutely anything to do that will help her know what to do next. If not, we continue stumbling along, hopefully not in the direction of making the world worse.
Musami continues to stare at the stone, waiting for something to happen. As he looks he speaks out of the corner of his mouth Everyone ok?
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Braggi stands on guard stance for a while after the entity has vanished inside the altar again, just in case. After a m,inute or so, he asks "What happened? Did we scare it?"
I guess we move on. If it is indeed not interested in us then, at least for now, we don't need to worry about it.
Zokama looks around for exits. Okay, where to next? Can't say I will be sad to leave this chamber.
Possible next destinations:
a) Try the narrow nook and claustrophobic cranny clefts in the far wall, to see if any prove to be passages to deeper chambers.
b) Follow the passage back and then to the east to the rooms indicated to belong to Lareth and his troops.
c) Follow the passage back and then to the south to the deeper access way the ghouls indicated belong to the mad and blasphemous priest holed up in the excavations below the moat house.
d) Follow the passage back and then retreat to Hommlet.
Do we head for Lareth or that blasted crazy priest?
Zokama examines the nooks and crannies in the far wall to see if any of them prove to be exits.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17
That roll is unlikely to find anything unless it is obvious, but if she does find something, she tells the party about the additional option(s).
You guys, I think the there are passages back here.
That way? Musami points to the area Zokama is indicating. He looks at the nooks and crannies.
Perception, Stonecunning?: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 2 = 11
Are you sure?
Braggi's afraid that the room in those nooks and crannies won't let him be of much use, due to his bulk, but they aren't going to be explored jujst like that anyway, so he nods anyway. "Let's do this, now that we still can."
Okay, let me heal up first. She pulls out a healing wand. Anyone else need a heal?
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
CLW: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
She heals everyone that needs it, and then starts scouting the cavelike corridors, seeing where they lead.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Well, you know... she tries her best. :)
For heals, feel free to roll your own as though I were using the wand on you. Just let me know how many charges to take off.
The first thirty feet or so Zokama is able to proceed facing forward, her shoulders narrowly clearing the sides of the passage. From there the passage tightens a bit, forcing her to proceed sideways and fifty feet or so, the shaft dipping up and down before opening into an opening roughly eight feet or so in diameter. Two passages exit the chamber, one similar to that which led her here, the other a crawl space which would require her to proceed on hands and knees.
Scattered around the floor of this chamber are a few coins half buried in the damp dirt ground, in between roots and ridges formed by plant life and rougher unhewn rocks.
Claustrophobia really grips at you in this darkness, the turns and twists seem sudden, springing from the darkness only at the edges of your light source, with no sense of rhyme or reason to them. Natural fissures with a wholly unnatural feeling to them.
Arriving in the 8-foot area, Zokama realizes that it isn't big enough to accomodate the group, and she needs to go forward, even though she really wants to go back.
Zokama takes a breath to clear her head, gathering up the coins she had noticed while she tries to shake off the paranoia and claustrophobic feelings, and then she decides she might as well face the hard thing first, and moves to the crawl space.
Zokama crawls through the narrow passage, mud and filth quickly covering her hands, knees, and elbows. The tunnel begins to smell more and more of fetid earth and damp the deeper she goes. After maybe forty feet the tunnel begins to rise higher, then opens into a wider chamber. An overwhelming and sickeningly sweet odor overwhelms your senses as you tumble over the lip into the room.
The opening appears roughly twelve to fifteen feet wide, but there is little room to move about. The place is choked and packed with body parts, severed limbs, gnawed torsos, and collected bits and pieces of dozens of bodies, all in various states of decay and "consumption."
Welcome to the ghoul's larder.