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 Journey to the Center of the Old Guy

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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:24 pm

shilsen wrote:
Once Jort has departed, he turns to Odanais with a smile. "Very well done, Mr. Dare. Clearly you are very good at spinning stories on the spot. Very good." The slight emphasis is obvious.

"Happy to help, chief," says Odanais. "My first instinct upon waking is always to lie through my teeth to anyone I don't recognize. Sort of a stab at pre-emptive problem-solving, you understand...."

shilsen wrote:
Artichoke then turns to the others. "Speaking of food, however, we should make sure everyone has a good breakfast, and carry some provisions just in case. I have no intention of staying in Hidimba's mind any longer than we need to, but I have no idea how long that will be."

"What is our food budget like? I passed a shop last night that sold some exquisite cheeses and smoked meats."
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:31 pm

gridley wrote:
"My first instinct upon waking is always to lie through my teeth to anyone I don't recognize. Sort of a stab at pre-emptive problem-solving, you understand...."
"Yes, yes, splendid work new Mr. Dare!" cries Yatagan. "You bought us some time before we have to deal with Yugg, may he choke to death on our gods. Also, I do believe the position of Pope remains unfilled, should you wish to clothe yourself in retroactive honesty".

shilsen wrote:
"What is our food budget like?"
"Since that fat, legless bastard involuntarily bequeathed to us the bulk of his ill-gotten gain, I'd say 'good'. Yatagan tosses the silver-tongued would-be Pope of Treasure a plump bag of coin.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:40 pm

Mallus wrote:
"Yes, yes, splendid work new Mr. Dare!" cries Yatagan. "You bought us some time before we have to deal with Yugg, may he choke to death on our gods. Also, I do believe the position of Pope remains unfilled, should you wish to clothe yourself in retroactive honesty".

"Thanks. But we can save that pope racket for the marks. It could cramp my style with certain elements."

Mallus wrote:
"Since that fat, legless bastard involuntarily bequeathed to us the bulk of his ill-gotten gain, I'd say 'good'. Yatagan tosses the silver-tongued would-be Pope of Treasure a plump bag of coin.

"Excellent!"

Odanais runs out and returns with 20 small bentos, each filled with smoked hard cheeses, sesame biscuits, venison salami, and little pouches of nuts and dried fruit.

"These should last us a few days," he says, then pulls out two bottles of dark rum, Lord Rum's Special Reserve. "They threw these in for medicinal purposes. Excellent shop."
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:28 am

"Ahh bougie food. Oh well." Lizzy sits down to eat resigned to breaking bread with his posh, spiritual companions. He dreads the mind tricks that will be played on him today. Well, as long as these phantoms bleed, I'l be ok. he thinks.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:29 am

"Well then, I'm off to Five Fathoms to purchase more healing elixir and explosives. I'll also pick up some incense, cheap icons, maybe some blood. You know, religious and irreligious knickknacks with which to bargain with the evil spirits. Oh, and maybe a bottle of Recollection Wine... my instincts tell me that might come in handy..."
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:30 pm

Hidimba arrives, still carried by his bizarre servants, at 10:00 precisely. This time he has a third being with him, idential to the others but a jet black in color. It carries a large and ornate iron box, with no apparent effort.

"Are you ready, then?" Hidimba looks even worse than he did the previous day, but his voice is strong. "I require a clean room, if such a thing is possible, and some time to perform the ritual. It should take half an hour, roughly.

"Any of you who wish are welcome to observe, but it's a largely tedious process...until it very much isn't. In any case, I will have to insist upon silence while I work."
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:00 pm

"Greetings sir," says Odanias rising smoothly to greet their guest, despite a morning of steady drinking. "I just wanted to apologize for the other day. I was experiencing a moment of ... polyexistential angst. It shan't happen again."
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:36 pm

Rolzup wrote:
"Are you ready, then?" Hidimba looks even worse than he did the previous day, but his voice is strong. "I require a clean room, if such a thing is possible, and some time to perform the ritual. It should take half an hour, roughly.

Gods, thinks Artichoke, I really hope he doesn't die while we're in his head. The thought makes him even more uncomfortable as he realizes he momentarily visualized Treasure in thinking of the gods.

Masking the discomfort behind a bluff heartiness, Artichoke smiles and says, "Ready and waiting. We have a room ready for you."

After showing Hidimba to the chamber that he has had cleaned and prepared for the ritual, Artichoke takes a seat and waits. While the old tiefling does the ritual he watches closely, takes a few notes, and otherwise spends his time doodling ideas on a pad while looking at the map of the building Hidimba showed them.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:45 pm

gridley wrote:
"Greetings sir," says Odanias rising smoothly to greet their guest, despite a morning of steady drinking. "I just wanted to apologize for the other day. I was experiencing a moment of ... polyexistential angst. It shan't happen again."

"Not the first such I've seen," Hidimba admits, "Although yours was rather tidier than the usual, what with your not turning inside-out."

shilsen wrote:
Masking the discomfort behind a bluff heartiness, Artichoke smiles and says, "Ready and waiting. We have a room ready for you."

"Very well, then. No point in delaying."

The servitors take him to the indicated room, depositing him in a chair while the third creature places the iron box on a table. Hidimba opens it by tracing a complex symbol upon the lid, and then rapping once upon it.

It swings silently open, and the old man removes a variety of items, including a large knife with a triangular blade and a large green candle.

His first act is to light the candle, producing a sharp odor which defies identification. He then begins to chant and, after arranging various pieces of bone stone and wood around the candle, pass the blade of the knife through the stream of smoke produced by the candle.

Twenty minutes of this follow, as the blade slowly blackens with soot. When it is entirely coated, a solid and lightless shade of green/black, Hidimba fall silent.

"Now," he says softly, "Comes the unpleasant bit." Opening his robe to reveal a chest in which every rib is clearly visible, he places the point of the blade at the top of his breastbone...and then, with a grunt of effort, drives the knife into his chest, up to the hilt.

By rights, several inches of blade should be protruding from his back, pinning Hidimba to his chair. But nothing is visible.

With a groan, Hidimba begins to drag the knife down through his chest, using both hands to do so. The wound left behind bleeds only shallowly, a trickle of blood which soon dries upon his skin. It takes a good ten minutes of effort, rocking and sawing the blade, before Hidimba finally pulls it from the pit of his stomach, breathing heavily and with tears streaming from his eyes.

He places the knife, it's blade now clean and shining, on the table, before pushing the fingers of each hand into the chest wound. Biting back a scream, but with a truly horrific series of snapping and cracking sounds as the ribs give way, he pries the wound entirely open, revealing a black void where internal organs normally reside.

"You...see the difficulty now...master Yatigan? But go ahead," he rasps. "It's...larger than it appears; you can simply walk through. But I cannot maintain this for long...not...not in my condition. When you are ready to leave, rap upon...whatever doorway you entered through, and call my name thrice. And then...wait. It will open again...after I perform the ritual...once more."


Last edited by Rolzup on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:57 pm

Damn, that's good!

Rolzup wrote:
"You...see the difficulty now...master Yatigan? But go ahead," he rasps. "It's...larger than it appears; you can simply walk through. But I cannot maintain this for long...not...not in my condition. When you are ready to leave, rap upon...whatever doorway you entered through, and call my name thrice. And then...wait. It will open again...after I perform the ritual...once more."

Aaah! With his usual false confidence, Artichoke says, "Very impressive, Master Hidimba. We'll be on our way, um, into you immediately."

He looks around the assembled group and says, "Yatagan and Lizzy, why don't you two go first? Odanais can follow, with Christabel and me bringing up the rear." Having said that, Artichoke steps out of the way and watches the progression of the two warriors into Hidimba with keen interest.

OOC: Since we don't yet know if Mike will be there this week, I didn't mention him. In fact, since he's going to bring in his deva avenger, if he does show up maybe we could actually meet him inside Hidimba. What do you think, John?
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:51 pm

shilsen wrote:
He looks around the assembled group and says, "Yatagan and Lizzy, why don't you two go first? Odanais can follow, with Christabel and me bringing up the rear." Having said that, Artichoke steps out of the way and watches the progression of the two warriors into Hidimba with keen interest.

Odanais snickers at the reasonable-sounding plan and slings his pack over his shoulder.

"Last one in is a rotten orc!" screams Odanais, running forward and performing an acrobatic leap into the old Tiefling's chest hole! "Hahaha--erg!"

Acrobatics check: 28


Last edited by gridley on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:51 pm

The member 'gridley' has done the following action : Dice Roller

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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:41 pm

gridley wrote:
"Last one in is a rotten orc!" screams Odanais, running forward and performing an acrobatic leap into the old Tiefling's chest hole! "Hahaha--erg!"

Artichoke raises an eyebrow as Odanais leaps forward and disappears. Hmm - maybe he will be a little more of a problem than I had hoped. Ah well... He watches Hidimba's expression for any signs of trouble, and if there are none, turns to Yatagan and Lizzy, waiting for them to follow Odanais.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:59 pm

"Possessed of a vivid imagination and brave... I like the new Mr. Dare" says Yatagan to Artichoke. He then turns to face the gaping void in Hidimba's chest.

"Tally-ho!" cries Yatagan as he lumbers into the Abyss.
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overeddie

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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:14 am

"It's all in my head. It's all in my head. It's all in my head." Lizzy marches quickly in to the old man.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:50 am

overeddie wrote:
"It's all in my head. It's all in my head. It's all in my head." Lizzy marches quickly in to the old man.
"Chin up Lizzie" says Yatagan. "Suppose we find the bourgeoisie center of Hidimba's mind? We could hack it out with our axes."
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:01 am

Mallus wrote:
"Chin up Lizzie" says Yatagan. "Suppose we find the bourgeoisie center of Hidimba's mind? We could hack it out with our axes."
"It's much easier just to hack him up from the outside."
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

Mallus wrote:
"Possessed of a vivid imagination and brave... I like the new Mr. Dare" says Yatagan to Artichoke.

Good," says Artichoke. "Then you should make certain that he doesn't perish bravely or imaginatively on the other side."

Quote :
"Tally-ho!" cries Yatagan as he lumbers into the Abyss.

Artichoke watches with interest as Yatagan passes through the unusual portal. If he can fit through, thinks the founder of the League, So can I. But just in case, he tightens his belt a little around his belly.

When only Christabel and he are left to pass through, he nods at Nikolai. "We'll see you again soon, I hope, Mr. Hidimba." Artichoke glances at those not accompanying the group. "Penelope, Heyoka, Asarlai - keep an eye on things, and Mr. Hidimba, for me, please."

Then he takes a deep breath and heads into the old man's chest.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:16 am

overeddie wrote:
It's much easier just to hack him up from the outside."
"True. But think of it this way... we've been offered a new and profound way to re-educate a very powerful man" says Yatagan, once again getting swept away by revolutionary rhetoric.

"Kill a capitalist and there's one less capitalist. Teach a capitalist the errors of his ways by chopping up the inside of his soul, and, well, better things happen."


Last edited by Mallus on Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:24 am

overeddie wrote:
Lizzy marches quickly in to the old man.

Not a phrase that's seen much use heretofore....

It's dark, and it's close, and it seems to go on for miles. There's nothing visible save for a distant light, and while they never actually touch them, it feels as though invisible walls see are pressing in upon the travellers.

The light never seems to get any closer, but one by one the party stumbles out of the darkness into a large room. An enormous wooden door, bound with brass and iron, slams behind Artichoke, propelling him fully into the room as it closes.

It looks like the walls of the room were carved from white marble, lightly veined with blue and red. It takes a moment to notice that, however, as the eye is first seized by a thick chain of black metal hangs from the doomed ceiling high overhead, and dangling at the end of it is a heart, carved from stone, that's roughly the size of Yatigan.

Behind it, opposite the party's point of entrance, is an arched doorway. That, and some circular windows, are the only other features of the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:35 am

Artichoke takes a quick look around and then focuses on the heart. "I guess we really are inside Nikolai in some sense. Please, nobody poke that heart. I have no intention of finding out what happens if Mr. Hidimba keels over while we're on the inside."

He walks over to a window to see what's outside, while adding, "Someone try the door, please," indicating the arched doorway.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:56 am

"Mr. Dare said something about Hidimba's late wife's spirit being missing" says Yatagan offhandedly as he tries to hide the fact he's putting a hand axe back in it's sling. "Perhaps we should investigate the big black heart overhead before we make our exit."

"At the very least we should keep a third eye out for her."

The Dragonborn guffaws --slightly-- at his own joke, then moves to arched doorway, battle axe in hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:59 am

The window looks out upon rolling hills, a flowing (but oddly red-tinged) stream, and a sprawling mansion that must be the Hidimba estate. Judging by the position of the sun, it's approaching noon.

The next window shows a view of the Hush, at nightfall. The library is dimly visible.

Checking the remaining windows gives two additional view -- one looks upon a narrow street, lined with buildings of a peculiar style. A tower made of brass and colored glass rises in the distance.

The other shows the outside of the Hall of Injustice, looking even more shabby than normal. A figure is using whitewash to paint something on the wall -- "To Hell with the False Pig! All praise to Shahrbaraz, the true swine!" -- before running off out of sight.

The doorway opens onto a staircase, which spirals down and out of sight.
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:18 am

Rolzup wrote:
The window looks out upon rolling hills, a flowing (but oddly red-tinged) stream, and a sprawling mansion that must be the Hidimba estate. Judging by the position of the sun, it's approaching noon.

The next window shows a view of the Hush, at nightfall. The library is dimly visible.

Checking the remaining windows gives two additional view -- one looks upon a narrow street, lined with buildings of a peculiar style. A tower made of brass and colored glass rises in the distance.

The other shows the outside of the Hall of Injustice, looking even more shabby than normal. A figure is using whitewash to paint something on the wall -- "To Hell with the False Pig! All praise to Shahrbaraz, the true swine!" -- before running off out of sight.
OOC: so these views are all Hidimba's memories?

Quote :
The doorway opens onto a staircase, which spirals down and out of sight.
Yatagan breaks out a sunrod, affixes to his shield by means of wax, then proceeds a few steps down the stairs (obviously looking for traps...). He beckons to Lizzie.

"False pig my scale-ed ass" grumbles Yatagan under his breath. "If I catch that graffiti artist in some tangible form he'll rue the day he blasphemed against the Miracle Pig".


Last edited by Mallus on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Journey to the Center of the Old Guy   Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:34 am

Lizzie follows Yatagan down the stairs, axe ready.
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