Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Session 5: Grand Central Station

The previous session had ended with Casorati entering the Starry Mirror, and so this session began with the immediate aftermath. Casorati was in a hexagonal room, similar to the one he had left. All the walls were of a similar sapphire tint. On each wall stood a duplicate of the Mirror, showing a reflection of the room in a different color. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet were all represented.

Thorne entered the mirror as well, and spent a great deal of time marking walls and micturating on various surfaces in an effort to track his path. Each room he entered appeared to be a new room, with no marks or left objects from the previous room. After each six rooms he entered, he heard a soft sigh. He eventually grew bored with experimenting, and went to sleep.

Acturus believed he had discovered the secret, and walked into the mirror. After trying out several different combinations of colors, he decided to try out the spectrum, ROYGBV. He ended up in a sand-choked chamber on the edge of a great desert, with only the blazing sun and howling desert winds for company. He decided to return to the Starry Mirror instead. Thumbing through his notes, he found two combinations of colors he had transcribed from the floating runes, and tried out the first of those. It brought him to an underground chamber, filled with the nearly-mummified remains of a sacrificial victim and presumably his sacrifices. The room was barred from the inside. After working the copper-plated bar free, he explored the catacomb, eventually finding his way past several rooms to the great prayer chamber. A tall statue of a somewhat bestial man and a great serpent dominated the room, with the man swinging a sword made of fire and ice. A large slab of granite carved with Olman glyphs adorned the base of the statue. Daylight filtered in through cracks in the walls and door, which was covered in gold sheet. Three leering demonic faces adorned the door, with each demon's mouth forming a keyhole. Having no key, Acturus left downstairs to try and find his way out.

Meanwhile, the rest of the expedition took careful notes of the runes, their individual combinations of gems, and what lay beyond the portals. Mal found one portal that showed the silhouette of Cauldron in the distance, and organized the expedition to leave. Before they disembarked for the journey through the Mirror, Sir Uckscott and Miguel traveled back up the passage towards the sounds of voices they had heard earlier. They saw the ramshackle ruins of an ancient city bearing marks of the spellweavers, as well as more recent constructions of Dwarven and some other style. All over the underground city crawled ghouls, of all sizes and shapes. Groups of sentries marched back and forth, which Uckscott and Miguel avoided. A great bonfire was burning in the center of the cavern-city, and a steady stream of bound humanoids were being thrown into it by ghouls. Uckscott and Miguel were too far away to see details, and did not want to attract attention to find out. They ran back to the Mirror and joined the expedition on the other side. Miguel then took a detour, trying the list of possible combinations trying to find Acturus. Luckily, he found him on the second try.

The whole group then descended the cliff face, painfully aware of their exposed nature. The valley before them sheltered a great ziggurat, on which a tall spire was built of black stone. A stairway ran up the outside in a spiral, and around the top a great segmented stone worm curled. It did not bear marks of a dragon or serpent, and its origin and nature were a mystery that the expedition declined to investigate.

After coming across a warparty of palanquin-borne Yuan Ti and their human soldiers and avoiding them, the expedition beat a hasty retreat back to civilization, risking no open fire and praying for salvation. This session ended with their return to Cauldron, where they received their payment for the task completed and gracious thanks from the Council.

No comments: