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[PBF] FIRELIGHT - Vol. 2


#21

The woman sucks in her cheeks and sighs, looking markedly less hopeful, and the urgency has been scrubbed from her voice. She is back to calm and her voice is as beautiful as she is.
“It has been a long time, yes, and even longer since the last time I had to prove myself to a skeptic. My oracle does not work in the way you imagine. I must touch an object, no larger than a cubit in height, width, or depth, that is owned by the seeker. Give me something of yours, and I can answer your test.”


#22

Nel thinks, but isn’t carrying much in the way of personal possessions. Maybe a ration?

“Skirl? Lina? (@Nymeria941) Anything you’d like to slide across the floor carefully to our would-be oracle?”


#24

d20: 14 + 0 perception check

Lina, her expression guarded but curious to see what wisdom the orcale might offer, pulls from around her neck a necklace made of bear claws. “You’d better be giving this back,” she mutters.


#25

(Can everyone make a survival or history check, to see what you know about the medusa)


#26

Nel racks his brain–he’s sure he’s read about this type of snake-woman creature before…

Nel’s History check:

d20: 16 + 1

But even if he hadn’t read about her, something about the chains, the helmet, and the almost-moving statues measured him a little twitchy…

Nel’s Survival check:

d20: 16 + 5


#27

The woman easily picks the necklace off the floor once it slides close - apparently other senses more than make up for her lack of vision. She feels the texture, and tests the point of a claw.

“I will show you the past, and the future - though I do not have control over the words. I may direct the vision a little, but do not be angry if what you see is not to your taste.”

She mouths an incantation, and light begins to shine from the necklace. Images shine forth, though the light is bright and painful to look at.
She begins to prophecy, her mouth moving as if she herself cannot control the words. The pictures flash by quickly, roughly corresponding to the verse.

The oracle’s story begins with the bear whose claws makeup the necklace, though it seems to jump abruptly, as if the oracle herself is trying to ‘fast-forward’ to more relevent parts.

Soon something important comes up:

Underneath the sleeping keep,
This warrior’s blood,
Awaits her, the prodigal child.

An image of the cursed city of Taine’s Keep flashes by. Something seems to move among the ruins.

Lina recognizes a lot of her life told in the verse. She sees her childhood with her adopted tribe and brother, and it seems to be entirely accurate. Unfortunately the sayings are cryptic and a lot flies over the head.

Now the images are of Bor-Dalus, the strange cult, and finally the huge cavern and the floating king. It seems like the light is getting dimmer the closer and closer to the present it gets, but the pictures are more and more clear and easier to look at.

Finally it passes the present and the pictures spring into life, like they are real and standing right in front of the group, though the only sound is the oracle’s voice.

A soldier hands the huge crystal that the party took from the Jotun’s Wrath to a man in glorious robes with a tall crown - High King Tirfath.

Jewel of giants,
Pinnacle of the crown,
A mighty gift,
Or a thief’s brand.

In the ruins outside Konungr-Saet the party recognize the family of scavengers that they saved earlier. They’re running away from their wagon which is being pulled apart by a mass of indistinct creatures. They appear to almost escape, when something bursts from the ground underneath them.

Raised, mighty king,
See your offspring’s want,
The land will see your anger,
Through your scourge.

Finally, Lina recognizes her brother Rolf. He looks fierce and his weapons are in his hands. Five cloaked figures surround him, closing in from all sides.

The vessel of poison,
In King’s Seat will grind,
Flesh will be crushed,
But the righteous are an arrow.

The light fades.

“That is what the object spoke.” She looks grim.


#28

Nel knows that the woman is a Medusa.

When a mortal makes a deal with a god to preserve their youth and beauty forever, eventually that person succumbs to the Medusa Curse. Taking on snake-like features and hair of living serpents, the Medusa is still beautiful, but anyone who looks fully into the Medusa’s gaze (including the Medusa herself), will be turned to stone.


#29

Nel watches with silent wonder at the oracle’s dancing phantasmagoria, recognizing the parts of the story he was a part of. All the while, he becomes more and more certain that his suspicions where correct: this oracle is also a medusa.

After the oracle ends her prognostications, Nel turns to his companions, and tries to silently gesture to them that, in case they didn’t get it, they are dealing with a medusa who could turn them all into stone–he silently wriggles his fingers in his hair like snakes, slithers around a bit, mimes taking of a mask, hiding a big scary face underneath it, and then mimes turning to stone. …it’s a bit silly, but performed with sincere concern that his new friends don’t get too close.

Finally, he clears his throat, and speaks. “Well, it would seem that you are as potent as you are beautiful, Lady Oracle. Now you know how we got here. How about you? I’m no oracle, but it’s clear you’re either not here of your own will, or you are not safe to let free…or both. Who are you, and how did you come to be enslaved to the King?”


#30

Lina would like to insight check the medusa to see if her prophecy is true:

d20: 18 + 0

(ooc–this probably won’t be very high but she’s naturally suspicious, given what Nel has just told the group)


#31

“What do you mean, vessel of poison?” Lina asks, eyeing the medusa warily. She turns to her companions. “Do you think it maybe has to do with that strange cultish symbol we found beneath the city?”


#32

The medusa slides the necklace back towards Lina. She seems to have recognized the tone of someone who knows what she is. She is pleased by the flattery, though.

“My name is Celica. I am a prisoner of the High King, but I have been captive here for many years. I was once the most beautiful and desirable maiden in all the land, but I made a seemingly small but grave mistake, which left me in this sorry state. I would dearly love to taste the outside air again, if you could find it in your heart to set me free. My sentence was unjust, and King Arckanon is so long dead that his tomb has likely crumbled into dust.
I can help you! I have other powers, which I could use if I was set free.”


#33

Lina is sure that the medusa had little to no control over the words she spoke and the images she projected.

“I am sorry to say that my ability to interpret the signs is limited. For one, I’ve not been out in society for a very, very long time. It is up to you to decipher the lines.”


#34

“Well then boss. Where can i find this group you’ve hired? Would be best to make their acquaintance as soon as possible. I may be persuasive, but it takes time to gain trust.” Beau says.


#35

Nel turns to Lina…“I don’t remember the symbol-- but I do remember that bad dream device, and the cultists droning about blight. Blight and ‘…scourged…flesh crushed…’ It all seems to harmonize…or align discordantly, depending on how you like what you hear, I guess…” Nel reflects privately that he did like that bit of the prophecy about the arrow…

Nel thinks back to the oracle’s visions of the Jotun’s Wrath crystal being handed over to the King, and looks at Lina and Skirl, and whispers, “We don’t want to hand that big gem over to the King or anyone, do we? Seems like it might be the start of all the other badness. ‘Pinnacle of the Crown…’ …that’s where we are now, the Crown, right? I wonder if we shouldn’t take that thing far away from here…”

“And what about our snakey-friend? If we can trust her, I don’t doubt she’d be a big help…but I also wonder if those statues trusted her at some point, too.”


#36

A bell rings. Bor-Dalus responds with a bell of his own, and a servant comes in bearing a tray with three oval stones. They’re glowing a faint yellow.

“That is worrying.” Dalus says simply. “Perform the ritual, Quin.”

Quin nods.


#37

Saoirse and her companion have not been idle during the conversation with the medusa.
Three stones are laid out, and a circle drawn within, alongside an extremely complex network of chalk lines. The stones glow with a yellow light, which is quickly becoming brighter.
Saoirse stands in the ring with her companion, and addresses the party. “Don’t touch the stones or the chalk. If this works, we should be able to teleport to Bor-Dalus’ tavern. The password is ‘Stablehand’.”
The moment she says this, she and her companion are gone.

Meanwhile, in the Tavern back room, Saoirse and the tinker appear in the corrusponding circle.

“Dalus… We have a lot to discuss, and not a lot of time to do so.”
Saoirse explains the story of the party up to this point, and their current position inside the Crown.
“If a patrol or anyone noticed that elevator come up, guards will be swarming the place in minutes. But there’s something extremely special, boss. I believe we’ve found… the oracle.”
Bor-Dalus almost stands from his chair, a significant event for the sedentary hulk.
I must have the oracle. Beau. This is where you come in. You will take the portal back to the party. You will ensure the oracle is safely delivered to me. No favor will be too small if this is done. If you fail me, consider your life forfeit.” He roughly gestures, and Saoirse unceremoniously pushes Beau into the circle.
“Stablehand.”

Beau finds himself dazed and in the tip of the Crown.


#38

ugh thank the gods that’s over. That was exhausting. Beau thinks to himself before looking around and finding the group.

“Ah there you are. Bor-dalus sent me. He would like me to join your group. I am a bard, specializing in charms and illusions although i do also know healing word. My name is Beau Tobias. It is a pleasure to meet you all.”
Beau says, his voice fairly deep and soft.
(Not sure ive given a physical description of Beau before, but i will now again anyway. May i also get a description of you all as well)

Beau stands roughly 6 feet in height, a slender man with blond hair, tanned skin and green eyes. He wears a set of studded leather, with a flute and two shortswords strapped to his sides. He looks kinda like this.

“Now.” he says, turning to face the oracle. “Looks like today might be your lucky day. Lets get you out of those shackles.”


#39

The medusa is confused.
(I’m kinda waiting on the group to have some conversation!)


#40

[Yeah, me too–wanting @katre and @Nymeria941 to have a turn before things go too much further…]

Nel jumps a bit back from the circle when Beau appears–he reflexively falls into an attack stance, raising his spear high and cocked back with his right arm, and pointing his left arm (on which he wears his druidic focus, a smooth, circular dark brown wooden bracelet) towards Beau.

“What…?..who…?” is about all Nel can sputter before some semblance of understanding of what just happened begins to dawn on him.

“Bor-Dalus…sent you? Now? How impatient of him. Just…hold on. Stay still–unless you fancy standing there permanently as a sculpture.”

[Does Nel have any intuition as to whether they can trust Celica–or Beau, for that matter? Insight checks?]


#41

Well if your gonna do an insight check heres my contesting persuasion/deception. Whichever our DM thinks is applicable

Persuasion d20: 7 +6
Deception d20: 19 +8