Casdegere Constantine prods the tracker.
Casdegere Constantine: Well, get a move on.
Casdegere Constantine maintains a short distance behind Bart.
The corridor ascends in a gentle curve. Mold and stains from centuries of condensation cover large sections of the wall. Although the ceilings are high, and the path wide, the space seems too close. Other than the knowledge that this passageway is above ground, there is nothing to distinguish it from some subterranean crypt.
Casdegere Constantine lifts the torch higher with his shield arm to look at the walls more closely.
The footprints continue…
Casdegere Constantine looks around the room and keeps prodding the tracker forward if he takes to long.
The footprints go in both directions in this curved corridor.
Bart looks for the boots.
They go in the direction Bart is facing. The footprints follow the corridor.
Rikard Castleberry watches behind the group as we head down the corridor.
Mistress Bianca keeps checking behind her as the group progresses.
The footprints do not go in the side corridors.
Casdegere Constantine eyes the door ways as he passes them.
The footprints do not go in the open door.
Casdegere Constantine: I hope you know where your going Bart.
Rikard Castleberry wonders if he’s going in a circle.
Bart: Just following the tracks.
The tracks continue around the bend.
Casdegere Constantine: I swear, it feels like we are going in a circle, but I’m not sure.
The footprints continue in the curved corridor, but also turn right.
Bart checks for the boots of the leader.
They go down the new straight corridor. The footprints turn towards the right and go up an upward sloping ramp.
Rikard Castleberry: Well guys, I am moderately certain we are not being followed.
Casdegere Constantine: Up, up is good…I think.
The footprints continue forward. At the intersection of this new corridor, footprints saturate the floor in every direction. There is no way to distinguish one from another.
Bart: The boots go both ways.
Casdegere Constantine: Hmm, up and then down, is that correct?
Bart sees some light coming from his left. This is natural light. As you move down this corridor, the smell is quite rank.
Rikard Castleberry: Smells bad!
The floors are slick with mold and pools of rank water. Mosquitoes buzz in clouds and land on any exposed skin. The filth extends down the hallway leading from the room.
Casdegere Constantine: Ack, puah!
Casdegere Constantine spits.
There are three windows to the outside nearby.
Casdegere Constantine: You’ve found the privy me thinks.
There are a number of tracks in here.
Mistress Bianca holds her cloak in front of her mask as she breathes.
Bart: Out the windows?
Casdegere Constantine: Are ye daft? Surely this is not the right way.
Bart: You are strange Casdegere, he has to make a stop.
Not as many prints in here as the corridor.
Casdegere Constantine: That may be but trek back the other way, we have gone afoul.
Rikard Castleberry: I hope the other way smells better.
Casdegere Constantine: It always does when your in the back Rikard.
Bart studies the floor.
Still a zillion footprints, as if many men milled about.
Bart: Too many dang tracks.
Rikard Castleberry: It’s ok Bart, just pick one and go with it.
More natural light from the straight corridor. In fact, now your eyes are accustomed to a dim light that gives you some visibility.
Mistress Bianca Glares at Rikard from behind her mask.
A number of people walked extensively through this corridor. Many go straight ahead, many turn left.
Mistress Bianca whispers, “Keep your eyes to yourself or I will ruin your chances of fatherhood.”
To the right an upward slope and to the right another upward slope.
Casdegere Constantine: I’ll eat Hoyt’s heart when I find him.
There is light from ahead.
Casdegere Constantine growls.
A square room with a ladder on the wall that climbs to a square hole in the roof.
Bart climbs carefully up.
You can see the sunlight above. Many tracks are at the base of the ladder. After a short climb, Bart reaches the roof.
Bart looks around.
Foul water laps against the edges of the cistern, leaving steaks upon stone already discolored by rain and bird droppings. The ripples settle in slow motion amidst the organic waste that turns the surface into stinking sludge. A number of footprints crisscross the roof, but not so many as below. Bart spots the remnants of a meal near the edge.
Bart follows the tracks.
_There’s nothing to follow per se, the tracks just wander about in no particular pattern.
Bianca gets quite a view. The tower rises above the surrounding foliage. Treetops stretch for miles in every direction, occasionally interspersed with gaps that suggest bogs or open water. The upper branches steam under that hot sun. You must be 100 feet above the ground._
Mistress Bianca looks over the edge to try and locate Kith’takharos.
Rikard Castleberry: Wow we are high up!
Bart: Oh he is leading me on a merry little hunt.
Rikard Castleberry: *Well Bart, we can kill him when we find him.
*Bart: Well he is not up here, though he seems to have enjoyed lunch.
Casdegere Constantine: Little do I care of what he has eaten, show me his carcus alive or dead.
Mistress Bianca: Is the water clean Bart?
Bart looks at the sludge.
Mistress Bianca: Bart, Where are we?
Casdegere Constantine: *He would not have come to a dead end, if he is a smart man.
*Bart: let us head back inside.
Bart is not sure where this tower is with respect to Kith’takharos.
Bart: On the roof of the tower.
Mistress Bianca: I would have expected that answer from Rikard. But I get your point.
Bart: Wouldn’t you agree Rikard?
Rikard Castleberry: This is a roof?
Casdegere Constantine lifts back up the trap door.
Casdegere Constantine: Let us be after him then.
Mistress Bianca: There were several places below we did not turn down.
The door to the roof can be closed if you wish.
Casdegere Constantine: We can sight see after I have his heart on a plate.
Bart: See that big yellow thing? We call it the sun.
Rikard Castleberry: I’ve heard of this thing.
Rikard Castleberry: It makes it warm outside, yes?
Mistress Bianca: Ok so ponder this while you drool over your fantasies of cannibalism. Once we find what we need how the hell do we get back to the swamp men if we don’t know where the hell we are?
Bart, you notice something here.
Rikard Castleberry: We go back the way we came, ya?
Bart: Cas – Don’t move.
Casdegere Constantine stays put and looks about.
Mistress Bianca resists the incredible urge to push Casdegere.
To Casdegere’s left, many prints go round the corridor. To his right, only one set…THE set.
Rikard Castleberry idly stares at nothing.
Bart: We have him….again!
Bart: You can move now.
The single footprints continue around the bend.
Rikard Castleberry: Bianca?
Mistress Bianca: Yes?
Rikard Castleberry: *If you would be so kind, try to stay a step or 2 behind me, I have a bad feeling.
*Mistress Bianca: By all means.
Mistress Bianca: Don’t fall behind now…
At the place I have drawn a squiggle, the single set of prints end and encounter a bunch of prints coming from the other direction. The large number of prints ends at the squiggle, as if they just stopped walking at that point.
Bart studies the squiggle.
Rikard Castleberry hefts his spear at the ready and starts to poke around the other direction.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh hi there.
Bart sees Rikard coming from the other direction.
Bart studies the ground since he seems to be mute.
Rikard Castleberry wanders around the other way now.
Very odd. There is no physical barrier. Yet the single set of prints abruptly stops. As do the prints coming from the other direction. Bart sees a circular room. Rikard sees a circular room.
Rikard Castleberry pokes around the room with his spear, feeling out the walls and floor.
Bart walks in the same footsteps as the boots.
Well, Bart can do that easy enough. And now he’s been many places but seen no sign of his quarry.
Casdegere Constantine: Bart, what do you see, where is Rikard?
Rikard Castleberry leans down and hooks his spear around something and tries to pull it towards him so he can see it better.
Mistress Bianca looks behind her.
Casdegere Constantine listens.
Mistress Bianca: Aw crap he musta got sidetracked.
Rikard hears stone scraping against stones. Now the object is at his feet.
Casdegere Constantine: I thought you were looking after em?
Mistress Bianca: Do I look like a babysitter?
Rikard Castleberry: I lean down and examine the item closely.
Bart looks up and down.
It is a fist-sized cube of stone.
Casdegere Constantine: Well that depends on how much someone hates their kin eh?
Mistress Bianca: Well let’s go find him.
Casdegere Constantine: Right behind ya.
Rikard Castleberry: I pick it up in my hand and examine it.
Mistress Bianca looks south, west then north.
It’s too dark to see anything besides its shape.
Bart feels around the floor, remembering the invisible ladders.
Rikard Castleberry: I walk out a bit to get better light to see it by.
Casdegere Constantine: Rikard, where did you go?
Mistress Bianca seeing Rikard playing with humongous dice shakes her head in dismay.
. Rikard Castleberry: Oh hey guys, I found something.
When Casdegere brings up the light, you see the stone cube is light green in color. *
Rikard Castleberry:* There may be more in that room, but it was too dark for me to see. I got this neat rock though. Wanna bring the torch in?
Mistress Bianca pulls Rikards hand that holds it towards her so that she can get a better look.
The stone cube fits nicely in your hand. It feels cool.
Mistress Bianca: Hrmm nice. You found some rocks.
Rikard Castleberry: Yep!
_Now that there is light you see more. About ten feet in diameter, the room has two distinguishing features. First, a dark red band of color describes a circle around the room’s circumference at chest height. The band is slightly wider than a human hand.
Second, a number of fist-sized cubes are scattered about the floor of the room. The cubes are made of the same stone as the tower. Closer examination shows that some cubes are light green in color, while others are a darker leaf green. There are twenty light green cubes but only three leaf green cubes._
Rikard Castleberry: I put down my original rock and lift up a leaf green cube.
Seems to be exactly the same size and weight. The only difference appears to be color.
Rikard Castleberry: Just as I suspected. This rock is very similar to the others.
Mistress Bianca: Interesting room.
Bart examines the pattern of the rocks.
The stone cubes appear randomly scattered.
Mistress Bianca: From what we have seen of the tower this seems to be a room of most importance. What that may be I do not know yet.
Rikard Castleberry knocks on the wall with his hand, then on the area with the band of color, to see if they sound or feel different.
Rikard Castleberry: I don’t see anything funny about this room at all.
Mistress Bianca scrutinizes the room, levers, writing, cracks in the wall, unlikely breezes, or changes in temperature of the stonework along the walls.
Rikard Castleberry looks at the rocks.
Bart runs his hand upon the band seemingly repeating a pattern.
As you trace the circumference, an almost imperceptible bass vibration emanates from the walls. The vibration intensifies to a hum that fills the room and gently vibrates your body. After completing the circle, the hum stabilizes at a volume about as loud as normal conversation.
Casdegere Constantine is completely confused.
Fog billows from the ceiling and rolls out of the doorway into the surrounding corridor ring. The fog obscures vision beyond a few feet, but does not cloy, smell bad or feel pleasant. The fog does not extend beyond the corridor ring surrounding the cylindrical room.
Mistress Bianca: Well this is most interesting. Change your mind Rikard?
Bart: Did I do that?
Rikard Castleberry: No, I still like the rocks.
Bart: Shall we follow the fog to see if we can find him this time?
Mistress Bianca: Well I did not, And I do not believe Rikard could have simply by staring his new best friends.
Rikard Castleberry: The rocks don’t lie to me!
Bart: Nor do they tell you the truth.
Bart and Bianca follow the footsteps through the fog and reach the end of them. Nothing else happens.
Rikard Castleberry: I bring one of the leaf green rocks with me as I exit.
Where does Rikard go?
Casdegere Constantine grabs one as well to mark what Rikard is doing.
Rikard Castleberry follows the rest, but a few steps back, like before.
Rikard and Casdegere follow behind the others. Although the fog does not present a physical barrier, you must still walk slowly to avoid scraping the walls as you follow the curve of the corridor. The stone cube feels oddly dry as you reach the halfway point in your circuit.
Bart and Bianca, in about a minute the fog vanishes.
Bart: Where are Rikard and Casdegere?
Mistress Bianca: So, Bart what do you think that was?
Bart: There footprints go here, then disappear.
Rikard is so unsettled he is shaken.
Mistress Bianca: They don’t backtrack at all eh?
Bart: No – What did they do?
Casdegere Constantine: Buck up Rikard, I do not hear our friends, we may be alone.
Casdegere Constantine looks about the area.
Mistress Bianca: They put the torch out.
Rikard Castleberry: What this? I had some bad eel, that’s all.
Mistress Bianca: what the hell?
Casdegere Constantine: Ofcourse you did.
Mistress Bianca: Casdegere, why’d you put out the torch? Casdegere Constantine: Bianca? Bart? Where are thee?
Bart: Rikard? You still playing with your rocks?
Rikard Castleberry: Something is coming Cas, be ready Mistress Bianca: Ok, not funny, Bart can you follow their tracks? Casdegere Constantine readies his spear.
Rikard and Cas see one set of footprints on the floor.
Bart: If I had some light. I do not have a torch.
Rikard Castleberry: I see some footprints, I’m gonna follow them.
Casdegere Constantine speaks softly to Rikard.
Casdegere Constantine: If they come at us from both sides, fight with your back to me.
Mistress Bianca: They wouldn’t have left us.
Rikard Castleberry nods.
Mistress Bianca: You think the fog…ate them?
Rikard Castleberry whispers to Casdegere.
Rikard Castleberry: Moving a little now.
Bart: It could have. Did you sense anything?
Casdegere Constantine moves with him.
Mistress Bianca: Well, my magic doesn’t quite work that way.
Suddenly, Rikard is confronted by a hideous sight!
Bart: I thought I saw them vanish.
Rikard Castleberry: Oh fother mucker.
Mistress Bianca: Ok… how did you get that fog thing up?
Something erupts from its mouth towards you. A mass of sticky web envelops Rikard.
Rikard Castleberry: Son of a…
Bart: In the circular room there was a pattern on the red band, I followed it.
Mistress Bianca: Do it again. Maybe they will come back.
Rikard Castleberry: tries to move forward towards the spider thing.
Rikard pushes forward through the web, exerting his great strength to break free.
Rikard Castleberry yells out in his rage as he strikes with a frenzy of attacks.
The spear sinks into the spongy flesh. Rikard fixates the creature upon his spear. It shudders and dies.
Rikard Castleberry spits at the corpse.
Rikard Castleberry: That’s what you get for surprising me.
Casdegere Constantine backs up to him.
However, another spider leaps around the corner, and Rikard sees another rush in the opposite direction.
Bart: I did this to the wall.
Rikard Castleberry: Cas! Incoming from behind.
Mistress Bianca watches.
Casdegere Constantine: You are protected, I stand ready.
The spider attempts to Bite you and fails.
Bart: Then I left the room and you followed me.
Mistress Bianca: They didn’t leave.
As Bart runs his fingers along the red band again, fog billows into the room and surrounding corridor.
Bart yells for his companions.
Casdegere Constantine holds fast.
The spider lunges at Rikard and bites him!
Bart: There tracks did.
Rikard feels a sudden weakness rush over him. Make a Vigor roll. The poison has no effect, but Rikard is shaken. The other spider rushes behind Casdegere and shoots a web towards him. Casdegere is engulfed in the web but quickly breaks free.
Casdegere Constantine drops the torch in front of the spider and draws out his sword.
Your sword slices the spider, Aad cuts it in half.
Rikard Castleberry tries to recover from being shaken.
_Rikard steels himself and regains his senses. What about Bart and Bianca?
Mistress Bianca waits to see what happens with the fog._
There was no response to his yell excepts the echoes off the stone walls.
Bart: The fog must be scared of us.
Casdegere Constantine sheaths his blade and picks up the torch.
Mistress Bianca: Perhaps, But more likely something has changed.
Rikard Castleberry growls at the spider and unleashes his assault!
Bart: But what?
The spear impales the creature. Although your spear point went wide, you still manage to slay it. However, a larger version of the spider now looms before you, 2 feet across.
Rikard Castleberry: Damn crawly things!
Casdegere Constantine: Move forward out of the circle!
Although the spider bites with fury, it cannot connect.
Rikard Castleberry: Gosh I would like to, but these things keep coming.
Rikard Castleberry Attacks the new spider with slightly more fury than the last attack.
Both blows connect! One thrust strikes true but this one is tougher and survives. Now it bites you! The spider has to regroup. You hurt it.
Casdegere Constantine runs around the circle.
Casdegere Constantine dropped the torch and drew out his sword.
The blow strikes true! The blow stuns the creature. The spider regains its senses.
Casdegere Constantine holds his attack, it is Rikard’s kill.
Bianca, the fog has now dissipated.
Rikard Castleberry attacks the spider again, angering, looking for the kill.
Rikard stuns it again.
Rikard Castleberry now really, really wants to kill the spider!
Blood gushes from its abdomen, but it not quite dead.
Casdegere Constantine attacks and kills the spider.
Casdegere feels bad taking the kill from Rikard. But his blow goes so awry that the blade gets stuck between two stone blocks in the wall. The spider crawls along the wall and limps away.
Rikard Castleberry giggles to himself at the sword in the wall, then moves past Casdegere, trying to find his prey.
Rikard does not see it.
Casdegere Constantine tugs the blade from the wall.
As Casdegere tugs, he realizes the blade might break if he pulls on it but he decides to anyway. Casdegere braces his foot against the wall and grips the pommel with two hands. He gives a mighty tug, and at first the sword does not budge. Then it breaks free and Casdegere flies back to slam against the wall behind him.
Casdegere Constantine: ooooffff!
Casdegere Constantine sheaths his accursed blade and picks up the torch.