Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Story Post: Koda’s First Expedition

Okay, this is a long one.

The Witch Koda, having spent her formative years learning ancestral magic at the hands of her wandering caravan of mystics and shamans, has finally found herself in Zahndorf. Sensing the massive evil beneath the Crypt, she resolves to explore and flush it out, using her magic and determination as needs be. The crypt feeds on her naivete, giving each Vampire Lord both influence and power.

She enters through the Crypt Entrance, marvelling at the religious tilework and noting the boot scuffs left by Richardo on his previous adventures. She notes that the majority of the footprints are heading north so she decides to do likewise.

In Room BA, she is enchanted by the tiny hockey-puck creatures. She spends a moment watching them before noticing that their magic is empowering the masters of the Crypt, so decides to move on. As she prepares to chose an exit, she notices an average chest, which she opens, finding a secret passage map. What luck! She uses it to exit through a hidden portal.

The underground pathway takes her to the Gravity Room. Impressed with the cantrips being used to distort the space, she nevertheless steers herself adroitly to the fine chest on an upper walkway. Opening it, she finds a secret passage map and a rod of smoothing, but while she is examining her horde she is surprised from behind by a Dimensional Jellyfish warping in from non-euclidian space. With quick reactions, Koda blasts the jellyfish with magical fire, but the Jellyfish - which is Evasive and Mischievous - stings the Rod out of her hand before escaping through a gravity well. Koda swears to herself and then uses the map to swim into a gravity warp.

The gravity warp pulls her through the dark undercroft of the crypt, spitting her out in the Prison Cells. The gravity effect accelerates her out of the secret passage, slamming her face-first into the metal bars of a cell, causing a Grievous Injury that Kevan’s Glyph responds to. Koda curses and wipes the blood from her face, and sees that the east and south exits are blocked; so she exits to the west.

Koda now finds herself in the Blood Pit, a once-beautiful stairwell that has been torn apart and hosed down with viscera by some unholy rage. She becomes Enriched to no great effect, and then, finding the north exit blocked, exits to the south.

This causes an “a-ha!” moment for her as she re-enters the Gravity Room. She is surprised to find that the fine chest has replenished itself, so she casts a Cantrip of Levitation on herself and springs up to the ledge to claim it. Inside she finds a roc’s feather and a silver-tipped stake; she puts the former in her hair, immediately feeling agile, and keeps the other just in case.

She exits to the south, moving through to a cobwebbed cellar. She tests the trapdoor in the ceiling but finds it sealed tight. She sees an average chest but decides to ignore it, and presses on to the East.

In the Silent Chamber, she finds an eerie silence, swaddling a vast stone cartouche upon which the words “Beneath here lie the immortal sins of the Vampire Lord Jumble” are drawn in heiroglyphs. She gathers her magic and blasts the top off of the ancient stone sarcophagus, revealing the timeless, beautiful face of Jumble beneath it. She regards the vampire with curiosity for a second, then plunges the stake deep into its heart, and continues to observe as the body thrashes and bucks, its essence ripping away into dust and hatred. As she makes notes, she fails to notice the Sceneray-Chewing Rat that she almost offhandedly killed after magically propelling the lid of a sarcophacus into its still-twitching corpse. She exits east.

In the Rehearsal Hall she finds ancient music stands and an architecture that seems designed to magnify acoustics; she also finds another sepulchre, this one made of etched steel carved into elegant patterns by a master-craftsperson. On its lid is the inscription “I am, and will always be, chiiika.” Lamenting her lack of more silver-tipped stakes, she instead passes through to the east.

This next room is, to Koda, both horrifying and compelling. In the centre of the room a dead tree juts from the ground; impaled into the trunk is an ancient spear that Koda, try as she might with both strength and magic, cannot budge. The tree is bleeding a sap that looks and smells like a rancid mucus, and someone has carved demonic sigils into the bark that even Koda, with her deep esoteric learning, can’t decypher. A pitiful, weak creature calling itself the “Assistant Stage Manager” is also here, grovelling in the shadow of th tree stump; she imolates it with a blast of contemptuous lightning. She has an immediate, strong impetus to cut her own hand open and bleed onto the stump, but she pushes the feeling away and moved back to the west.

Re-entering the Rehearsal Hall, she decides that chiiika’s sepulchre can’t be allowed to persist, so she casts a cantrip that starts a bass note vibrating around the ceiling chambers of the room. She leaves to the west, knowing that eventually the vibrations of the sound will cause the room to collapse in on itself, crushing the metal sepulchre in the process.

She dashes through the Silent Chamber, in which the still-violently-deteriorating body of Jumble is releasing powerful forces that are tearing apart the room around him.

Pausing for breath in the Cobwebbed Cellar, she decides now to open the chest. Finding a Holy Tincture, she drinks it, restoring a little energy. He exits to the north.

Curiously, she finds that the fine chest in the Gravity Room has once again replenished. Opening it, she finds a Secret Passage Map and a Holy Distillate. She consumes the distillate and uses the map to locate another secret gravity well.

This well spits her out in a Shattered Stairway, a once-grand curving stairwell that has now been damaged and smoothed over. A Laughing Gargoyle moves to menace her, but she impales it with a shard of ice magic and continues along her way to the North.

In the Entrance Vestibule she finds an average chest, which she ignores. She exits to the east.

She finds herself back in the blood pit, its gore-stained walls slowly dripping blood into the pool coagulating at the bottom. She continues to the east.

Back in the Prison Cells, she senses the glyph of Kevan respond to her presence, willing her to have an accident, but her roc’s feather grants her agility and she navigates the treacherous terrains safely. She notes again the blocked exits and continues to the North.

In the Forgotten Corridor, Koda immediately notices something that had escaped Richardo’s notice: a trapdoor high in the ceiling, allowing alternative entrance into the crypt. Koda makes a note of this discovery, but while she is so distracted, the magic of the room takes hold of her and before she can respond, she is pushed back through the exit to the south. The magic interacts with her own rituals strangely, however, and gives her a premonition of the future: by setting foot in this room she has enacted the enchantment upon the sepulchre of Raven1207, which was present in the room but hidden, causing the coffin to slam into the doors and walls with a magical ferocity that the Vampire Lord within would not be able to tame. Eventually the forces so unleashed would destroy the room, meaning that its ingress could not be used. However, the magic suggested a new ingress location elsewhere in the crypt: the Grand Sluice has a maintenance port that is accessible from the Zahndorf sewers. Koda makes a note of this as she is propelled from the room.

She returns back through the Prison Cells and the Blood Pit to the Entrance Vestibule, where, finally exhausted, she decides to retreat. By instinct she heads towards von Nestor Manor, where she meets Richardo and spends the night swapping stories and comparing scars.

Stat changes:
Vampire Lord - Puissance - Influence
ais523 - 6 - 1
Brendan - 2 - 1
Chiiika - 8 - 0
Clucky - 6 - 0
Jumble - 6 - 0
Kevan - 7 - 10
lemonfanta - 11 - 0
Raven1207 - 5 - 0

Comments

Jumble: Chancellor of Tribuna he/him

14-07-2021 15:17:39 UTC

Well, darn.

I give permission for Clucky to Enthrall me.

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