Friday, July 16, 2021

Story Post: Koda’s Second Expedition

After a pleasant night at the von Nestor mansion, followed by a hearty breakfast, the Witch Koda decided to have another look at the Crypt, this time focusing on the new entrance from her vision.

Cantrips around the entry sewer fed the Vampire Lords with Influence and power.

Koda enters through the Grand Sluice. A narrow pathway through the sewers leaves her in a gallery overlooking the underground River Zahn, where a torrent of water falls from a grate high above, before climbing to a balcony of the crypt lit by tall candles and paved in granite slabs. Koda examines the architecture and decides that this pathway was built to allow the masters of the Crypt access to the underground river for reasons of smuggling in supplies and materiel, and speculates that she’ll find a storeroom of some description nearby. Rather than moving back into the Crypt, she instead decides to see where the river leads; casting a charm of an air bubble around her head, she makes an elegant dive into the river below.

Moving with confident strides against the flow of the water, she finds herself in an underground cavern. Her magical sense tells her that she is still in the confines of the Crypt. She spots an average chest that has sunk to the bottom of the river at some point in the past, and swims down to nudge it open; she finds a Roc’s Feather, which immolates underwater to infuse her with an unnatural agility. At this point she heads some frantic thrashing and notices that two chickens seem to have made their way into the water. Puzzled, she creates an air bubble around them, and then, after a few seconds of thought, fills the air bubble with fire. She then swims over to the roast chicken bubble and takes a few bites, refreshing her energy. Finally, she continues to head south.

Clambering out of the water she finds a puzzling addition to the crypt: a chicken coop, full of chickens happily clucking and pecking at corn. One of the chickens has been infected by the evil of the place and moves towards her menacingly, so she again applies fire, and then treats herself to a drumstick. The bitter anger of the Vampire Lord who oversees this coop then afflicts her psychically, and without really knowing why she turns around and plunges back into the stream.

The Underground Cavern is unchanged, except that the chicken carcasses have washed away and the average chest has replenished. She grabs hold of an outcrop of rock, trying to arrest her movement in the current to reach the chest and succeeds in doing so - finding a Westbound Compass as she does - but fails to notice that what she had grabbed ahold of is the lid of an ancient tomb that was sunk into this chamber to hide it from prying eyes. Scraping away at the moss that has grown over its surface, she sees a worn surface with very little legible writing: “ANCIENT…. BLOOD… ALL… NIGHT… AIS523”. She kicks back into the flow of the water, and then, as the current starts to take her back towards the sluice, aims a massive bolt of lightning at the tomb, causing it to abruptly explode.

She makes it back to the Grand Sluice just as the Cavern collapses behind her. The current pulls her underneath the water and the pressure from the waterfall batters her around; she looses her grip on her westbound compass and would have been grievously injured if not for the agility inparted by her roc’s feather. Pulling herself out of the water, she sees a chest and a hostile-looking bat with a message tube tied around its neck; she ignores the former and electrocutes the latter. She then exits through a door to the east.

In the next room the corridor has been erased by a collapse in the wall, leading to a scree slope leading south. She slips and slides down and takes the door that she finds on the landing on the other side.

Through the door is a room so dazzlingly bright that she can’t see any details. She fumbles around the wall and finds another door, which she opens and ducks through as quickly as she can.

The Nullith is just a completely smooth, featureless sphereoid room, containing nothing of interest. She spots a door to the west and takes it.

She finds herself back in the Chicken Coop. The magic of the Vampire Lord is still wrathful, and sends her back to the Nullith.

This time she takes the door south.

On the Tenuous Bridge, she slips and bangs her knee on a loose slat, taking one Light Injury. She spots an average chest but, getting fed up of wandering around, she ignores it and continues south.

She exits the crypt onto a narrow ledge overlooking a steep cliff, below which the river Zahn trails lazily towards the sea. She is so distracted by the momentary beauty that she trips over a stalagmite, taking a Light Injury. A glyph belonging to ais523 greedily feeds on her pain and irritation. She notices that the door to the south and the door that she entered through have become magically locked, so despite a sense of familiarity she exits to the east.

The Entrance Vestibule is unchanged since her last visit, including the replenished average chest which she ignores. Remembering where both the south and east exits lead, she heads north.

She finds herself back in the Crypt Entrance. Feeling strongly that the Grand Sluice adventure wasn’t all it cracked up to be, she notes the ingress here and resolves to tell Richardo that the Sluice entrance is a bust. She heads east.

As soon as she enters the Library of Souls she feels immediately calm and at home. Books! Many of them bound in human leather, but still. She spends hours looking at them, aware that they are reading her as much as she is reading them but not caring, understanding that true knowledge is reciprocal. The books feed off of her, sending power to their masters, but she is too absorbed to care. Eventually, she tears herself away from a book long enough to open an average chest - it contains a secret passage map - before realising that she is exhausted and returning to the Mansion.

Stat changes:
Vampire Lord - Puissance - Influence
ais523 - 3 - 3
Brendan - 3 - 1
Chiiika - 5 - 1
Clucky - 3 - 1
Jumble - 3 - 0
Kevan - 3 - 1
lemonfanta - 4 - 1
Raven1207 - 2 - 0

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