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Game Thread: Dungeon of Bad Ends, First Altar

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Long ago, a great temple was raised to honor Carielle, a goddess of love and beauty. Priests, mages, and mechanists worked together to create a holy place that would not merely serve as a testament to their deity, but as a conduit for her divine power into the world. As her influence reached the surrounding lands, the weary found new delight in the world around them, which sustained and invigorated them; the oppressed found new strength and solidarity, to overthrow the corrupt who would exploit them. And as many people recognized this as Carielle's influence, many became her devotees. New worshipers flocked to the temple, and built a grand city around it, using the same mechanisms and sacred architecture that had been used in the temple. And so, Carielle's influence spread like no other god's before, reshaping entire civilizations and ushering in a new golden age. Things were never perfect, but for a century, the world grew fairer and kinder with each passing year.

And then, some four hundred years ago, Carielle seemed to vanish. Her priests could no longer feel her guidance or draw on her power, and the holy city ceased to to spread her influence across the land. Some said she had decided her work was done; others, that for all her accomplishments she had grown frustrated with those evils that stubbornly lingered in the world. Some proposed that Carielle had become horrified at how her power had stripped people of their free will, while many spread the tale that the goddess had fallen in love, and chosen to live out her life as a mortal. Then, of course, there was the notion that Carielle had turned her attention to some evil beyond the scope of mortals, and lost--or at least, that victory had cost her her life, or all of her power. But whatever the reason, the goddess' influence on the world abruptly ceased, and although a century of progress did not collapse overnight, little by little corruption and cruelty began to flourish again. Still, even without the goddess influencing the people directly, her lessons and legacy were not easily erased, and the world never became as miserable as it had been before Carielle.

Not until about fifty years ago, when the holy city--all but abandoned at this point--was overrun by devotees of Athaniel, a primordial deity of madness and desire. Sacrificing Carielle's priests at the altars meant to honor her, they corrupted the power of the holy city to spread the profane power of their dark god. His taint spreads into the minds of men, enkindling madness and weakening their resolve against their darkest impulses. It seeps into the land itself, blighting forests and withering crops. Even those creatures already feared as monsters are twisted into something far more unclean. Sometimes, armed raiding parties emerge from the city, accompanied by undead abominations, or things more unthinkable still, to claim food, captives, and corpses from the nearest settlements.

A call has gone out for heroes, willing to enter the holy city, seek out the corrupted altars, and purify them--weakening Athaniel's influence on the world and clearing a path the the great temple, where perhaps the madness can be stopped once and for all. For fifty years, it has been all that we could do to slow the advance of Athaniel's corruption, but perhaps you will be the ones to turn the tides against the dark god.


------------------

The journey to Silvergate has been long and wearying--more wearying than you might have expected, based on distance alone. The terrain has not been terribly arduous, mostly poorly maintained dirt roads that cut through flatlands, with the occasional sparse forest. But it's depressing to travel through these blighted lands, to see increasingly withered plantlife struggling to grow in barren soil, to see color drained from the world bit by bit, mile by mile, until you trudge through a world of mostly grey. And the people of these lands are no less dreary. They are miserable, malnourished, and exhausted--no doubt plagued by the same disturbing dreams that have haunted you as you draw closer to your destination. Most are sullen, inhospitable, or downright mean. You've encountered a few kind souls along the way, but even for them, a smile or a laugh seems like a herculean effort. The only vigor you've seen among the locals comes in the form of a predatory glint in their eyes; it is hard to tell which is worse, the ones that covet your possessions, or the ones that covet your body. You've had to fend off more than your share of muggers, bandits, and would-be rapists since you set out on this quest

But, despite all of that, you've made it to the last stop, the town of Silvergate--the smallest, dirtiest, most miserable town yet, the closest town to the holy city that has not been completely swallowed up by Athaniel's corruption. But it is a near thing; this close to the city, the sky itself has been tinged with a sickly yellow, and the land is more barren than ever. You pass a sign outside of Silvergate, which once marked the population, but it seems they have given up on keeping it up to date. The last figure before it was crossed out was a mere 98 souls.

This, you believe, is the best base of operations from which to launch an excursion into the city. For that, you will need to make arrangements for a place to stay, and to return to when you are ready to retreat. And you will need allies.

Where do you start?
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
As you prepare to enter the holy city, you find several other travelers with similar goals, and decide to unite with them. You also learn of an underground passage, believed to lead into the city--an evacuation route, perhaps, in case circumstances seemed dire. You hope that when the city fell, it ushered at least a few souls to safety. And now, it seems the safest approach for you as well. Safer than charging the city's outer wall, anyway. From what you've heard, the trolls and ogres that can be glimpsed patrolling the perimeter are the least of the horrors awaiting foolhardy attackers. So, the tunnel it is.

As you travel deeper and deeper into the depths, you begin to feel warmer. The underground passage is sheltered from the elements, keeping a more even temperature than the unpredictable climate of Silvergate, but that's not it. As you draw closer to the heart of the corruption, you can already feel its effects seeping into your flesh. So far, though, the rising heat in your body is barely a distraction, and so you push on.

You walk through the narrow space for about an hour, light sources on hand you plunge deeper and depeer into darkness, until finally the tunnel opens up into a wider cavern. And there ahead of you is a massive set of double doors. The stone doorframe reaches all the way up to the cavern cieling, eight feet above the floor, and is bedecked with elaborate statuary. The doors themselves are metal, of two different materials: a dark base, possibly iron, and an inlaid pattern of what appears to be heavily tarnished silver. By comparison, the heavy padlock that secures the double doors is crude and ugly, though probably no less effective.

What do you do?
So, as a reminder, everyone has the option to search the area once per scene. This is a roll +Will, it covers the entire room (so you can't roll individually for like, the doors and the door frame; one roll will cover all the information you can glean about your surroundings.)

You also have the option to interact with objects; you get one interaction per object per scene. Tell me what you would like to attempt, make a roll, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Speaking of rolls, we talked some in the OOC thread about how rolls will be handled, and we probably will continue talking about it, but broadly speaking: I will trust you all to roll on your own and report the results. If you choose not to roll for yourself, or simply forget a roll, I'll make the roll and report that result. When reporting a roll, please don't give me the total, give me what you rolled and the modifier you're adding separately. (So, "17+3" instead of "20.") Also, if you rolled with advantage or disadvantage, include both rolls.
 

LizH

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Location
London
Purity felt a thrill of excitement as she entered the cavern and saw the vast doors ahead of the small group. Finally, after weeks of travelling, after the miserable hovel that was Silvergate, she was here, before the gates to the city at last. She had felt this place calling to her for months now, ever since she had found the ability to channel power from somewhere - she knew not where - but in her heart she was sure that it was Carielle, the fallen goddess, calling to her, to free Her city and Her temple from the corruption that infested it. Purity called herself a Priestess of Carielle, though in truth she did not know if the goddess truly heard her prayers, only that something did, and that gifted her the power and resolve to continue. She called it Carielle, for she didn't know what else to call it.

Even so, she was grateful to have met the other women on the road, her travelling companions. Perhaps they too were gifts of her spiritual benefactor. Though she found Ginger intimidating, she hoped that the Amazonian half-elf would have at least the same effect upon any enemies that they chanced upon. Susanna seemed solid, if quiet, and Vanya she hoped would be an asset in navigating the warren of underground passages that snaked below the main city. Purity was already grateful for her companions' insistence that they take this quieter and more secret underground entrance to the city. Unaccompanied, she might have marhed straight up to the still-imposing walls, and from what she had glimpsed of the trolls and ogres that held it, she might have got no further than that. She shivered at the tales of what became of unwary female adventurers in the clutches of those beasts, although her face flushed at the thought and she squeezed her thighs together beneath her long flowing white skirt at the lascivious thoughts that she couldn't keep from her mind. She shook her head to clear it - clearly the influence of the Corruptor working upon her mind; she would need to be on her guard mentally as well as physically.

For now she examined the great doors and the cavern, and gestured to Vanya at the padlock.

"Do you think that you can open it?" she quietly asked the thief.

Search roll:
WILL 2+ D20 roll (19) = 21
A good start!
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Suzanna found herself paying a little too much attention to her makeshift group of companions. It seemed the influence of the Corruptor had begun taking hold over her. For now it was a mere whisper, easily ignored. Not being one to let other's know her life story, Sue would mostly try to project her strength with her actions more than with what she said. With the group encountering a lock, Sue had simply considered smashing the lock with a swing of her sword.

Not wanting to overstep herself here, Sue deferred her idea of using brute force toward another woman's when they spoke up. A blonde haired woman who looked to be the typical priestess, and Sue considered her a healer more so than a fighter. Though she did have a mace in her hand, Sue was not entirely sure how well it was wielded. The other women, Sue figured she can assess their capabilities if they happen to encounter any resistance toward fulfilling their request of cleaning this place out.

(I defer my roll to search the area to the GM)
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
As Vanya attempts to pry open the lock, Susanna and Purity take the time to examine their surroundings. A quick inspection of the room suggests that the cavern is naturally occuring; this escape route, if that's truly what this is, was built to take advantage of an existing network of caves. But it has been built upon. Aside from the great doors, a number of iron sconces have been hammered into the walls. None of them currently hold torches, but they should be suitable for the task, should anyone wish to keep their hands free. Aside from their basic utility, though, there's nothing unusual or interesting about the sconces. Everything of importance seems centered around the door.

Purity's attention is drawn to the marble door frame, and the carvings that populate it. The style and imagery is quite familiar; she has seen it over and over again, in Carielle's other temples throughout the land. Scenes of natural beauty and mortal harmony are depicted, with the goddess herself standing above it all. But these carvings have been defaced, with the scenes of nature smashed and cracked haphazardly. The people have suffered a more specific fate: the features have been filed off their heads, leaving rough, blank slates for their faces, and iron pitons have been hammered into their groins.

The goddess herself has been spared such treatment, but only because even greater care has been taken in defiling her statue. The symbols that make her easily distinguishable as Carielle--her wings, and a distinctive scepter made of two intertwined spirals--are shattered. At her neck and wrists, the surface of the marble has been carefully cracked, and something dark has begun to stain the shallow crevices. Whether this is dirt, mildew, or something more sinister, the black bands around her wrists and throat seem to give the impression of shackles. Finally, the entire statue is encrusted in something pale, translucent. It appears dry, but still has an oily sheen to it.

However, even this apalling treatment of the goddess can't distract from something terribly out of place. While the rest of the doorframe consists of ancient carvings that have been more recently defaced, three sculptures are distinctly new: massive eyes, with bat wings attached to them. No such monstrosity is depicted in the worship of Carielle, and the style of these statues is very different from the rest of the carvings--the anatomy is more detailed, with veins carved into the wings and the iris and pupil carefully sculpted onto the surface of the eyeball.

As you hear the lock click open, Purity notices one of the grotesque eyes suddenly shift, turning its carved pupil directly on Vanya. Another fixes its gaze on the priestess herself, and Susanna can see the third directing its attention towards Ginger. The unnatural heat that had been building in the three women's body suddenly spikes, burning in their loins.

Purity rolls 19+2 to Search.
Susanna rolls 16+1 to Search.

Vanya rolls 13+4 to unlock the door, and is successful. You may move on to the next scene if you wish.

??? rolls 14+3 (17) against Purity's Purity defense; Purity takes 1 Purity damage, and does not recover Purity at the beginning of the next scene
??? rolls 11+3 (14) against Vanya's Purity defense; Vanya takes 1 Purity damage, and does not recover Purity at the beginning of the next scene
??? rolls 12+3 (15) against Ginger's Purity defense; Ginger takes 1 Purity damage, and does not recover Purity at the beginning of the next scene
 

LizH

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Location
London
Purity looks at the eye-sculptures with suspicion.

"They are guardians," she decides, "agents of the Corruptor." She does not dare say Athaniel's name out loud in this place. "They may warn those beyond of our coming. We should destroy them before we move on."

She will experiment with smashing the one watching her with her mace, before exploring beyond the door.
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Watching the area around the group, Susanna tries to see what the reat of the group want to do. Noticing that the door was open, she was content to simply move forward. The eyes that animated seemed to be disinterested in her for the time being.

After a few moments, Susanna would notice one of the women moving toward the eyes. Susanna wantes to see the result of the woman's attack before joining in to destroy the eyes. Taking a defensive stance, Susanna was preparing for a fight that could happen before the group even entered the door that was unlocked.
 
OP
Morathor

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Purity draws back her mace and smashes it against the monstrous sculpture. Though she may expect to impact something hard and brittle, she is met instead with something soft and fleshy, which caves under the power of her blow. The eye is flattened against the stone, its wings twitching; slowly the dull gray coloration of the stone melts away, exposing a much more organic appearance. The large eye is bloodshot, with a baleful yellow iris. The leathery wings are a dull red, nearly translucent where the skin is stretched thing between the bones.

As Purity pulls back her mace, now spattered with black ichor, the eye falls slowly from the wall and hits the cavern floor with a wet splat. This seems to serve as a signal for the two remaining eyes, which shed their own camouflage and take flight. They flutter near the cavern's low ceiling, not quite out of reach of the women they are circling. Their yellow eyes dart from heroine to heroine, as if sizing up their potential victims.

Purity rolls 13+1 (14) to smash the eye with her mace; success

You are now in combat with two Eyes of Desire. The party goes first; you may take your turns in any order and you each have two actions. Please note that if you want to make a melee attack, you will first need to use a Reposition action to enter a melee group with an enemy.
 

LizH

Planetoid
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Location
London
Purity smiled with satisfaction as the first face was smashed, but as the other two flying eyes detached from the stonework and began to circle the party, she grimaced with disapproval.
"Get them!" she called to her companions. "They are fragile, but we must not let them warn others."

[Apologies for the delay - work deadlines, travel, etc.]

She will Reposition herself to fight the next eye as one action, and strike at it with her mace as a second.
 
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