Jungle Boogy [Part 02]
We have a new mission it seems. Before we can go somewhere that we might one day call home. It appears that some local evil genius magician type called Kelkess Racoon has been doing evil stuff (well, stuff that the local powers aren't keen on) namely disappearing off for ages and returning with cunning devices and lots of gold. Our patrons would like us to break into his place and find out what's been going on. Tūd asks whether they perhaps have someone more suited and skilled to that kind of activity. Apparently they had. Their double-o-Flick went missing, only to be scried as now 4" tall and part of Kelkess's cockroach-sized menagerie. Evil that is.
Stew briefs us ("Where is this briefing coming from?" "Same place as the music"). Elacaborn has contacted Herr Flick; there is apparently a silk pillbox hat that confers the ability to speak the language where Kelkess goes. There is a permanent Invisible Stalker in the grounds. Gargoyles infest the roof. There are mechanical traps. Shrinking magical traps. Some doors are guarded by the sandestines (demons). There are locusts. Earthquakes. Friends who come to town.
Our instructions are, to begin with, fit the hat on Tūd to learn the language. Do not steal anything or liberate spies unless it really is no problem.
We guessed some of this from the kit we've been given. Why can't we just go to the pub?
We're not to touch anything or leave anything if we can. Except black footprints and drips on the carpet from all the fresh blacking dye.
(Tagged onto Bellanamerama? Yellow and curly; Forgileill in disguise).
It seems the stuff we've been given is in fact in place buried near Kelkess's house.
At Alcant we pause for lunch.
"Will the invisible creature in the dark get its invisibility bonus and darkness bonus?" "No!"
We shop for Judean's People Front T shirts (we're splitters) for sneaking into palaces. We compare stealthiness. Kamilata is a siege engineer. We guess he could be the getaway cart driver. He gets the quiet leather armour. Tūd gets rid of the clanky bits of his armour, leaving one shoulder plate and a sock (or 'vambrace').
Kamilata's drinking buddy, Osenor is, it appears, Kelkess's right hand man. Kamilata goes for a drink with him. Apparently Kelkess may be in but out (in another dimension).
We plan and plot. Forgileill has visited it before (she now says) and describes it to us - it's a tomblike palace/villa. Air strikes would avoid traps; we could fly in through the roof, open a portal wearing masks. Very cinematic. Get lowered onto the floor. But apparently gargoyles and stalkers can fly; better than we can. So we will open a door in the wall and walk in. Tūd suggests bringing flour for the invisible stalker.
Cue Mission Impossible theme. Forgileill opens a gap in the wall.
Two gargoyles glide in; Tūds two arrows - first 66 on BP and it does a red baron into the ground. Misses the other. Thranduil shoots it and it panics.
Kamilata and Torendra are twatted by something they can't see; they chuck flour about while stabbing aimlessly with their weapons and reveal the airy fairy. And kill it.
They head to the house and Forgileill opens up another hole in the house wall. It turns up it's the bathroom in the upper floor (?). Kamilata falls off climbing up. Onto Tūd. Ouch. Tūd gets himself wrapped up in the rope. Eventually we all get in going "Shhhh!". "Evacuate now! No - that's not what I mean!".
In the hallway there's a mighty sign with a lightning bolt through an eye. (Same tattoo as Katamaya had recently - Forgileill saw it - and Kamilata's drinking buddy Osenor). A migraine/hangover club perhaps?
Tūd thinks about kicking a door down, but it's made of stone.
We explore. There are guest rooms with en-suite bathroom that Katamaya seems to occupy (normally) as Tūd recognises some of the underwear that he used to wear. Erm. Another is probably Ambróz's rooms. At the stairs Thranduil leaps with style and panache over the balcony to land gracefully and poised in the floor below. Tūd decides to follow and is clearing the balcony when his eyes, spine and arms realise how far away the floor is and shortcuts his brain; he doesn't let go of the rail and slams into the supports. And climbs back over, shaking. Forgileill sails over him and freakily notes on the way (99, 97, 66) that her landing point in the centre is a trap. She twists and miraculously avoids it (who needs physics when you roll a 66?).
Downstairs is Osenors thuggery room. There's some competition between Forgileill and Torendra on picking locks. Inside the classroom Forgileill feels a draught but we can't find another door. Behind double doors Thranduil and Forgileill sense some kind of reality warp. We leave it for the moment. Another room is obviously a study; filled with books, maps (some of Western Immoren - where Lafe Marlow the dying warcaster came from), spell books and wards. Tūd tries to memorise some of the Western Immoren maps and makes a few sketch notes until the others find the kitchen and pantry. "This is the least trapped place I've come across" says Torendra. "Probably because people actually live here?". There's a door to the inner study; Forgileill tells us there's some guardian on the door that needs to see a mark to let people by. Forgileill turns into the likeness of Katamaya and passes. We paint (with dye) the club sigil (eye and lightning bolt) on our wrist (Tūds symbol lore) and we are let in.
The hat sits on a bust. We paste up some symbols we've been given to mitigate traps. Tūd puts the hat on. Download starts. The others look around and pick things up and play with them to pass the time.
It appears Kelkess & Co are members of (or leaders of) Shindrick - 'evil geniuses for a better tomorrow (for us)' - a secret shadowy SMERSH-wannabe organisation. Infighting problems - Maldekor and the Demon child vs. Kelkess. Forgileill teases out more politics. Kamilata finds a large bear area. Or bare area. RR against Mentalism ("I'll be lucky if I roll more than 5" - rolls 05). He disappears down as the floor lowers quickly below him. A few seconds later he returns. We ask "What happened? What was it like down there?" "Down where?". Thranduil steps into the same place and goes down - there's a huge anti-memory symbol on the wall below. He comes back up.
"Who's guarding Tūd?" Erm... "The Sansheal" (the doorkeeper). And Kelkess can't get back through the mirror as some engineer has painted it black. Oh good. In that case let's have another look. "What for?" ask Kamilata and Thranduil - "There's nothing down there".
Forewarned, they all make it down without getting clobbered this time. They head over to some dais; a Sansheal says "You cannot pass without the mark" "What this one?" "Oh alright then". Torendra opens the door and triggers (but resists) a teleport and shrink trap, thus not joining Herr Flick. She keeps hold of the door (don't take your foot off the mine). Not locked - Kelkess probably thought there was no point with all these demons and traps. Ha, if only he knew.
Inside is an alchemy/workshop, including Lafe Marlow's armour and other stuff of similar tech/style. In each corner is a cupboard; one has a vast store of carefully sorted coins and gems. Two others are teleporters. The fourth is full of iron piglets. Iron and steel... Another cupboard of Western Immoren clothing. A study has accounts of his work there; magic there works on iron but not steel. 'Our' magic doesn't work there at all. It's magic Jim but not as we know it.
They back out the door; Torendra (02) wanders off to the left and returns asking "Where is everyone?". "Keep an eye open for the invisible thing". "I'm mute".
(Bumper sign: "Keep honking I'm reloading")
They join Tūd, who's sitting talking randomly to bits of furniture and wondering where everyone went. Good, he seems normal.
Replace hat carefully on bust to leave no clues - despite the painted mirror and symbols pasted onto the wall. We exit through the wall, then through the garden ("I'm not Harold, I'm mortician the demon") and out and nonchalantly down the street to the nearest gem dealer.
Forgileills handler (ha ha) is soon back in touch. From what she tells them, we will have to go back, and take all the stuff that Forgileill took out of the workshop back to Western Immoren (before presumably it corrupts the locals).
Looks like another trip to another dimension...