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Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:35 pm
by Psitanium
If he makes another one, he'll say it's the Croc of Aegis now because something out there in the Universe spoke to him. Sure that something in the Universe was Erica, but he probably won't admit it.

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:17 am
by LexiLiegh
Psitanium wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:35 pm
If he makes another one, he'll say it's the Croc of Aegis now because something out there in the Universe spoke to him. Sure that something in the Universe was Erica, but he probably won't admit it.
It's alright, she's used to no credit

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:44 pm
by ChrisDDickey
The journal of Lord Bentley Bootle, Day 33 out of Caracas.   

It has been a slow 4 days, as I am needing much time to recover from some serious wounds. As I stated in my previous entry, we had waited a day for Erica and McFly to recover from poison, then opened some boxes and a sarcophagus, and then waited another day for Erica to recover from the wound she took during the fight with a mummy. So the following day we tried opening the other sarcophagus, and then needed the last 4 days for me to almost recover from my wounds! I hope to be almost completely recovered by tomorrow. 

So 4 days ago, we expected to have to fight the mummy, so got all setup and ready for it. Smyth started to open the sarcophagus lid, but as soon as he lifted it a few inches, the mummy knocked the lid to the side and stood up. This mummy was female and clutched a scepter. We assume it used to be the wife of whatever king we fought the day before. We started to bang away at that mummy, who whacked Smyth with the scepter, which seemed to daze him, as he stopped attacking for a while. A few seconds later, the third sarcophagus also opened, and a 2nd female climbed out, who shot us (me) with her bow. 

The fighting was short but viscous. The first mummy got in several mild hits with her scepter before I blew her head off, but the other mummy got off two or three horrible hits with her bow before she was also destroyed. I know she got at least two horrible hits off, since both of the first two hits, hit me, and left horrible wounds. After the fight it occurred to me for the first time that since the priest Brahmpal Urha left our group in Caracas, we don't have anybody with any training in medicine. I remember discussing with him how many of what sort of medicines we should carry with us into the jungle, but unfortunately, he was the one who was carrying them and he seems to have taken them with him when he left. None of the rest of us have any skill in using medicine in any case. 

I finally asked Smyth to take the arrows out and bandage me up, which he did, and it hurt a whole lot. Erica and McFly went out in the jungle with the guide to look for some of the herbs, roots and whatnot that they had talked to the natives of that village about, and they found some. They must have helped a lot since my wounds miraculously did not become infected. From the look of it, unless things go horribly wrong, tomorrow (5 days after being shot with the arrows) the 2nd wound will finally close over. 

While I have been bedridden, the others have thoroughly examined the mummies, the sarcophagi and the things the mummies had. They tell me the golden scepter is magical, and the bowstring as well. This explains how a bow so old can still have any spring left in it, and how such an old bowstring can even work. They tell me it has powers beyond not turning to dust from age. Today I finally managed to hobble around enough to get our new finds photographed. I also took a few photos of the very large insects that seem to have come here through the gate.

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:23 pm
by ChrisDDickey
The journal of Lord Bentley Bootle, Day 34 out of Caracas.    

I forgot to mention in yesterdays journal entry that Erika, examining the "gate" on the day I was wounded reported some sort of miasma emanating from it. She seemed to think it was unhealthy and/or dangerous and so the decision was made to move out of the chamber with the game while I healed up.  We spent a ridiculous amount of time discussing how best to transport me, before finally agreed that in order not to aggravate my wounds I should be carried upon a simple common stretcher. We moved down the two hallways to the chamber upon this, the lowest level. Erika declared that the miasma was much lessor, but still noticeable. Closing the door as much as we conveniently could helped a lot, and Erika tells us it is now much less. She is worried that the miasma is not totally gone, but hopes that in this chamber, with the door closed, it is low enough.

During the days it took me to heal, Erika has been telling us that she thinks that the gate is emitting magic strongly. She thinks that possibly nobody enchanted the three mummies to rise and fight, she speculates that it might be a spontaneous expression of the high levels of magic in this pyramid. She has examined the scepter and the bowstring to see if she can tell if those are designed magics or a spontaneous expression of magic, but without success. 

Once I was healed, I of course wanted to continue our observations and experimentation's of the gate. Erika felt that we ought to return to London and give our preliminary report. I felt that would be a waste of time, and that we did not know what sort of access we might or might not be able to arrange about this pyramid in the 4 months or so that it would take another expedition to get here. I finally managed to convince them that we needed to at the very least conduct a very few basic probes of the gate. Namely poke sticks through it and see what happens.

If this goes well, I hope to convince the others that I ought to jump though the gate. Erika thinks doing so is a needless risk and that we ought to leave such explorations to people with greater knowledge and experience. However I am not certain that there are very many people with a lot of experience with this. OK, sure there is a large team of people who studied the Rabbit Hole in London, but with the death of Professor Grovesnor and his assistants, I don't think there is a single person in the world who can claim to understand the first thing about such gates as we face here. We are here. We should do what we can, rather than waste time hoping that somebody more competent than ourselves can be sent. A team here, willing to experiment is much more useful than a hypothetical team of "experts" (and the expertise might simply not exist) that is 5000 miles away.

The plans with the Guide and the letter of introduction to the British Console in Caracas that I wrote about a few entries ago were reviewed and renewed. 

Re: 1879: The Expendables - McFly's Journal

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:30 pm
by Psitanium
Upon further inspection of this room, spell lady alerted us to the possibility we may soon be glowing and grow a tail. Well, technically, she said that there is an energy in this room that may be responsible for the angry mummies and magical items, but that is all the same to me.

After a long debate over whether to build a litter or papoose to carry the hunter to a higher level, we dragged him back to the level above. While we were waiting for him to recover over the next several days, I proceeded to build him a shield, which might help if he encounters any more undead archers. It's not as nice as my own and much less resplendent with science, but it will do.

Once the hunter was back on his feet, we discussed how to proceed. He was intent on playing with the big energy portal thing, because poking the other side of reality with a stick is essentially our career now. Ironically, he suggested literally poking a long stick through the doorway. I asked the troll if we would get his commission if he were to meet an unfortunate end. His response was a mild affirmative, which I took as a sign the hunter should absolutely go through with his plans. Suddenly I felt compelled to help him build the necessary equipment needed to do his experiment.
For a moment, a notion passed my mind. Perhaps one of the hunter’s camera lenses could be augmented with astral sight, but whether our current film development technology would register such a thing. Might just keep that in my metaphorical hat for now.

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:03 pm
by LexiLiegh
Musings of Magic
Authored by Erica Withakay
Insights by Erica Withakay aided by Doctor Ferris McFly

<encrypted for Cartographers of the Compass Rose(12)>
Within are observations on Theory of Magic, as observed by myself, Erica Withakay of the Ordos Arnoldus, Compass Rose branch, currently bestowed with Copper. This Expedition is in Venezuela, and I have encountered several things of note. Doctor Ferris McFly has assisted in providing insights to these processes. I am by no means claim absolute knowledge on the subject matter within, these are just my personal observations and theories of my experiences.

(The last few pages contain a Glossary of terms used, though not in any particular order)
Pattern: Much like how cloth can be woven with multiple colors of thread, all Living things are like a tapestry. Inanimate objects seem to be capable of having such things woven onto them to imbue them with properties that defy Natural Law.

Chapter One: Items
In this it is endeavoured to share observation of items of a Magical nature, either found as is or created.

Ring of Puzzles: This item was discovered in the possession of what used to be a Frenchman. It was five separate rings that formed one band, each one having a pattern unto itself. Once disassembled the Patterns started making more sense individually.
(Awaiting information from Game Master)
Ring 1:<illustration(8)>

Ring 2:<illustration(6)>

Ring 3:<illustration(4)>

Ring 4:<illustration(4)>

Ring 5:<illustration(5)><magic theory(31)>

Scepter of Influence: <illustration(10)> A Golden Scepter that created a bond towards the wielder of the Scepter. Within melee, it made a Troll Soldier hesitate in pressing the attack, though it did not seem to turn them against their traveling companions.

One theorizes that an event of Wild Magic imbued this with the properties observed rather than it being a deliberate creation.

Bowstring: The bowstring holds a pattern similar to the gun Fires of Saint Elmo, of design by Doctor Ferris McFly. It is unknown what the effect this had on arrows fired, but in observation the arrows may have been out of habit rather than necessity.

One theorizes that an event of Wild Magic imbued this with the properties that have yet to be defined rather than being a deliberate creation.

Rock of Crocodile(Croc of Aegis): A simple appearing hide shield made of a Crocodile. Upon activation a magical portion expands from it that provides better cover. <illustration(6)> Developed by Doctor Ferris McFly

Honeycomb: A deployable device that creates a barrier that does not impede line of sight but intercepts projectiles and prevents movement through it from the front. With sufficient force it perhaps could be breeched, though that has yet to have occurred on a catastrophic scale. <illustration(8)> Developed by Doctor Ferris McFly

Fires of Saint Elmo: While appearing to be a heavy handgun, this fires a bolt of energy instead of bullets.<illustration(17)> Developed by Doctor Ferris McFly

Goldblooms Revenge: A device that creates a small field that stuns small flying insects.<illustration(25)> Developed by Doctor Ferris McFly

(about a dozen pages are currently blank between Goldblooms Revenge and Chapter 2)

Chapter 2: Phenomenon and Creatures
In which one endeavours to describe creatures and phenomenon with a magical nature.

Cloakers: Long bipedal reptilian creatures capable of climbing. Within their Pattern it has been observed that they are capable of shifting colors to surroundings faster than the human eye can perceive reliably. <illustration(14)>

The Breech: This is an unstable breech in our reality, in close relation to what is known as the Rabbit Hole. It seems to have a miasma about it that one theorizes created the Wild Magic event or events that imbued the the aforementioned items with properties. In the instability it has been observed to cut and destroy objects, both living and inanimate, that has passed through our side to the other. Observation has shown that flora and fauna from the otherside of The Breech are capable of survival on this side of The Breech. As of yet, the certain creature from The Breech is the Volante, a flying creature encountered by the HMS Queen Anne. One theorizes that the bihorned creature, dubbed a bihnocerous, is from The Breech as well. (Authors Note: One of our Expedition insists that at the very least we must investigate the Breech further. Despite the various dangerous scenarios presented, the Lord that has named himself the De Facto Leader has stubbornly refused to listen to reason. Gods willing, I will be able to continue this entry at a later date.)

Mummy: One theorizes that these creatures were not an intentional creation, but a product of a Wild Magic event. Of the ones encountered, their nature appears to shield them from interference by Magic. Physical attacks were of brutal effect, with ‘Express rounds’ having a particularly devastating effect upon their body. With this encounter, it is likely that there is a basis of truth in the stories of Mummies coming from Egypt. One wonders if the Pyramids are built in areas prone to Wild Magic, either by chance or action.

Re: 1879: The Expendables - McFly's Journal

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:29 pm
by Psitanium
I supervised an experiment where the hunter put a stick through a magical hole. There are absolutely no double entendres that can be made from this scenario. He felt a tingling sensation when he stuck it in. When he pulled the stick out, it had miraculously grown in size. Spell lady explained that the stick now had some magical glowing goo on it. The hunter then planted the stick so he could admire it later. He then tried quickly shoving another stick into the hole and pulling it out immediately. He was disappointed with the results as he was blasted backwards. The stick was also placed aside for further study. Then he held another stick over his head and inserted it into the hole in a vertical fashion while positioned in a defensive stance. Using a swirling method inside the hole, he did not seem to hit anything. Now three sticks stood erect in the ground, of various sizes and girths. The next stick he inserted became ice cold, frigid even. I warned him to treat the hole with the respect it deserved, but my advice fell on deaf ears and frozen hands. Spell lady tried to push two of the sticks together to no avail. The hunter was back at it, trying to place yet another stick into the hole from the top down. He came away wounded from this experiment. It was around this time I started to wonder if he had ever seen a hole before. I have never witnessed a man end up so irrevocably injured by wielding a stick, including myself in my salad days. Deciding that this hole was exit only, we started packing up to leave. However, the first stick, which was still growing in size and width, was particularly interesting to the spell lady. She tried to dispel it’s magic, but this veritable tree trunk was having none of it. In fact, having the lady work her magic on the stick appeared to excite it even further. After focusing on it for a great while, she discovered the power within to release all the stick’s power in a burst of energy, that was palpable to even a casual voyeur such as myself. She was now able to touch the stick without issue and decided it was pleasant enough to keep with her. This new ten-foot long friend would serve her well for all her days. She has not given it a name, but I am calling it Morning Wood for now. Finally, we could work our way back out of the ruins.
I just realized that a stick looks an awful lot like a dingwallace, doesn’t it? Wonder if anyone else noticed that.

Exploring the remainder of the steppe pyramid proved troublesome. I tripped and felt a shower of soft rocks hit me on the head. At first, this seemed like a simple inconvenience. Unfortunately, these rocks had legs and were really large spiders the whole time. This was a series of unfortunate events that left me quite vulnerable. The arocknids charged at me, fangs extended and bit me many times. Attempts at stunning it with Goldblum’s Legacy failed (impressively), but I had forgotten that we already had a one woman stun brigade. Before my very eyes, the arocknids now resembled an Irish pub after two in the morning: twitching, incoherent and full of poor life choices. We squished them immediately. There was no way I would be reliving this experience in the future.
I just realized that arocknids look an awful lot like nardledanglers, don’t they? Wonder if anyone else noticed that.

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:26 am
by ChrisDDickey
The journal of Lord Bentley Bootle, Day 35 out of Caracas.   

Everybody was wary of experimenting with the glimmering circle, but we had seen a creature fly out of it, so we know that it seems to be a portal between worlds, and that it was still somewhat working despite being damaged and unstable, and that the other worlds flora and fauna has certain similarities to the Gruv. I stood in front of the circle and my companions arranged themselves in widely separated locations at a distance. I probed the portal with a sequence of 10 foot poles, hoping to feel the land on the other end of the portal. I hoped that I might be able to tell something of the land through the portal, such as the ground level, the soil condition (sandy, muddy, covered in leaves, etc). Instead, each time I probed the portal I seem to have achieved nothing except to unleashed what has been called a blast of wild magic upon myself. 

My first test was to quickly poke the very tip of a pole into the portal and immediately jerk it back out again. The goal here was to see if things could partially enter the portal but return. In the experiments I did on the day we arrived (that produced no reaction as violent as each of my tests today did) anything that was left in portal for 6 or 10 seconds was severed at the portal interface. So with my first test I desired to confirm that it was not the act of withdrawing the item that triggered the severing, but that items could in fact be safely withdrawn, so long as they were withdrawn before the instability of the gate chanced upon the state that caused it to sever any item partway through it. 

As I jabbed the stick in and out, I felt a powerful tingle from the stick. Erica informed me that the stick had suddenly acquired a "pattern", by which I take it to mean that it had suddenly started to glow in astral space. She told me the stick was now ether magical or had at least acquired a magical spell of some sort. As she examined it, the stick (which we had found outside in the jungle as a deadfall tree limb the previous week) started to bud. As it continued to bud I carried it to the other side of the chamber where the roof had fallen in, and where some soil and accumulated and several other plants had taken root, and I stuck the pole into the earth. Over the time I conducted my other experiments (less than an hour), it changed from a dead 10 foot branch, to a healthy tree of more than 20 feet in height. 

For the 2nd experiment, I stuck the whole 10 foot length of the pole (minus the 6 inches I was holding onto, plus a few more inches for safety) straight into the portal, and then removed it as quickly as I could. What felt to be a blast of lightning knocking me backwards helped me withdrawn the the pole quickly. The lightning bolt was very impressive and quite knocked me about with a few singes and contusions, but my damage was far from mortal. The report on this stick was that it's astral nature had not changed. The stick was somewhat singed, but was not made magical in any way. I got a fresh pole for my third test. 

For my third experiment I hoped to probe the ground on the far side of the portal. As any reader of the London press knows, the Rabbit Hole is a truly two dimensional manifestation, It's height and width easily measured, but it's thickness (in this world) non-existent, instead it's edge is sharper than the sharpest razor. I had proven that this portal shares that razor sharpness when I dodged out of the way of the BiHorn, and it split hits thick and armored head upon the edge of the portal. In the Rabbit Hole, a kind of tunnel exists between the portal in London, and the portal in the Gruv. I don't recall the length of this tunnel, but it is said to be long, and while people can apparently walk the tunnel, doing so disorients them horribly. Plus the air is poison, so the papers reported that a diving suit was attempted. We don't have a diving suit, so if the tunnel is longer than we can jump, we dare not enter it. The portal here is much smaller than the London portal, so I was hoping that the tunnel connecting the two ends would be much shorter. Plus, we had extremely strong indications that land creatures could safely walk from the far end to this end (at the very least, two bihorns, and the pack of biped dinosaurs). So once again, for my third experiment, I wanted to probe for ether the ground outside the far end of the portal, or for the edge of the portal (which would certainly cut my pole). 

So for this experiment I stood a bit more than my arms length back from the glimmer, and held my 10 foot pole above my head. Keeping my arms straight I allowed the pole to fall forward. I was hoping that the pole would emerge from the far end of the portal in the other world and strike the ground, thus letting me know where the ground level was. Failing that, I hoped it would strike the lower edge of the far end of the portal (which is razor sharp), severing the end of the pole, and thus telling us how long the tunnel is. Failing that, I expected it would strike the floor of the tunnel, which the popular press had seemed to indicate in the Rabbit Hole was solid(ish) and level with the edge. To my surprise the pole continued to descend, and I had to exert considerable force to stop it before it severed itself upon the razor sharp edge of the portal in our own world. From the results of this experiment, it seems that the tunnel is longer than 8 feet. And that the tunnel (if there is one) does not have a floor within 8 feet of the edge. 

I am told this third experiment resulted in the stick tingling and acquiring a "pattern" or a spell, the stick was set aside for later study. At a later time Erica did study it and decided she would use it for a walking stick for a time.

These first three experiments were conducted upon the side of the portal that faced the interior of the pyramid. I repeated experiments 2 and 3 upon the other side of the portal, that faced the hole in the outside wall. Both results were identical, in that I felt nothing to indicate that my pole at any time reached into another world or touched anything, including a portal edge or tunnel wall. However the fourth experiment resulted in the wooden pole instantly turning arctic cold within my hands. The fifth and final experiment resulted in a bolt of energy shooting out and striking me in the head, drawing blood and leaving a ringing in the ears that took hours to fade. I dropped that stick and it was lost, apparently inside the portal. 

The tree that was the result of our first experiment was growing faster and faster, taller and thicker. Erica, thinking to slow the growth down to normal, attempted to Dispel Magic upon the tree. Her first attempt failed, but she tried again and suddenly the large tree was just a 10 foot pole again. It seems a shame really, because that was one of the few effects that had not tried to kill me. 

Observations: We saw a flying creature emerge from the portal a week ago. It seemed in good health. Tossing a dragonfly on a string a week ago did not appear to produce any bad results other than the string being severed after approximately 6 seconds. 5 attempts to probe the portal today each released what has been described as a burst of random wild magic.  The portal does not look any different physically today than it did a week ago.  It has not been reported to look different astraly today than it did a week ago. The portal has been described using the words "unstable" and "damaged". We can not see how anything such as ether a bihorn or a biped dinosaur could walk though the gate as it appears from this side now (ie: we can't find a ground or floor within 8 feet of the edge). 

(1) The gate is different on this side and the far side, things entering from the far side have a floor, and can walk on it to our side. 
(2) The gate was recently damaged (possibly by the French expedition), so that it while it used to be safe to use and had a floor, but now does not. The bihorns and the biped dinosaurs walked over before the gate was damaged, but would be unable to do so now. 
(3) Unknown other possibilities.

Recommendations to London. Our testing suggests that it this portal may (for reasons given above) be unusable to travel from this world to whatever world the Portal connects to, however we know that it is still possible for creatures to fly from the other world to this world. Are there any flying magics or scientific devices that could be used to explore this portal? Since the portal appears to be unstable from this end, it is unlikely that the Samsut, should they even find the  other end, would attempt an invasion, or even spying through it. However prudence might suggest a permanent Garrison be arranged to prevent this. Study of the gate might prove enlightening. If the gate could be repaired (or even made safer), much could be done with the gate. We would not want the Samsut repairing the gate.

We gave up on testing the Portal (though it should be noted that testing with 20, or even 30 foot polls might give more data, should the testors survive such attempts), and the next day decided to explore more of the pyramid. We opened one of the stone doors, and started to explore. Erica and Smyth found a pressure plate that if stepped upon wiould drop rocks upon the head. They carefully marked it and warned those of us coming behind to not step upon it. McFly stepped upon it. The rocks, ranging in size from the size of Oranges to Tenpin balls, did very little damage to McFly. We discovered why when what we thought were rocks sprouted legs and eye's and attacked him. In all we killed 15 Arocknids (as we whimsically named them), Erica doing the heavy lifting (her stun spell is very, very nice). I carefully Pithed two of the nicer specimens, photographing the larger one, and packing a small one for transport back to a museum (Or heck, maybe I will keep it for my trophy room - it looks quite fearsome). 

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:25 am
by LexiLiegh
Atlas, Step Expedition
Written and Illustrated by Erica Withakay

<encrypted(12)>The Breech appears to have a high likelihood of imparting a wild magic effect on items passing through the plane of either side. From witness it created a wild growth, a staff that feels pleasant, and a staff that blasted the hapless experimenter with a spell that one could reference as lightning bolt. The wild growth was unwoven to prevent the hazardous growth from undue harm to the temple and Breech. The Breech of itself had also blasted the hapless experimenter, and they claim it made them extremely cold another time. At this point the experimentation was given up with the only information gained being that the one experienced with magic was correct that experimenting haphazardly with The Breech was a reckless endeavor, that thankfully did not result in serious harm to the observers nor the area.

The builders of this temple were serious about protections. The latest protection encountered was a dead fall trap of stones from the ceiling. This ended up being triggered by one of our expedition. The rocks did little damage in the fall, however the miasma seems to have mutated these particular rocks into a creature with similar characteristics to arachnids. These arocknids were easily overpowered physically and magically, though a bludgeoning force of a spiked mace proved more effective than the impact of a revolver round on their chitin(in margins:"I am not of proper training in if this would be a correct term.) They ranged in size from a Nordic ship compass to the size of a proper English airship compass. <illustration of arocknid, marked with proportions and a cross section(5)>

Additions to the journal titled Musings of Magic

Arocknids: Spider like rocks ranging from the size of a cricket ball to the size of a bowling ball. They are likely another mishap from the miasma within the pyramid. They are easily destroyed by mace and incapacitated with correct application of magical will.

Pole of Power: Three total ten foot poles were inserted into The Breech, and were subsequently imbued with a magical pattern. The weave is akin to poorly crafted broad cloth in the wind.

Morning Wood: This pole has unknown properties, but it instills a pleasant feeling when held.

Wild Growth: This one regenerated and in the course of a half hour or so was twenty feet high, and about a foot diameter. Due to the nature of the tree and location, the pattern on this was soon after disassembled, turning the tree back into the ten foot pole it originated from.

Boomstick: Shortly after being inserted into The Breech, this pole blasted a party member with what one knows to be the basis of The Fires of Saint Elmo. It was unfortunately lost through The Breech.

Re: 1879: The Expendables

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:06 pm
by Andrew1879
yes, I'm twelve, and am still snickering over "Morning Wood" feeling pleasant when held.