The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #541
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Matai nods in agreement with Kyron's question. "What do goldish-silver alloy walls signify?" And are you sure they're not actively hostile to you, if these insects can move freely through their territory and might have come from it? he thinks but doesn't say out loud.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  2. - Top - End - #542
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    “Surely you did not think that a vast network of natural and artificial tunnels, caverns, and areas creates and maintains itself, especially when it’s built to attract chaotically-inclined creatures that naturally introduce entropy into the system…. Did you?

    Most of the low-level maintenance is conducted by Formians, but we are aware of other and more powerful entities managing sections of the Complex. We leave them alone, and they leave us alone.”

  3. - Top - End - #543
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    "So these 'Maintainers' are merely 'managing' this section of the Complex? It doesn't sound like they're leaving you alone any more. What do these Maintainers look like?"

  4. - Top - End - #544
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    Another ogre arrives, this one wearing a robe covered in pockets, and a teal-colored leather headband. His skin is greyer. “A magically shaped miniature hole? How odd. I wonder how the swarm of mindless insects was controlled? It would seem to go against their instincts. I shall observe.”
    "A summoned swarm is normally not controlled. The swarm could be summoned into the hole and the other end plugged. The swarm would naturally seek another exit, these halls. Though someone being able to control them would be... curious."

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    The first sensor expires, and the wizard creates another. Three minutes later, he blanches visibly. “I found another exit, another pin-hole tunnel like this. It goes into a room with goldish-silver alloy walls. We won’t be chasing him.”

    Klurth nods in agreement. “Best to leave the maintainers alone.”
    “Surely you did not think that a vast network of natural and artificial tunnels, caverns, and areas creates and maintains itself, especially when it’s built to attract chaotically-inclined creatures that naturally introduce entropy into the system…. Did you?"
    "Most of the low-level maintenance is conducted by Formians, but we are aware of other and more powerful entities managing sections of the Complex. We leave them alone, and they leave us alone.”
    "Formians don't use tiny holes. We've seen them use the Ethereal Plane to pass through walls. You said the maintainers leave you alone and are irrelevant to the insects. They are not the source. Your chaos-inclined entity happened to find their way to the maintainers. Whoever it is is still your enemy trying to destroy your library. Are you just going to allow that?!"

    "If you have bags of holding or the like, I'd suggest putting your more valuable books inside them for protection until this is dealt with."


    Kricen ponders the situation down below for a bit. How to deal with who is down there? How to get the ogres to be more helpful? What more do the ogres have to offer? "You wanted us to find how the insects were getting in and we did that. Done deal. Don't need to seal your doors anymore. Just your floors." Kricen chuckles. "The tunnel down there is way too small for you. You need us to get rid of your bug problem right?


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  5. - Top - End - #545
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    The wizard ogre is using Arcane Eye.

    “Maybe it’s them, or maybe it is someone exploiting the mechanisms of the Complex for long-distance movement. If the latter, they will no doubt be located and dealt with appropriately within a reasonable time.”

    “Operating in those tunnels would be difficult even with the use of Reduce Person, and we would need to use Wind Walk or something similar to reach them. Reducing shorter individuals, such as yourselves, would prove more effective. Would you be willing to take on such a task?”

  6. - Top - End - #546
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    No longer smiling, "As of right now, my willingness is limited to listening to what enticements you have to offer. If I hear something I like, my willingness to take on such a task might be stirred."

  7. - Top - End - #547
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Shim makes a face as he looks at the others, their host probably uncertain what it means. "Kind of figured we would have to." Turning to the others, he says "Ok, I'm ok doing this but we should be unanimous in this."
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

  8. - Top - End - #548
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kricen was pleasantly surprised by Kyron's response. "Yes, can't have all this knowledge get chewed away. You'll have to convince Kyron first, then we'll all have to deal with the challenges. A Reduce spell will only last a matter of minutes."

    In the meantime, the necromancer has his ghostly familiar Gandalf go to the bottom of the nearby hole to keep watch, with directions to not get seen. Maybe they'd get lucky.

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    We had to convince them before (and they still have to pay up), now they have to convince us
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    Semult for Kish's Wrath of the Righteous
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  9. - Top - End - #549
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    “Have you not already learned things you did not know before? Our wealth is in knowledge and insight, not in stacks of shiny metals.”

  10. - Top - End - #550
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    "You might be surprised to discover that I, too, do not measure wealth in stacks of shiny metals."

    Looking around the room momentarily, "Frankly I haven't really learned anything of great value here. We've indicated where your problem is coming from, and I'm inclined to leave."

    With a shrug, the square-jawed cleric moves toward the door.

  11. - Top - End - #551
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    <Is he bluffing? Because I like shiny pieces of metal...> Shim thinks to himself as he waits a moment before giving a nod to their hosts and following Kyron.
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

  12. - Top - End - #552
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Klurth shrugs. “Very well. We will find someone else to assist us, or perhaps summon some elementals. You have done as agreed. What questions shall I take to Zudagark for you?”

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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    Flicking his wrist in a dismissive motion, "Meh...I'll defer to the others. Let them ask what they would."

    The cleric sits and quietly offers up a prayer to The Invincible Knight.

  14. - Top - End - #554
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kricen was surprised by the others playing such hardball. Funds to fund a runeforge spree would be quite useful but there were many other useful things too. Some of which they had already earned.

    "Let's not be so hasty to exit, the gold mine here is knowledge. They've agreed to honor the bargain so let's learn what we can. Hours? Days? We'll see what it takes. The information may keep us alive and mutation free."

    He turns to the ogre. "My colleagues may have questions of their own too but I do have a starting list. I'm in no rush. You can proudly show off what your clan has learned after so long here. If we do find our way back here I'll share what I've learned for any new questions I come up with then."

    "What maps of the Complex do you have? I would like to make copies for our travels."
    "How does the teleportation system work and what portal locations do you know of?"
    "What do you know of a psionic goblin named Whitemarsh? He is trying to take over the goblin tribe and may want to strike out at you."
    "What do you know of the Complex's workings and purpose?"
    "Who or what are the Complex managers that you know of?"
    "Who is behind the Complex, why and where?"
    "Why so Chaos focused?"
    "Do the crystals have a purpose other than powering destruction up on the surface?
    "Any groups you know of that are friendly who we might meet up with later?"
    "What's your relationship with the myconids and what's through the arch by the myconids?"


    Kricen sends Gandalf down the hole to keep watch.
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    Suga for Kish's The Sunless Citadel
    Cendrik for J-H's Servants of the Thrallherd
    Semult for Kish's Wrath of the Righteous
    Faazeran for kinem's Drow Against Midnight

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  15. - Top - End - #555
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    After a little while, the group is led to a room with some Large benches and tables, and told to make themselves comfortable. Zudagark joins them after a few minutes.

    “It is good to see someone else so focused on knowledge.” He smiles. “I may not be able to tell you everything you want to know, but I can answer most of your questions.”

    “Whitemarsh is a mere distraction. He is focused on taking over goblinkind, and his minions have left us alone after being repulsed several times. Those we trade with, such as the nearby Sphinx, are also strong enough to ignore him. Rulers of mortal species come and go, and rarely live to the fullness of days which their species would normally expect. He will be overthrown eventually, whether through his own mistakes, betrayal unseen, or direct attack by a small but effective group of combatants, possibly such as yourselves…. Although I think you are not strong enough to challenge him to his face.”

    “The myconids leave us alone, and we leave them alone. We both get what we want. They seem to have no scholars, and communicate through the telepathic sharing of imprecise images and concepts. One would nearly have to graft fungus to himself to truly understand them, and fleshcrafters who would do such things are, from a historical perspective, unbalanced and volatile. The archway off of their territory leads to the domain of a shadow-creature of some sort. Entering it has proven unwise, and there is little to learn from the undead.

    “The Complex is an orderly place, after a fashion. It cannot help but be such, as it was shaped and fashioned by the forces of Law. Understand that we came much later, but the consistent trend is that those who oversee operations are most often Devils, Formians, or mechanical beings from the plane of Mechanus. There have been a few others – yugoloths, the occasional celestial, - but all have been of the type that focus on rules and methods and order. Yes, there are a few celestials, even in a place that causes such destruction. We know not why, but can assume that they see some greater good or purpose.

    They maintain a teleportation network to travel to different areas of the complex, primarily located behind the walls and reachable through ethereal travel – and thus inaccessible to almost every entity not equipped with sufficient spellcasting or appropriate magical items. An elegant system that combines concealment with passive defenses over a large scale, with no active application of resources available, yes?

    “Many chaotic creatures seem to be drawn here through various methods… yet few, if any, ever leave. We believe this is deliberate, but do not know the reason why.

    “Yes, the power crystals do fuel the great workings of magic that destroy areas of the surface. They seem an inefficiently distributed method of power storage, as though designed to draw attacks and attention.”

    “For those such as us, however, this is a generally safe home. Our ancestors record many battles on the surface, attacks upon our civilization by barbarian humans and dwarves, elven archers attacking our herds, and of course goblinoids seeking to besiege our cities. We are safe here, and remain so as long as we do not overly disturb things. As a result, maps are not something that we feel it is good to share.”

  16. - Top - End - #556
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    "Do you know why the Great Machine has been quiet for 161 years? Is it something along the lines of recharging? What, besides a bit more experience with those mindmages, do you suggest in dealing with Whitemarsh if you think us not powerful enough to deal with him?"
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

  17. - Top - End - #557
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kricen listens intently to Zudagark. "Good that you know about Whitemarsh. Surprising he wants to make multiple enemies. We do have a weapon against his power but need to be close to him. Tracking him down is the initial challenge."

    "The undead? Useful tools the Complex conveniently hands out. An incorporeal one to control could be quite... useful."

    "So the forces of Law create the Complex to get Chaos to battle itself, and in such a way that surface dwellers must take part else they suffer catastrophe. That is a reason for us to be here. Destroying power crystals would seem to have no affect on your home. Can you point us in the direction of more crystal locations? I understand and agree with wanting to keep your location less well known, but even partial maps not including your home would help.

    If we do gain access to the teleportation network, what other stops do you know of besides your being the 5th stop. Where is that? I'd intrigued to see it and learn its operation."
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    Suga for Kish's The Sunless Citadel
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    Semult for Kish's Wrath of the Righteous
    Faazeran for kinem's Drow Against Midnight

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  18. - Top - End - #558
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2


    “Yes, I believe you surfaces have been keeping the power-storage crystals sufficiently destroyed. It’s a never-ending task, isn’t it?

    What is Whitemarsh to you? He controls some small amount of territory in this large and deep network. Is he blocking your access to something you need?

    The teleportation network works on a hub-and-spoke system with hubs connected to greater hubs. We should not share any other information about it, as that is one area that is actively protected. It appears we already have some degree of an issue to resolve.”

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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    "How and by whom are the greater hubs protected?"

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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    "Do you realize the risk we would be taking if you caused a major disruption based on information we gave you? Please pursue another line of questioning." The ogre looks a little bit unsettled, tapping one of his feet against the ground as he speaks.

  21. - Top - End - #561
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    Default Re: The Complex of Doom (IC) Thread 2

    Kyron

    The ogre's obvious discomfort oddly prompted a broad, toothy grin from the cleric, as if he were much pleased with himself. Then he slaps the table loudly, "Right, so....we've got Whitemarsh over here trying to carve out a fiefdom of loyal goblinoids, over there is a field of semi-sentient mushroom folk, beyond them through darkened archway a shadowy undead entity, somewhere over there is a sphinx, and running through it all a complex teleportation network to facilitate the coming and goings of the lawful powers that maintain this place."

    Standing, the warrior cleric makes an expansive gesture, "All of this....this, purposeful design, careful maintenance, 'inefficient' power storage designed to draw attacks....attacks from chaotic forces drawn to this complex like a moth to a flame. One wonders if this is all just an elaborate show, an attempt by beings of order, purpose, and law to create a threat powerful enough...serious enough to unite the disparate peoples and cultures of the world to be united in purpose just enough to not destroy one another."

    Braying a laugh devoid of any mirth, "OR....my imagination may be spinning conspiratorial fantasies from whole clothe."

    Approaching the table again, and taking his seat, Kyron leans closer to Zudagark, "My friend here has a bit of an obsession with....dead things, and I'm a bit curious as well. What do you know of the shadow creature beyond the archway....or if you believe there to be no relevant discoveries to be had there, what about this Sphinx? I begin to regret my earlier hastiness, perhaps a deal could be worked out for us to deal with your little bug problem."
    Last edited by RolandDeschain; Yesterday at 11:28 PM.

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