Jump to content
Valucre
  • Announcements

Deus Ex Aizen

[ Himmelsfestung ] What Lies Beneath [ Test Quest ]

Recommended Posts

dfee120ee2.jpg

 

It was a descent into an abyss from which they were not sure they would emerge from. The rocky corridor was narrow and cramped, the chiseled out clay and sediment compacted from years of being fleshed out. It was clear this entrance had been cut out a time long before any of them could fathom, crude and dry as it were. Decades of abandonment and a fine layer of dust and sand kicked up as the fading sun would grow dimmer and dimmer the deeper they stepped down. The stairs were littered with broken fragments of rock, clods of earth and died root, making it trickier to move. For the three travelers, the strong breeze wailed and whistled and eerie tone as it rushed past them, until it too began to lose the freshness of its scent. As the earth grew cooler, it became damper and danker, the outside world nothing more than a hushed whisper behind them. The large, chunky steps began to even out into a slop that climbed and fell, weaving through a widening dome that gave way to a water source on either side of them.

Darkness enveloped the cave at this point, but up ahead our adventurers could make out the silvery-white of light ahead, just obscured by a sheer slab of rock ahead on their left and right. The dark pools and trickling fountains that were beginning to emerge on either side of them bubbled gently; If they weren't careful, they'd slip from the path and fall right into the water feeding into the high walls stretched all the way up to seemingly impossible heights. The spare glimpses of the high ceiling revealed the twinkling of starlight--but how could that be? The only path that our adventurers could afford was to move forward. A brilliant, silvery-white line races across the entrance as they surpass the threshold. Any attempt to re-cross it and they would find themselves unable to return to the surface from whence they came, activating a magic etched deep into the depths of the Labyrinth. 

The walls were smooth, compacted earth--though murals of the Beast King and his victims were depicted--aged and faded by time and neglect. The only light that seemed to emanate were the twinkling stars above their heads, casting an eerie, silvery-glow on the earthy floor at their feet.

Now at a crossroads, there were three possible choices for our three adventurers to take. Forward ahead, to their left, or to their right. As if to emphasize this, the same brilliant silvery light etched these directions along the illuminated floor. Slowly a spidery scripture danced into place at the very center of the floor--if our adventurers stepped back they could possibly make it out.

 

What lies beneath, you'll surely know.

Beware your step and of the glow.

Choose wisely, but do not stray.

Sanity frays the longer you stay.

Your time is limited, your choices few.

To find the heart is up to you.

 

Welcome the the Labyrinth of Raz-Nogore

 

b6b865817c.jpg

 

Spoiler

The Rules of the Labyrinth

  • You and your party must first decide if you will stick together as a group, or choose separate paths. Beware that choosing to split up may further disorient you on your journey to make your way through the Labyrinth.
  • A pre-determined set of directions exists for each group or solo adventurer, known as a sequence. You have five total opportunities to guess your sequence before you are deposited back to the beginning of the Labyrinth.
  • Of the five total opportunities, you must correctly guess the sequence, which consists of three randomized directions (your DM will be aware of each sequence for each group or solo adventurer)
  • For instance, if your sequence is Left|Forward|Right, within those five opportunities you must correctly choose the order Left|Forward|Right. This gives you two opportunities to guess incorrectly, so choose wisely. You will never have to go backwards as part of your  sequence.
  • If you fail to correctly guess the entire sequence, an entirely new sequence will be generated for you, and thus you begin again at the entrance to the Labyrinth.
  • For each failed sequence you try, your character will become increasingly disoriented and forgetful.
  • If you fail to guess your entire sequence a fifth time, your character will be promptly ejected from the Labyrinth, and you will have failed your quest entirely a little less sane than when you first entered.
  • If you successfully navigate to the center of the Labyrinth, the real trouble will begin...

@Al Sa-her

@Metty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the trio would take their descent, Jinsoku would focus on keeping a hold on his anxiety. The growing eerie darkness with that sort of silence you could hear was pushing him, albeit mildly. His long black hair was pulled back neatly into a bun. He donned his full suit of armor just as when they had arrived, again, without the helmet. The singular suit of armor was obviously something considered as advanced technology compared to what he was previously use to. It's mid-night blue hue that was akin to the color of obsidian was really cool too. To his hip he carried one of the default variations of the spear that originally belongs to Master James. The very one that the Commander herself had designed for him as he had learned. The Microcomposite Spear, currently fully retracted to nothing more than a half a meter or so. It seemed like nothing more than a short stick with each end tapered into a fine point. Despite his plethora of thoughts flowing through his mind, he remained silent as they went underground (could it be called underground if it's techinically in the sky?). With his breathing deep and slow, he maintained his composure without even breaking a sweat! Reassurance fell upon him when he could see the silver lining that was the entrance to the Labyrinth Arena. His eyes grew slightly wide as he his heart rate surely kicked up a little, adrenaline starting to push through him not only due to his anxiety battle, but also because of their actual arrival to their destination. The fact that it was called an arena was enough to anticipate certain conflict. Finally, he would break the party's silence as he would easily deem himself as the Alpha of the group. It wasn't because of arrogance mind you. It was more so because of his most recent experiences in the last year or so, forcing him to feel responsible for lives lost in his presence.

"Alright ladies, looks like we're here. This is your last chance to bow out. Once we go in, we stick together...no matter what."

That last part was spoken with his head turned just enough to look at Arashi over his shoulder and from the corner of his eye. Looking straight ahead once more, Jinsoku would become a bit more weary of the entrance itself. His words having triggered a feat of Claircognizance. This was no video game or dope ass anime, this was real life. This light was obviously energy of some sort, perhaps even magic. Two options crossed his mind: The first was that once one passed through the barrier, they were stuck inside. The second being that crossing the barrier could cause some sort of effect spell such as a binding or a curse. Thus was the nature of dungeons such as this. Call him paranoid, but there was no denying his intelligence, especially in his age. A tribute to how much he had actually been through. He had yet to get to know their other companion too well, but as far as he was considered, the biggest threat right now was Arashi. Unless she had managed to get a leash on her recklessness overnight. 

"I advise you remain focused as well. I can't be certain of what, but I have a feeling that glowing around the entrance is more than just for show."

@Metty @Deus Ex Aizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dragon sighed, following Jin from behind. For all she knew about dungeons like this, this was a regular dungeon, unknownily to her, it wasn't. Arashi was always a reckless kid, not really caring about danger much.

"What's the worst that could happen? It's just a dungeon. There's nothing to be worried about." The dragon spoke, like she didn't care much if there was any danger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I agree with master Jin here. The worst that could happen is that this is a trap. The King is the butcher, after all. The stories I've heard..." Even for Vera, who cringed at the stories and wild rumors that spread through the ranks about the very king that Lady Raveena was working to overthrow. "...he might be watching us like rats for all we know." She was beginning to wish that Johari was present. His ability to negate magic would have put her at ease in such an enclosed, magical space. She felt it, all around--crawling across her skin as if they were bathed in magic. It were as though the Labyrinth itself were comprised of rock and copious amounts of magic.

Seeing the silvery line they crossed, Vera felt anxiousness in her bones. She disliked enclosed spaces and not being able to see where was where and the best way to get through. One wrong turn could lead to another, and another, and another. If they split up would they even be able to find each other again? What disturbed her the most was the starry sky over their heads--as if they had stepped outside instead of underground. Was this another illusion? More magic? Without Johari around to dispel and negate whatever the magic was, it was impossible to tell! The silence save for the trickling of water behind them also made her uneasy.

"Where do we go from here? Left? Right? Or forward?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The worst possibility is always death. I don't care how tough you think you are lady, if you can bleed you can die."

He refrained from sounding condescending, he stated it in a more nonchalant/matter of fact kind of way. Vera chimed in shortly after with her concerns. While Jin was not aware of specific stories relevant to, he knew that the King they were helping the Commander overthrow was a monster. The sort that he had been so eagerly trained to dispatch. While the work of him personally must be left to the Commander herself, Jinsoku had a job that was just important. To clean out that fuckers basement. Breaching the no return point, Jinsoku remained weary though he felt just fine and there was no obvious sign of magic at work just yet. Vera asked aloud which way they would go, but ultimately, Jinsoku would remain standing at the fork in which he would address his companions once more.

"The good thing is that as a labyrinth, it should only have one true path to the finish. So unless there's illusion magic at work, or the labyrinth is able to change shape, the correct path is inevitable...Judging by my best guess, I think we should go left."

Why left? Straight was probably the most widely accepted choice for travel. Right being a close runner up. But left? Left was definitely the least likely to be chosen as the correct path, which triggered something in Jin's philosophical thoughts randomly, encouraging the presumed less traveled path.

"Any objections?"

@Metty @Deus Ex Aizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"...Already nearly died twice. No need to go through that again." The dragon seemed annoyed at what he had just said. Danger and near death experiences weren't new for the hybrid as she nearly died twice. 

"I have no objections. I'm not going myself but if you think that's the right way...then sure."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Left it is, then. If it's the end of us, hopefully Johari will get my will." And down the left corridor they went. Vera didn't care for the shadows cast by the eerie silvery light. The place reeked of magic to her which meant she and the others were at the mercy of its caster. What if the King knew they were there already? How easily would it be to thwart them? Who was to say the King wasn't messing with them all along? Was there truly any fairness to this wicked trap they stepped into?

That ground shook. The walls trembled as she stumbled against it. Just like that, the wall vanished into the ground and Vera toppled over. All around them those tall and impossible walls were rising, falling, changing directions--as if they maze were re-constructing itself. It was an impossibly quick shuffle. Up, down, left, up right, down, right, left, up, down--again, and again. Vera rolled as a wall jutted out of the ground with explosive force. All at once the chamber echoed and trembled.

THOOM! THOOM! As if these great walls were locking themselves in place. All at once the questers found themselves completely turned around from where they had just turned. It appeared they had taken one such wrong turn. "Pox rot in this accursed place!" Vera swore profusely. It made her nervous just how swiftly the Labyrinth turned on them.

A silver X drew itself on the ground, before curling together and spelling out a simple warning

 

Be careful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why? Why did it always have to be like this? 11 out of 10 times a Labyrinth could never just be an ordinary Labyrinth. They all had to be special, magical, living, or otherwise. As the party no doubt took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, the entire sub level of the floating land mass shook in the wake of the walls shifting in the labyrinth. Some how the party would be turned about face from their previous path of travel. An X etched itself into the path before them, only to blossom into one helluva creepy warning. Be careful. Jinsoku would maintain his footing all the while by abusing one of his newest techniques, Static Cling. By sufficiently providing a large enough static charge, Jinsoku was able to keep secure footing without making the mistake of locking his knees and falling over anyway. Likewise without straining himself. Once things had settled, Jinsoku would take note of the immediately changed environment. Despite his better judgment, he would take the advise as a one time free pass, allowing them to embark in the proper direction after having previously failed to do so. 

"Everybody okay?"

He questioned simply yet with purpose. Even if they were here by their own choice, he felt responsible for them. Such was the cost of playing the leader for a very important mission. While his initial choice had lead them to immediate failure, he wouldn't let it get to him so easily. This would teach him a valuable lesson right from the jump however, one that he would certainly feel the need to share with his allies.

"It's safe to assume that we must remain together if we wish to stay that way. If we dare to trifle with splitting up to test directions of travel, the entirety of available routes will presumably shift. Meaning a right path can become a wrong path and vice versa. It also means we won't likely be able to meet back up should one of us make it through the whole thing."

He had a point. Though perhaps completing the labyrinth together was simply impossible to begin with, unless they were incredibly lucky. It would certainly come to a point where they had to question their choices and their motives. How important was this job to complete? What was it worth. If only one of them made it through the labyrinth, could they solely handle what was to be found in the center? There was just as high a chance there could be treasure as there was with the possibility of having to slay a giant monster of some sort. Perhaps even both.

@Metty @Deus Ex Aizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arashi merely looked over at Jin then at the wall with a confused look on her face. "Well...that was certainly something. We should get moving. Best not to split up either. You know we'll possibly die that way."

She was right, there was an added possibility of death if they went their seperate ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Agreed," Vera stated, and even she was visibly shaken. Her fingers were trembling. The suddenly very real possibility of dying or losing her mind trying to find a way out became very clear. Despite what training she had as a solider, she was still human. If the Labyrinth wanted to play mind games and let her fear and paranoia creep in, it was winning right out of the gate. She could torture people for days for information no problem, but the loss of her freedom--just, no.

"Right...right. Err. Ha! No pun intended. Clearly that was...wrong. Very wrong. Erm. Yeah, I agree, I am not leaving without you guys." Her humor was sucked dry. The tension was high and laced through her words. She was clearly spooked but that would not stop her from her job. They had been sent on a mission and there was no way to fail as Raveena had requested they simply explore and discover what there was to see. Not, Vera thought darkly, if they never return to the surface...

No! There was no reason to think that! Vera slowly came to stand, for she had fallen to her knees in what felt like the most dizzying earthquake ever. All around the walls rose and fell, blurring and moving at impossible speeds. Nothing looked the way it had at first, for the path they had taken was now cut off to them. Instead as they turned, a whole new set of possible paths had opened up. Dusting her knees off and sweeping bits of rock, dust and dirt from her hair, the Enforcer sighed heavily.

"Well now what?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well..."

Jinsoku wasn't certain if the maze simply turned them away from the wrong direction, or if it actually aimed them in the right direction. However unlikely it may be, the latter was not impossible. What would now be options of going left or straight, it mattered not which one he chose. He was responsible. While he truly wasn't sure, he smiled and bluffed like hell to reassure them of his optimism. 

"I feel as if perhaps the labyrinth aimed us in the right direction as a small token of it's mercy considering it's very strange warning. So dead ahead we go....I probably should have picked a better pun..."

So long as he had their compliance, which he had so far, the trio would this time attempt going upon the path opposite of the first one they tried. He sincerely hoped that this was the right way. If they went wrong two for two, then their chances of finding their way through would be greatly diminished. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arashi burst out laughing at his pun, following him behind as he said it. "That was the best thing I've heard all day, keep those coming! Hahaha!" The dragon couldn't stop her laughter, this was way too great.

Jin really had to make her laugh, this was probably gonna end in her not taking this seriously one bit. This had happened too many times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a deafening silence that seemed to fill the space. Perhaps it was that the group had expected the walls to extract themselves and move around as they had before. In their case--they were correct, but only after the Labyrinth acknowledged they had chosen the correct path. Only then did the walls align themselves, carving out a path that shook the earth--which would indicate to its Questers to follow the path that was being laid out for them. Left and left again, and sometimes right, and sometimes right again, before left. And there were times it was straight for an unreasonably long time.

There was no room for opportunity to choose now, for the path was cleared for them for their correct guess. The twinkling of starlight overhead remained their primary source of light. The deeper they journeyed into the maze of walls, the walls less hewed than when they had first entered. It was a mystery--a wonder. Had anyone ever journeyed this far into the Labyrinth before? There was an organic texture to the walls now, cold and lumpy in many places. Vera ran her fingers along the walls now. Before, she was scared to touch them, for they had proven to be a thing of magic she knew nothing about and--to her--were very much alive. Now the age of the Labyrinth was beginning to show.

Only when another three way path opened itself up did she stop short and groan. It meant another choice, another potential chance to fail.

Edited by Deus Ex Aizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once embarked, the path would commit before them with certainty. Jinsoku was weary of the path leading them in any shape, form, or fashion...However, it would at least advance them towards their goal, regardless of what was here waiting for them. Jinsoku would signal the women to keep up with him as he would take to a hasty jog. Taking the lead while running into danger was the least he could do. Surely being ahead of the women would save them his look of reluctance in the act over all. Just what was supposed to be down here anyway? Why was Raven so interested in it? What sort of boss fight was to be expected out of a cliche dungeon, akin to movies and games that Jin had at least played once in his life on either of the worlds he used to occupy.

Edited by Al Sa-her

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arashi snapped back into focus, following the path, sighing. She looked over to Jin, who had been surprisingly quiet since her remark. She knew he would generally joke around or two but this was awful weird. "Hey Jin...is something wrong? You seem a little too quiet. I'm sort of concerned." The draconian said as she showed some sort of degree of concern torwards the young warrior who was obviously deep in thought or had lost his focus.

Looking over to the right path, Arashi stopped for a split second and sniffed the air. "...How about we go to the right instead? I have a feeling my senses will help out...I do feel clean air coming from it."

Edited by Metty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×