An answer for Deliverance?

Postby Cinnabar » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:12 am

"...when you say chute, I trust you actually mean some sort of, uh, tunnel, or corridor, or passageway, or... something with steps." There's a hopeful glance from the High Constable as he dismounts, and there's a quiet moment or two as he approaches the rock, peering at it and the point at which it joins the ground - or rather, where it's embedded in the ground thanks to lying in this place for untold years, with grass growing around it and lichen and moss trying to grow on it. Hm. He straightens, and the gaze he turns upon the mapmaker is not a particularly delighted one.

"You know, I was sort of hoping it'd be some kind of tunnel, which just needed unblocking. Like there was at Foggy Bottom. Shift a few rocks, a few shovel loads of dirt, and there you go." A glance for the stone that towers well above his head. That thing's got to weigh... tons. More than a few of them. Probably many. Maybe dozens. "And that the stone would just be, I don't know, a marker. I mean, just look at this thing. It's been here since forever." Calomel thumps the looming boulder with the side of his fist at this last word, frowning in manifest frustration.

And is rewarded by the deep, reverberating sound of stone on stone, as the hulking mass of rock shifts, dust and dead leaves drifting down from the top of the thing. No, that's impossible. It's been in the same place for centuries, it's not going to move around just because he knocked it. Ridiculous.

But.

There's a moment's pause as the young man examines the monolith warily, then places a hand flat against the weathered stone and pushes experimentally.

A grinding, crunching noise is the result, the massive rock moving perceptibly, visibly at his touch. A bit more effort, the Constable leaning into that push, and the rock tilts, lifting somewhat out of that depression in which it has sat for countless ages as if made from hollow wickerwork; when released, though, it drops back into place with the unstoppable force of many tons of solid rock, and a thump which can be felt through the soles of the feet.

Calomel, for his part, regards this with some uncertainty before looking to the mapmaker.

"Right. Uh. That wasn't me."
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Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:41 am

Glenn Burnie had seen a great many things of great wonder and magical terror. Ask him about Kolidor sometime, Calomel. Ask him about Alzashard. Ask him about that blasted Bubble and Grass Demi-Goddess. This was not more wonderful than all of those things but it was at least almost as absurd as the Bubble Goddess. He walked forward, handing Cinnabar the book and pointing to the passage about those with pure hearts being granted entrance. This time he didn't pull it away from him. Instead he walked forward. "It probably would have rolled backwards on me if I tried that. Don't let it go to your head." Alright, well then. Another story to circulate about the High Governor. Not the worst thing in the world. Moving on for sanity's sake. Oh... yes. Look at that.

Below the rock were, yes, stairs leading downwards. Here was the strange thing. They, and the chamber itself, so best as it seemed, were made of the white bark of some tree or another. Despite it being made by such a generally flimsy material, compared to stone or metal, there was no signs of wear and tear, no signs of rot and decay. This was very different from the waterfall cave. There was not even any dust. Glenn most certainly let the Constables go first, they with the lights and the swords and that were trained for such things.

The shield was there, placed much as the sword had been, once, in the cave. It was... terribly, terribly unimpressive. It was made of the same white wood and looked like it could not even stop a raindrop, yet it was preserved just like everything else in the room. There was no deathfrost here. With Deliverance in hand, Teron may have been able to make it past the rock. Maybe. It did not matter, for he had not been here yet. Glenn marveled at the wood and how preserved the chamber was. At the same time, he couldn't help but be a bit disappointed at the shield itself. That was just his luck with magical objects, it really was.
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Postby Cinnabar » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:58 am

High Constable Calomel is the only member of that doughty force to actually descend the steps; the rest wait up top, thank you very much, keeping an eye on the surroundings. Cinnabar, meanwhile, glances at the passage in that book, frowns uncertainly, then shrugs before turning to carefully descend the steps. No light, no lantern; that'll be Glenn's responsibility to arrange, for Calomel has no need for such.

By the time Glenn brings the lantern down, the Constable-Governor is peering at the shield itself, tilting his head and inspecting the thing critically. It's... hm.

"I'd had in mind something more, ah, robust. Sturdy. Made of iron or bronze or such." He glances to Glenn, gaze glittering in the light of the man's lantern.

"Right then. Before anyone even touches this thing, I'd recommend you tell me everything you've discovered about it. Everything. Even the silly legends, because if there's some ridiculous tale about the wielder turning inside-out on picking the damn thing up, I'd really like to know ahead of time."
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Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:13 am

Well suffice to say, Glenn followed Cinnabar down, even if he would have been gladder to have at least another Constable down there and one with a light at that. He was able to take something down to help him see and oh, there would be questions for Cinnabar about this later. He had thought that perhaps those ears were just a futile attempt from the Constable's youth to make himself, by hanging himself from them, naturally. Perhaps not.

"You heard most of it yesterday, ser." That formality seemed to slip out in such situations still. "There really isn't much to add except for that bit about the noble heart, and that one of strong will can use the shield to its fullest. Apparently you needed a noble heart to get it," well wasn't that an annoying thing to say over and over again. True, but annoying. "And a strong desire to wield it." It was the sort of desire that Teron certainly had or... perhaps one of Vraal's cultists. "Damn it, Calomel. It's times like this I wish we actually employed a mage, you know?"
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Postby Cinnabar » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:21 am

"If you know one, send him in my direction." A tentative hand reaches out to touch the shield, then gingerly pick it up as if it might crumble to bits. "Or her, of course." It's a strange contrast to the cave at Foggy Bottom, this place, bark-lined walls as fresh as if put in place yesterday. And yet there was the growth of moss, grass, lichen on and around the boulder, the way the rutted road turned aside from the thing to testify to it having been there since time immemorial.

The shield is turned over carefully, and the Constable-Governor inspects both sides of the thing with scrupulous attention. It's... no, actually, it makes sense. A magic item intended to protect the wielder's comrades but not the wielder - indeed, perhaps diverting those hurts to the wielder to spare those beside him - wouldn't need to be solid enough to withstand a blow. The wielder's fellows might form a shield enough, though if all the injuries of the many were transferred to the one... no, doesn't bear thinking about.

"Do you think it worth checking to see if it actually works?"
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Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:31 am

"Sure, Cinnabar. You hold it and focus really hard. I'll slug one of your men in the jaw. We'll see how well that goes." Well Cinnabar had been able to pick it up without blowing up or growing another hand or anything like that. In Glenn's experience, that was a downright success when magic was concerned. "Come on, let's go home."
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