Beneath the Dunes

GM: Walker
Players: Merek
Synopsis: A synopsis of what happened here.
Date: July 20th, 2079

«Plot» Walker says, "Log is on."
«Plot» Walker says, "For the record, please state the rating and purpose of this AQ. Also, obviously I will need consent in case things go south."
«Plot» Merek says, "Rating 4 AQ, I consent to this plot, and it is for Initiation to Grade 2!"
«Plot» Walker says, "As an addendum, are you happy for me to post the log to the wiki for shiny karma and flavour?"
«Plot» Merek says, "Yup!"

«Plot» Walker says, "Cool. Pose your preparations (if any) and your projection to the threshold. Also page me a secret for the Dweller (I will keep the page out of the log, but not the Dweller's paraphrase)."

Merek has taken his time to settle into his lodge, so that he can shift to the Astral. It is something that as an Initiate, he can manage to shift to the Metaplanes. He of course has also hired protection from a friend, while he uses a bit of hermetic circles, flavored to shamanic way, and has eaten and drank also.

In the utter blackness beyond the astral plane, Merek's astral form suddenly finds itself in front of an enormous doorway decorated in gold and jewels, with depictions of the cat goddess Bastet. It doesn't approach from anywhere: one moment it is not, and the next it is.

In front of the doorway stands a towering figure of fearsome aspect: a female form near to twenty feet in height, clad in black and golden armour with a khopesh in one hand and a shield in the other. Her/Its head is that of a lion's, and from behind it a light blazes like the desert sun at noon.

As it looks towards the shaman with an expression of scorn, the same blinding light pours from its eyes and, as it speaks, its mouth.


«Plot» Walker says, "Magic Test (TN4, obviously) to pass the Dweller. Every two successes give you an extra KP for the duration of the quest. Remember you can use astral pool on most tests during an AQ."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Magic vs TN 4:
1 2 2 2 4 5 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "One extra KP for Merek. Pose your response to the Dweller in whatever manner you like while I start figuring out your route."

Merek looks up in thought to the figure, while he lifts his brow a bit. He has on his black armor which is decorated in the golden also, taking features of the dragon also, and he speaks, "I do so by the right to gain power that I might protect people," he says also.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 1 for "First place":

The towering figure regards the shaman for a long moment, the burning eyes seeming to peer into his soul. Eventually, it gives the smallest of nods and stands to one side of the door, which swings open to reveal utter darkness. From nowhere and everywhere a howling desert wind blows, picking Merek up and hurling him through.

Eventually, the windstorm dumps him in a sand dune, which forms part of a seemingly endless desert. After a moment, the darkness is replaced by light as the sun creeps over the horizon, quickly turning the landscape into a searing oven.

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of Destiny. Magic Test (plus astral pool) to resist 4S Stun. Remember as most of these tests are damage resistance, KP can add dice for 1 KP each, rather than the usual inflating cost."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Magic + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "KP 2 Resist S":
1 2 2 4 4 5 7 10 15 = 6 Successes
«Plot» Walker says, "No damage! Pose your magical means of dealing with the desert (surviving or escaping) and I shall move along from there."

Merek looks to the dune, and lifts up his brow in thought. He then shifts the cloak of his about him, while he makes a way about the place. He lifts up both hands while he weaves a chant so he can create a protection, then he's looking to Place Two also.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Second Place":
4 11

In response to the shaman's chanting, the sands begin to shift around him, soon clearing to reveal an opening to some kind of subterranean ruin. Following the steps downwards, Merek finds himself in a series of large vaulted halls, with cryptic hieroglyphics covering the walls. The images appear to depict people, perhaps magicians, performing a series of rituals and having favours bestowed upon them by the gods.

Behind him, the doors slam shut, leaving him alone with the halls, lit only by the light of flickering torches.

«Plot» Walker says, "Magic Background Test, same deal as before but this time to resist 4M damage."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Magic Background + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "Resist M":
1 2 3 7 8 11 11 = 4 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "No damage. Pose your academical deductions!"

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Third Place":
4 5

Merek makes his way about the place of the knowledge, while he figures the puzzle which he succeeds, then he's making a way to the next astral place also. As the meanings of the inscriptions begin to become clear, the torches providing the meagre light gutter and begin to fade. Quickly the shaman is left alone in pitch blackness.

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of Magic. Pick an active magical skill and use it to resist 4S Stun."
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Conjuring + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Resist S":
1 1 2 4 4 4 5 5 13 = 6 Successes

«OOC» Merek says, "i like how i keep, rolling exactly what i need."
«Plot» Walker says, "It does keep things tidy! Pose what you're doing with the conjuring."

Merek looks about a bit, then he shifts up both hands, while he begins to conjure with his knowledge of spirits to assist him with guiding him through the place also, then he's making a way to the next place Astral, cloak shifting about.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Fourth Place":
2 2

Though a spirit does come to answer the shaman's call, it is not the meek creature he expected, but a willful and powerful djinn. The genie quickly dispenses with Merek's bindings and floats menacingly in front of him in the darkness.

"Fool!" it mocks him, "Who dares to summon the spirits of the desert to this benighted place?"

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of charisma. Pick a social skill to resist 4M Stun and placate the angry genie."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 4:
1 2 2 3 5 9 10 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Etiquette + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 1 - 3 vs TN 4 for "KP 7":
2 2 3 4 = 1 Success

«Plot» Walker says, "No damage done. Pose your diplomatic efforts to calm the djinn."

Merek looks thoughtfully to the Djinn, while he seems to think about it, "I am Merek, it is nice to meet you, I apologize about that all, you be well," he says also.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Fifth Place":
1 2

The genie, clearly non-plussed by this dismissal, hmmphs in response to this and vanishes in a swirl of smoke, leaving the shaman alone in pitch blackness. The darkness is oppressive, and quickly begins to weigh on the shaman's mind, threatening to rob him of his sanity.

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of Fear! Willpower test to resist 4D Stun."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Resist D":
1 1 1 2 3 5 5 5 5 10 11 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Willpower + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 4 - 6 vs TN 4 for "Resist D KP 12":
1 2 3 4 5 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "No damage. Pose your resistance to the creeping horrors of being buried alive in darkness beneath the dunes!"

Merek manages to keep sane and also embraces a peace and serenity while he weaves that about his mind, shifting his willpower, which he meets that with as well also.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Sixth Place":
2 4

As Merek waits in the blackness, he begins to hear a rhythmic sound. Footsteps? Marching?

Before long the source becomes clear as new torches begin to light the ruins around him and semi-humanoid scarab creatures armed with long spears skitter towards him. As the advancing tide of black-carapaced bodies continues, the vanguard charge towards him.

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of Battle. Pick a melee combat skill to resist 4S damage."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Edged Weapons + Astral Pool: 1 + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "KP 14":
1 2 4 4 4 7 = 4 Successes

«Plot» Merek says, "Taking the L."
«Plot» Walker nods. Pose the battle with the scarab minions!

Merek lifts up his weapon which is a sword, while he moves to the wielders of the spears, shifting about, though they manage and get to him also, though he wins.

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 2 for "Seventh Place":
1 5

As Merek cuts down the van, the other creatures behind seem to hesitate.

From seemingly everywhere at once, a deafening roar seems to sound, and the scarabs shed their material forms and coalesce as a black cloud into the form of a desert spirit, this one twisted by some dark magics.

«Plot» Walker says, "Place of Spirits. This one is a fight with a spirit and regular astral combat rules apply. Roll initiative."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 1 for "+24 for a F4 Desert Spirit":
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Initiative with a result of 7.

«Plot» Walker says, "So we don't have astral init code as far as I'm aware, one sec while I work this out…"
«Plot» Walker says, "So Int6, Grade1 and astral means +27 to start, -1 from a light wound puts Merek on 29, with the spirit on 28. your move."
«Plot» Walker says, "Sorry, that's wrong, both on 28. But Merek's 'astral reaction' is higher, so he still goes first."

«OOC» Merek says, "Does sorcery pool work in Astral?"
«Plot» Walker says, "For spellcasting, sure. But remember all drain in astral form is physical. Also remember wound modifiers do apply here."
«Plot» Merek says, "So TN 5 to target."

====================> House Rules: Drain Resistance Tests <====================
The following rule applies to drain resistance tests:

The drain resistance test is not a damage-resistance test. As such, it is subject to wound penalties and other applicable penalties. Background counts, as in the book, add +1 TN to this test per two levels of background count, rounded down.

«Plot» Walker noddles, but wound mods apply to drain to, as per +hr magic drain

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 2 + 3 (Dragonslayer) vs TN 5 for "4D Manabolt":
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 8 9 14 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 2 + 3 (Dragonslayer) - 4 vs TN 5 for "4D Manabolt KP 15":
3 3 4 5 5 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Plot» Merek says, "Stand."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 4 vs TN 3 for "Drain D":
1 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 10 10 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[1729]» Merek (#12895) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 4 - 7 vs TN 3 for "Drain D KP 16":
1 2 11 = 1 Success

«OOC» Walker says, "One sec, just checking spirit rules for spell resist…"

=================> House Rules: Spirits and Magic Resistance <=================

All normal spirits receive an effective magic resistance/spell defense pool equal to their force or their caster's Magic rating, whichever is lower. Like normal spell defense dice, these refresh at the beginning of each combat turn. They may only use these dice to protect themselves; they may not protect others, whether other spirits or people. These dice may be rolled to negate the caster's successes in casting the spell. This bonus applies only against astral attacks, and do not count against magical attacks within the physical realm while the spirit has manifested.

Watcher spirits also receive this. However, the spell defense pool watcher spirits receive is equal to only half their force, rounded down.

«Plot» Walker says, "So while spirits do get a spell defense pool, I don't believe it gets a chance to assign it as Merek acts before the spirits first action, meaning it cannot take free actions to do so. It can use it's (limited) KP however."

«Auto-Judge[1729]» Walker (#12094) rolls 4 (Spirit's Willpower) + Karma Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Resisting 4D Manabolt with 8 successes":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 11 = 5 Successes

«Plot» Walker says, "Didn't think so. Pose blasting the spirit. :)"

Merek lifts up both hands while he calls his magic so he can use mana on the spirit. With that, he manages to take it on, then he sighs a bit while he shifts his cloak about him, and looks thoughtful also.

As the spirit disintegrates, light seems to burst forth from within it, as though its presence had been the source of the darkness in the halls. Softer sunlight seems to come from everywhere now, and Merek can clearly see the previously confusing inscriptions in the walls.

While it will take some time to puzzle out all the meaning in them, with the spirits of the place put to rest Merek now has the time to inspect them at his leisure.

«Plot» Walker says, "All done! Welcome to the Citadel. Freepose as you like to wrap things up. AQ is successful and takes 4 days to accomplish."

Merek makes his way about in the place, taking the study while he shifts his cloak about him. He seems content, making his way about also.

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