A Darkened Tower [Open SL]

GreaterRealms

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September winds that sailed through mostly-still green leaves rustled them and moved branches. In the middle of an uninhabited part of the city appeared a tower on a small hill without any grass. Ancient footpaths and deer trails lead to it and back. The sound of its appearance was much like the boil of thunder before a warning crack of lightning: sharp and carrying the smell of ozone and magic. In the oddity of the realm of Rhydin, perhaps such a gathering of power would go unnoticed, another blip in the radar. Perhaps to some however, the sound of it would be like a bell tolling.

Circular in shape, the tower's base was immense and so old the stones--as big as bears and shrinking upward into the clouds almost to tiny pebbles--were blackened from time and weather. The smaller stones near the top seemed a more purplish hue.

There were hardly any windows and the few specks of shadows that were such things were far, far above the ground.

There appeared to be no doors at all.

The tower itself held an air of old things. Old things that waited.


OOC:
Who can play in this story line?
Anyone.

Who can reply IC to this post?
Anyone.

Who controls the tower?
Please allow GreaterRealms to write for the tower.

Who controls what happens to my character?
Players are always in control of what happens to their character. Whether the tower's magic or minions or whatever happens--harms, hinders or doesn't touch them is up to the player. But! It's always good sportsmanship/good game to let a few things happen. :D

Who dictacted the SL progression?
Please allow GR (GreaterRealms) to progress the SL. Consider each IC post by GR their "turn," and thus, your "turn" to post/progress after.

What happens at the end?
You will have to play to find out! Because I am evil. EVIL! :dnc:
 

GreaterRealms

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Several souls not brave enough to bother with the suddenly-appearing tower reported to the local watch that during the day, if it rains, the rain seems to hit some sort of invisible barrier that makes the splattering droplets glow purple. At night, the nimbus of purple can be seen--not brightly so--but just softly around the edges of the stone.
 

Noira

Dungeon-delver and drink-slinger
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Cautiously Curious

Noira had passed within sight of the darkened tower numerous times on her way to and from her nearby portal excavation. She had ignored it because -- between the elfess' best efforts to finish digging out an ancient portal, restore it and return to her homeland, and at the same time avoid the attention of her evil doppelganger from an alternate future and assassins from a merchant empire that did not want her to find her way home -- she was already very busy.

But after a few days the trickle of visitors had turned into a small crowd of "tower-watchers" gathered to wonder at the strange structure and argue about it. Most of them were local busybodies with nothing better to do; a few were young apprentice mages trying their hand at scrying from a distance, scholars curious about its history and origin, and adventurers who preferred to eyeball an obvious way in before they touched this thing, some sign that the risk might be worth their while. On a Monday afternoon, after a long day translating runes at the portal excavation, Noira decided to take a closer look.

"It's a warning from the gods, clear as day. That's where all the old books come from -- BOOM, they come drown from the heavens! Ye mortals beware! And all the old shrines and holy places! BOOM, down from the heavens! Confess your sins!"

"You're out of your mind. Don't you know this is how wizards travel! Clearly some wizard's crossed planes in this thing, and he's still making ready to venture out into the city. This is his house."

"No, this is what wizard's tombs are like! I heard that, that when a wizard dies, his tower gets sent far away, someplace safe, with all his power and riches locked up inside like this. Now if we could only figure a way in..."

"Don't go poking around the shrine to my gods, you heathen!"

"Don't you threaten me, old man!"

The argument among the onlookers quickly escalated to fever pitch, and Noira could hardly hear herself think as she tried to scry the tower's aura from a safe distance, and now they were pushing each other and she was being jostled. She stumbled closer to the structure than she liked, sighed, and cut a look between the crowd and the curious structure. Two thoughts crossed her mind, the first being what would happen if someone made physical contact with the tower. That it held magic there could be no doubt, the air still stank of its power days after its sudden arrival in the realm, but was it protective magic? Were there no doors because whoever touched the tower would be transported inside? Was it an elaborate illusion? Spells of any of those types usually reacted in a telling way to physical contact.

The second thought she had was whether this tower or whatever magic permeated it was guided by a sentient being, or was sentient itself, and sentient beings could often be offended, or at the very least amused. She had an idea, but it would take more guile than she liked to think she possessed, though she was learning more than she'd readily admit by surviving the last several months in RhyDin... Against her better judgment she elbowed her way back into the crowd, and while standing behind a tall, gruff-looking adventurer in heavy iron armor she said in her deepest, lowest voice: "Well I think you're all just afraid!"

The warrior turned a curious look in the elfess' direction, wondering where the voice had come from, but he was quickly distracted by the shouted challenges. "Well then, you try touching it!" "Hasn't anyone tried that already?" "I don't think so, else you'd see ashes and scorch marks all around!" "No one's getting smote by this tower, I told you this isn't about any gods!" "Well then, if you're so sure, go up there and prove it!" "You first - you touch it!" "What about the guy in the armor!"

The poor armored man Noira had dragged into this conversation shook his head emphatically and backed away, clearly wanting no part in this.

"Coward! Fine. What about that one, with the swords!" "Yeah, he looks brave! Aren't you? Or are those little knives just for show?" "Anyone could touch it -- a real fighter would lick it!"

That last was offered by Noira, and this time she was caught. The people around turned to look at her, and she began to shrink back instinctively before fighting the urge and instead lifting her chin defiantly as the man with the swords gave her a skeptical stare. "Lick it?" he echoed, and laughed.

"Well... seventeen people at Delvers' Hall have already touched it," she replied after a pause. "I was there this morning, they had a whole list. First one to top that and lick it...?" She took another look around, and steeled herself. This was putting her rather limited guile to the test, but she had the pressure of the crowd working to her advantage... "...gets a week of bard song in their honor."

This tested credibility for the adventurer with the swords at his hips, but a week of bard songs meant a lot of people would be skipping the job boards and seeking him out for valuable contract work. Never mind the reputation for courage he'd get by taking this dare in front of all these people... "I," he said slowly, and then leveled a finger at her, "am Tiberius Volcar, Twinblade, raider of more ruins than any of you, especially you, little elfess, could ever hope to brave... and I accept your challenge."

Noira and the rest of the crowd all turned as one to watch Tiberius "Twinblade" Volcar walk up to the tower with his hands on the hilts of his swords, and when he came within reach of the structure he visibly hesitated. However, when he heard a murmur from the crowd, a chuckle from a few of his fellow adventurers, he scowled back at them, scoffed at their cowardice, leaned towards the ancient black stone of this strange monument that had traveled through space or time or the gods only knew what else to arrive in that place, at that time... and licked it.
 

GreaterRealms

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A building was often difficult to read. Though there was the strangest sense, that, the longer more people gathered around the tower to discuss it? The more smug it grew. How does a tower become smug? Some of those people in the crowd said it was the way it twinkled a little more as the mob around it grew. A few others said it just had that 'presence,' of smugness.

The brave, brave soul who was egged on to the lick the tower would notice immediately that it was rather a nice flavor. It wasn't at all dusty or dark like its appearance. It was more a ...fruity flavor. But the moment his tongue broke through the barrier and touched the stones, the sharp smell of some sort of spell firing could be felt for those sensitive or trained to feel it.

Tiberius "Twinblade" Volcar had the sudden, awful, overwhelming urge to dance. In fact, while Tiberius "Twinblade" Volcar began to feel the effects of Otto's Irresistible Dance, he might also begin to hallucinate.
 

Cheese

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"My Lord, there's been a raven from the King," Lode was a man with a great and wild beard that today only had the faintest streaks of black amidst the gray. He wore an old and fading gray set of robes with voluminous sleeves and a pair of leather sandals that padded quietly along the marble with each step. The stairs he and the elf he addressed were climbing a large, circular staircase that wound about the tower with steps of marble in most places and dark stone where repairs had been done over the years. Each stretch of wall that closed around them as they rose bore a different set of tapestries, paintings or carvings that depicted the long and convoluted history of the tower's founding back in the days before men walked the world of Nir'rayoth and the elves were at the seat of their power.

Today Verin wore a most stately set of clothes, with fine leather boots rising to tucked in breeches that were held in place by a black belt with an ornate golden buckle. His doublet was quilted and black, though it was embroidered with a silver twisting of vines and leaves. Bouncing at his left hip was a short sword, the curved wooden sheath catching the light from the torches and windows and showing off the polished gleam of lacquer while the end sparkled with its silver binding. The weapon itself was a simple design of sleek metal with a hilt wrapped in worn leather and a small pommel to counter the weight of the blade.

They paused at a landing and the old man shoved the double doors open, revealing a circular chamber with a large round table dominating the very center. Twenty six chairs lined it, though today all were empty.

"What does it say?"

"It's bleak news from Grailwin," Lode began. "The King's spies say the Duke is preparing to march. My Lord, if Grailwin marches on Kiridan Berenod will be the first to see bloodshed."

"Is the King sending us any military aide?" Verin asked, taking a seat in one of the nearby chairs.

"He didn't say, my Lord."

"Very well, fetch some ink and parchment for me, Lode."

"Of course, my Lord," the old man turned to scuttle off, but he paused at the door when he heard Verin rising from his chair. "Lord Verin, is there som-" a strange gust of wind blew through the chamber, the doors slamming shut in front of the poor old man who was soon blown off of his feet as a blinding light flashed. When he looked up again Verin was gone.

---

Rhy'Din did not great Verin kindly. Instead, it spit him out just a few feet above the ground and let him skid into a crowd of people who milled about the strange obelisk that had been eating up so much of the city's attention as of late. When he stood, grumbling, Verin dusted himself off and looked around, though his eyes were drawn by the tower that blotted out the sun this time of day.

"Well that's interesting," he said as someone walked up to lick it.
 

GreaterRealms

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One of the gawkers watching the tower being licked, an old woman with barely a tooth left in her head--one or two at best--squinted one of her googily old eyes toward the newest poor soul to be birthed into the world of RhyDin with not much warning. Skirts and frilly hat looked as aged and mildewed as the woman. Had she been there the whole time?


"Aye, an' brave, too," she cackled at the fine looking gent dusting himself off and commenting on matters. "Don't see yew doin' much about it, are ye? Standin' around and twiddling yer britches when y' could be discovering riches untold and power unknown."


The crowd waiting to see what would happen to the tower-licking fellow seemed to pick up what the old woman said and began murmuring the two words through themselves as a wave across the water. Riches! Power unknown!
 

Cheese

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"Oh, give it a rest you miserable old hag," he snapped.

Verin glanced down at his left hand, where on his index finger he wore a band of silver with a small sapphire that seemed particularly bright this day. "I'll bet you had something to do with this," the elf grumbled as he tore the ring from his finger and stuffed it into a pocket. Turning back toward the tower, Verin slinked through the crowd like a cat and walked up to stand just a few feet to the side of the man who had licked it in the first place.

"I advise you all not to touch it any further," he bent down to scrape a handful of dirt and pebbles from the ground, shaking the dirt out of his hand as he rose again. Then he flicked the pebbles one at a time at the tower.
 

GreaterRealms

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The old woman made a small sign at her neck--a very hearty fuck you very much that needed little translation. A few of the crowd near her flicked amused glances between one another; some of the younger snickered wildly. All of this stilled as they watched the man pick up a handful of dirt and rocks. The crowd seemed split between who and what they should hold their breath for--what would happen to the tower licker? What would happen to the rocks?

The scattering of dirt and pebbles hit the faintly glowing purple outline of the tower followed by a shower of sparks the same shade. The sound of it made a terribly queer ping!ping!crackle!whiiiine!--a mix of ice cracking and melting too fast and metal whinging under stress. One of the pebbles turned into a pretty dove and startled a girl in the crowd as it flapped loudly over her head. Another turned into a bat with three eyes. A speck of quartz in his hand turned into a three-eyed chicken, and half the dirt caught on fire and turned into ashes in mid air.

Whatever spell was protecting the tower was made by someone who had a very, very, very bad sense of humor.
 

Noira

Dungeon-delver and drink-slinger
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Perhaps it was Noira's not-even-twenty-one-years of inexperience or her natural inclination towards risk in her chosen career of dungeon-delving that had driven her to inspect the tower in the first place, but she certainly had enough caution to make someone else go up and lick the thing. Now, between the dancing warrior and the pebbles turning into doves and fire, she was keeping her distance.

She also felt annoyed. No obvious entrances? No assurances of reward other than an old hag's words? And the way it twinkled as more and more people paid more and more attention to it... "I'm wasting my time," Noira sighed aloud, thinking of how badly she wanted to rest after a long day at the excavation. It was interesting - it was not often that structures appeared out of thin air - but it was not without historic precedent. "This isn't important," she added, intending only to convince herself: if her words inspired a farmer to return to his fields, it was by accident.

Thus resolved, she turned to walk away from the smugly twinkling tower, leaving poor Twinblade to dance the night away for falling to her guile.
 

GreaterRealms

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Some of the ladies and men in the crowd commented on Twinblade's lovely dancing legs. If Twinblade could stop for a moment, (either dancing or tripping out to whatever was on the tower) he might have been terribly upset by all this. Later, there would be stories and tales. For now, however--

"This isn't important," one of the crowd had said. The words floating, fluttering above the laughing at Twinblade, the ooo's and aaaah's of rocks-turning-to-doves and the smarmy comments by those who had lived long enough here not to care. This, some feel (when asked later) was the great turning point. Because there, in front of the tower began the gathering of mists to form an apparition. Swirling and purple, the outline of a short, wizened man with cliche token long, grey beard and conical hat, gripping a gem studded staff appeared.

"BEHO--" the mist-apparition attempted. But something got stuck somewhere, and the booming voice ended in a squeak and a series of wheezing coughs that, in the startled silence of the crowd seemed to be louder and go on longer than necessary.

"Drab it," wheezed. "Is this thing still on? Oh--it is. BEHOLD. Ahem. I am Milfigar the Maleficent, and this is--was--my tower. Yes, yes my tower." The old man/mist ghost stroked him beard. "It is filled with my possessions--which, I will have you know, back in my day was quiet a lot. You younger wizards have it easy I dare say, what with you lot prancing about wherever you want and having things just handed to you. I had to work, you know, every hard, very hard indeed.

"Where was I? Oh yes--this is my tower. Eons ago, I amassed a wealth in gems, gold, but most importantly, magical devices of all types. Alas, one of the objects sealed my fate, and my tower. My spirit is trapped here--within the tower--which I dare say is rather nice, isn't it, for a mage tower? Do you like the glow? I read somewhere that purple was terribly inviting.

"My, er, my spirit is trapped here and a demon of rather great power has taken run of my old home. If you can seek entrance, defeat the demon and release my spirit, the tower will be at rest and my magic gone."

The mist-apparition faded out--then popped back in. "Oh! And you can keep anything in the tower, of course, that you find. And be CAREFUL with it, for godess sake. Cost me a lot of mo--" The ghost-mage looked over his shoulder. "Oh dear. Must go, ah, hurry adventurous ones, such and such and so on and forth with, go bravely, and so on--"

And then the spirit of the long dead mage poofed in a fizzle of purple smoke.
 

Noira

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Noira was dressed for the excavation, which -- while she knew the excavation could be dangerous -- was not the same as being dressed for delving. While adventurers conferred with one another or hurried away to procure equipment and supplies, and others debated the merits of trying their own hand at it, staying well away from the allegedly haunted and demon-infested tower, or concocting schemes to profit from what might turn into a regular stream of hapless heroes...

...the elfess approached the tower and stopped at a very close distance. Almost licking distance. She could feel the electric crackle and smell the ozone from its magic. "Milfigar," she said, and added, as an afterthought, "the Maleficent. If that's your name. I think you're full of shit, and I still don't think any of this is important." There was an unspoken 'however,' a slight hang to her words, but she was not about to give this entity, this strange purple tower, the satisfaction of confessing that she felt more intrigued than she had five minutes ago. Instead she dug deep down to the many times she had crossed the Legion's training halls alone, suffering leering and jeering from the many men recruited with her before she got her chance to prove herself as strong as any legionary and smarter than most. She regarded the tower with haughty disdain suited to a much higher-born elf and continued, "As a small and undeserved gesture, I will return in gear better suited to... whatever this turns out to be. I hope there's a door, but if not..." She shrugged lightly. "...there are other towers."

Then she was off, but she would be back in two hours time, with chainmail beneath her hood and tunic, hard leather leggings, plated boots and gauntlets, a small backpack of supplies (complete with two tightly-rolled satchels for whatever loot she might find), an arcane lantern hooked to her belt... To call her ready, though, was a misnomer: she was not at all sure what she would find at the tower upon her return.
 

GreaterRealms

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If the tower were a living, breathing emoting creature it might have looked terribly, terribly hurt by what was said to it just now by that lady. Perhaps it wouldn't even think she were a lady given what was exchanged--but alas, brick, stone or magic--a tower was still a tower. But the air about it seemed as still with waiting as the crowd's silence (now that various gasps of shock, awe and several signs to ward off evil were made.)

The dim purple glow around the tower flickered completely out for a moment, as if the girl had snuffed out the tower's poor, innocent feelings. And then it blazed back to life with such brightness and fury that any unfortunate soul who had been looking directly at it would be mildly annoyed by the bright dots before their eyes for at least a whole five minutes. Maybe ten. When the tower was done with its light show, the foundation shuddered, the bricks ground like teeth gnashing bone and a cracking sound tore the air. A section of the wall, exactly square, revealing a once rather impressive wooden door large enough for an envoy to pass into the tower. The wood was blackened with age and smooth as glass by touch. Two sleeping imp-headed brass door rungs were affixed to either side of the doors that obviously swung open with a pull.

Some of the crowd not yet experienced with the greater parts of magical Rhydin, pocketed people in tiny towns that liked not to expand their adventures or minds had already run screaming for the hills. Several delicate types in bodices may or may not have fainted. And the tower went about it's business as usual--waiting.

This time, however, the dim purple glow around it had faded. And the atmosphere had shifted subtly. Ill will or waiting?

Well for that, someone was going to have to come knock.
 

Ahni

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Ahni had woken up that morning -- bolted upright from her bed of flowers, actually -- with the sudden and undeniable urge to bake. "Bread! Bread would be lovely," she had giggled to the little teal Carbuncle who shared her home. The critter hadn't shown the slightest bit of interest, probably because he wasn't sure what 'bread' was. His reaction -- or rather, lack thereof -- didn't faze Ahni at all.

"Do not be a grump, aier,*" the half-elf had chirruped merrily as she padded through her cave to the 'kitchen.' It was really just a grouping of stone slabs and wooden tables to create workable counterspace, a large wooden cupboard, and a small stone oven built by helpful goblins and powered by Ahni's magic. She promptly fired up the oven and pulled a large bowl from the cupboard. "Hm... Apple. I believe apple bread would be wonderful," she remarked as she started to dig through her supplies. Carbuncle perked up from his bed at the mention of apples, his triple-tails waggling expectantly. To say the critter loved apples would be an understatement.

Now thoroughly interested, the foxlike creature jumped up from his bed and careened toward Ahni... Just as she was pulling flour from the cupboard. An awkward dance ensued as Carbuncle got caught up in Ahni's skinny legs, with the half-elf trying valiantly to hold onto a bucket of flour and still keep her balance. Unfortunately, gravity and misfortune won out and Ahni fell. Flour went everywhere, covering critter, counters and Biomancer alike with a fine sheen of white.

"Aier! What have you done!" The half-elf squeaked angrily as emerald irises flickered crimson. Carbuncle's ears and tails drooped in the face of the small woman's frustration, and he chittered a quiet apology. With a sigh, Ahni stood and dusted herself off. "Let us go," she muttered to the creature as she snapped her fingers to cut off the oven. "The Marketplace will be busy soon." Carbuncle shook himself off before bounding after the departing woman.

------

The Marketplace was crowded, as usual, but the public's attention seemed to be focused not on the shops and merchants, but towards an unusual purple-tinted spire. "That, um... That was not there before," Ahni muttered aside to Carbuncle, who peered curiously at the tower between the legs of the people gathered around. He squeaked in affirmation, ears falling flat. Something wasn't right about this picture. The pair moved forward through the growing crowd, apparently butting into an old ghosty-wizard's speech.

"-- amassed a wealth in gems, gold, but most importantly, magical devices of all types. Alas, one of the objects sealed my fate, and my tower. My spirit is trapped here--within the tower--which I dare say is rather nice, isn't it, for a mage tower? Do you like the glow? I read somewhere that purple was terribly inviting."
"I would not call that inviting, exactly..." Ahni muttered to Carbuncle, who whined in reply. Nevertheless, she listened intently to the old man's... ghost? She supposed it was a ghost. He looked ghostly enough. Blinking out of her distracting thoughts, she turned her attention back to the speech. Magical things and demons, hm? The half-elf's eyes glittered with curiosity, even as she nervously twisted the slim strap of her sundress. A large and quite zealous naysayer next to her stepped dangerously close to her bare foot, which elicited a yelp and quick snap of sharp little Carbuncle teeth to the man's ankle. (He then made it a point to stay well away from Ahni and her friend.) Ahni could just barely see the head of another man off to the side, who seemed to be... dancing? No, he couldn't have been dancing. Maybe he had stumped his toe. He couldn't possibly be dancing at a time like this. Of course, this distracted the half-elf, and she came back to her senses just as a woman was regarding the tower and the mage-ghost-guy.

"-- the Maleficent. If that's your name. I think you're full of shit, and I still don't think any of this is important."
"...shit? What... what is shit?" Ahni mumbled quietly to Carbuncle. "Is it bad to be full of such a thing?" Carbuncle stared blankly up at her, small head tilting in confusion. The creature didn't know, then. Ahni would just have to find out later. Suddenly, the tower's light flickered. Ahni leaned forward expectantly, being very careful not to touch anyone in front of her. And just like that, the light flared back up, causing the half-elf (and several other curious people) to stumble backwards in shock, eyes blinking furiously to alleviate the bright dots dancing before them. One split of Carbuncle's tail was accidentally stepped on. The critter squawked in pain and opened a Rift to hide in, apparently not impressed with this entire situation.

Ahni paid no attention to Carbuncle's sudden departure, as it was common enough for the critter to randomly hide away when something didn't interest him. Her attention (and curiosity) was on the door.

What could possibly be behind there...?








* aier = little one
 

GreaterRealms

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The imp-headed door rung to the right creaked noisily as its eyes sleepily blinked open and a fanged mouth yawned. The ring in the imp's mouth of course, no longer being held in place, clanged to the ground below it --startling the other imp door knocker to the left awake.

"Rocks fall!" The imp on the left cried. Though this also, made its rung fall to the ground with the other.
"Mmm? I was having the most marvelous dream, Henry, I dare say--" The imp on the right began.
"Who is it? Where am I? What happened? Who is touching me there?" The left panicked.
"Heny!" Right snapped, "Pull yourself together, man," the door knocker imp rotated it's brass head to the small crowd left. "...we're being watched," he whispered. As if the whisper didn't carry very far in the near silence.

"We're being wot?" The left said, a brass eye brow raising.
"Watched, you nim whit!" The right grumped.
"OH, watched. I thought you said--"
"Sweet, merciful pantheon. I cannot believe that I have been stuck with you for--"
"Hhhrrrrrrrrk," the left Imp gagged.
"Oh really. Everytime!"

"Hrrrrrrrlllllkkk," the left wheezed. "Hrrrrrrrrrrrrkkk--sorry mate, there's--Hrrrrrrrjjjjjjjsjsjsjkkk!" The left imp coughed up a bleached, white femur to rattle about on the ground with its dropped brass rung. "Someone stuck in me throat. All better now."

"Just....Just go on with it." The right mumbled.
"Me?" The left said, apparently delighted. "You want me to do it? Oh can I?"
"Yes! And hurry it up would you?"

The left cleared his throat again, blinked, and put his best sinister glance on toward the crowd and proclaimed in a booming voice "Answer thus my riddle correctly and enter,
else your bones we might eat and splinter!
"

"--That was horrible," the right complained. "Enter and splinter don't even rhyme!"
"What do you mean they don't?" The left exclaimed as the two of them fell into bickering once again.
 

Noira

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Noira's gambit had paid off, as she found a door -- a talking door -- upon her return. She listened to the bickering imps and used the cover of the argument to approach and pick up the recently regurgitated femur for a closer look. "Interesting," she mused, and then pointed between the imps with the bone.

"You there," she said, and lowered the femur before clarifying, "the clever one, and the funny one." Neither bone nor eyes seemed to indicate which imp received which descriptor. "Which one of you is better at telling riddles?"

At which point she breathed an exaggerated sigh and smacked her brow with the flat of her leather-clad palm. "Of course, how very stupid I am. The clever one would be better at it."
 

Ahni

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Ahni had simply stared with wide, frightened yellow eyes as the imp door knockers came to life. The nervous half-elf took a few steps backward once the knockers set to arguing, straight into another curious onlooker. "Watch yerself, lady," the burly man growled. Ahni squeaked in fright and skittered away from the man. Hazardous yellow irises flicked back to the door just as one of the knockers spoke a challenge.

"Answer thus my riddle correctly and enter,
else your bones we might eat and splinter!"
Ahni blinked for a few moments before looking around. She was no good with riddles. Someone would speak up... right? Yellow irises shifted back to emerald as she spied the lady from earlier point the regurgitated bone at the door. Tiny bare feet shuttled the half-elf closer to the woman. "I certainly hope you are good at solving riddles," she muttered. "I would like to see what is here."
 

GreaterRealms

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"Riddles?" The left one gasped. "I love riddles!"
"For Gods sake, Henry, would you let me--"
"I'm the best!"
"You aren't!"

Both of the door-imps eyes rolled and creaked metallic as they bounced and followed the femur being pointed betwixt them by a pretty little elf.

"I am so, master said I was the most special!"
"....Henry I don't think it means, what you thought it-"
"RIDDLES! RIDDLES! RIDDLES!"
"Gods--just--I ca...Just do it, Henry. If it will shut you up and let me sleep."
"YAY!"

The right grumped and grumpled and saw a little yellow-eyed lady backing away from them. He flashed her a very toothy-grin for a door knocker and then stared at the left.

"Well?"
"I'M THINKING!"
"Well hurry up! I can smell the brass melting!"

The left ahemed. Them hawed. Them hrummped. Then ahemhemmed. Then coughed. Then did a small series of scales, coughed once more. Then, in a booming voice he recited:

"The beginning of eternity
The end of time and space
The beginning of every end,
And the end of every place."


The right Imp door knob seemed to chew on that for a few moments, then bitterly admitted, "Not bad, really."
"I know, yes?!" The left exclaimed. "I've been saving that for centuries!"

Then as one, both door knobs turned their metal eyes to the woman with the femur and the woman hiding behind her expectantly.
 

Noira

Dungeon-delver and drink-slinger
22
0
1
The armored elfess gave an encouraging smile over her shoulder to the unarmored half-elfess, and then listened attentively to the riddle. Perhaps would she have read it instead of heard it, she would have gotten it right away, but seeing how they had not decided on the terms of their riddle -- how much time could pass before they would be regurgitating Noira's femur instead -- she plied her guile to break their game or perhaps buy a little more time.

She drew her lips into a flat line, tapping her foot. Then she frowned... and pointed an accusing finger at non-Henry: "You don't know the answer!" Then she clapped both hands over her mouth with a muffled, "Oh by the cruel gods, I am sorry! That was very rude!"

She ducked away very sheepishly and confided in Henry, with a worried and sympathetic look aside at non-Henry, "I think we might have just embarrassed your friend. Maybe," she stage whispered, "we could try something he knows too, so he can feel clever. Something," and she cupped one hand around the right side of her face to block non-Henry from reading her lips, "easier? So he doesn't know you're the," she mouthed again, "clever, one?"
 

GreaterRealms

New Member
601
0
0
Non-Henry (who would be terribly upset being called that--but that was neither here, nor there) spluttered as if the elf with the femur had told him is mother was a goat. "I say--Listen here now! I do say, I know very well the answer, missy! And I certainly won't be handing it out the the likes of you! Young upstarts! Back in my day, a good solid adventurer would at least be--" His tirade broke off as she apologized. The door knob shook himself akin to a terribly ruffled cat.

"Yes, well. You ought to be! And it was! You know, when I was just a young--" He trailed off for a second time, brassy eye brows drawing into a wrinkled like as Noira drew close to Henry--the left door knob--and began whispering. The crowd that had gathered around the tower was dwindling now.

"Ain't nobody dead yet?" One fellow called out, built like a pile of bricks with a straw hat and chewing a stem of grass.
"Nope," someone from the right of him said. A slim shadow with trails of white hair from his or her--hood.
"Well fuck--" another moaned. "That means I owe Benny ten silver."

While the crowd muttered their displeasure at the lack of dead people, Henry leaned in to listen to what Noira whispered.
"Oh no, I couldn't possibly. That's against the rules! You see, we can't tell you that the answer is the letter e, because if we do--"

"GODS. DAMN IT. HENRY!" The right door knob bellowed before the air was filled with the sound of massive gears grinding along one another. Chains rattled and little tufts of dust rolled out from between the door and under it, filling the air with what was no doubt centuries of untouched dirt that had accumulated. The giant doors began to swing outward, their color dulling a bit as the enchantment that had kept them shut was dissipated at the correct answer of the riddle. (Despite the fact it wasn't even from the elf at the door.) The massive portal groaned, creaked and shrieked protest as it moved ponderously slow. They were rather impressive for doors, as far as doors go. One might have wondered how they would have looked brand-new.

"--Oh dear..." Henry said. The door-knocker might have said more, but whatever magic had brought him to life now faded. Henry, the left, was frozen with mouth open in wide O and eyes wide, while the right was now frozen in an ungodly snarl.

Beyond the open door the light of the waning day barely illuminated more than a few feet before it ended in inky blackness, highlighting dust covered, broken tiles that may have once shone splendidly but now were dull and cracked. Roots and time buckling them uneven.

"Welp," someone in the crowd said. "Thanks lil' lady for doing the hard work. We'll just be takin' whatever's inside now right quick." The voice came from behind the dwindling crowd. They parted in a murmuring shuffle to see who this new player was to the tower was.
 

Noira

Dungeon-delver and drink-slinger
22
0
1
The elfess gave Ahni a pleased 'See? That worked out okay!' smile. She walked up to the door, rocked onto the balls of her feet to stand as tall as she could (which still wasn't very tall) and pressed a kiss to Henry's brass cheek, right beside his frozen O of a mouth. He had been rather nice for a carnivorous imp, and she felt a little guilty for exploiting his nature instead of giving his excellent riddle the consideration it deserved.

The sweet moment lasted until someone patronizingly called her "li'l lady" and made clear their intentions to claim the tower's riches for themselves. She spun around, arcane shadows rippling over her gauntleted hands, humming with the promise of power and pain. Her features twisted into an angry snarl: "The six black hells you will!"
 
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