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Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Legal Matters
to be written...
Session: 119th Game Session - Monday, Aug 17 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Marauders
to be written...
Session: 119th Game Session - Monday, Aug 17 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Ropers
to be written...
Session: 118th Game Session - Monday, Aug 10 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Deeper into the Mine
The crysmals scattered off into their corners, and the adventurers heard the sound of tapping as the crystalline creatures began picking against the clusters of gems.

   They were now promised to be left alone for passage, but finding a way across the might be challenging for some of them.

   "Fly?" suggested Kytharrah, looking at Hakam.

   Of course, the wizards could fly, Belvin could shapeshift, and they did have hang gliders — though not ten of them — but Hakam had not prepared his air walking spell, expecting to be in a cave, so it was not a simple matter.

   The two gigantic crystals spanning the opening to the expanse of sky below had flat sides that were nearly level with the ground. They stretched out over the chasm and nearly touched. It appeared like it might be possible to walk up the side of one, jump maybe four feet to the other, and walk back down the other side. It would be something like crossing a thick log over a creek, only instead of a creek there was a 30,000-mile fall to the center of mass of the planet.

   "Kytharrah could probably straddle the two crystals and help some of us from one to the other for those who needed it," suggested Jayce. He was looking at Hakam when he spoke, though he himself was not particularly known for his own skill at balancing, climbing, or jumping.

   "We should search for another way before risking it," said Solisar.

   They could not find another path, however, when they searched around.

   "We have plenty of rope," said Hakam. "We could tie some rope to Ormur, which would span this chasm. Then we could tie one end around our waists for safety."

   "I shall go across and tie it off on the other side," said Leokas.

   There was a slight slope to the right and a slight incline, but Leokas had a phenomenal sense of balance. Even so, the surface was smooth and potentially slippery. After fifteen feet, he had to step onto another face of the crystal. This one was more level with the ground. Now came the jump. It was not a terribly far distance, but there was no room for a running start. At least the landing surface was angled upwards, which would help cancel any forward momentum after landing.

   He took the leap and landed deftly. The other crystal had a more consistent surface, and it was about five-feet wide all the way down to the stone ground on the other side. He wrapped the non-magical end of the rope around another large, vertical-pointing crystal and made sure that it was secure. On the other side, Kytharrah held onto Ormur. Someone commanded the rope to wrap tightly around his waist and thighs like a harness. He also held onto the rope with his hands and began to climb. He made his way up to where the face of the crystal was flattest, and then took a big step over to other extended gem, straddling the two. "Ormur, let go," he said. The magic rope obeyed, and Kytharrah tossed it 40 feet to be caught by Solisar.

   Solisar commanded Ormur and then began to climb. Five feet up the crystal ramp, he slipped, falling to his hands and knees. After taking a moment to catch a breath, he stood up and tried again, more carefully, holding onto the rope as he went. He reached the minotaur, who then hoisted him over to the second gem. Solisar reached the other side from there without further issue. Ormur untied itself, and Kytharrah reigned it in and tossed it over again.

   Sofi did not use the rope at all. She skillfully rushed up the one crystal and was over to the second and back down to the ground again before anyone had a chance to question the wisdom of the action. Sif, too, recklessly raced across the gem bridge to her master on the other side as if it were no big deal, almost knocking Belvin over as he crossed.

   Oma came next and surprised everyone with how easily she made it look. Panther, Oma's cat, followed closely behind her, prancing proudly as if to show off his lack of fear. Hakam came after that, moving very slowly, but he relied heavily on the rope and on Kytharrah moving him from the first crystal to the second.

   It looked like passage over was going to continue smoothly after Solisar's earlier slip, but then Jayce also slipped about half way up the first crystal. Unlike Solisar, however, he failed to catch himself, instead landing on his side and rolling off the crystal altogether. He plunged into the white expanse below. Oma gasped. Solisar was about to call out his spell to slow the bard's fall, but Ormur held secure. Were Ormur not a magical and elastic rope, the snap alone might have killed Jayce, but now he sprung up and down, dangling and swinging a hundred feet below them. Belvin and Leokas called Kytharrah over to join them, and they worked together to raise Jayce. It took a while to maneuver him around the cluster of sister crystals around the large one, but eventually, they managed to get him onto solid ground.

   Kytharrah gave him a big grin, as if he expected the bard to have found the ordeal fun.

   "Maybe this is why I have not been traveling with the rest of you anymore," he said.

   Nargroth and Szordrin were the last to come over, and they made it safely.

   That was everyone. Jayce asked for a moment to recuperate from his shock. They looked about the area on this side. The crysmals seemed skittish of their presence and scurried away to the south and north. To the east, around a boulder, there was evidence of digging, piles of rubble and dirt. Leokas checked again for tracks, once again finding evidence of both crysmals and aarakocra. "Some aarakocra passed this way," said Leokas, "but they never came back. This must have been the new tunnel that they dug."

   They lined up in the same general manner that they had before, with Kytharrah leading the way, holding the leucrotta thigh bone in his right hand and the everburning torch in his left.

   The digging broke through into a natural tunnel that roughly passed from northwest to southeast. They took a right, assuming that heading left would simply take them to another point on the rift further north. The tunnel came steeply down natural steps and then turned sharply right then left, entering a small pillared chamber. On the north wall of this chamber, Kytharrah found some small holes that seemed to pass into another passage on the other side of the stone. The air smelled less fresh on the other side of the holes.

   There were not any crystals in this tunnel, which continued on for a good distance, roughly straight, though bending back and forth, perhaps 50 yards, before making a u-turn at a very narrow column close to the right wall. Light could not reach this far into the cavern complex, so they were now relying on torchlight and Hakam's glowing shield.

   "I have never been this far underground before," said Sofi. It was not clear whether her tone was one of excitement or fear.

   The tunnel came to some stone slabs that served as natural stairs up about five feet and then continued on, curving sharply right then left again. They were now heading roughly due west, presumably parallel but higher up than where they had just been walking. In about 25 feet from here, Kytharrah was stopped by a mass of boulders, a cave in. The minotaur looked nervous, quite unlike his usual playful demeanor. He checked the walls to see if they seemed stable.

   "Can any of our divine spellcasters shape this stone to make a path?" asked Solisar.

   "First, Ferry can tell us what is on the other side," said Szordrin.

   The weasel scrambled down Szordrin's clothes and squeezed through the rocks. He came back after only a half-minute and squeaked and chirped up at his master.

   "Ferry says that if Kytharrah can roll that first boulder up there off the other one, then all of us big people could probably squeeze up and over a larger boulder behind it."

   "You can understand his chirps?" asked Sofi. "That is adorable!"

   Panther mewed and hissed, and Oma simply nodded.

   Kytharrah moved up to where a smaller boulder was sitting atop a larger one. He braced himself against the wall and shoved. Everyone stepped back as the one-ton rock slid and half rolled and crashed to the floor of the cave, shaking the ground and dropping dirt on all of them from the ceiling. Next, the minotaur set down the sack that he had strung over his shoulder and scrambled onto the larger boulder and up eight feet to squeeze himself on his stomach through the tight space against the ceiling.

   Kytharrah got stuck. He tried to move, but his shoulders would not budge.

   Memories of the cave-in that separated him from his tribe and family filled his simple mind, but he knew that a big minotaur needed to be brave. He calmed himself down and tried to twist in a different way. His arm popped free. Now he could maneuver left, then right. His shoulders could move, so could his legs. He used the latter to press himself along, slowly but surely. He now hung eight feet over the ground and carefully figured out a way to climb down on the other side, inverted, among the collection of boulders beyond. He had made it through.

   Kytharrah being the biggest, it was no problem for anyone else to squeeze through the space above the massive boulder and up against the ceiling. It was more of a difficulty getting up there to make the squeeze in the first place. There were ten of them, though, so there were plenty of spotters and hands to provide lifts. Kytharrah, being eight feet tall, could also pull them through to make it faster, once they got up there. After about ten or fifteen minutes, everyone was through this next challenge.

   "Both kinds of tracks came through this way," said Leokas. "Either the cave-in was recent or the miners and crysmals crawled through like we did."

   After Ferry climbed back up on his shoulders, Szordrin waved a wand and made them both disappear again.

   They continued on. As the went, Hakam was careful to constantly check the ground for stalagmites that might be disguised monsters, but he saw nothing amiss.

   The path zigzagged a bit and began to drift northward. After 80 feet, the tunnel twisted and curved downwards past some boulders and into an area where the stone was subtly different. It seemed to match more the type of stone and rock at both of the openings to the sky where the concentrations of crystals had been the highest. Sure enough, the light from Kytharrah's heatless torch was reflected back at him after he came around an ess-curve corner from some tiny gems poking up through the surface of the stone floor. He sniffed the air and perked his hears but sensed nothing.

   After a second ess-curve, they were heading east again. Then they came to a tee. To the left, the earthen path was mostly clear, but the tunnel to the right was covered along the floor, walls, and ceiling with purple crystals, which only increased in concentration as the tunnel progressed in that direction. Oma gasped as she came up behind Kytharrah and saw the sparkle of the many facets reflecting the torchlight. Solisar expressed similar awe.

   Leokas reached the minotaur and stooped down to look for tracks again. "If I am not mistaken, the aarakocra went to the left from here, but the crysmals came from the right."

   To the right, the passage forked again, northward. Continuing to the east, where the crystal density was at its highest, there was something strange.

   "What is that in the distance?" asked Szordrin and Belvin together.

   It was as if their vision were playing tricks on them. The tunnel seemed to come to a dead end in 25 yards. Here, it seemed like there were crystals popping into and out of existence, appearing and disappearing rapidly. It might have been an illusion, or else it seemed like something was wrong with reality itself.

   Kytharrah was filled with curiosity and moved toward the visual anomaly.

   "Wait! Stop!" said Belvin.

   The minotaur could not move quickly; it was dangerous to do so here. Treacherously sharp crystals jutted from all around. One had to choose his or her steps very carefully to avoid be injured by the jagged points of corundum, and they grew sharper and more jagged as he advanced closer to where reality seemed somehow warped.

   "It is a portal," said Szordrin's voice from his invisible form. "I have a scroll that can analyze it."

   "It emits a strong transmutation aura," said Solisar.

   "I am almost certain that we are seeing an elemental vortex," they heard Szordrin say, "a rift to one of the elemental planes. They sometimes occur spontaneously when the concentrations of certain elements on the Material Plane are very high."

   "Is it to the Plane of Amythest then?" asked Hakam.

   Nargroth chuckled. "There are only four elements," he said, "but there are also paraelemental planes and quasielemental planes, where the inner planes intersect."

   "There is said to be a Plane of Minerals where the Plane of Earth and the Positive Energy Plane overlap," said Solisar. "The creative power of positive energy mixes with elemental earth to create all manner of minerals and gems."

   "This must be whence the crysmals came," said Hakam.

   "Szordrin, you had better behave yourself," said Belvin, motioning to all the gems around them.

   "Do not worry;" said Solisar, "I can still see him."

   "I am surprised that I would have to point this out to Szordrin," said Leokas, "but the mineral wealth on the other side of this portal does not technically belong to the aarakocra."

   "They will interpret the law such that we are guilty if we possess more gems when we exit than when we entered," said Hakam. "Leokas is correct, of course, but it would be impossible to prove in a court of law."

   Leokas turned the conversation back to more serious matters. "Can we survive on this Plane of Minerals?" he asked.

   "If we were to pass into a cavern that happened to have air to breath in it," said Oma, "but there is no certainty in it."

   "Most of the Plane of Earth is solid rock!" said Nargroth.

   "Are we seeing the other side now?" asked Sofi. "It does not look like solid rock. It looks like a cavern tunnel covered in crystals, as it does here. It is hard to tell the two places apart."

   The image appearing to their eyes remained in constant flux, but she seemed to be correct.

   "It is like the common 'blink' spell," said Szordrin, and Solisar nodded in agreement.

   "The aarakocra did not come this way," said Solisar. "I suggest that we search for them and their demise first, before we consider what to do about this vortex."

   "I agree," said Hakam.

   "Is it stable?" asked Leokas. "Will it remain when we return?"

   "We would have to use Szordrin's scroll to know that," said Solisar.

   "If it is stable," said Hakam, "it may be a good route to pursue Samber, perhaps a way to reach the place on the Plane of Earth where he mines for material for his golems. But I agree with Solisar that this is of a lower priority to us at the moment."

   "It should also be noted," said Solisar, "that there are rumors that those who tarry too long in the Plane of Minerals eventually turn into crystals themselves."

   "My mother told me that story," said Nargroth, "but I never believed it was true! I thought that it was just a morality tale against greed."

   "I know not if it is true or no," said Solisar. "Nevertheless, we would not want to enter until we had taken many magical precautions."

   The others saw a roll of vellum materialize out of nothing, as Szordrin handed his scroll to Solisar to use. The elf read the magic words from the vellum, and they vanished from the sheet as he spoke them. He began to share the information that the divinatory magic revealed to him. It was a spontaneously formed portal; no one intentionally created it. Not surprisingly, it required no key. It was two-way and relatively stable; that is, the magic itself was stable, though if the ground itself were to move, the portal might be destroyed. Unlike magically crafted portals, elemental vortices allowed unaccompanied matter to pass in and out, so air could flow freely.

   "I suspect that this vortex would take us somewhere roughly midway between the two inner planes," said Solisar finally.

   "Let us continue on then?" asked Jayce.

   Kytharrah moved to the front again, and carefully stepped around the sharp crystals to investigate the other fork. The tunnel tapered off to a size too small for him to continue.

   "Neither the crysmals nor the aarakocra went that way," said Leokas.

   Kytharrah was hesitant to try and squeeze anywhere again, so he came back.

   This left one passage remaining to explore. It was relatively wide, and the concentration of red and purple crystals diminished until it was a simple matter to walk again without cutting oneself. This passage made a wide turn from northwest to northeast and opened up into a massive chamber, the largest that they had yet seen in these mines. They were standing on a raised ramp, looking down into the crater-like floor. Their torch- and magic light were not even strong enough to illuminate the full extent of the chamber, it was so wide. Among stalagmites, stalactites, and rock columns, several large clusters of crystals erupted from the earth. A particularly large column of rock, some twenty feet thick, supported the high ceiling.

   "There may be a cave within a cave in that column," said Belvin, noting a dark opening in the wall of the largest column."

   "We should be wary of the stalagmites," said Solisar.

   "Yes, remember the crysmals' warning," said Belvin.

   Kytharrah rounded a particularly large cluster of crystal growth and spotted motion from the corner of his left eye. It seemed like one of the stalagmites to the north had moved. He gripped the dark leucrotta bone in his fist, ready for if it moved again.
Session: 118th Game Session - Monday, Aug 10 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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