Session Log 2021-11-16

From After the Aether Age
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Having finally reached the Knotted Tower at the center of the moat of twisted space, the party caught their breath. Ignis focused on clearing his Klaitos-crushed respiratory system as Robin employed acrobatic limbering stretches to address her pulled muscles. Klaitos inspected the perimeter of the moat, determining that there was not active magic coursing through it so much as a lingering glow in the aftermath of whatever space-rending effect had created it. Ignis left some strategically-placed rubble below where the party had fallen out of the sky.

The party walked around the circumference of the tower to find the entrance - a dragon-sized grand opening, with a heavy crimson curtain hanging inside. Cautiously, they poked past the curtain and, in the illumination of Robin's illusory violet flame, took in the room. The floor and air slowly rippled, space warping in gentle, seemingly-harmless waves. Eleven sealed doorways of equal scale to the entrance lined the wall, flanked by worn Torch banners. A hollow spire of dark stone stood in the center of the room. The arrow-slit windows let inconsistent light into the room from the many angles of the Knotted Zone outside, dimly illuminating the room. However, nobody spotted any obvious passage to the rest of the tower.

The party stepped in to investigate the room more thoroughly. Ekkels noticed an ambient buzz on his magical attunement and deduced the room to be lightly permeated with chaos magic from some unknown source. Ignis spotted runes carved into the floor and walls of the hollow spire, unpowered and scattered from whatever their original configuration had been. Ekkels and Klaitos joined him, but found the space inside the spire distinctly unnerving in a way that neither could precisely place.

Robin found that each door was marked with a complex, unique sigil, and brought Ignis over to explain them and write them down. Ignis, thinking back to a book he had read long ago, identified them as coordinates in a long-abandoned glyph system. While he couldn't tell to where each referred, they were distinct enough that he was able to tell that they described distant locations - some likely off-continent, in the lost Far Lands beyond the Sea of Demons. Robin produced pen and paper from her forgery supplies and tasked him with the tedious task of writing down the intricate sigils.

Robin joined Ekkels and Klaitos to see if there was a way up within the hollow spire. She tossed an illusory flame up in an attempt to check if there was a ceiling. Space churned in the wake of the magic; Robin dove away before the effect reached her, and saw the ground where she had stood twist and roil. From this, Klaitos deduced that within the hollow pillar reality was a bit thin, and vulnerable to violent disruption at the touch of magic.

Leaving the unstable chamber behind, the party joined Ignis as he finished copying down the sigils. They decided to try opening one of the doors, and studied them more closely. Ekkels, held aloft by Ignis, used his magic detection to do a passable impersonation of a Geiger counter. He sensed traces of magic that suggested, when the lights were on, that the various artifacts of this room had been powered by a source somewhere above it, channeling energy through the ceiling and walls.

Having little idea if any door was safer or more promising than any other, the party decided to start with the one opposite the entrance. The sigil seemed to have some unique elaboration to it, but the door was otherwise alike every other - an impressive artifact lacking handles, knobs, or any other obvious means of being moved. Ignis attempted to simply push it open, and found it unbudging. Klaitos took over, pushing harder and harder to no avail. In his stubbornness, he backed up a few steps and attempted to slam the ancient doors open.

The door remained fast; unpowered, it was lacking its other side to open to - but the wall of Aether Age stonework to which it was affixed cracked at his assault. It fell forward heavily directly onto Klaitos, who braced to catch it before it could slam into the ground. Though he was able to arrest its fall enough not to harm it, its mass pushed him to trip on the rippled floor and be flattened by the 30-foot stone doorway. Conscious but heavily injured, he was extricated from beneath the door. Removed from the wall, the door could theoretically be looted as a valuable aether-age artifact, though its bulk - and the trip back - made that a complicated prospect.

Lacking another lead, Robin chose to scale the exterior of the structure once more to see if she could spy a trapdoor, stairwell, or similar passage invisible from below. Scaling the geometric stonework under the warped sky, Robin was easily able to climb to a second-floor window. She conjured illumination into the large, square room beyond. Peering through the narrow gap of the wall, she scanned its breath slowly. Within, she saw an arrangement of white stone geometric forms that appeared to be suspended in midair. The walls of the room were badly cracked, and the floor was burned towards one corner. Doors - not nearly as large as those in the room below - appeared in the center of each wall she could see.

Still taking in the room, at the end of her scan, she spotted the door on the wall to her right closing. Deciding that she didn't want to deal with that, she clambered back down the side of the tower to relay her findings.