Session Log 2021-12-13

From After the Aether Age
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The party, wary of the Aether Age mysteries on display, opted to complete their mapping of the "floor". They verified the structure of the space - each square room laid out in a looping row, the doors on one side leading to the inverted ring hallway, the doors on the other connected to the cracked spire.

They also found the room that Robin had initially spied from the window. The apparatus still loomed over the center of the room, but from the floor on the other side of the room the party could make out a body in red robes lying prone below it, a dagger in its back. Where Robin had seen scorch marks before, up close, mixed with visible damage and cracks stemming from the void room beyond. Additionally, placed at end of the cracks was a tarp laid over something round.

Ignis walked towards the tarp, and with a dizzying lurch saw the distance beyond him to suddenly magnify greatly. The party watched as, from the door, he appeared to flatten and then thin into nothingness. Testing, the party verified that the effect was unavoidable by living or nonliving material passing over an invisible circle in the center of the room. The party walked around the edge of the effect and had Klaitos, the longest-limbed, reach in and pull off the tarp. Leaning, he found himself untouched by any compression or space-warping field as long as he was over the cracked floor.

Under the tarp were two things. The most notable was that the sphere was revealed to be a familiar object - a shimmering silver Aether Core. Secondly, as it began to glow, the party realized that beneath the Aether Core was a ritual spiral drawn with unfamiliar, swirling runes. Ekkels deduced that the spell, whatever its intent, was designed to drink in the ambient chaos, activate in some fashion, and amplify that activation with the power of the Aether Core. Klaitos quickly attempted to smother the spiral with the tarp once more, but was unable to cover it entirely - the tips continued to drink in power and glow brighter.

Robin eyed the setup. While she wasn't familiar with the spellcraft, she had seen enough activated spell-traps in her career to have a sense of the workings. She knew it wouldn't be so easy as just removing the Core - if the payload of a trap was that easy to pilfer, there'd be a catch that made you regret trying - but she suggested to Klaitos that the flow of power might be interruptible. She then left him to the task.

As the carved spell glowed brighter and brighter, Klaitos decided that he could take a stab at rerouting the effect. He called out to Robin for her chisel - a throw she made handily - and carefully bit into the stone floor. The glow disrupted, he lifted the Aether Core off the trap and back a few steps. He and Ekkels watched as the spiral erupted with violent, unaimed splitting force, spreading the crack it had been drawn upon a few inches deeper into the room. Ekkels, having had a close enough look at the thing, figured he could maybe reproduce it if he borrowed Klaitos's Aether Wand, so long as they were still in the chaos-suffused dungeon.

The danger passed, Robin peered into the distorting effect around where the ritual had been drawn. She sought the ship from which the Aether Core could have been drawn, but found nothing but vast empty space. She also tried to peer into the room of void, though was unable to step too close to the door - the cracked ground looked ominously ready to do to her what it had done to Klaitos's cannonball. From a vantage barely able to see through the door, she spied a glint of silver - the spine of a prominent book on a tall bookshelf, perched on a corner-shelf of intact floor at the rim of the void. Compelled by the audacity of such an inaccessible prize, Robin plotted to grab it.

With a boost from Klaitos, she leapt from the (relatively intact) door to the ring hallway over to the intact floor. Almost flubbing the perilous landing, she broke her impact by tumbling into the bookshelf. She pulled from it three books of arcane lore, including the silver-spined tome she had spied from the floating apparatus room. Anchoring her rope to the shelf, she carefully shimmied back to Klaitos. Ignis appraised her find, determining that the books were:

A tome of arcanic laboratory measurements and equations, difficult to decode on the spot, but of potential use to an especially studied mage.

A treatise on Void as a hypothetical element alongside Fire, Water, et al. Long-winded and high-level but it would probably be of interest to scholars and mages of relevant disciplines.

A possibly invaluable textbook on Arcanic Artifice, the largely-lost Aether Age art of creating and empowering magical artifacts.