Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ancient Dread: The Maze Runners


We enter the tunnel. Dwarven sized, it presents some issues w/ the taller members of the group. While ominous, no being has been in here for millennia. As we move through, we sometimes have to take alternate routes to progress. A tingling in the back of our minds feels like we’re being watched. The architecture, again while dwarf, seems almost from a completely different civilization. For several days we encounter nothing but boulevards.

Suddenly, the area opens into a courtyard. It is illuminated by some sort of natural reddish hue, hanging in the air like embers. A giant fountain, w/ a four pointed star as its figure, centers the yard.

Echo’s attempts to grasp one of the embers proves fruitless, staying just out of her reach. On either side of the fountain are buildings w/ a wall farther out ahead. The fountain is dry. Nearby we notice a hatch. Ackdor and King manage to rip open it, leading into a dark pit. Looking down we hear water. Rod climbs down and steps into some shallow, rushing water. Some sort of old maintenance tunnel.

We decide to investigate this side of the wall first. Opens that used to be there are filled w/ rubble, making them impassable. The western building has steps leading to a second story. A guard building. At the top, a guard walkway continues along the top of the wall. About halfway down, it is collapsed. The east building looks to have been explored. A wooden bridge spans partway across a chasm that abruptly ends.

A quick exploration of the buildings, we note one building only has light from the emberflies. Echo enters. A man sits there, looking to be ash and ember himself, in front of a fireplace. He shushes her then disappears. The room itself was once a forge, relatively large. Echo discovers some sort of tunnel system. We decide on the sewers. They seem to be a maze as they branch off repeatedly. Damnable dwarves. All dead ends. We return to the forge vents. Ancient ash causes some serious discomfort as we move through the vent. We move past the wall and into another section of the bazaar. It has mostly caved in. Moving through the rubble, a building far to the west has survived. Rod opens the door and is greeted by a gust of wind. It comes from another chasm. A bridge leads across it. Roping eachother together, we attempt to cross. The bridge stops partway across leaving a gap too far to leap. Echo summons a phantom to carry us across.

A third section of the bazaar, we find another forge and hatch. Down the hatch. An open space leads out to four directions. More damn dwarf tunnels. We follow the lefthand north rule. Many dead ends. As we move north, the water on the floor gets hotter. Climbing over shelves gets us to another hatch, cool to the touch. We exit.

A new area. Covered in skeletons both Dwarf and Human, all seeming to have died in agony. Scorchmarks are everywhere. The buildings, seemingly built at random, are burnt out husks. In front of a sigil, a pyramid floating in a sphere of energy, is the Ashman. He giggles and disappears. Touching the pyramid, we pass the first shrine.

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