Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 73

Previously...
Gudrun and Sharisse dispatched the majority of Mandrakes sent to harass Bujilli while he was occupied by his dream-dialogue with Sprague. The five of them dismembered the foul, twisted root-things, scattering their pieces so they wouldn't be able to reconnect. Bujilli dispelled the sorcerous blockage on his amulet connecting him to Hedrard, but the other side remained blocked. Now they must decide which way to go, what to do next...


Bujilli held up Hedrard's amulet. The snaking black vine-things were crumbling away into so much inky dust in response to his dispelling the blockage. There was no connection. He could feel the blockage on the other side. Who would do such a thing? Why?

"You're right. I can't reach Hedrard."

"Of course I'm right. I didn't get this old being wrong all the time."

"So do we go check on her, or do we go after Sprague?" Leeja kicked another piece of Mandrake across the floor.

Dithering was deadly. Hesitation killed. That particular lesson had been drilled into Bujilli by his Uncle.

"I'm going to try to clear the connection to Hedrard. Which one is closer to where we are right now?" He looked to Gnosiomandus. The Unnatural Philosopher nodded in approval.

"Good thinking. Sprague is actually closer. Over in the East Wing. But we'll need to deal with his assistants before we can get to him. If he's even available."

"We'll make him available..."

"Optimist. You've obviously never dealt with an Oneirist before." Gnosiomandus chuckled.

"No. But I expect to learn. This will only take a moment." Bujilli closed his eyes. Focused on the amulet. He whispered the mnemonic sequence, made the internally-visualized connections, felt the energies flow through him, then released them into the amulet. There was resistance. A lot of it.

Bujilli stopped in his tracks. Intensified his casting. Redoubled his efforts before his spell could dissipate. The resistance was intense. Formidable. It took exertion to maintain the connection, to simply keep the channel open. Snaky black tendrils writhed towards him from the otherside of the amulet. He refused to let go. The black runners curled outwards, cutting across his hand, drawing blood. Thorns extended across the length of the coiling tendrils as they thickened. Pain made it even more of an effort to not get distracted and drop the spell. Pressure mounted. This was going to take more than a simple dispelling.

"Machine." Bujilli half-vocalized through gritted teeth. The pain was getting worse. The black thorns were dripping down onto the already gory carpet. The amulet was growing warmer. Warmer. His own blood was making the thing slippery.

System Online

"End this." He choked. The pain was getting to be too much.

ZOOP

A shimmering purple radiance flowed out from Bujilli. He could feel it ooze out through his flesh. It tickled.

The amulet fell to the floor. Bujilli flexed his hand. It was sore. Bloody. Criss-crossed with black streaks. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry or spit or swear. Where once he had carried the swirling violet fractals of a spell well beyond his early capabilities, now he bore the tattoo-like markings of another spell. This time it was someone else's spell he carried.

"What have you done?" Demanded Gnosiomandus.

"I ran into some resistance..."

"I should say so. I don't think the Custodians are going to appreciate your turning this hallway into some sort of arboreum."

"What?" Bujilli looked past his mottled hand. Black thorns had taken root in the floor in several spots. The thorns grew up the walls, across the ceiling and around the door to his room. The carpet was barely visible, a few tattered shreds stuck within the tangled roots that now covered the floor across more than thirty feet of the hallway in either direction. It reeked of fresh-cut ginseng.

Bujilli laughed. He looked at the amulet. His hand. The Black-thorns. The conspicuously missing fragments of the Mandrakes. He laughed again.

"What's so funny?" grumbled Gnosiomandus.

"I used a Confusion spell on the Mandrakes."

"Yes. so what?" the old man prodded.

"It was still somewhat in effect, I guess. The resistance I encountered was too much to simply dispell. It pushed me, so I pushed back. We fought back and forth a bit, then I called upon my Counsel to end it. Before I lost my hand. this..." he waved his hand at the strange new foliage covering the hallway, "...seems to be the result of all those things coming together at once."

"So you were not able to reach Hedrard?"

"No/" He looked down at the tangled roots of the black-thorns. They seemed to be settling down, going flat, as if voluntarily forming a floor. His hand tingled. He could feel a connection to the things. Low, slow and non-verbal. They responded to him on an empathic level. This could come in handy, later. It would have to wait for later.

"Then we need to go check on her right away." Leeja insisted.

"Sprague. We need to deal with him first. Hedrard can handle things just fine. If she was in serious trouble, I'd...know...it..."

"What?" Leeja demanded.

"Scheiss. My connection to Hedrard. It's blocked. Just like yours. Black, thorn-things."

"She has a connection with Eberhard as well?"

"Yes..."

"Good. Then we head for Sprague's place right now. There's very little that Hedrard and Beatrice Eberhard can't handle together. I have a suspicion that Sprague is the one who really needs our help right now."

"Help that bastard?" Gudrun balked at the very thought. She had every intention of slitting the man's throat at the first opportunity.

"Yes. He may not be willingly serving these secret masters that are trying to pull his strings. He may not be in complete control of his actions." Bujilli looked pointedly at Gudrun and then Sharisse. both looked down at the flattened roots of the black thorns. There was an organic sort of parquetry to the way they fit together. It was a beautiful pattern. Very spirally.

"I'd appreciate it if you would lead the way..." Bujilli bowed slightly to Gnosiomandus. He remembered how the hallways and passages responded to Beatrice Eberhard when he had first met her. The staff and faculty of the Academy had special privileges in this place. He hoped that it would be enough to get them there before...he wasn't sure what was going to happen. But he could feel it in his guts that something was going on. Like something big and nasty prowling just outside his range of perception.

"Follow me then." Gnosiomandus headed towards the stairwell. His pace accelerated from a brisk walk to some sort of loping trot. Gudrun and Sharisse flanked him. Bujilli and Leeja brought up the rear.

Three more flights of stairs. Two hallways and a side-passage hat let onto a spiral ramp lit with blueshine pearls. Another hallway. Past three sets of heavily-reinforced bronze doors. Across a small enclosed bridge linking to the East Wing. Two more flights of stairs. Another hallway. A black door bound in rough-hammered silver. Purple carpets. Strange frescoes. Mosaics of shadow. Broken statuary and phantasmagorical fossils. Dimly murky mirrors in elaborate frames, most of them shuttered and barred like prison-cell doors. The Atrium of the Oneirical Studies Section was directly ahead of them.

There was no one at the reception desk.

No one stopped them from making heir way to the third floor. Room 303. Bujilli remembered that this was where he was supposed to go to pick up his voucher from Sprague when he first came to Wermspittle.

Gnosiomandus still had his gnarled wand at the ready. He paused at the threshold. caught Bujili's eye.

"How many uncovered mirrors did you count on the way up here?"

"Three." offered Gudrun.

"Four, I think." Sharisse pulled a gonne of some sort from her belt. She held it in her off-hand. It looked heavy enough to serve as a sort of war-club.

"Mirrors? What does that have..." Leeja closed her eyes in sudden realization.

"What?"

"Sprague works with more than just figments and phantasms. He has several Simulacra on his staff--"

"He allows Mirror-born to work here?" Leeja sounded incredulous.

"Yes. And more besides. If there are four mirrors unvcovered, then there are at least four Mirror-born wandering about the place. Probably not wandering. More likely waiting in ambush."

"Do they bleed?" Bujilli considered his options.

"Some do. Others shatter. A few have the distressing habit of exploding into a cloud of shards that'll shred you to pieces if you're too close when they go."

"Wonderful. Anything else I ought to know before we go in?"

"Yes. Most of them can reflect spells back at you, so watch what you cast in here."

"Great. this just gets better and better."

It was your idea to come here first."

Bujilli bit back on his reply. Instead he tried the door. It wouldn't budge.

He considered kicking the damn thing open...


Should Bujilli attempt to force the door? Or should he cast his Knock spell? Would it be better if Leeja picked the lock? Or would you rather they looked for another entrance?
Maybe you have a better idea; feel free to make a suggestion in the comments below.

Whatever happens next, we could usea few Initiative rolls for (1) Bujilli (2) Leeja, (3) Gnosiomandus, (4) Sharisse, (5) Gudrun, and if anyone cares to make one more for (6) WHATEVER IS BEHIND THE DOOR.



Bujilli receives a +1 bonus to his Initiative, Leeja gets a +2 bonus. Gnosiomandus gets a -1 penalty for being distracted. The girls both receive +1 bonuses due to their DEX. (as per P. 50, Labyrinth Lord.)


As usual, anything readers don't roll for, I will roll.
  • We need to know who will open the door. If anyone.
  • If they're opening the door we need to know if Bujilli is using a Knock spell, using his boot, or his shoulder. Or if it's Leeja picking the lock, we need a Percentile Die roll (1-100).
  • Whomever opens the door needs to roll a Save. (P.54-55, Labyrinth Lord) Bujilli can use either the Fighter or Magic-User table: Reader's choice. He is Level 7 in both classes, as per his Character Sheet. Leeja uses the Thief table for her aves (p. 55), and her Pick Locks skill is (34%) as per her Character Sheet.
  • We could use 2-3 D20 rolls...
What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

Previous                                Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

7 comments:

  1. I say go for the Knock spell. I can't roll at work unfortunately, since they block anything that smacks of gaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. If no one else rolls, I'll take care of it. Thanks for the comment!

      Delete
  2. 6D6 for initiative raw results: 3, 3, 2, 2, 6, 3. I vote for Bujilli to kick it in, but defer to others who have been following more closely. Caught up with all the new posts and glad to be reading more Bujilli!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Rob! Good to have you back; thanks for the die rolls. We'll have some bonus Bujilli stuff soon.

      Delete
  3. Could sending someone back the way they came to cover or smash the mirrors do any good, in terms of weakening or distracting the Mirror-born?

    I also like the idea of an alternative entry point - is there anyone present who knows the building and the way to Sprague's windows? Leeja should do pretty well at climbing walls, and could be led out by one of the youngsters if necessary, assuming they know how to get there. They could even deal with the mirrors on the way out. Bujilli and Leeja might be able to sync themselves even better than they're synced now, maybe with the aid of Counsel, so they can time the entry from both sides down to the second.

    They could also try blasting through a wall from an adjacent space. If Bujilli can cast a reverse Zone of Normality, to get a similar effect to the Malign and Particular Suspension of Natural Law he cast under Zormur's Palace, they can avoid the door completely - he could use it to crank up the pressure or gravity in the wall or even the floor, maybe just to get in, but possibly also to collapse part of Sprague's apartments out from under him, at least the entry spaces, those most likely to be trapped or guarded.

    It would mean a slight wait, and a bit of scouting, but they'd have more than one element of surprise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. Someone could go back and do that. But who would go? Closing the shutters or smashing the glass might cause some trouble for the Mirror-Born...but it might also make them extra cranky. It won't necessarily weaken them, it could distract them, it would cut off their avenues of escape and reinforcement.

      Leeja is a good climber. So is Sharisse. Your suggestion has a lot of merit, and might work nicely on a tower that isn't under the influence of an Oneirist like Sprague. The windows looking in do not coincide with the windows looking out. It might take a considerable amount of time to locate the proper window, and then there's no guarantee that it wouldn't cross over into some portion of dreamspace...talk about getting the party separated...

      The synchronization-thing might be worth looking at some more...

      alternative entry is always an option. Your suggestion could work pretty well. Another example of players creatively re-interpreting spells. Good to see that sort of thing.

      Blasting through like you suggest could really leapfrog a lot of the intrinsic/established defenses. This could be quite a dramatic entrance...

      Delete
  4. Playing off of Porky's alternate-entrance suggestion, Bujilli's spent a fair amount of time recently dealing with dreamspace and oneiric stuff. Could he adapt Oneiric Bubble, Dispel Magic, and Zone of Normality into an Oneiric Dispel spell that would cancel out any dreamspace connections / illusions around them? Maybe Gnosiomandus already knows of such a spell? Then Bujilli and Leeja could synchronize for a dual-attack.

    Can Counsel detect any Weak Points in the area, and if so where? Even if they're not dream-connected they could be a potential source of additional enemies to be prepared for. Or potential allies, depending on the connections. Or another way in, maybe that Sprague is unaware of.

    If Leeja and Sharisse do the exterior tower climb it might be a good idea for Leeja to cast Pale Shelter so they're less likely to be seen.

    I rolled 5d20s and got 14, 19, 15, 13, 10.

    ReplyDelete

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