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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 48: I Shot The Cleric. . .

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Dave?  You've changed man!
. . . but I did not shoot the deputy.

Ronald Reagan has been attributed as saying that the only thing that would unite the world would be hostile aliens. Maybe he had something there.

Let me explain; as we left off last time, the group had found itself transported from the ivory tower to a ballroom that was apparently located in Cormyr. It happened to be a less rundown version of a ballroom three of the four had encountered in the other world.

Aside from being in a considerably better state of repair, this version was also better manned, with an elf at the podium, and the many guards she quickly called. Said guards were in a variety of armors from leather to full plate, and came from both in front of them, and the door they'd just vacated. But all had the purple dragon crest of Cormyr on them. One was a hooded, robed cleric.

The Cupcakes immediately went into diplomacy mode, trying to avoid a fight. All until one of the guards attempted to relieve Hazel of her broom. Then all hell broke out.

(The fact that Frank's attempt to talk her down might just have possibly been construed as a threat had nothing to do with it, I'm sure.)

Frank started things off by forming his Wyvern Cloak into a stinger and sticking the guy that had just relieved him of his weapons. Steve proceeded to begin bashing people with his fists, while trying to make diplomacy checks to end the fighting. Kind of a mixed message really.

But he did start with the guy holding Frank's guns. The Siege Gunner quickly rearmed himself.

Thor charged the guys still on the stairs, grabbed one, and yelled in his face 'I've already destroyed a salamander's asshole today!' Understandably the poor bastard was a bit confused. Was this an admission of guilt? A boast? A threat? He wasn't really sure, but it was still intimidating as all hell.

Meanwhile, the Cleric touched the pendant he was wearing to the door he'd entered through, and cast an antimagic field that encompassed the entire room. Which really created a bit of a 'I'm not trapped in here with you' sort of situation for his enemies.

And Hazel, well, without her constant watcher Hazel was able to make it to the podium. She immediately began searching it for any more dragon stationary, bagging all she could. Priorities, am I right?

The second turn continued much as the first, until the cleric touched his pendant again, somehow conferring a buff on his allies through the antimagic field. Having had enough of this fuckery, Frank turned his aim on the cleric, downing him in two turns.

By that point the captain of the guard had arrived with more reinforcements. A man whose armor and weapon reminded three of them of a corpse they'd found in the other world. But, before he could lead his men into the fray, the guards nearest the fallen cleric leapt away, yelling "ILLITHID!". The rest of the battle stopped immediately as all eyes turned to the purple fluid oozing from the 'cleric's' wounds.

Steve took the opportunity to explain the situation to the captain, effecting a cessation of hostilities. Frank immediately began tending to the wounds he had just created. The Illithid imposter was healed, bound, and taken into a small room to be interrogated.

The Cupcakes then spoke to the Guard Captain. According to him, the door they'd come through led to a courtyard. The 'cleric' had been stationed here for quite some time. In fact, the captain had apparently known the cleric for years. They also learned that the time they were in was 800 years before the rising of the Ivory Tower.

The Cupcakes then recommended a few security precautions and requested they be present for the interrogation. The captain agreed, probably because he wanted to keep all the newcomers in his sight.

As I'm sure you know, interrogating an Illithid is no small task. And this one was more stubborn that most. After some time they'd learned nothing from it. It hadn't even seen fit to threaten them. Of course, Frank watching it from the opposite corner may have had something to do with that.

They were interrupted only once, when a guard delivered a small purple shard to the captain. The guard explained that the gardener had found it down by the river. The Captain examined it before showing to the Cupcakes, asking if they'd seen anything like it. They nodded gravely, explaining that it was a piece of what transported people to the other world.

They attempted to ask the Illithid about it, but again got nothing. Finally, Hazel got bored, and tried to contact Maiphere. The Dragonkin's voice came through quietly to her and she explained the situation.

He informed her that this was the time when this area would be transported to the other world. He also instructed her to bring the Illithid to the library, and to remain unseen if possible. The Captain chimed in, saying that the gardener knew all the servant routs around the grounds.

So they bagged the Illithid and headed outside. Questioning the gardener about the shard he'd found revealed no knew information, but he agreed to show them a back way into the library.

Once there, they noted minor differences between the library three of them had used. There was no sculpture, or massive chair. The map of the world was also missing. So too was the hole Thor had created. Other than that, it was the same.

They set the Illithid down in a chair and contacted Maiphere again. This time, his voice came through stronger. He outlined the difficulties of questioning squid faces and suggested that he inhabit the body. Then he'd know all it knew.

Given their lack of success so far (and being a tad bit curious) they agreed. Almost immediately the Illithid's body began to morph. It's tentacles were absorbed into it's face even as that face elongated into a snout. The soft features of the Illithid hardened into the bony crests of a reptile. After only a few moments, Maiphere stood up from where the Illithid once sat.

He explained that within a few minutes a portal would open, that would allow them back into their time, back in the Ivory Tower. They had a choice. The could stay here, and attempt to intervene in the transport of these people. Or they could go back to complete their mission.

He also warned them that, should they stay, Frank would be the only one there. Since the others came from the other world, they would not exist here. And Frank would forget all about them. In the end they decided to go back. Maiphere agreed to stay and try in their place.

When the appointed time arrived, the door to the library began to glow. The foursome stepped quickly through, finding themselves exiting the door they'd entered through. Just in time to see the spiral stair they were on go up another three levels.

This time they decided to try the top most door, to see how much that would increase their ceiling by.

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