Author Topic: The Alchemists' Portal  (Read 1827 times)

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The Alchemists' Portal
« Topic Start: October 09, 2018, 02:43:16 AM »
Roleplay from Ehrich Weisz

Message sent to everyone in Iato (4 recipients) - 6 hours, 41 minutes ago



With relentless hordes of monsters and undead draining the resources of civilised lands, nobles increasingly struggled to field meaningful units and live in a manner befitting their high status.  The Imperial court of the Shattered Vales looked to its learned masters of lore and arcane studies to attempt to remedy this problem.  Foremost amongst the scholars were The Imperial Alchemists.

In a secluded grove away from the walls of Iato, The Imperial Alchemists convened for the culmination of their greatest experiment yet seeking to master the transmutation of base metals into gold.  The alchemist scholars had devoted themselves to years of study but had been frustrated by their inability to generate enough power to materialise their golden prize.  In frustration the alchemists had turned to agents able to walk amongst the unpredictable folk sages and wizards who it was beneath the scholars to contact directly.  So three adventurers, Paul, Teller and Rufus had undertaken apprenticeships of sorts looking to combine the science of alchemy with other mysterious sources.  Most had exercised the basic powers of scrolls, but with the winds of magic decreasing, soon found themselves frustrated upon that path.  The discovery of the ancient tome, the Dazzling Cookbook of Truth, had pointed them in a new exciting direction.  Now they strived to utilise the potent energies of a portal to fuse gold from base metals.  Over the months they had finally gathered eight stones, representing they believed, the seven metals of the world which could be bound by the eighth mystical element brimstone, the stone that burns..

Aware that portals were potent and dangerous forces which the Obeah faith were adept with, the scholarly priest Arterius was in attendance to attempt to steer the energies as desired and guard against unwanted dangers from beyond the other side of the portal.  So the assorted characters began a protracted and elaborate ritual.

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #1: October 09, 2018, 02:45:50 AM »
Roleplay from Ehrich Weisz

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Each of the agents at the ceremony was to represent one of the four core alchemical elements;

Air for Priest Arterius, faithful to his goddess beyond the veil, and the air in which the portal would be realised.

Earth for Paul, who had delved longest into the dark passages of the earth to discover most of the portal stones along with many of the minor alchemy ingredients.

Fire for Rufus, touched by flames many years past and reborn as a roaming monk enthralled by strange and fiery rituals.

Water for Teller, a bard who had travelled across the high seas in search of adventure and fame, and who had discovered the Dazzling Cook Book to be placed at the centre of their ritual.

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #2: October 09, 2018, 02:48:24 AM »
Roleplay from Ehrich Weisz

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The Imperial Alchemists provided eight reagents, the royal metals of Gold and Silver to be placed upon the north facing stones aligned with the constellation of Midas, whose great wisdom and wealth they sought to draw upon.  For the other stones Quicksilver was to be released, mingling with the air to evoke the portal.   Copper and Iron had been dissolved as acid waters to fuel the reaction.  Tin and Lead formed the mainstay of the common metals of the earth to be transformed, represented on different portal stones but also forged into a great cauldron into which the gold would surely flow.  Ready to ignite the final portal stone, brimstone was piled last with trails of sulphur leading to all the other stones and to the cauldron in the centre.

Each of these were positioned, ready for Paul to place the portal stones, flanked by Rufus and Teller to assist with the ceremony.  Before the great cauldron in the centre, a lectern supported the Dazzling Cook Book which illustrated the ritual formation on its centre pages and to which the adventurers would congregate once the stones were in place, to oversee the rituals culmination..

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #3: October 09, 2018, 02:52:16 AM »

Roleplay from Paul

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The Cleric Arterius had been teaching Paul the words and sequences from the Ancient Journal all day. Sweat dripped from the adventurers head as he struggled to remember all the knowledge being cascaded to him.
​As darkness descended the only light came from the bubbling cauldrons and the eerie silver glow that was now emitting from the eight portal stones he had helped collect. Now together the stones had developed a life of their own, pulsing and whining, and as the adventurer and the cleric discovered they had become so heavy they were almost impossible to move. At this point the mysterious adventurer Rufus had tried and to his amazement moved the stones with ease. Paul noticed that his previously piercing blue eyes had turned a similar eerie silver as the stones themselves.
​"Begin the ritual" commanded Emperor Ehrich and with the help of the whispered words of advice of the Cleric and the strength of Rufus they began the delicate task of following the ancient words and shifting the stones along lines scratched in the dirt.
​At regular intervals the assembled Alchemists brought small iron dishes containing molten metals which were pored carefully into the grooved lines which the portal stones were pushed along. Those much wiser than him had been working on turning rock to gold for years and the belief was that in their hour of need activating the stones would give them the power to do just that. Each different metal was supposed to chanel the energy of the earth itself to form the gold that could save them. For a moment Paul allowed himself to daydream - his share of the gold would buy him the castle he'd dreamed of, servants too, who'd call him master and a big fancy chariot.......
​A crackle of lightning snapped him out of his trance, and he focussed again on the words Arterius had tought him. The final sequence of movements pushed all the stones together in a pile and as Rufus placed the final stone there was an almighty boom, then silence.


Strange Lights

message to everyone in the vicinity of Iato - 4 hours, 6 minutes ago


A column of light shoots up into the sky from somewhere in Iato, and there is a strange humming sound. Beasts behave bizarrely. Nothing else seems to happen...for now.


Roleplay from Paul

Message sent to everyone in Iato (4 recipients) - 3 hours, 48 minutes ago


Paul dusted himself down then looked apprehensively up to the sky. A huge column of light had engulfed them but as his eyes adjusted to the brightness he was disappointed not to see gold raining from the skies.

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #4: October 09, 2018, 03:17:00 AM »
Roleplay from Arterius Kye

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The light shot upward into the sky with blinding speed. Even having known such an effect would happen the priest Arterius staggered back a step and reflexively pulled his arms to his eyes. Through force of will he lowered his forearms and peered into the veil of light. Obeah would protect him, he was sure of it, and deliver unto him and the others gathered something. But what was to be seen...

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #5: October 09, 2018, 07:31:05 PM »
Roleplay from Rufus

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Rufus the red monk answered the call to assist the alchemists ritual without hesitation.  Seeing the dignitaries struggling with the stones he stepped forwards finding the stones willing to pivot rather than lift if directed towards their proper positions.  As he touched the first stone he felt enfused with some ancient power something he had felt only once before along time ago when he was so close to death.


Shivering he recovered his senses only when the last portal stone was in place but now his other passion gripped him.  The allure of the flames!  As the cauldron and sulfur were ignited he was drawn like a moth entranced by the flames.  Against reason he was compelled to reach out to the portal stone anointed with sulfur and for a moment his hands touched the burning stone – unnaturally captivated by its beauty.  Then his mortal senses caught up with him and he recoiled screaming.  A lesser alchemist eventually came to his aid with water - if only to allow the ceremony to proceed undisturbed.  As the alchemists worked for their obsession with gold Rufus the screaming red monk sobbed in pleasure and pain at the beauty of the flames which could deliver it.


Ever more the monk would occasionally collapse into bouts of screaming agony - scarred body and mind by the burning stone

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #6: October 09, 2018, 07:35:09 PM »

Roleplay from Arterius Kye

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As the light begin to fade, Arterius eye's shifted frantically about. Surely something divine was about to happen. Blessed Obeah wouldn't guide mortal man with hints and clues and then do nothing would she? Then for only an eye blink before the light was gone he saw it. Something dark and nearly unidentifiable, just beyond the veil...


Flickers At The Ritual Site

message to everyone in the vicinity of Iato - 2 hours, 37 minutes ago



Over the course of several hours, the initial flare of light dims, but the column reaching into the sky remains. After some time, Arterius notices a faint flicker of light coming from the channels of now-cooling metal connecting the portal stones to the center of the circle. It shimmers and ripples along them from the portal stones, looking like tiny bolts of violet lightning.

As he watches, the flickering seems to settle into a steady rhythm...almost like a heartbeat...

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #7: October 09, 2018, 07:40:03 PM »

Rising Tension

message to everyone in the vicinity of Iato - 1 hour, 22 minutes ago


The steady flickering within the circle has sped up. It changed ever so gradually, so that it was hard to tell it was happening, but at first it was no more than one pulse every five heartbeats, and now it's faster than one every two heartbeats. The violet lightning has been climbing higher, too, rising from the center of the circle to trace an outline in the air. It appears to be a roughly oval shape a couple of meters high, starting a meter above the ground.

Further from the circle, the people of Iato have started noticing something going on as well, beyond the very obvious column of light reaching into the sky. The air has begun to feel heavy, like the air before a storm, and animals all around have begun acting agitated and upset. An ever-growing flock of birds has begun to circle the column of light in the sky.

 
Roleplay from Paul

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Paul had a bucket in each hand and was staring expectantly into the clouds above.
His eyes darted this way and that...
"Ready everyone! The golds a comin!"
Rufus and Arterius gave the adventurer a disappointed look but even a fool could tell that something was happening and far sooner than anyone had expected.

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #8: October 09, 2018, 07:43:10 PM »
These are probably the last updates I will post unless directed otherwise, in order to keep some of the mystery of the ritual and outcome in character.

I would just add a big thank you to my comrades for their input, and to the dev/mod giving our RP such prompt attention.  In part I posted here so that there would be record of our musings if it took some time to address, so thank you for indulging/humouring us.  I enjoyed it.

Medron Pryde

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #9: October 09, 2018, 10:25:02 PM »
Interestingly....on the East Continent I got this message -

 Disturbance Abroad
message to everyone in the vicinity of Bescanon - 3 hours, 40 minutes ago

Bescanon's column of light turns a violet shade as the air grows moist and heavy. The ground trembles. Bescanon River reverses itself, flowing not from mountains to ocean, but from the ocean to up the mountains.

Agitated animals gather at the stones, circling them. The smallest of creatures, the ticks, are closest to the stones, with the largest of creatures, oxen, furthest from the stones, all circling together. In the skies, birds circle the column of light, again with the smallest avian closest to the light and the largest furthest from the light. Eerily, not one creature makes a sound as they silently circle either upon quaking ground or within moist, heavy air. With each passing minute, more and more animals join the circular parade on land or in sky.

Something distant in the aether was being disturbed.



And on Beluaterra, my adventurer got this message far from Iato -
 Portal Stone Mishap
(Personal message) - 1 hour, 17 minutes ago
You notice a strange vibration coming from your pack, and when you open it to look, you see that the portal stones you have in there are humming and glowing with an eerie violet glow. The sound and the glow increase in frequency and intensity until it is almost unbearable—and then there is a horrible cracking sound. Half the stones have shattered, and any that remain retain an oddly menacing violet tint.

And she now sees the following message when she looks in her inventory -
"Be warned that setting eight portal stones in a circle carries the risk of failure resulting in serious wound or even death."

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #10: October 09, 2018, 10:45:45 PM »
Ah, the portal stone thing happened locally too.

In these dark days the lights of the portal seem to have only made things darker still right now.  At the moment my only hopes lie with what resembled a flying cow..  Everyone else involved isn't in too great shape to investigate though, except me  :-[

Anaris

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Re: The Alchemists' Portal
« Reply #11: July 29, 2020, 10:26:10 PM »
I wanted to add these onto this thread to be saved for everyone to see, since they are highly relevant and provide the in-character explanation for why portal stones no longer function reliably:

Concurrent with the Rising Tension post:
Quote
As the hours pass, the flickers of light become more intense, more urgent. The crackles of violet energy become more frequent. The air in the city becomes oppressive, as if a terrible storm were coming, but there isn't a cloud in the sky. Around the city, animals become restless—dogs whine to go out, then immediately want to get back in and hide under beds; tomcats set up a caterwauling like the city has never heard; rats begin scampering away from the Basilica; birds take to the air en masse and begin circling the column of light unceasingly.

Within the Solarium of the Basilica, the violet lightning is flashing nearly once every second or so now, and it is beginning to outline a shape in the air like a cat's slitted pupil, twice the height of a man, with its bottom point around knee height.

At the time of the ritual:

Quote
A Violet Calamity

As the Oracle watches the flickering of the lightning, nearly continuous now, she begins to feel a growing sense of wrongness from it. The center of the shape outlined in violet in the air is now beginning to ripple with colors, and every so often it almost seems to be a window on some other place, but then fades to transparency again.

As the sun sinks below the western horizon, the crackles of violet lightning that have been flickering up the pillar of light extending from the Basilica into the sky begin to drift and bend oddly toward the west...and strangely, in that direction, with the sunlight no longer washing it out, an answering violet glow can be seen. It looks like it might be from somewhere in the Shattered Vales.

Eventually, after hours of watching the outline of the...portal? in the air, something new begins to happen. Over the course of a minute or so, the center of the outline of violet lightning begins to darken. When it has been entirely black and opaque for several seconds, forks of the lightning reach inward from several points around the rim and strike toward the center at once. Almost as if they are pulling back a veil, they then draw back toward the edges, and the blackness parts from the center outward to reveal a strange landscape.

On the other side of the portal can be seen a wooden scaffold, and a view over a vast plain. Standing just to either side of the portal are Daimons bearing glowing staffs. Standing directly in front of the portal is a Daimon with three eyes and a large gemstone on a chain around its neck. No sound passes through the portal, but it appears to be chanting.

Suddenly, the three visible Daimons lurch and spread their limbs to keep their balance as the entire wooden scaffold rocks. The chanting Daimon breaks off and turns to look behind at the sudden storm of violet lightning radiating upward from somewhere over the horizon. Then it turns back to the portal and begins chanting again, but its expression is unmistakable: terror. Though the scene beyond the portal is still silent, somehow words come to the Oracle's mind: *The Aether roils! Too many portals have made it unstable! The backlash will—*

The gemstone around the Daimon's neck flares brightly for an instant, then explodes, hurling the three-eyed Daimon backward off the scaffold with most of its chest missing. The portal itself suddenly becomes spiderwebbed with violet lines, as if it were a pane of glass cracking.

Then the portal shatters, and the world seems to shatter with it.

The portal stones explode, sending splinters of stone flying in all directions. Shards of the portal itself streak outward, leaving destruction in their wake. One slices through the Oracle's cheek as it passes, and though the cut it leaves is shallow, the pain is as excruciating as if her skin had been flayed off. Where the portal was, a vortex of violet energy twists and shrieks. It quickly rises through the roof—oddly, it does no damage to the structure, unlike the shards of stone and portal—and becomes a tornado, writhing above the city, touching down here and there. It still does nothing to the buildings, but anywhere it touches, the people caught within it shriek, distort, and vanish, being replaced by muscular Daimon soldiers with imposing pikes and hammers. The vortex seems to spend extra time around the Templar Nexus, almost as if seeking something there...

This lasts for another quarter-hour or so, with the violent violet whirlwind gradually fading to nothingness. When it finally disappears, everything seems normal again...save for the people who have vanished, the Daimons who have replaced them, the ravaged Solarium, and the Oracle, unconscious from the pain.

Quote
The oval outlined in violet lightning is starting to show strange shapes within, faintly traced in the thinnest of violet lightnings. The shapes seem to be similar to the alchemical symbols for the basic elements and the cardinal metals...

Behind them, though, something else slowly begins to take shape: a strange landscape, with a barren land, a dark sky, and a faint glow around the horizon, as if it were just past sunset or almost dawn...

As the sun sinks into the west and the sky darkens from blue to black, another light grows in the east. As it has been for over a month now, the column of light emanating from Rines is just visible over the horizon. Tonight, though, it seems...different. A little more...violet, perhaps?

Just as the last sliver of the sun disappears below the horizon, there is a sudden crackBOOM as the lightning flashes all the way up the column of light for one moment, then steadies. The portal it surrounds now appears to be open. On the other side, in the distance, it is possible to make out a tall structure with multicolored energies playing about its top. Of the various colors, violet seems to be growing more dominant. Closer to the portal, twisted humanoid shapes move about. Daimons, only just becoming aware that the portal is here.

Now they are aware, though, and several of them come toward it. Though no sound crosses the veil between worlds, it is clear that one of them has also called for help, as more begin to come running. A half-dozen of them now stand around the portal, eagerness clear on their inhuman faces.

One steps forward, reaching out. He hesitates, then turns to his fellows, who nod and gesture him forward.

He strides confidently into the portal.

At the same moment, the face of the portal is once again marred by an alchemical symbol—the symbol for "Gold"—traced in violet lightning.

The Daimon shrieks momentarily in terror and pain as his body is rent asunder by terrible energies.

The portal blazes with unearthly violet light. Energies crackle from it in all directions.

The lines of metal on the ground suddenly glow white-hot, energy racing outward from the portal through them to the portal stones. The stones smoke for just a few seconds, then explode, shards of rock flying everywhere. The symbol overlaying the portal flickers and changes between all the alchemical symbols in turn again, but finally comes to rest on a little-used symbol, one any learned alchemist would view with the greatest trepidation: the symbol for "Void".

Suddenly, a screaming vortex begins drawing everything nearby in toward the portal—but as soon as anything touches it, it bursts into violet flame and disintegrates. Each time this happens, the glow of the portal intensifies.

Paul finds himself being dragged in, too, and though he scrabbles frantically to keep himself away, he is soon struck by something large and heavy—was that a cow?!—and knows no more.

This lasts for only a few minutes, though, the hellish violet light growing ever brighter, until it finally bursts, bolts of violet lightning shooting into the sky from the spot where the portal had been. The bolts strike again and again, lashing outward, upward, and at any person who comes close. The people of Iato are in a panic, and just starting to riot when as suddenly as it began, the eldritch tempest ceases.

A moment later, there is a flash of brilliant violet light from the east, then a paler glow for about a quarter hour, then the light from that direction dies entirely.

Where the portal stones had lain in Iato, now there is nothing but a scorched and blackened crater in the ground. Nearby, blocked from falling into the portal by a tree with all its leaves and most of its branches stripped away, lies the slightly charred, extremely unconscious body of Paul.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan