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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > ✴ Portal Under the Stars ✴

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(LFRP thread: https://www.rprepository.com/community/forumthread.php?t=72611&p=1#4819056)

For long years, you labored in the fields like all the peasants, sweating hot and dirty in the summer, only to shiver under threadbare hides when winter came. This year’s harvest ended like all the rest, and autumn’s work was hard on Old Man Roberts. When you visited his bedside at the end, he spoke in labored breaths of constellations that hadn’t been seen since he was a young lad. The last time the Empty Star had risen in the sky, it was more than fifty winters past, he said. Under the light of that strange star a portal had opened by the old stone mounds. He’d seen jewels in there and fine steel spears and enameled armor, but he’d run when the iron men had attacked. Now, old and dying, he wishes he’d taken the chance on a life of adventure. The Empty Star is once more rising, and a young man with courage could be more than just another peasant – if only he’d take the chance Old Man Robert hadn’t. Now its your turn, will you take that chance?




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The gathered group stands before the monolithic rocks of the old stone mounds, under the dark light of a starry sky. The Empty Star is clear and bright above. Three of the large stone blocks lean haphazardly together to form an upright rectangular portal about the size of a man. They seem to be placed directly beneath the star's path. As the Empty Star ascends to its brightest point, its light catches in the portal, and a shimmering stone-lined corridor is visible through the stones, but only from one side of the opening.

Sohn stood beside his younger sister, Olivia, as they stared at the large stones and the portal that had been revealed, or perhaps created, he could not decide which, by the light of the Empty Star. Olivia grasped a pitchfork so hard her knuckles were white and Sohn held his staff that he used when guarding the goats. Both hesitated now that the moment was before them.

"Change your mind?" Sohn asked, his voice barely above a quiet whisper.

Olivia shook her head stubbornly, but her mouth was so dry she hardly dared try to speak. She'd half expected Old Man Roberts tale to be nothing more than the delusions of a dying man, even though she had dared wish it were true. But here was the portal before them, just as he had described it.

The shimmer from the hallway beyond seemed to suggest riches beyond anything she might ever dream of and an excited smile crept over her face as she looked around at those gathered here.

"Me either," Sohn agreed, then said louder to the others gathered here: "I don't know about the rest of you lot, but we're going."



Olivia

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Sohn

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Orsik had just arrived to the opening, seeing this magnificent feat of nature with his own eyes, hearing the story of the "Empty Star" while at Old Man Roberts deathbed. He couldn't believe the tale was true, let alone happening right now as the old man would lie and take his last breath.

Orsik gathers with the others around the opening, banging his shield with his handaxe as one of the farmers exclaimed that he was going in.

"Aye! I am goin' with ya!" Looking towards the man and giving him a reassuring nod.

Orsik needed those jewels that Old Man Robert made sure to explain in fine detail, being a blacksmith for such a small farming community as such.

Angrim follows up the rear behind Orsik, with a white knuckle grasp on his father's longsword. He felt nearly naked despite the sturdy bits of leather armor he'd scavenged and "borrowed" from around town, with and without the permission of the owners. He had heard whispers of Old Man Robert's dying words and was immediately enamored by the idea of a marvelous adventure with riches as a reward. However, his mind was soon clouded by anxiety afterwards. Where would this portal lead? What beasts might spring from the portal. These thoughts were not enough to dispel his obsession with grandiose and heroic questing, so he had taken his father's heirloom sword (one of the few valuables their family owned) and asked around town for any supplies that could be spared.

He grumbles behind Orsik as the other man bangs his shield. "Quiet down a little, would you? We have no idea if some abyssal creature lurks around this portal..." As he finishes his sentence he tightens his two handed grip on the simple leatherbound hilt of the gleaming longsword and glances up into the sky, scanning the heavens for the Empty Star .

Olivia and Sohn followed Angrim and Orsik, glad enough to follow the two with real weapons instead of farm implements carried as such.

"Do you think there might be?" Olivia whispered to Angrim, heeding his warning to stay quiet. "Creatures, I mean?"

The adventurers cautiously step through the starlit stone portal and into the hallway beyond. Solid flagstone are underfoot. The starlight fades as it reaches into this hallway, which dead-ends ahead at a stout iron-banded door. Jewels or crystals in an odd assortment of star shapes are inscribed on the door.


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Orsik was not worried, he has been longing for something this exciting and it finally fell into his lap! Excitement and treasure, there wasn't any thing else a dwarf could ask for.

When walking through the portal, he heard Olivia's question to Angrim, then took it on himself to answer for him. "If there is, that just adds to the adventure! You shouldn't be too worried about what could happen when you know that the outcome is oh so sweet!" He laughs before looking down the hallway and reading himself, taking the front, ahead of the other 3.

"I'll even go first, just in case there is something. That way, I'll be the one who gets hit by any surprise attacks or traps." Winking to the three of them before continuing down the hallway, making sure to keep his steps quick and gentle.

Mila's 'armor' was just reinforced hide, that she'd gotten while poaching, and hidden away in the woods. She wasn't paid enough with all the others on the farm. She'd rarely spoken to anyone, and when she did it seemed they couldn't recall her even existing before that. But she did listen. She heard the stories of the portal. The danger that lurked inside, but also the glorious riches that awaited anyone with a strong heart for adventure.

Mila's self-crafted wooden bow was old and worn but served her well over the time she'd had it. She kept it ready, with a makeshift arrow notched as she stepped into the portal. Some of the adventurers would risk their lives to get off of that farm - even unprepared. At least some had taken efforts to get something prepared.

She crammed into the thin corridor. Already someone would dive in head first, ready to take on a valiant fight. For that, Mila was grateful. Until she was the saw the immediate dead end. An array of the most beautiful jewels dotted the dead end. Mila waited to see what Orsik would do, as he was so insistent on being the first. Though, in that time, she let her eyes dart around the gems, hoping she could see anything odd from the distance behind four others, or develop a pattern in them. This was most certainly not even close to the end of what the story was referencing... Sure it was a lot of jewels but - the danger?

There must've been something important.

Olivia felt emboldened by Orsik's jovial response, as if he weren't the slightest bit worried about what lay beyond. Her own resolve hardened and she stepped through the stone portal, still grasping the pitchfork like it was a spear.

As they reached the door, she eyed the jewels in the door. Those alone might be worth a small fortune and only made her more eager to see what lay beyond. "Does it just...open?" she asked cautiously from her position behind the dwarf, hoping that they did not need some kind of magical key to open it. Old Man Roberts hadn't mentioned anything about that.

Sohn almost hadn't noticed Mila come in behind them and startled when he glanced behind to find her there, immediately bringing up his staff into a defensive posture before realizing Mila wasn't, in fact, a creature or one of those 'iron men' that Old Man Roberts had mentioned. He sighed in relief, "Don't sneak up us like that," he scolded, but he wasn't really upset with her, only at himself for being so jumpy.

He was slightly surprised to see her here... the girl that rarely spoke to anyone, at least as far as he knew. Still, he was glad for the extra help, particularly when he saw the bow she carried. "Good thinking... about the bow, I mean."

Orsik seen these gems at the end of corridor, his eyes lighting up with greed! But he shook it from his head, there had to be more than just these puny gems at the very beginning. There had to be even more treasures down farther into this portal, but how? Upon closer examination, he thinks that maybe these gems could be a lock on a door. He's stuck and has no idea what to do.

Until he hears the others talking in the back, seeing that a new adventurer has indeed joined them. He smiles to him before talking to her. "Aye! Welcome!" gesturing to Mila before speaking to everyone in the corridor.

"I think this here door and gems is a lock and key!" He exclaims before looking back to the door. "I'm no good with puzzles... So someone who is really... oh what's the word... witty!" He raises his finger as he finally finds the word he was looking for. He knew metal, weapons, and armor, but if you ask him to figure something out, put the answer right in front of him, and even tell him the answer, he still wouldn't know what was going on. That's why he became a blacksmith!

Mila didn't see it as important to make people aware of her presence, because no one seemed it was important to be aware of her. Orsik however, had made it a point to announce her presence, not only to the two farmers but also the rest of the dangerous cavern, making a storm of curses run through her mind.

Sohn rose his staff like he was actually going to put up a defense with it, but Mila pulled back her arrow anyway until he realized she wasn't a threat. She felt quite confident that he wouldn't have made the first strike even if she was an Iron Man, or whatever it was called. The story had been passed around a bit before she heard it, so she wasn't sure of all the facts yet.

Orsik announced his lack of know-how, and Mila felt like it was a dead end already, but didn't let that thought show on her face. After a pause, Mila rolled her eyes and slid the arrow back into her quiver, but still held her bow defensively. She slipped past the two farmers, and took a stance in front of Orsik, again examining the patterns.

Okay. Maybe constellations? Mila peered around the sides of the block to see if it looked like a door, or mechanism, and brushed her hand against the wall looking for keyholes. Mila and the farmers worked outside all summer, perhaps even Orsik, too, so they all would probably be quite familiar with the constellations. She then glanced around the walls to the left and right to see if there was anything blending in. Mila studied the gems for a minute longer, then pushed on one of the gems that she felt made the best sense to be first if they were in fact buttons of a sort. If nothing changed, she'd continue on her predetermined pattern, anyway, to see if there'd be a response afterward. Maybe it looked crazy to the others, but she was perceptive, and that's where her logic ended.

There's a door handle with a latch, though it seems stuck in place as she begins her investigation.

"See anything?" Olivia asks the other girl curiously.

Mila's guess that the jewels are aligned in the shape of a constellation seems sound and she recognizes the pattern correlates to the constellation around the Empty Star. They don't depress beneath her fingers as she touches each one.

((Make an Intelligence roll please with an extra +2 bonus since you got the constellation bit already!))

Mila thought heavily about launching an arrow into the mechanism but refrained. She felt spotlighted which was the last thing she would ever ask for, and yet no one else had taken the cake. Perhaps Orsik could ram his head into it she thought bitterly.

Her anger was uncalled for, so she shook her head at the woman's question, not wanting to get anyone's hopes up and took a deep breath.

(Don't forget to choose how many dice you wanna roll.)


rolled 1d20 and got a natural 11. After the modifier of +2, got 13
Intelligence

Mila sees that the movement of the night sky will soon (within the next few minutes) perfectly align with the constellation pattern upon the door, during which time it will swing open freely. She also realizes this short window of opportunity will not last long, maybe a mere 10 minutes. Not much time to decide if they will enter...

Once it became obvious to Mila that the starts would line up with the gems, she hopped up, withdrew her arrow again and backed out of the way. Orsik was going to be the warrior of the group. Even if he didn't think so, Mila already nominated him.

She backed up a few steps and resigned herself to speak, "Wait. When it opens it won't be open long, so you don't have much time left to change your mind." She let out a rough cough.

Mila offered a kind gesture to Orsik and the others to either go ahead of her or to walk out, now.

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