# Thread: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

1. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

Codebreaker squints as he stares at the pyramid. What's all of- oh right, the forces and stuff.
It's honestly pretty annoying when you have a deep understanding of math and physics crammed into your brain without any of the words to make those concepts make sense to anyone else.
Anyway, Codebreaker kicks some snow at the barrier and observes that how it flies and sticks to the pyramid. Without any brighter ideas he tries simply jumping forward, thinking that maybe he'll simply drift over to the surface.
Of course even if that works he is almost certainly wrongly assuming that he'll be able to turn so his feet land on the surface instead of smashing into the pyramid with his shoulder or belly first.

2. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

As they approach the pyramid, Selekhael seems to get more and more uncomfortable. Her disguise begins to slip as more of her is forced into three dimensions. Her hands and feet begin to look more and more like paws. Her eyes become even more feline and predatory. Her hair changes texture and begins lightening in color. Part of it looks feathery, but the other part is stiff and branchy. She's larger now, rivaling Codebreaker in size, but lithe and sinewy, and her face is beginning to push outward into a muzzle. When he jumps, she raises her hands. "Wait! Uh, careful!" But she's too late to stop him.

3. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

It's a daring leap. Codebreaker's fall is hardly graceful, but he does manage to land on his feet without breaking anything, though the impact might hurt his knees. Selekhael follows in his wake - if they aren't careful, she might smash into him. That would be bad, with her growing size.

As they stick to the pyramid's surface, the entire world tilts. The side of the structure is now level floor, as far as they are concerned - with the iceberg and the sea rising behind them as a massive wall. Codebreaker might want to keep his eyes on the, uh, "ground", because looking at the world from such an abnormal angle is a quick way to get vertigo.

Whoever manages to gather their wits first, might notice blue glyphs are appearing on the surface of the pyramid. They depict a... naked Codebreaker and Selekhael in her inhuman glory approaching the pyramid, only to be turned away by two humanoid figures, both female, the one on the left with cat ears, the other to the right with reindeer horns. Both women are naked and holding their palms outwards as a stop sign.

The structure is clearly trying to communicate something - specifically, that entry has been forbidden, by these two women.

4. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

It's difficult to see someone without much exposed skin flush but Codebreaker's ears turn crimson. His hand goes to his middle but he is in fact, still clothed in his loud shirt. He sheepishly glances at- woah something is going on with her.
"Um. This is getting a little arcane for me. You uh, think you should just toss me back and we can leave?" he asks. If they're going to keep putting drawings of him naked on the walls this is going to get really awkward.

5. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

"Ew, ew, uh, ew!" If Codebreaker is flushed, Selekhael is beet-red, not that it's easy to tell under her growing coat of tawny fur and feathers. Also unlike him, she actually is unclothed, her dress being in the process of being absorbed into her body (not that she has any naughty bits underneath anymore). She just met this guy, she didn't want to see him naked, nor did she want to see images of two naked strangers. She's hunched over now, and if someone were paying attention, they'd see the joints in her arms and legs twisting and reshaping as she transforms from biped to quadruped. She growls involuntarily, low and menacing. "This place seems dangerous. But we can't just leave. I have a quest to explore in there " All her quest log says is "Explore mysterious pyramid," and it pointed her here.

6. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

As soon as the words leave Selekhael's mouth, she can feel something pinging her mind. The glyphs on the pyramid ripple and change, turning into text:

"Warning: This entrance has been sealed by request from inhabitants of Nexus. Proceed at your own peril."

7. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

"Sheesh lady, way to make a guy feel self-conscious. I'm not that gross." Not everyone can have Atreyu's taste.
He frowns at the text. "Oh. Someone already beat us to it. Probably already picked it clean." See, sounds like the place doesn't have much to work with anyway.

8. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe
It's not that Codebreaker is gross. Selekhael just didn't want to see naked people today. She doesn't look much like a person anymore though. She looks far more like an oversized and highly mutated lioness. Coral branches adorn her head and bend into looping shapes. Tawny feathers sprout out of her fur. She has four eyes now, one pair feline, the other like those of a raptor. The tuft on the end of her tail is orbited by a small ring of woven feathers seemingly unconcerned with gravity. And the bulges of additional limbs are showing from her back, her skin stretching to accommodate new bones. Each instant, she looks more and more like the image on the pyramid's face. "If they took everything, uh, why would they seal it? The only reason to seal it would be if there's still something inside."

9. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

As Codebreaker and Selekhael discuss, the letters of the warning text begin to move and flow together.They seem to be searching for an adequate shape, but can't seem to settle on any. It will look quite abstract a glance, but if Codebreaker pays attention to the shifting glyphs for a few moments, he might realize the text is cycling through various warning symbols. A skull and crossed bones is visible for a few seconds, before being replaced by a triangle with an exclamation mark inside, then a small stick figure falling into a pit, then the same figure hitting its head, then crushed under rocks...

If he focuses on a familiar symbol, it will linger for longer on the surface of the pyramid. If not, the process will continue, eventually moving on to symbols completely foreign to him.

10. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

Codebreaker decides that between the warning signs and the were-monster he thinks he might be done.
”I don’t think this is the best arrangement for me.”
Of course the problem immediately becomes how he’s expected to get off of this pyramid and back onto solid ground…

11. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

"Uh, suit yourself." Selekhael, fully transformed now, pads off in search of a way into the pyramid. She's not especially worried about danger. She's an angel. This place is weird and unnatural, but she'll be fine, right? ...right?

12. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Codebreaker can walk to the root of the pyramid easily enough. From there it's just a matter of stepping on to the ice, which from this angle looks like a steep slope. But if he isn't careful, a shift in gravity will throw him off the pyramid, possibly making him faceplant on the ice, or even send him tumbling all the way to the waterline.

Selekhael, meanwhile, finds no obvious way into the structure. All sides of it are perfectly smooth, with no openings. But if she persists, the warning text eventually expands to a ring and a black spot appears in the middle, expanding to two meters in radius. It looks two dimensional, but if she feels the edges, she'll find it is a pit - the inside material of the pyramid is just so absorbent black that it's impossible to see where the walls begin or end. Even if she brought out an open flame or other lightsource, the blackness would look the same.

The interior is still navigable with other sense, though. She can feel the invisible forces working around the pit. If she steps into it, gravity will shift once again and the pit will become a tunnel for her.

So will she heed the warnings or will she proceed?

13. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

Codebreaker looks out at the wall and hesitates. Well, he's pretty sure this is the right thing to do but...well he would feel bad if the weird cat-monster got herself killed. He'll wait a moment and just see if she ends up calling for help again...

14. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Ice Floe

Selekhael doesn't call for Codebreaker's help or make any noteworthy noises until the hole opens. She paws at it experimentally. "Oh, uh, wow, that's, uh, weird." She can't see it, but she can feel that it's there. Folding her wings behind her, she clambers in. She's not expecting the gravity shift, but she's used to them. She'd be able to do it herself if this place wasn't restricting her movement in more than 3 dimensions.

15. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Selekhael disappears into the hole, leaving Codebreaker standing alone on the surface.

The tunnel isn't very long. Selekhael has barely fit her entire body in it before her front paws can already feel a treshold and a slight drop ahead. The tunnel opens into a larger space. The floorplan is square, eight by eight meters, easy to determine if she steps on the floor and follows the wall. Every surface is of the same absolute black, the only visually useful indicator of position is the opening to the outside world when it's not hidden by a corner.

If she strays to the middle of the room, she might bump into a round pillar, one meter in diameter. There are four pillars in total, arranged in a smaller square in the middle of the room.

There are no other tunnels or exits by the feel of it. If she leans on a pillar and reaches up, she'll just barely touch the ceiling.

The invisible force squeezing her hyperdimensional form is omnipresent here. Either as some kind of safety feature or by intent of some strange intelligence, this place wants to lock her in one physical shape.

16. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Pyramid

Selekhael feels her way through the room. Even her excellent night vision is useless here. She bumps into the first pillar, and feels her way to the second. "Hello? What is this place?" She calls out. It doesn't seem dangerous, just frustratingly dark. She doesn't like being forced to stay in her true shape; she spends most of the time looking human. She wonders if her appearance scared the wolf guy off.

17. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

In response to her query, blue glyphs appear on all of the four pillars. Blue lines also appear along the edges of the room, making its shape more apparent. The effect is similar to watching line art mimicking three dimensionality.

The glyphs are all isometric deciptions of regular octahedrons. If Selekhael focuses on them, they will expand, and a tiny, slightly abstracted depiction of Codebreaker and herself will appear next to them, possibly for scale. She might guess these glyphs represent the outer shape of the structure she's in. This is the most exact answer whatever is drawing the glyphs can give her, useless as it may be.

18. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

She asked what the place was, and this image appeared. Selekhael examines it. "Is that an image of this building? Who are you?" She's hoping the room has more answers. It doesn't seem to have any exits, so she doesn't have any other thing to try.

19. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

The glyphs do not change in response to this query. The most straightforward way to interprete it is that the entity she's communicating with is the building. Another would be that the question simply isn't applicable or something the glyphs can give an answer to.

20. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

So it can't answer that. Selekhael tries something else. "Uh, what is the purpose of this place?" She needs to know why this was important enough to mysteriously appear on her quest tracker, and what she's supposed to do.

21. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

The glyphs begin to ripple and warp, the blue glow pooling together and trying to form what could be text, but failing. The glow disappears into the pillars, only to return a while later:

"Purpose undefined."

22. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

"Undefined?" Selekhael can read those letters, so this is a distinct improvement over the pictures. "Why was it sealed? What's inside?"

23. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

The pillar to Selekhael's right gains a familiar set of symbols: two naked women, one with cat ears and the other with reindeer horns, holding up their palms as a stop sign. Under them, forms a series of warning symbols - an exclamation mark inside a triangle, a skull and crossed bones, stick figures falling down into pits or being squashed by objects, and a stick figure tripping and falling down a stairwell. Underneath is repeat of the initial warning: "This entrance has been sealed by request from inhabitants of Nexus. Proceed at your own peril." Finally, there's a picture of the two women burying a regular octahedron in stone.

The pillar to her left becomes entirely covered in a spiralling pattern. If she looks closer, she'll realize it is a list. There's a glyph, followed by a word: a picture of a pile of coins, followed by the word "treasury"; a sword and a shield, followed by word "armory"; a book, followed by word "archive"; a snake coiled around a rod, followed by "medication"; a dot with three coloured sectors radiating outward, followed by "Lantern"; a brain, followed by "control room"; a fork and a knife, followed by "kitchen"; a square, followed by "containment"; a stick figure following an arrow towards a rectangle, followed by "exit"; a jagged line followed by "stairs" - the list is long and gets less comprehensible the further up or down Selekhael follows the pattern. She doesn't even have to move to do it, if she focuses, she can make the pattern move up or down with thought.

The less comprehensible parts have less self-explanatory text, or do away with text again in favor of pictograms. For example, going up, there's what looks like a freakishly long-armed, faceless human, followed by "Aroo"; an eyeless rat, followed by "rats"; pictures of what appear to be arrangements of human and animal bones, some of them as weird as Selekhael's own form, or even weirder. Going down, there's a long series of faceless humans in various states of dress, from almost naked and carrying spears and shields, to colonial era uniforms carrying firearms, to heavy plate armor carrying swords...

If Selekhael figures out how to scroll the glyphs, she'll notice that as old glyphs sink into the floor or ceiling, new ones form at the other end to continue the list. Whatever else she takes away from this message, one thing is for certain: there are a lot of things inside this building.

24. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

That's interesting. Unfortunately it doesn't give much reason for why it's sealed, just that the two women (who Selekhael still won't look closely at the pictures of) did it. The list of things is similarly interesting but unhelpful. If there was something specific Selekhael needed, it seems like she could find it here. But she doesn't need anything specific. So she tries a different tactic. "I, uh, grow stronger by fixing things and, uh, solving problems. Is there, uh, anywhere I can do that?"

25. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

The list on the left pillar scrolls to the part with a brain and the other glyphs fade from view. The glyph expands and the text moves under it. At the same time, a blue circle appears on the wall opposite to the entrance. An image of a brain appears over it, along with an arrow beckoning Selekhael towards the circle. If she goes and checks, she'll find a new tunnel has opened. She can see light at the end of it - apparently there are rooms in this place that aren't completely black.

26. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

Okay, now she's getting somewhere. Possibly this entity that's communicating needs help?
She gives her quest tracker a quick peek. "Explore pyramid" has been updated to "Investigate control room".
So she follows the light out of the black chamber and into something where she can hopefully see.

27. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

The room the tunnel leads to is quite surreal. It is shaped roughly like the inside of a globe, the walls being made of spongy, reflective globes. Whichever direction Selekhael looks at, she sees her own form reflected into infinity. The room is illuminated by a pulsing blue glow traversing across the globes at steady intervals.

At the middle of the room, there is what looks like a dentist's chair, made of the absolute black matter found in earlier rooms. There's a rack of syringes attached to it, each syringe connected to a transparent tube filled with glowing blue matter. Next to the chair floats a slate, half a meter tall and wide and fifteen centimeters thick. The slate seems to have some glyphs on it. If Selekhael looks closer, she sees a series of animated pictograms, depicting a naked woman roughly similar to her human shape sitting down in the chair, locking their ankles in place with restraints built into the chair's footrest, then taking one of the syringes and stabbing to the side of her head.

The chair is too small for Selekhael's current form to fit in it in any reasonable way. The syringes are on the small side as well. Whatever this device is, it was made to accommodate a human of fairly normal proportions, not a being such as Selekhael is now. She might fit if she regains her human form, but the very air in this place feels resistant to that idea.

28. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

That looks... Sketchy. Very sketchy. Selekhael isn't sure what to make of that. It wants her to turn human, chain herself up, and inject herself with something?
"Uh, even if I did want to do that, I, uh, can't. I'm stuck like this as long as I'm here. And I didn't give you permission to, uh, look at me naked."

29. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

In response, a big X is drawn over the animated pictograms, and they fade from view. Some time later, a similar series of glyphs appears, now depicting naked Codebreaker sitting on the chair, being restrained by Selekhael, and Selekhael then stabbing the syringe into his head. This series is followed by a female human, somewhat resembling of Selekhael's human form, smiling and giving a thumbs up.

30. ## Re: Seaside 6: Six at the Beach

Octahedron

"You want me to betray that guy and stick him in that chair and stab him?" Selekhael asks. It doesn't seem like a nice thing to do. She peeks at her log again. The quest split into branches.

"Use the chair on yourself"
OR
"Use the chair on Codebreaker"

She has to choose if she wants to continue. Or she could cancel it.
She heads out back the way she came, to where she hopes Codebreaker is still waiting. "Hey, uh, I need your help." She still looks like a weird lion-eagle-coral-ring thing.

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