Spring 1220: Seeing is Believing

Constantine will take the enhancement effects offered by Magnus in addition to his own. His ring of ghostly form also would probably make travel underwater possible.
He will also cast Reveal the Lingering Spirit (InMe20, CT +56, HoH:TL p14) so he can see any spirits when the group get close to the temple area, and then will use it while searching.

Before setting off the next morning the will also check in with his apprentice.

Aquarian turns into an eel, the better to move around the temple district, and Constantine casts a spell to detect spirits. But the real question is where will the magi explore first? The streets? One of the small temples? One of the large temples? Or the central temple?

No spirits immediately visible walking on the streets.

Aquarian, unable to communicate with humans in his current form beyond listening, heads for the main temple.

Aquarian swims over to the main temple and through the large open doors. It leads into an extensive entry chamber that has a large archway opposite the main door that leads into a domed central chamber. The temple seems to be designed to have a large central area with only slightly less large chambers on each side. Smaller chambers fill in the corners. The inside of the temple is in surprisingly good shape, and is covered with carvings and statuary with a distinctly nautical theme. Powerful figures control storms and fight sea monsters. Merfolk are prominent on some of the friezes. Small fish swim around the chamber, though nothing larger than a cod seems to be in evidence.

Here's a rough map of the central temple:

I've only shown the main doors and the large archways. Consider that there are smaller doors and windows as appropriate.

Aquarian Awareness check: 1D10 = [5] = 5; failure
He doesn't notice anything special.

Aquarian will swim around the statues and examine them.

Artemis is definitely staying above water. She could fly after them and watch from above.

Here we are!
Buried deep within the development thread. She can cast both without risk of outright failure if I'm remembering the casting rules right, assuming a simple die, but she might need to rest in between castings to recover fatigue. I don't have time now, but I'll get everything organized better today. She'll also cast Wizard's Sidestep.

Even with See What Lies Below the Sea, Artemis is going to miss out on a lot. The ruins are easily a hundred feet below the sea, so she's watching things from a third of a football field away. And anything that goes on inside of a temple will also be out of sight.

Just FYI.

Which magi characters are present?
I'd say we explore a smaller temple on our way to a larger one, then the central.

We have:

Magnus, Constantine, and Haestus down below
Duncan and Aquarian down below
Artemis up over a hundred feet above, high and dry

We're hampered by the fact that Kuiji hasn't been on the site in over a week. So Haestus is just along for the ride.

The magi take things a little slower than Aquarian, stopping at some of the lesser temples first rather than heading straight to the central temple. There is one small temple and one medium-sized temple along the way.

The small temple is only small when compared to the larger ones. It's easily the size of a respectable church back in Mythic Europe. This one, in particular, appears devoted to a goddess of animals, or at least that's what the decorations on the walls seem to show. There are many animals in various poses and statues of animals both large and small througout the main hall. Again, the magi note that the place seems in better shape than it ought to after several thousand years at the bottom of the sea. But no explanation is readily avaialable for that.

Duncan is immediately captivated by every detail, and the only way he can be convinced to leave is with the promise that there is a whole district full of temples ready to be explored.

The second temple appears to be devoted to a god of smiths. There are stories of fire and creation told along the walls and a statue of a large burly man with a hammer in one hand gracing the main hall. There is even a room with a forge off to the side of the temple, useless now that the place is covered in water. But it shows that at one point his worshipers showed their devotion through actions as well as words.

Through these two temples, Constantine finds no evidence of spirits. But that's no proof that they don't exist. Not every spirit that haunts a place is present at all times.

Up above the sea, Artemis sees the group moving around the temples, entering two of them to explore. Unfortunately from this distance the maga can't really tell any more than Constantine could from his scrying spell. She has a good sense for the layout of the temple district, but no additional information about the temples or what they contain. The best she can do is make some guesses about what each temple is devoted to based on the decorations outside. As near as she can tell, it's a fairly standard variety of deities, skewing a little bit toward the sea. Certainly the grand central temple is devoted to some sort of deity of the sea.

Feel free to back post any specific investigations in either temple.

Artemis will hover chatting with Phobia via the bond. Phobia speculating on horrible ways they could die and Artemis dismissing them.

Constantine is treating the investigation carefully; look for signs he missed with the scrying perspective. As we've noted much of the detail is probably missing due to wear. He's also taking a "don't open that!" approach if thy find something interesting or odd. Hoping he will note internal doors, passages beneath the surface, etc. also looking for signs of habitation rather than worship.
I'd like Constantine to also:
a) use the same InIm spell to assist memory for later as a spont. InIm5.
b) test the potential aura type and strength. Something is preserving the location.

Actually test the aura type first then cast, unless we're in an unfriendly aura.

Failing that an effect to detect a pervasive spell effect.

OOC: not sure / no books here for sussing the InVi level and method. I'll add the spells and rolls tonight.

Aquarian will rejoin the rest of the group, especially looking for smaller places that an eel can fit where a magus might have trouble getting a good look around.

The smaller temples prove interesting and full of detail, but still there's only so much the magi can learn. Magnus and Constantine each cast spells to learn details about the local aura and are perhaps not surprised to discover that here at the confluence of five ley lines there is an Arcane Aura of the tenth magnitude. Perhaps that explains why the buildings are so well preserved, though it's hard to say.

The temples themselves are ornate, filled with statuary and friezes. They have all been worn a bit by the passing ages, though again, not as much as you'd expect. From the brief sampling the magi have had, it seems to be a standard pantheon of gods, similar, but not quite the same as those of the Greeks and the Romans. Duncan, after examining some of the carvings in the larger of the two temples the group is exploring, declares that he thinks this is a temple to Prometheus, titan of crafting and fire. His studies have indicated that he was one of the gods worshipped by the Atlanteans.

In his own investigations Constantine finds no evidence of immediate habitation. But he thinks he can see a place where it looks like some seaweed was cleared away from a carving. It looks like it's been months, at least, since it was cleared. But it doesn't look like it was a natural process. He also finds a few side rooms in the temple and a small basement, though neither with any signs of habitation.

Aquarian arrives in eel form and is not noticed among all the other fish in the temple. He slips in among the statues and carvings, through cracks, and into side rooms. He finds little of interest. Many carvings, but nothing to reveal anything useful.

Up above, Artemis has a fine conversation with Phobia waiting for the magi to emerge from the temple of Prometheus.

"Are we ready to investigate the main temple?" Magnus asks.

Awareness (search) Checks

Constantine: Awareness (search) check: 1D10+7 = [8]+7 = 15; success

Aquarian: Awareness (search) check: 1D10+0 = [3]+0 = 3; failure

Magnus: Awareness (search) check: 1D10+6 = [8]+6 = 14; success

Duncan: Awareness (search) check: 1D10+6 = [10]+6 = 16; success

Any further investigations in the smaller temples or are we ready to hit the central one?

"Yes, let's enter the main temple. Interesting to see if a regio boundary is here given the high aura"

Aquarian is ready, but sticks with the group this time.

The group swims from the temple of Prometheus to the large temple on the hill. Artemis can see them make the transition as they pause to admire the facade of the huge temple. It's really quite magnificent, and in better repair than even the other large temples. A large frieze with an underwater theme travels the circumference of the temple, above a long row of columns.

Inside, the place is no less impressive. Just inside the entrance is a statue that Duncan identifies as Poseidon, though it's by no means the only piece of sculpture in the entry hall. Sea horses, cycopes, sea monsters, and more are memorialized in stone, either free-standing or on the walls.

The temple is laid out like a 3x3 grid. The center, slightly larger than the other parts, is a large domed chamber suitable for religious rituals. The cardinal points, north, south, east, and west, are large chambers filled with statuary. The reaminging four areas, in the corners, are filled with smaller chambers, no doubt for a variety of relatively mundane purposes.

Fish swim around in bright colors and odd shapes - it's clear now that they're Warped by the powerful magical aura covering the temple district. And at first , there's no indication of any other residents.

It's when the group is examining the eastern chamber that the first true discovery is made. First Duncan, then Magnus notice that the far wall has a large regio entrance on it. Apparently the entrance is accessed by walking in a circle around the room past four statues of Poseidon in different poses positioned in the corners of the room.

But just Duncan and Magnus reveal this information, Magnus, Constantine, and Duncan see a ghost dressed in what might be priestly robes, walk through one of the side doors. At first he seems oblivious to the intruders. After a moment, however, he looks up and stares at them for a moment.

"Ω Θεέ μου. Είναι το ηλιοστάσιο ήδη," the ghost exclaims, and approaches the magi. "Κάνω χαθούν τα ίχνη του χρόνου."

"He's speaking Greek," Duncan interjects. "He seems to think that it's the solstice, and that he's lost track of the time."

Magnus Second Sight to see ghost (DF 9): Second Sight Check: 1D10+8 = [8]+8 = 16; success

Magnus Second Sight to see regio border (DF 9): Second Sight Check: 1D10+7 = [7]+7 = 14; success

Duncan Second Sight to see ghost (DF 9): Second Sight Check: 1D10+5 = [9]+5 = 14; success

Duncan Second Sight to see regio border (DF 9): Second Sight Check: 1D10+6 = [4]+6 = 10; success

From here on out, I'll assume that Duncan translates and be more free with writing the ghost's comments in English.

The clueless eel, not having second sight, or the ability to talk underwater except with sea life, looks quizzically at Duncan/

Constantine will deftly cast Thoughts Within Babble (CT 49+aura vs 25) so he can hear without the translations. Casting Thoughts within Babble: 1D10 = [5] = 5

"Let's see what it thinks we are; ask: late for what?"

And does the ghost appear to be heading into or out of the regio?