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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:55 am 
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I'm not updating the diagram, by the way, so remember that the beam is now tilted the other way, and has a balloon tied to the west end.

It's rather frustrating, because when I approach the pit, I see the ladder leading up to the west tower. But of course I can't climb up, because as soon as I put any weight on the ladder, down it comes.

On the other hand, this means I can still get down into the pit. (And out again on the east side.) I just have to Relto out each time, because the balloon bobs back up when I let go.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:21 am 
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Perhaps the frequencies emitted by your new toy have an effect on the crystals in the cave. Let's do some experimenting there.

Oh, and you can always tie your steel bar to the west ladder to keep it down if needed. Beats having to relto out and hike back up from the lake. Of course, you could also untie the balloon and fix it to a leg of the tower, or to the post on the south rim, until you need it again.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Woohoo! My theory worked! :mrgreen:

Okay, so now we have a - uh, thingie. (Tilty-pole. Thingie. My language is deeply scientific.) My first gut feeling is to see if it interacts with the crystals somehow, maybe the hum resonates or something...


edit: And if I had clearly read Seagull's post, that would also have been helpful. Pfft. Okay, in that case, I second his motion.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:16 pm 
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You seem to be getting a good sense for Plum Lake, folks.

I took the sword down the crater[*]. Powering it on didn't have any obvious effect. But when I pressed the black rod against a crystal, a loud squeal and a jet of white vapor shot out. And the sword began melting through the crystal. Like a hot knife through dry ice.

I didn't need you folks to tell me to start digging through to that circular shadow in the wall. I got a fair way in -- the bottom of the shaft is now littered with crystal chunks -- but it's slow work, and I didn't manage to reach it before I ran out of free time for the day. I will return tomorrow.

[* Someone is probably going to ask me how I got the sword out of the pit, since I said I wasn't carrying Plum Lake artifacts out of that Age. Obviously, I left it underneath the west ladder, relinked, climbed down the ladder, grabbed the sword while holding the ladder down, and then tied the ladder to the sword and let it carry it up to ground level. Obviously. :) ]

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:33 am 
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Finally carved the wheel free of the crystal. A wheel valve is what it is: there's this heavy steel pipe running up from below. It turns horizontal and disappears off in the direction of the pit, and just below the elbow is a big spoked valve.

It took me forever to burn off all the little bits of crystal from the bearing, so it would turn.

Yes, I turned it. (What else would I do?) There was an enormous rush of pressure in the pipe; it levelled off after a few moments, but the valve is clearly open now, and the pipe is hissing steadily.

I hiked back down to the pit... behold, *all four* hatches are standing open.

Unfortunately, this doesn't get me anywhere new. The three other hatches are exactly like the first: a vertical drainpipe blocked by a grate. And there's nothing hidden inside them.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:18 pm 
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Anything happen now when you pull the ring on the south rim?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:44 pm 
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The ring seems to be bypassed now. I can pull it up and it rolls back, but there's no hiss and nothing happens in the pit.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:21 pm 
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Wow, lots of new developments... no other convinient bags in the other hatches? Hehe.

Man, I wonder how fast those crystals grow? I wonder how long the Age has been left abandoned by... er, whoever or whatever built the structures, D'ni or otherwise.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 1:12 pm 
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Right, then. Is the east ladder long enough that you can wedge the end of it inside the east hatch and then turn off the "vent fan", trapping the ladder inside the hatch and securing it so you can climb up to the west tower? Or perhaps you could have the hatch secure your steel rod, and tie the ladder around that for the same result...

Similarly, you could explore the east tower.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:40 pm 
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Oh, good. The ladders are indeed long enough to catch that way. I have now climbed up into the west tower.

(This trick doesn't let me get into the *east* tower, though. Think about it: I lower the west ladder and trap it in the hatch cover. The east ladder is now raised... so I can't climb up out of the pit on the east side any more!)

So what's in the west tower? A couple of shaky wooden stools, and a big wooden lever. The place is otherwise empty. Some marks and nail holes on the walls imply that there might once have been more furniture or equipment, but it's long gone.

(I would love to tell you that I saw the lever linkage running down from the tower into the ground. But it must be either inside one of the stilts, or running alongside in such a way that I couldn't tell the difference.)

The stools don't look very interesting, so I pulled the lever.

Tremendous rushing noise from the pit...

...and I look out of the shack, to see it slowly filling with water.

I swung down the ladder -- down to ground level, I mean, not all the way into the pit. (Which would have been both impossible and stupid, since the west ladder now ends at ground level...) The water seems to be coming in from vents just under the rim; I guess some of the upper tiles were valves.

I sat and watched until the pit... I suppose I should now say "the pool"... was full. The inflow slowed and stopped before it overflowed. The water has the same indigo tint as the lake, although it's muddier. (From the stuff that was originally in the pool bottom, I suppose. The water flowing in looked clear.)

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:29 am 
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Hmm...

I'm stumped. Seems like you have three options. Either (1) use the ring to drain a small amount of water form the pool, perhaps figuring out where it's going, (2) use the valve to drain all the water out of the pool, perhaps figuring out where it's going, or (3) go for a swim and relax for a bit. Not sure any of those options does any good, but there they are.

Anyone else have any other ideas?


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:00 pm 
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Yes, I can swim across the pool. This isn't exciting, because the east ladder is still caught in the hatch -- that is, it leads down, not up to the east tower.

I gave the ring a pull, and the south hatch did its usual trick. However, water began dribbling in from the vents as soon as the water level dropped. Since the hatch was only open briefly, the pool was refilled quickly.

So I went down the crater to open all four hatches again.

(I left the water turned on. I figured that I would lose access to the west tower as soon as the hatches opened -- the ladder would no longer be secured. If the water was off, I'd be back where I started.)

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, the balloon-sack is still tied to the west end of the beam. Seems like the most effective place for it.)

No surprises at the underground valve. I climbed back up, and walked downhill. The hatches were indeed open, and the pool was draining rapidly. The vents were gushing, but four yard-wide hatches give an impressive flow rate, and it was only a few minutes before the pool was empty.

The current scoured the pit floor clear of mud.

It's not a tile floor. It's glass.

Water ripples over the glass, pouring down the pit walls and out the hatches. But I have seen the spaces below the World.

A green-lit abyss, filled with shifting pale clouds. Not veils or layers or planes of mist, but vast storm-banks of cloud; flowing in slow currents, welling up, sinking into the depths. The clouds cut soft shadows across the emerald radiance, and shafts of light spear up between them.

The downward view is framed by four thin waterfalls -- the outflows of the drainpipes. They curve outward -- probably to keep the view clear -- and then end; four streams of water fan and disperse into the distance.

Far below, tiny shapes drift from cloud to cloud. They look like minnows. At this distance, they must be longer than whales, sporting in the jet-streams of turbulence. Occasionally one passes through the light; it glitters like a fluid diatom.

I knelt on the glass floor, water soaking into my trousers, and watched.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:21 pm 
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:shock: Wow! Sounds vaguely reminiscent of Spire, in a way. What a surprise!

So there's no doubt in your mind that what you see under the glass is real? Not an illusion - your current thoughts are that below the crust of earth is a massive space?

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 12:35 am 
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It looks real. I suppose anything I see in another Age *could* be an illusion... (shakes fist at Kadish...) but I think this is exactly what it appears to be.

Doesn't put me any closer to the east tower, sadly.

(EDIT: East tower! Not west. Duh.)

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Last edited by belford on Wed May 02, 2007 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:08 am 
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Well, now that the water's on, you can wedge the west ladder into the open west drain, then close the drains. After the pool is filled, swim across and climb up into the east tower. (you'll probably need to move the "balloon" to the east side...)

Sounds like a beautiful Age.


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