(122-01-28) The Treasure Hunters
The Treasure Hunters
Summary: The Code threaded through Citadel, Sept, and Hightower is broken, and a section of labyrinth discovered in which lies an ancient artifact.
Date: Date of play (28/01/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-01-01-a-dream-of-dragons
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-03-leandro-s-code
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-06-warlocks-and-dragons
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-05-sneaking-at-the-sept
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-07-rare-plants-and-dreams
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-08-maesters-behaving-badly
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-09-a-conspiracy-of-books
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-01-10-geeks-and-cider
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-12-another-dream-of-dragons
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-04-old-scroll-researches
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-17-maesters-and-mysteries
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-17-motifs-and-maesters
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-23-a-maester-without-chains
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-28-the-treasure-hunters
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-28-the-treasure-hunters-lord
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-29-humble-paths
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-02-02-one-for-the-history-books
Players:
Leandro..Marsei..Visenya..Bryn..Camillo..Kelinyx..Peri..

It turns out that the Sept Statue bases are the key. They tell you what order to decode the Citadel. Given Leandro's previous study, it becomes clear that the Citadel fragments are a set of directions to something, plus a list of five flowers, including Dragon Root. All are in that poem Bryn was interested in and are ones Camillo found with more motifs in the high tower.

Someone throws a really good wine party for all three Maester factions involved in the hunt. Wine and vitriol distract them all evening.

Camillo creeps his way toward Marsei's chamber, where he knocks quietly at her doors. "My lady," he says softly, to let her know who it is without her opening the door.

She opens the door almost immediately as if expecting Camillo, although that could hardly be the case; rather, her handmaid Siva opens it, but Lady Marsei is within the doorway not a second past, impeccably dressed in sapphire. There's an air of expectancy about her, eager to pursue the cause for the calling. "Camillo," she greets kindly, "have you come with a discovery?"

Camillo bows his head slightly as he slips inside, as ever the spirit of unobtrusiveness. "Of a kind, my lady. The Maester Leandro has thrown the others off the scent and is coming here today. If we will allow him entry, I believe he will share with us what he can read of the signs in this very tower."

"He is to be trusted?" Marsei inquires, but seems to believe it so already, as she goes on easily with barely a pause, "Then he deserves a welcome." She seems prepared to head straight downstairs, where her presence should make a comfortable bridge between Hightower and the outside investigator.

The ground floor is dominated by this grand receiving hall, and the great main doors lead directly to it. High windows let in light that reflects off the white stone walls and makes the space airy and bright. It is here that the Lord of Hightower holds his local court, from a large chair on a tall wooden dais. Both chair and dais are carved with images of the tower itself, and with dolphins and sea-dragons. They are inlaid with stones of white and grey, and decorated with silver-leaf. There's space for the Lord's councillors to sit alongside him, but visitors seeking audience must stand.

High up on the walls are Five flower finials with bits of ancient sculptural motif stretched between them.

Visenya arrives, accompanied by three guards, and a girl that is halfway between the transformation from child to maiden. She is lead to a waiting area while lady Marsei is sent for. The girl, known as Kelinyx to many, waits with her while her guards remain near the entrance. Her eyes are drawn to the maesters in another portion of the hall, until she looks back to Kelinyx. "You are going to need to hide those." Her hands go to her own kirtle, and she reaches into the silky sash to show the girl a sliver of cold hard steel before hiding it back in the sash.

"I hope so," Camillo murmurs. "At any rate, I do not know of anyone else with the knowledge to help." He makes to follow the lady at a respectable distance.

For a bastard and former street rat, Bryn certainly gets to see a lot of impressive places. This isn't his first visit to the Hightower, though he still looks around with curiosity as he makes his way inside. He stops as he gets into the receiving hall, smiling immediately as he sees Visenya and Kelinyx.

Leandro's left Bryn to carry all the papers and everything. He himself is wearing his maester's robes, but they do have more flair than most maesters. He has surveying equipment with him too, just in case such things are needed, and various tools. Bryn's probably carrying all that as well. Introductions are far less interesting than actual investigations and so he's already set about looking around.

There are struggles epic and monumental, such as that encountered by the Targaryen handmaidens who managed to get Keli into an actual dress. The girl looks something between excited and shy, her cheeks a bit red. At the hint from the Princess, she uses the guards for cover and fixes the laces on her boots (by which one would gather she's actually slipping her daggers into her boots. Once that's done she's a good little thing, projecting a well practiced facade of harmless innocence. Many in this room might already suspect differently.

Lady Marsei arrives expecting a maester, but the first sight she lays eyes on — besides the servant come to find her and nearly colliding with her right here — is the Targaryen princess and her company. She's a bright mixture of delighted, startled, and ever-so-slightly disoriented. "Princess Visenya!" Her sweet voice carries from the bottom of the grand staircase. Marsei hurries ahead — neatly, and with a flow of the gauzey length of fabric draped from her shoulders — to greet her. "What a joy to see you. You have impeccably unusual timing," her friendly smile encompasses not only Visenya but the girl as well. "Just, ah, please excuse me for a moment. Matters of the Hightower— " She looks around to spot the maester with the interesting robes, heading his way.

Camillo obviously recognizes Kelinyx when they get near, face showing for an instant an almost startled expression when he sees that she's in a dress. But he soon schools his features. He hangs back to take Marsei's cue about what to do about this pair.

"So I've been told." Visenya responds in a cheerful tone when Marsei comments on her strange timing. She holds a book of the History of Oldtown by Long Dead Maester in her hand. "Oh, don't worry about me, Lady Marsei. I just came to return this book." Her gaze drifts over to the maester, and she recognizes Bryn as well as the rather brusque maester from the other day. While Marsei excuses herself Visenya just sort of, well, follows. She remains a few steps back from the action.

Bryn tags along after Leandro, awkwardly carrying the pile of papers and books that the maester has given him to carry. Glancing up, he too looks at the flowers, and then turns to give as much of a bow to Marsei as he could manage without dropping anything.

Leandro studies the room, paying little heed to the various people there, even the ones he agreed to help. He consults his notes, and makes a few quick calculations before saying. "In this order. Dragon Root, Sweet Claw, Asphodel, Desert Bone, Master's Pride." He lists off five plants not native to Westeros, each of which can be found in the decorations in the room. He just assumes someone's been listening to him and will do as he spoke.

Keli's listening. If Keli is present, she is recording mentally all around her, and she's focusing on it so much she isn't yammering, looking for drink or checking for loose purses. Model of a lady, sure, that's it. Her little hands are clasped behind her back and her deep blue gaze ends up following Leandro's voice, then his eyes, reviewing the carvings above with acute attention, maybe the first time she's ever noticed them in particular.

Marsei, far be it from her to turn her back upon guests for too long, looks over her shoulder to catch sight of Visenya following. She approves of this well enough — her smile, which can only be described as playful, approves of this well enough. "Hello," Marsei then greets Bryn warmly before addressing the maester, who pays less attention than the boy. "Maester Leandro, I presume?" She's friendly in her assumption of his identity, but stares between him and the floral finials at a bit of a loss, winding up regarding Camillo with faint question instead.

She steps slightly back to fall in with Visenya, speaking quietly, "Do you want to know a secret? You may be about to witness history of Oldtown that hasn't been written in that book."

Camillo murmurs the plants to himself after Leandro has rattled them off, brows pulling down. He nods faintly to confirm Leandro's identity to Marsei, then makes a subtle gesture toward the decor that corresponds to Leandro's cryptic remarks.

While the carvings bare some resemblance to flowers found in Westeros, they are subtly different in style. The paint has rubbed off over the centuries, so that is no clue. The names are not of Westeroi flowers. Starting to the left of the door going clockwise, the finals look like a very complicated type of lily, something spiky halfway between a daffodil and a chrysanthemum, sort of like Septon's lace or lily of the valley, not quite a butter cup, and alkmost a cornflower.

"Is that right?" Visenya asks Marsei, her voice filled with intrigue and a touch of mischief. Her eyes turn upwards to trace over the strange flower pictograms. She adds in a low tone, "If intrigue is your cup of tea, Lady Marsei, then we must have a discussion after this is all done." A pause, "What is it they are doing?"

Bryn puts his books and papers down, then picks up a blank one and pulls a pen and some ink out of his pocket. Looking at that the flowers on the walls, in the order that Leandro said them, and starts taking notes.

Peri is coming late, shaking off a white silk hair covering. She looks exhausted as if she hasn't slept well "… oh." she sort of pauses to look at the flowers, something between deep thought and terror appearing on her face. ".. Bryn." she offers, rubbing her rib cage quietly.

"Yes," Leandro replies to Marsei. "The one, the only, the greatest, Maester Leandro." He's distracted though. "Someone press them then, in order." Of course he's assuming someone other than him has knowledge of what these exotic plants look like. "Dragon Root, Sweet Claw, Asphodel, Desert Bone, Master's Pride."

They are high up. One would need a later or for a smaller person to stand on a taller one's shoulders.

Marsei's expression toward Visenya is nothing but eager and curious, though does nothing to dissuade notions of intrigue. She lifts light coppery brows at Leandro, more bemused than anything by his manner. She leans slightly toward the princess. "There's a code hidden away within the finials," she explains in a hush. A code of flowers she doesn't grasp, but peers up at, invested. "While I cannot say yet what sort of importance it holds … it has been rather fiercely guarded." She's distracted by the arrival of Peri, uncertain of the woman's belonging, and therefore looks to Camillo.

Kelinyx will glance to Camillo as well, and if he looks her way, give a brief smile of greeting before returning to royal recording device duty.

"Mistress Peri has been following this matter, I believe," Camillo murmurs to Marsei by way of introduction. He catches Kelinyx's smile, lines of his mouth softening a little, then looks up to the pictures of the plants. "If that is the order, then it simply proceeds clockwise from the dragon root," he says, loud enough for anyone present to hear, though his tone remains relatively hushed.

When Marsei mentions a code her eyes trace over to Bryn briefly. She looks over the boy in a surveying manner before looking away and saying to Marsei, "A code? Certainly it is an old one? From when the tower was built?" She looks back to Bryn, and almost opens her mouth to interrupt him before changing her mind. Peri is given a nod of the head.

Bryn blinks, "Oh, press them, right." He puts his pen and ink down as well, and stands back up. Looking up at the flowers, he says, "Does anybody have anything long to reach with? I'm not that good a climber."

Peri takes a moment, ripping her veil "Keli, get over here." She moves over towards the flowers, gesturing for the smaller woman to come over. "I have an idea." she suggests. "Or Bryn. Which ever one of you is thinner and less likely to fall." she proposes, bending down and holding her hands down to offer help up onto her shoulders.

Leandro's getting obviously impatient, lips curled with irritation, at least until Peri takes the initiative. He glances at his notes. He waits.

Bryn looks to Keli and then back to Peri, stepping forward. "Think I'm smaller. And I know the flowers." And, he likely doesn't want to see Keli risk falling, but he doesn't say that part.

Kelinyx grins a bit at Peri's simple willingness to issue commands, but knowing that this is the bread and butter of a Novice's duties, she encourages the little blonde boy forward with a nod of her head, then a toothy grin to Peri. "He's lighter," she says quietly.

"That is what it seems, very old indeed," Marsei replies to Visenya, "and there are other maesters who sought to keep it their secret alone." Meanwhile, her regard of Peri is more welcoming once she knows she, too, is investigating this matter; before she can greet her, the stranger is making herself quite useful. She smiles as the children are encouraged to help. "You're having quite an adventure tonight," she encourages the young novice. A concerned thought springs her a step forward just then, a hand poised pointing upward as if she might interrupt. So far, she only watches, smile taken over by something more intent.

Peri hefts the child up, onto her shoulders. She waits for Bryn to get his balance properly before shifting a little closer, hands firmly on Bryn's ankles. "Careful" she suggests, gently and warmly. "What is the matter, my lady?" she asks, towards Marsei absently. She seems confident though.

Camillo watches quietly when Bryn makes his climb. He looks just a little worried.

Visenya says, rather cheerfully, "Don't fall and crack your head open, Novice! You show too much promise for such a silly death."

Black humor? Yes, that draws a giggle from the black-haired girl.

Bryn takes a moment to balance, and then grins and nods to Marsei, and then to Visenya, "I won't, Princess, promise." As Peri brings him closer, he carefully reaches and presses each one of the flowers in the order that Leandro said.

The Flowers are touched in order by the Flower, and each depresses slightly then slowly moves back into place. It is a small thing really, and slow, the mechanism being ancient. There is a grinding somewhere down below and then a seemingly random section of floor drops away with a shriek of rusty hinge giving way: Luckily not where anyone is standing. It is wide enough for even a heavy man to fall through. It is dark down there, but from the sound of the broken trap hitting the floor, not a deep drop, maybe 10- 12 feet. The air smells of damp stone, lichen and nitre.

Camillo turns quickly and crouches when the trapdoor gives way, his movement more swift than his typical movements. When it sinks in that nothing's popping out of it to kill them all, he makes a cautious approach. "Shall I fetch a rope and go down?" he asks quietly.

Leandro's contribution is to pick up a lantern. He has string, not rope though in amongst his own equipment. "A good idea." He tells Camillo. He ties the string to the lantern handle, making sure it's held securely, and then works on lowering the light down into the hole so he can get a better look at the depth and what's down there.

Peri looks at the drop and sets Bryn down as she moves to the hole "If it isn't too deep..I could hang drop that without injury." she points out, simply. "I'm also the least important person here." she mumbles to Leandro. She's watching the light as it descends.

"That would be rather silly considering the Hightower have the proper equipment for climbing." Visenya observes. After all, they have to have a way to maintain their huge tower.

The slender girl dips down to a four point stance the instant the ground starts rumbling, but her excitement grows like a fire, first in her eyes, then across her reddening cheeks and widening smile. She creeps toward the pit like a little spider, ignoring anything about a clean dress in pursuit of mystery. If allowed she'll peer right into the hole, leaning forward and deep, scenting the air with ears pricked and eyes big.

"Actually, a ladder would be better," Leandro says, calling after Camillo. "I presume everyone wants to have a look around and climbing a rope may not be the most comfortable thing for the ladies." He looks at Peri. It's just one of those looks, straight through, disapproving, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "Yes, wonderful idea, dropping down an unknown distance onto goodness knows what. And who's going to have to heal you if you break a leg, or your neck? I'd rather not."

The floor is very thick, so the passage below is really only about 7 feet from floor to ceiling. From the looks of things, this section hasn't been used in a century or so, hence the trap braking instead of opening properly. Apparently this is the crossroads in a section of labrinth. Curving passages meet here. Apparently, this was used as an ossiary at some point, though from the looks of these bones they have likely been here centuries at least. Likely there are mice and insects about. Certainly spiders have been busy.

Camillo seems to be awaiting word from one of the noblewomen rather than Leandro before he goes off for supplies. But he takes Visenya's comment to be permission to fetch things, at least, and hurries off. He comes back with ladder, rope, and lantern, then sets about sticking the ladder down the hole and draping the rope coil over his neck and one shoulder.

Bryn, once he's set down, runs over to kneel down at the edge of the pit as well, beside Keli, looking down it with just as much curiosity. When he sees the bones, he says softly, "Wow…"

"I— " Marsei is enchanted by the movement, distracted from her imminent words; as the floor gives away to an opening, she gasps, an abrupt, delicate noise with an undertone of squeak. Her hand, having remained poised mid-air, now touches her thin collarbones. Her eyes are wide and bright — hopping to Visenya quickly to share her excitement — but not without shock and trepidation. She can scarcely believe what she eagerly takes in. "I— was…" she continues her thought, now more relevant than ever: "…was just considering awful tales I've heard of holdfasts and towers being set with secret traps. Surely," she says quite like a person convincing oneself, "that wouldn't be the case in the Hightower."

Now that a mysterious passageway has appeared, though… "But— wait!" the Hightower lady cautions the men and Peri, nearing the opening herself to stare down. "Wait. Beneath lies the crypt. How—ever… stories speak of labyrinths twisting and turning beneath Battle Island. It's said to be damaged and collapsed from a war fought below the Hightower when it was still a mere wooden lighthouse. There is no telling of its danger."

Peri eyes Leandro "If I break a limb I certainly wouldn't call for you, Maester, I'd call for one of my girls." she points out dully. "They can actually pick me up." she quips. "If you don't want my help I can go home." she warns Leandro, taking her time to pet Kelinxy "Don't fall love." she points out, sighing aloud.

Camillo looks to Marsei. "Do you wish me to go, lady, or to wait?" he asks. "It is, after all, possible that this is a mere pit…"

Kelinyx interjects softly. "Nobody hides this good just any old hole in the ground."

Leandro's more interested in the mechanism of the device. He tries to catch a glimpse of how it worked. "I wonder what would happen if the wrong motifs were pressed." Still it's an idle thought. He's looking to see if there's an easy closing mechanism in reach, or if it's well and truly broken. Peri's words are either unheard, or just ignored.

Someone must have been maintaining and replacing bits over time, but that maintenance stopped when the secret of the place was lost. Much of the mechanism was lubricated stone: it was the few metal bits that gave way. An engineer could fix or replicate it.

Visenya takes a few steps towards the opening in the floor to stand next to Marsei and peer downwards. "When the Hightower was wooden? Seven, that must have been before the Andal invasion." She puts the book of the History of Oldtown down on the floor, and takes another edging step towards the hole. "When The Hightowers reigned as Kings of the First Men alongside their ancient queens." She gives Bryn a thoughtful look as she says this before nodding to Kelinyx, "The girl speaks sense."

Bryn says to Peri, "I'd help you." Then he looks to Marsei and says, "In my dream, I was told, 'There will be blood and tears and so many will fall from the sky screaming.' Whatever we find down there might stop that. Think it's worth danger. Anyway, I used to live in the Undercity, I'm used to danger."

It would take tools, a forge, and some time to put the trap door mechanism back together.

Visenya adds, "I mean to see this through. I was in young Bryn's dream. As were my dragons."

Marsei is afflicted by that very indecision when Camillo asks. "If it is a mere pit and the rest of the mystery buried under rock, it is a mere pit underneath by home that has never been seen for perhaps hundreds of years," she rationalizes, though her indecision has not come to a close. If Bryn's words were meant to be comforting, they were anything but. When she looks to Visenya, she's tenuously more fortified. "I told you we'd find our own fun at the Hightower, remember?" she says, her playful smile returning — even if it is tempered by the nervous look she shoots down into the depths. She takes a faintly quavering breath that's held a touch too long. "Then … into the darkness?"

The tunnel is ancient, likely thousands and thousands of years old, but has clearly been used, reused, and upgraded over time, until at some point, the Hightowers simply forgot the secret of entering, likely due to an untimely death. The tunnel below curls three ways.

"I want the commission to fix this," Leandro says, looking right at Marsei, for once. "Labryinths have patterns and this one has a code that I've cracked. There will be no danger down there for us as long as we've adequate light and no one rushes ahead." He enters the tunnels and looks around, searching for the first clue as to which path they should take.

Leandro also brings his equipment, just in case.

Camillo inclines his head. He heads down first, after being sure that the lantern is burning well. He proceeds cautiously, but says nothing to deter any of the others from following.

Peri pages Dhraegon and Kelinyx: The question is, does Peri want to help?

"I'll take my fun where I can get it." Visenya quips to Marsei. She seems to be less nervous regarding the venture than Marsei, and reaches out to pat her lightly on the arm. When Leandro demands a commission her brow lifts, "You lot get paid?" That said she waits for the men to go down the ladder before going down herself, her movements encumbered by her gown. The men will get a rare glimpse of Princess ankles; it simply cannot be helped.

Kelinyx wants to go in first, of course, she's practically salivating, but she knows better than to elbow aside royal adult types, so she just lingers near the edge, peeking in when she can and following the moment she's allowed. Are guards coming? They may find it hard to keep up with her once she gets to weaseling around in tunnels.

Peri is quiet, taking Kelinyx's hand to keep from from wandering off. She's silent, and annoyedly eyeballing Leandro.

"I shall speak to Ormund as soon as we … rise from the depths," Marsei says to Leandro. Hopefully they will, as he seems convinced — and not become company for the dead in the crypt. Before descending, she summons a pair of incredibly perplexed Hightower men to stand guard at the new — old — entrance.

While the the event of descending into the tunnel in a long and fanciful gown was trouble enough for Lady Marsei after Visenya, the terribly unfamiliar, labyrinthine underground itself might be a bigger challenge. She clutches a handful of sapphire blue fabric tightly in one hand, pulling it away from her feet as they tread carefully over ancient grime and occasional bone— over which she gives a soft noise of distress, quickly silenced. With the other hand, she reaches for Princess Visenya's, trying not to take her eyes off Camillo and his lantern.

While the ossiary labyrinth's air is damp and lichen, moss, and nitre have found a home here, the stone flags are dry enough. The water surrounding the island has not broken through. From the looks of things, the Southernish tunnel has had some minor cave ins, with broken bits of bone, skull and rock strewn everywhere, but it is to the North eastish the party wends. Leandro seems to know the way and warns of places not to step to avoid falling into oubliettes. Assuming everyone is patients and follows the directions, they will safely reach a round chamber with a 20'ish or so diameter with old, half worn high relief carvings of some stylized archaic design, depicting some sort of battle involving dragons and sea monsters and people, but so much is worn away it is impossible to tell details.

Camillo glances back and notes Marsei's disgust with the bones. He hesitates, then mentions, "My lady, if you were to tuck up your outer skirt, there is less chance of damaging a beautiful garment." He follows Leandro carefully, doing his best to stay close to the Maester without letting his light get far from the group.

Bryn grins to Keli, sharing her excitement. He, too, waits for the adults to go down first, and then Keli, before following her down. Once done in the labyrinth, he sticks close to Leandro. When they arrive at the chamber, he does step away a little guy get a better look at the walls and the carvings.

"Knowledge is expensive," Leandro replies. "Books are worth their weight in gold. Our services are always paid for, if not with coin than other currency. Nothing in this life comes free. All the equipment and specialised workers needed to repair this is going to be expensive. All those other Maesters are going to be fighting over eachother to get a chance to look at something as marvellous as this." He offers Marsei a smile. "Thank you." He is the Maester Leandro, Master of the Labyrinth and he knows what he's doing. Once he's in the room itself he studies the carvings on the wall, consults his notes, looks up at the carvings and with some calculations states. "Kraken, Man, Boat, Merrow, Dragon. In that order." Once more they're high up on the wall.

Keli's hands are itching to hold daggers in this moment, but failing that she readies a piece of good, jagged throwing-rock in her free hand, emboldened enough to be tugging at Peri's arm like a dog on a leash, breathing deep and trying to peek into every corner and crevice she can manage. She's effervescent but quiet as a playful cat.

Peri is gentle, holding Keli back gently "Darling." she offers, "We wouldn't want you to get lost." she mumbles, watching Kelinyx closely.

Luckily, there are no actual live monsters in the forgotten labyrinth, just the occasional rodent and lots of insects, and several pressure plate trap dorrs leading to oubliettes.

"Here." Visenya says in a reassuring voice to Marsei. "I'll help you, and you can help me." That said, she pauses to kneel down to help tuck Marsei's outer skirt into her belt chain. Once her own skirts are tucked she takes Marsei's hand again. "I think." She says reassuringly to her friend, "That you should be at peace here. These are the bones of your ancestors. Thousands of years of history in here, and it all accumulates into you. Marsei Hightower." She squeezes her hand lightly.

"Oh." Is Visenya's response to Leandro's question. As if she'd never thought of it.

"Kelinyx." She calls out, "Come here." When the girl approaches she leans down to whisper a bit.

Kelinyx detaches and grins to Peri, dashing up to Visenya's side, not too dirty but with a few smudges along the bottom of her dress and dirt-darkened palms.

Bryn doesn't wait this time, unless it looks like someone else wants to do the honours. If nobody does, he steps around the carvings to press each of the carvings that Leandro says, in the order he says once again, even if he has to stand on tiptoes to reach them.

"How did each of them die, I wonder," Marsei wonders aloud, half a whisper. She drifts slowly into the chamber chained by fabric to Visenya; the moment she takes in the ancient sight, she gradually stops her tight squeeze of the princess's hand and breaks gently free, letting her gown flow where it may as she walks into the center, slowly turning in a circle to take it all in. "By the Seven…" she murmurs softly, eyes a'glimmer with more awe than torchlight. "What was all this?"

Camillo keeps very quiet, even when tempted to hazard a guess about the passing of the dead. He lifts the lantern so the signs can be more easily seen.

The mechanism is in worse shape here. It takes a real push to get the carvings to depress. When the Dragon is pressed, the grinding of the mechanism shakes the floor and the man and boat carving fall out of their seating and shatter.

Kelinyx pages Dhraegon and Leandro: As long as we're exploring, Keli will walk before Marsei and company to assure a safe path for them, so consider her on high alert for any pressure plates, string traps or suchlike.

Kelinyx bobs her head in agreement, tiptoeing her way before Marsei. She sweeps low with her eyes, back and forth, nimble and with thin-soled boots as she passively works to create a safe path by, say, not triggering anything or falling in any pits.

Leandro dives for the carvings as they shake, he has two hands, there's two of them. He's just fast enough to cushion their fall, stopping them from shattering on the ground.

Kelinyx makes a soft squeak, eyes going ot the ground beneath her feet, backing a step to the side and making a quick swipe for Marsei's wrist to urge her the same direction.

Visenya lets out a startled little shriek when the man and boat carvings fall and shatter. She puts a hand on her chest, and takes in a fortifying breath. "Is it broken?" She remains rooted on the spot, as if afraid moving will cause something to break.

Camillo looks surprised, as though it hadn't occurred to him to try to stop the fall of the carvings. He keeps his peace, however.

The flag that was under Marsei gives way with a shriek, falling. Luckily it onlydrops a couple feet, unfortunately at an angle. Bad for shapely lady ankles, but not fatal. The slab should be easy to pull out. Clearly, the mechanism intended to open has failed. In the lantern light, a gleam of metal is visible, with the tell tale look of valerian steel. The slab will need lifting to get to the curved bits of metal below.

Camillo hurries forward to help Marsei out of the hole. "Are you injured, lady?"

"Oh, no," Marsei laments the shattering of the pieces. "Is— " Just as she's stepping closer to the carvings, she's caught by Kelinyx, but not in time for her to recognize the danger. She stumbles, reeling, gasping but not crying out; she manages to nod as she catches her balance again on more even ground, but immediately crouches with her dress shimmering in the flickering lantern light. More eye-catching is the silvery gleam. "Look!"

"That is Valyrian steel." Visenya says with the authority of someone who has seen Valyrian steel. She wanders over to look over it. "By the Seven, that has to be a fortune in Valyrian steel." She looks over Marsei in an appraising manner, "Are you alright?"

Kelinyx slithers quickly around Marsei's feet to peer into the gap, only getting out of the way when someone makes her with a growl or a nudge. At least she's not grabbing for stuff.

The wrappings crumble to dust as the mechanism shakes to a halt, as do the bindings that once held the treasure. No sword nor knife, but pan pipes, about the width of an average mans hands placed side by side, made of Valerian steel and so immune to the ravages of time.

"I'm— " There's the faintest of winces from Marsei, but she's transfixed on the Valyrian steel; the discovery eases away any sting of pain. This has been under the Hightower all this time. "I'm wonderful." She reaches her slender hand down toward the instrument in its ancient earthen setting.

Camillo looks vaguely worried, but he doesn't contradict the noblewoman. Since everyone is transfixed on the artifact, he looks over his shoulder, just to be sure no more traps are about to be sprung.

Bryn looks back quickly, making his way over to the new opening. " I saw those in my dream! The Smith was making them. And in my first dream, that's the right size, I think that's what the dragon dropped on the Starry Sept."

All other traps that once guarded this chamber and these passages have long been disarmed by time, except for the occasional pressure trap in the tunnels.

Nothing further falls out from under anyone's feet; nothing snares Marsei as she grips the panpipe, laying human hands upon the object for the first time in untold years. It's exquisitely made. She gapes rose lips as Bryn speaks of his dreams; she's awed, almost fearful, of the notion of the boy's dreams being grounded in this ancient reality; reverently so. Slowly, she looks up at the others, lifting the instrument into the warm light.

Dragons have been etched delicately all around the Valyrian steel cylinders.

Camillo looks toward Visenya at the mention of dragons, but in the end decides to hold his tongue.

Kelinyx stares on with wonder, Bryn's words echoing in her ears as she steps in close as allowed to examine, maybe even run her fingers across if she can.

"It is from the Freehold." Visenya says, a little gasp escaping her lips. "Might I?"

Marsei holds the instrument still as Kelinyx touches it, appreciating the girl's wonder, then lifts it up to Visenya, rising herself as she does so, offering it on the palms of her two hands. "Then it is truly ancient."

Visenya holds the panpipes up in the torchlight to look over their etchings. There is a barely contained smile on her face as she turns it around in her hand several times. Pouring over the details. Once she has gotten her fill of looking at it she brings it to her lips, and plays the beginnings of a simple little song that soon becomes a cascade of soothing yet eerie notes as she continues to play. Out of respect to the instrument's origins it is the accompaniment to a High Valyrian song, but likely she is the only one to know this. Still, it is haunting and beautiful.

Dust settles from all the shaking earlier, some more dust shakes loose during the playing of the high beautiful pipes, but the chamber does _not_ collapse dramatically, nor does anything dire or obvious occur in response to the music.

As Visenya starts to play, Bryn gets an odd look on his face. "They are magic," he says softly, his voice full of awe.

Tears stream down Visenya's face as she finishes her song. They rush down her cheeks unchecked, and cause her vividly colored eyes to sparkle in the torchlight. When she finally lowers the panpipes she asks in a tone of wonder, "Did you feel it?" A giddy little laugh escapes her, "Oh, did anyone feel it or am I mad?"

Camillo looks away. It's clear he doesn't particularly like any talk of magic or special feelings.

Kelinyx is wound-up, ready for action, and peers to corners and shadows and tunnel entrances as the music goes on, an eerie background for her own tension. She shakes her head at the Princess's inquiry, but with nothing collapsing or crashing, she soon feels a pull toward their point of return to the outside - no good thief lingers. Er, treasure hunter.

The song nearly pulls Marsei into a trance … not by any magic; simply by listening to the pure, haunting beauty. She does not know what the song means, but feels it, all the same; whatever she has felt, however, must not compare to what Visenya has experienced. What Bryn calls magic, though she could believe it. "What, Princess Visenya?" she encourages, gentle, full of wonder. "What did you feel?"

Bryn nods quickly to Visenya, and says, a little louder now, "I felt it! I.. don't know what it was, but I felt it!"

"Power." Visenya says softly. She holds out the panpipes for Marsei to take, "It is your house's artifact, but undoubtably the King will be interested in hearing of this. If I were to make a wild guess I would think that it was meant for calling dragons." She purses her lips, "But that is just my guess. Prince Rhaegor should be allowed to examine it. He has much more information regarding this sort of thing than I do."

Marsei, nodding her agreement, eyes wide, takes the artifact reverently into her arms, criss-crossing them across her chest so that the instrument is held tight against her. "I shall keep it safe. My brother will know what to do." She tilts her head up toward the dusty ceiling above, imagining the spectacular height of the Hightower rising above them.

Leandro's got a heart of stone, he's utterly unmoved. Or he's far too busy geeking out on all this fancy mechanics and trying to work out how he's going to fix things. However he speaks up, from where he's busy poking at things. "The King's not going to let an instrument that can control dragons be in the hands of anyone but a Targaryen. It's fortunate he married a Hightower."

Bryn perks up at the mention of the king. As some of them start to head back out towards the Hightower, Bryn asks Visenya softly, "If the King comes, to see the pipes, can I meet him, please? Even if just for a second?"

"I haven't actually met King Viserys, Bryn." Visenya admits softly to the young boy. Her eyes soften slightly as he says this, and she reaches down to take his hand in her own as they begin walking out of the chamber. "I've seen him, but we've never spoken. Once, when I was a very small girl, Good King Jaehaerys held Daevon and I in his arms, and let me tug his beard. You can stand next to me if he does come."

Kelinyx listens quietly to the stirring of ideas and memories that fill the air, watches faces light up as others already plod off to their next goal or gain. She takes up the back now, and takes her time memorizing the path back, even pocketing that jagged throwing stone somewhere in the folds of her dress for later.

Assuming everyone is careful to step over the pressure plates Leandro pointed out on the way there, you should all get back safely with no further mischief.

Bryn nods a little to Visenya, and then smiles again at her last promise. He squeezes her hand as he says, "Thank you." This seems to mean a great deal to the boy.

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