The Walking Cold Light

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You know what? The Administrator was really nice! I mean, okay, so they were a blob of red goop with a lot of faces inside of it, but, like, they had good manners and were super helpful! Don't judge a book by its cover, right? Haha... get it? Because I'm a... book?

Anyway, it told us some things. Supposedly Atar and his friends weren't actually teleported in, they were... dragged in? There are twelve hours of missing time they've got. Did something happen to them on the other end of the circle? Were their memories modified? The Administrator said they'd be able to reconstruct themselves enough to recall that data in two weeks, three days, and five minutes. Ceres wanted to ask about the Constellations, and it turns out the Coldlight Sliver that we found is definitely one of them! But the Administrator hasn't seen the one she lost.

We went to the south and there was another one of those... I'm gonna call them Coldlight Walkers! That's an official name now, I just named them! It was definitely me, Aurora, who gave them that name, and not somebody on the other side of that fourth wall there. The Administrator says that these poor drow turned themselves into Coldlight creatures on purpose. When we fought them, Asteria was pretty loud with those cool gauntlets of hers, and it attracted a bunch more... and some sparky lightning ghost creatures that totally looked just like will-o-wisps. Fire wasn't very effective on them, and neither were Asteria's thunder punches! I guess I shouldn't be surprised - they're ghosts, I guess. Apparently Alta can punch ghosts with her bare hands and do just fine. I wonder what her secret is? Ceres called on Deku and spooked some of the wisps and one of the Coldlight Walkers away.

In the room to the south, we found an audio log!

"The voyager died today. Fed them to the Administrator. The Sliver is dim once more. Some of my people are saying the higher-ups are right to pivot to weapons. I dismissed them. No room for doubt. Skeleton crew, but we must press on. Our communications were cut off. They’re sending my replacement. They’re afraid I’ll try and poach talent from another facility to undermine them. I don’t need more of my kind. I need voyagers. I have to pray my contacts off the continent come through. The world needs to know there is hope for us yet."

We didn't know where that last Coldlight Walker had run off to, but we were all pretty beat, so we decided to have a sit-down and patch our wounds. Sylas cuddled that unicorn plushie and it seemed really soft... I miss soft things. Ceres told us how she accidentally lost one of her family's Constellations... Oof. Big, big oof. She's gonna get in sooooo much trouble with her parents, yikes. She and Atar spent some time during the rest examining the Coldlight Sliver. Ceres says it's a Major Prime Constellation, Any Non-Chaotic, whatever that means! Atar did a divination reading and the cards said weal if he attuned to it, so he did. Sylas was worried and expressed his concerns... honestly, I don't blame him! I was really worried too! But he seems to be fine.

Sylas also mentioned that perhaps the Daughters of the First Flame need the Coldlight Sliver to break a curse, too. That probably has to do with dragons! Nobody asked any clarifying questions, though. But I'll do the history lesson! Most people think dragons are kind of a myth, but that is so not true. They're probably still around, they just can't go outside! There's plenty of books you can read about old dragons in history. People who look too closely into dragons in the current day, though... those people tend to disappear. Maybe the dragons get them.

Actually, when Atar attuned to the Sliver, there was one change. He took his glove off, and there were these really cool pretty spiral tattoos on his arm! When he put the Coldlight Sliver down, they went away. When he put it into its personal demiplane, he was left with just one spiral on the back of his right hand. It was kind of stylish. I bet Atar thinks he's too old for that kind of thing, tattoos...

When we went south again, we found that the one Coldlight Walker who Ceres had spooked actually went back into her pod! We learned that her name had been Corywin, and she'd been a baker. But apparently... the second the Coldlight starts to change you, you die and lose your soul. Right away. Then there's a transformation period where the body turns into a weird thing. So the Coldlight Walkers we've been fighting don't even have souls anymore, they're just... well, Sylas called them meat puppets.

We also found another log!

"This might be my last log. We had a breakthrough. There is light at the end of this. I have sent along my findings to the underground. I will not be silenced. I will not be dimmed. My light is the light of our future. I shut my boy in quarters. We have voyagers coming again, and just a day before my replacement arrives. With their influence, we can activate the Sliver and see our results. Prove to those above me that I have a place in their halls. It is a dream, I know, but one I will gladly dream. The voyagers can afford an extended vacation. I think I make good company."

After that, we went to the west, where we found a storage room. Somebody named Ummon left a bunch of highly-volatile magic beads in one of the creature containers, but we didn't have time to determine which one.

We quickly moved on through to the next room for another big fight with a bunch of shadows and what I'm going to call a Coldlight Warp! This is also a term that I have made up myself, because who else is going to name these weird beings if I don't? Nobody, that's who!

The light that thing radiates is outside of the lights that I think our eyes are built for! While standing next to it, whenever it moved, the people nearby it felt some sort of necrotic decay, and the same happened whenever they hit it when they were standing close by! So be really careful!

Finally, we found one more log:

"Incalculable. Short-sighted. The higher-ups think this facility best used for weapons research. Banal. Pathetic. Embedding fragments of the Sliver have warped and mutated every subject beyond saving, but their sacrifice will lead to a better tomorrow for my people. My child. He hates me. Fears me. I may have failed him as a father, but I will be the reason my people know warmth again."

It's really sad, this whole place. This whole facility. Some of those log entries were really recent, too. When everybody wakes up, we should probably figure out which of those boxes has those magic beads in them! That might be useful to have on hand.

Since the Administrator is so nice, they locked the doors for us. We're taking a long rest here. I hope everything will be okay...

Written by Luridel, with formatting and additional writing by kiligir. This is the first six sessions of a game named Vindictus, and comprise its first arc.
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