Log 2: First Steps Into the Dark
Destroyed the Clockwork Excavator
After the stressful first few hours inside Synthacrosia, meeting and defeating Jaxton, and gathering a few soul coins, the 5 party members lay down to rest. During their sleep, every single one of them reverted to their bracelet form, existing within the crystal for an unknown amount of time. After what seemed like months, 3 people awoke out of their crystals -- Zarish, Opal, and Rusticus. Two remained in crystal form, Jah, and Tiddles. Opal gathered the remaining crystal bracelets off the ground, and the party began planning their next steps. Looking over Jaxton's map, the 3 remaining adventurers debated where to go. "Less assholes looks good!" "I don't know, that seems like a trap, I think we should go to the assholes city" "Yeah but this map was made for Jaxton's personal use, so why would he record locations as traps?" However, going to either one of the two towns was going to be at minimum a 2 day trip, and the party needed more information and supplies first. They began to look at alternatives that were closer to their current location. Opal noted that there were small skulls drawn on the map, which she thought may be locations where Jaxton's companions died. Rusticus pointed out the clockwork hotspot, but seeing as there was only 3 of them, they worried that they wouldnt be able to handle it there. The party went over their main goal -- get to one of the stairs. Secondary goal, gain more soul coins. With that in mind, they chose the Mining Camp + Goblins area as their next goal. At the camp, they could gain more information, and if they run into a few goblins, they could gain more soul coins. They began the 9 hour trek into goblin territory.The 12 hour trek to the mine. Nearing the Great Plateau cliffs, the party began to be more alert. Rusticus, taking the lead, was looking left and right as the trio picked their way across the dusty landscape, navigating around the massive boulders that littered the area. After a few more minutes, Rusticus started hearing faint noises to the west -- raised voices, and slight mechanical and metal sounds. Too far away to be sure, he looked to the east, and noticed a slight flickering glow in the far far distance. The stocky warrior turned to his two magical companions, and informed them. Opal immediately cast Mage Armor on herself, and Zarish cast Anticipate Peril on himself. Rusticus shrugged. Once again faced with a decision of where to go, the party members debated on their next choice of action. Go towards the flickering light, or follow the sounds. The flickering light could be anything, but with raised voices the trio knew that there'd have to be some living people there, so the party decided to head west. After another 3 hours of walking, Opal still had mage armor, Rusticus was still a dwarf, but Zarish's spell had worn off. The party entered an area strewn with soot and loose rocks, with a slight blue dirt and dust that covered everything. As they got closer, the sounds materialized into the cacophony of goblins shrieking in absolute terror, with one giant clockwork machine raging and rampaging among them, with a huge cloud of dust around them. Zarish immediately buffed himself again, casting Obscuring Mist. Opal cast a defensive Hex on herself, one that would unleash serious wounds on whoever next touched her. Out of the dust ran one Goblin , screaming and firing his longbow backwards into the dust. Rusticus ran head on to meet him as the dust settled. Infront of the party was a huge Clockwork Excavator decimating a group of 7 goblins, with 1 goblin on top of the excavator screaming "FUKFUKFUKFUKFUK NONONONO HELPHELPHLEPHELP". Opal immediately had flashbacks to her engineering classes during university. What did the professor say about clockwork excavators again? They were huge machines that could rip and tear through nearly any material. They had a slot on the control panel on the top of the machine, where you could slot in a mineral, and have the excavator search out and mine for it. Why was the excavator attacking the goblins? ...could a goblin have fallen into that mineral slot? or maybe a goblin put a soul coin in it? Opal relayed that information to her companions, as the Excavator began to vibrate. It rotated, and pointed its self at 2 of the nearest goblins, before unleashing a 30' pulverizing ray. One goblin was vaporized, while the other was knocked prone and lit on fire. "FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK" screamed one goblin, lamenting his companion, he let loose a shot from his bow, denting the metal armor on the excavator. Zarish and Opal began focusing on spells, while Rusticus ran forward, enraged and enlarged himself, attempting to smash his hammer into the fleeing goblin, but nearly striking Zarish instead. "WTF dude??" exclaimed Zarish. Opal began throwing cards from a distance, which sadly bounced off the excavator without expelling their effect. The goblin that Rusticus smashed got back up, and pleaded "HELPHELPHELP", moments before Rusticus knocked him prone again, then crushed his tiny body with a hammer. Zarish, tired of being so far from the action decided to teleport closer to the fight. He motioned towards opal who yelled "Don't touch me, my Hex will be triggered!!!". Zarish startled, backing off, and then stepped closer to the giant dwarf and grabbed his arm, teleporting them within 30' of the excavator. Meanwhile, the excavator was obliterating goblins left and right. Firing an explosive canister into a crowd of them, and vaporizing another 2 goblins. The goblins were so inspired by their will to save their friends that they made every shot count, despite the low damage the bows did. Zarish and Rusticus appeared in the clockwork excavators line of site. It began vibrating again, before unleashing another pulverizing ray, right through Zarish and Rusticus. Zarish coughed "owwwww" while Rusticus shook it off. Rusticus ran forwards with claws extended, and rended a large gash through a plate of armor. Zarish dropped a fireball behind it, but only succeeded in making the metal hot, and scorching the terrified goblin on top. Opal, having been left behind out of the teleport, ran forward to catch up, tossing cards from her harrow deck as she went. Finally she got close enough, and whipped a card out that plastered its self to the excavator, expelling it's magical effect into the metal monstrosity, intending to disable it. However the construct's will to dig was too strong, and it resisted. The Clockwork Excavator swung it's arm down at Rusticus, intending to grab the dwarf, but dealing damage instead. The enlarged dwarf responded by ripping his claws through the metal of the machines arm again. Zarish, learning from his failed fireball, summoned an electrical storm above the machinery, doing massive damage to it. Opal, pissed about her cards having no effect, placed a Hex on the machinery, making it more susceptible to attacks. She cackled as the construct appeared to be double affected by her Hex. Still operating only on "dig" mode, the construct again swung an arm down at Rusticus, bashing the dwarf, and managing to pick him up. Rusticus struggled and tried to free himself, but failed as the excavator swallowed him whole. With Rusticus inside the machine, Zarish began firing acid arrows. The acid from them appeared to be formulated against metal, as it began melting through parts of the excavator. With one last arrow, and the few remaining shocks from the lightning storm, the excavator rumbled its self into pieces, with Rusticus executing a perfectly timed roll out of the mess. The terrified goblin from atop the machine also survived, who ran forward to embrace the other 2 remaining goblins from the original 7. Rusticus, with a murderous gleam in his eye, dusted the shoulders of the terrified goblin, and pat his back, sending him on his way without any more pain. The goblins retreated into the distance as the trio of adventurers scoured the ground for soul coins. From out of the Clockwork Excavator's belly, 25 soul coins were found, suggesting that there were far more goblins at this mining camp before the party arrived. Opal gathered 7 soul coins she found strewn throughout the chaos, and Zarish remained aloof, as the soul coins didnt directly empower him. Despite that, Rusticus distributed 7 coins to Zarish. Needing rest, the party set up shifts, and lay down to sleep for as many hours as they could. No attacks happened during the night. Upon morning, the three of them once again took out Jaxton's map. They were still located within the mining camp + goblins area, but they were reasonable sure they hadn't found the mining camp yet, just the actual mine it's self. Fresh off their victory against a huge foe, the party decided their next course of action: travel east through the goblin territory and look for the mining camp. Continue east, stopping at a small skull noted on the map, before finally reaching the place noted as "crazy person, lots of coins". That would put them within a day's travel of either 'Assholes' or 'Less Assholes'. The party stowed the map in their backpack, and hoped that more of their companions would emerge from their bracelet form, before heading out again.