The small island in the small lake was quiet -- literally no sounds of life could be heard.
Then, still silently, 5 vague shapes of people began to form. One after another, 5 people from entirely different walks of life appeared, in a circle on the island.
The party talked to each other after spawning, and were generally confused as to what was happening. Tiddles the Partizan
remembered drinking and playing music. Opal
remembered practicing magic. Rusticus
remembered drinking. Jah Ithber
and Zarith Lorn
didn't remember much. Everyone expressed unease and confusion when the Clockwork Servant
“Please follow me to Processing
” it said, repeatedly.
So the party followed the small, 3 legged, 3 armed mechanical man, over the vibrant green hills, and the picturesque blue sky. Everything around them seemed too perfect, too clean, and too quiet.
“Please follow me to processing” repeated the clockwork servant again.
“Everyone must be processed when entering Synthacrosia”
Tiddles began searching his memory, and realized he might have an idea of where they are -- he had heard tales of a mad Gnome obsessed with death
, who had planned to create his own afterlife, by harvesting the power of purgatory. Tiddles thought about this, but kept it to himself, as the party reached what appeared to be the sky.
There, where the sky met the ground, was a door. “Please follow me to processing” said the clockwork, as it lead the party through the door, and into a metal and stone hallway. The party’s unease levels rose as they entered the clean chamber, with an odd device in the corner -- the processing unit, as the clockwork servant told them.
One by one the party put their arms into the processing unit, which clamped down around their wrists, and with a faint magical energy, left a Crystalline Power Bracelet Device
behind. Each soul suddenly realized that they had died, and were imparted with basic knowledge of their death -- whether they had been murdered, if the death was natural, or if the death was accidental. The bracelets started to glow, and Tiddles became uncomfortable, and started to make his way to the door. The clockwork servant began to violently shake, and it’s eyes turned red, so Tiddles promptly returned and allowed himself to be processed. When he took his wrist out of the machine, all bracelets started vibrantly glowing, and every person once again learned something -- they realized what the bracelets powers are.
Seeing the bright glow, the clockwork again began to violently shake, and promptly left the room, saying “This is an error, I will return shortly to… fix… this”
With the party now alone, Tiddles told everyone what he had remembered about this place being purgatory and them all being dead. Rusticus thought to himself “I’m sure glad I’m not dead anymore at least!” before promptly remembering that he was indeed still dead. Everyone slightly remembered their death, just enough to know whether they were murdered, died naturally, or if it was an accident.
The now slightly sad, and also mad, Rusticus decided he had enough of this processing room, and made his way out through the exit. Calling on his perception skills, he listened very closely… and heard nothing. Believing it to be safe, he purposefully strode down the hallway, and was immediately intercepted by the clockwork servant, who had gone to get the Clockwork Soldier
and the Clockwork Hound
The servant immediately shot a net at Rusticus, but Rusticus managed to bat the net down before getting entangled. But the clockwork hound sprinted around the corner of the hallway, and sunk its teeth into Rusticus’s ankles, tripping the sturdy dwarf. Behind the dwarf stood Opal, and the clockwork servant once again pointed it’s net cannon, this time at her -- but Opal was also too fast for the net. The clockwork soldier then rounded the corner, and stepped in front of the servant.
Hearing a commotion in the hall, Jah came out of the processing room, vaulted over his allies, and the clockwork hound, and immediately started attacking the clockwork soldier, dealing massive damage. The soldier, not liking this, stabbed Jah in return. Rusticus, still being attacked by the clockwork hound, stood up, and smashed his hammer into the robot dog, damaging it greatly.
Opal, seeing these clockwork monsters attack, knew what to do -- she pointed her hand at the 3 clockwork beings in front of her (and the 2 allies) and let loose a massive lightning bolt through the hallway. The clockwork servant at the back of the line violently shook and exploded, sending parts skittering across the hallway. The other 2 clockworks also began vibrating, but they still remained in one piece. Rusticus and Jah also suffered damage from the close quarters lightning bolt, and Rusticus was lit on fire.
The rest of the party followed the sounds of battle, and entered the hallway. Tiddles immediately started hitting his shield, creating a driving rhythm to help these strange souls he just met. Feeling invigorated, Zarish consulted his arcane powers, and drove ice spikes up through the ground into the remaining 2 clockwork, severing them in two.
The party, covered in gears and dust, continued forward through the hallways of processing. Rusticus and Tiddles advanced down the long hallway, while Jah, Opal, and Zarish checked a side room, discovering rows and rows of magical bracelets, containing the souls of more processed individuals. Opal and Jah shoved all the bracelets into their pack, realizing they somehow took up no space, and weighed nothing.
Rusticus kicked down the door in his hallway, surprising 3 more clockwork servants. He stepped into the room and smashed his hammer down onto one of them, nearly killing it. The 3 servants immediately turned to Rusticus, and all 3 of them fired nets onto the raging barbarian. Tiddles stepped forward, and with an incredibly loud noise, blasted 2 of the clockwork men into pieces, using only sound. Rusticus was furious inside of his 3 nets, but determined to smash, as he flattened the third clockwork servant. Tiddles helped Rusticus remove the nets as the rest of the party caught up, and they left processing.
They walked down the final metal hallway, as it opened up into a large cave mouth, and then a small plateau.
Outside they found themselves in what appears to be an impossibly giant cave. On the ledge in front of them was a strange man, and his companions. The strange man, Jaxton
he called himself, started to exposit details of the floor they were on (he calls it The Floor of Strength
), what Soul Coins
are, how to leave the floor, who’s fault all of this is, why this floor is in a garbage state, and what his plans to do with the creator of this place are. He slides a soul coin into his bracelet, and attacks.
Tiddles had previously found a coin, so he flipped it to Jah, who slid it into his bracelet to power it up. Jaxton cast a wall of fire to split the party in two, and put a pit underneath the bard, who just barely managed to not fall in. Jah, feeling fire on his back, charged forward and decimated Jaxton with a swing. Jaxton’s dwarf cleric came to his aid, but Jah parried that strike, and decapitated the thug, leaving behind a gleaming soul coin.
Zarish once again called up giant sharp ice spikes, underneath 3 of Jaxtons crew, stabbing them with cold. Opal stepped around the 2 door guards that were set up, and let loose another lightning bolt, electrocuting the guards. They crumbled and left behind 2 slightly smoking soul coins.
Rusticus charged through the wall of fire, and brought his hammer down on Jaxton. Seeing he was way out-classed, and fearing his life, Jaxton disappeared, leaving behind his map.
Seeing that his friends were dead, and his boss was gone, one of the Thugs turned tail, and ran to the north, dropping off the ledge and fleeing into the darkness. The final member of Jaxtons crew, the laughing orc, eagerly went back into the battle, chasing her own death.
“You don't have to die!” said Tiddles
The orc flipped him off and responded “I’m already dead, end my existence in this hell!”
Rusticus obliged her, dropping his hammer, and slicing his two claws through her. She dropped to the ground with a peaceful look on her face, again leaving behind a shining soul coin.
Battered, tired, and confused, the party set down to rest, while they studied the map that Jaxton left behind.