Log 17: Resurrections
TLDR of session:
The door to the insect ridden shack was slammed shut as Lisk, Opal, Ryder, and Naro ran through it. Upon reaching the stairs, Lisk winked out of existence. A brief glance was shared between Opal, Ryder and Naro before they were joined by three more souls, returning from their bracelets. Xora , Tiddles the Partizan , and Rusticus all appeared in the cramped space within the stairs. "Xora! Tiddles!" called Opal. "Haven't seen y'all in ages! Specially you Xora!" Xora was confused. "Where am I now? What did I miss?" Tiddles said offhanded "Are we beyond the shack now?" Opal nodded at Tiddles, then turned to Xora. "Lemme fill you in" As Opal started filling Xora in, the party started walking up the stairs. Ryder turned to Rusticus, saying "Hey. Welcome back" Rusticus thanked him, and the party trudged up the stairs. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, the party found themselves at a small landing. The door was metal, and reinforced. The sign on the door said "Level 3-i" "Guess we aren't at level 4 yet." a voice murmured "Oh" said Opal slowly. "Great. Another interstitial." "Least there's no talking doorknob this time" said Naro, hopefully.
On the other side of the door was darkness; the entire room they were in was dark, the only source of light was Opal's floating light crystal, and Xora's Chakram Phasing Rings . The light crystal illuminated 30' around them, while the chakrams were a simple 5' glow. Opal started leading people around the room, getting a look at what they were dealing with. They were in a simple stone and metal room, two hallways lead to the west. There was a door to the north that was locked, it had a single keyhole in it. A door to the south was also locked, but had no visible keyhole or door handle. Two hallways led to the east, but cave-ins blocked them off. Rusticus remembered he had a potion of light, which he poured all over his hammer, causing it to glow. He broke off from the group and headed down one of the western hallways. As he walked, he circled another large pool of water in the dark. Holding his hammer up to spread the light farther, he saw a clockwork figure wreathed in darkness across the pool. The clockwork moved suddenly, readying it's weapon. Rusticus charged the clockwork, swinging his hammer into it, but missing and striking the wall instead. The rest of the party in the main area heard this, and quickly began making their way over. The moved single file through the hall. Naro cast a spell, enhancing himself with mage armor. Rusticus dodged a blow from the clockwork, before rapidly smashing his hammer three times into it. He hit it so hard so many times that the clockwork exploded into a shower of metal. As Xora rounded the corner, she nodded appreciatively at the metal raining down from above. "Oh hey guys" said Rusticus nonchalantly, as everyone rounded the corner. He look down into the wreckage, and picked something up. "Found a key!" Together, everyone walked back into the main area. The door to the south had no visible keyhole, so to the north they went. They fit the key in, turned it, and opened the next set of rooms up.
This area was almost equally as dark as the first. What stood out however, was a massive glowing crystal across the room; two clockwork being stood beside it, on standby mode. The room featured a depression in the middle, stairs leading down to a small wooden table. "LETS FIGHT EM" said Rusticus, in a raised whisper. The party looked at him weirdly. They entered the room slightly, and looked around a bit more. While the crystal was across the small depression from them, there was also a couple hallways heading east. Rather than fighting right away, the party made their way east, huddling around the sources of light. They entered a series of small rooms connected via a single hallway, which looped around back to the other side of the small depression. The far east end of the area contained another door, closed. The door also had no handle, and no keyhole. The rooms had loads of small crates, big crates, and boxes. Opal noticed a broken box was doing a poor job of hiding a lever below it. She kicked the remains of the box aside, and looked closer at it. Tiddles looked over her shoulder. "It's a switch! or a lever! it does things!" Opal looked back at him, and nodded thanks. "This one was hiding under a box that was broken. Maybe there's more?" she said. "LETS FLIP EM ALL AT THE SAME TIME!" Called Rusticus. The party spread out and began investigating the boxes. "Anyone need a nice blanket?" called Xora. She had shifted some crates around, and opened one up to find some nice thick blankets; red, black, and gray. As she moved the box aside, she found another lever. Opal grabbed a blanket on her way to check out some other areas. Tiddles and Rusticus also grabbed one. "I found another lever! And some super thick canvas here." Called Opal from one end of the hall. "There's a bunch of soap here!" Replied Xora, still near the first box. "Here's another one with stuff! Lots of fresh water!" Tiddles and Ryder both perked their ears up at that, and moved over to meet Opal at the water boxes. "Aw this one's empty..." Said Rusticus. He and Xora moved over to some more nearby boxes. Opal met them there as the boxes were opened. "Rain coats!" The two boxes opened were full of various sizes of raincoats. Rusticus tried on a small one, flexed, and broke it. "Woah there now, don't go wasting these fine raincoats!" called Ryder. The second box opened featured larger raincoats, which Rusticus found fit him, though it did reach to his mid-shins. The party ended up with a collection of various supplies; rain coats, blankets, canvas, empty bottles, bottles of water, and soap. In the process, they uncovered 6 levers. "Lets flip em all at the same time?" Repeated Rusticus. The party shrugged, they had no other plans, and the door at the end of this hall was still shut. With Xora in the middle, everyone spread out to their own lever. "On three!" called Xora. "One... Two... THREE!" Everyone flipped their levers; almost all at the near exact same time. The party heard some sounds from the east. They checked the door, but it was still closed. Tiddles was still standing next to his lever. "Maybe try flipping it a few more times?" Asked Rusticus. Tiddles flipped the lever back and forth a bunch of times. The party heard a mechanical noise play forward and in reverse every time the lever went back and forth. "We must've missed a lever...?" asked Opal. "Maybe it's out by the clockwork and the crystal..." said Xora. "I'll go take a look" Xora made her way around the hallway. She crouched down upon reaching the exit into the initial area. Very quietly, she made her way out, and down the stairs to the table in the small lower area. Carefully, quietly, she slid the table to the side; revealing another lever. She gripped the lever, and flipped it, hearing a clunk in the distance. Xora quietly climbed the stairs, and re-entered the hallway. The clockwork remained on standby the entire time. She met back up with the party, finding them standing around the now open door to the east. Opal led the way with her light, with Rusticus just slightly behind her. Just a short distance down the new hallway, the party found a 10' collapsed section of floor. If they wanted to continue, they'd have to make a 10' leap over top of the 10' deep cave-in. Opal hexed herself with fly, and floated across. Xora ran, and made the leap easily; Rusticus quickly followed. Ryder walked to the edge of the gap, and looked uneasily down. He felt uneasy, not wanting to die, but remembering his bad luck with anything requiring dexterity. He looked at Kir. Kir picked him up, and tossed him across. Xora caught him, and put him down. Ryder moved behind Xora and Rusticus, in case more people were thrown. Tiddles looked at Naro's six strong arms. "I cannot make the jump, you'll have to toss me!" Naro looked at Kir's bigger, stronger arms. "Uhhhhhh..." Tiddles remained hopefully staring at Naro. "He's like, way stronger than us. Ask him?" Tiddles turned to Kir. "I cannot make the jump, you'll have to toss me!" Kir was motionless, and didn't acknowledge Tiddles' request at all. Kir instead remained staring at Ryder. Ryder looked across the gap, and pointed at Tiddles, then pointed down at his own feet. Kir moved steadily towards Tiddles, and picked him up by his clothes. "Oh" was all Tiddles got out before Kir threw him with all the force he could muster. Tiddles sailed over the group, landing far down the hallway, and getting the wind knocked out of him. Ryder looked over at Naro, and nodded. Kir reached down and grabbed one of Naro's arms, swinging and letting go, sending Naro sailing straight at the party. Rusticus reached up to catch Naro, just as Xora did; Xora and Rusticus fell forward. Opal, still flying, drifted sideways, and "caught" Naro, helping him to the floor. Ryder then nodded once more at Kir. STOMP STOMP STOMP Kir ran at the edge, and leaped. He sailed gracefully through the air. WHAM Kir landed on the edge, and wavered for a second. Some of the rock crumbled under his massive feet. Kir leaned forward, and took a step safely on the other side of the gap. Ryder wiped his forehead. The party continued down the hall, where it took a turn to the north. Rounding the corner, they found a glowing hallway of various crystals; there were 8 of them in slots. At the end of the room was another large metal door, again locked, again with no way of opening it manually. The party realized the crystals must be tied to the door, and likely the levers. Half of them stayed behind, while Xora and Rusticus ran back to try some levers. They quickly flipped a couple, and worked out a system of relaying information. They discovered which levers triggered which crystals, but were unsure of the crystal orientation they wanted. They began trial and error flipping switches, as the crystals moved in and out of their slots. Finally, after a lot of effort, and a bit of divine intervention, the crystals were all extended. Opal called from the hall "The door is open! come back!" Rusticus and Xora once again made the leap across the gap, and joined the party in exploring the new room.
Inside the room appeared to be some sort of storage, office, or study. The center of the room contained another large hole in the floor, full of water. The far wall contained three bookshelves, each full of green file folders. The western wall had a set of drawers, and a large chest; the eastern wall had another set of drawers, next to a very messy desk. On the roof was a large circular mark; it appeared to be some sort of device that would extend down from the roof, meeting the floor. Xora moved to the chest, and opened it up. "I know not of this currency, but there is a lot of it! There seems to be 30 of these large coins here!" "Ah!" said Rusticus, coming over. " Soul Coins! We should split em up across the party. Five each?" "Sounds fair to me." Said Xora, handing out coins. Tiddles investigated the green file folders. Flipping open a few of them, he found them to be encrypted in an unknown language. He was unable to make heads or tails of the documents. As he checked that, Opal was beside him, examining the messy desk. Atop the pile of papers was a beige file folder, with a large note on it: "Why is this not encrypted yet? Someone get on it!" She opened up the folder. The file contained a document titled "The Greenminster Expedition". Xora came over, and volunteered to read it.
The Greenminster Expedition
A sparse collection of documents from the failed Greenminster Expedition, resulting in the loss of the Alcastor and her 8 crew.
[sounds of battle can be heard] [Quick footsteps, followed by the sound of cloth scraping against rough stonework] [Crackling energy can be heard, followed by grunts of pain, and high pitched laughter] [Stomping footsteps approach, and a *whoosh* is heard as an attempted attack just misses.] [Gasp in surprise, and crackling energy is heard again] [grunts in pain] [The crackling energy quickly spirals out of control] [a huge electrical explosion is heard] coughs a few times Southern drawl saying “Well now that's not what I wanted to happen”Opal looked around, eyes wide. "Was... was that me? Did someone record me?" Naro reached in and grabbed a random crystal as well. "Maybe someone has been recording us?" He squeezed his hand around the crystal, and audio began playing out of his as well.
[sandy footsteps are heard, along with light conversation in the background] [a CLUNK is heard, followed by splashing] [Begin to hear yelling in pain and fright] Suddenly “"MY SKIN, NO, GIVE IT BACK, MY SUIT NEEDS TO COVER MY SKIN, COVER IT UP, COVER IT COVER IT!!" [Rapid footsteps are heard as the others approach] “"NO NO NO NOT DROW NO I DON'T WANT TO BE NO" [Scraping is heard, and then the sobs retreat into the distance]Naro slowly crouched down to the floor. He wrapped some arms around himself, some around his head; he curled up into a ball. Rusticus looked down at him, then grabbed a crystal, and squeezed.
[dark laughter can be heard] [sounds of combat in the background] [a heavy silence momentarily falls over the scene, before the sounds of violence rise again] [two heavy stomps are heard] A man yells “YOU DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED” [A bang from a drum] [The dark laughter falters, then fades] [A quiet voice whispers “I'm sorry” between sobs] [The voice grows in volume and frequency of the sobs] “OH GODS I'M SO SORRY”"Well," started Rusticus. "I think the crystals are random, cause I don't know who this is." Tiddles stared, nonplussed. Soon everyone reached in and grabbed the remaining crystals, listening to all of them. Naro eventually stood up, shaking off the shock of reliving his traumatizing event.
Collection of Recording Crystals
A small collection of crystals, featuring audio recorded from different parts of the tower.
The clockwork to the left of Rusticus rapidly reached forward, dark energy around it's hand, reaching for Rusticus' face, but just missing. The energy dissipated from the hand, and the clockwork stepped back. Rusticus grew furious, and grew large; he swung his hammer down and dented a large portion of his attacker. Naro, hearing the sounds of battle, sprinted past his allies and charged the second clockwork; a four armed clockwork magician. He punched it, but found it to be incredibly resistant metal. Xora, Tiddles, Opal, and Ryder quickly cast magic spells on themselves, pumping themselves up. The four armed mechanical being stepped back from Naro, and pointed a hand at Rusticus and Naro. Red energy swirled about it's fingers, before a ray shot out at the two heroes. Naro's mage armor saved him from the ray, but Rusticus took the full force of the one directed at him; scorching fire raced across his flesh, burning him slightly. "Naro, duck!" Tiddles sprinted out behind his friend. As Naro ducked, Tiddles smashed his sword on his shield, blasting out a sonic attack. The clockwork was not knocked prone, and seemed to resist most of the vibrations. "Normally... that does more..." Said Tiddles with apprehension. Ryder hopped on Kir's back, and directed Kir to charge out into the room. Near the back of the combat, Ryder hopped off Kir. Opal knelt down, and began focusing energy on a spot out in the main room. Glowing fog began coalescing in the spot she focused on, as she began to summon a Bralani, an elf-like wind and thunder archer. Xora ran out into the fray, and took stock of the situation, just as Rusticus' foe stepped back and cast a spell, filling the room with thick fog. No one in the fog could see more than 5'. Naro stepped out of the fog, and threw three rapid attacks at the clockwork mage in front of him. Rusticus followed suit, slamming his hammer repeatedly into his enemy. The clockwork were made of strong metal, as they managed to shrug off a lot of the damage being dealt to them. Opal finished summoning her elf-archer, and noticed the fog. She swung her hands about, and cast another spell; strong wind began filling the area, reducing the fog every second. Tiddles thought quickly, then cast a spell on Naro. "You got speed on your side now!" he yelled at Naro. "Hit him more!" Just as he said that, the clockwork mage stepped back from Naro, and pointed a finger again. A small red orb flew out from it's finger; it streaked into the center of the combat, and exploded. Xora's enhancement from earlier warded all of the fire damage that would've been dealt to her. No one else was so lucky however. Everyone got blasted by the fire, scorching their skin and hurting them greatly. Ryder was blasted backwards, and knocked unconscious at the feet of Kir. Naro got knocked forward from the fire, and Markus was blasted off of him, right back to the plane he came from. Naro, now without his summon, swore. Opal shook her head "Damn, why am I out here in combat." she looked over at Ryder, then looked at her summon, Topaz. "Quick, help him!" She then cast her aggressive thundercloud onto the clockwork in front of Rusticus. Kir used his Anchorplace Robes to remain in existence while his master was unconscious. He lifted Ryder's limp form, and carried him a little bit away from the fighting, laying the unconscious Ryder back down in the soot. Topaz rushed over, and healed Ryder. Ryder sat up, coughing a few times. He looked around at the scorch marks around him. "Wow, that really hurt." Xora kept her back to Ryder, Kir, and Topaz. Through the fog she could barely see the clockwork that just fire balled them all. Worried it might happen again, she tossed her chakrams at it, hitting it twice and slicing long cuts into its metal. Rusticus, ignoring his roasted flesh, continued smashing his hammer into his foe. The clockwork was backed into a corner, and taking massive damage; parts of it were no longer moving the way it used to. Naro shoved a soul coin into his bracelet, and stepped up into the clockwork mage's face. The clockwork mage glowed with power, and pointed another finger. "Oh shit" said Naro. He quickly tried to strike the mage, but missed; another small red ball flew from the finger of the clockwork. The party watched, in slow motion, as the ball streaked towards the same explosion point as the first. The fireball exploded in the exact same radius as the first. Everyone was blasted back as the fire scorched every part of them. Xora resisted the damage again, while Naro, Opal, and Rusticus managed to dodge some of the fire. Opal was in serious pain, while Rusticus and Naro managed to hang on. They looked back to see how Ryder, Kir, and Topaz fared, just in time to see Kir wink out of existence. They looked quickly at Ryder, who's eyes were closed; his body slowly fading away, replaced with a soul coin. "Ryder!" gasped Opal. "Noooo!" Called Tiddles. Rusticus was furious, and smashed his hammer down with all the force he could; the clockwork was slammed sideways into the wall, exploding into a shower of metal. As the fog and smoke cleared, Xora could see clearly; she attacked the killer clockwork rapidly, three true strikes. Opal ran past the flying chakrams, and hid around the corner, quickly healing herself. She directed Topaz to attack the thing that just killed her companion. Topaz fired a quick arrow into it, slicing more of the metal. The 4 armed magic clockwork found itself backed into a corner as well, with a furious Naro blocking its only exit. Naro dug deep, feeling the fresh sorrow, and used that as inspiration; he tore into his foe, and ripped it to shreds. The party breathed as the sounds of metal pieces falling echoed through the hall; then all was quiet. "Ryder... died..." repeated Opal, slowly. All that was left of their friend was a soul coin, sitting inconspicuously in the soot and scorch marks from the fireball. Opal walked towards it. "Does anyone know if his culture has any burial rituals?" asked Xora. "We could lay him to rest the way he wold like." "Actually, what even happens when you die in Purgatory?" she continued. Opal picked up the leftover soul coin, and walked back to the group. Naro pointed at her outstretched hand, where Ryder's coin rested. "You turn into a coin. Not sure what happens to you after that." Opal wiped a tear away, and put the coin in a special pocket. "Lets just hold onto this for now." Rusticus frowned. He shrugged. "Well, shall we go?"
Thinking that the crystal, now no longer in its socket, had lowered some stairs, the party went back to the study. Rusticus, in the lead, found the door to the study was closed again. "Oh." He thought for a moment. "There's that door to the south too...?" asked Xora. A collective "OH RIGHT!" was shared among the party. They quickly made their way back out into the initial room of the floor. The door to the south, previously closed and locked, was now open. The area was an almost exact mirror of the north path, but covered in dust and cobwebs. Boxes and crates were in this area too, but empty, or smashed. Dirt covered the floor in random patches. The party explored, and found another locked door to the south, and no levers. They noticed another socket like the one to the north. Rusticus hustled across the rooms, and grabbed the crystal; it floated along the ground easily. He pushed it south, and dropped it into the new socket. Two loud THUNKS were heard. Naro and Rusticus saw that a secret passage had opened. They walked through it, ignoring the door to the south. Opal and Xora moved to the southern door, finding it to be open, featuring a large machine. It appeared to be another Processing Unit , but different from the others they had seen. This processing unit, dubbed Processing Unit Mk.??? , featured no soul coin slot. The spot to reach your bracelet and forearm into was lined with spikes. The spikes appeared to be hollow, with tubes reaching into the back. As Xora looked at the machine, Opal read a plaque next to it. Opals heart jumped, her eyebrows raised. "We can bring Ryder back with this!!" Xora looked at Opal in surprise. Opal continued reading. "Says here that... oh." her voice dropped. "It's quite a penalty someone would have to pay. It'll nearly kill whoever does it. And it'll overwrite their bracelet with a single use resurrection power." "I'll do it." Said Xora, firmly. "You don't even know the full extent of what happens to you!" Said Opal. Xora just shook her head. Xora walked forward, and thrust her arm into the slot. The hollow needles stabbed into her arm, and began draining her. Xora quickly passed out, but Opal caught her. Moments later, the machine let go of Xora, and her arm came free; a brilliant white light shone on her wrist. Her bracelet had been overwritten. Opal quickly healed Xora, and woke her up. Xora nodded at Opal, and stood up, putting her hand out. Opal fished around in her pocket, before grabbing Ryder's soul coin. She passed it over to Xora, who put it in her bracelet; the room was filled with an intense, blinding white light. As the light faded, Xora and Opal looked down. Laying in front of them, confused, was Ryder. "W-w-w-what happened! Where's the fire?" Stammered Ryder. Xora and Opal helped him up, and filled him in. Opal's hands glowed as she healed Xora and Ryder some more. "I died?? Again?" asked Ryder. He dusted himself off. "I'm a bit dizzy... I don't know if I can call Kir back right away. I need a moment."
Rusticus and Naro, meanwhile, found themselves in a small icy room, with a pedestal in the middle. The pedestal was stone, and appeared to feature a key hole. Not having a key, they looked around, and noticed a simple wooden door at the south end of the room. Rusticus wound up to kick the door down, when Naro noticed it was slightly ajar. Naro gently pushed on the door, just as Rusticus booted it open; the door slammed into the walls, open. They walked into the room, and found another pit. There was a 10' wide walkway around the pit, littered with some loose stones, some wall spikes, and some vines. Inside the pit was a large willow tree, with some sort of glowing red blob moving in circles around it. Rusticus looked down at it, and thought about the time he spent in nature. He looked over at Naro. "I got this! It's just some low level ooze." Rusticus jumped into the pit, alerting the ooze. The ooze rapidly slid over to Rusticus, and slammed itself upon the dwarf. Rusticus immediately felt his flesh melting, incredible pain was sent coursing through his body. He tried to free himself, but the ooze held him fast. As Rusticus struggled with the ooze, Naro paced back and forth. "Fuck fuck fuck I don't know what I can do!" Naro buffed himself with some more magical protection. Then the tree shook, and a fine yellow pollen was scattered across the room. Naro coughed, but resisted; as did Rusticus, despite being rapidly dissolved by the ooze around him. As Naro thought about how to save Rusticus, time once again paused.