We meet up with and reveal our alliance with Sevroth Slaid of the Steelhawks in public. I suggest that we “deputize” her – after all, both nature and power abhor a vacuum. Sevroth has all the intel and contacts to run Scrapwall as a profitable enterprise. She has ears everywhere. Aakpesh offer her the job, and for the briefest flash she is flabbergasted. She accepts.
There’s brief talk of a cut / profit-sharing. I’m not very interested in this (but certainly appreciate what it can mean for us), but when dealt with, I bring up one more item: there is to be a peace between the Steelhawks and our other allies, the ratfolk. Also, talk of a statue of Aakpesh? It seems a bit mad, but if it serves as a reminder that those who brought down the Lords of Rust are still involved, there might be something to it.
We head to Dinvaya’s, since it was because of her that we came here in the first place. When we arrive, we’re a bit surprised to see it wide open. She has a bag packed, and a new robot standing sentry. We call out to her, and she basically replies with “Sooo, when do we leave?” Her work here is done, and she’s ready to return to Torch.
With Dinvaya ready, 10LO goes to bring one more with us: the juvenile manticore. He might be unruly, but 10LO seems to have grown attached to it. It’s young and certainly could be considered weak. Perhaps even considered to be prey. I’m leery, but there is something alluring about having a manticore on our side.
On the way back to Torch, we spend a good bit of time chatting with Dinvaya. She was pretty helpful with information in Scrapwall, and is again here. She tells of a sort of mysterious entity named Casandalee. She doesn’t know much about, but they are potentially a bigger threat than Hellion. Apparently we can learn more at a nearby-ish town of Iadenveigh.
We finally arrive at Torch, and Val Baine (Khonnir‘s daughter) is the first to see us, and runs up to us – she didn’t think we’d be back. Her eyes get wide with excitement at the sight of Dinvaya, and insists that we see Khonnir immediately. We get there, and Dinvaya walks in first. Khonnir, shocked, drops his hammer at the forge. They embrace, and have a quiet conversation. After a moment, he says this calls for celebration.
We go to the bar, and throw down. Khonnir ask for our tale, and 10LO delivers. The whole bar is nothing short of enraptured. Later, Khonnir tells us a story, about how he and Val ended up in torch. Khonnir was a low-level agent of The Technic League. He had joined before realizing they were evil, but by the time he had figured it out, it was too late. One day, he realized an associate named Ghartone was going sacrifice an orphan girl to make an alchemical homonculus. Khonnir had no choice – he snatched Val, fled and changed their appearances, and ended up in Torch. Before leaving though, he and Ghartone fought. Khonnir believed him to be dead when he left him, but Ghartone didn’t quite bleed out. The Technic League and especially Ghartone are after them.
Khonnir also talks about Iadenveigh, and how it is almost the opposite of Scrapwall. It reminds him of a book he read as a child about a village of quite small people, who lived in a place called The Shire. Very pastoral, very verdant.
The next morning we head out to Iadenveigh, and Dinvaya stays behind. Numeria is kind of a technogarbage wasteland, but we make our way without incident and camp. Aakpesh puts on his helmet alarm system device, and I fall asleep as 10LO plays a lullaby for the manticore. Overnight, heavy rain drops wake me. It’s just regular old rain, and frankly it doesn’t surprise us that a storm is rolling in – the area looks to be overdue for rain. We contemplate shelter under our timeworn liferaft, but the “remaining uses” indicator only shows 3. Might as well save that for a more dire need. With nothing wrong just increasingly damp, I go back to sleep.
I’m not sure how much later, but Aakpesh starts yelling and wakes us up to the sounds of deep growls. In a flash of lightning, we see three large bear shaped creatures. They look like Owlbears … but wrong. Something is definitely wrong with them. They move oddly – shamble as much as walk. And the silhouette of the one in the front is all wrong. It seems to have three arms?
One bites me, but thanks to my new +2 Ring of Protection, the beak just harmlessly bounces off me. I cast Bull’s Strength on Aakpesh, and he just tears into it – killing it with three hits in just under six seconds. The party do damage to the other two owlbears who quickly turn to escape through the mud. The danger no longer a factor to me, I got back to bed, telling Aakpesh to have fun.
Looking at corpses later, they seems to have been affected by some sort of mutagen. They’re covered in these cancerous-looking growths, have too many claws, and some digits don’t have right amount of joints. In a way, I feel bad for these horrid-looking creatures. This is not natural, and I get the feeling that this didn’t so much happen to them as much as it was done to them.
On our way, Preston informs us of Iadenveigh’s oddly legendarily productive farmers. This is an oddly green land. While walking along the path, we see a tree stump with an impaled golden robot. It’s obviously a warning, as confirmed by some creepy local kid.
We come to the building. It’s a combination tavern, hall, etc. Nobody even really looks up when we walk in, and meet the barmaid, Gwenale. She’s a big strong woman, and says that we need to talk with Redfang regarding lodging. Aakpesh winks at her, and she winks back. Except, it’s not so much as a wink, but more like a a tic.
Redfang is quite a sizeable human, with red hair and beard, dressed as a ranger does. He does have a bit of a haunted look to him, though. As soon as he speaks, it’s clear from where he gets his name – his teeth are a bright, bright red. We chat, and like others before him, his disdain for robots is clear. He says that they’re unnatural, they cause mutations. He says that he has red teeth because he was dared to drink what was thought to be contaminated water. Well, it apparently was, and that’s how his teeth got to be that way. I don’t think that’s quite how robots work, but there may be something to the contamination idea – those owlbears may have been exposed to the same mutagen. 10LO talks about oddness of the town – the oasis in the desert of sorts. Redtooth says that they’re blessed by the god Erastil. His holy symbol is elk antlers turned into a bow – something we saw all along the outer wall.
Date: 04/20/17 ( I was playing in London! ) Prior Journal(s) XP: ??? Sess XP: 1,200
Title: Adele – Right as Rain