The feast! Ivik comes in, and asks if he can join us. Not only do we answer that of course he can, but that we have potential trading partners at the table for him to meet. He is most pleased by this. We speak for a few minutes, and he asks us for news of our investigation. We inform him that we have a lead, and he asks if we’d meet with the council. Now. We agree and Ivik picks up the tab, asking the Varisians to please stay and enjoy the food and drink.
The council – they call themselves the Deadeye Council – consists of 18 members. That sounds big for such a small town, but it seems to work for them. The name fits due to them holding archers held in high regard (mostly due to their god), and now that I think about it, the town layout even looks like a bullseye.
You know – that tower we came across a while ago where Aakpesh got that metal mesh membrane? I wonder if those are mutagens that are related to what’s happening here…
Back to the task at hand – this council is no-nonsense, and immediately asks for update. 10LO gives them the overview, and I chime in about the matching parchment Preston found at Ilarris Zeleshi‘s tent. I read them the message in Androffan hidden in the clockwork bird, and it seems to confirm their fears. They seem to think that the Technic League‘s interest is maybe to weed out certain mutagens. Likely to weaponize them.
Since we’ve been of help, the Council comes clean – they suspect that there’s a tech enclave beneath the town. They’ve had a hand in maintaining the tech phobia to try to prevent people from exploring this area. Further, they fear that whatever is down there is somehow malevolent. They tell us of “Old Skelton” who, in the year 4707, was digging a well when he hit something. This shimmering gas emerged, killed him, and returned back down the well. This seems like an obvious starting point, so they give us directions to hiss farm, which is next to the badwater. We’re warned though: when they capped the well, they trapped the cloud with a glyph of warding. The unlock phrase: “never trust a fool”
We decide to investigate tomorrow, so we finish dining with the Varisians and head to bed.
The next morning, a guide leads us to the farm. He talks to us about the town, mostly about how pastoral/back to nature it is, tech-free. We arrive shortly at the farm, which is basically a small cottage and barn, both overgrown. There’s a large rock slab over an overgrown well – our entrypoint. I detect a faint glow of protection magic from underneath stone slab, Aakpesh says that the slab has been moved recently and points out scrapes. It had been moved aside enough for open access, but then closed almost all the way. We can’t tell if it was closed from the outside or the inside.
Aakpesh “loosenes it” for Preston, who pushes the slab, opening the well. Indeed, there is a warding glyph shimmering down below.
We all make our way down after saying the unlock phrase, with varying degrees of success, but we make it. At the bottom, we find ourselves standing in ankle-deep water. It’s incredibly dark, with no real room to move – perfect place for an ambush. I’m concentrating on detecting magic and/or poison as we go, and thankfully there’s none detected. We come to a dark, metal-walled room. There’s sparking electricity by a door and some machinery. In the next room, a cloud of glittering dust moves towards us.
*roll for initiative*
Aakpesh belches fire at it, but it seems ineffective. To me though, this cloud of glitter looks and acts like a bunch of tiny machines … na-no-tech? It’s also a safe bet that this is the same cloud that killed Old Skelton, so I tell everyone to use electrical attacks if they can. Vayu runs in to flank the cloud, and in short order Vayu, Preston, and Aakpesh all get fascinated by the cloud. 10Lo though quickly break Vayu and Aakpesh’s condition.
Aak burns a mythic point on a devastating smash, and Preston shoots it with an arrow. I hear murmurs in Androffan, just repeating “defective androids” over and over again. In Androffan I try to communicate with it, and try to send it a shutdown command. Nope, but may be using the wrong terms. I think hard back to screens I’ve seen in Torch and Scrapwall, and try again. The cloud winds down and almost shuts down, but doesn’t quite. The cloud whispers “override negated” – and I recognize that this nanite swarm is defective. Aakpesh, with the help of my Bullstrength spell, manages to damage it enough as it loses form and falls to the floor. Things seem well, until I hear “shutting down for self-repair” and I suggest we get moving, while telling 10LO what I’d learned. Maybe it’ll fix its own defects? Maybe it won’t. Still, would be nice to have control of it…
Aakpesh goes through door, and electricity arcs. He’s fine, but we hear it charge back up kinda slowly and then click, like a trap being re-set. Vayu checks out the panel beside the door and tells us it’s one of those proximity card readers. I cast Communal Protection From Energy (electricity) on us (84pts/70mins). Aakpesh triggers the door trap, and we run through. Preston and I are a bit unlucky though, and get zapped for 27pts of electrical damage.
Aakpesh shows us a video on a screen – it’s of doctors? There’s talk of a spell on the door, how what Master Zood seeks lies in this ship, and how Sahasho will help. And in the video is a swirl of glimmering dust.
Session Date: 05/17/2017, Prior Journal XP: 216, Session XP: 1,818 (Russell gets 909 for last sess)
Title Source: Ween – Puffy Cloud (Puffi Claude)