February 22nd:

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February 22nd:

Post by Archengeia on Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:03 am

The party, sans Rory of course, awoke feeling better and refreshed.

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Re: February 22nd:

Post by Archengeia on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:04 am

Sethos managed to also get an automated, refilling pipe using what the Tuskers and Humans called replication technology. The party, mostly Gwydo, also got a bit of info on how this works; apparently they had raided the Sanctum centuries ago and discovered the Scions had been working on an infinitely replenishable energy resource they called Core Energy. The Tuskers and Humans learned to harness this and use it to power their entire society, for the amount of energy even a small Core can produce is monumental.

The party leaves with a small platoon of soldiers in yet another helicarrier towards the imprisonment facility where they are told Fierneceal has only recently awoken. When they arrive, shortly, all the soldiers go stiff-backed and blank-faced. Fierneceal walks on board, alone, and looking rather agitated. After a bit of explanation they learn she had been awoken by soldiers with weapons, of a strange ranged variety, who were ready to shoot her if she so much as blinked wrong. She decided hell with this, she was on a deadline and had a rather bad few days, mind controlled the lot of them (and the troops on the helicarrier) and just decided to move on. The party convinced her to return to her prison, be captured (and knocked unconscious) normally, and to proceed with the possibility of having these people as allies. She did so.

On approach they detected some kind of incredibly crude construct, like something made by a child, with poor blocks of metal clunked together and hardly the ability to animate. The party warned the troops that this was a Titanium Golem, and to be careful, so the soldiers approached with some caution even though they were convinced it was merely a child's toy. They decided to move closer, at which point it turned suddenly and loosed a single bolt of red and black lightning which annihilated a huge swath of the troops. They were vaporized, instantly, leaving not even ash or blood. The fight that ensued was incredibly brutal and quick, resulting in the loss of 14 of the Human soldiers and further damage when the construct self-destructed. The group quickly finds out that all their Core Energy has been shut off, so the Helicarrier does not work, nor do their weapons (nor Sethos' pipe).

The Humans decide to stay outside in defensive formation and wait for reinforcements to come after no-contact, while the party heads inside.

(cont.)

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Re: February 22nd:

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:30 pm

The party entered the Sanctum and immediately found what would soon become the hallmarks of Gaerlan's defacement; crude, brutish re-Weaving of the facility walls, floor, and ceilings to craft bizarre traps, challenges, and obstacles while constantly telling the party of his message. The word 'slave' repeated over and over, or insistence that only by sacrifice can one move forward, and the words "This world must burn" were just a few of the messages the party found.

The party found a room that appeared to be out in the open, despite obvious reasoning to the contrary, with lush tall grass and a clear violet sky. Anytime Fierneceal tried to traverse the tall grass, even when being carried by another, strange stick-creature aberrations lunged out of them to attack her... though only she could see them, all could see the wounds they inflicted upon her. The party tried cutting the grass, and was successful in part, but doing so put a horrible drain on their minds with feelings of malevolence and impurity. Within a hut nearby they found a small wand like object with the top shaped like a roaring flame, upon a dais with "This world must burn" stated upon it. The party took the wand, but never used it, cleverly using the hut and a rope to reach the bridge without trodding upon any more of the grass.

In the next area, to their shock and hilarity, they found hundreds of small rabbits. Amused, they found another small hut similar to the previous one nearby, as well as a nearby cliff-face. Rory quickly discovered, to his dismay, that the bunnies had been enchanted in some way to cause damage to those who approach them, which would make the several hundred of them deadly if they were to swarm or otherwise try to navigate the room. Snarg, meanwhile, found an enchanted rune on a plate of metal in the hut which, when he got near it, leapt into his hands and activated. Wanting to be rid of it, he placed it on the ground to flee but it went off, killing the rabbits one by one, slowly, over the course of several minutes. Near the rune had been a message: "Remember that even the innocent must die."

Shortly thereafter the party navigated several tricky platforms and chasms to reach a point where they had to make a choice; to follow 'their greed', as a sign pointed out, or to otherwise go forward. As it happened, Araiguna chose the non-greed path, which closed off the greed path as the pit floor opened up and thousands of gold coins fell within. In the path they did choose, they found themselves facing a room filled with many Magma Golems, only very small, barely a couple feet in height each. The party tried many things to bypass this room, and discovered to their dismay they were trapped; the only way to proceed was forward, the path behind them was cut off. After some effort they managed to get Snarg towards a nearby room just past the Magma Golems, along with Kolson, and discovered a beautifully crafted model of a vast, expansive city along with a crude rolling boulder with spikes on it and the basic instruction to destroy it. The party experimented with this and discovered they would 'kill' a Magma Golem for each segment of the city they destroyed, but to their shock the Magma Golem's 'corpse' was a perfectly ordinary looking Human, bleeding out on the ground.

Deciding not to play Gaerlan's games, the party discovered that the Golems would follow whoever was the healthiest, and began playing a form of ping pong with Snarg and Gwydo to allow Kolson to reach the far door and attempt to open it manually. In the process, Sethos lit his pipe, which caused all of them to zoom straight in on him, causing him to flee. All the Golems still could not leave the room, but huddled right up on the door, not resetting, arms out-stretched towards Sethos with magma dripping on the ground with quiet echos as Kolson did his work. At last they made their way through and the party rushed into the next room.

The next room was vast, clearly made by the original Scions and not Gaerlan, and as soon as they were all inside it slammed shut on them and began a testing protocol. The fight was fierce and brutal as the facility sent first a liquid Pyreal Golem, then a massive spiked Titanium Golem, and then finally both along with a Vapor Golem after the group. After their costly victory, they determined that the creatures were there to test very specific 'soul augmentations' the Scions had been developing at the behest of a benefactor, unnamed, to fight an enemy, also unnamed.

Undaunted, the party continued forward and, after some shenanigans with the teleportation pad, discovered how the teleporters worked: One must physically come into contact with a pad to use it, and upon doing so one can teleport to any pad one has on one's own 'network'. It's on a per-person basis, so for example Fierneceal could teleport to several locations, including one she's never been to before. As a result of this the party deduced that the pad had been specifically designed to teleport whoever used it next to the second facility, otherwise they would never have been able to advance forward.

The second facility was much larger, though the party only saw a miniscule portion of it; they had the choice of four doors, and choose to go towards the one marked "Ley Line Apparatus" which sealed the door behind them. They endured a rather large room with multiple puzzles and challenges for the group, Araiguna nearly screwing everything up multiple times as he charged forward, leaving the party wishing he had stayed behind with Zeiss. By the end they had discovered a new ring for Sethos, but also fell deep into a pitch-black pit. At the base, as the light slowly entered, they saw before them a Tusker that was... wrong.

He stood medium sized, about 50' tall, and had deep violet fur, and no eyes; merely empty sockets. Worse, his entire body under the fur was covered in strange, lightning runes that glowed violet. The battle was intense, and the party came within inches of being destroyed as the Tusker shaped into a Human, and then split into both at once, but eventually they defeated it, and it 'melted' into a viscous purple material that formed the door out of the room.

During these last fights, Fierneceal manifested hitherto unknown powers, including the ability to summon a massive axe of earth, twin blades of fire, and to transform herself into a swirling tornado of flora which healed those within it. She had also, somehow, lost her Psionic powers, and both of these events left her deeply troubled. No one was entirely certain when the change occurred, but the party had other things on their minds.

Past the Tusker's room was a hallway designed to test the group's agility, speed, and willingness to leave behind comrades. Fortunately they found a way across with only some effort, and entered a strange room.

It had clearly once been smaller, but the walls had been 'shoved' outwards, creating a larger central area that was crude rock and stone. There were 8 statues of Scions lining the west and east walls, one of which they recognized as a statue of Gaerlan, though to their surprise he was not the tallest statue; another, bald man with a strong chin was. Four of the statues, including Gaerlan, were clearly larger and better carved, and had been manually crafted, not Woven, out of solid Pyreal, which implied incredible skill and time devoted to them. The names listed for the four larger statues were all within the book Snarg still had from before.

Snarg got behind the Gaerlan statue to pose as he was, either in mockery or emulation, but either way it triggered the eruption of a truly rare sight; a solid Fire Elemental materialized in the middle of the room, and attacked them.

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Re: February 22nd:

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:53 pm

The battle with the Fire Elemental was brief, but intense. Sethos nearly got De-Woven, a process that should be theoretically impossible, and Javan's Elemental Affinity was messed with briefly as a side effect of his new spear, and while the group tried to recover they discovered that Gaerlan had completely redone the structure of the Sanctum, such that the room they were in lead via portal twisting directly into the Ley Line Apparatus Room, hidden by fake walls which the party broke out in order to investigate.

The room itself was in shambles; debris everywhere, and after some brief investigation they realized that what had happened was, instead of individually murdering each person one by one as Gaerlan had in the previous two Sanctums (which said something about his character), he had unleashed some type of powerful spell that had obliterated most of the room, burning all the Scions within to ash, leaving little behind.

With little other choice the group decided to use the Teleporter Pad nearby, but investigating it they found something odd. It was set to teleport them directly to the fourth island, Aerlinthe Lassel... which Fierneceal was very hesitant to go through, due to her knowledge of a Shadow having been there centuries ago (which she shared with Snarg and Gwydo, the knowledge of which shook both of them deeply). However, after even further investigation, they determined that Gaerlan's haste (which has been evident this entire time, that he has been in a hurry for some reason) accidentally tripped a safety feature in the pad that he was possibly unaware of, which allowed entrance into a location known only as Third Facility. Given the Scion's tendency to give long, flowery, pointless names to their locations on the teleporters, the fact that it had such a blank and simple name was curious to the party. After some work by several members, they managed to change its destination to the Third Facility.

The Third Facility was dim, dank, and smelled absolutely horrible. There were massive, deadly looking cannons (like the types that might be on military Airships) that were trying to power up to destroy them, but lacked the energy to do so. The group found out quickly that most of this facility was using a precursor to Core Energy to power itself, and was very low on energy... which also told the group how early in production this Third Facility had been built, probably the first one they constructed. Given that they weren't certain where it was, it was possible they weren't even on Aphus Lassel (or any of the Lassels) still.

Herein they discovered a wealth of information, summarized thusly: Apparently whoever had built this place had done so at the behest of someone named His Eternal Splendor. This individual had agents spread throughout the Scions who had fled Auburean and built the Lassels, and has pushed for them to develop brand new innovations in technology and magic to directly augment the souls of individuals in order to specifically combat a single foe: Gaerlan. They had people working on all four Lassels attempting to develop these weapons, initially experimenting only on 'lesser races' (in other words, any non-Scion) but at His Eternal Splendor's insistence, they had begun experimentation on Scions as well. These experiments were horrifying to say the least, and the failed results abominable. Simply viewing the logs about these was disgusting to those who did.

Mere weeks before the Cataclysm, or as the party had begun to refer to it as, Vanish Day, they believed they had perfected the process in the short term, successfully augmenting the souls of Scions in four distinct ways: To protect against De-Weaving, to withstand enormous amounts of Fire Elemental damage, to penetrate magical defenses, and to withstand damage in general but to a lesser degree.

Meanwhile, the Tusker made out of Rory's soul (dubbed: Thog) had finally been transformed back into Rory, and Rory and Fierneceal held an extensive argument about the situation, including the fact that she was hesitant to kill Thog in order to have Rory no longer have the condition, whereas Rory insisted that she do so as the earliest opportunity, once they could get back to the Anetheron Fortress. This remained unresolved, for now.

Kolson, with some work in the filthy room, managed to learn how exactly to perform the procedure with the equipment on hand, and augmented Javan's soul to protect him from De-Weaving. There was a nearby machine designed to emulate Gaerlan's De-Weaving power (a feat itself that took years, apparently, and they aren't positive they succeeded) and Javan, after great soul searching, stood in the machine and let the party push the button. Nothing happened of course, because the Third Facility had little to know power, as established earlier. Kolson then augmented Gwydo with the fire resistance and they learned a few facts; first, it worked quite well, but had to be activated. Second, it only lasted for one hit at a time, as he found out when Fierneceal hit him a second time, doing great damage.

They realized a few facts in short order. First, all this equipment was designed to be mobile, so they could transport it elsewhere from this horrible place, where many things could go wrong at any moment. Second, they had several options on where to go, thanks to Fierneceal: They could go back to Vesayen Lassel, to Marae Lassel, to the Garden Hub, or towards Aerlinthe Lassel.


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Re: February 22nd:

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:43 pm

After a great deal of consideration the party decided to head towards the Garden Hub and spent four hours hurriedly moving the equipment into the Garden. The Garden itself was somewhat different from when Fierneceal had been here last. The sun was once again shining high in the sky, and while the grass was still flicked with gold here and there, the massive throne was gone. The piles of G Coins remained, covering the flowers of the four islands, which Araiguna immediately ran around picking all of them up explaining "I'm rich I'm rich!"

On the final trip, Snarg, Gwydo, and Rory encountered an elite squad of a Human and two Tuskers in Aetherite armor who had ended up there via the FIRST teleporter, up at the surface. After some discussion with them, they let the Tuskers take a few pieces of equipment (which may or may not have been vital) and returned. Fierneceal pointed out that they should scout out the Vesayen Lassel facilities, see what they could see, as the Tumerok could theoretically show up in the Garden at any moment... or Gaerlan. A small scouting party entered the research facility on Vesayen Lassel, intending to access the scanning device Mandokir had built in order to determine the state of the island, and encountered a crude looking Titanium, stationary Golem guarding the room that nearly killed Snarg. The group hastily retreated and, realizing they had theoretically no time to decide where and what they were doing, chose to abandon the Garden and flee back to the Tuskers. The entire group teleported to Third Facility, and Snarg and Araiguna used the teleporter to head back up to the first area, at the surface of Aphus Lassel.

What they found surprised them. The entire facility was in pieces and rubble, crudely trying to rebuild itself but failing, and the actual teleporter was several dozen feet in the air as part of the floor itself had been blown apart and flung some distance, jutting out of the ground at an odd angle. Snarg and Araiguna tumbled down and shortly thereafter saw the source of the problem. Crude, brutal looking Titanium Golems, all of the same style and make that they'd been encountering, were marching by the area on a northward direction; in the direction of the Tusker settlements. The party was reasonably certain based on all they'd seen that these were the Tumerok forces. As Gwydo and Rory arrived (and fell), they realized very quickly they needed to beat a hasty retreat, and hurried their way back UP to the teleport pad to get out of here. On the way Araiguna managed to get the attention of several small flying varieties of the Golems, which then nearly killed Snarg on his way out.

With seemingly no other options the party teleported to Marae Lassel but, somewhere in the confusion of the teleporting, Hanuel vanished completely, along with Dara. No one was entirely certain when or why it happened, but had little time to investigate given the immediacy of the circumstances. Even in Third Facility the ground was shaking, and they feared it would be blown to pieces just as the upper one had, and quickly decided to teleport to their last refuge.

Marae Lassel was blissfully calm, and Snarg decided to go scouting while the party tried to recuperate. It is also worth noting that both Kolson and Javan were effectively braindead as Fierneceal had attempted to share the Scionic language knowledge with them, so most of the group stayed behind to watch over them.

Snarg, who at this point was probably getting dulled by the surprises, encountered a perfectly ordinary Goblin standing there in the hallways of the Great Library of the Marae Facility. The Goblin looked up and said, as if expecting to see him, "Why ain't you at the south wing?!" in Undercommon.

Snarg, thinking on his feet, immediately acquiesced and headed southwards, pretending he knew what was going on. He learned several things on his way; first a group called the Sun was who was in charge of these fellows, lead by someone known as the Boss who they all had a degree of fear of. Second, the Goblins had been shared the Scionic 'language' by... someone. Thirdly, the Goblins present were of the Deathtouch Clan, which Snarg recognized as "Gavin" who he'd seen in Holtburg was of that Clan. Fourthly, they had a Centaur researcher here studying the ruins, as well as a Mite. And finally, they were all here studying the Scionic Sanctum in an effort to learn everything and anything they could about it. Finally, all the Gnolls present were of the Wildpaw Clan, but not from Snarg's Tribe. There were also Kobolds, Mosswarts, and the occasional Drudge present.

Snarg, by sheer chance, stumbled upon a Knowledge Sphere which contained the learned information the Scions had used to perfect their farming technology which they'd used to provide food for an entire people off a single island. Snarg, Gwydo, and Fierneceal (who were all mind linked at this point) instantly realized that this information could, literally, end world hunger forever, and getting it was a top priority. Snarg, amusingly, decided to simply pick it up and walk out with it like the other Gnolls present would occasionally do. He encountered a problem in the form of another Goblin guarding the way back, but thanks to some mind manipulation was able to make his way back to the group.

The group discussed their options and realized, almost amusingly, that the Exit Materia they've had for some time was finally an option as their group was now small enough to leave no one behind. Hoping for the best, they cast it.

They ended up in the desert... again. After some observation they realized they were actually on the southern border of Naverre, a few days travel from the Air Temple, and within visual distance of Thramada, a tourist town that catered to the rich, elite, and aristocracy from both Osteth, Sho, and Naverre. It was very fancifully built, almost entirely with magic instead of standard architecture, reaching in layers up into the sky with additional buildings and walkways further up into the air. The group also realized the close proximity to the Air Ley Line probably assisted in such construction.

The inn was expensive, but they used some of their G Coins to pay for it, and the rooms were literally the most luxurious, fancy, comfortable rooms they've ever seen in their lives. The temperature, sound, humidity, lighting, and design morphed to whatever they wanted. In the cases of Javan and Kolson, simply upon entering the rooms instantly morphed into something SO comfortable they literally fell over and passed out, but the carpets picked them up and moved them up onto the bed so they could rest easy. Araiguna took full advantage of the room and room service, as did a couple of others, but Rory headed out to town (it was, they discovered finally, about night time, still on the same day) and tried to have one of his G Coins analyzed. The mere act of trying to identify it mentally traumatized the Yellow Mage analyzing it, which deeply worried Rory, who headed back to his room and set it to look similar to a view of the coast like his home town would see, and considered his options.

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