Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Iron Gods - Fires of Creation 5

Continuing with our Iron Gods campaign, as always, there will be spoilers.

The next day, the company headed out to Garmen Ulreth's warehouse to confront him on his activities. They decided to use the direct approach, walking right up to the door and knocking. One of Ulreth's men answered the door, but refused to allow them in and told them to go away. Smangtooth took umbrage at that and proceeded to smash in the door. This led to a brief battle between the group and Ulreth and his men. Ulreth proved to be little challenge. The party then searched the building, uncovering the item they sought. It wasn't a magic item at all, rather it was a power relay, taking energy from a source somewhere inside Black Hill, amplifying it and transmitting it to a location somewhere off to the northeast. Further examination revealed the destination to be Scrapwall, a lawless region several days travel from Torch. Targus decided to shut down the power relay, assuming this would be necessary to restart the forge.

The company then headed back to the caves. With the coupling for the elevator repaired, they were able to activate it. Only one destination was available, the engineering deck, so that is where they went. The encountered a group of orcs and ratfolk who battled hard, but ultimately proved little threat to the group. Moving on, they came to a large domed chamber. A machine with a large holographic projection showing the habitat section of the ship shared the room with some bizarre statue of an upraised claw made of broken bits of technology. The statue has the appearance of a crudely-built altar to some unknown deity. As they examined the room, a hulking gargoyle entered. The gargoyle was covered in bits of broken technology. Despite its fearsome appearance, the gargoyle was defeated easily. The reactor core and a final confrontation awaited beyond a pair of immense black metal doors.

At the heart of the room was two huge cylinders pulsing with violet light. Hovering around them was a collector robot which moved down to attack, while the purple-haired woman fired some sort of crude laser pistol from a platform above. A tough battle followed. The purple-haired woman was revealed to be an android and a cleric. As she died, she called out to a god she called Hellion.

With the defeat of the android cleric, the company was able to disable the power transmitter that was feeding energy to the relay in Ulreth's warehouse. This re-engaged a fail-safe venting system that provided the fire to the forge. Torch was saved...for now.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Iron Gods - Fires of Creation 4

We proceed with the next chapter of our Iron Gods campaign, spoilers ahead.

It took some effort getting Khonnir Baine and Sanvil Trett back up to the surface, but eventually they managed. The Brigh cleric, Joram Kyte, examined Baine. With healing magic, he was able to cure Baine's wounds and temporarily recover his faculties, but some sort of infection continued to ravage his body and mind. The infection resisted Kyte's magic, suggesting it was some sort of nanite disease requiring a technological cure. Thinking back over their time in the ship, the party recalled that each of the passageways into the habitat dome had a small room with some sort of spray apparatus, which could have been a decontamination chamber.

The next day, with Joram's help, they got Khonnir into sufficiently good shape to make the journey back into the caves. They took him to the room which, they hoped, would heal him. Targus and Smangtooth were able to get the machine working and Khonnir was sprayed. They promptly returned to the surface to wait and see if the nanite infection was removed.

Meanwhile, Sanvil Trett had regained consciousness and was willing to talk in exchange for leniency. He indicated that he had once worked for the Technic League, but had fallen into disfavour and was hoping to find something here in Torch that he could present to his former employers to get him back in their good graces. He said before the company had come along and started bringing technological artifacts out of the caves, he had actually been more interested in Garmen Ulreth, a prominent local businessman and owner of Silverdisk Hall, a gambling house. Trett mentioned that he had been spying on Ulreth and overheard mention of a new business partner and the arrival of a valuable magic item which would be stored in his warehouse until a buyer could be arranged. Trett was fairly certain whatever Ulreth was up to had something to do with the extinguishing of the torch.

That night, as he slept in preparation for the next day and a confrontation with Garmen Ulreth, Targus had a vivid dream. Great battles fought on distant worlds, flying ships, titanic war machines, powerful magic and advanced technology, men in armour fighting horrific monsters and hatred of an ancient enemy known simply as the Dominion of the Black. Targus snapped awake and instinctively reached for his sword. The strange black blade he had carried for years, indeed, he could not clearly recall a time when he did not have it, nor could he recall where he got it. The sword now displayed a string of dimly-glowing red runes along the whole length of the blade. Targus could sense its consciousness at the edge of his own. Two had become one.


Iron Gods - Fires of Creation 3

Continuing with our Iron Gods campaign, as before, there are spoilers ahead.

The death of Edvin was a grievous blow to the party. They mourned his passing, but were gladdened that he had joined the Lady of Graves in the afterlife. Fact informed the group that he had personal obligations to attend to and would meet up with them at a later date. This combined with the loss of Edvin left the company dangerously short of men. So they turned to a woman...sort of. During their time in Torch, the party had met many of the locals including an orcish giantess named Smangtooth. Though orcs are generally viewed poorly in these parts, Smangtooth was more than capable of discouraging the local thugs and had kept out of trouble in town long enough to earn a grudging amount of acceptance. Her fighting prowess and surprising degree of expertise in technology made her highly valued by the company and she was invited to join.

Descending once again into the caves of Black Hill, the party proceeded to the one remaining door they had not yet entered. They came into a large room with a desk and some glowing panels and patches of mould. More importantly, a dried blood stain covered the floor near a set of double doors. After looting the room of everything of value, they followed the trail of blood. Eventually, the came to some sort of lab containing many rock and soil samples. Featured prominently in the room was a humming machine containing a flickering sphere of reddish-brown mud. As the company examined the device, a hideous creature emerged from the shadows.

Augusto, having some learning of such things, identified it as an alien horror from a distant world called a cerebric fungus. Luck smiled upon the company as they did not succumb to the weird mind-altering powers of the creature and they were able to kill it without loss of life.

With a sense that they were close to uncovering the fate of Khonnir Baine, the party pressed on. Following the blood trail, they eventually came upon a chamber that may have once served as a hospital of some sort, but had recently seen a great deal of violence as blood splatters could seen everywhere. A medical robot and a collector robot occupied the room. 

In violation of their standard operational protocols, the two robots attacked with great ferocity. By this point, the party had some experience fighting robots. They eventually succeeded in destroying the aggressive robots. With a moment to catch their breath, they could hear muffled screams. The noise came from a large metal pod in one end of the room. Opening it up, they found Khonnir Baine, alive, but badly wounded and clearly delirious. They administered to him as best they could, but he clearly needed more healing magic than they could provide. They decided to check out the remaining parts of the ship in case some useful medical technology might be found. During their exploration, they encountered a group of vegepygmies, the spawn of the unfortunate party of Brigh worshippers who made up the fourth expedition. They had apparently ran afoul of some russet mould, probably mutated by the weird fluids that oozed and pooled in parts of the ship.

They also came upon a small chamber which appeared to be a transport device of some sort. The device did not work, but after some study and a few nasty electrical shocks, Nils was able to remove a piece of equipment that needed to be repaired to return function to the device. He figured Baine could probably repair the part once he was returned to health.

Having found nothing that could cure Khonnir Baine of whatever it was that ailed him, the party headed out. As they passed through the large cavern where the skulks once lived, they were set upon by a group of men with swords and crossbows. The leader of the brigands was a hooded figure of some prowess with both sword and spell. The battle was hard-fought, and the struggle between Smangtooth and the bandit leader was particularly ferocious. In the end, the company was victorious, though all were bloodied. The bandit leader lay on the ground, bleeding, but not yet dead. Nils moved to attend to the villain in order to keep him alive for questioning and trial. Pulling back the hood, the bandit leader was revealed to be Sanvil Trett, a local technology merchant the party had met a few days before. He had offered his services if the party wished to identify or sell technological items they found. Hopefully, he would have some useful information to barter in exchange for his life.


Saturday, August 06, 2016

Iron Gods - Fires of Creation 2

We continue with our Iron Gods campaign. As always, there will be spoilers.

Upon returning to the town, Targus, Edvin, Grendal and Augusto met up with Nils, who had just arrived in Torch. At some point, Nils had joined up with a traveling companion, a strange fellow named Fact. He is an alchemist with elaborate tattoos over his body.

After healing and rest, the party was ready to return to the Black Hill caves. The leader of the skulks had mentioned a purple-haired woman who had passed through the caves a couple of weeks ago and had continued on through the gremlin warren. The party returned to the warren and found a large door made of glaucite, a strange alloy common to the ancient ruins throughout Numeria. Despite their best efforts, the party was unable to open the door. Returning to the skulk chamber, they were directed to another glaucite door which was easier to breach. Passing through, they entered a very different sort of passage. The walls were glaucite, rather than natural stone. They passed through a series of metal doors and small rooms and fought a brief battle with an automaton like the one Khonnir Baine brought back from his first expedition.

Eventually, the party came to a large chamber with natural stone walls, a sandy floor and a glaucite domed ceiling. It appeared to be some artificial structure made to appear natural. The sand floor revealed tracks which Nils was able to follow. As they crossed the open terrain, they were beset by a group of four-armed skeletons. The party handled the skeletons with little difficulty. Feeling confident, they continued on until they came to a cave on the other side of the chamber. There was illumination in the cave entrance, but they could not immediately locate the source. After some searching, they determined that there was a glaucite door in the back of the cave that was obscured by an illusionary wall. The door was slightly ajar and there was illumination inside. Continuing on, the party came to a room with a lot of equipment, flashing lights, buttons and switches. They spent a considerable amount of time attempting to understand everything they saw. Eventually they were able to make some sense of it and realized it was a control centre for the structure. With some further experimentation, they were able to power up the habitat. The ceiling of the large chamber lit up, revealing an alien sky. Also, many of the de-powered door locks became active. The party then continued on to another chamber and it was there that fate dealt a cruel blow. Inside the room was a juju zombie, a potent foe to be sure. Like the skeletons before, it had four arms and it wielded two swords. A long and deadly battle followed. The juju zombie proved very difficult to fight. It enjoyed immunity to many magical attacks and even weapons seemed to do less damage than one would expect. Men would fall, the party would retreat. They would advance to rescue fallen comrades, only to see others fall. Eventually, Augusto and Edvin were the only ones left standing and they came up with a desperate plan. They had lured the juju zombie out of the room and they planned to run past it and seal the door behind them, leaving the monster outside while they recovered inside. Augusto went first. The juju zombie swung one of its swords, but Augusto was able to dodge successfully. Edvin then ran through, hoping the juju zombie would be unable to recover in time to take a second attack. Sadly, the juju zombie was not caught off guard. It swung low and caught Edvin through the chest. He went down, bleeding badly. With great regret, Augusto was forced to slam the door shut and seal it tight, leaving Edvin to his fate.

The party locked themselves in for a few days. As various party members recovered, they were able to administer aid to the rest. When they were all once again in fighting shape, they emerged. Edvin's remains lay where he fell. They gathered his body and headed back to the caves. As they walked through the now illuminated habitat, they encountered the juju zombie once again along with the reformed skeletons they had fought earlier. The juju zombie was still damaged from the previous battle and they were better prepared. Vengeance was swift and merciless. The undead horrors were put to rest for good. With sadness, they headed back to Torch.