Sunday, October 2, 2016

Why Oh Why

Elsewhere, something happens.

In a dim and stony chamber, one Jagharun Jahard awakens on one of five stone slabs in a mysterious room. There are tables of clay jars and trash to one side, a stone archway with a severed forearm to another, a padlocked wooden door to another, and two sleeping figures beside him. First thing the Cleric does is draw an eye in the dust, to sanctify his deity.

He takes a mace from the severed forearm and tries to smash the wooden door's padlock, fails, then goes to wake up the other people in the room. The first, a large man with long hair named Ragnar Wraithraiser, wakes up and immediately starts screaming at Jagharun to see if he knows what's going on. The second, a tiny cloaked woman named Luna Voile Grace, is confused by basically everything while she searches for useful tools on the tables of junk. She finds a scalpel and some suturing supplies.

Ragnar takes the initiative—and Jagharun's mace—and successfully smashes the door open. Previously there had been some wet, dragging sounds from behind said door and the thing making them was finally revealed: a fucked up dog-human chimera too thin to stand, with hands and no feet and no eyes, crawling around. Ragnar stomps on its skull to kill it. Luna is alarmed. Jagharun smashes some pots in frustration, and finds each are filled with a honey-mixed-with-sweat-smelling concoction.

They go into the next space, a hallway with scarred and rotting floorboards. Ragnar clumsily steps through a weak spot in the floor and shows that the hallway is suspended above an abyss; fortunately he climbs back up. The other two consider jumping the gap before just shimmying on some support beams.

They come across a locked door, this time without an obvious padlock, and Jagharun kicks it in so effectively it comes right off the hinges in one piece. Ragnar then claims the door as his own.

Inside is a poorly-lit, L-shaped space. The floor is absolutely covered in crunching solid things, ankle-deep. Luna examines one: it turns out to be a fucked up combination of grasshopper, mantis, and spider with a distorted human face. All of them are long-dead and dried to the core. Along the walls of the room are lanterns, the whole party gets one while Luna and Ragnar go closer to a set of six long desks and six matching metal cylinders attached to the ceiling. Jagharun instead goes to the room's darker part and hears gentle, soft breathing.

The party reconvenes behind the Cleric as Ragnar throws a chair towards the breathing's source; this only causes said source to drift closer. It turns out to be a person, or at least a person at first: their neck and head are set too high on their shoulders, which are too broad, and their chest is too swollen, and their arms hang too low and too thin. The floating human skin drifts around, and Ragnar borrows the mace once again to smash it. It tears and bursts and coveres Ragnar and Luna in honey-with-sweat-smelling fog.

Further into that corner of the lab reveals a circular frame would, if fastened, have a person stand with arms outstretched in a Y-shape.

Luna wonders what the fuck Ragnar is doing. Jagharun plays spin-the-mace to determine with new doorway they should collectively go into; it turns out that of the two he selects a locked one, but Luna insists they at least see what the other has to offer before they break more doors. They go into a pitch-black semicircular hall and end up breaking the first door off its hinges anyway.

Inside is a sort of waiting room with some papers on a table; these papers are dry and reveal the space they are in was used for research projects, however someone has scrawled 'keep it locked' on the top page. Ragnar uses them and some wooden fragments to make a fire for their lamps, ignoring their message. Luna wonders what the fuck Ragnar is doing.

After getting much better lighting, the party sees that another hollow skin is floating above them. Ragnar throws his door at it and gets the whole party covered in more reeking smog. They see the waiting room leads to a T-intersection, left to the other half of the semicircular space, right to a locked door.

Another dog-chimaera is in the semicircular space; Ragnar stomps its head in too. Sick and worried, the party goes back to the room they woke up in to check out the stone arch they promised to look at before, where Luna burns her only safe cast of magic missile to destroy it. It sort of works.

Then Luna decides, with Ragnar's backup, to re-explore the lab lined with dead chimerical bugs while  Jagharun communes with his deity, the strange Eye That Watches, to reveal secrets of the room.
First, Luna goes along the desks and reads of their research: studying the influence of a new gaseous element, or element made gasseous, and how it interacts with living flesh to create hosts for new organs. She takes this research.
Second, Jagharun completes his communion but rolls just poorly enough on his Test of Faith* to have some unintended visions: he is struck with a second sight that shows afterimages of inhabited labs and researchers bringing his, Luna's, and Ragnar's unconscious bodies onto the slabs, followed by a mass panic and fleeing of the space. One person gets their arm caught in the sliding track of the arch's stone door, then the vision disintegrates into a sense of falling, limbs dissolving, eyes slipping into an abyss that is the pupil of the Eyes That Watches.

Ragnar and Luna find Jagharun unsconscious, weeping.

They wake him and escape confinement. The corpse of the armless researcher, very rotted, greets them. They loot it for knives and rings and an armethyst-lens and move on.

Past two arches marked 'main reception', the party enters the largest room yet: a hall with a vaulted ceiling and filled with bags, furniture, and supplies abandoned in a hurry. At another exit stand four skeletons, watching the party.

Jagharun rushes said skeletons and intimates combat. In short, Ragnar does the most damage to silver-wire-wrapped skeletons, Luna overecerts herself magically and develops thick pustule growths like a beehive on her right arm, and Jagharun heals himself in times of danger but in doing so releases a thing like a fleshy pyramid with twelve wings and a single eye.

Luna loots the skeletons of their silver and Jagharun communes with The Eye That Watches to understand the appareition's purpose; he gets a very strongly-worded response: 'It is me.' He then starts wearing the apparition like a hat, and that was that.

*Using Logan Knight's rules for Clerics here.

No comments:

Post a Comment