Approaching the main gates of Scrapwall the group was suddenly presented with a dilema. With no real intel on what went on inside the debris wall, they had no idea what to expect or plan for. A quick attempt at disguising themselves as a returning raider and his captured slaves nearly got them through the front gate, until they were confronted by the intimidating visage of Sevroth Slaid. The leader of the Steel Hawks, she confronted them on their deception and demanded answers. Their true identities known, she offered them a deal. She could dump them out of Scrapwall right then, or they could perform a service for her by assassinating Birdfood, a former Smiler who had been placed as an overseer of the Steel Hawks by the Lords of Rust. Having no love for the Smilers after what they had done at Aldronard’s Grave, it was a deal easily struck. Without much trouble they found the man they wanted and to her great delight presented Slaid with his head. With that free access through the gates of Scrapwall was theirs.
Their second stop was to the Clockwork Chapel, to check in on a friend of Joram Kyte’s. Dinvaya was a fellow cleric and inventor of Brigh who had apparently been in hiding here in Scrapwall for many years after angering the Technic League in her efforts against the organization. After forcing their way past the chapel’s automated defenses Dinvaya welcomed them in, though not before clearing up some uncertainty as to Nessa’s loyalties. The cleric was able to give them a rundown of the local gangs and who controlled what territory, as well as who would be worth forming an alliance with. While they agreed that their main alliance should be with Redtooth’s ratfolk, the more pressing concern became Arnor’s tetnus contracted in the fight against the junk gollums.
Dinvaya’s advice for that was the mount an assault on the Smiler’s main base, which had once been an old medical fascility. Meanwhile she would start gathering her things and get word to Redtooth of the group’s arrival. Clearing the Smiler’s base proved a challenging task, contending with laser traps, a horde of lobotomized minions, and then the necromancer Marrow herself. In the end they were able to take the base and, after a minor mishap, repair one of the medical pods well enough to heal Arnor. They also successfully rescued Whiskifiss, the brother of Redtooth and prisoner of the Smilers. After taking some time to rest, clear the worst of the gore, and secure the entrances for their further use they took Whiskifiss south to his sister’s territory. There Redtooth welcomed them readily, having already heard from Dinvaya and even more heartened by the safe return of her brother. She told of her own concerns about the seemingly unexplainable influence that the entity Hellion was having in Scrapwall, and offered them an arrangement. Her brother Whiskifiss could lead them to the Reciever Array, where they thought they might find more information about Hellion and his activities, if they they continued on to the crash site in the far eastern canyon and retrieved three more units of Cylex an explosive one of ther scavengers had found. With the explosives, she promised that should they need a distraction to enter the Rust Lord’s domain she could bring down the Scrapmaster’s Arena.
Rested and resuplied they headed out, following the lead of Whiskifiss and his loyal mount Rusty. The ratfolk ranger led them through the debris peak, the narrow passage a tight squeeze but safe from any prying eyes. On the east side of the peak they found the Reciever Array. What once had seemed to be an active site just weeks before was now a place of slaughter. Bodies lay strewn about, some seemingly stabbed and beaten, but many also burned. These, Whiskifiss told them, were the bodies of the the Thralls of Hellion, the first cult of Hellion’s worshipers. It was they who had held the antenna array until just two weeks before. None knew exactly what happened, but those close enough reported screams of terror and flashes of fire in the middle of the night. The next morning, all but a handful of the Thralls were dead, and the antenna was abandoned.
Exploring the complex for clues as to the fate of the Thralls of Hellion, it quickly became apparent that the site was not as abandoned as it seemed. A strange force started attacking the adventurers’ minds, seemingly rifling through their thoughts and then forcing visions upon them. Sometimes it was horrifying nightmares, their worst fears come true. Other times it seemed snatches of memories, but not their own. Included in the jumble they saw a massive metal scorpion appear before the huddled chokers, those who were to become the Thralls of Hellion as they fell down and began groveling before it. Other visions showed the Thralls hauling massive batteries out of the antenna array, to be carted off to another location. Then finally the Thralls frantic, desperately trying to revive silenced terminals and the flow of power had seemingly stopped, and then the metal scorpion again descending but this time in a rage, it’s massive limbs ripping and rending and it’s tail spitting lances of fire that cut through the earth. Reeling under the mental onslaught of the visions the team desperately sought out the creature who was inflicting them. In brief flickers it would appear, a small floating body surrounded in tentacles. Arnor fell to it’s assault before they were finally able to overwhelm it.
Staggered from the fight they found their way to the roof of the complex and the base of the antenna itself. There Kit was able to affix the one sample of Cylex they had as a test run and successfully detonated it, collapsing the antenna and sending a clear message of their presence to the Rust Lords. From there they continued east into the canyon to find more of the potent explosive. They quickly discovered, however, why so few had dared enter the canyon for what treasures it held before. An eerie white mist filled the area and poltergeists flitted in and out of sight, flinging stones (or halflings). Halfway through the canyon the resolve of the party broke and several fled from the specters. Upon reconvening at the end of the canyon they found themselves at the crash site of some sort of strange boat. The mist poured most strongly from it, and more half formed shapes flickered and shifted within. Inside the wreckage it was clear that whatever manner of ship it was it had dealt with an extreme amount of heat, as whole sections of the walls had begun to melt down. The remains of the crew they found were long dead, and some had even in their terror of their demise reformed into wraiths. At the fore of the wreckage they found the body of the captain. His specter, full of anguish and rage, lashed out at them, but with Arnor’s daring plunge through the cockpit window to bathe the creature in sunlight Erreya was able to lay the spirit down. On his remains they found his last recording, apparently his account as he desperately tried to save his crew, as well as a strange memory facet that was tucked in his pocket.
“This is the final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain
Yurian Valako reporting. Divinity is lost; the rest of the ship’s crew
is presumed dead or worse. The surviving crew of Chrysalis and I
are boarding a launch and will attempt an emergency landing, but
without Al control, the prospects of a safe landing are minimal .
I’ve secured an inhibitor facet-if I can install it into the Unity
interface, it should disable the Al’s security long enough for us to
reclaim control and perhaps even signal for help from home. I’m
boarding the launch now, and will append further reports after
our successful landing .”
Digging through the rest of the ship they dealt with more poltergeists of the lost crew and a hungry will o’ whip who fed on the fear the undead created, but in the chaos, and wtih the summoned help of Daneel’s arcane firepower, they were able to find and retrieve three more samples of Cylex. The explosives in hand they fled the haunted ship and the canyon back into the main area of Scrapwall. They had nearly made it back to their improvised base and a long needed rest when they were ambushed by traps that Arnor found all too familiar. A team of orc hunters, formerly his own clan mates, sent by the Lords of Rust to deal witht he upstart interlopers. Despite the initial frustration of the traps, however, the orcs were eventually put down. Finally staggering back to their base, they were surprised to see more humanoids waiting for them. This time, however, it was not to attack but to join. Word of their deeds had spread quickly, and suddenly they were faced with a dozen recruits, all eager to join the newest up and coming faction and to claim a territory of their own.
But all is not at ease within the group. Tensions have started to flare, and accusations of deception and drug use have been thrown about. Now as their efforts start to bear fruit the stress has started to push the cracks just a little bit wider…