Iron Gods

Technological Terrors

After a rest back in town the sixth expedition descended again under Torch and continued their push farther into the metalic ruins. The first chamber bode ill, with half of the wall spattered in blood and a trail leading through one of the doors. In the maze of doors, small rooms, and corridors, they faced bloody oozes and a strange fungus that spoke telepathically. Scattered about was broken equipment and supplies. In one room Kit was able to access a series of sample logs referencing their source, planet CX-335 “Kasath”. She also found a series of video files depicting the desert and its inhabitants undergoing some sort of earthquake, and in the ensuing struggle to find food finally succumbing to whatever substances they consumed out of desperation and hunger.

Another room brought back harsh memories for Nessa as she stumbled into the med bay where she had been strapped down and “treated” by the medical droids. The malfunctioning robot came at them in its misguided attempt to administer aid. Farther down the hall they came across a strange group of plant creatures, vegepygmies, and the host bodies they had sprung from. With a wail of grief Kit recognized the remains of her teammates, who had succumbed to the russet mold that she could have cured had she been with them. Reclaiming the symbols of their faith in the clockwork goddess, Kit gave what last rites she could and committed their bodies to flame, thus preventing the spread of the deadly mold.

Wearied both physically and emotionally the group turned to make their way back to the surface. On their way out they peeked through one last door, only to find the first object of their search, Khonnir Baine. He was trapped in a glass pod, tubes and wires plugged into him, his eyes crazed with pain and his mouth silently screaming as two more medical droids enacted some procedure upon him. Pushing through their exhaustion the group rushed the room. The frustratingly durable alloy of the robots’ chasis proved exceptionally difficult to pierce, but finally with a scream of rage Erreya leaped into the air and brought her greatsword down through the rotors of the droid, riding it the ground.

As the rest of the group recovered from the fight Kit and Dahm rushed to the pod and managed to free Baine from its confines. He collapsed onto them, seemingly unable to support his own weight, his eyes wide but unseeing as he appeared to be completely unaware of his surroundings, only of the ongoing pain in his head.

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The Buried World

It has been fifteen days since Torch went out. The violet flame that was the lifesblood of Torch’s economy has gone cold and the residents of the town are starting to fear that it will never relight. Five expeditions have been sent into the caverns under the hill that Torch is built on, and all five are now missing. Khonnir Baine, beloved town leader, is among them.

A new group came together to make a sixth forray into the lightless caverns. After clashing with some of the denizens of the caves they made a deal with Sef, the leader of a group of Skulks. In exchange for peace and the group’s help in clearing the gremlin mennace from the caves, Sef would offer safe passage through their territory and information on who else had been through. She told of the first group to arrive, made up of orcs and ratfolk and led by a striking woman with purple hair. It was they who had first paid the Skulks to protect the caves from further investigation and had not been seen since. It was three days after their arrival that the forge went out.

As per the agreement the group scoured the caves of the gremlins and killed their king, leaving his head pinned to the wall as a warning to the remaining pests that they were no longer to be tolerated. With that they returned to town to rest and restock. They were welcomed back with excitement and curiosity, being only the second team to return from a trip into the caverns. As they were resting two locals came to call on them. Garmen Ulreth, a local entrepreneur, invited them to spend the evening at his establishment, Silverdisk Hall, for a night of drinks, entertainment, and most importantly gambling. It proved an enjoyable way to relax from the tension of exploring the caves, though the presense of the Ropefists, a local mercenary gang, seemed curious to some. The second call came in the morning, a local merchant named Sanvil Trett, who graciously offered his aid to the group in identifying and possibly purchasing any items of particular interest that they found in their excursions.

Their second trip under the town proved to be more puzzling. They found one of the bodies of the previous team, Gerrol, a man they recognized as engaged to the daughter of the town smith. Strange mold had invaded his body, killing him slowly. They also came across a survivor of the very first expedition, the halfling Nessa. Having barely survived on her own in the dark of the caves Nessa had been through much and the scars, both physical and emotional, were still raw. The promise of safetey and escape (and food) was enough for her to join her musket to the group.

Delving further into the caves the adventurers passed through a doorway in an incongruously smooth wall of metal. The dirt underfoot made way for more of the grey metal, the walls and doors clearly manufactured but also incalculably old. Passing through this metal corridor the terrain changed again, even more perplexing than the last. Buried here under the town they found a vast desert of sand-blown dunes, all under a grey metal dome. In the distance horrifying skeletal figures staggered towards, their four arms grasping and clawing the air.

The group battled their way across the underground desert through the groups of skeletons. Along the far cliff wall they came across a cave covered in crude paintings, the largest of which depicted many four-armed humanoids bowing in worship of an oblong burning shape in the sky. They also came across an illusory wall leading out of the desert and into more of the strange metal corridors, though here the devices and panels seemed to be alive with blinking lights and shooting sparks. It was here that they found Hetuath, leader of those who had lived in the desert and likewise damned to eternal life. In his despair and anger he lashed out at the intruders but was eventually put down. Kit’s focus was entirely on the control console behind Hetuath, and after some reworking of circuits and wires restored power and initiated a reboot of the system. With a sigh of fresh air moving for the first time in millenia the habitat systems came back online and artificial daylight flooded the underground desert and brought a final peace to the restless dead.

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