Campaign of the Month: November 2017

The Gaelean Chronicles: Heroes 4 Hire

The Dread Isle: Flipping the Switch

"Oh, SHIT! IS IT DAY OR NIGHT RIGHT NOW ?!?

0700, Wir, 18 Jo, 4E1

    The Heroes 4 Hire awoke, ate breakfast and broke camp before removing the barricade from the door and resuming their search of the alien starship Xinced. They returned to the southern ‘lifting room’ and rose to the upper level, turning their attention to the northeastern hallway coming off the central roundabout. The doors slid open easily at their approach, and after a short hallway they entered a large, perfectly circular half-domed room. At the center was another all glass console, and Illyia Baham immediately went to work, tapping it alive and then perusing its displays thereafter. The console was entitled, “Stellar Cartography”, and after a few taps on the console, particularly the one that read, “Large-Format Holographic Display” in the alien script, the room suddenly sprang to life. A giant, translucent image of hundreds of points of light floating in a slowly rotating formation, keeping perfect station from each other, filled the entire space in the dome. As they tried to touch them, their fingers simply passed through the images, ethereally. After some study, Illyia discerned that this was a sort of map… a map of the stars in the night sky.

    They fiddled with the controls some more, and occasionally some alien text would appear in among the images, usually with a line drawing the eye from the text to one of the items in the image floating above. Finally, something they recognized appeared. Illyia read the text aloud, " Seles ", which they all recognized as the sun around which their world, " Gaelea ", orbits. A tap to select, and the image floating in the room changed… flew and zoomed in… until a bright yellow-orange orb of fire filled the middle of the room , yet no heat was felt. A scroll of script floated in the air beside the giant fireball giving all kinds of details on “Seles”… size, mass, energy… all in standards of measure completely foreign to Illyia’s magically-aided eye. The party marveled for a good while, this being the first time they had seen their own sun up close.

Taboo_Island.png

    They pulled themselves away and returned to the central roundabout corridor, then commenced their search up the northwestern hallway. The first set of doors they found they used a Knock spell to open, and found themselves in a medium-sized, amphitheater-like room with chairs and workstations centered around a sort of throne, which along with the curve of the room centered looking at a common wall. Again, they started fiddling with the consoles, having Illyia peruse each one with the Crystal Monocle. He shortly concluded that this was the main command center of the vessel, similar to the bridge of a sailing ship, and humorously plopped himself down in the central ‘throne’. This had no desk and workstation in front of it, but instead had two glass panels in up-curved extensions from the armrests. He tapped them and they came to life, giving him informational displays on the status of various ‘systems’ throughout the ship… propulsion, power, maintenance, security, weapons, defenses, fuels, sciences, sensors, ‘computer core’, navigation… all were at his fingertips to read. He did not, however, seem to be able to control anything from this seat’s mini-consoles. Although, he did find a complete map of the vessel.

    While Illyia was reading at the consoles, the rest of the team searched the room and an adjoining office to no avail, and then decided to move on while Illyia continued. Alton Beeblebrox decided to stay and stand guard over Illyia as he studied the displays, while the rest of the team continued down the hallway to the next room. There the double doors slid open at their approach, and they entered some sort of… perhaps a guard post, maybe an armory?… it was unclear, but there were several racks that looked like they were intended for some sort of personal weapons as well as recessed alcoves with dormant constructs like they had encountered elsewhere in the complex. As the team reported this new room over the Earrings of Communication to Illyia and Beeblebrox, who confirmed it was a ‘Security Office’, two of the constructs suddenly came to life in their docking equipment, the glowing blue ‘eye’ starting it’s back and forth sweep to accompanying sounds of power flowing through systems. The team retreated from the room and closed the door before the constructs had launched from their docks, and presumed they were probably safe. They then continued farther down the corridor to the very front of the complex’s upper level, they surmised, which must be over the stone temple they originally entered and had been spending their nights.

sentry_bot.png

    This chamber they decided looked like some sort of Embarkation room, where passengers or crew would enter or leave this star-traveling ship. In addition to the door from the hall they entered through, there were two doors in the stepped northeastern walls, a door in the far northwestern wall, and two exceptionally large and thick doors in the southwestern wall. Those in the southwestern wall were also pressure sealed. Karraway and Lt. Diplo Norixius went to the far pressure door on the southwest wall, Alarith Degries and Smedley “Deadly” Hampton went to the near one, while Rumblebelly wandered around in the middle of the room. No sooner than as they had started inspecting their respective doors, the two constructs presumably from the ‘Security Office’ entered the room behind them from down the hallway from which they had entered, and immediately attacked.

    Smedley immediately spun on his heels, activated the Haste effect on his bow and fired four shots at the first construct… striking dead center and punching a gaping hole through its outer shell. The constructs charged into the room, gassing the party, and Alarith fell unconscious. Smedley and Rumblebelly shook off the effects of the gas, and Diplo and Karraway were unaffected, safely protected inside their alien armor suits. The constructs pressed the attack, zapping Rumblebelly with a stunner to little effect, and shooting Smedley with their other rod-weapon… a streak of red light in a perfect line striking Smedley and wounding him. Smedley managed to bark out a call for help over the Earrings, and Alton and Illyia joined hands and used Dimension Door to teleport to the Security Office… the last position they knew of their split party. They were surprised to find the chamber empty, paused a moment to listen, and heard the sound of combat coming from down the hall. They then sprinted the hallway to join the fray.

    Smedley retreated to northward toward the door there with one construct in pursuit, while the second continued to gas and stun Rumblebelly with no effect. The rest of the party came to their aid, surrounding the constructs in a melee mosh pit and pounding them incessantly. Another quad of shot from Smedley’s bow and a bevy of bashings from Diplo, Karraway and Rumblebelly, and the first construct came apart in pieces. The second construct shot Smedley again and again with the ruby-tipped rod, wounding so badly he lost consciousness and entered the {saving} throws of death. The party concentrated on eh second construct, and Alton and Illyia sprinted into the room and joined the attack with fists and a Cloud of Daggers spell. The second construct did not last long, and was shortly reduced to a crumpled mass of twisted metal. When they checked their fallen comrade, they found his Periapt of Wound Closure had closed his wounds and stabilized him, although he was still unconscious.

    The Heroes revived Smedley, and then continued their exploration of the star-traveling ship’s upper level. They found a series of smaller rooms with large, automated machines in them that vaguely resembled ballistae, and a quick check of the consoles around the Captain’s Chair in the command center confirmed that they were “Ship Defense Stations”. Their exploration then led them to the upper catwalk in the magma chamber, some thirty feet above the lower catwalk they had explored earlier. The three in the alien protective suits went out into the excessive heat while the rest watched from the safety of the doorway. Here, they found the top of the “GeoThermal Power Takeoff Core”, pulsating with the same blue light and thrumming sound, and complete with yet another glass console. Illyia tapped the console awake and studied its displays, tapping through some menus as he went and muttering the titles of things the Crystal Monocle translated for him. He stumbled upon something of interest… a sequence he watched happen on the display titled, “Level One Diagnostics Routine” with a 12-hour duration timer. The timer was counting down the last minute and seconds to completion. He stood and watched, but just as it was expiring, the display flickered several time, then turned red with a low gravely toned that sounded three times in rapid succession. A smaller rectangle popped then into view with the words, “Processing Error, Recursive Loop Detected, Diagnostic Algorithm Restarting”, stayed for about five seconds, and then it too disappeared, and the console returned to its previous display of the “Level One Diagnostics Routine”. And, the 12-hour timer was reset, and beginning again. Illyia then flipped to the next display in the menu.

    He suddenly stopped in surprised, and then reported to the group that he thought he had found a control to be able to terminate the core’s production and provision of power to the rest of the ship’s system. When the rest asked, “So, what?”, he quickly explained what he had found, and his newly hatched theory this ship’s system were somehow causing the Island’s disappearing behavior, and that if they were to turn this power supply off it should end the effect. Excitedly, the Heroes agreed and pressed him to do it.

    So, Illyia called up the proper display, pressed the command prompt to shutdown the power core, and then the following confirmation as well. The display changed several times, the ever-present thrumming from the giant column slowed to a stop as the blue pulsations of light slowed and stopped as well. Then the whole complex went dark… no light form the ceiling, no consoles operating. Just the oppressive heat and gurgling of the magma chamber and an eerie silence.

    And then it dawned on them.

    “Wait. Is it daytime or nighttime right now?” Illyia asked. Panic set through them instantly as they realized they may have trapped themselves in whatever ‘other dimension’ the ship transported the Island to every morning. The party forewent all abandon and sprinted back to the lower level, to the Stone Temple where they had been making camp every evening, and out onto the stone docks where the outrigger canoes had let them off.

    The sky was dark and filled with stars. They breathed a collective sigh of relief, but to be sure, they called for Master Kozar Ven over the Earrings of Communication. Painfully long moments passed before a Ven answered, but they were convinced they were in their correct dimension, and had ended the interdimensional hopping of the Island. They took the opportunity to give a full report to their patron.

    And once that was complete, they ate dinner with a lot of jocularity over their success in stopping the Island’s disappearing act, and then turned in for a night’s rest.


2200, Wir, 18 Jo, 4E1

    What will become of the Tanaroans and the Mantru, now that the Dread Isle is no longer hopping between planes of existence? What other mysteries will their exploration reveal on this giant, alien craft? Will they ever come across one of these gray aliens… these, ‘Illith’?

    Tune in next time, on “TGC: Heroes 4 Hire!!

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