Out of Arduin

Clues of Origin I
Why does it always have to be snakeheads?

Three weeks after their run-in with the gigantic monstrosity under the imploded prison, the mage’s guild calls Gore to consult with him about the dark orb which he brought them. It seems that it is an extremely powerful artifact, but they are unable to unlock its higher functions. Currently they have unlocked it to be a 10-point general-use powerstone, and an extra 10 points each for body transformation or movement spells that involve teleportation or portals. In addition, the wielder gets +2 to effective skill for spells of these schools.

However, there is much more potential and while they have been unable to unlock any further functions, they have done a divination which has told them that the answer lies in an ancient metal ruin of which they have received a vision. Showing this vision to Gore lets him know this is in the general region of the city of Natinuka, the northern kingdom of the Orcs. Seeing the scene sparks a memory in Classified and he recalls some beforetimes knowledge, including the ability to navigate to these ruins if he is within sight of the mountains.

Gore tells his companions, and soon they are ready to go. The fastest way there, only a few days, is by Dwarven Tunnel Transport. But it’s underground and, like many, Gore doesn’t trust it. Gore and Classified opt to take the second-fastest option, airship. Zat, Gringle, and Wiley take the tube.

On the ride to Natinuka the airship encounters a large group of beautiful, rainbow-colored flying snakes. The crew shoos Gore and the other passengers belowdecks. When the passengers emerge, the crew all have snakes for heads! No one seems to notice this but Gore, who wakes up screaming in the cargo section of the Dwarven Tunnel Transport, which is only about 1 1/2 days through its 3-day journey. He has just encountered a reality shift from an earlier magical mishap, a world which is exactly the same except there is a prominent race of snake-headed humanoids who are talented shippers. Snake-Head shipping is the most trusted name in air, land, and sea shipping.

After a while in town, Gore tracks down a guide named Shagabag the Scarred who can show them where the ruins are. After a brief exchange, they settle on $100/day and he agrees to meet them back at the Dour Cup tavern when they are ready to go.

In time, the airship arrives and Gore is horrified to learn that it IS crewed by snake-head people! He runs off to drink while Classified unloads himself and notes the mountain range (he identifies them as the Tiryrene Mountains, and the city as built on the ruins of Nautinica, an ancient Elven city. The river Renuvianis runs through it, though all of these names are faded, unused, or bastardized in this age) and that he can navigate them to the ruins. Two guides are better than one, right?

The party goes to the Dour Cup to find Gore drinking himself into a stupor. He is mumbling about snake-heads and Zat points at a group of snake-heads on the other side of the bar. Gore gets an evil grin and begins bringing some fireballs online…. and session end.

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Expedition into the Wastes
Always carry a cursed weapon

After dealing with Pugnax and the demon hunters, the party went back to Natinuka to rest and heal up.

Wiley spent the night in traction due to a cracked carapace, but it was healed by morning thanks to some healing goop from Classified’s most recent augmentation.

Gore managed to counter the search spell which was alerting the guard to his presence and laid low until morning.

Zat finished making some adjustments to his lightning gun and is SURE that it’s safe for general use now. Totally sure. Yup.

As DeCoy Replacement had died valiently saving Gringle’s life, Gringle stompy-stomped for a new lackey to be delivered. Senor Fromage (who shall be called Patty) was dropped off that evening by Dolphinhawk. He is an exchange student who is excellent at cooking and has a strange Mexican/French accent. He seems to have the ability to mime objects and have them act as though they are real.

Classified checked in at the Snake-Head Airlines office about a previous request he had made toward chartering an airship for an expedition into the Changing Wastes. They agreed to do so for $12,000, and would have an airship available by morning.

The party acquired hunks of jade roughly the size of a silver dollar for the trip.

In the morning, the crew boarded the Snake-Head airship and set out for the wastes. Classified knew of a mining facility that he wished to search for information on the Raz Alakatan, and thought that this might also be a good way to prep the party for future trips into or through the wastes. The trip was scheduled to take a total of five weeks. Two weeks to get there, stay one week, and two weeks to return.

Though there were some fearsome sandstorms, the Snake-Heads managed to keep out of the worst of it. Part-way through the second week, a strange whirlwind of sand & blood-colored globules intercepted the ship. Classified verified that it was giving off an extremely high amount of thaumic radiation.

Gore was able to cast some thaum-removing spells upon it as it approached, which whittled it down from gigantic to only quite large. Classified took up two large bars of jade, used to protect the cargo and ship from the radiation of the wastes, and used them as effective weapons against the thing. Before the monstrosity could manage to do more than menace, however, Gringle fired Steve the cursed crossbow bolt into the creature. It zipped back and forth, striking only the blood-colored bits and soon the thing had fallen apart. Its job done, Steve zipped back to attempt to impale Gringle. Luckily, the Kobold parried successfully and Steve fell lifeless to the deck. After the battle, Steve was found to be highly radioactive, and a small Jade quiver was fashioned by Gore to keep Gringle from mutating and/or dying.

Gringle received 10 thaums and a minor temporary mutation from his momentary exposure to Steve.
Gore received 20 thaums during the battle and from exposure to Steve. No rolls have yet been made.

A few more days in, the party has found the Dwarven mining facility. A single smokestack peeks above the sand, and they take a dinghy down, tie it off, and grapple down into a large, dark furnace. It opens into a massive dark, domed room for smelting and refining ore, the only sound from their footsteps, breath, and that of the shifting sand above them…

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Expedition into the Wastes Part II
Flour isn't the only thing that explodes

This is a point-by-point note of info which the DM needs to remember to keep things straight. As always, if something is incorrect, please fill in the blanks.

Furnace/smelting room. Fought rusty plant vine thing. Gore has 200 lbs of vines + 30 of “meat” from the plant. Might be good for destroying armor/locks/spell components. Zat’s flak jacket was damaged, but he fixed. Gringle’s bucket was destroyed.

Waste room, talked to trash compactor monster, Gafhablah. Zat traded him his magic squirrel for an unknown gun-looking device. Classified found out about the maintenance tunnels and that something might be living in the med bay. Zat acquired some old dwarven tools (highly radioactive) and two rubbery suits.

Med Bay. Found a busted med-bot and a dessicated guy in a surgery tube. Logs indicate that he came in with a stomach ache and died, then began moving again. Many expired drugs were found. WIle E got to look at dwarven anatomy.

Control room. Classified found that the facility shut down about 1 year before the previous facility visited. Classified downloaded all the data available for later review (there was some corruption). They found that the power room was flooded with sand, as something had broken through the wall. Gore hardened and burrowed through until they could get to the powerstone socket, which was badly damaged.

Gringle found his way into the maintenance tunnels and went to the shipping/receiving area. He found a box full of spices. He also stomped and found a nearby kobold of the wastes called Grup. Grup was in need of food and water.

Zat rewired an elevator to get to the vault (since Classified locked it off) and rewired his way into it. They found:
Some kind of fish that “won’t die”
Serum of Dr. Argweldone*
Explosive Flour*
A big ruby*
some black dust
A deck of spells
a pair of boots
a “never ending scroll”
Monster Drool
Liquid Ice
potion of perception
True Water
Universal antidote

  • - Marked as “Dangerous”

The fish was milked by Gringle (who drank the milk). The fish then died.

Gringle asked Wile E to kill the new kobold (for his spices) unless it was actually a kobold. It turned out to be a kobold named Grup, and Wile E brought him in to eat plant food. Gringle fed him the now dead milked fish.

At some point Zat was left alone with Senor Fromage, who generally insulted him and acted like a Kobold. Zat was, I believe, about to lay down a whooping.

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