Dacien reckoned the party had around 10 seconds before the building would collapse around them. The whole structure groaned and creaked. Rubble fell form one of the floors above, and along with it a giant bloated gruel-encrusted toad, the size of a wagon. The toad splashed into the water that surrounded Mendel. Near what remained of the entrance, other threats were now also visible - a swarm of piranha-like tadpoles, a mass of large rats with exposed brains struggling to stay afloat, and a ghostly female figure flitting between the remnants of a mangled series of pipes. The quiet after the explosion was broken by the sound of whooping and screeching from a band of oversized apes that had also been revealed by the blast.
The party tried to group to escape. Antony manged to topple the cyborg off the seating area and over the balcony, into the waiting mouth of the toad below. Stephen appeared from above, dropping the 3 stories onto what remained of the ground floor with a sickening crunch. Desperation plastered on his pale face, he pleaded to the party. "Please, in here, it's the only thing I can think to undo this! A drinking game, like roulette - it could kill you, but it might repair this damage!" Dacien tried to buy some time by conjuring a pillar of stone to support the floor underneath the reactor, as the party moved into the room Stephen had indicated. By this time, Zhedd had fled, teleporting away with Faldak to try and get to safety. Outside, they both spotted four shadow elves in front of the main complex, one in the process of summoning two large earth elementals. Faldak's eye was caught by the fine dwarven waraxe one of the elves was wielding...
Back inside the temple, Stephen led the players into what he referred to as the games room. A large metal table dominated the room, surrounded by several chairs connected to the ceiling with cables. The centre of the table appeared to the a flat polished gem, within which flickered green pixelated text and the image of a deck of cards. Stephen slammed his hand on the screen, a card appeared and, when nothing happened, jumped up in disgust. Dacien tried next, and a series of cards appeared which left him naked and surrounded by gems.
Gerald and Lenny were next, and suddenly the whole building morphed around them. The frog shaped imagery disappeared to be replaced by sturdy dwarven craftsmanship, the temple of the frog replaced by a plain dwarven fort (DM: struck me after maybe it should have been shaped like a dwarven head?). Lenny's coat all of a sudden looked more thick and glossy, and the sound of mechanical pumping could be heard echoing from the newly formed dungeons below.
In the main entrance chamber, Mendel dispatch the ghostly figure, whose choral wailing was having little effect on the party. The other creatures were caught in the dungeon of the new Fort Gerald. Dacien tried calling out to Weewak but had no response, but dwarven faces built into the wall did respond to questions, and were commanded to pump out the water from the basement. Stephen was extremely grateful to the party, but started to refer to Gerald as 'my liege' and show him deference. Stephen left the party to check on his mechanical creation upstairs, as they explored the rest of the complex. Much of the contents had been reshaped to be of dwarfish design. They found the giant toad in the basement, along with a distillery, and were able to dispatch it with arrow fire. Several explosive devices were collected from around the building, and carefully placed in a bag of holding.
Once the building was clear, Stephen explained that the power output of the complex should prevent further damage to the kingdom of Emerond, but the damage that the shadow elves had inflicted would need additional technology to repair and allow the kingdom to flourish again. This could be found in the craft that brought the 'cyborgs' here - an invisible stealth ovoid. The next day, after Dacien returned to Farshore to buy some clothes and bring along the Witchwarden Theurge Faintly Macabre to help Stephen with his vampiric condition, the party went hunting for the cyborg craft. The tracks from the shadow elves led to a tree and disappeared, but Zhedd communed to find the location of the craft to the southwest. With Banshee's sonar, they found the craft and after a fair bit of experimentation managed to gain access. Antony played with the controls and almost got whisked away into space, but, with Stephen in tow, was able to be rescued by the rest of the party. Stephen cannibalized the crafts electronics and thought he had enough to make a start on repairing the reactor controls.
Those Who Bring Piercing Weapons
1 day ago