Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chapter 9, Part 3: "The Subterranean Vault..."

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part IV Here.

Xarnagan Vrokk, the purple-scaled Haasht Man Fighting-Sage has just finished explaining Buzz Brazelhatch's nightmare regarding Serpent Men, mass human sacrifice and the gigantic primeval cyclopean structure, the ruins of which the party made camp within the previous eve.

Kal-Mor the White Jackal, Hyperborean Assassin and Algol Man Supremist, finds Xarnagan's explanation of the origin of humanity as created spell components of the Elder Race of Serpent Men story both offensive and preposterous and loudly exclaims so before stalking off in a huff to again climb the ruined walls and view their surroundings.

Unrolling a sheet map made of thin, tough, flexible metal he alternates between examining it and scanning the panorama of iridescent mountains and fog-choked valleys. With the aid of the map in his hands and shouted communications with the rest of the party, it is determined that they are near the peak of a ridge of the Bornite Mountains that lies between two sections of the Forbidden Mist Valley. To the northwest the western arm of the Forbidden Mist Valley terminates at the location of the Vaults of Eternity, a complex of crypts reputed to contain miles of tunnels, gates to other worlds, and a Primordial-One Lich and several other undead and inhuman sorcerers who wage war upon each other in the depths.

To the southeast lies the main body of the Forbidden Mist Valley. If they were to cross it, climb the Bornite Mountains, and then head southwards they could make it to the civilized safety and comforts of Jakay. Hearing this, Buzz Brazelhatch is agitated due to an overabundance of masculine humours and proposes that they make for Jakay posthaste. Others want to explore the vast black basalt ruins and soon the party is cautiously wandering through canyons of tumbled, broken hexagonal blocks and pillars interspersed with better preserved sections less mauled by the talons of the eons.

At one such area Xarnagan Vrokk notices something familiar about a towering basalt wall's architechture. Examination reveals a smoothly pivoting secret door, of huge proportions, and a large tunnel of smooth fused stone spiraling down at a modest grade.

The green phosphorecent glow of chemical illuminants reflect off the slick walls of the large tunnel as the party cautiously explores. Although the tunnel is featureless, after several turns a faint pulsating pink glow is espied further down the passageway.

Kal-Mor offers to scout and stealthily descends. The throbbing pink illumination increases and the Hyperborean Assasin soon finds it nauseating, his vision blurring and distorting at a distance.

The tunnel soon opens up into a massive subterranean chamber. Although the disgusting throbbing pink light makes the dimensions of the vast cavity ambiguous, it seems to be circular, with a concave ceiling, and the light's orgin is located at the floor level of the far end of the chamber.

Kal-Mor is unable to discern what the light source is, as the floor of the chamber is littered with various structures, ranging from large to titanic in scale, mostly composed of smooth coppery tubing weaved in vaguely organic branches. Sprouting out of the tops and sides of diverse tanks of the same metal are irregularly shaped organs or fruits, interspersed with huge crystal rods or prisms, blocks and monoliths encrusted with glyphs, and other mechanisms of a sinister and sorcerous alien bent.

At the nearest such structure Kal-Mor spies a malformed lumpy and blubbery manlike form, currently looking in the opposite direction. The Hyperborean smoothly glides forward and sinks his swordknife into the approximate location of the being's kidney. He finds the lumpy, rubbery skin resistant to being pierced but manages to drive the blade deep.

With an arm-jerking wrench he withdraws the blade only to see the wound heal before his eyes as the thing turns around revealing a deformed head like an unwholesome parody of a human baby, the features tiny and clustered around the center of the vast idiot face. It brings up a rude club of splintered metal and swings it at Kal-Mor, but the strike is clumsy, easily dodged and the crude bludgeon slips out of the being's hand before it loses balance, totters and falls on the ground.

Kal-Mor takes advantage of the opportunity as the manlike lump struggles to it's trunk-like legs and dashes out the chamber and up the sloping spiral tunnel to rejoin the party.

After the breathless asassin heaves out a description of the creature. Xarnagan exclaims that it must be a Vat-Man, a synthetic being created by necromancers in subterranean laboratories from flesh-vats. Kal-Mor considers the implied implications within the context of the Haasht Man Sage's explanation of Buzz's nightmare and is unsettled.

1 comment:

  1. These campaign journals are so wonderfully written that I am itching to run a Mutant Future game set in the Planet Algol universe.

    Very descriptive and evocative writing accentuates the bizarre scenarios, encounters and colorful characters that adventure in this strange realm.