Stepping over the blackened wreckage of the ruined shrine to one of the Outer Gods, the party see the light in the tunnel ahead growing brighter and a kind of whistling or humming can be heard.
The Spellcaster casts an illusion of sound – the very same whistling – to muffle the wary group’s advance towards an large opening at the end of the passageway, which opens into a vast, auditorium-shaped cavern.
The pathway leads down around the side of the cavern and below are more of the strange red creatures – larger than the ones encountered so far, with larger heads and wearing more clothing – milling around. They seem to be working at jury-rigged workbenches cluttered with odd bits of salvaged machinery and tools. Cables and lines snake from the benches over the floor, all seeming to connect to one another and eventually leading to thick coils that run out of an exit on the other side of the cavern.
A set of shelves on the walkway near the entrance offer some cover for the party to hide behind and figure out their next move while the creatures below go about their tasks.
The Changeling decides to go out on a limb and use the gifts he was born with to assume the shape of one of the creatures; the large one they met earlier on in its bedchamber. The changeling shifts, and Loic the Cleric teaches him a few choice words of Aklo he remembers from his seminary days in case a conversation needs to be held to keep up the deception. He may end up just teaching him all the swear words though.
The changeling strolls off down the sloping walkway into the makeshift workshop, casting about oaths in a dead tongue to try and look casual.
The assembled workers either ignore him or look slightly puzzled.
The the closest one says something to him in its own chittering language. The Changeling has no idea what it just said. The creature advances and speaks again, motioning to the odd human clothes the changeling has on. Locked in a bizarre staring match that neither participant seems to be unable to end, the changeling’s nerves finally fray and he suddenly casts a spell straight into the creature’s bemused face!
All of the creatures are stunned by the sudden crackle and flash of blue lightning in their work area! Some jump to attack and others cower behind their stations. Loic steps onto the walkway above them, throws his arms wide and like the best of preachers, booms out an appeal in the resounding cavern for the strange technicians to stop and submit themselves to the divine will of Astarte.
The creatures have no idea what he’s talking about.
Glad to see a chance for some good-old fashioned carnage to be introduced into this strange technological environ, Justin and his loyal hound Muggerscum bound down upon the creatures and start laying-to with sword and tooth!
The nearest creature picks up a tool of some kind and delivers two hefty whacks to Muggerscum with it. The dog falls over, unconscious!
Looking up from a longsword stroke, Justin is beside himself to see his canine companion felled and charges the offender!
The creature reaches for some of the cabling around his workbench and stabs Justin with a loose end of it – painful electric-like power courses through the half-giant’s body!
Meanwhile, the changeling finds himself in a pitched ranged battle with a creature at the other end of the room who’s popped up from behind his workbench wielding an improvised weapon! Arcs of lightning-like electricity shoot out the contraption toward him and scorch the wall or explode nearby machinery!
Returning fire with arcs of magical energy, the spellcaster is finally able to blast the creature away from its rapidly disintegrating workbench; a bolt hits the contraption it was firing and it explodes, scorching everything nearby!
Yet another creature has been hard at work behind its workbench; it now squeals at the party, slaps a few controls on the the bundle of metal and wire it has been making and tosses it at them! It lands in their midst and explodes with a furious electrical burst!
Emerging tattered from the smoke, Justin is enraged even more and lays about the nearest creature. He swings wide. Loic jumps down and nobly throws himself in front of a blow intended for the raging half-giant. Gasping with pain, he shouts rallying cries and the party finally chase down the last of the creatures and force them to submit to the will of their cold steel.
The carnage over, Justin rushes to Muggerscum’s side. Calling the dog’s name, Muggerscum suddenly gets up! He’s alright! he was just knocked unconscious. He’s taken some damage but he’ll be up and chasing rabbits again in no time.
Searching the area, the party find all kinds of odd bits of metal, wiring, machinery, tools and fixings, all of it fairly incomprehensible. A medallion on a chain is sitting in a nexus of circuity and it falls out when the party try to inspect it.
They can’t figure out if it has any purpose, so the newly-flush Justin puts it around his enormous neck like a choker. Going to pat Muggerscum, the dog turns nose up at it, it gives off a strange stink for some reason.
Justin – comfortably no stranger to lax personal hygiene – isn’t so bothered though, he can see patterns weaving across it surface, and it feels warm to the touch…