Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Expedition to the Black Moor, Part 4

Moonday, Goodmonth 3, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Valna, and their new ally R-66Y awaken and prepare to continue through this bizarre labyrinth. After making secure Torinn’s corpse is secured to its bier formed by Tenser’s Floating Disk, Peren is the first out the door, and steps right on a tripwire.

Immediately, a thorny net made from vines falls upon him, knocking him to the ground and entangling him. The tripwire also opens the door to the recreation room, revealing a device on the other side. This appears to be a rifle-like device topped with a single, glossy, unblinking black eye mounted on a tripod. As the group files into the hallway to prepare for combat, it shouts a mechanical greeting before releasing a bright beam that singes Peren.

As Peren manages to wriggle free of the net, the others focus their attacks on the rifle tripod. As they do, several doors on either side of the hallway start opening, and several of the diminutive plant people begin streaming out. They appear largely as the creatures near the boathouse in the swamp, although they bear a slightly more ruddy, rust-like complexion. They rush into the fray with spears and bows, but they are no match for the Shields of the Sorrowfell. After the turret is destroyed, the herbaceous hunters’ numbers cannot compete with the competence and training of the Shields, and the creatures are all defeated.

The Shields rest and manage to find more strange technologies in nearby rooms. The Voice encourages them to seek the computer room to reactivate the lift system.

After a bit more walking through the tunnels of the facility, they find what R-66Y informs them to be an entrance to the medical bay, and through there, the computer room. Before entering, the Voice informs them that they should not listen to the malfunctioning medical android in the sick bay, although R-66Y says that the android should be fine. The Shields walk through the door and are greeted by a female-looking humanoid construct. As she can only speak R-66Y’s language, they converse, and the group indeed learns that the Platinum Claws came through, but that they have not left the computer room since then. Before they leave, she gives them two autoinjectors and directions to the computer room.

Before entering the computer room, R-66Y breaks into the armory and the Shields equip themselves with more eldritch technologies. Then the group takes positions and opens the door to the computer room.

Amidst the strange, technological artifacts in the room, there are five figures. One bears the familiar features of the android constructs found in this facility. The other four are members of the Platinum Claws, although their vacant stares and various body modifications suggest all is not well. Mathas has some sort of gauntlets covering his hands and attached to his skin. The right side of Sariel’s face is dominated by a metallic mask which appears bolted to her skin; a red light flickers over her right eye. Cliff bears metal plates bolted to his skin. Blank appears to be covered in thin wires, forming some sort of lattice over her body.

As they turn and stare blankly at the Shields, they begin gathering their weapons. Thinking quickly, Peren pulls out a grenade from the armory and throws it into the room. It explodes in a blue pulse — however, he expected the flash to remain contained in the room, and it did not. The flash illuminates everyone save Bezaldooz, and everyone except Bezaldooz and Bosabrieln falls asleep, although Bosabrieln is left confused and reeling.

The fight lasts seconds after that. Mathas awakens, although most of the others remain asleep, and Bezaldooz chucks a grenade into the room. Bosabrieln sings a song of confusion as the other Shields awaken. With the Shields of the Sorrowfell and R-66Y back in the fray, the Platinum Claws and their construct handler fall quickly.

The Voice speaks again, taunting the Shields of the Sorrowfell for killing their former friends. It also informs them that the lift is operational. The Shields gather themselves and look for any equipment to scrounge. Among the Platinum Claws’ things, they find two ritual books along with some weapons and armor they can use. Peren also recovers Blank’s journal — the book begins apparently as a primer in which Blank was learning to read and write, but begins to shakily describe the Claws’ exploits in Dawnslight, Kiris Dahn, and Jepson. Valna performs the Gentle Repose ritual on the Platinum Claws in preparation for eventual resurrection, and the group prepares to rest for the journey deeper into the Sentinel.