Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Expedition to the Black Moor, Part 5

Godsday, Goodmonth 4, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Valna, and their new ally R-66Y awaken in the medical bay. After preparing for their day, they bring Torinn’s body as well as the Platinum Claws’ bodies into the medical bay. R-66Y asks the feminine medical android if she can look after the bodies. She agrees.

Ready, the group leaves the medical bay to proceed deeper into the vessel.

As the Shields of the Sorrowfell walk back to the lift by the entrance, a few of them catch sight of someone following at a distance. The person appears to be a human in some sort of jumpsuit or uniform, but it swiftly becomes apparent that he is partially translucent. Bosabrieln hails him, and after some initial discussions, he introduces himself as Warrant Officer James Morgan. When Bosabrieln shakes hands with him, he finds the man to be cold to the touch, and not entirely there — after a bit of resistance, he finds that he can pass right through the man. It swiftly becomes apparent that the man is a ghost of the ship’s crew, and that he hopes to determine what happened with the ship. As such, he decides to travel with the Shields for a time in the hopes of determining the answer.

As they enter the lift, the Voice begins taunting them about being hoboes and terrorists before indicating that something is wrong with the lift, and they must disembark into the biodome area. The lift doors open to reveal hallways to either side and a domed door made of some sort of glass or other transparent material. On the other side of the door is an area that appears to be some sort of thick jungle. The door opens as the group approaches, and the group walks into a dense tangle of jungle.

As best as they can tell, it appears as though they are outdoors in a humid jungle environment. Bezaldooz examines the area and determines this to be an illusion; the walls and ceiling project the illusion of space, although the trees and underbrush are genuine. A path stretches out into the forest.

As the Shields and their companions walk along the path, they notice several creatures resembling rabbits with horns dodging into the underbrush. As they walk, they approach one of the rabbit-creatures sitting on a stump. Colorful flowers on long stalks rise from the thicket surrounding the stump, and the rabbit hunches down as they approach, appearing as though it is attempting to hide behind one of the flowers. Bosabrieln walks forward to address the rabbit creature, but as he does so, Peren notes a bipedal reptilian creature, rather like a drake, standing off to their left. It appears to be watching the proceedings. He warns the others and glances at the flowers around the stump. Valna apparently does likewise, as they both realize at the same time that the “stump” is, in fact, a creature — the “roots” are tentacles, the “flowers” are eyestalks, and the “rabbit” must be some sort of lure. They warn Bosabrieln who is still ready to attack when Bezaldooz stretches his hand and blasts the creature with a magic missile.

Battle is swift and decisive. Several of the bipedal reptiles come crashing out of the jungle, while Peren, R-66Y, and Warrant Officer Morgan tear through the jungle to approach the stump-creature. Bezaldooz manages to slow one of the reptiles with a ray of ice, but as the other two approach, he moves quickly. He pulls out a strange, stumpy sort of raygun and hypnotizes the three reptile creatures that approached him. He follows this with another piece of tech — a large tube that fires a roiling blast of energy, knocking the creatures to the ground. Although the creatures are unfazed by the words of power he speaks in Abyssal, he still manages to kill one of the ravenous reptiles with some assistance from Valna.

Meanwhile, Peren, R-66Y, and Warrant Officer Morgan enter into melee with the stump creature and two of the bipedal reptiles. Warrant Officer Morgan disrupts its structure with his ghostly energies, while the other two attack with mundane weapons. Although the stump creature is a savage attacker, it never stands a chance and dies swiftly. The two reptiles are quickly dispatched with support from Bosabrieln and Valna.

With the other creatures defeated and only two reptiles remaining, the Shields make short work of them.

Everybody sits for a moment to rest. Peren skins one of the reptiles and tries to capture one of the rabbit creatures, although he fails at the latter activity. The Shields move on.

After some walking, they find their destination — a lake with an island in the middle. They circumnavigate the lake and find a bridge to the island. From the bridge, they spot a metallic facility, presumably leading to some sort of command center from which they can reactivate the lifts.

The group approaches the building and R-66Y activates the door panel. As he does, the group hears movement around both sides of the building.

They are confronted by two groups of diminutive humanoids with grey skin, bulbous heads, and glossy, black eyes. Most of them carry clubs and some sort of raygun, but one wears a robe and carries a strange-looking spear. The creatures hesitate, then attack.

The battle is furious — most of the group tangles with the spear-wielding leader and some of his contingent while R-66Y deals with a group of roughly six of them, making short work of them. The leader telepathically requests their surrender before unleashing a psychic wave that knocks much of the party senseless. He then jumps into the melee with his spear, lashing out at any within range. His contingent falls quickly, although three survive to fire on the Shields. The leader manages to strike at Warrant Officer Morgan, but the shock drives the ghost to unleash an unholy scream before disappearing. Valna then pulls out some sort of futuristic warhammer and activates it, pulling the spear-wielder twenty feet and knocking him to the ground with extreme force. The fight goes swiftly as R-66Y holds him in place while the others rush past to attack him before his malign psychic energies can incapacitate them. When he is defeated, the group manages to kill two of the three remaining gunners before the last one flees — but Bezaldooz manages to take it down with a well-placed magic missile.

After resting, the group investigates the building and finds some more pieces of strange technology before determining what to do next.