Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Expedition to the Black Moor, Part 7

Waterday, Goodmonth 5, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Valna, and their ally R-66Y decide to follow the Voice’s instructions and proceed to the teleportation chamber. Knowing the way, R-66Y leads. On the way, they pass the computer core but see that the door is still closed and the control panel broken.

There are two entrances into the teleportation chamber, and they choose the first to which they come. They open the door and travel through a short hallway until coming to some form of control room; a humanoid creature with a tentacled face bends over the control console, wearing some sort of jumpsuit. When both parties see each other, the phrase No, no, no, no! reverberates in the Shields of the Sorrowfell’s collective heads. Recognizing the form of a mind flayer, Peren immediately leaps into combat, smacking the creature senseless and allowing an opening for the rest of the Shields to seize.

The mind flayer does throw some sort of gas grenade, but after shaking off the effects of the gas, the Shields of the Sorrowfell make swift work of the creature, killing it with savage blows.

Peren notes movement in the greater teleportation chamber, and after R-66Y shuts down the teleportation pad, Peren goes to investigate. He finds a small, quadrupedal creature heavily resembling an oversized humanoid brain; he attacks it, but leaps away when three of the creatures quickly move to flank him. Recognizing the telltale shape of intellect devourers, everyone moves quickly, slinging spells and firing shots. Two of the creatures die swiftly, but the last survives just long enough to phase with Peren’s skull, overtaking him and forcing him to attack his companions. Bezaldooz manages to render him insensate as the others withdraw and attempt to excise the creature; finally, it wriggles forth, but finding Peren still dazed, leaps back into his head to redouble its psychic onslaught. The process is repeated, and when finally the creature is forced from Peren’s head, R-66Y kills it with a single gunshot.

As the Shields rest and scrounge for equipment, the Voice makes a rather nervous announcement that something is messing with one of the reactors powering the ship, and that if this situation is not remedied, it will cause some form of catastrophic mishap. To underscore the point, red emergency lights activate and klaxons sound.

The Shields decide to follow directions and head in the direction of the reactor room. Again, they find the computer core still closed and locked, so they continue to the reactor. Double doors open, revealing a towering cylinder with a staircase spiraling around it. To the left, another door marks what is most likely some sort of command center. To the right, a large desk — evidently containing a machine that controls the reactor — is being used by a lone, jumpsuited human. Bosabrieln, with the help of a translator creature known as a “blather gecko,” attempts to communicate with the human, but the human ignores him. When he makes it clear that he will have to stop the man, he refuses, and slings the rifle off his shoulder.

The Shields attack. The man attacks with his rifle, but Valna uses her strange, futuristic warhammer — a “gravity hammer” that pulls the target up to twenty feet before allowing her to deliver a powerful blow — to bring the man to the group. However, even as she does this, another man runs from the other door, wielding a rifle and shouting something that only R-66Y and Bosabrieln can determine to be, “For the Apocalypse!” R-66Y recalls a terrorist group by that name from his native time, and so suspects that they are members of the organization.

The mystery of how humans survived for fifty years in a hostile environment is quickly solved when Peren injures the first man, revealing little bleeding and a metallic skeleton underneath — the two men are constructs. As the second man antagonizes Bezaldooz, he activates an armored suit he managed to scrounge to fly onto the spiraling platform around the central cylinder; he begins slinging spells from afar. When the Shields finally defeat the first construct, R-66Y runs for the computer panel to try to cooldown the reactor; he also adds a small amount of water to a jar of powder he found to summon a dehydrated scientist to help him with the computer. The first construct rises again, but is quickly dispatched. With only one construct remaining, Bezaldooz and Valna join R-66Y to help reprogram the computer while Bosabrieln and Peren dispatch the construct.

Once they manage to put it down for good, the Shields search the room and manage to scrounge some technological devices. Then they rest. As they do, the Voice informs them that they are to report to the computer core.