A Sundered World: Episode 107

  • Agron (level 5 scion psion)
  • Katra "Crazy Gin" (level 4 kobold pirate)
  • Waive (level 4 scion nomad)
  • Warpath (level 4 tarchon battlemind)

After exchanging some words and veiled threats with the Devil Prince, the characters learned that he had an agenda, though they were just no closer to determining what said agenda was. To make matters worse, he seemed to know exactly what they were up to.

They left and arrived at the Sword Vault without further incident. It was, near as they could tell, in the same condition they'd left it in. Returning to the corridor were a dwarven banshee had nearly destroyed them all, they discovered a set of iron doors at the end.

The door was trapped, but since Katra's hands were immune to fire she was able to grasp the super-heated handles and open them. The interior was dark, cold, and quiet. A hall led to a chamber with channels that looked to have once carried water throughout the complex, but were now dry. Two of the walls featured huge doors of brass and gold, and another passage led away from the wall across from them.

Waive tore open a window in space behind both of the doors, allowing him to slip through and open them using a series of wheels. The gold door lead to several forges and an archive filled with stone and metal books that, near as Agron could tell, contained smithing techniques and information on metallurgy. They were quite heavy, so he only pocketed a few that he assumed would be the most valuable.

The brass door led to a device that was powered by numerous, massive fire cores. Though the cores currently inserted were depleted, they found another door that led to a room that contained plenty, including several that had been breached and were radiating an intense heat throughout the room. Katra new that breached cores were extremely volatile, so they left the chamber and continued exploring the third passage.

It was much shorter than the rest, and at the end they found a sarcophagus made entirely from gold. Warpath opened it and found a metallic skeleton wearing a robe made of a golden fabric, clutching a golden hammer to its chest. He took the hammer, and when nothing happened they retraced their steps to the entrance, so that they could investigate another set of less ornate, stone doors.

When they returned to the central chamber, the Metal Dwarf had awakened. It demanded that Warpath return his hammer, and when he did it commanded them to leave. Waive and Warpath implored him to help awaken the spirits resting within Waive's swords. Initially it refused, but after burning and breaking one of Waive's hands said that they would have to help themselves.

Metal Dwarf returned to the sarcophagus and smashed the wall behind it, revealing a darkened passage. It told them that their first task was to light the Vault's furnace, so they returned to the room with the fire cores. Waive and Warpath busied themselves gathering them up using their mind and muscles respectively, but once they'd collected the last two the exposed cores exploded, revealing a trio of salamanders.

Agron flung one of them into the other, while Warpath impaled the third. The other two quickly recovered and lunged after Warpath, but Katra struck one in the eyes with a shard of metal, and Waive plunged his blades through a twist in space to stab at the other. The one Waive struck darkened and crumbled into hand-sized chunks of smoking rock, and when the other bit into one of Warpath's legs spikes exploded from it, shredding its head and cause it to also crumble apart.

With only one left, Warpath twisted his sword-arm about until it too was reduced to rubble.

They brought the cores to the furnace, inserted them, and pulled the largest lever they could find. The chamber shuddered, and they could hear metal clanging on metal somewhere within the walls. After several minutes the Vault flared to life: dwarven faces that lined the walls were illuminated, and lava flooded the channels they'd seen earlier.

They returned to the Metal Dwarf. It used the hammer to smash the lid of the sarcophagus into four pieces: their next task would be to carry them through the hall and down into the Vault's depths. It offered them the hammer, but dropped it before Warpath could take it. The hammer struck a panel in the floor, causing the dwarven statues that lined both sides of the hall to draw massive swords and begin slicing randomly about.

Agron used his telekinesis to draw the panel back up, and the statues slowly wound to a halt. When the Metal Dwarf tried to step on it again, Agron mentally hoisted him into the air and held them there until everyone made it to the other end.

The hall connected to a spiral staircase that wound down around a sword of staggering size: the crossguard, from end to end, was several hundred feet in length. The blade extended well beyond the light from Katra's hands, and as they descended the stairs discovered it was easily longer than several ships lined up from bow to stern.

It took about half an hour for them to reach the bottom, and after walking through a thankfully much shorter hall they entered a vast chamber. A metal disk set in the center was surrounded by a stone staircase. It ascended some thirty feet, leading up to a stone vat that was suspended by thick metal chains above the plate, as well as a pair of levers. Finally, directly across the room from them was a door that featured and irregularly shaped keyhole.

They gathered their godsteel fragments into the stone vat, and Waive pulled one of the levers. The vat quickly became intensely hot, melting the godsteel, and when he felt that it was sufficiently liquefied he pulled the other lever. The vat tilted, pouring the molten godsteel through a hole in the plate. After several minutes the floor trembled, and the plate in the floor slid away, revealing a creature with the head of a dwarf and the body of a lion. It loomed over them, clad in godsteel armor.

Warpath leaped at it, but it reacted far more quickly than he anticipated and swatted him out of the air. Agron struck it with a bolt of mental force, but this had no discernible effect, and it retaliated by blasting him with a gout of fire. Katra managed to dodge out of the way and lob a grenade into it's mouth. There was a muffled explosion, but it didn't seem to adversely affect it.

As it searched for a target, Waive slipped underneath it and drove his swords into it's hindquarters. When he pulled them out he felt an intense heat, and gobbets of molten stone dribbled from the crack, which was slowly expanding.

Warpath regained his feet and again charged, but it pinned him underneath one of its front paws. It prepared to unleash another gout of flame, but then Waive struck again. Its entire backside exploded, showering Waive with blistering stone and propelling the front half into the vat, causing the rest of the creature to shatter.

As chunks of rock and godsteel clattered about them, there was a pair of much louder clangs, as a long, golden, many-toothed key fell out of its torso.

Behind the Scenes
Wasn't sure if the characters were going to talk their way out of fighting the Metal Dwarf, but they did a good job with the social roleplaying (and rolling well didn't hurt). The other way the encounter could have gone, would have been for the smith to use the hammer to awaken just some of the horde of dwarf zombies that formed the Vault's walls.

Maybe next time...

We talked quite a bit about the new battlemind move, and settled on allowing you to roll for focus, but only during combat. It makes sense from the fiction, while preventing you from healing to full almost whenever you want.

Chris also pitched an interesting modification to Self Healing, which allows the battlemind to slowly heal over time so long as they spend time meditating on their wounds. Way faster than just making camp, but not necessarily always convenient.

A Sundered World Kickstarter
The Kickstarter for A Sundered World is now live!


Back it.

I posted a preview of the current version of the kobold race and battlemind class: you don't have to be a backer to see them, but hopefully they'll entice you to become one!

I'm also working on a series of A Sundered World comics with one Brannon Hollingsworth. There's a preview of the first page up as well, but for that you gotta be a backer.

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