Friday, 23 September 2016

Deep Watch Bay: Part III

Last time, in The Long Game, Alvyn, Kalgar, and Tong had found Deep Watch Bay. Thinking it abandoned, they explored the outpost, finding stairs leading underground. There, they found a grand library of records, but before they had a chance to investigate, they were surrounded by soldiers and archers!

Who are these soldiers? How will our heroes escape? Let's continue the story!

Dallas Kasaboski

What is the meaning of this!?" Kalgar shouted.

No response.

"A commodore shows up on your front step and this is how you greet him? I had to climb down this dark tunnel...where is your commanding officer?"

The archer at the top of the stairs raised his arm, and pointed at Kalgar. The other archers, drew their bows and fired.

"In Kord's name, what is the meaning of this!?" Kalgar shouted, as Alvyn stowed himself back in Kalgar's bag.

Kalgar turned, pulling his cloak and wings in front of him.

Standing his ground, Kalgar was hit with 7 arrows which vanished after impact.

"What is this sorcery?" Tong asked, pulling out a warbead.

Warriors came around the bookcases, and the first one was met with a warbead to the face! Dodging deftly, he advanced on Kalgar.

Kalgar spun on his heel and slashed out with his katana. Despite his best efforts, he took two attacks. In the back of his mind, Kalgar felt some form of pressure, mental pressure, which was trying to make him hesitate.

Two warriors rounded on Tong who blocked one but was slashed in the back by another.

Tong looked down, and then at Kalgar, there was no blood, no visible wound.

"They're attacking our minds!" Tong shouted.

"Let them come!" Kalgar shouted back.

Taking a second look, Kalgar had trouble focusing on their insignia, like part of him didn't want to look at it. The soldiers were also incredibly quiet, no talking, no grunting, no heavy breathing. Nothing.

"They're some kind of construct, guard-force, something." Kalgar shouted, unsure.

"Man or metal, they will fall. Cho!" Tong retorted, answering one attacking with two quick strikes of his own.

"Who's in charge here? It's about to be me!" Kalgar roared. "You, let's see if your spirit can stand up to Kord's might!" 

Alvyn tapped Kalgar in the back, "Attack him, the one on your right!"

Kalgar thrust forward, gouging the side of his foe. When he pulled his sword back, he said, "I've killed ghosts before."

Deeper in the room, there was a booming, "You should not be here!"

To answer that, Tong swept his legs high and low in his Eight-limbed scroll attack. He missed one soldier, but brought his heel down over another. Culminating with a warbead, Tong's attack dropped a soldier. He then slid to the side, pulling the next soldier off the edge of the floor.

The soldier just stood there, in mid-air, ignoring the deep pit below.

Looking up, Kalgar noticed several arrows arcing over the bookshelves, heading toward him. He turned, but still took the attack. All seven arrows struck simultaneously and then disappeared.

More soldiers moved in, attacked Tong and Kalgar.

"Get in their faces!" Alvyn commanded into Kalgar's ear.

Wings unfurled, Kalgar swooped past Tong and moved to grab a nearby statue. Intending to pull it down on some foes, the statue dissolved before he could touch it and Kalgar fell prone. 

Standing up, Kalgar roared back his head and shouted, "Come out and face me, you coward!" His voiced boomed through the chamber, but despite his dragonfear, it had no effect. The soldiers remained, and looked undisturbed.

Alvyn tapped on Kalgar's shoulder, warning him of an incoming strike, then stuck his hand out of the bag. Instinctively, Tong brought his hands together and wings of Chi energy sprang from his back. He swooped past Kalgar, pulling Alvyn with him.

They moved closer to the archers, but before they could get there, the archers disappeared. The floor vanished, and they fell 30 ft into water. The entire staircase, the archers, all were fake.

Tong leaped into the air, and flew back up. "Alvyn, it's time to show you the technique I developed myself. BIG HIT!" he yelled, concentrating very hard on his new move.

"It's good", Alvyn said, "but needs work. Maybe a new name." And it was a good thing he was hanging on because Tong's attack missed the next soldier and revealed the next area to also be an illusion; they both fell back into the water.

Frustrated, Tong shouted, "Temple Suit Veda!" and moved quickly through the knee-deep water. He rounded a corner into another chamber, which Alvyn recognized as some sort of lab. It had books, vials, equipment, and there were several similar chambers on either side.

Meanwhile, back above, Kalgar was the sole target of the remaining archers and soldiers. He moved quickly, taking attack after attack, shredding the nearest enemy, and pushing the next one away. "I will crush you, you ghosts! You are not real! Not real!"

Kalgar balled his fist and jabbed himself in his side, reinvigorating himself. His hand glowed and he felt Kord's blessing of strength washing over him. Calling more of Kord's strength, tightening his hands on his katana, he slashed back and forth, sword slicing through the air where the soldier's stood, through their fake chests, stomachs, necks, all while Kalgar, fuelled by battle rage shouted, "NOT REAL!"

Down below, Tong and Alvyn stopped to listen. "What is that sound?" Alvyn asked. They could hear swoosh, snikt, fwit followed by Kalgar shouting. 

"Ohh", Tong replied.

Kalgar's wings unfurled, knocking the last soldier away, and he followed Tong. For him, the staircase finally disappeared, revealing the hole and water 30 ft below. He alighted, falling smoothly, landing well on the stone below.

Looking over at the archers, Alvyn directed Tong, "Deal with them!" And while Tong went one way, Alvyn went another, looking into the nearest chamber. 

"With gusto!" Tong replied. 

Inside the chamber, Alvyn noticed a room in disarray. Unlike everywhere else, this room looked very recently abandoned, things were still laying around. Sniffing the air, Alvyn couldn't get a better idea of the room's contents, but he didn't smell anything explosive at least.

He exited, moving to the next chamber, and tried to duck under an impending attack but while the figure seemed to have clearly missed, Alvyn felt damaged. Psychic damage, he realized.

Tong moved one palm over another, unleashing Ego Tempist Veda. Shards of spiritual ego glass swirled around him, blocking some of the incoming attacks. More soldiers moved in on his position and were struck; as they fell prone, they disappeared.

As Alvyn looked further into the room, he noticed a large set of double doors. On either side, were signs representing danger of every kind. Flammable. Corrosive. If there was a symbol representing danger, it was beside those doors.

Kalgar moved to the room nearest him and looked inside. Beyond the door, there was a great hole in the ground and the walls looked burned. He turned around, pulled his javelin out of his bag, and threw it at one of the archers, still above. Still equipped with a sunrod, it streaked through the air and knocked the archer back. He vanished as the javelin streaked back into Kalgar's hand.

On the other side of the dungeon, Alvyn whistled and moved his hand, communicating danger. Tong understood and took a moment to steady himself, regaining health. 

"Go get 'em, Tong!" Alvyn commanded, and Tong took the opportunity to close in on the enemy. 

Alvyn popped his head inside another room, and found a lot of vials, crates, all with coloured warnings. There seemed to be some sort of filing system, but it wasn't very clear. None of the items were recognizably alchemical, it was more like the Iron Tower, a collection of animal parts and bits and compounds of alchemical items.

Elbows, fists, knees went flying from Tong, taking out two more enemies. Finishing with a cartwheel, he loosed a warbead at one of the archers above, who vanished upon being hit.

Kalgar looked in the next room, which appeared to be some sort of test chamber. Pedestals, with shelving, inside which were some crystals, rocks, chemicals, but nothing really interesting.

Leaning back into the main dungeon, Kalgar roared another challenge at whoever was controlling the archers. "Do I belong here?!"

At this point, Alvyn had made it over to the double doors, which were locked. He took a closer look. The lock seemed fairly complex. Alvyn pulled out his gun and a flask of water. He poured some water into the lock, and then popped one of his Bolts of Freezing inside. He could hear the metal of the lock groaning.

Kalgar and Tong fended off some attacks and finally moved to join Alvyn. Inside the double doors, Alvyn found vials and vials of liquids. They looked dangerous, but he wasn't entirely sure what they were. He took one, very gently, and put it in his bag.

Tong looked in another room, nothing of interest.

Kalgar looked in another room, found it equipped with blast walls and more evidence of explosions.

Leaving the double-doored room, Alvyn found a set of stairs which led both up and down. Beside it was a lever, upon pulling it, the water level dropped. "Found the flush." Alvyn called.

Out of combat, the three adventurers continued looking from room to room. They found many more files, tools, experimental equipment, it definitely appeared that this was the place superweapons were developed and researched, but there was no evidence of specific weapons.

"Tong, see if you can contact the ship through your Reverie connection." Alvyn said.

Tong brought his palms together and send word back to the ship.

"Kalgar, I'm going to need a bigger lab." Alvyn said.

"Understood." Kalgar said, "Tong, instruct them to clear out The Bilge Rat, bring up the frogmen, what else, Alvyn?"

"Tell them to come collect everything. Everything that looks like a vial or something curious, I want it." the gnome replied.

"So many books, but no answers, we're still no closer to the overthrow of the dragon's clutch. Should we not destroy this island, instead?" Tong said, between sending the messages.

Kalgar and Alvyn shrugged.

Now that the water had rescinded, they decided to go down to the lower level.

Another good spot for a pause. We'll leave Kalgar, Tong, and Alvyn for now. Thanks for reading, come back soon to discover the secrets below the volcano of Deep Watch Bay!

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