Next game is tonight....forgot to get this posted...apologies!
20:42 - Catching their breath as the lift descends, the suddenly find themselves facing a human male and an illithid – Marix and his ally perhaps?
After a few tense moments, Llewellyn introduces himself and breaks the ice – though Ormid remains highly suspicious.
Marix, apparently as eager to make peace with the group as (some of) them, quickly grows alarmed, realising that a patrol is surely about to arrive.
20:45 - He ushers the group into a side room (a workshop of some kind), and noting their wounds and generally weary state, asks the illithid to drain some fluid from one of the stasis tanks.
The glutinous, green goo is given to the group, and they are told that is will allow them to gain the benefits of a full nights sleep in only a couple.
20:55 - Ormid is still wary, and waits until other party members have taken some before finally – and grudgingly – doing the same
From the main corridor come raised voices, and Marix's own voice; “I haven't seen anyone slave. Go now, and search elsewhere” - all this accompanied by a subtle psychic pressure.
The group rest...
01:25 – 01:45 - After the group have awoken, fed, and explored the workshop a little, they are met by Marix and Mulgey (the illithid).
Marix explains that he and Mulgey are charged with maintaining the vessels hibernation suites, the artifice peripheral engines and a whole bunch of other mechanical systems on the ship.
Mulgey is a spawn mate of Oozulg – the Illitihid who dwells in the foredecks with the three Neogi slavers who run this vessel, keeping the slaves obedient through the use of a Psychic Control device, and overseeing the sedation of the massive creatures – Gigorim of some kind – used a living fuel cells for the vessels life-leecher engines.
Marix has had enough of this place and seeks escape. Mulgey also seeks escape – though it also wants to feed on the salty brain fluids and dying dread of its spawn mate, who it feels betrayed it.
To this end, they want to help the group escape...
With regards to the slaves – as explained they are all “plugged in” to the ships enslavement matrix; a psychic relay that allows control and also communication.
Neither Marix or Mulgey (or the Gear Gorgryn) are connected to this, as it hugely impedes the ability to think for themselves, problem solving ability and general lucidity – fine for menial or violent tasks done by expendable biffs, not so good for someone fixing your engines or life support!
As the doors are mostly warded with psychic locks, and the mental “passwords” are relayed to those that need them via the psychic network, Marix and Mulgey have been given special “keys” which allow them to both open many doors, and to command slaves linked to the enslavement matrix.
Marix gives this to the group – a triangle of faintly luminous translucent crystal, shot through with what appear to be nerves, slices of tissue and pulsing crystals, that is disconcertingly warm to the touch
With regards to the crew held in stasis – all the command crew of both the Wanderer and the Jack of Swords are in stasis here, as well as several powerful Gorgoth and pirates – all destined for the slave markets of Dal'Shen.
Something else is also in stasis, sealed away in a specially sealed container. Neither Mulgey or Marix know – or want to know – what this is.
Marix explains that the crew will take a few hours to “defrost” (as he calls it), and states that they will be very groggy and weak at first. He suggests that their escape will trigger a ship wide alert, and that the group will have to fight their way back to the docks and escape.
To prevent a massacre therefore, he suggest that the group try to breach the
Neogi's treasure vaults; a heavily warded place accessed through a portal.
Marix warns that although the key will get the group to the gate room via a number of access ports and repair ducts (bypassing the numerous Golems and traps that ward the “proper” way), it will not allow for safe passage through the portal leading to the vaults, or within the vaults. He also warns that a theft from the vaults will almost certainly alert Oozulg (at least) to their activities.
The group mull all they have been told over. They consider trying to fly the Wanderer by themselves, but realise that this is not possible.
Eventually they decide to get the slumbering individuals gear, and to take one of the ships with them to crew it – too bad for all the other crew enslaved by the psi matrix.
Marix gives each party member a healing balm and they head off...
01:50 – 02:25 – The group use the psionic key to work their way towards the portal room, commanding enslaved Umber Hulks to open vast doors, commanding imposing rune-struck Clay Golems to ignore them, and opening doors that would be impossible to safely breach otherwise.
Eventually, guided as much by the building sense of psychical as well as physical “pressure” the group come to the gate chamber...and Ormid almost cries with professional passion and joy at the sheer complexity and genius of the psi-arcane portal; a living construct that utilizes thought energy and artifice to maintain a dimensional link to a distant locale – almost certainly on a planet somewhere!
02:25 – 02:35 - Llewellyn and Ormid work together and an alarm set on the gate is disabled.
With no other dangers apparent, the group pass through the shadowy maw of the portal...
(NEOGI TREASURE VAULTS – OUTER GANTLET – SOMEWHERE UNDER DAL'SHEN)
02:36 – A small chamber; the floor carved with a teleport circle, the only exit a set of heavy stone and metal doors, inscribed with the likeness of a Neogi face. In front of it; a small glass tube set in the floor bearing a bulb at its end. Within the bulb a tiny, perfectly formed brain floats within a clear fluid, its spinal nerves hanging down the length of the tube.
Llewellyn, fearless as always grabs hold of the brain bulb...
...And is suddenly in some other place...a shining being of mental energy strides towards him, and lashes out with pseudopods of glowing psychic power. Acting on reflex, the Vyrleen dodges, realising that actions “here” are purely mental. The shimmering mass of emotions and thoughts attacks again, and the Vyrleen conjures up a weapon of mental energy, and strikes back wounding it....
meanwhile, back in the chamber, the group see the rogue suddenly stiffen as he touches the bulb, the colour draining from his face. Eyes glazed, he twitches and grunts softly, suddenly bleeding from his nose as...
...The beams of energy rip into him, erasing parts of his mental self (and he senses doing more real damage). Still far from hurt, the Vyrleen prepares to launch a counter attack, having seriously wounded the entity only...suddenly....
Fearing for his life and sanity, the group pull Llewellyn away, breaking the link with the psychic lock, and hurting him as mental trauma tears through his brain.
02:40 – Feeling he has a better chance that the Vyrleen, Ormid takes hold of the bulb...
Ormid faces (in his psi-scape) a great robot of artifice, and is nearly killed by it (ironically doing far worse, despite much higher stats, than the Vyrleen rogue), before he finally manages to put it down!
02:41 – The doors open revealing a truly vast chamber of black crystalline metal, carved here and there with neogi glyphs.
02:42 - Across from the entrance another identical door stands...fearing a trap, the group are cautious. Ormid a little dazed from his encounter with the psyche of the lock summons his Onyx Hound and sets it to wander across the chamber and to nuzzle the far door.
Meanwhile, Llewellyn search the chamber, missing the true exit (by about 5 points; the exact penalty he got for doing a ”general sweep of the whole chamber”, rather than a focused search)
02:43 – The summoned creature nuzzles the door...and all hell is let loose!
Several Fire Elemental Archons are summoned, as well as a searing cloud of fiery gasses...battle commences, and the group painfully, and slowly make headway against their weird foes (though yet again, a shame faced Brundorson proves a most ineffective ally).
02:50 – The group catch their breath after the battle. All are badly wounded.
02:55 – Llewelly find the real exit.