Insert “Don’t Walk Towards The Light” joke here
It was more of an Indiana Jones reference that EVERYONE knows...and expected that to be the trap.Insert “Don’t Walk Towards The Light” joke here
This all seems like a wild goose chase. First some hedge hipster comes out of the wilds months ago asking about a book, and now that same hipster says he found one of the stations mentioned?
The “Great Dhakaani Machine” is just mad scribbling by an idiot gnome from Trolenberg. I don’t believe the Dhakaani built anything resembling what was described in his book. It doesn’t make any sense. First it is nowhere near where the Dhakaani Empire once stood. Yes they ruled the continent, but that is like saying that Galifar ruled the Demon Wastes; In name only.
So here I am in Denning getting stocked up on camp supplies for this folly of ‘Research’ I’ll have to see about bringing a keg of the ale with me.
The damned druid was right about something! It took some of the treemen several days to clear the boulders hiding the passage below. It clearly wasn’t natural. But it wasn’t like a mine tunnel either. This was finely carved; the details are extraordinary, if a little odd. It seems decorative, but there is so much of it everywhere. Why bother?
And why here? This is still in the middle of nowhere. It also amazing that Finn found this place. But it seems being a druid has advantages in changing forms and squeezing between the rocks.
We moved our camp from the outside to two adjacent rooms just down the main passage. From there we will continue exploring the depths.
The door that blocked us at the bottom took some doing to breach. The treemen tried beating it open, but the stone was having none of that. Fortunately, there are other ways, and the crumbling door opens up the tunnel below. Nothing that a quality artificer can’t handle.
Beyond was a large chamber with only a single of side chamber. The amount of dust and debris is incredible, like fine sand from a beach. It’s going to take weeks to remove it. There is another large metal door, blocking our way, and it appears to be locked. But with all this sand, it will have to wait.
Aryth 23rd ,
I will never go to the beach again. This stuff gets everywhere! My small clothes itch all the time.
Fortunately, Finn was able to help us move the sand out quickly; his stamina is great, but his servants are even better. It took a lot of time, and magic but the sand is out. I do look forward to his return, if for nothing else he would be a nice change of conversation. Golen is a bore, and I swear the only reason Wryna is here is…well at least she doesn’t hurt my eyes to look at compared to Golen’s ugly face. Why she spends time with him is beyond me. She’s like his trophy researcher.
We are now ready to work on the door below; it is intricate series of mechanism and enchantment. Finn said we should wait for his return before working it. I have to agree with that assessment. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. But when I performed the ritual, I was amazed on the raw magical power I saw. Not the door itself, but beyond it! It was almost blinding, and that is with a magically constructed door in the way.
So, we wait. I’m going to investigate this place more thoroughly.
I have had more time to look at the ruins while Finn is gone. I have come to the firm conclusion that the book was wrong. This isn’t Dhakaani. This is far older. Maybe from the Age of Giants. The rooms are large enough, and we don’t really know much about that time. The Giants certainly left Xen’Drik at various times on their own business, so it is possible.
But I am certain about one thing; this place is here not because it was close to a city or civilization. It is here because the power behind the door is connected to a manifest zone bound here. Ergo, this is here, because the zone is here.
If I had to guess the zone is one that creates energy; so Mabar is out as is Risa. Fernia or Irian perhaps. We won’t know until the door is open and we have some protection in place.
Finn knows more that he is telling. He strode in today and produced a what he called ‘a lesser key.’ That might have been the most useful thing that came out of that book. I know he read that book as well, but actually have one of the keys is remarkable. The book said several things about the greater and that there were a number of lesser keys. I should have convinced Framlin to let it go with us, but he wouldn’t budge. Damned bureaucrat.
But, the key safely opened the door, but only after reducing the energy within. I am guessing that without a key, most magical defenses would have been annihilated. But even at reduced levels, it is now clear that this a very powerful manifest zone for Irian.
But the room is extraordinary; a maze of tubes and what appears to be living material, all bound into a lattice around the zone. On one edge is a platform. I almost thought it was an altar of some type, but it appears to be a broken control panel. Smashed by a part of the ceiling collapsing.
Fortunately, the piping can be fixed, and I’ll look at the panel and see if it can be repaired. If Finn is right, this is an Eldritch Machine. What it does is a bit unclear, but I am sure after we make repairs it will be a simple matter to understand.
Finn has brought someone new with him a woman named Tracia to help us. She has some more plant servants and some other people with her. If they can do the heavy lifting so much the better.
I was wrong. The control panel isn’t just a panel. It is also an altar. One with sacrifices made. Blood is a key component, but as I quickly discovered it is a catalyst, not fuel. Once the machine is powered and primed, it will just run. It just takes a bit of blood magic to start the process.
The panel is nearly repaired. It took a while to get a Siberys shard of the proper shape to fit. The controls are working, although we are all a little tired from the work. The blood required isn’t large, but we have all needed to give a bit. Tracia and her friends included. Once we understand how to trigger the final sequence, we will be able to turn it on fully.
But I did make another discovery today. Actually two. The first is that this not an Eldritch Machine. It is a PART of one. A very large one. Once we fitted the piping together, the energy generated by the zone was quickly siphoned off and directed elsewhere. The energy isn’t staying here. A quick assence with magical detection showed that the siphon was taking energy away from here, to someplace north. But I also found that there was some resistance on the flow. This tells me that there are other contributors as well, pushing energy on the same pipeline.
The second thing I learned, is that Tracia knows this, but is lying about it. She’s a terrible liar in fact. I think she does know what this machine is for. Or at least whatever Finn has told her, and he has told her more than us.
But I’m not sure it is a problem; Finn has helped Cannith in this great discovery. Together we will be famous!
I don’t have much time.
I was so wrong.
About this machine.
About who built it.
About what was originally for.
About what it does now.
About what it will do soon.
I sit here in this cage, waiting to die.
The others are already dead, exsanguinated to start the machine up and left to starve and rot.
I am next.
I am the last.
I am so sorry.
I write vainly in hopes that someone stops this.
Not what he is going to do.
But about the unintended consequences he will unleash.
May the Silver Flame protect us all.
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Sieges and plagues are unpleasant business. But, throw in a cult of fanatics (The Emerald Claw) anything could happen.Also, looks like there’s been a lot of death lately. Hopefully, everyone gets a chance to catch a break sooner or later. Unless, Murphy’s Law has anything to say about it.
The player does create very interesting characters, all of them fun to dm or play off of.Fantastic chapter. Loved the first part of it. Perhaps one of my favorites thus far.
I can detect a little bit of The Blade’s comedy in his writing. I can only imagine how amusing it must be to fully experience it in a session.
Caught up again
Still thoroughly enjoying the story (and finding out a bit more about Eberron).