Friday, October 28, 2011

Psychogenic Fugue Arc 04: Leaving On A Jet Zeppelin

8th of Fourthmonth, 10006 DK
The group started the day in an apartment they had rented to stay in during the night. They were roused from early morning rituals by a knocking at their door. A Rankethlek known as Kethralneer and an Elduman named Galven Jharrak were at their door. Kethralneer introduced himself as the king's aid and advisor, and Kethralzahn was able to confirm this by showing deference to Kethralneer. Kethralneer explained that Mokethneer is rash and abrupt, and had not given thought to how the group would venture to The Bottom of the World to confirm Kethralzahn's nature. Kathralneer took an interest in the matter and was able to arrange transport via zeppelin through Galven Jharrak. Galven Jharrak introduced himself as a member of the Organization, a group run by Savage Doc Managan. To earn the right to use the zeppelin the two individuals explained that the group would need to first help capture traitors within Steeltown's walls and then agree to meet with Savage Doc Managan some time in the future. Galven stressed that it was not a promise to perform an unknown service at a later date, merely a promise to meet with Managan and speak with him. The group agreed that this would all be agreeable.

Kethralneer and Galven lead the group to their zeppelin while Kethralneer explained that the freedom of self determination allowed by the First Five to all Rankethlek and Soulless that joined them was a noble goal, but made it difficult to ensure loyalty. Some Soulless that wished to join the Rankethlek elected to abstain from receiving the lightning heart that converted them from Soulless to Rankethlek, though they did take on the faceless metal face that is so iconic to the race and their fallen father, Kethranmeer. This freedom of choice made it at times easy for the Fallen to install sleeper cells within the walls. The First Five and their agents had found such a cell of Soulless in the city and requested that the Robust Five destroy it in as payment for arranging transport to The Bottom of the World. They were told the location of the barracks, and an estimate on the number of Soulless involved in it and instructed to destroy them, save for one, which would be disabled and brought to the First Five to be interrogated in the hopes of finding other such cells, or at least understanding the motives of the Fallen. The group agreed that this was reasonable, it was also mentioned that Galven Jharrak would accompany them. 

Once their equipment had been dropped off the group journeyed to the barracks and spent some time observing it. The noted the patrols in the area and the ebb and flow of traffic and then made to assault it. Krieg was hesitant, as it was broad daylight out and there was a large amount of traffic in the streets outside the barracks and the group frequently engaged in the use of firearms and explosives, which might draw undue attention, especially considering that Xein and D'alton were not terribly well liked in the city and bystanders watching them assault Soulless living in the city might look bad and get them all killed by an angry mob of metal warriors. The group agreed that this was a reasonable point and Kethralzahn and Galven staked out the barracks while the rest of the group went sight seeing around the city and purchased cold weather supplies for their impending journey to The Bottom of the World. 

When night fell and the city streets thinned of traffic, the group performed a two pronged assault on the barracks, half storming the front door and half dropping down into the main room from the roof. The Soulless were surprised and immediately realized they had been compromised and began bellowing in battle about the glory of The Bleak Tyrant and bringing death to the rebels of Steeltown. The group assaulted them, and were somewhat surprised when in addition to attacking them with weapons, the Soulless also seemed to be casting spells with no incantations or hand gestures. Several times during battle, Xein unleashed his explosives on the Soulless and found that after the detonations, the Soulless appeared to be on fire, as if containing something combustible. When there was but one Soulless left, Kethralzahn engaged him in a contest of grappling with their mighty metal thews and succeeded in holding the Soulless helpless with the aid of other members of the group while Xein used his technical expertise to paralyze the limbs of the Soulless. Further investigation revealed that beneath the metal exterior of the Soulless was the twisted corpse body of a Fallen. The Fallen ignored their attempts at communication and the group brought it to Kethralneer, and the Rankethlek was very disturbed by this method of infilitration. 

Instead of leaving for The Bottom of the World, Krieg asked that they go to the Necropolis, as Kethralzahn had promised they would, and the group agreed that that would be ok.

9th of Fourthmonth, 10006 DK
The group, aside from Galvan,  walked to The Necropolis, Krieg was tense during travel and Xein noticed this and asked why. Krieg explained that he was concerned about the aberrant creatures native to The Fallen Empire of Man, specifically the argut. 

18th of Fourthmonth, 10006 DK
The group arrived at the Necropolis, Kethralzahn elected to remain outside the city and hide behind a tree. However, a flock of night fowls decided he was too shiny to ignore. The rest of the group accompanied Krieg to The Great Library. Once inside, Krieg showed his library card and journeyed to the section of the library on the genealogies of The Old Empire, asking to be left alone while he engaged in research of such a personal nature. The rest of the group decided to wander aimlessley. The group puttered around the library for a moment, finding great difficulty navigating the decimal based system of organization. Xein could not locate any how to books on how to create the Fallen's main advantage in warfare: the Soulless. When the group approached the information desk a Fallen spoke to them about the library for a bit and the procedures of using their materials, then a small gemstone began glowing in their presence and the Fallen explained that the room they had rented had been left as they left it and if they wished, he could escort them there to continue their research. The group went along with this and followed the Fallen to a study. 

The group found the room to be a room they had rented some time ago. In it, they found several items of interest, including a satchel and many books. Most of the books were related to sorcerous research, specifically how to increase the potency of sorcery while maintaining its stability and resisting sorcerous mental control. In addition to some papers by a Vyanth named Belgerelel, there was also a journal by a Vyanth sorcerer whose name rune was a sort of triangle shape with a lot of philosophical discussion on the power of sorcery and maintaining control of it, along with some research he had done regarding a foreign land called Fregulenelesel, which translate into Land of Death Air to the west and a sorcerous artifact left there long ago by the Immortals. No one knew of such a place or who or what they Immortals might be. There was also a map of The Known World with a southeast section of Vyanthnem circled. 

The papers on resisting sorcerous mental control had a few bits and pieces about an ancient clan of Solwighta that threw off the mental shackles of the Fell Humans, the Vyanth being naturally resistant to sorcery, and the fact that the fighting schools of The Old and New Empires incorporate discipline training that leads to strong minds, and finally that psychics often possess extremely resilient minds. It was also noted that the best protection from sorcerous mental control was stronger sorcery. 

In a satchel beneath the table, the group found several tattered pieces of paper with pictures and writing in a shaky hand on them. One stated that "He is in our heads." another was a crude picture of their iconic weapons, the word "Gaz", and a crescent shape with a sword in it with arrows pointing from each of the drawings to the others. Another was a picture of the naming rune of a Vyanth sorcerer, a sort of triangle shape. The final piece of paper was a crude drawing of Nakmander and Derf, with a plus sign between them. 

When the group left their former study room after much discussion they realized that Krieg was nowhere in the library. They tracked down his gear, but could not find anything other than a small bloodstain. Concerned, they immediately investigated this issue and hired a sorcerer in the city to cast a divination. The discovered that in the six hours they had been in the library Krieg had been beaten, stripped of his weapons and armor, and hogtied in a basement beneath a business in Meroteth. Xein was adamant that they go rescue him immediately, D'alton stated that he didn't care, Krieg wasn't his bosom buddy, and Kethralzahn stated that the mission to see A'lst was far more important, his kind and eldest brother had given him an order to present himself to his grandfather and he would not be swayed from this mission. It was also agreed that transporting across the face of The Known World indiciated a use of extremely potent sorceries, and whoever did so might be beyond the power of the group to defeat. Grumbling, Xein conceded that there was nothing they could do and they set out to return to Steeltown.

28th of Fourthmonth, 10006 DK
The group returned to Steeltown.

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