DM Brainiac's Iron Gods

Game Master Brainiac

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The town of Torch has long enjoyed a singular claim to prosperity—a violet flame that burns atop Black Hill in the heart of the town. This flame burns incredibly hot, and while it's usually the size of a bonfire, several times a year the fires spew up into the heavens in a brilliant beam of purple violence. These eruptions are presaged by about an hour of soft rumbling, giving nearby smiths a chance to retreat before the fires can consume them. At all other times, the violet energies allow for the smelting of all manner of skymetal. Torch is one of the only locations where skymetal can be worked with relative ease outside of Starfall, and its entire economy has risen around these purple flames, with traveling smiths coming from across Avistan to pay for the opportunity to work with them. Of course, Torch needs all the visiting trade and coin it can gather, for while the town's distance from Starfall makes it inconvenient for the Technic League to maintain a permanent presence here, the taxes and tariffs it charges the Numerian town on a monthly basis are significant. The town prospers, but the bulk of its income does not belong to it.

Which is why, when the fires atop the hill suddenly went out, the town was in trouble.

Several adventuring parties have already ventured into the caves beneath Black Hill to try to determine why the flames have been extinguished, but none have been successful. Indeed, only one group has even returned. That group, lead by councilman Khonnir Baine, ventured back into the caves a second time and has not been heard from since.

The citizens of the nervous town have edged closer to outright panic. With their hands full handling the growing refuse and waste problems in town now that their primary disposal method is gone, the town council is eager to find out what happened to Khonnir and rescue him—they've made public a reward of 4,000 gp to any group that can recover Khonnir’s body; if he can be returned alive, they’ve promised to throw in the scroll of resurrection they've been holding on to in case they need to revive him.

Whether it's the reward that's drawn your attention or the chance to uncover the mysteries that lie beneath Torch, you are now preparing to launch your own expedition...


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

"BY ALL THE HORSES IN THE INFINITE PLAINS! YOU MUST BE MAKING FUN OF ME!" roars Gylwinth, pushing his fur cloak aside to free his massive arms and glaring at the merchant.

Only a few days had passed since he had reached Torch. The town was in turmoil, everybody acted nervously, like the Orcs of Belkzen were charging through the plains, and it smelled worst than a bulette's crotch! The man he was looking for, the one he thought could provide him with some answers, some reassurances, had disappeared. He wanted to venture through the tunnels were he was last seen, but it seemed most who did never came back. Luckily, he had met others who, for their own reasons, were foolish enough to venture underground.

He missed the plains! Having some gold, he thought it best to go out and look for things that would be useful down there. That when he saw this gorgeous spear. He had heard of skymetal, but figured people were just exaggerating, on account that the metal came from the sky, that it was just so much better than theirs.

Until he saw the spear tip, felt its balance, and danced a finger on its edge! He could not believe an edge could be so sharp, yet did not look so fragile. Yes, he would buy it!

"HOW CAN A SPEAR COST MORE THAN A HORSE! ARE YOU ALL MAD IN THIS PLACE?!?"

They were perhaps all mad. Taxes for access, bad sanitation, merchants posing as crooks, and crooks posing as merchants! And nowhere to look to the horizon, nowhere but this damned pile of rock from the darkness above...

Stunned, and clearly insulted, Gylwinth turns his back on the laughing merchant and pushes his old bones back to his companions.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Kaska placed a restraining hand on the Kellid's arm and gently tried to turn him around and away from the merchant. "Just drop it. Let's go"

She had tried to tell him that he would not be able to buy the spear. It would easily cost more money than she and her uncle would see in two or three years. But he probably couldn't understand that notion. Her uncle had never really grasped money either, at least the part about saving it. He couldn't, or wouldn't perhaps, understand saving it, that having a lot of it at one time for the future was what it was all about here.


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"It is both rare and difficult to work," says the blue-haired woman in the small group to which Gylwinth returns. "Exported to Starfall or further abroad, it would fetch an even more handsome price." She shrugs and smooths a ragged edge on her top, but it stubbornly refuses to stay in place. "Put it from your mind... while Torch is a small town there are a few other things to do here. Perhaps the merchants will be more accommodating once you have earned their respect - for now you are simply another traveling visitor to them."


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

"That price was NOT handsome..." mumbles Gylwinth. He wants to say more, he always does, about the traditions and the old ways, but the Android makes him highly uncomfortable.

Unable not to stare at her otherwordly features, he instead looks completely away, turning his back to her: "Right then... What else would be useful down there..? he asks to no one in particular.


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Perhaps some alchemical weapons or remedies? My funds are limited so there's little I could do other than purchase some lamp oil or spin a round at the gambling house," quips Viv.


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday blinks in surprise at Gylwinth's outburst. He'd only known the man for a few days and his ability to get angry over seemingly trivial things still astounded him. He could get angry, that was not what he couldn't understand, but what stirred him to anger was injustice and cruelty.

"You are not considering context, Gylwinth. Underground, where we are about to venture, the spear will be of more value than a horse that will not be able to navigate such tight spaces, whilst the skymetal of the spear will be able to pierce the metal hide of robots that we could encounter."

He listens to Viv and nods.

"I am in a similar position. I suspect that mine will be best spent renting lodgings while we are here, though if you see something that would be useful, I will be happy to contribute what little I have."


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

"It's still robbery, I say! Now, this would never happen among the Kellid tribes, where honour still means something. No, these merchants have lost their way. The world has forgotten its past and turned to greed!" blurts Gylwinth at Fireday. He had let go, but the Android had a way of getting under his skin.

"Mmh... No gambling for me anyway... No alchemy either! Have you not listened?! These are the symptoms of what's wrong in this place. No... I guess I'll be fine then. The great warriors of the past are looking out for me, and I am looking out for you!" he growls with laughter in his voice now. The old man was like a bear, and too much time in the civilized world felt like a cage to him.


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday bows his head and clutches the wooden sword and sunburst hanging from his neck.

"I have found in the short time I have been alive that honor is largely a matter of culture. You moderate your actions to earn the approval of your deceased ancestors, I operate by the example of the Inheritor by studying her Acts. Even she, as a goddess of honor, is not the universal standard."


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Once the philosophical talk starts Kaska tunes the others out. The Kellid Gylwinth reminds her, with all due respect, of her uncle. He isn't saying anything she hasn't heard in one form or another many times before. It's really just complaining, and that has never changed anything. As for the outlanders, well, she just doesn't care much what they have to say.

But their comments about light purses does get her thinking.

If it has to be one or the other, more equipment for us is better than more money in a hotelier's purse. Maybe Uncle Brok would like to talk with Gylwinth, that would be good for him.

"Maybe it's best for all of you to just stay at my uncle's home with me until we are ready to go. It's small but we can all fit for a night or two. It would save a little money for extra equipment. We would just need to bring some extra food. There's not much there right now."

Kaska isn't so sure about the two outlanders, but if they're going under the mountain together she might as well get used to them, and she can't refuse them hospitality if she's offering it to the Kellid man.


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"If it won't trouble you or your uncle," says Viv. "But maybe we should worry about that later, and for now see about going to look for Khonnir Baine? Maybe we should talk to some of the town leaders and see if they have any more advice."


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

"Ok, just give me a minute" grumbles Gylwinth and runs over the merchant's stool, the same he had just heckled. They see the shaman speak with the man, who is at first very defensive, but eventually, they both laugh, shake hands, exchange coins, and Gylwinth returns with a bunch of spears and a big mace in his giant arms.

"All set. I'd love to stay at your uncle, Kaska. He sounds like an honourable man."


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday nods at Kaska's words.

"Thank you for the kind offer, Kaska. I will not require much space. Living in a barracks like the one at Castle Urion, you learn to make do with as little personal space as possible."

He also nods at Viv's words.

"This would be a wise avenue for investigation. From what I understand, this Councillor Bane would be the first to know if anything or anyone...sinister...had arrived in Torch before the flame was extinguished."

He blinks in surprise as Gylwinth returns to the same merchant he was complaining about earlier and makes a purchase.

"No hard feelings? You continue to perplex me, Gylwinth. Whenever I think I have you figured out, you surprise me."


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

"Sure, we can go by the town hall. We should also stop by the foundry and talk to Val, she's Khonnir's daughter, to see how she's doing. She might be able to tell us something as well. I'll take you there, follow me."


Coen, you can join up with the group whenever you are ready.

The final member of your group seems to have gotten caught up in his shopping. You leave word with the merchants to direct him to the town hall before Kaska leads you there.

One of the grander buildings in Torch, the town hall doubles as a second garrison and lookout tower watching over the eastern roads. Council meetings take place in the hall every week on Oathday, but the hall sees frequent use for social gatherings as well, including many dances held in the neighboring square.

Though the council consists of five members, only one is here to greet you. The dwarf Dolga Freddert is Torch's oldest councilor, present at the town's founding over a century ago. Though her body has grown old, she seems alert and energetic. She perks up when she sees you approach.

"Ah! Adventurers, unless I miss my guess. Are you planning to head into the Black Hill Caves?"


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

Adventurers!? Gylwinth thinks to himself and balks. His was not a quest for adventure, but a search for understanding. He did not care for the foundray, or for Torch's fate for that matter. He was there for his people. He needed to speak with Baine. His tribe depended on him.

Reluctantly, he gives the councillor a stiff bow, allowing that, like him, she had her people's future on her mind.


Male Human Starsoul Sorcerer 7 38/38 HP | AC 16 T 12 FF 14 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 | Initiative +1 | Perception +0

"Exactly! That's what I've been telling everyone but no one seems to understand like you do! This is an ADVENTURE!"

The voice drifts up from behind the group as Coen jogs up carrying a precariously stacked pile of goods. A crossbow bolt is dangling half out of his quarrel and he seems dangerously close to dropping the whole thing.

"I mean... of course it's mostly a rescue mission and that's really serious considering the number of people that don't return from the caves and the fact the city might cease to exist if we don't solve the whole torch thing, but nobody says this sort of thing can't be both!"

Coen awkwardly steps forward and attempts to shake hands with the mayor while balancing the various provisions before noticing that he seems to be off beat with everyone else.


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday bows politely...perhaps TOO politely, given it looks more like a southern noble than a rough-and-ready Numerian.

"You are correct, Councilwoman. We wish to aid your flame in reigniting. Kaska, I presume you are already familiar with. I am called Fireday, of Castle Urion and the church of Iomedae. With us is Viv Voltine, Coen and Gylwinth of the Crimson Moon tribe."


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Soooo... what more can you tell us about what happened with Khonnir Baine?" asks Viv from the back of the group.


Dolga crushes Coen's hand in an iron grip, returning the handshake with perhaps a bit too much enthusiasm. "It's a pleasure to meet you all," she says, beaming with relief. "I am glad that you are eager to assist Torch in its time of need. As you are likely aware, there's a reward of four thousand gold if you can find Khonnir and bring him back. A separate reward of equal value is still awaiting those who can reignite the torch, but right now we are more concerned with getting Khonnir home safe and sound."

"It's been eight days since the flame went out, but only seven since the first explorers braved the new tunnels Khonnir discovered. There's an underwater passage connecting them to Weeping Pond. Khonnir noticed a large number of human footprints on the pond's banks—he was there the day the fires went out testing the water to ensure it hadn't suddenly grown more toxic—and he realized that a sizable group of people had entered the pond but had not emerged.

"Since then, four teams have entered in all, but only one came back to report what they found—Khonnir's first expedition. Khonnir spoke at length with the council before going back in, and he confirmed what his group told us, despite how outlandish it sounded. The first team was a group of halfling adventurers, the second a group of local thugs, and the fourth a small adventuring party devoted to the worship of Brigh from out of town. Khonnir’s team undertook the third and fifth expeditions under Black Hill, and it was on the fifth expedition—his second trip—that he went missing.

"The caves are inhabited by several enormous vermin and other scavengers, along with some strange humanoids who had the ability to blend into the shadows of the cave walls, and a nest of gremlins. Khonnir believed this indicated a deeper connection in the caves to the Darklands, but of more immediate interest was his discovery of a wall of solid metal deep in the caves. A wall made of a skymetal alloy called glaucite. He said it was like the kind we mine from the hills and surrounding plains, but formed into a structure with doors. It was near one of these doors that Khonnir found a broken automaton that he brought back after his first expedition.

"Khonnir planned on exploring deeper beyond the doors on his second expedition, but who knows if he made it that far?"


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Kaska knows the councilor, Torch is a small place, but she (and her uncle) couldn't be described as "involved citizens" and she and the dwarf have no more than a casual recognition of one another. She nods at the councilor in greeting.

"Did Khonnir Baine say anything at all about what he found when returned from the first trip? Anything at all you remember him mentioning might be helpful."


Dolga shrugs. "Aside from the accounts of the creatures he encountered, not a whole lot. He mentioned that there were two doors in the glaucite wall. One was locked tight, but the other was open. He planned on going through the open one when he went back down.

"Other than that, there's the broken automaton that he brought back. It's still over at the Foundry. I'm sure Khonnir's adopted daughter, Val will let you examine it if you're so inclined."


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

Viv nods and says, "Val might have more information too, if he told her anything else about what he found. So, er, since this trail leads underwater, do we just swim, or...?" She trails off.


"You'll need to swim a bit to get to the caves," Dolga says. "Joram Kyte has agreed to cast water breathing on any group to aid in entering the caves—free of charge, of course. You can find him at the temple of Brigh or up at Crowfeather Palace when you're ready to go.

"Once you're on the job, I'll give each of you a writ that you can show to any of the merchants in town for a flat twenty percent discount on any gear you need to purchase—I wish I could offer a greater discount than that, but that's the best I can do."


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday crosses his arms as he listens.

"Did any of these parties venturing into the tunnels seem...suspicious, Councilwoman? Have any strangers come to Torch recently besides ones like Viv, Gylwinth or myself?"


The councilor chuckles. "More so than a typical band of adventurers? Not really. No offense intended, of course." She smiles slightly.

"Dozens of people come and go every day. No recent arrivals have particularly stood out. But Khonnir was concerned about the initial footprints he discovered on the pond's banks. Word about town puts the blame on the Technic League, but I think that's too convenient and obvious an answer. Perhaps the answers lie deeper in the caves..."


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday bows his head and closes his fist, clearly trying to maintain his composure.

"Sometimes the answer is obvious because it is correct. The first thing I learned here in Numeria is that the Technic League is everywhere and has no mercy. What has happened here will not go unnoticed by them, if they were not responsible themselves."


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

Gylwinth lost track of the conversation after they mentioned swimming. He hated water almost as much as he hated the mechanical horrors roaming the plains, and for a moment, he wondered if it was really worth it to go after Baine. He could just let the others go and wait for the, to return with Baine...

But what if they did not return? What then? Would he be haunted by their spirits? And what would his ancestors say? Would they turn their backs on him? Would the rest of the tribe also abandon him?

Water...

Like a waterskin pressed tight, frustration and impatience springs out of him: "Fine then! Let's get to it! Best be done with this forced bath. If the gremlins or the Technic League don't kill us, then it will be the flu!"


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Hey, we're going to do our best to find missing people important to the town, and save the livelihood of everyone here! No reason to get cross!" says Viv with an upbeat tone.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Kaska's eyes light up at the mention of discounts.

With another nod to Dolga she says {b]"Thanks."[/b] Then she adds "Do you figure you could go ahead and consider us on the job now? I figure we'll be leaving for the caves tomorrow. It would give us a chance to get an earlier start if we got supplies sorted today you know."


Dolga agrees, excusing herself for a few minutes to track down a functionary to draft your official writs. She returns shortly and offers them to you. "Here you are. I'll be here should you have any other questions. I wish you luck and success in your expedition."


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Thank you, councilwoman," says Viv with a curtsey. "We'll do our best to save Khonnir Baine and find out what happened to the Torch!"


HP 26/53 | AC 13 | Acr +2 AnH +3 His +5 Ins +9 Inv +5 Lor +8 Med +8 Perc +3 Rid +5 ShL +5 Stea +2 Sur +6 Tra +4 | Saves: S +0, D +2, C +2, I* +5, W* +6, Ch +0; Res Corr (Wis) Fear | Init +2 | PPerc 13; PInv 15; PIns 19 | Spd 30' | Insp: Nah | HD 6/6 Shadow 1 | Status: Normal | Arrows 4; Bullets 20 | HoaH 2d8+Wis 4/7 (SR) | SchIns 1d6 (LR)

As they walk out, Gylwinth calms down somewhat. When he was a young boy, he had slipped and fallen in a lake and almost drown as something slick pulled on his legs. Ever since that day, a bucket of water was about as much as he could deal with.

"I wish to apologize for my impatience. I'm not used to... The ways of the city. In truth, I look forward to our expedition."

Taking a look at the note, he says to Fireday: "One coin for every five... And yet, these merchants will still turn a profit. I tell you, the ways of the city are but subtle enslavement."

He pauses, then adds, more solemnly and reciting: "The plains provide plenty, but to the greedy.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Kaska takes the writ from the councilor, folds it carefully, and tucks it away.

"I appreciate this, many thanks."

She then continues to play tour guide, leading the others onward to the Foundry.


The Foundry Tavern is one of Torch's most popular venues, but since the torch went out and its owner, Khonnir, went missing, the townsfolk have had little reason to celebrate. In honor of her missing foster father, Val Baine closed both the tavern and the neighboring foundry until further notice, reserving the former as a place to rest and recuperate for any group heading into the caves to look for Khonnir.

As you approach the Foundry, you hear a startling cry--a scream of terror coming from the small stone house behind the tavern!


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]
Gylwinth of the Crimson Moon wrote:

As they walk out, Gylwinth calms down somewhat. When he was a young boy, he had slipped and fallen in a lake and almost drown as something slick pulled on his legs. Ever since that day, a bucket of water was about as much as he could deal with.

"I wish to apologize for my impatience. I'm not used to... The ways of the city. In truth, I look forward to our expedition."

Taking a look at the note, he says to Fireday: "One coin for every five... And yet, these merchants will still turn a profit. I tell you, the ways of the city are but subtle enslavement."

He pauses, then adds, more solemnly and reciting: "The plains provide plenty, but to the greedy.

"I would not know. The closest I have known to a "city" was the Castle, and that was more a chapel and supply depot with walls. People bought what necessities they needed before continuing the journey north, while the Knights and I drilled and prayed. Subtlety may benefit them for a time, but you and me...for us power lies not in coin, but in the warrior's way."

At the proverb, Fireday replies with one of his own: "Conquering the soul secures the land."

Just then they hear the scream and Fireday's eyes widen. He dashes towards the house behind the tavern, drawing his sword as he does so.

Won't get much use out of the monk's spade until I get more feats and a higher BAB...


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Put to the test! Let's go!" Viv says as she darts toward the building.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

When she hears the scream, Kaska starts running toward the cottage. As she goes she draws her falx and calls out "Val! Is that you? Are you okay"?


You rush towards the house, pausing briefly to open the door to the inner hallway. Following the scream and the sound of crashing and mayhem leads you to a storeroom. As you approach, the door bursts open and a robot lurches forth on its three spidery legs!

The robot is five feet tall and made of a gray and white material. Its torso and arms and head are vaguely humanoid, with one blazing "eye" in the center of its head and a four-fingered hand on each arm. Bits and pieces of its chassis are missing, exposing the delicate circuitry within, and it makes loud and tortured grinding noises as it moves towards you!

Initiative:
Coen: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Fireday: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Gylwinth: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Kaska: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Viv: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Robot: 1d20 ⇒ 16

Kaska is able to go before the robot acts. No map for this encounter, as it's all in pretty cramped quarters. Right now, two people can get to the robot in melee, although it would have cover against one due to the doorway.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

A machine in town!

Kaska rushes to the machine. As she arrives within reach of it she swings her falx with both hands in a downward arc aimed it its "head".

Attack (PA): 1d20 + 4 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 2 - 1 = 13

Damage: 1d10 + 3 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 2 + 3 = 13

Move: Advance to machine, Standard: Attack with Power Attack +2 for Favored Enemy.


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Kaska rushes forward, bringing her huge sword down in a powerful strike. The blade tears the robot's head from its body, sparks flying from the severed circuits. Its decapitated body lurches to a halt, slumping over, and the light in its central eye flickers and fades.

Dang, well I guess Kaska could kill it in a single hit. Go go, Power Attack Ranger! ;)

After a moment, a young Kellid girl emerges from her hiding spot under a table in the storeroom. It's Val Baine, a little dusty for her ordeal but otherwise unharmed. "Alright! Thanks for the save, Kaska!" She throws her arms around the ranger, greeting her friend with a grateful hug.


Female Human (Kellid) Human Skald 9 / Barbarian 1| HP: 83/83 | AC: 21 (T: 15, F: 17) | CMB: +10, CMD: 24 | F: +10, R: +7, W: +7 | Init: +9 | Perc: +12, SM: +15 | Speed 40' | Performance 22/22 | Rage 6/6

Kaska hugs the girl back. "You alright Val? Why was there a living machine here? Is that what Khonnir brought back?"

Wow! I figured that was a miss, don't see too many 13's hitting! I'd say it was Favored Enemy: Constructs that saved it from whiffing.


Val nods. "Yeah, that's the one. We thought it was dead so we stashed it in here. Dad was going to study it later. I was just going to tidy up a bit but it woke up! I guess it was only mostly dead."

She seems to notice the rest of you for the first time. "Oh, hi there! Sorry for the awkward introduction. I'm Val. It's nice to meet you!"


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

"Hello, Val," says Viv. "I think you've seen this about town." The android cautiously surveys the small house. "Are there any other surprises we should know about?"


"I don't think so," Val says. When Viv finishes surveying the house, she sees that Val has been staring at her the whole time. "Sorry, I mean no offense," she apologizes. "It's just that I've never seen an android up close before. I mean, I know there are a few in town, but..."

She elbows Kaska softly. "Why didn't you tell me you were friends with an android? That's so cool!"


Male Human Starsoul Sorcerer 7 38/38 HP | AC 16 T 12 FF 14 | Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 | Initiative +1 | Perception +0

Largely ignoring the people around him, Coen kneels down before the broken machine, observing it closely for maker's marks, still working components, or any language printed on it's broken form.

Puzzled by the sudden attack he thought about the weirdness of it. Why would the machine activate now? It must have been dead the entire time Khonir's team dragged it back here, or else it wouldn't have been left unguarded. First the strange Torch deactivates and now machines taken from the below activate? Could it mean something was changing deep in the ruin?

"If this was a guardian construct, it could mean that Khonir's team reached the heart of the structure and it activated to protect something!" A worried look suddenly flits across his face. "Either that, or something else is moving energy around and it activated for some other reason..."


Female Android Kineticist 10 | 93/93 HP (10 temp) | Resist Fire 10 | AC 20 T 14 FF 16 | Fort +12 Ref +14 Will +7 | Initiative +5 | Perception +18 | Nanite Revival 1/1 | Nanite Surge 1/1

Viv pauses and puts one hand on her hip with a slight contrapposto pose. "Feel free, I suppose? Nothing wrong with looking," she says to Val.


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

Fireday blinks in surprise as Kaska effortlessly dispatches the robot.

"Your sword-arm is impressive, Kaska," he exclaims.

As they assemble in the house, Fireday sheathes his sword and extends his hand.

"It is an honor, Val. They call me Fireday."

He looks from side to side and, deciding it was safe, pulls down his bandages and reveals the green circuitry marks on his face with a small smile.

"I am surprised at your enthusiasm to be honest. Most Kellids regard our kind with suspicion at the best of times."


Val shakes Fireday's hand. She grins at him when she sees his circuitry. "Well, I'm not like most Kellids. Dad taught me to keep an open mind and judge people on their actions instead of their appearances."

She then squats down next to Coen as he examines the broken robot. Unfortunately, its remains don't reveal any further clues as to its origin or purpose. Already badly damaged before Kaska decapitated it, none of its components can be salvaged. "I don't know. I hope it's a sign that Dad's still active down there."

She gets a sad look in her eyes as she stands back up. "I miss him. Are you going into the caves to try to find him? If so, you're welcome to use the tavern as a place to rest and recover between expeditions. It may not be the most comfortable accommodations, but I've got bedrolls laid out and I can give you all the food you need while you're in town."


Male Android [Warpriest 10, AC 20, T14, FF17 | HP 83/83, F+11 R+7 W+12 | CMB +9, CMD 21 | Init +2, Perc. +15 | Nanite Surge +12 1/1, Blessings 8/8, Fervor 3d6 8/8]

"Thank you for your generous offer of hospitality, Val Baine," Fireday says, bowing.

"Do not worry for my comfort. I "grew up" as it were, in a barracks. I am used to roughing it. And fear not for your father's safety. We will bring him back, I swear it upon my sword."

He punctuates the statement by drawing his sword and holding it before him, hen taking his holy symbol and hanging it from the hilt.

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