The ancient machinery which keeps the defensive wards on the highest level of the prison working are grinding to a halt. The Keg decides that the best course of action is to press on immediately towards Administration in hopes of retrieving anything useful. Szo-ahm’s knowledge of the structure reveals that there are two ways down, the main lift which may or may not be operation, and the service ducts which may have collapsed. Option for the latter, the Keg begins their descent with relative ease — down is down, after all. Avoiding an eerily silent floor which they are told used to contain the complex’s massive array of functional machinery, the company tries to descend to the next level as quietly as possible.
Something goes wrong on a challenging portion of the descent, stuck in a vertical shaft, and both Joshua and Barnaby lose their grasp and start to slide. Lan manages to catch Joshua, but not Barnaby, who barely manages to grab hold of the lip of the duct, dangling fifty some feet above the ground. The room he’s stumbled upon is pure chaos. Chunks of floating masonry, unaffected by gravity, hover in mid-air, bound together by spiked chains of blackish metal. The dessicated husks of some huge humanoid beings are bound within the chains, while two figures struggle against their restraints — one filling the area with its screams. Things that appear to be mockeries of angels feed from the captured. The entire effect is like some insane, enormous spiderweb. Hearing Barnaby’s descent, one of the corrupted angels hisses a challenge and attacks.
The battle is long, but the Keg eventually prevails against the corrupted angels as well as the lesser and greater scavengers in the area. Joshua finishes off the screaming angel with a blow from his blade, which for an instant seems to gleam after the strike. During the fight, one of the victims is well enough to stand and fight alongside the company. Afterwards the Keg asks some perfunctory questions — who are you, how did you get here — and are satisfied with the answers they get. Though there is some confusion, once Barnaby is convinced the newcomer Azera is “not a Tikulti” he seems willing enough to have her along, and Joshua seems fascinated with the rarity of her species. They are not given long to contemplate, as soon the remnants of the creatures they have slain begin to stir.
As the first corpse rises, it is clear that whatever is animating it does not comprehend, or is simply unused to, the body. Motion is awkward and stilted. Joshua interposes himself between the creature and the rest of the party, who attempt to open the great double doors, seeking a quick exit. Seemingly unphased by Joshua’s attacks, which serve only to destroy the corpse, the thing begins to investigate the swordmage by scent and (after some gruesome self-surgery) taste.
“My, what do we have here. Savory. What an impressive toy this blade is, and so familiar. But where did you get it? Ah, I see. Delightful! It found though of course you don’t see it that way. And who is wielding who, I wonder?”
Investigating Barnaby, the creature seems disgusted. “Unpalatable! Intolerable! I can barely stand the … innocence.” Irritated by the proximity of the corpse, Joshua destroys it effortlessly and orders the rest of the Keg to search for other exits.
As Lan moves to comply, another corrupted angel’s corpse rises and begins to scent the air. “Oh ho! Abadonment! Delectable. But not quite ripe. What’s the matter, elfling — " but before the thing can finish its sentence, Lan’s spear separates the head from the body.
The corpse of a demon-spider begins to stir, and this time Twocopper Jack calls upon his pact with the beyond to use his second sight. Whatever he sees causes a violent reaction. His head jerks backward and his lips open in a silent scream before he topples to the ground, unconscious. “Who is this? Who is this? The most dangerous one of you all. Perhaps I should … " the body moves as if to strike, but then relaxes. “No. Of course. Too soon for all that.”
The final corpse animates and Joshua once again stands between it and the rest of the company while they frantically try to dig out the second set of doors. The creature finally begins to respond to questioning. “Who am I? A reasonable request, a rational request, and one that shows fear. Delicious. If you must address me, men have called me the First and Forsaken Prince at times. It will do. As for why I am here, I am a patient man, willing to wait, but I simply want what is mine. Those containers. Give them to me and you will have safe passage both here and in the rest of my realm.” Joshua does not treat with demons, and simply destroys the last creature.
With time to consider the situation, the company determines that the best path to Administration lays within more ducts. They make their way through more cramped, slime filled tunnels until they come to an impasse. The newcomer uses a ritual to try to mitigate any dangers, but sometime during the casting of the ritual, Joshua has vanished. Distressed by the lack of his friend, Barnaby tries to double back in search of him, but quickly leaves the rest of the company behind in his haste. The Keg attempts to follow, but it soon becomes clear that none of the tunnels match the ones they were in before. Azera postulates that it the First and Forsaken Prince, who should have complete control over the shaping of his realm, and what remains of the main group pauses to consider their options while Barnaby’s cries grow fainted and fainter.
The Feeding Room 850xp
The First and the Forsaken / Introductions / Roleplaying 1000xp
The Maze (incomplete) TBD!