We proceeded to die, a lot. Over and over we played that same hour. We did learn from our mistakes, well, most of them. We didn’t get arrested again. We didn’t get crushed by a falling jail again. We did scare Cass a few more times. We did cause the explosion once or twice. And we didn’t find the Old Lady before she collapsed. But let me walk you through our next ten lives.
Going off what Cass had called us, we convince Officer Cross that we’re goblins, in search of food. He is suspicious, but lets us through. We head towards the center of the bubble, observing all the same things we did the first time around. The refinery isn’t quite at the center, and it is surrounded by very old trees and covered in thick spiderwebs.
Remy takes the guise of the pointy-ear people and wander off to ask questions. When he gets back, we head into webbed tunnels to get inside the refinery. In the main hall, we find overturned vats, broken catwalks. Klyce and Gerhardt hear something so we quietly scatter, but nothing happens. We eventually find an elevator and take it down. We land in a circular chamber with a reinforced steel door and an electric keypad lock. Dalish tries punching in some numbers and it starts beeping, so he cuts some wires. We are conscious of an explosion before everything goes white and the Old Lady frowns at us before we wake up in mossy dirt.
Convince Cross we’re goblins. Head through town. Into the refinery. Down the elevator.
Maribeth take a look at the keypad and notices there are four worn buttons. That’s still a ridiculous amount of combinations. Remy goes back outside to look for Cass. Maribeth takes on the Old Lady’s face and heads out to walk around a bit to see if anyone calls her by a name we can then ask about. No one does. When Remy comes back, he says he met a devil woman who will give him prophecy for blue crystals. She also told him that Cass is the small woman in the jail.
We head off to the jail to see if we can talk to Cass, but by the time we get there, she’s already broken out. We track her to a tree a little ways off, where she is rummaging through a hole a bit up the trunk. Maribeth tries to climb up to talk to her, but she kicks her away and then throws explosives at us. I shout at here it the fae language, and she replies in kind. I’m honestly too shocked to keep the conversation up. Remy casts sleep on her and Klyce climbs up and brings her down. I levitate her a bit as we carry her away from her explosives.
When she wakes up, she shrieks a lot, but we manage to calm her down eventually. Mostly by simply confusing her. We know she still goes in the mine, and ask about the code for the door at the bottom of the elevator ride. She gives it to us. We ask her about why she still goes down there. She insists there’s still enough mana down there to restart the economy, and she and the sherrif are trying to find it.
Then the ground falls again.
Goblins. Mine. Elevator. Door: 7233*. Door opens and we go in.
There are mine arts and rails, and not having a better idea, and being in a rush, we jump in and go for a ride. When we hit the end of the lin, there’s a locker room and another door. The lockers each have a wire leading from them to the door. The lockers are labled: Ermine, Uriel, Vasquez, Oscar, Lowell, Nott, Cassie, Boyland, Kenworth. We stare at them for a few minutes, until Klyce starts poking at the letters. Oh! I write down the first letter of each name and scramble them about a bit. UNLOCK – we open Uriel, Nott, Lowell, Oscar, Cassie, and Kenworth. The door opens.
There are more carts and rails here. And a tiny spider who hops over to a steel bin, and looks back at us. It’s a cute little spider, and Dalish goes to look in the bin. It’s full of meat. Dalish feeds it and it happily hops and climbs up onto his shoulder. Hm… Klyce puts the bin into one of the carts, just in case and we go for another ride.
About half way down, the first tremor hits. A crack opens up and thousands of spiders begin pouring out and giving chase to us. We immediately start throwing meat to them. When the bin is half empty, they’ve been left far behind. Thank goodness.
The end of this line looks like the main refinery room. There’s a large cavern with an arcane machine in the center. It reeks of mana to my sensitive friends. There is also a massive hole in the center of the room, about the size of our Sanctum pitch. There’s another arcane bubble in the hole, and looking inside is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It contains a monstrous maw full of gnashing teeth. And it’s moving the bubble up towards us.
There’s also a third, much smaller bubble on the other side of the room. There appears to be a person inside this one. We poke at it, but it is just as impenetrable as the one outside. Remy asks me to levitate him up to the refinery machine, so I do. He says it has a blockage. Dalish asks me to send him up to cast identify, so I toss him up in the air. He says it’s a mana reactor and it requires a person be attuned to its workings. That person can then turn it on and off and control the flow of mana.
The monster it the pit breaks through its bubble and eat Dalish, and the reactor, and everything explodes. The lady is glad we’re finally making progress.
We run all the way back to the reactor.
Dalish and Remy get into a mine cart and I levitate the whole thing up. They locate the blockage and try to will it away, as though controlling mana, but it’s not quite all mana. They concentrate harder on the part that is mana, and I get so distracted, they fall a bit before I manage to recast the spell and catch them. Something in the pipe gives a little, but they still can’t get at the problem. Klyce offers to bust the pipe, so I bring them down and lift him up. He alters himself and busts through the pipe. There is a small mana explosion. I bring him down quickly, and Remy and Gerhardt rush to stabalize him.
Mana is pouring out of the pipe, but then something else falls. Something long and black falls onto the lower bubble above the gaping maw. How… how do we… I have this idea… I’ve been working on a longer jump spell…. I run, and jump, and Klyce boosts me, and as I’m about to fall, I Thunderstep out to the center. Ohgodohgodohgod! Don’t look. Don’t look! I reach down and pick up a black metal spear with a spade-shaped blade. It looks like it belongs on a clock. I thunder step back twice to get off this horrible monster.
Dalish identifies it as a spear of time manipulation and returning. That sounds fancy. Dalish tries to throw it, but it seems a bit heavy for him. Remy picks it up and throws it right through the small bubble, skewering the man inside. The bubble pops and the man dies, just before the monster breaks free and everything explodes again.
The lady approves of us finding the spear, and when we wake up, Remy still has it. He disguises it to look like a walking stick and we go looking for a clock tower missing a hand. We ask around, but there are no libraries here. The clock on the bank isn’t missing a hand We go to the center of town to see what we can see. The market, bars, police, the mine. Someone mentions the church that Cass blew up, so we head over there.
The front is crumbled, but in the back, there is a desk with a lit candle. A skeleton rests in the far corner with a fancily painted skull. There’s a prayerbook to the Dawnmother of the Eternal Sun. Klyce thought he saw movement, so he lights up the room. We all cast about, but see no one. Dalish starts knocking on walls and Remy blows out the candle. I really want to look at that prayerbook, but everyone is preoccupied with finding secret doors or a skulking figure. Remy goes to check out the skeleton and it starts talking!
His name is Kevin and he’s been here since long before the explosion. He has no idea why they’re blaming it on Cass now, it was so long ago. He was alive before the blast, but then he wasn’t anymore. He says his brother, Carmine, used to work with him, but got tired of everything and left to go try and find a way out with the ‘bandits.’
We explain that we’re from the outside and we’re looking for the refinery foreman. He can’t reckon time very well and doesn’t know how long it’s been, maybe years. He hasn’t seen the foreman in a very long time. I ask about his magic, because it doesn’t seem to be like ours. He says it comes from the goddess in the form of miracles. He believes that if his brother came back they could raise the church and then his goddess would talk to him again.
New plan. We run down the mine and this time, we pop the bubble more carefully and discover the Sheriff inside. He tries to get Remy to pop the monstrous bubble in the middle. And Remy throws the spear. Boom!
We run back. The boys cast silence and protection. We pop the bubble and Klyce grabs the sheriff. Some quick threats, and careful placement later, he’s talking. He doesn’t know where the foreman went in the accident. There was an incident with worms. He came down and everything is hazy. His head hurts and he just wants us to end it all. Someone puts him to sleep and we start investigating the room. Poking and turning things until everything explodes again.
The old lady is no longer standing. She doesn’t look good.
We go running around the edge of the bubble, looking for the bandits. We argue a bit while we run, about who Cass is and if she might know the foreman. Maybe the bandits are the ones who break her out of jail. We should really talk to her again. Remy keeps looking for the bandits, convinced that the church is the key.
The rest of us head back to the jail, then head over to Cass’s tree to intercept her. We manage to keep her calm enough to answer questions. But she hasn’t seen the foreman since the explosion in the mine. She had a house over by the bank. No one called her anything but foreman. I ask about the names on the lockers, but the foreman didn’t have one.
We head over the the bank to look for the foreman’s house, and meet up with Remy coming in with the bandits. They want to rob the bank. We all head inside. They set off explosives near the vault, but when the dust clears, there are a lot of dead people, and not a scratch on the vault. Cross comes charging in as we ditch out, and then everything explodes once more.