Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 04
Chapter #4: Desk Jockeying
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them in dire need of a map. And spatial normalcy. And helmets."
<Nenni> Nenni looks for a fire escape at the back of the warehouse / factory.
<Miranor> (You forgot the drugs.)
<Miranor> Miranor continues to look for any sort of way up
<Cadellin> "If I hit one of these belts hard enough with my axe, do you think it'll all grind to a halt and we can find a door?"
<Capn_Ascii> There's lost of ways up. Down is up, left is up...what you need here is a good old-fashioned space-detwistifier. That, or some trial and error.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You can see a fire door not too far from your position, the kind that only open from inside the building. Presumably there are more on the walls beyond the maze, or else the fire marshal would have closed the place down.
- Nenni wonders how long it would take to circumnavigate the building at a brisk trot to get a quick survey of the egresses, reasoning that either the operators have an access that grants normal physics or they are unfazed by paradoxes.
- Cadellin looks for a path through the belts.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You step into the maze and immediately disappear from sight.
<Capn_Ascii> About two minutes later, you re-emerge walking upside-down on a belt running directly over the party's heads. You make the mistake of looking down (up?), at which point gravity reasserts itself and you come crashing down on the others.
<Cadellin> "Ow." Cade rubs his head.
- Nenni hisses and darts out of the way.
<Cadellin> "Are we ready to try bashing this thing in yet, or does someone else want to give it a try?"
<Miranor> "Yes, let's not go inside."
<Miranor> Miranor sighs. "Yeah, this isn't going to work," he heads back outside.
- Miranor looks around for another way in
- Cadellin follows Miranor.
<Capn_Ascii> You head outside and walk around the building, examining it. It's fairly bland as far as buildings go, with few windows (all up high, near the roof) and only the occasional fire door to break up the monotony of bare wall.
<Capn_Ascii> On the far end of the building, you find a roof access ladder mounted on the wall. There's a saftey cage around it, and the bottom 10ft of the ladder is retracted up out of immediate reach.
<Miranor> "Hey, anyone able to jump up there and get the ladder?"
- Cadellin sits down with his backpack and pulls out a rope and a miner's pick. He ties the rope securely to the pick.
<Capn_Ascii> You got ROPICK!
- Nenni trots after the others.
- Cadellin attempts to throw the pick so that it catches the bottom of the ladder.
<Capn_Ascii> *clank* The pick holds.
- Cadellin pulls down on the rope to bring the ladder within reach.
<Capn_Ascii> You give the rope an experimental tug, but the ladder doesn't budge. It's locked in place to prevent anyone accidentally releasing it onto the top of their head. You could either climb the rope itself, or try to break the lock with a particularly forceful show of...um, force.
- Cadellin looks dismayed. "I suck at climbing. Miranor, you want to climb this and maybe undo that lock once you get up there?"
- Miranor just shakes his head. "I don't climb."
<Cadellin> "Jug, Jug are you here? Can you climb?"
- Nenni looks around for oil drums, palettes or other mobile debris people can bring and climb up ontop of.
<Jug> "Yeah, I can climb that rope." Jug grabs on and starts his climb.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: It's not too hard to make the climb. Soon you're clinging to the outside of the saftey cage; you reach inside and release the saftey lock, and the ladder drops down and locks into place.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Ah, here's some old tires, and an oil drum, and a few old crates! Perfect for making stairs...oh, wait, they got up there already. Never mind.
- Cadellin begins the long trek up to the roof.
- Nenni trots ahead, up the ladder, inside the cage, up the side of the building.
- Miranor follows
<Capn_Ascii> You all climb up the ladder, and soon find yourselves standing on the roof of the factory. The two smokestacks tower over your heads, belching thick black fumes into the air.
- Miranor looks around for a door
<Capn_Ascii> You find a trap door in the roof next to one of the smokestacks. Like the fire doors downstairs, it's marked with the usual "FIRE EXIT - ALARM WILL SOUND" warning stickers.
- Nenni approaches the many rows of windows lining the roof and looks in to get his bearings.
- Miranor looks to see if he can disable the alarm.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: A quick inspection reveals the wiring for the alarm. Now to disable it...
<Capn_Ascii> There, alarm free. Better hope the fire marshal doesn't find out about this.
- Miranor opens the door
<Capn_Ascii> The door squeaks open, revealing a ladder.
- Miranor goes down the ladder
- Cadellin follows.
- Nenni looks around to orientate himself in the factory space first.
<Capn_Ascii> You appear to have climbed down into a file storage room. The walls are lined with file cabinets, and there's a couple of old desks in here. A door in one wall leads out.
- Miranor decides to check the file cabinets before proceeding
- Cadellin listens at the door without opening it.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You hear very loud factory machinery.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: There's an awful lot of cabinets in here...anything in particular you're looking for?
- Miranor is going to look to see if any of these have been used recently. Any information on what this factory does *now*, what the archmage is doing, etc.
- Miranor finds nothing and moves on to open the door.
<Nenni> "Seems like the logical step forward."
<Capn_Ascii> The door opens out onto the factory floor, only this time you're up near the ceiling. A quick look confirms that you're very close to the furnace in the center of the room - the smokestacks rise up next to you, and the body of the furnace occupies the floor below. You can see some activity down there amidst the maze of active assembly lines. There's also a catwalk here than *doesn't* seem to be twisted in on itself - it runs out across the area and goes right for the manager's office.
- Miranor carefully proceeds for the manager's office
- Nenni stares at the "activity" below, trying to figure out what's going on down there.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You carefully proceed for the manager's office. The door stares at you.
- Miranor opens the door
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Looking down, you can see a rather curious setup on the floor near the furnace. There are about a half-dozen anvils lined up around the forge, each one surrounded by a circular trough, and each one manned by a rather large iron golem. Every few moments, each golem reaches into the furnace, hauls out a glob of...something that's mostly molten, slaps it onto the anvil, and his it a single time with a large hamm
<Capn_Ascii> er. This results in a vivid spark of magical energy, after which the material sloughs off into the troughs and feeds into tubing connected to the assembly lines.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Your sight is no less interesting. Inside the manager's office is none othat than Cap, who is lying on top of the manager's desk lengthwise as if it were some sort of sacrificial altar. There's a cage of bars enclosing him that's obviously made from magical energy, glowing brightly, the ends connected to the top of the desk like chains holding him down. His eyes are glowing, he's wearing some kind of metal
<Nenni> "Well, that's something I don't see every day."
<Capn_Ascii> skullcap on his head, and he's babbling mindlessly in a language you don't recognize.
- Cadellin looks to see what kind of products are actually being produced on the assembly belts.
<Miranor> "Anyone got Dispel Magic?"
<Cadellin> "Detect Magic, Remove Curse, Remove Disease...Err, no."
<Miranor> "Well I don't think we need to Detect these."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: It's difficult to tell, given that the belts don't follow the usual 'this part goes to this place' lineup. The parts all look small, though - they're being produced on sprues. Plastic, maybe?
<Sheona> "No Dispel Magic here. I think most of my spells are for making people miserable."
- Cadellin looks to see if the cage extends *under* Cap, or if they might be able to get him out by destroying the desk.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Hmm...
- Cadellin makes a mental note to prepare Dispel Magic the next day.
<Capn_Ascii> As far as you can tell, the bars end where they touch the desk.
- Cadellin tries pushing the desk an inch or so, to see if the bars move with it.
<Capn_Ascii> The heavy oak desk makes a horrible grinding sound as it moves across the floor, the legs gouging marks into the nice wood flooring. The cage moves with it, as does Cap, who rolls slightly.
<Cadellin> "So, how should we do this?" Cade asks, examining the desk. "Think we can come up from the inside or something, to get Capn out?"
<Nenni> "Well, *if* Cap is 'willing', I can trade places with him. But looking at the state of him at the moment, I don't know that his will is his own. And that would leave me (or some other willing victim) in his place."
<Miranor> "Yeah, let's not risk that."
<Capn_Ascii> Cap reaches up with one finger and begins flapping his lips against it, making a ridiculous 'eebeebeebeebeebee' noise. He then resumes babbling incoherently.
<Miranor> "Eliminating the desk seems like our best shot."
<Cadellin> "I'm a little worried the bars will drop if the top of the desk does. Can we cut a hole through to him, instead of destroying the whole thing?"
<Miranor> "That seems reasonable. Anyone have good cutting options, or will the sword have to suffice?"
<Cadellin> "I have an axe."
<Cadellin> "Well, a dwarven waraxe."
- Cadellin begins cutting at the desk with the axe.
<Miranor> "That might be superior, yes," Miranor replies, letting Cadellin get to it.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Grabbing the axe by the shaft near the head, you get down on your back below the desk and *carefully* begin chipping away at the wood, so as not to accidentally punch through and give Cap a new axehole.
<Capn_Ascii> It takes a few minutes, but soon you've got a manhole-sized opening directly beneath his...well, his butt. He's already starting to droop down into it.
- Cadellin continues cutting a little beyond the edges of where Capn's head and shoulders should be.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You've removed as much material as you can. The desk drawer housings are blocking the far ends of the desk from your...erm, tender ministrations.
- Cadellin crawls out and waits to see if Capn will slide all the way out of the hole.
<Capn_Ascii> Not by himself, at least. He's just sitting there lazily, waiting for someone else to do all the work. As usual.
<Miranor> "Well, go ahead and pull him out."
- Cadellin sighs, crawls back under the desk, shoves Capn's bottom back up, and reaches in to pull his feet out.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You gently shove Cap back into place, then reach in for his foot and attempt to carefully manuver it towards the hole without moving the rest of him too much. But shortly...
<Capn_Ascii> There's a sound not unlike that of a bug zapper going off as his knee bumps one of the bars. He reflexively jerks away from it, snatching his foot out of your grasp.
<Capn_Ascii> Fortunately he either doesn't feel the pain, or doesn't care in his current state of mind.
- Cadellin crawls back out...again. "Your turn."
- Miranor tries
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You give Ascii a gentle tug. He doesn't budge.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You give Ascii a moderate pull. He doesn't budge.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You give Ascii an irritated yank. He doesn't budge.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Furious, you grab hold of his belt with one hand and the end of the desk near his feet with the other, and violently upend the latter like a man who just lost big at poker. The desk comes to rest on its end, and you plant both feet on what used to be the underside and pull with all of your might!
<Capn_Ascii> After a few moments, he pops out of the hole like a stubborn turnip and goes flying out of your hands, crashing through the window that overlooks the factory floor.
<Capn_Ascii> You can hear him babbling from somewhere just outside.
- Miranor goes and takes a look, surprised by his own strength
- Cadellin looks at Miranor in amazement. "We will definitely be calling you for all our desk-hole-pulling-through needs."
<Capn_Ascii> Cap is draped over the railing of the catwalk, limp as a sack of potatoes. He's still wearing the hat, and his eyes are still glowing.
- Miranor grabs hold of Capn. "Okay, can we do something about this hat, or should we just take him as is?"
<Capn_Ascii> Oof! Damn, this guy's heavy.
<Sheona> "I know I'm not touching that hat."
- Cadellin uses the handle end of the axe to try gently pushing the hat off Capn's head.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You hear that bug-zapper noise again as the handle jerks away from the hat. Looks like it's magically warded.
- Cadellin tries casting Remove Curse.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: As you lay your hand on Cap, you feel an incredible, eye-watering *pain* shooting up your arm, accompanied by a bright flash of light and an even louder *ZZZRT* noise. Your arm is violently blasted away from him, causing you to stumble backwards and fall onto your butt. Cap, for his part, twitches like he's being forced to choke down asparagus, wincing and whimpering.
<Capn_Ascii> Suddenly, from down below you hear a familiar voice over the general din of the assembly line. "Eh? What was that?"
<Miranor> "Let's worry about this later," Miranor hisses at Cadellin. "Let's get the hell out of here."
- Cadellin nods and heads back the way. Shaking out his still-buzzing arm, he lets someone else carry Capn.
<Capn_Ascii> "You and you. Go check it out." You hear an odd noise that sounds not unlike the creaking and groaning of an old ship. Golem-speak?
- Miranor puts an arm of Capn around himself to help carry him. "I can't do this myself. Let's go."
- Jug assists with the Crazymans Carry.
- Miranor begins the walk back towards the entry hatch.
<Nenni> "Why does that voice sound so familiar to me?" Nenni wonders aloud.
<Cadellin> "Is it the wizard?" Cade whispers.
<Capn_Ascii> (It is. Shh. It's a secret to everybody.)
<Capn_Ascii> You haul Cap back into the file room and begin the laborious process of hoisting him up the ladder and through the trapdoor. It takes a panic-inducingly long time. By the time Jug is pulling him up through the hole, you hear a sound not unlike a steel I-beam being bent in half. The entry door splinters open as a huge metal fist punches through it.
<Miranor> "Priority is escape, not fight. But let's defend ourselves. Up one at a time."
<Capn_Ascii> The metallic giant slowly lumbers closer...
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---