Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 13
Chapter #13: Down the Tubes
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, everything is going to hell. Though, that's pretty much par for the course with this group, innit?"
<Cade> "Hmm, I believe I was running for the door when we left off. I think I'll resume that now."
- Miranor nods in agreement
- Jug joins Cade for a hasty retreat.
<Capn_Ascii> A man wearing an Indiana Jones outfit runs past you, shouting suddenly. "KNEEL!" He then crouches down.
- Cade looks around to see if there is anything dangerous flying through the air.
- Miranor checks as well, getting down a bit, while keeping himself able to attack
<Capn_Ascii> Someone suddenly swings a plastic halbard overhead. Miranor, the only one who made any attempt to move when instructed to, avoids it. Everyone else gets clocked int he back of the head. Well, everyone except Nenni, who is already as low as one can get.
<Capn_Ascii> Fortunately, it's just a prop, so it doesn't hurt.
<Jug> "Ouch! Watch what you're doing with that thing!"
<Capn_Ascii> "Sorry!" The 'knight', a stout fellow wearing a trash can with armholes and a collander on his head, salutes and stumbles back into the fray.
- Cade resumes trying for the door.
<Capn_Ascii> You head east and soon end up in the vendor areas. The riot has spread here too, although it's less 'fighting' and more 'rampant looting'. You see two guys dressed like the Mario Bros. run past carrying one of the overhead display screens.
- Miranor resists the urge to facepalm and continues on
<Capn_Ascii> "Back! BACK, you savages!" The vendor who tried to hock a bat'leth at Miranor earlier is now trying to drive off a crowd of angry Trekkies using the same weapon. They quickly overwhelm him and tear into his body! ...of bootleg merchandise, stripping the booth clean in seconds.
<Miranor> "This con ain't ever coming back to this town..."
<Miranor> "Next time we go to San Diego."
<Cade> "They might think it's the best con ever." Cade glances at the mage to see what he's doing.
- Nenni moves through the crowd at full speed, unimpeded, thanks to the earlier manifestation of Urban Strider. Go cat go!
<Capn_Ascii> You head south into the food court area, where the con-goers alternate between a massive food-fight and gorging themselves on the concessions. As you approach the front entrance, you can hear sirens and see flashing lights outside.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You ditched him back somewhere in the game area, and lost sight of him.
<Capn_Ascii> "STAND DOWN!" A line of riot police has formed at the doors, dozens of men standing shoulder to shoulder with ballistic shields and batons. "If you do not disperse, we will be forced to use force! Er...forcefully!"
- Miranor raises an eyebrow at this ridiculous sight.
- Cade puts his hands on his head and walks calmly toward the doors. "Can we disperse straight through those doors, please?"
- Miranor opens his mouth, then closes it, realizing Cade is being far more polite than he is capable of being at this moment.
<Capn_Ascii> "Sir! Do not approach the line!" One of the cops yells at Cade. "Lie down with your hands on your head!"
- Cade stops walking forward. Looking confused, he says, "I thought you said to disperse? How can we do that if we can't leave?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Shut up and LIE DOWN!"
- Miranor carefully moves away from Cade, pretending he's not with him.
<Capn_Ascii> "And YOU!" The cop points his stick at Miranor. "How *dare* you attempt to leave a friend in the lurch like that? What is *wrong* with you?"
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: It occurs to you that you could easily waltz right past the cops and leave your friends up the river while you get away scott free. Hmm...
<Capn_Ascii> Before you can act on this information, however...
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You hear a distinct, muffled, explosion-like sound coming from the game area.
- Nenni telepathically suggests to the team, "I can teleport 2 of us to the van, if the teleport isn't still being suppressed."
<Capn_Ascii> The sound of panicked screams echos from the game area, followed by an odd whoosing sound that seems to be getting closer. You finally see the source of it - a large, orange wall of magic cresting over the booths like a tidal wave, enveloping almost the entirety of the convention center. It's approaching rapidly, enveloping everyone in its path.
<Nenni> Nenni makes contact with Cade and Miranor if at all possible and reattempts a Dimension Door to the van.
- Cade , letting loose a short unmanly scream, runs for the door heedless of any cops in the way. "RUN!"
- Miranor follows Cade in a general dash for the door.
- Jug yells "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! I'M TOO YOUNG TO DO THAT YET!" He likewise stampedes for the door.
<Capn_Ascii> The cops at the entrance brace themselves for your assault...until they see the wave approaching. "AAAAAH!" Then they all drop their shields and batons and join you in running like mad. You, they, and dozens of con-goers flee out the open doors in a panic.
- Jug scoops up a shield and a baton as he runs by.
<Capn_Ascii> ...well, except for Nenni and his two best friends, who disappear in a puff of smoke that smells vaguely like another dimension.
<Capn_Ascii> They reappear inside the van, and immediately crash into the inside wall before they can stop their momentum.
<Miranor> "Quick, go rescue Jug!"
<Cade> "Ow. Thanks, Nenni." Cade quickly climbs into the front seat.
<Capn_Ascii> Poor Jug gets screwed over, left behind. Although he does get a new shield and weapon out of it.
<Nenni> Nenni checks to see if the Fanta spout erupted through the convention centre roof?
- Cade revs the van, pulls out of the parking spot, and looks for the best way to reach Jug.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: You note that the baton is actually a shock stick - one of those cattle prod-type things.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You wheel around and drive towards the convention center, though you can barely make any progresss through the crowds of fleeing pedestrians heading in the opposite direction. You see Jug running along rather awkwardly carrying a large shield on his back, and behind him, the doors to the convention center, which suddenly erupt in an explosion of orange energy. <more>
<Nenni> "If this wave is a go-get-the-character-sheets wave, then we need to keep them away from the wave at all costs. The mysterious author who infiltrated our BASE went to some length to keep them out of the Archmage's grasp and track down their locations for us. Don't want to drop them right here right now."
- Jug keeps hoofing it for the van at a full run, using the shield to prevent himself from getting hit in the back, apparently.
<Capn_Ascii> The wave dissipates almost the instant it bursts through the doors, vanishing into the air. Jug is far enough away that he doesn't get hit by it. No thanks to you guys. For shaaame.
<Capn_Ascii> (You also don't see Sheona anywhere, but eh, she can take care of herself.)
- Nenni looks for Sheona's menagerie in the mob.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You don't see them, either. Eh, they'll be fine. Right?
- Cade suddenly realizes the sheet is still in his hand, somewhat crumpled against the wheel. He quickly hands it to Miranor.
<Capn_Ascii> With the 'explosion' died down, the cops slowly approach the building once again, looking rather apprehensive.
<Nenni> "Let's box that sheet and let in Jug without any of these other scoundrels."
- Miranor puts the sheet in the box.
<Capn_Ascii> Sheet GET!
<Capn_Ascii> A little fanfare plays.
- Cade pulls the van away from the police, even if it means making Jug run a little farther to catch up.
<Jug> With the police returning, he ditches the Obviously Marked POLICE shield.
<Jug> And as soon as he can, he jumps into the van a la Dukes of Hazard.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade rolls down the side window, as Jug makes his leap! He lands with one leg inside, and has to work a bit to hoise the rest of himself through the opening as Cade drives away.
<Jug> "...OOF! One too many donuts."
- Cade drives away from the convention center. Once at a safe distance, he pulls over and stops to look at the map for the last remaining sheet location.
<Miranor> "So off to the unknown location, I take it?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: The final location is still where it was before, as enigmatic as it ever was. A small, nondescript building towards the outskirts of town.
- Cade nods at Miranor and follows the map.
<Capn_Ascii> As you sit on the roadside, two police cars and an ambulance race past you, sirens blaring, towards the convention center.
<Cade> "Should we...should we go back and help?" Cade asks, looking back at the ambulance. "They might need heals."
<Miranor> "No, let's not give them reason to wonder how you got your powers."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Feeling a bit guilty, you drive away from the convention center and head off towards the location on the map.
<Capn_Ascii> You drive...and drive...and drive. Asphalt gives way to dirt as you reach the city limits along a lesser-used back road. You find yourselves pulling up to an abandoned lot behind a mechanic's garage on the outskirts of town. <more>
<Capn_Ascii> The lot is large, covered with tall grass and random bits of litter and/or old rusted-out cars. There's a chain-link fence running the back length of the property line, beyond with lies the forest outside of town. There's a fairly deep ditch cut into the lot near the garage that runs behind several of the other buildings lines up here. Sitting next to the ditch is a cinderblock storehouse about the size of a tool shed, with a single, padlocked door.
<Miranor> "I got a bad feeling about this."
- Nenni scans the skies for signs of an approaching airborne Archmage.
- Cade parks the van and gets out. He walks over to the toolshed and yanks on the padlock to see if it's flimsy enough to open.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: All you can see are the clouds in the sky. It's approaching evening, so they have a lovely golden sheen. Oh, and also there's the sun. Ow, your eyes.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: The lock is rusted, but holds. You could probably break it without too much effort, though.
<Cade> "Wanna try picking this?" Cade asks Miranor.
- Miranor listens for something on the other side of the door first
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You can't hear anything at all behind the door. The door itself is filthy, and from the look of the lock no one has been through here in years.
- Miranor tries to open the lock with his tools
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: The lock is actually tricker to pick than it first appears - the tumblers have partially rusted into place. You have to work at it a lot more than usual, but finally you hear it snap open.
- Miranor carefully opens the door.
- Jug briefly looks in the windows of the abandoned auto repair shop.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: Inside the old abandoned garage, you can see an old abandoned monster truck. It's just sitting there, looking sad and lonely.
- Jug wants to drive the abandoned monster truck, now.
- Jug checks the doors and windows to see if they're locked.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: They are. Nothing Miranor can't lick, though. Probably.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You open the door. The inside of the shed is just as grimy as the outside - everything within is covered in dust. There are some half-rotted wooden crates in one corner, and a pile of scrap metal in another. And in the center of the room...oh. Oh, *no*.
<Capn_Ascii> It's your worst nightmare come to life. The one thing any red-blooded adventurer dreads more than anything else.
<Capn_Ascii> It's...a closed manhole cover.
<Jug> < A half-eaten cheeto? >
- Cade stares at the manhole, sighs, and lifts it up.
- Miranor prepares to follow
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You use your weapon handle as a lever to pry open the cover and lift it up. As you do, you find a sign taped to the underside that looks fairly new: "THIS WAY TO SEWER LEVEL. MIND THE LADDER."
- Miranor goes over to the garage to open it up
- Cade peers into the hatch, trying to see if the ladder is actually visible.
- Nenni sniffs the newly added label. Whose scent lingers on it?
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: There is, in fact, no ladder visible. What kind of moron designs a sewer entrance without a ladder?
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: The back door to the garage is right here, with a similarly rusted padlock on it.
- Miranor opens the lock!
<Nenni> "Cool. Let's secure the van in the garage then one of us must have rope, I expect?"
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You have, in fact, opened the lock.
- Cade heads back out to move the van. "You might want to check that sewer for traps, Miranor. There's no ladder."
- Miranor nods and heads back to the sewer entrance. He checks for traps.
- Jug enters the garage and opens one of the doors before checking out the Monstrous Truckage.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You stick your head down into the hole and look around. It seems safe enough. You can see the ground about a dozen feet down, a walkway about five feet wide that runs alongside a fairly wide drainage trench that's currently full of water.
<Capn_Ascii> Jug: The garage has two vehicle bays, one of which is unnocupied. You open the door in front of it before turning your attention to the truck. It's a beauty, alright...fire engine red, jacked up on enormous wheels, and with smokestacks coming out of the back for no other reason than to lood badass. It doesn't look like anyone's driven it in months.
- Cade parks the van in the empty bay, then returns to the sewer.
- Nenni also returns to the sewer and stares down into The Darkness.
<Capn_Ascii> The Darkness stares back. It's not getting any more inviting.
<Miranor> "Can someone tie a rope and get it down? Let's make sure we have a way back up."
- Nenni Wall-Runs down the shaft and drops lightly onto the walkway.
- Cade pulls out a rope and looks for something sturdy enough to tie it to.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You dig through one of the crates and find it full of old metal pipe lengths. You find one that's fairly rust-free and tie the rope to it, then lay it across the manhole opening. It's long enough that it shouldn't fall in.
<Cade> For good measure, Cade ties another pipe crossways to the first, so that they form an X bigger than the hole.
- Nenni stares into The Darkness again. Nenni reminds The Darkness that he has Darkvision and his psicrystal penetrates magical darkness so there. He wants to check it's safe for his crew before they descend.
- Cade climbs, err... slides... down the rope into the sewer.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You're standing at the bottom of the (lack of a) ladder, inside a fairly large sewer tunnel. The tunnel runs off to the north from here, before turning a corner to the east about 70 feet away. There's not much to see down here but old brick walls, walkway, and the wide drainage ditch where all the water is flowing. The south passage is blocked by a metal grate that covers the entirety of the passage.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You clamber down and land, trying not to step on Nenni.
<Nenni> "Looks clear to me, though if for any reason a storm or dam flush causes a flash flood, we'd better make like a tree and leave."
- Cade shouts up to the others, "Anyone got a flashlight? It might get dark down here. There might be grues!"
<Nenni> At the mention of Grues, Nenni stands much closer to Cade and rubs against his ankles.
- Miranor nervously follows
- Cade mysteriously finds Sheona's Everburning Torch in his back pocket and turns it on. "Well, that's better."
- Cade proceeds carefully down the tunnel.
- Nenni begins making a mental map with Autohypnosis.
<Capn_Ascii> You head north through the tunnel. You reach the corner, and round it to reveal...
<Capn_Ascii> ...more tunnel! This one heads east.
- Cade continues.
- Nenni continues the mental map with Autohypnosis.
<Capn_Ascii> You head east through the tunnel. Soon you find yourselves at an intersection - east again, or south. There are bridges here that cross the moving water, but they're only a few feet across, just like the walkways you're on now.
- Cade heads east.
<Jug> After entirely too long staring at the truck, Jug catches up and joins the party again.
- Miranor plays the following song
<Capn_Ascii> You head east through the tunnel. Soon you find yourselves at an intersection - east again, or south. There are bridges here that cross the moving water, but they're only a few feet across, just like the walkways you're on now. ...hmm, deja vu. <more>
<Capn_Ascii> The eastern tunnel looks as though someone has been trying to fortify it. There are old sheets of plywood and scrap metal laid across the walkways on both sides of the tunnel, and a row of old oil drums has been welded together to form a dam to stop the water from entering the tunnel itself, diverting it south instead. There are crudely-written signs on the walls - "KEEP OWT" "GO AWAY" "SEKRIT"
- Cade listens to hear if there are any sounds coming from behind the fortification.
<Nenni> "Let's split up. We'd cover more ground that way."
<Nenni> "Hmm. You're probably right. Yeah, that wasn't the smartest suggestion."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You can hear low muttering coming from somewhere down the tunnel, as if someone was talking. It's too muted to tell what's being said, however.
<Cade> "Do we want to get their attention, or explore the rest of this maze?"
<Miranor> "I don't want to wander forever. Might as well see what's here."
- Cade knocks on the plywood. "Hey, folks! You there?!" he shouts.
- Miranor winces. "Well that's a bit... blunter, than I may have hoped."
<Capn_Ascii> The muttering stops.
- Cade shrugs. "If you wanted to sneak in, you shoulda said so."
<Cade> After it becomes clear that they're not going to speak up, Cade looks around. "Maybe we should go south? I don't know what to say to these guys. Or singular entity."
<Miranor> "No, no, they already know we're here. Might as well talk to 'em." Miranor looks for a path into the "SEKRIT" area.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You'd have to pry the makeshift barricades out of the way. They don't look too sturdy, though.
- Miranor carefully does so.
- Cade helps.
<Capn_Ascii> The boards and metal soom come clear, though not without a fair amount of noise. Whatever's down the tunnel, it definitely knows you're coming now.
<Capn_Ascii> You proceed farther down the tunnel, and find more graffiti scrawled on the walls. Most of it seems to be a combination of paranoid warnings towards would-be tresspassers (i.e. you) and sets of lines and circles laid out in patterns you can't readily identify.
<Nenni> Nenni tries to see if the grafitti is in the same style as the manhole cover sign.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: The sign was at least halfway literate. Whoever's writing all of this down here has terrible handwriting and/or spelling skills.
- Cade attempts to decipher the script.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---
<Capn_Ascii> <Note: Cade got a nat 20 on his Decipher check. Remember to pose accordingly!>