Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 16
Chapter #16: Monster Truck Weekend
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them having just finished a Q&A session with the most helpful NPC they've ever met. Good ol' Whatsisface."
<Miranor> "So, we're off to the library, once again?"
<Cade> "Or shock Cap enough to communicate with him. What does he care very much about? Some video game, probably? Like, if we told him that some sucky game or other was really awesome, would he care?"
<Jug_> "Just tell him that Half-Life 3 is being released?"
<Cade> "Yeah!" Cade says. "Like that sorta thing!"
<Capn_Ascii> The fishman shrugs. "That's up to you, and him. If all else fails, there's bound to be some magic that can get his attention."
- Cade starts to put out his hand to shake, looks at the fins, and thinks better of it. "Well thanks, fish dude. You've been very helpful! We should probably go get on with it now."
<Capn_Ascii> He nods. "The name's Fishman. Harvey Fishman."
- Cade tries not to look surprised that the creature's name is actually what Cade has been calling him in his head.
<Capn_Ascii> Harvey, apparantly recognizing the look on Cade's face, puts on a wry smile. "The funny part? I was born a human."
- Cade looks confused. "Wait, you were? How does that work?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Long story. Unrelated to the situation at hand. Perhaps I'll tell you later. Right now, you might want to go save the planarverse."
<Cade> "Yeah, I suppose." Cade starts to head out, then stops. "Wait, one more thing. Is there anything else in these tunnels down here, or should we skip exploring them?"
<Nenni> "I thought you couldn't remember your backstory clearly?"
<Cade> "I think it's only the transition between the backstory and getting here that is foggy."
<Capn_Ascii> "Indeed. I definitely remember my own childhood. I was taunted relentlessly because of my name, which led me to---no, no, wait, we're getting off-topic."
<Capn_Ascii> Harvey fights the urge to relate his no doubt long and interesting backstory. "To answer your question, yes, there's something else down here. No, I strongly suggest you *not* go looking for it. I found something down here that look like planning documents, referencing something about a 'bonus boss'. It sounds terrifying."
<Miranor> "Yeah, I think we can safely skip any 'bonus boss' here."
<Capn_Ascii> "Also cheesey and poorly thought out. Almost as if someone tacked it on as an afterthought."
- Cade shrugs. "If you want." He waves and says, "Bye, Fishman," and heads back out to the tunnel.
<Nenni> "Perhaps the same person who tacked on 'Beware of the ladder' onto a manhole cover?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No, that was me. I had a whole party of adventurers come through the other day who just jumped down the hole like morons without looking. Nearly killed themselves."
- Cade heads back through the tunnels to the manhole cover.
<Capn_Ascii> "Good luck!"
<Nenni> "I see. I don't see how that particular wording would help anyone, but so be it. Thankyou for being a helpful NPC!" Nenni scampers after Cade.
- Miranor follows Cade
<Capn_Ascii> You re-trace your steps through the tunnels, and soon find yourselves standing beneath the aforementioned ladder. It looms over you meneacingly, as if waiting for a chance to do you grievous harm.
- Nenni scampers up the rope, wondering where the ladder came from.
- Cade pokes the ladder to see if it's really there or just an illusion.
- Jug climbs the ladder.
<Nenni> As the rope flicks about, Nenni instead decides to climb it carefully rather than trying to make a run of it.
<Capn_Ascii> Suddenly, elsewhere in the sewers, Harvey looks up. ".....wait a second. Since when is there a ladder!?"
<Capn_Ascii> Right about the time he realizes this, Cade is reaching out towards the ladder. Slowly. Dramatically. Then, suddenly, a steel-colored arm lashes out of nowhere, grabbing him by the wrist!
<Capn_Ascii> The ladder then sprouts an angry-looking mouthful of teeth. "SHEEAAAARRRGH!"
<Miranor> Miranor pulls out his sword. "Holycrap!"
- Nenni is surprised by the commotion going on below him, certain that his 70 minutes of Detect Hostile Intent couldn't have elapsed already. But maybe it has.
<Cade> "What the..." Cade blinks his most furious blinks ever at the surprise arm-grab.
<Sheona> "Oh, great..."
<Capn_Ascii> The ladder begins to undulate like a web of snakes as the mimic struggles against Cade.
<Nenni> Nenni has had enough of these stealthy Mimics defeating his Scent and Hostile Detection powers and wants to rid the world of such a wily creature once and for all! He blasts it with his Mind Powers!
<Nenni> He then continues up the rope with his Move action.
<Capn_Ascii> The mimic manifests a second arm, which it then holds against its side as if clutching at something approximating a head. It seems to shrug off the attack.
- Jug smacks the daylights out of the mimic with his spiked schain.
<Capn_Ascii> Smack, smack, sugar, smack. Give 'em a smack, and they'll smack you back.
<Capn_Ascii> The good news: you hit the ladder, and do quite a lot of damage. The bad news: the chain wraps around the rungs and sticks like glue, disarming you.
<Jug> "Oh, for... that does it." Jug yanks out the shock stick for next round.
- Miranor switches to the weapon that won't get stuck and fires off an arrow
<Capn_Ascii> The arrow embeds itself in the rung right next to Cade's hand, causing the 'ladder' to squirm painfully.
- Cade waves his free hand around and casts Prayer.
<Capn_Ascii> You all suddenly feel slight more competent (a feeling wholly unfamiliar to you), while the mimic seems slightly fatigued.
<Sheona> "Tara, Tavish, GO!" Sheona says, pointing at the ladder mimic.
<Sheona> Tara emerges from the shadows and pounces claws-first at the mimic!
<Capn_Ascii> The two big cats savagely tear into their foe, ripping apart runners and tearing off rungs in a horrific display of gratuitous ladder violence. The poor mimic shrieks as it's literally eaten alive.
<Capn_Ascii> Eventually, all that's left standing there is a bewildered Cade and the cats, who are now chewing on a rung each like a dog would a bone.
- Cade breathes a sigh of relief.
- Sheona stands there and mutters a family unfriendly word
<Cade> "Note to self," he mutters, "sometimes things that seem out of place aren't just the GM being forgetful."
<Cade> Once the adhesive is all melted off his arm, Cade reaches for the rope to climb back up.
- Nenni continues up the rope. "Thanks for putting the rope here, Cade!" he calls.
<DrakeHiggins> Oh no I really did start a trend xD
<Nenni> At the top, he looks around for anything that looks out of place, or anything with Hostile Intent.
<Cade> After laboriously dragging himself and his armor up the rope, Cade makes his way back towards the van.
<Capn_Ascii> You all clamber up the rope and back into the storage shed. The door is hanging open, swinging slightly, as if someone just shoved it open and ran off.
- Cade stops in the entryway and looks around.
- Nenni sniffs it for Mimic Scent.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Yup, smells like mimic in here too. Looks like the mimic's partner ran off when it heard its friend die.
- Miranor goes up the rope and carefully looks around, fingering his bow
- Nenni begins to Track it.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade, Miranor: You take a peek outside. There's no sign of anyone nearby, but the sights on the horizon make you forget about the mimic in short order. There are several plumes of angry black smoke billowing up from somewhere across town.
<Capn_Ascii> You hear an emergency siren getting louder on a nearby road, then fading away again as it speeds away from you.
<Miranor> "...I think we should check the news on the radio."
- Cade walks over to the van, climbs in, starts the engine, and turns on the radio to a local news station.
- Jug jumps in the van as well.
<Capn_Ascii> *click* "--smoldering crater, the enormous beast then vanishing towards the downtown area!"
<Nenni> Nenni heads into the van too, leaving the Mimic Part Two to return in a future episode. Hopefully Sheona's cats got the one that gave them the cut-throat gesticulation at the mall.
<Capn_Ascii> "For those of you just joining us...PANIC ON THE STREETS! Bizzare and fantastical creatures are attacking the city!"
<Capn_Ascii> "After the violent riot at the convention center earlier today, strange creatures began to appear, assaulting residents and destroying buildings! No one knows who - or what - they are, or where they came from, or why they're here, but one thing is clear - they want us all DEAD! Police are urging all citizens to remain in their homes while they attemt to re-establish order!"
<Miranor> "To the library, perhaps? Or possibly to the base, if we think we know how to shock Cap."
<Capn_Ascii> "Vicious wild animals roam the streets! Invading armies of monsters attack the citizenry! Enormous creatures destroying entire city blocks! Where will the madness end!?"
<Capn_Ascii> "...tune in tonight at 11 for tomorrow's weather forcast. Back to you, Tom."
<Nenni> "Would a Monster Truck be useful against Monsters in the streets?"
<Jug> "Aw, I wanted to hear the weather forcast."
- Cade shrugs. "Our only idea on shocking Cap is to mention the release of ... whatever it was called."
<Jug> "Half-Life 3."
<Cade> "Yeah, that."
<Jug> "After all, Duke-Nukem Forever actually released."
- Cade looks at Nenni. "It might survive a little better than a van, now that you mention it."
- Nenni checks it doesn't smell like Monster Mimic, just in case.
<Jug> Jug sighs, then climbs out of the van to determine if there's keys in the monster truck.
<Jug> "Nope, no keys here."
<Nenni> "OK. Well, let's get this paintjob on the road then!" Nenni's back aboard the van and ready to roll.
- Miranor goes ahead and tries to hotwire the monster truck engine
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You wisely decide to ignore the ominous news on the radio and the growing importance of your current quest in favor of spending some time tinkering with a sweet-ass ride. It takes you anout 10 minutes, but soon there's a spark, and then the engine roars to life!
<Miranor> "Here you go, Jug. All yours!"
- Miranor hops out of the seat and heads back to the van.
- Jug hops in the truck and puts the truck in gear. "After you guys!"
- Jug will follow the van.
- Nenni takes a cat-nap as he only has a third of his mana remaining.
<Cade> Once everyone's ready, and with Jug following in the Monster Truck That's Safer Than A Monster, Cade heads for the library.
<Capn_Ascii> As you drive back into town, you begin to realize just how bad the situation really is. Windows are shattered. Lampposts are bent. Cars are destroyed, and some of the smaller buildings have been leveled. It looks like a war zone around here.
<Capn_Ascii> As you make a turn onto the library's street, three police cars go racing past you in the opposite direction. It looks like the majority of the chaos is currently located around the downtown area.
<Capn_Ascii> As you pull up into the parking lot, you can see a large bonfire burning. A trio of goblins are dancing around the fire, laughing maniacally, holding torches.
<Capn_Ascii> They start in surprise at the sound of the truck's engine, and scurry away.
- Cade waits till they are out of sight, then parks near the door and climbs out.
<Nenni> "I wonder, do you think the Fanta Nova Wave we saw at the convention /turned/ the convention-goers into these fantasy creatures? And that we should try to avoid killing them as a result? I'd prefer to avoid it if possible."
<Miranor> "If possible. But we should not put the mission in danger to spare people."
<Cade> Visions of mimics dancing through his head, Cade stares hard at the library door before touching it.
<Nenni> "To be on the safe side, I'll prioritise non-lethal means whenever possible. The radio did say, After the violent riot at the convention center earlier today, strange creatures began to appear so that could be coincidence or causality."
<Capn_Ascii> The door stares back.
- Nenni sniffs the door. Does it smell like Mimic?
- Miranor helps Cade check the door
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: The door smells like aged hardwood. It's actually a rather pleasant smell, all things considered.
<Capn_Ascii> You give the door a once-over. Not only does it not look trapped, you realize the lock is actually broken. Someone apparantly forced their way in and then closed the door behind them.
- Miranor opens the door
<Nenni> "Well, it smells the same as when we left it. Let's go."
- Cade follows Miranor in.
<Cade> "What should we look for this time?"
- Nenni heads to the Card Index and looks at what it has been left open at from the previous person(?) to use it.
<Capn_Ascii> The library looks somewhat the worse for wear since you last left it. Many of the bookshelves have been raided or vandalized - books are scattered all over the floor, or left in huge heaps.
<Capn_Ascii> You can hear goblin chatter from the upper floors. Clearly the little guys are making themselves at home in here.
<Nenni> "Well, if we're looking for an ornate spellbook, I'm not sure where that might be hidden. Ancient archives, perhaps? Paranormal? Conspiracy theories?"
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: Like the bookshelves, the card index is a mess. Many of the cards have been pulled out and thrown around in one big game of 52 Pickup.
- Cade looks around at the mess. "I could try Detect Magic to see if the spellbook is here, but I'm not sure how many other magical books are around to interfere."
<Miranor> "Special Collections seems like a reasonable place to start, for something that rare and powerful."
<Nenni> "Maybe there's a Reserve section for books that are not meant to leave the library?"
- Miranor heads into the back to check on the status of the librarian
- Cade follows.
<Capn_Ascii> You head back towards the breakroom where you had your earlier encounter. It looks much the same as before, except the librarian is nowhere in sight. Did she flee? Was she get carried away by the authorities? Or, perhaps, someone else...?
<Capn_Ascii> You do notice a purse sitting on the countertop. Must be hers.
- Nenni sniffs it, but doesn't touch it.
- Cade pokes the purse, from afar, with his waraxe.
- Miranor checks the purse for the keys
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Nothing happens. At least it didn't explode...
<Nenni> "It could be that the goblins are actively searching for something as they make their way through the library's floors. It might be that they are sent to locate / defend / obscure the ornate spellbook or whatever it is we could use to help Cap. If that's so, we should try to get and keep ahead of them."
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You find the usual feminine paraphenalia, as well as a keyring. Let's see...house key, car key, enormous ornate brass key...
- Miranor grabs the brass key
<Miranor> "Well this should help. Now we just try to find what this opens." Miranor looks around the room for doors.
- Nenni watches all the keys emerge from the handbag on a keyring. He bats at them instinctively.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: They jingle! EEEEEE!
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: The only door here is the one you came in through.
<Nenni> "If we could find an Emergency Procedures map stuck to the wall somewhere, probably beside the fire exit, at least, then it will give us a map of the library's floor, complete with doors, toilets, fire extinguishers, fire exits, etc. and we might notice a section of the floor that's inaccessible to us due to being concealed or locked."
- Miranor nods and looks for said map
<Nenni> From the scent of the Librarian on the purse and on the carpet where the scuffle previously took place, Nenni begins Tracking her by scent, to see if her trail leads anywhere definite.
- Cade also checks the walls for the map.
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You follow her trail, and find it leads to a fire exit not far from the break room. Looks like she went out this way.
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Ah, here it is. Right where you expected to find it - stuck on the wall behind the soda machine, where no one will ever see it.
<Nenni> "Ugh, guys? The Librarian's scent goes through this door."
- Nenni runs back to Miranor's location to look at the map.
- Miranor looks at it carefully.
<Capn_Ascii> The map is rather strange...it's clearly a modern fire route map, yet it depicts the altered structure of the library-turned-massive-gothic-archive. You can see the floor layouts of the floors you've visited, but it also looks like there's a sealed area taking up the uppermost floors of the building. There's a staircase on the top floor of the stacks that leads up there.
<Nenni> "Looks hopeful. If that upper section is sealed, that should have preserved it from the rampaging goblins. I wonder what's in it? Or whether we can access it?"
<Miranor> "Worth a try. Let's head up there."
- Cade nods in agreement.
- Nenni commits the map to memory by Taking 10 on an Autohypnosis check.
- Nenni then heads to the nearest stairs or lift relative to the You Are Here red dot on the map.
- Miranor grabs the map
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---