Trinsic Tales:Metagame/Chapter 18
Chapter #18: Genius at Work
- Miranor grimaces and continues heading out, hoping to beat the gargolyes to the van.
- Jug follows at speed.
- Cade looks around, desperately trying to think of a way to fix Clay. A Mending spell? Cure Light Wounds? Gather up the pieces? Feeling a deep inner angst, Cade gasps and grabs Clay's head before running for the van.
- Sheona tags along quickly
<Capn_Ascii> Clay is grateful for the assistance...at least until Cade tucks him up under his armpit. Yikes.
<Capn_Ascii> The gargoyles shriek like flying monkeys as they begin to descend from their perch on-high. You all quickly pile into the van.
<Miranor> "Floor it!"
- Cade does so.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You floor it.
<Capn_Ascii> The van roars out of the parking lot, leaving the library and your precious monster truck behind.
<Miranor> "Back to BASE please."
<Cade> Once he's sure he's clear of the gargoyles and they aren't following, Cade heads for the base.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You're pretty sure they can't follow you. After al, it's not like they can fly--
<Capn_Ascii> Huh. That sounded an awful lot like something landing on top of the van.
- Miranor sighs and gets his crossbow out, rolling the window down and looking to see if he can get a sight on the enemy
- Cade swerves the van back and forth, trying to shake the gargoyle(s) off, movie-style.
<Miranor> opens the back door*
<Miranor> "Can someone please keep me held into the van? Crossbow requires both hands."
<Capn_Ascii> The back door pops open as Cade begins to drive like a nine-to-fiver coming home in rush hour traffic.
<Cade> "There's rope in my pack!" Cade shouts, his hands too full with driving to be able to toss it to Miranor.
<Capn_Ascii> The door flops back and forth as he swerves between lanes. Fortunately, the road seems to be deserted at this time of night, except for the occasional wreckage clogging the road. Oh, right, there's a state of emergency, isn't there?
- Jug grabs a chair and Miranor at the same time. "get that rope!"
- Miranor tries to sight the enemy
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: You take a look out the door and up, and see a big stone gargoyle ass. Lovely. Also, there's a long tail which is currently trying to whip down and smack you.
<Capn_Ascii> It fails, the sharpened tip (it actually has a large metal protrusion on the end, like a broadhead arrow) leaving a slash on the inside of the van door.
<Capn_Ascii> Someone (let's say Nenni, just because it's funnier that way) gets the rope and ties Miranor to something solid so Jug doesn't have to hold him the entire way.
- Miranor fires!
<Capn_Ascii> The arrow misses by a wide margin.
<Capn_Ascii> The van tears down the street, bitchin' murals on its sides and a gargoyle on the roof. Most metal van ever.
<Capn_Ascii> The tail once again takes a stab at Miranor, and once again misses.
- Cade brakes as suddenly as possible, hoping to send the gargoyle flying off the front of the van.
- Miranor fires again!
<Capn_Ascii> This time, the arrow strikes the creature right in the butt. It leans up, grabbing at its ass with both hands and howling with pain.
- Sheona begins channeling the raw power of nature by...waving her hands around and chanting weird stuff!
<Capn_Ascii> This proves to be a miscalculation on its part, as just about the time it takes its hand off the roof, Cade slams on the brakes.
<Capn_Ascii> Inertia being what it is, the gargoyle goes flying forward off the roof, faceplanting onto the street in front of you. Ow.
- Cade quickly steps on the gas, swerving around the gargoyle, and fleeing away as quick as possible.
<Capn_Ascii> You hear what you assume are gargoyle swear words behind you as you peel the hell out of there.
<Capn_Ascii> It looks like the coast is clear.
- Cade double-checks all the lines of sight one more time to be sure there's no following gargoyles.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You put a brick on the gas pedal and one foot on the wheel while you lean out the window and scour the skies. The rest of the gargoyles are converging on where their fallen friend lies, but it doesn't look like they're coming after you.
- Cade drives a winding route for awhile to make sure they aren't following, before heading back to the base.
<Capn_Ascii> You continue through town, noting that things look just as bad as they did when you went to the library earlier. Wrecked vehicles in the streets, damaged buildings, fires burning out of control. Everyone seems to be indoors or otherwise hiding, but you still hear sirens from the downtown area.
<Capn_Ascii> Eventually you pull up behind the laundromat, which now looks like a tornado hit it! ...oh, wait, no, it always looked like that. never mind.
- Nenni goes around inside and whacks the red button to open the doors for the crew.
<Capn_Ascii> The door opens, and oyu all pile down the ladder and into Da Base.
- Miranor looks for the gnomes. "Hey, would this book help with Cap?"
<Nenni> "Hey Clay, welcome to our place! I hope you like it here. Feel free to take a look around!" Nenni likes Clay, and hopes now he has a captive audience, conversation might be more forthcoming.
<Capn_Ascii> Clay speaks up from Cade's hands. "I would, if your friend here would turn me a bit! Hah!" Then he frowns. "But seriously, this is kind of a bummer."
<Capn_Ascii> Gizmo is sitting at the computer, apparantly having figured out how the Internet works. "Oh, you're back. Nice head. What's this about a book?"
<Miranor> "I think this book might help us free Cap from his helmet thing," Miranor hands Gizmo the book.
<Miranor> Miranor looks at the screen "I think you've had enough lolcats."
- Nenni perks up his ears.
<Nenni> "Did someone say, 'cats'?" Nenni goes to participate in this "lolcats" activity.
<Sheona> "Never enough cats, lol or otherwise."
<Capn_Ascii> "What the hell's a lolcat? I was looking at the news. Have you *seen* this stuff? Things are *nuts* out there! ...hmm?" He leafs through the book. "...ah-hah! I see. These are the blueprints to that thing on your friend's head. Yeah, with this I ought to be able to do something. Dunno if I can get it off, but I think I can at least help you get through to him."
- Cade sets Clay's head down somewhere convenient.
<Nenni> "It seems as if the skullcap is some kind of power conduit, harnessing the creative genius resident in the mind of our friend in your Farraday cage, and siphoning it away to the destructive consequences shown here on the news. So once we can disconnect it from him, things should at least stop getting WORSE."
<Miranor> "Oh, that's good to hear."
<Sheona> "Creative genius?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You find an old ashtray and set Clay's neck into it so he stays upright. "Phew. Thanks for getting me out of there. I guess we can go back for the rest of me later."
<Capn_Ascii> Gizmo leafs through the book, nodding. "Uh-huh...uh-huh...I see, I see. Alright, give me some time and I'll see what I can come up with. Also, lemme know if you want a robot body for your friend there."
<Cade> "How mu..." Cade's voice trails off as he processes the latter half of that statement. "Hey, Clay, you want a robot body?"
<Miranor> "Wait... robot body? Sure, I guess, but fixing Cap is first priority."
<Capn_Ascii> "Wait, what?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, we've got a spare in the garage."
<Nenni> "When you say 'some time', do you mean ten minutes? A month? Are we nearly there yet?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I dunno, man, give me a bit. It'll probably be morning before I have anything. Maybe get some rest?"
<Miranor> Miranor nods and heads to bed. "Sounds good to me."
<Cade> "So...keep some Locate Object spells...either 2 Locates and 1 Remove curse, or 3 Locates? Hmm..." Cade mutters to himself.
<Capn_Ascii> Gizmo wanders off, still reading the book.
<Capn_Ascii> Clay sits in his spot, reading the page displayed on the computer. "...oh, wow. It really has all gone to hell out there, hasn't it?"
- Nenni curls up next to The Talking Head and purrs, "So, I've been asleep most of the day so we can chat all night!" he thinks asking whether Clay is planning on going anywhere would be a bit below the belt.
<Nenni> "When you say, 'I used to be a street performer', was this in a world with /more/ fantasy than this town is currently experiencing, or less?"
<Capn_Ascii> "World?" He doesn't seem to understand what you mean. He's probably just as clueless as some of the other NPCs you've met.
<Cade> "Remove Curse or Dispel Magic, which is more likely to be needed," Cade says, muttering again.
<Nenni> "Setting, if you prefer."
- Nenni is surprised that Clay cannot recognise what Fantasy is and whether his past was more or less fantastic than the current mix.
- Nenni was hoping that was something he could answer, based on readily available data and memory, but maybe his past is mere scaffolding like it has been with others and as impenetrable to Clay himself as to anyone else. Fair enough.
<Nenni> Nenni falls asleep with his tail just under Clay's nose, twitching occasionally to tickle him where he can't do anything about it.
<Capn_Ascii> Everyone heads off to bed, getting a good night's sleep.
<Capn_Ascii> ---THE NEXT MORNING---
<Capn_Ascii> Miranor: Gizmo kicks you awake. "Hey. Heeeey."
<Miranor> Miranor slowly wakes up, groggy and a bit in pain from the kick. "Muuuuh..."
<Miranor> Miranor looks at Gizmo "Whaddaya want?"
- Cade slips off to secretly brush his teeth, hoping no one notices he forgot to do that the night before.
<Capn_Ascii> "Here." He hands you something that resembles a microphone.
<Capn_Ascii> "This should let you talk to your friend. He won't really be conciously awake, but he should respond to you even his dream-state."
<Miranor> "Oh, cool..." Miranor comments to Gizmo. He switches on the mic. "uh, Cap, you there?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Eh? No, no, you have to plug it in." He points at the cell door. "Go in there and plug it into the helmet."
<Miranor> "Oh." Miranor goes up to the cell and looks for the helmet in question. He looks for said plug.
- Cade returns and follows Miranor.
- Nenni meditates for 6 seconds and refreshes his Mana Bowl up to full.
<Capn_Ascii> Cap is sitting in the corner, still gibbering to himself like you left him.
<Capn_Ascii> A quick search turns up what looks like a headphone jack on one edge of the helmet. You plug in the microphone cable.
<Miranor> "Hey Cap, you there?"
<Capn_Ascii> You hear a familiar voice echoing from somewhere seemingly far away. "I need scissors! 61! ...zzzz..."
<Cade> "Ask him where the spellbook is. Or tell him that Fallout 3 is out, first, and then ask him where the spellbook is?"
<Miranor> "Worth a try... Hey Cap, Fallout 3 was released!"
<Capn_Ascii> "Zzz...what? ...old news...zzz..."
<Nenni> "I thought it wasn't Fallout... it was another game... was it, Doom III?"
<Miranor> "Oh right. Uh, Cap, I meant Doom III. Sorry."
<Cade> "Or Fallout 4? Or Fallout 5? We can keep making up higher numbers until he gets excited."
<Capn_Ascii> "Played it already...zzz..."
<Miranor> "Oh right, I keep getting mixed up. Fallout *5*."
<Miranor> "Right, right... give me the right notes, dammit. Yes, let's see here... Ah, yes, here was the title. 'Half-Life 3'."
<Capn_Ascii> Cap suddenly sits upright - so suddenly that the movement of his head jerks the microphone out of your hand. "BULLSHIT!" He blinks, then sinks down into a glassy-eyed slump, staring at the far wall."
<Miranor> "Well so is this world you've created! Look man, tell me where you were going to put the damn Archmage Book!"
<Capn_Ascii> "Archmage..." He blinks, dully. "Book...book's in the...zzz..." He starts to doze off, but then snaps upright again. "...TOWER! Book's in th' tower..."
<Miranor> "What Tower?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Th' tower. Tallest tower...in th' land...zzz..."
- Cade rolls his eyes, pulls out the map, and tries to see if the map shows building heights.
<Miranor> "Someone should check the internet for tall towers in the area as well."
<Nenni> "Cade, since he designed the campaign for a fantasy map, it might be that what *used* to be the highest tower in reality isn't any more. Kind of like how the library grew into a citadel."
<Miranor> "What tower is that, precisely?" Miranor asks Cap.
<Capn_Ascii> "...more tarrasques! ...zzzz..." It seems he's checked out again.
<Nenni> "Hey Clay, do you mind jumping on Usenet, ICQ, IRC, and anything else you can think of and searching for all the towers within a, say, 20km radius?"
<Cade> "Ask him how to destroy the spellbook," Cade says, still searching the map.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: This map doesn't - it's more like one of those old-timey chart maps.
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, sure, I'll just move this little thingy with the buttons on it with my arms. Which I don't have."
- Cade walks over to the computer and googles "Tallest building in [name of town]"
<Miranor> "How do we destroy the book?"
<Nenni> "We've got a bunch of character sheets. How are they part of your Plan?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You pull up a civic map from the city's official website. it looks like the tallest building in town is a thirteen-story apartment complex in the downtown area.
- Cade checks to see if the apartment complex happens to have "tower" in its name.
<Capn_Ascii> "Zzzz...take the book to the fires of Mount Doom and...no, too cliche...zzzz...need solvent..."
<Miranor> "Solvent? What kind of solvent?"
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: The building doesn't seem to have a name.
- Cade searches for the next two tallest buildings, just in case.
<Capn_Ascii> "Solvent...dissolve ink..." He rolls over in his sleep. "Book's indestructible...ink isn't..."
- Cade writes down the addresses for the three tallest buildings.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: Actually, that seems to be it. Everything else is nore more than three or four stories tall, tops - the one thirteen-story-tall apartment complex in the middle of town is something of an enigma. No one really seems to know why someone would build up like that in a town where land is readily available for development.
<Miranor> Miranor turns back to the group "He says to use a solvent to dissolve the ink."
- Cade googles "what kind of solvent dissolves ink"
<Miranor> Miranor goes back to the mic. "Does that end the campaign? Destroying the ink, I mean."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ruin book...breaks the link...everything goes back to normal..."
<Miranor> "Got it."
<Miranor> Miranor disconnects
<Miranor> "Okay, so, yeah, we need to find the book, dissolve the ink, and that should do it. Pretty simple."
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: You turn up some Wiki articles about ink and solvents. A quick read-through provides some information on how to remove ink from parchment without damaging the latter. It's a simple matter of getting some appropriate solvent from a craft store.
- Cade does a google-maps search for the nearest craft store.
<Capn_Ascii> Why, there's one at the mall!
- Miranor looks over Cade's shoulder. "What about one NOT at the mall? I don't want to retrace our steps so obviously if we can help it."
- Cade looks for a DIFFERENT craft or hardware store.
<Capn_Ascii> Cade: There's a place called 'What a Tool' a few blocks from here.
- Nenni watches the news to see if any new /towers/ have sprung up in the recent fantastic upheavals the city has been experiencing, particularly towers that are now pretty tall which previously weren't as tall (or weren't towers at all).
<Cade> "Well. Anyone got anything else they need to do before we leave?"
<Nenni> "Well, somebody mentioned we could turn Clay into a robocop or something. Shall we do /that/ before we leave? That way he can contribute to reclaiming his body back."
<Capn_Ascii> "I'm still working on that."
<Capn_Ascii> Gizmo pokes his head around a nearby corner. "Gonna take some time to get it ready. I'll send him your way later."
- Cade gathers up all his supplies and heads for the van.
- Miranor nods and gets into the van
<Capn_Ascii> Nenni: You poke around the news feeds, but you don't see anything tower-related. Most of the news seems focused on the ongoing violence around the convention center and the downtown area. You watch a brief clip of an orc raiding party storming into a Duncan Donuts and walking out with armfulls of boxes.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---