Of Rifts and Ruins – A Petrichor Campaign Report27 March, 2016
While our heroes decided what to do with the road builders, which was to follow the road to see where it began, the stone workers clustered around an unexpected obstruction. A large irregularly shaped crystal, filled with flickering multicolored light, Elsbeth immediately desires it. They decide to let the stone worker move it, which they try to do, but it cracks and spilling out (and up) is a crack in the fabric of the world, looking like a frozen black lightning bolt. From which emerges a floating jellyfish-like creature, its surface looks like a soap bubble rippling with translucent rainbow colors.
Lorrend immediate prepares to engage this threat. The stone workers back away as the tentacles of the floating creature wrap around on of them and then it pulls itself inside of the worker leaving acid scars on the exterior surface. Lorrend tries to charge the transformed threat but Tulip, his warhorse, almost slips off the end of the road into the pit the crystal is in. Pedr and Elsbeth unleash thundering sonic attacks which badly damage the possess worker and causes collateral damage to the other ones (who were still trying to get away). Then two more of the floaters emerge from the rift. It is a rough fight, with the possess working being destroyed and that floater killed before it can return back through the rift but the other two lay about with acid laced tentacles that cause disturbing visions. Soon enough they are dispatched and collapse into pools of multi-hued acidic jelly before soaking into the ground.
While all this had been going on, the crystals had reassembled into a non-Euclidian pyramid like shape around the base of the rift. Pedr tries sketching both it and the rift for later reference. The Rift is odd as it only exists in two-dimension and on one side. Rocks tossed into it provoke no response, even when marked with insults, but a frog on a stick is sucked out of Pedr’s hands when he extends it through. The rift moves with the crystal base, but retains the same orientation no matter how the base is moved. Our heroes load it up in the back of the automated wagon, also containing the shattered pieced of the destroyed workers, and ride along to see where it comes from.
The journey, with Lorrend controlling the pace by riding ahead of the wagon on Tulip, lasts through the night. Near dawn, Leaf spots something and brings it to the bleary attention of Lorrend, it is a small flying ship zipping over the trees heading in the same direction as they are. Shortly thereafter, their way forward is blocked by three warriors, two with bows. Lorrend, as is his want, hails them. The leader of them steps forward and identifies herself as Captain Ajzure of the Empress’ Immortal Guard and asks them to please move away from the rift. The character are surprisingly receptive to this and one of the other guards opens a case and brings out a Gatebreaker Javelin which destroys the gate (and the wagon and chews up the road and nearby countryside pretty well too).The three Immortal Guards take our heroes back to their sky skiff, the flying ship seen earlier, plies them with tea and brandy and gets a full report on what happened. They left our heroes know that -with the exception of dealing with rifts and gates- Imperial forces are restricted by orders to Port Imperial. With a final thanks, the guards take their report and take to the air. Our heroes wave goodbye and settle in for a rest.
After a bit our heroes continue on, following the road, at a slower pace now that they have lost the wagon. A few hours later, they find a turn off from the main road which obviously leads to a quarry. They go to investigate and find this is also run by stone workers, though there are barracks for living staff as well, there is no sign of them. Feeling slightly closer to the source of the mystery they continue down the main road. Soon, the terminus of the road appears, huge gates set in a massive city wall, the walls of the gate house is decorated with shedu. To their surprise, the gates are unbarred, so they push them open, through them is a wide avenue leading deeper into the city and several side streets. Another shedu, this one on a pedestal, keeping watch. As they move into the city, its head turns to watch them. It speaks in a language they do not recognize then again in the Imperial tongue, “Who are you?”
A long discussion follows with the shedu, who calls itself Erishum, where it gets a history lesson from each of the characters as the last thing Erishum remembers before the arrival of our heroes at the city of Ninua is a war in heaven. Erishum is not convinced and offers to lead our heroes to the temple for consultation, the temple being incorporated in a massive ziggurat at the center of the city. As they make their way through the empty but intact city, Erishum gives a tour pointing out market places and important buildings. Arriving at the ziggurat, they climb up to the first level where the main temple is. Upon entering, Erisham react in horror as the altar figure is missing, our heroes move to investigate. Erisham collapses, the entrance seals itself and a booming voice announces, “Prepare to be judged.”
To be continued.
Notes: B2 was able to join us and play Elsbeth again for this session.