Chaotic Crew:Campaign/Chapter 12
Oh, good, you're all already here. :p.
Reginar waves at the Head Laddie.
Alright, I'll be right back, and we'll begin.
...okay, I'm right back. Let's begin! ;)
"As we join our heroes, we find them RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES!!! What are you standing here listening to the narrator for!? Run, RUN!"
Wolfgang run, runs!
Wolfgang: ...or is that "has the runs"? I'm never sure...
Eleihoff runs as fast as his short legs can carry him!
Reginar runs like da wind.
The loud chattering from the far side of the cubicle maze grows louder, followed shortly by an ominous growling. A pair of pentadrones slowly rise up from over the cubicle horizon on their tall, spindly legs, their faces glaring at the Party.
One of them barks an order in the modrons' strange language...moments later, several quaddrones start to flood from their cubicles, armed with crossbows.
Eleihoff: "Oh dear..."
Wolfgang skids to a halt, then points behind the nasty-looking armed modrons. "Look! A defective logic circuit!"
Reginar: "They arm the office workers here? Talk about yer corporate takeovers..."
Wolfgang: "It saves on security costs." Assuming his ploy did nothing, Wolfgang runs again.
The Party dashes back to the stairwell door, which is still standing slightly open. The quaddrones follow, but don't seem to be shooting at you yet...
Eleihoff: "Maybe they DO want us to finish the renovations?"
*TWANG!* ...oh, never mind.
Wolfgang: "No autographs, please." Wolfgang slams the door shut behind them and looks for a way to lock it.
A crossbow bolt thwips overhead, burying itself in the door.
Wolfgang: Being a stairwell access, the door has no locking mechanism, presumably to prevent accidental locking in case of an emergency evacuation. However, the handle on the inside is positioned rather close to an metal brace nearby...you could probably jam something in there to bar the door.
Wolfgang: "Quick! Do we have something we can jam this door shut with?" Wolfgang pats his pockets as he puts his back to the door.
Reginar rummages through his Bag of Holding and produces a crowbar.
Wolfgang: "Quick, jam it in, Reginar!"
Reginar jams the crowbar in place.
Wolfgang: "Run. Quickly."
The door jostles violently seconds after the bar drops into place. The door shudders, but holds closed.
Reginar: "You don't have ta tell me twice, laddie!" Reginar runs.
Wolfgang heads back the way they came. "Do you have rope?"
Reginar digs around in his Bag of Holding and manages to produce some silk rope to pass to Wolfgang relay-style.
Wolfgang: "Think we can rappel off the bridge handrail?"
Eleihoff follows after them, constantly looking behind himself.
Credance stays close to the group, "gods help us."
Reginar digs through the Bag of Holding yet again and produces a grappling hook for Wolfgang.
As Reginar hands random crap to Wolfgang, Credance makes a quick prayer. Immediately thereafter, the banging on the door suddenly stops.
Eleihoff: "That's either very good or very bad."
Wolfgang examines the grappling hook as he runs. "Hey, anything slowing them down is good in my book." He tries to tie the rope to the grappling hook as he runs.
Reginar keeps running.
The modrons stare behind them as office chairs, staplers, pencil sharpeners, desk blotters, and various other bits of office paraphernalia spontaneously levitate off the desks in the nearest cubicles. They wobble in the air for a moment, then fly straight toward the modrons like Dilbert-inspired ninja projectiles, slamming into the metal creatures and the door behind them with semi-lethal force.
The modrons chitter and squeal as the objects pelt them, scattering and running through the cubicles in a desperate attempt to ward off items swarming them like angry, overworked, underpaid bees.
Taking advantage of the sudden lull, the Party flees down the stairs.
Wolfgang: You try your best, but threading the rope through the little hold in the grapple is harder than it looks, especially when you're fleeing for your life on dangerous catwalks hundreds of feet above potential flaming forge-inflicted death. You can't manage it.
Wolfgang: "GAH! I can't tie this stuff while running! Boy Scouts didn't have me tying knots while running for my life!"
The Party soon spills out the door leading to the catwalks above the forge.
Reginar: "Here, give it to me, laddie."
Here, everything looks more or less the same.
Wolfgang hands it over to Reginar.
Reginar takes the rope and hook from Wolfgang and attempts to tie it himself.
Reginar: You easily thread the rope through the hook, and tie it tight. Apparently, the extra-large, easy access rope loop on this model of grappling hook is too complicated for some people.
Reginar hands the hook and rope back to Wolfgang.
Wolfgang: "Thank you, Reginar." He slows down to a normal walk to keep from drawing excess attention to his presence in the furnace room until they get out onto the catwalk.
Reginar follows suit as he notices Wolfgang's change in pace.
Eleihoff continues running for a few seconds, then notices he's ahead of the party and slows down.
Reginar drops into a practiced ranger stealth pose, sneakily slinking across the catwalk. The rest of the party follows suit, though considerably less elegantly; Credance and Wolfgang resort to shuffling their feet across the floor to avoid having to make footsteps.
Soon, the Party reaches the door to the outside catwalk; it opens noiselessly, allowing them to slip through.
Wolfgang: "Okay, any of you have problems with heights or rappelling?" Wolfgang quickly attaches the grappling hook to the railing, holding the balance of the rope in his hands.
Reginar: "Dwarves are hardy. We bounce."
Wolfgang: "Good. Credance, Eleihoff?"
Eleihoff: "I've faced more violent things. I'm an Alchemist, after all."
Credance: "... Elf.
Wolfgang: "All right, then, I won't need to have Reginar make a loop to put through your belt while I lower you down. Reginar first, secure the bottom, then Eleihoff, then Credance, I'll come down last, to hold off any pursuit, if necessary."
Wolfgang tosses the rope over the side.
Reginar: "Gotcha, laddie." Reginar double-checks the hook placement, then assuming it's good he starts working his way down the rope.
Reginar, still in "badass ranger" mode, swing over the railing and rappels down the side of the building like a professional cat burglar. He lands with a gentle thump on the ground below...contrary to his earlier comment, he doesn't bounce. Instead, he wraps the rope around his forearm and braces himself, pulling it taught.
Reginar: "All right, lad! Your turn!"
Wolfgang: "Your turn, Eleihoff." Wolfgang holds the rope at the top, looking around.
Eleihoff practically leaps on the rope and climbs down, humming the Mission Impossible theme to himself.
Wolfgang: "Now you, Credance. Be careful."
Credance: "I'll try....
Credance hesitantly grips the rope and lowers herself over the side.
Credance slides down the rope, and quickly joins the others.
Credance: "T'thank you, Reg.
Reginar: "You're welcome, lassie."
Wolfgang grabs the grappling hook, puts his boot in the crook of the hook, and leaps down, using his raw manly strength to lower himself down elevator-like, in hopes of recovering the rope and hook. The He-Man music plays... until he fails and kills himself.
Wolfgang soon touches down alongside the others, rope in hand, grinning wide.
He then gets his foot caught on the hook, trips, and falls down.
Wolfgang: "...I always wanted to try that. Thanks, Reginar." He hands the rope and hook over. "Let's go."
Wolfgang: "OOF!" He grins up at Reginar. "That was fun. Always wanted to try that." He clambers up and hands over the rope and hook.
Reginar chuckles a bit and takes the rope and hook. "Not bad at all, laddie... just need to work on your landings."
Wolfgang: "Let's go!" He heads off toward the city exit.
Reginar follows da laddie.
Credance: "Wow. That w-was just like a-an acrobat show.
Wolfgang: "Well, except for the falling down afterwards." He grins at Credance and hurries off.
Eleihoff stares off into space for a moment before he realizes that he needs to run after the group.
Credance: "N-no, one guy always, um, falls. It gets lots of uh, laughs..."
Wolfgang: The real Wolfgang walks out from behind a building. "Okay, stunt double, your job is done. Shoo. The real hero is here."
Eleihoff: "An impostor? But which is really the real one?!"
Reginar: "We'll have to ask them something only the real Wolfgang would know."
Eleihoff: "How many times per second would a European Swallow need to flap its wings while carrying a coconut in order to maintain airborne velocity?"
Credance: "What's "europia"?
Wolfgang: "Well, go get your own stunt doubles if you want 'em."
Wolfgang hoofs it off to the city exit.
The Party enters out into the plaza near the factory, heading for the nearby buildings. The many maze-like alleyways that you threaded your way through on the way here open before you.
Wolfgang heads back the way they came.
Credance: "Um, I was just wondering.....
Wolfgang: "Yes, Credance?"
Credance: "Where's the compass um, pointing?
Wolfgang: "Probably at me. I'm carrying all three whatsits, after all, but I'll take a look." Wolfgang looks at the key detector.
Wolfgang: And pokes the button, too.
Wolfgang: You flick the compass on...the arrow appears, pointing rather insistently at you. Unlike before, when the arrow was a solid color, it now seems to be flashing brightly.
Reginar: "Hmm. The fact that ya have all three keys seems ta be making it act differently."
Wolfgang: "Yeah... I wonder if that's a good thing. Anyway, I guess we need to ask for directions...?"
Reginar: "I wonder if my grandpa might have any idea what to do in this situation."
Reginar decides to reach into his Grandpa bag experimentally.
Wolfgang: "At this point, it's not like your... Grandpa can make things any worse..."
Reginar: You reach into the bag, and pull out...
...a heavy, emerald-green, knitted wool sweater.
Eleihoff: "Excellent. We won't get cold while making our way through."
Reginar: "I've got it. We can unravel the sweater, tie the end of the thread to a lamppost, and use it to help us through the maze. If we hit a dead end, we can just follow the thread back to a previous point and go on from there. ...well, it worked for Theseus anyway."
Wolfgang: Using your innate tracking skills, you select an alleyway to follow using a complicated navigation algorithm.
Wolfgang: "...Eeny-meeny-miny-moe... That one. Let's go."
The Party ducks into the alley...which dead-ends not 10 feet from the opening.
Fortunately, Eleihoff finds a doorway behind a stack of crates, that opens into a small courtyard. From there, he leads the party through passageways until eventually they emerge in familiar territory, finding themselves in front of the eye doctor's office.
Reginar: "Or this could just be the sweater my mom finally got around to finishing from 46 Christmases ago." Reginar ties the emerald sweater around his waist.
Wolfgang: "Ah, the quack's office. Should be that way to get to the city exit." He points.
Credance: "Good j-job, Elei.
Wolfgang: Recalling the area from before, you manage to lead the Party somewhere useful this time, soon bringing them to the information booth, and the city gate opposite.
The pentadrone from before is still sitting crouched in the booth, though the look on its face seems a bit more agitated than before. At least, until it spots you...then it gets downright angry, scowling at you and the others.
Eleihoff: "Hello!" Eleihoff says cheerfully.
"PLEASE DO NOT ADDRESS THIS UNIT. THIS UNIT IS ENGAGED IN RECONNAISSANCE DUTIES TO LOCATE FOREIGN INVADERS."
Wolfgang: "We'd just like to leave. Perhaps you could let us out so we'd cease to be invaders and become... um... outvaders."
Next to the pentadrone is what appears to be a wanted poster...the poster has twin rows of holes on the left and right edges...the image is black and white, oddly grainy.
The image resembles a group portrait of two humanoids and two short people. However, the image is badly distorted, appearing as though someone assembled it by gluing a bunch of oversized squares next to each other to approximate details. It's rather generic-looking, and doesn't seem like it would help in identifying anyone.
Wolfgang: The pentadrone ignores you. "SCANNING FOR INTRUDERS. PROCESSING...PROCESSING..."
Wolfgang: "I mean... since we are clearly not the people you are looking for, you should let us out, so that you'll be able to find the right people easier."
Reginar: "Lad, I think now would be a good excuse to use the battering ram."
Eleihoff: "Let's wait for the processing result. Otherwise, we'd incriminate ourselves."
Eleihoff hops up and down in anticipation for the results.
The drone looks at everyone, then at the poster, then at everyone again. "PROCESSING...MATCH NOT FOUND. SCAN SUBJECTS ARE TOO HIGH-RESOLUTION." The drone turns back to face the gate, staring off into space.
Wolfgang: "All right, then... will you please open the door so that we may depart?"
Eleihoff: "Oh," Eleihoff says, disappointed.
"PLEASE DIRECT ALL EGRESS QUERIES TO QUADDRONE GATE OPERATOR."
Eleihoff: "Where's the gate operator?"
The pentadrone emits a chattering sound; moments later, a familiar-looking quaddrone emerges from a small guard house near the gate. It trots over to the small door in the gate, waiting expectantly.
Wolfgang heads over to the gate operator. "We'd like to egress, my good mechanical... Modron."
"AFFIRMATIVE. DO YOU HAVE ANY CONTRABAND TO DECLARE?"
Eleihoff turns to look at Wolfgang.
Credance: "I have some, er, "medicinal" herbs....
Credance: "But I um, brought them with me.
Reginar: "Isn't that usually something you worry about on the way in? After all, if we have any contraband, it soon will be gone from your fair city after we leave."
Wolfgang: "Of course not. Why would I want to declare any contraband?"
"AFFIRMATIVE." The quaddrone slips the bolt on the gate, and pulls it open. "PLEASE MONITOR YOUR POSTERIORS TO AVOID POST-EXODAL CONTACT WITH THE PORTAL COVERING."
Wolfgang: "Thank you, sir." He walks out of the city.
Credance: "That's very rude....
Eleihoff: "Bye." Eleihoff hustles out the door.
Reginar: "At this point, I wouldn't worry about it, lassie."
Credance shuffles out and hops on her horsey.
Reginar heads out and mounts his own pony.
Wolfgang hops onto his horse and sets course for The Church.
The quaddrone stands framed in the doorway, watching you leave. "THANK YOU FOR VISITING." A click, and its voice changes rather oddly. "Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, YA HEAR?" It then steps back and closes the door behind you.
Eleihoff climbs up onto his pony and makes sure his new sombrero is secure.
Reginar: "I think I prefer modrons better as little action figures."
Eleihoff: "They certainly wouldn't think that."
---SOME TIME LATER---
Riding swiftly, the Party arrives back at Worldstown as the sun is beginning to set. The town looks much the same as it did before, though the local activity seems to be dying down as twilight approaches. Stores are beginning to close, and people are slowly shuffling off to their homes for the evening.
The church stands overlooking the town, lamplight shining through the windows as the clerics within prepare for evening rituals.
Credance: "Hmm, it'll be good to sleep on my own mat....
Wolfgang: "Wow, I think my horse has smokin' shoes. Let's hit the church and get this over with." Wolfgang pulls up in front of the church and ties his horse to the hitching post.
Credance leads her own mount to the Temple stables.
Wolfgang: The horse whinnies appreciatively.
Reginar: "The lad and I ought to return our own ponies."
Eleihoff: "Awwww. I like being able to go fast."
Wolfgang: He points to the water and leaves some food for the horse, too, before stepping up to the door to wait for the others.
Reginar: "Yes, but we only get them for a week... and you don't want to deal with Collections."
Eleihoff: "If you insist..."
Reginar heads back to "Ned's Rent-A-Nag" with his pony.
Eleihoff follows, somewhat somber.
Credance comes back to the front of the church after a while.
Reginar: Approaching the horse rental stalls, you see that a large chain fence has been pulled across the stalls, effectively closing them off. A sign on the front reads "CLOSED - RETURNS PLEASE USE DROP SLOT IN BACK".
Reginar heads around back, curious to see what a "drop slot" for ponies could possibly look like.
Wolfgang: "So, Credance..." Wolfgang falls silent. "Uh, maybe after this is over we can get together for dinner sometime?"
Eleihoff follows, looking around for any place to...deposit a pony.
Reginar: As you round the back corner of the building, you see a wooden ramp leading from the base of the building to about halfway up the side. Adjacent to the top of the ramp is the upper edge of a huge metal door, hinged at the bottom, with a handle near the top. A red arrow has been painted on the top of the ramp, with lettering that reads "STAND HORSE HERE".
Reginar looks at Eleihoff, shrugs, and follows the directions on the sign.
Eleihoff obeys the writing and tries to get his pony to the top of the ramp.
Reginar positions his horse at the top of the ramp...as if on cue, the specially-trained horse grabs the handle with his teeth, pulls the hatch open, and then dives head first into it as it closes behind him like a laundry chute. Eleihoff's horse follows the cue, jumping down the slot as well.
Credance turns bright pink and stares at her feet.
Eleihoff: "Horses don't do that very often..."
Reginar: "That was... interesting."
Wolfgang: "Um... just let me know later..." He shuffles a little and leans against the wall into the uncomfortable silence that follows.
Reginar stares in curious puzzlement for a moment, then shrugs a little and heads to meet the others at the church.
Eleihoff manages to resist pulling the handle and starts walking to the church.
Credance: "Are-aren't you a-um, a bit young?
Wolfgang: "Nope." He sees the other two coming. "Ah, there they are." Exhaling, he opens the door and props it open for everyone to enter.
Reginar: "Ah, thank ya, laddie."
Credance: "But then....
Wolfgang: "No problem, Reginar." He motions people through. "I hope the horse return wasn't a problem, Eleihoff. I presume you got your payment stub and mileage report?"
Credance lowers her voice as she passes Wolfgang, "I've never gone with a Human...."
Wolfgang: "First time for everything..." He motions her in and follows, idly taking the various keys out and examining them.
Credance then walks quickly into the church.
Eleihoff shrugs and walks into the Church.
Reginar heads into da church.
The Party arrives at the Church.
Ascii heads into the--oh, wait, never mind.
Wolfgang: "So.... now what? We've got the keys, we just need the location and the how-to guide in the book, right?"
Eleihoff: "I still have the book." Eleihoff quickly reaches into his pack and pulls it out.
The pews in the main hall of the Church are now filled with dozens of clerics wearing ceremonial garb. They have their heads bowed in prayer, chanting rhythmically.
Wolfgang whispers, "Uh... think we should interrupt this?"
Eleihoff: "Why not?" Eleihoff doesn't whisper.
Reginar: "Might as well let them finish... it can't take forever," Reginar whispers.
Wolfgang: "All right, take a seat in the back and wait 'em out." Wolfgang takes a respectful seat in the back.
Eleihoff squeezes his plush demon puppy once more and continues standing in place.
Reginar also takes a seat in a pew.
Credance walks up behind Elei and looms like a nun over a catholic schoolboy.
Credance: *the word resonates with the sound of a thousand rulers*
The clerics continue to pray, gently swaying back and forth in their seats. Several of them pull out small lighters and hold them up overhead, waving them around.
Eleihoff sits down on the pew like a frustrated toddler.
After a few minutes, the service ends. Silence...then, a cleric wearing a chef's hat peeks his head from a nearby doorway. "Soup's on!"
Every cleric in the room begins whooping and hollering, as they all simultaneously charge towards the dining room, leaving the main hall empty.
Reginar: "As I said. Can't take forever."
Wolfgang: "Okay, now... we just need to find the head Cleric guy and get him to show us where. Eleihoff, look up in the Planar Travel for Nimnals how we use these keys, please."
Eleihoff: The puppy woofs belatedly. "Woof! The infidels will burn in the fiery pits of HELL!"
Credance: "Um, you're going to, um, have to wait.....
Credance: "He's um, busy.
Eleihoff putting the puppy beside him on the pew, he quickly flips through the book for the desired section.
Credance: "He, he Really hates it when you interrupt him......
Eleihoff: Interestingly (or not), most of the pages in the book are blank. Only the first page has anything written on it:
1) FIND PORTAL
2) TOUCH KEY TO PORTAL
3) ENTER PORTAL
Eleihoff: "But the key is in three pieces." Eleihoff says directly to the book.
Eleihoff: "Isn't it?"
Reginar: Ascii corrects to "3) WIPE FEET, 4) ENTER PORTAL"
Reginar: "Maybe the key is in three pieces that we need to put together?"
Wolfgang: "Well... perhaps touch all three to the portal at the same time." Wolfgang pulls out the parts to see if they might fit together in some... kind... of... way.
Wolfgang: Hey, wait! If you twist this bit here, and turn this thingy in a certain direction...my god! All three parts fit together seamlessly!
...nah, just kidding. The three items sit there in your hands, not doing much of anything, and certainly not doing it together.
Wolfgang: "I'm fairly certain that there's no putting them together."
Eleihoff begins poking the book. "What do we do with the three pieces of the key?"
Reginar: "Perhaps we need to touch the pieces to the portal simultaneously, then? Or there's three portals that work together?"
Wolfgang: "Perhaps. But, that means we need the location of the portal to test with."
Wolfgang: "What do you think, Credance?"
Credance waves her hands over the objects and casts Make Whole.
Wolfgang: "...I think you fixed the tear in my pants, Credance, but it didn't seem to do anything to the objects."
Wolfgang: "Anyway, I guess that's about all there is to it. So... now we wait. Or, perhaps, we should go get some dinner. It is about that hour."
Reginar: "Dinner sounds like a good idea. I'm famished."
Wolfgang: "There's the eatery we were in last time."
Credance: "The food here is good.
Credance: "And free...
Wolfgang: "Sure, but we've not been invited, Credance. Besides, I'll buy."
Credance: "It's Church.
Credance: "All are welcome.
Wolfgang: "Did you see them rush the cafeteria when grub was called? I don't want to put my body parts between those clerics and their chow line. But, whatever works for me." He rises from the bench.