Chaotic Crew:Campaign/Chapter 14
Hey! What makes you think you can just waltz in here and op yourself, buddy? ;)
Wolfgang: Eh, blow it out your rear, pal. I gots connections. ;)
Ascii smites Wolfgang with an ACME-brand safe.
Wolfgang: Does that mean it falls on you instead?
No, that only happens to the coyote. ;)
Alright, enough screwing around. Let's funeral!
Wolfgang puts up a little cartoonish umbrella.
Credance: "Praise be to the Warnair Brothers in their wisdom!
Ascii puts up another "start of IC" signal, and tries again. :p.
---BEGIN GAME, NO MORE CHATTER BEYOND THIS POINT---
"As we join our heroes, we find them once again dealing with a stubborn secretary. Hmm, there seem to be a lot of those around lately."
Credance shivers and her teeth chatter, "Is anyone else cold?"
Reginar: As you walk around the desk, you can see an access door in the wall behind it. The "receptionist", noticing your approach, suddenly seems to panic. "No, no, please to no needing to be...uh..."
Reginar keeps moving towards the door.
"...oh, screw it!" His "accent" broken, the being makes a mad dash for the door, yelling loudly, this time in a perfectly normal voice. "BOSS! BOOOOSS!" He shoves the door open and dashes through, vanishing down the dark corridor beyond.
Reginar pauses, then says, "Well."
Wolfgang jumps over the desk, yelling, "After him!"
Wolfgang: He pulls the CLW and yelps, "Hot steel and cold, cold vengeance!"
Reginar draws his crossbow and chases after Wolfgang.
Credance waves after the uh, thing.
Eleihoff scurries after the secretary as Wolfgang gives the command.
As the door swings inward following the goon's departure, Credance gestures, sending a spell zipping down the hall after him. He gets caught by it, suddenly freezing in place moments before the door swings back into place, blocking her line of sight.
Credance: "Oh dear...
Wolfgang skids to a halt in front of the goon, then glances around to make sure nobody is on their way. "Quickly, we... uh.... Credance, can I assume that his statuesque features are your work, or is it Boomcannon's here?"
Credance: "Um, yes. Er, no. I-I meant, it's um, me...
Wolfgang: "Good work! Quick, we need to tie him up and make sure he can't say anything... Reginar, got anything?"
The goon is frozen mid-stride in a rather silly-looking running pose. This desc of him would be longer, except he's too immobile to do much else.
Eleihoff runs past the goon and past even Wolfgang, running for a few moments before realizing he already passed them. He skids to a halt and starts walking back towards them.
Reginar manages to run smack into Wolfgang's back before he realizes that Wolfgang stopped.
Wolfgang is knocked sprawling into a heap on the floor!
Wolfgang: He ends up gasping hard, the wind knocked out of him.
Reginar: "Oops! Sorry about that, laddie!" Reginar goes over to help Wolfgang to his feet.
Credance scurries up to the group and tries to help Wolfgang to his feet.
Eleihoff walks up to the paralyzed secretary and inspects his nose glasses.
Wolfgang: "Get him, first... I can get up on my own. Priorities first." He points at the secretary, and begins the process of standing up, armored as he is.
Eleihoff: They're obviously fake, the sort of thing you'd expect to find as cheap merchandise in a novelty goods store. The lenses are so thick that you can't even see his eyes through them.
Reginar goes over to the "secretary", pulls out his silk rope, and proceeds to hog tie 'im.
Eleihoff: "Hmmmm... I want nose glasses..."
Wolfgang finally gets upright, then walks over and snatches the glasses off the secretary's face. "Here, Eleihoff."
Eleihoff fiddles with both the nose glasses and his normal glasses for a bit. "Uhhh..."
Eleihoff eventually resorts to putting on the nose glasses over his normal pair.
Reginar moves to tie up the goon, as Wolfgang robs him of his "disguise". By the time all is said and done, the tall, skinny being is hog-tied helplessly on the floor. Now that his glasses are gone, you can see that the creature has huge, entirely black eyes, the sort usually seen on cave-dwelling creatures.
Credance: "Wha-what are you?"
Eleihoff: Holy--! Either this guy's blind, or he's got the worst myopia this side of Elmo Pug. These lenses are thick enough to grind into powder and make three coke bottles!
Wolfgang: "Search him, Reginar." Wolfgang steps aside, holding his weapon in his hand. "And, if you'd question him, I'd appreciate it. Quietly."
The creature looks around surreptitiously. "Um...the cable guy?"
Reginar: "Will do, laddie." Reginar gives the... being a thorough search.
Eleihoff: Me blinks behind the thick lens several times. Then he takes them off. "Hmm...how can you see with these things?" he asks the being.
He glares at Eleihoff. "Badly."
Eleihoff: "...and without them?"
Reginar: Searching the creature's pockets (he only has a couple), you find two items: A large brass key, and a strange device, composed of a small, squarish chunk of crystal with a single red button mounted on it.
Credance goes to look behind the desk.
Eleihoff: He grumbles at you. "They're special glasses to screen out light, if you must know. It's really bright in here..." He blinks at the darkness surrounding all of you.
Reginar pockets both items.
Reginar: "Well, tell you what, sir, if you cooperate with us, we just might be willing to give them back to you."
Eleihoff: "Where did you get them, anyway?"
Reginar stands in front of the being with a stern expression.
Credance: The desk, sadly, doesn't have much to search - it's more or less solid on the backside. The only thing you can find is a small silver bell sitting on top of the desk, the sort found in hotels and such for calling for a service representative. Or for just being really annoying, if you're that sort of customer.
"Bah, keep 'em. I'm screwed anyway, when the boss finds out..." He sighs. "C'mon, let's get this over with. What'dya want?"
Reginar: "We want to know who you are and why you don't want us to go near the Switchboard, for starters."
"Well..." He shrugs, or at least, the best analogue he can achieve while hog-tied. "I'm Flunky #7235, and I'm just doing what I was hired to do."
Reginar: "Which is what?"
"Duh...keeping people away from the Switchboard."
Reginar: "All right, who hired you?"
He shrugs. "I dunno his name, he just told me to call him "boss". He gestures down the hallway with his head. "He's down there, in the switching room. He told me to wait out here in case anyone tried to get to him."
Reginar: "What else can you tell us about him, then?"
Wolfgang leans against the wall, looking down the corridor.
He shrugs. "He's some sort of sorcerer, I think. I dunno what he wants with this switchboard thingy, but he pays well."
Reginar: "Anything else you can think of to ask, laddie?"
Credance: "Are there...
Credance: "Um, more?
Wolfgang: "How many people are guarding the switchboard?"
"Uh..." He glances around. "...a hundred?"
Wolfgang: "Oh, come on... try again."
"...would you believe, twenty guys and a couple of guard dogs?
Wolfgang shakes his head in the negative.
"...a hyperactive gnome and badger?"
Reginar bends down and gets in the being's face. "Look, give us a straight answer, or I start being unpleasant."
Wolfgang: "Have you considered a career as a stand-up comic?"
Eleihoff: "A badger?"
The goon stares at Reginar. "You're not now?"
Wolfgang: "Oh, this is Reginar in his NICE mood."
Wolfgang: "You won't like him when he's angry."
Reginar grins toothily in a disturbing way.
Eleihoff: "Is the badger ALSO hyperactive?
The goon sighs. "Alright, alright. I am the only one. He's in the switching room, I'm out here, and that's it. Hell, I'm surprised he hired me at all...it's not like there's a highway leading to this pocket dimension."
Reginar: "Thank you."
Wolfgang: "Tell you what... we'll be out of here in short order, and we have no real beef with you. I'll give you a glowing recommendation for your next employer, and you can head off on your merry way. Sound good?"
"Fine, whatever." He sighs. "You guys got past me, I'm not getting paid either way. May as well just go home and see what's on the tube."
Reginar: "We'll try to make this encounter with your 'boss' quick so we can untie you soon." Reginar pats the being on the shoulder.
Reginar: Or the nearest equivalent.
Wolfgang: "Any other questions for him?" He looks at the others in the group, until his eye falls on Eleihoff. "...related to the current mission."
Eleihoff: "Do you want these back?" Eleihoff holds up the nose glasses.
"If you don't MIND terribly, it would be nice..."
Eleihoff: "...okay." Eleihoff hands them over.
Eleihoff: The goon stares up at you, his hands tied. "Um...maybe you could just put 'em down next to me."
Reginar: "Put the glasses on the fella, lad."
Eleihoff: "Hmmmm..." Eleihoff stares at the goon for a bit, then at the glasses, then at the goon.
Wolfgang: "We'll turn you loose on the way back. Thanks for your assistance, uh... what was your name again?"
Eleihoff: After a moment, he puts the nose glasses on the goon. Upside-down.
Credance: "The, uh, button thing?
The goon glowers, his eyes covered by the glasses' thick moustache. "...Flunky #7235, with the Flunkies Union, Local 357."
Reginar carefully rights the glasses.
Wolfgang: "Oh, you're a Union fella. Well, if you claim you're on strike, you can get strike pay. Thanks, uh, Flunky 7235." Wolfgang takes some steps down the hall. "All right, let's continue on."
Credance: "Reg? That, uh, thing?
Reginar: "Oh, right." Reginar pulls out the crystal with the button on it. "Can you tell me the purpose of this?"
"It's a beeper. You push the button, and you can talk to whoever's got the other one of the pair. In this case, the boss."
Wolfgang: "Oh, that has possibilities..."
Credance: "And the k-key?
"It opens the switching room door."
Wolfgang looks around the corridor.
Wolfgang: The corridor stretches out into the darkness opposite the door to the lobby...you can't make out any details beyond a few dozen feet.
Credance slips off her sunglasses revealing her own large, deep crimson eyes.
Eleihoff wiggles his fingers while he mutters something under his breath.
Reginar walks over to the corridor himself and looks down it.
Eleihoff: Four globes of light burst into existence in front of Eleihoff, and they quickly begin spinning in a circle, about 20 feet in front of Eleihoff.
As the lights wink on, two things happen. First, the darkness recedes, revealing a large, heavy security door at the end of the corridor, with an equally large, heavy padlock on it. Second, the captured flunky squeals and attempts to shuffle around to face away from the burning light filtering through the moustache of his nose glasses.
Credance: "AH! Thaur!
Reginar goes over and helps the being face away from the sudden light.
Credance turns from the light and hides her face.
The goon sighs thankfully. "Ahhh."
Reginar smiles a bit, then goes over to Credance. "Ya all right, lassie?" He pats her a bit.
Wolfgang: "Hmm... thank you, Eleihoff. Let's check out this door." He heads over to the door.
Wolfgang: You head over to the door.
Wolfgang examines the door in detail.
Eleihoff chases after the lights as they dance over to the door.
Credance squints and rubs her eyes, "Warn me, please, if you do that, um, again."
Wolfgang: You examine the door in detail. It's large, and made of solid steel, heavily reinforced with rivets. The latch is blocked by a huge, foot-wide padlock, with a keyhole in the middle of it.
Credance: "I'll be OK, in a-a bit.
Reginar: "Sorry, lass." Reginar gives her a last pat, then goes to follow Wolfgang and Eleihoff.
Wolfgang: "Reginar, looks like we need to use that key about now. Since we don't know what to expect, we gotta take this quickly." He glances over at Credance. "You okay?"
Credance follows after a few moments, rubbing her eyes.
Credance: "Without my, um, glasses, sudden lights...
Credance: "Um, hurts a bit.
Wolfgang nods. "Okay, good to know... ready with that key, Reginar?"
Reginar pulls the key from his pocket and hands it to Wolfgang.
Wolfgang takes the key and examines it. "All right, Reginar, you're the man with the experience. Want to make the calls here? Any suggestions?"
Reginar: "I don't suppose the lassie or lad have any scrying spells?"
Eleihoff: "Well...I have something...close."
Reginar: "That's a good thought. And the lass used a Silence spell earlier, didn't she?"
Wolfgang: "Hey, 7235! Is your boss through there?"
"Isn't that what I JUST FREAKIN' SAID!?" He sighs. "Sorry, I'm sorry, that was completely uncalled for."
Wolfgang: "Yeah, it's okay. I was just confirming one last time. All right, it's time for..." He begins to smile. "I've got a plan..."
Reginar: "What plan is that, laddie?"
Wolfgang: "Well, we toss in the BobCo Instant Quarters and trigger it. That'll cover our entrance and give us protection while we enter the room..."
Reginar: "I'm not sure that an entire house will even fit in this building, laddie."
Wolfgang: "Oh. Well, then there's the BACKUP plan... which is to open the door and send you in invisible to scope the place out."
Reginar: "Ah, now that could work."
Reginar: "We'll have to make sure we're all out of sight of the door when we first open it, however."
Wolfgang: "Of course."
Credance: "Maybe, um, douse the, uh, lights?
Wolfgang: "Agreed, although it'll put me at a disadvantage."
Eleihoff: "But..they're fun!"
Reginar: "Well, we don't want anyone getting shot with a well-placed arrow fired as a reaction shot through the open door, either."
Wolfgang: "...of course, against a sorcerer, my skills are of limited utility, anyway." He inserts the key in the lock gently. "Tell me when you're all ready."
Eleihoff: "I could...put them in my pack until the element of surprise wears off."
Credance: "Or, make new ones?
Eleihoff: "I can only do it once per day."
Credance: "So can I....
Eleihoff: "But then they wouldn't be MY little balls of light..."
Reginar: "OK! Lad, hide or douse your lights, then cast your Invisibility spell on me. Then I'll unlock the door, and we'll make sure we're all off to either side as we open it."
Eleihoff opens a side pouch on his sack. One by one, each light dashes in.
Wolfgang steps off to one side, motioning for Credance and Eleihoff to come with him.
Reginar: "Laddie, give me back the key."
Reginar: *Scratch that.
Eleihoff: "All right..." Eleihoff says, then makes several arcane gestures while reciting ancient phrases. Then he pokes Reginar.
Credance slides into the dark behind the door.
Eleihoff: You weave your mystical, arcane Majicks(tm), and give Reginar a poke. He instantly vanishes from sight.
Reginar: "OK, lad, move off to the side."
Eleihoff takes a step to the side.
Reginar takes a deep breath, unlocks the lock, then tries to open the door as quietly as possible, moving off to the side behind the door as he pulls it back.
Wolfgang nods in his best guess as to where Reginar is at.
Reginar: The padlocks opens...you slooooowly open the door. Stepping beyond the threshold, you find yourself staring at an incredible sight. The room on the other side is huge, a single massive circular chamber over as wide as a football field (what's football?).
In the center of the chamber is what appears to be a normal-sized desk, with a desk chair in front of it. A vertical board sticks up from the rear of the desk; its surface is covered with wires, holes, and flashing lights. The desk itself bears dozens of buttons, knobs, and slider switches.
The real sight, however, is overhead - thousands upon thousands of thick, black cables dangle from the ceiling, running back and forth, tangled amongst each other like a tremendous spider web. All the cables come together into a tangled knot directly above the switchboard, where they suddenly narrow, flowing together into a thick column like a huge strand of yarn. This central cable runs down and into the back of the switchboard, connecting it to the communications network of the gods.
Aside from the spectacle of the switchboard itself, the only other noteworthy occupant of the room is a young man, seated in front of the console. He looks to be a sorcerer - at least, you assume as much, between his outlandishly garish robes, the magic staff propped against the console, and the large, pointy hat he wears with the word "SORCERER" embroidered across the front.
The man is pushing buttons and swapping cables seemingly at random, and occasionally chuckling to himself. He's facing partly towards the door, but doesn't seem to have noticed it moving.
Reginar attempts to slip quietly into the room and move around to be behind the sorcerer by following the wall.
Reginar: Mentally cuing up the "Mission: Impossible" theme music, you slip through the door, sidle around the doorjamb, and slink along the outer wall of the chamber. Having depleted your cache of stealthy S-words, you soon find yourself positioned on the eastern wall of the chamber, facing the sorcerer's back.
Reginar then tries to silently move forward to give the sorcerer a clunk over the head with his sap.
Reginar: Continuing your stealth streak, you glide across the floor silently, soon arriving directly behind the sorcerer, who continues to be oblivious to your presence. You study the target, perform some quick mental calculations, lick your thumb and hold it up to check for wind...then, finally, you slowly raise your sap, position it juuuuuust so, and gently poke a spot at the base of his skull.
He continues to punch buttons for several moments. Then, he suddenly seizes up and falls over backwards, tumbling out of the chair. Landing hard on the floor, he twitches for a moment, then lays still, eyes closed.
Reginar dusts his hands a bit, then cuffs the fellow using his masterwork manacles.
Wolfgang comes rushing into the room at the sound of the thump, weapon raised.
Credance peeks around th e door.
Reginar: *clack, clack!* Target secured.
Eleihoff bursts into the room, Puppy Plushy held out as if it were a menacing weapon.
Wolfgang: "...well. That's fine work, Reginar." Wolfgang steps over to the switchboard. "All we need now is the actual switchboard operator, and we'll have this thing wrapped up like a birthday present." He sits down in the seat and puzzles over the controls for a few moments.
Suddenly, Reginar re-materializes with a resounding *POOF!* (and/or *FOOP!*).
Credance stares at the crumpled sorcerer.
Credance: "Good work...
Reginar: "He's just out cold."
Eleihoff: *squeak!* "Die, die, DIE!"
Eleihoff: "...oh. He's already out. Aww..." Eleihoff hugs the puppy again, and then lets the lights out of his pack, which proceed to dart like mad around his head.
Credance knocks the staff over and kicks it across the room.
Wolfgang searches for a switchboard operator's manual and instruction guide. Divine Switchboards for Dummies, if need be.
Reginar: "Careful, lassie! Those things can get temperamental if knocked around too much."
Eleihoff: "He had a staff?" Eleihoff goes over and picks it up.
Reginar props the sorcerer against the wall for now.
Credance: "They bite!
Eleihoff: You pick up the staff...as you lift it up, the gemstone mounted on the end starts to glow.
Reginar leaves the sorcerer by the wall, then goes to join Wolfgang in staring at the odd contraption.
Reginar: "That's the oddest-looking device I've ever seen."
Wolfgang: Tucked into a drawer on the underside of the console, you find a few spare switching wires, along with a thick yellow book labeled "USER MANUAL". The front cover has an image of a smiling stick figure working a switchboard with one hand, while giving a thumbs-up to the reader with the other.
Wolfgang: "Oh, cute. That's just gotta be the cutest stick figure on a Corporate Production manual I've ever seen." He opens the manual to get the gist of the device, scanning as quickly as he can read so he can operate the device for a few minutes until Sorc dude wakes up and spills the beans on where the operator is.
Credance keeps an eye on Elei and backs up towards the others.
Credance tugs on Wolfgang's shirt.
Wolfgang looks up, then smiles a bit. "Something on your mind, Credance?"
Eleihoff: The staff is a wooden rod a few feet long, topped by an orange-red gemstone in a gold setting. You recall seeing something like this before, in an old issue of "Popular Arcanics" - it's a Staff of Animation. Supposedly, it works similar to a Wand of Animate Object, but much more powerful.
Credance continues to stair at Elei.
Eleihoff: As you look it over, the gemstone continues to glow, growing brighter and brighter. Suddenly, a brilliant bolt of orange lightning leaps out of it, aimed at your chest!
Eleihoff: "Hmm...this is either very good or very bad."
Wolfgang: "What the... Eleihoff, didn't anyone TEACH you not to mess with another man's staff?!?"
Eleihoff: "I don't think I was paying attention at the time."
Reginar stares at Eleihoff, uncertain of what to do.
The bolt crackles against Eleihoff, but doesn't seem to affect him. It does latch onto the stuffed puppy he's been toting around since entering the chamber...the toy glows a brilliant orange, and flies out of his hands!
The orange bolt swirls around it, increasing in speed, until it builds into a whirling orange maelstrom of magical energy (hey, I got to use the word "maelstrom" in a sentence. Sweet.). There's a brilliant explosion...the smoke clears...and standing on the ground in the stuffed puppy, except now it's eight feet long, as tall as Eleihoff, and growling menacingly at him.
Credance: "Oh thaur...
Wolfgang: "...someone care to tell me what deity might be the best one to control a huge demonic puppy? Wait, no... Quick, Reginar, draw a huge guard dog on the wall with that pen!"
Reginar pulls out the pen, but says dryly, "Do we have any guarantee the guard dog won't attack us instead?"
Credance: "Control or destroy?
Wolfgang: "Put a pendant on it's neck that says, 'I Love Reginar'. A heart-shaped pendant."
Reginar: "Well, it's worth a shot..."
Reginar draws a guard dog with an "I <3 Reginar" pendant around its neck on the wall using the pen.
Hey, I said "end game"! ;3
Reginar puts his hands on his hips. "Well, I'm sorry you type faster than I do!"
Heh! Aww, I'm sorry. *hugs the cranky dwarf*
Reginar is hugged. "Gah, laddie!"
Wolfgang: "Quick, someone take a picture!"