N'wah's Iron Gods Campaign

Fires of Creation Session 01
Caverns of Grossness, Part 1 (09/10/2014)

The PCs met up, had introductions, and talked with councilwoman Dolga Feddert about the problems currently facing Torch. They have been offered 4,000 gp for the return of councilmaster Khonnir Baine (plus a scroll of resurrection if he is still alive), and another 4,000 gp if they can reignite the flame atop Black Hill. In addition, for the duration of their explorations, all the local shopkeepers are offering a 20% discount on their services. Councilwoman Feddert also suggested the PCs look for a man named Sanvil Trett, a traveling peddler who sets up shop in the market, for help with any unusual technology they uncover.

The PCs headed to the Foundry tavern (home of Khonnir and his daughter Val), where they will be resting for the duration of their quest. A series of screams alerted the group to trouble in the house behind the tavern! The group rushed to the sound of distress, with Aton making it to the storage room first, where a reanimated robot had begun disassembling one of the walls. Val was also in the room, hiding under a table. Aton drew his sword and made quick work of the machine, earning him Val’s eternal thanks.

The group reconvened in the tavern, exchanged notes on the machine (identified as a malfunctioning repair drone by Garef), and had breakfast. Soon thereafter they met Joram Kyte, a councilman and priest of Brigh, who is providing the group with water breathing to get them into the caverns under Black Hill. The group went with Joram to the pond, got their spells, and dived into the brackish waters.

The group popped back up inside the Black Hill caves soon thereafter. The waters didn’t agree with Garef’s delicate half-elven constitution, leaving him sickened, but the others came out alright. The first cave contained fire beetles, which the group quickly dispatched, as well as an ominous “beckoning” cave and a less ominous, less beckoning passage. The group picked the latter, especially after seeing strange light (and in Sal’s case, a squat frog-thing that was making the light) further into the beckoning passage.

Around the corner the group found gross oozes and three mounds that turned out to be the remnants of the halfling expedition. Further down, the passage led to a cavern where the group encountered the horrible frog-thing (a blindheim, though no one identified it successfully). Everyone but Aton eventually succumbed to its blinding gaze, and Sal tried taking a shot anyway, grazing Aton’s leg with a bullet, but a blind Sandtongue was able to get hold of the beast, kill it, and eat it, all while still blind. Aton found the body of a local thug in the shallows of the cavern, including an unholy symbol later identified as a symbol of the god Zyphus .

The PCs waited until their blindness went away (about 1 hour), then continued forward. They found a side cavern filled with boxes and junk, and Petra’s keen eyes spotted a few silverdisks. They also encountered crude chalk drawings of spiny plants, a three-legged creature (which the group figured out as a representation of a repair drone), an an unidentified four-armed humanoid. Two caverns branched out ahead of them.

END OF SESSION 01

3 hours, 37 minutes of water breathing remaining

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Fires of Creation Session 02
Caverns of Grossness, Part 2 (09/17/2014)

Standing in the intersection, the PCs decided to go southwest, standing on a ledge five feet over a cavern filled with patches of a dusty brown mold. The room itself was quite cold, and a body could be seen down in the cavern. Aton and Petra scrambled down the slope and were immediately inflicted with a bitter cold that left both of them nearly unconscious. Things looked quite grim for the group indeed.

Suddenly, Sal felt a half-voice, half-empathic-pulse and, heeding this call, was able to summon forth a burst of positive energy, healing both Aton and Petra enough to allow them to climb back up the slope and retreat from the cold. The group discussed their options, with Sal mentioning that that mold was most likely brown mold, an insidious fungus that feeds on heat. Garef mentioned that a basic ray of frost spell, applied repeatedly and judiciously, could clear out the infestation, but, lacking access to that spell, the point was largely academic, as he also admitted. Some other form of cold damage would have to be found.

The group discussed what to do with the body as well. Petra, having gotten closest to the corpse, noticed it was equipped with some gear, but voted to leave the body alone, especially after mentioning to Sal that the body had some other, fibrous fungus on it (Sal identified this as russet mold, a possibly more-dangerous mold that drains the health of its victims and then spawns small humanoid plant-monsters called vegepygmies from the corpse). The others were curious enough, however, and Sal hoped that her unnatural biology might provide some proof against infection, hurling a grappling hook into the body and reeling it halfway up the slope, and retrieving some well-made weapons and gear. The body’s fine chain shirt had to be temporarily left behind until the group could come up with a way to remove the russet mold from it. In addition, Petra ran up quickly, identified the body as that of a local rogue and friend of Khonnir Baine named Gerrol, who had recently proposed to a local blacksmith’s daughter named Emelia Otterbie. She would surely like to know her beloved’s fate.

Passing on through the other tunnel with Sal on point, the group found a large cavern that stretched before them, with small huts made of metal and leather and a passage into the depths below. Sal’s keen eyes spotted a group of three slim, gray-skinned humanoids whose coloration naturally seemed to blend and shift with their background (skulks, but I don’t think anyone asked). The skulks, realizing they had been spotted, asked for parley. They suggested two of the group go to speak with their leader, a woman named Sef. The group agreed, and Aton and Sandtongue went forth as envoys.

They met with Sef in a cavern filled with assorted junk, and Sef explained her people’s dilemma: surface-dwellers kept invading their home, one group had recently killed most of their number, and now they are too weak to keep a neighboring tribe of gremlins at bay. Sef offered a deal: if the group would not attack them and agree to slay the gremlins, she would offer information and some treasures her predecessor had gotten from a strange, purple-haired woman who passed by with a large group of orcs and ratfolk some time ago. Aton and Sandtongue discussed it and agreed to the terms. Sef provided the group with some information on the other groups who passed through, which is noted on the updated Campaign Timeline.

The group met back together and headed off to clear out the gremlin caves, spotting both jinkin gremlins and traps in the passages. A lucky shot from Sal finished off one of the jinkins immediately, and two others arrived, hurling stones and insults and attempting to draw the group deeper into the caves. Soon, the group were deep in the cave system, facing the jinkin boss alone after slaying his defenders. The boss used stealth and magic to moderate success, managing a few nicks and bites across several of the teams’ legs, before a swift trip from Sandtongue allowed Aton to hold the thing down with one of his boots and, in a rage, cleave the tricky monster in twain. They spent several minutes exploring the gremlin caves, disabling their traps and finding little but junk. They also discovered a sealed door in a large metal wall, identified as being made of glaucite (an alloy of steel and adamantine that is heavy, dense, and quite hard). Sal was able to read a small panel next to the door that asked for a brown access card. The group returned to Sef with the bisected gremlin chief and got their payment: five brown access cards given to her predecessor by the purple-haired woman, who told the skulks to look for more of these (they found none in the caverns around their home and were unwilling to travel too deep into the strange metal passages beyond).

The group made a quick jaunt back into town to sell goods and restock, rushing their purchases in order to get back underground before their water breathing magics wore off. Coming out of the water, the group met a young boy that Joram Kyte left to keep lookout for them. He passed them each a note inviting them to the Silverdisk hall, Torch’s local gambling den, and a 100 gp credit each. Sal was able to identify the proprietor, Garmen Ulreth, as involved with Torch’s local thieves’ guild, the Ropefists. Petra identified the Ropefists, petty thugs and shake-down artists who mostly work doing protection rackets and enforcer work, as “bullshit.” Not seeing the need to rush off and gamble, the group decided to stick to shopping and their greater mission.

Back in the caves they headed up to the circular doorway up in the metal wall in the large cave, coming across mostly-collapsed passages and a powered repair drone in standby mode. Sal tried with her knowledge of the Androffen language to command the robot, but met with no success until she told it that a passage beyond was damaged and commanded it to start repairs. The robot began piling the ruins of the wrecked passage in orderly stacks, revealing some useful technological tools. The PCs found two still-charged silverdisks, a technological thieves’ tool they nicknamed a sonic screwdriver, and a device they called the steel weasel.

Beyond them lies what Sef told them is a strange subterranean desert where dwell four-armed skeletal monsters that return from death sometime after they are destroyed. But beyond the small enclosed desert (which the robot referred to as a “habitat dome”) squat unknown dangers. What could await them beyond? Who is this mysterious purple-haired woman with a large gang of armed thugs? Will the group ever overcome their fear of the humanoid dead and return a corpse to the surface for a reward? We’ll maybe find out next week, because for now, it’s the…

END OF SESSION 02

1 hour, 31 minutes of water breathing remaining

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Fires of Creation Session 03
The Underground Desert (09/24/2014)

The group looked into the next room, a smaller chamber with tubes and nozzles on the walls. Petra identified the room as some sort of cleaning room, where diseases and infections plaguing a character can be removed with blasts of air. The room like all the others encountered so far was without power, so the devices would not function at this time. Deciding it was safe to continue, they passed on into a small, natural-looking cave with Sal on point.

Sal’s extraordinary vision was unable to detect the weird monster up ahead in the cave, however, as the sand beneath her and Aton’s feet became a sticky quagmire and tentacles lashed out from a porous rock-like shell. The alien monster, which no one has yet to identify, flailed with tentacles but was unable to find purchase. Aton became briefly entangled by the goo, but was able to break free, and together, he, Sal, Petra, and Sandtongue quickly beat the beast into submission. Sal jabbed at its dying form with her switchblade, finishing the monster.

Moving the head with extreme caution, the group found themselves within a vast, dark desert-like world below ground. The air was still and no sounds of habitation could be heard, path wound around the cave mouth consisting of an older set of tracks from a large group (no less than five and no more than ten individuals) followed by the footprints of two smaller groups of four individuals. All the tracks seemed to have been made by boots and were mostly human sized, with a few smaller tracks. The group decided to follow the tracks at least until they could get their bearings.

Not far along the path, the PCs discovered an old four-armed skeleton that rose from the sands and attacked them! As they fought, more came in waves from the east, slashing at living flesh with sharp bony claws. Aton and Petra utilized a tag-team technique where Aton would engage with his spear while Petra would come around into a flank position, felling the things with sneak attacks from her cestus, while Sandtongue went toe-to-toe alone, breaking ancient bones with his strong jaws. Sal suffered a spate of bad luck with her shots but was still able to assist Aton in destroying one of the undead by grazing one of the things’ ancient skulls.

The fight turned grim, however, as a series of quick, brutal strikes from one of the skeletons dropped Sandtongue to the ground. Petra and Aton were able to hold the horror at bay while Sal once more called upon her mysterious divine benefactor and unleashed a potent blast of healing energy, allowing Sandtongue to regain consciousness and pull the skeleton to pieces with claws and bites.

Knowing from their discussion with Sef that the monsters reformed after about a day and unsure of how to lay the monsters permanently to rest, the group settled on burning the bones. As the old bones cracked and charred over a makeshift rope-and-gunpowder fire, Aton attempted to find the roof of the cavern with a mightily thrown torch. It was deduced from the light emitted by the torch that the metal ceiling was 150 feet above and seemed to arch above them.

Group consensus told them to retreat to the surface for the day, as several of them were wounded and they lacked healing supplies of their own. The group returned to the surface, sending the young boy off and meeting up with Joram Kyte at the temple of Brigh. Joram healed the group’s wounds, and they told Joram to forgo preparing his standard water breathing spells in favor of restorative magics, fearing diseases and other dangers more than calm, brackish water. Sal consulted with the aging priest about her unusual gifts, which he was unable to provide much information on. They also inquired about a healing wand, and found that the church did indeed have a partially-used one but it was beyond their means at the time. Without much to do at the moment, and eager to make some easy money, the group decided over dinner to take up the offer of hospitality from Garmen Ulreth and head to Silverdisk Hall to try their hands at gambling.

The group exchanged pleasantries with Garmen before setting about the gambling hall in search of easy marks. Aton and Garef spotted two well-off looking, very drunk dwarves playing a game of towers in the back, while Sal tried assorted games of chance. Aton and Petra bribed a server to continue supplying the inebriated dwarves with regular mugs of booze, then headed to the table, introduced themselves, and got dealt in to the game. Petra’s unreadable face and Aton’s ability to force the dwarves into bad bets, along with the dwarves’ continued drunkenness, assured many easy victories. As the dwarves played, the mentioned to the PCs of a weird goo that was seeping from the crater where Torch’s eponymous flame normally sprouted. Apparently, one of the dwarves’ cousins and a friend drank the stuff on a dare; the cousin became prodigiously strong, while his unfortunate friend nearly died from the foul stuff eating at his insides. Quick magical intervention prevented the story from becoming a complete tragedy. The group’s interest was piqued.

Winnings in hand, the group made a trek to the top of Black Hill to investigate these weird goopy emissions. Garef and Sal determined the stuff was the infamous drug known as Numerian fluids, an unpredictable cocktail of runoff and seepage from the technological ruins infused with radiation and other strange effects to make a substance with very unusual properties. Sal briefly considered drinking some (for SCIENCE!, maybe) but thought better of it. Instead, the PCs chose to bottle the stuff and find a buyer, knowing it to go for a small fortune in more illicit locales. It was decided that of the people in town who might have an interest in the Numerian fluids (and there wouldn’t be many), the traveling peddler Sanvil Trett would be the one most likely to bite.

The group located Sanvil Trett’s room at the Evercandle Inn. Sanvil was surprised with the group’s appearance at his door at so late an hour, but willing to talk shop, and when the PCs showed him their five pints of Numerian fluids, he became interested in working out a deal. When asked where they acquired such a rare and precious drug in a place not known for any supply, the group demurred, only piquing Sanvil’s interest more. Aton took the position of primary negotiator, and with assistance from every other PC he was able to get a price of 400 gold per dose. In exchange, the group bought some of Sanvil’s pharmaceutical items, as well as a roll of a material they called space tape, and a small device that emits an electrical charge they dubbed the space pen. They also gathered a large amount of payment in coin and Numerian silverdisks, and bid the traveling merchant good night, heading to the Foundry Tavern to rest and recover for the evening.

In the morning, the PCs brought a bag of coins for Joram and bought his partially-charged wand. Now stocked with plentiful healing, they dove into the waters, traveling through the underground caves and taking a detour into the beckoning cavern to find and identify the body of Parda Garr, a popular local brawler who fell in with the slain group of local thugs to her unfortunate demise. Plans were set to deliver the poor half-orc’s body to the surface on their next return trip, but further adventure awaited.

The group followed the previous expeditions’ trails as they walked through the dark and silent desert. Coming across another stone cliff at the far end of the small desert, the group encountered yet another cave, this one seemingly ending in a stone wall that emitted a light from which there appeared to be no source. Everyone but Sal quickly saw through the technological illusion, and the gunslinger was pulled through the image to face a metal door that opened with a swipe of one of the flexible brown-striped cards. This door led to another small room with tubes and nozzles upon the walls. Several things stood out as different from the previous tube-and-nozzle room, however. First off, this area seemed to be powered, with flickering illumination provided by glowing ceiling panels. Second, small arcs of electricity shot from this room’s nozzles, occasionally erupting into bright bolts. The eruptions appeared to be totally random, and it was determined the room was malfunctioning. Petra was sent in to disable the machines and allow for safe passage through.

Petra worked swiftly at disabling the broken machinery, but just before she completed her work a blast of electricity knocked her unconscious. Thinking quickly, Sal created a lasso with the space tape, snagging Petra and using the space pen to turn the tape into solid plastic. The group easily reeled Petra out of the room, and Sandtongue used their new wand to give some much-needed healing to the downed rogue. Petra was able to bolt back into the room and finish the job before another blast jolted her again, and they pressed on into a hallway with three doors. They decided on a door with a red stripe and some sort of error message in Androffan, and despite the door’s higher access rating, their brown-striped cards still opened it. The room contained many machines and a strange purple pillar with a glowing golden panel on its side. Sal took a gamble and pressed her hand on the panel, causing a series of hums, whirs, clicks and beeps, and making a table in the room emit a hologram image of a strange machine. Sandtongue recognized it as like the metal vessel that took him and his people from their homeworld.

Further discussion on the matter was cut short, however, as several PCs heard swift footsteps down the hall approaching the door to the room they were in. Aton used the steel weasel to clamp the door shut, further bolstering the locked door’s security, but the thing beyond the door was able to slip two hands between the doors. As it slowly pried the doors an inch apart, Sandtongue was able to identify the monster as a juju zombie, though its original species was unknown to the group. Petra decided action was required, and stabbed the monster with her not-rapier, dealing a small amount of damage to the undead thing and earning its eternal ire. As the monster’s fingers pushed the doors further apart, Sal began to develop a strange headache of unknown origin. Oh noes!

The doors and the steel weasel were holding for now. But it would only be a matter of time before the monster pried the doors open (probably?). With the door’s panel beeping angrily and a horror coming to tear them limb from limb, what would the PCs do? We’ll have to find out next week, because for now, we’ve reached the…

END OF SESSION 03

37 wand charges remaining

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Fires of Creation Session 04
Halls of SCIENCE!, Part 1 (10/01/2014)

With the juju zombie at the door, the group set up a plan to beat the undeath out of it as soon as it pried its way in. The creature presented a second pair of arms, jamming two shortswords into the small space between the doors that it had already made and was getting ever more leverage, so it would only be a matter of time. Sandtongue blessed Aton’s greatsword with the gifts of the tech spirits, then the two stood at opposite sides of the doors. Garef, Petra, and Sal all took positions further back, readying ranged weapons. With a nod from the others, Aton then kicked the steel weasel free from the doors.

A few seconds later, the juju zombie forced open the doors, and the group opened fire. Only Aton connected with any accuracy, severely wounding the four-armed undead monster; Sal once again had misfire issues. The alien juju zombie, seeing Aton as the greatest threat, retaliated with swords and fists, whittling the barbarian down to near-unconsciousness. As the fight went on, Aton withdrew temporarily to avoid further reprisals while Sandtongue and Petra engaged in melee with the beast. Seeing he was the only hope to slay the monster, Aton leaped from the table he was standing one and cleaved the monster in two.

The group took an hour break to allow Sal to repair her gun, looting the monster of its gear. Aton claimed its magic cloak as his own and spent some time parading around in his bright red accessory. After Sal’s gun was cleared, the PCs went back into the hallway and looked at the other two doors. One had a black-striped security panel while the other was brown, making the way to go easy to decide on. Within that room they found a table, chairs and some pillars, but the most interesting aspect was a window looking out into the underground desert. The could see it clearly now, and above the cliff walls appeared a bright blue sky with a sun and clouds. The PCs seemed to infer that they had somehow been transported somewhere else. Keen eyes in the group spotted a black access card that had fallen under a chair some time ago; Aton, serving as point-man, took the card, and they progressed out of the room to the black access door.

A short hallway led to a room, determined as a security checkpoint by readouts on the blinking panels on a nearby desk. Couches were also found, as was dead russet mold on the south end of the room and a bloodtained floor and door to the north. Behind the security desk the group found a storage room with five lockers and some assorted gear (mostly Numerian silverdisks and something they nicknamed a magelight). They also found a crate locked with a white keycard panel. Not having a white card yet, Petra brought out the sonic screwdriver and with impressive luck and divine guidance from Sandtongue popped open the case. Within were a variety of nonlethal grenades (dubbed godslap, shiny bang, and brawler grenades), a color-changing technological suit they called gecko armor, and of particular interest to Sal, a timeworn technological firearm she eventually dubbed Lionel.

Not wanting to go through the blood-stained door, the group opted to head through a central hallway, then turn right at another hallway. They came into a room filled with non-dangerous fungus and a plant monster they were unable to identify (a weedwhip) that they handily dispatched. The noise attracted a pair of vegepygmies who were also handily defeated. In side rooms of the lab they were in they spotted four bodies placed reverently in sitting positions, coated in russet mold, and split from neck to groin. They looted the corpses of their gear, discovering they were the bodies of the missing Brigh-worshiping party . After a cursory search of the main room revealed nothing of interest save fungi, they headed on to a room with a riot of uncontrolled overgrowth and five very unruly vegepygmies. The group took some hits from the plant monsters’ crude longspears and claws, but were eventually victorious, using flanking maneuvers and Garef’s newly acquired ray of frost spell. Further exploration would have to wait, though, as they found themselves at the…

END OF SESSION 04
30-ish wand charges remaining

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Fires of Creation Session 05
Halls of SCIENCE!, Part 2 (10/09/2014)

The session started with the group back in the entry room. Sal repaired her musket, Betsy, while Petra considered her life decisions on a dead-mold-speckled couch and the others checked gear and otherwise killed the hour-long wait. After the short rest, the PCs took the single door in the side hallway, leading to another corridor full of doors. They took the closest door and found themselves in a room with a trough of algae-choked water around the edges of the room, a worksatation with a large machine near it, and a burly vegepygmy (carrying a glowing light hammer sized for humans) scowling at them. He motioned for them to speak as he pulled out a leather-bound journal with the symbol of Brigh embossed on the front. The vegepygmy wrote in the journal and showed it to the group in response to their questions and statements. He correctly accused them of killing his tribe, and seemed willing to work out a deal, but the group was split on what to do with the small plant-man. Eventually, a temporary alliance was struck, with the PCs offering to bring the vegepygmy more bodies to infest with russet mold and rebuild his tribe, and the vegepygmy offering his magic hammer in payment. Petra was not pleased with the deal, but went with it in order to get the group to move on.

The group passed the door that led back to the plant-filled room and came to another door with a locked white panel. They decided not to try their luck on picking it successfully, instead turning left and entering a pair of doors that led to a circular room with a sparking power cable and a panel with Adroffan words on it. With the words on that panel, the group deduced it was an elevator, and could be repaired by replacing the power coupling with a newly-forged one. Petra skillfully removed the coupling without being electrocuted while Sandtongue looked for a surface access door but found nothing (though he did determine the glaucite roof was hollow). From there they headed east into another passage, passing two single doors to head south at at a T-intersection. The door at the end had a white-striped panel but was unlocked, and they walked in.

Within the room were two different robots: a white-colored robot similar to a repair drone but seemingly specialized for medical procedures, and a hovering robot with strong grabbing claws and a stun gun on its underside. Sal began the interactions with her standard “query,” but the white robot only responded with bland non-reassurances that they were about to undergo a medical procedure and should remain calm. They did not. The white medical drone was easily dispatched, but the hovering drone was plated with hard outer armor, making harming the thing difficult. Garef kept it busy with his unique ability to mess with electronic minds using his inborn magic, dazing the machine and causing it severe but brief malfunctions, while several of the front-line fighters got critical blows in on the machine. Sal’s gun jammed again, and her backup, the timeworn stun gun she calls Lionel, was unable to harm the robot, but she and Garef did hear muffled shouts and pounding coming from a strange pod-like device in the corner. She asked Aton to drop his pack to the ground so that she could retrieve the black access card the keeps in his bag, and with deftness he did so while still battling the machine. She dove over and collected the bag, tossed it to Garef, and then drew a dagger and joined in the melee. Her blade was unable to pierce the thing’s armor, but Garef’s lucky crossbow bolt, Petra’s deft not-rapier, a few mighty dings from Sandtongue, and a final brutal smash from Aton stilled the robot permanently.

The group decided to take this machine back to use it for… equipment materials or something, I guess. Meanwhile, Garef slid the black access card through the black-striped panel and the odd device opened, revealing none other than Khonnir Baine! His legs were hideously mangled and something had happened to his mind, but he was conscious, alive, and grateful, if a poor conversationalist after his ordeal. After raiding the room for some medical supplies (one item which they were unable to identify) and recovering Khonnir’s gear, the group taped Khonnir to Sandtongue’s back with space tape and headed off back to town. On the way, they passed through the now-functioning nozzle room, and looked on curiously as the nozzles sprayed them with cool air before allowing them to pass on. They took a brief detour to claim the body of Parda Garr (cause of death: thug life) and return it to town as well.

Their first stop was to the Temple of Brigh, where Joram Kyte met them immediately and began to administer magical aid to the severely-messed-up Khonnir. As Joram cast his restorative spells, he thanked the group for retrieving Khonnir and the slain Parda, suggesting they meet up with Dolga Feddert after telling Val Baine so that they could claim their reward. Khonnir had recovered slightly from his suffering, and, able to communicate with polysyllabic words, told them that the robots had mangled his legs and injected him with a vial of “small robots” that damaged his brain while attempting to find out how he was able to cast magical spells. He also planned to arrange for Parda’s funeral, telling the group that returning the well-liked half-orc back to town would earn them much thanks from the townsfolk. Sal asked about her “weird tinglies” again, and Joram offered to send for a scroll of commune , calling in some favors with the crusaders of Castle Urion to get the scroll at a discount. Sal said she would consider it.

The PCs next destination was the Foundry Tavern, where they found Val preparing stew, and when told of her father’s return- alive, no less- she dropped her ladle, removed the stew from the fire, tearfully hugged all the PCs (with extra hugs for Aton and Petra), and left to visit her father. The group headed off to the Town Hall and found Dolga having just gotten word that Khonnir had been found. She called for a clerk to bring the reward, and placed it on the table for the group, along with the scroll of resurrection, as promised. The group then insisted on blabbing about their cash infusion from selling Numerian fluids, and Dolga demanded not to know, promptly leaving the room while muttering about “damned adventurers.” The PCs headed back to drop off their legal gains, lock up, and head back down for more grossness.

Back down in the Science! Deck, the group found the lavatory, and marveled at the fixtures producing water when futzed with. Much flushing ensued. They then crossed the hallway to find the break room, finding the room quite hot after thousands of years of someone leaving the stove on. They also collected dozens of Goo Tubes!™ in a variety of flavors, sampling a few before moving on. At the top of the T-intersection they came across another medical room, easily dispatching the lone medical drone within and learning more about Khonnir’s unnecessary medical procedures. The bloodstains from earlier ended in this room, leaving pretty much only the blood path left to explore.

Taking the double doors at the northern end of the T-intersection, the group found a geology lab containing a machine with a spherical mold-blob. The mold-blob then telepathically asked them questions, including wondering if they had more “red food”. They then looked to the floor, where the otherwise dusty room contained a cleared and cleaned stripe running across it, ending at the door and eerily lining up with the blood drag-marks on the opposite side. They closed the door.

A huddle occurred, with the group eventually deciding to find things to feed the mold-blob (Sal identified it as a cerebric fungus) anything but them. They settled for the moment to throw it some goo tubes, and Sal and Sandtongue convinced the blob to travel with them and eat only what they told it to. The cerebric fungus was recently born and completely confused by the outside world, so it happily agreed as long as more food would come. Then Sal, Garef, and Petra messed with the machinery in the room, discovering that the lab’s focus was on a planet called “CX-335” or “Kasath,” a dry desert world with four-armed creatures making up the dominant species. The group put two and two together and, getting four this time, discovered the undead they had previously killed must be natives to that world. They continued on, entering the bloody hallway where they found destroyed medical robots and alchemical burns and stains across the walls and floor. The cerebric fungus (named Cletus with the help of Sal), was given free reign to devour the red food. It really likes the red food. Seriously, guys.

Only one room remined, and as the PCs entered it, two horrible living, self-moving fleshy pustule-things crawled forth from the broken detritus in the lab. Oh no! But there was only time to draw steel and ready for battle, calling Cletus for meal time, because it’s the…

END OF SESSION 05

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Fires of Creation Session 05.5
Toilet Composting and Kicking Doors After Dark

While Sal, Garef, and Sandtongue were distracted by Cletus the cerebric fungus, Petra and Aton exchanged a quick glance. They had work to do.

Traveling back down the metal corridors to the hydroponics lab, Aton held out a hand to warn Petra back. He activated the door and stepped forward into the room. Within, the vegepygmy chieftain sat in his mold-encrusted chair, glowing warhammer in his lap. “The situation has changed,” Aton explained, “And I’m afraid our deal is off.” The vegepygmy nodded grimly, lifted his warhammer, and botled forward on the offensive. His first swing smashed Aton in the leg, causing a good bit of damage, but Aton responded in turn, waiting for Petra to move into a flanking position before swinging down his greatsword, cleaving mightily into the vegepygmy. The vegepygmy was able to get a mold-encrusted claw into Aton’s thigh before Petra pinned it with a brutal blow with her knife, and Aton finished the job with his greatsword. Petra snagged the dead plant-man’s hammer and a handful of silverdisks, pocketing the latter and handing Aton the former. I hope you got a hidden place for this, she said. In his backpack, it turns out he did.

I saw someone do this with a witch, so I believe it works, Aton said, carving the vegepygmy into bits and passing half the pieces to Petra. They ran about the dungeon, depositing pieces in any place where other plants were not currently growing, including Aton taking one to the “magic water bowl” and flushing it (successfully, I might add). As he left the restroom, he spotted a pair of doors closing and the brief sight of a human-sized figure hustling in the opposite direction. Aton quickly alerted Petra, and she moved with astounding stealth to follow the figure. As the hooded figure ran from the Halls of SCIENCE!, Petra gave up on stealth in order to make better time, and when she made it to the hallway where an alien juju zombie once threatened the group, she came across a startled Sanvil Trett! He had a sword drawn, but upon seeing Petra and Aton, he sheathed it, and apologized for exploring the dungeons without their permission. He was cautious at first, but got more friendly and apologetic as Petra dismissed his foolishness. As long as she didn’t have to babysit him, he could die all he wanted in these halls, and Aton mentioned that they would have no way of knowing whether anything deadly would still roam the halls even after they cleared them.

Sanvil accepted these risks, and claimed he was no slouch in a fight (Petra snorted derisively at this), but he hoped maybe he could find a few baubles the group might have missed, and his greed had gotten the better of him. He promised to explore later, after the group had left. In thanks for their understanding, Sanvil dropped the group some juicy scuttlebutt: while he had no concrete proof, Sanvil was pretty sure Garmen Ulreth was up to something in an old Warehouse he owned on the north end of town. Sanvil wasn’t sure what the notorious gambling den owner could be up to, but his warehouse, usually used for illicit deals or holding big-ticket items, had a lot of Ropefist thugs coming and going, and the locks on the supposedly abandoned warehouse were pretty new for a building with boards across all the doors and windows. Aton thanked him for the information, and the traveling tech-peddler nodded and left. Knowing that soon their absence would be noted by the rest of the party, Aton and Petra made their way back to the group.

LATER

After dark and once the rest of the party had bedded down for the night (or, in the case of Sal, went to go do whatever it is she does all night- probably cleans her guns too much), Aton and Petra grabbed their things and set off for Garmen’s “abandoned” warehouse. Some initial scouting uncovered light from between the window boards and quiet chatter, proving the warehouse was indeed occupied, and two of its exterior doors were cleverly designed to look boarded shut but were in fact fully operational. Petra scouted ahead, taking a set of rickety stairs to the locked door at the second floor. Deftly picking the lock, she peeked inside and found four Ropefists inside, making patrols around the warehouse. A quiet yet unhealthy hum suffused the air, a noise one more felt in their teeth than heard with their ears, and Petra quickly developed a headache identical to the one Sal had acquired. Something unnatural was indeed going on in the warehouse.

Reporting back to Aton, the two decided to check the second door, which led to an office. Within, Garmen Ulreth sat in a chair with his feet kicked up, quietly snoring. They quietly closed that door, Petra locked it back up, and they formed a plan. The two took up a scouting position across the street in a nearby alley, and three hours later Garmen opened the door, said something bout sending for more thugs once he got back to Silverdisk hall, and departed. Now was their chance. The two booked it across the street. Petra worked her picks in the office door’s lock and readied one of the grenades they referred to as “brawlers”, while Aton took up a position at the other, actually-boarded office door. Aton then dealt the door a solid kick, creating a lot of noise but surprisingly not busting down the door; it was incredibly stout and the boards gave it extra strength. It had its intended effect as the Ropefists on duty in the warehouse began to pour into the room, just after Petra quietly rolled a grenade into the room. As the four figures readied to deal with intruders it went off. It was super effective! Two thugs were knocked unconscious immediately, while the other two were battered but otherwise still standing. Petra took the initiative and bolted to the one at the foot of the office stairs, jamming her not-rapier under his ribs and dropping the poor schlub. The second conscious thug bolted forward and used fancy footwork to distract the canny rogue, hoping to get in an unseen jab in a few second. But Aton’s surprising arrival from around the outside of the building took the thug off guard. “Stop wiggling around, you jackass!” he shouted, and butted her across the head with the pommel of his greatsword. The office fell silent.

Aton handed Petra the steel weasel and went to work tying up the unconscious thugs, while Petra made for the warehouse. There, she discovered all the crates were empty decoys, except one, which the hum easily led her to. Inside she found a bulky technological device, with panels, buttons, screens, and strange antennae all over it. One screen mentioned something about “power transmission” while another showed a kind of map with no geographic features, only three dots: one at the center of the screen, one almost on top of it to the west, and another, far to the northwest. The distance indicator seemed to put the farthest dot at some hundred-and-change miles away. Petra was unable to discover the full purpose of the device, but got the gist enough: it was taking power from beneath Black Hill and transmitting somewhere in Northwestern Numeria. Her splitting headache made it take longer than necessary but eventually Petra located the off button. As the machine powered down, her headache powered down with it.

Petra called for Aton, who had finished tying up the thugs and searching the office (finding a hidden panel behind a drawer, which contained fifty silverdisks in a drawstring pouch). He pocketed the disks and ran into the room. They knew time was short; assuming the Ropefist backup took the direct route, they’d be at the warehouse in minutes. Aton hefted the machine, crate and all, and the two took a longer, more out-of-the-way route back to the Foundry Tavern. Dawn would be coming soon, and with that, a lot of work to be done. But that was for next session because now it was the…

END OF SESSION 05.5

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Fires of Creation Session 06
Halls of Engineering, Part 1

The group engaged the horrible pustule monsters, dispatching them swiftly. The monsters exploded with gristly horribleness but everyone seems to be fine. It was gross. Then Cletus ate the remains, and that was also gross. Exploring the room, the PCs found jack-diddly that was worth money and portable, a fitting final room to an otherwise interesting dungeon. The bathrooms were used to clean up, then back to the surface they went.

After some time spent up in town, with Aton and Petra celebrating clearing out the dungeon level and the rescue of Khonnir with some well-deserved alcohol, the PCs went back down into the Caverns of Grossness to rescue the body of poor Gerrol. Garef used rays of frost to kill most of the brown mold (Sal suggested they leave some in a corner in case the skulks needed a refrigeration room), then Aton doused the corpse in Baine-donated bottom-shelf hootch, using enough to kill the fungal infestation a couple times over. But overkill was to be expected with Aton.

Heading back once more, the group deposited Gerrol’s corpse with the Temple of Brigh (Joram Kyte being Torch’s Body Storage and Preservation Specialist), and were promised a reward of masterwork weaponry. In Sal’s case, none of the Torch smiths were skilled in gunsmithing, but they had plenty of parts Sal could use to masterwork up Betsy free of charge, and they threw in some lead for bullets as well. Then the group considered buying things but didn’t, and went to bed.

Fast-forward to 3-ish in the morning, as Aton and Petra bound into the Foundry, with Aton carrying a large crate. They explained they had “acquired” the box and its contents: a strange machine none of them could determine the purpose of. Aton believed it had something to do with sending messages, while Petra had seen something about power on it while it was active, and they discussed the odd map it had on one panel when it was on. At any rate, it was “not legally acquired” and its previous owner might seek to retrieve it, so Sal spent her already-sleepless evenings keeping watch while the rest of the group caught up on Z’s.

Shortly after dawn, Joram Kyte approached the Foundry with a wheeled chair in hand and some magical curatives for Khonnir in mind, when he was stopped short by the barrel of Betsy. He called out to Sal, the two exchanged pleasantries made awkward by Sal (and more so be Betsy) and Joram came in to administer to Khonnir. Soon after, Khonnir wheeled himself into the Foundry to talk about building that replacement power coupling when he noticed the large box sitting in the middle of the tavern. Many questions were asked, and horrible attempts at diversion were made by Sal, until the group finally allowed Khonnir to take a gander at the box’s contents. “By the gods, is that a power relay?” Khonnir asked. “Where would you even find something like that?” The group demurred, generally seeming like seven-year-olds who had somehow stolen plutonium rods from the local power plant. Khonnir explained the purpose of the device: it hooks up remotely with a nearby power source, then can be set to transmit that power to distant locations. The group figured that might solve the Black Hill problem, and set off to see if the flame was re-lit.

It was not. And there wasn’t even enough new drugs to sell up top, either. But a few of the PCs did spot a swiftly-moving cart or carriage fleeing the town, and that was curious. I wonder who it was? (Hint: it starts with “Garmen” and ends with “Ulreth”; being involved with the destruction of the entire town’s livelihood can he hazardous to one’s health, so blowing outta town was probably his best move.) Heading back to the Foundry, the group had some of Val’s delicious breakfast, then went to the part of the Foundry that gives it its name to help Khonnir build that power coupling.

Some serious hard work saw the replacement coupling completed in record time, so the group set off to explore more of the odd metal dungeons beneath Black Hill. On the way, they ran into two burly half-orcs carrying dangerous pointy junk. “HEY! It’s YOU guys! No one messes with the Lords of Rust!” they shouted, by way of greeting, then held up their pointy junk menacingly. Sal opened up with a volley from Betsy, and it turns out Betsy’s racist, because a critical shot from her exploded one of the thugs’ heads. The second quickly met his demise from Aton’s sword divorcing the thug from his much-beloved head. Then they fed the bodies to Cletus, just as the town guard arrived. They vomited. The group left.

Back down in the elevator, the group headed up to the Engineering Deck, stepping out to face a small pack of thylacines. The thylacines were easily dispatched. Then the group, out of a collection of, like, four sets of doors, the group picked a hallway again. From the hallway they entered a break room that would, under most circumstances, be pretty roomy. But under this circumstance it was loaded with half-orcs and ratfolk. A vicious battle ensued, with ratfolk and orc-kin ending up all over the floor (and one ending up directly inside Cletus, followed by all the others). A Goo Tube!™ vending machine- broken, alas- was found, and promptly raided of its contents. No one called Goo Tube!™ headquarters to put in a repair order, which is fine, becuase it’s highly likely Goo Tube!™ as a business no longer exists. But still. Do the right thing, people, and at least make the attempt. Bodies were also looted, which is perfectly acceptable. And did I mention Racist Betsty critted another half-orc’s head off? That gun is racist, yo.

The group interrogated one of the half-orcs, learning that the Lords of Rust are a gang based in Scrapwall to the north, and serve some entity called Hellion that thry claim has divine powers. Their leader is a purple-haired android named Meyanda who calls upon these supposed powers. He demanded death, which is the most sure-fire way to ensure a group second-guesses their desire to kill a prisoner, though Petra was curious to see what heppened if one fed the half-orc to Cletus feet-first, further proving her moral instability. Eventually, I think Aton just bipped him with some greatswordery.

But more exploration would have to wait, because it’s the…

END OF SESSION 06

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Fires of Creation Session 07
Halls of Engineering, Part 2

After Cletus cleaned up the mess and everyone was done playing with faucets and vending machines, the group doubled back to the front room and moved on to the leftmost door. There they found a storage room area that was in utter disarray and appeared to have been picked clean. The group found a locker that was still sealed but partially battered, which Petra was unable to pick open and Aton was unable to ding with a solid blow from his sword, so it was left for later. The PCs then entered a side-room where three ratfolk were scavenging bits and baubles off the shelves. Battle began, then ended pretty swiftly as the ratfolk couldn’t get sneaky strikes in through Aton’s uncanny agility. The ratfolk went down like chumps shortly thereafter. There wasn’t much to scrounge (though Sal claimed the ratfolk’s simple gear to pay for bullets later) so the group moved on.

The middle set of doors from the main room led to a wide hall whose metal panels had been removed, exposing wiring and metal framework, all of it sparking and obviously dangerous. It was determined that Petra could disable the electrical system, but would most likely shut off all the power in the nearby areas. That and the inherent danger in poking at active electrical dangers with metal instruments led the group to decide to hold off on futzing with it until they felt they had to, and they moved on to another door.

Another curvy hallway led to a room that had strange machines and conveyor belts in it, with glowing panels and other beepy-boopy strangeness. One of the conveyor belts was rolling and smeared with blood, which was of course fed to Cletus. Two malfunctioning repair drones stumbled over to “repair” the PCs to death, but were easily dispatched (and promptly piled up for later dragging back to town for… mysterious purposes). Fancy polymer nets were also collected. A panel in the far corner displayed a blinking glowing error message: “WARNING: Robot Command Core Damaged—Reboot Required!” The group discussed what to do about it, and as one of them asked out loud if the panel could be pressed, Sal pressed it. A series of noises emitted and the screen went blank, and it was understood that all the active robots in the dungeon would be out of commission for at least a while. Thenext adjacent room was also full of machines and conveyor belts, and the source of the blood was found to be two dead half-orcs whose prone bodies were being slowly ground down by the moving belts. Even more spooky was the towering ”/wikis/gearsmen" class=“wiki-page-link”>gearsmen in the room, looking menacing even though the system reboot left it deactivated. It had a strange space mace in its hands that the group identified and took, calling “The Shocker” if the notes are correct. Among the junk in the malfunctioning machines, the PCs also found a small device with a sampling tube, which Sal tried out on some half-orc blood and discovered it to be a machine that can identify non-magical substances. It was, of course, called the portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The inert gearsman was also claimed, to soon be de-robobrained, hollowed out, and turned into a fine suit of plate mail for Sandtongue.

Further on into the circular centermost room, the group found even more machinery with all sorts of strange readouts, a pink-topped machine with holograms above it, and a lower area that led to somewhere. A claw-like statue built from scrap and flanked by braziers sat near the door the group entered in, and a scary gargoyle covered in metal scrap shouted at them in a violence-ruined voice. Sal tried talking to it in Androffan, but the gargoyle took offense and launched itself at the group. Aton took the brunt of its offense, but intimidated the gargoyle with burly prowess. Still, the group’s blades proved ineffective against the gargoyle’s stony hide, so Sandtongue blessed Petra’s sword with holy magic and it soon cleaved into the monstrosity like butter. Cletus used its mind powers to further demoralize the gargoyle and with its mind compromised, the monster was unable to land many more hits before falling to brute force.

The group snagged some phat lewtz from the pile at the base of the claw statue, identifying some goggles as binoc specs, plus a strange hypo, some more space tape and a space pen, and a goofy helmet. Sal was in the process of trial and error identification when the helmet pinged, alerting her as a purple-haired android entered the room, calling out to the gargoyle before spotting the PCs. Sal was overjoyed to see another android, but Purple Hair just snarled and pointed her spooky red-glowing space gun at Sal, leading to a cliffhanger…

END OF SESSION 07

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Fires of Creation FINALE
Think Love, Think Drugs

The battle began immediately, with Petra winning the initiative and bolting behind the android priestess Meyanda, getting in a quick sneak attack. The rest of the group had little time to react however, before Meyanda stepped back, pointed her gun at Petra, retrieved a white access card from a belt pouch, and sealed the doors behind them. Oh no! Petra alone in the belly of the beast! How’s that gonna play out?

Sandtongue was already close to the door, and knowing they’d need his techno-magical divine powers, began buffing himself for the upcoming fight. Aton was still quite brutalized from the battle with the gargoyle, so he began downing potions, and Sal and Garef tried blasting the access panel with magic and Lionel the timeworn stun weapon. Meanwhile, Petra attempted to steal that access card, getting a punch in the face from Meyanda’s nasty-looking spiked gauntlet, and no access card in return. Meyanda, for her part, couldn’t seem to land a shot until far into her and Petra’s most wonderful time together.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Sal’s electroshock therapy for the door panel failed to short out the panel, but it did destroy the panel, which was worse. Seconds later, a bewildered Sanvil Trett me into the room, positively commenting on the group’s thorough clearing out of the dungeon. He saw the desperate situation going on and asked if they needed any help. After pointing out that his white access card from another technological ruin would most certainly not work on a blown-out access panel, he agreed to help out with prying the doors open. Sandtongue and Cletus also pitched in, and with a raging Aton wielding the steel weasel as the lead, the doors were mightily pried apart.

I’ll finish tomorrow, but notes for me:

Room description
Meyanda’s death
Torch saved
Hajoth Hakados/Cythrul

Before the group set off, the town council wanted a few words with them. Obviously, the existence of the Lords of Rust is a threat to the town of Torch, and the council is prepared to offer 8,000 gp as a reward for eliminating that threat. In addition, Joram Kyte has a long-missing friend who dwells within Scrapwall, a woman named Dinvaya Lanalei. The two are both worshipers of Brigh who have had some level of history with the Technic League, and he’d like to offer her a place in torch as a safe haven. He offered his holy symbol as a way of making contact.

The council also discussed the group’s travel options: they could make the trek overland, which is faster but offers more potential for danger, or they could take up with a river barge, which is a longer trip but is considerably safer (and easier on the feet). After a vote, the group elected to travel by river, a journey of about 12 to 13 days not including stops (one at Blackpipe, one at Hajoth Hakados, and a final stop at [[Aldronard’s Grave]]). Total travel time is not expected to exceed 16 days. Packed up and ready to roll, with new equipment and resupplied with gear, the group hit the…

END OF FIRES OF CREATION

AP Theme: Doomtree- Team Best Team

Lyrics:

STEF
Think love / and think drugs / and they’re the same thing inside / And we struggle / or get enough / but it’s the same thing / Burn holes in the Moleskine, bout it / Been friends with a pen, gave trust to the page / Turn in when the time’s up earn that age / know-how learned in spades / They exist in the outros / in the fade outs / and in the background noise / I wouldn’t wish it on my rivals / I got no enemies / We all fall for the decoy / Sometimes it slides right by while we’re trying to decide / Don’t lie to yourself / almost ain’t good enough / and there ain’t no extra lives / Leave em alone / How we livin? / Very own road and it’s so, so driven / In the freezing cold, y’all keep chillin / We’ll leave tracks you can follow in / Bold, less fucks given / Team The Best Team / Doomtree citizen / We care like it’s cool still / but we’ve risen from close to sting to post-everything / How y’all livin? / Very own road and it’s so, so driven / In the freezing cold / y’all keep chillin

SIMS
So I do it for her and I do it for me / and I do it for the word / Kill it for the hunt of the beat / Kill it for the hunger that will not sleep / And you can stay miserable all your life but what kind of difference that make? / What, you ain’t had enough of that pay, ain’t had enough of your way? / Live from the Haunted North / in the woods where the fire roars / You fell for the Trojan horse / Who want it more? It’s already yours / Live from the Haunted North / in the woods where the fire roars / You fell for the Trojan horse / Who want it more; it’s already yours

CECIL
Draw blood, paint life, sculpt that clay, build that bridge (suffer and pleasure) / Got love, gotta write that way and filled that book from the gutter to forever / But we’re still gonna suffer / we got burnt / we met our match and struck first / Suckers should have known better than to let us head our own search and destroy / You would’ve been better centered at home / Remember that road we’d take? / I swear the devil’s backbone would break / We made it our home and it’s great and it’s good / it’s the same as it ever was / We came, we saw, we came back / We played em songs we made quick / We went back home just to fill those pages to the edges, and it’s aces / It’s all coming up roses / Closes may come and we know this / No risk, no fun, no way, nobody’s gonna break my stride, no sir / Those days look like these days / except for maybe these grays / But that’s just my salt and pepper, my heart and soul won’t live forever / Whatever…
/ It’s gonna come some day, so come what may and I pray it comes / We’re still gonna run like strays, purr like kittens, and bang a gong / We’ve sang our songs, we’ve seen the war, we’re living that and more / Knowing even the greatest dancers in the world are bound to leave the dance floor

DESSA
So shake, shakes, shoot / it’s like win, draw, lose / cause dice kept cooped up / just bring bad luck / man is made to choose / Yeah, mixed media: flesh, electricity, bone / we rent, we visit, but we’re never quite home / cause the river can’t know when the levy might go / so, draw your arm and throw

MIKE
Bottled all in, battle with a broadsword / rule with the iron cutter straight to the vital cord / Lean on a land alive / freed men in enterprise / Does it mean you seen the sign? / See what you wanna read / eyes in the seams, not what it seems / A better part of me will not let it be / instead it seethes / Does mean I believe a lie? / Let it dead, let it crawl / let it all count when you bet it all / Say it like you mean it, just say it / never better if you never even said it at all / Head em off at the neck, set it off / Ready for whatever with machete on the leather comrades with a letter on the wall / steady head, heavy guts and a set of balls / What I really gotta know, huh? / How to rock a rhyme that’s right in line? / With the beat and ride / wide to the feet, wise to the weak / Why? / Why we pray on the meek and pry in the speak of the “why’s” and the “we’s”? / We don’t know why / why we speak with a slide of the cheek / Hide / Chopped in the seams / Stride / That’s live and unique designed / flight for seats, fly in the cleats / Grind / Lines in the sheet / Slice / that’s all we live for / Polish poison plot loss / free and got a lost cause / Holler if you hear me shooting / Hollow Bodies High / Cower salted, high exalted, colicky and alcoholic / Call it when I see it all divide / Hollowed head to follow tired feet disqualified / Able of the cognoscente disabled from a solid mind / Hollow Bodies High

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