War and Pieces

Snow and Frost

In which the party gets very cold and then very panicked.

Our heroes have made their decision: they will set out “without” the knowledge of Grand Autocrat Kerok or the Tripartate, since clearly if they don’t know that they’re not supposed to leave, they can only continue their current mission.
They set out for Kamak, travelling through spans of the reaches relatively safe at this time. As they neared the nation of their destination, they started feeling the chill of the Great Maker’s arctic region, a misty, fog-filled expanse of vast tunnels and catwalks through the dark. There were problems, of course: Steel fell victim to the chills as the oil in his veins congealed, and the dark made it awfully hard for Nines, lacking night vision, to navigate.
A rather hapless scout came following the team, telling them to return to Yugash. They did not obey, persuading the scout to return home and not waste time trying to drag home four reluctant champions.
On a vast bridge leading into the fog, Clock realized the group was being watched. Watched with laser sights. And thermal visors. Offering to surrender, the group was met by Arbiter of Frost, a blue Jade-caste guard who confiscated their weapons and led them to a heavily-armed barracks in the snow. Equipping our temperate-born heroes with parkas, Arbiter led the team to one of the capital’s many similarly-shaped skyscrapers. They met several autocrats and were given diplomatic robes to meet with the Tripartate. The Grand Autocrat seemed to like them, but an autocrat named Eris spoke out against the group. Steel noticed that Eris had similar metal, shark-like teeth to the apostate from before.
The party made a good impression and were permitted to use the local vats complex, gaining some new charms, in particular, Clock’s Perfected Lotus Matrix, enabling him to use martial arts, and gaining a certain kinship with fellow practitioner Arbiter. They met Radial Icicle Spires, a Soulsteel woman in fancy armor. She did not take well to the party.
Meanwhile, Tremor met with members of the Mining Guild and arranged to meet with the recruiter later, to learn some interesting secrets regarding the health and wellbeing of the city. It was soon discovered that this secret was a disease, Cold Heart Disorder, which caused the people of the city to become isolated, antisocial, and eventually so reluctant to leave their homes on leisure that they starved to death.
The Tripartate reached a decision, allowing the champions to return home accompanied by several mortal diplomats, as well as Arbiter and Spires. Naturally, the isolationists were very unhappy with this decision. But regardless of their reluctance, the party headed back across the bridge… or would have, if not for the fact that the bridge was missing. Forced to make a decision on a short and dangerous path through volcanic areas or a long and slow route, “The Long Way”, the party chose the long way.
Aside from Tremor, who elected to set out across on his own to find and bring Glass back to treat the dangerous disorder. Spires tried to stop him, only to learn that he knew state secrets (and from whom he learned them), and promised to arrest Tremor and his “friend” upon their return. But she allowed him to depart on his own.



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