War and Pieces

Under Siege
We can't leave you guys alone for five minutes, can we?

The wandering heroes finally returned home from Kamak, and were surprised to find Ot relatively defenseless. The bridge was abandoned, the guards were missing, and it generally seemed like—
Oh, that’s why. There was a siege going on.
The Apostate army that Tremor had found launched their attack while the team was away, and were it not for Tremor’s shortcut, he likely would not have made it back and the city would have been caught off guard. The party arrived a few days after Tremor, and found several sections of the city already abandoned, the lights out on the upper tiers, and people hiding in shelters.
Steel found a dead apostate and an open emergency shelter in which to hide the dignitaries; Spires flew Banner up to the upper ring to find Clock and the Grand Autocrat; Arbiter stayed with the dignitaries; the others went to fight. They encountered lots of drones, both gremlin and non, and found a Sodalite holding Glass’ wrench (and using it like a cudgel far too big for him). They sent him back to the shelter with some protection and pressed onward.
They found the fanged apostate again, fighting (and winning) against a Colossus named Bridge over the Great Ravine, Jade caste (blue and red). After using him to demolish a building, the apostate fought the group, and was quickly overpowered as the Colossus wrecked his army. However, it was soon discovered why the apparently deadly apostate was so easy to capture and kill.
He was a bomb.
The decoy exploded in a mass of black tar, dealing severe damage to Clock and slightly less damage to Nine’s, after which they beat a hasty retreat back to the shelter to rest while Steel and Tremor headed up to find the Autocrats.
The tower was heavily, heavily guarded by guys with the heavy artillery. These brave mortals had already killed one apostate, and a number of drones, and were waiting for more. They happily saluted the Champions as they passed further up the offline elevator shaft, cheerful despite the large number of casualties, happy for the service they were doing for their city.
Unhesitatingly Loyal Weapon was inactive, locked into interfacing with the city itself to manage the external weapon systems. Banner was operating communications, and the Grand Autocrat was issuing orders, while sodalites managed the few online machines and Weapon. There wasn’t much time for talk, and the group returned to fight on the front, which was rapidly moving back to the abandoned sector and the shelter in which the others were hiding.
They got there just in time to watch the building get demolished. Fortunately the shelter remained intact, and the group was there, though badly damaged, to deal with a turret-toting apostate that arrived. When they began to get the upper hand, another apostate arrived with a shout of “BANZAI!” and challenged the wounded Clock to a duel, which he accepted.
While they fought, Nine’s and Arbiter pinned the other apostate, and as Nine’s interfaced with him to trap him in his own mind, Steel turned him into an ex-apostate with a well-placed bolt. Clock and the maniac duelist fought to a near-standstill, doing minor damage, but Clock was losing due to his more severe injuries (though the crazed apostate wasn’t unhurt himself, having been stepped on by Ravine). Clock managed to resist being poisoned, and kept the evasive duelist busy long enough for reinforcements to finish dealing with the other problems. Clearly outmatched, the apostate vanished with a strange tar teleportation technique.
Bereft of leadership, the gremlins were soon routed, and the city was saved, if damaged. As the group met with the Grand Autocrat for thanks and information relaying, they prepared to set out for Kadar to recover and prepare for the memorial for those lost.
Now, another question remains: Where in the Great Maker is Glass?

Tremor finally gets Unlost
Tremor falls a lot

[8:09:08 PM] Doc: LOG START
[8:10:00 PM] Ben: Tremor looks around at the collapsed tunnel area, trying to make heads or tails of his current surroundings.
[8:12:04 PM] Doc: It resembles vaguely an old ruined mine shaft, but without any of the safety features that you’d associate with mining operations. The tunnel is pretty huge, like a large transport was shipped through here, roughly scraping the edges of the jagged tunnel, if the scraps of debris hanging from the sides are any indication. You feel a vague sense of unease, but this seems to be heading roughly towards Yugash, you hope. Actually, if memory serves, this is vaguely in the direction of Jarish, the Holy City, though it would be a trip of several weeks by foot.
[8:14:10 PM] Ben: Tremor looks up to try and locate any wires or overhanging pipes or something to latch the Paramagnetic Tether Beam to.
[8:14:57 PM] Doc: There’s tons. The place is a wreck. You could brachiate if you had a second teather beam.
[8:17:13 PM] Ben: Tremor activates the Tether Beam, leaps into the air, latches it onto a nearby overhang, and, begins swinging towards another overhang, temporarily disconnecting the beam from the initial ‘tether point,’ and projecting it towards the next, using his momentum to propel him over the debris.
[8:18:41 PM] Doc: You proceed through a wrecked tunnel. It’s clear enough to walk along the bottom, so that’s probably not necessary, but that’s your decision. Your echo visor indicates something moving this way, though, so maybe it was a good decision.
[8:21:15 PM] Ben: While continuing to swing from overhang to overhang, Tremor tries to use his Mass Penetrating Scan to locate whatever his Echolocation Navigation Systems are picking up.
[8:22:07 PM] Doc: It’s not hard to spot several figures, humanoid, normal human consistency, moving towards you. They’ve got minor mechanical augmentations by the looks of their skeletons.
[8:23:45 PM] Ben: Tremor increases his pace, hoping to elude his potential pursuers, lest they be as hospitable as his last chance encounter.
[8:24:20 PM] Doc: They are moving in the direction you were just heading. Moving away would lead you back to where you started. Given that you’re in a tunnel, there’s really nowhere else to go.
[8:24:36 PM] Doc: Though there’s tons of stuff to conceal you, should you wish to hide.
[8:25:44 PM] Ben: Tremor halts his progress, and slowly lowers himself behind some debris in an attempt to gain reconnaissance.
[8:27:06 PM] Doc: The two figures move past you, apparently not noticing you. They don’t look Sovan. Actually, they look like outcasts. They’ve got three cocentric rings around their soulgems, and a number of decorative tattoos. They are whispering in a strange, gutteral slang you can’t make out.
[8:30:16 PM] Ben: While still a bit nervous from his encounter with the Sovans, shaken about how terribly he feels he’s strayed from the initial path, and possibly also a bit nautious from both his sudden shift in momentum, Tremor tries his best to remain unnoticed, while still giving chase.
[8:32:47 PM] Ben: It seems to become apparent to Tremor that isolating himself from the others was probably not the best idea.
[8:32:48 PM] Doc: It’s not hard. These fellows move into the area you wrecked, and start picking through the debris. They seem excited by the traces of something left in it, and a quick scan reveals that they’re holding scraps of your grenades. They also seem excited about several other oddly-colored metal scraps in the wreckage: bits of things that had been sitting in the water when you were there. The two of them assemble as many scraps as they can fit in their shoddy bags and start to head back up the passage.
[8:34:47 PM] Ben: Tremor examines the remnants of the grenades, trying to identify what it was that these fellows were excited about, what part of them they could have possibly found valuable.
[8:36:29 PM] Doc: It’s too far away to see, and there’s not much to see. The only thing your grenades leave behind is a thin shell of crystallized essence, which would be valuable enough to a homeless mortal such as these.
[8:37:16 PM] Doc: As they descend further, one of the mortals pulls out a broken bulb, glass removed to expose the still-functional filament, and plugs it into his arm, illuminating the tunnel for the dark passage up ahead.
[8:37:42 PM] Ben: Sighing in frustration, Tremor turns around and decides it best to continue down the path, hopefully finding something that will lead him back on his intended path.
[8:39:20 PM] Doc: You can see movement periodically, sometimes up ahead, sometimes from the walls. These old tunnels must be crawling with squatters. The passage is very dark, not that this is a problem, and rarely you see the glow of filaments.
[8:44:02 PM] Ben: For some reason, Tremor can’t help but feel like he’s being watched, as if some of these people had noticed him, or maybe even already knew that he was there.
[8:46:03 PM] Doc: You have no way of knowing, however. You’re not terrible at stealth, so you can only hope you’ve managed to succeed here. This place is pretty close to the tunnels you’re used to, aside from the consistency, so you are fairly confident that you’ll be able to hide well.
[8:46:38 PM] Doc: You reach an area up ahead with severe structural damage, and you can see holes in the walls that were apparently recently cut. Dried blood is found on some of the sharper edges; someone wasn’t careful going through here.
[8:48:04 PM] Ben: Tremor examines the cuts made in the walls, trying to compare them to the cuts made in the bridge leading to Kamak based on his memory of them.
[8:48:28 PM] Ben: While unlikely that they were made by the same person, it’s possible that they were made by similar tools.
[8:48:35 PM] Doc: They’re similar. But not exact.
[8:48:57 PM] Doc: These are much cruder and done on much rougher materials.
[8:49:27 PM] Doc: This leaves lots of jagged edges and sharp lips.
[8:50:31 PM] Ben: Taking into account that the cuts in the walls are likely much older than those in the bridge, Tremor concludes that they were most likely not done by the same weapon or the same person.
[8:51:13 PM] Ben: However, this does little to provide comfort, and he continues onwards with as much caution and silence as he can maintain.
[8:54:49 PM] Ben: He occasionally sweeps the area with his Mass-Penetrating Scan to try and see if anyone is following close behind, or make out any signs of his companions, should he be nearing a point where their paths might intersect.
[8:56:49 PM] Doc: Your mass-penetrating scan doesn’t pick up anyone noticably following you, though you do see plenty of people moving through the tunnels. Some of them are using prosthetics of some kind. Others are less lucky; you see a few missing limbs. Beyond that, it’s hard to see much detail. There’s a couple of large caverns nearby, including one really massive one up ahead, near what seems to be the end of this tunnel.
[8:59:37 PM] Ben: Tremor doesn’t really show that much concern for the others in the tunnel. Their inconvenience is not his to bear, and he has his own problems to deal with.
[9:00:22 PM] Ben: Nontheless, Tremor continues into the large cavern ahead.
[9:04:14 PM] Doc: The crubling ruins of some kind of massive hub remain here. Scrap from all over is assembled into various shanty structures in the crater of some huge burrow or ruin. Dozens of outcasts in various state of injury and reconstruction wander around this dilapidated hobo city, fighting over food, sleeping in lean-tos, and dragging scrap around to trade or take apart. Four huge tunnels like the one through which you entered lead off into the Great Maker’s body, and you can see the tattered remains of some Yugashi war machines in a shack near one of the tunnels. It’s pointed vaguely in the right direction.
[9:06:46 PM] Ben: At this sign of a potential lead, Tremor throws caution to the wind, and beings rushing towards the tunnel.
[9:07:34 PM] Ben: He is careful, however, to avoid the construction going on in the city; as a worker himself, he still feels the need to respect others’ work.
[9:07:39 PM] Doc: This, naturally, causes something of a commotion.
[9:10:17 PM] Doc: Several people point out the rushing figure charging the tunnel. Some of them pull out improvised or jury-rigged weapons, while others hastily head for their huts. Most stand in front of their huts with their weapons, and only a few seem to actively be trying to engage you—most notably, the ones with sturdy-looking mechanical augmentations. Up close, you can see that the limbs appear to be made of cobbled-together materials and don’t look very safe or healthy. Hardly surprising. The weapons are mostly rusted metal bars, some of which have jagged protrusions, while others are using spears or even swords. Only one has a crossbow, and it’s an older Yugashi model, though heavy ammunition.
[9:13:11 PM] Ben: Tremor begins weaving around people and leaping over obstacles, trying to work his way towards the tunnel. “Hey, outta the way! I need to get into that tunnel!”
[9:14:07 PM] Doc: They shout at you in their strange language. They sound more terrified than angry, but a few oversized rusty crossbow bolts narrowly miss you. You make it into the crumbling tunnel, and a few guards try to swipe at you with their machetes or spears.
[9:19:41 PM] Ben: Realizing that the tunnel will most likely collapse, Tremor uses his Paramagnetic Tether Beam to grab several of the oversized crossbow bolts as they wizz past his head, and ties them together with a piece of metal netting to function as a temporary support to hold the tunnel up long enough for him to slip through before it caves in completely.
[9:25:08 PM] Doc: The tunnel is far too big for such a cobbled-together support, and you have nothing definite to attach your odd net to, but you have no trouble passing into the gaping maw of the tunnel.
[9:27:09 PM] Ben: Tremor looks further down the tunnel, wondering if there might be something to give him a sign that this path was the right one.
[9:28:25 PM] Doc: Not really. But you’re being chased by an angry mob, so you’ve got no other options.
[9:28:34 PM] Doc: Unless you’d like to fight your way back.
[9:28:50 PM] Doc: Turning back will require a Conviction roll.
[9:29:10 PM] Ben: While realizing that the materials he collected probably wouldn’t be sufficient to hold up the tunnel, Tremor decides to hold onto them for now, and continue down the tunnel.
[9:29:58 PM] Ben: “…I’m not very good at this whole ‘not pissing people off’ thing, am I?”
[9:30:47 PM] Doc: The air in the tunnel is warmer, much like your homeland. It smells of oily residue, and rust. You are heading into what looks to be another air duct when the passage around you starts to creak again.
[9:31:12 PM] Ben: “…Oh crap…”
[9:31:19 PM] Doc: A crossbow bolt strikes you in the shoulder. It hurts a LOT more than it should. It’s also really heavy for some reason.
[9:31:47 PM] Doc: The impact sends you spinning, and you knock against the wall of the tunnel, which immediately shatters, sending you falling into darkness. AGAIN.
[9:32:19 PM] Doc: As you fall, the air around you seems oddly distorted, like you’re falling faster, or slower, or possibly in the wrong direction. It’s hard to tell, as you’re spinning.
[9:33:26 PM] Ben: Tremor activates his Paramagnetic Tether Beam and starts flailing it about wildly, hoping to latch onto something, anything to stop his fall.
[9:34:31 PM] Doc: You feel nothing around you, and your echo visor doesn’t give you any help. Your beam catches nothing, and you flail in vain. Suddenly you change direction, and come blasting through a thin rusty membrane onto a metal bridge with a “clunk”.
[9:35:04 PM] Doc: It’s quite painful, but as you feel the edge of a cliff of some kind under your arm, you realize it could have been worse.
[9:36:14 PM] Ben: Tremor slowly opens his eyes to try and take in his surroundings, temporarily forgetting about the crossbow bolt lodged in his shoulder.
[9:38:54 PM] Ben: “…I am getting reeeeeeeeeeeally sick of falling.”
[9:38:56 PM] Doc: There’s a huge, gaping chasm before you. A dull red glow is visible below, and something moving en masse before it. It’s hard to make out due to the distance and the fact that you’re still a little stunned from the impact. Your shoulder feels very cold for some reason.
[9:39:38 PM] Ben: Tremor reaches for the crossbow bolt and yanks at it, trying to remove it from his shoulder.
[9:40:15 PM] Doc: It slides out, causing almost as much pain as it caused going in. You get a close look at it. Soulsteel. That mortal launched a soulsteel bolt into your shoulder.
[9:41:06 PM] Doc: The arrowhead is crude. It’s clear they didn’t have the strength or tools to actually make anything out of it, so they just strapped a piece of metal to the cast-off soulsteel chip from something and shot it at you.
[9:41:08 PM] Ben: “Ow…I guess it’s a good thing that the person I’m trying to find is a doctor…”
[9:42:30 PM] Doc: Speaking of doctors, that smell from below is distinctly chemical. But not the kind you’d like to smell right now. It’s got a sour, acrid sting to it, like battery acid, or toxic runoff.
[9:43:53 PM] Ben: Feeling rather uneasy, Tremor struggles to his feet, and tries to look at the area around him, trying to find some way to get back on track.
[9:45:35 PM] Doc: There’s a huge metal bridge before you, passing over the chasm below. It looks pretty solid, at least, more solid than the tunnels you’ve been falling through today. Occasionally, arcs of lightning move around the area, illuminating sections of the wall, showing the rust or mold or rubble from above. None get close enough to the bottom for you to see, though a few are nearing it.
[9:46:17 PM] Doc: There’s some old steam vents on the other side, leading up. It’s quite a climb but you could do it with your crawlspace creeping unit, especially if they’re off.
[9:47:00 PM] Doc: You feel a rush of hot air from below as the mass shifts, and it occurs to you what that red glow is. Molten metal.
[9:47:21 PM] Ben: Tremor approaches the steam vents, activating his Crawl-Space Creeping Unit for support, and begins climbing.
[9:47:24 PM] Doc: And the steam vent… you’re near the elemental pole of Steam. No wonder it’s so horribly hot.
[9:47:58 PM] Doc: As you take one last look down at the molten river, a brilliant flash of lightning illuminates the bottom of the chasm, and then you see them.
[9:48:30 PM] Doc: Gremlins. Hundreds… maybe thousands of them. No wonder this area is so warped and smells so bad—you’re right on the edge of a blight zone!
[9:49:35 PM] Doc: And it’s huge. You’ve never seen another, but you have no idea where the borders go except down, and you can smell the acidic tinge of rotting biomechanical cancer from the monsters crawling around the edges of that burning stream of slag.
[9:51:00 PM] Ben: Tremor begins scrambling up the vents, trying to put enough distance between himself and the blight zone, and now finding himself wanting his current location not to be close to Ot, though still wanting to be close to finding Glass.
[9:52:25 PM] Doc: The steam vent is still warm, and twists and turns in ways that make your head spin. Many times, you’re not sure if you turned around in the tunnel and started heading back down by accident, since gravity seems to shift. For what feels like hours but could have been mere minutes, you scramble up (down?) and never stop moving. That’s the one thing you can be sure. Never stop moving. Never stop—
[9:52:44 PM] Doc: You catch yourself this time, unwilling to take yet another tumble into an unknown fate.
[9:53:02 PM] Doc: The mouth of the steam vent is open as you hang from your tether beam.
[9:53:26 PM] Doc: You can’t help but feel a little shiver of triumph as you finally keep yourself from falling.
[9:54:22 PM] Ben: Tremor slowly pulls himself back up his tether beam, and continues his ascent/descent(?).
[9:54:42 PM] Doc: You’re at the end of the tunnel, going up would mean going back. And you recognize the area above which you’re hanging.
[9:55:20 PM] Doc: It’s the burned outcast camp in which you fought the Apostate. In fact, if you remember correctly, this could easily be the vent through which he escaped!
[9:55:50 PM] Doc: This would be great information if you actually knew how far you’d travelled through the vent.
[9:58:22 PM] Ben: Tremor slowly lowers himself down into the remnants of the outcast camp, eyes darting around the area, quickly switching to his X-ray Visor, then his Echo Visor to help with his investigation.
[9:59:17 PM] Ben: If what Clock had said before was accurate, it was possible that Glass was here.
[9:59:24 PM] Doc: There’s nothing left here. You and your friends cleared this place out pretty well. Aside from a slow fuel leak in one area, this place is pretty much empty. Even the machine spirits haven’t started scavenging it. You wonder idly if this is what a blight zone is like before the gremlins move in.
[10:00:10 PM] Doc: You see no sign of any living things, Champion or no. The remains of the camps are long burned and cold. No recent tracks beyond your recent fight are visible as far as you can tell.
[10:01:39 PM] Ben: Disheartened, Tremor looks for the path that he and the others took to reach this location, seeking to check in with Autocrat Kerok at Ot and see if any sign of Glass had been spotted.
[10:02:15 PM] Ben: However, with this, he also remembered that the group had been summoned back by the Tripartate, meaning that people would most likely be looking for him.
[10:03:42 PM] Doc: You know the way back well enough. As you pass through the pockmarked chamber, you have a brief vision. A hammer. Bombs. A hulking suit of armor, bringing the hammer down on you—is that Nine’s? Nah, couldn’t be. He wasn’t around when you were still mortal.
[10:03:51 PM] Doc: Still, it’s a little… unnerving.
[10:05:54 PM] Ben: Tremor looks back down the path, feeling that, whatever happened here seemed to be connected to his past, and if he stayed, chances were he would be able to find out more.
[10:07:32 PM] Ben: However, he then turned and looked the other way, remembering the miner back in Kamak, who had trusted him to bring back the doctor that could potentially save his city, and Spires, and her promise to arrest him and his ‘friend,’ whoever that meant, when he returned to Kamak.
[10:09:09 PM] Ben: Tremor finds himself torn between his curiosity of the unknown and his promise to help the people who had placed the fate of Kamak in their trust that he would find their doctor…
[10:09:16 PM] Doc: LOG END

The Long Way
In which Spires hates everyone

[10:08:45 PM] Kevin: “Sirs, be advised. The road is icy. Keep our footing carefully or you may die.” Nine warns the group as a whole, with a dull toned voice, as cold as the ice he’s walking on. He heads up the party, keeping watch for obstacles and volunteering without a second thought to be the first to step into the traps waiting for them.
[10:11:09 PM] Axel: “Duly noted, Nine’s,” Clock says, with his head turned towards the Soulsteel Champion. Turning his head towards Arbiter, trying to strike up friendly conversation, “So, do you have any idea how long this long way will take?”
[10:12:05 PM] Doc: “Never been to Yugash, myself, but I imagine a few days at least. I have been part of this way before, escorting a pilgrimage to Jarish.”
[10:14:08 PM] Kevin: “The way has not been as steep as I had first anticipated. This path will not slow us down too much. I posit the same man walking this path in a hurry, could outrun himself walking at a normal pace on the catwalk. This is favorable.” He seems eager to return to Yugash, but perhaps it is not Yugash itself he seeks to get closer to.
[10:16:34 PM] Axel: “Yes. I would like to get back soon and talk to Tremor. Running off like that was a strange thing to do. I really would like to get an answer,” Clock states, stroking his chin, before turning to Spire, “By the way, I don’t believe I asked before, but did you see any sign of him when you went looking?”
[10:17:06 PM] Doc: “No. He had departed.” She is curt, and sounds annoyed.
[10:18:15 PM] Axel: “I must say that if it weren’t for the fact that it was a terrible idea, that would be impressive,” Clock muses.
[10:18:51 PM] Kevin: “Than at least we know he either made it across safely or is dead. The information he knew is definately not in enemy hands. I am releived. I did not relish the idea of having to kill him myself.”
[10:19:25 PM] Axel: “…Nine’s.”
[10:19:33 PM] Kevin: “Apologies sir.”
[10:19:38 PM] Nate: Steel rumbles, pulling his poncho up to ward off the cold, and shifts a suspicious glare at Spires. “Yes. Very impressive, that he could outrun you with your jets.”
[10:19:58 PM] Doc: “My jets do not allow me to walk through walls.”
[10:20:25 PM] Doc: “Nor do I possess an X-ray scanner to determine which of many side passages he could have entered.”
[10:20:43 PM] Axel: “I’m sure she made every effort. It does us no good to be seperated,” Clock tries defusing the situation
[10:20:59 PM] Kevin: “Mind the drop. Roughly three feet with a small patch of ice at the bottom. Tread carefully. This would be the choke point I’d have chosen for an ambush.”
[10:21:00 PM] Doc: “The bridge passes through an old ventilation and air conditioning system. There are a lot of openings.”
[10:22:37 PM] Axel: “And I appreciate the effort, Spire. You went out of the way to help us, and for your effort, I am greatful,” Clock says with a wide smile.
[10:23:29 PM] Kevin: Nine’s has to lower himself very carefully, with nothing to grab onto, and a rather steep looking drop awaiting any who trip, he does not want to be careless given his role as the party’s protector and guardian.
[10:24:07 PM] Axel: “Everything clear, Nine’s?”
[10:24:24 PM] Nate: “Mm,” he replies, apparently placated, and he easily steps down across the ice. He may not handle cold well, but he moves with as much grace on ice as on metal. He’s less talkative than usual, staring ahead and lifting up his Autolabe occasionally to monitor their direction.
[10:25:53 PM] Kevin: Nine’s helps the dignitaries down one by one. He is surprisingly gentle given how stern he perpetually looks.
[10:25:59 PM] Kevin: “No sign of ambush sir.”
[10:26:40 PM] Doc: The mortals seem nervous about being in close contact with the chilling Soulsteel caste. They nod, tremblingly grateful, before carefully walking across the ice with their cleated boots.
[10:28:23 PM] Axel: “Excellent job, Nine’s,” Clock commends him. He turns back to Arbiter and Spire, “So, will this be your first time visiting another country on such a mission?”
[10:30:53 PM] Kevin: Nine’s secretly wishes he had cleated boots. Or that he wasn’t so heavy. He and ice do not get along. It’s hard to move or change direction. He maintains his doubts as per his own usefulness in a fight as to not scare anyone or make the party feel vulnerable. For now he knows he has to be imposing. Like a great big shadow of a mountain. This big, scarey, unstoppable thing. He is the guard-dog of two nations. It was a role not chosen for himself, but chosen for him from birth, and one he performs without question. Without selfish thoughts. Without doubt. He keeps his faith in himself, hoping to give others faith in him, and to turn that faith into order and calm at all times.
[10:36:53 PM] Doc: “Nah. Like I said, been to Jarish. Nice city, but awfully warm for my taste. It’s got the most gorgeous lights across the bridge. Golden all the way across, and one of the Metropoli actually hangs from the ceiling! It’s pretty spectacular to see, especially during the holidays,” says the boisterous Jade.
[10:37:22 PM] Doc: Spires is less jovial. “I don’t often leave the city. My office is Internal Affairs, so I’m usually kept close by.”
[10:38:03 PM] Axel: “It sounds wonderful. Hopefully I can get the chance to see it during our travels,” Clock says, with a twinkle in his eye.
[10:38:58 PM] Axel: “And I’ll admit, our city will probably be a little warm for your liking, but it is still a wonderful place. Though I suppose everyone feels that way about their own homeland,” Clock chuckles
[10:39:02 PM] Kevin: “My office is Internal Affairs as well.”
[10:39:25 PM] Doc: “What are you doing in Kamak, then?” she snaps back.
[10:39:40 PM] Kevin: “What is asked of me.”
[10:39:53 PM] Doc: “We police our own just fine.”
[10:40:33 PM] Axel: “I’m sorry?” Clock says, confused at her statement.
[10:40:41 PM] Nate: “They’re with me. International affairs are my job,” Steel snaps back sharply.
[10:41:43 PM] Axel: “I don’t believe policing was mentioned,” Clock says, still confused, “But I imagine it’s a hard job, and it must constantly be on your mind.”
[10:41:53 PM] Doc: “Clearly. Just remember that noses that poke where they shouldn’t be for too long are likely to get frostbitten.”
[10:42:22 PM] Nate: This one, he can’t resist. “Yeah, I don’t poke stuff with my nose.”
[10:42:53 PM] Doc: “All the more reason for you to not poke into Kamak,” she says, not missing a beat.
[10:43:00 PM] Kevin: “I was not sent as a representative of Internal Affairs. I was sent as a large man with a large hammer. Humans may send me on missions I do not see the point of. They may cause me to suffer for the good of the nation. They may tell me I am for one thing, and use me for another, and some day, they will choose to destroy me. But they are my masters right or wrong, and I am sworn to serve them. I do my duty ma’am and make peaceful concourse with other nations when asked despite what I think. I suggest you do the same.”
[10:44:20 PM] Doc: “I am protecting my nation from dangerous agencies. It is my job to ask difficult questions. If you have a problem with this, then I suggest you avoid returning to Kamak.”
[10:44:55 PM] Nate: “Anyway, we were given orders to come to Kamak seeking trade relations.” He pauses thoughtfully; they may as well be told, so they aren’t surprised when they arrive in Yugash. “Then we were given orders to stay at home and be useless, which we ignored. Don’t be surprised if we’re whisked off for disciplinary hearings when we reach our destination.” His brow creases suddenly, and he looks forward again, chewing his lip.
[10:45:55 PM] Kevin: “Actually…sir.”
[10:46:02 PM] Kevin: “…nevermind.”
[10:47:13 PM] Axel: Clock sighs, “Probably not the best time to mention that, but he is unfortunately most likely correct.”
[10:48:33 PM] Kevin: Nine’s has no intention of rusting in a detention cell for a week while a threat may be growing right in his back yard. He feels a bit…sickened? He isn’t too familiar with the feeling, but he knows its source. He is considering out and out breaking the law.
[10:51:27 PM] Kevin: “This is a long, cold walk.”
[10:52:05 PM] Axel: “Indeed,” Clock says, trying to find away around the akward atmosphere.
[10:53:17 PM] Axel: “So, Arbiter. Do you have any facinating tales of adventure? I would love to hear of your experiences,” He says, trying to strike up another conversation.
[10:56:50 PM] Doc: “Eh… I’m sure Spires has heard all these a million times. I’ll wait until she’s a little less miffed before I start rambling.” He smiles sheepishly.
[10:57:17 PM] Axel: “I understand,” Clock returns the grin.
[10:58:13 PM] Axel: “I do have to say though, I may not be much for the cold, but your city is lovely, and as long as we are not court marshalled, I would love to extend the same hospitality to the both of you.”
[11:02:05 PM] Kevin: Nine’s seems to shut up for a while. He can see his own eye reflected in his visor as the cold clouds it, and he can see his whole life shineing out of those reflections. Service. Service to people who built him because they know they cannot protect themselves, and yet they expect to use him to do the job they knew they couldn’t do in the first place. “Perhaps the cold is getting to me…” he thinks to himself, maybe he mumbles it a little. But he tries, as he has so many times in the past, to see past the first time he was woken up by his second team. To see what had happened to his first. Those men who build an ultimate defender of the law, but did so with numberous illegal means. Had he himself killed them? Were they bad people who intended to use him for bad perposes? Or were they ultimate altruists, who did what had to be done to defend the law, by breaking it, and then used their creation to rain down justice upon themselves? “And either way…what does that make me?”
[11:03:13 PM] Nate: “Man, you think this is the worst I’ve ever done?” Steel has a… reputation with the Tripartate for doing what he thinks is right, and bending or ignoring direct orders to do so. A dangerous streak of individualism, but they can’t afford to discipline him too harshly, and he knows it. “We’ll be fine, and they have another job waiting for us. At the least they’ll defer punishment.”
[11:04:28 PM] Axel: “I suppose you make a fair point,” Clock agrees, tapping his chin with his first finger.
[11:10:09 PM] Kevin: Nine’s turns, as if he is about to say “We ought to submit ourselves for punishment.” but he just looks. He weighs the words on his tongue, and just keeps walking forward. He cannot unsee his own eyes staring back at him in his visor. He wishes her could just flip it up. Just take the helmet off. But then something clicks. His helmet has never been taken off before. Not even by his own crew, to his knowledge. Built into his neckplate are special mechanisms that only he can latch and unlatch. Even unconscious his helmet could not be removed without heavy renovation of his body. If his creators had intended for him to be a two faced protector of justice and law, they had given him the perfect disguise, his own face. The idea of doing what had to be done to most effectively protect everyone, versus following the law into an unmarked grave filled him with anxiety, but becoming two entities in one body, a protector of both ideals in one somehow seemed perfectly natural and logical to him.
[11:14:09 PM] Kevin: “Things are becoming clear…” he absentmindedly mumbles.
[11:14:22 PM] Axel: “Nine’s?”
[11:14:55 PM ] Kevin: “The ice clears up…up ahead. See?”
[11:15:13 PM] Doc: The tunnel abruptly stops, opening up into a wide plane with a very low ceiling, less than 10 feet up. The two foreign Champions stay close to one wall, with the mortals between them. Arbiter motions to follow.
[11:17:04 PM] Axel: “Well,” Clock muses,“At least we have a change of senery.”
[11:17:58 PM] Doc: “Once we get past the filter, we’ll be getting close to an oil refinement station. This area floods at certain points, but it’s clear for now. Still, I’d stay close to the wall, just in case. The tunnels don’t fill. We can camp at the station. I think our companions are getting a little tired.”
[11:18:56 PM] Axel: “That sounds like a good plan,” Clock agrees.
[11:20:37 PM] Axel: “Nine’s, take up the rear, just in case, and make sure no one is lagging to far behind. Steel, take point, and watch for any damaged or loose footing,” Clock says, making sure that they are prepared.
[11:21:14 PM] Kevin: “Understood sir.” He nods and falls to the back, keeping an eye out for toothy grins.
[11:22:50 PM] Axel: Clock nods to Nine’s, glad that his meaning seems to be clear to the faithful soulsteel.
[11:25:15 PM] Kevin: Kevin smiles, but no one sees him smile.
[11:28:10 PM] Nate: “Already there,” Steel replies, moving ahead of the group easily and striding into the dark, filters up, his modified eyes searching not for loose footing, but… movement. This isn’t any special understanding, it’s just personal paranoia.
[11:29:28 PM] Axel: Clock turns to the two foreign champions, “Shall we?”
[11:31:40 PM] Doc: “Right behind you, brother.” “Very well.”
[11:33:40 PM] Axel: Clock nods as he walks with the diplomats and champions, making sure to check to see both Nine’s and Steel every couple steps.
[11:33:52 PM] Doc: The ground is slick and grimy, oily residue coating every surface. Tiny scavengers clean oil, returning it to various openings or simply eating it.
[11:34:58 PM] Nate: Banner’s there too. Probably gagged.
[11:35:27 PM] Doc: “So, Clock. Once we get to the station, perhaps I can start showing you the basics of the style I’ve been practicing lately. I’ve been researching it as a way of battling gremlins. I understand it should be quite effective against them.”
[11:37:07 PM] Axel: “Ah, wonderful! I welcome your teachings,” Clock says with a wide grin across his face.
[11:50:16 PM] Kevin: “It is impressive.” the stealthy juggernaut remarks, coming up from the rear as they close in on the station. “But too complex for my liking. Meant perhaps for smaller, more nimble men. Give me one simple punch to practice one thousand times over one thousand glorious moves to practice once.”
[11:54:42 PM] Doc: You reach the base of a huge factory, looming over the thin drain in which you were walking. Rickety ladders lead up the sides towards the roof, and it is to these ladders that your companions lead. “It is safer up top, where we will not be washed out,” one of the mortals says. He is a slight man holding a curved satchel under one arm. His short-cropped hair is covered by a warm hood, and he is wearing a pair of thick black synthetic combat gloves.
[11:57:25 PM] Axel: “Excellent. Steel, Nine’s. Go make sure it’s clear.”
[11:59:38 PM] Nate: “Yeah, I’ll head on up first,” Steel calls back, already well up the first ladder and climbing nimbly. “Keep an eye on Banner for me, don’t let him run off,” he adds, smirking.
[12:00:30 AM] Axel: “Will do!” he shouts back with a smile.
[12:02:30 AM] Doc: It’s rather empty up top, but surprisingly clear. You barely noticed, but you’re above a layer of fumes emitting from the residue, and it will probably be easier for the mortals to breathe. It’s certainly clearer, though quite dark (no problem for you). The roof is mostly flat. There’s little to no cover up here. At least nothing can really sneak up on you.
[12:04:23 AM] Kevin: Nine’s gets up there second with a little more effort.
[12:04:50 AM] Kevin: “Sir, can you see any places through which a sniper may be able to conveinently ambush us?”
[12:05:22 AM] Axel: Clock hear’s Nine’s comment and face palms
[12:07:26 AM] Kevin: Is that not a fair question?
[12:07:42 AM] Kevin: There is no situation in which sniper fire is completely out of the question.
[12:07:48 AM] Kevin: And these people have snipers.
[12:08:44 AM] Nate: “Yeah, pretty much everywhere,” the Moonsilver casually replies, reaching down to help the first mortal diplomat up the last few rungs.
[12:09:23 AM] Kevin: “Than perhaps we ought to find someplace less attractive. You were concerned this was a trap. What must be in every trap?”
[12:10:10 AM] Nate: “… I dunno, somebody getting trapped? Ideally?”
[12:10:21 AM] Axel: “I was not concerned it was a trap. Meerly that we should be cautious,” Clock sighs.
[12:10:36 AM] Kevin: “…”
[12:10:45 AM] Kevin: “Understood. Sir.”
[12:12:13 AM] Kevin: Nine’s helps the last of the dignitaries up and keeps a stern eye out for as far as he can. Something is bothering him, thati s obvious, but it may take a more practiced eye to see that it is not only his reservations about this spot that’s getting to him.
[12:14:25 AM] Doc: One of the mortals, the eldest by far, with one quarter of his face including one eye replaced with a mechanical prosthetic, scans around. He produces a small electric lamp and holds it up. “I understand we’re vulnerable up here, but if we build a shielding structure with our tents, might we risk a little more light? We do need to be able to perform basic duties and reports before sleep.”
[12:15:18 AM] Axel: “Agreed,” Clock nods, “And we should have watch cycles as well.”
[12:15:23 AM] Kevin: “That would be wise. Yes.”
[12:16:30 AM] Doc: “We don’t need to sleep,” says Arbiter, patting his chest. “Only do when I want a recharge. I’m good all night.”
[12:17:00 AM] Doc: “I suggest cycles, nonetheless, to alleviate boredom,” says the gloved diplomat.
[12:17:15 AM] Doc: “I do not get bored,” says Spires.
[12:18:01 AM] Axel: “None the less, it gives you time to also perform any other task you feel you need, be it cleaning of a weapon, or any sort of discussion,” Clock suggests
[12:19:11 AM] Doc: She does not respond, but nods her understanding.
[12:19:20 AM] Axel: “I won’t presume to be in command of you, and if you wish to stay watch all night, I welcome the extra eyes. I simply suggest this as a way to rotate duties,” he says, offering her a smile.
[12:20:20 AM] Doc: “As I understand, your group has quite effective eyes on them already. My help is hardly needed to see whatever you like.”
[12:20:44 AM] Doc: She says this rather bitterly, though it isn’t clear at whom her scorn is directed.
[12:24:48 AM] Axel: Clock is a bit taken aback by her bitter tone, “My dear Spire, I apologize if we have offended you during this trip, but I hope you understand that any offence is not intended.”
[12:25:37 AM] Kevin: Kevin tenses up, a chill running up his chilled spine. Even he knows better than to call a commanding woman by a pet name. He braces himself for a shitstorm.
[12:26:33 AM] Doc: “Your apology is noted. And unnecessary. My grievances will be addressed at an appropriate time. I will cycle my shift as suggested,” she says through gritted teeth.
[12:27:32 AM] Kevin: Kevin thinks to himself. “Oh…that was worse than it looked.”
[12:28:09 AM] Axel: “Thank you. Which shift would you like? I would prefer to have Steel as last shift while watching over banner, and I would like to take first watch with Arbiter, if that would be okay with the two of you?”
[12:28:10 AM] Kevin: Kevin vents some tiny whisps of steam from under his shoulder plates.
[12:29:39 AM] Doc: Arbiter interrupts. “Gladly, my friend. Got to hone my awareness a bit anyway. We can train after our watch ends.”
[12:29:51 AM] Doc: The decision made, Spires sits down.
[12:30:04 AM] Doc: “I will take last shift with Steel, then.”
[12:31:38 AM] Axel: “Actually, I was hoping you would be able to keep watch with Nine’s for second shift,” Clock suggests.
[12:31:46 AM] Doc: “No.”
[12:33:15 AM] Nate: “No objections here,” he murmurs, glancing over at her as he rubs his chin, sitting down and unrolling a few things from within his jacket.
[12:33:23 AM] Axel: “Very well. Nine’s, do you feel up to solo duty for mid shift?”
[12:33:44 AM] Doc: The mortals set up their tents around the lamp, forming a barrier to block some of the light.
[12:33:49 AM] Kevin: “Whatever…”
[12:34:10 AM] Kevin: Nines has never said that word in that context before. He’s never used that tone of voice.
[12:34:46 AM] Kevin: Nine’s snaps up.
[12:34:52 AM] Kevin: “Yes sir! No sir! U-understood!”
[12:36:06 AM] Kevin: “The cold is getting to me…” he thinks to himself, starting to feel a panicking little man pulling levers and pressing buttons randomly in his head.
[12:37:33 AM] Axel: Clock is a bit thrown off by Nine’s unusual manner, “Then do your best to warm yourself up before your duty. We should do this in 4 hour cycles. That should be more then enough time for plenty of rest and to accomplish anything that you need while we’re out here.”
[12:37:57 AM | Removed 12:38:39 AM] Kevin: This message has been removed.
[12:39:27 AM] Kevin: “Understood sir.” he says sternly. Like he would have if he was warm. If he wasn’t shivvering. But what he feared the most was facing that he wasn’t shaking because he was cold.
[12:43:32 AM] Axel: “Very well. Then, shall we start are first watch, my friend,” he says with a smile to Arbiter.
[12:44:29 AM] Doc: Arbiter eagerly sets off to patrol the perimeter.
[12:45:19 AM] Axel: Clock sets off to keep watch from on high, and from every direction.
[12:46:50 AM] Nate: “… Those too are way too fucking chipper. Hey Nines, you doin’ okay?” Steel pushes himself up, now that Clock and Arbiter have gone, and strides over to the Soulsteel. “You’ve been acting nervous as shit.” He keeps it quiet, at least, but his concern seems genuine.
[12:47:26 AM] Kevin: “…it is…of great concern to me…”
[12:47:54 AM] Kevin: “What happened to my building team? You’ve heard the reports I’m sure, but not before the stories.”
[12:48:20 AM] Kevin: “I have become something of a hushed legend at home. A boogyman character.”
[12:50:43 AM] Kevin: “People do not respect me. They fear me. This may well have been my team’s intention. But it makes me wonder what other intentions they had for me. If I find them out, ought I follow them?”
[12:53:59 AM] Nate: He whistles softly, sitting down. “Yeah, that’s…. a bit of a hairy story. Tried to look into it myself once, didn’t get too deep. I mean, I lost interest pretty quick ‘cause the chick who runs the archives from fifteen-thirty to twenty-four hundred? So hot. But yeah, I mean… look. I dunno what to tell you here, man. I mean, I know what I’m supposed to tell you, but you know that yourself, I’m just sayin’… Those dudes put some nasty shit in you, and you’ve used it for the people of Yugash so far, right? I don’t see any reason that’s gotta change. I mean, yeah, what you’re made for, that’s important shit. That’s your purpose. But it’s not all of you.”
[12:55:05 AM] Kevin: “We were born with purpose.”
[12:55:42 AM] Kevin: “Does it ever seem to you that humans desire purpose? They don’t seem to appreciate their own frivilousness. I envy them that.”
[1:01:37 AM] Kevin: Kevin looks like some mix between shark, bear, and tank. To hear him speaking like this is a bit surprising.
[1:01:37 AM] Nate: Steel laughs a little. “Yeah… Champions seems like a really stupid word sometimes. Maybe babysitter, or servant. Born straight into responsibility. That’s what they don’t get. Not all of them, anyway. You see Kerok, he knows exactly where he stands. Better than we do, maybe. They don’t have purpose because they don’t have responsibility.” He frowns. “They go to the factory, they do the same thing over and over for nine hours straight, they go home. If they screw up, there’s layers of redundancy. It’s something… I dunno how much you’ve talked to Glass, but I always find the… idea of Creation so strange. People are self-made there, you know that?”
[8/9/2012 1:02:28 AM] Kevin: “Impossible.”
[1:03:45 AM] Kevin: “I do not care to hear fantastical children’s stories. I’ve been one.”
[1:06:18 AM] Nate: “I’m just sayin’, man. You and me, we do what we do… it’s not just because they made us to do it. We have responsibilities. I know it was probably a little weird for you, with us sorta… bending and ignoring the rules.” He shrugs. “But I was thinking about the people of Kadar. They need food and power.”
[1:07:12 AM] Nate: “So what made you do it? What comes to your mind when you’re doing your job— your creators, or the people you’re helping?”
[1:08:47 AM] Kevin: “I’m a living contradiction. Human, and yet machine. Meant to represent the law, and yet build of a big pile of unlawful activity. I do not think much of doing my duty. It has been all that I have had to focus on since I was awoken by my second maintainence team. It’s what keeps me from thinking of other things. Dangerous things I’d be better to keep my mind off of.”
[1:11:15 AM] Nate: “… Know what? You’re comin’ hunting with me sometime. You gotta blow off some steam, man, in a hella bad way. Get you a hobby, maybe get you a little nicer reputation, maybe even get you a little ass.”
[1:12:13 AM] Kevin: “Affixing a differently sized part to a large chassis is against protocol.”
[1:12:50 AM] Nate: “Well, that’s not quite what I meant, but it’ll still be necessary.”
[1:13:54 AM] Kevin: “I have hobbies. I feed and maintain the wellbeing of my cat as per my team’s instructions. I also do paperwork.”
[1:14:28 AM] Nate: “It’s a cat?”
[1:15:19 AM] Kevin: “It is meant to resemble one.”
[1:15:49 AM] Kevin: “I have been instructed to treat it as one. I do not see the point, but I follow my team’s instructions.”
[1:16:29 AM] Nate: “Might be their way of trying to keep you a little more human? Or some twisted experiment, I dunno. It’s, uh. It’s cute?”
[1:18:34 AM] Kevin: "I would not know. I have reason to believe the process by which they mechanized it was painful to the rat. Sometimes it jumps on my desk and interferes with work, then I put it on the ground and it distractingly rubs against my legs. And it constantly makes a noise like “Miw” or “Moa”."
[1:19:14 AM] Kevin: “They told me I could only get rid of it once I saw its value.”
[1:19:37 AM] Kevin: “I am reasonably confused about what that was meant to mean.”
[1:21:55 AM] Doc: “Kamaki Champions are not permitted to own organic pets due to the scarcity of rats in our territory. We are occasionally allowed to requisition machine spirits or small automata for personal companionship if it is desired.”
[1:22:15 AM] Doc: Spires hasn’t spoken for a while, so her voice echoes rather awkwardly.
[1:25:41 AM] Nate: Steel actually sits up, as if he had forgotten about her presence, and almost seems embarrassed at being caught in the midst of philosophizing with Nines. “Oh. Yeah, it’s not exactly common in, you know, Yugash, either. I actually managed to get a riding machine.” He sits back. “So, uh, how ‘bout you? ’F you don’t mind me prying, what do you do for the people of Kamak?”
[1:26:52 AM] Doc: “I told you. I handle Internal Affairs. It is my job to make sure that those tasked with maintaining our city and protecting it from threats do not become a threat themselves. It is a rather unpopular job, but it is quite necessary. And I am respected, at least, if not loved.”
[1:28:57 AM] Doc: “Some attempt to curry favor with me in an attempt to get on my good side. This is foolhardy. I do not have a ‘good side’.” She makes a dismissive gesture.
[1:31:24 AM] Doc: “Others think that they can appeal to my logic. But in this, they are gravely in error. I do not culture Clarity. I find it makes it harder to understand what makes criminals tick. I like to feel anger. I like to feel hate. It gives me a reason to keep working. And it keeps me sharp, since I don’t let it soften the impact. I understand those I capture very well. I get into their heads. I make sure I know they deserve it.”
[1:31:57 AM] Kevin: “You’re too human to not have a good side.”
[1:33:38 AM] Doc: “My good side is the satisfaction of seeing justice done. The protectiveness I feel for my city when I purge a threat. When I uncover a source of corruption. When I unmask a spy.” She pauses for a moment. “But this is not something to which an individual can appeal.”
[1:35:26 AM] Kevin: “I like you.”
[1:37:30 AM] Kevin: Nine’s shifts position and feel a little more at ease. A little less cold. His warring desires to see justice done at any cost and to see the law fight off chaos feel less immediate and loud in his mind. Right now, the two are one and the same, and he has to focus on this mission before he’ll have the luxery of deciding whether to live into his public face, or to fulfill his secret ambition.
[1:38:10 AM] Doc: “I don’t like you.”
[1:38:39 AM] Kevin: “That is wise ma’am.”
[1:39:19 AM] Nate: Cough. “Well. Hopefully we’ll find somebody you can unmask later, and maybe you’ll get the pipe out of your ass.”
[1:40:08 AM] Doc: “Perhaps I’ll have a chance to put my boot in someone else’s,” she remarks with a snide grin.
[1:40:54 AM] Kevin: “If there is a pipe up this woman’s posterior, I’m sure someone of her strength and influence could have gotten it out if she did not want it there sir.” Nine “jokes”.
[1:41:45 AM] Nate: “Then there’s only one conclusion we can make. That poor pipe.”
[1:43:55 AM] Kevin: "These are examples of the famed Yugashian “Levity” you have no doubt heard about. Jokes are common in Yugash, they even could be considered a piece of our cultural heritage." Nines explains unnecessarily, feeling the need to explain himself whenever he’s not completely serious.
[1:44:39 AM] Doc: “See why I don’t bother with Clarity?”
[1:44:56 AM] Nate: “Nines, we’ve been over this. Jokes stop being jokes when you explain them, or even worse, explain that they’re jokes.”
[1:46:25 AM] Kevin: “I remember sir. I will refrain from doing so in the future.”
[1:50:32 AM] Kevin: Nine’s remains relatively quiet for the rest of the scene.
[1:52:25 AM] Kevin: Nine’s fondly regards Autochthon.
[1:58:47 AM] Doc: As the mortals fall asleep, the light slowly dims. No obstacle for you, but things grow quiet for some time. As Clock and Arbiter returns from their shift, Nine’s stands and silently takes vigil. The two martial artists begin training just outside the circle of tents, and the Great Maker continues to sleep, fondly regarded by many within his body.
[1:58:53 AM] Doc: LOG END

Tremor Gets Lost
For when one sets out alone, much is at stake

[11:35:44 PM] Doc: LOG START
[11:36:55 PM] Doc: The fog is still thick here, but looking up, you can faintly see the bridge far below with your X-ray vision. You’re far too high to see anything else.
[11:37:23 PM] Doc: You know which direction you have been travelling, so you know where to go, but you have no idea what’s along the outer edges.
[11:39:21 PM] Ben: Tremor retracts his Claw-Space Creeping Unit, falling down onto the section of bridge that is now visible, in an attempt to broaden his field of vision.
[11:40:21 PM] Ben: He does, however, utilize his Paramagnetic Tether Beam to slow his fall by latching onto a section of ceiling above him.
[11:40:34 PM] Doc: You see more fog below you. The bridge creaks warily and you realize it’s only attached by a few points, and has no sections on either end.
[11:40:52 PM] Doc: The bridge is untraversable.
[11:41:16 PM] Doc: This section, like the others, is cleanly severed.
[11:41:23 PM] Ben: Tremor hoists himself back up and continues back along the ceiling with his Claw-Space Creeping Unit.
[11:41:49 PM] Ben: But first, he examines the severed segment to try and identify the cause.
[11:42:38 PM] Ben: “The bridge was in fairly decent condition when we arrived, so I’m guessing this wasn’t the work of those stupid beetle things…”
[11:43:09 PM] Doc: You investigate it. The end is cleanly severed, but a thin lip of bent metal seems to indicate that this was done with some kind of huge cutting tool, like a sawblade or daiklave. There’s little to no heat damage, and what is there can be attributed to friction.
[11:44:47 PM] Ben: Tremor makes a mental note of this, and continues onwards.
[11:45:53 PM] Doc: Upwards on the ceiling, you feel a little agoraphobic. You’re not used to being this exposed. Yugash is in very tight tunnels, and you can always see the walls and ceiling. And the mines, even more so.
[11:47:33 PM] Ben: “…Damnit Glass…if you’ve gone and gotten yourself in serious trouble while I’m putting up with this crap…”
[11:48:55 PM] Ben: Tremor starts feeling really anxious, but continues onwards, hoping to find some stable ground to lower himself onto soon.
[11:49:23 PM] Ben: However, the realization that he will have to traverse this same path on his return also looms in his mind.
[11:50:39 PM] Doc: You do not for some time. After hours of tension (pun intentional), you encounter a huge round hole in the ceiling, leading into some kind of vent through which slightly warmer air is passing. The bridge below is mostly gone, and has been for some time. It will take months, maybe years, to repair this damage, if only because it is so hard to reach.
[11:52:57 PM] Ben: Tremor enters the vent, feeling much more at ease upon entering the more enclosed area, but still gingerly lowers himself onto the portion that would be ‘down,’ in the event of instability.
[11:54:55 PM] Doc: The tunnel is very hot to the touch. It occurs to you this might be the “short way” that was mentioned earlier.
[11:58:51 PM] Ben: “So, I guess this leads pretty close to the Elemental Pole of Steam, huh?” Continuing down the path, Tremor curses to himself that he didn’t have his Industrial Survival Frame updated with the submodule that provides protection from the element of steam while he was in Kamak.
[11:59:40 PM] Ben: While this is going on, he also thinks about the Arbiter and his behavior during the group’s time in Kamak.
[11:59:51 PM] Doc: It’s hot, but it’s a nice change from the bitter cold of Kamak. Still, the walls are painful to touch near other vents. You can understand why the Kamaki Alchemicals were reluctant to come here.
[12:00:57 AM] Ben: “He kept showing off all of the architectural details, being all proud of the stuff in his city, but he must have known about the disease…”
[12:01:17 AM] Ben: “…Was he trying to distract us from it?”
[12:03:12 AM] Ben: “Putting on a show to make his city out like it was really impressive…when in reality, they’re being beset by something as bad as this?”
[12:05:17 AM] Ben: Tremor rips segments of his parka up and wraps them around his feet to try and keep them from being harmed from contact with the heated vent.
[12:05:35 AM] Doc: Your musing is interrupted somewhat by what feels like a brief blast of very hot air. It’s no problem, really. It’s uncomfortable, but not very powerful. On the other hand, you feel the air start to build as it rushes backwards, a jet of cold air slowly building. And you realize this isn’t a vent. It’s an intake.
[12:09:00 AM] Ben: Tremor looks around desperately for something to grab onto.
[12:09:59 AM] Ben: He also prepares to reactivate his Crawl-Space Creeping Unit to try and hold him in place, should he fail to notice anything.
[12:10:17 AM] Doc: Nothing but super-hot vents. And it’s too late. The air comes rushing in, blasting you into the tunnel, flying so fast and tumbling you around. You’re not sure what’s going on…
[12:10:43 AM] Doc: You wake up, face-down, in a pool of condensation. It’s a good thing you don’t need to breathe.
[12:10:56 AM] Ben: “…Ow…”
[12:12:02 AM] Ben: Tremor lifts himself up, taking in his surroundings as he does so in an attempt to find something to help him with determining his present location.
[12:13:30 AM] Ben: “Oh the crap I have to put up with for these guys…”
[12:13:52 AM] Doc: You’re clearly in another tunnel. There’s a lot of icy rime on the walls, but it looks like an air-conditioning unit. And the place feels hollow. You examine the area and find no trace of footprints. You imagine you’re quite off the “short way” at this point.
[12:14:11 AM] Ben: “…Well fuck.”
[12:15:47 AM] Ben: Tremor starts comparing the temperatures of the different sides of the tunnel, and even checking the directions of incoming air to try and get back on the path.
[12:17:27 AM] Doc: It’s much colder on the path with the rime. It feels like the air is being channeled that way. You feel occasional puffs that could be the last breath of the huge gusts like the one that brought you in here. Sitting in the pool of filthy water is a lot of old debris, including some scrap metal. It looks like lots of other stuff goes through this machine. The way back is slightly warmer, especially in the walls, but only slightly.
[12:20:24 AM] Ben: Tremor turns in the direction that the wind is coming in from and starts trying to work his way back, using his Crawl-Space Creeping Unit to provide extra resistance against the air flow.
[12:21:42 AM] Ben: “Oh, the CRAP that I have to put up with for these guys…”
[12:23:01 AM] Doc: You feel another gust buffet you, and the vent rattles as you near the… valve. It’s a one-way filter. That makes sense, when you think about it.
[12:25:04 AM] Ben: With a bit of unease, and feeling both annoyed and disheartened, Tremor turns around and continues the other way, hoping that the path he’s been forced onto is closer to his intended destination.
[12:26:49 AM] Doc: The path rattles further on. This air-conditioning unit is not well-maintained, and you can practically smell the rust. Your echo visor indicates that, yes, not only is this hollow, there’s some movement outside it. Scuttling, probably some fix beetles, and… something else.
[12:28:02 AM] Ben: Tremor begins increasing his pace, hoping to locate an exit to the vent he’s in quickly, and hopefully without meeting up with whatever else is outside.
[12:29:31 AM] Doc: The vent leads into some tunnels… a mine shaft! You’re at home here! What’s more, you can feel traces of recent activity. It seems this was just starting to be excavated, and it leads further upwards, towards some kind of establishment. Probably.
[12:30:05 AM] Doc: The traces, to be honest, could be older than it feels, but you hope this is residue from lamps. It’s hard to tell without light, but it smells like oil.
[12:30:57 AM] Ben: Tremor activates his Light Intensification Filters to try and get a better view of the area.
[12:31:21 AM] Doc: It’s definitely lanturn oil, and it’s fresh! You’re in a recently used mine!
[12:33:10 AM] Ben: With his understanding of tunnels and mining, Tremor begins to gradually ascend further up the mine shaft.
[12:34:02 AM] Ben: “If there is a mine here, that means that it was constructed by a group that might know the area better.”
[12:35:16 AM] Doc: You feel a faint tingle on your fingers as you ascend. That could only come from quick-rust, an acid miners use to clear away iron and steel impurities from other, more useful metals. And what’s more, there’s traces of a faint bluish powder around one of the auger points. You gather a sample, hoping to have a look when you’ve got access to better tools. There’s a slight possibility this is jadeite, an impurity that forms on deposits of jade!
[12:35:46 AM] Doc: This could be a BLUE JADE MINE.
[12:39:06 AM] Ben: A tinge of optimism starts to trickle into Tremor’s mind. The possibility of a Blue Jade Mine could potentially mean that the materials used to create him may have been procured from this location, meaning that the possibility exists that he is in closer proximity to Ot.
[12:40:10 AM] Ben: As bizzare as he knew it felt, and as much as he wanted to doubt it, Tremor couldn’t stop himself from continuing to grow more anxious as he continued up the shaft.
[12:40:59 AM] Ben: “This is stupid. There’s no chance that that’s the case,” he told himself.
[12:41:03 AM] Doc: You hear a blasting cap go off up ahead. Dust rains down for a moment. You realize you should probably move.
[12:41:18 AM] Doc: It might be a good idea to let them know you’re down here.
[12:42:07 AM] Ben: Tremor pulls out a flash grenade and detonates it in his hand, releasing a bright flash and a small explosion, while shouting, “Wait, stop!”
[12:43:48 AM] Doc: You hear shouting from up ahead. “Someone’s down there! There’s a guy down there? Did anyone see that flash? Was that a flashbang? Stop blasting!” After a few moments, “Hey guy down there, move! The tunnel’s still not open enough. We’re gonna try and break you out. Can you see us?”
[12:44:49 AM] Ben: Tremor looks up the path, trying to see through the dirt and debris, then activates his Mass-Penetrating Scanners.
[12:46:02 AM] Doc: You see a team of miners moving rocks around, trying to clear the recent debris away from the obstruction blocking the path. They’re moving rather quickly… it looks like they’re trying to clear space to break through to the tunnel in which you’re suspended.
[12:46:52 AM] Ben: “Yes, yes I can! Hang on!” Tremor backtracks until he finds an alcove to duck into until the debris is completely cleared.
[12:47:15 AM] Doc: “Let us know if you can’t find a place to cover. We’re gonna blast you out. Where’s the opening?”
[12:47:24 AM] Doc: “Shine a light through or something!”
[12:48:19 AM] Ben: Tremor plants another flash grenade next to the area, then shouts back, “Hang on, I’ve planted a flash bang next to the spot! It’ll go off in 3…2…1…”
[12:49:09 AM] Doc: “No! Wait, we’ve got guys there! Don’t set off more…”
[12:49:24 AM] Ben: Tremor stops the flash grenade from going off.
[12:50:40 AM] Ben: He then shouts back, “I’m not seeing an opening here; I might need to blast it open on my end! Clear your men out of there before I do so!”
[12:50:52 AM] Doc: “How are you seeing us without an opening?”
[12:51:05 AM] Ben: “I have Mass-Penetrating Scanners!”
[12:51:23 AM] Doc: “Ah, guys, he’s gonna blast himself out! Move back! Safety!” After a few moments, “CLEAR!”
[12:51:47 AM] Ben: Tremor then plants a pair of shrapnel grenades next to the spot, returns to the alcove, then detonates them.
[12:52:24 AM] Doc: There’s a crack and a lot of rumbling as the passage crumbles inward, sending a blast of debris past you and creating a dust cloud. When it clears, you see lights pointed down at you.
[12:52:51 AM] Doc: “It’s a Champion! He’s got scanner charms! Get him up, lower a scaffold or something!”
[12:53:33 AM] Ben: Tremor activates his Flash Shutters to get a better view at the other miners.
[12:54:23 AM] Doc: There’s quite a number of them. They’re pretty filthy right now, covered in grime and sweat, but they seem to be lowering ropes or something to set a metal platform to you, attached to winches and safety harnesses. “We’ll get you out of there, Champion!”
[12:55:37 AM] Ben: Tremor looks further up the shaft, then asks, “Where is this? What city have I arrived in?”
[12:56:41 AM] Doc: “You’re not near a city. We’re an exploration crew. Our city got separated during the Elemental War. We’ve been trying to reestablish contact with Sova for years! We’re trapped down here!”
[12:57:24 AM] Doc: One of them notices your torn parka. “Oh, you’re not one of ours.” He looks a little crestfallen. “Are you from Kamak?”
[12:58:02 AM] Ben: “I just left Kamak a while back; I’m trying to get to Ot.”
[12:58:13 AM] Doc: “Ot? You’re Yugashi?”
[12:58:55 AM] Ben: Tremor sighs, realizing that he said something that he most likely shouldn’t have.
[12:59:13 AM] Ben: “…Okay yes, I’m Yugashi.”
[12:59:21 AM] Doc: It gets very quiet.
[1:00:03 AM] Doc: “You keep away from our city, you bastard. You’ll never get there as long as we’re alive.”
[1:00:31 AM] Doc: A few whispers go around. You catch the word “sabouteur” and “mine”.
[1:00:35 AM] Ben: “I have no intention of going to your city; I’m just trying to find a companion of mine; a doctor.”
[1:01:07 AM] Doc: “We haven’t captured any of yours, if that’s what you’re implying. Get back in your hole before we blast you back in.”
[1:02:16 AM] Ben: “Look, I’m about as happy about the events of the Elemental War as I’m sure you fellows are, but wasn’t it petty misunderstandings between Sova and Yugash like this one that caused it in the first place?”
[1:02:40 AM] Doc: “We’re not interested in debating politics. Get the fuck away from us or we’ll bury you alive. With ourselves if we must.”
[1:02:56 AM] Ben: “I’m trying to do something to prevent a similar catastrophy from happening between Ot and Kamak!”
[1:03:27 AM] Doc: “We don’t… wait, you’re trying to establish connections with Kamak? Is that what you’re doing there?”
[1:03:46 AM] Doc: Several of the miners take off up the tunnels.
[1:03:57 AM] Ben: “We were trying to establish diplomatic connections with Kamak.”
[1:04:42 AM] Doc: “Thanks for the info. But it won’t save you. We don’t trust turncoats.”
[1:05:13 AM] Ben: “Wait, what? I’m not a turncoat! What do you mean?”
[1:05:37 AM] Ben: “Are you guys saying I’m a traitor!?”
[1:06:10 AM] Doc: “It doesn’t matter how much information you give us about Yugash. We’re not helping you. Find your own damn way to Sova if you want to defect. Let them deal with you.”
[1:06:25 AM] Ben: “I’m not trying to get to Sova!”
[1:06:33 AM] Doc: They seem to think you’re giving them info because you want to defect to Sova. Or at least pretend you are.
[1:06:45 AM] Ben: “I am just trying to find my way home!”
[1:07:12 AM] Doc: “Well, then. Just go back the way you came. Here, we’ll help you.” One of them pulls out a blasting cap.
[1:08:18 AM] Ben: “That was a one-way tunnel back there…” But Tremor’s sentence trails off once he sees the blasting cap. “…Really? Are we really going to do things this way?”
[1:08:36 AM] Ben: “I thought Sova and Yugash had moved on past all this fighting and war stuff.”
[1:09:15 AM] Ben: “What was gained from it? Nothing. It merely wasted resources for two groups that were already short on supplies.”
[1:11:29 AM] Ben: Realizing that the group isn’t going to listen, Tremor releases his grip, drops back down the tunnel, tosses a grenade down an alcove he had used earlier to blast it open, then quickly dives in.
[1:12:22 AM] Doc: There’s shouting, and an explosion, and a rumble. The tunnel starts to cave in, and metal shards crush the end of the tunnel behind you. There’s no way you’re going back up that way.
[1:12:58 AM] Doc: Several things hit you, but your charm protects you from the collapse.
[1:13:27 AM] Ben: Tremor begins running down the path he’s now entered, hoping that he can find an alternate exit that is both closer to Ot and not occupied with more guys from Sova.
[1:14:00 AM] Ben: “This just keeps getting better and better,” he muses to himself sarcasatically.
[1:14:32 AM] Doc: There weren’t any other passages aside from the main vent. But the air conditioning unit seemed old and hollow. You could probably burrow your own way through. It’s what miners do, after all.
[1:16:11 AM] Ben: Tremor starts tunneling further down the path back towards the main air conditioning vent, using his grenades to create openings.
[1:16:35 AM] Doc: The thing collapses like a rusty tin can.
[1:16:42 AM] Ben: “Stupid tunnel, stupid Sovans…”
[1:16:51 AM] Doc: And when you rise from the rubble, unharmed, you find… you’re in a pile of rust and tin. Huh.
[1:16:51 AM] Ben: “…STUPID FUCKING VENTS!”
[1:17:23 AM] Ben: Tremor looks around, trying to take in his surroundings quickly and carefully.
[1:19:13 AM] Doc: It’s very dark. No problem for you. It’s also a crumbled, damaged area. It looks like this place hasn’t seen maintenance in ages. A trickle of cold water from above draws your attention to the scraps of rusty metal around you. It looks like something crawled through here a really, really long time ago, maybe decades, and it’s begun to collapse since then. The tunnel is scraped all around, but not smoothly.
[1:19:34 AM] Ben: “…I sincerely hope that I find Glass soon.”
[1:19:58 AM] Doc: There’s really not much in the way of anything nearby. No machine spirits, no drones, nothing of the sort. It’s awfully quiet, but the dripping of water keeps your echo visor working, faintly.
[1:20:10 AM] Doc: You start to suspect you’re looking in the wrong location for Glass.
[1:21:13 AM] Ben: Tremor tries to look around for another path to take, something to get him out, something, anything that might give him some chance of finding some semblance of…
[1:21:32 AM] Ben: …but he stops himself before he can think the word.
[1:22:25 AM] Ben: That one word, that single, stupid word that gives him any semblance of reason to detest his own creation, and complete reason to detest his name.
[1:23:10 AM] Doc: LOG END

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.

Missions and Debates
In which the party sets out and then returns.

A shining font of hope in the Land of Brass and Shadow.
The newly minted Alchemicals were summoned to a meeting with an elder statesman regarding a mission on which they would soon be sent. It’s been two years since they were forged, and in this time they’ve been working on their public personas and support, while preparing themselves for the missions they had yet to be given. When they arrived, it was under considerable confusion and secrecy, compounded when the “elder statesman” turned out to be the Grand Autocrat Kerok himself!
“None of what I am telling you must leave this room,” he informed them, before relaying to them the knowledge that Yugash is suffering from incredible shortages of magical materials and supplies of energy. Their creation was a dangerous gamble on Kerok’s part, as he hopes their presence will turn the tide and reimburse their investment considerably, allowing the state to finally finish the mysterious Project Razor. He also warns them that the mission will be very dangerous and they will not be able to get much support, due to secrecy. There have been rumors of gremlins, or possibly saboteurs from the hostile nation of Sova, that may interfere with travel along the cluttered tunnels around Yugash.
The party was introduced, and got a feel for each others’ personalities.
Deceptive Flexibility of Steel, Moonsilver caste, the flashy celebrity and master infiltrator, who keeps a smile regardless of danger and is driven to finish what he starts.
Engine Nine’s Revenge, Soulsteel caste, an ultra-lawful, high-clarity inquisitor whose creation is shrouded in unanswered questions and who has become Ot’s face of THE LAW.
Ever-Ticking Clock, Orihalcum caste, a hot-blooded man of the people whose compassion and bravery are matched only by the quality of the inspirational speeches he writes.
Tremoring Dynamo of Unearthed Hope, Jade caste, a fatalistic but extremely clever technician who is haunted by visions of his past and armed with an explosive “personality”.
Kaleidoscopic Brilliance of Glass, Starmetal caste, a timid bleeding heart of a doctor who is not prepared for field work but is prepared for even the worst medical complications.

When they set off to establish trade routes with the prosperous nation of Kamak, they soon found that many obstacles blocked their paths. After dealing with some fix beetles that had damaged a bridge in their mindless drive to repair other things, they found a massive hub/choke point between Yugash, Sova, and Kamak, that triggered memories of a war and hints of something just off their intended destination. When they found a horrifically wounded, dying exile warning them of gremlins, they put the poor man out of his misery and followed the path stealthily to a burning encampment, where a hooded man and his gremlin camera spiders greeted them. The party was unable to stop the apparent apostate, but caught a glimpse of his razor-sharp metallic teeth, and with style and power worthy of the champions of Yugash, devastated the monstrous gremlins. On the way out, some of the Champions noticed a gleam of something crystalline in the passages beyond, but decided not to pursue without any clues.
They soon returned home to make a report of the unexpected incident. Two factions emerged here: Steel favors Grand Autocrat Kerok’s view that they should worry about that Apostate later and finish their vital mission of establishing the route. Clock and Nine’s favor an investigation into the metal-mouthed man and his gremlins, in case an undiscovered blight zone threatens Yugash, and Clock has gotten most of the Tripartate to agree. Until this is resolved, it seems the perfect machine of this party will grind to a halt.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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