Session Log 2021-12-30

From After the Aether Age
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Having concluded their exploration of the floor, the party opted to see if they could reach the next. They returned to the stairwell hidden in the wall, but found it narrowing around them as they ascended. Eventually, the only ones able to proceed further were Ekkels' Little Dudes. They scouted ahead, and pantomimed a report back with Ekkels' aid. They indicated they had seen a library, and indicated it was in some way related to the Torch insignia on Ignis's armor.

Reasoning that there was likely a means by which the stairwell could be un-narrowed, the party returned to the floor they had mapped out. They returned to the room with the four onyx slabs and surveyed it more carefully. In the back, near the entrance to the cracked spire, Robin found a bullseye painted on the wall, with various objects embedded into the stone on which it was drawn - coins, an iron spike, and an antique Torch commander's badge. None were easily pried free. Below it, buried in dust, sat a locked metal box with a handwritten note affixed, a warning to the subordinates of one Commander Jourtain that a person named Ogar had "volunteered himself for experimentation" with his "badge prank" and that the hammer had been locked away to prevent any other idle fool from following in his footsteps.

Her thief's instincts burning, Robin picked the lock of the box. She felt some mechanism click with her lockpicks and quickly threw it open to grab the contents as thick, noxious smoke billowed out to fill the room. Ignis, prudently waiting across the room, called out to his teammates to come to his voice, then stepped out into the circular hallway. Though Klaitos was unable to dispel the smoke - the volume and speed at which it poured out overwhelming his wind magic - he and Ekkels were able to hold their breath and dart across the room. Robin, choking on a direct blast of the smoke trap, coughed and stumbled into the central slabs. Falling behind, she spotted movement in the smoke, and was barely able to dodge a lashing strike from an unseen assailant.

Squinting through the smoke, Robin clutched her prize - a strange hammer, its grooved head of the same material as the slabs and a glassy ball set at the base - and tried to close the distance to her attacker. However, in the obscuring smoke, she misjudged the distance and was unable to close the gap, though she was able to dodge another clumsy strike from what appeared to be a hand elongated to grotesque, stick-figure proportions. Switching tactics, she surrounded herself with illusory duplicates and readied a counterattack with the strange hammer. She struck the hand at the wrist, and the glassy ball sparked with light. The hand was driven into the floor, and seemingly fused with it for an instant, before recoiling - the overlap between stone and fingers had been apparently erased, leaving a bloody spatter.

Robin called for backup and awaited another strike to counterattack. Klaitos was still unable to clear the air, but as the smoke thinned, they saw no attacker - only a trail of blood leading back to the room of twisting vine-like spatial distortions. Ignis peeked inside, but saw no sign of the attacker - only a blood trail quickly lost in the thicket of warped space.

The party inspected Robin's hammer, but were unable to reproduce whatever effect it had had upon her assailant. It struck coin and Ignis as if it were a mundane hammer, with no obvious magical effect or flare of light from the glass bauble. Klaitos and Ekkels inspected it, but were unable to decipher its arcanic intent or what had changed between Robin's encounter and their experimental blows.