Police in Yakima continue to search for Kayou’s body in the area but don’t hold out hope to find him, as Eastern Washington is Fucking Large and he will henceforth be known as Brick Needle in a Haystack Sir Not Appearing In This Session.
Craig suddenly comes out of nowhere down the hallway; he’s decided that going deeper down the scary dungeon is safer for his sanity than hanging out with whatever that is on the surface (aka Anise). She’s currently posting Youtube videos of her deep thoughts Anita Sarkesian Style (ASS).
The party comes across another sleeping chamber. Craig decides to attempt summoning a lesser spirit that knows something about the area. God inquires as to whether the party informed Craig about the Abyssal spirit we encountered, and Craig quickly revises his request to be non-Abyssal. He gets a little imp-looking thing that appears to want mischief to do. It chitters at him when he tries to speak to it. Atlantean doesn’t seem to penetrate the imp’s skull; it comes over and pokes at Craig, including pressing the mag-release of his P90, giggling. Craig tries to tell it to look for trouble, and it seems perfectly content with doing that.
Back to the sleeping quarters. Load screen pattern. There are a bunch of alcoves like in the other ones. There’s a skeleton laying down in the middle of the floor with a great sword in the middle of its face. The sword is also magical, of the Forces school. On the walls, there’s a message hastily chiseled out: Tainted by darkness, Can’t Leave, Only out is death, Barred door. God can’t read the rest of his own handwriting. Ah, barred door so the dead can sleep.
We haven’t found a barred door, soooo. Hm.
The rest of the beds are cot-like, don’t look very comfortable to sleep on at all. Maxime finds what looks to be some really simple hand-carved tokens and games. Some of the spheroid tokens glow with Forces. Maxime wonders if they’re grenades.
Maxime asks to talk to the sword-face’s soul, and God accidentally informs us we can talk to him properly ebcause he died before he went insane. The skeleton asks how long he’s been out. Maxime takes the sword out of his face, though it complains that it belongs to him. Maxime asks about the door-barring. The mages said something about it being Abyssal ‘down there’ and that people went crazy. It seemed to be that the closer they went down the crazier they went. He barred the door down, and it was still kind of leaking through, but they couldn’t go all the way up either because the people topside decided it was too dangerous. He swears he wasn’t involved in the human sacrifice (just watched, apparently he found it fun) and also that he’s totally not crazy he also swears.
The mages were worshipping the various spirits that appeared in the darkness, in hopes that the spirits would help them out. He’s really not sure how long they were down there. Whatever spirits are down there, they kept trying to break through the wards. He barred the door, and he’s not sure if that’ll hold. Apparently sometimes the dead were rising. He figured slicing his head open would prevent himself from rising, at least immediately. Maxime dismisses him and he enjoys his slumber again. Maxime is being a bit of a jerk by pulling out the sword from his skeleton. Also, interesting note, God reminds us: the man wasn’t even a little bit of a mage.
Alex recalls that there’s a thing in DnD called a thunderstone, and that’s probably what those stones are – they’re mage flashbangs.
Before we have a chance to go to the door the imp went down, we hear some noises to the tune of ‘fucking stop it imp’ and there’s the sound of metal clanging. The imp has apparently done it’s job. Eric takes a look around, but there’s not really much light. He sees a pair of glowing eyes and a pair running around it impy-style. He beams some of his flashlight beam under the door, and he sees lots of chains and some sort of person-y figure and maybe some flesh but really mostly chains. It’s some kind of chain monster. The things in the room are all various crafty tools, things you’d need for making clockwork whatevers like upstairs. It’s probably vulnerable to bullets, and it seems like a physical creature more than others. It appears pretty distracted by the imp. It’s maybe possibly a chain devil from DnD. It’s literally lawful evil, so we want something good. There’s a lot of Benny Hill going on.
Eric suggests we engage at a distance, recalling it has a long range attack, like a 20-foot reach, so. Yeah. Relocating. Down the hall. Eric kicks the door down remotely with Forces. Nothing comes out, but we keep hearing the ‘hey, leave that alone, I organized that last week.’ Eric yells to announce our presence, and the chain devil asks if we sent the imp. Eric explains, no, he didn’t, but he knows who did. The creature comes out, sees the weapons, and then vanishes back in.
Eric asks why it’s here, observing that it doesn’t come from this plane. The chain devil agrees it’s odd. It can’t really remember how long it’s been since it arrived. It says that there are a lot of creatures from it’s plane, as well as from other places, but not alot of explanations as to whatever happened here. The Darkness seems to know what happens here, but isn’t very forthcoming. The Darkness has a bit of an ego, apparently, because that’s what it calls itself. The Darkness was the critter Alex banished. It tends to come back relatively quickly, the chain devil says. It wants to know what this plane is like, explaining that the hoplites don’t ever let them out.
Alex asks if it wants to go home, and it does. Maxime asks if it has any pieces of paper, which it does that Jerome gave it and told it to hold on to. It’s not sure why. There’s a clattering of tools and the chain devil looks deeply perturbed. The chain devil is sounding awful irritated and seems like the kind of thing that would be bad to have happen. Alex and Eric insist Craig send off the imp. Craig makes the idiot choice to, when the chain devil asks for help, control it and tell it to clean up it’s own mess. It glares at him and tells Craig it’ll remember this, and tell the other spirits about him.
Alex and Eric, on the other hand, start to help putting things back. There’s a bunch of blacksmith tools in the room. The chain devil hands Eric two gloves that glow magically, saying it can never find a good home for them. They seem to move on their own a little bit, not magic-magic but awakened. They’re starved of essence almost completely. The chain devil hands Eric a broom and asks him to sweep the bins that the Atlanteans left; it looks like they used a lot of standardized parts, which Eric finds interesting. Highly reusable, like transister reusable. Craig meanwhile is working on feeding the gloves. He summons the imp back to feed to the gloves, but it just puts the gloves over it’s ears.
The solution, it seems, is to wear the gloves and strangle the imp. He fails, and the imp thinks that it’s some sort of game, grabbing the P90 mag when it releases it. Craig manages to order it to stand still and grabs it. The gloves do some feeding and have essence 4 by the end. The gloves improve dexterity a lot, but we would need to keep feeding them.
We open the last door in this section of hall, and inside The Darkness is inside poking at the corpses, wondering if it can raise them the way we did. Eric immediately drops a grenade, yells fire in the hole, slams the door shut and runs. We hear a boom and then hear ‘monkey, stop that, it’s not very nice’. The group backs down the hallway, Force weapons at the ready.
Maxime, however, decides to walk up and tap the door open. He hears ‘hey monkey, that’s a cool trick you did. I did it myself.’ The skeletons are still corporeal. Maxime says ‘what’s yours is mine,’ and tries to wrest control from The Darkness. He sadly doesn’t manage to grab it, because The Darkness got 6 successes on creating it. One of the skeletons does an interesting trick, pointing at maxime and shooting a little lightning bolt at him and he takes 2 lethal. Maxie goes to kite them.
The hallway near the door gets extra double dark. Alex preps more phosphorous rounds and Eric turns his flashlight into a laser beam again. We hear more pitter-pattering as we back up, and the shadowy area moves towards us a little too, suggesting that a skeleton is carrying it. Eric starts laying down fire with the Force Jaffa Cree staff, as do Rama and Maxime. Craig provides spiritual encouragement. They hear stone crumbling at the other end of the hallway. None of us are hitting anything, really. The Darkness tells us to stop destroying stuff and to go away.
We start hearing a conversation between Darkness and the chain demon, and then a pummeling noise like a chain demon is getting his ass whooped and is therefore in the smithy. It’s sounding like a one-sided fight. Eric’s minimap reveals that the skeletons ducked into rooms to avoid getting shot at; one’s a mage and one isn’t. He’s able to figure out that the non-mage is carrying the shadows and goes to poof it with the Force staff, and the spell dissipates. The mage-skeleton tries to hurt Eric and fails because, yay mage shield. Rama shoots at the mage-skeleton and gets one success to piss it off a little. Maxime and Craig add to the damage, and Alex finishes it off with the P90 in full-auto and phosphorized mode. There are now bits of skeleton on the floor.
The chain demon isn’t protesting anymore, and all we’re hearing is the sound of it getting beaten and possibly eating. Nomming and snarling noises like it’s eating it.
Alex shoots the Darkness with her phosphorous round and it makes an absolutely horrible noise and slithers out of existence temporarily. The chain demon is just… missing bits and there’s a bloody mess of chains on the floor.
We head down the hall to where it curves, and we see an intent door around it. There are more stairs down. Eric’s EM channels are noisy, and hard to make out. There are some blips occasionally, but he can’t tell where from; it doesn’t look like white noise.
The group decides to take a quick trip to the surface to get a quadcopter, infrared scanners, and equipment to start laying wifi nodes down into the dungeon. Eric isn’t telling Smokey about the AI that he hooked up to the internet, but tells him everything else. Alex informs the Lara Croft Society that she’s still alive and asks about Atlantis’ fate. There’s not a lot on it, but if we find anything then it’s pretty important. The abyssal creatures happen all the time; they’re all spirits, all invasive, and aren’t all right in the head. Their minds are truly alien, kind of like a program. There are ways to banish them for good; it’s hard with abyssal creatures because they’re nonstandard.
We decide to buy a lot of floodlights. A lot of them, going full dig-site on this, powered by the PPM.
There are also purely lawful abyssal creatures, including one that attacks the stock market occasionally hat futzes with numbers. It just likes to play with numbers and make them better.
Buying lights will not make the Darkness pleased, obviously. Eric asks for tracer rounds from Smokey because they’re pre-phosphorized. He also sends along the floodlights, underslung launchers and grenades as well as thermite. Smokey things it’s interesting what we’ve found on Atlantis; they know it ‘sharded.’ If we found an active shard, then it’s likely demens (non-vulgar) and covered in abyssal stuff. Also don’t listen to the abyssal creatures, they’re full of lies. Eric also requests sticks of magnesium and tactical welding gear. He suggests we don’t dig too deeply, that we might find what Jerome is after, and then adds an ASKII art tentacle cthulu. Eric tells him we’ll have live feed down there, and Smokey requests a daily update. If he doesn’t hear from us he’ll send a hit squad.
Eric mentions that there are defenses and Smokey finds this very interesting, asking if there’s working Atlantis tech. He’s silent for a long while until Eric says we’ll give him an update. There’s a loooong uncomfortable pause, suggesting he’s suspicious of what we’re not telling him everything.
Maxime cashes in some of his gold to go spend time at the poker tables. The rest of the group attends to their various virtues and vices, healing and restocking as needed. Alex registers a claim on the site they’re at for a week with the Lara Croft Society, asking for a $3000 deposit that she’ll get back if/when she releases the claim, otherwise it’s theirs and they’ll use it to retrieve her body in case she doesn’t return.
Next time on World of Darkness: We return to our save point in the dungeon.