The Awakening

Episode 15

IndJnsAndTheFateOfAtl (Maniac Mansion)

Somewhere in Eastern Washington, people are posting Missing Person flyers with Kayou’s face on them, and he will henceforth be known as Brick Definitely Not Going to Win America’s Next Top Model Sir Not Appearing In This Session.

On our return from the Vegas shopping trip, we lay down 5Watt LED floodlights and wifi nodes on our way into the dungeon, powered largely by a surface generator. Anise complains about the 5kilowatt Honda generator ruining mother earth. There is some discussion of teaching her Forces magic and then we finally argue about Alex using alteration of the door’s plasticity rather than cutting a hole to allow for power cords to go into the dungeon.

God takes a few minutes to decide what the Darkness does while we set up the lighting. We see him poke his head around in the distance trying to see what’s going on while we do this. By and large he’s avoiding the P90s, and occasionally asks us what we’re doing, monkeys. We Do Not Engage. Eric decides to speak to it and asks it what’s up. Whether it hurts the Darkness or not, it’s easier to see, and Eric offers to leave a storeroom dark. It wants us to just leave. Eric proposes that if it stops fucking with us we’ll stop fucking with it. The Darkness wonders what kind of things we could offer it, and Maxime promptly pipes up with ‘we won’t burn your kingdom down’.

So much for Do Not Engage.

The Darkness is showing classic signs of being a territorial asshole, and we’re traipsing through his kingdom. There is some discussion of how to address this problem. We ask it what it wants, what would be worth allowing us through. More toys (i.e. the Atlanteans, which mostly ate each other) – like the chain devil and choker that Jerome brought up from further down in the dungeon. Apparently he put a lot of effort into using the machines down there to get toys out for the Darkness. We offer Jerome and the Dragonborn’s spirit, which might appease it, although this seems like it might be a bad idea morally speaking.

Eric sends a text to Smokey inquiring about how to proceed, since abyssal creatures are full of lies, and if he knows how to banish it permanently. Smokey send him a picture of The Haunter of the Dark by H.P. Lovecraft. Eric asks if it would be a bad idea to feed A. Barnes the Darkness, and Smokey asks why the fuck he wants to make bigger abyssal creatures. Trying to get rid of it with a spirit isn’t going to work, because invasive species.

Alex and Maxime investigate the possibility of properly killing the thing, which may involve a trip to the Shadow. The Shadow Realm is literally an exact replica of the normal world minus all the humans plus some spirits that are awake plus some physical objects that act a little differently. The group ascends out of the range of the Darkness to where the Infovore is and Maxime starts to cast. The world is like swiss cheese cobwebs, which makes walking to the Shadow Realm extremely easy. Every gauntlet in this area is down, which is why the vulgar spells aren’t vulgar.

After some time, everyone goes through the ghost gate. Getting through doors is a little trickier, and requires the manifestation of some ectoplasm. Maxime makes a giant ectoplasm like the Hulk, and the intent door opens. Who you gonna call? EctoHulk, apparently, up to and including the purple cutoff pants.

We wander until we find the Darkness, and he is rightly confused when we appear on his side of things. His Shadow Realm form, notably, is different. His manifestation was a shadowy humanoid type thing. Now, looking straight at him, it’s disturbing because he’s there, definitely that same kind of lanky figure, but he’s a little bit more shapeless than before – less well-defined, more arbitrary dark blobiness. Shining flashlights is more resulting in blackhole kind of blackness. It’s disturbing as fuck to look upon.

We hear in our minds ‘monkeys, what are you doing here, go back to the trees and the physical world, you’ll starve’ and Eric tells it we’re done with this. The Darkness is making it hard to try to shoot at him, so Eric prepares a mage flashbang and throws it. The Darkness complains briefly but doesn’t leave his cover.

The group plows ahead, P90s quite literally blazing with tracer rounds in attack. Except for Maxime, who wants to stab-stab-stabbity-stab with his Khukri. The Darkness is in a lot of hurt, since his face is full of phosphorous screaminess. Maxime moves into melee and commences with the stabbing, the hacking, the slicing and the knifing. The Darkness is horrendously maimed at this point, but it’s not quite a one-turn encounter.

Much time was spent in discussion of whether or not the Darkness can use Essence to boost himself, and eventually the question is raised as to how effectively Maxime or Craig could strangle the thing with the Magical Dexterity Gloves. Once God decides how much Essence the Darkness actually has, it takes a nice swing at Maxime and temporarily blinds him by basically making his visual cortex show him erroneous information, namely platform 9 ¾ and other noise and total visual stupidity, and then the Darkness just runs. Maxime dives wildly and tries to grab him and fails.

The Darkness darts into the forge. Rama is inconveniently supervising Anise or elsewhere unhelpful because now he can’t help fix Maxime’s impending migraine. The writer nearly collapses from laughter from discussion of Mace on a Plane. Alex goes and shoots it in the face with more phosphorous rounds and it’s screaming again and generally displeased with life.

Maxime takes some time to text Rama and ask for LSD to treat the migraine symptoms while he’s writhing and muttering on the floor.

Eric slings the AR-15 around and whacks the Darkness instead with the magical mace that eats essence; the Darkness is rather busy trying not to get hit by P90 bullets and ducks to the side – into the path of the ultrafast magical-guided mace. And he poofs out, discorporealizes into smoke, and the Mace does some omnomming of his essence but not all. Craig comes over and tries to get the rest of it with his Dexterity gloves. Eventually, with the mace and the gloves and the spirit vacuum cleaner crew, the Darkness is officially deceased.

Maxime, meanwhile, is hallucinating Goku asking him for help.

Since he’s resolutely out of commission, Craig will have to Spirit Road us out of here and we’ll be dragging Maxime along. Back in the normal realm, Eric is working on setting out more lights. It takes Maxime a few minutes to get over his Demented state, but eventually he fades back to the real world. Until he decides to dismiss it, he’s also still covered in the ectoplasmic shell of the Hulk.

We come to the formerly-barred door, which apparently Jerome unbarred. Great. Asshole.

The door is like a shitty, busted-up intent door that’s taken a lot of beating by abyssal creatures. There are more helix stairs downward, but the door is beaten up enough that Eric can lay more power cables down for lights. At this point, Eric also sends a message updating Smokey on the abyssal creature and asks if he wants to see – he’s currently busy topside, but Eric will send him pics and video.

We make it down a few levels, and Eric notices that the stairs kind of just stop and there’s a sheer drop below of at least 70 meters. Eric recalls that Jerome had climbing gear, as do we. The walls and the ceiling of the pit are not clear – there’s like four blips on Eric’s minimap, and he deploys the quadcopter. There are two Chokers on the wall, and one takes a swing. It bats at the quadcopter and thankfully it doesn’t destroy the thing. There’s at least a few similar creatures down there.

After swapping out to normal bullets and readying our various weapons, we tromp down the rest of the way. Eric starts shooting at one of the chokers, noting that there are stalactites on the ceiling that are probably a mimic or similar. It makes hurt noises and is generally displeased, but it doesn’t fall off the wall. Because he just made loud noises, one of dark mantles on the ceiling flies straight towards Eric’s face. They end up in a slap fight, since they matched grapple rolls. Craig blams it with a shotgun blast and gets a direct hit; it roll-flops down the hole and is trying to slow it’s fall but God has to wait a bit to roll on whether it can because it’s parachute has holes in it.

The second dark mantle flies at Eric as well and he’s got one grappled to his face. Maxime goes to stab it with his Khukri while Eric manages to hold still, and there’s suddenly a pretty big gash running down it’s body. Alex opts to fire at the choker instead of into Eric’s face, and it looks greatly displeased with life in general. The unshot choker grabs at Maxime and tries to pull him down, and the shot one pulls at Eric; it’s hands are fortunately too bloodied to really hold on.

Eric whacks the dark mantle on his face with the Magical Mace and it’s definitely hurting as a result, but it doesn’t let go. He does take a few steps back up the stairs with an assist from Alex. Craig shoots at the slightly maimed choker so Maxime doesn’t get dropped into the hole. With six successes, we hear a gurgling noise and it falls into the pit, followed by a nice juicy thwap at the bottom after hitting the flailing, falling dark mantle on the way down.

Maxime plays pin the choker with the great sword and stabs it into the wall such that he doesn’t drop into the chasm and simultaneously pretty much kills it but it’s still kind of flailing. Alex stabs the dark mantle in an attempt to get it off Eric’s face. The choker is bleeding out still, but it makes a desperate gambit to try and pull the great sword out of itself and run away, and for the moment doesn’t succeed. Eric manages to finally mace the dark mantle off his face, leaving a bunch of holes in his head. Craig finishes off the choker with a nice trick shot showering Maxime with lead and choker bits in the face.

The great sword and Maxime are collected from the wall, and a lumpy choker bit slaps to the bottom. Eric looks down the hole with a flashlight and spots the bodies, as well as the remaining pieces of the parchment we’re missing.

Down, down, down we go, where we stop, nobody knows.

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