Iron Gods: Echoes of Eternity

The Warehouse of Light and Noise
(Chp 1, EP5) Written by Joram Khyte

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Recorded by Joram Khyte

My the Goddess of Gears grant me clarity, so that I might be able to record these events with precision. As the last vestiges of the place referred to as the “Bio-labs” deck were explored the Champions of Brigh returned to the surface and immediately set to the task of developing a plan. Several new threats had entered the arena, and Khonnir Bhaine knew that if they were not dealt with, then much more would be put at risk.

Developing a Plan.

Sanvil Trent was a weasel of a man that few trusted and fewer liked, but he was widely acknowledged as one of the best authorities when it comes to the origins and purpose of technological finds in the region. He also was possessed of seemingly limitless resources when something caught his interest. It would almost be foolish to assume that someone as obvious as Sanvil Trent could not possibly be a spy for the League, however it did make a certain degree of sense when you considered the tactic of hiding out in the open. He would never speak of his true Allegiance, but everyone who had ever participated in dealings with Trent knew that his Technic Leaugue pin was probably just under his clothes. The only way they could know the truth, was by bringing him within range of the Cereribric fungus known as Fred’di, (whom I have not met, but from what I am told his appearance is ratherly ghastly although his demeanor is extremely civil.)

Dealing With Sanvil Trent.

Unfortunately, obvious or not, if Sanvil was a plant and an Agent of the Technic League, then he needed to be dealt with before he could report back the unusual events unfolding beneath Black Hill. Khonnir had suggested a direct approach, but it was decided to lure him into the caves with irresistible bait. The robot which was now responding to Niera. Once he was down in the caves, their friend Fred’di would scan the surface thoughts and look for anything that would indicate he was intent on betraying him.

Everything proceeded to plan, and when they showed the Robot to Sanvil, Fred’di scanned his surface thoughts to reveal a quickly formulated plan in which Sanvil Trent intended to murder them all in order to bring the Robot back to his Technic Leauge Masters and finally get the promotion he richly deserved. Unfortunately for him, the only Richly deserved action taken, was the heros viciously attacked as soon as they learned of Sanvil’s imminent betrayal. The fight was as terrible as it was swift, and before long, Sanvil, was revealed for the traitor he was and payed the price for it with his life.

The Warehouse

Once Sanvil had been dealt with and his body removed from the Black Caves, it was now time to deal with another potential threat which had been lingering. Khonnir Bhaine had suspected Garmen Ulreth of being invovled with this plot from the very beginning. Once the Champions had gone down into the caves to deal with Sanvil, Khonnir deployed his best spys to ferret out what was happening, and what they found surprised them all. One of the Warehouses possed a large technological object which was being used to transfer vast amounts of energy to a far away place for some unknown reason. Our operative was able to get close enough, and discovered that the device was siphoning power from a massive generator beenath Torch, to a location somewhere near the town of Scrapwall.

Once they had penetrated the warehouse and discovered the Technological device, they learned what they could and immediately beat a hasty retreat after disabling the device. Garmen Ulreth was none the wiser for their involvement, and he had one of his own men put to death for seeming to disable it. Now that the device is deactivated.. whoever put it there must now be alerted to the activities of the Champions. So they will be ready when the next hammer blow lands.

Scrapwall Fanatics.

The time for diplomacy and planning have passed, and so the Champions descend once again to deal with the threat under torch and confront the mysterious Meyanda.. I suspect that I will either see them victorious, or not at all.. may Brigh grant them victory..

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The Lost Expedition of Brigh
(Chp 1, EP4) Recorded by Joram Kyte

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I am Joram Kyte, 1st Artificer of Holy Brigh, Lady of Gears, may she grant me the vision to record these events with percision and Clarity.

TAKING STOCK

Up until now, the wonders Brigh’s Champions had brought back from underneath the Black Hill had been considerable, but unaccounted for. Now that Khonnir had been returned, they were able to properly take stock of what they had and what they were able to use in the coming battles. Everyone in the town was much relieved now that Khonnir was back, but the Torch was still out, and this strange field of power was continuing to build. Furthermore, there was a terrible silence that fell about everyone who went down into the depths. If the Leauge were to discover what sat just below our feet, then surely they would send operatives to secure this site, and the town of Torch would be crushed beneath an iron clad boot.

THE SPORE CREATURE

After they had re-equiped and rearmed, the Champions of Brigh made their way under the mountain.. much to the displeasure of the Chelaxian oracle.. for she despises getting wet, especially the untreated water of the spring. It is understandable, for it is thick and tainted with the chemicals of Numeria. When they returned to the metal caves under the Hill, they confronted the spore beast, who was growing ever more intelligent and offered him a gift of a barrel of Pig’s blood in order to sate its hunger. The creature appeared to accept the offer and expressed its gratitude for the “red food.” I find it unsettling that such a creature exists beneath us, for its intellect grows at such a terrifying rate. I fear that soon, the option of being rid of it, should its intentions turn hostile, will no longer be available to us. Hopefully, it will remain agreeable in its demeanor after the Champions of Brigh have concluded their business here and The Goddess of gears calls them elsewhere.

THE BIO-LAB

After they spoke with the Spore Creature, It told them of other lifeforms and so they spread out to investigate. The discovered the remains of Biology Lab, where specimens had been kept in stasis. Apparently the return of power to the entire structure had short circuited several chambers, bursting them open and spilling several ravenous proto life forms into the lab. These creatures were dealt with, but not before several of them exploded, spraying several of the Champions with a noxious disease that needed to be cleansed through a combination of Brigh’s Blessings and a strange device called a “Decontamination archway.”

THE BREAKROOM

When the Proto life forms had been incapacitated and returned to functioning stasis tubes, they moved on to what must have been a break room for the previous inhabitants. While inside, they found a large, upright food preparation device that was still loaded with tubes of flavored nutrient Gel. They secured the rest of the tubes and left to investigate the remaining chamber in on that floor of the complex.

THE FUNGUS FOLK

It was there, that they discovered the fate of the other party which had ventured down into the caves. Sadly, as I feared they were now dead.. and their bodies had been used by a noxious substance called “Russet Mold” to propagate a horrid race of creatures who reproduce by infesting a living host and slowly killing it while gestating small fungus creature inside them. It was a horrid fate for the acolytes of Holy Brigh, and I am comforted to see them returned, so that their bodies can be properly buried and given over to the Goddess. I cannot fully describe my sadness however, at their fate, for they were good Acolytes and did not deserve to die in such a manner. I had tried to warn them, I tried to tell them to trust in the Goddess to send help.. but they did not listen.

I sense, they are close to the heart of this Mystery.. and when we find this.. Mayanda.. we will all have our answers. ..

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The Return of Khonnir Bhaine
(Chp 1, EP3) Recorded by Joram Khyte

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I am Joram Khyte, 1st Artificer of Brigh’s Holy temple of Gears..

May the Goddess of Gears bless my vision, and provide clarity that I may record these events with accuracy. Some time ago, the flame atop black hill went out, and our beloved town, with all its difficulties has come into a time of troubles.

Brigh’s Champions, which have traveled under the black hill, were able to search deep into the ruins of Old. There, they discovered many wonders, including a great cavern made to appear like the desert of a far away world, locked and sealed away for the ages. Myithnu, the Kasatha, was suddenly confronted with a terrible truth, as the 4 armed skeleton’s of her ancestors rose out of the sands and moved to bar the groups passage. Myithnu moved deeper, they were confronted by an undead Chieftian of the “Red sky Clan”.. a potential progenitor of her people on this planet. While she engaged, Niera the Android moved around in secret and activated the ancient sky device, which made the sky appear as a red desert world.. which apparently was the place where the Kasatha came from. Myithnu was profoundly moved, as she felt (even if only on simulation) the sun and warm breeze of her true home for the first time. When the “Red sky” was returned to the cavern, the undead were apparently released and Hetuath exalted in his freedom before his undead form finally perished in the Simulated sun of their ancestors.

They delved further into the ancient vessel, buried beneath our town, and came upon another strange discovery. A fungus that had been harvested from a distant world had been held in stasis, until recently. Despite its childlike demeanor, its intellect was considerable, so when it was released, it began to contact people via telepathy. The Champions of Brigh, decided to show mercy on the creature, and spared its life. It was apparently hungry and they gave it a name.. “Freddy, the Space Fungus.” I do not know if such a creature will be a boon or a curse upon our town in future days, but hopefully Brigh has guided their actions to our continued survival.

At last, they found our missing Council member. Khonnir Bhaine along with one of the companions from their expedition.. a Kellid warrior named Salmyrion. The pair had been experimented on and cut open several times to be rehealed and prepped for surgery after surgery. Khonnir was injected with some kind of tiny machines that tried to map his mind. These devices did not fully understand magic, and it was their intent to look inside him to discover its secrets. Unfortunately, because of their condition, all it ended up doing was nearly destroying his intellect and inflicting great damage. I have used much restoration magic and many blessings from Brigh in order to restore him, but it will still take time.

I cannot describe the joy I feel at seeing our council member again, but the threat under the mountain is still very real. A great field of power is building, and all of this is coming back around to the strange purple haired woman who started it all..

Her name.. is Mayanda.. and she is an android.

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Notes for Val Baine
(CHP 1, EP2) Recorded by Kyrion Thalix

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Journal of the Search for Connor Baine
Kyrion Thalix of Iadara

Introduction.

I am making these notes for use in the event that our rescue efforts meet with failure, to aid any subsequent effort. As as first and only personal note, I would request that if this unhappy eventuality occurs, my own remains be returned to Iadara if possible.

These notes chronicle our attempts to track Connor Baine through the caves and adjacent buried structure that lies beneath the titular Torch of this town.

I trust that translating these notes from Elvish has not proved too much of a burden.

Chapter 1. The Caves

The caves are home to several entities and groups of entities. It appears that these entities may move around, and may also reappear even if bested, so rather than providing an exact map I shall limit myself to general notes on each type.

The skulks: (Note: this is probably a pejorative term; it might be polite for us to enquire what they call themselves.) These are humanoids with the ability to blend in to backgrounds. During his original passage, Connor Baine simply drove them away, but we were able to come to a peaceful arrangement with them. Our companion Arianna had the good idea of opening trade with them; if this proves fruitful, they may be able to maintain safe passage through the cave to the entrance of the buried structure in future. As Connor slew their leader, we neglected to mention our purpose in the exploration, and I would suggest that the same would be the wisest approach for any who might follow in our footsteps.

The gremlins: These creatures were at war with the skulks. They can teleport a short distance, but apparently only use that ability to escape. The gremlins are adept at trap-building and stealth. Their small size makes them extremely difficult to hit, and their fey nature gives them some limited resistance to weapon damage and magic. Cold iron weapons handily penetrate this resistance. A tactical note: while their flesh can’t easily be cut by normal materials, they are as vulnerable to being tripped or disarmed as anyone else. Their small size puts them at the disadvantage when trying to respond to such an attempt made from more than a couple of feet distance.

Miscellaneous infestations: as these are less likely to return, so I shall only briefly mention them. Brown mold: radiates cold, but vulnerable to cold. Russet mold: vulnerable to fungicide; be careful not to accidentally bring a corpse infected with this foul stuff back to the surface! Fungal crawlers: look like large cave crickets, but are infected with a cordyceps variant. We also saw fire beetles and a blindheim.

Chapter 2. The structure

This buried construction is primarily built of glaucite, suggesting it is some sort of ancient crashed vessel. However, we have found technological artifacts within that seem of fairly recent construction. There is nothing in the historical record about this crash; this then remains a paradox.

There seem to be numerous workers, or as the locals call them, “robots”, in the area. At the moment these automata are unable to communicate with their lord or overseer, which communication they can apparently do through the aether when all is in order. They issue a steady litany of complaints about this lack in their language, Androffan.

A repair worker, which I sketch here (you will forgive, I hope, the crudeness of my artistic abilities) was the first we encountered. I believe you, Val, had had a similar one in your forge, which Connor brought back on his first expedition. These are nonthreatening, unless they decide you are yourself imperiling the integrity of their vessel. We established that, just like the magically made constructs “native” to Golarion, the workers cannot see through illusionary figments. They are presumably immune to other sorts of illusion. However even this limited ability can be very useful in e.g. preventing a repair worker from seeing some action that would trigger its offensive instructions.

Just inside the front door of the structure, the tracks of Connor Baine led us into what appeared to be a cave. Casual examination of the walls showed it to be but a simulacrum of natural stone, however; the purpose of this deception eludes me – possibly it served some entertainment value. More later.

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The Undermountain
Chapter 1, Episode 1

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I am Joram Khyte.

1st Artificer and high priest to holy mother Brigh in the Numerian city of Torch. I had begun to fear that this chronicle, was to tell the tale of the last days of our blessed home. The great foundry fire atop black hill had gone out almost 2 weeks ago, and of the expeditions sent beneath the mountain, there was nothing since Conner’s second expedition. The town’s folk are beginning to fear the worst, and rightly so. Even I, faithful of the clockwork Goddess had begun to lose hope until today.

As I prepared my morning devotions and went to oil the great cogs of the workshop that turned the machines which sang in Brigh’s holy name, I felt a whisper in my ear that drew me to the door. When I opened the front door to the temple, I saw 4 compainions who had been gathered together directly in front of me. They glanced to one another, as mystified as I was, and in that moment I knew we were saved, for surely this could be the works of none other then the Goddess herself.

It is a bittersweet joy that I feel, for I had begged the previous group of Brigh’s faithful not to go under the mountain until the clockwork Goddess had sent a clear sign of her approval, but they would not relent. Now they are numbered among the missing, and I suspect they will be included in the final tally of the dead. Such is the way the Cog turns, and so I write now to record what has happened as best as my old feeble hands, and fading eyesight can manage.

Shortly after the group of wanderers found each other and became wanderer’s no more, I welcomed them into the house of Brigh and begged them to help us. When they asked, I informed them that there would be two places it would be best to visit before they began their explorations below our fair city. The Central Town Hall, and the Foundry Inn. The first place could be found, Dolga, one of the few remaining councilor’s to our city, and the second could be found Val Bhaine, adopted daughter of the missing Councilor Khonnor.

They traveled first to the Town Hall, and made their presence known to Dolga Freddert, and she informed them that they would be well rewarded if they were able to return Khonnor Bhaine and relight the torch. Of course, the torch was the highest priority, but Khonnor was much beloved because of his efforts to purify the toxic water seeping out from the Black Hill. Once they had arrived at the town hall, they found Dolga already being harassed by an emissary of the Technic leauge with a Representative of the black sovereign in tow.

Shortly after they met up at the Forge and discovered a nasty surprise as the robot which Khonnor had brought back up had suddenly come to life and attacked Val, the shopkeep. The Fellowship was able to hear her scream as she tried to hide from the construct, and before long, they had attacked it and destroyed the bezerk machine before it was able to inflict considerable harm to anyone. Once the machine had been dealt with, they spoke with Val and were offered room and board in exchange for finding her adopted father.

After another quick excursion to help gather some last minute supplies, the group met back up with me to receive Brigh’s blessing of breath under water, and then headed after the previous expeditions. From what I have been told, they encountered resistence almost immediately and vermin and lamplight frog creatures attacked without consideration or mercy. Fortunately however, they were repelled one by one until there was nothing left to attack.

So far, I am told they were able to recover..

The three halflings from the first ill fated expeditions under the Hill. Their bodies had been consumed by slime and there was nothing left except rotted scraps of clothing and a vicious trio of slime molds that attacked the fellowship.

Parda Garr, Female Half orc’s body was also recovered from a stalactite filled cave. They were able to return her body for proper burial and there are several in town who are grateful for closure in her case. Many had feared this group would lead her astray, it seems they knew all to well what would happen.

Another body that was partially recovered was unidentifiable based on what little remained from a Blindhiem. All that anyone realized was that it carried a holy symbol to Zhyphus. I suspect it was one of the thugs from the Parda’s group. Why anyone would follow A God who takes such glee in the accidental deaths of his faithful is truly behind my understanding.

The most alarming was the body of Gerrol Sonder, who was a rogue and a locksmith in the employ of Khonnor Bhaine. Apparently his remains had been infected by the scourge of underground caverns.. Russet Mold.

They placed his body back in the freezing cold before they were able to leave, and investigated the last passageway into a ramshackle gathering of houses. When they ventured inside, they were confronted by a voice from the hidden shadows who demanded that they either retreat, or enter into a bargain with them. It was easy to see that whoever they were, they could not or did not want to attack.

Finally after several moments, the stalemate was broken. They were able to speak as a group and avoiding unnecessary conflict. A strange voice started to speak.. and for us.. The voice spoke of a cave filled with potiential enemies. Gremlins..

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