Grabbing Research

Olivie leads the party through caves which eventually wind their way into a corridor that seems more man-made than natural. Hnng lights a torch and stands near Olivie, volunteering to be her light. Yish wants to go home. Hnng asks if Yish is high. Yish responds that he is high on windows updates; Hnng, playfully bumping Yish’s thigh, asks if that is a euphemism for a new drug. Yish isn’t happy about Hnng’s touch, but he chooses to ignore it. Hnng attempts to reassure Yish that the touch was not sexual. Yish responds by saying that he can’t be sure with Hnng.

At the end of the corridor is a door. Hnng volunteers to open it, while Yish warns him to look out for booby traps. Hnng throws caution to the wind and pushes the handleless door. It opens a little bit, but there seems to be something on the other side preventing it from opening further. Yish responds to Hnng’s plea for help, and they eventually shove the door open.

Looking into the room, the party sees six human-sized automata total. One was obstructing the door. Hnng asks Olivie whether it is safe to enter as Yish thinks back on his previous experience with the vacuum cleaner automaton. Olivie says there is nothing to worry about and walks into the room fearlessly. Once she reaches the other side of the room, she pulls out the musty book and begins to press buttons on a panel on the wall.

Clarion inspects the automata, but she realizes nothing more than that the automata are made of some metal that she cannot identify. On the backs of the automata are inscriptions. Yish recognizes that writing to be similar to the one in Olivie’s musty book. Yish further notices that each automaton is equipped with a fold-out blade on its arm. He decides to disarm them after Olivie confirms that the automata were originally designed to guard the room. Meanwhile, Hnng nervously tries to use a pet name on Olivie for the first time: “Hey, uh babe, would you like some help?” Olivie smiles at the pet name and informs Hnng that the door doesn’t have power to open. Now that she’s unlocked the door, she needs help to force open the door, and she invites Hnng to help her—-she wants to share an activity with Hnng. The two together manage to pry open the door, which has two sliding segments that meet together in the center. They successfully open the door, with Olivie’s side opening a little faster on account of her greater strength. Hnng is turned on by this.

There are seven thick cloth jumpsuits woven with a grid of silver-colored thread, sized for humans and half-elfs, although there are eight lockers. The automata are too bulky to fit into these suits. One the other side is a large door with a big red lever. Olivie immediately begins putting on one of the suits. Clarion asks why she is putting on the jumpsuit. Olivie responds that she knows that these suits are necessary to enter the next room; when pressed, Olivie points at the inscription above the door and declares that the inscription instructs them to wear the suits before entering the room. Clarion uses rope to help adjust the suit to fit better. Hnng tries to put on the jumpsuit better than Clarion, but Clarion’s fashion is better. Clarion then attempts to convince Marda to put on some gloves of fumbling, claiming that they are part of the suit. Marda doesn’t fall for Clarion’s bluff.

Olivie walks over to the lever and makes sure that everyone is wearing the suits. After she has confirmed that everyone has put on the suit, she pulls the lever. The doors behind close as bars in the ceiling begin to shed light. The sounds of the automata booting up in the previous room scare Hnng, who reaches out to hold Olivie’s hands. Olivie does not reciprocate Hnng’s emotions, but she does not reject his hands. Lilith asks Olivie if they should be concerned. Olivie is not concerned at all; Lillith is inspired by Olivie’s fearlessness.

The next room is a large, dark, open space. On the right is a column of constantly burning blue fire on a raised dais. There seems to be something in the flames, but the flames are concealing. There are two desks in front, with study materials on top. There are bookcases filled with books along the center. Olivie rushes forward to the books and piles up a selection on a desk. Hnng lingers with Olivie as the rest of the party begins looking through the room, careful not to touch anything. Once satisfied with her collection, Olivie opens up her bag of holding and lets Hnng help her stuff the books into the bag.

There are cages with rotting corpses; the animals seem to have been left there. Marda doesn’t like the room. Against the back wall are glass panels hung on the wall, but the entire room is still in darkness. Yish notices that behind the glass panel near the blue flame, there is a gash in the wall, through which a small box with three faintly glowing blue shattered crystals can be seen. The crystals must have been shattered when the gash was made into the wall. Clarion creates water on the blue flame; the water immediately evaporates, but it seemed to have had an effect. Encouraged by the effect, Clarion continues to create water on the flame until she catches a glimpse of some flesh on the other side of the flames. Clarion then continues to investigate the other three raised daises. She notices that the three daises without flames have a small groove in the ground, each one placed nearer to the center of the room than the inactive circles. The dais with the blue flames has a groove occupied by a small, blue crystal. There is a skeleton wearing the eighth suit lying on the dais with the blue flames, with one arm stretched into the blue flames.

Lilith picks up the crystal placed in the groove on the dais with the blue flames. The blue flames suddenly go out, and she looks straight into the eyes of a three-headed chimera. Lilith immediately places the crystal back and the blue flames resume. Clarion takes a swipe at the blue flames with her 30 foot long metal scarf, standing next to the flames. She finds that her scarf has ceased to exist farther than the blue flames, even the portion that should have stretched beyond the flames. Clarion then asks Olivie if she wants a live chimera taken back to Bandu with her. She responds that she doesn’t even care for a dead chimera. She just wanted the research. So Yish suggests that everyone should chill and enjoy some pizza bagels. But he decides to help Olivie search through the bookshelves. They find some scrolls (1x protection from evil, 1x unseen servant), some precious stones, and some potions (1x eagle’s splendor, 1x protection from arrows). There were also 300 gold pieces worth of change lying about.

Meanwhile, Marda approaches the blue flames, where Lilith is guarding the crystal. Marda wants to kill the unnatural chimera. She voices her intentions to kill the chimera by following Yish’s idea of coaxing the chimera out of the circle halfway and then reigniting the flames. Yish threatens Marda with a sleeping-potion filled souper soaker. A battle of words ensues, and Olivie steps out of the room with her library. Despite Marda’s earlier victories, Yish ultimately convinces Marda not to pick up the crystal while others are still in the room. And then Yish pumps Marda full of sleep potion. The party drags Marda out of the room, and the doors into the farther room close as the doors of the room of automata opens up. Everyone takes off suits; Yish chooses to keep his in his pack. The automata do nothing as the party passes through the room.


kyrandita nozomu_okuda

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