The battle for the Strait.   Posted by Failed GM.Group: archive 0
Failed GM
 GM, 187 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 9 Sep 2016
at 15:51
Re: The battle for the Strait
Sorry it took me so long to update. Long week.
The tentacles extruding from C40arla grip Ceara ever tighter. As she turns blue and starts fainting, she utters How... How did you resist? It was all set. All was ready to turn the wheel. Aramakal's plan... I didn't make any mistakes. I didn't make any mistakes. We are doomed.

Everything falls to silence for a moment. Fin and seskii are the only beings still conscious in the room. Then, a series of booms starts, and the pyramid starts shaking. Through the wall they can see the people running.

What do you do?
Final Command
 player, 150 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 15 Sep 2016
at 14:01
Re: The battle for the Strait
As Ceara speaks, Final Command doesn't bother to answer.  But within her mind, Molfeen Sheb-sen whispers, You left me alive.  You left my mother alive.  That is where you failed.  It is a quiet thought, like the slow hum of a long-dormant circuit still powered after all else has been shut down, a core thought.

Then the booming and shaking starts, and Fin is shaken from her reverie abruptly.

"Bluscrn!" she swore, one of the most potent oaths she knew.  She snatched at the broken tablet and called out to C40arla.  "We have to go! C40arla, release her, we have to leave now!"  She reached out for the hound, feeling the crystalline spines of his back, and gripped them firmly, not pulling, but holding.  It had done very well; likely Fin might have been far worse off if it hadn't joined the fight.  She reached out her other hand to C40arla, and then was ready to run as if being chased by disasassemblers.

Why had the pyramid started to explode?  Had the nanite infection been sustaining vital structural function, or had it triggered some security measure.  If, while running, Fin could see some control panel that was not in immanent danger of exploding or being collapsed upon, perhaps she could pause to try to arrest the collapse or even turn it in her favor.
Failed GM
 GM, 188 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Tue 20 Sep 2016
at 09:57
Re: The battle for the Strait
The ground sways violently underfoot as the group hightails it, and Final Command feels the distinct queasiness we would associate with a quick change in altitude. You pass people retching and crying, blood all over their faces and arms.
As the party nears the outer walls, something is clearly visible outside: an enormous spherical shape with a myriad facets, still dripping water, looms over the docks. Enormous appendages ended in drills and mauls pummel the pyramid, which is itself... rising. One of the consoles the group passes by is indeed on, and screaming bloody murder.

controlling the pyramid is a L4 INT task.

[music]Do you want to fight a kaiju?[music]

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:50, Wed 21 Sept 2016.

Final Command
 player, 152 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 23 Sep 2016
at 16:17
Re: The battle for the Strait
Finn's eyes widen uselessly when she realizes something is picking up the pyramid.  She rattles off commands to the pyramid, because surely the inhabitants of such a structure were rich and paranoid enough to put in both defenses and escape.  Likely much was compromised, but Fin trusted machines to do what they were designed to until they broke completely.  She was not dead yet, but she was not confident of her ability to survive a fall of the height of such a huge creature!

It took a moment of intense concentration, but she recognized the Inverted Facet coding and tapped the exterior of the panel before punching it in the middle.  An old trick to bypass some protocols, but it still worked; pressure-sensitive defenses yielded before those who knew their way around a system.

"External defenses, non-collateral damage, activate!  Escape pod location, light up the route!"

She gestured C40rla forward to scan the information too.  The automaton's memory was better than hers, particularly in a frought situation like this!  Once gotten, Fin was going to run them all at top speed, desperate to get out before the folly of Armakal and Ceara and whoever else they had angered engulfed them.


[Private to GM: 11:01, Today: Final Command rolled 14 using 1d20.  Control Pyramid (comm. w/ automaton S, 2E).]
Failed GM
 GM, 189 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Sat 24 Sep 2016
at 19:47
Re: The battle for the Strait
As the pyramid is lifted and the limbs of the sphere penetrate its walls, searching for the core, Fin manages to hack into the defense system. A blinding light fills the panels and the external visors. If the group were outside, what they'd see is one of the faces of the building becoming a perfect reflectant, focusing the light of the sun on the attacker, which begins to burn.

Tubes and cables sprout from the base and lower sides, anchoring the huge structure to the ground. The attack hasn't ceased, though. As Fin's visor starts showing the nearest way out, the sphere grabs with and headbutts the pyramid with all its might. Everything blurs, the impact is tremendous. If the group can follow, the way pointed leads down, to the very tip of the inverted inner trapezoid that you all came through when entering.

This will be a L6 speed defense to avoid the worst of the damage and keep running. The hit does a base 2 damage, ignores armor, in any case.
Final Command
 player, 153 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 29 Sep 2016
at 15:05
Re: The battle for the Strait
Failed GM:
As the pyramid is lifted and the limbs of the sphere penetrate its walls, searching for the core, Fin manages to hack into the defense system. A blinding light fills the panels and the external visors. If the group were outside, what they'd see is one of the faces of the building becoming a perfect reflectant, focusing the light of the sun on the attacker, which begins to burn.

Tubes and cables sprout from the base and lower sides, anchoring the huge structure to the ground. The attack hasn't ceased, though. As Fin's visor starts showing the nearest way out, the sphere grabs with and headbutts the pyramid with all its might. Everything blurs, the impact is tremendous. If the group can follow, the way pointed leads down, to the very tip of the inverted inner trapezoid that you all came through when entering.

This will be a L6 speed defense to avoid the worst of the damage and keep running. The hit does a base 2 damage, ignores armor, in any case.


The defenses were no more than a distraction to such a creature of awesome size, but Fin hadn't hoped for much more than to delay immediate destruction of the pyramid while she was inside.  The blows were tremendous, the pain fierce as Fin was bounced off several corridors like a loose bolt inside a tumbling chassis.  She just tries to keep them all tumbling down, looking for their way out.  Hopefully Hound, with its multiple limbs, and C40arla with her shapeshifting capabilities, were having a less damaging time of it!

10:01, Today: Final Command rolled 12 using 1d20.  Speed defense (E).
Failed GM
 GM, 190 posts
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Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 09:38
Re: The battle for the Strait
The direct hit from the sphere shakes the building to its now separated foundations. Fin's back hits the ornated wall, and it's all seskii and C40arla can do to pull her up again. The automaton is in protection mode, and starts sprouting tentacles for navigation and support.
[OOC Final Command suffers 6 Might damage, ignores armor.]

The data view crackles and blurs, but the way out is still pointed through. It's somehow not exactly "down" anymore: as the pyramid defends itself from the attack, its parts seem to be moving. The group hobbles through a long sunken room, and the next corridor seems turned on its side. It's full of fire and bodies. You could backtrack for another way out, or try to power through. A new hit registers, this time not so strong. It also felt different. Perhaps the pyramid is on the attack now.

Passing through the fire unscathed is a base L5 speed defense task. You could also do something else.
Final Command
 player, 154 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 9 Oct 2016
at 13:07
Re: The battle for the Strait
Fin couldn’t take much more of this battering, not with the pyramid fighting back and… changing?  Shifting form would hardly be a novelty, not with what she’d seen of the pyramid’s internal workings.  Speaking of that, that gave Fin an idea that did not involve being battered to bits inside the guts of a mad being’s fortress.  Emergency procedures could usually be activated without touch, oftentimes by voice, ocular movement, or surface pigmentation shifts, though Fin had found one in the Weal that activated with pheromones (something unguessed by other denizens until she had come along).

Evacuation assistance required.  Shift to facilitate safe and quick route to escape pod,” she commanded, trying to modulate her voice to the hard-cracked inflection often required by such programs.  In a lower, more friendly tone, she said, “C40arla, any aide to avoid bodily damage on my part or Hound’s part without compromising your own integrity would be a vital asset in all of us remaining viable.

[Private to GM: 08:06, Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d20.  Communicating with pyramid (S).  ]
Failed GM
 GM, 191 posts
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Wed 12 Oct 2016
at 10:24
Re: The battle for the Strait
The information flows before Fin's eyes in, oddly, a pyramidal shape.
Request processing. . . . . Initiating evacproc. . . . .
 Whoever thought having all data divided arbitrarily into four aspects is hopefully not still of this world, but it does leave Molfeen with the burden of navigating. No matter. After a false start, she does find and kickstart what looks like the escape protocol: three light circles on the floor and walls indicate where each should stand, and after Fin motions seskii and C40arla, the metal starts to surround you, growing a soft inner surface to cushion you. Your legs start to feel stuck, and it looks like it will be snug all over. Other bodies in the corridor are also being swept in by pods. What do you do?
Final Command
 player, 155 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 17 Oct 2016
at 16:17
Re: The battle for the Strait
"Complete evacuation procedures before gross structural integrity fails!" Fin says, hoping to get the pyramid to get them out before the attacker can turn them all into their component parts.  If the price of that is a few extra pyramid inhabitants making it out, however repellent they are, so be it.  But... while she's here...  "Dump all archive information into mobile memory medium, discharge with designated escape pod, here!"  It hopefully wouldn't hurt too badly to ask.  Security procedures should be relaxed with the place being about to fall apart.  Molfeen put a level of urgency into her commands, and hoped to the Constructor of All that they were going to get out of this intact.
Failed GM
 GM, 192 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Wed 19 Oct 2016
at 10:50
Re: The battle for the Strait
Some of the people are already completely encased. The material hardened over them and turned semitransparent, so Final Command can see their expressions of anguish, pain and horror clearly. They would probably see the same expressions painted on her face, were she not covered by her helmet.

The synth alloy quickly covers her and the rest of the group, too. Seskii's whimpers only stop when its mouth is blocked. What Fin can now see is

  • a malfunctioning display indicating escape procedures, escape from the pods procedures, helping others escape from the pods procedures, sickness protocols (do not throw up!) and other data. The infodump requested is somewhere in there, but controlling it while falling down, rolling and bumping on walls is practically impossible.
  • the floor starting to burn and melt where the pods touch it.


It's a long ride fraught with bumps, hits and constant terror as you all roll down the pyramid's inner bowels and are finally expelled from an exhaust into the Strait. Above you, the giants still battle it out, both clearly damaged, none clearly the victor. The  tentacled mess is trying to engulf the pyramid to crush it, while the building defends itself by burning appendage after appendage with its rays. Where those hit the water, it grows to a boil in instants.
Staying conscious and hale enough to get out is a L5 task. Doing something else will probably require some roll, but please tell me what you want to do.
Final Command
 player, 157 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 24 Oct 2016
at 13:15
Re: The battle for the Strait
Well, that's one way to get out of a shift-space pyramid.  The burning reminded her of a weld-and-meld automaton who was convinced that all problems and breakages could be solved with some application of heat or flame.

That was all she had time to think as she clung to consciousness and mobility with all her might.
[Private to GM: 08:09, Today: Final Command rolled 9 using 1d20.  Staying conscious (Might 2E).]

On the ground, she took a moment to breathe, trying to shake off the shock and bruising from her tumbling ride.
[Private to GM: 08:11, Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d6+2.  Recovery, 1 action.] The destruction nearby was astonishing, the forces brought to bear fierce, but she had to get what she had come for before the destruction engulfed them all.  "C40arla?  Are you sufficiently functional?"  Molfeen reached out for Hound, hoping it, him, had managed to weather the ride intact.  "C40arla, if you are, try to find the hardcopy.  We need to clear the area with the information!"
Failed GM
 GM, 193 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Fri 28 Oct 2016
at 18:49
Re: The battle for the Strait
Encased in her protective cocoon, C40arla does not reply. In fact, at first Fin just watches it bob up and down in the waters.
After a moment or two, the eggshell starts to crack: an eruption of tentacles comes out. It comes straight for you and the seskii's pod, engulfs you and breaks your shells. You can now see C40arla's visage protruding from a synth-flesh writhing mound.
Its voice crackles:
Not nearly functional enough.
Seeking hardcopy must await further developments and reasonable levels of safety.
Incoming.
Incoming.
Incoming indeed: the business end of the sphere is now facing you with what appear to be all weapons. Looks more like an amorphous blob, shimmering and slowly altering its shape in a random pattern. You're on the shore of the strait, the pyramid is further away and pummeling without pause, yet this behemoth is apparently ignoring it and has decided to make you his problem.
It is now about 500 meters away from you. Nearer to you are the synthsteel natural formations that the people here have adapted into their pier. A few brick or mud buildings are near the pier.
The water is flaming, but you could probably hide for a while. What do you do?
Final Command
 player, 159 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 4 Nov 2016
at 03:11
Re: The battle for the Strait
Molfeen forgot about catching her breath, just held on to Hound as she evaluated her few options.  None of them were particularly optimal, but she had just chosen to walk into a war zone, so she hadn't precisely expected minimal difficulty.

That would have been very pleasant though.

Molfeen clung to the shell and looked at C40arla's mobile formations.  Estimated the distance between them and the building at the pier.  She didn't have any cyphers, nothing at hand to speed their way, but...

"C40arla, can you speed our way through the water?" she asks, reaching over to try to fix what she could before the enormous monstrosity could crush them all.  "We can shelter in the buildings near the pier, at least for a time!"

Unvoiced, Molfeen wondered if somehow that hardcopy had ended up with one of the three of them, and that was what was attracting the attention of the creature.


[Private to GM: 22:09, Today: Final Command rolled 14 using 1d20.  Repairing automaton (S) (1 E) .]
Failed GM
 GM, 194 posts
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Mon 7 Nov 2016
at 18:42
Re: The battle for the Strait
The request works. Oh boy, it works. Molfeen has barely the time to grab the hound by the crystals in its neck before she's engulfed again in a protective skin, only this time is C40arla's body that's become fluid and stretching. The hound is frantically trying to break free, shaking and biting. Fin can't see a thing for a second or two, until her interface to the datasphere comes up and she's in control. Molfeen can feel the tentacles extending behind them, the sea in front, the impact of offensive beams all around her, the ozone smell acrid in the air... and... looks like C40arla did find something. You see an access to the sphere's interface. A complicated access, but it's there.
[OOC: please roll
- L5 base Int task for accessing the sphere interface
- L4 Speed defense against rays and seskii bites
- 1d20 roll for C40arla's exhaustion and possible hijinx
]

Final Command
 player, 160 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 17 Nov 2016
at 17:19
Re: The battle for the Strait
This situation defies all logic for a favorable outcome.

Final Command did not come so far to fail, even in the face of a titanic-sized foe.

Molfeen did not find out about her past to lose her future.

Years of experience (and more than a touch of panic) let her find the sequence of touch, stroke, vocalize, eye movement, then smashing one's face into a gel-pad facial scanner (all right, the last was mostly by accident, but since it was effective, she did not care).  The pod activates around her, twisting to avoid the beams, and letting Molfeen duck the hysterical Hound's bites.  C40arla was not well, but they could not stop now, not when the alternative was utter annihilation.


[Private to GM: 11:14, Today: Final Command rolled 13 using 1d20.  Access Interface (Numenera S, E1).
11:15, Today: Final Command rolled 18 using 1d20.  Speed defense.
11:15, Today: Final Command rolled 2 using 1d20.  Artifact depletion roll.
]
Failed GM
 GM, 195 posts
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Sun 20 Nov 2016
at 21:09
Re: The battle for the Strait
The code is half-alien and half-horribly reminiscent of something Molfeen would have written.
Thooooom
Fin checks the XOLOCOM matrix
KHOOOOM
Fin enters the AngreNOST password when prompted by protocols
WHHHHHHHHHHH
Fin's stomach churns as everything HUPS into the air. Hound, C40arla, Molfeen roll and rock and bounce on the waters. That was almost too close. C40arla is screaming bloody murder in several languages. But Molfeen Sebsen is in. She can have a say on the sphere's next action.
You notice the weaponry system, the access system, the movement system, comms... The list is long. She has little time left.
What do you do?
Final Command
 player, 161 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 16:27
Re: The battle for the Strait
With the clarity that could only come from severe chemical complication of her systems due to stress, Molfeen reviews her options with compressed speed.  Could she make it run away?  Convince it she was no part of its threat protocol?  Shut it down entirely?  Make it self-destruct?

That last might seem to be the most expedient, but one: there were likely additional safeguards, and two: she did not want to be in the blast radius when it exploded.  Or imploded.  Or sent out a wave of lethal energy.  Or something else even less survivable for herself and the surrounding region.

If she could make it move away from her, there was no guarantee it wouldn't try to seek her out later.

Well, if she didn't get the thing to break off its attack permanently, she was going to be entirely dead anyway.  At least it had something of a machine mind to communicate with - there was a logic in them that organic systems (including her own) lacked.

"Access systems and communications.  Reroute identification of this module and our bio-and-energy signatures as non-enemy!" Molfeen said, suiting action to words as she spun up webs and connections of light, wanting to move her signatures from hostile to non-hostile directories.


[Private to GM: 10:15, Today: Final Command rolled 20 using 1d20.  Communicating with pyramid (S) (1E).
]

This message was last edited by the player at 16:18, Tue 29 Nov 2016.

Failed GM
 GM, 197 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 19:25
Re: The battle for the Strait
[OOC: sweet!]
The world comes to a stand still for a precious few seconds: the shelling stops.
The sphere shines in numerous shades of blue, and starts towards the group, thousands of tentacles emerging. They soon grab the little ball C40arla has fashioned around the party, and take it into itself. Through the interface, Fin can see everything around her, in a fashion. Things like corridors, tubings, cabling, but also the interconnections between mechanisms, both mechanical and other. She can even see the vibrant flow of nanospirits everywhere around her.

Fin is now a friend to this machine: A trusted, loved friend. After a sincere apology for trying to bomb you all into oblivion, the nanospirits positively gush with pleasure at having you all on board. ask you if they should resume the destruction ofthe pyramid.
Final Command
 player, 163 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 12 Dec 2016
at 17:24
Re: The battle for the Strait
If Final Command's heart would stop hammering in her chest, she might just feel smug.  That was one way to stop a rampaging machine if there ever was one.  Guardian would have been impressed.  Gears and circuits, even Tec-309/7z-Hal would have been impressed, and he had tried to mine her for parts more than once when she was still growing.

The nanospirits flowing around her made her blood sing, and she breathed carefully, making sure she was steady enough before giving commands (or suggestions) to her new friend.

"Yes, break it down to component parts, please.  It needs examining so it can be put to better use for both of us," she says to the enormous presence.  Quietly, she reaches out to pet Hound and C40arla both, trying to share a little of her relief with them.

[Private to GM: OOC: Are these the bad nanos, or just other expressions of the Kaiju's programming?  Just making sure I'm reacting appropriately.]
Failed GM
 GM, 198 posts
 A struggling GM who
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Wed 14 Dec 2016
at 18:18
Re: The battle for the Strait
[OOC: The bad nanospirits are a definite current in the general flow, but not all. It looks like this numenera was repurposed for this particular task by the overseer Ceara or others.]
[OOC: you could try harvesting for Cyphers now, you're basically inside a giant mine of the stuff.]


The explosions resume. Through the command interfaces, Fin can observe the methodical destruction of the settlement she and her group were imprisoned in until basically minutes ago. The pyramid's weaponry seems to not do anything to the sphere... Wait: as she watches the fog of war, through the fire and the flames, something emerges from the core of the pyramid. It is a massive shining tube, measuring tens of meters in length, turning slowly towards the sphere. It makes the sphere's own attack capability look tame.

The control interfaces suggest several scenarios, most of them painful, involving evasion, continued attack, change of tactics, and (unfavored, Fin can tell) surrender.

[OOC: What do you do?]
Final Command
 player, 164 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 15:54
Re: The battle for the Strait
Final Command takes a moment of stillness to look around for some parts that she could use, ones that would not disrupt the functions of her new friend.  If they were unable to figure out a solution to the pyramid core, she was going to need more than just her wits, C40arla, and Hound to come up with a new plan.  With such a vastness of machine around her, there was certainly several things that were non-necessary to it, but vastly useful to her.

As for the pyramid core, Molfeen has had precisely enough of that for one day.  She has samples of the nanites now from within her new friend, enought to perhaps create a counter-agent.  And more importantly, dying from an attempt to battle the core head-on would be monumentally foolish.

"Evade the core!  Can we disable?  Disrupt power in the attacking core?" Fin asked, looking for options as she watched the heart of her enemy emerge.


[Private to GM: 08:48, Today: Final Command rolled 20 using 1d20.  Mining for cyphers (Numenera (S)).

09:53, Today: Final Command rolled 15 using 1d20.  Communicating with Kaiju (S).
]
Failed GM
 GM, 199 posts
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Fri 23 Dec 2016
at 12:31
Re: The battle for the Strait
The space Fin is in is cramped, full with the hum of the nanospirits and the shining of the metalwork. Valves protrude, tubes jut forth, vapor flits here and there. As Molfeen breaks out her cypher-mining tools, she realizes that the true trove is not to be seen around her, or at all. There's a window here into the mist of information, into the datasfera. She starts coding with alacrity, harnessing for her the power of the nanospirits and of the legion of memetes that drift all around the ninth world.
[OOC: Congrats! Fin is now the proud owner of three cyphers!
- Riddle me ree (Anoetic): L7, You can ask one question of the datasphere and it will be answered truthfully.
- I am in you (Occultic): L8, Allows you to read the surface thoughts of a visible living target within long range, for a number of rounds equal to the cypher’s level. Will not work if the target is wearing a metal helmet or hat.
- Hard Switch (Anoetic) L9: Target electrical or electronic device is either turned off or on, no matter how complex the device.
]

Things do not stop while Fin is cypher hunting, unfortunately. Her command arrives just in time -or perhaps the artifact acted on its own out of self-preservation. The pyramid's cannon lights up, metal burning bright, and it shoots a massive bolt of blue directly where the Kaiju is... or was. Everything *blinks* for a second, and you're now a few hundred meters to the left. The pummeling resumes. Out of the corner of her interface, Fin sees a few people attempting to do the same thing she did: accessing the beast she is in.
Final Command
 player, 165 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 15:25
Re: The battle for the Strait
The collection of cyphers fills Fin with joy, though the massive firing power of the cylinder and the horde of people attempting to access her safe haven below does quite the opposite.  She rapidly considers her options, takes a look at her new hard switch, glances back at the cylinder, and feels her lips stretching into a seldom-used smile.

She focuses on the cylinder and activates the hard switch.  Even if it doesn't shut it down completely, Fin is fairly certain some of its outer components are going to become dead weight.

If not, it's certainly going to have something else to think about.

As for the people trying to climb aboard, she was uncertain if they were victims of the war, or hostiles.  Would they take the pyramid away from her?

Would they be able to help her?

"Encapsulate contacting humanoid intruders for later study and initiate evasion and escape procedures.  Clear the area!" Fin says after a second's thought.  "C40arla?  Status?  Are you all right?" she asks, hoping her friend had managed to find her equilibrium.
Failed GM
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Thu 5 Jan 2017
at 12:54
Re: The battle for the Strait
Fin clicks the switch, and discovers the cylinder works. It works very well. Too well. Apparently, the pyramid's core was not supposed to be turned off like that, and decides to violently show its opposition to the idea by going up in the sky in millions of burning fragments. The blast rocks the sphere the group is in, pushing it backwards in the strait waters. The fire burns bright, and pieces of pyramid will probably be raining down for hours.

The people in the waters start swimming harder, but many of them are engulfed by the blast and reduced to pulp before the sphere's tentacles can follow Fin's orders. Some of them do manage to be rescued, or captured. They'll likely be found by reversing the path pointed to by the nanospirits, which are now asking "What now, chief?"

[OOC: This marks the end of this part of the adventure. Fin has managed to win the battle and apparently destroy the Overseer at great cost. What will you do with the Sphere?
Fin gets 4 XP for completing this part of the adventure, and 2 XP for understanding or at least communicating with the Sphere artifact.]