Grimwyrd: Crystallized Devotions

Suðri Skornbrekker keeps napping, thus
Ken (GM): noot noot!
oh my god does it feel good to be a people again
Joush M.: You’ve had a rough month man. How’s the.. uh.. everything? Skin, teeth, all that?
Ken (GM): tooth: fixed
rash: nearly gone
me: caffinated with ODINFORCE
what a fun December this has been
Joush M. was always on Ken’s side in the Skin Rebellion of 2017
Ken (GM): shakes fist at seperatist skin movement
and we’re all here!
Fiss: [Elf Mode…]
Syviis: [engaged!]
Doc: recap?

Ken (GM): Your party separated from the main force of the militia, heading into the hills West of Academ to the Mine of the same name. There, you found an insidious infestation of growing crystal, not wholly unlike your bloodroot encounters. Seeing a trail of carnage leading into the mine, you plumbed it’s depths and came to an ancient dwarven ruin at the belly of the Earth
Within, the air was suffused with magical forces; wispy tendrils of octarine magical force swirled in the air, in a First Empire construction. The dwarven work is impeccable, ancient, and inhabited. You discovered a chamber of magical force being routed into a massive living dwarven crystal… as well as it’s caretaker, Deloth-Ainur!
Syviis: [post-caretaker]
Ken (GM): You parleyed a moment, but then in the heated conversation, she seemed to fall ill, unconscious! Sweeping to her aid, you discovered it was some kind of ambush orchestrated by the dark demon heart that empowers her!
It pounced, you fought, and the fray was horrible. Gnashing limbs and bloody thorned melee. In the end, the beast thing was slain, banished from this realm, destroyed. Suðri worked something with the magic crystal, and it’s power was contained.
And in the end, Deloth Ainur lay unmoving, unalive, expired

P.P. A.: “worked something” puts it nicely
Syviis: Not exploding = worked.
Ken (GM): Yeah, there was a doing of some kind, but not a lot of sophiticated effort.
Ken (GM): but! Suðri is recovering, no worse for the wear, and now, the magical power in the air has dimmed somewhat. In the South cavern, you see the lightning has disappeared, so that’s “good”

P.P. A.: You recover 1 FP per 10 minutes of rest, was it?
Ken (GM): 1FP/20min, modified by Fit advantage
P.P. A.: Fit he is, so it’s 1 FP/10 min for him. IIRC the penalties go away at 1/3rd max FP, so he’ll nap maybe half an hour and then wake up, and spend another 10 minutes talking (since I assume there’ll be some explaining and deliberating to do)

Gray grimly stands guard over his dwarven companion as Suðri rests, expending so much energy grounding out the crystal, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword and the lupine man scenting the air. Thoughtful, alert as he waits patiently. “There may be other threats here. We should examine the whole of this place before we leave.. It’s not what we expected from what the Mage told us on the road”
Ken (GM): Gray! Perception roll!
Gray: rolling 3d6 vs 14 Perception Night Vision 5, +4 to Scent, Detect (Spirits, Precise) ( 3 + 6 + 4 ) = 13
(To Gray): You take stock, listening, scenting; you feel the magic washing over you, and your spirit vision sees the eddies and swirls of magic tangibly in the air, like a wake of water, flowing through you all. The only sounds you hear from the place are the crackle of sparks from the crystal in the West room. The area seems silent as a tomb, with no other scents than Deloth-Ainur. Her stench of sulfurous evil is swiftly fading…

Ken (GM): Syviis! Per+magic talent!
Rod!! Per+Magic talent!
Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 15 ( 2 + 3 + 6 ) = 11
Syviis: rolling 3d6 ( 1 + 1 + 2 ) = 4
Ken (GM): jfk
Syviis: vs 17
Doc: wew
Syviis: Dang lol
Doc: what do your elf eyes hear
P.P. A.: The smell of mana
Syviis: Mmmmm

(To Roderick): You take stock, listening, feeling with your power; you feel the magic washing over you, like a wake of water, flowing through you all. The only sounds you hear from the place are the crackle of sparks from the crystal in the West room. You can sense it’s power too; a mighty elemental bound in place, thrumming the earth. You hear no others down here with you

(To Syviis): You take stock, listening, feeling with your power; you feel the magic washing over you, like a wake of water, flowing through you all. The only sounds you hear from the place are the crackle of sparks from the crystal in the West room. You can sense it’s power too; a mighty elemental bound in place, thrumming the earth. You hear no others down here with you, but you can feel a presence of magic….foreign…you suspect it to be in the next room past the stone.

Syviis: “Something alien is still here…perhaps the power or thing that the vile lord wanted injected into the powerful Dwarven machine here? The room past the stone… but we should be careful; elementals and power still burn bright.”
Ken (GM): [expanding the view on a map a bit, as you guys poked your heads here and there]
(From P.P. A.): just prompt me when enough time has passed to wake up not-totally-groggy
Gray: “Aye? We shall be careful then.” He assures her as he stands guard. Looking into the strange crystal chamber. “Once everyone is ready we will go check the room.”

Syviis approaches carefully
Ken (GM): [and we’ll assume a thirty minute ingame break where you rest and tend to yourselves]
Syviis waits for 30 minutes too
Syviis: lol
Ken (GM): lool

Bomrek does some immediate maintenence on his guns, rechecking the breach on the mana-gun and loading it with dust from his pockets. There is much muttering re: wizards magic and elves
Syviis walks over to the storeroom to see what’s held within it while the rest of the party readies “We should also check Deloth’s body for clues… a journal would be helpful.” she says optimistically
(To Syviis): Casual examination finds a large cache of ‘alchemical reagents’ many labels in thaumatological symbols, and several boxes of oddities. As well as what looks to be the collective belongings of a dozen aristocrats. Art, carpets, tapestries, furniture…
Syviis rummages lightly through the pile, not hiding her confusion “Perhaps I truly do not understand the realms of Man…why would someone store a rug with alchemist baubles? And why would they store it here of all places? A lack of options seems strange.”
[U-MAGE-HAUL, adventure in teleportation!]

Gray examines the heavily damaged shield and settles it on it’s gauge before walking to check their fallen enemy. Makeing sure she remains dead and seeing if she had anything in her pockets or carried with her.

Suðri Skornbrekker rouses from his slumber; He yawns, sits upright, and straightens his beard—probably a bit fuzzy still from all the mage-lectricity.

Ken (GM): [Deloth-Ainur was clad in silver scale and her robes, but in the aftermath, only ashy soot remains over tattered cloth. Its as if the metal burned up, disintegrated]

Suðri Skornbrekker: “My apologies; I was… very exhausted.” The Dwarf gets up, looks if his weapons are all right, and looks about the room; at the spot of blood, the corpse of Deloth… “…so what happened? I see you defeated the demon! Sorry that I was of little help.”

Bomrek: “Och, don’ worry lad. Ye did fine. I took care of what needed doin’ for the lot of us” Bomrek follows the telltale sound of looting “Finally! BOOTY!” he cheers, a broad grin on his face. He immediately starts rummaging through the nearest boxes, lucking up shiny things
Syviis: “I suppose so, just watch that you do not spill any reagent containers…some of the chemicals could be caustic.”
Doc: “I found a rug”
[dwarf rumbling sounds in the distance]

Gray: “No journal, no keepsakes. Nothing save the ashes of the magic she paid so much for.” He says grimly, the task distasteful to him as he closes the shroud again. The towering man walking to join the others. “You owe us no apology, Suðri. You did what you felt was best, and we did prevail.”

Syviis gives another passing glance through the pile, then sighs and trusts the Dwarves much keener looting sense to alert her if anything is found that might be of use in the war vs lining their pockets.
Syviis checks the other side-rooms briefly
Ken(GM): [Door to the West, Door to the south: both bolted with dwarven steel designs. Large ornate locks on the handles
The alcoves have two benches on the left (unadorned)
The SE corner holds a statue depicting a fierce looking snake carved of a white polished stone…..which bears a remarkable resemblance to other certain effigies you’ve seen in your travels]
[up North, a short hall then another chamber, with a massive dwarf door emblazoned with the image of an open book radiating with light, like a sunrise]
Ken (GM): [the north door has a smear of blood on it, you can see plainly. A ring of red around the door handles]

Roderick keeps an eye on the hallways

Gray studies the door a moment, scenting the air, trying to judge who’s blood that is as he comes closer..
(To Gray): You recognize the scent of man-blood. You also taste the magic on it, in the air.

Ken (GM) the smear of blood is an elaborate circle, symbols cut into the smear in jagged cuneoforms, sharp lines, magic symbols.

Suðri Skornbrekker tries to remember what all happened before he blacked out: “The crystal said that the one that dwells here ‘has a little more freedom’ now, but it does not seem as though all is well yet. There might be enemies yet at work in these ‘mines’.” He reflects, and shares with the others. “Have you found anything else in the meantime?
Suðri Skornbrekker trots west, stops as he passes by Bomrek: “Anything good in those crates?”
Bomrek: “Men have no taste for fine things, but most of this could be melted down for a finer work by dwarven hands” he grins to himself, Pulling out candle holders, flatware and other items made of silver gold and other precious metals
Suðri Skornbrekker whistles. “Always good to have raw materials, and spare valuables if we happen across a musket-vendor dealing in equipping whole armies.”

Gray: “Human blood. Nobody I know.. and magic. A seal, or a trap?” He ask as he studies the symbols, reaching into a pocket for salt thoughtfully as he considers breaking the ring, rubbing the grains of salt together between his fingers. “Is it anything familiar to you?”

Syviis walks over with Gray
Roderick follows
Ken (GM): [definitely magic symbols! Thaumatology revealing more]
Syviis: Rollin dem Thaums
rolling 3d6 ( 3 + 1 + 1 ) = 5
Beat by 7
4 if my magical talents help.
Ken (GM): JFC fiss
Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 13 thaumatology also ( 4 + 1 + 6 ) = 11
Syviis: Rolled a 4, then a 5…. Triple 18’s are on the way for sure. lol

(To Roderick): The circle is much like the ones you saw in the Dreugar keep; rings of blood and magic tied to profane power; This seems like some kind of warding, tied to explosive power. Likely a trap

Suðri Skornbrekker peeks into a chest himself, but remembers that there are more pressing things to do, and walks over to the three tallfolk.

Roderick: “What do you think, Syviis? Trap?”
(To Syviis): This is definitely old gorgoth magic circle work, just like the demon binding magic you saw in the Dreugar keep. The ring it linked to a being named “[The Fury]” who will be summoned if the circle is broken by anything other than [another smear of fresh blood from a magical-powered human]

Syviis: “A trap of a kind…a demon summoning circle, should it be broken in a certain way. But there is a fresh gout of blood here that obscures the instructions. Perhaps there is another way in, but I would trust each known entrance would be warded in the same way.”
(To Syviis): Hah, no dude I meant thats the specific instruction in the circle
Syviis blinks and rubs her eyes
Syviis: “Wait…
“That wasn’t a cover up…that is the key!”
(From Syviis): lol
(To Syviis): nice save

Syviis pauses “We need the blood of a human mage to smear through the circle and defeat the spell.”
Gray: “Blood locks. Common in these kinds of ruins, aren’t they?” He says as he follows Syviis’s logic.

Suðri Skornbrekker looks baffled. “People who draw circles to summon demons usually write instructions on how to dispel them?”
Syviis: “I don’t think it’s so much as instruction as it is one must build the key into the lock.”
Syviis: “Rod may be able to defeat this with a spot of his blood, but there is always a risk that I am not reading the whole spell.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “I see.”
Gray: “Aye.. it’s worked before, but these kinds of things are dangerous. I could clear the old blood away. It might make it easier to read.. or summon something.”
Syviis: “Yes, I think that’s the danger. This is akin to the power that locked the demons in place at the Keep.”

Roderick thinks and looks at the symbols some more
(From Roderick): does the math check out?
(To Roderick): Yes! she indicates a few key runes, and you realize your own translation was ‘off’ a bit. Chalk it up to familiarity penalties and critical successes
Roderick: “Shall we look elsewhere before I try bleeding on things?”
Syviis: “Maybe they left a vial of blood in the boxes here?”

Ken (GM) there is a clatter of spilled boxes, and then a short curse form Bomrek “Lookit this ere’!” He holds a bundle of silver swords wrapped in felted covers. At least another dozen of the silver mercurial blades…
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Ooh, these again! …maybe they were making them here. Are these ones enchanted?”

Gray nods and stretches, the brute walking to the door and reaching out with his senses a moment, trying to hear beyond it before he turns at the crash and clang, walking to join the others. “Quite a collection..”

Syviis: “A fine find, Sir Dwarf! Maybe there are bits of use here after all, not just a nobleman’s den.”

Suðri Skornbrekker walks over to take a look.
The voice of the stone screams into your mind as the swords are revealed!

Bomrek curses and clutches his head “YE GODS, WHAT THE SHIT WAS THAT NOISE?”
Suðri Skornbrekker halts for a moment, then paces over to the swords. He grabs one, apparently upset, and looks at it.
Suðri Skornbrekker: “[Dwarven curses], it seems they made these by using the Crystal that reigns here; took bits of it and welded it into these blades!” Suðri holds a sword in his hand and looks at it for a moment, stroking his bead with the other. He turns around to the crystal behind him.
Syviis: “Bits of the crystal?!”

Suðri Skornbrekker: “If, uh, if you are in there—do you have any control over your parts in here? Or should we destroy them to free your energy?”
Gray: “I don’t understand.” He admits, walking closer and frowning, studying those silver blades then looking to Suðri as he speaks to.. the air? The crystal?
Bomrek: “Oh by the Allfather; they put bits of HER into the blades” and he raises a pointed finger to the crystal behind you… where the tendrils of magic power seem to be reaching out for the bundle, like outstretched fingers
Syviis: “Not only enslaved…but shattered and forced to be parts of a whole…” visibly shaken by the revelation unfolding before them
Gray: “Humm.” He frowns, scowling as he looks to the blades, then to the crystal. Tilting his head to the side as he watches the power reaching out.

Syviis looks for the connections if they be streaming outward, or limited to just this room/area.
(To Syviis): Your magic vision, if you squint sharply enough, reveals the silvery thread of energy binding the sword back to the crystal. The bloodstone worked into the hilt seems to work the magic. A channeled binding of it’s power. Very savage magic
(From Syviis): does it seem that this would be a permanent connection, or more of a “charging it up on the wireless charging port because it’s nearby”?

(To Syviis): Permanent enchantment; its a binding, like the elementals powering the flying fortress

Suðri Skornbrekker: “We were told that the enemy had had a lot of these made; many have probably made their way to the capital already,” Suðri recalls; he looks at the crystal again: “If we are victorious, we can collect them and return them here. …but if you have a way of interfering with these swords from afar, given your connection to them—making them vibrate, perhaps—that could be useful in defeating the enemy in the first place.” He holds the sword in his hand out to the crystal, for it to do with it whatever it wishes.
P.P. A.: (I imagine our forces are coming to head with the enemies, their swords drawn, but then they all start shaking in their hands—and before they know what happened, they’ve been impaled by our cannon-fodder’s speartips!)

Ken (GM) the offered sword from Suðri draws closer to the crystal, and then is seized by the wisps of magic! The thing leaps from his hands, flies, and slaps hard into the surface of the crystal!….and then it just dissolves away! The blood red stone in the hilt falls to the floor with a tinkle
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): A wave of joyous relief washes over you as the silver blade returns to her body

Syviis shaking slightly as she watches the crystal fall, then moves to pick it up to examine it… only to stop herself. “The swords…indeed, they are all connected. I think even over great distance, they are leeching their magic from this source.”

Gray: “Clever. Wicked, but clever. Each crystal is linked with each other, and the source.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “So it seems. Let’s first get rid of these!” Suðri walks over to the crates holding the swords, carries them to the large crystal, and empties them onto the floor. He looks a bit flustered for a moment, worried. “I sure hope the one I ate was not yet infused, but just plain metal.”

Gray gives Suðri a hand, thoughtful and assisting the dwarf even if he isn’t quite sure of the plan.
Ken (GM): [rummaging through the pile, you discover a dozen of the blades tucked here and there. You notice the wrapped cloths have monogrammed initials finely sewn to them, in an ornate seal]
Syviis: “We might be able to transmit power to the swords, as you said, make them unwieldy as they are drawn in anger. But maybe we could also cut the power. I just don’t know if that would be like slicing off an arm or a leg of you or I, or if those crystal pieces and the power could be reattached later on?” Syviis looks up at the crystal
Syviis: “Last time I tried to talk to one like this…it lashed out, burning us.”
Gray: “Are these bespoke for users, or is this a maker’s mark?” He ask of the seal. Seeing if the initials are the same for all of them or if they vary.

Doc: [what was the deal with the swords again]
Ken (GM): the silver swords are being used by the evil wizards you keep running into. There was also a cache saved by the escaping wizard Rolf

Ken (GM) As you bring the swords to the crystal, they are snatched up over and over, disappearing with a sizzle of energy. You soon have 12 red stones on the floor and a bunch of felt wraps
(To Doc): Heraldry? The seal on the cloth is much like the Royal Academy, but it’s wrong somehow…
(From Roderick): don’t have Heraldry, is there another skill or a default?
(To Doc): SF: high society works too, @ a -3

Syviis reaches out and examines one of the stones, still pondering larger plans
Suðri Skornbrekker looks at the stones, and cautiously picks one up. “…these not being part of her, are they used to control her magic in the swords?”
Suðri Skornbrekker smells it, not expecting it to smell like much, but who knows.
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Blood and stone; these came from the dead, sacrificed in the dark rituals youve seen before
Suðri Skornbrekker holds it away from him in disgust. “Yeech, these must be like the altar we found at the All-Father’s Tomb.” Good thing he didn’t lick it.

Syviis: “They are being used to bind and wrestle the power into shape, I believe.”
(To Syviis): Each are a 1FP powerstone, and seem to be made of the carved red heartstone of the bloodroot….or mens hearts….
Syviis: “Made from either blood-root…or the hearts of men. At this point, nether would surprise me much. But they do each hold a little power of their own. A tiny battery.”
Syviis: “If made from blood…perhaps this could be our key into the sealed door.”

Roderick: (To GM) rolling 3d6 vs 12 ( 1 + 5 + 5 ) = 11
(To Doc): It looks like the High lord Jadeite has begun re-branding his men; you recognize the seal of the academy, modified to suit his needs. A Silver sword emblazoned over a book of open pages, radiating lightning bolts of power.

Roderick: “These cloths bear the seal of the Royal Academy, modified by Jadeite”

Gray nods to Syviis grimly, reaching out and lifting a stone, holding it in a hand dusted with salt and walking to test it at the door, tracing the ruby rock across the circular seal.
Syviis goes with Gray, bow readied just in case “I don’t fancy fighting full powered demons on the way to this larger war… as sure and righteous as we’ve been, there is a reason this power is locked away.”

Ken (GM) the stone scrapes on the metal with a small shower of octarine sparks; the blood glistens and flows, pouring from the surface like rainwater, wet an fluid again

Syviis watches the power flow, spark and move, hoping her hunches prove correct

Ken (GM) there is a rumble behind the door, and a mild WHUMP noise, like a belch of something large. Then silence

Syviis smiles optimistically

Roderick: “The more changes Jadeite is making, the stronger his power must be… but the more brazen his moves, the more resistance he will face and allies we will fi-“
Roderick is cut off by the sound of the seal and moves to investigate

Gray: “The swords must be for the students at the school. He would make an army of mages, bound to his will and joined in secret”

Gray test the door, seeing if that unlocked it.

Bomrek busies himself filling a snuffbox with the stones…

Suðri Skornbrekker approaches carefully. Wary of what might lie behind the door; he props up his (conventional gunpowder) musket on his bardiche and aims it at the portal.

Ken (GM) the handle turns and opens smoothly, sliding to the sides on castor gears
Syviis: [Oooh, dwarven castor gears… nice.]

Ken (GM) the doorway reveals a small antechamber, and through a second door a large room with fine stone walls; the whole area is smeared with carnage and rotting bodies, insects scurrying away in the sudden light. A circle of blood on the floor swirls, melting away like the one on the door. A plume of smoke dissipating above it.

Syviis nods to Gray and moves in carefully, watching for lines of power

Bomrek draws two pistols, and CLACK CLACK arms the actions

Ken (GM) the place is dwarven made, elegantly simple, but finely polished.. You barely see the seams in the mortared stones. The room looks like it once held something on the pedastel to the North, flanked by candelabra.
There are five bodies on the floor here, two skinned, one mangled to near-butchery, one nearly untouched, and the last…. a satyr, with goatlegs and horned head.

Gray studies the circle and the gore, gaze running over the bodies, judging how long the room has been closed and careful as he walks forward. “Looks like four dead. Two sacrifices on the slabs, one ripped apart..” He studies the damage. “Maybe by a deamon, or something strong.”
Bomrek: “Disgusting. Look what theyve done to this fine imperial temple!”
Gray: “Five dead actually, counting the stray parts”
Suðri Skornbrekker nudges forward, aiming at whichever corpse looks the least assuredly dead and immobile.
(To Gray): Decomposition and bugs put it at about a week, maybe more. The room is RIPE
Syviis: “This is what Jadeite has placed here…perhaps what taints the power, or makes the stones…I don’t know…” studies the runes and the circle
(To Syviis): The demon he had bound here was trapped in the circle. [THE FURY] was bound here
Gray: “It’s been at least seven days. The fly larva are nearly mature.” The beast says almost conversationally. His preternatural sense of smell, luckily for him, leaves him with a canine-like ability to simply ignore the repulsive smells of decomposition in the sealed room. “Could be Syviis; Could be they tried to do something, some ritual here, and it failed and killed them. Deamon summoning often ends like this.”
Syviis: “It looks as if the demon is gone…is it elsewhere or did it fade back to it’s own hell? I don’t know…”

Suðri Skornbrekker eases up a little, and steps closer—the empty pedestal at the end of the room catching his eyes. “Maybe it simply joined Jadeite’s ranks, and now inhabits one of his subordinates?”
Gray: “We might have fought it when it leaped from our old foe in the antechamber”
Syviis: “Something we need to watch for, to be sure…”
Ken (GM): paranoia intensifes
Syviis: “The fact they were leaving a barely-bound demon here as part of their machinery means they may have much worse enslaved.”

Suðri Skornbrekker: “That reminds me,” Suðri notes at Gray’s words: “do we have any idea whether that demon inside Deloth had always been there, since we first fought here in the South; or if it was newly given to her by Jadeite, or rather the Lord Mayor guy?”

Gray walks in to check the bodies and the room, seeking to spare the others the walk though the horror show. “I don’t know. I think it would have made itself known when we fought her in the past if it had always been there”
Bomrek: “She was a demeon-infested-wizard, [Brother], and worse, she was an elf. Dont pine for her too much”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “That does sum it up.” He shrugs, and enters the room to inspect the pedestal.
Syviis: “One day, Sir Bomrek, I am going to invite you to my lands and see if we can’t shake some of this deep-seeded mistrust of pointed ears and magic from your heart. Perhaps with a lot of therapy, but I suspect time at the great Elvish Drinking Halls will help more.”
P.P. A.: I was under the impression that the elf-lands are ruled by evil elven sorcerors right now, and if we’re going to visit it’s to wage a guerilla war in the forest against them.
That might not exactly help to rectify his prejudices
Syviis: “Well, yes, but after that, I’m sure it will be lovely again.” 😛
Roderick: “Only until they throw him out”
Bomrek: “For emptying their stock of their finest spirits, if they have any” He laughs, heartily “drink them out of any business they had!”

Ken(GM) The flensed ones were torn apart by something like barbed claws or thorns. The butchered one looks like it was killed with a heavy axe or broadsword stroke. The old man body has a single puncture wound, through and through, in the heart. The satyr looks like it was crushed or squeezed
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): This is an altar, used in Dwarven spiritual practices. It should hold a reliquary, or an object heirloom of an ancestor, but it’s bare. Theres marks that look like something sat here a long time… maybe a book or a box based on the square patch wear and dust it left
Syviis finishes examining the circle, looking for clues of ongoing activity
Suðri Skornbrekker frowns. “They stole something from here, though what I do not know.”
Bomrek: “Barbarians” he spits “Not even casual reverence for our ancestors. Looters and vagabonds”

Ken (GM) six doors on the wall lead out of here; each is the fine dwarven steel make, but none bear a lock mechanism.
Gray goes to check the door nearest to him.
Suðri Skornbrekker inspects one of them, one hand holding his bardiche.

Ken (GM): North, two doors lead to a library of sorts; many of the shelves are bare, but a scattered few tomes lie thrown about. They are large metal bound affairs with seals and locks, most seeming torn or broken open, as if frantically searched through. Dwarven rune-script is visible in the writings
Syviis looks through the books quickly
Suðri Skornbrekker glances over the ones torn open, skimming through the pages to get an idea of what they’re about.
Ken (GM): The books seem to be incredibly old but mundane record-keeping books; logs of ‘inventory’, ‘reagents’, ‘components’, and ‘empire inducted services rendered‘. The greater picture as a whole describes this as a record-room of a magic forge run by the first empire dwarves
Syviis: “The number of centuries of history here scraped and scrapped in an instant of foolish vile greed is just as sickening as the loss of life happening every day around us.”
Suðri Skornbrekker shakes his head that such valuable records would be treated with such brute force. “A travesty,” he agrees with Syviis.
Syviis: “Truly, Good Dwarves, I weep for this misuse of your culture.”
Suðri Skornbrekker takes care to carefully put the books he handles back together, and to arrange them in an orderly-enough fashion that they won’t be eaten by insects or fall off the shelf.

Ken (GM): SouthEast; Gray reveals a spartan chamber with a simple stone coffer and small shelves. Scrapes on the floor reveal it was emptied of many heavy things, scoring the stone
Gray nods at the nearly empty room then walks to the coffer, studying it a moment and reaching for the lid.
(To Gray): The stone box opens easily, unlatched. The inside seems plated with beaten lead sheets and contains a single item; a finely cut red crystal the size of a watermelon… riddled with fissures of light across it’s crackled surface. You feel heat on your skin as you expose yourself to the view of it!

Gray holds a hand before his face a moment and growls thoughtfully as he looks into the crimson light from the cask. “I’ve found a very large crystal here.” He informs them in that rough voice. “It’s hot. Like sunlight.” He says thoughtfully.

Syviis heads to Gray to check his discovery

Syviis frowns “I stand corrected…THIS might have been what Jadeite put here. The demon might indeed have been a guard-dog of a kind.”
Suðri Skornbrekker joins the fun
Syviis to Gray “Don’t touch it…it feels…sickening.”
Gray stands beside a box lined with lead and holding a single item… a cracked crystal that radiates unnatural heat, the size of a watermelon. “I feel like it might be unhealthy to look long at it.”
Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 13 thaumatology ( 2 + 5 + 6 ) = 13
Syviis: rolling 3d6 ( 6 + 6 + 5 ) = 17
Hahah, told you
Syviis tries to look at it but turns away, the hairs on the back of her neck prickling up in disgust.
P.P. A.: Syviis realizes that what we have here… might be a kind of… big… ROCK! Possibly infused with magic!”
Syviis: “I’m sorry…” she runs out of the room, coughing and gagging
(To Fiss): Feast or Famine rolling today mang 😛
(From Syviis): yep, lol if I roll an 18 next, we know the curse is complete

Gray reaches out to close the lid slowly. “Why surround it so carefully in base metal? Things like that are normally packed in salt, aren’t they?”

(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Thats a Hellstorm Bomb; a fabled ancient weapon of The First Empire, designed to immolate anything it touches. They’re items lost to the histories, but are the fabled wrath of God!
Suðri Skornbrekker ‘s eyes open wide. “Step back!” he yells at Gray, though his voice trebles more with excitement than with fear.
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): You recall the specific example of one being used; an ancient enemy rooted in a mountain-hold. They unleashed the weapon, and the crater left smoldered for a generation

Gray draws back from it.

(To Roderick): Thats a Hellstorm Bomb; a fabled ancient weapon of The First Empire, designed to immolate anything it touches. They’re items lost to the histories, but are the fabled wrath of God!

Suðri Skornbrekker: “This… this is a Hellstorm Bomb! A magnificent weapon of the First Empire, it—! …the name already gives it away; it incinerates anything that comes in contact with it.”
Roderick steps back a bit. “This is…!”
Suðri Skornbrekker seems a bit giddy.
Gray: “Is it supposed to look unstable and fragile?”

(From Syviis): does Syviis know anything about Hellstorm Bombs?
(To Syviis): nothing

Syviis: “You Dwarves made that?!”

Roderick: “I sincerely doubt that this was placed here by Jadeite. More likely he was seeking it.”

Suðri Skornbrekker glances over to Gray, and strokes his beard as he eyes the bomb from a safe distance. “…I don’t know. It would be… bad if it was damaged. One such bomb once obliterated an entire Karak-keep.”
Syviis looks even sicker, and walks out of the chamber, trying to steady herself

Gray: “Maybe some way to transport it safely. If it’s like the red dust that powers the First Empire muskets then I’d imagine it is less safe to carry then black powder in a burning sack.”
Gray looks disturbed. He’s seen what a few grains of the dwarf powder can do in a gun with a crystal the size of a little gem to power it. This thing is likely every bit as dangerous the dwarves think.
Gray goes to find Syviis.

Bomrek speaks reverently, as if carefully reciting a passage from memory “The Allfather spoke the words of creation, hammered his wrath into a weapon, filled it with his fury, poured out the Hells themselves into the vessel. None were mourned that day, as their lines ended to the last”

Bomrek: “The last memory of our ancient enemies. And here I thought it was all just flowery allegory”

Suðri Skornbrekker turns to Syviis, feeling the need to correct her: “Ah, but it is very clean, It only tears holes into the ground, and fortresses, and what have you—but not into the very fabric of reality.”
Bomrek: “Nice, natural, dwarven workings. Not wizardly at all!” he beams
Syviis sighs and nods
Gray: “Water?” He ask, taking a flask to offer it to her. “Do you need to head up to the surface and get some air?”
Syviis: “I suppose that is the lesser of possible horrors, for certain. I can appreciate it…but the magic coming from that…thing…is….” throws up a little in her mouth
Syviis shakes her head and continues to sit “I’ll be fine… There’s a lot of conflicting power here. It’s like walking into a perfume agent’s store and taking a deep breath.”
Gray nods. “It must be intense to bother a woman that walked though that charnal house without flinching.”

Suðri Skornbrekker looks at the bomb again, a bit concerned by Syviis’ reaction. “…it would be wiser to leave it be, in any case.”
Roderick: “Leaving it unattended would not be wise.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “We could bar the door somehow?”
Gray: “It is un-wisdom, given form. I don’t think anything that can be done with it would be wise.” He says to Roderick thoughtfully.
Roderick nods at Gray’s comment

Gray goes grimly to check the other rooms. If there are more of those stone boxes with dwarven atomic weapons he wants to know.

Syviis: “I think I would like to try speaking to the crystal in the main chamber. For all I know it will be as wild and as unwilling as the elementals before… but this could indeed help the war should we can find a way to neuter those swords.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “She is passionate, but given how she did not kill us when we entered this places—even though Deloth had apparently tried to forced her to—to call her wild is rude.”
Syviis laughs and nods her head: “I’m only thinking ahead…”
Syviis walks over to the crystal and tries to clear her mind from the terrible aftertaste of the Hell-Dwarf-Hole-Maker

Ken(GM) the rest of the rooms check out to be emptied of their ancient dusty contents, like the others. Scuff marks, dust trails and the like betray the looting that took place here. A few curious bits remain here and there; a candleholder, an oil-lighter lamp, a few empty wooden bins. A curio box has it’s glass smashed in the corner, some rusted mangled metal bits inside.

Gray looks thoughtfully at the broken case, studying the things inside a moment.

Suðri Skornbrekker follows Syviis in case the Crystal needs someone to speak through.

Ken (GM): the SW corner room has a store-room of ancient dwarven foods long since decayed or desiccated into powdery stones. A few small bottles of gloomy liquids, a rock of cheese, and not much else
Joush M.: So dwarven treats? ROCK CHEESE, 1000 YEARS OLD!
Ken (GM): “finely aged, and sharpens the knife that slices it!”
Syviis: [Choices for Syviis: Eat 1000 year old Dwarf cheese, or stick her hand on the giant electric crystal….she’s going for the crystal, lol]

Gray goes to join the others after his exploration. “Maybe they summoned something to try and find out how the bomb here was made. Such a power would be irrisistable to men like the ‘high lord'”

(From Doc): any idea how to transport or use this thing? thaumatology roll or something else?
(To Doc): yeah drop a
thaumatology at -2 for me. Based on your magic teachings and your experience with dwarven magics so far…
Roderick: (To GM) rolling 3d6 vs
11 superweapons ( 3 + 2 + 2 ) = 7
(To Roderick): So, if the logic follows; the dwarven magic from the Old Empire worked on channeling energies from magic beings that they either hybridized with or implanted into their devices. The product usually resulted in red dust Thaum which is a potent reagent. Based on the histories, the dwarven descriptions, and this things appearance, its a
highly unstable device. Either it’s constructed completely out of Thaum which is breaking down, or it’s a vessel for some great entity it cant contain well anymore. The fact that they shielded the box with lead indicates they feared accidental exposure, or at least magical shielding. And the lack of fail-safes in the storage means the device was beyond powerful. It is very much so, an armed nuclear threat weapon

Ken (GM): Syviis! How you going about communing with the crystal?
Suðri Skornbrekker: “[If you need me for anything, I’m right here.]” Suðri mumbles in Dwarven, looking back and forth between Syviis and the Crystal.
Syviis: Okay, first, move my gear off to the side, no weapons, but I will use the elder spooky staff, to see if I can use it to touch the crystal. Obviously, any major zaps, I will stop and try to do remotely.
I will move to the opposite side vs the salvaged blood-stones. “I’m not part of that shit” basically
Then, clearing mind, trying to reach out to the crystal like the elemental
but being more conscious, trying not to feel so much as ask
Ken (GM): alrighty
Roll hidden lore: elf mysteries at +4 for me
(From Syviis): for all I know this thing is in pain, wants to die, and we might have just found a way to blow it up lol
Syviis: rolling 3d6 ( 1 + 2 + 1 ) = 4
Ken (GM): dud
Syviis: GOT DAMN
I ROLLED A 0. lol
Joush M.: She finds an adapter for Elf USB to Dwarf-Firewire
Syviis: [will ABSOLUTELY roll an 18 in the next important battle]
So yeah, that’s a beat by 13.

Ken(GM) / Syviis prepares herself, moving through a ritual of motions passed down through the ages, her eyes closed and everything timed as if to a hidden music. She bears the magic staff before her and with a quieting of her mind, reaches to the elemental spirit within the stone. The lines of power in the room sway, twist, and wrap though her, joining elf and stone by the magic in the air. The is a rustle of wind that tosses her hair, and a few seconds later she gasps, eyes wide, surprise on her face
Syviis: [once fell asleep on the page of a book detailing everything about this crystal, and remembered it via dream-osmosis]
P.P. A.: >dream-osmosis
(To Syviis): You hear the voice in your mind, and you instantly recognize the spirit trapped here; all spirits are born of their world and travel to ours through The Ways. All sprites, motes and spriggans were not born on this sphere, but the one just beside it, a little to the left. This being is an ancient, all encompassing, blood-of-the-earth creature. This is not a mote caught in a box. This is the pinched off consciousness of the veins of quicksilver that pulse in the mantle of the earth. This spirit… may well be the force of life itself that gives earthquakes and tremors their power.

Syviis drops to her knees, half out of awe, half out of… well… fear?

Gray watches, the place leaving him in a serious mood, then starts closer when she falls. Worried a moment, but slowing. Letting her work.

Suðri Skornbrekker keeps watch, listening for any stray Crystal-thoughts he might pick up.

(To Syviis): In a few seconds She tells you a lot. She was bound here ages ago by the dwarves, in a compact struck when evil besieged The First Empire. They worked together to power dwarven engines of war to fight back The Darkness and IT’s minions. But, in the end, the dwarves fell to mortal deaths and abandoned this place. The Spirit of the Earth is still bound here in their workings, and cannot be freed without becoming whole once again.

Jadeite came here some months ago, blasted away the entrance and unearthed this place. He spoke to the stone of many great plans he had, in particular, the binding of it’s powerful spirit to a new weapon, the Silver Swords. The swords are charged with Her power and in the hands of the mages, they can be terrible things. The enchantment itself leaving near limitless energy to tap into, to power fell spells and workings, whatever they can imagine. Limitless but fragile power, like a flashlight hooked up to the three gorges dam.

Syviis nods, awestruck and trying to comprehend as much as she can from the light flashing before her
(To Syviis): If the spirit of the earth is to be freed, she needs to be made whole, lest the earth have its scaffolds of life put back missing a leg. And before they draw enough power out of her to kill her

Roderick stops pondering the superweapon to observe the elf

(From Syviis): Syviis will do her best to convey a question: Can the swords be made inactive? Can a shield be erected around her to sever the ties? Or would that be worse? And, is there a way they can track the swords? To be sure each is returned?
(To Syviis): Severing the ties would be as if they were cut out of her; the immortal magical essence of her is in each of them, like disembodied organs. Her heart, her soul, trapped in each sword. It would kill just the same

Gray watches her work, not understanding but concerned a moment as he stands there and watches her commune with the stone.

(From Syviis): asks if it were just these swords…or other items as well
(To Syviis): Your attunement to her, now complete, will allow you to
Detect the swords. Clear your mind, seek them out, and you will know the way to the nearest piece of her
(To Syviis): The dwarves should know this too; have them embrace her and she will impart the knowledge
(From Syviis): She promises they will restore her before long, and will free her if that is her will now that the dwarven engines are silent.

Syviis stands “Good Dwarves, she’s given me the right vision to find and seek the swords, and says she can do the same for you.”
Ken (GM): wall of text intensifies

Suðri Skornbrekker nods, and lays down his firearms (mostly so that they don’t accidentally go off); he then steps closer to the Crystal and reaches out to her to receive “the Copypaste.”
Syviis: [the great and holy Kopp’ie Phaste]
Bomrek shrugs and steps up, slapping a hand to the rock
P.P. A.: the siblings Con-Troll-Cee and Con-Trol-Vee
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): The knowledge of the quicksilver blood slips into your mind like a drop into a well, ripples spreading out in all directions. You think for a moment and the intimate unassailable knowledge tells you the nearest silver sword is in your rucksacks, a few feet away.
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Oho!”
Bomrek: “Whoa”

(From Syviis): after speaking aloud, will return inward and ask: ‘Can the bearers of these swords be disrupted or distracted?’
(To Syviis): The pact is in blood and spirit; only in death can the connection be broken. Theirs, or hers…

Gray: “The swords are connected to her, so she can find them. Making the Crystal whole would be… good?” He asks, looking to the huge thing, then back to the elven woman. “I don’t suppose it said anything about the bomb?”
Syviis looks over to Gray and smiles “Don’t blow her up….it would be a bad thing.”

(From Syviis): will also ask about the bomb, just in case
(To Syviis): She remembers the creation of the item you ask; the spirit of a volcano was bound to the vessel. The dwarves were very excited to complete their work, but it was never used
(From Syviis): thanks her for her help and wisdom, and asks if there is anything else they are forgetting?, lol

(To Syviis): The land is wounded, torn, and The Darkness enters like a rot.
The wound must be closed to heal. You have met her sister once, and her instructions are still clear: Return the Ansible to power

Suðri Skornbrekker remembers something and digs into his pockets. He pulls out a lump of silver. “I… ate one to forge a new blade for my bardiche from the steel. This was the silver contained within.” He awkwardly puts it down.
Bomrek: “You ate part of… a god” Bomrek is wide eyed, and a smirk rises on one side of his face. Bomrek laughs heartily
Suðri Skornbrekker tries to suppress his laughter. “pff-h-hey, we thought they were just s-swords.”
Gray nods and pats the dwarf’s shoulder. “We can’t know the future”
Roderick: “If only there were some way to know that eating a sword might not be appropriate”

Syviis deflates slightly and steps back from the edge of the crystal, whispering in Elvish…Rod probably gets whispers of ‘[Oh Heavens]…’

(From Syviis): so this is the Ansible’s sis?
(From Syviis): basically? or am I reading that wrong? lol
(To Syviis): The witch queen
(To Syviis): The witch queen is some sort of elder spirit too
(From Syviis): ahh, got it. Still, pretty spoopy
(From Syviis): I think I might have missed some of the Witch Queen stuff, might have to ask for a recap
(From Syviis): but that’s good for now.

(To Fiss): When you guysfirst went into the scorned refugees to take over/parley, there was a meeting with the WitchQueen. She was leading the scorned out of the South and they revered her as some sort of high priestess but were very hush hush about her. You guys met her, she spoke very plainly that you broke the world, and she revealed what you guys had done with the Anisble. It tore the veil between the realm of magic/fey/spirits/material to shreds when you turned it on. This is allowing The Darkness to seep in. She instructed you guys to fetch relics of mortal magical power to recharge the device, so it can have its effects reversed. The Grey blade was suggested, as well as any other items like your staff of life, Gray’s Ogre blade….maybe even the dwarven elemental armor…or the bomb

Syviis returns to the Dwarves to see how they are reacting

Suðri Skornbrekker clears his throat and walks over to the bag to pick up the sword therein. “However… can she thus locate the swords in the hands of our enemies right now? We might be able to spy on them that way.”
Suðri Skornbrekker offers her the sword and reaches out to the crystal once more.

Ken (GM) the lump of silver leaps from the outstretched hands, and melts into the Stone face

Syviis sighs and looks North. “I think we will need to find a way to carry the Hell-bomb with us.”It’s a volcano.”
“Likely why I reacted so badly to it…Elves don’t usually build their lands near active volcanic regions.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “A volcano? …compressed into a bomb?”
Syviis: “…more or less.”
Syviis: “The spirit of a volcano, if you will.”

(To Suðri Skornbrekker): You know now, with a moment of concentration, the nearest silver of her essence is a few kilometers away, East of here, on the hip of a robed man. His scars track his skin with magic bindings, and he uses the blade to hack into a man that he seems to be dissecting….or butchering…
(To Syviis): You know now, with a moment of concentration, the nearest silver of her essence is a few kilometers away, East of here, on the hip of a robed man. His scars track his skin with magic bindings, and he uses the blade to hack into a man that he seems to be dissecting….or butchering…

Syviis pauses and looks East “Did either of you see that? Feel that?”
Bomrek pales a bit, loses his smile, and sets a grimace “What is he doing with that sword, I wonder?”
Syviis sighs grimly
Suðri Skornbrekker ‘s thought is interrupted by the vision from the Crystal. He seems horrified and disgusted; his hand lingers as he tries to make out the surroundings, but he withdraws his hand as the imagery becomes too ugly to bear.
Bomrek: “Youve got to cut along the bone! Not against it!”
Syviis: “Seems we can see not only the location…but who is using the swords”

Gray: “I don’t think it would be wise to move it. The crystal is cracked. I could lift and carry the cask, but it may be too violitile to move safely.” He observes.. then looks east, walking to the door.
Syviis: “Maybe you’re right.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “[…to imagine that you have to witness all this.]” Suðri murmurs in Dwarven to the Crystal, his words ones of pity, but also trembling with some anger. “A volcano-in-a-bomb is quite spectacular though,” he finishes his thought from before, though since robbed of most of the enthusiasm the information initially provoked.
Syviis: “I will leave that in trust to you Dwarves, I know little else about it, other than that when it needs to go off…it will indeed be as dramatic as feared.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “If it is unstable, either having taken damage or worn with time, we should probably do… something with it; otherwise, just sealing the room it is in should do.”
Roderick: “It’s unstable. It has to go off somewhere,” Roderick says thoughtfully.
Syviis: “Perhaps she…the crystal…can release the power safely?”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “What a waste!”
Bomrek: scoffs loudly in dwarven “Blood in your mouth, elf, thats an affront to any finely made weapon of dwarven hands!”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “To deploy it against our current enemies would be unwise though. It is too destructive, and Jadeite sits in Greyhold. I doubt we would be saving the country by destroying the entire capital and all the land around it.”
Bomrek: “Well, brother, its not exactly important land. Its not dwarven
Syviis: [has portable-hole / bag of holding flashbacks]
Suðri Skornbrekker: “’tis the land that’s supposed to pay our wages, though.”
Gray: “We aren’t using it” He says, firmly siding with the others. “If only because we have no idea in the world how to move it safely, never mind detonate it on command.”
Bomrek: “Good point; If we find the instruction manuals though, We’re coming right back here!”
Suðri Skornbrekker stops trying to think of targets they could ‘safely’ bombard, and nods in agreement
Syviis: “We may be able to use it later, as well…I imagine Jadeite will not be the end of the darkness seeping into our land.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Yea…”
Syviis: [makes note to translate ‘I have become Death, destroyer of Worlds’ into Elvish for sometime in the future]
P.P. A.: GrimWyrd finale: party lobs a nuke into the realm of Darkness and closes the rift behind it
Syviis: [Goes for Shwarma afterwards]
Doc: I cast Nuclear Missile at the darkness

Ken (GM) In the air around you, a wave of crackling static tingles past your limbs. Small sparks issue from metal surfaces, and you hear an odd noise from round the hall… Like a great wheezing breath of a giant, or a low rushing wind. Your ears pop as the pressure shifts

Suðri Skornbrekker picks his weapons back up. “The enemy?!”

Ken (GM) the sound of marching booted feet tramping onto stone echoes up the halls to you, coming from the side chambers round the corner!

Syviis picks up her gear and readies herself!
Ken (GM): noted; other reactions?

Roderick lowers his visor and runs towards the noise, sword at the ready
P.P. A.: round which corner?!
Doc: ^what PPA said
Gray readies his shield and harpoon, scowling.
Bomrek curses, whips out his big beam gun, and does an immediate check of his pistols and powders, sidling up to a wall nearby
Syviis slides her staff back in holster… squints, waiting for stuff to happen, but focusing on the magical currents
Syviis: [rebooting Chrome, memory dump ate my map]
Ken(GM): [lol]
Syviis prepares arrow
Suðri Skornbrekker glances over his musket once more, and props it up on his bardiche, aiming in the direction of the sound.

Ken (GM) In a few seconds, your surprise wears down to excitement, raw and untamed. The marching noise grows louder, and stepping into the weird light of the dwarf forge step men in long black hooded cloaks, pale scarred skin, and silvery armor. They are lead by a man more fearsome, far angrier, and bearing an iron clad black wooden staff, green light aflame on top of it

Syviis: Huh, anything familiar?
[wAT doo my elv eyes seee?]
Ken (GM): The pale scarred men look decorated much like the Gorgoth wizards you have faced, and the silver-swords look very very familiar
Joush M.: It’s too many! Go hit the bomb with a hammer!
Syviis: lol
P.P. A.: :O
P.P. A.: I do wonder
Fiss: ‘Tis the only way to be sure
Joush M.: From Orbit would be wiser than “from where we currently are”
P.P. A.: The last guy we saw whose weapon bore a green flame was this hulking Scorned warrior
Joush M.: Thanks for the game man, it was great getting back into it
Ken (GM): “Payload delivery is advised to be implemented from a range exceeding the device’s effective blast radius”
P.P. A.: but he was a pretty nice guy overall
“Silvar” or something was his name
Fiss: Yeah, damn good session, I always approve with talking with magic crystal gods
P.P. A.: Thanks for the game!
Doc: Thanks for the game, good to get back into it
Ken (GM): yeah, the scarred wizard also rode the nightmare mount in Gorgoth, flew the dragons at you before the showdown at the Anisble, and did the rage magic in the crowd at the scorned/indentured servitude debacle
looks just like that
Fiss: woooo
Ken (GM): but!
P.P. A.: Oh, the ragewizard was similar to the guy on the dragon?
*on the giant flying firebreathing dark horse
Ken (GM): gentelmen, take your 4 points! I will see you next time!

About KentonBlack

I'm an avid gamer, computer troubleshooter, and all around dashing fellow. I blog After Action Reports on my gaming, running as the GM for several GURPS 4e games
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1 Response to Grimwyrd: Crystallized Devotions

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