We continue our quest through the Vortex! For the second part of the adventure we follow:
- Oswin, the Intelligent Nano who Fuses Flesh with Steel, played by my wife Jen.
- Torrent, a Clever Jack who Rides the Lightning played by Tom.
- Silus, a Stealthy Jack who Exists Partially out of Phase played by Sarah.
- Lynq, the Rugged Glaive who Explores Dark Places played by Nate.
Sadly Trevor, a Strong-Willed Nano who Commands Mental Powers, was not able to take part in this part of our quest.
With Abrassal dead, our trusty troupe of Numenera hunters finished investigating the cult leader’s room and went out to the door that led to the Temple of the Vortex. Shome, the young cult member who the party had been sent to retrieve, stated that on the other side of the door was the Vortex itself, as well as the Angel of Steel, a metallic being that protected the mechanisms that controlled the Vortex. He said that many cultists over the years had tried to go through the Vortex, which they all knew was a portal, but that it always led to a fiery death and utter destruction of the person and his or her belongings. Wanting to get a closer look Silas phased through the doorway and after seeing that it was safe on the other side (in a relative sense), she opened the door to the rest of the party.
Awaiting the characters on the other side was the beautiful Vortex. Centered amongst control panels of all sorts, the Vortex was a swirling mass of energy and fire, illuminating the room in a bright glow and incredible heat. At the far end of the room was an alter fashioned out of floor tiles, and just to the left of the Vortex was a metallic automaton. Perched upon four legs that came to horrifically dangerous points was the Angel of Steel, which eyed up the party members one by one as they entered the room. While Torrent investigated the alter, finding trinkets of all kinds as well as the occasional shin and jewelry piece, Oswin tried to figure out a way to scan the Angel. Fearing that she would attract it’s wrath (Shome had said that it protected the control panel), Oswin had the other party members push Abrassal’s slick body across the floor near the Angel, which gained its attention while she scanned it. Sure enough it was a machine that was quite capable of causing extreme harm, and it was tethered wirelessly to the panels. Still curious about the panels, Oswin got a little closer, but when she used her powers to scan the controls she was instantly beset upon by the Angel of Steel.
The automaton was vicious as it attacked. As it leapt onto Oswin it nearly forced her to the ground while piercing her tough, cybernetic torso with a sharp leg-spike. Instantly both Lynq and Torrent jumped to save the wounded nano, but their attacks were having great difficulty piercing the armor of the mechanical beast. Across the room Silas fired several crossbow bolts at the thing, but most just bounced off of it’s synth and metal hide as well. Thinking quickly Torrent dropped his weapon which was doing little damage and charged up his hands to deliver a destructive bolt of electricity to the thing. The jack’s electrical attack seriously shocked the Angel, and took its attention away from Oswin, who was able to scurry away, but only after taking another serious wound which left her impaired. Oswin would continue to fire her cybernetic-laser at the machine, and Lynq’s broadsword was brought down upon the thing repeatedly, but they were only damaging it in small increments, and in return the mechanical beast was causing great harm to each member of the troupe. Thinking on her feet Silas ran over to the control panel and started trying to figure out a way to shut the Angel of Steel down. Her first attempts to manipulate the toggles, buttons, and switches were met with failure, but with each painful groan of her teammates acting as inspiration, the stealthy jack finally figured out a way to either reduce the effectiveness of the Angel’s weapon or cause the machine incredible harm. She chose to damage the machine, which finally ended it’s active programming, shutting it down completely.
After licking their wounds, using some cyphers, and resting up the party continued their investigation of the panels. It appeared that if one were wearing a suitable suit of heat shielding they would be able to enter the Vortex and find out what was on the other side. Following some simple instructions on one panel, it appeared that there was another chamber elsewhere in the complex that could provide the party with just the protection they needed. Gathering the cyphers that they had retrieved from the broken Angel of Steel the party made their way to the Transformation Room. Inside the large complex was a great raised platform, with secondary platforms and a pair of crystals to the right and left. At the end of the platform was a dais, and just beyond that a pool of liquid with two arms above it. It took only a few seconds for Oswin to eye the whole room up and down and state that the “suits” they were looking for were probably in the vat of liquid somehow. How right she would be. A curious Torrent moved up the platform first, but as soon as he passed the crystals on either side, each crystal fired off a deadly “snowflake” that slashed at the clever jack while attempting to affect his mind. Despite their apparent danger, the snowflakes were little threat to the party, since they had just faced down an enemy as difficult as the Angel of Steel. The pair of floating disks were easily dispatched after only causing Torrent a little bit of pain, and the party was able to continue their investigation.
Oswin had been correct in her initial assumption. When she reached the top of the platform, the intelligent nano stood on top of the dais and was slowly lowered by the arms into the pool of liquid. When she was pulled back out, she was covered in a sheen of synth and ceramic, which she realized would protect her from just about any heat possible. The rest of the party each got coated as well. Finishing out their actions in this room Oswin found another control panel that, when she tinkered with it, shorted out her gravity boots causing a terrible blast. Lucky for the group, though, that Oswin was able to pull a trove of treasure out of the broken panel, including a powerful artifact that they couldn’t quite understand just yet.
It was finally time to return to the Vortex and pass through the gate. Clad in the synth-ceramic skin suits, each member of the team passed into the fire and out the other side. Once through, it appeared like they where in another chamber akin to what they had just passed through. The walls were made of a hard white ceramic tile, but were soft and rounded. There was light and heat in the area, and the radiance of the portal behind them was matched by a similar heat that was emanating from elsewhere in the room as well. In the party’s mind there was message… “welcome.” As the party examined the room, there was another control panel which Oswin started to tinker with. After a few moments, a “you are here” sign of sorts came up on the panel. The party was able to make out an image of the solar system, with each of the 7 major planets shown. But according to the panel, the “station” that they were situated on was not on Earth. In fact, it wasn’t on any of the planets or their moons. The Vortex was most certainly a portal, a teleportation device which had transported the entire party to a complex that was located within the corona of the Sun itself.
So, do we want to engage this thing?Torrent thinking about approaching the Angel of Steel.
I can go scan the panel, right? Cuz that wouldn’t cause anything bad…Jen, just before something bad happened.
Just a flesh wound…Lynq didn’t pay his impaled leg much mind.
I’m gonna go for the shock touch…Tom describing Torrent’s action
He’s rubbin’ his feet on the carpet!Jen describing Torrent’s action
It looks like an olympic training facility…Jen’s take on the Transformation Room
Don’t touch what you can’t afford!Nate knew all about them crystals due to years of Legend of Zelda experience.