The party investigates the steam emanating from the glassing of Crank's factory, and find a sinkhole and several pipes.
Crank’s has just been glassed by Apophis, and the party are reunited on the road to Damascus, with Wilde in tow. Hamid is very drunk and unkempt, with his tie around his head. Grizzop casts create water on Hamid’s head. They’re all tired, having all been been awake for almost forty eight hours at this point. They take an hour to make it to the factory to make sure it’s gone.
As they approach, they can feel heat emanating from where Crank’s used to be. Hamid casts endure elements on everyone but Wilde, but because he’s drunk, he unknowingly miscasts it on Sasha. Grizzop notices that something went strange, and casts endure elements on Sasha himself. Wilde is sweating profusely, and casts something (presumably also endure elements) on himself.
They can’t see the far side of the compound because of the heat haze. The factory isn’t a flat plane — there are lumps where the warehouses were, and the rest is literally glass. The fencing has been totally destroyed. Hamid, being drunk, is pretty sure he seems something moving in the haze, but no one else can see anything in the compound.
Wilde asks Azu why Hamid’s drunk, and Azu explains about the potential riot, the subsequent party, and the water shortage. Wilde looks so tired, even with prestidigitation. Sasha points out a small amount of steam coming from the glassy crater, or “pump hole.” However, the crater is still too hot for them to walk into, even with endure elements. Hamid suggests they sleep, and they all agree to camp for the night.
[Meta note: The party level up overnight, and the players describe the major benefits of their new levels. The characters awake.]
The heat haze seems to have lessened. They all managed to sleep through the night okay, but they overslept; it’s now nearing mid-day. Grizzop notices that Wilde looks incredibly gaunt and exhausted, but when Grizzop says hello, Wilde snaps his fingers to cast something, and then appears fine as always. The party asks Wilde if he shouldn’t take a break and wait for them at camp, but Wilde insists that he has to supervise them and that he knows his own limits.
endure elements is still active for everyone, so they enter the glassed area, heading towards the steam; it’s where Sasha saw the dripping pipe earlier. As they’re walking they notice lumps of adamantine below the glass, the only remnants of the warehouses. Grizzop looks for evidence that the chimeras are dead, but can’t find anything. They find a very narrow crack in the glass from which the steam is pouring.
Grizzop suggests that Azu hit the glass around the crack with her great-axe while the others back up, on Wilde’s suggestion — though Grizzop backs up less to annoy Wilde. Azu smashes the glass and plummets into darkness; Grizzop immediately slides in after her. The crack that Azu made expands further, but Sasha, Hamid, and Wilde are far enough away that they don’t fall in.
Azu falls past the pipe into what is left of a sinkhole, with lots of broken pipes in it. It was a junction of several pumps that has been destroyed by the dragon’s breath and poor maintenance. The pipes are a variety of sizes; one of the pipes is big enough for Azu, in full armour, to go down, with others that might fit Grizzop and Hamid. The big pipe shows signs of large amounts of very polluted liquid have gone through it, but there isn’t much coming out of it now. There’s fresh water coming out of another pipe that Azu might be able to enter if she took off her armour.
Wilde asks if anyone has rope; Sasha has and ties it to a solid bit of glass. Wilde immediately starts climbing down. Hamid suggests going down the pipe with fresh water coming out of it, and heads down the rope. Grizzop instructs Hamid on what to do if the pipe starts flooding — take a big breath and remain calm.
After Hamid casts dancing lights, Hamid and Grizzop go down the pipe, which runs horizontally. There’s no sign of light as they go further; like an aqueduct, it transports the water over a long distance.
After a couple of miles, they hear the sound of water. They press on to the end of the pipe, to a modified watercourse, where lots of water is going past. However, none of the water is going in Hamid and Grizzop’s pipe because it’s slightly elevated. A couple of walkways run along the side, and the ceiling is comparatively low. They can tell that people have been working around here. Grizzop (with a natural 1 on Knowledge geography) is very confident that they have made use of an existing underground river.
Back to Sasha, Azu, and Wilde, who have gotten out of their hole. Sasha suggests a barbecue, and Wilde agrees; they use the hot glass as a grill.
- Alex: "Wilde took himself off to one side. You notice he looks horrendous now that you can see him in daylight. Like, utterly gaunt, I don’t mean supernaturally so, but he looks like someone who has been running a multinational corporation on one hour sleep for like a year."
- Grizzop: "Wilde?"
- Alex: "He immediately turns away from you, there’s a click. You see a sort of brief shimmer, and then he turns back and it’s just Wilde as always."
- Grizzop: "You know that ain’t healthy. Do you want to just like, maybe sit this one out, stay at the campsite, maybe just take a couple of hours off?"
- Wilde: "No, I think that I should probably supervise as that’s my job."
- ―Wilde looks exhausted.
- Grizzop: "Look, I’m not being unkind, but you look awful when you don’t have your illusion on."
- Sasha: "Speaking as someone that was recently dead, looking after yourself, it’s great."
- Grizzop: "Yeah, you’re gonna run yourself into the ground, and then you’re just gonna kinda keel over, and you know, you could keel over in front of a manticore and then no one could save you, and then you’ll be dead."
- Wilde: "I think I know my own limits, thanks. Shall we go have a look?"
- Grizzop: "Okay, that’s what people who usually go past their limits say, but…just putting it out there, if it gets too much, just back off. It’s fine, we’ve got this, we’re professionals."
- ―The party checks in on Wilde.
- Grizzop: "Right, so, just quick thing, um, if it suddenly fills up with water, right? You need to relax, let the flow take you, don’t fight it or you’ll drown, okay? Just make sure you take as big a breath as you can and just be calm, alright?"
- Hamid: "Okay, that makes sense!"
- ―Grizzop gives Hamid advice on not drowning.
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Hamid attempts to cast endure elements on himself, but is drunk and casts something on Sasha instead.
- Grizzop makes a Spellcraft check on Hamid because he's drunk casting: 15
- Grizzop casts endure elements on Sasha.
- Everyone makes a Perception check: Grizzop gets 18, Azu gets 18, Sasha gets 29, Hamid gets 18
- Everyone makes a Will save: Grizzop gets 25, Azu gets 18, Sasha gets 21, Hamid gets 10
- Everyone makes a Perception check: Grizzop gets 24, Azu gets 12, Sasha gets 16, Hamid gets 23
- Azu makes an attack roll on the ground: hits on a 21
- Grizzop makes a Reflex save: nat 20
- They take ten on a Climb check to go into the pumphole.
- Hamid casts dancing lights.
- Grizzop makes a Knowledge (geography) check: nat 1