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Summary[]

Covers are blown. The top in reached. Workspace is found.

Synopsis[]

The party is in one of the upper floors of Shoin's Institute, in a fight with a cube-like ooze creature. Hamid casts fireball at it, which blows out most of the windows on that side of the room, and one of the chandeliers drops from the ceiling. It appears to heal from the damage. Cel throws another four bombs at the cube and it explodes, spraying chunks of goo around the room which burn when they touch people's skin.

Hamid compliments Cel on killing it, and Cel compliments Hamid on his fireball explosion, but Zolf and Azu urge them both out of the room. Zolf and Hamid get into an argument about Hamid's use of fireball, which Zolf think broke their cover, but Hamid disagrees. They go up the stairs to the next floor, where there is another loading bay and a closed door. Zolf looks through the keyhole, and can see an abandoned dormitory beyond it. Zolf begins to suspect they might have moves passed the floors that are actually in use, but that they should go to the top regardless just in case. The party keeps going upstairs until they reach a door that is locked and padlocked.

Cel and Zolf check the door for traps, but do not notice any. Hamid begins casting acid splash at the padlock to open it. Hamid looks through the keyhole, and he sees an enormous attic space, and it looks like part of the roof has collapsed at the end of it. The entire space is filled with random boxes and other items. Hamid opens the door and the party spent a couple of minutes to look through some of the crates. Hamid and Zolf both cast Detect Magic. Most of the items are posh mansion furniture and abandoned medical equipment, such as gurneys and IV-stands. Both Zolf and Hamid notice a bigger item under a sheet with a transmutation aura. Hamid pulls the sheet off, and they see a portrait of a 30-ish year old Japanese gentleman, who Cel recognizes as Shoin. The transmutation magic appears to have been cast to create the illusion of slight movement in the portrait, as if Shoin is alive. Hamid covers the portrait back up with a sheet because it creeps him out.

They continue up the last set of stairs, which leads to a ladder and a hatch. Cel checks the hatch and notices a trap, but doens't know how to disable it. Zolf decides to poke it with his glaive and the rest of the party keeps a safe distance, but nothing happens. Hamid uses Acid Splash to get the lock off, and Zolf tries to open it with his glaive. An enormous Fireball explosion goes off and Zolf rolls partially out of the way, and Hamid also gets caught in the explosion (14 fire damage, halved: 7 damage).

The hatch has been blown off, and the storm and rain is pouring in from outside. The party climbs up the ladder into the rain at the roof of the complex, and visibility is poor due to the storm. There appear to be four towers to the facility, and the party is at the central part of the compound, on a pitched roof with walkways around it. One of the towers appears to be crumbled. Zolf notices there are lights all the way down on the ground that appear to be agitated people running around. Across the other side of the roof is the monolithic lighthouse that reaches high above the compound, and the light on top of it appears to be massive.

BREAK

A four panel comic of Hamid, Zolf, and Cel. Panel one shows Zolf, a white dwarven male, and Hamid, a brown halfling male. Zolf has white hair and a white that is tied into a braid. He has on a brown coat and grey sweater. He is holding his glaive in his right hand. Next to him is Hamid who wears a purple cape and pink shirt. The two are staring straight ahead with pensive looks on their faces. The second panel behind shot of Zolf and Hamid. Hamid has his hand on Zolf's shoulder. In front of them is a paper on the wall that reads the Japanese symbol of "go away." Panel three is a profile shot of Zolf and Hamid with Zolf in the foreground and Hamid behind him. They have the same pensive expressions on their face. Panel four is of Zolf and Hamid and Cel, a white nonbinary half-elf. They wear a brown coat with brown fingerless gloves. They have their arms around Zolf and Hamid. There's speech bubbles throughout the four panels. From top right to bottom left they read: that's just such a weird message! It's not going to keep out anyone...anyone who's coming in here to blow- or were to come- it's just there's something incongruent about that as a message! You say incongruent I say suspicious. I say Interesting!

Zolf, Hamid, and Cel contemplate the sign. Art by @erebusodora on twitter. Used with permission.

Zolf suggests to fly to the lighthouse, but Hamid does not think this a good idea in this type of weather. The party decides to cross the roof using the walkways and heads towards the lighthouse. Cel marvels at the bad state the compound is in, as it apparently used to be a big school and lots of people used to come there. Things started going weird about 3-5 years ago, but Shoin still presented like everything was fine, and must have been covering up the extent of the problems going on at the institute. Looking at the lighthouse, Cel thinks that it probably is magically reinforced at the top and bottom to make sure it doesn't crumble like some other parts other facility.

A heavy steel door leads inside the lighthouse, and contains a metal shutter/hatch that is able to pulled out. Cel opens the hatch, and find a water-damaged piece of paper that reads 'Go away' in Japanese. Hamid is confused by the message and thinks it's incongruent as it wouldn't actually keep anyone out. He uses acid splash to open the padlock on the door, but has trouble opening the door because it is too heavy, and Azu steps in to help, and the party heads inside.

The base of the lighthouse is a room with a lot of electrical equipment around the walls that is softly humming, and has several heavy cables running from it down deeper into the building. It appears that the equipment is mostly communication and power transference equipment, some of the equipment appears to be newer and appears in active use. Cel notices there are multiple individuals up in the room above as they can smell them, and urges the rest to be quiet. The party discuss whether to sneak past the individuals or whether to rush and attack them, and eventually decide to do the latter. Cel and Hamid decide to sneak up and, once they attack, have Zolf and Azu run up.

A black and grey drawing of three kobolds, lizard like creatures with talon-like hands and feet and long tails. One kobolds stands in the foreground. They are facing the right side of the photo and are staring out. They have a fang protruding from their mouth. Behind them and to the right are two kobolds fighting on the ground. The one on top is holding the foot of the one below them. They are snarling their mouth and looking down in a glare. The kobold below them is holding the throat of the other. Their mouth is open, showing a line of sharp teeth. All three of them are wearing long, white lab coats.

Kobolds in little lab coats. Art by @mortimermironov-art on tumblr. Used with permission.

Hamid and Azu look into the room and see several kobolds wearing little lab coats, operating equipment around the edges of the room. The kobolds appear to be flustered, running around making adjustments to the equipment. Hamid notices these kobolds aren't drugged like the kobold downstairs was, as they speak more coherently. The kobolds appear to be preparing for something, as they mention they don't have 'much time' left. Two of the kobolds start fighting with each other, and Hamid casts rainbow pattern in the room to distract the kobolds. Three of the kobolds get distracted, and the last one notices Cel and Hamid. Hamid casts hold person on the remaining kobold, and Cel grabs them and reassures them in Japanese, but the kobold tries to bite them. Zolf walks over to the remaining kobolds and ties them up, and Cel ties up the one they are holding. They then ask the kobold what type of experiment they were running, and the kobold replies with a grin; 'Science!'

EPISODE END

Quotes[]

Alex: "So, we are currently in the-"
Bryn: "Initiative order."
Alex: "Initiative order, that's true. I'm going to take my time, I'm gonna - no. We are in the-"
Bryn: "You've only got six seconds, sorry, that's the rules of initiative order."
―Episode introductions.

Alex: "Jump out the window! Double down!"
Helen: "Do NOT jump out the window."
Alex: "Double down! You're making gut decisions, keep making gut decisions!"
Bryn: "I could cast fly before I hit the floor!"
Helen: "NO!"
Alex: " Cast fly! Cast fly! Jump out the window and cast fly! [...]"
Ben: "You - devil on his shoulder, shut up."
―Hamid needs to decide what to do in the fight.

Cel: "Are they always like this?"
Azu: "I.. I don't know. [...]"
Cel: "What do you mean you don't know? You all don't know each other very well? I thought you were buddies?"
Azu: "I know Hamid, I don't know Zolf very well."
―Zolf yells at Hamid for alerting the complex to their presence with his Fireball.

Alex: "Are you still doing Stealth check and so on?"
Ben: "No."
Alex: "That's a no from Zolf..."
Bryn: "...They're not working anyway! Not with Clanky McClank and his big sister Clankerson over here!"
Alex: "Oooh, it's all sass in the room today!"
Ben: "Rude."
―The party attempt to sneak up to the next floor of the institute.

Cel: "Maybe there's one of your mackerel things?"
Zolf: ".... Sim-u-la-crum."
―Cel offers suggestions.

Zolf: "We might as well check, As Cel said, the view might be lovely."
Hamid: "We can go and stand in the storm and curse the gods to... you know... challenge us with their power..."
Azu: "That's not a good idea, because they will."
Hamid: "I was joking, I absolutely was not going to do that."
Zolf: "I have done that once before."
Cel: "I do a lot of work with lightning, so I try not to be rude to storms."
Hamid: "I absolutely was not going - I thought I'd try and lighten the mood."
―The party heads out into the storm.

"We could go there and then I could explode it! ...Or he could! His explosions are even better!"
Cel appreciated Hamid's fireball earlier.

Hamid: "That's just such a weird message! It's not going to keep out anyone... anyone who's coming in here to blow - or were to come - it's just-... there's something incongruent about that as the message!"
Zolf: "You say incongruent, I say suspicious."
Cel: "I say interesting!"
―Hamid finds a note telling them to go away.

Cel: "Do you want to like sneak past them? Or do you want to surprise them?"
Hamid: "I mean, invisibility doesn't make you silent."
Cel: "Yeah! And also, if you are going to explode them - which seems like, as a team, we are pretty keen on..."
Hamid: "-the invisibility goes away straightaway."
Cel: "Yeah."
―Hamid and Cel decide how to enter the room without starting a fight.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Zolf Perception check to look through keyhole: 11
  • Cel and Zolf Perception check to check for traps: 26 (Cel), 21 (Zolf)
  • Hamid Perception check to look through keyhole: 24
  • Cel, Azu, Hamid and Zolf Perception check in the attic space: 20 (Zolf), 20 (Hamid), 26 (Cel), 25 (Azu)
  • Hamid and Cel Knowledge (arcana) on the portrait: 27 (Hamid), 17 (Cel)
  • Cel Perception check to detect traps on the hatch: Natural 20
  • Zolf and Hamid Reflex save to roll out of the explosion's area of effect: 23 (Zolf), 18 (Hamid)
  • Cel Knowledge (engineering) on the lighthouse: 30
  • Cel Knowledge (engineering) inside the lighthouse: 18
  • Azu, Hamid, Zolf and Cel Perception check inside the lighthouse: 17 (Zolf), 15 (Hamid), 13 (Azu), 32 (Cel)
  • Cel and Hamid Stealth checks to sneak up in the lighthouse: Natural 20 (30; Hamid), 14 (Cel)
  • Cel Will save for the rainbow pattern: 18
  • Zolf Will save for the rainbow pattern: 33 

Combat Breakdown[]

Combat continued from previous episode.

Initiative: Hamid (20), Cel (19), Cube, Zolf, Azu

Round 2

  • Hamid: Casts fireball behind the Cube: 48 fire damage (side-note: Ben takes Bryn's entire turn to hammer home the message that this is the worst decision any player has ever made in the campaign). He then backs out of the room.
  • Cel: Moves up so they can see the cube, and then throws four bombs at the cube: 23 (17 damage), 24 (19 damage), 21 (20 damage), 17 (27 damage), and explodes the cube, which is sprayed across the room and killed. 

Initiative: Hamid (26), Cel (17), Azu (13), Zolf (12)

Surprise Round

  • Hamid: Casts rainbow pattern. Three of the kobolds fail their Will save. Cel makes their Will save with an 18.

Round 1

  • Hamid: Casts hold person on the remaining kobold, it fails its Will save. Hamid then shoves the rainbow pattern in one corner of the room and calls Azu and Zolf up and tells them not to look at it.
  • Cel: Grabs the kobold and reassures them in Japanese.

Plot Notes[]

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