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Summary[]

The party take a long time to climb down the lift shaft and discover a reinforced glass tunnel that runs across the seabed to some old, underwater buildings.

Zolf boops Cel, Hamid isn't quite small enough and Azu sees some octopuses.

Synopsis[]

The party are on top of the lift escape room. They are a decent distance from the top. Apparently the lift has been traveling really, really slowly but for a long time because the party took a long time to smash everything inside the elevator note. (Note: this is Alex contradicting himself with the previous episode. The lift was at the top of the shaft and had not moved at all, because the electricity was out). The elevator shaft leads down over an enormous length into darkness.

Hamid suggests that Zolf scouts ahead with his boots of levitation. He suggests that everyone should be tied together while climbing down. Zolf activates his boots and levitates down the lift. He notices that the lift breaks have kicked in, because the party triggered just about every safety mechanism the lift has, and therefore it is stuck. He doesn't see anything else the party could use to climb down except for the maintenance ladder. He goes back up and explains this to the party.

Zolf thinks it could be a long way down and a long climb. Hamid again suggests to tie everyone together, and everyone agrees. They work out the order of people, and settle on Skraak going first, followed by Hamid, Cel and Azu. Zolf will levitate down, but is tied to everyone else. Cel suggest to clip themselves to each step with a carabiner as soon as they get tired.

A digital drawing of Zolf, a white dwarven male, and Skraak, a bronze kobold. Towards the top is Zolf, he's wearing all black with a grey long coat. He's holding a flaming torch in his left hand that shows his face. His boots are glowing red. Attached to him by rope and hanging below him is Skraak, whi is wearing black shorts. Skraak is dangling from their midsection and his face is pointed to the left and he is looking off screen. They are in a dark tunnel.

Zolf tying Skraak to himself as they go down the ladder. Art by @afarai on tumblr. Used with permission.

While climbing down, Zolf keeps track of time by keeping track of how many times he has to reactivate his boots of levitation (once per minute). Zolf lights a torch to help cast some light for Hamid and Cel while they are climbing. After two hours of climbing, Cel becomes fatigued and starts complaining. Zolf notices, and then uses calming touch to cure them of their fatigue. As they continue climbing, everyone becomes fatigued, and Zolf uses four more calming touches to cure them. He then carries Skraak from that point onwards.

They finally reach the bottom of the elevator shaft after 4,5 hours of climbing. Whoever designed the shaft did a terrible job because nowhere along the ladder where there any refuge points. Zolf extinguishes his torch when they are near the bottom, and they see a slight amount of glow along the floor, ripely like it's reflected through some water. Cel hears the sounds of leaking hydraulics.

BREAK

There are two freight elevator doors at the end of the elevator shaft, which are closed and only a tiny amount of light is filtering through. The floor of the elevator is full of giant clockwork mechanisms, which would have been bad to fall into. At the very bottom of the floor is a rescue lift, a small platform for about two people. It's unclear if it's currently powered.

The party discuss their next steps, and Hamid warns the party he's running low on spells. Zolf looks for a service entrance. He finds a hatch where it's possible to pull open and use a hydraulic pump to open the doors. Secondly, on the other side he finds a kobold-sized hatch that goes through the wall next to the lift doors. They discuss whether to send Skraak through. Cel asks them what is on the other side of the door, but Skraak has no idea. Hamid asks if he has ever been down here, but Skraak has not.

Hamid peers through the crack in the lift door. He sees a large underwater tunnel cross the seabed, it disappears into gloom straight ahead. Zolf pumps the hydraulic handle to get the door open, it works but the handle is really messed up and rusted, and it's clear that nobody has used it in a long time. Although there currently is no water in the lift shaft or tunnel, there is a pattern of mildew-y rust on the door. Azu stands next to the door with her axe ready, she is very tense and Hamid gives her some wordless encouragement.

Because everything is so old and rusted, Zolf wonders if they're going the wrong way, but Hamid thinks they were being herded there with all the puzzle stuff. The door gets stuck about 75% of the way as the last of the hydraulics leaks out. The tunnel has metal grating along the floor and it appears the glass tube tunnel has been sunk into the seabed in some way, up to a quarter of the way up the tube there is seabed visible. The tunnel has arced glass with metal arched reinforcements along it. There is light down there, and most of the party think it is a small amount of sunlight that has filtered down. Cel deduces it's not sunlight but natural phosphorescence which implies that there is a thermal vent nearby. The corridor heads off into the gloom, but beyond this tunnel they can see more structures ahead through the glass and water.

The party proceed down the tunnel and see a lot of fish outside the glass, Azu notices several octopuses. Hamid is the first to spot a shipwreck along the seabed, which appears to be a Japanese wooden sailing ship of some kind. As they continue, they notice another one, and then even more for a total of eight. They are dotted around the seabed. Zolf studies them and determines that the ships have been 'actively' destroyed, some of them appear to have been tactically attacked and have not been damaged by running onto a reef or similar. One of the ships appears to a military vessel, the others appear to be trading vessels. He determines the ships have been sunk at varying points within the last 10 years.

Zolf suggests that Shoin has been sinking ships, and Hamid wonders if the mechanical squid has been attacking them. Cel knows that ships would have still been making their way to the Shoin Institute in the last 10 years, because it's only in the last few years that Shoin has been openly going 'weird'. Zolf asks what the weather has been like in the last 10 years, and according to Cel it has been fine, that people were still trading with Shoin. Cel has not been aware of any mass ship disappearances. Zolf suggests that either this stretch of water is very dangerous, or it has just been massively busy. Hamid suggests that the mechanical squid has been bringing ships back here. Zolf disagrees as he's been looking into them and doesn't think that's how they function. He reckons they are just being controlled by something and do not show natural behaviour, so unless Shoin is building a shipwreck collection, he doesn't know what happened.

According to Cel, there has been a war for the past few years. Looking around, they determine that most of the ships around must have come from the mainland due to their size. The ships are all between 10-25 handers and proper sailing vessels, some of them are multi-masts. None of them could have come from Cel's island, because there is not enough material or people to man them. Cel knows they aren't local, but wonders if they have just been sailing past the island. Zolf asks whether this passage is a trading route, but then drops the line of inquiry, as he thinks Shoin will probably do an evil monologue and they'll find out then.

The party press on down the tunnel. They notice a complex ahead, although it lacks the showiness of the building above ground. Here, the buildings have been made for utility instead. There are mostly domed structures to deal with the underwater pressure. Some of the lights are on in the buildings. Everyone realises that the complex is in quite a state of disrepair and that it has very little maintenance, as weeds have started to grow over one side of the complex. One of the domes has imploded. The majority of the structure seems okay. Cel determines that the complex state is both because it has had no maintenance, but also because it has taken some structural damage. Like maybe a rock fell on it or an earthquake shook it a bit in the last 12 months or so.

Cel wonders why Shoin would build something so incredible and then leave it to rot. Hamid wonders if they know for sure Shoin built it, or if someone else did and Shoin just moved in. Azu doesn't think it matters, and that instead they should be careful because if there are leaks in the complex they could be in a lot of trouble. Cel thinks everything could collapse at 'any time', and that if something were to give in it would cause a chain reaction and everything would go. Azu becomes more nervous, holding her axe like a comfort blanket.

The party continue, deciding to go in and out fast. As they approach the complex, they see a mouldy, tattered banner which seems older than the previous banner above ground, and it reads: 'Congratulations puzzle whizzes.', and it's badly written. Cel suggests that maybe the puzzles were not made for the party. Zolf finds the whole thing ridiculous.

There is a mechanical pressurized door which is closed but seems to be in decent repair. Additionally, there is a locker to the right-hand side of the door, and also closed. Cel opens the locker, and a trap triggers. A vial at the top of the locker falls and shatters on the ground. Cel studies it, and determines it contains a lethal poison which stopped being potent 3 years ago. Inside the locker is a fire axe, a custom wrench, and on top there is a closed, wooden chest that appears to be waterproof. Cel picks up the wrench and takes it. Zolf smashes the chest on the floor, sad, mouldy confetti is released from it. One of the four vials inside shatters on impact. They appear to have residue of what were once potions inside them.

Azu wonders if all the puzzles were made for Cel. Cel says if it was, then they never got the invitation and doesn't think they factored that big in Shoin's calculations. Zolf points there were outfits for the party present, and then wonders maybe Shoin just updated half of it. Cel then says it seems more like the party is two years late for something, although they don't know why that would happen. Zolf wonders if it's because of Azu and Hamid's time jump, but Hamid is confused because the clothes were for the four of them. The party decide to continue.

Hamid investigates the door to detect traps, he finds what should have been a trigger for a trap once upon a time. The trap both has already gone off and also wouldn't work even if it hadn't been triggered because of how old it is. Zolf wonders again if they are going the right way, or that maybe Shoin died and nobody noticed. Hamid agrees with him. They open the door and they immediately notice a corpse face-down in front of the door. The corpse has a large bolt through its head.

Quotes[]

Alex: "As always, there may be a minor retcon thing that I'm not aware of, like it's tricky to keep track of."
Ben: "As I like to say, if we get things wrong... suck it."
Alex: "Stop saying that! You keep saying it and I keep wanting you not to!"
Ben: "Look, I have an honest relationship with our fans. This is difficult, we have memories, we are human.... Suck it."
Bryn: "Actually, none of us are humans... we're a dwarf, a halfling, a half-elf and an orc."
Ben: "Lyd, Helen, Ben and Alex are! Bryn! I said Bryn! …I'm Bryn now..."
―Episode introduction.

Alex: "So you're all on top of -- do we call it an elevator or a lift? Because I keep bouncing..."
Helen and Ben: "Lift!"
Helen: "We're British, Alex!"
Alex: "Good, good, good, I'm glad. Lift it is."
Bryn: "No elevation please. We're British."
Helen: "Only downwards! We want a downwards spiral!"
Alex: "Only lift, no elevate?"
―The party stare down into the lift shaft.

Cel: "This is... do you know how much longer this will -- just, you know, there are things that I'm willing to do for kind of, you know, 8, 10 hours a day, but I don't know if this--"
Zolf: "Do you need a pick-me-up?"
Cel: "........What have you got?"
Zolf: "You might be disappointed about this, but magic."
―Zolf offers to remove Cel's fatigue.

Ben: "I am a cleric of like, being cool. I can hang! I'm a cleric of 'I can hang'!"
Bryn: "I'm not like one of those dull clerics, I'm a cool cleric!"
Alex: "Look at this shark tooth-necklace I got! It's cool! I'm cool dad!"
Ben: "No, shark teeth come from the sea, and I'm not going back!"
―[add context]

Alex: "It doesn't look like it's just one tunnel that goes on for miles and miles, you can see more structures ahead. There are no large statues that have like, someone holding a chain and breaking it, or anything like that. I saw that look."
―Alex assures everyone that they aren't in Rapture.

"Yeah, this could all collapse at like, any time. This stuff has not been maintained. And oh, once it goes it'll go, like, we will get hit quick. I mean, one of the things is: We will be fine right up to the point that we are not fine. I will probably be fine because I can become a dolphin."
Cel, on the tunnels that lead across the ocean floor.

"So guys, one of the things right, I just need you to know how incredible this trap would've been years ago. But we're not dead now, which is a great sign."
Cel, when they encounter the poison locker trap.

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Survival check to tell how much time has passed climbing down the stairs: 13 (Zolf), 8 (Azu), 21 (Cel)
  • 1st Fortitude Save climb down the stairs: Natural 20; 30 (Azu), 20 (Cel), 24 (Hamid)
  • 2nd Fortitude Save: Natural 1 (Cel), Natural 1 (Azu), 10 (Hamid)
  • 3rd Fortitude Save: 16 (Azu), 11 (Cel), 18 (Hamid)
  • 4th Fortitude Save: 24 (Azu), 8 (Cel), 20 (Hamid)
  • 5th Fortitude Save: 14 (Azu), 11 (Cel), 16 (Hamid) (Cel becomes fatigued and Zolf cures it with calming touch)
  • 6th Fortitude Save: 19 (Hamid), 24 (Cel), 13 (Azu), (Zolf does not need to roll but Ben starts rolling to feel included: natural 20)
  • 7th Fortitude Save: 25 (Azu), 17 (Cel), 12 (Hamid), (Zolf: infinity)
  • 8th Fortitude Save: 11 (Azu), 22 (Cel), 11 (Hamid), (Zolf: 7)
  • 9th Fortitude Save: 15 (Azu), 16 (Cel), 14 (Hamid)
  • 10th Fortitude Save: 16 (Azu), 12 (Hamid), 11 (Cel), (Zolf: Natural 1) (Everyone becomes fatigued and Zolf cures everyone)
  • Perception check at the bottom of the stairs: 14 (Zolf), 21 (Hamid), 31 (Cel), 20 (Azu)
  • Hamid Perception check to look through the door: 18
  • Cel Knowledge (nature) to identify the light: 17
  • Perception check walking down the tunnel: 23 (Zolf), 31 (Hamid), 23 (Azu), 17 (Cel)
  • Zolf Profession (sailor) on the boats: 16 
  • Zolf Knowledge (history) on the boats: 13
  • Perception check as they near one of the underwater buildings: 19 (Zolf), 22 (Azu), 26 (Cel), 27 (Hamid)
  • Cel Craft (alchemy) on the vial of poison: 36
  • Hamid Perception check to detect traps on the door: 27
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