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Summary[]

The party is split up and Cel, Azu and Zolf manage to get into the room with the gas and the dancing mannequins. They find another dead adventurer and then swim through a flooded section to reach a long, glass tunnel in their search for Hamid. As they walk, a dead blue whale gets dropped on the tunnel, apparently having been shredded by something.

Meanwhile, Hamid and Skraak reach the end of the conveyor belt. They find a doughnut-shaped room with a water tank in the middle, which contains three large strange sea creatures. As Hamid opens a door leading out of the room, he triggers a trap that floods the room and releases the creatures. Hamid and Skraak manage to make it inside the new room, closing the door against the water, and find a half-finished chess game and another dead adventurer.

Zolf takes risks, Cel just wants to join in, Azu finds shiny new items, while Hamid and Skraak try to be flexible.

Synopsis[]

(Cel, Azu, and Zolf)

 The party has split up, and Cel, Zolf and Azu are discussing how to get into the room with the gas. Cel repeats Shoin’s riddle, and wonders whether the gas will cause them to be blinded. Zolf suggests to levitate over the gas, while Azu wonders if maybe the gas is obscuring something on the floor. Zolf thinks that Shoin wouldn’t kill them this early because he wants them to play the game, but Cel points out the other adventurers were killed pretty much the moment they walked into the door.  

The speakers burst into life again and Shoin asks them how they are doing, and gives them another riddle: “Oh heavy, heavy, pay the levy. Don’t suffocate, just relocate.” Cel translates it. They open the door, and the gas starts toppling out into the room. The gas is bright purple and moves very slowly. Zolf activates his boots and flies to the roof, but the doorway is full of gas. He touches the gas with his hand, but it doesn’t hurt. The gas has a weight to it, like candy floss, and feels like pushing through felt. The gas also reacts like it has fluid tension, as if it wants to stay together. Zolf smells it and it smells slightly fishy.  

Zolf turns his boots off and discusses with Cel what to do next, either playing Shoin’s game or walking in and overriding the access panels or closing the gas vents. Azu votes for the second option, and Cel warns that the dancing dolls could have weapons and that he should watch out when he goes in. Zolf says that he will float up to the vents and that Azu and Cel should walk to the other door and override it with the wrench.  

Zolf walks into the room, but he has to physically fold the gas away from him to push himself into the room. He realizes that it will be hard to not suffocate in the room as the gas presses into him immediately. He backtracks and explains the problem to the rest. They brainstorm and realise they could use their bags of holding to capture the gas.  

Cel, Zolf and Azu all hold their bags of holding in front of them as they walk into the room, scooping the gas as they move. They manage to remove the gas more rapidly than it is filling into the room through the vents. After a couple of minutes there is enough space for Zolf to use his boots to levitate up to the ceiling, where there is a 10 ft space of breathable air between the gas layer and the vents. 

The vents are still pouring gas into the room, and Zolf moves over to the first one. The vents have shutters and Zolf forces it closed. He moves over to the next one and does the same thing and eventually gets all the vents closed as Cel and Azu keep scooping up the gas. The mannequins are still moving, dancing around and doing an occasional spin during which blades shoot out from their middle. With the vents closed and some of the gas reduced, the party is able to navigate around the edge of the room relatively safely to avoid the blades.  

The room contains three other doors. One is immediately opposite to where they came in and has a big chalk X on it. There is another one besides it on the opposite side which also has a big chalk X. Lastly, there is a door doubling back on them, potentially heading towards the conveyor belt (this door is a pressure door). The locker next to it is already open and the fire axe and all the rest of the standard equipment is already missing. Zolf and Azu immediately suggest to take that door as it will probably lead them back towards Hamid.  

Cel notices someone in the corner of the room, though they are obscured by heavy gas. Cel points it out to the others. They head over to check up on the body. The mannequins are still dancing and pose a risk to them as they approach, so Zolf rams his flaming glaive in the mechanisms of the mannequins as the blades spin out in order to break them.  

Azu and Cel go over to the body, and Cel tells the person they are sorry this happened to them. The body has been dismembered, separating the torso from the head and legs. Cel searches their pockets. The person was a beefy human wearing furs, and was carrying a very old adamantine axe, which is probably quite valuable, and they give it to Azu. Furthermore, they find a Potion of Water Breathing, Cure Serious Wounds, and Giant Strength. Cel gives the Giant Strength to Azu, and keeps the rest. They also take the person’s dungeoneering kit. Cel searches the body further and discovers a name tag inside the clothes that reads "Property of Yoshida Shoin”. They realize the adventurers put on the clothes that Shoin provided to them, much in the same way as he provided clothes to the party.  

(Hamid and Skraak)

 Meanwhile, Hamid and Skraak are on the conveyor belt. Hamid reassures Skraak and tells them to stick close to him. He casts dancing lights and notices that the conveyor belt is absolutely filled with trip wires. They carefully pick their way through and manage to reach a new room unscathed. Hamid and Skraak high-five.  

The new room is cuboid, unlike most of the other rooms, and is 20 by 20 feet. It has a large ceiling apparatus which seems to be for applying toppers/corks to the bottles that come through the conveyor belt. The conveyor belt carries on out of the room on the other end, where there are more tripwires and another grate. In the corner of the room there is a kobold-sized cot that looks like it has been used until comparatively recently. There is a steel door, not a pressure door, leading out of the room.  

Hamid asks Skraak on whether to use the door or to continue on the conveyor belt, but Skraak has a hard time making a decision and instead investigates the room. Hamid goes over the door to check it for traps, but finds none. He opens the door.  

The room beyond is a larger room, about 30 by 30 feet, and has a raised walkway. In the middle of the room is a large aquarium tank, or more specifically, the room is toroidal, and the seawater is around the outside and leading up into the middle of the room through the tank. Although the middle of the room contains glass, the walls on the outside are metal. There is a lid on top of the tank  which has all kinds of pipes leading out of it. The room is lit, but the light is poor and inconsistent, fluctuating up and down. The walkway leads all the way around the room, and there is a door to the left and right. There is movement inside the tank.  

Hamid ducks behind the door and casts dancing lights and sends them scooting into the room to one side. He waits a few seconds and then ducks around to the other side of the room. He notices increased movement inside the tank, and he sends his lights closer to it. He can see more than one large sea creature inside the tank. The creatures are very brightly orange coloured, and he can see two which are moving around. They have the upper-half that is shaped similarly to that of a panther, specifically with claws, but the rest of the creature is clearly a fish with a large maw. It’s clearly a predator, but with arms that are mostly claw. The tank is obviously not big enough for both creatures and they move around, pushing up against each other.  

The apparatus on top of the tank leads further into the complex but is not currently active, but it seems like it could transfer fluids of some kind. Hamid and Skraak edge around the side of the room towards the direction that would most likely bring them back towards the rest of the party, which is to the right. Hamid keeps the lights on the opposite side of the room to distract the creatures.  

BREAK 

As Skraak and Hamid edge around the side of the room, Hamid notices there is a grate at the bottom of the tank which traps the creatures inside. He also notices a third creature that is attached to the ceiling of the tank and which appears to be restrained in place by some kind of device.  

Coloured digital fanart of Hamid and Skraak sneaking through a corridor. Hamid is an Egyptian halfling with short brown hair, wearing his usual purple cloak, as well as white gloves and boots. He is slightly crouched, with a slightly anxious expression on his face as he looks back at Skraak, and one finger to his lips to indicate silence. Skraak, a short red kobold in a lab coat, follows along behind Hamid with an enthusiastic expression and holding two thumbs up. The are walking through a blank blue corridor.

Hamid and Skraak sneak. Art by @mocksart on tumblr. Used with permission.

To the right there is a sealed pressure door. Hamid inspects it for traps and discovers a complicated trap which is in good condition. He backs away and casts mage hand, and tries to apply enough pressure to set off the trap, but he realizes he can only set off the trap by opening the door. As mage hand cannot apply enough pressure on the door to open it, he decides to do it himself. He explains the situation to Skraak, gives Skraak a healing potion and instructs them to give it to him if he falls unconscious, and then asks Skraak to back away. Skraak takes the potion and hides behind the door they came in through.  

Hamid pushes open the trapped door. There is a pitch black room on the other side, but then the speakers spring to life and Shoin comments on the fact that the party has split up, and says that he hopes Hamid is a fan of the water. There is a gurgling from the tank behind Hamid, and a sudden ping as something pops off from the top of it. Hamid sprints back to where he came from, and Skraak opens the door for him. There are more pings from the tank in the middle of the room, and the creatures inside become agitated. Hamid leaves the door open a fraction to look into the room, and there is another ping, and it becomes apparent that the tank in the middle is rapidly deconstructing itself. 

Hamid slams the door shut and tells Skraak that they are going down the conveyor belt instead, but then realises there is a grate over the other end which prevents them from leaving the room. Hamid casts fly on himself, grabs Skraak, and then flies back into the water tank room. He casts dancing lights and heads towards the trapped door he had opened before.

Halfway through the room, the lid on the tank suddenly opens, at which point it splits into four parts which all retreat rapidly. The water level doesn’t rise and spill into the room, but the creature on top of the tank that was restrained plops into the water. Suddenly there’s a high-pitched noise as the pressure in the room begins to rapidly change, and as it does so, the water begins rushing into the room from the now-opened tank. Hamid and Skraak are both deafened by the rapid decompression, but they make it through the other door in time.

The room beyond is comparatively small, 30 by 30 feet, and contains a half-finished chess game. In the middle of the chess board is another person, dead, lying face-down. After setting Skraak down, Hamid rushes to the door and closes it in time against the rising water from the other room.

(Cel, Azu, and Zolf)

Back with the main party, Zolf has successfully destroyed most of the mannequins. They decide to take the door that leads back towards the conveyor belt, and Cel checks it for traps, detecting a trigger which they manage to disable. Azu opens the door, and beyond there is a corridor that immediately leads hard right, and then downstairs similarly to the stairs that led to the tilting room. There is a ripply light coming up and it becomes quickly apparent that the stairs below are flooded, although it doesn’t look intentional. The stairs go down about 20 feet, and are flooded from around the halfway mark. 

The party realize they need to swim if they want to go back to Hamid, and they don’t even bother with checking the other doors. A speaker bursts into life for everyone, including Hamid, and they can all hear Shoin stumbling around and talking to ‘someone’ else. It appears that the recording has accidentally turned on. Shoin berates the ‘other person’, then notices the recording is on and turns it off again. Zolf wonders whether Shoin is arguing with himself, and Cel and Azu wonder if he’s hallucinating, or if there really is someone else there being very quiet. 

The party discuss how to traverse the underwater corridor. Zolf and Azu walk in, holding their breath while holding a water breathing potion in their hands in case they need it. Cel does the same but is swimming because they are not heavy enough to sink to the bottom. The tunnel is very dark, but there’s some light coming up at the end of the tunnel, which is only about 60 feet long. They all manage to make it to the other side by holding their breath. While passing through, they notice a bunch of broken pipes to one side which could explain the unintended flooding of the corridor.

Coming up on the other side, they find themselves in a very long, dilapidated glass tunnel, similar to the one they used to enter the complex, which connects different parts of the facility. The tunnel is about 100 ft long. Zolf looks to his left, trying to see if he can see any kind of conveyor belt-type corridor through the glass. He doesn’t find what he is looking for, but he does see a bunch of movement in a lit, distant room up to his left.

Zolf also discerns something really big moving in the ocean, and although he cannot make it out, he wonders if it is the massive mechanical squid. He points it out to the rest while it moves very slowly among the complex. Azu suggests to not draw attention to themselves, and Zolf agrees. They step onto the travelator in the tunnel, which shudders and doesn’t move, so they continue walking.

(Hamid and Skraak)

 Hamid and Skraak are now in a sealed chess room, with another door leading more into the complex, on the opposite side of a wall containing several portholes. The room appears to not have 'activated' properly; there is half-played game of chess and someone dead in the middle of the room. Hamid casts detect magic, and detects magic on the corpse. He walks over and examines the person. They have midnight black cloak on, which Hamid identifies as a cloak of elvenkind. He senses a divination aura coming from the rest of the body, and as he flips the person over he sees that they are very well preserved. This might be because they are in a sealed, pressurised room which might not have had air in it before.

The equipment the person is wearing is all impeccable. They have a bandoleer of daggers, one of which has the divination aura. Hamid identifies it as being a 'Stalking Dagger'. They also have a garrote and a full dungeoneers kit and a Potion of Great Invisibility. Hamid picks up the dagger and holds it for a moment, looking really sad, and then puts it in his bag of holding. Hamid furthermore notices that all the speakers in the room have been smashed, and that there are heavy scorch marks around the boots of this person. Additionally, the person appears to have lifted a panel in the corner of the room, and may have entered the room via this pathway instead of through the main doors.

Still deafened, Hamid tries to communicate with Skraak, trying to reassure the kobold, indicating that they will be okay. Skraak indicates that they know this, but that their ears are really hurting. Not knowing what to do, Hamid signs to them he’s sorry. 

(Cel, Azu, and Zolf)

 The other party head along the travelator, which is very long and very straight. Apparently, at some point Yoshida decided it was a good idea to add little murals to the tunnel, which the party notice as they pass along them. The mural is not made very well and although it starts comparatively neat, it deteriorates as the tunnel continues, being mostly unfinished by the second half. It is a proper mosaic at the start of the tunnel, but by the end it’s made from bits of metal, bottle caps and kobold claw.

Similarly, the party notice that the tunnel and the complex around them is more heavily damaged in the direction they are walking. They notice imploded and toppled domes, and some with heavy cracks. It appears that whatever happened to the complex happened more on this side of the facility.

Something catches Zolf’s eye as they are walking, and when he looks up he notices a large shape looming straight vertically down towards the tunnel they are in. He yells at the others to run, which they all do. Something heavy impacts the tunnel back from where they came, and Zolf can't help himself and turns around to look. The remains of a massive blue whale have thudded on top of the tunnel, smearing blood all across the glass. It has been completely shredded by something.

Quotes[]

Alex, to Bryn: "And what corpse are you playing?"
Helen: "No!"
Bryn: "…Hamid Saleh Haroun al-Tahan…"
Helen: "I rebuke it!"
Bryn: "...and I’m completely alive and well, thank you!"
Alex: "Are you, are you?"
Ben: "For now."
Bryn: "I’ve even got my sidekick with me. And just think how the audience will turn on you if you kill Skraak. That would be like killing Brutor, but worse!"
Alex: "Oh - [long chuckle] Good."
―Character introductions.

Alex: "As it stands we are at the bottom of an ocean, in an extremely unsafe underwater facility, whilst being basically GM-ed by an incompetent evil NPC."
Bryn: "[Here] and in the game!"
―Episode introduction.

Cel: "He's saying you weight a lot, and you should go somewhere."
Zolf: "Rude."
Azu: "That sounds very insulting."
Zolf: "Honestly."
Bryn: "Maybe he overheard you saying you are a beefy boy!"
Zolf: "Right, well, let's get to this fat-shaming piece of arse and show him what's for!"
―Cel translates Shoin's rhyme.

"Right. Well, that’s shown Shoin, so...Shoin-ed him?--That ain’t working."
Zolf

Alex: "There are, I’m afraid, three other doors."
Ben: "Oh, Alex!"
―Shoin's dungeon continues to irritate Zolf.

Ben: "It’s fine, I can just cast Bull’s Strength on myself, I don’t need your… potions."
Cel: "Is he always like this?"
Ben: "That was Ben, and yes I am!"
―Cel offers a potion to help Zolf.

Alex: "Yeah, there’s a trap on here."
Ben: "And now what."
Alex: "In good condition."
Lydia: "“Skraak? Could you...?”"
Ben: "Hamid’s dark side… remember, he’s still… one of the upper classes."
―Hamid checks the door for traps.

Zolf: "Right, so we’re swimming, no two ways about it."
Cel: "Yeah, eh…"
Zolf: "We can check the X doors, see if there’s any more dead adventurers in there, but eh…you know."
Azu: "This is the way back to Hamid, so."
―Zolf, Azu, and Cel traverse a flooded corridor.

Alex: "You also discern something really big moving out amongst the ocean."
Ben: "Does it look like a massive robotic squid?"
Alex: "It’s too far away, you can’t see it, it’s big."
Ben: "As somebody who spent two years hunting for a giant robotic squid and maybe seeing the silhouettes of it, is it similar-ish to the sort of silhouettes I may have seen?"
Alex: "Could be. [...]"
Ben: "That’s fine."
Alex: "It’s moving amongst the complex, it’s worth describing."
Ben: "Oh, okay. But in general I’m like “I don’t know, but… kinda looks like the, you know...”"
Alex: "Ticks a lot of the boxes!"
―Zolf recognises the shape of the kraken.

Zolf: "Let’s go."
Cel: "Okay, so… along the travelator of death!"
Zolf: "Yeah!"
Cel: "Cool. Oh no, wait, wait, no."
Zolf: "Positive thinking! Travelator of Life."
Cel: "The travelator of challenges that we can grow through, and… be better people!"
Zolf: "I like your energy, let’s go."
―They find a broken travelator in another glass corridor.

Azu: "What kind of whale?"
Alex: "It is a blue whale. It is massive. The impact is--"
Bryn: "Alex, Alex, Alex… is it… ma-hoo-sive?"
Alex: "It is ma-HOO-sive!"
―A whale carcass crashes into the side of the corridor.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Zolf Strength check to close the vent: 16
  • Perception check inside the dancing room: 23 (Cel), 10 (Zolf), 13 (Azu)
  • Azu Heal check on the body: 12
  • Cel Perception check on the body: 16
  • Hamid Acrobatics check to get around the tripwires: 18
  • Skraak Acrobatics check to get around the tripwires: ? (successful)
  • Skraak Dexterity check to high-five: ? (successful)
  • Hamid Perception check on door to detect traps: 25
  • Hamid Perception check on the water tank: 17
  • Hamid Stealth check: 19
  • Skraak Stealth check: ? (fails)
  • Hamid Perception check on pressure door: Natural 20 (33)
  • Initiative roll: Hamid (24), Skraak (?)
  • Hamid Fortitude save: 9
  • Cel Perception check on the door: 21
  • Cel Disable Device on the trap: 24
  • Zolf Perception check in the tunnel: 15
  • Hamid Perception check on the body: 21
  • Hamid Knowledge (arcana) to identify the magic items: 32 (cloak), 28 (dagger)
  • Perception check: 20 (Zolf) 19 (Azu) 17 (Cel)
  • Initiative: 7 (Azu), 21 (Cel), 16 (Zolf)

Initiatives[]

There were two different initiative rounds in this episode, but both were resolved without clear 'rounds', therefore they have been left in the synopsis as is, and are not further expanded upon here.

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