Ascendancy

13/08/11 - 2

Expanded Log

Darhe’el and Ahava awaken from their slumber feeling unnaturally weak and tired. They are both surprised to see that the wounds they sustained in their dream are also physically present albeit to a lesser extent. They also each notice red dust on their clothes. Perplexed and worried about the state of Craig as he was unconscious the last they saw him in the dream, Ahava and Darhe’el rush to the offices of the Avenging Clowns to check on their comrade. They find him still unconscious in his chair and are unable to wake him, no matter how hard they try. They are even more worried to find that TC is nowhere to be seen. They hope that TC has just gone to get help. As they attempt to administer first aid, they discover red dust on his clothes as well as a greenish glowing crystal shard in his cloak. Darhe’el tries to awaken him using his psychic powers but is disturbed when he can’t seem to feel Craig’s mental presence. They are so intent on Craig that they almost do not notice the bluish glow that fills the room as teleportation runes appear on the floor. There glow intensifies and forms an outline of a warforged and finally TC appears from the teleportation circle. He appears somewhat disoriented as the glow around him fades, but soon rushes to his friends’ aid.

Ahava and Darhe’el are surprised by TC’s sudden appearance but are grateful for his help as he shoulders Craig and they head to look for the cleric, Marek. They locate Marek performing her morning rituals and enlist her aid in treating Craig. She notes that his body is physically sound, except for some bruises, and that he does not appear to be suffering from any natural poisons. However, Marek also fails to awaken Craig, but discerns that his malady may be of a magical or psionic nature. They immediately send a message to Seras explaining the situation and requesting the attention of a suitable member of the Arcanum. In the meantime, they bring Craig to an unused room and also get some help from other guild members, but to no avail.

As the group wait, they question TC on his mysterious disappearance and reappearance, as well as the changes to his body that they now notice after the immediacy of Craig’s situation has worn off. TC explains that last night, he and Craig returned to the company office to retire and found the message from Chip, Ka’da and Jacob. There was also an item for him from the Iron Council in the form of a small cube. The cube reacted with TC, causing some of his coverplates and tribal markings to shift around. He now sports a sigil in the shape of a half-cog, which is the symbol of the Iron Council. When he touched the symbol, he was transported to a strange place. TC recalled that he first found himself in a large hall that contained various forges, tools and workbenches. As he was about to leave the hall, he heard footsteps outside the door. A figure entered the workshop and called out to TC to join him outdoors. TC recognised the figure as being the Primus of the Iron Council, and followed him out.

Outside, TC saw a strange grey sky and many buildings and workshops surrounding him. The yard and streets around him seemed strangely bare and unadorned. Everything had a very utilitarian look, plain but somehow beautiful in their simplicity. TC joined the Primus on a nearby stone bench and started questioning him about where they were and why he was transported here. Primus explained that he had sent the cube to TC as he wanted to speak in person. He had heard from Arda that TC had been experiencing strange dreams, and wanted to investigate the matter personally. Primus explained that warforged did not dream naturally, and what TC had seen must be some sort of vision or sending. Primus then placed his palms on TC’s head, and suddenly TC found himself seeing his vision again. Oddly enough, he could see the Primus beside him and it seemed as if they were watching the scene from a different perspective. Primus observed a humanoid form seemingly encased in a giant crystalline shard. The figure appeared to be writhing and screaming in agony as though the crystal was not there.

As the viewing ended, TC asked Primus if he knew why he was seeing visions of a trapped human and if it meant anything. “The person you see in the crystal is no human. He is what you would call a deva. And yet, not. He feels somehow…incomplete. This is troubling indeed. I must consult with my master”, Primus explained. TC asked who Primus referred to as master, to which he only smiled and said “I do not believe it is time for you to meet him, nor is it even time for you to fathom who he is and why I call him master. Although… you may glimpse part of him now.” As Primus completed his sentence, he turned to look out the gate of the compound. As TC followed his gaze, he noticed someone walking up the road toward them. He had the strangest sensation, as it appeared that the figure was walking closer toward them and also staying stationary far away. The figure’s features also seemed to be blurry, and TC could not even what race he was. As the figure walked, objects appeared to construct themselves out of thin air around him. Lampposts, ornate railings, benches and statues appeared to grow or build themselves around him. He also appeared to be whistling and swinging a blacksmith’s hammer around his right hand. As the figure drew closer, Primus turned to TC and said “I have now seen what you have seen, and heard what you have said. I do not yet comprehend its meaning or significance, but we shall speak of this again soon enough. Now go; it is not yet time for you to meet him.” And with that, TC found a teleportation circle forming around him and soon found himself back at the guild.

As the group pondered the ramifications of TC’s tale, Seras arrived at the guild with an elderly githzerai in tow. The githzerai appeared to be bossing him around and complaining that he was being taken away from some very important research. Seras introduced the group to his companion: the esteemed psion Sercu, senior professor of psionics at the Arcanum of Tanar. Seras suspected from Darhe’el’s description of last night’s events that a psionic attack was responsible for Craig’s state and had requested the help of an experienced psion, although it appeared as if he was beginning to regret his choice of Sercu.

The group lead Seras and Sercu to the room where Craig is in. Sercu examines Craig intently while they explain the details of the events to him. He grunts in seeming annoyance and asks to see the crystal shard they obtained from Craig’s cloak. “Aah such amateurs. Even you, ardent. In fact, especially you, since the others are as ignorant of the psionic arts as you are of dental hygiene and could be excused”, mutters Sercu. Seras glances at Darhe’el with a weary expression and rolls his eyes. Sercu explains that they had been attacked by a mindshard dominator and that he had somehow pulled psionic projections of themselves through their dreams in the mind domain. “Tsk. Nasty stuff, mindshards. Which god did you offend to attract the attention of one? Any god with eyes and a fashion sense, perhaps.” tutted Sercu. He goes on to explain that Craig’s psychic projection is trapped in the mind domain in a dormant state as he fell unconscious there, and that it is possible to recover his psyche if they enter the domain once again. However, since Craig is not in his physical form they will need to send psionic projections to lead him back to his body.

Sercu is now legitimately interested as he claims that not many psions have experience working with a warforged mind. He continues to boss Seras around, demanding ritual candles and ki focuses to aid in his ritual. Once the preparations are complete, Sercu sends each party member into a deep sleep while he draws out and guides their psionic projections using Craig’s crystal as a focus. Each party member has some difficulty focusing their minds on the task at hand which causes some delays getting them to their destination. And a pony.

The group finally reach the place that Darhe’el, Ahava and Craig encountered the mindshard and notice Craig’s body, or his psionic projection in the shape of his body, slouched on the ground. As the party draws nearer to grab Craig, the crystals scattered around his body start to levitate, spin and coalesce into the shape of a mindshard. They hear Sercu’s alarmed voice in their heads telling them to flee as they cannot risk further harm to Craig or themselves. Sercu states that he will hold off the mindshard’s psionic attacks and try to prevent it from following them. Sercu tells Seras to lead the party out as he has studied the domain of paths. Seras is slightly puzzled at Sercu’s instruction but manages to guide the party to away from the mind domain. However, it appears he is not accustomed to traversing the domains as a psionic projection and they end up scattered in the earth domain.

The party find themselves on different rocky outcrops surrounded by a sea of sand and mud. In the distance they spy rugged mesas, plateaus and looming mountains. Fortunately, they have all arrived within visual range of each other. The party can see Craig’s still unconscious form on a central hill. However, before the anyone can make their way to Craig, a mud elemental erupts from the ground. More mud and silt elementals emerge from the sand and they all appear to be agitated. As the group try to move toward the central outcrop, the elementals attack them. Seras is concerned that the elementals seem to be able to hurt their psionic projections and are intent on harm. A large form suddenly erupts near Craig and grabs him before slamming him into the rock. The rock gives way like water before the hideous monster and Craig is entombed in the rock.

Seras identifies the large monster as a Terraguhl, and urges the party to recover Craig’s “body” and leave the domain. The party are able to dispatch the other elementals but Ahava also ends up entombed in the rock by the Terraguhl. However Ahava successfully managed to dig himself out of the ground and reach Craig. The party hear Seras seemingly holding a telepathic conversation with Sercu, and they appear to be arguing. Seras seems to be confused by Sercu’s instructions and claims that Sercu’s explanation of psionic travel through the domains are outrageous. Finally the Terraguhl and the other elementals are subdued but the party start hearing loud footsteps drawing closer and see stone behemoths striding closer to their location. Seras finally scrambles up the rock outcrop, teleports Craig’s body out of the rock, and calls for the party to hold onto him as he prepares to lead them home.

As the party hold onto Seras’ shoulders, they see glimpses of the domains flashing before their eyes. They see lush jungles, strange skies, a cabin on a lone isle, workshops, deserts and alien landscapes before they finally find themselves in a blurry representation of the room they were in. They can see their own bodies lying on cots . They move Craig’s psionic projection to where his physical body is as Sercu completes his ritual to return them and they feel themselves pulled back into their physical bodies and they finally awaken.

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ehronlime

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