The Nine Kingdoms: A History

The Excavation: Part II

Venturing further into the excavation site, few pleasantries are exchanged between the travellers and their prisoners.

Zeb spends some time trying to work out how the ‘zappy stick’ she liberated from Mela works, finding a mysterious button on it’s handle which makes some symbols appear when touched. A brief conversation with Mela reveals that the stick can ‘measure pain’ and he offers to demonstrate, which Zeb sensibly refuses.

Approaching a wide cavern, Caelan stealthy creeps forward and espies another explorer dressed in similar fashion to Grix and Mela, however his steps falter as the uneveness of the ground results in poor footing.

Solinar talks the other man down, with what might have been help from Grix, and he relinquishes his nasty-looking weapon by ramming it into the ground. Caelan attempts to retrieve but it appeared to be stuck in the rocky floor.

They come upon an exposed surface of a featureless silver metallic substance, and as they move further on the third man is attacked by a sandworm which attempts to drag him into the ground. Using a device they found earlier, Solinar manages to draw the creature’s attention away and they rescue the unnamed one but find the creature has made off with his lower left leg.

Once they stabilise their companion, Grix remarks that the people they ‘questioned’ said they could hear the device ‘sing’ when they touched it. Solinar takes this advice literally and presses his ear to it.
A series of soft tones sound in the air and symbols appear on the surface of the metallic substance. After a few moments of study, it is determined that the tones heard match the symbols as they appear and quickly the group attempt to replicate the tones themselves with little success until Caelan volunteers and reveals his angelic singing voice in the process.

A circle of light appears further down the corridor, from a source not yet visible, and as the group move closer Caelan and Zeb fail to see the large sandworm curled around what appears to be an entrance to the silver device.
Solinar, again, deflt distracts the creature and they rush inside the device where Caelan uses his vocal talents to close the doorway behind them leaving them in a featureless white corridor with one door at the far end.

As they attempt to tie their captives back up, a brief struggle ensues. Grix attemtps to take the ‘zappy stick; from its new owner, Zeb, who unfortunately drops it in the melee but gracefully retrieves and uses it to knock her attacker off balance.
Mela fairs less well as he first attacks Solinar, only to crash into some defensive field the young man generates and then falls foul of Caelan’s deadly grace with his companion’s former blade.
Grix relents and allows herself and her unnamed companion to be more securely tied in place.

Solinar uses his mental powers and finds there is some controlling intelligence in the vessel but it is very different to what he has encountered before. Zeb tests the surfaces of the vessel in her own unique manner and determines they are immune to her efforts, being circled by orange light which she learns to associate with ‘bad’ effects on the vessel.

Exploring further into the vessel,they find a large room with six empty human-sized alcoves, and doorways to the left and right. Initial exploration leads the group to what must be a bridge or control room, as chairs flow up out of the white material and different coloured globes appear in front of each. They determine that these relate to some control functions of the vessel, and reveal a ‘window’ of sorts that is partially obscured by rock.

Caelan’s attention is drawn to an image of the vessel, which Sol determines is focussed on the room they entered the ship by. On arrival they find Mela’s corpse being absorbed into the vessel’s floor and disappearing.

As they move further into the vessel, they come upon a room containing a series of plinths, chairs and tables where Mela’s body has just appeared out of the vessel’s white material.

The adventure continues….

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