Pax Artificium - Second Half - Saturday 08

Thanks to Oz for this detailed transcript.

Session start: Monday, January 2, 2034 – 2000 PST

The Arcane Order and Yeslek watch the portal intently, studying it, trying to learn as much as they can from its formation. The portal appears erratic, crackling with mystic energy, and is a blend of spheres. John Bishop stands jaw slack with a dazed look on his face. Betty, Daniel, Dirk, and Frank disappear. The rest of us witness William Moss walk out of the portal with Everlily Nyx flying above his right shoulder.

The two of them approach us. William Moss infers that we opened the portal to set them free and thanks us. John Bishop has recovered and is no longer in a daze, steps forward and expresses regret that it happened. Bishop had used some divination, which caused him to forget who he was and much of what had happened.) Moss tells Bishop, "Try not to be so rash in the future. I'd say much good came out of what happened. You are forgiven."

The rest of us want to know what happened. We learn that Nyx had captured Bishop, holding him in their grove. Bishop escaped and Nyx wanted to recapture him, since she says Bishop is vital to the cleansing of the planet. But when Nyx was close to recapturing Bishop, he was able to escape, and in doing so sealed her and Moss in that place.

One of the Arcane Order, Phoebe, walks into the still-open portal, examining things more closely. Theodolous chases after her, telling her to be careful and that the magic is dangerous. Out of curiosity, Phoebe probes the portal with a tiny amount of mystic energy. The portal violently closes with a bolt of mystic energy hitting Frank's plane. After the flash of light from the portal, Frank's plane, Theodolous and Phoebe are all missing.

William Moss tries to get them back. Nyx and Moss concentrate funneling mystic energies for a while and state that what they just witnessed is truly bizarre and that they've never seen that happen. Liam senses that Phoebe had done a small bit of mystic magic, triggering all the chaotic energies to discharge hitting Frank's plane and closing the portal. Moss tells us he does not think it is possible to reopen the portal.

Moss says that he and Nyx were in a very boring demiplane for what seemed like weeks. There was nothing else there to do, no one else there with whom to talk. Nyx and Moss discussed many things in length.

Liam comes up with a future research project to see if they can use technology to harness the energies of these portals for transportation.

We share a bunch of information. John Bishop's memory has returned and he regrets many of the things that he did. Nyx learns that Matt killed Kane. Nyx holds back her anger, demanding the full explanation. Matt tells the whole story in about forty seconds, spewing out a thousand words or so. Nyx, visibly still angry, holds her temper and understands, still wanting to help. Nyx says that they have a plan to cleanse Gaia in a way that will not hurt all the humans. The plan intimately involves Bishop.

Bishop, "If I had known what kind of man Ingolf Rixmann was, I never would have agreed to many of the things we did. The day the monsters attacked Pax Artificium... I turned the illusionary people into monsters. But when the monsters became real and started killing people, I was as shocked as everyone else. I regret it with all my being and [turning to Nyx] what I've done to your people. Rixmann went much further than I thought he would. He hid the experiments involving torture and vivisection from me, but I should have known what he was doing."

Liam is concerned that they'll miss something and hurt mankind again. Yeslek agrees, saying it could end up like the obelisk.

Nyx and her friends used Babylon's Horn (now the flute) to bring CID here. Nebuchadnezzar's Crown (the circlet) will be needed to return CID home. Nyx states she will help send CID back as a gesture of good faith.

We learn that Xela was in Canada (Vancouver).

Nyx says that Bishop should stay with us so we can protect him. He agrees.

Liam and Nyx talk to each other and admits that she understands that her reactions and actions may have made many angry (fostering hatred). Talking to Gaia causes much anger, she says.

Bishop and Jack talk separately. Bishop apologizes and lets Jack ask questions. After Bishop's disappearance, someone acting as Bishop fired Jack—an impersonator. Jack says that the imposter demonstrated no special intimate knowledge.

Yeslek babbles about Nebuchadnezzar's Crown, saying that it shouldn't fall into the wrong hands. It has several functions. The main thing it does is control those that are summoned. Thus, it can send the bird home. But it could also abuse or control CID. Yeslek says that they should keep an eye on him (pointing to John Bishop), saying that he has never seen someone quite like him before.

We share that divination magic can be done directly above the obelisk. Nyx, on Liam's suggestion, goes there to see what is causing divination magic from working. Nyx returns and tells us, "It was put into place by two gnomes, Noj and Sitruc. One put it into place and the other made it so it can't be dismissed too easily without both of them." Bishop nods, saying given their competition it made sense.

As a group we task the Arcane Order with bringing the barrier down. They have also started raising their village again. We leave in the Pelican for Florida to find a forest to talk with Gaia.

Lee tells us that the Voice of God was working while he was in the trucker's rig. Lee remembers it saying, "We'll get you back to your friends."

We get to Florida around midnight (PST) and land on a beach that seems mostly empty.

Tired, Matt stays behind to get some rest.

They all head to a swampy area, just past the initial beach. Nyx says, "I guess this will do." If things go the way they should, we won't have to walk around in the swamp. Nyx flies forward and turns invisible.

There is a shimmering in the air, and a portal out of nowhere opens right next to John Bishop. Out of it walks an exact duplicate. He is dressed the same, but without a cane. "I finally I found you," he says, and tackles Bishop. There is no way to distinguish the two of them. Moss uses mystic energies to slow them down. Liam turns one of their hands red. Jack goes to separate them. Gordon pins the red-handed guy, but the two teleport away. Liam says it was only a short distance.

Liam gets ahold of Matt and starts looking around. Liam's probe comes back five minutes later and has a recording of something unusual. One John Bishop is carrying another, and another portal opens in front of them. A female voice says, "Good work. Let's get out of here before they find us." It sounds like Anna.

Nyx returns and we tell them what happened. She gets upset about John Bishop missing. But she did get the grove here and the party goes inside.

Everything inside is beautiful and pretty (not the nightmare version). They follow Nyx to a central area. More creatures are around, looking curiously from the trees. Two attractive women (sirens), two women with treelike features (dryads), half a dozen big, hulking trolls, and three floating creatures (beholders—like Kane, but with the central eye).

Nyx is greeted by the others. They tell her that there's been a terrible tragedy at the unclean city. "Our forces were slaughtered, Kane's agreement was broken. We heard it all from Davos, the only one to survive the attack. He is injured and resting. Kane had on our behalf entered an agreement with some individuals to infiltrate the unclean city. We supplied the pixies as a peacekeeping force. The city's evil technology was turned on them and they were all killed."

Nyx tries to tell them that the humans are going to help. The trolls and beholders are belligerent. They think that Nyx has been swayed by the humans. Nyx tells them that William Moss the doppleganger has been among humans and that they can cleanse Gaia, without hurting humans.

Beholder: "I can't believe you've fallen for their tricks. Where is Kane?"

Nyx: "Well, he's not here right now. Perhaps I should check on Davos. These humans are guests under my authority, no one will harm them."

The beholder temporarily tolerates the humans with Nyx's vouching.

Davos has some burns, but it doesn't look that bad. Liam starts asking Davos some questions from a distance. Davos indicates that there was treachery with his associates. The treacherous ones are probably still in control.

Abel the beholder wants to punish them. Nyx says that violence is not the answer. Abel thinks Nyx has gone weak. Nyx says she understands now and they donít. Abel has no interest learning anything of the sort.

Behind the hammock where Davos is lying down is a crystalline structure. Liam asks Nyx, and she says it looks like a prison. "Who did you capture?" Abel says they captured Xela. Kane captured her because she was going to fight against the Order. Kane took the pendant.

Liam messes up and mentions Kane. Abel figures out that Liam is full of crap and tries to charm Liam, but fails. Abel demands that Liam tell him what he knows. The beholder tries to charm Lee, but fails. Liam tells Abel that Nyx knows everything. Nyx tells Abel that Kane was lost.

"THE HUMANS KILLED them didn't they? I told you they can't be trusted."

Lee does his best in compelling them to believe in them. Abel wants to know everything.

Lee starts with some extraneous information from four years ago. Abel cuts into the babble and wants to know what happened. All three beholders gather around them. Jack says that Nyx knows everything and she trusts them.

Abel wants to hear it for himself. Jack tries to convince them they don't need to know. Abel and the rest grumble and wander away, talking quietly to themselves a few dozen feet away. A dryad and a siren come over near Nyx and say they believe her.

Nyx: "So they really sealed Xela into a prison. I don't know why he would do that. She was trustworthy. But I can't believe he was going to betray us."

Jack asks whether she can be freed. Nyx thinks so with two druids. She asks Marissa to fetch Daisy.

"Abel said Kane did it. Maybe we should wait."

Liam: "Perhaps Xela was in league with the ones who took over Pax."

The beholders and trolls come back over. They say, "We've come to a decision. These humans should be put to death for what has happened to Kane."

Nyx pulls out her weapon and demands that they obey her as the leader of the Order.

Abel says, "I don't think so. We'll be leaving now." He turns to a druid: "Daisy, an exit please." A tree phases and they start marching into the tree.

They all go through except for Abel. Abel says, "One day soon you'll pay for your crime. We will have vengeance for our fallen comrade."

The remaining people go to talk with Gaia, moving to the center of the grove where there is a slightly larger tree. They hold hands, circling the tree, and meditate. Liam senses a presence in the tree. It has always been there—a maternal sense. "My children, and an outsider. What have you come for?"

"Oh Goddess, we have some terrible news."

Voice: "Of Kane's death I am aware. Everlily Nyx, my trusted servant, you must find who is responsible and carry out my vengeance."

Nyx: "With all due respect, I don't think vengeance will solve the problem. Can't we find another solution? I've been talking with William Moss and there is a way to cleanse you without hurting the humans."

Voice: "SILENCE!" Those connected feel massive waves of anger. "I would never have expected this from you. We have worked years for this. The humans must be punished and cleansed. If you will not accept this I will no longer offer you my aid." Everything goes silent.

Nyx is distraught and does not know what to do. Could Gaia be right?

The grove begins to rumble.

Everyone agrees to quickly try freeing Xela. Jack gets Davos. Elena will help me, but I need another to help," says Nyx, looking toward Liam. Liam is not happy, but joins the link.

The trees begin to howl with higher winds.

Elena leads the link, freeing Xela, who collapses to the ground.

Xela: "What's going on? Looks like Gaia's pissed.

Trees start to fall as Liam goes to pick up Xela. A falling tree is about to smash Lee when Milo appears and stops it from falling in midair. Milo says to get out of here now. Everyone runs and gets out, and the tree resumes falling, crushing Milo.

Everyone gets out of the grove and back into the swamp.

Nyx senses another grove. Stepping forward is tentacles woman (the one that attacked Jack). She holds her hands up in a gesture of non-violence and says, "I bear a message. My new masters bid that you return to Pax Artificum at once or they will begin killing one hundred people per hour. Starting with your friends."

We all have to go. The plane can be brought. The folks are Castor and Pollux John Bishop's old bodyguards).

Daelin tells us that she was captured by the ones that went to save those she had captured. She begged for mercy, to let her serve them. They spared her life, but left her imprisoned.

Nyx: Daelin, is that you?"

Daelin: "You remember what happened. The priest burned down the grove. I tried to quench the flames, but his magic tainted my soul."

Lee and Matt hear a silenced dart shot. A female voice says, "Miss us?" Agents Grey and Draz turn off their invisibility belts.

Draz can't believe that Liam still believes these people. Liam asks, "What if it is true?" Draz doesn't believe it. Grey says it is difficult to break through their minds, but can sense no deception.

Gordon wants the bird to be free. Elena is told to let the bird free. Elena checks with Nyx to make sure this should be done. Elena concentrates, closing her eyes, and the circlet glows. "Return from whence you came; you are free of your obligations." CID squawks with excitement but tinged with melancholy, then fades away.

Gordon says: The bird says goodbye to everyone and thank you." Wireless connections return.

Grey won't share information with us, but wants to come with us.

Draz and Nyx bitch at each other. Liam tries to smooth things out. Liam calls Shannon, and asks if anything weird is happening in Pax. "Of course something weird is happening; WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? First of all this afternoon, this afternoon all the city sensors went off and lasers shot all these things with wings and soldiers came and dragged them away." The conversation ends when Shannon asks, "I don't know why I bother with you," and Liam responds, "I don't either."

Liam asks Agent Grey about what happened in Pax. Grey says she received intelligence that Pax was going to be infiltrated.

Everyone gets on the plane and Matt taxis it into the grove. Daelin concentrates and our location shifts. We find ourselves in the Garden in Pax.

We fly to the rooftop of Magitech HQ. We get off the plane and a screen appears. On it is a bald headed man, who says, "You have returned, excellent. You will comply with our demands or we will kill one hundred people per hour. Our demands are..."

Session end: Tuesday, January 3, 2034 – 0230 PST

XP: 9,000