Temerday 5th of Ohtamo Year of Sola 1342
The spirits were calling Aloran. To be fair, they rarely stopped these days, but this was different somehow. It was much fainter than usual and in a language he didn’t understand. Never one to ignore the spirits, he headed down to the docks to what captains were available.
As luck would have it, the Vermilion Dream was back on Caradys. As Aloran neared the vessel he found Lumpy, the resident Yarn Golem, headed the same direction. After, exchanging the usual pleasantries and hearing that there may be adventure afoot, Lumpy left to hunt up some of their other common companions while Aloran continued to the ship to persuade Red.
Milday 7th of Ohtamo Year of Sola 1342
It was well into the later half of their second day aboard ship when they drew near to the small out of the way island. Small as it was it was an impressive sight. The island appeared to be composed of bunches of hexagonal stone columns with the top covered in a thick blanket of snow, the storm still ongoing; while the bottom had sparse vegetation and a proliferate amount of odd creatures appearing as some sort of monkey-penguin cross breed.
As they circled looking for a good place to land, Beryl scanned the island and storm with her suit in anticipation. She feared her suit would not function well for long in the cold. Surprisingly, the storm was unnatural and hadn’t been going for long. At least that’s how it appeared based on the contents of the snow buried crates she located in her scans.
More interesting than the crates was the scan that showed a hollow section within the island of an uncertain structure.
Finding a decent landing place with access to the underside, Red – never one to pass on a potentially lucrative opportunity – commanded her crew to dig up the crates and capture some of the creatures. While the rest of them headed inland to try and discover the source of Aloran’s voices which since arriving at the island had fallen strangely silent.
Aloran quickly succumbed to the cold temperatures and was relegated to being carried by Lumpy to keep him out of the snow.
Beryl was in the lead scanning for pitfalls and other dangers with Lumpy and Senka close behind. Red brought up the rear at a bit of a distance.
The party jumps and turns just in time to see a giant Yeti type creature take a swing at Red and send her flying through the air to land 15ft away with a thud and a whoosh of air as the breath left her lungs. Stalking forward it narrowed its sights on Aloran and took another swing. Lumpy turned protectively shielding Aloran, the yeti’s blow ripped a chunk of yarn out of his upper arm.
“Lumpy, set me down.” Aloran requested urgently.
As he turned further to set Aloran down out of harm’s way Lumpy discovered that his dampened yarn had partially stuck to the cold ground.
Springing into action Senka dashed around the yeti and straight behind its legs dodging a swing of its large arms as she went. Pulling her knife Senka slashed fiercely at the back of the creature’s knee; pushing through the thick fur there was a gout of black blood.
As Aloran attempts to help Lumpy unstick himself from the ground, Beryl begins to maneuver around for a clear shot with her Energy cannon. Finding a good position she fires and hits the yeti in the side of its torso.
Finally having regained her breath, Red sits up only to be slammed back into the ground by a bolt of energy hitting her shoulder. As she sits up once again, Red looses a stream of invective, impressive even for a sailor, and rises to her feet.
As the Yeti bellowed in anger, the snow beneath Aloran began to give way. Lumpy grabs at him frantically and manages to haul him to safety as a dark crevice opened where Aloran had previously stood.
Still swearing in a constant stream Red jerked her pistol free and fired a solid shot hitting the creatures cheek, reholstered the gun and pulled out her rapier before heading toward the beast.
Truely enraged now, the yeti begins flailing around wildly, determined to be rid of the source of its irritation.
Nimbly dodging around several kicks of its legs Senka spots one of its arms swinging around; knowing she will not be able to evade this one braces herself for the jarring impact and is tossed 20ft up the slope.
Lumpy, irked by the damage being done to his friends, gently tosses Aloran uphill to safety. Turning back just in time to see the creature disappear into the nearby snowbank.
Stunned, Beryl runs over to the site to see the mound of snow undisturbed but for a streak of bubbling black blood. Scanning the mound with her sensors produces no different findings. Just snow. Suddenly she felt a hand grip her suited leg and the Yeti appeared back out of the snow swung her around and threw her away. Beryl landed hard and winced at the telltale crunch of mechanical damage.
Looking around at his now scattered friends Lumpy charged the yeti and took a flying leap, determined to keep its attention on him. He feels the creature’s claws dig into his sides, but he has an equally good grip on the yeti’s fur, for the moment at least.
Red, having increased her speed at the reappearance of the yeti, rushed in and with a rage fueled jump, thrust her sword through the yeti’s brain.
Sensing the spirit begin to leave the creature Aloran pulls out a totem and dances, chanting.
“Vinaquirem gadurm du qaziem,
moiparran vinaquirem sular.
Vinaquirem norn tagolann nal kalipar."
The yeti’s spirit was drawn into the totem and Aloran felt warmer just for having it.
The party regrouped to examine the scene of the fight. Beryl shines her suit light down the crevice, but it is too deep for the small light to illuminate much.
“I’m going to jump down,” Beryl decides, “we need to know what’s down there.”
“Wait! Beryl, we have rope.” Aloran called over after briefly consulting with Red.
“I’ll climb down,” Senka offers, unfazed by the holes darkness.
Red pulls out the rope and it is decided that being the largest Lumpy will hold it. Beryl jump from the edge and glides to the bottom, followed more slowly by Senka on the rope.
At the bottom Beryl looked around spotting a pole sticking from the ground she began brushing off the surrounding snow, revealing a level and a door below them that it apparently was meant to open.
As Senka reached the ground, she kept a hold of the rope and watched the floor split open revealing a hallway below. Without hesitation, Beryl jumped down, while Senka shouted their findings to the group waiting above, and followed Beryl through the opening.
After searching for a rock to tie off the rope too and finding none, the gauge the Yeti heavy enough to support their weight and tied the rope off to its body and descended into the hallway.
At the end of the hallway, Beryl finds another lever and door. Pulling the lever, the door slides open slowly revealing a continuance of the hallway. This section, however, was crisscrossed with lasers. There were enough gaps that the smaller people of the group may be able to traverse it, but it would be risky.
As they pondered how to get through to the other lever, Senka remembered the pouch at her belt and withdrew a handful of glass pebbles; she had collected them with the intention of selling them at market but had decided to grab them on a whim while packing for the trip. Crouching down next to the nearest beam she carefully grasped one of the pebbled and slid it down in front. The laser hit the glass and was redirected, thankfully not into her companions, but the pebble would not stay in place on its own.
Red seeing the half-successful attempt at getting them through the hall rummaged in her gear and produced some sticky gum from the Duc Tree. Splitting the supplies the party made slow but steady progress through to the door at the other end.
As the door slid open, a cacophony erupted inside Aloran’s head. This is where the spirits were calling from.
Inside the room, there was a shimmering yellow field of energy, behind which was a bank of mechanical controls and the prone body of an elderly cloud-blessed woman.
As Aloran settles in to try and communicate with the spirits and find out what happened here, Beryl goes over to examine the machine as much as her damaged sensors will allow.
There were about a dozen spirits, one much more powerful than all the others; they projected great excitement at the appearance of Aloran. The lady had been collecting them for years and siphoning their energy. She lured them in and trapped them, but the trap overloaded and she was electrocuted as she attempted to shut it down. They would very much like to be set free.
Lumpy was greatly unsettled by the room and kept close to Red and she searched the rooms for plunder.
Beryl’s examination of the machine finds that it is critically overloaded and likely causing the storm above, but she sees no way for it to be turned off from this room as the controls which would turn it off are too dangerous to touch.
After a curious glance at Aloran, Senka walks over and examines the body of the woman on the floor, dead by electrocution. She searches her clothing and comes up with a surprising amount of coin – which she stashes in her now empty pouch for the time being – and an odd cylindrical mechanical device a bit longer than her hand. Not sure of its purpose, but figuring it may be important given the other mechanics of the room Senka stands up and hands it over to Beryl for inspection.
Upon examination, Beryl discovers that the device can be used to communicate wirelessly with nearby electronics and given a few minutes she should be able to disable the spirit machine with it.
There is a mechanical whooshing sound and the energy field dissipates. Aloran feels the spirits hastily disperse…. Except for the powerful one, it continues to linger.
“What else can I do?” Aloran inquires seemingly to the air.
“These lesser creatures have no sense of gratitude, but I am grateful you have heard my call and I feel that I must repay this.”
“I was happy to help, but Beryl did most of the heavy lifting.”
“But you are the one that can make use of my power…. Do you have something that can hold me.”
“I do, I would have to release the snowman…”
“No, no. Those will not do.”
“Can I make you a new totem or do you need to be in something more lively?”
“I suspect such totem is beyond your skill. However, I could bind myself to your body, for a time.”
Aloran was startled, “Hmm…." This must be a truly powerful spirit to need a human host. More worrisome was the usual fate of spirit totems.
“Will my body be destroyed when I release you as my regular totems are?”
“No, but it may affect you in other ways while you contain my power.”
“Can you tell me any more about yourself, where you came from before you were trapped here?”
“I am Senu-Yuka, The First Storm. I have been for ages and I was here and I was drawn in by the plight of these lesser creatures, and I too was ensnared”
“I will let you come with me…. I mean, I willing submit to your influence over my body."
“It is decided.”
Aloran shivered with the influx of power as Senu-Yuka entered him.
Red and Lumpy wander back around to the spirit room to see the energy field is down and Beryl and Senka watching Aloran with looks of confusion and curiosity respectively.
“Well, are we done here?”
Still shaken Aloran nods in affirmative and they all head back out the way they came. Beryl taking a moment to disable the lasers with the device.
Regaining the surface, Red reclaims her rope from the Yeti. Aloran notices that the blood still leaking from various wounds seems to be odd. “Senka, you looked at the blood earlier. Do you think it would be of value to collect any? Does anyone have something to hold it in?”
“Well, it’s black blood so likely poisonous or toxic somehow. Which would be valuable to certain buyers.”
Red once more rummaging in her gear manages to produce three glass vials to hold the blood, which Aloran quickly fills.
The rest of the walk back to the Vermillion Dream was uneventful. The crew hand managed to load the scavenged crates on board and catch several of the monkey-penguins by the time they arrived.
Taking command, Red got them in the sky once more and turned the prow back toward Caradys.