With the Battle of Fyrkat over, the PCs realized they could no longer stay in their new home. After some discussion, it was decided the PCs would take the Sky Raft some distance from Fyrkat and the other local villages (such as Ashkam) and then release it in the general direction of the Center. Chook, the Lizard Person captive, would be left on board, to deliver a warning to the Serpent Men—the PCs would be coming and they intended to bring hell with them.
This plan was almost derailed from the start when Marcus, walking along with Mister Grimm (who was dispensing some fatherly advice about his daughter Vilgerthr), found Cyan dragging Chook out of his cell. As she was obviously drunk and armed with a long knife, Marcus ran off to find Donovan. Mister Grimm, for his part, merely watched with detached interest. He, at least, wasn’t terribly concerned with the fate of Chook.
Donovan and Edward were roused and confronted Cyan. After a bit of arguing, Edward was able to drag Chook off, while Cyan held her knife to Donovan’s throat. However, she was unable to actually attack him, and eventually handed the knife over and was helped to bed, to hopefully rest and recuperate.
Afterwards, Marcus had Donovan fly him to the Pylon Plaza they’d stayed in before coming to Fyrkat. Marcus found he could open the doors to the other Pylons, and did so. He also discovered the Plaza recharged the Lizard Person gear he had with him. Activating the computer system within the Pylon, he was able to bring up the schematic of the world he’d seen before. This time the schematic stayed and Marcus was able to study it. He quickly determined the world was indeed flat—this explained the odd horizon (or lack their of) as well as why the sun never changed location when it rose and set. In addition, the world seemed to be made up of rings or levels. The edge of the world was the mountains, then the level they were on, then another one (covered in forest apparently), then another that was mostly plains, then the ocean. In the center of the ocean was apparently The Center, where the Snake Men dwelled.
With a little experimentation, Marcus concluded the Pylon Plaza was a power station (hence the calling down of the lighting) and a environmental maintenance facility. With a little work he started to form a thunderstorm outside, until Donovan told him what was happening. Undoing his work, the pair then headed back, only to find a rescue party being formed to find them—their supposed 6-hour jaunt had lasted a day and a half. Not to mention the ugly storm the villagers had seen brewing mountain-ward....
Some discussion later it was revealed that Donovan had discovered Lizard Person prints at the original crash site (not to mention portions of the wreckage missing.) Also, he told Marcus about his attempt to fly straight up—only to suddenly get turned around and come back down. This led to the question of: ‘what’s beyond the mountains?’
The PCs and certain Fyrkat elders and citizens prepared to make the day’s journey to Ashkam (which was 20-30 miles away.) A wagon was loaded with captured Lizard Person battle gear, while the PCs prepped the Sky Raft. The villagers, for their part, gave gifts to the PCs, to help them on their quest. This includes clothing, food, water, mead, blankets, such weapons as can be spared, and so on. Specific gifts are as so:
Billy Jo—Harfreder presents him with a necklace of raptor teeth., while little Gyda solemnly hands over her wooden practice spear she’d made herself.
Calvin—Herger gives him a fine and somewhat ornate drinking horn. He also presents the PCs with a chest for the Sky Raft (for storage.)
Cyan—Mother Gytha gives her a supply of herbs, salves, unguents, and other medicines in a large haversack.
Donovan—Vidar and his family present him with a change of clothes, a good knife, a hammer, and heavy leather gloves.
Edward—Dalla gives him a sheath for his new sword and a sharpening kit. In turn, Edward gives Dalla a hat.
Marcus—Vilgerthr offers him her body, but Marcus declines for now. She’ll also gives him a haversack for all of his gear, and reveals she’s packed it with stuff she raked out of the ashes of the burned storehouse as well as select Lizard Person gear.
The PCs them made the journey to Ashkam. Before arriving, they made sure the Sky Raft was neutrally buoyant, and then “pulled” it into the town, presenting a dramatic prize of war as opposed to a possibly intimidating invasion vehicle. The town itself was huge, at least compared to Frykat. Numbering 400-500 inhabitants, it’s laid out in the same manner as Fyrkat (a circle quartered by a cross), but instead of having one longhouse in each quadrant, Ashkam has four. The PCs also saw their first true warriors, men at the gates in full armor (mail and scale coats) with long spears, axes, swords, and shields. They saw their first Mining People (shart, broad, muscular) as well as what could only be a Running Person (tall and long legged.)
After a night of rest, they were brought to see Lord Thorkell, known as the Ring-Giver for his honesty and largess. He was a well-appointed blue-skinned Farming Person, with black hair and beard. He listened to the Fyrkat elders speak, then asked the PCs to account for themselves. He was highly interested in the exploits of Billyjo Sky Raider’s Bane and Edward the Warrior. He feasted the PCs and spoke to each individually. When told of their plan, he agreed it was a good one, and graciously accepted the gifts of Lizard Person long sword and Electro-axe. In turn, he presented the PCs with silver torcs, woolen cloaks, and circular cloak pins.
The next day the PCs were off. They decided to head Sunward, towards the Ocean, taking the trading road as far as they could. The crossed the Bull River, passing the village of Thurso as they did zo, and then headed down along it. Roughly a day and some 100 to 125 miles later, the PCs set the Sky Raft to drift, releasing Chook from his bonds. As it headed over the trees, the PCs headed down the road on foot—a slower pace, but hopefully a far less noticeable one.
The next day, while taking a rest break, Vilgerthr took Marcus by the arm and led him off into the bushes (where she’d been picking berries.) She showed him what the PCs termed a “Morlock Hole.” It was a vertical cylinder about 5 feet tall and two wide. The top was capped by a slightly peaked lid which had four equally spaced vents. Marcus could feel a slight vibration coming from the cylinder as well as the faint rhythmic noise of machinery. Investigation of the vents revealed a constant stream of cool dry air. Leaving one’s hands in front of them for any length of time resulted in a slick oily feeling, as if you’d just dipped your hand in graphite lubricant. Unable to find anyway in (there was no access or maintenance hatch) the PCs eventually left, but not before noticing the berry bushes grew only around the column and not over it.
About a day later, after crossing another river and passing a marshy area to their left, the PCs came over rise and found a strange sight—a series of white stone walls rising out of the sea of grass. As they came closer, it became apparent the walls were made of blocks of white stone (with some dark bronze ones), while the floor seemed to be concrete slabs. There was no roof to the structure and the whole thing was set on a circular base. It was also, as far as could be told, new. As in, there were no dead leaves, animal droppings, or other signs of wear. Also, a tree had been smashed in two by the structure, with the damage quite fresh.
Entering the “ruins” the PCs found signs of advanced technology. One wall was obviously fitted to take a sign, non-working cameras were on other walls, and a series of large crates were set on the floor of the largest chamber. Edward saw the crates, noted the label (Aperture Science Laboratories) and fled, stating he had no desire to be anywhere near GLaDOS. Marcus shrugged and was pleased to find a tool case (with tools) for use with computer and electronic equipment. Opening the crates he found more cameras, as well as some strange white egg-shaped objects.
Lifting up one of the egg-shaped devices resulted in it powering on, stating (in a cute electronic voice) “Who’s There?” Legs extended and the sides opened up to expose weaponry. A visible laser scanner beam appeared and started tracking objects. The Sentry Turret then announced “Hello, Friend.” “I See You.” “Preparing To Dispense Product.” “Dispensing Product. Firing.” and when nothing happened (the Turrets had been shipped unloaded) “Ammunition Depleted. Please Reload.”
Startled, Marcus dropped the Turret, which shut down, but not before stating “I Don’t Hate You.” After some discussion, it was determined that yes, this was an Enrichment Center Testing Chamber (or part of one anyway) from the computer game Portal. Except this was all very real....
Donovan took to the air and confirmed that yes, the structure was roughly circular, as if someone had opened a... portal... and dropped the Center through it. The edges where the structure had been sliced away from the main building where razor sharp. Even more confusing, the Aperture Science Laboratories equipment was dated 2010.
About this point several PCs opinionated that A) they were in some sort of cosmic dumping ground or scrap heap, B) the Well was connected to many different universes and time lines, and C) things probably fell into the Well from areas where the dimensional walls were thinnest.
After Marcus and Vilgerthr collected equipment, the PCs pushed on.
After several more days of travel (meaning the PCs had been in the Well for nigh-on to two months), they came to a thick forest. While traveling down the caravan road, Billy Jo heard the sounds of people approaching from Sunward. Lining up along the side of the road, they waited cautiously.
Coming around a bed in the road were three Farming People, one yellow, one orange, and one gray. In back of them was someone one a horse, leading a second horse. The yellow Farming Person rather angrily demanded the PCs state their business, but was silenced by the horse-rider, who trotted forward into view.
Edward’s first reaction was “it’s an elf” as the woman possessed long pointed ears, much like those of anime elves. She turned out to be very tall, standing 6’6”, with skin darker than Cyan’s, silver-white hair, a face that visibly pointed near her chin, and large eyes. She was also dressed in full armor and bore arms on her shield several of the PCs found curious in design.
She gave her name as Captain Jiranee Jenvirava (meaning “the flower of Virava”) and said she was the king’s freelance, come to see about the defense of the village of Jayanama from a possible bandit attack. She noted the PCs martial look and as a representative of the king asked their purpose. Upon being told the PCs were seeking to pass down to the Ocean, she made a proposal—she could use assistance in dealing with the bandits. If the PCs would help her, she could ensure they were amply rewarded back in Virava, which lay upon the route down to the ocean anyway.
After the PCs agreed (Edward doing so before she’d even finished her offer), Captain Jiranee stated “I am glad you have accepted, for seven is a fortunate number.”
The Farming People were introduced as Peraphon (yellow), Direk (orange), and Sartra (gray.) The PCs introduced themselves, and the party traveled Mountain-ward towards Jayanama. Along the way Captain Jiranee was asked about herself and Virava. Virava wasn’t a city of elves—she was apparently unique in the land, having been found as a mere babe by her parents, who were farmers. She’d helped on their farm for around 150 seasons or so, and then was called to Virava, where she has served the Kings of the City of Stone and Steel for some 600 seasons or so (she’s lost count.) Marcus did some math and realized that meant the good Captain was some 225-250 years old!
Virava was said to be located on the edge of the cliffs that lead down to the jungles below. It lies along the trade road, and is known for the great ribs that extend over the city. When asked about the “ribs” Jiranee drew a crude map at which point several PCs wondered if the city was settled amid the wreckage of a vast air/space/water ship.
Later, Captain Jiranee went off to bathe at the river. Edward followed, to help “get water” but forgot his task when Jiranee moved off and started to undress. He discovered that under her armor and padded jacket, Jiranee made Cyan look almost flat-chested, but was chased off by Vilgerthr before he could see much more. Cyan, for her part, had Jiranee ask a question of Marcus while wearing only her linen undershirt, which caused his brain to seize up.
The next morning (and every morning after that), travel was delayed slightly as Jiranee, who had 200 years of fighting experience to draw upon, taught Billy Jo and Edward the basics of sword, spear, and axe.
After a few days of travel, the PCs arrive at Jayanama.
Ashkam is the seat of Jarl Thorkell’s domain. Other villages include Cawdor, Fyrkat, and Thurso. Hurot was a part of the domain, until destroyed by Sky Raiders some 50 years ago.
Pylon Plazas can, among other things, control the weather and alter the flow of time.
Donovan couldn’t fly above a certain altitude.
Marcus has a new tool kit, Sentry Turret motion sensors, and the lenses from the camera eyes.
Captain Jiranee is worried, as traders have brought rumors of war on the plains far to Sunward. A King Con? Krull? Kull? Cronen? is apparently waging wide-scale war and this could really hurt trade.
You’ve met the following people:
Jarl Thorkell the Ring Giver, a blue-skinned Farming Person. He presents a very martial appearance and has a guard of armed and armored húskarlar of various races.
Aldis is Thorkell’s blue-skinned daughter. She ended up with Calvin after the feast.
Captain Jiranee Jenvirava a brown-skinned “elf” who's far older than any of the PCs.
Peraphon the yellow-skinned Farming Person. He seems to be angry and bossy. Or, at least, doesn’t like Sartra.
Direk the orange-skinned Farming Person. He follows Peraphon around and normally agrees with anything he says.
Sartra the gray-skinned Farming Person. He was the one who said he’s find help for the village, only to have Peraphon join him because the latter felt the former would just screw things up. Sartra maintains the fishpond and is friends with....
Surot the Leaping Person priest (who’s not yet been seen.)
Return to The Well Of The Worlds