Episode 36

The Fortress is moving. The Revenants plan, whatever it is, is in motion. The party only needs to make it to the Surface Ship to escape. It's eight-hundred yards to freedom.

Scene 1: Leaving the warehouse hold

Orryn has rejoined the party. He's fluttered back, pockets stuffed and ready to leave. The party is gathered at the warehouse hold entrance.

Tormgar and Marnos are reluctant to go and turn their back on Gathela. They don't know what will happen, but the Revenants will do whatever they can to whomever they can. Their unholy need for revenge will lead to massacre.

Tormgar grew up in Gathela. And although he's turned his back on the everyone who runs, participates, and condones the government-Fortress complex, he still has friends there. It's a weight he can't ignore.

Marnos volunteers to walk down the inside wall of the warehouse hold, down to the barrels which he believes to be full of explosives, to see if the Revenants are still there and if there is anything the party can do to sabotage their setup.

Marnos moves quickly, silently, and invisibly towards the Dwarves. To his left, cells filled with minerals, unlabeled barrels, a cracked pile of twinkling spheres, a single curled moribund animal that appears to be permanently aflame. To his right, the interior wall. He reaches out to touch the wall, and it has slight give, like the hard flesh of an arm.

Marnos moves past two sets of barrels. Each pair is spaced a quick jog apart. As Marnos moves past the second pair, and now out of sight of the party, he sees the same two Revenants further down, working. He approaches. The larger one, perhaps a soldier although he isn't armed, is mounting a small box to the top of a barrel, and is attaching to the box a long, silver cord. The cord trails away from them and Marnos to another box and pair of barrels further down the wall.

The smaller Revenant, in drab worker clothing, is reviewing a small map that looks like the warehouse hold. The map shows a large, square space with long, interior bars possibly representing the multi-story, storage cell blocks. Roughly forty small circles have been drawn around the periphery of the hold. Some circles have been crossed off, others have not.

Marnos would like to distract the Revenants to steal the box. He unleashes a Chakra into the distance, and it cracks against a metal cell a hundred yards away before teleporting back to Marnos' hand.

The Revenants quickly put down their equipment and jog to investigate. Marnos grabs the box and rips out the silver wire. He moves down the wall, and cuts out several additional chunks of wire, hopefully sabotaging the Revenants' plans.

As Marnos heads back to the party, box in hand, he hears a distant cackle and a thud. He shivers, the voice reminds him of the voice of an Illithid or worse, an Ulithid, the more potent of the Mind Flayers. Marnos's clan skirted around the territory they claimed in the dark corners of their jungle.

Scene 2: The final Fortress stand

Marnos runs back to Tormgar, box in hand. The rest of the party is outside the warehouse hold, at the end of the hallway, at the hatch door, trying to open it. He and Tormgar rush to rejoin. The hatch is laborious to open. Although the hatch wheel spins freely, it needs turned and re-turned in a certain sequence that must be inferred from the writing on the hatch.

As Andrazel is on the last part of the sequence, a crowd of Revenants round the corner, yell as they see the party, and rush to engage.

The Revenants have now marked the party for vengeance, and the hateful energy that propels their destiny is directed the party's way. The party manages to shake of their psychic energy and confronts them in mêlée. Tormgar is paralyzed, but survives. All Revenants are killed. Andrazel quickly fishes the sequences to open the hatch and they are able to swing the heavy hatch open.

Scene 3: The Spirit of Duerra

Edwyn descends first, his large body scraping against the sides of circular hole. There's a ladder from the hatch to the floor. The room below is circular and dark, a large ellipsoid of metal. As the rest of the party follows Edwyn, they note that the space looks more Elvish than it does Dwarven.

In the front is a fifteen-foot wide rectangular shutter. On the sides, large curved control panels, mostly dark. A few splashes of light occasionally light up lever or knob. And in the center of the space, a single hard throne of a chair with a large pod, attached to the ceiling, suspended above. There is a closed, full-sized door in the back that the party guesses leads to the rest of the ship.

Andrazel descends last and ensures the hatch is fully closed behind him. With the last twist, there's a large clicking sound and the hatch is energized such that continual contact with the wheel is uncomfortable. Andrazel descends to floor.

Scene 4: Departure {scene-4}

Hardy has never been in a control room, but he's heard stories from his father on the rare occasions when his father was loose with words. While the rest of the party tentatively explores the room, tugging on the shutter, opening the back door to the rest of the ship, Thormgar sits in the central chair. He rests for a minute and concentrates. He closes his eyes.

The pod above the chair opens and a thick, clear fluid descends and encircles Tormgar. Tormgar doesn't flinch or feel the fluid. He feels very attached to the chair, like the chair is part of him. There's a minor moment where he wavers, but that moment is forgotten. Tormgar feels the space of the ship and the intimacy of its dimensions. He opens his eyes. He can see the land below. He is alone, a solitary creature of flight and power. He would like to take off. There is the world to explore.

It's takes effort for the rest of the party to resist the urge to tear Tormgar from the artificial womb. He isn't moving, he looks dead, although Marnos can see the slight rise and fall of his chest.

The panels around the wall turn on. The room lightens. The front shutter begins to roll up and into the ceiling. Behind it is thick, quartz glass and beyond that the Cauldron landscape of spires and volcanic rock.

The ship drops, everyone stumbles and then it pushes forward, stabilizes. Behind them they hear the power of systems engaging and energizing. They are airborne and they are free.

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