The Accretion Gospel
Episode 5: The Culmination at Crystal Spire
Arriving at the crystalline isle known as the Hush, the six travelers banked the ship and climbed the glittering spire to find a large building carved out of the face of the land itself. Mauta explained that this was the home of the Sisterhood, where they gazed into the moon to gain guidance from their draconic patrons.
Finding the entrance oddly unguarded, they entered a grand hall that lead deeper into the structure. Deciding it would be best to split up and cover more ground, the group broke into two smaller teams. Arro, Tesla, and Mauta took the left wing of the lair, while Janet, Tuona, and Roth took the right.
Climbing farther and farther up the tower, the two teams uncovered a variety of interesting things. Arro’s team discovered advanced computer technology had been installed in the heart of the building, and with a little investigation, Tesla was able to determine that it was, not surprisingly, of Lacryman origin. While investigating, they worked their way past a variety of dangerous traps and arcane puzzles, using Mauta’s expertise and Tesla’s quick wits to disable the obstacles both modern and magical. They also encountered several roving bands of Lacryman Departed, a class of cybernetic soldiers created to house the minds of Lacryman warriors whose bodies had been damaged beyond all means of repair.
Janet’s team, although faced with many perils- including a winding series of tunnels riddled with hidden circles that teleported the team into a mazelike sequence of sealed chambers in the heart of the island’s base- found a more direct path, locating a spiral stairwell leading to the top of the tower itself. However, before they could ascend, they would need to find a way to disable a series of force generators installed by the Lacryman infiltrators that barred access to the spire’s observatory.
To do so required much backtracking and a bit of fighting, but with a little elbow grease and the aid of a beam sword stolen from a Lacryman soldier, Janet managed to spearhead an assault on a makeshift command center placed in the tower and force them to grant her allies access to the highest regions of the building.
After meeting back up, both teams ascended, only to find one more obstacle- an arcane device dating back to the time when humans were brought to Arkova. The device operated as a sort of control center for the island itself, allowing one to alter the very frequencies of the orexisite in the tower. In order to gain further access, one would need to shift the plates of lure in such a way that the observatory would be exposed to a specific transmitter, which could then be used to pass through the solid crystal walls and scry on things that existed beyond the planet’s atmosphere.
The team left Roth and Janet behind to operate the device while the others were sent into the central observatory. There, they encountered the leader of the Sisterhood, a sorceress named Moreel. Moreel informed them that she had seen the silver dragon as it lay sleeping beyond the moon, and that the dragon had sent a missionary unto her to tell her how she and her people might find a way to be returned to the world of their origin.
In a twist that the off-worlders had suspected for some time, this “dragon” ended up being no more than a Lacryman flagship piloted by Councilman Hesse, the Coalition representative from the Lacryma star system. It seems all suspicions were correct- he had been manipulating the Sisterhood into gathering lure for him so that he could break the Macadan monopoly on orexisite production and thrust the Lacryman people back into a position of political power within the galaxy.
Mauta tried to explain this to the Sister, but to no avail. During the confusion, Varda and Hesse arrived, and Varda opened fire on the four interlopers. Moreel offered her aid to Hesse, not believing Mauta and holding fast to the sentiment that Hesse was a missionary from the silver dragon.
An epic battle took place in the observatory. Things were going well for the heroes, but Moreel took over Arro’s mind and unleashed him on his friends. Tuona was badly hurt, but at the same time, Varda had been slain by a grenade tossed by Tesla. Hesse used his innate psychic powers to escape to his ship, which entered the atmosphere and began to hover around the tower’s spire. He opened fire on the tower, destroying a portion of the roof and causing Mauta to be dropped to his knees in the explosion. Roth and Janet then stormed the room, ready to defend their companions.
Roth was cut down by Arro’s possessed blade, but at the last minute, Janet drove the beam of her beam sword through Moreel, and caused her to collapse. Arro was released from the spell, but it was still looking bleak. Hesse had activated the ship’s orexisite extraction beams, slowly dematerializing the island itself and drawing the particles into a reserve in the ship itself. The very tower was being harvested right out from underneath them. Collecting their wounded and grabbing the injured Moreel, the team hobbled their way down the tower as the place crumbled around them, desperately attempting to reach the ship before it was too late.
Unfortunately, the stairwell leading to the main hall disintegrated under the vessel’s extractors, and the team was left stranded within the island. Just then, a gasping Moreel crawled to the center of the room, and activated some sort of mystical aura. This caused Tuona and Mauta to begin to respond to the lure around them- an effect Tesla identified as an alchemical algebraic recalibration, an alchemical phenomenon in which bonded particles and ambient energy are broken down into a subatomic state and converted into something else altogether. This sort of effect is at the core of the alchemical technology used by the Coalition to generate resources for every day life, but never has such an event been triggered by living beings before- at least to Tesla’s recognition.
Just then, Moreel vanished into the air, and the offworlders, Orsa, and Roth were scattered into particles and absorbed by the two Arkovans. Just as the room collapsed, the duo of naturally alchemical Arkovans vanished, as Moreel had done before them, and all fell silent within the Hush.
What felt like days later, Janet awoke within a dark, dingy chamber made of some strange alloy. Her cybernetic arm was badly damaged, and her wounds were beginning to heal. She found herself in the company of Tuona, who had been treating her over the past few days. It seems that Tuona and Tesla had woken up in a strange place after the incident, and while trying to find out where they had arrived, they discovered Janet unconscious and bleeding to death in a pile of rubbish several meters away from the chamber they had regained consciousness in.
When asked about the whereabouts of the others, or the details of what had happened, neither Tesla nor Tuona could answer. They weren’t even certain where they were- Tesla speculated they might be on a Lacryman starship, but she was unable to determine their location using her equipment. Tuona wondered if perhaps they were not in some deeper level of the Hush, and began to worry about the fate of their friends.