A Smaller Task pt4

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The final tiny cricket and the giant one have fallen. You may have found the source of the disharmony as it no longer sounds, but perhaps your mission is not yet complete. You're still here, after all.

"Okay. There's no more disharmony." says Alaryn. She closes her eyes and prepares for 'no place like home', but after a bit, she peeks with one eye and asks, "We are still tiny, right?" And then she growls, "Stupid chaos incarnate!"

"Welcome to dealing with the fey. We don't go back until the job is done." Lawson says with a grumble. "Problem is....what else is left? What caused the disharmony in the crickets?"

Sargon leans over the remains of the large cricket they identified as the source of the noise. "The key to the mystery must be in this one," he offers.

Target destroyed, the ruby light in Toha's eye flickers out and she slumps slightly toward the ground. The silver mist seeping from her seams seems to have stopped by the time she's restraightened to her feet. A finger pokes around one of her 'ears', then the other as she looks to her companions, then tilts her head and ringingly slaps the higher side before little silvery nuggets of half congealed... whatever she bleeds, spatter to the ground, "Maybe we need to bring it with us?"

The bodies of the creatures remain present. There doesn't appear to be anything else around you for the time being. No other signs of disharmony except, maybe, the blood and guts covering you. Bug guts.

"Seriously. I'm starting to think that the fey themselves are the ones in disharmony. They are chaotic that they can't possible blend into any form of harmonic." offers Alaryn as she steps forward and peers at the dead bug. "Remind me to avoid stepping on crickets in the future." she adds.

"So....we should find out where they came from. Perhaps the disharmony is something else." Lawson says....ignoring Alaryn.

Toha turns and makes the rounds to collect her misplaced arsenal, pausing, tipping her head again, the other way this time, and knocking more stuff out, "Could we have brought more disharmony with us?"

Starting to think this through, Alaryn is about to say that yes, they could have. But she shakes her head, "No. They would not have sent us all if we -were- the disharmony." She hunkers down and starts trying to logic her way through it. She looks out over the water and inclines her head.

GAME: Alaryn rolls knowledge/arcana: (10)+10: 20

GAME: Lawson rolls knowledge/nature: (4)+4: 8

So, for a time, nothing happens. It's rather normal, you know, that nothing happens. Still, after a time, all of you begin to sense a faint ringing, a buzzing in your ears left over from the disharmony. Some of you are still having some hearing damage from that in the first place.

But it appears to be coming from the innards of the giant cricket.

Shaking her head, Alaryn says, "Didn't someone suggest the problem might be inside the cricket?" She inclines her head and sighs, "Someone should dig in there and see what it might be."

Lawson just stares at Alaryn....considering that he still has some of the cricket's dried innards on his armor.

Toha turns at Alaryn's remark and, with a shrug, strides over to the cricket to see if she can root around inside. The golem takes a knee near one of the larger breaches in it's shell, the killing blow seems a good place to start, and she plunges a razored hand inside. Squish!

GAME: Toha rolls heal: (11)+1: 12

Poor Toha makes a /god awful/ mess. Bug guts spray out from time to time. Some of you might get... splashed.

do get splashed.

Eventually, though, the golem is able to draw out a black... crystal of sorts. It's humming. More loudly now.

Lawson is looking at the 'stone', but is trying to ignore the buzzing for the moment. "So where was that?"

Every time the stone is moved through the air, the buzzing changes slightly.

Lawson says, "Can we put that thing in something? That's probably what's causing the disharmony. It sounds like it.""

Sargon peers at the stone. "IS IT FROM THIS REALM?" he says, loudly and apparently not realizing. "IF WE TAKE IT BACK WITH US PERHAPS IT WILL BRING AN END TO THE FEY WARS."

"Up near the head, in the...." Toha's head cants a touch and her voice grows vaguely uncertain, "... swallowey bits... not the mouth." That said as she rises, she gives the stone a couple of firm shakes, trying to get more of the glop off, completely indifferent to the fact that she's going to look like she's half made out of adobe by the time they get back to town, "I have volatile items in my pouches, I'd like not to put this in with them, please."

Lawson says, "In the throat. Which means it ate it...and it got stuck." he then looks to Sargon. "Why are you yelling?""

The crystal just pulses. Clearly, it has /something/ to do with what's goping on. Every time it is moved tyhrough the air, the sound distortion accompanies it.

Sargon squints at Lawson. He gestures at his ears. Then he holds out his hands in a shrug. Turning to Toha he holds out his hand asking for the stone.

Toha turns and drips her way over to the Oruch, then gives it one final shake to dislodge a kind of stringy bit before finally forking it over, "I think he hurt his ears worse'n me."

Lawson says, "so I'm the only one that can hear normally...and can hear the buzzing...wonderful."

Sargon turns the crystal this way and that, grips it with both hands and twists at it to test its strength. Then finally he kneels and sets it down on the ground, releasing it but holding his hands nearby as if to catch it if it leaps.

Voom voom.

It's kind of an unpleasent sound. It /does/ feel breakable, however.

Toha looks back at the human with a quiet, "What?" a fingertip roots around in her 'ear' again, "Still ringy." She looks back in time for Sargon to put the crystal down and get ready to catch.. it.. again? Hmm. She wags a finger in his line of sight to get his attention, and, if he looks up, she makes a mock smashy motion with her Earthbreaker.

Sargon gives Toha an exaggerated nod. But then he turns to Lawson, eyebrows raised inquisitively.

Lawson nods to Sargon.....agreeing completely.

Lawson also...goes to find a suitable rock to set it on.

Toha, being helpful and sort of gung ho on the Oruch thing, , gives a faint nod and brings the haft of her hammer up into the grip of her other hand. "How flat we wan'it?" she wonders, "All flat, outside flat, inside flat...?"

Sargon holds out his hands in an 'after you' gesture. And then begins edging backwards.

GAME: Toha rolls melee-2: (9)+5+-2: 12

GAME: Toha rolls 2d6+2: (5)+2: 7

Toha is at least considerate enough, once people start edging back, to give them time to do so. Not that she isn't given them her best, immutable skeptical look. It generally looks like |(. Then, the hammer goes up and as they say, must come DOWN. THUD!


The crystal cracks.

The sound it was making now /reverberates/ through the area.

Everything goes quiet. /Deeply/ quiet right afterwards. It's like you hit a gong.

Sargon squints. He turns his head to the side and tilts it slighty, as if that will help him hear better. Finally he looks at the others. "WHAT HAP--" he pauses and then conciously controls bis voice. "--happened?"

Lawson puts a finger in his ear and looks about. "the silence here is deafening now." He then shakes his head. "the crystal cracked...it looks like."

Indeed. It cracked.

AS the silence remains, a wisp of black.. light seems to eminate and slip out of the crystal, moving up slowly into the air before you.

Lawson peers over to the wisp of black.....and turns his left shoulder towards the crystal. "Could be trouble."


The golem twitches a little bit. It's a 'little bit' of a full body fit, as of a human girl getting really skeeved out, or got a bucket of snow dumped in her gown, and she loses her grip on the hammer, instead raising her hands to the sides of her head. "NnnNnNngyah...!" A perculiar utterance, for a singularly peculiar feeling. Shudder. Then shadow. Her head cants and shakes once before she reaches up for her greatsword. She can't go back into that place, again, it's too soon.

The wisp... /screams/.

It is a dischordant, horrifying squeal that won't leave the ears.

Even if you're deafened, you can STILL hear it. It's like it's screaming itno your very mind.

Sargon tenses and then relaxes, shifting into his fighting stance. He keeps his eyes on the smoke for the most part. But a few times he lets his gaze dart about.

GAME: Sargon rolls will: (4)+5: 9

GAME: Lawson rolls will: (16)+4: 20

GAME: Toha rolls will+4: (20)+1+4: 25 (CRITICAL SUCCESS)

Sargon stumbles back. His features scrunch up and then he sits down heavily. He just manages to bend forward, head between his knees. It's an old trick he learned to keep from retching when he feels sick.

Lawson looks to Sargon as he manages to clap his hands over his ears in time...even dropping his sword....

The screaming continues, of course. It isn't stopping him. And the light? The light seems to be solidfying, taking shape...

Uh oh...

Toha gets that sort of twitch going on again, "...I hate that..... noise...!" she growls in Yrrchspeak as she turns toward the light, moving to step between the men and the coalescing... whatever it is.

GAME: Lawson rolls perception: (9)+5: 14

GAME: Toha rolls perception-2: (7)+6+-2: 11

GAME: Sargon rolls perception: (5)+9: 14

Lawson keeps his hands on his ears.....at least until he puts his sword back in it's scabbard. But he does notice something at the crystal.....and he points to it....from a distance, or course.

Sargon also points, one finger tracing slowly between the crystal and the wisp.

Toha looks back to her comrades, then to the wisp, then starts to move toward the crystal.

GAME: Toha rolls melee-2: (17)+5+-2: 20

GAME: Toha rolls 2d6+2: (8)+2: 10

Toha collects her hammer along the way without breaking stride, bringing it up, then down once more-with feeling!


The crystal explodes, this time, with a massive shriek once again. The darkness is swept away for a moment before it reappears, a swirling, hissing cloud of claws, teeth, and rage.