Manaburst Actual Play, Session 2

Session Date: 12/02/2007
Gamemaster: Prorpger

First, a few notes. My fiancee wound up coming down with a migraine on game night so we did a minor ret-con. Instead of NPCing her character, we just decided that she hadn’t appeared on the weird sphere with the rest of us. Also Luke, who directed the rock opera known as Renegade Horizon, was able to sit in for a session so he and Chad came up with a character concept real quick ahead of time. Presto change-o, start session 2.

* * * * *

After the initial shock passes the players all head in different directions and when they meet on the far side of the sphere a few minutes later confirm that it was in fact as small as they had initially though. However on the far side they do find an odd mechanical device, completely out of place in this hand-drawn world.

The device looked to be composed of a cylinder with a smaller sphere floating about a foot above the top of the cylinder. The outer shell of both the cylinder and sphere had numerous holes in it, through which the players could see innumerable gears and other mechanics hard at work within both objects. At the top of the column is a small depression, around which are scattered the three pieces of was once a large green gem that had apparently been shattered some time in the past.

As everyone pokes at the orb, a booming voice suddenly emanates from everywhere at once, welcoming the travelers to “my world.” Feral looks up and sees the sun overhead, looking down and talking to them.

Feral’s discussion with the sun is relatively quick. It introduces itself as Lagatto and says that the travelers are there because he summoned them. Apparently he wanted a piece of their souls or he wouldn’t let them leave. The sun refused to aswer questions as to why or where they were, and when the travelers refused he laughed, asked how much water and food they had, and said he would return in a few weeks as the sun descended down past the horizon. Lore speculates he means sphere-time, which he estimates at half an hour judging at how fast the hand drawn horizon moves around them.

Lore is able to detect that the broken gem carried an enchantment, but it was currently inert and not functional. The travelers eventually decide to go ahead and assemble the gem and place it in the depression in the top of the column.

* * * * *

For the entity, there is nothing but darkness. Then it’s as if three pricks of light come together and it can see once more. The last thing it recalls is a large man in fancy robes examining it. The man, visibly aggravated, grabs a nearby chair and begins striking the entity, shouting “Failure! Failure!” over and over again.

* * * * *

Failure

Failure

As the travelers watch the column begins to rumble and shakes. It begins to expand and unfold outwards as appendages start to come out. Legs, arms… soon the column has become a rather large humanoid construct of some sort, regarding the travelers with a pair of glowing eyes beneath the green gem now in his forehead. The travelers ask what the construct is and it replies the last thing it remembers was a robbed man standing over him, saying “Failure! Failure” over and over again.

After a little bit once the construct proves it’s not an agent of the sun or this sphere, they describe the situation and how they found him. He says the sphere isn’t part of him and begins examining it, eventually grasping it firmly and trying to compact it. After a great deal of effort Failure (as the travelers have taken to calling him) managed to dent the sphere in his hands. Suddenly a loud wrenching sound echoes in the sphere and two large dents appear on opposite sides, corresponding to where Failure was clutching the smaller spherical device.

The travelers then decide to wait, figuring they now have a bargaining chip, but after the half an hour Lore initially estimated it would take the sun doesn’t show. The travelers begins to suspect that it might mean real-time, which would imply some sort of perception outside the sphere, which would imply someone was watching them from outside the sphere.

Failure decides to try to talk to the sphere using what he calls his “machine voice.” His consciousness slowly seeps into the sphere, and he can detect the simple driving force powering the device. Failure tries to communicate with it, but it seems content to “spin for the master.” Failure begins yelling, telling the device that he wants it to stop; that the master wants it to stop. The sphere’s ‘consciousness’ seems to reset but Failure persists.

Suddenly everyone is deafened by a loud screaming sound coming from the small sphere device and the sphere around them. Gears begin popping out of the small device. They look up and see clouds spinning in place, the moon stopped in mid air. Things start moving in the wrong direction, everything shaking chaoticlly. More gears and spokes pop out of the smaller sphere… and everything stops.

Failure toss the sphere away in disgust, but Lore picks it up and tries opening it by unscrewing the two halves that can now be seen. As he removes one half, half of the sky above him spirals away into nothing leaving only blackness where it was. Inside the spheres they see small metal etched clouds and such stuck to the interior surface, a small glowing stone floating in the middle, and small metal miniature people laying on the inside of the remaining half.

The people seem to be representative of the travelers, and Lore decides to removes Feral’s to experiment. As he does, she disappears. While he tries to figure out of that was a good thing or a bad thing, Failure removes himself and also disappears. Lore shrugs and upends the sphere (dumping Slate and himself out), and everything goes black.

Lore finds himself surrounded in darkness, but calling out he hears the others nearby. He conjures an illusory light and sees Failure, Feral, and Slate all in a small stone room with him. In the middle is a wooden table and on top of the table are all of the parts of a spherical device identical to the one they manipulated, scattered as if it had been broken.

The travelers leave the room, Failure in tow. They find themselves in a basement of sorts and eventually locate stairs going up. From the bottom of the stairs they hear loud clicking and clacking from upstairs. They ascend and one story up the stairway ends in a door.

Through the door they find a large white palace looking hall. White marble walls and columns, gold trim, the works. There is a great deal of fancy furniture and decorations, but they get the impression there’s not quite enough there to fill the room. The source of the clicking and gear turning sounds turns out to be dozens and dozens of automatons – each the same brass color as Failure but smaller and more slender – milling about the hall like many servants.

Failure grabs the nearest one and uses his “machine voice” to find out that it is fetching wine for the master. He manages to convince it to return to the master and sets it down for the travelers to follow. The servant machine leads the travelers to a side hall that ends in a small plain door. At the end of the hall there are two more machines similar to the servant, but each one carries a large metal sphere. The guards allow the servant to pass, but as the travelers approach they lower their lances and order them to stop.

* * * * *

And we called it there for the night, stopping at another cliffhanger. Out of one prison, into another. All of the characters are looking for some answers, and hopefully next session we’ll finally reveal exactly where we are and why we aren’t on Moor.

Again I went into a little more detail than necessary. I guess I get to wordy sometimes. šŸ™‚ We’ll see if I can condense the next one of these a bit more so it doesn’t take quite as long to do.

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