Tonk is my new favourite game, and it seems I’m very good at it. Brekkles, for all his faults, was a very gracious loser, writing off Lorax’s old gambling debts but also covering our night’s food and shelter. Unlike Ragnarok, who seemed less than impressed at losing to me – despite us all playing for the good of the group. He is a strange and unfathomable beast. Hover still won’t go near him; it’s probably those big clanking hands he’s so fond of…
During our night of Tonk, Brekkles introduced us to a local whose name is very long. Let’s call him Deelian. Anyway, it came to light that Deelian had a brother in Druissi whose wife had recently gone missing. We were due to pass within half a day of Druissi so agreed we’d stop by and see if we could help.
We journeyed onwards the next day, heading for the Black Riage mountain range. On the way we were ambushed by a flying elchin, that lured us in by mimicking sounds of human laughter. Ragnarok was injured and Hover was swatted clean out of the sky. It took a chunk out of Lorax as well before scurrying off, terrified by the bolts of ice that Deelian sprayed it with. Seems this one might come in useful after all.
In Druissi we found there’s been recent movement of the metallic structure the town is known for, as well as changes in the intensity and consistency of the hot spots they produce. The town is inhabited by the Hozai, a sort of priesthood forecasting doom and destruction. They believe the metallic structure their town is built above is coming to life, and that a great monstrosity will rise from the earth and swallow the town whole. They sound crazy at first, but in honesty – given the evidence – maybe they aren’t that far wrong?
One of them, Theybis, asked us to help him investigate by bringing him some samples from down below – where Deelian’s brother, Geirn, believes his wife has either gone or been taken. He helped us find a fissure large enough for us all to pass through, and we began to venture deep into the structure. It was a strange place, with long corridors, pipes coming from the ceilings and an almost see-through, bouncy material making up a large part of the structure.
At the end of a corridor we came out into a large mezzanine type room, the lower part of which closed off by a metal grid. Next to the grid was a gelatinous circle, that we were sure had some sort of mechanism to open the grid. I am not so well-versed in these things and spend several fruitless minutes swirling one way and the other before Lorax brought her insight.
Meanwhile, Deelian was channelling his ice powers into the grid, to help Ragnarok break through with sheer brute force; Ragnarok was charging at the grid and slowly weakening the frosted metal.
In hindsight we should have warned them that we were working to unlock it; Ragnarok was mid-charge when Lorax deciphered the code and unlocked the grid. He sailed through, plummeting into the unknown beyond!