BA 13th Age: Shards of the Broken Sky

Episode 19: Hammer Time

Players: Alinar, Drojan, Falgar, Sage

Our heroes left the ruined Vakefort to visit the closest tower that the wizards asked them to inspect and report upon. The tower is covered in red handprints.

As they approach it, they espy a wholly different party – one comprised entirely of little people dressed in motley. As these are clearly some of the Dark Jester’s minions, Alinar approaches and tries to convince them he’s on their side, in the hopes of figuring out what they’re doing here.

They see through his charade rather quickly, but not before saying enough to know that there’s some sort of greater plan afoot – they’re there on a mission, not just randomly. But when he fails to give them the proper sign, they launch an attack on the party.

While the team takes out most of the little people, one disappears in a puff of smoke. When the smoke clears, the tower door lies open, when it wasn’t previously.

As the team searches through the bodies, one of them catches sight of that last little person trying to sneak away in the knee-high grass. Clearly his misdirection failed, and the party finishes him off.

From the bodies they recover some checkered cloths with various letters on them, clearly one or both creating some kind of cipher. They pocket these until they can find someone skilled in such things, and then make their way into the tower.

The first floor is mostly bare except for large salt crystals lining the walls, but those attuned to magic, especially Alinar, hear some sort of alarm sounding. The rest of the party can sort of hear it, but barely. For them it’s mostly drowned out by a loud pounding noise that can be heard from the floor above. A staircase brings the party up to the second floor, where a large hammer swings quickly back and forth between two silvery plates. It’s too noisy to hear each other talk, so they begin to move up another staircase to escape the din. They do pause to look at the hammer, but it’s moving too fast to note anything other than there are words in Common inscribed upon it. They also note an oscillating blue/green portal hanging midair on one end of the room, but as they can’t discuss it they leave it.

The floor above appears to be some sort of tailor’s shop – bolts of cloth and bags of buckles and buttons line the room, while a couple of sewing tables are scattered about. And on one side of the room is a small dais with a three-way mirror.

The room also contains several mechanical creatures: clockwork automatons and strange egg-shaped things with rolling treads and clockface eyes. They attack, and it’s a tricky fight – the clock-eyed things seem to zap people backwards in time several seconds. But eventually the party prevails, leaving clockwork parts strewn about the floor, with the exception of one completely locked in place intact automaton.

The threat addressed, they also note another (swirling grey) portal in this chamber. But as Alinar sorts through the clockwork pieces to look for interesting parts for himself, Drojan starts looking over the cloth. He even steps up onto the dais to get a look at his recently-acquired blue Nehru jacket. But as he does so, scissors and needles and thread and streaming cloth swirls around him, destroying his clothes but leaving him in a brand-new, custom-tailored outfit.

Sage, also wanting a new outfit, follows suit – forgetting to remove his rabbit cloak, which is lost in the process.

Alinar also gets in on the action, after removing and setting aside his clothes.

Falgar does not opt for new clothes, finding his current attire already perfect for the woodsman’s life.

And now two portals beckon…

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