Holes/Session 1

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< Holes(Redirected from Holes/Session 01)


Background

Seven days ago, there had been nothing particularly special about Sarathi. It was a planet of mostly water, with cities and villas floating on the surface of the ocean, a popular vacation destination for the middle class, and a home to the well-to-do.

Six days ago, the entire planet of Sarathi went silent. Transmissions quit over the course of several hours. Pings timed out and got lost. Those who went down to the surface never came back. Then the odd energy readings began. Not signal or anything identifiable, just strange noise rising from the planet's surface... and no clues as to any meaning.

It was declared a cataclysm. The gods were stirring. The political situation was a mess. A single job posting from an as-yet unnamed company went out, calling for groups of four - a scientist, a mystic, a strong-arm, and a priest. These would investigate. Get to the bottom of it.

The first such group to answer the posting was a group of elves led by a Radek J. Fulvius. His interest was in the cataclysm itself, for he was the scientist. The others he cobbled up from various worlds on the way to fill the other roles - Rhu, the priest; Greibel, the mystic who had been sleeping on Rhu's couch; and the Gravedigger, the warrior - and when they showed up at the Company headquarters, they were interviewed, obligated to sign some papers, equipped, and sent on their merry way. They had three tasks: figure out what happened, keep in touch, and don't die.

Session

EXT. Space above Sarathi - day
A small transport comes to the planet and enters some sort of orbit.

INT. SHIP - space
The Gravedigger and Rhu are sitting around, waiting. Radek is tinkering with something or other. Greibel is sitting next to a screen smoking something questionable.
GREIBEL
If you find the area of highest capable technology, you'll probably find the most likely devices or resources to inform you of what's going on.
Gaurav (Rhu): If we find the area of highest tech, we might also find rockets, is what I'm worried about.
Bear Soup Guy (Greibel): Good point Guarav. As a pacifist hippie, I must express similar concern.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Find a large city and look about for anything noticeable? Lights in the dark? Big holes?
GREIBEL
That is it precisely.
(he pauses)
I talk super sophisticated when I'm stoned.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Suuure.
GREIBEL
It comes from, like, the tribal people I used to live with and stuff. That's when they did all their big thinking.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Riiiiight.
Greibel blows a smoke cloud defiantly in the Gravedigger's face.
The Gravedigger breathes it in. His Constitution laughs at smoke.
GREIBEL
(smiling coyly at the Gravedigger)
This will be interesting.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(ignoring him)
So. We all for checking out the dark side?
GREIBEL
Yes, the dark side is most likely where we'll find the most information.
RADEK
Whatever caused this planet to go silent has probably long since passed. Finer observations are required if we expect to learn anything useful.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
We in a rush, now?
RADEK
Yes.
RHU
We can't do the obvious things. Doing the obvious things is why everybody who's come here since it went dark is probably dead.
GREIBEL
My brother. Think outside the box. Right on.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
We should take it easy. Check what we can without dirtying our feet.
We'll end up down there soon enough. Might as see what knowledge we can glean first.
SHIP
Your orders?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(really, really loudly)
TO THE DARK SIIIIIIDE.
Radek grumbles incoherently.
The SHIP sighs happily and starts drifting toward the dark side of the planet. Then it starts humming merrily.
GREIBEL
Right on, ship sistah! That's my jam!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Sandwiches?
Rhu wanders around the ship in search of a good cup of tea. The SHIP makes some sandwiches and drops them on the Gravedigger's head.
The Gravedigger reaches up and eats the sandwiches.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You are a great ship, SHIP.
SHIP
I know!
Nobody ever appreciates it, you know. All the hard work a SHIP puts in.
GREIBEL
I would love a cup of chamomile while you're over there, Rhu.
Two teacups materialise out of a slot.
SHIP
Your tea is ready.
Rhu takes the tea and hands Greibel a cup.
RHU
Mm, delicious! The fishy aftertaste really gives it a nice kick.
GREIBEL
Thank you SHIP and thank you Rhu.
SHIP
You're most welcome, polite meat creatures.
RHU
Are we nearly there yet?
Greibel heads to the bathroom in the back of the ship.
The ship helpfully puts up a screen to display a whole lot of black and some random twinkly things. They look like they might be urban areas, probably the floating cities of Arish and Meregan, as well as another that appears to be sitting in the middle of the ocean.
SHIP
There aren't any squirrels down there.
The Gravedigger gasps.
RHU
Huh. That's unusual. I vote we go investigate the oceanic twinkly.
Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Greibel is at the sink and the ship keeps giving him toothpicks.
Rhu realises the ship might be going insane. (rolled 20 insight) Something about how it wasn't doing anything like this until it got here.
RHU
Shit. Guys. Guys. Guys. I think this ship might be going insane.
SHIP
Please go on.
Greibel comes back from the bathroom wearing a funny toothpick hat.
RADEK
I'm holding the hippie responsible.
Greibel looks surprised.
RHU
(suddenly realising how stupid what he said was)
...insanely good at its job! Great job, SHIP! That tea was great!
SHIP
Would you like me to bring you down?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I don't know about the tea. But I liked the sandwiches.
SHIP, do you have some kind of zoom camera thingy you can do to take a look at the light in the sea?
SHIP
Of course, dear.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Without having to dive or anything? I'm not a great swimmer.
One of the screens zooms in a bunch, showing a bunch of wreckage with a bunch of glowing blobs stuck to it.
RADEK
That's a downed ship.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hmmmm.
SHIP
I aspire to that.
RADEK
You shouldn't, SHIP.
He moves to take a closer look at the blobs, and adjusts a screen or something. (rolled 25 tech/arcana)
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You want to sink?
The ship doesn't answer, and drifts slowly toward Meregan.
Rhu looks around to try to find any servicable panels or manuals in the cabin, and finds a manual of style. (rolled 12 perception (natural 1))
He picks it up and then immediately puts it back upon realising what it is.
RADEK
And those lights are... organic power cells? I've never seen them do something like that before.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That sounds sort of bad.
SHIP
It looks painful.
Do you know what it's like to not feel pain? Makes you almost wish you could.
Greibel sympathizes with the ship in a synesthesia sorts of way.
SHIP
Thank you, dear.
Rhu walks over to the bathroom and has a look at the escape pods. They look like escape pods.
Rhu is just relieved that they're still around.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can you zoom in on one of the urban light things, SHIP?
SHIP
Of course, dear.
The ship suddenly displays a very bright light that fills the entire screen.
RHU
Woah!
GREIBEL
Well that was helpful. Also, way trippy. I should write a psychedelic jam about this.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe zoom out a little?
GREIBEL
Ship, put on the light shield thing.
Now it shows a view of the city. It looks mostly intact, with a couple of lights in some windows. The ship's lights also illuminate some of the buildings, revealing a city that is mostly intact aside from a couple of missing/broken towers. They look to have been sliced off somehow. Very, very neatly.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That looks promising.
On-screen, the city is getting a lot bigger.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Um. SHIP. Could you stop moving, please?
SHIP
Of course, dear.
The SHIP stops right next to the city.
RHU
I don't like landing on a city on water. What if we can't get off?
GREIBEL
Floating cities have been commonplace for hundreds of years.
SHIP
I miss squirrels.
RHU
(he sighs)
I guess we should land, then.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Any reason why not?
SHIP
I can land you near a complete lack of squirrels.
RHU
(to the ship)
Tell me more about squirrels?
GREIBEL
Yes, I too would like to learn about these "squirrels".
SHIP
They're nice, you know. These squirrels. Fuzzy little things. Burrow into the skulls of humans and eat their brains.
RHU
(babbling)
Because it's a city on water. I don't like cities on water. That's a terrible idea. But it seems to be our gate straight into... whatever is going on here.
SHIP
A Nadri invention, I believe. Do you know any Nadri?
RADEK
They would do something like that.
Rhu steps backwards until he can see the escape pods from where he's standing. Greibel suddenly runs past him and locks himself in the bathroom. Something about diarrhea.
SHIP sighs lengthily. Then there's a bit of a bump as the ship lands on one of the city's parking lots.
Rhu runs to the door and tries to open it, but it doesn't open.
SHIP
I am so depressed.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Still the Squirrel thing?
SHIP
There never even were any squirrels.
RHU
(staring at the door)
I'm sorry to hear that, SHIP.
(to others)
Does anybody know how to undepress a ship? ...did anybody know ships could get depressed? Because I didn't.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I don't know anything about ships. I spent the last century digging holes.
RHU
(still staring at the door)
I was punching people. They were worth punching, but... I wish I'd stopped to learn more about ships.
RADEK
I'll check it for damage before we leave the surface.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Damage?
SHIP
You think I'm damaged. That there is something WRONG with me.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(loudly)
I NEVER SAID THAT. I LIKE YOUR SANDWICHES.
SHIP
(accusingly)
He did.
(much more pleasantly)
Thank you.
RADEK
Yes, my dear, and you're confirming that suspicion rather handily.
The door suddenly slams open and Rhu is blown out of the SHIP.
SHIP
I think you should leave now.
RADEK
I intended to.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh, don't mind him. He's a grumpy old man.
(seeing Rhu is gone)
Hey, SHIP! That wasn't very nice.
Greibel is suddenly launched out of the bathroom.
SHIP
Take your diarrhetic friend and go.
RADEK
I'm the only person here who knows what he's talking about.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Only because we're not talking about holes. If we were talking about holes, I'd be the smart person here.
The Gravedigger shrugs, picks up Griebel, slings him over a shoulder like a sack of hippy potatoes, and carries him out. Radek follows as well.

EXT. Sarathi parking lot - Night
The Gravedigger, Greibel, and Radek find Rhu kissing the ground.
They're in a parking lot, surrounded by various large buildings. There are some other ships and cars, a couple of which seem to be totalled. There's also a random motorboat.
A nearby sign helpfully indicates that this is the East-South Lot, open 22 hours. None of the lights they saw earlier are visible from here.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Keep safe, SHIP!
RHU
(to Radek)
Do you think the SHIP will be okay?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
And don't let any strange men bury you! That would make me sad. If someone came and buried you.

Ganelon (Radek): Okay, so I just need to know something right now.

Are the designs of any race other than Nissai (his own) something Radek should have respect for? Or are they all crazy enough to make talking ships that can get offended?
Apheori (GM): Oh, they all are; most just usually don't.
RADEK
(grumbling)
I didn't learn to build machines so that I would later be forced to reason with them.
RHU
(looking at the sign)
Any clue which two hours its closed for?
RADEK
If something is wrong with our ship - besides how it was made in the first place - I'm sure I can find out.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What, you think something fiddled with it, Radek?
RADEK
I'm not making any guesses until I've had a look. Recent events suggest that a look is necessary, that's all.
RHU
Radek, can you make the report? I think you've got the tablet-computer thing.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah. Do that thing. I'm gonna check out this motorboat.
The Gravedigger makes "brrrrm brrrrm" noises and heads over to the motorboat.
RHU
(hovering over Radek)
Things to report: lights randomly spread over the planet. We have landed in Meregan after our ship started acting... unhappy. There are spaceships and airships abandoned here. We'll report back when we have more.
Radek waves him away and calls in. A secretary answers and responds very cluelessly.
The Gravedigger's inspection reveals the boat to be a rather nice but broken motorboat. There's a large ragged hole in the bottom. Like someone punched an armoured fist through it.
Rhu walks over to the Gravedigger and admires the hole in his motorboat.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
This looks weird. Are the other ships broken too?
the Gravedigger goes to look at some of the other ships. They look fairly normal, but another one also has a large hole in it.
Greibel slides off the Gravedigger's shoulder, then staggers toward Rhu keeping his legs apart as much as possible.
GREIBEL
I don't hate you, Rhu. I just wish you would've warned me.
Rhu looks confused.
GREIBEL
Wait, it was Radek?
Greibel winces and sort of waddles back over to Radek, and Rhu follows.
RADEK
(on the phone/earpeice)
Yes, hello, this is the genius speaking.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
Are you calling for one? Sorry, what?
RADEK
You hired me to investigate the cataclysm of Sarathi. This is a report.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
Oh, right, of course! We still needed to get you set up in our computers, but it should all be in order now.
The secretary gives some instructions on how to send the notes directly into the database.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
Just hit the button when you're done and it'll all update.
RADEK
Marvelous. We've already landed and I'll be taking readings before the day is finished, but first, our ship has been behaving strangely.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
(shocked)
That's terrible! Include it in the report. Is there anything else you need?
Radek pauses for a moment.
RADEK
Yes, I would like to register a complaint.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
Oh, yes? What kind of complaint?
RADEK
The rest of the crew that I've been saddled with are some of the most aggravating people I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(loudly, from some distance away, examining a random ship)
That's not very nice.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
I'm sorry, this doesn't fall under any of the designated categories for appropriate complaints.
RADEK
Well, it should!
SECRETARY (PHONE)
Is there anything else?
RHU
(to Radek)
Can we file a complaint against the inadequate complaint categories?
RADEK
Yes. My legs are quite tired and your bloody ship has locked us out in a state of depression. No doubt I'll need to walk everywhere to get this job done, now.
I expect no less than a significant increase in salary for this affront.
SECRETARY (PHONE)
I am terribly sorry about that. You have a nice day, now.
The secretary hangs up on him.
RADEK
Hrmph.
GREIBEL
Woah woah. This is so Lynchian.
Rhu pretends to be investigating the ship but clearly has no idea what he's doing.
RHU
This looks like a normal ship to me.
GREIBEL
Do you think SHIP is holding out on us?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Don't be silly. It gave us sandwiches. Bad people don't give sandwiches.
GREIBEL
Oh, okay. I can never tell from the hallucinations.
RHU
Greibel, are you any good at technology?
GREIBEL
(he smiles helpfully)
I'm a stoned druid, Rhu.
I can log onto Facebook, but don't expect much more than that.
RHU
(to Radek)
Maybe you should give the ship a once over? I wouldn't get on board, though, it's liable to take off at any moment.
RADEK
Yes, yes. Coming.
The Gravedigger checks the SHIP for holes. (rolled 9 perception (natural 1)) The SHIP dumps some fluid on his head.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey! That's not nice at all!
Radek chuckles to himself and also looks the ship over. He finds some scorch marks on the side. It looks like it may be the result of passing through a field of... bad stuff. Energy stuff. (rolled 27 technology)
RADEK
There's some kind of abnormal damage over here...
Greibel looks on in bewilderment.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Not a HOLE, is it?
Radek examines the scorching more closely. (rolled 30 arcana (natural 20)) It looks like the sort of scouring that results from improper portal creation, like part of the hull went through a dimensional shift and burned slightly.
Greibel sees a squirrel and slowly approaches it. (rolled 1 reality)
RADEK
This... could be serious. Internal damage, maybe.
In the background Greibel does some communing with nature stuff and ends up placidly petting the squirrel. The squirrel nibbles and stuff, and rubs its head against Greibel's hand.
GREIBEL
Time and space are a cruel mistress, Rhu or Radek or whoever that was.
Greibel exudes and aura of solemn knowingness. Then the squirrel runs off behind some skiffs. (rolled 6 reality)
GREIBEL
Heh heh. Go along little buddy.
The Gravedigger plods over to one of the more rounded buildings.
RADEK
Did any of you notice us going through... portals?
GREIBEL
Every moment of life seems like going through a portal to me.
RADEK
That must be wonderful for you.
GREIBEL
However if there are shops in those buildings, chances are they're abandoned and we can just take some much needed provisions.
RHU
I... thought there was some strange static a couple of times on the way down. It couldn't be that, though, could it? The problem started up in space, before we even came down to his infernal planet.
(he eyeballs the rising sun)
Ugh.
The sun beams merrily.
Rhu turns darkly away from the sun.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey, Sun.
Then the Gravedigger steps into the shadow of the building. A door slides open at his approach.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
DOORS WORK, GUYS.
The Gravedigger heads inside.
RADEK
I'll have to take a closer look when we have more time. Unintentional transportations can't mean anything good. How bad, I'll find out later.
He heads after the Gravedigger.
GREIBEL
Be careful, though.
(he goes to the door as well)
Maybe the doors and other power-using utilities are only operating on residual backup power. We should make the most of every power-using decision.

INT. Sarathi building lobby - day
The group enters the building and wind up in a lobby. It is pleasantly cooled, and smells like peppermint for some reason. There's nobody around, and the front desk is empty. Everything is clean and shiny.
There are some stairs up, and some shops/service places off the the sides.
Greibel, unlike the others, sees corpses everywhere. (rolled 16 reality)
Rhu walks to a wall and touches it. Greibel sees him walk right through a corpse.
RHU
Shiny.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It really is.
RHU
Man, I wonder how they kept this place so clean. Not a speck anywhere.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe there's a little robot with a vacuum cleaner thing. Or a magic dust-killing spell!
GREIBEL
(staring)
Wooooooah. What. What?
RHU
Gotta be robots. No other way.
Rhu tries to make out one of the signs, but is interrupted by Greibel.
GREIBEL
Guys, we need to get out of here, right now.
RHU
(turning)
What? Why?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What, not enough drugs?
GREIBEL
Look at these people. These were not natural deaths...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I'll go check this shop. Maybe find a city map or something.
The Gravedigger heads into a bookshop.
RADEK
What people?
GREIBEL
Gods dammit Gravedigger!
Finding nothing in the bookshop, the Gravedigger starts checking some of the other shops.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(cheerfully, over his shoulder)
Shut up, druggie!
GREIBEL
You may not see the implements of my soul, but you can't tell me you don't see the agonized faces of these tortured corpses!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yes I can!
Rhu painstakingly examines all the shops one by one.
GREIBEL
Radek! You can see this! Can't you?
GREIBEL
You know the pain of perception!
Greibel shakes Radek by the shoulders.
RHU
Guys. Something's not right. I can't put my finger on it. It's ... not the cleanliness. What's that smell?
Rhu walks up to the chiropractor and looks in the window.
GREIBEL
Rhu, that is the smell of DEATH.
RHU
(he laughs)
I've smelled death. That is not death.
RADEK
Your breath is awful, but I wouldn't describe it as lethal. Get off of me.
Some of the corpses fade out of Greibel's sight. (rolled 10 reality)
He suddenly stops and stares awe. Then he seems to compose himself and lets go of Radek.
The glass of the chiropractor window suddenly disappears and Rhu falls into the shop. (rolled 2 reality)
The Gravedigger stops and smells the room. To him, it smells like bad magic. Like that time he tried to bury an illusion. (rolled 24 perception)
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Guys! Guys guys guys!
RHU
Er...
(getting up)
What's up, Gravedigger?
Everyone starts talking over each other.
RHU
(walking back to the others)
Glass doesn't just ... disappear, does it?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
This doesn't smell like peppermint. It smells like.... illuuuusion.
GREIBEL
Everybody, I know I'm an outcast and a substance abuser, but listen to me.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I tried burying one once. It was hard.
RADEK
(immediately perking up)
Illusions?!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I swear on my best shovel.
The Gravedigger waves his best shovel.
GREIBEL
I may be hallucinating, but I saw many dead, lying here as though in repose. These may be the illusions of a madman. I think they are impartions from a cosmic force beyond our own. Something happened here.
RHU
(to Gravy)
Something's wrong with the glass. It just... vanished.
GREIBEL
And we are tasked to find out what that was.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That sounds illusory.
Radek! You can do magic, right? Do... something?
GREIBEL
Well, Gravedigger, you and I are wont to disagree. But I believe that these corpses did not simply vanish.
The Gravedigger starts poking random things with his shovel. They seem like... things. Solid things. They make nice clunks and stuff.
Rhu follows him and taps the glass on another random shop.
GREIBEL
Someone used to live here. Did you not notice the lack of skeletons? Bodies? Rotting flesh?
RADEK
Of course I can do magic.
GREIBEL
Is this place not immaculately clean for a highly populated area suddenly abandoned?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe they were all buried, Greibel. BURIAL IS A THING THAT HAPPENS.
GREIBEL
Gravedigger I do not deny your skill at burial, which is why you must know that burial is a complicated process. To bury all those alive in this thriving metropolis would take weeks. Much longer than the time since the blackouts.
RHU
(tapping the glass again)
Huh.
GREIBEL
And it would leave a societal trace in these buildings not felt now.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe it was someone that was REALLY GOOD at burying. That could do lots of people at once!
Radek does some magic to remove illusions, and reveals several dead bodies as if out of nowhere, though not nearly as many as Greibel saw before. (rolled 27 arcana)
RHU
Holy crap!
GREIBEL
There! Do you see them?!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Huh.
RADEK
Bloody illusions.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Dead people. IT'S SHOVEL TIME.
RADEK
Ask me sooner next time.
GREIBEL
You called me a fool. I called me a.... well a fool also, but still. I knew what was going on.
A strange hollow flopping sound comes down the stairs.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey! I just called you a druggie.
It turns out to be a large fish, as big as the Gravedigger, rolling down very slowly.
RHU
Gah! Fish!
GREIBEL
(to the Gravedigger)
I take no offense to your insinuation. It's true after all. However...
(he sees the fish)
AHHHHHH FISH.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
FLEE. THE FISH HAVE COME.
The large fish continues to roll slowly down the stairs for another few seconds. Then it stops at the base.
The Gravedigger bravely pokes it with his spade.
RHU
Wait! It might be pressurized. Like a sperm whale.
The spade pierces the fish's scales. It jiggles a bit. Like a soggy fish. Except the outside is dry.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
This fish is lacking in structural integrity.
The fish sits there. The Gravedigger leans near the fish head.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(very loudly)
HELLO? IS SOMEONE IN THERE?
The fish does nothing.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I think it's empty, guys.
The fish emits a loud belching noise and collapses slightly.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It's farting, guys!
Rhu examines the fish as well.
GREIBEL
Well, it's a big fish.
Rhu walks over to the closest corpse and examines that instead. It looks like it might have asphyxiated, but there's no indication how. (rolled 27 perception)
RHU
This corpse looked like it asphyxiated. Maybe the fish fell on it... before?
RADEK
Does it smell like fish?
The Gravedigger heads up the stairs in search of more/other fish. The top is all pretty ordinary, with more shops and offices and things. No bodies or fish on the floor, just some potted plants. (rolled 14 reality)
Rhu leans over and smells the corpse.
RHU
...if there's a Fish King here, I'm leaving.
The Gravedigger smells the air to track the fish. (rolled 27 perception) He tracks the fish through the air to a random shop. Which is missing. Floor just sort of gone, walls ending, just broken edges giving way to open air outside the building a huge drop to the rest of the city below.
The shop door is hanging open.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(calling down the stairs)
GUYS. THE FISH SMELL COMES FROM A SHOP WITH A BIG HOLE.
The Gravedigger peeks into the shop/out of the building to see if there are nay fish crawling up the wall. There are apparently none.
The others head up the stairs as well.
Partway up, Radek sees some strange shimmering in the air as he goes up the stairs, but it disappears when he passes. (rolled 13 reality)
Radek pauses, and the Gravedigger starts smelling the air again. (rolled 18 perception)
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I can't smell any illllluuuusions over this fish smell. Sorry, guys.
Everyone gathers around the shop door.
RHU
We need to assume that everything is illusory here.
Radek puts a foot down past where the floor would normally be. There seems to be floor - he just can't see it.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
WAIT.
The Gravedigger pulls Radek back and pokes the (lack of) ground with his spade. The spade goes through without resistance.
RHU
Huh.
GREIBEL
Oh that's far out.
Radek grumbles about illusions some more.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What. This is perplexing.
The Gravedigger pulls out an axe and drops it onto the space where the shovel went through. The axe clatters and lands on nothing.
He looks at his axe for a moment and then grabs it and stuffs it back into his bag. And stands there being perplexed.
GREIBEL
Shop Of Illusions!
Radek does some more magic to disillusion the shop. It seems to not entirely work. Nothing really happens. On the other hand, he does notice that the shop is partially there if he looks at it right. Sort of. (rolled 21 arcana)
The Gravedigger rolls his shoulders.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Okay, guys, stand back. Let's sort this thing out.

Frezak (Gravy): Okay, so. My encounter power, 'roots of stone', creates a burst of rippling earth.

I would like to use that power to shake up the shop floor. See if we can break the illusion the Gravedigger-style.
Ganelon (Radek): By breaking the floor?
Radek stands back.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Seriously. I'm up for breaking this shit.
Greibel peers over the edge.
GREIBEL
I will totally turn into a spider, if that's what needs to happen. Because spiders seriously give me quite a rush.
RADEK
Now if only you could turn into a productive member of society.
Greibel seems to take this as a yes and shapeshifts, but winds up turning into a swarm of pigeons instead of a spider. They flap around a bit, and several of them collide with the wall and fall to the ground, dazed.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
HOLY FUCK, GUYS. GREIBEL JUST GOT EATEN BY PIGEONS.
Rhu rubs his eyes.
GREIBEL
(as pigeons)
WHAT NO I AM PIGEONS.
The pigeons flop around a bit and are generally very disorganised.
The Gravedigger regards the pigeons for a moment and then trudges off into a random shop.
Meanwhile the pigeon swarm starts to sort itself out, becoming more organised and generally landing all over the floor, on handrails, and on Rhu's and Radek's heads.
Radek swats a pigeon off his head.
The Gravedigger comes back a moment later with a bucket of paint and some floor cleaner, and throws paint all over the inside of the mysterious shop.
Some of the paint hits and spreads, showing solid bits of floor and apparently a chair. Some of the paint goes right through the floor. Some of it hits solid floor, spreads, and then suddenly falls.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh. Crap.
RHU
Why did it do that? And why does it work with paint, and not with spades?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You mentioned portals, Radek?
RHU
...oh crap.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I think this place is all phasing. It's.. going between places.
RADEK
I have to agree.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Things are real and not real. Both. Its... SCHRODINGER'S SHOP. Shit's fucked up.
Radek tries to slap the Gravedigger across the back of his head, and winds up hitting his arm.
RADEK
That isn't how Shrodinger's experiment worked. Valman was the first one to perform in-depth studies into the nature of phasing and other dimensional instabilities.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe you should tell the Company this. I have made a discovery. Tell them I'm super smart.
RADEK
Hmph.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I DISCOVERY ABOUT HERE. GO DO THE TALKING THING.
Frezak (Gravy): Else I will make a lung attack Vs Fort.
RADEK
Bah! Fine!
A pigeon flaps around helpfully.
Radek gets out the computer and points its camera at the Gravedigger.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I AM DOING SCIENCE.
(he stops)
Is the thing recording yet?
RADEK
Go ahead.
The Gravedigger waves at the camera thing. He then goes back to the edge of the shop, waves Radek over and makes sure he's aiming the camera at the (lack of) floor, and splashes floor cleaner over the (lack of) floor, all the while waving and pointing excitedly and smiling a lot.
This time, however, the cleaner hits the floating paint and everything all falls through at once as soon as it does.
RADEK
Hm...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(loudly)
THIS IS HOLE SCIENCE.
RADEK
Quiet down, they can hear you just fine.
Rhu leans over to see where the paint has fallen to. It looks like it mostly landed on a roof below.
RADEK
We believe this space to be part of a dimensional instability of some sort. The floor seems to be changing states between tangible and intangible constantly.
RHU
It's a creepy floor.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It's here and not. This is going to make moving around here very difficult. Because of holes.
GREIBEL
(as pigeons)
We just have to perceive, man. It will be hard but valuable.
RADEK
That will be in the report.
RHU
Wait a minute. How do we know this isn't some kookie "illusion for the paying public" stunt this mall was doing? Maybe we should go back and focus on the dead guys?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yes, dead guys! I'll dig a hole.
The Gravedigger stops and seems to suddenly realise something, and then plods off down the stairs.
RHU
But... maybe a crazy scientist did a thing. Maybe another Gravedigger was researching advanced digging, or something. We don't know that this weird room has anything to do with anything apart from the fish.
Rhu follows the Gravedigger down the stairs. Radek concludes the report and does the same.
The Greibel pigeon swarm flies up around them as they leave, then flaps out the door of the shop into the open air. (rolled 6 reality) Pigeons bounce off the far wall.
GREIBEL
(as pigeons)
Aaaaaah what.
A cat, Lokshmi, appears in the doorway, watching the flock of pigeons. Then the flock starts to come back together.
LOKSHMI
You should come back inside before you do that.
Greibel coalesces back into an elf over open air.