Holes/Session 16

From Zaori


INT. Presentation room - underground complex
The walls groan under structural strain, then return to silence.
The party is loitering around the presentation room. Radek runs down through the list of projects he found that the underground organisation had been working on: an investigation into the rifts, research on a shielding artifact, something about mutant birds, and a project about talking to the dead.
Frezak (Gravy): We need to find out how Greibel got here. By... killing him and casting Speak With Dead, possibly. Unless Ghost-Greibel is also stoned.
Apheori (GM): Of course ghost-Greibel is also stoned.
Frezak (Gravy): Well, bugger.
Bear Soup Guy (Greibel): Always stoned. He's a floating pot-smoke apparition.
RHU
"Speaking with the dead": well, that thing is from the City of the Dead...
(he points at sphinx)
Pretty easy to speak to the dead if you can teleport there.
The sphinx licks itself emphatically.
RADEK
Useless if you can't find a specific soul, however.
Radek checks the door for a map, and is disappointed to find that this complex apparently does not follow normal codes and has no directions to emergency exits.

Ganelon (Radek): Oh, I would register SO MANY complaints if there were anyone to receive them.

Ganelon (Radek): "And then there was a cave-in, and when we tried to use the teleporter it just produced liquid non-existence, which didn't even stick to me!"
Bear Soup Guy (Greibel): "I'm VERY dis-satisfied!"
Ganelon (Radek): I'd probably slip in a few complaints about the party itself even though that is in no way this establishment's fault.
DAWN
(counting the seats in the room)
Two... fourteen... twenty three...
Something's missing.
RADEK
What?
RHU
What?
Rhu looks around. (rolled 18 perception)
The Gravedigger looks about as well. (rolled 23 perception) There seems to be something off with the number of seats and the door, but it's unclear what.
DAWN
I don't know.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It's the seats. And the door.
Rhu counts the seats. He comes up with 47.
Radek goes to check out the door. He finds no label for the room, but the place where a label should be. (rolled 25 perception) It's a bit like someone stole the sign.
The walls creak ominously.
RADEK
Are you talking about a sign for the room, Dave? There should be one here.
DAWN
One? Or two? On the door, and by the door.
Dawn walks over to the door and taps slightly to the right of the frame, 2/3 of the way up.
RHU
By the door?
DAWN
Here.
The Gravedigger smacks the tapped area.
RHU
We're inside the room. Why would there be a sign on the way out?
Radek detects magic, as though it had been touched by magic at some point in the past. (rolled 24 arcana)
The Gravedigger punches the magic.
The residual magic disperses.
GREIBEL
They want to make sure you enjoyed your stay.
The porridge hops around the room merrily
The sphinx gets up and stalks the porridge.
Amadi sits down in the seat vacated by the sphinx. Her hair is sticky with blood.
Rhu backs away from the blood-stained Amadi.
RHU
(to Dawn)
why do you think there ought to be a sign there? Is it something about the room? Or have you been here before?
DAWN
(as though reading, though there's nothing there)
Max occupancy 47 persons. The space is there where it should be.
There's a squawk from somewhere down the corridor. To Greibel, it sounds like a dying horse. To the Gravedigger, it sounds like an angry duck... and then like a horse dying. (rolled 25 nature)
Greibel perks up.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
A DYING DUCK-HORSE.
The Gravedigger charges down the hall.
Rhu runs out after Gravy, his maul drawn.
Greibel wonders what animal might be amicable to both a duck and a horse.
Amadi dangles her feet, smiling at the world at large. The blood in her hair isn't drying.
Dawn frowns at Amadi and then follows Gravy as well, along with Radek.
Meanwhile, in the presentation room, there is a horrible horking noise as the sphinx runs into the porridge.
Rhu comes back to look and watch, before heading after the others after all a moment later.
GREIBEL
Oik!
Greibel goes over to try to separate them, but somehow they've become tangled. Amadi skips down to help.
GREIBEL
Mmm.
Greibel and Amadi have a go at untangling them. (rolled 2 dexterity, 20 to assist) Amadi peels the porridge off the sphinx and it winds up on Greibel's head.
The horrible noises cease and the sphinx flees out into the corridor as well.
Amadi giggles.
Greibel chuckles a bit as well.
GREIBEL
(to Amadi)
Well, not to point out the obvious but... how'd you get all bloodied up?
AMADI
How did I what?
The porridge gloops.
GREIBEL
Mmm. Right.
Amadi looks at Greibel as though he's a little bit mad. Then she shrugs and pets the porridge.
The porridge rumbles.

INT. Random office - underground complex
The Gravedigger stops at the door of the room the noise apparently came from and looks inside. There's a desk, some chairs, and a deformed skeleton inside.
Everything is quiet now.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
HELLO?
IS THERE A DUCK AND OR HORSE IN HERE?
The sphinx catches up and runs inside.
The Gravedigger spots a giant duckmoose monster under the desk. It's not moving. He goes to check on it, and then finds the sphinx on top of it as he rounds the desk.
Radek and Dawn enter and just watch.
Checking for vital signs, the Gravedigger winds up with sphinx vital signs.
The sphinx stares at Gravy from on top of the duckmoose.
The Gravedigger reaches out to move the sphinx and it jumps off. Checking again, he finds the duckmoose has too many legs and is not entirely alive.
Rhu catches up and comes in as well.
RHU
...yeah... okay... I don't know what I was expecting. But that's not far off.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can we leave yet?
RADEK
Time to leave, yes.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Please.
DAWN
Okay.
RHU
We should get Griebel to check the creature out maybe. With the nature and whatnot.
So... head of a duck, body of a moose? That's large, scary and awkward, all at once.
The Gravedigger turns back to give the thing another look, just to be humour him instead. (rolled 26 nature)
THE GRAVEDIGGER
The duck-moose hybrid... Is not natural.
RADEK
It might have been a test subject.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Maybe. I hope I don't turn into a duck.
RHU
I hope you don't turn into a duck either. So definitely dead? We should go back and try to find another way out of here?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah.
DAWN
Would you turn into a duck? Does that even happen?
RADEK
I wouldn't discount anything.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I dunno. But this moose got ducked. I don't want to be ducked.
Ganelon (Radek): We probably ought to be more concerned with the fact that this duckmoose was making noise seconds ago.

INT. Presentation room - underground complex
AMADI
What time is it?
GREIBEL
Uhrm.
AMADI
Thanks, that's helpful. Hey, do you like my hair? I think I dyed it. Is it dyed? Do you have a mirror?
GREIBEL
Your hair is... very unique. It's nice.
AMADI
Thanks!
GREIBEL
I don't have a mirror but uh... I'm sure there's a reflective surface around here somewhere...
AMADI
Right! The sign at the door. That's very clever of you.
GREIBEL
The sign on... was that there before?
Greibel walks over to read the sign. (rolled 8 reality) It looks like a map, but it shimmers too much to make out details.
Amadi goes to look at herself in the metallic sheen of the sign on the door.
AMADI
Huh. I could've sworn I used green dye...
Greibel tries to take the map off the door, but his fingers pass right through it.
GREIBEL
Oh, bugger all.
(To Amadi)
What does this say?
Amadi looks away from her own reflection in the metal, then back at it.
AMADI
Hm? Oh, it's rules for running. Or guides. Most rules are just guides anyway. Do you think most guides are rules? It's very accurate. That way is blocked as of quite recently.
Amadi taps a spot on the thingy.
GREIBEL
So where are we on this guide?
Rhu comes back inside and then tries to figure out what they're looking at. The Gravedigger pushes his way in as well, Radek and Dawn following.
Amadi re-closes the door and points again.
RHU
(to Greibel)
It was just a monster. We're going to try to use the right hand rule to get us out of here. Coming?
DAWN
How do you know it isn't a proper creature?
GREIBEL
Hold on, we found a map, check it out.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Well there goes my plan.
The others see no map. Not even a sign.
RHU
That's a blank bit of wall. Don't worry about maps; if there was one, Radek would have found it ages ago.
Where we're going, we don't need maps!
GREIBEL
Well, look. We can see it and nothing bad ever came of following a map that isn't there for everyone, right?
RADEK
...Wrong, but continue.
The sphinx nuzzles Radek's hand.
SPHINX
Hungry.
RHU
(to Dawn)
Because why would a moose need a duck's head? How could a duck possibly eat enough in a day to sustain a body like that? Why even go to all the trouble of getting an aerodynamic head like a duck's if you're going to stick it on a moose, which is the exact opposite of whatever an aerodynamic thing is? It doesn't make sense.
DAWN
Why not? What if the head and body belong to it?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It doesn't. Because the duckhead on it was from some kind of magic disease. Its a moose with a duck's head. Not a duck-headed moose-like creature.
DAWN
The disease did it?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It probably died from having the wrong kind of head. Yes.
RHU
The disease might have done it. That's true.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Let's go get out of here. Tis place is falling apart.
RADEK
Damnable creature! Do I look like an entertainer to you?
SPHINX
Hungry.
RHU
Agreed. Let's go!
Someone should probably tell the sphinx a story before it goes nuts again.
RADEK
I have no time to tell stories!
The Gravedigger rolls the Mouseforged back onto Dawn's floating disk, and picks up Radek.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
ONWARDS.
Dawn picks up the sphinx.
AMADI
We're leaving? Follow the... huh. Does that look like a rabbit to you?
Amadi points to something on the sign.
RHU
Does what look like a rabbit? ...the wall?
GREIBEL
Hmmmm. Could be. How strange.
RHU
There is a bit of a stain over on that side that looks a bit like a cat.
AMADI
Mmm, I don't think we should follow the sphinx...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Right hand rule! Less talky, more walky rightwards! Come on, people! Out the deathtrap!
Amadi and Greibel are still looking at the sign by the door, so the Gravedigger puts down Radek and picks them up instead.
GREIBEL
Oof.
AMADI
Wheeee.
The Gravedigger heads out. Radek and Rhu follow.
GREIBEL
(to Amadi)
So I guess we're not following the map.

INT. Corridors - underground complex.
The Gravedigger follows the right-hand rule, looking for an exit.
Dawn wanders off in another direction entirely.
The Gravedigger ignores her.
RHU
We might want to follow Dave, though. She might know something about this place, from her time in the tank.
AMADI
She's full of holes! Maybe we'll fall down and find the white rabbit!
GREIBEL
Rabbits are nice!
RHU
Rabbits eat everything. They're pests.
GREIBEL
But they're so cute and fuzzy!
After a moment, Dawn turns back and re-follows the others.
They get lost, but keep going.

INT. Room - underground complex
Later they come across a room with a large spherical object on a table, about the size of a basketball, with a bunch of wires and tubes attached to it. The far wall is covered in mirrors.
The Gravedigger is still carrying Amadi and Greibel, one slung under each arm.
Amadi's hair has finally dried, resulting in a hairy mass of dried blood. It smells... not particularly nice.
GREIBEL
(To Amadi)
Your hair is really quite lovely today.
AMADI
Aw, that's really sweet of you! I did it myself, you know.
RHU
I think we should head back to the holoroom.
AMADI
Go back? What for? Did someone forget their hairdye?
GREIBEL
Not gonna say I told you so but... I told you so.
Rhu notices that Amadi's hair has been getting progressively bloodier.
Radek goes to examine the object. (rolled 17 arcana) It seems to be the shielding artifact described in the presentations.
DAWN
I think you should ask Amadi how to get out. She got in. I... think?
Dawn winces for some reason.
AMADI
I was inside. I'm outside now.
RHU
(to Amadi)
Are you bleeding?
Hey, Radek, I think she's bleeding.
AMADI
Am I bleeding? I don't think I'm bleeding.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah, that's blood.
Radek groans and goes back to the others to take a look. He examines Amadi's head (rolled 23 heal) and finds no wounds. In fact she seems to be perfectly fine. Her hair just happens to be covered in blood for some reason.
Like she tried washing it with blood.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Eh, she's not complaining.
RADEK
She's completely healthy. Er, physically healthy. And I'm not getting into the other sort. Now, stop asking.
RHU
(to Amadi)
Where'd all that blood come from? Or ... where IS it coming from?
AMADI
Dude, you're talking crazy. There's no blood.
Oh my side, are you seeing things like those kids in horror-movies? Is it oozing out of the walls? Don't touch the mirrors!
RHU
It's not oozing, it's just... appearing in your hair. It's a little weird.
Dawn walks over to a mirror and touches it.
AMADI
... Yeah, you're crazy.
Dawn looks back at Amadi quizzically, and then notices how ridiculous she, Greibel, and Gravy look and bursts out laughing.
Radek goes back to the artifact on the table and checks it out more thoroughly.
RADEK
(to Gravy)
Detach this thing. We're taking it with us.
The Gravedigger carefully puts down Amadi and Greibel and prepares to desecure the object.
Rhu mutters something under his breath and turns around to the mirrors. (rolled 32 perception (natural 20)) They look normal. One has some smudges on it.
Rhu wipes at the smudges.
Greibel oinks at the Gravedigger.
The Gravedigger slices at the tubes with a razor-edged shovel, and they deflate sadly with a sad hiss. It's very sad.
The Gravedigger heaves the object out of its setting. (rolled 25 strength (natural 20)) It comes out neatly and he's left standing there holding a weird shiny orb. And then, to him, everything goes funky. (rolled 1 reality) All sound is cut off, the air feels funny, and everything just looks a bit... strange.
The Gravedigger hurriedly starts to put the orb back, but then Radek gestures for him to hand it over instead, and he does so.
Everything goes back to normal.
Radek, now holding the orb instead, gets his own dose of the feeling. (rolled 31 arcana (natural 20))
Apheori (GM): It's shielding! You're shielded! You're invincible! YOU COULD TAKE ON THE WORLD!
Frezak (Gravy): That sounds like standard Radek thoughts.
Radek cackles.
RADEK
Yes! This is it!
The ceiling makes a horrible groaning noise.
RADEK
Hit me with the shovel!
Rhu turns away from the mirror in time to see the Gravedigger swing his shovel right at Radek.
RHU
...Gravy? What are you doing?
DAWN
Science.
The Gravedigger misses.
Radek gives him a disappointed look.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Sorry, got overexcited there.
RADEK
I said hit me.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Let me try again.
The Gravedigger tries again, misses again, tries a third time, and finally hits Radek full force with his shovel.
Radek falls over.
RHU
Woah! Gravy!
Radek jumps up immediately after.
RADEK
Hahahaha!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
AWESOME.
Rhu just stares.
DAWN
Is this science?
RADEK
Yes! This is science!
RHU
I vote... madness?
RADEK
Now let's get out of here before we all die.
Amadi disappears.
Greibel looks around, confused.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Cheater!
SPHINX
Death. Good.
DAWN
(reaching down to stroke the sphinx)
Shush, sweetling.
(to the others)
This way! There are stairs.
Dawn points at a wall.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That's a wall.
GREIBEL
Hmmmm. I've seen this. STAND BACK.
Greibel runs at the bit of wall Dawn pointed at.
DAWN
Well, that...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Not, let ME show you how to charge a wall!
Greibel runs right through the wall. (rolled 2 reality)
DAWN
That was not what I meant, but okay.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh.
RHU
Wha... ?!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah, that's pretty good.
RHU
...yeah, okay. I guess we're all mad now.
DAWN
Are we?
Dawn walks over to the wall and pokes it. It seems solid.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh, Dust. It's like that metal thing earlier. Only you crazy guys can go through it. Unless Radek wants to chat it up.
Radek glances at the ceiling.
RADEK
I wouldn't be opposed to the idea, under these circumstances.
The Gravedigger pushes Radek towards the wall.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Use mints!
RHU
(at the wall)
HELLOOOO! GRIEBEL? Can you hear us?

INT. Walls - underground complex
While all of that is going on, Greibel walks through several more walls and then finds the stairs, right in the direction Dawn had indicated.

INT. Room - underground complex
RADEK
Bah. Fine! You there! Wall! Are you going to impede my progress as stubbornly as your cousin did?
The wall says nothing.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Now, use your secret weapon and blow it away!
RADEK
Her silence did not avail her! Here I stand as proof that walls have not bested me before, and they will not best me now!
DAWN
I don't think walls are supposed to be intelligent.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
"Supposed' is worth little, it seems.
RADEK
Allow me to pass or I guarantee your thorough destruction!
Radek tries walking through the wall. To him, it seems solid.
DAWN
Or you could just use the...
Dawn points toward the door.
Rhu looks.
Dawn tugs Rhu's sleeve and then leads him toward the door, back out into the maze of corridors. He follows without objection.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Okay, I have an idea. You hold onto the orb. And I slam as you as hard as I can into the wall.
RADEK
That isn't likely to help you pass through it.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It is if I break the wall.
Radek shrugs.
RADEK
Very well.
The Gravedigger picks up Radek, holds him tight, and leaps into the wall, smashing the little old mad scientist into it head-first. The orb lets out a glowing pulse. (rolled 17 attack) For a moment, everything feels as mad as it had when he had been holding the orb himself, but then it goes back to normal - right as they both pass right through the wall, descending into a dark, cold, porous madness. (both rolled 1 reality)
Ganelon (Radek): And to think. We're supposed to be the sane people.

INT. Stairwell - underground complex
Dawn and Rhu find Greibel smoking by the entrance to the stairs.
RHU
Hey!
Greibel looks up.
GREIBEL
Oh hey man! I knew you guys would catch up!
RHU
Yeah! Radek and Gravy are trying to go through the wall. (looks at the wall beside Griebel) is this where you emerged?
DAWN
They're mad. You, you're stoned. There is a differnce. Probably.
GREIBEL
I walked through a bunch of walls, there wasn't much in between them so I just kept going until I got here.

INT. Not quite midnight
Everything is dark. There little to no sensation, and even less to see. As Radek and the Gravedigger drift through the dark, they find the can still move, here, even without substance, toward various... things. A sense of light, a sense of space, a sense of cheese...
And power, too. They feel it, in the distance below them...
RADEK
It's astounding that the others still doubt us.
The Gravedigger is still using Radek as a shield, and he directs them toward that power, moving them closer, closer, closer.
They descend into the darkness, losing all sense of direction, including where they were supposed to be going in the first place. But it doesn't matter. Here, there is only the power, the sense of future, of everything that could be and will yet come to pass.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
This is it. What I have been seeking. All this time!
THE.... ONE TRUE SHOVEL.
They're not even speaking with voices anymore. The words are simply forming and filling space that isn't there. Except it is. The further they go, the more aware they become of the existence beyond what they've known, and also of each other - fragments of memories, of consciousness...
And the power, it is everywhere now, but more ahead...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
The stories. All true...
THEY SAID I WAS MAD. I'll SHOW THEM.
I WILL HAVE YOU. AND SHOW THE WORLD. I WILL DIG THE HOLE THAT BIRTHED DEATH ITSELF.
RADEK
Hey. Gravy. This isn't a shovel.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
NO CORPSES WILL FILL IT. I WILL- what?
RADEK
This isn't a shovel.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh. Damn.
RADEK
Something wrong about it.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Never mind, then.
RADEK
Nice speech, though. I didn't want to interrupt.
The Gravedigger coughs sheepishly.

INT. Stairwell - underground complex
RHU
Eh, I guess they're not coming through here. Maybe we should go back?
DAWN
Yeah, maybe. How long does it take to bash in a wall?
GREIBEL
I'm sure it's a quite involved process.
RHU
There must be a knack to getting through the wall. Getting high, probably. They'll figure out a way eventually. They are scientists!
Greibel takes another bong hit.
Rhu starts to head back toward the room.
DAWN
(to Greibel)
Guard the way?
RHU
Guard what way?
GREIBEL
Yes, which way?
DAWN
Stand... I mean? Guard.
GREIBEL
(he salutes)
Aye aye, cap'n Dave!
Rhu and Dawn head back.

INT. Not quite midnight
THE GRAVEDIGGER
So.. uh. We going back to the guys, then?
RADEK
I... suppose.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey, can you drop the orb into this power stuff? I'm sure something cool will happen.
RADEK
What? No!
Even so, he probably couldn't drop it if he wanted to - the orb is basically gone, as are their hands and everything about them. At this point, they have become little more than consciousness surrounded by warm glowing power.
And it's getting stronger.
RADEK
We should get out of here.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
All right.
RADEK
I'm not really sure how to do that. Perhaps just wanting it will be enough.
Slowly they will themselves to move, away from the light, into the cold, empty darkness. (rolled 19 collective wisdom)
It's horrible.
It's the worst thing either have them have ever done. Everything wonderful just sort of drains away leaving a horrible emptiness.
And then they realise they have no idea where they're going.
Frezak (Gravy): None of that sounds unusual.
Then, finally, after what feels like an eternity, it ends, and the pop out into searing light and colour, exploding through every aspect of their beings.

INT. Room - underground complex
Rhu and Dawn get back to find the room they had left empty, basically the way they had left it, no sign of the Gravedigger or Radek. The wall isn't even bashed.
RHU
Huh.
Rhu looks down the corridors to see if he can tell where they might have gone, but there's no sign.
The Gravedigger and Radek suddenly pop out of the wall and collapse on the floor in a heap at Dawn's feet.
Dawn takes a step back in surprise.
Radek groans quietly.
DAWN
Oh... what?
(yelling back toward the door)
RHU! Found them!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey. Is it lunchtime?
RHU
Ah, you got through the wall after all, then?
DAWN
Floor, apparently.
RHU
Oh. Kay.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
There wasn't a shovel.
The Gravedigger helps Radek up.
RHU
It's lunchtime somewhere.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Sounds good to me.
I tihnk I have some sandwiches somewhere...
The Gravedigger rummages in his bags.
RHU
Did you end up two corridors down like Greibel did?
Radek mumbles to himself.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
We ended up here.
SPHINX
(on Dawn's shoulders)
Hungry.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(looking at a sandwich he pulled out)
Pickle and cheese? Who packed this? I never make pickle and cheese. Did someone take my ham and lettuce sandwiches?
(he pulls out another bag)
Wait, no, here they are.
RADEK
One part silver, three parts nitrogen... is it any wonder? They always ask when the answer's right in front of their noses...
RHU
(to the sphinx)
Do you want more stories?
SPHINX
(staring at Gravy)
Stories.
Rhu stays well away from the sphinx, but starts telling it a story about the battle in the mountains saved by a divine wind. The sphinx devours the story but looks somewhat angry at parts.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I have sandwiches. So tough. Well, I might have some soup. Chicken and noodle.
RADEK
I'm... starting to hate walls.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You want a sandwich?
RADEK
I want to be outside.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(he shrugs)
All I got is sandwiches.
The walls groan.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Okay, ready. Where now?
RHU
Yes, please! Stairs to get out of here with.
Dawn leads everyone back to the stairs, and Greibel.
They go up.
And up.
And up.

INT. CRYPT
After an annoyingly long climb, a few transfers to slightly different staircases, and a fair bit of grumbling, the party, complete with midget, Mouseforged, porridge, and sphinx, come to a final door and spill out into a crypt.
It's fairly ordinary for a crypt - statues and sarcophagi and bones and crap. Nothing looks to have disturbed it recently, but it's clean.
Behind them, the door closes and becomes almost indistinguishable from the rest of the wall, though they could probably still use it since they now know it's there.
By this point, Dawn is riding the diskfull of mouseforged.
The Gravedigger shines his horn-torches around.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Undead guys in here, Rhu?
Rhu shrugs.
RADEK
I'll go first.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Radek? Are you protected against magic?
RADEK
Quite possibly.
The research notes regarding this artifact stated that it blocks energy. Cold may be a concern.
The Gravedigger activates gravyvision and detects a very small amount of external light coming from the right. (rolled 31 perception) There are also some shiny things glinting amongst the bones - coins apparently dropped in with them.
The Gravedigger turns and marches off in the direction of the light.
The others follow.
The light turns out to be a small crack under the bottom of a door.
The door itself is locked.
RHU
(whispers)
...should we knock?
They might be a little creeped out that people want to leave the crypt.
The Gravedigger listens intently for anything on the other side. (rolled 35 perception) He hears voices, some conversation about smithing, and something about a brother.
DAWN
Would you knock if you were dead?
RADEK
You're a zombie and you're asking us?
DAWN
Am I? Oh. Cool!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Guys on the other side.
RHU
(to Dawn)
Gives them a chance to figure out that something's going on. If we barge in, they'll assume we're hostile and attack before asking questions.
I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Chances are that if we knock, they'll run on account of undead hordes.
RHU
Right. See? Even less fighting necessary.
...do we want to tell them about... down there? It might make sense to keep that to ourselves for now.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yeah, no reason to tell them. If we have to say, we were Hole'd.
Rhu nods.
RHU
Let's go say hi.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can anyone imitate a ghost? Or zombie or whatever?
If we scare them off, I can just smash the door.
RHU
Imitate a ghost?
We could set the porridge on them. Sentient porridge is pretty creepy.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Send it under the door?
DAWN
I'm a zombie.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can you make zombie noises, Davenotdave?
DAWN
(sounding a bit like a pig)
Grooonk. Er.
Dawn looks embarassed.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
No, try like... HUUUURRRNNGHHHHH. NNNEEEUUUUAAAAAHHHH.
DAWN
Hurrung?
DAWN
Noom.
Dawn waggles her fingers.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Well, someone do something.
GREIBEL
You guys are all wrong. A proper ghost noise is WOOGLY WOOGLY WOOGLY.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Sorry, Greibel.
DAWN
Wiggly woo!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
WOOGLY WOOGLY WOOGLY.
RADEK
...Greibel, just turn into a horde of spiders and chase them out, please.
GREIBEL
Oh hey, there's an idea. SPIDER ATTACK.
Dawn unlocks and opens the door a crack and peers behind it.
Greibel turns into a horde of spiders and scuttles through.
DAWN
Spiders! Spiders!
Dawn runs out after them.
RHU
Now what do we do with this horde of spiders?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Greibel will put himself back together eventually.

INT. Temple - day
The spiders, followed by Dawn, come out into a temple, tall, stone, and full of windows letting in various motes of sunlight, though the decorations are austere. Four people, all human, are standing around chatting - two priests, Doros and Nereem, and two townsfolk.
At the sight of the spiders, one of the townspersons shrieks and flees out the main door, slamming it in his wake.
Doros falcepalms.
Nereem and the other townsperson just stare.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(from behind the door)
WOOGLY WOOGLY WOOGLY.
Rhu pokes his way in after the spiders and the midget, and the Gravedigger comes out as well, opening the door the rest of the way. As soon as he's through, the Mouseforged disk floats out as well, trailing to catch up with Dawn.
RHU
Hey! Is this your crypt?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
You can have it back.
The Gravedigger waves.
Frezak (Gravy): For reference, I always imagince Gravy has a big backpack with a selection of shovels sticking out.
Nereem looks toward Rhu and the Gravedigger and his mouth opens slowly and he just stares for a bit. Then he gets ahold of himself and glares at them.
Radek follows, coming out a bit behind the others.
NEREEM
Just what do you think you're doing?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Walking out your crypt.
RADEK
Leaving, I would imagine.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Egressing.
NEREEM
You're graverobbers, are you? You expect us to just let you walk out?
DAWN
Spiders!
The Gravedigger draw himself to full height and stomps up to be toe-to-toe with Nereem.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
HOW FUCKING DARE YOU.
Dawn picks up a handful of spiders and waves them in Nereem's face.
DAWN
Spiiiideers!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I AM THE GRAVEDIGGER. I BURY PEOPLE. I DO NOT FUCKING TAKE SHIT OFF THE DEAD.
Nereem falls over at the combined force of Gravy's voice and Dawn's handful of Greibel.
Frezak (Gravy): "For a handfull of Greibel"
Ganelon (Radek): "Shit! This gigantic horned elf is really scary, but there are also spiders being shoved in my face and I hate those too! This is the worst day ever!"
Frezak (Gravy): "I signed up for shrine maidens! No-one told me about screaming horned giants!"
DAWN
Spiders! Spiders!
The other townsperson, who up to this point had just been hanging around watching, finally decides to leave as well, this apparently being just a bit too much for him.
Rhu follows and checks out the door before coming back to the others.
The other priest, Doros, approaches the Gravedigger trying to look non-threatening.
DOROS
Okay, what were you doing in there?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh, we stepped through a Hole.
The Gravedigger continues to eye Nereem.
Nereem tries to crawl away backwards and runs into the rest of Greibel. He then curls up into a ball and starts rocking.
Greibel skitters all across his face and stuff.
DOROS
A hole?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hole. Capital H. A spot in the air where you step through and end up somewhere else? Like a door without a frame. Magic stuff.
Doros looks the Gravedigger up and down.
DOROS
Not one you dug yourself, then. It came out in the crypt?
RHU
Like the big giant tree a day south of here. Holes in the universe. Like the anvils.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Yep.
RHU
And we ended up in your crypt. Sorry about that. Nice crypt, though.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
There's gold lying about in there. You should take better care of it.
RADEK
Damned inconvenient things. And dangerous, too.
RHU
My Lord Hazz'ridan, God of Dead Ends, would approve. Also guys?
(he grins)
I think we're back in Coffle.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh, that's great, Rhu. We don't have to walk across worlds to get to the Car.
RHU
The Car! We can get out of here!
DOROS
Hazz'ridan, you say?
Nereem continues to rock back and forth on the floor, whimpering.
DOROS
So it's true, then. It's starting up again.
RHU
Yes, Hazz'ridan.
(he shows the priest the Hazz'ridan implement around his neck)
...what's starting up again?
DOROS
That is not a name of this world. Even in Arah it is barely known. Travellers, though, sometimes bring mention...
Tell me, Wayfarer. Who reigns king of the sandcastle?
RHU
What is an Arah?
DOROS
Arah is the City of Doors. It connects the planes, different worlds which exist in tandem.
Now answer the question.
RHU
King of the sandcastle?
DOROS
Who reigns?
RHU
King of the sandcastle.
Rhu stares blankly, then suddenly, excitedly, starts fishing out his notes.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Greibel. Lokshmi told you about a sandcastle.
RHU
(reading)
"It is Ajirahd and Irundha of Akrikdirin Vak who reign king of the sandcastle. You must remember this!"
Well, I had.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh, you too?
DAWN
Akrikdirin Vak?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Why does no-one tell ME about sandcastles!
DAWN
But this is Arling Tor.
Wait, did you say Lokshmi? The... the... the...
Dawn gestures ineffectively, then shouts:
DAWN
SPIDERS!
RHU
Lokshmi was the name of a cat who spoke to us back in the land of the giant fish.
DOROS
You are a very long way from home indeed.
SPHINX
HUNGRY!
RHU
Yes, I suppose giant fish would make you hungry.
The sphinx jumps onto Dawn's head and looms in Rhu's direction.
Rhu backs away from Dawn and the sphinx. Doros steps away from them as well.
Dawn shakes the sphinx off and it lands in a heap on the floor.
RHU
So. Who are you guys? And what's starting again?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Bad stuff.
RHU
Yes, but... Sarathi-level bad stuff, or this-planet-level bad stuff? Will there be giant fish, is what I want to know.
DOROS
I am Doros, and that...
(he points to the spider-covered quivering ball)
Is Nereem. We are priests of Kyrule, and this is his temple.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hrmph.
RHU
Ah. Hazz'ridan the Ending asked me to beat him over the head at some point, but I think he was joking.
DOROS
(skeptically)
Beat Kyrule over the head.
RHU
These are the words of Hazz'ridan the Wise, but if you know what to make of them, you're a wiser man than me.
Doros rolls his eyes.
DOROS
Why am I not surprised?
The sphinx walks over to Nereem and eats a spider.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
BAD SPHINX. SPIT. NO EATING THE DRUID
The sphinx grins at the Gravedigger.
The Gravedigger charges the sphinx.
Rhu readies his maul.
Ganelon (Radek): I can't offer you a lot of support unless you want the sphinx legitimately dead.
The Gravedigger takes a mighty swing, but winds up tripping over the sphinx instead of attacking it. (rolled 11 attack (natural 1))
The sphinx then trots over to Doros and stares up at him hungrily. He looks down at it somewhat worriedly.
Frezak (Gravy): GRAAAGH. I HATE THIS GORRAM CAT.
Frezak (Gravy): You know, Radek? I'm totes cool with taking you up on that offer.
Ganelon (Radek): I'm mostly just worried about how powerful the sphinx really is.
Frezak (Gravy): I DONT CARE. I HATE IT.
The Gravedigger picks himself up slowly, and then very deliberately turns back to Doros.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Can you guys exorcise a cat? As in, banish the cat?
RHU
It's not really a cat, it's a sphinx from the City of the Dead. I call him Devourer when he behaves, which is rare.
DOROS
I do not know.
(addressing the sphinx)
What are you doing in the word of the living, sphinx?
RADEK
Tormenting us.
SPHINX
Hungry.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Holy water? Orbital cannon? Vorpal blade?
RADEK
If only.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Neutron bomb?
RADEK
Actually I might be able to manage that last one.
DAWN
It is behaving. Always.
Dawn walks over to a window and stares out in amazement.
DAWN
Is that... the sky?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Radek. We have to go back. And get the One True Shovel.
RADEK
I'm telling you, that wasn't a shovel.
RADEK
Now, if I could compress all that power into a shovel? Perhaps. But that would be beyond even my considerable talents.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What do you need to do this? How can I help?
DOROS
You should know that it is not possible to truly kill a sphinx. You may be able to send it back to the City of Death for a time, but if it is determined to follow you, it will come back.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What if we just cut off its legs? Put it in a hole?
Greibel turns back to normal, sitting awkwardly on top of Nereem.
NEREEM
Oh the humanity.
Nereem collapses under the suddenly consolidated weight.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey, you okay, Greibel?
GREIBEL
HONK!
No wait, that's not right. A-okay, Cap'n!
RHU
Ah. Well. That settles the killing-the-sphinx question, I guess.
DOROS
(to the sphinx)
Stories, is it?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
How do we make it leave?
DOROS
How did you make it come?
SPHINX
Stories.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Because Rhu keeps feeding it, and it just keeps being a pain.
RHU
I feed it because otherwise it goes crazy and attacks everybody. Speaking of which...
Rhu draws the sphinx away from the others with another story, this one a long tale about a particularly famous military campaign of years gone by. He keeps his distance from the sphinx as best he can in the doing.
Doros pulls Greibel up off of Nereem.
Greibel stands up and starts apologizing as though he just realized.
Doros ignores him and just picks up Nereem and sets him on his feet as well, and then sends him into the back to sort himself out.
Nereem shuffles off uncertainly, glancing back at Greibel in fear.
DOROS
How did you summon the sphinx?
RHU
He followed me. I... ended up at the city of the dead after falling through the Hole in the abandoned lot somewhere near all the temples. And when I came back, he showed up as well. And when he gets hangry somebody loses an arm. That's all I know.
DOROS
What did you offer it?
Rhu thinks.
RHU
Er. I might have told him what we were up to, and then asked if he wanted to come with me and find out how that story ends?
Radek slaps his forehead and groans.
Ganelon (Radek): It ends with us being eaten by a sphinx!
DOROS
You may have a problem.
RHU
I meant in the City of the Dead! I didn't think he'd follow me through... Arah, was it? ...all the way back here!
DOROS
Who would? Sphinxes don't leave. They just don't. But nor do people talk to them. Add one, and it seems you may get the other.
RHU
...you're saying we can bore it into leaving?
DOROS
It's possible. But given the nature of your quest, that by itself may be enough to keep its interest.
Ganelon (Radek): "Everyone, quickly! Do nothing of interest!"
Frezak (Gravy): HIDE IN A HOLE.
RHU
You're right, Doros. We can't really help being interesting.
Doros snorts.
RHU
Do you guys have any thoughts on what's causing all these holes?
DOROS
Which holes?
RADEK
The ones threatening to destroy this plane.
DOROS
It isn't just this plane.
RADEK
Indeed, though the one we're currently occupying still happens to be a more immediate concern.
RHU
Other planes are on their own at this point.
DOROS
When one falls, it takes those closest with it.
RHU
So... that would be a no?
DOROS
Ask your lord, who so despises holes.
RHU
He doesn't know. We're trying to work it out with his help.
DOROS
(motioning toward Dawn, who is still staring at the clouds in awe)
Then ask her.
RHU
Ask her what?
DOROS
What happened on Sarathi.
All at once, the space seems to change. It is as though everything is thinner, darker, unreal - through it, you can see the canvas upon which the universe is painted. Time itself appears to have stopped, but you are still moving, still talking, still seeing, within the bubble of the temple.
Dawn looks back as well, seeing the change, through her very presense reminding the others that it happened, though the notion of when is already gone.
Frezak (Gravy): I'm pretty sure this isn't normal.
Ganelon (Radek): I don't go to church, so who knows?
While all of this is going on, the Gravedigger cleans his shovel.
RHU
...did we ever ask her that? I don't think we did.
DOROS
She played Sarathi De. Her Twins blocked the sister of hearts, a name you know well, Wayfarer. What happened in the heart of the storm?
DAWN
Twins?
The sphinx growls lowly.
RHU
She? You mean Dave? And... Sarathi De? Wha?
DOROS
It was a game she played growing up.
(to Dawn)
Do you remember?
RHU
Huh.
DAWN
I don't remember anything.
RADEK
(to Doros)
...Who are you, really?
DOROS
I speak for Kyrule. It is by his will that we may converse now. But despite his interest, he cannot be seen to act. Such are the laws of the world.
RADEK
(grumbling to himself)
...Gods.
DAWN
(cheerfully)
Foot fungus.
Rhu just stands there looking confused.
The Gravedigger continues to clean his shovel.
Greibel smiles helpfully.
Frezak (Gravy): Apparently Dave is a god.
RADEK
So she's supposed to remember something. It's clear that she doesn't. We're going to have to find Amadi again, aren't we?
DOROS
Perhaps she is the wrong fragment. Or perhaps she is exactly the right one for what you will need to do.
Gaurav (Rhu): To translate the madness?
Ganelon (Radek): More like to get a whole pile of new madness to sift through.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
(putting his shovel away)
If you're just going to stand about and be cryptic, you might as well not say anything. I'm going to go look for a pub.
The Gravedigger trudges out.
DOROS
Amadi won't translate. She should, but she won't.
Her mind is too fragmented, too broken. It should never have awoken at all, and yet it's all you have. They are pieces, the two of them, of an old god who was bound and broken. There will be others. You may find them. Do not tell them what they are.
RHU
Broken, yes, that makes sense.
RADEK
I fix machines, not minds.
DOROS
They have the power to mend the universe. It is who they were. Who they will be.
RHU
Oh hello. Mending the universe. That sounds like what we need to do.
So. We're collecting weirdos. We seem to be doing pretty well so far actually.
DAWN
It won't work. It can't work. It's gone.
RHU
What's gone?
Dawn suddenly walks up to Doros and eyes him curiously.
DAWN
Why are you in a man?
Doros stares at her for a long moment, not responding. Then his expression turns to concern, and he reaches out to touch Dawn's face, but then stops.
DOROS
I am sorry, my beloved. I am so sorry.
Frezak (Gravy): You dirty, dirty boy.
Gaurav (Rhu): ...Dave's got a boy-friend, Dave's got a boy-friend...
Suddenly everything goes back to normal. The sun shines in once more like anything. Reality takes on a solid sheen. Time... is time once more.
Doros seems to sag.
RHU
Woah! What was that?
DOROS
I'm sorry. I need to rest.
RHU
Are you okay?
DOROS
(he nods)
Good luck, Wayfarers. May you find your home again.
Excuse me.
Doros heads toward one of the back rooms as well.
RHU
Huh. I wonder if he's one of the weirdos we need to collect.
Dawn stares after him forlornly.
DAWN
(absently)
She does remember. She just can't... reach it?
RADEK
We've already assembled an impressive menagerie of lunatics.
Greibel absently tries to balance on one foot.
RADEK
Now, come on. I have some blueprints to sell.
The party heads out.
Apheori (GM): Whatever are you planning on doing with the mouseforged?
Ganelon (Radek): Good question. I did propose the idea of building it an actual mouse body.
Frezak (Gravy): ...A warmouse body, right?
Ganelon (Radek): Yeah, basically.
Frezak (Gravy): WARMOUSE
Frezak (Gravy): WARMOUSE
Ganelon (Radek): For now I'll just drag it around, though. It is walking, right? Or at least amenable to suggestions of walking?
Apheori (GM): It's on a disk. It doesn't seem to be awake.
Ganelon (Radek): Hm. That's abnormal.
Frezak (Gravy): MR MOUSIE. Radekradekradek SAVE HIM.
Ganelon (Radek): But maybe it's just trying to sleep and doesn't realize that Warforged don't really... do that. They do have some kinda weird power-saving mode but they stay alert, and... ah, whatever, this is a mouse soul in a golem body. Hell if I know how it actually works anymore.

EXT. Coffle temple district - day
It's a street, there are temples around, and, for whatever reason, entirely too many guards are also milling about.
The Gravedigger reaches out and acquires a guard.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Where is the college?
The guard hits the Gravedigger with his weapon. It doesn't actually do any damage.
GUARD
Er, sorry. Reflex. It's over down there...
The guard gives directions to the exact opposite side of town.
Radek also asks about Rorik's weaponshop. Due to initially calling him Rurik there is a bit of confusion, but then they get directions to that as well. It turns out to be on the way to the college.
They start walking in the indicated direction.
RHU
Is it just me or has it been a pretty weird day?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
It's pretty much what I expected. This must be what being Greibel is like.
Greibel tries walking on his hands.
RADEK
Well, at least it felt productive.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
What are you going to do with your invinciorb?
RADEK
Study it, of course. Replicate it, if I can manage.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
If we get into a fight, you're in first.
RADEK
It didn't seem like the scientists who found the thing had any success with that.
On the way, Hazz'ridan talks to Rhu.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear him)
This is new, and an interesting twist. They hid it so well, those two, but ever as they were not as they seemed, this, of all things betrays them. You do not even know what you witnessed, my precious eyes and ears, but it doesn't matter, for witness it you did.
This is all so very interesting.
To Rhu, it almost resembles Radek's mutterings. There's more to it, too, other layers beneath the main body, things about the small girl and her cat and the game, and Rhi, and pieces of stars, and something about trees. It actually seems rather optimistic, though Rhu doesn't understand most of it.
Rhu nods and pretends to understand.
RHU
Hazz'ridan seems confused by this Kyrule. So he says. In my head. As he sometimes does.
He also says something about a small girl and her cat and the game, which sounds to me like it might be about Dave maybe. Something about star pieces. Something about trees - maybe the guardian trees of the Hole near the village?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Write down the good bits from the voices in your head.
RHU
I am a worshipper of Hazz'ridan. I write down ALL the bits.
He seems... happy. Optimistic.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
That sounds bad. Your god rarely heralds good things for us. What with his domain being... non-progression.
RHU
What about the time he saved us at the pool? He's mostly been good for us, I think.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
He did? Eh.
RHU
He cured our madness before we all went into the pool after Azariphale.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Right. I'll... uh... think on that.
The Gravedigger edges around Radek.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Let's... uh... get some money?
RADEK
Yes, let's.
RHU
Where are we heading?
DAWN
To our respective dooms.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
The weaponmaker guy.

INT. Rorik and Sons weapon shop - evening
There's a really fat guy at the counter arguing with Rorik.
The Gravedigger stands behind the fat guy and leans over him. The fat guy looks up slowly with a terrified piggy expression.
When Rorik looks up as well, the Gravedigger then indicates Radek.
RADEK
Good day, Rorik.
RORIK
Ah, hello! Hello! You have what I need? I have what you need.
RADEK
Right here!
Radek produces blueprints for a rifle and laser pistol, freshly scrawled.
Ganelon (Radek): Possibly annotated! There may be something about an undead chicken on one of them!
They make the trade - box of explosive parts for a set of possibly annotated blueprints. Rorik seems quite pleased.
RHU
(to Dawn)
How do you know that priest? Do you remember?
DAWN
What? No. That wasn't the priest.
The fat guy keeps insisting Rorik pay attention to him, but he just ignores him.
RORIK
(looking over the blueprints)
Excellent.
The fat guy then turns to Dawn and starts arguing at her.
He tells her about how important he is and what an affront all this is and how everyone will regret it and crap.
She tells him about how the sphinx is really fluffy and cute and hungry and she wonders if maybe it would like to eat him.
He tells her about how preposterous that is, and how she wouldn't dare; he's too important for this.
She tells him about how muffins are more important and there really isn't a whole lot that a sphinx wouldn't dare, and it really is quite hungry...
He nods and lays them out on a workbench.
RORIK
(sitting down)
Do let me know what happens when you try blowing up the weirdness. I do say I'm very interested.
He says this as he's already scribbling plans off the original blueprints on another sheet, and marking off bits of the blueprints.
RADEK
Gladly!
Radek has already started gibbering over this box of raw explosive power in his hands as he heads out.
Ganelon (Radek): And to think! I have an artifact that might just allow me to survive the blast now!
RHU
Dave! We should get a mov-
The Gravedigger picks up Dawn and walks out.
RHU
Never mind.
RADEK
Marvellous. I'm in quite a cheerful mood, for once.
Radek looks positively radiant, and possibly a little creepy as a result.